Author: Kiran Kedlaya
Hint 1: The blanks represent famous (mostly) literary quotes.
The numbers after the blanks are the years of publication.
Hint 2: Do you notice anything unusual about the blanks?
Hint 3: Particularly the first set of blanks?
Hint 4: (Once all the quotes have been filled in) Notice how some of
the blanks are labeled A and some are labeled B.
Hint 5: Take the blanks labeled A and see what they spell. Likewise for B.
Hint 6: The answer *is* an English word.
Hint 7: What you get aren't words? Well, they're *almost* words...
Hint 8: And they have an almost-synonym which happens to also be an
As one may guess from the enumerations, these are quotes in which most of
the words are repeated. The quotes are:
"Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose."
(Gertrude Stein, "Sacred Emily")
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, ..."
(Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)
"And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."
(Robert Frost, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening")
"One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all..."
(J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit)
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty, ..."
(John Keats, "Ode on a Grecian Urn")
"Half a league, half a league, half a league onward, ..."
(Alfred Lord Tennyson, "The Charge of the Light Brigade")
Taking the letters indicated by A and B in order, one gets two
nonsense words: A = RETHPONTH, B = THOLUTION. Notice that these
are the words "response" and "solution" pronounced with a lisp.
Pronouncing their mutual synonym "answer" the same way gives the answer