Posted in Contests

Contest No. 3 Austenian Charades

Riddles come from Old English and Norse writing. Riddles were a form of showing wit, which is unfortunately not something they bother teaching these days. It’s a pity too! It would make life a lot more interesting. The oldest set of riddles known as the Exeter book which was bound around 800 A.D. One of the most know riddles from the book was the following:

A moth ate words. I thought that was a marvelous fate, that the worm, a thief in the dark, should eat a man’s words, his brilliant language and its sturdy foundation. Not a whit the wiser was he for having fattened himself on those words.

The answer is bookworm. Don’t get me wrong, riddles were around prior to this point. I mean who can forget the riddle of the Sphinx or the riddle Samson posed. But we aren’t going to deal with riddles. We are going to deal with charades which originated in the 18th century. Various sources cite the origination as being in France. It probably did. I mean Voltaire and enlightened reason were big in France. So it probably did. Be that as it may, charades spread like wild fire aroud Europe.

Typically the form of the riddle was that of a poem. Each line of the poem gave a clue to either a syllable or letter of the word. Typically the last line gives a description of the whole word. The following example is a riddle that Jane Austen composed. 

When my first is a task to a young girl of spirit,
And my second confines her to finish the piece,
How hard is her fate! but how great is her merit
If by taking my whole she effects her release!

The answer to this riddle is “hemlock.”

Oh dear! I can hear everyone shaking with fear. No I’m not going to make you write riddles. I’m going to have you guess a couple. Yes, this is the last contest. The prize is a dark chocolate with almonds and a set of magnetic bookmarks. P.S. I came up with these in a few hours so they aren’t as lyrical as I would like. 

My first refers to Dumbledore’s closet,
My second is the lay of Achilles sung by the goddess,
My third refers to the back end of lettuce.
My first two by JKR have been made upset,
But together her courtroom antics can be described as this.

My first is the first in the Greek name for the Son of God,
Next, a horse or French mother, that’s right we sound the same.
Finally an outburst such as wow, gosh, darn, golly, and egad.
Now tell me what was the name of Bellerophon’s bane?

This describes me when my spirits are low.
It can be used to punish or create a soup.
The suffix represented by the orange ball bouncing up and down.
The second and third are typically found on the foot;
But together a woman usually holding a book. 

I am found in grape but not in grope.
Also in rate but not in race.
The second now double.
I can be found in both toil and trouble.
I turn geek into greek,
And see into seen.
I transform main into mein,
And ski into sky.
I’m this kind of eagle,
I’m one of the few good men.
Heed me not, and you’ll end in hot water again. 

Ok this contest is a bit more tricky so I’ll give you a little more. This one will be due May 28th at 11:59.

Have fun!!!!


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