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Stephen Buxton
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Hi! A bit of preamble first.

I recently had the fortune to be invited onto BBC Radio 4's programme Puzzle Panel (a brilliant show that very few people have heard of), and I thought you good people might enjoy having a go at the puzzle I wrote for that programme:

---

A friend of mine at work, Stewart, writes poetry in his spare time. They are really quite good, and it has inspired me to write one of my own. I mean, how hard can it be? After all, modern poetry doesn't need to rhyme... or even make sense. So I wrote a poem, which I called "The Fens":

Go near low Ely to live
The ogre enraged blew so rapidly
Ely darkens

I showed it to Stewart, and he said "What on earth was THAT???". I asked for a better critique, and he said "Initial thoughts, sounds good. A bit of a mix, with hidden meaning too. But you did miss something". I had a look at the poem again, and saw that he was right. What had I missed?
If you put an infinite number of apes in front of an infinite number of computers, you get a pretty good idea of what internet chat rooms can be like
stanalger
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I'd go in!
Stephen Buxton
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Spot on! Just out of curiosity, how easy did you find it?
If you put an infinite number of apes in front of an infinite number of computers, you get a pretty good idea of what internet chat rooms can be like
Patrick Differ
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Confused.
Please explain.
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
Stephen Buxton
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I'll send a PM, in case anyone else want's to solve it without hints
If you put an infinite number of apes in front of an infinite number of computers, you get a pretty good idea of what internet chat rooms can be like
ziatro
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Quote:
On 2005-06-09 14:14, Stephen Buxton wrote:
Spot on! Just out of curiosity, how easy did you find it?



Maybe more people listen to puzzle panel than you realise. Repeats can be heard on the B.B.C. radio website.
Jonathan Townsend
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Was there a letter of the alphabet you did not use? The letter 'c' perhaps?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
stanalger
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Quote:
On 2005-06-09 18:19, ziatro wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-06-09 14:14, Stephen Buxton wrote:
Spot on! Just out of curiosity, how easy did you find it?



Maybe more people listen to puzzle panel than you realise. Repeats can be heard on the B.B.C. radio website.


I assure you that I had never seen (or heard) this puzzle before I saw Stephen's
post. And it never crossed my mind to go looking for a B.B.C. radio website.

Hats off to good puzzle constructors. A well designed puzzle should be neither
too easy nor too hard. I think Stephen did an excellent job with this one.

There are several puzzles currently posted in this forum which I have heard
before. Even though I solved two of them on my own BEFORE hearing the solutions,
I haven't posted the solutions because I don't want to spoil the fun.

Perhaps I'm being too defensive. Perhaps ziatro is saying others HAVE
heard this puzzle on B.B.C. and are not posting solutions because THEY
don't want to be spoilers.

I wasn't going to post my solution to Tyler Magician's "Weekly NPR Puzzle,"
but Tyler suggested that I do. I waited for the submission deadline to pass
before doing so. On Sunday morning I'll listen to the NPR program and find
out if my "answer" is the one Will Shortz is looking for.

Now if only someone could finish off the Patrick Differ "Verse of Rhyme"
post from way back on April 29. Aha! I just noticed a clue was
recently added.

Stan
ziatro
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Hi Stan I was putting this forward as a possibility, and certainly did not mean to offend. Very well done.
stanalger
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Last night I wrote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now if only someone could finish off the Patrick Differ "Verse of Rhyme"
post from way back on April 29. Aha! I just noticed a clue was
recently added.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

This morning I realized that we are now in the month of June. So
scratch that "recently."

Stan Alger
human calendar
flobiwan
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Stephen - can you give a hint?

Fredd
Stephen Buxton
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Sure - the critique is the key to solving. If you do cryptic crosswords, the phrasing is something you might recognise
If you put an infinite number of apes in front of an infinite number of computers, you get a pretty good idea of what internet chat rooms can be like
Jonathan Townsend
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Can you prove both the existance and uniqueness of the answer you wish us to seek?

Consider the text as read by an non native speaker of the language. What needs to be presumed as both present and meaningful for the question to have meaning?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Stephen Buxton
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I think I get what you're asking...

The answer is unique. It helps if you understand English to be able to understand the Critique, but to be honest, the words in the poem are fairly meaningless. Never-the-less, it is from the poem that you will be able to determine what isn't there.

Starting point: "A bit of a mix" implies anagrams. Indeed, there are three anagrams within the poem
If you put an infinite number of apes in front of an infinite number of computers, you get a pretty good idea of what internet chat rooms can be like
Stephen Buxton
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As a newbie here, I am not too sure what the etiquette is about posting solutions. Should I post the solution, as no one has posted here for a while, should I invite anyone to post the answer if they know it, (and there is at least one out there) or should I wait until there is renewed interest in this puzzle?
If you put an infinite number of apes in front of an infinite number of computers, you get a pretty good idea of what internet chat rooms can be like
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2005-06-12 11:52, Stephen Buxton wrote:...Starting point: "A bit of a mix" implies anagrams.


Starting a legitimate critique:

To whom does "a bit of a mix" imply anagrams?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
stanalger
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Quote:
On 2005-06-15 16:10, Jonathan Townsend wrote:

To whom does "a bit of a mix" imply anagrams?




It worked for me. But I'm a mixed-up fellow.

Stan Alger
TomasB
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It did for me too, together with the fact that the sentences sound like those incoherent anagrams you often get when trying to make them, but I still couldn't find out what the anagrams are.

/Tomas
Stephen Buxton
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To help close this off - the first line of the poem consists of three anagrams. The "hidden meaning" is on line two, as is the "sounds good". "Initial thoughts" relates across lines 2 and 3
If you put an infinite number of apes in front of an infinite number of computers, you get a pretty good idea of what internet chat rooms can be like
flobiwan
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I finally got it with a little help from a friend of mine - Roy G. Biv!

Fredd
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