Blog Archives

Call Me By My Name: The Nomenclature of Riddling Dinners

When we first discovered Conundrum Suppers – events in which guests order from menus written entirely in riddles – the name seemed oddly fitting. It described a meal served forth as  unsolved puzzles. Funnily enough, it is because of the …

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Festive Fundraising with Conundrum Suppers

“All who attend will be assured of having a good social time, an excellent supper, and of becoming acquainted with the wonders and mysteries of a ‘Conundrum Supper’.”[1] Eager participants in Conundrum Socials, fashionable dining entertainments of late 19th and …

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What is this?!

Table setting riddle, Smithson Riddle Book. Photo: Kat Despain

Look closely at this page from an 1804 British manuscript and you might notice the diagram for a table setting. Do the labels reveal what diners might have enjoyed for dinner at a 19th-century mansion? Well, yes and no. While it …

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New SSHRC Funding for The Riddle Project

Riddle text

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has granted support to the project over the next two years to investigate this new genre from an interdisciplinary angle. The team, led by Nathalie Cooke, Associate Dean of ROAAr, includes an energetic …

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Loving in truth and fain in Riddle my love to show: Mother’s Day Acrostics with The Riddle Project

Acrostic poem

By Leehu Sigler “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality”[1]– James Joyce Timeless Riddles is back …

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Can You Spot It?: Solving Visual Puzzles with The Riddle Project

Detail Lewis Carroll Rebus

By Leehu Sigler “Too many riddles weigh men down on earth. We must solve as we can, and try to keep a dry skin in the water.”[1] ― The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky Timeless Riddles is back with some more puzzling …

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Some Rhyme, Some Chime: Practicing Enigmas and Charades with The Riddle Project

By Leehu Sigler Timeless Riddles is a ROAAr project dedicated to transcribing, solving, and researching riddles found in early manuscripts! Help us solve them all! “It is one thing…to have very good sense in a common way, like every body …

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How Many Can You Solve? : The Riddle Project

Riddle text

By Leehu Sigler The Riddle Project is a ROAAr project dedicated to transcribing, solving, and researching riddles found in early manuscripts! Help us solve them all! What can promote innocent mirth, and I may say virtue, more than a good …

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Table Setting Riddles 101: The Solution Set

Eliza Smithson's signature, Smithson Cookbook Collection.

By Nathalie Cooke, Professor and Associate Dean, Archives & Rare Collections, McGill University Library Thanks to all who took up our riddling challenge offering answers from across Canada and abroad (including England, Ireland, and New Zealand). We promised to provide some …

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Table Setting Riddles 101

The Doncaster Collection. Photo: Lauren Goldman

By Kat Despain, Research Assistant to Nathalie Cooke, Professor and Associate Dean, Archives & Rare Collections, McGill University Library Do you like puzzles? Do you like food history? Do you want to win $25 at the McGill bookstore? Take up our riddling …

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