You insist I should take one
Ten I shall take as I won.
Tendencies are like a corpse
Fire spreads over entire course.
Fighting as they found a hole
Bamboos grow on land as whole.
Bamboozling, I take villages
Golden signs lie over ages.
Golfers shall smell a fragrance
Horses show what they will glance.
Horizons pointed by a deer
Black as Guinness, oh my dear.
Blocked by traps for tiny mice
Arranged evenly like dice.
Arrogant as they show teeth
______s those I hid beneath...

What's the hidden word? It has 6 letters.

My first enigmatic puzzle, enjoy!

Subtle Hint:

Each line holds exactly one clue. Except the last line.

Moderate Hint:

Something accumulates one by one, line by line.

Decisive Hint:

If this poem had a 17th line, its last word would be "flute."

Very Decisive Hint:

You insist to mark a dot
Knives are to hit the spot.
Knights holding up their shields
Water floods over their yields.
What treat they're having is sweet
Rice is the meal they will eat.
Right then, the side-dish is peas
Doors open for their good peace.
Dominating all the wind
Ghosts just laugh at what they wind.
Gospels are for ripe barleys
Yellow and fresh on trolleys.
Yelling at that one cauldron
Noses they pick as they drone...

Very² Decisive hint:

The word is an animal, a mythical one.

  • $\begingroup$ 'mark a dot', 'cauldron', and other terms make me think of Macbeth, but that's all I've got. There's something going on with the letter repetition and rhyming, but no conclusions. $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Jun 24 at 4:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Amoz Err, sorry. Nothing to do with Macbeth. Should consider the title. $\endgroup$ Jun 24 at 4:25
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps you should add a bounty and bump this? It's sad to see such a nice puzzle go unnoticed... $\endgroup$
    – Jerry Dean
    Jul 2 at 9:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Taco Sorry, but nothing to do with the number of spaces or letters. The pattern is something much exotic, yet straightforward. Should consider the title. $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 0:36
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Tacoタコス: Please don't pester the OP with requests for hints. Judging from your answer, my impression is that you are nowhere near to solving this puzzle. If you can't solve it, you can't solve it. That's life. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Sep 23 at 5:24

The word we're looking for is:

龍 or Dragon

Each line contains one word, that as a Chinese radical, contains one more stroke than the word from the prior line.

See this Wikipedia article for the complete list of radicals that powered this answer.

Line by Line

"You insist I should take one"

The word one is represented by the radical , which has 1 stroke.

"Ten I shall take as I won."

The word ten is represented by the radical , which has 2 strokes.

"Tendencies are like a corpse"

The word corpse is represented by the radical , which has 3 strokes.

"Fire spreads over entire course."

The word fire is represented by the radical , which has 4 strokes.

"Fighting as they found a hole"

The word cave is represented by the radical , which has 5 strokes.

"Bamboos grow on land as whole."

The word bamboo is represented by the radical , which has 6 strokes.

"Bamboozling, I take villages"

The word village is represented by the radical , which has 7 strokes.

"Golden signs lie over ages."

The word gold/metal is represented by the radical , which has 8 strokes.

"Golfers shall smell a fragrance"

The word fragrant is represented by the radical , which has 9 strokes.

"Horses show what they will glance."

The word horse is represented by the radical , which has 10 strokes.

"Horizons pointed by a deer"

The word deer is represented by the radical 鹿, which has 11 strokes.

"Black as Guinness, oh my dear."

The word black is represented by the radical , which has 12 strokes.

"Blocked by traps for tiny mice"

The word mouse/rat is represented by the radical , which has 13 strokes.

"Arranged evenly like dice."

The word even/uniformly is represented by the radical , which has 14 strokes.

"Arrogant as they show teeth"

The word teeth is represented by the radical , which has 15 strokes. This is actually the only radical with 15 strokes.

"______s those I hid beneath..."

The word dragon is represented by the radical , which has 16 strokes.

Final Note

This answer was heavily driven by the answer given by @ExtraFishness, so make sure you upvote theirs too.

The only disconnect with their answer is that they focused on Japanese radicals. The Japanese radical for dragon is 竜, which only has 10 strokes.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Before you downvote, please take the time to leave a comment explaining what you didn't like about my post so that I can improve it. Additionally, keep in mind that partial answers are acceptable. $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 0:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ rot13(Ovt uvag: Guvf thrff vf pbeerpg.) $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 0:42
  • $\begingroup$ @DannyuNDos Abj gb cebir jul. Gunaxf! $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 0:45
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ It seems like this answer really isn't based on anything in the actual puzzle. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Sep 23 at 2:37
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Deusovi it’s based on the title and the final hint, and OP confirmed it’s correct, but I can’t seem to prove why it’s correct. $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 11:50

The answer is


The reasoning is that

Each line contains a word that when translated to Japanese kanji will have one more stroke than the last line. on odd numbered lines it is the last word, and on even numbered lines it is the first.

one: 一(1 stroke), ten: 十(2 strokes), corpse: 尸(3 strokes), fire: 火(4 strokes), hole: 穴(5 strokes), bamboo: 竹(6 strokes), village: 村(7 strokes), Gold: 金(8 strokes), fragrance: 臭(9 strokes), Horse: 馬(10 strokes), Deer: 鹿(11 strokes), Black: 黑(12 strokes), Mice: 鼠(13 strokes), Arrange: 摒(14 strokes), Teeth: 齒(15 strokes)

until we get to line 16. There are a lot of kanji with 16 strokes, but the hints say that this is a mythical beast from the far east, and the poem references gold, razed villages, teeth and fire, so we arrive at the kanji for Dragon: 龍(16 strokes).

  • $\begingroup$ rot13(V qvqa'g fghql Wncnarfr xnawv naq V nz va ab jnl na rkcreg, whfg yhpxrq bhg jvgu n thrff. V hfrq guvf xnawv qvpgvbanel: uggc://erqsvapuwncnarfr.pbz/?npgvba=xnawv_qvpgvbanel gb svaq nyy gur jbeqf, ohg V qvq unir gb vzcebivfr n ovg jvgu fvathyne sbezf bs jbeqf naq guvatf yvxr sentenapr juvpu genafyngrq vagb fgvaxvat (yby). Ubcr V tbg zbfg bs gur jbeqf evtug) $\endgroup$ Sep 26 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ Aha, that looks very good! But rot13(V jbhyq rkcrpg gung gur nqqrq fgebxr jbhyq zbqvsl gur cerivbhf xnawv flzoby, abg whfg nqq gb gur gbgny ahzore bs fgebxrf. Bgurejvfr, ubj jbhyq lbh xabj gung gur jbeq vf qentba? Jr xabj abj, bs pbhefr, ohg gur bevtvany dhrfgvba whfg nfxf sbe n jbeq.) $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Sep 26 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ rot13(Gur uvagf fnl gung vg'f n zntvpny ornfg sebz gur rnfg fb gung znxrf frafr, nyfb gur ersreraprf gb enmrq ivyyntrf, sver, grrgu naq fb sbegu... ohg cbvag gnxra, V jvyy nqq gung cneg gb gur nafjre nf jryy :) $\endgroup$ Sep 26 at 15:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, if this isn't correct, it must be very close. Perhaps OP can explain in detail. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Sep 26 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sure I missed some things and I would love to see OP's take on this as well $\endgroup$ Sep 26 at 15:30

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