Thursday, 19 December 2013

Mckay's Magazine Review Ship Of Theseus

A short while ago Doug Dorst tweeted these pages from McKay's Magazine.

They contain pages from a review of Ship of Theseus and are from February 1950.

A brief scan of the review shows that the reviewer is not exactly a fan of the book - "a vulgar ouroboros of a novel, filled to bursting with apathy, anomie, and omphaloskepsis." (Yes I did look that last one up !)

The second page has some adverts and other articles and I am going to work my way through them to see if there are any further clues in them. This post will be updated if any new information comes to light, please let us know in the comments, via twitter or email if you think there is anything new in the article or other material.

This is great news for fans of S. as it means to me that there are other things to come, whether this is a gentle push to get us to look further or just part of a planned activity I don't know, but interesting never the less.

Update 1 - I just realized Edsel B Grimshaw, and this review, is referenced on the Eotvos Wheel Website, on the candidates page

@ObFuSc8 also reminded me that this is mentioned in the book - "Chap7 IIRC along with the obituary). Magazine owned by Bouchard/ARP."

Lady Lobster also points out that it is mentioned on page 106 in Eric's margin note.

Update 2 - The WhoIsStraka Wordpress blog has a transcription of the review.

Update 3 - There was a lot of discussion yesterday about the contents of the review and the adverts, I have collated most of it in a Storify list

I think the main points are -

From one of the adverts an address could be the New York Public Library and a search reveals it has books by Václav Straka - (Link from @CFish6) Does anyone live near the library that could call in and take a look at the books to see if anything is hidden within ?

@ObFuSc8 has posted a list of references used for the adverts in the comments below.

@MyTheseus mentioned the "magic burgoo" mentioned in the review and wondered if this points to anything within the book, a search for links and references was started.

@MyTheseus also said "Review mentions 450 pages in SOT, but there are 456. Six pages missing…" - So does than mean the original version of SoT has been extended for our benefit ?

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


I must admit to being slow to recognise the significance of this map, I saw it a few days ago from a comment by Tonzi in the Cipher Explanations page and didn't realise what it was.

If you haven't finished the book yet you may not want to read on.

Then last night @MyTheseus on Twitter pointed out a new blog post on which had the same conclusion, although arrived at via a different thought process.

Firstly the map is quite important as it explains the relationship of the coordinate system to the codes used, they are linear as you can see and these aren't locations from the book, these are all coordinates that can be found when LONOE is in the wheels window.

When you look at the map you can see that Maraú in Brazil (blue pin) is close to this line, on the postcard dated the 20th of April (insert on page 201) Eric writes that he is near this place.

So the conclusion is that the missing letters L O N O E are actually a pointer to the location of FXC should Straka have ever picked up the message hidden in the footnote cipher.

Tonzi very kindly created this as a Google map for us all to use and see this linear relationship.