- "...an ability to perseverate, or persist in certain areas, like math or puzzles..."
- —Bennett Leventhal
An autistic savant (some time referred to as savant syndrome, or savantism) is an individual with the developmental disorder autism that can have one or more areas of expertise in something such as math, music, literature, or puzzles. It is thought that nearly one-third of all autistics may be savants, and that male savants ounumber female savants 6 to 1. In Mercury Rising, nine year-old Simon Lynch is an autistic savant who breaks the National Security Agency's main encryption code, MERCURY, when he deciphers a puzzle published in a magazine by Leo Pedranski and Dean Crandell - the code's creators - who were simply covering their bases and making sure the code was secure. Other examples of savants include Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman) in 1988's Rain Man.