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Title Sequence Quiz

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527403.  Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:33 am Reply with quote

If not, then it's a damn good likeness. Well spotted, Posital.

530322.  Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:51 am Reply with quote

As a native German speaker, the text from 11. seems oddly incomprehensible to me. Turns out it’s some sort of machine translation of The Columbia Encyclopedia. For example, »Hasen und Hasen« was “hares and rabbits” before the meaning of the phrase was completely destroyed by a clueless computer; this article on rabbits is the original text. The upper half matches the entry about acetic acid. It’s a pity they didn’t use a genuine German text.


Last edited by michi on Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:23 am; edited 1 time in total

530327.  Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:00 am Reply with quote

Seems an awful lot of the text was from the Columbia Encyclopedia.

530378.  Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:09 am Reply with quote

Ah, thanks, michi! I had a (pretty poor) go at translating that German text, and couldn't make any sense of it. That it's a machine translation would explain it very well. (I'm also glad that the bit about the 'characteristic banana' makes sense in context - I thought I was really going mad when I read that.)

Also, is anyone else now finding it difficult to relax during the title sequence? I can't see it without getting stressed about the provenance of the clock face...

1033112.  Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:19 pm Reply with quote


Frame 5 is a font of symbols called Agathodaimon, named after a 4th century alchemist. They are alchemical symbols.

Converting the symbols directly into their corresponding letters, it mostly is upper case letters. Only the last two lines use lower-case letters.

I've tried a couple of simple deciphering methods, rot13, and Caesar cipher. But I didn't find anything in particular interesting. But the letters seem like something someone would type if they were trying to come up with something random, like 'LBL' and 'PNP'.

1033184.  Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:25 am Reply with quote

Great stuff Imagicka! This is the best example of thread resurrection ever.

I guess the symbols were just placed randomly by a graphic designer who thought they looked pretty. Then again, if anyone wants to have a go at deciphering them... :)

1033202.  Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:21 am Reply with quote

Well, I've been wondering about the QI opening sequence screens ever since I watched the show and immediately recognized the alchemical symbols and font. Then scoured the internet for any discussion on the matter.

As for the other font/symbols they use (mostly arrows and such), I suspect it's a font as well, but I'm not as interested to work on it. If the alchemical symbols did actually turn out to be an Easter Egg of sorts, and actually meant something, then I'd do a little more delving into the matter.

There were a couple of slightly interesting things, like the last line of symbols. Using a Caesar Cipher, shifting two letters you end up with mostly roman numerals, but it doesn't equate to anything meaningful. Also, I thought it might be a good 'key' do a substitution cipher where you have 'NFONNOEN' indicating a word such as 'follows' or 'bottoms' but that didn't lead me anywhere either.

Yes, I've come to QI party a little later than everyone else.

1033206.  Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:33 am Reply with quote

Better late than never :)

1033261.  Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:05 am Reply with quote

Imagicka wrote:
Also, I thought it might be a good 'key' do a substitution cipher where you have 'NFONNOEN' indicating a word such as 'follows' or 'bottoms' but that didn't lead me anywhere either.

That's what my immediate thought was when you posted it. The duplicate symbols next to each other certainly lead in that direction, since someone producing "random" lists is going to spread the symbols out a lot more.

1033273.  Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:50 am Reply with quote

It's taken nearly five years for us to award them, but I think Celebaelin must have a few long-delayed points. After I had suggested that those characters might be "some script used in the realms of the esoteric", Celeb suggested that they might be connected with alchemy.

In which we now learn that he was right, so he can have some points!

1033402.  Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:19 am Reply with quote

I'm not sure. After all, what sort of self-respecting quiz would award points (or even penalties) years after the question was originally answered?

1093242.  Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:26 pm Reply with quote

I'm still hoping someone will identify #10 -- I'd very much like to know the answer!

1093245.  Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:42 pm Reply with quote

Going back five years, I see that I confidently asserted that #10 was not Siglas Poveiras. That is a system of identifying marks - not strictly writing - which has been used for centuries in the north of Portugal.

There seems not to be a great deal about Siglas Poveiras on the Internet, and - unsurprisingly - much of what there is is in Portuguese. But if you look at this page (text in Portuguese, but the pictures are the important bit), it does bear some similarity to #10.

It's not identical, but you wouldn't expect an informal system of identifying marks to be completely standardized. Accordingly, I'm not as confident as I was five years ago that it isn't Siglas Poveiras.

1093420.  Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:15 am Reply with quote

It looks like writing to me. I'm not that familiar with Siglas Poveiras, but it seems unlikely to me that strings of identifying marks would be used in such a manner as shown.

It's been five years... perhaps it's time to admit defeat and ask the Elves?

1093546.  Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:08 am Reply with quote

Oh, we did that at least four years and eleven months ago!

Unfortunately, they can't remember exactly what all of them were either, and seem not to have written the information down anywhere!


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