Puzzle: 11 consecutive instances of ‘had’

My first English teacher at secondary school said that a perfectly valid text can contain 11 consecutive instances of ‘had’: had had had had had had had had had had had

All it needs is some punctuation.

Can you see how to do it? I will give a hint on 7 May and another hint on 14 May. I’ll post the answer on 21 May.

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2 comments

  1. No answer from me yet, but I am fascinated to think about this one. The best I managed as a youth was (on the subject of sea voyages)”The biscuits they had had had had to be dried for an extended period of time”. My history teacher was not impressed.

  2. I remember this from my own schooldays, so I won’t give it away – but it’s a genuine answer and not at all contrived (well, hardly)

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