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Online Guide to the Engima

Preface to the Guide
History of the NPL
Membership Information
Sharing the Puzzles
      Sharing the fun
      Combining Talents
Composing
Editorial Verses
Flats
      Acrostical Enigma
      Alternade
      Ambigram
      Anagram
      Antigram
      Apt. . .
      Backswitch
      Baltimore Deletion
      Baltimore Transdeletion
      Beheadment
      Bigram. . .
      Brookline Letter-Change
      Change of Heart
      Changeover
      Charade
      Combination Padlock
      Consonantcy
      Curtailment
      Deletion
      Diastichal Enigma
      Double-Cross
      Dropout
      Enigma
      Enigmatic Rebus
      False derivative
      FWNFR
      Group flat
      Head-to-Tail Shift
      Heart Transplant
      Heteronym
      Homoantonym
      Homoconcominym
      Homonym
      Homosynonym
      Interlock
      Letter Bank
      Letter Change
      Letter Shift
      Linkade
      Literatim
      Metathesis
      Mutation
      Mynoreteh
      Order Takeout
      Overloaded. . .
      Padlock
      Palindrome
      Phonetic. . .
      Phrase Shift
      Picture. . .
      Progressive. . .
      Rebade
      Rebus
      Redro takeout
      Repeated-Letter Change
      Repeated-Letter Deletion
      Reversal
      Reversed. . .
      Riddle
      Sound Change
      Sound Shift
      Spoonergram
      Subade
      Suber
      Switchback
      Telestichal Enigma
      Terminal Deletion
      Transaddition
      Transade
      Trans-Cross
      Transdeletion
      Transpogram
      Transposal
      Trigram. . .
      Welded. . .
      Word Deletion
      Word Substitution
      Solving the Rebus
      Browse the Flat Pages
Introduction to Forms
      From A to O
      From P to Z
      Form Modifiers
Cryptograms
      Constructing Medium Crypts
      Solving Cryptograms
      Other Solving Approaches
Extras
      Solving Cryptics
      Composing Cryptics
      Observations
Reference Books
Constitution
      Bylaws
Glossary
Supplements
      Non-Guide Flats
      Non-Guide Forms
      Non-Guide Extras
      Where to Find It
      Form Notation
      Italian Picture Puzzles
      Abbreviated Guide to Flats
      Mobile Guide to Flats
      Submissions
Errata


© Copyright 2013 by
the National Puzzlers' League
 ENIGMA

A word or phrase is clued indirectly through wordplay.

ENIGMA (*6 5)
In the city I run, up north quite a ways,
If you take the gold, you’ll get thirty days.
You can call me Your Honor, but I’ll warn you, son --
If you take my gold, you’ll get thirty-one.
=Atlantic

The solution: Juneau mayor. (If you take the AU from Juneau -- Au being the chemical symbol for gold -- you’ll get June. If you take or -- the heraldic term for gold -- from mayor, you’ll get May.)

Like most flat bases, enigma answers should be dictionary entries. “Juneau mayor” is not an entry: now and then a puzzle that breaks a rule is so clever, with a verse so lively and well clued, that the editor finds it irresistible. But not often.

There is no hard and fast distinction between an enigma and a riddle. Generally, a riddle describes a thing and an enigma a word; riddles have deceptive descriptions, enigmas some form of wordplay. An occasional flat can fairly be classified as either.

 RIDDLE

Something is described enigmatically in verse. Riddles are not enumerated -- any synonym of the solution is acceptable as long as it satisfies the clues. A riddle describing a matchstick, for example, can also be answered with “a match.”

RIDDLE
He fixes crowns of kings, I’m told,
When they are showing wear.
He patches them with shiny gold;
He’s expert at repair.
You needn’t be a monarch, though --
He’ll also fix your cap.
But though at work he’s quite a pro,
He’s still a boring chap.
=Manx

The solution: a dentist.

There is no hard and fast distinction between a riddle and an enigma. Generally, a riddle describes a thing and an enigma a word; riddles have deceptive descriptions, enigmas some form of wordplay. An occasional flat can fairly be classified as either.