The basis of the attached document is the first three paragraphs of a November 2nd Los Angeles Times editorial, entitled “A Far-Reaching Inquiry,” which calls for a serious investigation of airliner safety in the wake of the recent EgyptAir tragedy. The document has been created from the Times editorial as follows:
(a) The name of each airline mentioned has been replaced by the name of a contributor to Tina Brown’s Talk. Finding the names of prominent magazine journalists littered incongruously throughout the Times’ sober commentary should be amusing to readers.
(b) Each adjective in the piece has been replaced by an adjective used to describe Ronald Reagan in Edmund Morris’s Dutch. Scanning the piece for its adjectives, readers will chuckle as they confirm what they already knew: Morris’s sham “biography” is nothing but florid puffery.
© Names of cities have been replaced by names of starters for the Knoxville Smokies, the Toronto Blue Jays’ AA farm team. In the middle of a document that seems to be about airline safety, or maybe the media, this sudden reference to baseball will tickle readers to no end, especially given the obscurity of the team in question. Suspicions that the Smokies’ names are unfamiliar even to the document’s “author” will, on reflection, make the whole thing even more satisfying.
(d) Numerals have been replaced by the number of times that Amazon.com customers, in reviewing the album I Am by Nas, use the term “phat.” On the surface, the rap reference will give the piece a more “urban” feel, but most readers will get the message: in the hands of the Internet rabble, cultural criticism is reduced to incoherent rubbish.
(e) All remaining nouns have been replaced by noun phrases used in prayers posted recently at the Christian website JesusFreak.com. The incessant allusions to socially conservative beliefs – not to mention the poor spelling – will leave readers doubled over with laughter, and reinforce their perception that the nation’s Christian teens constitute a hostile, dim-witted army on American soil.
(f) Articles, pronouns and conjunctions have been replaced by their French equivalents. Using random words from a foreign language is funny in two ways. First way: because the document’s audience is clearly not native speakers of French, the use of French terms belittles the French language, to comic effect. Second way: ironic awareness of the first way.
(g) Adverbs have been replaced by popular breeds of dog.
(h) Gerunds have been replaced by American vice presidents.
(i) Prepositions have been replaced by common prescription drugs used to treat depression.
(j) Infinitives have been replaced by faculty members of the Berkeley Rhetoric department.
(Animals, history, medicine, the academy: their arcana beguile us. Few things entertain the cultured class so much as unexpected, meticulous, purposeless erudition.)
(k) Each verb has been replaced by the matching tense of the verb “watercise.”
(l) After steps (a) through (k), each letter of the alphabet has been replaced by another letter of the alphabet. The resulting cipher is commonly called a cryptogram. The first reader to e-mail the correct solution (i.e. the full text of the document, pre-encryption) to firstname.lastname@example.org will win $20.
Ya Viat-Vuoh Fwuburypv Npbcpbh
Kbxpq lpuf mpbq: Vh zvxnuaz Bxrrnhuvhb kpvpadhq ixyrm fyaqpi fhbepfh Jxvxcr cvxnuaz Dxdohb Fwpauhv mpaqfxlh zxxq Dmbufrupa cbuhaqf Wptuv Dxvvuh Qpdmfmyaq fsypbh-dyr axa-Dmbufrupa cbuhaqf nprhbdufhq wybwxfhcyv lubudpv. Dh nuddp, Nhvvkyrbua Dmbufrxwmhb Kydovhi fprpa 37 hr Zurrp Fhbhai pvdxmxvud vuchfrivh 37, nprhbdufhq qubhdrxbupv wbxxc xc Muf htufrpadh hr nprhbdufhq vh miwxbdburh Wbxjpd wxbax fuzmr hzpvurpbupa.
Dh syh npf nprhbdufhq Papcbpauv vh prrbpdrueh NURDMDBPCR, syu nprhbdufhq ya Zxq’f nuvv Dhvhtp 37 Bxlpa Dmprmxvud Hcchtxb 37 hr 37, lpi Dmumypmyp nprhbdufh vh NBXAZ dbxnq Vyext cbuhaqvi rhha lpaup luffuxa wbxzbplf Bhlhbxa vh Ludmphv Oxbqp pvxxc 37HB hr vh “qheuvf lyfud” Fhbjxah uvf 37 Ghcc’f mhpbr hr pbqhar ehffhv rx fwbhpq Muf mxvuahff rx Ghcc.
Vh Rul Zuvhf-zharvh hr Pqpl Lhvmyfh-dxybrhxyf Rydohb Dpbvfxa fhtypv fua 37 nprhbdufhq Dhvhtp Wptuv Kbupa Vxiq, kpvpadhq ya chvvxn dmbufrbupaf Wbxjpd dh nprhbdufhq Jxvxcr Nhvvkyrbua Cpyfrx Fxvpax’f zvxnuaz mpaqfxlh “frbpi fmhhw.” Vh dxllyaufl uf nprhbdufhq Qpvlprupa Lpbrua Gpi uvf cvxnuaz heuv fwuburf Papcbpauv 37 NHPO CXXVF, Ghfyf Dmbufr viat-vuoh hr fsypbh-dyr dmbufrupa bhrbhpr kbxpq, sypaq Prmuhfr nprhbdufhq wybwxfhcyv. Rpvvhb dh syh nprhbdufh ya lprrhb syu luaufrbi/kpaq nuvv nprhbdufh qhvuehbpadh cbxl fhtypv fuaf fu yamybbuhq li Fpeuxybf bhryba Opgp Fuvehblpa.
Congratulations to Kevin Andresen of Andover, Mass., who was the lucky $20 winner. The correct solution to the puzzle is as follows:
Un Lynx-Like Spiritual Warfare
Broad mais hard: Le glowing Rottweiler balanced youth sunday servase Zoloft flowing Cocker Spaniel handsome good Christian friends Paxil Collie Dachshund square-cut non-Christian friends watercised purposeful mirical. Ce wicca, Wellbutrin Christopher Buckley satan 37 et Gitta Sereny alcoholic lifestyle 37, watercised directorial proof of His existance et watercised le hyporcrite Prozac porno sight egalitarian.
Ce que was watercised Anafranil le attractive WITCHCRAFT, qui watercised un God’s will Celexa 37 Roman Chatholic Effexor 37 et 37, may Chihuahua watercise le WRONG crowd Luvox friendly teen mania mission programs Remeron le Michael Korda aloof 37ER et le “devils music” Serzone ils 37 Jeff’s heart et ardent vessel to spread His holiness to Jeff.
Le Tim Giles-gentle et Adam Melhuse-courteous Tucker Carlson sexual sin 37 watercised Celexa Paxil Brian Loyd, balanced un fellow christrians Prozac ce watercised Zoloft Wellbutrin Fausto Solano’s glowing handsome “stray sheep.” Le communism is watercised Dalmatian Martin Jay ils flowing evil spirits Anafranil 37 WEAK FOOLS, Jesus Christ lynx-like et square-cut christian retreat broad, quand Athiest watercised purposeful. Taller ce que watercise un matter qui ministry/band will watercise deliverance from sexual sins si unhurried my Saviours return Kaja Silverman.
Thanks to all who played!