Does anybody know any poems about puzzles or puzzle themes?
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The Gem Puzzle
Up and down,
Left and right
One More Unfortunate.
She couldn't get the puzzle solved,
For lack of time-a minute,
And if you would avoid her fate,
Why, never you begin it.
Evening Gazette; Jervis Post, NY, March 11, 1880
Push, Brothers, Push
Push, brothers, push with care,
Push the 14 to the 15 square;
The 6 to the 7, and you've got it there;
The 10 to the 9, or you don't care where,
But the 15 and the 14 they will stick there.
Push, brothers, push with care
Till your minds are all a jumble and you tear your hair.
World; Utica Morning Herald, March 2, 1880.
The Gem Puzzle.
Full many a gem-the puzzle you have seen-
The dark, unfathomed caves of lying bare;
Full many a sorely puzzled wight, I ween,
Will lose his patience and will loudly swear.
But who, unto dumb foolishness a prey,
This pleasing, anxious puzzle e'er resigned
When he would lie, "I did it'other day,
But how, I cannot now quite bring to mind?"
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault
If never any one believe their tales:
You know full well they'd scarcely earn their salt
By puzzling o'er it till their reason fails.
No further seek their lying to upbraid.
Or ask them how they did the blasted thing;
The puzzle 't is that liars them has made,
The wicked swear-words to their lips does bring.
Boston Transcript, February 12, 1880.
HARTLEY'S Humpty Dumpty
sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had
a great fall.
All the King's horses
and all the King's men
Ark of the Covenant
Ron's puzzle comes with lots of perks,
But I don't know yet how it works.
I am sure I'll understand,
When I hold it in my hand.
I carved the angels for his box,
They move around as it unlocks.
The Ark of the Covenant holds many secrets, 24 in all,
solving this puzzle you will have a ball.
2394, a clue to opening up the door,
move wisely and you need move no more.
When you solve the mystery of the 10,
You will be rewarded from a spirit within.
Old English Puzzle Jug
Try how to drink
and not to spill
And prove the utmost
of thy skill
The DIVERS PUZZLE
Popular Portable Puzzles Proving
Positively Perplexing and Perpetually
Pleasing Posers Presenting Persistently
Provoking Problems Providing Profuse
Pleasure, and Producing a Palliative or
Placid Panacea to People Possessing a
Propensity for Persistence, Patience,
Perspicacity and Painstaking Propensities.
Octet in F
If one resorts to trial and error
Octet in F could be a terror
But four plus four in rhomboid tray
There ought to be a better way
To crack this nut more easily
Get in tune with symmetry
A Rubric on Rubik Cubics(1)
Strange imports come from Hungary:
Count Dracula, and ZsaZsa G.,
Now Erno Rubik’s Magic Cube
For PhD or country rube.
This fiendish clever engineer
ntrapped the music of the sphere.
It’s sphere on sphere in all 3D—
A kinematic symphony!
Ta! Ra! Ra! Boom De Ay!
One thousand bucks a day.
That’s Rubik’s cubic pay.
He drives a Chevrolet. (2)
Forty-three quintillion plus (3)
Problems Rubik posed for us.
Numbers of this awesome kind
Boggle even Sagan’s mind. (4)
Out with sex and violence,
In with calm intelligence.
Kubrick’s "Clockwork Orange"—no!
Rubik’s Magic Cube—Jawohl!
Ta! Ra! Ra! Boom De Ay!
Cu-bies in disarray?
First twist them that-a-way,
Then turn them this-a-way.
Respect your cube and keep it clean.
Lube your cube with Vaseline.
Beware the dreaded cubist’s thumb,
The callused hand and fingers numb. (5)
No borrower nor lender be.
Rude folks might switch two tabs on thee,
The most unkindest switch of all,
Into insolubility. (6)
The cruelest place to be. (7)
However you persist
Solutions don’t exist.
Cubemeisters follow Rubik’s camp—
There’s Bühler, Guy and Berlekamp;
John Conway leads a Cambridge pack
(And solves the cube behind his back!). (8)
All hail Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw,
A mayor with fast cubic draw.
Now Dave Singmaster wrote THE BOOK. (9)
One more we must not overlook—
Morwen B. Thistlethwaite!
Rubik’s groupies know their groups:
(That’s math, not rock, you nincompoops.)
Their squares and slices, tri-twist loops,
Plus mono-swaps and supergroups.
Now supergroups have smaller groups
Upon their backs to bite ‘em,
And smaller groups have smaller still,
Almost ad infinitum.
How many moves to solve?
How many sides revolve?
Fifty two for Thistlethwaite.
Even God needs ten and eight. (10)
The issue’s joined in steely grip:
Man’s mind against computer chip.
With theorems wrought by Conway’s eight
‘Gainst programs writ by Thistlethwait.
Can multibillion-neuron brains
Beat multimegabit machines?
The thrust of this theistic schism—
To ferret out God’s algorism!
He (hooked on
Ta! Ra! Ra! Boom De Ay!
Men’s schemes gang aft agley.
Let’s cube our life away!
She: Long pause
Claude E. Shannon, December 1, 1981.
(1) When T. S. Eliot published "The Waste Land" in 1922 with a wealth of footnotes,
there was considerable commotion among the critics—should a work of art stand
on its own feet or refer to such weighty tomes as The Golden Bough? We are with
Eliot and will freely use footnotes to clarify and amplify our meaning. First off, this
may be either read as a poem or sung to "Ta! Ra! Ra! Boom De Yay!" with an
(2). A little poetic license here—the Wall Street Journal, Sept. 23, 1981, reports
Rubik as receiving $30,000 a month from cubic royalties, but driving a "run-down
rattling Polski Fiat." This would neither scan nor rhyme as well as Chevrolet.
(3). There are 8! 12!/2 × 3^8/3 × 2^12/2 = 43252 00327 44898 56000 possible arrangements of the cube.
(4) If when Carl Sagan says "billions" he means about three billion, it would takes
billions and billions of "billions and billions" for forty-three quintillion plus.
(5) While not as debilitating as weaver’s bottom or hooker’s elbow, cubist’s thumb
can be both painful and frustrating. For more on these occupational ailments see
recent issues of The New England Journal of Medicine.
(6) A friend of mine, Pete, an expert cubist, told me of encountering a friend Bill at
a hobby shop. Bill gave Pete his cube, saying that he had been working for days
without success. After a few minutes, Pete turned it into a position where he could
see that two tabs had been interchanged.
Pete: Bill, somebody has switched two tabs on your cube.
Bill: That’s impossible. I’ve always carried it, or left it in my apartment, and nobody
has keys to get in there.
Bill: That’s right, nobody. Just me and my girlfriend.
(7) Especially in April.
(8) Actually, he peeks a little.
(9) Singmaster, David. Notes on Rubik’s Magic Cube, Enslow Publishers, Hillside, New Jersey 07205.
(10) In this "mano a mano" of Thistlethwaite and God, Thistlethwaite suffers (and
God gains) from the "mixing of quantifiers." What is known is that God’s minimum
for some positions is 18 moves, Thistlethwaite’s maximum for any position is 52.