Scrambled Titles and Toasted Cheese!

Conundrums to Guess

If you haven’t read the first issue of Toasted Cheese, now’s the time to check it out. If you have read it, impress everyone one with how close you paid attention. Listed below are passages from each of the seven stories found in Volume One, Issue One. Below that, are the titles of the stories, but they’ve somehow gotten scrambled up. Arrange the letters to form the proper titles then match them to the appropriate passages.

Passages

  1. So here I wait, 45 minutes later, tapping my French manicure against the leather-wrapped steering wheel, anticipating that green light, seething at Barbie and Ken on their waxed Jet-Ski-Built-For-Two. That snapshot we consumers are allowed to witness of their plastic, imagined lives, interrupted by long, deckled strips of a rippling pool.
  2. “Mama?” Callie whispered. Her mother turned away and hid her face against the icebox, her bobbed hair shaking.Callie stared at Ellen, then at her mother. What did we do?”Take them away,” her mother hiccuped.
  3. “Are you okay, George?” The teller asked as he counted twenties. “You don’t look so well.” He initialed the deposit book and handed it back to George.
  4. “Mike and I are going to dance,” Aisling says.Why she is telling me this? She’s been dancing all night. I guess I’m supposed to be happy because this is Bio-Mike. “Have fun,” I say, dismissing them.
  5. Croissant Woman spotted me watching her. I smiled broadly and waved. Her eyes grew. They resembled lottery balls, flashing the day’s numbers from her head. The other woman ducked her head and walked to her car.I flicked ashes.
  6. “What happens when they don’t say goodbye?” I asked.”I dunno. Some people think they hang around for a while,” Heather said.
  7. “I believe what Madam smells is the aromatic almond pesto vinaigrette dressing. A family recipe. Quite safe, I assure you.” Jarvis kept his tone soothing. “Mr. Rathskeller would no more poison you than I would, Madam.”

Titles

  1. Nnaa Era’s Dtrbyiha Ecka
  2. Posu Ot Sutn
  3. Em
  4. Dalni’s Kittec
  5. Naglis
  6. Eb Lrfceua Hawt Uot Shwi Rfo
  7. Tomhre’s Tqobeuu

Answers after the jump.
Continue reading

For every beginning there is an ending

Conundrums to Guess

Listed below are the beginnings to eight short stories, written by fairly well known authors. Below that, are the endings to the eight stories. Below that, is a list containing the titles of the story as well as the author. The challenge? Figure out which beginning belongs with which ending, as well as the title of the story.

Beginnings

  • Coal all spent; the bucket empty, the shovel useless; the stove breathing out cold; the room freezing; the leaves outside the window rigid, covered with rime; the sky a silver shield against anyone who looks for help from it.
  • The high grey-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from all the rest of the world.
  • During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.
  • There was a woman who was beautiful, who started with all the advantages, yet she had no luck.
  • When the baby was almost ready to be born, something went wrong and my mother had to go to the hospital two weeks before the expected time.
  • “The marvellous thing is that it’s painless,” he said. “That’s how you know when it starts.”
  • The grandmother didn’t want to go to Florida. She wanted to visit some of her connections in east Tennessee and she was seizing at every chance to change Bailey’s mind.
  • The bell rang furiously and, when Miss Parker went to the tube, a furious voice called out in a piercing North of Ireland accent: “Send Farrington here!”

Endings

  • Outside the tent the hyena made the same strange noise that had awakened her. But she did not hear him for the beating of her heart.
  • “Shut up, Bobby Lee,” The Misfit said. “It’s no real pleasure in life.”
  • “It will be enough if we can have wine. It will be plenty.” She turned up her coat collar so he could not see that she was crying weakly – like an old woman.
  • “But, poor devil, poor devil, he’s best gone out of a life where he rides his rocking horse to find a winner.”
  • “Oh Pa!” he cried. “Don’t beat me, Pa! And I’ll… I’ll say a Hail Mary for you… I’ll say a Hail Mary for you Pa, if you don’t beat me… I’ll say a Hail Mary…”
  • I could not really comprehend these things, but I sensed their strangeness, their disarray. I felt that whatever God might love in this world, it was certainly not order.
  • “You bad woman! I begged you for a shovelful of the worst coal and you would not give me it.” And with that I ascend into the regions of the ice mountains and am lost forever.
  • …and the deep and dank tarn at my feet closed sullenly and silently over the fragments of the House of Usher.

Titles and Authors

  • The Fall of the House of Usher – Edgar Allen Poe
  • Counterparts – James Joyce
  • The Bucket-Rider – Franz Kafka
  • The Rocking-Horse Winner – D.H. Lawrence
  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro – Ernest Hemingway
  • The Chrysanthemums – John Steinbeck
  • A Good Man Is Hard to Find – Flannery O’Connor
  • To Set Our House in Order – Margaret Laurence

Answers after the jump.
Continue reading

“Please allow me to introduce myself.”

