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Not-so-good old days
Just for a change of pace this week, we'll add a little example of what folks 100 years ago did to while away a slow evening. There was no radio, telephone, nor did people have a clue of what their great-grandchildren would mean by "Facebook," "You Tube" or "online" anything. Wouldn't it be fun to throw some of those terms out to a couple of people back then and ask what they'd think the words would mean in 100 years?
Anyway, one favorite pastime was riddles and word games, such as this example — just don't look for directions — this is how it appeared from the Norway Advertiser, January 3, 1913:
The answer contains 37 letters and is a true saying.
3, 28, 38, 15, is to work hard.
4, 26, 28, 36, is to cure.
9, 22, 12, 25, is to exhibit.
20, 8, 20, 11, is a row or rank.
14, 28, 18, 26, is a color.
17, 18, 1, 7, is that which is sung.
21, 22, 38, 6, is not thick.
24, 5, 34, 37, is very small.
27, 30, 19, 16, is a silver coin.
35, 31, 2, 29, is to shine.
Send the answer on or before January 20th to Edwin R. Briggs, West Bethel, Maine, and the first and fifth correct solvers will each receive five post cards or other prizes of the same value.
The answer to the enigma in the Advertiser dated Dec. 6 is: "I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
Seven sent the correct solution in the order here named:
1. Mrs. E. F. Barrows, West Paris
2. Howard R. Buck, Harrison
3. Anna M. Morse, Norway
4. Mrs. W. E. Bryant, West Paris
5. Alice F. Thomas, Harrison
6. E. W. Edwards, Oxford
7. Carl B. Lukin, Harrison
Post cards were mailed to the first and fifth solvers in season to reach them before Christmas. All have the best wishes of the puzzle writer.
Apparently the game was so well known to readers that no directions were necessary. Either that or figuring out the game was part of the challenge. Frustrated modern readers might find the answer below somewhat helpful in trying to figure out the mechanics of puzzles, which, to many of us would actually be the challenge. But take heart, the answers to the "Enigmas" didn't run the week following the puzzle's publication, perhaps to give readers enough time to work on them.
To ease the burden on the Norway Library's courteous, helpful staff and their aged microfilm reader, the answer is from the Norway Advertiser, February 7, 1913:
The answer contains 38 letters and is a quotation from Alice Cary:
2, 31, 57, 1, 41, is a dwelling.
9, 49, 47, 23, 59, is a part of the hand.
20, 17, 50, 5, 29, is to correct.
14, 33, 4, 28, 35, is to throw or hurl.
18, 15, 12, 38, 52, is to buy and sell.
19, 37, 26, 16, 15, is reputation.
20, 62, 3, 30, 68, is not late.
21, 63, 40, 27, 6, is a grating sound.
48, 32, 86, 37, 7, is to faint.
44, 45, 53, 22, 11, is fling or cast.
56, 50, 42, 48, 61, is a fence of bushes.
58, 25, 16, 39, 34, is peevish.
59, 67, 8, 66, 24, is to blossom.
60, 55, 46, 54, 52, is to set free.
65, 64, 10, 51, 13, is weighty.
Send the answer on or before Feb. 24, to Edwin R. Briggs, West Bethel, Maine.
The first and fifth correct solvers will each receive five post cards, or books of the same value.
The answer to the enigma which appeared in the Advertiser dated Jan. 3d, is: "Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly."
Nine sent the correct solution in the order here given:
1. Gladys A. Frost, Norway Lake
2. Sybil M. Chandler, Norway
3. Ettie F. Peverley, Bryant Pond
4. Edith A. Briggs, Norway
5. Mrs. W. E. Bryant, West Paris
6. Anna M. Morse, Norway
7. Gerald I. Briggs, South Paris
8. E. W. Edwards, Oxford
9. Mrs. S. W. Bradley, Nashua, N. H.
The cards offered were won by Miss Frost and Mrs. Bryant, and have been mailed to their address.
Anyway, do as your ancestors did, leave it in the outhouse to work on at your leisure, unless, of course, your wifi allows you to use your iPad out there.
If anyone's interested, I have directions from 1911, on building a model airplane that actually flies. I'd love to see one built.
As is our custom, we try to exactly reproduce the grammar, spelling, punctuation and style of the original. Commas might appear where least expected and remain absent where we’d expect them if the item was written nowadays. On the other hand, consistency was not considered of utmost importance, so variations of a spelling might appear within one story. In addition, some words were abbreviated differently than today. Where brief explanations of terms are considered necessary, they are presented in brackets  within the quote. Otherwise, explanations appear at the beginning or at the conclusion, without quotes. Parenthesis () used in a quoted passage appeared in the original.