Hello from Helsinki! I will be in Finland for one month on an art residency, but that will not keep the anagrams from coming your way. I have a number of puzzles that will automatically post on the website each morning, and they’ll appear on Instagram the same day, though perhaps with a small delay. You’ll notice that I won’t be able to update the leaderboard quite as often, but please do not let that stop you from sending in your solutions. Just check back every few days. And if you’re super curious to know whether a submission was correct or not, feel free to send me an email expressing your agony, and I’ll try to get back to you in time to relieve it.
Okay, on to the October summary. Where else to start except with the remarkable achievement of the month’s winner, AlyssaAnn, who in attaining 59 of a possible 63 wine jugs, solved every puzzle but one. In fact, the only puzzle that our winner did not solve is the only puzzle in the brief history of Anagrams Around Eve to have gone unsolved by anyone. More on that later, in the round-up section. A huge and hearty congratulations to AlyssaAnn, who will receive an Anagrams Around Eve notepad, as well as a complimentary pack of three-line Triune anagram puzzles.
As always I chose five additional solvers to receive notepads, in a random lottery in which one’s odds of winning are proportional to one’s jug total. The winners of notepads for October are
Loving Solving, Brooklyn NY
darren.whorton, Brooklyn NY
MISS SORTED, Delran NJ
Chaunzee, Queens NY
barose98, Burnsville NC
and of course our overall winner
AlyssaAnn, Haddonfield NJ
Congratulations to all of these talented solvers, and thanks to all of you for an amusing October. Now about those October puzzles. The solutions are all revealed at the original post (Submit a Solution has been everywhere replaced by See the Solution).
SPOILERS AHEAD, for anyone still working on the now-closed October puzzles.
Puzzle No. 69 eluded everyone, becoming the first puzzle that went unsolved. I confess to having the feeling that while it is to my mind a fair puzzle, at the same time, anyone who solved this would deserve something like ten wine jugs. I also confess to the fact that I hugely enjoy reading about the various and more-or-less archaic names given to groups of various living beings — a parliament of owls, an unkindness of ravens, a shrewdness of apes — and so I may have been inclined to think that cloud would have more readily suggested “gnats” than it apparently did. And, if you’ll allow me to mix insect metaphors, those flying critters always appear so antsy that the idea of GNATS’ ANGST seemed a rather fittingly humorous one. A tough puzzle, no doubt, but one whose solution I hope you find amusing even if you didn’t arrive at it.
Speaking of shrewdness, October had two puzzles involving apes, both of which most of you shrewdly solved. Many of you, along with me, found the image of SOBBING GIBBONS to be unbearably sad, and come to think of it, I want to assure all of you that whoever chose to RAG ON ORANG did so in a playful, unmalicious spirit. They just have that kind of friendship.
I waited until the World Series was underway to trot out the IMPURE UMPIRE. Who watched this incredible series? No evidence of umpire corruption, but many players and coaches from both teams were claiming that the balls used in the World Series were slicker than the regular-season balls, causing most pitches, especially sliders, to lose their bite, and that appears to have led at least in part to the record-breaking number of homers hit in the series.
Solvers’ favorites and most-commented-on from the month included such contrasting puzzles as the highbrow ESOTERIC COTERIES, which to me is almost a meta-puzzle in that solving it makes you a member of one, and the comical VADER RAVED. One wonders if a little dancing and a happy drug could have gotten Anakin onto a more positive path.
One final remark, this about one of the Sunday novelty puzzles. Besides amassing 59 wine jugs in October, AlyssaAnn also suggested a brilliant alternative solution to Sunday Puzzle No. 2, in which the elephants asked for two words, one of which draws great interest to a table, while the other is something on a table which draws little to no interest. The intended solution — CRAPS and SCRAP — does not make use of the financial sense of “draw interest,” a phrasing which I chose instead of “attract interest” as a kind of red herring. But red herring be damned, AlyssaAnn found a solution which uses that unintended sense change with SCENT and CENTS, as surely the aroma of food on a table will draw interest, just as pennies on a financial table will draw little to no interest.
Anything else October-related you would like to talk about? The comment section below is open.
As I was experiencing a rather difficult and snag-filled journey to Finland over the last 48 hours, I didn’t have a chance to post November’s first puzzle on Wednesday. This afternoon I will post two puzzles to get us caught up. Please look out for both of those, and good luck in November!