Conundrums to Guess

The challenge is to identify from what books we pulled these selections as well as the name of the character being introduced. In most examples, this is our first glimpse of the character. For one, it is an eerie foreshadowing that gives us a glimpse of what the character will do through his action. One selection is the character describing himself at a job interview. Two passages have been altered to eliminate character names. You think we want to make this easy?

  1. His left leg was cut off close by the hip and under the left shoulder he carried a crutch, which he managed with wonderful dexterity, hopping about upon it like a bird. He was very tall and strong, with a face as big as a ham – plain and pale, but intelligent and smiling. Hint: Think of famous characters who used a crutch. Would it help to imagine a parrot on his shoulder?
  2. She got a long pointed nose and a big fleshy mouth. Lips look like black plum. Eyes big, glossy. Feverish. And mean. Like, sick as she is, if a snake cross her path, she kill it. Hint: This Pulitzer Prize winning novel is written in dialect-heavy “letters” to God and to the narrator’s sister. The character she describes here is her husband’s lover.
  3. “I USHERED SOULS INTO THE NEXT WORLD. I WAS THE GRAVE OF ALL HOPE. I WAS THE ULTIMATE REALITY. I WAS THE ASSASSIN AGAINST WHOM NO LOCK WOULD HOLD.” (followed by: “Yes, but do you have any particular skills.”) Hint: This science fiction/fantasy character always speaks in all capital letters. He is a recurring character in the author’s Discworld Series.
  4. His face was strong – a very strong – aquiline, with high bridge of the thin nose and peculiarly arched nostrils; with lofty domed forehead, and hair growing scantily round the temples but profusely elsewhere… The mouth, so far as I could see it under the heavy mustache, was fixed and rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth; these protruded over the lips, whose remarkable ruddiness showed astonishing vitality in a man of his years. Hint: In the many film incarnations, this suave Eurpoean character never wears a mustache, although the teeth always fit this description.
  5. We crowded round and over Miss __’s head I had a peep at a dirty, ragged, black-haired child, big enough both to walk and talk – indeed its face looked older than __’s – yet, when it was set on its feet, it only stared round, and repeated over and over again some gibberish that nobody could understand. Hint: The name omitted from this Victorian romance’s passage is Catherine. A good name to yell across the moors.
  6. She wore a slipover jersey sweater and a tweed skirt, and her hair was brushed back like a boy’s. She started all that. She was built with curves like the hull of a racing yacht, and you missed none of it wit that wool jersey. Hint: This character is the epitome of the Lost Generation. The novel has been mentioned in at least one “Absolute Blank” article.
  7. In other words he was a carbon-based bipedal life form descended from an ape. More specifically he was forty, fat and shabby and worked for the local council. Curiously enough though he didn’t know it, he was a direct male-line descendant of Genghis Khan, though intervening generations and racial mixing had so juggled his genes that he had no discernable Mongoloid characteristics, and the only vestiges left in (him) of his mighty ancestry were a pronounced stoutness about the turn and a predilection for little fur hats. Hint: Perhaps the best known science fiction/fantasy novel, it tells us the meaning of life, which is “42”.
  8. But for all the modesty of her spreading skirts, the demureness of hair netted smoothly into a chignon and the quietness of small white hands folded into her lap, her true self was poorly concealed. The green eyes in her sweet face were turbulent, lusty with life, distinctly at variance with her decorous demeanor. Her manner had been imposed on her by her mother’s gentle admonitions and the sterner discipline of her mammy; her eyes were her own. Hint: This was the best selling book of the Depression era and its Southern heroine, described here, was captured brilliantly on film… by an Englishwoman.
  9. Slowly he took off his jacket and untied his tie, watching every move he made as if it were somebody else’s movements he were watching. Astonishing how much straighter he was standing now, what a different look there was on his face. It was one of the few times in his life that he felt pleased with himself. Hint: This character takes over the life of Dickie Greenleaf and gets away with murder. Matt Damon fans might guess this one easily.
  10. The boy had a sharp, delicate face the color of ivory and he seemed to have eyes too big for it. He had also a lot of hair which tumbled over his forehead in heavy locks and made his face seem smaller. He looked like a boy who had been ill, but he was crying more as if he were tired and cross than as if he were in pain. Hint: This boy rediscovers the joy of life, aided by his cousin Mary, some friends and a “magical” place. This is another book adapted for the movies and for the stage, both as a play and a musical.

Answers after the jump.
Continue reading

How Well Do You Snark?

Conundrums to Guess

  1. How many make up the crew, and can you name them all?
  2. The Baker claims he can only make one thing. What is it?
  3. The Butcher claims to kill only one thing. Who should be scared of the Butcher?
  4. According to the crew, Mercator’s North Poles, Equators, Tropics, Zones and Merdian Lines are merely what?
  5. Which two of the crew worked hard at sharpening a spade?
  6. What did the Baker do when the Bellman mentioned Boojums?
  7. The Butcher offers a math equation in Fit The Fifth. What’s the Answer?
  8. Why would the sentencing have no effect in the Barrister’s Dream?
  9. How much money did the Banker offer the Bandersnatch?
  10. Who vanishes in Fit the Eighth?

Answers after the jump.
Continue reading