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Forty “Autumnal” Hink Pinks

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Really Difficult Puzzles

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.

  1. Hinkily Pinkily: With which defense secretary audaciously holds up socks.
  2. Hinky Pinky: A Nile of battered Model T’s.
  3. Hinkily Pinkily: Critic could give five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred reasons not to see former Yankee shortstop’s one-man staging of hit musical, but settles on four-word pan.
  4. Hinky Pinky: Controversial Likud minister after too many meet and greets.
  5. Hinkily Pinkily: Were he to sell this private collection of papal edicts, ex game-show host could buy several vowels.
  6. Hink Pink: Why Progressive shoot wrapped early.
  7. Hinklediddledoo Pinklediddledoo: Comme des Garçons founder might excite more than one paramour.
  8. Hinky Pinky: Egads, shapely-ankled Victory!
  9. Hinky Pinky: Red-sweatered folk hero’s meditation center.
  10. Hinklediddle Pinklediddle: England Dan partner advised not embark in haste.
  11. Hinky Pinky: Dane takes leap of faith with his new Highland pouch.
  12. Hinkily Pinkily: Damon Wildeve’s pull-out sofa for two.
  13. Hinky Pinky: Houston’s nickel.
  14. Hinklediddle Pinklediddle: After the birth of her son, Evelina author takes long trip to interview potential nurse.
  15. Hinky Pinky: Batgirl artist seizes Nicholas II.
  16. Hinklediddle Pinklediddle: Prolific thirtysomething composer’s environmentally friendly sheepdog.
  17. Hinky Pinky: Calm leafhopper
  18. Hinky Pinky: How film crew illuminates amateur bowling squads.
  19. Hinkily Pinkily: Columbo gives prosody lecture.
  20. Hinky Pinky: Pianist slangily apologizes to botched G minor.
  21. Hinkily Pinkily: Psychic communicates with spirit world but only gets detailed accounts of old golf rounds and minutes from zoning and planning commission meetings.
  22. Hinky Pinky: In minor crisis of man, scholar and n+1 cofounder can’t find his copy of Blur album, asks colleagues to help search for:
  23. Hinklediddledoo Pinklediddledoo: International Style architect asked to contemplate less-is-more contributions of ancient shipbuilder.
  24. Hinky Pinky: Riding Old Paint back to the ranch, my jeans felt tight in the seat.
  25. Hinkily Pinkily: Underground storage space where must-see paleontologist keeps salsa collection.
  26. Hinky Pinky: Internet reactionaries stage milkshake battle.
  27. Hinky Pinky: Bainbridge’s study nook.
  28. Hink Pink: Withers album makes case for continuity of the Self.
  29. Hinky Pinky: Here’s Johnny with gas can and malicious intent.
  30. Hinklediddle Pinklediddle: Comic actor-writer’s malodorous dog swabber.
  31. Hinky Pinky: Childish Gambino’s duvet.
  32. Hinky Pinky: Metropolitan headdress.
  33. Hinkily Pinkily: Herodias’s daughter wilco.
  34. Hinky Pinky: A close-fitting, sleeveless jacket designed to be worn at 30 St. Mary Axe.
  35. Hink Pink: Let it stand, José Reyes.
  36. Hinklediddle Pinklediddle: Foolishly, the Jersey Lily binges on powdered fruit drink.
  37. Hinky Pinky: RNC honcho follows the sun.
  38. Hinkily Pinkily: Petronas buildings during rain.
  39. Hinky Pinky: Not quite les mots justes to accuse novelist of injustice.
  40. Hinkily Pinkily: Where Cees sips Citrus Mist

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.