35
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This one may turn out to be a little too easy but I really enjoyed writing the Seussian rhymes.

Nine tall men are standing tall. Nine tall men here all in all.
As they talk amongst each other, "Wait!" they hear, "There is another!"
In walks Sergeant Bleighterfest. "There is another!" he protests.
"Nothing's missing" says the crew. "We're all here. What's wrong with you?"
"He is the youngest - I'll admit - but he's important, every bit."
"Bah," they say, "We know that slob. He is useless at our job.
He sulks and hides and rarely talks. He's certainly no chatterbox."
"Is that a reason to exclude? To mock and joke and be so rude?
By himself he is not much," admits the Sergeant to the bunch.
"Everyone must help him be all that I know that he can be.
I know his task he will not shirk but, without you, he cannot work!"
Here the Sergeant paused to think where could that little guy have slinked?
Snorkeling at Sharktooth Reef? I've never held such disbelief!
Diving off our tallest peak? That cannot be the place I seek.
Wait a minute, I'm so dense! I needn't be in such suspense.
"If he's gone – walked out the door – he's even more here than before!"
It was just then he realized the last had been here all the time.
The Sergeant spun until he spotted the space for little one allotted
Filled now - someone's in the spot. "There you are, you silly ___________!"

- Who was missing?
- How would you fill in the blank line at the end?
- Can you find the other group members hiding in the riddle?

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Wow! No results! $\endgroup$ – Curmudgeon Jul 10 '15 at 14:18
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    $\begingroup$ @Curmudgeon I tried to think of a Seussian name. I supposed I succeeded? $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Jul 10 '15 at 14:45
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    $\begingroup$ @EngineerToast: Exactly my point! Great name choice. Although it looks like Google already found us out -- this post is now the only result :p $\endgroup$ – Curmudgeon Jul 10 '15 at 14:48
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    $\begingroup$ @Curmudgeon Does this mean I'm famous? $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Jul 10 '15 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ @EngineerToast: Basically, yep. Send an email to Google now that they know who you are and nab a job! $\endgroup$ – Curmudgeon Jul 10 '15 at 14:56
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The hiding of the "nine tall men" within the rhyme is genius!

The rhyme ends with:

"There you are, you silly naught!"

The nine tall men are

The digits from 1 to 9

The missing "person" is

The digit 0

By itself, a zero can't do much; it needs the other digits to "do its work."

The other nine are highlighted below (#6 is backwards and spans 2 lines -- thanks, @mmking!):

Nine tall men are standing tall. Nine tall men here all in all.
As they talk amongst each other, "Wait!" they hear, "There is another!"
In walks Sergeant Bleighterfest. "There is another!" he protests.
"Nothing's missing" says the crew. "We're all here. What's wrong with you?"
"He is the youngest - I'll admit - but he's important, every bit."
"Bah," they say, "We know that slob. He is useless at our job.
He sulks and hides and rarely talks. He's certainly no chatterbox."
"Is
that a reason to exclude? To mock and joke and be so rude?
By himself he is not much," admits the Sergeant to the bunch.
"Everyone must help him be all that I know that he can be.
I know his task he will not shirk but, without you, he cannot work!"
Here the Sergeant paused to think Where could that little guy have slinked?
Snorkeling at Sharktooth Ree/f? I've never held such disbelief!
Diving off our tallest peak? That cannot be the place I seek.
Wait a minute, I'm so dense! I needn't be in such suspense.
"If he's gone – walked out the door – he's even more here than before!"
It was just then he realized the last had been here all the time.
The Sergeant spun until he spotted the space for little one allotted
Filled now - someone's in the spot. "There you are, you silly ___________!"

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That's question 1 and 2. I was worried someone would say "ought" and we'd get into a discussion about word choice. For a +1, can you find all 9 members in the riddle? They're in there. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Jul 10 '15 at 14:44
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    $\begingroup$ It's backwards and hanging on two lines. $\endgroup$ – mmking Jul 10 '15 at 15:07
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    $\begingroup$ @EngineerToast, I considered "ought" and "aught", which are both valid (but less common) words for zero as well, but I figured "naught" was less ambiguous. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain Jul 10 '15 at 15:18
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    $\begingroup$ @dennisdeems 9 is much too proud of being the largest digit to want to really hide. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Jul 10 '15 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ It didn't get mentioned, but I really like the line about zero being important, every bit. Get it? Bits. I'm hilarious. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Jul 11 '15 at 14:07

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