Break the Code: The Cover of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying

In order to make things a bit more interesting, the authors of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying decided to put a few codes to break on the front cover and the back inside cover.

So, let’s take a peek at the front cover:

HP cover


Notice the different coloring lettering on the authors’ names?

What could this mean?

Hint:  The black letters create one full English sentence.

Get it yet?

Ok, we’ll help a little!

Another hint:  The sentence is created by four letters that translate easily into four words, and the remaining three letters spell the last word!

So, let’s first put the letters in order as the names Lynn Boughey and Peter Earnest would normally be read:

L—U—Y—P— R— A —S.

Doesn’t sound like a word, or a full sentence!  So let’s try something else.  Read the letter left to right:

Y—P—R—U— A— S —Y?

Figure it out yet?

Next hint:  By moving one letter, you get the answer, which again is one complete English sentence.

So, say the letters out loud as words:

Y—P—R—U— A— S —Y sounded out is,

Why Pee Are You A S Why?

Now, move just one letter somewhere else:

Y—P—R—U— A— S —Y?

Got it?  If not, the another hint should finish the job!

Hint:  We would never use the word “pee” on our cover, but we might use the letter “P”!

So, remove the “P,” AND YOU GET:

Y—R—U— A— S —Y?

And you get, sounding out the letters as words:

Why are you a “S” “Y”?

Now put the “P” back in, and you get:

Y—R—U— A— S —P—Y?

Which when read out loud and as four letter-words and one three-letter word is . . . . . .

Why are you a SPY?

Answers: Covers, Classified Docs, and Counterjinxes

Sirius in Fire

Check out the answers to yesterday’s quiz! Let us know how you did in the comments!

1. What document is created at the end of the meeting at The Hog’s Head that is considered classified and not to be disclosed to anyone?

The sign-up sheet

2. What name do the students choose for this subversive organization?

Dumbledore’s Army

3. In order to not look too suspicious, the kids leave the meeting in what manner?

By two’s and three’s

4. Educational Decree No. 24 related to meetings and gatherings of students.  Why was it passed?

Because Umbridge found out about the meeting at the Hog’s Head

5. At first the members of Dumbledore’s Army think they have a spy in their midst, but Hermione knows it’s not true because of what countermeasure she used?

She employed a SNEAK jinx

6. When Hedwig returns with a message from Sirius, something has happened to the owl.  What does intelligent analyst Harry conclude?

 That someone tried to intercept the letter

7. What open-code message did Harry receive from Sirius and what did in mean?

“Today, same time, same place” – at the fire like last time

8. Sirius tells Harry that the Hog’s Head was not a secure meeting place for the students.  Where should they have met, and why?

The Three Broomsticks, because it is more crowded making it easier to meet covertly without being overheard.

9. What is one of the places considered for the DA to meet that is rejected while talking to Sirius?

The Shrieking Shack.

10. When he’s trying to talk to Harry Sirius has to leave the fire because his cover is blown.  How do we know this?

Umbridge’s hand tries to grab his head

For Your Eyes Only: Answers to Order of the Phoenix Quiz!


Check out the answers to Monday’s quiz!

1. When one attacks a person instead of his or ideas, it is called what fallacy?

Argument ad hominem. An example would be the Daily Prophet’s attempts to discredit Harry when he claims Voldemort is alive.

2. When Harry and his friends first enter the kitchen at headquarters a classified document has not yet been put away.  What was it?

A parchment with plans to the Ministry of Magic

3. Sirius, when discussing why a certain member of the Order is tolerated, states that crooks “hear things we don’t.”  Who is Sirius referring to?

Mundungus Fletcher

4. Members of the Order of the Phoenix proved a psychological assessment of someone as having petty jealousies, a fear of Dumbledore, and a desire to retain power.  Who are they talking about?

Cornelius Fudge.

5. Spies use manipulation and flattery to get what they want.  Who said in the Chamber of Secrets, “I’ve always been able to charm the people I needed.”

Tom Riddle

6. Name the double agent that works at the Ministry of Magic, is assigned to locate Sirius Black, and is actually a member of the Order of the Phoenix?

Kingsley Shacklebolt

7. Kreacher is a known risk but must follow Sirius’s orders to the letter.  What does Sirius say to Kreacher that allows him to partake on a secret mission?

“Go away.” Always be sure your directives to an agent are clear. 

8. Code-Breaking Time:  What number does Mr. Weasley have Harry enter into the phone box at the visitor’s entrance?  And what English word does it spell out?

6-2-4-4-2, which spells MAGIC on a phone’s keypad

9. Harry shows a spy’s discretion when he is in Mr. Weasley’s office and pretends not to know what member of the Order?

Kingsley Shacklebolt

10. Cornelius Fudge used what simple disinformation to try to ensure that Dumbledore didn’t attend Harry’s trial?

He told him the wrong time

Be sure to check out our next quiz: The Hearing at the Ministry of Magic! Also, we released a special quiz in honor of Emma Watson’s birthday. How well do you know the young star?