Saturday, July 6, 2024


I think I've finally solved the mystery of the five playing cards on the Y page of Animalia, as discussed in "Pushed to Zion with songs of everlasting joy."

I had pretty much given up, to the point where I was trying to contact the author and ask him to reveal the answer. Graeme Base is a difficult man to contact, it turns out, but that's okay because I think I've got it. I had looked at a few lists of card games, none of which had anything beginning with Y. After checking a few more such lists, though, I found Yaniv.

Yaniv is a draw-and-discard game in which each player always has exactly five cards in his hand, and the object is to have the hand with the lowest value. Aces are low, so the hand depicted -- two aces, two deuces, and a trey -- would be a pretty good one.

In my post about the Y page, I interpreted it in terms of the return of the Lost Tribes of Israel -- particularly the House of Joseph, whose symbol is the wild ox. It is then singularly appropriate that Yaniv is not only an Israeli game but one particularly associated with Israeli backpackers -- i.e., with nominal "Israelites" who are traveling overseas.

Yaniv is named after one of the two backpackers who invented it. Yaniv is a modern Hebrew name (not biblical) and means "he will bear fruit, yield, produce." According to Wikipedia, the game is also known as Yusuf -- i.e., Joseph ("he will add") -- which also begins with a Y. The other co-inventor of the game was named Asaf, which means "collector, gatherer."


Ra1119bee said...


You wrote: two aces, (highest ranking cards) two deuces, and a trey...

11 (the high ranking EL's i.e. L ) 22 (recall my many comments about 22 and 4
(the door) and 3 (which of course the three is the creation
of two opposing forces, male and female, much like the vesica piscis.

Sounds familiar??

Y the Wise Whys?
Connect the dots, solve the riddle. Become your own Arthur/Author

Leo said...

I found Yaniv as well but I ruled it out based on my reading of the rules. Reading them again, I think I misunderstood. I thought you had to have 5 or less points to yell Yaniv, which would be really hard to do even in just a 2-player game. But you're right, that hand would be a really good one to yell Yaniv b/c you wouldn't get very many points. You're probably right.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

I misread the rules, too. You don’t always have five cards in your hand, because if you discard multiple cards at once, you still draw only one card. That’s what makes a total value of 5 or less doable.

This hand wouldn’t allow one to call “Yaniv!” under the standard rules, but it’s a hand one could have in the game of Yaniv. Absent any other card-related words that begin with Y, I still think it’s the best interpretation.

How beautiful upon the mountains are their feet!

In his July 21 post " Twister, 'The Extreme', and Shine On ," William Wright mentions a couple of Book of Mormon passages ...