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This is my second 'long riddle'. Find the sentence and tell me what it means. Each paragraph is a new word.

The first is in cod but not anchovy
The second is in fire and also in inferno
The third is in aikido but not in jujitsu

The fourth is in hey and also in hiya
The fifth is in navigator but not in traveller
The sixth is in obtuse and also acute

The seventh is in optician but not in optic
The eighth is in song and also in carol
The ninth is in entrance but not in amaze
The tenth is in email and also listserv
The eleventh is in car but not in axle
The twelfth is in cider and also in beer

The thirteenth is in star-roof but not in moonroof
The fourteenth is in ham and also chorizo
The fifteenth is in gel but not agar

The sixteenth is in cloudy and also in clear
The seventeenth is in terrier and not in corgi
The eighteenth is in hot and also in cold
The nineteenth is in elastic but not in band
The twentieth is in tin and also in foil
The twenty-first is in neglect but not in abuse
The twenty-second is in Macgyver and also in Angus

What is the message.

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  • $\begingroup$ I've got all but the last word, which doesn't fit. I assume there's something more complicated going on unless you missed a paragraph break? $\endgroup$ – Anon May 16 at 10:53
  • $\begingroup$ There's certainly no dictionary words that fit the last paragraph... $\endgroup$ – Anon May 16 at 10:54
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    $\begingroup$ I see there's also a message hidden with the last letters of each line, but it doesn't seem to explain the last word $\endgroup$ – user40528 May 16 at 19:12
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    $\begingroup$ @postmortes You're onto something $\endgroup$ – William Pennanti May 16 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ Is it intentional that some lines rot13(bzvg gur "va" orsber gur frpbaq jbeq, juvyr zbfg vapyhqr vg?) Or is that just accidental? $\endgroup$ – Mohirl May 20 at 13:54
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(Very) partial answer

The message (which may just be the beginning of the puzzle) is:

Did you notice the __o_i__

But I can't find any dictionary word that satisfies the final paragraph as it stands...


The first is in cod but not anchovy

D

The second is in fire and also in inferno

F, I, R, or E

The third is in aikido but not in jujitsu

A, K, D, or O

The fourth is in hey and also in hiya

H or Y

The fifth is in navigator but not in traveller

N, I, G or O

The sixth is in obtuse and also acute

U or E

The seventh is in optician but not in optic

A or N

The eighth is in song and also in carol

O

The ninth is in entrance but not in amaze

N, T, R, or C

The tenth is in email and also listserv

E, I, or L

The eleventh is in car but not in axle

C or R

The twelfth is in cider and also in beer

E or R

The thirteenth is in star-roof but not in moonroof

S, T or A

The fourteenth is in ham and also chorizo

H

The fifteenth is in gel but not agar

E or L

The sixteenth is in cloudy and also in clear

C or L

The seventeenth is in terrier and not in corgi

T or E

The eighteenth is in hot and also in cold

O

The nineteenth is in elastic but not in band

E, L, S, T, I, or C

The twentieth is in tin and also in foil

I

The twenty-first is in neglect but not in abuse

N, G, L, C, or T

The twenty-second is in Macgyver and also in Angus

A or G


It's pretty easy to find grammatical English words to match the first four paragraphs, but that leaves us with the last paragraph:

DID YOU NOTICE THE [C,L][T,E]O[E,L,S,T,I,C]I[N,G,L,C,T][A,G]

and I cannot get any sense out of it. Perhaps it is:

Anagrammed or otherwise encoded, which makes the puzzle more difficult...

Among the things I've tried:

Adding a missed word break: The only words I can make with this are DID YOU NOTICE THE CEO SING (which sounds like a weird question).

Reversing the positions of the two words in each of these 7 lines (makes [C,L][C,O,G]O[B,N,D]I[A,B,U,S][A,G] for the last word which gives no dictionary words).

Making each of the comparisons wrong (in becomes not in and vice versa): makes [O,U,D,Y][R,I][H,T]A[T,N]E[M,C,Y,V,E,R] for the last word which gives no dictionary words.

Making one of the comparisons wrong (in becomes not in and vice versa): also makes no dictionary words

I'm guessing that:

The thing I need to notice is a seven letter word describing what has been done to the final paragraph


Small Update

@Postmortes has noticed that:

The last letters of each line spell out YOU ARE CLEVER FOR RIDDLES which makes some sense but is ungrammatical... I can't see where to go from here yet.

Also, if we look at which lines:

Have 'in' before the last word and which do not, we get the binary sequence $0111101110111001111111$; I don't know if that is relevant.

