9
$\begingroup$

I went to a play recently. Immediately after the intermission, some cast members sang this short (and terribly written) song:

This treatise we sing on this section of stage
is not so long as to discourage.
It'll draw all your effort out, lessen your boredom:
you'll be like a farm machine, gaining momentum.
In summary, this isn't over-hard;
your pains of labor'll yield tempting reward.

I spend the second half of the play trying to figure it out and missed the action, and I still haven't got it. Can you figure it out?


Hint (added later):

a song immediately following the intermission

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

While Stiv is very close, they are looking at the wrong parts of the words:

This treatise we sing on this section of stage = TRACT
is not so long as to discourage. = UNPROTRACTED (?)
draw all your effort out = EXTRACT
lessen your boredom = DISTRACT
you'll be like a farm machine, gaining momentum = TRACTOR / TRACTION
In summary, this isn't over-hard; = TRACTABLE
your pains of labor'll = CONTRACTIONS
yield tempting reward. = ATTRACT

Thus, I think you actually missed the fact you were listening to an

Entr'acte

Which in many musicals, is what comes first in the second act.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Nice. Knowledge I didn't have, I'm afraid, so I would not have been able to make that leap! Happy my solution could lead you in the right direction :) Well done, sir. +1 $\endgroup$ – Stiv Sep 2 at 21:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv You were so close that at first I almost felt bad using it as a jumping off point for a separate answer, but in the end the difference was too substantive to be a simple edit on your answer. $\endgroup$ – Will Sep 2 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ Hey, feel no guilt - besides, you spotted extras I hadn't. Sometimes it just takes another pair of eyes to spot that missing link and wrap everything up! $\endgroup$ – Stiv Sep 2 at 22:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nicely done. Each line actually has two such words (though one of the twelve hardly) — or is intended to. The intended words: rot13(genpg[ngr], genpg; cebgenpgrq, qvfgenpg; rkgenpg, fhogenpg; genpgbe, genpgvba; nofgenpg, vagenpgnoyr; pbagenpgvbaf, nggenpgvir. Naq bs pbhefr, nf lbh qvfpbirerq, rage'npgr [juvpu vf abg n genpg jbeq ohg jnf guebja va sbe sha].) $\endgroup$ – msh210 Sep 2 at 22:23
6
$\begingroup$

(Rearranging my thoughts...) I wonder if the secret to this poem lies in:

The irony that the writer 'missed the action' while musing on the verse, given that the whole thing comprises phrases which lead to definitions of words that end in ACTION.

Since:

- "It'll draw all your effort out" suggests EXTRACTION;
- "Something which might "lessen your boredom" is a DISTRACTION;
- A farm machine is a TRACTION engine (a word which can also imply 'momentum');
- "Pains of labor" are CONTRACTIONS;
- 'Tempting reward' could be ATTRACTION.

Furthermore, the poem also contains several words which are

CONTRACTIONS:

It'll draw all your effort out, lessen your boredom:
you'll be like a farm machine, gaining momentum.
In summary, this isn't over-hard;
your pains of labor'll yield tempting reward.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ You're getting there. Note that the "answer" need not be a word. $\endgroup$ – msh210 Aug 21 at 12:40
  • $\begingroup$ @msh210 Hmmm... I'll give it some more thought... $\endgroup$ – Stiv Aug 21 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ You're getting closer.... $\endgroup$ – msh210 Aug 21 at 16:17

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.