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…


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 actually have four more of these if you're "game" (punintended): an acrostic, a double actristic, something called "square words" and a "diagonal puzzle." I'll start with SQUARE WORDS to get us back into it as it's not too difficult (said he who knows the answer). basically, these are four, fourletter words. The answer to the first clue is the first line and the first column; the second clue, the second line and second colum and so on. Essentially it's a 4x4 crossword with every square filled. Ready?

1. An old-fashioned musical instrument

2. A measure of time

3. Welcome on a dusty day

4. A lake in Ireland

Yes, that's not too difficult (though I had to look up lakes in Ireland to find the last letter of the answer to clue 4).

  1. LYRE
  2. YEAR
  3. RAIN
  4. ERNE

Thanks, Peter. I knew I could count on you!

The way the answer was presented in Young England was like this:





I hoped that would display better, but the board's default font doesn't really lend itself to these types of puzzles. The "DIAGONAL" I mentioned yesterday is right out. (I just tried it.) Basically, the seven answers prodide a hidden word read diagonally from the first letter of the first word to the last letter of the seventh. There were many puzzles like that in Young England, not all in blocks.

Are you game for two more? In the following ACROSTIC, the initials read downwards give the name of a Swiss city. (A few of the clues are somewhat anacronistic, but if you can deduce the name of the city that should help.)

1. The name of an illustrated paper [in general, not a specific one]

2. A bird of prey

3. A ladies' tool

4. One of Longfellow's poems

5. A famous seaport of the middle ages

6. An autumn flower

No-one else seems to want to play.  Pity.

Geneva and Zurich are the first six-letter Swiss cities that come to mind.  Let's avoid trying to find words beginning with Z, and see what can be done with Geneva.

1. The name of an illustrated paper [in general, not a specific one]
Gazette is a slightly archaic name for a newspaper, though perhaps not necessarily an illustrated one.

2. A bird of prey
Eagle, perhaps

3. A ladies' tool
Oh, dear.  I guess they mean Needle.

4. One of Longfellow's poems
The only one I could immediately think of was Hiawatha, but Wikipedia offered Evangeline.

5. A famous seaport of the middle ages
Maybe Venice?

6. An autumn flower
And for this one, I've no idea.

Good job! You are so very close I’m going to reveal the answer, then post the final puzzle. After that, I’ve got something very different (and quite challenging) in mind.

For #1 I might have hinted “an illustrated novel”…

#6 is Aster…

…which makes the solution: GENEVA


Okay, here’s the final one, a DOUBLE ACROSTIC:

1. A member of a farming class
2. A shape
3. To disentangle a skein
4. A district in Africa, one of our mission-fields
5. A woman’s dress
6. Termination

“Initials and finals, read on, spell the name of a popular magazine.”

[I don’t want to underestimate you, but I myself would never get #4, never, not in a million years, so I’ll spot it to you. the answer is NYASSA.]

So, we need the name of a popular magazine of the late 19th or early 20th century, whose name matches the pattern "? ? ? N ? ? ? ? ? A ? ?".  The only magazine of that period that immediately comes to mind is YOUNG ENGLAND, and, amazingly, that fits!  From here on, it should be a piece of cake.

Y  eoma  N
O  blon    G
U  nrave   L
N  yass    A     (thanks, yes, I'd never have got that!)
G    ow    N
E     n      D


Thanks for playing!

Look for my replacement puzzle (to be titled "FOUR QUIZZES") coming soon!

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