I've also tried:

Looking at what connects the comparison words in each line to see if that gives us a meaningful string of words, but can't get anything meaningful out of that - in fact for some of the words it's hard to find a class to which they both belong, as they are more loosely semantically related (e.g. navigator & traveller, optician & optic, email & listserv). Some (like entrance & amaze) have an even more tenuous link (unless amaze is a play on 'a maze').

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    $\begingroup$ You got the first 4 words right $\endgroup$ – William Pennanti May 16 at 15:46
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    $\begingroup$ En-trance is how you link it to amaze :) $\endgroup$ – user40528 May 17 at 5:15
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    $\begingroup$ I tried one of your ideas programmatically (rot13: nantenz), brute force... and there are a couple of words there that fit the sentence Ok, but don't seem to really go with the riddle. I can share my code if you wish. $\endgroup$ – rrauenza May 19 at 22:15
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    $\begingroup$ I added an edit and then my own answer below -- feel free to reject the edit. $\endgroup$ – rrauenza May 20 at 0:37
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    $\begingroup$ @rrauenza I've rolled back just since the info is in your answer, so you get the credit for it. $\endgroup$ – Anon May 20 at 1:09
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Partial

Got the same message as the other answers via the same route.

I think there might be

an alternative way of getting the letter for each line, and that's the real rule which needs to be applied. The standard common/unique letters is just a red herring

I've tried

Looking at the which letter in the first word is taken, but that doesn't follow any sequence I can see (335 185 823414 212). Also tried looking at which nth letter of the sentence was chosen, both with and without spaces, but that looks random.

I've also tried working backwards

by guessing the last word in "did you notice the ______". "pattern" would seem good, but there's no p in the first line. Another candidate would be "endings", referring to the second message hidden in the line endings, but I can't see how to make that work.

Finally, if I'm completely on the wrong track, my alternate guess is that

the last word is ____ing, with an alternative rule applied for the first four letters

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Continuing on from Anon's answer,

treating the final word as an anagram,

I'm going to rot13 the code -- I can't figure out how to hide it otherwise and keep formatting:

vzcbeg vgregbbyf

bcgvbaf = (['P','Y'],['G','R'],['B'],['R','Y','F','G','V','P'],['V'],['A','T','Y','P','G'],['N','T'])

jbeqf = frg([f.fgevc().hccre() sbe f va bcra('/hfe/funer/qvpg/jbeqf').ernqyvarf()])

sbhaq = frg()

sbe c va vgregbbyf.cebqhpg(*bcgvbaf):
    # cevag "Cebqhpg: ", c
    sbe j va vgregbbyf.crezhgngvbaf(c):
        j = "".wbva(j)
        # cevag "Crezhgngvba:", j
        vs j va jbeqf:
            sbhaq.nqq(j)

cevag fbegrq(sbhaq)

What it results in is:

['ACETOIN', 'ACINOSE', 'ACONITE', 'ACTIONS', 'AEOLINE', 'AEOLIST', 'ALNOITE', 'ALOETIC', 'ALTOIST', 'ANISOLE', 'ANOETIC', 'ANTOECI', 'ATONICS', 'CALOTIN', 'CANTICO', 'CATIONS', 'CATONIC', 'CELOSIA', 'CETONIA', 'CITOLAS', 'CLOELIA', 'COALITE', 'COCAINE', 'COELIAC', 'COELIAN', 'COGNISE', 'COIGNES', 'COSTAIN', 'COSTING', 'ECLOGIC', 'ELATION', 'ELIASON', 'ELOIGNS', 'ESLOIGN', 'GALILEO', 'GALIOTS', 'GALLIOT', 'GELOSIN', 'GIGLOTS', 'GLOTTIC', 'GLOTTIS', 'GNOSTIC', 'GOALIES', 'IOLENTA', 'ISOLATE', 'ITALIOT', 'LATIGOS', 'LATINOS', 'LEGIONS', 'LENTIGO', 'LIGNOSE', 'LINALOE', 'LINGOES', 'LOGIEST', 'LONGIES', 'LOTTING', 'NEOGEIC', 'NICOLEA', 'NICOTIA', 'NOLITTA', 'OCEANIC', 'OILCASE', 'OTALGIC', 'SALIGOT', 'SOCIATE', 'SOILAGE', 'SOLITTA', 'STALINO', 'STOICAL', 'TACONIC', 'TACTION', 'TALIONS', 'TALITOL', 'TALONIC', 'TELOGIA', 'TIGLONS', 'TINEOLA', 'TOENAIL', 'TOILING', 'TOLLING', 'TONICAL']

While humorous, I'm skeptical:

Did you notice the toenail

or

Did you notice the cocaine

Or ...

is there a word in there related to fish? Oceanic?

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  • $\begingroup$ I thought of something to do with your last word. Unfortunately I think both cod and anchovy are oceanic. $\endgroup$ – Anon May 20 at 2:29

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