**How to Encrypt a Winding Way Cipher**

**Step 1**

Write down your **PLAINTEXT** message on a piece of paper without any spaces between the words.

Count the number of letters used in the message.

**Step 2**

Create a **MATRIX**, or grid, that is large enough to contain your message.

In our example, the message has 22 letters and uses a 4x6 matrix (4 squares wide by 6 squares high), but we could have used a matrix that was 5x5.

**Step 3**

Writing from left to right, fill in the boxes of the matrix.

Use a **NULL** to fill in any remaining boxes in the matrix.

**Step 4**

Determine the shape of the pattern, or path, you will use to encrypt the plaintext.

**HINT**

Patterns can start in any corner of the matrix and then move up or down, left or right, diagonally, zig-zag, or spiral throughout the grid.

**Step 5**

Draw the pattern lightly over the matrix and then copy the letters as they appear on your chosen path.

**CONGRATULATIONS!** You have created a Winding Way Cipher!

**How to Decrypt a Winding Way Cipher**

**Step 1**

Using the **KEY** (the number of squares and the type of pattern used to make the grid) that your friend gave you, draw a matrix and fill in the boxes with the **CIPHERTEXT**.

If there are any empty boxes remaining, use **NULLS** to fill them in.

**Step 2**

Reading from left to right, you can now read the plaintext message.

**CONGRATULATIONS!** You have deciphered a Winding Way Cipher!