Saturday, December 1, 2018

End-of-year acrostic

        After the hurly-burly of six serious posts in November, relax now with the first annual "Emoluments" acrostic puzzle. Click here, print it, and go find a sharp pencil and a functioning eraser. No prizes. Solution will be posted on 1/1/19.

An acrostic comes in two parts—a diagram and a word list. The cells in the diagram are numbered sequentially from 1 to (in this case) 206, reading left-to-right line by line just like a book. When solved, the diagram and the word list will contain exactly the same set of 206 letters, but arranged differently.

The diagram will contain a quote from a certain book, with black cells delineating the words. The first letters of the words in the word list, reading top-to-bottom, will spell out the author and title of the book quoted.

Write in what words you can from the clues given. Transfer each letter into the diagram, using the number under each letter as the cell number. Make a few guesses, such as that plural words end in S (usually), and single-letter words are either A or I (again, usually). After a while, you should start to guess at words in the diagram. Complete these words and transfer the new letters backwards into the word list, using the letter in each cell as a guide to the word they belong to.

Success at acrostics depends on inspired guesswork, and liberal use of the eraser. Have fun.

In case of problems linking to dropbox, here's the link on its own:


Two Percent said...

Hi expat,

Thanks for the Holiday Challenge.

A question (or two):

1. In two word answers, I guess the space is to be counted as a letter?

2. Are you sure the answer to Qn Q is correct?

expat said...

1. No, ignore spaces.

2. I suspect you're querying the final letter. Yes, it's correct. Think of the Latin declensions you learned as a snivelliong schoolboy, with the housemaster rapping your knuckles with a 1-foot ruler.

Trekker said...

Is there supposed to be a double letter in the second word of R? A double N, maybe? Otherwise there are too many letters.

expat said...

Yes, a double N. You might call that an error but I prefer the description "alternateive spelling" ;-) Well spotted!

Trekker said...

OK, thanks!

expat said...

Hmmm, I seem to have an alternative spelling of alternative, too.

Trekker said...

Done! Lol, shoulda been obvious from the start!! :D

expat said...

Trekker: Have you solved literary acrostics before?

Trekker said...

No, that was my first one!