Scott Hardie | May 17, 2019
Erik's Italian goo from last week turned out to be a lot more difficult than "medium."

Giovan Battista Bellaso is the correct answer, and was guessed by me, Samir, Russ, and Steve.

This is the image that Erik used for the goo, which comes up when you search for Bellaso (let's call it "A"):

Alessandro Farnese was guessed by three players. Robert Bellarmine and Galileo Galilei were each guessed by one player.

Normally when multiple players guess the same wrong name, that's a warning sign for me that the wrong image might have been used to create the goo, especially on historical goos that are especially prone to images being mislabeled online.

But when I searched online for "Alessandro Farnese," I found this image (let's call it "B"):

It's so very similar! I figured that players were finding that similar image of Farnese (B), mistaking it for the goo's source image (A), and guessing wrong, so I didn't worry about the three incorrect guesses.

That is, until yesterday, the last day that the goo was active. Chris pointed out that when you search for Farnese, you also get the original image (A). In fact, that same portrait (A) is labeled on different websites as being both Bellaso and Farnese.

Crap! According to the Advanced Rules, since the goo's source image is labeled both ways online, and there's no way to know for sure which person it is*, that means that the three incorrect guesses had to be invalidated and the players would get a chance to guess again.

But it was probably too late. I sent messages to those three players inviting them to guess again, and only one managed to make a guess in time. I'm really sorry that they missed their chance because of this mix-up. :-(

I'm grateful to Chris for pointing out the problem to me, though, and to Erik for creating what I still think is kind of an awesome goo. I hope it was fun to play in spite of this.

*My gut tells me that image A is Farnese. It's so similar to the other confirmed image of Farnese (B), and there are no other images of Bellaso online which means that his appearance is likely lost to history. But technically, I cannot be sure which man is depicted in that image (A).

Chris Lemler | May 17, 2019
I think Erik clue was very very clever. Kudos to Erik for making that goo.

Erik Bates | May 17, 2019
Oh man. I'm sorry that it turned out that way!

I had fun making that clue. I learned about Vegenere cipher in a programming class I took, and I programmed an encoder/decoder in Python as part of one of my assignments.

I don't recall how long I looked for a source image, and considering there isn't an image of him on his own Wikipedia page should have probably been a warning to me to try a little harder. But, then, as Scott said, perhaps there isn't an actual attributable image of the guy.

Matthew Preston | May 18, 2019
I was one of the three. Don’t sweat it Scott. I was more proud of myself for accurately deciphering the clue, than getting it right. Erik, that was fun!

Scott Hardie | May 19, 2019
I found confirmation. The source image was Farnese.

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