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Name that book! (game)
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Philip Graves



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
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Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:25 am    Post subject: Name that book! (game) Reply with quote

This is another idea I had for something a little fun and trivial, but one which will also hope to stretch people's familiarity with older astrological literature, from the famous to the obscure.

Each time I shall print short extracts from three different books of some relevance to astrology, all first printed before 1950. Your task will be to identify the sources, if you can, or guess if you cannot. Both author and title are required, please.

Inputting the text in a search engine to look for results from Google Books and its ilk would be cheating, so please none of that or it will spoil the game! Anyone participating in the game agrees to abide by this rule. Manually searching through physical copies of books, whether at home or in a library, is allowed, for those who are sufficiently motivated to go beyond guesswork. Likewise, manually searching through scans of books you suspect might hold the answer is allowed, so long as you do not use search engines to input the text to steer you to the right book.

I propose that for any books whose extracts remain unidentified after a week, I shall print a second extract from the same book; and for any whose extracts remain unidentified after two weeks, I shall identify the decade (if in the 20th century) or quarter-century (if in the 16th to 19th centuries) of publication, as a final clue.

After three weeks, if no-one has guessed correctly, the answer will be revealed.

Let us say that each week, every participating member of Skyscript can nominate two possible answers for each of the books in the current round.

If anyone gets the answer right for any one of the three extracts in the first week with either of his or her guesses, then that person (or those people, if more than one person does so) wins three points, and the book in question will be identified at the end of the first week.

Any books still unidentifed after the first week will be carried forward to the second week, with a second extract printed. Each participating Skyscript member then has the opportunity to make two further guesses for those books (or that book, if there is only one still unidentified). At the end of the second week, if anyone correctly identified any of the remaining books, he or she wins two points for the book in question, which will then be identified at the end of that week.

Finally, any books still unidentified after two weeks will be carried over into the final week for the round, and again every participating member has the opportunity then to make two further guesses, assisted by the new clue of the decade or quarter century of publication. Anyone who gets the answer right at the end of this final week for the round wins one point per book correctly identified.

Thus it is theoretically possible to score anything from zero to nine points per round. Points awarded to each participating player will be recorded and carried over cumulatively into the next round of the game - that is, provided that participation is sufficient to merit its continuation.

I am thinking along the lines of ten rounds over thirty weeks, or something in that region, with the winner being the person who has the highest number of points after round ten. This proposal can be varied according to feedback and demand of course.

Round One:

1. "The hyleg, as its name implies, is the giver of life, and it may be either the sun or the moon according to their location in the figure, or it may be the ascending degree. The portions of the figure, according to Ptolemy, allotted to confer the prerogative of hyleg are the spaces from 25 degrees below the ascendant to five degrees above, the opposite thirty degrees on the angle of the west, the seventh house, and the whole of the ninth, tenth and eleventh houses. Preference is given to the sun if lodged in any of these places; if not the sun then the moon if so posited, and finally the ascending degree when neither the sun nor moon can claim dominion. Although the sun and moon, when placed in other portions of the figure, as well as the ascending degree, may affect the health under adverse directions, yet life will not be endangered unless the hyleg is also afflicted."

2. It will now be well to give some attention to the direct directions of the luminaries, and referring also to that portion of these considerations in which was given the equivalent mundane series, the terms direct and converse hold therein a different interpretation, and without doubt it is due to the confusion which this double import of terms occasions, that the students fail in their first attempts to grapple with the practice of primary directing.

3. Thus the Sun when in Leo would rule the head, then being in its own sign and when in Virgo would rule the throat, being in the following sign from its own place. Mars in Scorpio would rule the Head, being in its own sign and when in Sagittarius over the throat, being in the next sign from its own place.

First week, so just one extract per book. Two guesses per book allowed. The challenge is on! Correct guesses will not be acknowledged until a whole week has passed, so that everyone has a reasonable opportunity to participate.
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you give a timeframe for these books? My early guess is

1) Alan Leo (aka, 'haven't got a clue)
2) Sepharial
3) Lilly
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Philip Graves



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Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Deb! Thanks for having a go!

My original thought was to start by offering 3 points if anyone can correctly identify author and title with just the first extract, then if not, to add a second extract from the same book (quite possibly one that makes it considerably easier) and try again on that basis, and finally if still there is no correct answer, to narrow down the time frame to a 25 year period if the book is older than 1900, or to the actual decade if it is from 1900 to 1950 (since so many books were published each decade in that time period)!

