Book-of-Woo-2-bar

The Book of Woo is a nice crypto puzzle created by comic artist Oliver Knörzer. If you want to solve it you should hurry up, as Oliver will soon publish the cleartext.

Artworks containing encrypted texts have always been a popular topic on this blog. Most readers will know the CIA sculpture Kryptos; other notable cryptographic sculptures include the Cyrillic Projector and the Lego pictures created by US artist Andy Bauch.

Some artists created encrypted books, like the Codex Seraphinianus or George Orwell’s novel 1984 enciphered in color.

 

The Book of Woo

One of the most beautiful encrypted books I know was created by German comic artist Oliver Knörzer: The Book of Woo. I covered this cryptogram in a blog post in 2013 (in German), soon after it had been published. Oliver, who is the author of a nice online comic series named Sandra and Woo (published in English and German), has set up a  web site about it. There was a reward of 250 Dollars for the first one who would solve the mystery.

Some readers of this blog tried to break The Book of Woo, but to no avail. Some guessed that the author had used a transposition cipher – a hypothesis that seems to be consistent with the letter frequencies. Blog reader Crazee remarked that a character depicted in the illustrations of the book was named Seeoahtlahmakasay. This might be a good crib.

Like the Codex Seraphinianus, The Book of Woo is inspired by the Voynich Manuscript. It is listed as number 00022 on my encrypted book list.

The Book of Woo has four pages (calling it a book might be a little exagerated, but who cares). Here is page #1:

Woo-1

Page #2:

Woo-2

Page #3:

Woo-3

Page #4:

Woo-4

Solution to be published

Yesterday I received a mail from Oliver Knörzer. He told me that he will reveal the solution of the Book of Woo over the next few days. This information is also provided in a recent Sandra and Woo comic on Oliver’s website. According to Oliver, this page contains a clue that might lead to the solution of the cryptogram.

There is a Wiki for those who still want to break the encryption. If you want to have a go you should hurry up – in a few days your solution might be worthless.


Further reading:
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Kommentare (7)

  1. #1 Armin
    26. Juni 2018

    Ok, I’ll give it a try. The hint suggests that the text is written in the artificial language “Toki Pona”. I used a simple substitution on the transcribed text and got the following (don’t ask me what it means though…):

    soweli meli li nimi e ni: soweli meli li toki poka kon sewi. wan la
    meli suli la ona li jo e & pimeja. tenpo nanpa walu sike pini la
    ona li open lon li kon sewi li kute e kon sewi. kon sewi li toke
    e ni: o alasa e ma mama sin. ona meli li pana e nimi “mi tawa”
    tawa jan sama ale sama li tawa tan ma pi suno pi pini ala. tenpo
    tawa tenpo tawa ma lete la ona meli li lukin e ken pi moli en
    pakala. tawa pona en sona
    pona la sona ona la kon
    sewi ike li moli ala
    e ona meli. tenpo
    suno la ona lape.
    tenpo pimeja la
    noka suno li pana
    e nasin tawa ona lon
    tan ma pimeja lon
    tawa ma suno.

    pini pi tawa
    suli la ona li
    kama tawa ma pini.
    ma pini li kasi
    suli lon ma pi
    kasi suli pi
    kule laso pi
    tenpo ale.

    soweli meli li toki poka kon sewi li mama meli pi soweli ale pi
    sinpin pi & pimeja. mi soweli li sama ala e soweli ante.
    nasin ni la mi soweli li sama:
    meli suli li pilin luka
    e soweli ale kepeken luka
    sewi pi ona pi meli suli.
    tan ni la wawa sewi li
    tawa lon luka pi mi mute li
    sitelen e nasin pi ma pi
    kasi suli. nasin sewi pi meli
    suli li lon lawa mi mute.
    soweli ali pi & pimeja li wile
    tawa sama meli suli. soweli li
    kute e nimi pi ona sewi la
    soweli pi sinpin ale pi &
    pimeja li alasa e ma sin.

    tawa pona en sona pona la
    soweli pi sinpin pi &
    pimeja li anpa e pakala.
    soweli pi & pimeja li kepeken mute
    e luka li kepeken lili e wawa ante.

    tenpo sike pi nanpa
    walu la soweli ni li
    musi lon ma pi kasi
    suli pi laso pi tenpo
    ale. ala li ante.
    taso tenpo
    sike suno

    la jan sona wan li
    kama tawa sinpin en
    sinpin lon ma pi ma
    nena pi insa suli.

    jan li anpa e wan e ale. ale la li lon poka ante.
    jan sona li tawa ma mi. mi li tawa ma pi jan sona.
    jan mute li pilin ike tawa mi.
    jan mute li pilin olin tawa mi. jan lili li pilin
    e sona lon pi mi soweli. mi soweli mute li kama jo
    e pilin pakala e moli lon tomo suli monsuta. soweli mute
    ante li kama jo e pona kin lon ma pi kasi suli tan
    kiwen en kiwen pi kule ala pi jan sona ni.

