# A “broken” story

"In the cold they shivered
as they went home.
They walked with a girl
although they were men.
They finally conceded
and their neighbours got together.
Their friends walked onwards
and many didn't succeed."

Can you "fix" it?

Hint 1:

Hint 2:

Their friends were not falling back.

• The story not starting by the letter T bothers me ahah – Albino Feb 8 '18 at 15:04
• @Albino - why did you have to point that out, I cannot "unsee" it now! Oh well, maybe I'll read it as "They shivered, in the cold, " – Phylyp Feb 16 '18 at 9:19
• @Albino Think of it as a red herring. Changing the word order so that the line starts with T doesn't change the answer. – user_194421 Feb 16 '18 at 9:48
• @Phylyp Look at my comment above. – user_194421 Feb 16 '18 at 9:49
• @Albino The story doesn't start by the letter T, but "The story" starts by the letter T! – Florian Bourse Feb 16 '18 at 12:12

Different approach:

In the cold they shivered
as they were delivered.
They walked with a maiden
although they were men.
They finally acquiesced
and their neighbours coalesced.
Their friends did proceed
and many didn't succeed."

or

In the cold they shivered
as they were delivered.
They walked with a maiden
although they were men.
They finally did concede
and their neighbours agreed.
Their friends did proceed
and many didn't succeed.

progress?

I'm working along three separate, unrelated lines now related to three different possible meanings. In one, walked is replaced with wandered, I'll leave it at that. In the second, lines 5 and 6 are:
They finally did yield
and their neighbours congealed.
Thirdly,
They finally capitulated
and their neighbours congregated.

So far:

So among the meanings I have been concidering are:

[1]
In the cold (of space) they shivered
as they went (along their) home (trajectory).
They "wandered" {greek: planetai}) with a girl (Venus)
although they were men (Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune [sorry again, Pluto])

[2] An anthropomorphistic chemistry story with reactions that yield and things that congealed

[3] A biblical tale where a girl, Mary, walked with men (13 to be specific) they went home (to Jerusalem), got together with some neighbors, sat for a big group portrait by Da Vinci and had a nice meal. But they conceded (to the Romans), and it did not end successfully (at least it didn't seem to at the time).

[4] Napoleon's Retreat from Russia (with his "broken" army)
In the cold they shivered (yep)
as they went home. (yep)
They walked with a girl (Liberte')
although they were men. (yep)
They finally conceded (yep)
and their neighbours got together. (Austria, Prussia,..)
Their friends (comrades) walked onwards (and walked, and walked)
and many didn't succeed. (ya, I think frozen stiff halfway between Minsk and nowhere is a result that leans ever so slightly away from what most people would consider success)

The forth one is obviously the best fit but I didn't really have to change anything. The first one is my favorite for some reason even though it seems to fall apart in the second half.

• 3rd and 6th lines of your answer is more hinting of what the story's about. – user_194421 Feb 16 '18 at 10:36
• 6th line of first answer is more hinting than that of the 2nd answer. – user_194421 Feb 17 '18 at 20:55
• @user_194421 - I added a small update. – jwolf Feb 17 '18 at 21:52
• 1) Their friends walked with direction. 2)The last two lines of your update (the lines after "Thirdly,") is even more hinting. – user_194421 Feb 19 '18 at 9:56
• You know mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are their Roman forms of their names? And also Venus. You should write Hermes, Ares, Zeus, Cronus, Uranus, Poseidon, Hades, and Aphrodite(it’s in order if you want to fix it) – Me myself and I Feb 21 '18 at 19:11

They walked with a girl
although they were men
Their friends walked onwards
and many didn't succeed
In the cold they shivered
as they went home
They finally conceded
and their neighbours got together

Based on jwolfs answer and the hints, I suspect that we need to:

Identify 4 significant events in French history and put them in chronological order

In the cold they shivered as they went home (credit to jwolf)

This is likely Napoleon's retreat during the French invasion of Russia (a decisive factor in the campagin was the loss of French troops and supplies to the harsh weather) [1812]

They walked with a girl although they were men

This jumps out at me as Joan of Arc, particularly the march to Reims after the siege of Orléans [1429]

They finally conceded and their neighbours got together

This is more of a wild guess, but the Concert of Europe happened straight after Napoleon's First French Empire was defeated ("they finally conceded") and was an alliance between Austria, Prussia, Russia and England ("their neighbours got together") [1815]

Their friends walked onwards and many didn't succeed

I think this one refers to the French revolution, during which there were many protests/marches by the French (their "friends"), a significant one being the Women's March on Versailles. The "many didn't succeed" relates to the many failed attempts at revolting, which were eventually successful [1789-1799]

To "fix" the story we would need to:

Rearrange the "segments" (each segment being two lines - as hinted at by the OP) into the order of the events each is referring to

• Major breakthrough (+1) – user_194421 Feb 25 '18 at 5:57
• @user_194421 am I far off with my updated guess? – Dmihawk Feb 25 '18 at 7:08
• Incorrect answer, the incorrect one being more than a century away. – user_194421 Feb 25 '18 at 10:01

The story needs to be "fixed" by

replacing some of the words (probably the end of each line) with synonyms.

