Every month, the Daily features a puzzle by Dylan Hicks. The first list of correct answers wins a year’s subscription to The Paris Review. (In the event that no one can get every answer, the list with the most correct responses will win.) Send an e-mail with your answers to [email protected]. The deadline is Friday, November 4, when we’ll post the answers. Good luck!
This month, the puzzle makes one of its intermittent returns to the semipopular rhyming game hink pink. As was previously explained in nearly identical language, hink pink is a word game in which synonyms, circumlocution, and micronarratives provide clues for rhyming phrases. In the standard explanatory example, an “overweight feline” is a “fat cat.” Hink Pinks on that babyish level aspire to lend vocabulary building an air of fun, but more sophisticated puzzles are sometimes mulled over on road trips, in trenches, and in other settings where boredom and tension might be mellowed, to paraphrase Dryden, by the dull sweets of rhyme.
Players aren’t restricted to monosyllables. A puzzle of disyllabic components is a hinky pinky, followed with decreasing dignity by hinkily pinkilies, hinklediddle pinklediddles, and hinklediddledoo pinklediddledoos. Even with longer puzzles, however, the goal, almost a mandate, is for each syllable to rhyme perfectly, though this perfection might depend on idiosyncratic stress and other slight fudges. Several of the puzzles below are possessive constructions along the lines of “Bob’s jobs,” but where pluralization seemed cumbersome, nearly perfect rhymes were tolerated (“Bob’s job”). If you’re spurred to dream up hink pinks of your own, keep in mind that answers shouldn’t merely rhyme but also hold meaning, however whimsically, as a unit. “Tree soda” might lead to “oak Coke,” but joylessly. “Naturalist’s soft drink” for “Zola’s cola” is more in the spirit. Despite the headline, this month’s puzzles aren’t especially “autumnal”; the word was thrown in only to distinguish these forty hink pinks from this summer’s, which weren’t seasonable either.
As always, the contest is rigged so that the first participant to submit a complete set of correct answers wins. If no one gets them all right, the entrant with the most correct answers wins, with a tiebreaker, again, going to the earliest submitter.
Dylan Hicks is a writer and musician. His second novel, Amateurs, is out now from Coffee House Press. He contributes a monthly puzzle to the Daily.
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