Patterico's Pontifications

2/11/2019

Acrostic Number 1

Filed under: Acrostics,General — Patterico @ 7:59 am



I made a puzzle! Scroll down to solve it.

My father in law is a genius, and one of the most interesting people I have ever met. Over the years he has created different computer games and puzzles as a hobby. He has started sharing acrostic puzzles with the family. When he visited this past weekend, I asked him to show me how he does them. He has invented his own spreadsheet, which formats your puzzle, lets you know what letters you have and have not used, and has all kinds of formulas that provide you with useful information on how you are doing (like the consonant/vowel ratio). I got a copy of his spreadsheet and created my first one yesterday. Here it is (link to printable version below):

Acrostic Number 1

It’s two pages, so use the arrows at the bottom left to turn the page back and forth. (They appear when you put your cursor over the puzzle.)

If you’re unfamiliar with these puzzles, here are the rules.

The bottom part consists of clues, designated A through I. You read the hint for each clue and solve it. There are blanks with numbers under them, and each number corresponds to a number under the corresponding blank in the top part of the puzzle. Solve a clue in the bottom part of the puzzle, and you can start filling in the corresponding blanks in the top part of the puzzle.

For example, the first space in clue A has the number 132 under it. If the answer for clue A were “bedazzlement” (it’s not) then you would write in “bedazzlement” in clue A on the bottom, meaning you would write a B in the blank with the number 132 under it, an E in the blank with 101 under it, and so forth. Now you can find the blank with the number 132 in the top part, and fill in a B. You can find the blank with the number 101 in the top part, and fill in an E. And so forth.

The top portion of the puzzle is a quotation or saying, using the same letters as are used in the clues at the bottom. The top part is what you’re trying to solve. As with the bottom part, there are blanks with numbers under them. In the top part, each number is preceded by a letter, corresponding to the clues on the bottom part. This way, when you complete a word in the top part, it is easier to find the corresponding blank below.

For example, we established that 132 is the first letter of the answer to clue A. That means the number 132 in the top part is preceded by an “A” — just to tell you which clue has blank number 132.

For the top part, if there is no break in the numbering, the spaces connected by consecutive numbers are all one word even if they scroll to a new line. For example, 26G-33F here is an eight-letter word even though it scrolls to a new line. For the bottom part, each clue may consist of multiple words even though there are no blanks. (Clue A could be “bedazzlement” or it could be “ibetyoudowin” — or any combination of 12 letters, no matter how many words it is.)

Here’s a fun extra hint: the first letters of each correct clue in the bottom part, read in order starting with clue A on down, spell out the name of the person who said the quote in the top part.

Have fun!

P.S. I have displayed the puzzle above to intrigue you and get you to do it, but the best way to actually solve it is with pencil and paper. You can print it out by clicking on this link and printing the .pdf: Acrostic Number 1.

First to tell me the full exact quotes in the comments wins. Assume the comments section is filled with spoilers.

49 Responses to “Acrostic Number 1”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. I know whey too few answers to the clues. I will just have to sit back and let others do the work.

    Kishnevi (abbfd8)

  3. In D I thought it was Miss Muffet

    Rick Wahler (bec1ce)

  4. 2. I also know way too few answers to the clues, [in fact 0, although for some I might be able to use Google] although that’s usual for me with Acrostics. Wait – I think I
    can figure out D.

    You can also work from the quotation. For instance, 94A is either A or I unless it is part of a name. Sometimes filling in a letter or two can give you the answer to aclue. But avowel like A or I probably doesn’t help.

    I don’t want to try this.

    Q. Is the error in “tooth fo a tooth” deliberate?

    You didn’t even give a clue as to the subject matter.

    At least teh acristic is shorter, which can be bioth good and bad.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  5. 3. Rick Wahler (bec1ce) — 2/11/2019 @ 9:12 am

    In D I thought it was Miss Muffet

    That’s a change from what’s standard, or correct, and the answer is exactly the same kind of a change.

    But this is too much like a cryptic crossword puzzle, allthough not as bad.

    You need (or I need) a few easy ones to get started. Maybe more than a few.

