# Self-referential Riley

My suffix is indeed abaft.
And matching, as on such a craft,
my prefix is in front indeed,
both of themselves bereft, pay heed!

My infix, but you need to mix,
is IVLIA to 666.
This whole my whole builds like a song
and you have used me all along.

Hint 1 (on prefix, infix and suffix overlapping):

These three parts do not overlap,
they fit exactly with no gap.

Hint 2 (on the wording):

The wording of the first four rows,
not for the rhyme alone I chose.
It's meant to set a certain flair,
from where to pick the pre-suf pair.

No word comes from the 'pay heed' part
It's there so that you take to heart
that once you have this pair of two
something is left with them to do.

Hint 3 (on 666):

"..., for it's the number of a man."

Hint 4 (on IVLIA):

Beware that you might find this dame
at first just by her younger name.
Make sure that if a hunch feels great
you thoroughly investigate.

Hint 5 (on the hints):

I did not rhyme just for applause,
but also for a certain cause.

• @sensoray: Thanks for your fast correction. When I typed the tags I didn't notice that riley was a new one. (Didn't know I was already allowed to create new tags). OK, no riley tag then. - So, if anybody wonders, what the Riley from the title means: we use this term for those prefix, infix, suffix types of word riddles. Apr 29 '18 at 1:49
• ROT13: gur jbeqf ner anhgvpny va angher, fhttrfgvat gung gur cersvk jvyy or 'cebj', be fvzvyne. Gur fbat jbhyq or n funagl, naq gur svany jbeq fubhyq nyfb unir n anhgvpny gurzr. Nz V ba gur evtug genpx?
– jsm
May 2 '18 at 10:48
• @jsm: Gur cersvk vf abg 'cebj', ohg fvzvyne. Nonsg vf vaqrrq uvagvat ng anhgvpny grezf sbe cersvk naq fhssvk. 'ohvyqf vg yvxr n fbat', ubjrire, zrnaf fbzrguvat ryfr urer, naq gur svany jbeq unf ab anhgvpny gurzr jungfbrire. - I edited the hint a bit May 2 '18 at 12:19
• Thank you all for taking your time with this and thanks for the praise! Glad that you liked it. May 3 '18 at 19:32
• This is a fun puzzle with some very cleverly themed clues. I do think the puzzle suffers from some particularly obscure clues. This makes it likely that the solution will be found without these clues being used at all. In the end, it has some fun themes and it is a satisfying solve. May 3 '18 at 20:29

## 4 Answers

I think you are:

a tetrameter

My suffix is indeed abaft.

Stern, abaft meaning towards the rear of a ship

And matching, as on such a craft,
my prefix is in front indeed,

Stem, or the front of a ship

both of themselves bereft, pay heed!

Remove the fore and aft characters. Stem becomes 'te', stern becomes 'ter'

My infix, but you need to mix,
is IVLIA to 666.

Per the comments below, 666 refers to Nero the Antichrist. His mother is Aggripina the Younger, or Julia. The relationship 'matre', or 'mother' can then be used to produce anagram 'trame', the infix.

This whole my whole builds like a song
and you have used me all along.

The clues are given in the form of a tetrameter

• Yeah, that's it! - I should mark all answers as correct I guess, looks like a group effort to me. But as it is, there can be only one. And you were first. Congratulations. May 3 '18 at 19:30
• The infix line does mention 'mix' so maybe an anagram? Also, this seems relevant: uggcf://ra.jvxvcrqvn.bet/jvxv/Whyvn_gur_Lbhatre May 3 '18 at 19:41
• Argh, I forgot that was referring to the spelling! I can't seem to make the final connection, so all I have left is this: Vf ur uggcf://ra.jvxvcrqvn.bet/jvxv/Areb#Gur_Nagvpuevfg be gur erfg bs uvf snzvyl uggcf://ra.jvxvcrqvn.bet/jvxv/Whyvn_(traf) eryrinag? Znlor VIYVN vf gur 'znger' bs uvf snzvyl? May 3 '18 at 19:59
• So Julia is gur zbgure (be 'zngre') bs gur ornfg va dhrfgvba. Taking an anagram of that gives you the infix that you already arrived at.
– jsm
May 3 '18 at 20:03
• Oh geez, I didn't even check to see that rot13(Ntevccvan gur Lbhatre) somehow becomes 'Julia'! This was so frustratingly fantastic because of how close so many of the clues were. Thanks! May 3 '18 at 20:07

I hesitantly postulate you are

a bombaster.

My suffix is indeed abaft.
And matching, as on such a craft,
my prefix is in front indeed,
both of themselves bereft, pay heed!

The front and back of a ship are called the bow and stern. In you, they are missing their final letters.

My infix, but you need to mix,
is Iulia to 666.

I have no idea what this clue means.

This whole my whole builds like a song
and you have used me all along.

Some of the consonance of the riddle is made by uncommon words: abaft and bereft.

