A Puzzling Experience

Flattering and accurate likenesses!

Herr Professor slumps forlorn in the Day Room of the Great Public Sanitarium. He has failed to prove his mental competence to the satisfaction of the Ministry of Mental Hygiene.

The Sanitarium’s fearsome matrons, meanwhile, neither know nor care that his tics and outbursts are harmless side effects of chipping in odd gobbets of “gray matter” toward completion of Kauboi, his makeshift scion, and that his higher functions are intact!

Poor Professor!

But look! Kauboi scampers across the straw-covered flagstone with yellowed parchment in his mouth! He drops it in the professor’s lap. “Good news! Just fill this in, and they’ll let you leave!”

Glugg,” replies the Professor, who has been force-fed a cocktail of neuroleptic compounds from the sanitarium’s vast experimental pharmacopoeia.

Kauboi lays his filth-flecked paw on the Professor’s trembling knee. “It’s not so bad, Master! It is simply a set of riddles! Pure frivolity, of course, but the matrons place bets on which patients can complete this task. Beat the odds, and you go free!

The words are ordinary, as I’m sure you soon will see,
But clues can be contrary — puns and anagrams are key!”

The professor grasps his spinning head. “Mrree-mree-mree-MREEEEEEEEEEEEE…

“Oh, dear. You are regressing, aren’t you? Perhaps a clue derived from your heavily religious upbringing will help!

“I’m finishing a twisted phrase,
And six-winged spirits fly
In old Isaiah’s vision
Of the Master’s throne on high.

“Eight letters!”

Through the gray haze induced by off-label administration of powerful and profitable psychoactive products, the good Professor engages his intellect.

Anagram … phrase twisted … followed by ‘I’m’

“Umm, is the answer seraphim?”

Happy Kauboi does a back-flip! The Professor blinks in the shower of soiled straw.

“Hurray, Papa! I knew you could do it!

“Obscure, but easier than most
Because it’s so explicit;
I gave up old Isaiah’s ghost,
And then you couldn’t miss it!”

“Kauboi, my son, help me!” The Professor draws the struggling creature toward him. “Help me complete the task so I can leave this horrible place!”

“I wish I could,” Kauboi says as he wriggles free of the Professor’s grasp. “Too bad hydro-electrical therapy begins in a few minutes. If I’m early, I can recover from the treatment in time to sneak back in line for seconds! Tschussi!”

The Professor studies the parchment as Kauboi trots off toward the dyna-natatorium:




to the proper numeral…

Grid thyself for prattle

Help Herr Professor prove his sanity!

Fill in the grid and send it to the proper authorities for fun and prizes!


Will the Professor ever escape? What makes you say so?

And remember: Puns and anagrams are key!