    There are a couple of possibilities in the quotation for the word “the” which almost has to be there. Four 3-letter words in a row? There are some more 3-letter words near the end/

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  6. Let’s cooperate, and not bother Mr. Google too much:
    A. BOOKOFISAIAH
    F. ORTHODONTIST
    G. VANCLIBURN

    nk (dbc370)

  7. Patterico is a musician. A triplet is three eighth notes played in the space of two. But darn if I know what compliments the notes curds, curds, curds.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. Groan!!!1! It better not be NOTESNOTESNOTES or, worse, NUTESNUTESNUTES, Patterico! It just better not!

    nk (dbc370)

  9. Because curds => chords.

    nk (dbc370)

  10. wheyswheyswheys

    ColoComment (b48a15)

  11. That should have ended with a ?

    ColoComment (b48a15)

  12. Fergidaboudit. Those letters don’t fit into words.

    ColoComment (b48a15)

  13. ANDWHEYWHEYWHEY

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  14. Sammy, that makes the first word “YK_T” (if “orthodontist” and “bookofisaiah” are correct.)

    ColoComment (b48a15)

  15. Sorry, spaced it wrong. “”WK_T”.

    ColoComment (b48a15)

  16. Sammy, that makes the first word “YK_T” (if “orthodontist” and “bookofisaiah” are correct.)

    I have a teenage daughter who makes me drive her to church every Sunday. I know a lot about braces and the Bible. If they are not correct, then Patterico wrote this acrostic for an alternate universe.

    nk (dbc370)

  17. NK, they both sounded good to me. If D relates to music, I’m out of it — I know nothing about music.

    ColoComment (b48a15)

  18. “What you are, you are by accident of birth; what I am, I am by myself. There are and will be a thousand princes; there is only one Beethoven”

    civil truth (1591fc)

  19. What is critical in solving these is to work in both directions.

    civil truth (1591fc)

  20. they both sounded good to me.

    That would make the first word _K_T. What is _K_T? SKIT? I can’t figure that one out. OKAY is maybe a possibility if bookof?????? was correct for A.

    If 1 = Y the first word would most likely be YOUR. That would make the 4th letter of A “O” and the fourth letter from the end of F “R.”

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  21. What you are, you are by accident of birth; what I am, I am by myself. There are and will be a thousand princes; there is only one Beethoven.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  22. oh
    good job Mr. civil

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  23. oh this means there’s gonna be a #2 i bet

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  24. If you like acrostics, and want to work on them interactively, try this site

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  25. thank you Mr. Bartowski all that scrolling was driving me nuts

    i had to make a sort of makeshift one on a spreadsheet but that wasn’t very effective for america

    i gave up owning a printer maybe 10 years ago cause of disuse issues i had with mine

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  26. did someone get the carrie clue i didn’t save my thinger to where i can back into it now

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  27. @2. LOL Time is money; “billable hours.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  28. SPOILER:

    civil truth wins the contest. He or she is correct about working both ways. I should have said that in the post.

    Kishnevi,

    Something about your comment tells me you knew (whey) more than you were letting on.

    Furthermore, kish, I’m confident you know the answer to A.

    This is solvable. Mrs. P solved it yesterday. She took about the typical amount of time she takes with her. civil truth got it. So can the rest of you.

    Rick Wahler,

    Yes, it is Miss Triplet.

    Sammy,

    No, there is no typo in the lex talionis clue. The word “fo” is what I meant.

    nk,

    Your answer for A is interesting but see if it fits in the top puzzle and if it does not, keep your mind open to other possibilities.

    I know a lot about braces and the Bible. If they are not correct, then Patterico wrote this acrostic for an alternate universe.

    HINT ALERT:

    Anyone who has religiously (!) read my Sunday music posts, especially very early on, has an increased chance of getting clue A correct.

    Great quote, huh?

    Patterico (bcb9f3)

  29. So you guys see how the person who spoke the quote is the person whose name appears as you read down the first letter of each clue?

    civil truth, could you tell that my clue H was the last one I did? Very lame; I ended up with a collection of letters asking myself “yikes, what am I gonna do with this?”

    Patterico (bcb9f3)

  30. I wondered if the Carrie clue was too obscure without a last name but it was one of the first things Mrs. P and my daughter both got independently so you can do it happy.

    Patterico (bcb9f3)

  31. No, no, no, no sour grapes on my part! “A” was perfectly fair. I gave myself the hint of the theme of the puzzle and did not take it.

    nk (dbc370)

  32. oh is it harrison ford?

    i was trying to make jimmy choo fit

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  33. makes the first word “YK_T”

    No it makes it WK-T. So that would make the first word most likely “WHAT”

    That means Orthodontist is OK

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  34. Actually, I thought you had really started to struggle at “H” when you had to employ a cryptic clue to shoehorn in extra vowels. I initially thought that “A” was Book of Isaiah until it became clear that the letters just didn’t fit, and after erasing them, the quote started to pop out.