    jan sona mute li lon ma ante e soweli pi & pimeja. taso tenpo
    seli pi ma ale la waso lawa ike en waso moli ike li open e tomo
    uta tawa pali ala tawa soweli pali pi nanpa lili. soweli li anpa
    e ma sin. mi soweli li tawa insa ma pi kasi suli tawa insa ma pi
    kiwen en kiwen pi kule ala. mi soweli li kama sona mute. mama
    mije en mama meli li anpa. taso tenpo kama la soweli lili li
    sewi! tenpo ni kin la nanpa pi soweli mi li suli! tenpo kama la
    nanpa li kama ala lili. luka wan li lon uta kiwen pi ilo moli.
    luka tu wan li lon ma pi musi en moli ala! tenpo pi
    soweli pi &
    pimeja li sin!

  2. #2 Thomas
    26. Juni 2018

    Armin´s solution translated by http://inamidst.com/services/tokipana:

    “especially land mammal female is word such this: especially land mammal female
    is talking hip wind up. a unit it’s said
    female big it’s said he is contain having receive such & dark darkness. time
    number -th walu wheel tip completed it’s said
    she is turn on be present is wind up is hear auditory such wind high. air high
    is toke
    such that: O hey! alasa such land mother new. he woman is give such word “we
    my to”
    to person similar ale same is to by earth of light belonging to tip completed
    not. period of time
    in order to time to earth uncooked cool down it’s said he woman is look at such
    is able to belonging to be dead kill dead and
    blunder. to simplicity and knowledge
    good it’s said knowledge he it’s said wind
    high bad is death die no
    such he female. time
    sun it’s said he sleep.
    time dark darkness it’s said
    foot light is put
    such manner in order to he be in/at/on be there
    from earth dark darkness be present
    to earth sun.
    end belonging to in order to
    tall it’s said she is
    become to earth end.
    land end is plant
    big be in/at/on be there earth of
    leaf tall belonging to
    colour blue-green of
    time ale.

    animal female is language hip wind up is mother woman belonging to animal ale
    of
    front of & black. we my animal is same not such especially land mammal or else
    change.
    manner this it’s said I especially land mammal is same:
    woman big is emotion arm
    such animal ale use with hand
    up of she belonging to female tall.
    by this it’s said strength high is
    in order to be in/at/on be there hand of we my many is
    image draw such manner belonging to earth belonging to
    plant tall. way high belonging to female
    tall is be in/at/on be there mind main I many.
    especially land mammal ali belonging to & black is need
    to similar woman big. especially land mammal is
    listen such word of she up it’s said
    animal belonging to front ale belonging to &
    dark darkness is alasa such earth fresh.
    in order to good and wisdom simplicity it’s said
    animal of chest belonging to &
    dark darkness is bottom such blunder.
    animal of & black is use with many
    such hand is use with little such strength difference different otherwise.

    time wheel belonging to number -th
    walu it’s said animal that is
    playing be present land of leaf
    big belonging to blue-green belonging to time
    ale. no is difference different otherwise.
    only period of time
    wheel sun
    it’s said people wisdom a unit is
    become in order to front and
    front be present earth belonging to land
    bump of inside big.
    people is bottom such a unit such ale. ale it’s said is be in/at/on be there
    hip difference different otherwise.
    people wisdom is to land I. we my is to land of person knowledge.
    people very is feelings negative in order to we my.
    people many is emotion love love to love in order to we my. people small is
    feelings
    such wisdom be in/at/on be there belonging to we my especially land mammal. I
    especially land mammal many is become contain having receive
    such emotion blunder such death die be present indoor constructed space big
    monsuta. especially land mammal very
    difference different otherwise is come contain having receive such good also be
    in/at/on be there land of plant big by
    solid and solid belonging to paint colourful colour not belonging to people
    wisdom this.

    person knowledge many is be in/at/on be there land difference different
    otherwise such especially land mammal of & dark darkness. only period of time
    fire belonging to earth ale it’s said winged animal mind main negative and
    winged animal be dead kill dead negative is turn on such e.g. house
    mouth oral to work no in order to animal activity of number -th little. animal
    is bottom
    such land fresh. I especially land mammal is to inside land of leaf big to
    inner world land belonging to
    solid and hard of paint colourful colour no. we my especially land mammal is
    become wisdom many. mother
    man and mother female is lower part. sole but period of time come it’s said
    animal small is
    high! time this too it’s said number -th of animal I is tall! time come it’s
    said
    number -th is come not little. hand a unit is be in/at/on be there mouth oral
    hard belonging to device be dead kill dead.
    arm two duo a unit is be in/at/on be there earth of fun and be dead kill dead
    no! period of time of
    especially land mammal belonging to &
    black is new!”

  3. #3 Thomas
    26. Juni 2018

    We can see that machine translation of Toki Pona doesn´t yield satisfying results because the vocabulary consists of only 120 words. Most of the words have a wide variety of grammatical functions (e.g. noun, verb, adjective) and meanings so that it is very difficult to interpret what the author meant, especially without sufficient knowledge of grammar.

