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Codes, codes...everywhere there's codes! The first full-length trailer for the movie version of The Da Vinci Code was released on the 14th of December, 2005 (you can view it at the Sony website). In the credits sequence towards the end of the trailer, certain words and letters are quickly highlighted. Firstly, the word 'Seek' is highlighted in the phrase 'Seek the Truth'. Following that, the actor credits appear with the following letters standing out: T, H, S, E, C, D, E and O.
It's not the most cryptic anagram in the world: "Seek the codes." But what to do with it? These days, perhaps the easiest thing to do would be...www.seekthecodes.com? There you'll find what appears to be a blog named 'Cryptophile' by someone called Lisa S., who is interested in Da Vinci and cryptography. Surely not a coincidence? I'd say not, considering that the page source shows that it runs tracking scripts from sonypictures.com. Further investigation of the domain registration information confirms that it's a marketing website for Sony Pictures (could Lisa S. be Lisa Sanders of Sony Pictures, who has experience in marketing? Alternatively, maybe Lisa S. is just an anagram of Silas - a character from The Da Vinci Code - guess we'll probably never know that one...).
Warning: Riddle spoilers below
On the Cryptophile website are a couple of riddles. The first is:
True First Name
I'm guessing a little, but would this be referring to the 1911 heist of the Mona Lisa by Vincenzo Perugia? Vincenzo, an Italian immigrant who worked at the Louvre, simply walked out of the Louvre with the famous painting tucked under his smock. After two years, Vincenzo tried to sell the painting to an art dealer, using the alias Leonardo Vincenzo. But is the clue referring to the 'true first name' of the thief ('Vincenzo'), or is it pointing out that he took the first name of the stolen artwork's painter, 'Leonardo'?
The most recent entry on the site (as of December 14) has the following riddle:
Seek the site beneath the smile Stay on the shoulder Find the curator's command
The first smile that comes to mind, considering the topic, is the Mona Lisa's. On the Cryptophile page, there is a link to the movie site using an image of the Mona Lisa. Clicking where her smile should be takes you to the movie site.
Now things get tricky (especially if you're not from the U.S....like me!). After much hunting around, here's what I found. Firstly, there's an obvious little discovery if you 'mouse-over' the smile section of the large Mona Lisa image on the movie site - "Seek the Truth", becomes "Seek the Codes". I'm actually inclined to think that this is supposed to link to the continuation of the puzzle, because I found the next part by trial and error.
Click on the link to "U.S" (following "Enter the Site") - yes, even if...like me...you're not from the U.S! This will load up a fairly large Flash animation, which when it plays is quite a nice segue of Da Vinci images with moody music behind it. Nothing too special overall though. But why the controls to the left of the animation, which allow you to pause and look at it frame by frame? Why not take a look and see what you can find, before going any further...
Okay, so did you look? Here's what I've found so far (in order):
* As the animation zooms toward the Mona Lisa, you will see "Find Robert Langdon" written on her left shoulder (I'm guessing this is the answer to the riddle above). See here.
* Next, in the hair of the painting of St John the Baptist, you can see an equation that works out to 1.618 etc, which is the golden ratio 'phi'. See here.
* As a follow-up, along the right side of "Vitruvian Man" is the fibonacci sequence. See here.
* A tricky one - in the "Virgin of the Rocks", there is a hard to see "P.S." (for Priory of Sion). See here.
* In the bottom of the garden in "The Annunciation", you'll find "Rose Line" written upside down. See here.
* In the following image, you'll find a fleur-de-lys in the hairline. See here.
* In 'The Last Supper', you'll see 'San Greal' written on the front of the table. See here.
The final image is again the Mona Lisa, but I can't see anything there.
Do all these insertions add up to something, or is it all just a trivial treasure hunt? Guess we'll find out in good time...
Update: Cryptophile web update January 11, 2006
A coded message is within the most recent update (Jan 11, 2006), a cipher based as capital letters, which says "Did you seek the dials". This seems to refer to the different versions of the cryptex image which appear on the movie trailer page of the DVC movie website. Each of the different sized movies has a different word revealed on the cryptex - grail, cross, blade and lisas. Whether these form an anagram, or are keywords to something else, I'm not sure yet.
Update: Da Vinci Code movie website update January 29, 2006
There have been more codes/puzzles added to the Da Vinci Code movie website, this time some very pretty Flash animation work. There is a short post announcing this fact on the Cryptophile website as well, which points out a few symbols which they found as a 'bait' to make you go look.
These symbols, and others, are the key to the puzzle. Basically, there is a section of the movie website which is 'locked off' until you find a number of symbols (six) within the original Flash animation (click on 'Da Vinci Gallery') which showcases many of DaVinci's art pieces. These symbols are quite easily found, as they glow a little - they are: a triangle (the 'blade') in the Mona Lisa, an ankh on the wrist of St John the Baptist, a Greek cross in Madonna of the Rocks, a Christian cross on the necklace in The Anunciation, a Fleur-de-Lys in the hair of the next image, an an upside down triangle (the 'chalice') in front of Jesus in The Last Supper.
Once all these symbols have been found and clicked on, the 'hidden part' of the site is unlocked, and these symbols are presented in a panel and can be clicked upon (more on this soon). Strangely enough, the Christian cross disappears from the panel at this stage, leaving only the other 5 symbols available.
The unlocked part of the site is the 'Characters' menu, which offers six of the lead characters in the book and movie (Silas, Robert Langdon, Leigh Teabing, Bezu Fache, Manuel Aringarosa and Sophie Neveu). Interestingly, each of these is associated with one of the symbols just found - Silas/Cross, Langdon/Blade, Teabing/Ankh, Fache/Fleur-de-Lys, Aringarosa/Greek Cross, Neveu/Chalice.
Viewing the 'bio' for each character brings up a short blurb, but with three of them there is a flash of three symbols as it loads. Langdon's "code" is Chalice-Greek Cross-Blade. Teabing's is Ankh-Ankh-Blade. Sophie's is Blade-Fleur de Lys-Chalice. Here's where it gets interesting. If you press on each of these sequentially (in groups of three), you are treated to a short burst of a scene which quickly disappears:
What to make of all this? At this point, I'm stuck. I thought perhaps that the three scenes pointed at another 3-symbol code - Egyptian scene = the Ankh, St Sulpice the Fluer-de-Lys, and Madonna of the Rocks the cross or chalice. However, it doesn't appear to be the case. Additionally, there is no way of using the Christian cross symbol, as it has disappeared.
This also interferes with another tactic I tried - in the first update above (January 11), I pointed out some code words found on dials. These seem to match up with the new symbols - Grail would equal chalice, cross would equal the Greek cross, blade = blade (obviously!), and Lisas transposes to Silas (who is associated with the Christian cross). However, this is 4 symbols. The last can't be used, because there is no cross, and abandoning it leaves the three symbols used by Langdon. So perhaps the last update was simply a pointer to this new challenge?
Any tips or further discoveries appreciated, so post away if you make a breakthrough (or just have some thoughts to share).