I was hoping that the style of the language could give some clues too as to approximate age of text.

Maybe it is too difficult this way, and I should indicate the age at the outset? The only problem with that is that in certain periods so few books were published that it would narrow things down a lot and might turn it into too much of a guessing game based on time, when what I really wanted people to do was to analyse the words and consider whose writing (of those astrologers known to them) it most closely resembles, if they can't directly place it from memory of course.

Any suggestions on how to make this game more attractive to participation would be welcome!
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wanted to take a stab at it just the way it is, but I read Deb's replies first and think I agree with her on all 3. I wondered if No. 1 was Pearce, but the style of the excerpt is not like Pearce's style. I could cheat on Deb's guesses of 2 and 3, but I can't cheat on 1 as I have nothing by Leo that I can recall. So I'm taking a back seat to Deb's fine answers.

I like this the way it is, but it does limit the use of old texts as the style of English is easier to pick out, but there are several old texts available. Any way you wish to do it is OK with me. Great idea Phillip.

Tom
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Philip Graves



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Posted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your input, Tom.

The one problem now is that Deb suggested authors only. Should I simplify the rules so that the title of the book is not required, only the author is? Or should I be a stickler for exactitude, so that if no title is offered, even if the author is correct, the answer is discounted?

Votes please!

One thing I do think is that if the rules were changed so that only the author was required, then only one guess per week (instead of two, as the existing rules allowed) should be permitted. Otherwise, once several people had begun to participate, someone would be able to get it right by mere guesswork very early on as often as not.

So, either two answers per book allowed each week, but title as well as author required, or only one, but author only? Which would make for the better version of the game?
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Mark
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Posted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Philip,

Just wanted to say this is a great idea and could be an interesting regular feature. I had been thinking of something similar on the traditional part of the forum. I had thought of calling it Mystery text competition. I have a text in mind but its probably a lot more obscure than this. What about traditional texts with no established author? Sorry to be awkard its just I have one I thought we could use. If its say a classical translated text giving a time frame could be very handy. Perhaps that could be given further along the way? The rules seem a bit complex but its your baby. As long as you keep score thats fine Very Happy Dont know about the author or book but Deb's choices sound fairly solid. Surely, she can recite all of Lilly's work blindfolded though?

I dont possess anything by Leo and just Sepharial's book on transits. I am too lazy to compare the text so at a complete guess I go for William Lilly, Christian Astrology, Book 3, Astrology classics edition (as the idiom is more modern)

Maybe you could offer a few helpful clues along the way? I think that might help to maintain interest and curiousity going. I do think giving just authors is not close enough. Although with very prolific authors that could make it tricky!

Mark
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Philip Graves



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
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Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark!

If there is no established author, then the title alone would be fine.

I'm glad you agree it is better to ask for both author and title. Otherwise, certain popular authors could be guessed regularly by people and because they have done so many different books, they would pick up points here and there, or else as quizmaster I (or anyone else having a go) would be forced to limit to one book per author during the course of the game, which might reduce its educational value in a real sense!

One thing I can tell you is that because I am only using books published before 1950, any text that has been altered into modern English, or translated into English, since that time, lies beyond the boundaries of my consideration. This is partly to make the game easier by restricting the field of candidates to decidedly older texts, but also partly to eliminate the risk of copyright trouble - if a modern text were quoted from without crediting until up to three weeks later, it might not go down too well with the author, translator or publisher in the meantime.

Mark, I'll put you down on the record as nominating Lilly's "Christian Astrology" and it doesn't matter about the edition!

So anyway, you all have until Tuesday evening to make firm guesses as to the combination of author and title for these first three extracts. It's really worth having a go to make it easier in the second week even if you are wildly off-course this time around, since by a process of elimination, anything that was proven incorrect by the continuation of the round into the second week can only make life easier!

Philip

PS: For anyone less familiar with the relevant titles out there, I would recommend searching around somewhere like www.copac.ac.uk or www.worldcat.org, where it should be possible to see all books published by certain authors, with their titles and dates. Very useful tools!
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Philip wrote:
Quote:
One thing I can tell you is that because I am only using books published before 1950, any text that has been altered into modern English, or translated into English, since that time, lies beyond the boundaries of my consideration.


Yes I see you did mention that. I was just too careless to notice! In which case I dont think it can be Lilly as the idiom doesn't sound 17th century. I am really poor on 19th century/early twentieth century astrology. However, I have a feeling it dates from then. I seem to recall some of the authors then effectively did a rewrite of book 3 of Christian astrology and Gadbury's work. Was it Sepharial or Vivian Robson? I think Sepharial wrote his Manual of Astrology and Vivian Robson A Student's Text-Book of Astrology. Both cover similar ground I believe (although I have read neither!) I will go with those two.

