Well, my previous few puzzles have been too hard, so I've done my best to avoid that this time. If this one is too easy then let me know! :)

This is a multi-part puzzle.

We start with a riddle:

I am thought and I am memory;
I create the world; I free men and I free women.

Black wings by the pallid tower,
I sit at the head of Pallas.

I am Bran and I am Bartholomew;
I protect Vincent and I protect Damien.

This is the first riddle I've ever written so please be kind! I've tried to make it fairly easy to get the basic idea but fairly hard to track down all the references (a full answer will need to explain all the references).

The answer from that riddle will lead you to a classic and well-known written work which is available free online in many places. You can use that to solve this cryptogram:


The cryptogram's answer will give you a piece of music; that piece of music is the answer to the puzzle.

Have fun! :)

Thank you @luxmi12, with an assist from @Len, for the excellent answer! I've marked it as solved because, well, basically you solved it, but there are a few clues still unaccounted-for, so if anyone else wants to chip in with a solution to them then go right ahead!

They are:

  • Title: 'dark' (quite obvious), 'progressive'

  • "I free men and I free women"

  • "pallid tower" (specifically?)

  • "Bran": not intended as a reference to Game of Thrones, although the scriptwriters there pretty clearly had the same idea in mind as I did.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Too many ones at the end of each entry in the cryptogram part. Hmmmm.... $\endgroup$ Dec 5, 2014 at 17:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is the single -1 in the 2nd part intentional? $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Dec 5, 2014 at 17:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Guaranteed Herring-Free!™ I've double-checked the riddle and every word of more than 3 letters is related to the subject. $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Dec 5, 2014 at 19:13
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Puzzle feedback: I thought the riddle was very good. The poem is flavorful, flowing, and concise. From seeing the solution, the clues are exact and their answers feel satisfying. I can't comment on difficulty as I didn't make an effort at solving it. The cryptogram part, though, I thought was superfluous and removing it would make the puzzle better. It's not really a cryptogram but a straightforward indexing scheme with no real theme or flavor. Once you know what to do, it's just counting work. I don't think the realization is interesting -- I knew what it was immediately on seeing it. $\endgroup$
    – xnor
    Dec 6, 2014 at 8:08
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ More feedback: I liked the various thematic connections -- "Dark" in the title, the riddle, the final answer. Regarding difficulty, you did a good job of making steps confirmable, both in feeling right when you do them, and in saying what type of thing you should get. Actually maybe the "look at the poem" could have been vaguer to make the crypto realization more interesting (maybe a roundabout hint at "How is a raven like a writing desk"?). But I understand you were intentionally playing it safe, so success there. As you become more comfortable, you can play these things by ear. $\endgroup$
    – xnor
    Dec 6, 2014 at 8:19

3 Answers 3


Well I have the poem!

"The Raven", by Edgar Allen Poe

Here is why;

I am thought and I am memory;

In Norse mythology there are two Ravens called Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory) that bring information to Odin

I create the world; I free men and I free women.

There exists a creation story from the Inuit, in which a Raven creates the world. He then travels around his new world and discovers man, whom he feeds and teaches. Soon after a woman came to be and he cared for her as well, as well as all their children

Black wings by the pallid tower

There are lots of Ravens around the tower of London? Also "pallid" appears in the poem

I sit at the head of Pallas.

In the poem the Raven perches on a bust of Pallas above the chamber door

I am Bran and I am Bartholomew;

In "Game of Thrones" (spoilers!) Bran is visited by a three eyed Raven who he later discovers represents himself. In the Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" (also known as "'The Simpsons 'Halloween Special") the Raven poem is acted out with Bart as the Raven

I protect Vincent and I protect Damien.

Saint Vincent of Saragossa was said to have his body protected by ravens from being devoured by vultures, until his followers could recover the body. In The Omen, the Raven was a servant of Satan who watched over Damien Thorn

I'm definitely stuck on the cryptogram though... I thought I had it but the -1 stumped me, then later the 25 in the third column got me again. I shall keep trying :)


As for the cryptogram..

As @Len found out below, the trick is to use cryptography on the poem. The first column is the verse number, the second is the line number and the third is the character. No spaces or punctuation count.

Therefore, the answer is...

"Alan Parsons Project The Raven"

Although there's still some riddle clues I'm working on...

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What was your thinking for the cryptogram? $\endgroup$ Dec 5, 2014 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ You're on the right lines! Good work on the riddle, you've got almost all of it; there's a little bit more meaning you can pull out on "I free men and I free women" and "pallid tower". Oh, and your "Bran" isn't quite what I was thinking of, although the scriptwriters there were probably thinking of the same thing as I am. Keep going! :) $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Dec 5, 2014 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ I've added a link from your title of the written work to the copy I'm working from, just in case there's minor differences between different versions online. $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Dec 5, 2014 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ @QuyNguyen2013 I was thinking the first number meant the verse, the second the line number and the third the word, but that didn't work with the 25 in the last column. Then I tried a similar approach but with characters with no joy $\endgroup$
    – luxmi12
    Dec 5, 2014 at 20:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Len, gah you beat me by a minute! $\endgroup$
    – luxmi12
    Dec 5, 2014 at 21:01

I'd like to try my hand at the remaining clues.

  • Bran:

    Brân the Blessed, literally "Blessed Crow" (can also be translated as raven), a Welsh mythological character

  • Pallid Tower:

    A legend says that John Flamsteed once complained of ravens flying about and blocking the view from his telescope in the White Tower.

  • "Dark"

    Simply the raven's dark coloring.

  • "Progressive"

    May be a reference to Raven's Progressive Matrices, a visual puzzle in which subjects are asked to select the missing item from a series.

  • Free men and women

    This may be in keeping with the origin story theme, referencing the native myth in which a raven coaxes the first humans out of a clamshell.


Continuing with the excellent work by luxmi12, I think the answer is:

Alan Parsons Project The Raven assuming there are two errors in the cryptogram numbers which actually produce: alanparsonsprojecttlesraven


Apply the cryptogram numbers to the poem by Edgar Allan Poe. The numbers indicate the verse;line;character. Characters do not include spaces or punctuation.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm getting confused now. Remaking my question: Did the -1 mean one would take the last letter of the previous word of the one specified by the first two numbers? $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Dec 7, 2014 at 8:00

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