Is it OK to cheat when I’m trying to solve the Limriddle?

Sure. Actually, you can’t cheat at Limriddles because there are no rules.

Seriously, the object is to have fun trying to figure out the answer.  The Limriddler hopes that you’ll give it a go on your own first.  But if you get to a point where frustration is ruining your Friday – you’re yelling at the dog or sobbing during your morning meeting – try another solution. Collaborate with your family or workmates.  Phone a friend who might know what the heck a titmouse or a Slytherin is, or where to find Guam.  If all else fails, many clues are Google-able.

None of this is guaranteed to solve the Limriddle for you.  Even when you think a word works, you still need to test it against the other clues.  Hopefully, that’s when the light goes on and you wonder why you didn’t figure it out earlier!

The point is to make your Friday – which is already a darn good day – even better.

Is the Limriddler Irish?

He might look a bit Irish.  Some have imagined that, without the clever disguise of his mask, he’d resemble a Leprechaun.  But that’s just speculation.

Truth is, the Limriddler is Canadian.  Sometimes that’s apparent from his Canadian-centric Limriddles.  You might also notice his Canadian spelling of certain words.  Canadian English borrows some spelling from the Brits (colour) and some from the Yanks (civilization).  And Canadian pronunciation occasionally differs from the Brits, Yanks and Aussies, thanks to the French-Canadian influence (foyer).  Otherwise, Canadians enjoy a mix – with trucks (not lorries), pop (not soda) and trunks (not boots).  Oh, and in Canada you wouldn’t refer to a man’s sweater as a jumper because that’s a little girl’s dress.

The Limriddler does his best to respect diversity and conjure up clues that will engage everyone.  He might extol the mischief of a Leprechaun, but there are troublemakers in all cultures.

Are Limriddles based on homographs?

And what are homophones, homonyms and heteronyms?

I know. You’ve been dying to know what these things are!  Truth is, the definitions are tricky because there are a number of overlaps and not all linguists use the same definitions.  But here goes…

Homographs are two or more words spelled the same, but not necessarily pronounced the same, and have different meanings. So, dive (into the pool) and dive (a cheap motel) are homographs that sound the same.  But dove (the bird) and dove (past tense of dive) are homographs that are pronounced differently. Think of homo (meaning same) and graph (meaning written).

Homophones are words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of spelling. So dive and dive are homophones, but so are their and there. Think of homo (meaning same) and phone (meaning sound).

Homonyms go by more than one definition. The broader definition includes words that are homographs (share the same spelling, regardless of pronunciation) or homophones (words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of spelling), or both.

Heteronyms are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings and different pronunciations. So, in the example above, dove (bird) and dove (in the pool) are both heteronyms and homographs.

As you’ve probably surmised, the Limriddler uses homographs.  Most of these are homonyms and homophones, but occasionally he sneaks in a heteronym to mess with you.

Got it?


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