A cut-and-paste puzzle.
Ed. Note: our puzzle correspondent, Dylan Hicks, is back at it again. As usual, the first correct answer will win a year’s subscription to The Paris Review. Send an e-mail with your answers to [email protected] The deadline is Thursday, March 24, at noon EST, when we’ll post the answers. Good luck!
This latest puzzle takes the form of a collage story, “Castling,” composed of thirty-three numbered sentences lifted from disparate sources: novels, poems, histories, liner notes, yellowed magazine articles, packaging, what have you. The story’s structure and pacing wouldn’t escape pointed critique in the more cutthroat writing workshops. Please make contextual allowances. Below the story are its thirty-three jumbled-but-lettered (and in seven cases, double-lettered) sources. Your task is to match each sentence with its correct source. So, if the sources weren’t jumbled, your answer form would look like this:
The exercise might be more fun and stimulating if attempted away from a search engine, but of course that would put you at a competitive disadvantage. In any case, many of the quotations won’t be found online, so you’ll have to do some guesswork or nondigital research. To make things more challenging, sources have been cited very informally, without publishing houses, dates, page numbers, and so on. As experts on Plato, for example, will figure out, a few of the sentences weren’t originally composed in English. Translations, of course, will vary, and at least in that Platonic case the translation used below is one of many published and widely available English versions. We hope this matter of variation won’t lead to complaints from fussbudget xenophobes. Also potentially controversial are some of the short, simple sentences; these conceivably appear more than once in the history of written artifacts. But even the story’s plainest sentence is unique, probably, to one of the thirty-three relevant texts. It should all work out. Sentences have been placed inside quotation marks only if they’re so rendered in the original, or if they come from the middle of a longer passage of dialogue or other material set between quotation marks.
Dylan Hicks is a writer and musician. His second novel, Amateurs, comes out in May. He contributes a monthly puzzle to the Daily.
Last / Next Article