I'm a brave charismatic Iranian,
And a cheeky Egyptian rogue,
And a small mongrel amphibian,
And a serene nameless lake,

I'm all twelve of these things but only one at a time,
Despite what you may have heard, I'm not related to whales or dolphins,

Who / what am I?


These tags may be useful for deciphering the clues:

Hint 2:

I would categorize the clues as follows:

Clues that lead you to the answer: charismatic Iranian cheeky mongrel
Clues that corroborate the answer: Egyptian rogue amphibian nameless whale
Clues that not everyone will know: brave small serene lake
95% chance you will learn something new from this riddle: dolphin

Hint 3:

The riddle points to for certain clues, but use other tags from Hint 1 too.

Hint 4:

(I modified hints 2 and 3 so you might want to recheck them).

If you know what this is, you should be able to solve the riddle. It might leave you feeling sheepish.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Can you please confirm that the tag "knowledge" is not applicable here? $\endgroup$ – cinico Oct 15 '19 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ I guess the hints apply to the certain lines: brave charismatic Iranian (literature) / cheeky Egyptian rogue (movie) / small mongrel amphibian (geography) / serene nameless lake (language) $\endgroup$ – SteffPoint Oct 17 '19 at 7:24
  • $\begingroup$ @SteffPoint No, there are 14 clues and the 4 tags are not distributed in that way. The tags are listed in their order of usefulness, with language only applicable to a single clue. $\endgroup$ – JS1 Oct 17 '19 at 8:19
  • $\begingroup$ For hint 4, rot13(jul fubhyq nalobql or sevtugrarq ol n ung?) But I’m not sure how the picture or the work it appears in helps... $\endgroup$ – HTM Oct 18 '19 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ @PiIsNot3 yes exactly... you're just 1 step away from the answer.. look at the clues again. One of the 12 applies to the picture. $\endgroup$ – JS1 Oct 19 '19 at 1:19

I think you are a


I'm a brave charismatic Iranian,

Brave = Prince Valiant
Charismatic = Prince Charming
Iranian = Prince of Persia

And a cheeky Egyptian rogue,

Cheeky = The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ("fresh" meaning rude/cheeky, which may refer to the main character's behavior) (from OP)
Egyptian = The Prince of Egypt
Rogue = Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

And a small mongrel amphibian,

Small = The Little Prince (Hint 4 is a famous picture from the book)
Mongrel = Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ("half-blood" is a synonym for mongrel)
Amphibian = The Frog Prince

And a serene nameless lake,

Serene = Prince of Peace (a title from Isaiah 9:6 that could refer to Christ and is also the name of many churches) (from OP)
Nameless = Prince the artist (who changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, so he was "nameless") (from Stiv)
Lake = Caspian Sea (Prince Caspian is a novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series)

I'm all twelve of these things but only one at a time,
Despite what you may have heard, I'm not related to whales or dolphins,

Whales = Prince of Wales (sounds like whales)
Dolphins = dauphin (French for “dolphin”, also meant the first heir to the French throne i.e. the prince)

  • $\begingroup$ Keep going! Rot13(Anzryrff = abguvat pbzcnerf 2 uvz, ynxr = ynetrfg va gur jbeyq, ubzbalz bayl nccyvrf gb junyrf naq qbycuvaf ("qrfcvgr jung lbh znl unir urneq") naq lbh rkcynvarq obgu pbeerpgyl. Fbzr bs gur barf lbh fgvyy arrq ner punenpgref sebz yvgrengher, gi, zbivrf. Nabgure pyhr vf sebz gur ovoyr.) $\endgroup$ – JS1 Oct 19 '19 at 2:34
  • $\begingroup$ This list has most of what you are missing, except nameless and serene. $\endgroup$ – JS1 Oct 19 '19 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ @JS1 OK, I'll have another go when I have more free time. Just a minor thing, though, I believe rot13(ubzbalzf fubhyq or ubzbcubarf vafgrnq; ubzbalzf ner jbeqf gung unir zhygvcyr qvfgvapg zrnavatf ohg ergnva gurve fcryyvat.) Thanks for the confirmation! $\endgroup$ – HTM Oct 19 '19 at 3:21
  • $\begingroup$ rot13(Junyrf/qnhcuva ner obgu ubzbcubarf (fnzr fbhaq qvssrerag zrnavat), qnhcuva vf nyfb n ubzbtencu (fnzr fcryyvat qvssrerag zrnavat). Gur qvpgvbanel fnlf ubzbalz pna zrna rvgure ubzbcubar be ubzbtencu. Ubjrire gurer vf n guveq, zber erfgevpgvir qrsvavgvba, juvpu vf gung n ubzbalz zhfg or obgu n ubzbcubar naq n ubzbtencu (fcryyrq naq cebabhaprq gur fnzr, ohg qvssrerag zrnavat). Fb vg'f nyy irel pbashfvat naq lbh zhfg hfr gur 3eq qrsvavgvba! Fbeel gb zvfyrnq. Nyfb gurer ner ab ubzbcubar/ubzbtencu gntf fb V hfrq ubzbalz, nygubhtu V qvq ybbx hc nyy 3 jbeqf orsberunaq whfg gb or fher.) $\endgroup$ – JS1 Oct 19 '19 at 3:44
  • $\begingroup$ Re nameless, possibly rot13(Gur negvfg sbezreyl xabja nf Cevapr?) $\endgroup$ – Stiv Oct 19 '19 at 7:47

I may be completely off-base here, but:

"I'm all twelve of these things" suggests we need to find twelve things not just four: presumably these twelve are brave, charismatic, Iranian, cheeky, Egyptian, rogue, small, mongrel, amphibian, serene, nameless, lake.

Now each one of these can't encode much information by itself. Is it a coincidence that

many of them have four-letter synonyms? Maybe we're meant to get twelve four-letter words which we then put together somehow (in a square like the verse?) to get one answer popping out.


brave = BOLD, charismatic = ?, Iranian = FARS? RUMI?,
cheeky = ?, Egyptian = ?, rogue = ?,
small = TINY, mongrel = MUTT, amphibian = FROG? TOAD? NEWT?,
serene = CALM, nameless = ANON, lake = POOL? POND?

The "whale or dolphin" clue may be related to

the word CETACEAN, somehow.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I was following the same lead about the 12. Not much sure about the rest of your explanation,but +1 $\endgroup$ – cinico Oct 15 '19 at 20:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You are correct about the 12 separate clues. To save you from going too far down the wrong path, the 4 letter thing is not correct. $\endgroup$ – JS1 Oct 15 '19 at 20:30

This mongrel might be the


the associations:

lion, moth/cat (with "y"), book (Persian), deceiving person, of Giza, amplifier, moth/cat, half-breed, of Giza, in Canada, terrorist group member (twelve)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure I see the connections between the answer and the associations. Can you please explain it more fully? $\endgroup$ – Dr Xorile Oct 15 '19 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ yeah maybe these are not really good associations. I don`t really like them any more either.. $\endgroup$ – balazs.com Oct 15 '19 at 15:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sorry, it's not the Sphinx. $\endgroup$ – JS1 Oct 15 '19 at 17:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ yes it fits well with let`s say half of the things but not with the others $\endgroup$ – balazs.com Oct 15 '19 at 18:09

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