Purple Rose Puzzles webpages banner


confused googly eyes
No. of Players: 1+
Type of Game: written
What you need: pen and paper


To compose or solve a poetic puzzle that gives clues to a mystery word.

How to play

A player challenges himself to compose a poem in which each line is a clue to a letter in a mystery word, except for the final line which gives a clue to the entire word. The poem typically follows this format:

My first is in ___ but never in ___,
My second is in ___ but never in ___, (and so on.)

where appropriate words fill the blanks. This verbal puzzle is then presented to other players to solve. The first player to correctly solve the puzzle is the winner.


Alice writes the following riddle-me-ree that hides a five-letter mystery word for the other players to solve:

My first is in startle but never in phone,
My second is in hello but never in alone,
My third is in middle but never in snatch,
My fourth is in page but never in batch,
My last is in half but never in sign,
Watch out, I take what's not mine.

Solution: thief

Did you know?

The villainous character of "The Riddler" in Batman Forever was actually written with Robin Williams in mind. Williams reportedly loved the script, but a deal was unable to be reached and the role went to Jim Carrey.

comic-actor robin williams

This wasn't the first time the comic-actor was passed up to play a Batman villian – something he very much wanted to do. In 1989 Williams was offered the role of "The Joker," only to have it yanked out from under him when Warner Bros. made a successful deal with Jack Nicholson. It turns out that was the movie studio's intent all along, to use Williams to get to Nicholson.

silhouette of pop star Michael Jackson

Poor Robin! But evidently not as poor as Michael Jackson who lobbied hard for the role. According to studio insiders, the pop star was never seriously considered.

More Word Games