A few months ago, in a post titled Playing Mind Games, I challenged your brain to read a scrambled Jane Austen quote. I designed it following the guidelines of a Cambridge study, which determined that most people could still read words when the letters were mixed up, as long as the first and last letter were in their proper places. Here’s a similar brain teaser substituting numbers for several letters (don’t give up on it too soon):
If you can read this you have a strong mind: 7H15 M355463 53RV35 70 PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1N6 7H1N65! 1MPR3551V3 7H1N65! 1N 7H3 B361NN1NG 17 W45 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 L1N3 Y0UR M1ND 15 R34D1N6 17 4U70M471C411Y W17H 0UT 3V3N 7H1NK1N6 4B0U7 17, B3 PR0UD! 0N1Y C34R741N P30PL3 C4N R34D 7H15.
Now that you’ve trained your brain to read this code, let’s try some Jane Austen:
N0 0NE WH0 H4D 3V3R 533N C47H3R1N3 M0R14ND 1N H3R 1NF4NCY W0U1D H4VE 5UPP053D H3R B0RN 70 B3 4N H3R01N3. H3R 517U4710N 1N 11F3, 7H3 CH4R4C73R 0F H3R F47H3R 4ND M07H3R, H3R 0WN P3R50N 4ND D15P051710N , W3R3 3QU411Y 4641N57 H3R.
How did you do? Did you recognize this as the opening line to Northanger Abbey?
Fun! The text looks totally illegible at first but resolves itself into words surprisingly quickly.
I know! Isn’t that interesting? That’s why I said to not give up too soon.
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Amazing! At first I give up the text and read the one from NA. After finding it easy, since I knew what it said, I retried the first text. It’s spooky how after two lines, the reading gets easier.
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Fun. Got it!