Any word beginning with “O” relates to the offense for which the individual is wanted. Any word beginning with “Hi,” relates to height. Any word beginning with “Ag” relates to Age. Any word beginning with “We,” relates to weight. Any word beginning with “Ha” relates to hair. Any word beginning with “E” relates to eyes, ears, eyebrows, etc.
As well as the purpose of disguise, the use of the cipher also had a more practical consequence, it made telegrams shorter and so cheaper to send. The example below, with a saving of $5.35, is given in the Preface:
Encryption and cost-cutting aside, the use of these ciphers must have made for some strange reading experiences. Amid the gibberish and nonsense one wonders if there was not the occasional accidental gem of experimental prose, strange litanies proclaiming some greater truth, or even perhaps – amongst all the Oblongs and Maidens and Eagles Aghast – clues to the solving of an unsolved case.