He was victorious, say you, in a foreign tongue.
He was almost there, he's a ring in the skin;
A half-fisted stove; a snake by the nines.
Christmas Eve now holds their endless odd gin.

What is this poem about?


This isn't a "Who/what am I?" riddle (meaning this riddle does not describe a singular entity).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Great puzzle, Bailey! $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Aug 27, 2015 at 15:57

2 Answers 2


What is this poem about?

counting from 1 to 8

He was victorious,

he won > ONE

say you, in a foreign tongue.

"you" in French is "tu" > TWO

He was almost there,

"almost" means make an anagram of "there" > THREE

he's a ring in the skin

a ring is O, skin is FUR > FOUR

A half-fisted stove;

half of fisted is "fis"; stove is to be read as a direction: "s" to "ve" meaning take "fis" and change the "s" to "ve" > FIVE

a snake by the nines.

a snake is S, nine is IX > SIX

Christmas Eve now holds

"holds" means "contains" > Christmas Eve now > SEVEN

their endless odd gin

"their" endless is "thei"; odd means to make an anagram; "gin" again is interpreted as a direction - "G in", meaning to put a G into "eiht" > EIGHT

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ "gin" = "G in": you put a G in to the "eiht" you've got. Nice riddle btw @BaileyM - just the sort of thing I'd write :-) (And I wrote this comment before I even saw the similar "s to ve" clue! Edit: fantastic riddle.) $\endgroup$ Aug 27, 2015 at 14:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This answer is still a bit overshadowed by the Prince Albert answer that somehow makes sense of what I fully intended to be gibberish, but it's still correct (and now completely so). Well done! :) $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    Aug 27, 2015 at 14:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This was very clever! Nicely done @dennisdeems. May I ask, what was the breakthrough moment/clue? $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Aug 27, 2015 at 14:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks! The breakthrough clue was the word "holds". If this were a crossword, that would be the first thing to jump out at me. Then I started looking for a context for that result. $\endgroup$ Aug 27, 2015 at 14:23
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This is a great example of making an interesting puzzle from unlikely material. $\endgroup$ Aug 27, 2015 at 15:45

It's about

Prince Albert


He was victorious, say you,

He married Queen Victoria

in a foreign tongue.

His native language was German

He was almost there, he's a ring in the skin;

I'm going to let Wikipedia answer this one. <----------- Link NSFW - Not Safe For Work.

A half-fisted stove;

Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) wore "stovepipe shakoes"

a snake

The engagement ring which Albert gave to Victoria was in the shape of a snake

by the nines.

nine children

Christmas Eve now holds their

Many Christmas traditions come from Victoria and Albert.

endless odd gin.

'gin' in the playing cards sense, because he liked playing Patience, which seems to go on forever.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ When you unknowingly click the wikipedia link in work.... $\endgroup$
    – alexmc
    Aug 26, 2015 at 17:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @alexmc Sorry. I've marked it NSFW. $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Aug 26, 2015 at 17:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This...is a very good answer to the riddle. My intended answer is not nearly this concrete -- the 'wordplay' tag is rather crucial to solving it. Still, a big ol' +1 for making sense out of nonsense, as it were! $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    Aug 26, 2015 at 18:30

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