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Thread: Paraphrasing Howard Carter

  1. #1
    rdshackleford's Avatar
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    Default Paraphrasing Howard Carter

    For reference, here is the original text from Howard Carter's 1923 book The Tomb of Tut.ankh.Amen.

    Slowly, desperately slowly it seemed to us as we watched, the remains of passage debris that encumbered the lower part of the doorway were removed, until at last we had the whole door clear before us. The decisive moment had arrived. With trembling hands I made a tiny breach in the upper left hand corner. Darkness and blank space, as far as an iron testing-rod could reach, showed that whatever lay beyond was empty, and not filled like the passage we had just cleared. Candle tests were applied as a precaution against possible foul gases, and then, widening the hole a little, I inserted the candle and peered in, Lord Carnarvon, Lady Evelyn and Callender standing anxiously beside me to hear the verdict. At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flame to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold - everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment - an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by - I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, X "Can you see anything?" Q it was all I could do to get out the words, "Yes, wonderful things." Then widening the hole a little further, so that we both could see, we inserted an electric torch.

    The orange color is verbatim from K3. The yellow are mods to the original text (to 'desparately', 'was', and 'caused'), and the blue are the additional letters X and Q.

    -Rusty

    It's not a place, it's a yearning. It's not a race, it's a journey.

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    There are two reasons that the X and the Q were inserted, imho.

    1- As space fillers for the puzzle, to ensure an even number for the transpositions. If that were the case, why do they bracket "Can you see anything?" You could get the same bang for your buck by placing them both at the end of the text block.

    2- As part of some larger puzzle, or a clue to some other part of the puzzle. I am starting to believe that there may be some higher purpose to the mispelled words and the random extra letters.
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    Adding letters X and Q into plaintexts was used historically to represent periods and question marks. Since he was paraphrasing the Carter book, he did not really need to add extra letters to make the length of the message work out. He more simply could have left in the original words 'were' and 'causing' instead of substituting 'was' and 'caused'.

    Using the original words gave him a perfectly square block of plaintext which could be transposed the exact same way. He chose to substitute those two word to shorten the plaintext by two characters, which allowed him to add the additional letters X and Q.

    Quote Originally Posted by moscow32
    1- As space fillers for the puzzle, to ensure an even number for the transpositions. If that were the case, why do they bracket "Can you see anything?" You could get the same bang for your buck by placing them both at the end of the text block.
    So, I don't think the reason for adding X and Q is as simple as that he needed two more characters. He already had 336 characters before changing the tense of 'were' and 'causing'. He changed the tense of those words specifically to allow him to use X and Q.

    Now I really want to know the answer to the seconds part of this question. Why? Why add X and Q where he did?

    I don't think I have seen this discussed elsewhere. Excellent.

    -Rusty

    It's not a place, it's a yearning. It's not a race, it's a journey.

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    I just wanted to throw the ciphertext and plaintext up here in various forms to visualize where the substitutions and additions were made. The colors are as before; yellow are changes and blue are additions.

    Here is the ciphertext as on the statue:

    ENDYAHROHNLSRHEOCPTEOIBIDYSHNAIA
    CHTNREYULDSLL
    SLLNOHSNOSMRWXMNE
    TPRNGATIHNRARPESLNNELEBLPII
    ACAE
    WMTWN
    DITEENRAHCTENEUDRETNHAEOE
    TFOLSEDTIWENHAEIOYTEY
    QHEENCTAYCR
    EIFTBRSPAMHHEWENATAMATEGYEERLB
    TEEFO
    ASFIOTUETUAEOTOARMAEERTNRTI
    BSEDDNIAAHTTMSTEWPIEROAGRI
    EWFEB
    AECTDDHILCEIHSITEGOEAOSDDRYDLORIT
    RKLMLEHAGTDHARDPNEOHMGFMFEUHE
    ECDMRIPFEIMEHNLSSTTRTVDOHW


    Here is the ciphertext organized in lines of length 24:

    ENDYAHROHNLSRHEOCPTEOIBI
    DYSHNAIACHTNREYULDSLL
    SLL
    NOHSNOSMRW
    XMNETPRNGATIHN
    RARPESLNNELEBLPII
    ACAEWMT
    WN
    DITEENRAHCTENEUDRETNHA
    EOETFOLSEDTIWENHAEIOYTEY

    QHEENCTAYCREIFTBRSPAMHHE
    WENATAMATEGYEERLBTEEFO
    AS
    FIOTUETUAEOTOARMAEERTNRT
    IBSEDDNIAAHTTMSTEWPIEROA
    GRI
    EWFEBAECTDDHILCEIHSIT
    EGOEAOSDDRYDLORITRKLMLEH
    AGTDHARDPNEOHMGFMFEUHEEC
    DMRIPFEIMEHNLSSTTRTVDOHW


