Decrypt the Missives
from the Cosmos
A Puzzle in Many Parts
l’École de SpecGram, Washington D.C.
Attentive readers will have already begun to puzzle out the missives encrypted in this month’s letter from Associate Editor Jonathan Downie, “Encrypted Missives from the Cosmos”. Conscious readers will have at least noticed that something screwy is going on with the typography. Heavily sedated readers aren’t going to take much notice of what we say about them.1
So, there are indeed non-cosmic missives, messages, and bits of malarkey encoded into Jonathan’s letter in various ways by yours truly. If you think you’ve got the cryptolinguistic skills required, take a stab at finding and deciphering The One True Message™ hidden in the text. Submit your answers to the editors of SpecGram by July 15, 2014, and you could win a prize. Some but possibly not all of our secrets will be revealed in the upcoming August issue.
As a special incentive, the SpecGram Anti-Hoarding Guidelines have been suspended for for all players for the duration of this puzzle, and we have some special prizes. For Francophilic cryptolinguists in the U.S., one battered copy of Mots d’Heures: Gousses, Rames is available, and for non-Francophilic cryptolinguists and cryptolinguists outside the U.S., at least one set of three—count ’em, three!—SpecGram postcards is available.
Some plausible answers to last month’s query concerning the second batch of L’Ishing du Gwujlang mnemonically merged definitions (MMDs) are presented below:
- The burial vaults of writing systems are script crypts.
- A rye fungus of the rain pipe is gutter ergot.
- Having joined forces with a false god is to be idol allied.
- Stygian typing is inky keying.
- Royal dribbling is kingly leaking.
- Pointed by a woman is dame aimed.
- An act of ill-advisedly withering is an unwise wizen.
- A government official in charge of aesthetics is an arts czar.
- An uncomplicated urge is a simple impulse.
- Hypertext static electrical adherence is link cling.
- To germinate in an unprincipled manner is to grow rogue.
- A piqued ottoman is an irked turk.
- An attempt by a wagon maker is a wright try.
- A savage orb is a fierce sphere.
- Statistics from the present time is today data.
- Not counting the purulent is to except septic.
- To harden verve is to anneal élan.
- One who weathers the nullified erodes zeroed.
- A cushion of secret matrimony is an elope pillow.
- Ruffled respite is frilly relief.
- The provoking of an Australian wild dog is dingo goading.
Thanks to Jacky de la Torre, Adam Hesterberg, and Ophir Lifshitz for their contributions to the decipherment. Each will receive a prize for their help.
bastards descriptive linguists!2
2 They are just tired from all that fieldwork, really. We didn’t mean to imply anything more than they’ve been doing fieldwork.3
3 Or, as we sometimes call it when we do it, “making stuff up”.