Pun of the Weak: Cookbook

“The cookbook is being compiled. Please submit your favourite recipe and a short antidote concerning it.” — Richard Lederer   Advertisements

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Edgar Allan Poe’s Palindromic Puzzle

The following riddle in the form of a 13-line poem was credited to Edgar Allan Poe. The answers consist of palindromic words: First, find out a word that doth silence proclaim,And that backwards and forwards is always the same;Then next you must find out a feminine nameThat backwards and forwards is always the same;An act, […]

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Lines On A Twister

The following tongue twister is found in Samuel Johnson’s seminal book A Dictionary of the English Language, first published in 1755, under the definition of TWISTER: When a twister a-twisting will twist him a twist, For the twisting of his twist, he three twines doth intwist; But if one of the twines of the twist […]

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The Hooded Man Paradox: Knowing And Not Knowing Your Brother At The Same Time

Eubulides of Miletus (c. 400 BC), a philosopher of the Megarian school and a student of Euclid of Megara (not to be confused with Euclid of Alexandria who compiled the Elements of Euclid), posed the following paradox: You say you know your brother. Yet when your brother is hooded you are unable to identify him. […]

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A Minimalist’s Letter

A prisoner has a limited supply of paper and ink so to save resources, he decided to refrain from using letters that extend above or below the line (b, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, p, q, t, or y). With this kind of constraint, can he write anything worthwhile? Well, depending on the prisoner’s […]

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Translation Of A Pun

Puns are usually only effective in the language which they originated from. If you translate a pun to another language, it’s meaning would probably be lost in translation. So, it’s not uncommon to see several witty puns that were unable to survive in translated works either due to the translator’s ignorance of the puns or the absence of similar puns in the target language. Translators solve this problem through improvisation and in worst case scenarios, through the use of lengthy footnotes to explain the puns.

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Gleanings From The Past #60

Diplomacy Lord Wentworth gave some very cavalier advice to one going upon a diplomatic mission : he was up to the system of courts, or he would not have committed himself by such a satire. ” To secure yourself, and serve your country, you must at all times, and upon all occasions, speak the truth; […]

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Disorder In The Court

The following is a peculiar court transcript cited in Rodney Jone’s Disorderly Conduct: Verbatim Excerpts From Actual Cases (1987): The Court: I got the Quadrophenia, but then he said somebody played in it, and I didn’t get that. Prosecutor: The Who. The Court: The what? Witness: Musicians. Prosecutor: The Who. Witness: The Who. The Court: […]

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Rough and Tough

There had been many verses written over the years that talk about the intricacies of English pronunciation. The following verse from The Mixture of Low Spirits (1875) is just one of many:

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Introducing Raymond Smullyan

One day, when a speaker was introducing logician and puzzlist Raymond Smullyan, he remarked that “Professor Smullyan is unique.” Smullyan, who was feeling playful that day, said, “I’m sorry to interrupt you Sir but I happen to be the only one in the entire universe who is not unique.” On another event, Smullyan was introduced […]

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