That has been my fate recently. The Ladies Fashionable Repository, which I discussed in a past post, was very fond of publishing puzzles and conundrums, riddles, anagrams and charades. But, as is the way with very old journals, not all issues are available, and so I have found enigmas without resolution.
In celebration of the holiday season, however, I thought I would share these charming puzzles with you. This is the season, after all, for parlour games and jigsaw puzzles, those fiendish metal contraptions that must be separated and put back together, and a myriad of other intriguing and frustrating brain-teasers.
Our Regency counterparts enjoyed them as much as we do, and The Ladies' Fashionable Repository supplied their desire for diversion and amusement. The puzzles I present here date from between 1809 and 1814.
Obvious questions spring to mind in considering the puzzles. How much do Regency mores and manners inform the questions? How much knowledge of the period is required for solution? In many cases I think the answer would be--a great deal.
The conundrums are quick and confusing.
The terminology of puzzling has changes somewhat in the two hundred years since these were published. Riddles appear to be much the same then as now, but rebuses seem to have a more pictorial emphasis today than in the Regency.
I hope you enjoy pondering these puzzles. If you would like to leave a solution to any (or all) of the puzzles, I will draw from among the comments for a prize on New Year's Day. The prize will be one of Shakoriel's charming Victorian poetry prints to brighten your wall in the new year.
I will be taking a couple of weeks' holiday now, and I will return on Friday, January 4 with more Regency research and inquiry. Until then ~~