• I agree, with this much rhyming, I probably am. :-) Would also fit the self-referential thing. But that's not the solution. - You are on a very good track for the prefix and suffix. Very close. - Also, I think you have the right idea with the bereft thing, but they are both of both of themselves bereft, not only of one of them. - I hope you keep interested, as I have a few hints in the pipeline that might bring you on the right track for the second part. - Thanks for giving it a try. Please stay tuned. - And please forgive if I won't rhyme the comments. May 3 '18 at 17:31
• @KarstenKöpnick Thanks for the feedback, and I think for clarity's sake it is not necessary to rhyme comments :) . Even though this answer is not correct, I think both my prefix and suffix are indeed bereft. I look forward to a hint on that cryptic infix! May 3 '18 at 17:36
• OK, here you are: More hints.- and I just note that I was not clear in my previous comment. I meant that the bereavement you applied is not enough. You made them bereft of one of them, I need them bereft of both. May 3 '18 at 17:48

I think that you might be:

octameter

My suffix is indeed abaft.
And matching, as on such a craft,
my prefix is in front indeed,
both of themselves bereft, pay heed!


bow and stern, bereft of both their fores and afts, become o and ter

My infix, but you need to mix,
is Iulia to 666.


I'm not clear on the exact meaning of this, but the gist is close enough for it to mean

tame I initially thought this was a reference to someone who loved the devil, but your further hint clarifies that you mean a beast, which would make this a reference to either Beauty and the Beast, or Esmerelda and Quasimodo. In both stories, the result is the same.

This whole my whole builds like a song
and you have used me all along.


Octameter is the rhyming scheme you have used. This fits nicely with the clue about the Riley being self-referential.

A very, very clever puzzle. Thank you for this one.

• I was just working on this, but I couldn't figure out the infix clue and even with your explanation I still don't follow. How does the clue resolve to rot13(pgnzr)? May 3 '18 at 18:40
• 666 qvq abg zrna gur qrivy va cnegvphyne, ohg whfg gur vqrn bs n 'ornfg'. Ol rkgrafvba, V'z thrffvat gung Vhyvn qbrfa'g zrna n fcrpvsvp jbzna, ohg whfg gur trareny vqrn bs n jbzna. Va nyy gur pynffvp snvel fgbevrf, gur jbzna 'gnzrf' gur ornfg. V nterr gur fbyhgvba vf n yvggyr grahbhf, ohg vg tvirf na vasvk gung svgf cresrpgyl jvgu gur erfg bs gur pyhrf, fb V guvax vg'f cebonoyl pbeerpg.
– jsm
May 3 '18 at 18:51
• V guvax lbh'er ba gur evtug genpx, ohg V oryvrir Vhyvn ersref gb n fcrpvsvp jbzna be cynpr qhr gb uvag 4. Nyfb, lbh ner sbetrggvat nobhg gur yrggre 'p' va gur vasvk. Uvag 1 fnlf gurl svg rknpgyl, fb vg zhfg or cneg bs gur vasvk. May 3 '18 at 18:55
• I wondered about this answer too but am not convinced because bpgnzrgre zrnaf rvtug srrg cre yvar, abg rvtug flyynoyrf. Gur irefr urer vf va vnzovp grgenzrgre. May 3 '18 at 19:03
• Does it have to be Iulia, or can it be spelled Julia?
– jsm
May 3 '18 at 19:14

OP's solution to the riddle "Self-referential Riley"

Prefix and Suffix:

Abaft is a nautical term and should immediately hint at ships. Craft serves as confirmation.
The most abaft part of a ship is the stern, a bit like the ships suffix in this context.
The forwardmost part of the ship, and a match in term (also idiomatically) is the stem.
The words "stem" and "stern" are both bereft of themselves here, meaning they have both lost their own stem and stern, first and last letter, which leaves us with "te" as prefix and "ter" as suffix.

Infix:

The number 666 is heavily discussed to be a coded form (in Greek isopsephy and/or Hebrew gematria) for a Roman emperor. To my understanding, the leading candidate for this hypothethis is Nero (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_the_Beast). While this is not carved in stone, it serves only as a hint here and for that I consider it good enough. IVLIA (more precisely Julia Agrippina, or Agrippina the younger) is Nero's mother, mater in latin (the spelling of IVLIA is supposed to hint at latin). 'You need to mix' means that you need to rearrange the letters of the infix mater.

Answer:

So, putting it all together, the whole word is tetrameter.
As a song is to hint at rhythm (analogous to meter for rhymes) and thus hinting at the meter in use here.
All lines of this puzzle are in iambic tetrameter, so the whole riddle is constructed of the whole word that makes the answer (as are all the hints, by the way).
And while you read the riddle, you very probably did so in tetrameter.

Self-referential:

Mainly because the solution of a riddle all in tetrameter is tetrameter, and it's saying so in the riddle text.
Also stem as prefix, stern as suffix; terms that themselves mean in front and at the end and both cut by using their own meanings.

Hope you liked it. Thanks for your time and effort, I really enjoyed this!

• Great puzzle. Liked it a lot.
– jsm
May 3 '18 at 20:26
• @jsm: Thanks. I'm really happy that you enjoyed it. May 3 '18 at 20:32