It’s Follow-Up Friday: Alice in Wonderland edition!

Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!

By this time, you know the drill. Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and bring the PuzzleNation audience up to speed on all things puzzly.

And today, I want to follow up on a classic unsolved riddle from Lewis Carroll.

Last week, I mentioned in my mondegreens and malaprops post that I often preferred the nonsensical, silly misheard lyrics of songs to the actual lyrics. And I received a private comment from author Mary Hammond, who likened my position on mondegreens to a topic that deeply interested her: Why is a raven like a writing-desk?

You see, many Carroll fans and scholars believe that the riddle is purposely nonsensical, taking Carroll’s word at face value when he claimed that the riddle was designed with no answer in mind. But Hammond believes that Carroll, wordsmith and gamesman that he was, hid the true answer to the riddle in plain sight.

Check out her solution to Carroll’s riddle, wonderfully summed up in this short YouTube clip:

Now, this is a Follow-Up Friday post not only because it calls back to my mondegreens post, but because over a year ago, I penned a post where I presented my own solution to Carroll’s riddle.

So I leave it up to you, fellow puzzlers and PuzzleNationers? Did Mary crack Carroll’s riddle? Did I? Or is the riddle simply destined to baffle and delight more puzzlers and scholars in the years to come?

[Thank you, Mary, for reaching out and sharing your solution with the PN readership. Click here to check out Mary’s book The Mad Hatter: The Role of Mercury in the Life of Lewis Carroll, and be sure to follow her on Twitter (@Hg4words) for all things Hammond (and Carroll).]

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