Questions tagged [history]

For puzzles referencing or relating to historical events or knowledge. Use tag 'puzzle-history' for the history of puzzles.

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76
votes
4answers
7k views

The mother of all age-of-the-captain riddles

A few days ago, as I was delving into the mess in my grand parents' attic, I found an impressive ancient book that was written in a language that I had never seen before. "This book is a collection ...
76
votes
2answers
3k views

A good puzzle is a double-edged sword

A rare double-edged sword is currently on loan from the British Museum to the Magna Carta exhibition. The sword itself is described as likely made in Germany around 1250-1330 and includes the ...
44
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4answers
4k views

Secret of the universe

There once was a mythical stone tablet on which was said to be written the secret of the universe. If the secret was to fall within the wrong hands, it was said that the consequences would be ...
43
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3answers
2k views

And the rest is hstr!

This is an entry in the 14th Fortnightly Topic Challenge. Ha, nice, a new fortnightly challenge. What's more, it is about history! It seems that people didn't like sports that much, huh? Fortunatly, ...
35
votes
1answer
1k views

Save our WWII planes

This is an actual piece of real history, and an illustration of smart thinking. During WWII, Allied airforces were having a difficult time getting their bombers to withstand German artillery. Their ...
32
votes
12answers
5k views

Where do all the doors lead to?

You are walking in a hallway and find a door. You decide to enter the room. The door closes behind you, the room suddenly becomes dark and starts spinning. You fall on the floor in the middle of the ...
32
votes
4answers
2k views

A Letter from the Past

It has been quite a while since your first assignment as a P.U.Z.Z.L.E. agent. Most of your tasks weren't even half that exciting and since your boss is currently on vacation, your most important task ...
31
votes
1answer
1k views

The Writings of Impostradamus

The controversial 18th century figure, Impostradamus, is perhaps best known for his extensive research in the fields of astrology, palm reading, magic potions and management accountancy. However, less ...
30
votes
0answers
10k views

The Beale Papers

The background to this one's given here. NB: These may not be a genuine cryptograms (current thinking is that these are gibberish); but I though it interesting to share these in case they're genuine / ...
27
votes
3answers
1k views

Sculptures in a park

Edit: all the unhelpful clues, including bad hinting and misleading ASCII art, were removed and other, (hopefully) more sensible ones were added. You just moved to a new city, and your childhood ...
26
votes
4answers
2k views

This image contains a “Great Discovery”

The Puzzle: Source material taken from here As discussed on Numberphile, here is John Herschel's doodle, sent to his friend Charles Babbage. John H. John Herschel was an English polymath, ...
25
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5answers
4k views

Well-known American figure with Roman numerals

Which well-known American figure has an 8-letter name, with 6 consonants and all of them are Roman numerals?
22
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2answers
2k views

The past is never dead. It's not even past.

This is an entry in the 14th Fortnightly Topic Challenge. We thought it was dead. We were wrong. The past history has risen again; it has taken over the present -- it has messed with the present, ...
22
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2answers
2k views

Historical Crossword Puzzle

This is the first question for the new Fortnightly Topic Challenge #14: History. Clues: A fight near a place which was sung about 159 years later. A great man dies in a city where they can't build ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

The unwriteable punctuation mark

What am I? I will never be written, that surely would be impossible. For thousands of years I was unused for practical purposes. Reputedly the Irish invented me? Nowadays I am often literally ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

Something New(ton)?

Recognized as one of the most brilliant scientists of all time, Sir Isaac Newton was always ahead of his time.On the cusp of something brilliant, late in 1704, he had the idea to send you a coded ...
18
votes
5answers
991 views

Historical figure word-search

There are 22 historical figures on this board. Can you find them all?
18
votes
2answers
758 views

Enjoying a rest from the long commute!

You ask me where I used to work before I was retired? Perhaps you’ll know if I tell tales of workers that I’ve fired... The first who came and worked with me was fresh from Ivy League, But ...
18
votes
1answer
723 views

A mysterious email from the Historical Society

You are a secret agent in the service of the KGB, recently deployed on a highly dangerous mission to infiltrate MI6. After a delay when your superiors thought your cover had been blown before you even ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

I found a puzzle that no-one can solve

I found a puzzle that no-one can solve. I created a law but I was not a lawyer. I lived in a hostile world but found refuge in a hut. Who was I, and can you explain my story? Clue 1 Clue 2
17
votes
2answers
892 views

Colouring the map of Canada

A previous question asked whether the map of the USA needs four colors. Now, what about Canada? If you want to assign a colour to each province and territory, so that no two neighbours have the same ...
16
votes
2answers
453 views

Race to the Past: A Historical Scavenger Hunt

This was intended to be for History Fortnight, but I didn't quite get it finished up in time. (I now have a history of just missing these cutoffs.) Here's the puzzle, though you'll definitely need ...
15
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7answers
1k views

A stamp kingdom rebus

You may discover three members of which kingdom from the stamps?
15
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2answers
1k views

I was a middle sister

Both of my siblings served in a war, in which the younger one got killed. I knew the richest people in the world. But also the poor. I died young, on a cold night. Who am I?
15
votes
5answers
845 views

Never shall we die…!

