# Reductio Ad Absurdum

This is a riddle with diminishing returns.
It's acrostic again. Can't kick that habit.
No special knowledge is needed.
When you find the answer, you will be in no doubt.

Faker! They cried and cut off his tail.
Call for the axe, put his head in a pail
Sharpen the axe and take off his top
Single him out, let him endlessly drop
Atop the trash heap. Take his last right away.
Nothing left. Now we're done. Goodbye and good day.

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PHONEY $~\to~$ PHONE $~\to~$ HONE $~\to~$ ONE $~\to~$ ON $~\to~$ O

## Argument:

Faker! They cried and cut off his tail.

A faker is PHONEY; cutting of the tail Y yields PHONE

Call for the axe, put his head in a pail

You do calls with your PHONE; cutting of the head P yields HONE

Sharpen the axe and take off his top

To HONE is another word for to sharpen; taking of the top H yields ONE

Single him out, let him endlessly drop

The ONE is singled out; dropping the end E yields ON

Atop the trash heap. Take his last right away.

Atop is ON; taking the right N away leaves O

Nothing left. Now we're done. Goodbye and good day.

O or 0 or zero stands for nothing

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Congratulations! I fear it must have been too easy for you. I'll be vaguer next time. ;) – Hugh Meyers Mar 1 at 17:25
It was not too easy. The "faker" gave me SWINDLER or FRAUD or PHONY/PHONEY, and "sharpen" gave me WHET or HONE. – Gamow Mar 1 at 17:29
Acrostics can go by letter, syllable or word. In this case the first word of each line. They don't exactly form a message but I wasn't sure what else to call it. – Hugh Meyers Mar 1 at 17:32
I see. Beautiful! – Gamow Mar 1 at 17:33