One enigma in trying to develop entertaining puzzles: Is it better for it the challenge to be very obvious and bubblegum? Maybe it should attempt to be virtually inconceivable? It is certain: A blend of the incomprehensible, entertaining, possible, cute, fluffy and logical is necessary. Oh yes... it must certainly be soluble! Let's not forget that!

First, some examples showing what isn't likely a good choice. Simply telling your patrons a joke? This isn't your father's PuzzlinStackExchange! Pimping up some crusty old buffoonery and passing it as (finger quote) the newfangly likeAboss (un finger quote) riddle is not going to garner you any new badges. Being original is not the worst idea, folks! Asking your listeners to endure a tired chestnut like you might see in a kid's book won't get you a ton of votes either. For instance: "What thing like door, not is door?" "Door thing is ajar!" (That still gets a laugh from me, I must confess.)

For the next example(s) I will identify a chronic headache: When a "too broad" question comes into play. Sure, it's fun petitioning responses to a question like "The guy who butchers meat at my favorite sausage establishment gave my girlfrien' what gift for a Valentine's surprise?" is often fetching "up the yingyang" numbers of responses, you adolescent, but anyone that brings these disgusting, frivolous, infantile type questions to this oasis of seriousness that I calls "Puzzling Stackville" shall certainly feel some biblical wrath. Maybe their crude, unsavory blemish on this society will get eradicated with ultimate, incalculable, infinite prejudice! I most certainly hope the balloters vote!

Now we move on towards an important topic: well received questions. There should be a simple, concise formula to be had, right? It simply doesn't really seem a possibility. Many categories can exist which show consistency, though. Take this for an epigrammatic example: Riley's "prefix suffix, infix" prizewinner was elegant, simple, nevertheless concise and unambiguous. Another example that isn't quite the big hit was my "original" (blush). I named it something that I considered a "draw," to wit: this. This was also very uncomplicated and easy, explicit and fun.

To do a complete changeover now, I'll look at another, more complicated example. This is Alconja showing what an extremely difficult yet fun diversion in the puzzling world presents for everybody. It is hysterical that the first whiff of hint given was a chiding: "You don't need any hints." Touche, sir! Extremely detailed, ridiculously involved! Wow! Take a bow! Even while we are inspired at the marvel, we think, "Maybe therein resides inspiration."

In summary, what one craves is a nice, graceful, witty, unique puzzle that mitigates some stress from the overburdened minds which comprise most of the people who grace this site. Challenging? Hopefully. Cliched? Contemptuous! You must find it essentially within yourself.

The question I've been seeking an answer for is this. The moment of disclosure befalls us. This is where we are, finally:

So, what constitutes a universal method for making a puzzle?

Anyone who can solve this "MarchHare" puzzle can identify themselves appropriately, adroitly uncovering the clandestine quote and correspondingly citing its original, celebrated, credited author.

If you see potential typos, misspellings, inconsistencies, etc., please mention them for the author's review in comments.

Hints have been provided here and here.

Hints Summarized:

The hint answers (now solved) are
EVEN ODD: indicating that Evens and Odds are important
ZERO ONE: Binary is in play
SEVEN: Seven is the key.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your wordage suggests maybe yrjvf pneebyy, but I can't make heads or tails of what your hidden message might be. $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald May 29 '18 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ I assume that you saw the fourth puzzle that is now linked to this one, huh? $\endgroup$ – Chowzen May 29 '18 at 23:27
  • $\begingroup$ Nope. I'll have to go find that one. $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald May 30 '18 at 13:04
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ It seems apparent that word length is somehow important here, based on several instances of squashingWordsTogether or cuttin' 'em short usin' apostrophes. There also seems to be an abnormally large amount of punctuation, although it's possible that's just coincidental or is simply a side effect of puzzle construction. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain May 31 '18 at 20:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm 50% sure I know how to solve it. Ybbx sbe jbeq yratgu cnggreaf. But I've neither the time nor patience. $\endgroup$ – tox123 Sep 15 '18 at 3:41

If you

ignore all punctuation, then convert even-length words to zeroes and odd-length words to ones, and then interpret as seven-bit ASCII

you get


"Begin at the beginning", the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop."

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice! I'll accept/award the bounty in a day or so. $\endgroup$ – Chowzen Sep 16 '18 at 14:27

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