In the most recent Dispatch, which gets sent weekly to Signals Members, I tried out a new form of shorter puzzle, for those folks who don't have time to dig into the monthly Mysteries. This one took the form of Mystery Theme Trivia. Here's the first question:
- In the song “What’s This?”, this animated film character looks back and forth and sings, “There are children throwing snowballs, instead of throwing heads, they’re busy building toys and absolutely no one’s dead!”
Five more questions follow, and the last one requires you to look at all the answers and deduce a pattern, then submit a question of your own that can fit the pattern. I'm opening up a free preview of that issue here, so feel free to solve and submit. The answers come out tomorrow, along with a list of all the great Q6 submissions I'm getting from readers.
My intention is to make more of these kinds of quick-hit puzzles, either trivia or something other format, in the weekly Dispatch, so if this is the kind of thing you like, please consider upgrading your membership (which now comes with a free 10-day trial):
Every month I offer a new, bite-size puzzle. Here's the latest one:
What is a word for something you might eat at a (food) roast, or something you might do at a (comedy) roast?Submit your answer here 🗳
There are several possible answers! (And "roast" isn't one of them.) It's wild that English has so much overlap between these two realms.
The previous Puzzler's solution — and list of solvers — is below.
Mystery #5: Coming soon to a multiplex near you
I'm putting the finishing touches on the next Mystery. It involves James Bond and Jean-Claude Van Damme (kinda sorta). Here's a teaser:
To be alerted when this puzzle drops, open your Signals account and toggle on the Puzzle Alerts newsletter under the email preferences in the Account menu. This is free and available to anyone.
Rebuses in 🐇 🧻 🌳
I had no idea that the royal herald designs you see on shields, coats of arms, and castle walls were sometimes constructed out of rebuses, or other visual puns. This technique is apparently called canting, and this Wikipedia page is chock full of examples. Some faves:
And while historians have decoded most of the rebuses they've collected — heraldic and otherwise — thanks in part to the Reading Rebus team at the City University of New York, there are several that remain unsolved. Care to help?
Another once-a-day puzzle has entered the chat, and this one blessedly does not end in
-le. Anigrams asks you to unscramble four letters, then five, then six … all the way up to nine. The trick is that it's the same set of letters each time, plus one more. (In puzzle-speak, adding a letter to a word and anagramming to find a new word is called a transaddition.) Very simple, and there are some animal emojis there to cheer you on, along the way.
Curious Correspondence Club is reprising their puzzle-a-day extravaganza by inviting 30 different constructors to publish puzzles on their Instagram throughout September.