Answer to a puzzle

Here is the answer to the puzzle I posted a couple of weeks ago.

Puzzle

[A man] had sent home a letter simply addressed:

WOOD

JOHN

ENGLAND

and it was safely delivered. Those Post Office people are very smart. Can any of you read that address in its completeness?

Answer

The letter was intended for John Underwood, Andover, England.

The puzzle is deciphered as JOHN under WOOD and over ENGLAND.

The puzzle is an early example of the type of puzzle popularised in the game Dingbats. A Dingbat puzzle arranges words and/or letters on a surface. The words and/or letters contribute part of the answer (JOHN WOOD ENGLAND) and the rest of the answer is derived in a cryptic way from the arrangement (under and over).

Source

The puzzle appeared in The Strand Magazine in 1918. I heard about it from a commentator (Haamu) on a post at https://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=58263

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *