Here’s another puzzle for you:

Rune-like puzzle

This looks like a Runic script, but doesn’t match any of the ones I know.

Do you recognise it at all?

This entry was posted in Puzzles, Writing.

17 Responses to Puzzle

  1. N says:

    To me quite a few characters look like they could be from http://www.omniglot.com/writing/iberian.htm but it’s not a perfect match

  2. peter j. franke says:

    May be it is Tifinagh, the Berber script, still in use in the south of Morocco….

  3. John the Editor (John Cooper) says:

    I’d lay money this is a modern cipher. The small gaps in characters 5 and 9 and the small circles in other characters belie the utility of runic characters, which are meant to be easy to carve in hard surfaces.

  4. TJ says:

    I agree with John Cooper. There is, though, bitty bit of similarity with Tifinagh.

    By the way, I noticed in Omniglot that it talks about “Neo-Tifinagh”. So, how does the old one looks?

  5. Charles says:

    I also suppose it’s a con-script… inspired by runes, obviously.

  6. TJ says:

    By the way, judging from the second symbol in the second raw (from left), I think the image is flipped over. I think it should be rotated 180 degrees.

  7. Simon says:

    TJ – you can see the old Berber script here.

  8. Arakun says:

    I agree with John that this is probably some kind of cipher designed to look like runes. I tried to see if it was a simple substitution cipher by replacing the characters with latin ones and feeding it into a crypto solving application but got no meaningful answer. The text is quite short though and we don’t know what language it is. If it’s a conscript then the text might be written in a conlang.

  9. Drabkikker says:

    Yup, it’s slightly unfortunate that there are 26! different ways to arrange the letters in the alphabet, which, if we wrote each permutation one centimeter below the other, would end up in a list roughly four billion lightyears long. So, other approaches are to be preferred… Let’s try the ‘Where did Simon find this?’ method, in combination with the ‘Is there more where this came from?’ strategy.

  10. TJ says:

    Thanks for the link Simon. Well, this one has “some” similarities as well but not much.
    Most of the letters in the Berber script (old and new) got sharp angles. They never thought of a more curvatic form to be written on papers with easiness?

    However, I remembered some good candidates to this; namely, Linear A and B scripts (but I didn’t check for similarities yet).

    By the way… the background of the lines sounds more liek a creation (in photoshop, specifically “Clouds rendering effect”). I used to do the same thing to some of my work to give some life to ancient-looking manuscripts of Ayvarith (and maps). Thus, I think largely it is also a conlang.

  11. Simon says:

    Drabkikker – the puzzle was sent in by Martin Papworth (martin[dot]papworth[at]live[dot]co[dot]uk). I don’t have any other details of it.

  12. John the Editor (John Cooper) says:

    TJ: Sharp eye! Character 3 is indeed from Linear A. I knew I’d seen it somewhere! (See the Linear A table at http://www.omniglot.com/writing/lineara.htm.) Some of the other characters, such as character 5, also appear to be borrowed from Linear A.

  13. I go for some kind of conlang, since the script has some symbols that resemble Futhark ( http://www.omniglot.com/writing/runic.htm ) runes mirrored and upside-down: Thorn, ðagaz, ansuz, fehu and even a hagalaz with two middle strokes.

    Maybe with one or two signs from Hungarian Runes either: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/hungarian_runes.htm

  14. Drabkikker says:

    @ Simon: Thanks!
    Well, the absence of any context only increases the feeling that someone wants to try our skills at their invented script…

  15. John the Editor (John Cooper) says:

    We’re not going to find out, are we?

  16. Drabkikker says:

    @John: No, I’m afraid the data set is just too small and the number of possibilities too big. We don’t know what language is represented, whether it is an alphabetic script or not (although I suspect it is, since there are 19 different characters), in what direction we should read, etc. Intriguing, definitely, but we’ll need somebody (or -thing) with a lot of spare time to solve this. Or someone who feels like contacting Mr Papworth.

  17. b_jonas says:

    The characters also look so regular that it’s definitely drawn by a computer copying images, not by hand, which also hints for a conscript IMO.

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