POP QUIZ: I’M GONNA SIT RIGHT DOWN AND WRITE MYSELF AN INDECIPHERABLE LETTER
(If you’re checking out a Trivialitycheck.com ‘Pop Quiz’ for the first time: Every Wednesday (or most, anyway) I post ten trivia questions, usually on some kind of theme. If you respond with answers or guesses, I’ll tell you your score. Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title of this post as the subject line. The full set of answers is posted the following week, along with congratulations to the high scorer(s). No googling!)
I’m terrible with codes. I love puzzles generally, but decoding secret messages is so hard for me. I can’t even do cryptic crossword puzzles, usually. And I never had a secret decoder ring, despite eating loads of cereal.
And compared to the secret languages in this week’s quiz, cryptic crosswords are child’s play.
1) The Rongorongo hieroglyphs, discovered in the 1880s and consisting of some 600 unique characters which have yet to be deciphered, were discovered on which island?
2) The Rosetta Stone, which proved to be the key to deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, contains the same message written out in three different languages: Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Ancient Greek, and what?
3) “CROATOAN”, possibly a misspelling of the Native American tribe Croatan, was found carved into a tree at the site of the “lost colony” on what American island?
4) The Cascajal Block, a rock carved with 62 characters and dating from possibly as far back as 1,000 BCE, is the basis for an unproven claim that what ancient Mexican tribe were the first western hemisphere peoples to have a writing system?
5) Oracle Bone Script, in which letters were carved on bones to ask questions and the bones were then heated until they cracked, the cracks supposedly indicating the answers, is the oldest known form of writing in what language?
6) Cryptophasia refers to specialized, ‘secret’ languages shared by what specific types of people?
7) What ancient Mesopotamian form of writing has, despite the discovery of over 4,000 objects inscribed with over 400 unique symbols, yet to be deciphered or even positively identified as a language?
8) A group of Cherokee troops working with the US 30th Infantry Division at the Second Battle Of The Somme in September 1918 are the first known example of what cryptic counter-intelligence tactic?
9) Barring some vague and varying references going back as far as Shakespeare’s “Loves Labour’s Lost”, a 1919 song performed and recorded by Arthur Fields is the earliest known use of what easily decipherable coded language?
10) A recessive hereditary trait amongst the people of Martha Vineyard in Massachussetts lead to the development of what type of specialized language, commonly used on the island from the early 18th century right up until the 1950s?