    I’m not an expert on acrostic puzzles, but have seen a fair number and here are a few observations I’ve picked up on (not sure if the experts would agree, but here goes): (1) Standard practice seems to be that the author’s name (or author’s name + source title) formed from the first letters do not form part of the quote as well (2) try to minimize repeating letters from the same clue letter in the same quote word. Not quite sure why you had so many repeats in this puzzle – perhaps you had relatively too few clues for your quote, or you just didn’t mix up enough the clue letters among different words; (3) “straight” and “cryptic” acrostics are distinct “cultures”; the latter has its own “rules” which you probably would enjoy playing with (and I think I read that the British are particularly fond of them).

    It was a good first effort and enjoyable to solve.

    civil truth (1591fc)

  35. plus now we know the sum total of the beethovens

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  36. Can someone post the answers to the clues? I have no idea about C, D, or E, except that whey works in there somehow.

    Kishnevi (8d3389)

  37. e was harrison ford

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  38. Oh…I was thinking it was something from Stephen King.

    Kishnevi (8d3389)

  39. Actually, I thought you had really started to struggle at “H” when you had to employ a cryptic clue to shoehorn in extra vowels. I initially thought that “A” was Book of Isaiah until it became clear that the letters just didn’t fit, and after erasing them, the quote started to pop out.

    I’m not an expert on acrostic puzzles, but have seen a fair number and here are a few observations I’ve picked up on (not sure if the experts would agree, but here goes): (1) Standard practice seems to be that the author’s name (or author’s name + source title) formed from the first letters do not form part of the quote as well (2) try to minimize repeating letters from the same clue letter in the same quote word. Not quite sure why you had so many repeats in this puzzle – perhaps you had relatively too few clues for your quote, or you just didn’t mix up enough the clue letters among different words; (3) “straight” and “cryptic” acrostics are distinct “cultures”; the latter has its own “rules” which you probably would enjoy playing with (and I think I read that the British are particularly fond of them).

    It was a good first effort and enjoyable to solve.

    You’re correct that I struggled at H, but the nature of the struggle was probably misrepresented while you were going with the perfectly defensible (but incorrect) answer to clue A: “BOOKOFISAIAH.”

    As for the complaint the the author of the quote shows up in the quote: it is true that it does, and in purist circles that is likely a failing. But I like the quote enough that, as a non-purist, I am happy with the outcome despite that flaw.

    I will have to look into this distinction between straight and cryptic acrostics. I am new to the puzzles; my only experience with them is solving my father in law’s (which are far better than mine but which he should publish at a time and place of his choosing).

    Nice to see your comments, civil truth, and I’m really glad you enjoyed the puzzle.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  40. Can someone post the answers to the clues? I have no idea about C, D, or E, except that whey works in there somehow.

    I can probably scan Mrs. P’s answers tomorrow. I’ll likely hide them behind a link rather than embedding them.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  41. C — EMULATESUSABILITY
    D — THEWHEYWHEYWHEY
    E — Yes, it’s HARRISONFORD

    nk (dbc370)

  42. Sorry. C — EMULATEUSABILITY

    nk (dbc370)

  43. I’d say I have it, but someone blurted it out already.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  44. The trove of documents turned over by the FBI, in response to a lawsuit by the transparency group Judicial Watch, also included discussions by former FBI lawyer Lisa Page concerning a potential quid-pro-quo between the State Department and the FBI – in which the FBI would agree to downgrade the classification level of a Clinton email in exchange for more legal attache positions that would benefit the agency abroad.

    i’ll take dirty chris wray fbi corruption for $1000

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  45. I think that was Cometary Comey’s Bureau of Fake Investigations at the time, wasn’t it?

    nk (dbc370)

  46. yes yes this is legacy comey corruption but our boy chris isn’t exactly cleaning house is he

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  47. #44:

    But Trump is accused of obstructing justice for FIRING the guy who was OK with this. Who at the FBI is responsible for criminal conduct within the FBI? And WTF are they doing right now?

    Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye;
    and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  48. I didn’t think vernacular, otherwise I would have figured out the middle one

    narciso (d1f714)

  49. The Mexican mafia clue was strained.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

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