Dulltown, UK: Today’s financial forecast is for Sterling to be suspended and in the interim rashers of bacon will be used as banknotes and dried figs as coins.
Here is a simple, but annoying puzzle involving the letter…
Well, that’s how I usually start off one of my ‘Blocksmith Puzzles’ with which you may be familiar – the origin of the name being in a keyboard error I once made typing the word ‘locksmith.’
It’s a nice word is ‘blocksmith’.
Then I would go on to say:
Some of the letter ‘whatever the featured letter it was‘s have been deliberately loosened from this page; please tip all these words into a small bag, give it a good shake, and then tip them out to see if order can spontaneously arise from chaos. Oh, what fun!…
Today’s letter of the alphabet was to be ‘Q’. I had the feeling that this might be a tricky one – by the way, over the years I have done plenty of these puzzles and have by now used up nearly all the letters of the alphabet, I only have one or two left to do – ‘Q’ being one of these. (Click to see a couple of examples of earlier Blocksmith Puzzles: ‘W‘ ‘J‘ – so you might then understand what I am going on about.)
You see the trouble with a ‘Q’ is that in English it is invariably accompanied by a ‘U’. You do occasionally get words without the added ‘U’, but they are usually foreign ones such as Qatar, faqir, and burqa. But feeling unusually confident, full of cafe tea and chocolate cake, and up for the challenge, I decided to have a stab at it anyway.
As you will be aware, the whole thing, the wordplay and humour, hinges on removing our featured letter from the start of some familiar words, and also adding our featured letter to the start of some other familiar words, to produce a stack of suitably amusing nonsense ones.
The first part seemed relatively easy: ‘quick’ became ‘uick’ – what a nice little word! Then perhaps, ‘quibble’, ‘quotient’, ‘queen’ etc… Oh dear, of course! All the truncated words now start off with a bloody ‘U’? Damn! That would look stupid, and not very interesting.
So, what about the second part – adding a ‘Q’ to an ordinary word for comic effect? Damn! That won’t work either. In order to make the new word the existing one would have to start with a ‘U’ too! What a mess!… No wonder I avoided the ‘Q’ in the past…
Still, I do have a few remaining letters left for future Blocksmith Puzzles – you can look forward to a post using those dear reader… Let’s see, what are they?
Oh, just ‘A’, ‘V’, ‘X’ and ‘Y’. I’m sure ‘X’ is going to be tricky, and oh dear, ‘Y’ might be awkward…