At the library, cryptic rebuses read a book on self-reference.

If you're unsure how cryptic rebuses work, you may want to check out this primer. enter image description here

*I don't own any of the images from which I drew in making these puzzles. Where possible I tried to use public domain images. I believe I may be using the rest in accordance with fair use.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ^vote already for the tastefully depicted fractal $\endgroup$
    – humn
    Jan 18, 2017 at 15:59
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @humn, hilarious edit $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Jan 18, 2017 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


1 (found by Ankoganit):

paradox = "rap" backwards + ado + X

2 (found by M Oehm, conjectural but probably right):

symbols = cymbals heard, "heard" being clued by a herd


play within a play (note: this device is in fact used in both the specific plays appearing in the rebus)


rebus = (rex-x) + "sub" backwards (a sub is an under-water vehicle)

5 (found by Neil W):

nest = N + E + S + first letter of "to"


Droste phenomenon ("droste" = "sorted" sorted)


braid = br/aid.


knot = k + "not" backwards (because 2000 lbs = a ton)


breaking the fourth wall

Perhaps 10 might be

just "square" (because the number displayed is a square, and it is displayed within a square box)?

11 (found by Ankoganit):

M C Escher (MC + anag of "cheers")

12 (found by Ankoganit):

strange loop (anag of "poor tangles")

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ 11 is probably M C Escher (MC=announcer, cheers wildly(anag.)=Escher). $\endgroup$
    – Ankoganit
    Jan 18, 2017 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, yes. I thought the picture looked familiar. Do you want to make your own answer, or shall I start editing other people's suggestions into mine and possible communitiwikify it? $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jan 18, 2017 at 15:28
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    $\begingroup$ Aha, 1 is PAR( rap=knock<)+ADO(fuss)+X(10) $\endgroup$
    – Ankoganit
    Jan 18, 2017 at 15:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm not exactly starving for rep :-). $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jan 18, 2017 at 15:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ 12 is Strange loop (anag. of poor tangles ; odd+noose) $\endgroup$
    – Ankoganit
    Jan 18, 2017 at 15:36

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