This is a riddle in double-dactyl form:

Terrible ancients
Are now resurrected
In picture and sound.
“Amateur fadsters!” cry
“We liked them when they were
Still underground.”

Credit to R.M. for inspiration.

  • $\begingroup$ Well "Amateur fadsters" is an anagram of "Features Mrs Data" and "Data, Resume farts!", so I'm assuming a Star Trek TNG reference... $\endgroup$
    – A E
    Jan 4, 2015 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm... If I knew my dinosaurs I'd try to anagram [matefadters]-saur $\endgroup$ Jan 4, 2015 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


The missing line is


In double dactyl verse, there must be a line consisting of a single word, whose syllables have the pattern long-short-short-long-short-short. This line is often the third from the last, so it is reasonable to expect the missing line to have this form.

The first stanza refers disparagingly to a movie or movies (Hollywood-Shmollywood), in which something terrible and old (Terrible ancients) is brought to life in film (are now resurrected in picture and sound).

The second stanza refers to a group of people criticizing fans of the movie (fadsters). These people are professionals (in contrast to the "amateurs") who liked when the subject of the movie was "still underground". The term "still underground" has a double meaning: it refers to a time before the subject of the movie entered popular culture, but also that the subject of the movie was literally buried in the Earth.

Dinosaurs are terrible (i.e. scary, at least when portrayed in the movies) and ancient, and their fossils are buried underground. Dinosaurs were "resurrected" in the movie Jurassic Park (maybe in other movies too, but this is what came to mind first). Paleontologists study dinosaur fossils as a profession, and the word "Paleontologists" has the desired meter.

  • $\begingroup$ This has to be the answer. I wonder if the similarity between double-dactyl and pterodactyl gave xnor the inspiration for the theme of the riddle. $\endgroup$ Jan 5, 2015 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ This is totally right. Congrats! $\endgroup$
    – xnor
    Jan 6, 2015 at 0:59
  • $\begingroup$ @DaniilAgashiyev Actually, I hadn't noticed that until I was writing. I had picked "paleontologist" in a search for six-syllable words that fit the required meter. $\endgroup$
    – xnor
    Jan 6, 2015 at 1:00

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