Yesterday, The Internet Solved a 20-year-old Mystery
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 11:00 AM
Back in October, we told a story on the TLDR podcast about Daniel Drucker. Drucker was looking through his recently deceased dad's computer when he found a document that contained only joke punchlines. He turned to the website Ask Metafilter for help. Within hours, the website's users had reunited the punchlines with their long lost setups.
It looks like they've done it again.
Yesterday afternoon, a user posted a thread asking for help with a decades old family mystery:
My grandmother passed away in 1996 of a fast-spreading cancer. She was non-communicative her last two weeks, but in that time, she left at least 20 index cards with scribbled letters on them. My cousins and I were between 8-10 years old at the time, and believed she was leaving us a code. We puzzled over them for a few months trying substitution ciphers, and didn't get anywhere.
The index cards appear to just be a random series of letters, and had confounded the poster's family for years. But it only took Metafilter 15 minutes to at least partially decipher. User harperpitt quickly realized she was using the first letters of words, and that she was, in fact, writing prayers:
Was she a religious woman? The last As, as well as the AAA combo, make me think of "Amen, amen, amen." So extrapolating -- TYAGF = "Thank you Almighty God for..."
It would make sense to end with "Thank you, Almighty God, for everything, Amen - Thank you, Almighty God, for everything, Amen, Amen, Amen."
AGH, YES! Sorry for the double post, but:
Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name... etc etc etc
The whole thread is fascinating. You should take a look at it. You might even be able to contribute. And if you haven't heard our interview with Daniel Drucker, you can listen to it below.