Wednesday, September 22, 2010


A logogriph is a kind of anagram puzzle. Clues are given to words that can be made from the letters of a single master word. The goal is to uncover that master word.

Here's a simple example to illustrate the concept. Both the clues, their answer, and the master word are provided:

  • anger (IRE)
  • personal pronoun (ME)
  • desperately urgent (DIRE)
  • hitchhiker's goal (RIDE)

The master word for this would be MIRED. (RIMED is also possible.)

A masterpiece of this form appeared in The Masquerade, A Collection of New Enigmas. Logogriphs, Charades. Rebusses, Queries, and Transpositions, a popular book of puzzles published in 1797. I did not solve this one (my version had all the answers embedded in the lines), and I believe some of the references are archaic or obscure enough to make solving a long shot for any modern puzzler. There are at least two lines in this which I know I would not have figured out unaided.

I considered giving the answers outright, but I thought ambitious readers might just want to take a stab at it first. I'll post the whole solution tomorrow if no one gets it.

Remember, each line is a clue to a word, and all the answer words are made from the letters of one other word. The last two lines function as a couplet, and provide a clue to the whole puzzle.

What to the king alone pertains;
And what respect in gen'ral gains;
A title English nobles bear;
And what a farmer's horses wear;
What fictituious ne'er can be;
With what betokens poverty;
A word that has an angry cast;
Another, that we use for last;
What in a dish of souse is good;
A limb, when lost, supply'd with wood;
A wind, of brisk yet gentle fame;
A Yorkshire river's ancient name;
And 'last, not least,' the spacious whole
Will lead you to the wish'd-for-goal.


Thomas L. McDonald said...

The full answer goes up later today, but the Master word is LARGE. Even with the main answer, it's pretty challenging to figure out all the individual words.

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