What is interesting about this sentence?

Strange sorceresses swallow scarlet swedes, see - snubbing saintliness.


My first is in the kill zone, but not in no man's land

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Snow Google is trained on your search history. When I Google "scarlet swede", all I get is stuff about vegetables and Scandinavians. $\endgroup$ Mar 8 '18 at 11:32
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    $\begingroup$ The interesting part is that someone with a lisp will hate you, if you make them speak this sentence. $\endgroup$
    – PL457
    Mar 8 '18 at 12:27
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    $\begingroup$ @PL457 youtube.com/watch?v=AX0XDHF3M60 $\endgroup$ Mar 8 '18 at 12:35
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    $\begingroup$ I agree that the words seem to be crying out for synonyms. I wondered about "weird witches ..." and "... red rutabagas, right? -- rebuffing righteousness", but I couldn't get all the initial sounds to match up. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Mar 8 '18 at 14:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Its an alliteration, but this is Puzzling SE not Literature SE unfortunately $\endgroup$ Mar 8 '18 at 18:07

I think that ...

... the sentence can be rewritten with synonyms for each word so that the starting letters of the words correspond to the letters of the top row on an English keyboard in order:

    Queer witches eat red turnips, you understand — ignorant of piety.

Here, "see" and "snubbing" are both replaced with two words. "Ignorant of" isn't really the same as snubbing; the ingoring is inadvertent for the former and deliberate for the latter. I tried to think of other words or expressions on the pattern of "i—ing on/of", but couldn't find anything useful. The rest seems to fit nicely, though.

Is there more to it?

I also thought that the sentence could perhaps be rewritten to fit every line of the typewriter. The second row starts off promising with "Alien spellcasters devour ...", but then trickles out. The seven letters of the bottom row could be matched by coalescing two words of the original sentence, and there is a b for beetroot, which could mean red swedes (with a bit of biological licence), but it comes too late on the row.

So let's not overthink it. I'll go with my original answer.

  • $\begingroup$ You got it! :-D I had very slightly different words in mind for the last part; would you say "irrespective of" fits better than "ignorant of"? (Or "irregardless", if you want to drive grammar pedants insane.) $\endgroup$ Mar 14 '18 at 11:15
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. Yes, irrespective is better. Or perhaps irreverent? $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Mar 14 '18 at 12:13

This might be a big stretch, but it (interestingly?) reminds me of

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare


The (Strange sorceresses) three witches force Macbeth to trust (swallow) the (scarlet) red (swedes) herrings of their omens: They (see) foretell the future, like, totally (snubbing) discrediting his (saintliness) morailty.

  • $\begingroup$ Wow that's amazing $\endgroup$
    – NL628
    Mar 10 '18 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ just shows what's possible with a big enough hammer, if it was That spew would be better than swallow and salmon better than swedes $\endgroup$
    – Jasen
    Mar 10 '18 at 8:13
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting find, but it doesn't quite work: in your interpretation, the sorceresses aren't doing the swallowing but making their dupe do so. Also, if this were the answer, then it wouldn't really be wordplay - just an alliterative description of the events of a particular story. $\endgroup$ Mar 10 '18 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ Didn't think it really was the answer, but decided to add it as food for thought for others. $\endgroup$
    – Chowzen
    Mar 10 '18 at 15:27

Best I can do so far, along the lines of the puzzle in the hint, is

Goofy hags ingest Jezebel's kohlrabis, lo -- mocking nobility


successive words begin with successive letters of the alphabet

but several of the words aren't terribly convincing. I've also looked for similar sentences where

all the words begin with the same letter, but despite some promising fragments (weird witches wolf ...; red rutabagas, right? -- rebuffing righteousness) I haven't been able to make it work.

  • $\begingroup$ Good try, but this puzzle isn't exactly like the one mentioned in the hint. If it were, it would be boring! The hint is less direct, meaning only that the idea of this puzzle is similar to (but not the same as) the idea of the previous one. $\endgroup$ Mar 11 '18 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ For the avoidance of doubt, I wasn't assuming it was the same as the previous one. (As you know, my initial attempt was looking for things with the same first letter.) I have a few other half-baked ideas along similar lines but so far none has borne any more fruit than the ones already mentioned. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Mar 11 '18 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ I hope the eventual correct answer will be worth it ... $\endgroup$ Mar 11 '18 at 14:18

Partial guess. The words of the sentence...

...could be replaced by synonyms that each contain a single "i" and "e":

Weird witches ingest reddish (swedes?), view - fending piety

Not sure yet about "swedes". "See" could also be: cite, in re (regarding), glimpse, discern


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