Following is a list of lines; each line contains two riddles written by my pal Albert Iteration. Each riddle describes a single word. Your task is to identify the words being described and find what the two words in each line have in common (if there are multiple answers, choose the largest). They're in no particular order, there are easy ones sprinkled in there but I think this one shouldn't last too long on here.
For clarity, I have added an asterisk to lines that still need solving. As progress is made, I will remove the asterisks

 system's subdivision       | deviation; death  
 lobotomee's loss           | employed entities  
 crystal clear              | overtly obvious  
 handsy humanoid            | atmospheric ambience  
*headdress holiday          | chromosomal cross-up  
 lacking logic              | evoking enthusiasm            
*incumbent inhabitant       | ascent apex  
*cache contribution         | simultaneous states  
*multi-tasking mycota       | mammals' mark  
 drink denier               | absolute autocracy  
 sunday solver              | sage's saying  
 successfully settle        | pardon, papally  
 not normal                 | kanye's kin  
 incorrectly interpreted    | college kid  
 material metamorphosis     | knowledge; news  
 celestial species          | bachelor brotherhood  
*wowing wizardry            | hearty herb  
 similar starts             | repeated recounting  
 formal familiarization     | orchestral outlier  
 supremely significant      | placebo peddler  
 immeasurably insignificant | certainly so  
*gun; gum                   | worthless whistle  
*meagerly mindful           | chitined crustacean  
*supervised span            | pulsate periodically  
 wrestle; wrangle           | fragmented fruit  
 prophetic portender        | ceremonial start  
 replicate ravenously       | water ward  
*palpable proximity         | person picked  

And if you really want to impress, I think it would be fun if you could come up with your own two word riddles in Al's style for each answer. This is not necessary to get the green check, however. Alright have fun!!

EDIT: And of course, when it comes to answers with multiple parts like this one, partial answers are always welcome.

Clarification for those who know the gimmick/pattern:

All of the shared words will be relatively common English words (though one is a little more archaic) that can be found on dictionary.com. There are no proper nouns and no words shorter than 3 letters.

  • $\begingroup$ Would cryptic-clues be a good tag match for this puzzle? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ Note that the two words to the left of the pipe are alliterative. The words on the right are often but not always so. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ Hey, nobody's perfect @EngineerToast. Sometimes you have to use a little imagination lol $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 15:25
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Well, alliteration doesn't have to be the same letter, just the same sound $\endgroup$
    – Morgan G
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm I can't tell if people are stumped, or if they're trying to get it all in go (or for that matter, if no one is working on it at all). Anyone made any amount of progress? $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 18:56

3 Answers 3


I have only a partial solution to offer, but I'm sure I won't solve all riddles, so I'll share what I have so far.

The solutions below have two spoilers each. The first is my attempt at a two-word riddle that describes what the other two have in common, which may be awkwardly phrased and no help at all. The second explains my solution.

system's subdivision | deviation; death

→ component; constituent

partition, departure

crystal clear | overtly obvious

→ actual ancestor

transparent, apparent

drink denier | absolute autocracy

→ added-up amount

teetotaller, totalitarianism

sunday solver | sage's saying

→ possible predicate

cruciverbialist, proverb

successfully settle | pardon, papally

→ penetrate problem

resolve, absolve

material metamorphosis | knowledge; news

→ plane pattern

transformation, information

celestial species | bachelor brotherhood

→ (fall flower)

(asteroid, monastery) (not correct, see comments)

similar starts | repeated recounting

→ procedural progression

alliteration, reiteration

formal familiarization | orchestral outlier

→ tear transporter

introduction, conductor

supremely significant | placebo peddler

→ sturdy steed

paramount, mountebank

immeasurably insignificant | certainly so

→ ever ending

infinitesimal, definitely

wrestle; wrangle | fragmented fruit

→ modern music

grapple, grapes (thanks to TroyAndAbed, see comments)

prophetic portender | ceremonial start

→ bygone birdwatcher

augur, inauguration

  • $\begingroup$ Some (possibly bad) guesses: wrestle; wrangle | fragmented fruit -> grapple | grape -> rap $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 12:59
  • $\begingroup$ palpable proximity | person picked -> closeness | chosen -> sen (money in japan ) $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 12:59
  • $\begingroup$ @TroyAndAbed Japanese money is "yen" (or "en"). "Sen" can mean "thousand" though. $\endgroup$
    – Sabre
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, just misread dictionary.reference.com/browse/sen?s=t $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ Woo glad to know someone is in fact working on it. You've made awesome progress. All of the ones you have so far match what I have except celestial species | bachelor brotherhood. That is one of the slightly harder ones that feature a hint of wordplay $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 15:02

It took looking at M Oehm's solution for it to click for me, but here's my contribution so far:

Lobotomee's loss | employed entities

personality | personel

lacking logic | evoking enthusiasm

Irrational | Inspirational

Not normal | Kanye's kin

Unorthodox | North

Incorrectly interpreted | College kid

Misunderstood | undergraduate

Wowing wizardry | Hearty herb

Bewitchment | Witchhazel

Headdress holiday | chromosomal cross-up

festival | transvestite

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Nice job on the first one. Your second solution is incorrect, though if it's any consolation, it made me laugh out loud in surprise. To be more helpful, it's off because a festival doesn't really have anything to do with headresses (except that sometimes people wear them) $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 15:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ah, I was thinking along the lines of Carnival - festival $\endgroup$
    – Morgan G
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 15:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice additions. All correct except the witch guess $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 15:57

Here are some of my guesses:

handsy humanoid | atmospheric ambience

primate / climate

headdress holiday | chromosomal cross-up

carnival / carcinogenic

lacking logic | evoking enthusiasm

irrational / veneration

multi-tasking mycota | mammals' mark (not sure about the "multitasking" part...)

portabella / bellybutton

celestial species | bachelor brotherhood

extraterrestial / fraternity

wowing wizardry | hearty herb

brandish / horseradish

gun; gum | worthless whistle

trident / deride (probably wrong but oh well)

supervised span | pulsate periodically

hospitalization / palpitate

replicate ravenously | water ward

proliferate / lifesaver

palpable proximity | person picked

imminent / nominee

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice work. I've removed the asterisk from the OP for the ones that were correct. lacking logic was solved correctly by M Oehm already. You're close with mammal's mark, just think of another distinctly mamallian feature. AFAIK, all mammal's feature this, whereas platypi don't have belly buttons (though it seems unfair to cite the billed enigma that is the platypus) $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 12:14

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