Open Sesame is a great password

Answers for Globle, Chronogram, and Metazooa from Jan 8 - Jan 14

The Trainwreck Labs Newsletter

Coming to your inbox every Monday with educational fun-facts and all the answers to Trainwreck Labs games from the past week.

This week, we have…

  • A fun fact inspired by a recent Metaflora answer

  • Answers to last week's games

  • A Metazooa/Metaflora update

Open Sesame is a great password

A nefarious hacker with a penchant for bagels has an idea for a new password. Image generated by DALL-E.

Ever found yourself locked out of an old account, trying to remember an obscure password, and wishing that you could just open sesame your way in? Sesame was Plant #100 in Metaflora this week, and it got me wondering where the phrase “open sesame” comes from.

The magic words are famously associated the Arabic folktale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” presented in One Thousand and One Nights (and of course, the direct-to-video Disney sequel, Aladdin and the King of Thieves). In the original story, "open sesame" is a magical phrase used by Ali Baba to open the door of a robbers' den concealed in a mountain.

But why sesame? Sesame was certainly around in the Islamic Golden Age when the 1,001 stories were compiled. Before being widely known as the second-best seasoning for bagels, it was historically used to make oils and perfumes. Sesame has also been used to make tahini and halva since ancient times. These recipes have their origins in the Middle East because sesame plants are drought-tolerant and require a warm climate.

It’s possible that the phrase was inspired by the way sesame pods dramatically burst open and scatter their seeds. This is part of a process called dehiscence, the natural splitting open of a plant organ to release its contents.

All that said, nobody knows for sure why “Open Sesame” was chosen to be the now world-famous password, but modern cybersecurity experts would say that’s for the best; the best passwords are those that remain a mystery!

Answers to last week's games

Monday, January 8 to Sunday, January 14.


  • Jan 8 Congo

  • Jan 9 Myanmar

  • Jan 10 Brunei

  • Jan 11 Timor-Leste

  • Jan 12 Grenada

  • Jan 13 Cuba

  • Jan 14 Liechtenstein

  • Jan 15 Play now!

Globle: Capitals

  • Jan 8 Abuja

  • Jan 9 Moroni

  • Jan 10 San Marino

  • Jan 11 Bangui

  • Jan 12 Sarajevo

  • Jan 13 Havana

  • Jan 14 Kinshasa

  • Jan 15 Play now!


  • #282 René Descartes

  • #283 Amelia Earhart

  • #284 Giuseppe Garibaldi

  • #285 Rosalind Franklin

  • #286 Virginia Woolf

  • #287 Joseph McCarthy

  • #288 Wilhelm Röntgen

  • #289 Play now!


  • #50 Lizzie McGuire

  • #51 Max Rockatansky

  • #52 Prince Valiant

  • #53 Jay Gatsby

  • #54 Fox Mulder

  • #55 Max Cady

  • #56 Garfield

  • #57 Play now!


  • #161 Cattle

  • #162 Cheetah

  • #163 Donkey

  • #164 Echidna

  • #165 Wolverine

  • #166 Mosquito

  • #167 Kite

  • #168 Play now!


  • #100 Sesame

  • #101 Gorse

  • #102 Coconut

  • #103 Kiwi

  • #104 Grape

  • #105 Rice

  • #106 Raspberry

  • #107 Play now!


"Saint Michael the Archangel" by Ignacio de Ries

Forgery of week, from Jan 8
68.2% Accurate

Veronese, Paolo. Boy with a Greyhound. 1570, oil paint on canvas, 173.7 x 101.9 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art,

Play Forgeous for Jan 15.

Game Update

You can now play Metazooa and Metaflora in French and Spanish! Go to the Profile page to change your settings and dive into the worlds of animaux and animales. Translations for Metaflora will be up soon as well.

If you want to contribute a translation in another language, check out the instructions in metazooa-translations.

Thanks for reading!

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