  4. #4 Jerry McCarthy
    England, Europa
    26. Juni 2018

    Abo

  5. #5 Thomas
    26. Juni 2018

    There is a vocabulary: http://tokipona.net/tp/classicwordlist.aspx
    More complex terms consist of two ore more of this pricipal words (e.g. alcohol = water + bad). Moreover, there are some little words (li, e, la, pi) which determine the notion of an preceding or following word. Nevertheless, ambiguity results from simplicity.

  6. #6 Thomas
    29. Juni 2018

    The Toki Pona cleartext revealed on the sandraandwoo website:
    soweli meli li nimi e ni: soweli meli li toki poka kon sewi. wan la meli suli la ona li jo e oko pimeja. tenpo nanpa walu sike pini la ona li open lon li kon sewi li kute e kon sewi. kon sewi li toke e ni: o alasa e ma mama sin. ona meli li pana e nimi “mi tawa” tawa jan sama ale sama li tawa tan ma pi suno pi pini ala. tenpo tawa tenpo, tawa ma lete la ona meli li lukin e ken pi moli en pakala. tawa pona en sona pona la sona ona la kon sewi ike li moli ala e ona meli. tenpo suno la ona lape. tenpo pimeja la noka suno li pana e nasin tawa ona lon tan ma pimeja, lon tawa ma suno. pini pi tawa suli la ona li kama tawa ma pini. ma pini li kasi suli lon ma pi kasi suli pi kule laso pi tenpo ale.

    soweli meli li toki poka kon sewi li mama meli pi soweli ale pi sinpin pi oko pimeja. mi soweli li sama ala e soweli ante. nasin ni la mi soweli li sama: meli suli li pilin luka e soweli ale kepeken luka sewi pi ona pi meli suli. tan ni la wawa sewi li tawa lon luka pi mi mute li sitelen e nasin pi ma pi kasi suli. nasin sewi pi meli suli li lon lawa mi mute. soweli ali pi oko pimeja li wile tawa sama meli suli. soweli li kute e nimi pi ona sewi la soweli pi sinpin ale pi oko pimeja li alasa e ma sin. tawa pona en sona pona la soweli pi sinpin pi oko pimeja li anpa e pakala. soweli pi oko pimeja li kepeken mute e luka li kepeken lili e wawa ante.

    tenpo sike pi nanpa walu la soweli ni li musi lon ma pi kasi suli pi laso pi tenpo ale. ala li ante. taso tenpo sike suno 10000 la jan sona wan li kama tawa sinpin en sinpin lon ma pi ma nena pi insa suli. jan li anpa e wan e ale. ale la li lon poka ante. jan sona li tawa ma mi. mi li tawa ma pi jan sona. jan mute li pilin ike tawa mi. jan mute li pilin olin tawa mi. jan lili li pilin e sona lon pi mi soweli. mi sowli mute li kama jo e pilin pakala e moli lon tomo suli monsuta. soweli mute ante li kama jo e pona kin lon ma pi kasi suli tan kiwen en kiwen pi kule ala pi jan sona ni.

    jan sona mute li lon ma ante e soweli pi oko pimeja. taso tenpo seli pi ma ale la waso lawa ike en waso moli ike li open e tomo uta tawa pali ala tawa soweli pali pi nanpa lili. soweli li anpa e ma sin. mi soweli li tawa insa ma pi kasi suli tawa insa ma pi kiwen en kiwen pi kule ala. mi soweli li kama sona mute. mama mije en mama meli li anpa. taso tenpo kama la soweli lili li sewi! tenpo ni kin la nanpa pi soweli mi li suli! tenpo kama la nanpa li kama ala lili. luka wan li lon uta kiwen pi ilo moli. luka tu wan li lon ma pi musi en moli ala! tenpo pi soweli pi oko pimeja li sin!

    Due to ambiguity, the machine translation is far away from the published original English text.

  7. #7 Klaus Schmeh
    30. Juni 2018

    Oliver Knörzer via email:
    Wie angekündigte, habe ich nun die englische Originalversion vom „Buch des Woo“ („Book of Woo“) veröffentlicht: http://www.sandraandwoo.com/2018/06/28/0500-the-book-of-woo-in-english/

    Auf der Webseite gibt es eine annotierte Version zu sehen, in der die Bedeutung des Texts und der darin vorkommenden Redewendungen erläutert wird. Dazu wird die Verschlüsselung erklärt, die auf der Übersetzung in die Kunstsprache Toki Pona durch den Toki-Pona-Experten Matthew Martin aufbaut.

    Die deutsche Version gibt es unter
    http://www.sandraandwoo.com/woode/2018/06/28/0500-das-buch-des-woo-auf-deutsch
    zu sehen, vorerst aber ohne erläuternde Texte. Wenn ich Zeit finde, reiche ich diese später in der Woche noch nach.