This is my first riddle - I think it is probably quite an easy one. I'm interested to see how quickly it gets solved. There is an overall theme with four elements to be identified.

The Red Army marches
All throughout the land
Distributing their supplies
So that their lord may stand

The Officers are dressed in white
And keep a watchful eye
They are prepared to fight
All foreign threats which fly

The Medics join in the march
Although smaller than the rest
They group around the injured
And heal them their best

The Canals aid all their passage
Delivering them with haste
Bringing a balance to the land
And washing away the waste


1 Answer 1


the red army

are the red blood cells and the supplies they distribute are oxygen

The white army

are the white blood cells which produce antibodies and protect against disease

The Medics

are platelets as suggested by tmpearce, which rush to areas of injury form a clot.

The canals

are plasma, which transport the blood cells and other nutrients. (Thanks again to tmpearce). The blood vessels, provide the infrastructure, but aren't part of the answer after all!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The Medics might be cyngryrgf, tebhcvat bagb vawherq irffryf naq sbezvat pybgf $\endgroup$
    – tmpearce
    Jan 20, 2020 at 23:21
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome work and very fast! The last two features I had a slightly different intended answer - @tmpearce correctly picked out the one I had in mind for the Medics. I admit the "canals" can be a bit ambiguous but given rot13(gurer vf n ernfba sbe rknpgyl sbhe ryrzragf) that might help narrow down what I was aiming at. $\endgroup$
    – Johnson
    Jan 20, 2020 at 23:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ While I think the word "canals" is most compatible with the physical structure interpretation you came up with, in light of the comment above you might consider cynfzn, gur aba-pryyhyne sbhegu znwbe pbzcbarag bs oybbq. Perhaps the last stanza would be better phrased as "The Navy provides them passage..." or something like that $\endgroup$
    – tmpearce
    Jan 21, 2020 at 0:04
  • $\begingroup$ Yes @tmpearce - that is what I had in mind. Gur znva wbo bs cynfzn vf gb genafcbeg gur gur oybbq pryyf naq bgure ahgevragf / jnfgr. Nyfb vg urycf znvagnva gur obql'f syhvq "onynapr" nf uvagrq gb va gur irefr. But I think one does immediately think of the physical structure first - I'll mark this answer as correct as it pretty much nails it otherwise. :) $\endgroup$
    – Johnson
    Jan 21, 2020 at 0:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Johnson I agree, I think lines 2-4 of the stanza fit very well, just not the word "canals" :) $\endgroup$
    – tmpearce
    Jan 21, 2020 at 0:18

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