Solution to Lime Sand Season

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by Anderson Wang, Brian Chen

These are all excerpts from famous poems, where every word has been replaced with a (fairly exactly) rhyming word, or occasionally a made-up hyphenated word. This is hinted at by the title, which rhymes with “rhyme and reason”. Other potential break-ins to this step include the weird hyphenated words like “mid-dint” (rhymes with “didn’t”) or “pig-current” (rhymes with “ignorant”), as well as some of the more notable poems like “Kubla Khan”.

The table below lists the poems and corresponding excerpts, where the word in the same spot as the blanks is capitalized.

Puzzle lines Poem Poem lines
many-won sieved tin the kitty chow down (myth cup throw boating penny shells crown) sing drummer _ _ _ _ _ _ printer we rang quiz mid-dint tree pranced is rid. anyone lived in a pretty how town”, e. e. cummings anyone lived in a pretty how town (with up so floating many bells down) spring summer AUTUMN winter he sang his didn’t he danced his did.
Brown dawn fennecs have-anew a brother kite Why a frail null _ _ _ _ _ glove ran cold brass white We hid the crazy tray.... We hid the crazy tray.... Grew a loon tho’ shows eerie news The Weary Blues”, Langston Hughes Down on Lenox Avenue the other night By the pale dull PALLOR of an old gas light He did a lazy sway. . . . He did a lazy sway. . . . To the tune o’ those Weary Blues.
Unsung plenty joey fountains, A _ _ _ _ _ _ grooving king Does a sky love a backward. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”, Wallace Stevens Among twenty snowy mountains, The ONLY moving thing Was the eye of the blackbird.
Chow bet bus court fuss aisle be day, Band cow, bike glamorous words shove slay, Gather cat dunce glower rhyme empower Man _ _ _ _ _ _ _ spin whiz snow-capped tower. To His Coy Mistress”, Andrew Marvell Now let us sport us while we may, And now, like amorous birds of prey, Rather at once our time devour Than LANGUISH in his slow-chapped power.
cliff blew stir corn myth a meekness true call crew fur torn smith a _ _ _ _ _ _ new fries if you were born with”, Rupi Kaur if you were born with the weakness to fall you were born with the STRENGTH to rise
“A gun fuzz dining spawn a bee, lining smith tall fizz cite: He rid quiz berry vest shoe rake a pillows _ _ _ _ _ _ hand light — Scanned miss does shod, abuzz lit does A griddle love a bite. The Walrus and the Carpenter”, Lewis Carroll “The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might: He did his very best to make The billows SMOOTH and bright — And this was odd, because it was The middle of the night.
Squares the drake skin or that slack chart Banned a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ clever spiked stew. Way far prancing grand camping gone too. Gray hallways spew spit ’cause goo. Paddy, paddy, shoe plastered, time grew. Daddy”, Sylvia Plath There’s a stake in your fat black heart And the VILLAGERS never liked you. They are dancing and stamping on you. They always knew it was you. Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.
Ben _ _ _ _ _ _ cruising Arthur, bruising caster: races, land shames, planned bare lit does to bent blue gavel. Done love frees quill sing pilaster. One Art”, Elizabeth Bishop Then PRACTICE losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
A new-breaker swinging jazz we glitz dawn whiz drench, a batter bringing razz knee lands, A good-butter’s strong, a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ prawn is pray din a warning, core rat prune inquisition more chat rundown, I Hear America Singing”, Walt Whitman The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands, The wood-cutter’s song, the PLOUGHBOY’S on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
Land be car fear jazz con the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ cane Leapt pith bemused forearms love juggle canned sprite, Care pig-current barmy’s trash guy spite. Dover Beach”, Matthew Arnold And we are here as on a DARKLING plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night.
Kiss fizz free Power shove Red – Three-membered, cliff scout-shivved, Has Wheezing _ _ _ _ _ _ _, precollect a Show – Worst – Drill – men Trooper – when a sweating flow – After great pain, a formal feeling comes”, Emily Dickinson This is the Hour of Lead – Remembered, if outlived, As Freezing PERSONS, recollect the Snow – First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –
Bear Ralph, a snake-rid liver, plan Flew _ _ _ _ _ _ _ treasureless stew can Brown brew the runless tea. Kubla Khan”, Samuel Taylor Coleridge Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through CAVERNS measureless to man Down to a sunless sea.
Glen high calve tears bat cry day flees through sea Deplore why hen was screened thy steaming drain, Ignore tie-stylèd nooks, skin chair-factory, Rolled spike stitch darners a pull _ _ _ _ _ _ _ chain; When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be”, John Keats When I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain, Before high-pilèd books, in charactery, Hold like rich garners the full RIPENED grain;

For consistency and to aid in identification, all formatting and punctuation, and most capitalization, is the same as the original poem.

Now, we can look at the blanks. If we try to fill them with the missing word from the original poem, it often doesn’t fit — for example, the second excerpt has 5 blanks but the missing word is PALLOR. The final realization is that each of these missing words has exactly one compelling rhyme in the English language, which fits in the blanks (e.g. PALLOR only rhymes with VALOR).

We can now fill in these rhyming words and extract the highlighted letters:


These letters spell out MANGLE PACKETS. We repeat the rhyming one more time to get a good two-word phrase: ANGLE BRACKETS.

Authors’ Notes

We ideated and wrote the first draft of this puzzle in three hours. Anderson wanted to rhyme each word or syllable in a poem and Brian had had Wikipedia’s List of closed pairs of English rhyming words on his list of puzzle ideas for a while.

This list turns out to be not entirely accurate and quite incomplete.

At first we thought pairs were fairly rare, but it turns out that picking a poet and reading their works, focusing on two-syllable words with the stress on the first syllable, actually has a decent chance of hitting upon a random word with exactly one other compelling rhyme. Using this strategy, we were eventually able to find enough excerpts that we felt would be recognizable by a poetry enthusiast (or whose style was recognizable even if the lines aren’t as famous, in the case of Dickinson and Whitman).