The judge in the recent Da Vinci Code trial has had a bit of fun of his own. He planted a code in the body of his judgment by italicising certain letters. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog:
He just couldn’t resist, could he? Justice Peter Smith, the judge who presided over the recent “Da Vinci Code??? copyright infringement trial in London reportedly has stuck his own code into his ruling, according to a Reuters story appearing today.
According to the story, lawyer Dan Tench noticed that some letters in the judgment had been italicized, and that, taken together, they spelled out a phrase that included the judge’s name: “Smith code.’’ Tench initially told The Times of London newspaper about it, which prompted an email from the judge, instructing him to look at some early paragraphs. Italicized letters scattered throughout the opinion reportedly spell out: “smithcodeJaeiextostpsacgreamqwfkadpmqz.’’
And what does that mean? No one outside of Justice Smith’s chambers seems to know. Smith has so far not given any clues to the code. His clerk says he’s refusing interviews.
Fortunately the code didn’t remain a mystery for very long. The Charlotte Observer reported that the code was cracked by Tench and The Times. It reads “Jackie Fisher who are you Dreadnought”. Judge Smith is apparently a fan of John “Jackie” Fisher who was an admiral who participated in the modernisation of the British Navy and the construction of a warship called the “Dreadnought”.
The movie based on the book opens here next month, around the 12th or 19th, I think.