Gogen Book Series
This is a little project that I thought about, roughly a year ago so having done a feasibility study on the production of content that is aimed at a book rather than at a website, I started off.
The content is a series of puzzles, based upon the gogen puzzles that you sometimes find in newspapers or online, except that mine are a lot more interesting. First of all, the basic puzzle
Okay, so this isn't as basic as the ones you will find you can do in a ten minutes trip on public transport on your way to work. There are a few changes:
- Not all of the letters whose positions are given away are found in the word list - this is where the UberGogen puzzle differs from the basic puzzle - otherwise, it looks just like the regular basic gogen puzzle;
- Not all of the nine given letters are given away - this is what makes the UltraGogen puzzle;
- The HyperGogen puzzle in addition then abandons: words without repeating letters; the lower limit of three letter words; actual words; and,
- The HyperGogen+ is the same as the HyperGogen except that it has a word hidden in there that is at least 10 letters long and you have find out what it is.
So, we have four types of puzzle - there is no need to have any of the basic gogen puzzles as they are not interesting enough - and we need to have some books aimed at various groups of puzzle addicts. First of all, a small book with only 100 puzzles, but of all four types. Secondly, a larger book with 125 UberGogen and 125 UltraGogen puzzles - at 250 puzzles, that is a bit more expensive to make but there are plenty of the easier two types of puzzle there. Finally, a book with 250 HyperGogen puzzles in (not the HyperGogen+ puzzles as there are a limited number of words in English that are ten letters or longer) and, just in case somebody is given one of these as a present and they have never seen one before, there are 25 Uber- and 25 UltraGogens at the beginning so that they can build up some strategies first.
So, on to the covers. Throughout these books, I have gone for the anachronistic as it s more entertaining in some respects...
Book 1 - Illuminated Half Uncial (around 12th century Europe) using original pigments in acacia gum with acacia honey as the humectant. Here, it is: rose madder; orpiment; green earth; minium; lamp black; shell gold on unbleached paper.
Book 2 - Carolingian minuscule (around 14th-15th Century Europe) using original pigments in acacia gum with acacia honey as the humectant. Here, it is: Shell gold; Lapis Lazili; cinnabar; malachite; azurite; lead tin yellow I; lead tin yellow II; lead white; minium; lamp black; and, the ink is oak gall. All on unbleached paper.
Book 3 - Old Persian cuneiform on rolled out clay. The letters are formed using a reed that has been cut at a chord and then cut in half, lengthways. The vascular bundles in the reed gives the little wedge-shaped indentations a characteristic pimpled end, lined left side and smooth , curved right side.
It does actually say something and you can work out what it says.
Book 4 - Kharoshthi script in lamp black on wooden slips - the red paint is cinnabar in acacia gum with acacia honey as the humectant. Kharoshthi is an abugida and has plenty of vowels with only a gouple of consonants missing from the full set used by Indian languages today so it is ideally suited to simple transliteration - easier than Gurmukhi to Devanagari, for example. The text does say something and as always, you can have a go at finding out what it says.
This is the second set of four books - each having 125 each of UberGogen and UltrraGogen puzzles in them. The set above are all different ways of writing text - this set are all netherlandish style paintings that I have done of cats. Unlike the other sets of book covers, here, the Gogen Puzzles are added in the image processor.
Book 1 - Romy.
Book 2 - Olivia (Romy's Mother)
Book 3 - Paddy (my sister in-law's cat)
Book 4 - Jeremy - a neighbour's cat.
These books are large and have many difficult puzzles in them. For these, I used genuine papyrus and the pigments that were around during dynastic Egyptian times.
Book 1 - Thoth and the Gogen - Thoth was a creator god who was credited with inventing writing amongst other things - here, he has a gogen puzzle. The painting was created using original pigments in acacia gum with acacia honey as the humectant. Here, it is: Shell gold; Lapis Lazili; Egyptian blue; cinnabar; malachite; green earth; yellow ochre; orpiment; chalk; lead white; and, lamp black all on Egyptian papyrus.
As always, the hieroglyphs say something and you can have some fun working out what it says and, what it means.
Book 2 - Khnum and the Gogen - Khnum was another creator god - here, he has a gogen puzzle. The painting was created using original pigments in acacia gum with acacia honey as the humectant. Here, it is: Shell gold; Lapis Lazili; cinnabar; green earth; yellow ochre; orpiment; lead white; and, lamp black all on Egyptian papyrus. It has then been artificially aged using heat and breaking the edges.
The text is hieratic and as always, it says something and you can have some fun working out what it says and, what it means.
It has been fun producing both the content and the covers for these book and you can get them freshly printed from Amazon. You can also have a go at the daily gogen puzzles and read more about them by going to my website at http://www.puzzles.grosse.is-a-geek.com/uberbooks.html.