John, this would be a perfect night to saran-wrap Peter's desk. I have the keys to office, ostensibly to work on my currently [sic] project. Harold, Elizabeth and Marian will be around, but I know all of them are willing to go along with whatever we do. I will bring the saran-wrap, show up if you want to have a part!
I first went through and colour-coded all the letters, to allow me to see which letters belonged to which cipher.
I put down all four letters that appeared as a single word as the two
is and two
as. I also realised that was going to be
t because it followed an apostrophe. However, this didn't get me very far, so I started writing down the two- and three-letter words to try and see if I could see any patterns.
I noticed that
appeared three times and appeared twice (and some of their letters appeared in other two-letter words)
which was promising but not conclusive. Then I noticed
and ! Almost certainly was
the, with as
Once I'd fillen in those letters, I knew that
(the two letter word that appeared three times) was
t? and took a guess that it was probably
I also looked at . I knew that
i, and was
e. There are only two words of the form
i?e - ice and ire - and neither seemed that likely, so I took the reasonable guess that was
a. also followed (my
then word) so it seemed likely that was
are (it could have been
ate, but less likely).
a, (the other red single-word letter) had to be
i. That left me with
thi? near the start. Only
thin fit that pattern, and I thought given its placement (second word of the puzzle, after a comma),
this was more likely.
After that I started making some bigger jumps.
I ??o? into
which gave me
this wo--- -e and
w-n- to to turn into
this would be and
want to respectively
I know a-l -- the- are
I know all of them are
Eventually giving me the answer you see at the top.