Here now the accounts of the nine pirate lords And one impostor amidst them all Here now their voice and story And which impostor to die The first of all is the chief of all Hidden by ...
15
votes
1answer
953 views

One night in Baker Street

The raindrops ran down the windows of 221B Baker Street while Sherlock Holmes played a sad melody upon his violin. The weather and the music reflected his mood, for it had been a trying and vexatious ...
14
votes
4answers
899 views

Historical figures word search with a twist

You can take every path you like from the drawn paths, but you cannot repeat letters in the same word (person's name). There are at least 23 historical figures on the board. Here is also a text ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a Veteran Word™?

If a word conforms to a certain rule, I call it a Veteran Word™. Use the following examples below to find the rule: Here is a CSV version: Veteran WordsTM, Not Veteran WordsTM AGENT, ASSISTANT* ...
14
votes
1answer
524 views

A strange crazy lady and her ramblings

I met a strange lady yesterday. She started talking to me and said the weirdest thing: "I have been boiling cats to get cows. Six cats for a cow, you know? But nothing happened." I was ...
13
votes
3answers
920 views

5 Quotes 1 Figure

These are 5 quotes all made by the same historically famous person that have all been transcribed slightly differently. What are each of the quotes and who said them all? SETAERGRUO TBGNILLAFR ...
13
votes
3answers
804 views

School Authorities Conundrum

Our School authorities have decided to extend our syllabus. Boo!! They have sent us a letter in which they address this issue. They tell us that the new book which will be prescribed to us is hidden ...
13
votes
2answers
504 views

My aristocratic friend

I once had a friend. Every second year he wrote me a letter, hoping to receive acknowlodgements for his achievements and developments on behalf of all of human kind. He was born at an Imperial ...
13
votes
3answers
452 views

PATROL Around Time Reliable Officers of Law

You've just passed your field test, and are now a fully certified PATROL officer! Your mother would be so proud of you right now! You're introduced to your new partner, a well-respected but sometimes ...
13
votes
1answer
366 views

The thousand-year enigma

Three two and five versus one five and three twos, sellable merchandise made out of these clues, latter being northern the first's in the east, country's name one thousand years back at least. ...
12
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10answers
2k views

In Rebellion I Earned My Fame

In rebellion I earned my fame; Before the events, few knew my name. Of origin, none can be sure; My resting place too is obscure. With arrow and bow I left my mark; Life under foreign ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

Two dead beans on a stone

Samuel Bean, a Canadian doctor, had a tombstone erected in Rushes Cemetery near Crosshill, Wellesley Township, Ontario, for his first two wives, Henrietta and Susanna. The original stone was carved in ...
12
votes
1answer
605 views

Historical Quotes

Arrange the parts below in such a way that they form 6 history related quotes. Determine the corresponding person for each quote. a myth a new a new a race becomes between but change education and ...
12
votes
2answers
598 views

A Modular History Lesson

Firstly, idea blatantly stolen from This great puzzle by Rand al'Thor I was preparing Exams for my students last night, and my wife offered to make some fun riddles to use as Extra Credit. I had five ...
12
votes
2answers
767 views

Can anyone help poor Fblthp?

my name is Fblthp, and I am completely lost. I don't know the location of my home planet, and given the barriers in language and culture, I can't tell you its name in any meaningful manner either. The ...
12
votes
1answer
248 views

Re order the clues

The clues are out of order when decoded. What's the correct order? A common color A rank in the army A popular candy bar A publishing house A roofer for cottage Orwells' true surname An ...
12
votes
3answers
509 views

The Diaries of the Old

Some days ago, a young man came into my grandfather's antique shop and wanted to offload some of the old stuff that once belonged to his father. Among them were three really old journals. They were ...
12
votes
4answers
432 views

Only Kinect Wall

The 4 groups of a total of 16 words can be sorted into four connected groups of 4. The goal is to find the connections of the groups. Text version: ...
12
votes
1answer
435 views

Where shall we go next?

The following nonogram is about $92\%$ solvable. Also, the grid is not really like it should be. All this feels somewhat annoying, but honestly, not that much, because this is most likely the last ...
12
votes
0answers
1k views

REALLY important days in history

@Z. Dailey asks a mathematical puzzle Important days in history... and to come! with a series of dates in years 1973, 1978, 1983, 1992, 2005. My puzzle asks the question: What is the previous date in ...
11
votes
5answers
652 views

My body is top-heavy

My body is top-heavy, as my weapon is deadly. To make my shot count, faith is needed in large amount. A high profile target I may be, yet the white death never came for me. When the ...
11
votes
2answers
760 views

Historical figure sudoku

This sudoku hides a famous person from the past. A solution will be accepted if the sudoku is solved (with steps to solve). The letters used are: abceloprt (in alphabetical order). PS. ...
11
votes
3answers
783 views

Ever-changing nationalities

Make me Portuguese, and I live next door. Make me Spanish, and I live in the same building. Make me British, and I live far away. Make me Dutch, and I live next door from there. Make me French,...
11
votes
1answer
247 views

Many have become me, many more desire to be me

For the past centuries, many have been me. Many more desire to become me. Some are forgotten, others are remembered. At first I became a whole city; later on I've been a neighbor, a teddy bear, a ...
11
votes
1answer
274 views

Fun with ^#**#!@ flags

(h/t to @sarsaparilla and that user's Fun with Flags series of puzzles earlier this year) "Hi Pat." "Hey, did you get my note about our next trip?" "If by 'note', you mean '...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

A humble riddle

I am a triumph, a thundering wall; a goddess, a ruler the grandest of all. I loom over towers that can touch the skies; few of world's waters can rival my size. A landmass colossal, a forebear of ...