Young England is “An Illustrated Magazine for Young People” which was published from 1880 through 1937. I recently bought a bound edition, the 15th annual, from 1894. Each issue features a “Puzzledom” page, each with a variety of different kinds of brainteasers. Some of them are like the kind featured on NPR’s “Ask Me Another,” and some are like Mensa quizzes. I thought of using some in “The Turtle Soup Game,” but they don’t really fit the format. I thought I’d post some here to see if they get any response. I’ll leave each one up for a week or so, then post the answer if no one has guessed it by then. The first one is in the form f a poem titled…

BEHEADED WORD

I’m a word of five letters, am found in the sea;
I gleam like a crown on the billows so free.
Behead me, and then both to me and to you
I denote a good thing which all people should do.
My head off again, in the summer I’m seen
As I stream down on forest and meadow so green;
Then, minus my head, I’m a word of assent—
Old-fashioned it may be, but usually meant
To agree with the circumstances, time of the season;
Behead me again and I ask you the reason.

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I've never seen this particular puzzle before, though I've encountered similar ones.  However, I'm pretty sure I've worked out the solution.  I'll hold off from answering it for a while, to give other people a chance to think about it.

Spray

Pray

Ray

Ay ("Aye")

Y ("Why")

And, believe it or not, I never saw this puzzle before, nor any like it.

Very good! Keep reading this thread and you'll not only see other puzzles like it, but perhaps some other type you've never seen before as well. Even though that Young England annual I mentioned above is aimed at young people, I myself find it quite interesting. It's chock full of serialized stories, articles and is profusely illustrated. Here's a recurring feature in the "Enigma" section in the form of a poem.

I am found in a valley, but ne'er in a hill,

In a stream I abide, you won't find me in a rill.

I begin in an enemy, end in a foe,

But I'm always in welcome, wherever I go.

I live in the heavens, the earth and the sea,

I'm not tied to a house, for I always am free.

You never will see me, in day or night,

For although I'm not shy, I don't like the light.

The letter “e“.

Well, that was quick.

I don't have another one prepared, so tune in tomorrow.

The one I have in mind is of a style I have never seen before, and it's one in which multiple people could, potentially, participate.

Here is the puzzle I promised yesterday. Full disclosure: I looked at the answer before I solved it myself. That’s because I was unsure of the format. (Few of the puzzles in these magazines have explicit instructions; it is simply expected that their audience is familiar with the form.) This one was identified as an “acrostic,” but a quick glance at the first letter of each line wasn’t it. Actually, it is the first letter of the answer to each line which provides a 12-letter word or phrase.

Here’s the way I see this playing out: whoever choses to participate can offer a guess to a line of his choice and I will verify whether or not the answer is correct. I suspect the answer to the acrostic may be solved before all the clues are identified, but that may also provide a further clue to the answer. If there are no guesses, I will post hints from time to time to keep the puzzle moving. Let’s see how it plays out.

Each line provides a letter of the acrostic. For example (I’ll give you the first one), if the clue is “A wealthy harvest brings my first,” the answer is “Plenty,” and “P” is the first letter of the hidden word or phase. Got it? Let’s go!

A wealthy harvest brings my first;
My second never has an end.
My third a land of heat and thirst;
My fourth to charge the foe they send.
My fifth the name we love so well;
My sixth we shout as we proceed;
My seventh, when good, we haste to tell;
My eighth wrought many a doughty deed.
My ninth a hunting monarch slew;
Then for my tenth his murderer fled;
Boys my eleventh think too few,
Surprised how fast my twelfth have sped.

A wealthy harvest brings my first;  Plenty

My second never has an end.  Eternity?

Correct!

We have P*E--

I have guesses for several of the clues, from which I've worked out what may be the acrostic word/phrase.  That's given me more possible answers to clues, though not all of them.  I'll drip-feed further guesses to give others a chance to participate, and perhaps show me how wrong I am.  Here goes...

A wealthy harvest brings my first;  Plenty

My second never has an end.  Eternity

My third a land of heat and thirst;  Africa?

"Africa" is correct!

We have P*E*A--

(These don't have to be done in order, either; if anyone has a quess for further down, put it out there.)

Okay, here's another guessed letter:

My sixth we shout as we proceed;  "Onward!"

"Onward" is correct!

You're pretty good at this, Peter.

Unfortubately, you seem to be the only one playing. :(

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