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New challenger for most obscure reference
Posted by: Anonymous User (---.epfl.ch)
Date: November 08, 2005 08:14PM


At least, it seems to me. These books have the gift of creating doubts in your brain.

The message telling Next they have found Acheron Hades is as follows:

"Mosquitos have stung the blue goat".

In the comic of Tintin's adventures: "The Red Sea Sharks" , originally "Coke en stock",
a coded message sent to the arch-evil Rastapopoulos reads:

"fortes piqres de gupes chevrette bleue".

Which roughly translates to "Wasps have severely stung the blue goat".
I don't believe for a second this is a coincidence. Can anybody check what
the text is in the english translation of the comic?

Re: New challenger for most obscure reference
Posted by: Puck (---.brmngh01.mi.comcast.net)
Date: November 09, 2005 09:10PM

I haven't checked, but I can easily believe it. It's a pretty classic example of gibberish-sounding "code speak."



-------------------------
Metaphors be with you!

Re: New challenger for most obscure reference
Posted by: Anonymous User (---.epfl.ch)
Date: November 10, 2005 01:34AM

By the way, is there any site trying to compile all the obscure references in fforde?
If there is none, I'm willing to start one!

Re: New challenger for most obscure reference
Posted by: Puck (---.brmngh01.mi.comcast.net)
Date: November 10, 2005 08:08PM

"is there any site trying to compile all the obscure references in fforde?"

You're looking at it!
Click around the homepage and you'll find readers' guides that a couple of fans have wonderfully researched and put together. They give notes and annotations on all of the TN books.
If you find any other references (and, knowing JFf, there are a ton!) just post them on the fforum.



-------------------------
Metaphors be with you!

Re: New challenger for most obscure reference
Posted by: PrinzHilde (---.dip0.t-ipconnect.de)
Date: November 10, 2005 08:10PM

well, 'all' would be a vast field...but if you look here, that is the best the fforumites, under the gentle leadership of PSD, came up with...

ohh, I almost forgot: and your reference is pretty neat!



Post Edited (11-10-05 21:14)


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Re: New challenger for most obscure reference
Posted by: Lymond (---.abdn.ac.uk)
Date: September 15, 2006 04:04PM

ok just a few to add to Jon Brierley's British Reference Notes A Non-Brit's Guide to the Thursday Next series. Just a curio, a Bowden Leaver was the firing leaver on a lot of British WWI aircraft, there are a few other referces to WWI aircraft bits as well. Second to hobnob (p.198) can also meant to chat in britslang, I dont know what the context actually is in this case as I dont have a copy of the book at the moment. Thirdly (and I haven't seen any mention of this anywhere else) all Thursdays co-workers in the Swindon office are named after various places in the British Met Office Shipping and Storm Weather forcast.

The order (I did have to look it up I'm not that sad :-) is Viking North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger Fisher German Bight, West Humber, East Humber, Thames, Dover, Wight Portland, Plymouth, Biscay, Trafalgar, FitzRoy, Sole, Lundy, Fastnet, Irish Sea, Shannon, Rockall, Malin Hebrides, Bailey Fair Isle Faeroes South-east Iceland.

I recall there being a Fisher and a Cromarty in the book and also the computer operators are the Forties brothers, and to top it off theres Herr Bight - German Bight.

Re: New challenger for most obscure reference
Posted by: robcraine (83.218.26.---)
Date: September 17, 2006 10:51PM

Quote:
math freak
By the way, is there any site trying to compile all the obscure references in fforde?
If there is none, I'm willing to start one!
As mentioned... there are a couple of guides floating arround the place for (I think all) the Thursday Next books... but they need compiling for the Jack Spratt Adventures. Feel free to make a start ;)

I think a wiki format might be a good idea for all the guides (with careful moderation/editting of course) does anyone know how we'd go about setting one of them up?

Rob, who may be accompanied by a notepad on the next re-read

Re: New challenger for most obscure reference
Posted by: sirinrob (---.7-3.cable.virginmedia.com)
Date: August 30, 2009 02:23PM

"Mosquitos have stung the blue goat" puzzled me when I first read it as well. After a bit of research I think I might have an explanation. Mosquitos seems to refer to the Mosquito bomber used in WW2 - it was used for recon as well so that could refer to the SpecOps staling out Styx. The stung could refer to Acheron being spotted in styx's flat. that just leaves the blue goat. now the Luftwaffe flying jacket was blue cloth with a goat fleece lining. so that would fit in the mosquito bomer idea. given JF's interest in planes, i believe this is a probable explanation.

Re: New challenger for most obscure reference
Posted by: delacuesta (---.adsl.xs4all.nl)
Date: September 12, 2009 08:59PM

De Havilland Mosquitoes do appear in the Tintin story, so these are probably alluded to in the coded message. Doubtless Jasper Fforde refers to them as well.

However, chevrette bleue does not strictly mean blue goat. It may mean little blue goat, but the name usually refers to an insect called Platycerus caraboides, a kind of beetle that I'm unable to find an English name for. Its significance in either book is dark to me.

Re: New challenger for most obscure reference
Posted by: delacuesta (---.adsl.xs4all.nl)
Date: September 12, 2009 09:43PM

On second thought..., a wasp stings, a mosquito bites. It's not quite the same...

On the other hand, Tintin's and Haddock's outfit are blue (though not Hades', I presume). And I recall a G.K.Chesterton story where a human is said to look like a beetle when seen from far above.

Re: New challenger for most obscure reference
Posted by: delacuesta (---.adsl.xs4all.nl)
Date: September 14, 2009 11:45PM

math freak Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> [...] Can anybody check what
> the text is in the english translation of the
> comic?

"Powerfull insects have stung the blue goat."
And the message continues:
"Parasites 1 and 2 are in the bag. Out."



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