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Riddles, the Answers

Remember those riddles from last time?  Ready for the answers?

First, the riddle from the Exeter Book.
" I am a wondrous creature for women in expectation, a service for neighbors.  I harm none of the citizens except my slayer alone.  My stem is erect, I stand up in bed, hairy somewhere down below.  A very comely peasant's daughter, dares sometimes, proud maiden, that she grips at me, attacks me in my redness, plunders my head, confines me in a stronghold, feels my encounter directly, woman with braided hair.  Wet be that eye.

Certainly a suggestive riddle, isn't it?  The answer will surprise you.  It's an onion.

And now the language riddle.
" Angry and hungry are two common words that end in "-gry".  There are three common words in the English language.  What is the third word?

The answer is... language.  Technically, I should have enclosed "the English language" in quotes, but that would have given away the answer too easily. ;p

If you're wondering about the more common form of the riddle, "Angry and hungry are two common English words that end in '-gry'.  What is a third such common word?", there aren't any more common words that end in "-gry" in the English language.  Except for "aggry", as in aggry beads, all other such words are archaic or no longer in use.

Another variant that does work is "Angry and hungry are two common English words with "gry" in them.  What is a third such common word?"  "Gryphon" would be a good answer.
Viewed: 9 times
Added: 7 years, 6 months ago
7 years, 6 months ago
Just nitpicking, but I'm not sure I'd agree that gryphon is a particularly common word, unless you're into heraldry, fantasy, furry or Harry Potter... the latter of those being an example of fantasy anyway, come to think of it. I mean, where else do you even come across gryphons? I was completely fooled, BTW, well done.
7 years, 6 months ago
I'd be inclined to agree with you.  However, I didn't come up with the possible answer of "gryphon".  To quote Wikipedia:
" Some people remember a different version of this puzzle dating it back before 1975.  For example, someone named "Rush Elkins" emailed the editors of yourDictionary with this report:

    I first heard the "gry" riddle posed in slightly different form in 1969 or 1970. I was then in graduate school at University of Florida and in the habit of meeting with a group of friends every Wednesday evening for dinner, drinks, and conversation.  One of those evenings, someone challenged the group to find three common English words containing the letter combination "gry."  I'm sure that there was no stipulation on the placement of "gry" because I recall someone suggesting that it might occur at the boundary of a compound word.  (That turns out to lead nowhere.)

    A year or two later, I encountered the word "gryphon" in a book, had one of those aha! experiences, and presented my find at the next meeting as a sort of trophy.  Although not exactly an everyday sort of word, "gryphon" appears in most dictionaries and is understood by most literate English readers.

So, your mileage may vary.  Perhaps "What is a third such word?" would work better.
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