To get something like:

In the cold they [trembled? shook? quivered?]
as they returned.
They walked with a [woman? lady?]
although they were [guys? blokes?].
They finally [gave in? gave up? yielded?]
and their neighbours [eloped?].
Their friends continued
and many failed.

I think this is the right method because

many of the words in the original look ... oddly chosen, sort of shoehorned in. It's quite well done, but you get used to spotting these things when you've solved a lot of enigmatic word puzzles ;-)

• Still far, far away – user_194421 Feb 8 '18 at 13:15

Could it be this?

Change line 1 to "They shivered in the cold" to give us this alternating pattern of line openings:
They / as, They / although, They / and, Their / and

-Or- Taking this pattern to the nth degree, we could get something like:
They froze with the cold as they all went [home].
They footed with the child although they all were men (/grown/adults).
They finally went to concede and their abutters would meet (/gather/assemble).
Their friends willed to continue and they avoided winning mostly.

• Welcome to PSE, jwolf. Note that you can end a line with two spaces to ensure proper formatting of a spoiler. I've edited this in for you. – Phylyp Feb 16 '18 at 9:21
• Thank you @Phylyp ! - I'll have a look at it now - I was just googling it trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. – jwolf Feb 16 '18 at 9:23
• Incorrect answer, still quite far away. – user_194421 Feb 16 '18 at 9:41

I am probably completely wrong, but

Is the story referring to the American Civil War? The fix would be then be Robert E. Lee finally surrendering?

"In the cold they shivered as they went home.

This could represent the end of the war when it was cold. It would have been a cold day on April 9, 1865.

They walked with a girl although they were men.

Soldiers were predominantly men, however, famous females like Harriet Tubman walked among them.

They finally conceded and their neighbours got together.

The war finally ended and the south went under reconstruction.

Their friends walked onwards and many didn't succeed."

Many people survived, but there were also many casualties.

• Incorrect answer. Quite far away (geographically). – user_194421 Feb 24 '18 at 10:09

New Answer: I think this is how its structured, based off of @Dmihawk's answer:

They walked with a girl,
Although they were men.
Their freinds walked onward,
But many didn't succeed.
In the cold they shivered,
As they went home.
They finally conceded,
And their neighbors got together.

Explanation:

This relates to the French Revolution/Napoleanic Wars. It would begin as the French Revolution, representing Marie Antonne being bragged to her execution (They walked with a girl....). The second part refers to the beginning of Napolean's conquests, with the friends of the French Fevolution being unsuccessful after Marie Antonne's death (But many didnt succeed....) and Napolean starting to conquer. Napolean also won many battles but lost some, and many lives were lost duering his campaign. The third part refers to Napolean's loss in Russia, and how many of his troops froze to death as they went back to France (They shivered in the cold....). Finally, the last part refers to the unification of monarchy of France after Napolean conceded. (Their neighbors got together....) and also the unification of different nations after Napolean, explained by @Dmihawk.

Going off of Mic Crozier's and @Jwolf's answer, this might be

Related to World War II, or D-Day.

"In the cold they shivered as they went home.

Although D Day was on June-July, soldiers tromped through the freexing waters of Norway. WWII also ended on September, and I'm guessing it could've been pretty cold.

"They walked witha girl, Although they were men,"

Although soldiers were mostly men, women back at home helped run the countey and keeping it stable by taking over jobs, tencing the house, etc. Maybe soldiers also liberated girls in World War II

"They finally conceded and their neighbours got together."

Since Europe was free from Nazi Germany's tyranny, they could get together and celebrate. Also, there are those old photos of people celecrating after the end of World War II.

Their friends walked onwards and many didn't succeed."

There were many casualties, as well as many battles that the Allies had lost before winning.

I dont really know how this would "fix" anything though....

• Too late, too late. – user_194421 Feb 25 '18 at 0:27
• Updated it, @user_194421. How close is it? – North Feb 27 '18 at 21:07
• Still incorrect, it's a little far – user_194421 Feb 27 '18 at 21:21