A Greek trapped in time
by a Roman refine
Mother precedes
we'll never be freed

Circling around
waiting to be found
perhaps by my shipmates
if they've not met their fates

Who am I? And where can I be found?

Clue 1:

Remember that time
travels in a straight line
So although I loop round
on a straight I am found.

Clue 2

I can't simply be
from the Odyssey
just because I am Greek
and the one that you seek

Romans are involved
so if you wish to solve
this puzzle of mine
think - what did they refine?

Clue 3

You still need to find
this name of mine
The elusive Greek
but it's been several weeks

So to make it much easier
One Roman's Julius Caesar
The other, you dope,
is Gregory, a pope.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Re: clue 1, I was under the impression that time was a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff. $\endgroup$ – generalcrispy Aug 8 '19 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ @generalcrispy In other legends it is, but not this one ;) $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Aug 27 '19 at 11:06

Considering all the clues given, I'd say the answer is..

Jason, as in Jason and the Argonauts


Jason is a greek mythical hero, and following Clue 3, the Roman refine is a calendar (Julian and later Gregorian). The first letters of the calendar months in English are JFMAMJJASOND. So Jason is trapped in time, preceded by mother (MA = March-April), circling around (every year), and will never be free, since it's surrounded by the other months.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Well done :) Had just joined the dots with the two Romans mentioned in hint 3 and spotted this myself but you pipped me to it! +1 $\endgroup$ – Stiv Aug 27 '19 at 13:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well done! You got it! $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Aug 27 '19 at 13:45

New Answer:
Are you:

The hour hand on a clock?


Trapped in time by roman refine. = clock hands inside of the numbers which are depicted as roman numerals?
Mother precedes we'll never be freed = the minute hand goes around faster than the hour hand so precedes it. They keep going round and so never leave that area.
Circling around waiting to be found = as above.

Old answer:
Are you:

Odyssesus on the island of Ogygia?


A Greek trapped in time refers to Odysseus being trapped on Ogygia by Calypso's singing for seven years.
circling around waiting to be found perhaps by my shipmates if they've not met their fates refers to how Odysseus got there. He was shipwrecked and all his shipmates drowned but he washed up on Ogygia.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 for great reasoning.... but not the right answer. You're thinking on the right lines but if you need a hint ROT13(Gur xabjyrqtr gnt vf gurer ohg lbh qba'g arrq na va-qrcgu fghql bs Terrx zlgubybtl, whfg n oebnq xabjyrqtr bs n srj qvssrerag guvatf. Qba'g gel gb yvgrenyyl zngpu gur cbrz gb bar guvat..) $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Aug 5 '19 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ Still not right I'm afraid but I'd say your reasoning is moving in the right direction. $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Aug 6 '19 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ Added a third clue - perhaps have another try? $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Aug 27 '19 at 12:15

I think you are:


and can therefore be found:

On a desert island


A Greek trapped in time

Google translate tells me that 'the' translated into Greek is 'O' (I am not sure how much to believe this...). Using this as an equivalent to 'a', I 'trapped' it in the word 'ONE' (a time of day) to get 'OONE'.

...by a Roman refine

The Romans are renowned for their road-building. Using the common abbreviation 'RD' for 'road' and further 'trapping' the 'OONE' within we get 'ROONED'.

Mother precedes

Add 'MA' (short for 'mother') in front to get 'MAROONED'.

we'll never be freed

You're trapped! Marooned on a desert island! The second stanza's waiting to be found perhaps by my shipmates also implies this...

  • $\begingroup$ Creative! But not right. $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Aug 8 '19 at 8:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Actually I want to go on to say +1 for some great reasoning - even though incorrect, you've addressed some of the points that other answers have glossed over and you've come VERY close on a couple of them... keep thinking and you might just get the answer. $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Aug 8 '19 at 11:19
  • $\begingroup$ Added a third clue - perhaps have another try? $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Aug 27 '19 at 12:15

I believe that you are actually

Odysseus at the Strait of Messina

My reasoning is as follows:

I can't account for the first two lines, except to say that Odysseus is a Greek who is cursed to travel for a long time. However, the rest of the riddle lines up very neatly. In Book 11 of the Odyssey, Odysseus visits his mother in the Underworld. This immediately precedes Book 12 in which he passes between Scylla and Charybdis at the Strait of Messina.

At first, the ship passes through the Strait by steering close to Scylla, sacrificing some of the men to get the ship through. However, the ship is destroyed in a storm almost immediately afterwards and Odysseus floats back into the Strait on a piece of the ship's hull. This time, he is caught by Charybdis, who creates a giant whirlpool by swallowing the sea. Odysseus escapes by grabbing the branch of a fig tree that overhangs the Strait. Thus, he has to wait while the sea circles around beneath him. He does not know if any of his shipmates survived, but he may hope that some of them did and will come to rescue him. This is not the case, and eventually Charybdis spits the sea, and our hero's raft, back out and he makes his escape alone.

  • $\begingroup$ This seems to be the same answer as the previous one, which sadly is wrong. Have a read of the clue I commented on the other answer, it might nudge you in the right direction. $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Aug 6 '19 at 8:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Astralbee The previous answer was about a different part of the story referenced. I think if you reference a Greek with shipmates, you're going to see at least a few answers about this character, especially since you said the previous answer was along the right lines. $\endgroup$ – IAntoniazzi Aug 6 '19 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ Well I said the thinking was along the right lines, but that the answer 'Odysseus' was wrong. Was he the only seafaring Greek? $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Aug 6 '19 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ Added a third clue - perhaps have another try? $\endgroup$ – Astralbee Aug 27 '19 at 12:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.