Maybe you can award some points for the right author and full points for the exact title? Anyway, I want to revise my nomination in light of the above information.

Mark
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Philip Graves



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Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your further thoughts, Mark! Interesting thinking.

I take it these your two first-week guesses for the third extract only. Would you care to offer some for the first and second ones too? :-)

By the way, I'll answer your questions later since I don't want to give too much away this early that might pre-empt the outcome of the first week's guesses!

And Deb, Tom, titles please?

You still have 48 hours or so left!

Then for any extracts that no-one has correctly nominated author and title for, second extracts will be posted for each book.

PS: I'll award half a point for the correct author only after a round has ended, no matter which week it was nominated. So the scale of points is now:

3 for correct author and title in first week of the round;
2 for correct author and title in second week of the round;
1 for correct author and title in third week of the round;
˝ for correct author only in any week of the round.

Does this seem fair?
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Deb
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Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Phillip - I'm a bit under the weather so only half my brain is operating. My guesses are:

1) Honestly haven't got a clue about this, just thought it sounded pompous, like Alan Leo's writing often sounds, so I plucked his name on instinct. Can't even begin to guess a title.

2) Again, its that 19th century rigidity in the writing which makes me think this could be from Sepharial's book on Primary Directions. I should check but I'm about to close down (in every sense) so I'll go with my half remembered memory of his title - 'Primary Directions' (or Primary Directions Made Easy'??).

3) Lilly? Well it would have to be Christian Astrology; but I haven't checked this (I'm expecting all my guesses to be wrong!)

Best wishes
Deb
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Philip wrote:
Quote:
I take it these your two first-week guesses for the third extract only. Would you care to offer some for the first and second ones too? :-)


Deb wrote:
Quote:
Sorry Phillip - I'm a bit under the weather so only half my brain is operating

I wish I had that kind of explanation. I just fathomed they are three separate books. I think I should bow out now before I make an bigger fool of myself. Embarassed

Mark
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Philip Graves



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Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb, thanks for your nominations! And I'm sorry you're under the weather at the moment. Hope you'll feel better really soon!

Mark, please don't worry about that. It's a new game, and this is the first run, so it will take a while to get the idea. If it turns out to be too complicated by general consensus after the first round, we can certainly move to simplify it. But I think it's worth holding steady with the initial organisation and rules for this first round at least to give it a chance.

If you want to take time to reconsider your existing two guesses based on the sources being from three different texts, you still have just under a couple of days to play for three points per book! If you don't, I'll take your answers as both being for the third book because that was the one that Deb had nominated as being from Lilly so I was presuming you were too!
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Tom
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Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate to be the west blanket, but I'm not crazy about the titles idea as it might tend to scare off potential players. Sepharial for example wrote more than a few works and it is doubtful anyone would have them all much less memorized them. Lilly wrote more than Christian astrology, but how many have access to the other works.

If you want to use a point system, and give so man points for the author and so many more for the title, that would tend to separate the good from the really good. But there is so much out there and it would be difficult to impossible to determine which work provided the quote without a very extensive library.

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Philip Graves



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Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tom!

Thanks for your thoughts. It's true that it is much harder to identify titles as well as authors. But it was supposed to be partly a strategic guessing game, and not so much a test of knowledge. The strategy side would become more apparent if more people took guesses, potentially eliminating more titles, of course. So far this hasn't happened very much.

I also thought that it would be easy enough for people to look up titles of authors in the library meta-search sites such as COPAC and OCLC (aka Worldcat), as linked to above, so that even when they don't know the titles by particular authors, they can find out which ones exist in libraries.

We'll see how this pans out for the first time, and whether the additional clues presented in the second and third weeks make much of a difference or not.

It was not supposed to be easy the first week. To get three points would be equivalent to hitting the jackpot. Even half a point would be creditable at the end of a round, though nine points are potentially at stake.

But I'm beginning to think that the rules are too complicated for people, so after this first round we could simplify them.

For example, I could present both quotations from each book, and also the year clue, in the first week. This way, there would only be two possible scores: one point or half a point, rather than anything from half to three, and the round would only last a week instead of three weeks. It might be that it is simply too difficult until the third week anyway. The one advantage of the present system is that if people are not afraid to make guesses to eliminate possibilities, it then becomes much easier by the third week than it would be if that was the only week. But it seems in practice that people are being very cautious to commit themselves.

