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An “Enigma” for Friends at Another Blog

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 19, 2009

Time for a little Thursday morning fun.

The Juvenile Instructor published this puzzle, written by T. Green, in 1877. I am unable to further identify T. Green.

As usual, please solve only one (two if you just can’t help yourself) letter(s) and leave the rest for other readers to play along. Thanks!

I am composed of eighteen letters.

My 1, 8, 16 is dark.

My 2, 5, 9, 16, 4 is to bind together.

My 3, 4, 5, 6, 15, 8 is a beautiful city.

My 4, 5, 10, 14, 9 afflicts lazy people.

My 5, 6, 7, 8 is a noted river.

My 6, 17, 2 is an acknowledgment of a debt.

My 7, 8, 10, 12, 9, 16 is how I lost my umbrella.

My 8, 16 is the name of a settlement near Salt Lake City.

My 9, 13, 17, 5 is a metal.

My 10, 8, 12 is a snare.

My 11, 12, 18, 8, 4, 16 is a part of a city.

My 12, 13, 17, 16 is something a horse does.

My 13, 17, 11, 4 is a flower.

My 14, 16, 12, 8, 13 is to speak.

My 15, 17, 13, 10, 4, 18 is part of a right angle.

My 16, 14, 10, 8 is something necessary in singing.

My 17, 3, 4, 5 is very useful in the household.

My 18, 8, 11, 16 is what you may do when you have solved this.

My whole is very instructive and amusing, and very popular among the young of this Territory.



25 Comments »

  1. I’ll start. 9 is Iron.

    Comment by BruceCrow — February 19, 2009 @ 8:32 am

  2. Is the acknowledgment of debt and”IOU”?

    Comment by Ray — February 19, 2009 @ 8:37 am

  3. “an IOU” – Should edit even the short comments. *embarrassed sigh*

    Comment by Ray — February 19, 2009 @ 8:38 am

  4. Bruce is right; the metal is “iron,” translating to 9=I, 13=R, 17=O, and 5=N.

    Ray is also right — his “IOU” translates to 6=I, 17=O, and 2=U.

    (Sorry for all the editing of this comment, if anybody has been made dizzy by it in the last few minutes. I’ll get the pattern down sooner or later.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 19, 2009 @ 8:40 am

  5. Two guesses:

    what afflicts lazy people = ennui

    A noted river = Nile

    Comment by Mark Brown — February 19, 2009 @ 9:07 am

  6. Ardis,

    Sorry, I just read your request to solve only one. Please edit my comment so only one shows. (assuming either of them is correct. They really were guesses.)

    Comment by Mark Brown — February 19, 2009 @ 9:11 am

  7. 4 is E

    There, I only solved one.

    Comment by Matt W. — February 19, 2009 @ 9:18 am

  8. My wife has been to Venice. I am jealous. It’s such a beautiful city…

    Comment by Matt W. — February 19, 2009 @ 9:20 am

  9. ‘s OK, Mark. I just won’t translate the letters to numbers, which should give later players a chance to feel like they’re solving the puzzle, too.

    Matt, you’re too sneaky for your own good! I love it!

    One Keepa’ninny has written to me privately with the complete solution. Congrats!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 19, 2009 @ 9:31 am

  10. By the way, the modern town of Erda, Utah, was known in 1874 by another name (initials of the apostle who owned property there).

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 19, 2009 @ 9:34 am

  11. I’ve solved it. Now I can R-E-S-T.

    Comment by Rob M — February 19, 2009 @ 9:56 am

  12. Heh, heh, Rob!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 19, 2009 @ 10:26 am

  13. Hmm, I counted the number of letters in a certain two word phrase or title and then matched it against the clues. I had solved it! (or guessed it).

    Comment by kevinf — February 19, 2009 @ 10:33 am

  14. kevin, John 10:1. (Just kidding! :D )

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 19, 2009 @ 10:38 am

  15. I think a rose is a flower, right? Even if, like Erda, Utah, it has another name, it’s still a rose. :)

    Comment by iguacufalls — February 19, 2009 @ 10:42 am

  16. I don’t know if Erda still smells as sweet, but I know that iguacufalls is correct.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 19, 2009 @ 10:44 am

  17. Thanks for the hint about Brother Benson. My guess is that ET smelled, like most other small towns in Utah back then, like manure.

    I would email you all the answers, Ardis, but you already know them.

    Comment by Mark B. — February 19, 2009 @ 11:08 am

  18. Ardis, my honor has been impugned! Just as soon as I get back over this wall…..

    Comment by kevinf — February 19, 2009 @ 11:10 am

  19. I have a feeling that any stranger wandering onto this page today would think he had somehow gotten through the looking glass. That, or some future scholar who excavates this will write a dissertation about insider/outsider status, with this as his chief exhibit.

    Me, I can’t stop grinning. I like the combination of comeraderie and silliness.

    I think kevinf is about to challenge me to a duel. If so, it’s rapiers at dawn, my good man! Beware the manure.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 19, 2009 @ 11:39 am

  20. Ha ha… a puzzle I can complete over lunch at work! 9 7-17-3-8 6-12! Thanks Ardis!

    Comment by Coffinberry — February 19, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

  21. I should probably clarify that comment about ET. I meant the town, not Elder Benson. I wouldn’t want any of his enraged descendants coming round to trouble me.

    Besides, he may well have sung that well known hymn:

    Let us remember and be sure,
    Our feet and our shoes are free from manure.

    Comment by Mark B. — February 19, 2009 @ 1:24 pm

  22. {groannnnnnn}

    I’m guessing that everyone who wants to play along has solved the puzzle by now — for the sake of others who might come by later and want to play, I won’t spell out the solution. If anyone wants further explanation of any clue, feel free to ask, or to write to me at keepapitchinin at AOL dot com.

    Thanks for playing!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 19, 2009 @ 1:31 pm

  23. That’s too fun.

    Ardis, I’m starting to doubt that anyone in the Bloggernacle has more fun than you!

    Comment by Ben Pratt — February 19, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

  24. :D

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 19, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

  25. #23 – Ben, as my father would say, “You have a good grasp of the obvious.” *grin*

    Comment by Ray — February 19, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

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