Author: Kiran Kedlaya
Hint 1: Can't find the poem? Do what the puzzle says.
Hint 2: Don't know where to go? Maybe you need to look something up.
Hint 3: Note that "Pleasures of Poetry" is a real IAP activity...
Hint 4: ... and there is a real location where the reading for it
can be found.
After the poem has been located:
Hint 5: If you have the last two pairs but are stuck on the first two,
you may have the wrong last two pairs. Make sure your words are
precisely described by the definitions.
Hint 6: (Do NOT volunteer this hint unless the team has this wrong word)
The second word of the fourth pair is *not* "itch". Also, the word
before "aspiration" has one syllable, not two.
Various hints about the words defined in the verse:
Hint 7: "Donor to Yale" is not specific to Yale.
Hint 8: The second word of the third pair has more than one spelling.
Hint 9: "Aspiration" may not mean what you think it means.
Hint 10: "Vessel off ground" is a boat.
Hint 11: "Common relation" is familial.
Once the four pairs have been found:
Hint 0: Read the introduction.
Hint 12: The data being sought is the answer to this puzzle.
Hint 13: In "what this is not", "this" refers to the puzzle.
Hint 14: More specifically, to the verse itself.
First, about obtaining the poem: looking up "Pleasures of Poetry"
in the IAP guide reveals that the poems are available from
14N-407. There we will have placed a box containing copies of the
As for the poem itself...
The relationships clued in the first four lines are first-letter
changes: PLUM/ALUM, PUNT/AUNT, PEON/AEON, PITCH/AITCH. "This,"
meaning the riddle, is POETRY (Dorothy's protestations
notwithstanding!), so "what this is not" is PROSE, and the key
piece of data (i.e. the answer to the puzzle) is thus AROSE.
Note that there are a number of false leads (some intentional,
some not). For example, one might start with PEON/EON, and then
guess that the fourth pair is PITCH/ITCH. This turns out to be
wrong, not just because "aspiration" is a rather weak definition
of "itch", but because the meter of the verse forces the word
before it to be the one-syllable word "marked" (produced by
someone or something that makes a mark) rather than the
two-syllable word "marked" (noticeable).