    Here is the step after the 1st rotation:

    DAEGIFWQEWRNDE
    MGGRBIEHONAOYN
    RTOISONEE
    DRHSD
    IDE
    EETAETIPSHY
    PHAWDUTNFTENNA
    FAOFDEACOESOAH
    ERSENTMTLELSIR
    IDDBIUAASNNMAO
    MPDAAATYERNRCH
    ENREAEECDAEWHN
    HEYCHOGRTHL
    XTL
    NODTTTYEICEMNS
    LHLDTOEIWTBNRR
    SMODMAEFEELEEH
    SGRHSRRTNNPTYE
    TFIITMLBHEIPUO
    TMTLEABRAUIRLC
    RFRCWETSED
    ANDP
    TEKEPEEPIRCGST
    VULIIREAOEAALE
    DHMHETFMYTETLO
    OELSRNOHTNWI
    SI
    HEEIOR
    AHEHMHLB
    WCHTATSEYATNL


    Here is the step before the 2nd rotation:

    DAEGIFWQ
    EWRNDEMG
    GRBIEHON
    AOYNRTOI
    SONEE
    DRH
    SDIDE
    EET
    AETIPSHY
    PHAWDUTN
    FTENNAFA
    OFDEACOE
    SOAHERSE
    NTMTLELS
    IRIDDBIU
    AASNNMAO
    MPDAAATY
    ERNRCHEN
    REAEECDA
    EWHNHEYC
    HOGRTHL
    X
    TLNODTTT
    YEICEMNS
    LHLDTOEI
    WTBNRRSM
    ODMAEFEE
    LEEHSGRH
    SRRTNNPT
    YETFIITM
    LBHEIPUO
    TMTLEABR
    AUIRLCRF
    RCWETSED

    ANDPTEKE
    PEEPIRCG
    STVULIIR
    EAOEAALE
    DHMHETFM
    YTETLOOE
    LSRNOHTN
    WI
    SIHEEI
    OR
    AHEHMH
    LBWCHTAT
    SEYATNLI


    Here is the plaintext in lines of length 42:

    SLOWLYDESPARATLYSLOWLYTHEREMAINSOFPASSAGED
    EBRISTHATENCUMBEREDTHELOWERPARTOFTHEDOORWA
    YW
    ASREMOVEDWITHTREMBLINGHANDSIMADEATINYBRE
    ACHINTHEUPPERLEFTHANDCORNERANDTHENWIDENING
    THEHOLEALITTLEIINSERTEDTHECANDLEANDPEEREDI
    NTHEHOTAIRESCAPINGFROMTHECHAMBERCAUS
    EDTHEF
    LAMETOFLICKERBUTPRESENTLYDETAILSOFTHEROOMW
    ITHINEMERGEDFROMTHEMIST
    XCANYOUSEEANYTHINGQ

    It is interesting there are seven changed letters.

    -Rusty

    It's not a place, it's a yearning. It's not a race, it's a journey.

  5. #5
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    Not sure about this...

    From the perspective of someone who has made some puzzles, when you are looking for letters to use for something, it's not very often (if ever) that these can be gained by changing a few suffixes in the plaintext. Sanborn has said before its not what they are but where they are.

    Maybe by "where" he means that they are in the present. Thats what he did to me. Changed 2 past tense words to present tense.

    As well about the XQ , as has been posted, it is a historical way to transmit a break then a question mark. I think thats what they mean here too. Was an effective way to increase difficulty.

    Thinking....

    PS - Funny dead end story:

    I managed to pull pawnzko out of the added letters using the keyword lawrence. I found a crazy chess mogation paper refering to ques and preordained moves on a chess board and got super excited till it went way downtown into mathville and i got lost and mugged and thrown in jail.

    Mathville...if you have to pass thru dont stop!

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    And the word DESPARATLY - should be DESPERATELY - the second A should be an E and the E is missing before the LY. Why is that??
    Whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh!

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    Did I miss an E? Good grief! That took forever to do the first time. Now I have to go back and do it again. Ugh.

    -Rusty

    It's not a place, it's a yearning. It's not a race, it's a journey.

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    No, no, you didn't make a mistake, Rusty! The cipher decoded shows the word as "desparatly". If it was spelled correctly it would be "desperately". Two errors in one word!
    Whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh!

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    nice observation lol!

  10. #10
    Zuede is offline Junior Twelever Copper Zuede is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Default XQ

    Perhaps he is telling us to X the Q in the IQllusion word? Perhaps Illusion is the third cipher code word.

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