I must emphasise again however that this is not a test. It's a bit of fun with the potential for strategic game-play and, I hope, some educational value, both in the inherent content of the extracts chosen, and in the ultimate identification of works.

Philip

PS: I do have another couple of ideas which could make the game easier and more playable; please let me know what you think, Deb, Mark and Tom, as well as anyone else who might be interested in playing under certain circumstances:

1) A list of 36 works could be pre-nominated by author and title. During the course of a ten-round tournament, thirty of those thirty-six works will be featured (three per week). The other six will be red herrings. Each round lasts only one week. Two extracts per book are presented, together with a date clue. Each player has just one guess.

2) No list of works is pre-nominated, but each round, which also lasts just one week, not only are two extracts and a date clue printed per book, but also the first letter of the name of the author (or pseudonym, if applicable) is given. Again, each player has just one guess. The author and title must both be answered correctly to get a point.

These are both alternative set-ups which would make it easier to guess by vastly narrowing the range of possibilities. But would it become too easy? Thoughts welcome!
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Philip Graves



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Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it has been a week. So far, the following books have been nominated:

For Extract 1: no books nominated yet; Alan Leo suggested as an author.
For Extract 2: Sepharial 'Primary Directions Made Easy' nominated.
For Extract 3: William Lilly 'Christian Astrology' nominated; Sepharial 'Manual of Astrology' nominated; Vivian Robson 'A Student's Textbook of Astrology' nominated.

I regret to inform you that none of the books so far nominated for Extracts 2 and 3 is correct. So all three books have survived identification into the second week. Nonetheless, the field of possibility for books 2 and 3 has been reduced by virtue of the bravery of Deb and Mark in nominating titles. It could have been reduced a whole lot more if more of you had joined in! But never mind. :-)

For now, persisting with the original format of the game just for this first round (as indicated previously), but without prejudice to possible major simplifications thereafter, we must have second extracts from all three books presented. Let's see if these raise any eyebrows or unlock any further guesses!

1b. "Yes", said Saturn, after greeting Luna with a cordiality somewhat uncommon to him, but somehow the atmosphere of Aquarius seemed to draw him closer to nature, and now that Luna had referred to the very subject upon which he was meditating he showed considerable more delight than his naturally cold, distant, thoughtful disposition was accustomed to display. "Yes, it does seem as though these folks on the earth had become so imbued with the idea that each individual is master of his own destiny that it is impossible for them to see the truth; and such beliefs some of them do hold! Why, just think of it, over a thousand different religions and the advocate of each really thinks his is the only true belief! They should know that there is but one religion and Nature is its God. We must teach these denizens of the earth that although we planets are to-day the supreme rulers of the universe and that these mortals are absolutely obeying our commands yet it is within their power to make us obedient to their will."

2b. It is in the fulfillment of a sense of sacred obligation to his fellow men that the closing volumes of this work are presented to the minds of thoughtful people as a help in working out their mission by the exercise of free will actuated and prompted by the all-powerful God-like spirit of love and kindness. For ages the destiny of the world, aye, the universe, has been mapped out in the sky, but there have been few of mankind pure enough to interpret the handwriting of the Supreme Ruler. We may only realize through pain and sorrow, that we alone are the builders of our own future and the rulers of our own destiny.

3b. A few words are not remiss by stating that, at the present time, the subject is outright abused and prostituted by people who never saw the inside of any high school or college, but who, nevertheless, although unable to compute an accurate horoscope, sit down and "diagnose" (?) pathological conditions therefrom. We have innumerous examples of such "diagnostic" farces and quote just three. One was made by a man with only seven years' public school education, way back in the late eighties, who diagnosed from a position of Saturn in Virgo, afflicted by the Moon and Mars that there was a "congested stomach condition present, resulting in periodic headaches" and this man prescribed a remedy which would make a cow laugh. He does not know that Virgo rules the assimilative system. The next case is that of another "astrologist" who, upon inquiry by the prospective bride as to the potency of the groom in regard to children, received the following answer: "The enclosed chart shows that your fiancee is absolutely barren, etc." The woman married that man and has now five children in less than seven years. The third case, which was turned over to the proper medical authorities for action, shows how greed eclipses conscience. This is a case of "diagnosing" pathological conditions and prescribing cell-salts. There is a large profit in this "game".

*****

Some big clues for you all there. Any more for any more? :-)
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