Marie Antoinette: At the Guillotine

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Marie Antoinette (1755-1793)

Sunday, November 2, will be the anniversary of the birth of Marie Antoinette, who became Queen of France and of the Navarre. She is best known for the quote, “Let them eat cake!” But our Quip-Find(TM) puzzle below features her last words, at age 37, spoken to her executioner after she stepped on his foot as she was led to the guillotine on October 16, 1793, in Place de la Revolution, Paris.

(NOTE: This puzzle involves wraparounds or “hidden adjacencies”, where letters that do not appear to be adjacent on the Quipto(R) rack actually are adjacent — on the hidden back side of the rack. In this diagram, S is adjacent to I, R is adjacent to A, and W is adjacent to E.)

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Malala Yousafzai: What’s Needed

Malala Yousafzai

At age 17 Mala Yousafzai has become the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. The answer to our two-diagram puzzle below is something she said in a speech to the United Nations Youth Assembly only nine months after the attempt made on her life because of her efforts on behalf of education, particularly for girls. (She went on to say, “Education is the only solution.”)

Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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Jimmy Carter: Basic Need

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President Jimmy Carter

Today is the 90th birthday of our 39th President.  In 1982 he founded the Carter Center through which he continues to do humanitarian work around the world.  Our puzzle features something Carter has said about what life requires.

(Note:  The puzzle involves one wraparound or “hidden adjacency: Though they do not appear to be adjacent, the letter pairs C and F, L and P, and M and J actually do touch — on the back side of the Quipto(R) rack.)

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T. S. Eliot: Capacity

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T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)

Today is the birthday of the poet T. S. Eliot. The full-rack puzzle below features something that he said about our limitations.

(Note that the diagram represents two “hemicubes” (like the hemispheres of a globe) with the rack being rotated around an axis that runs through the cubicle occupied by H at the top and the cubicle occupied by Y at the bottom.)

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Joan Rivers: R.I.P.

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Joan Rivers (1933-2014)

Joan Rivers, pioneering comedian and television host, died yesterday at age 81. The answer to our two-diagram puzzle is something self-deprecating she said about herself.

(This is a Quip-Find first: Our first ever published puzzle in which both parts of a quip require full-rack diagrams. Notice that in such a diagram, there are no wraparounds or hidden adjacencies; the adjacencies involved are always visible in one half-rack or the other.

(When you have solved the puzzle, enjoy tracing the path of the quip as it winds back and forth between the two halves of the diagram.)

Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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September Puzzle of the Month

The answer to this month’s Puzzle of the Month is part of a familiar, and useful, rhyme. We present it as a two-diagram puzzle with a couple of unusual features:

(1) Usually, if a quip can be spelled out on the Quipto® rack, it can be contained in a “half-rack” (three mutually-adjacent faces of the rack). However, a few quips require a full rack — and Diagram 2 of this puzzle contains just such a quip. (Note that Diagram 2 is like a map of the two hemispheres of the globe; the cubicles and letters around the edges appear on both “halves” of the rack.)

(2) The next (but not last) word of the rhyme can actually be found in Diagram 1. (Hint: It’s a hyphenated word.)

Because of transitions taking place in your puzzlemaster’s life right now, postings in the near future will be slightly less frequent. Please stay tuned for Quipto and Quip-Find developments. And I welcome your feedback; email me at “quipfind” at (We list the email address this way to try to outsmart the email-address-gobbling bots out there on the internet.)  Jim

Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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Robin Williams: R.I.P.

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Robin Williams (1951-2014)

The actor and comedian died yesterday, an apparent suicide.  The Williams quote featured in the following two-diagram puzzle is ironic in light of this sad news.

(Note: Diagram 2 involves one wraparound or hidden adjacency: Though they do not appear to be adjacent, B is adjacent to L — on the back side of the Quipto(R) rack.)

Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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August Puzzle of the Month: A Puzzling Riddle

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The Mystery Man to whom the riddle question is directed

Our Puzzle of the Month for August is the answer to a riddle – or is it a joke told by Steve Allen?  We don’t know for sure, but, in any case, we hope you haven’t heard it before.

Here’s the riddle: “What is a question whose answer is ‘9W’?”  The answer to this riddle is the answer to our two-diagram puzzle below.  (And. no, the question is not “What is the best route to take as an alternative to the New York Thruway between New York City and Albany?”)

Note that the question is addressed to a famous person in history – the man pictured above.

We usually make our hints optional. However, in this case, we couldn’t resist using our version of the answer to the riddle where (yes, you guessed it!) 9=W.

Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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George Bernard Shaw: Hobbyists


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

The Irish playwright was born on July 26, 1856.  The winner of both a Nobel Prize and an Academy Award, he is perhaps best remembered today for his play Pygmalion, on which the popular musical My Fair Lady was based.

Shaw also gave us many memorable quotations; the following puzzle features one of them.

(Note: The puzzle involves one wraparound or “hidden adjacency”, where pairs of letters (in this case, G and S, I and C, and H and X) that do not appear to be adjacent actually are — on the back side of the Quipto(R) rack.)

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R.I.P. James Garner: Mortality

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James Garner (1928-1014)

James Garner was known to millions of U. S. TV viewers (and to current viewers of endless re-runs) as Bret Maverick in Maverick and Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files.  He died on Saturday, July 19, at age 86.

Our two-diagram puzzle to honor him features a two-sentence “line” he spoke as the character Jess Remsberg in the movie Duel at Diablo.

Diagram 1:

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Diagram 2:

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