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Word Charades and Riddles
1958 The Old Farmer's Almanac

1974 Old Farmer's Almanac
1974 Old Farmer's Almanac - RF Cafe[Index]

Reproduced here are various Mathematical Puzzles from The Old Farmer's Almanac, published continuously since 1792. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

Word Charades and Riddles, 1958 Old Farmer's Almanac - RF Cafe
1958 Old Farmer's Almanac
1958 Old Farmer's Almanac - RF Cafe[Index]

Reproduced here are various Mathematical Puzzles from The Old Farmer's Almanac, published continuously since 1792. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

This set of "Word Charades and Riddles" was presented in the 1958 issue of The Old Farmer's Almanac. The Charades puzzle solutions are each a single word formed from the combination of two or more other possibly unrelated words inferred in the clues. They are not portmanteaus, as in "coplay" for costume player, or "smog" for smoke and fog. Instead, they are akin to "port," as in the left side of a boat, plus "age," as in years since birth, combined as portage, being the act of carrying something. I have to admit to only getting one of these, and that's after looking at the answer to another and guessing that there might be some similarity (spoiler: think of Roman numerals). People must have thought differently in 1958 (the year I was born, BTW).

Word Charades and Riddles


When my first are, trust them first and last.

You did my second when you broke your fast.

My Whole.

I once was clothed in white in days gone by:

For place and honor now you see me try.



My first is the length of a moderate walk:

My second's a substance much harder than chalk:

These joined together direct the unknown

And set right the traveller though he's alone.



Fifty is my first, nothing is my second,

Five just makes my third, my fourth's a vowel reckoned;

Now to fill my whole, put all my parts together;

I die if I get cold, but never mind cold weather.



My first a piece of water is;

My second an exclamation;

My third is used by fishermen,

My whole defends the nation.



With letters five my name you spell,

Or numerals call them quite as well;

My first 100 you may see.

My fifth just half as much will be.

My second and third will give us four,

And third and fourth will make two more;

My whole is what we all must be

To make us patterns of courtesy.


My first gives light and heat, no doubt:

My second keeps the robbers out;

My whole is heard in deadly strife

Destroying or preserving life. 



My first to my whole my second should be

Then all would be members of one family.



My first is a plaything, my second no one wishes to play with, and my whole plays with nobody.



When parched earth in sunshine basks,

Or rain and hail in torrents fall,

My second shelters from them all

And schoolboys busy at their tasks

Do what my first imports,

And are my whole when they are done,

And they resume their sports.



Five letters do comprise my name,

From every point I'm still the same;

Pray, read me, and you'll quickly see, 

What time will make both you and me.



Four member's I can bless myself withal;

My last is worth my whole, my whole's worth naught at all.  


(Original Charades by Andrews Norton and Others.)


Answers to Charades

I. Candidate.

II. Milestone.

III. Love.

IV. Bayonet.

V. Civil.

VI. Fire-lock.

VII. Mankind.

VIII. Rattle-snake.

IX. Con-tent.

X. Level.

XI. Zero.



Posted November 6, 2023

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