Solution to Counterintelligence

by Aaron Dinkin

These are, of course, five double-dactyl verses that have been taken apart and had all their lines listed together alphabetically. Once you sort them out, you get the following five verses:

Tra-la-la, tra-la-la,
Ludwig van Beethoven,
Though by that time he could
Not really hear,
Kept doing this through the
Challenging final years
Of his career.

Iffigy, effigy,
Virginal Artemis,
Goddess of this, of the
Wild, and the moon,
Nearly demanded that
Die on her altar one
Fine afternoon.

Thickety, thackety,
Theta-role theorists
Offer a guideline that's
Not far amiss:
Subject and object are
Often semantically
Agent and this.

Twiddle-dum, twiddle-dee,
Jean and Elizabeth
Starred in commercials where
Two spoke as one,
Urging their viewers to
Try to do this to their
Pleasure and fun.

Dandeline, vangeline,
H. Wadsworth Longfellow
Hoped that with Vergil he
Might be compared.
Aren't fit for epics! It's
This in hexameter!"
Henry declared.

Each of these clues, in order, one word of the phrase COMPOSE HUNT THEME DOUBLE DACTYL. So you have to do that: compose a double-dactyl on the subject of the Mystery Hunt in general, or the theme of this year's Hunt in particular, and submit it to us either in person or by e-mail.

If what you submit does not conform to all the rules of double-dactyls (viz.: There are eight lines. Every line but the fourth and eighth is six syllables in dactylic dimeter. The fourth and eight lines stop at the fourth syllable, and rhyme with each other. The first line is repetitive and mostly nonsense, like "Higgledy-piggledy". The second line is ideally someone's name, or at least a reference to a person or people. One of the lines in the second half is a single double-dactylic word), you'll be referred to some source that lists the rules, such as, and allowed to try again.

When you do submit a correct double-dactyl, you'll be given the following double-dactyl with a line missing:

Dactylic, dactylic,
Foul-mouthed phonologists
Ought to learn how to act
More like adults:
"Expletive infix" be-
longs in the Journal of
fucking Results.

The word that goes in the blank is obviously IRREPRODUCIBLE, and that is the answer to the puzzle.

The double-dactyls submitted by teams can be found here.

2006 MIT Mystery Hunt