Friday, June 19, 2009

Richard of Loxley

Richard of Loxley’s fair patronage, robbed
of his name and his beast, kept his suit
And, clothing himself and his fine wife therein,
Lent you both for your claim to your loot.

With ten first in play then sat Alice’s queen,
In the round two past first, after two grabs, quite clean:
She tossed forth the moon garbed in John’s angry shade,
And it bounced off the sky where the heavens were laid,
And she snatched up her stars and gave me what remained;
Then switched red ball for green and a quick win attained.
For her I had nothing, just love, all too droll;
She gave me her score to append to my hole.

Now with hidden things settled, the rest fate imparts:
To the green flops an image concealed in a flame;
A half dozen clovers and half more to start;
and the following two, all three emblems the same.

Have it straight now, you think?  Yes, you’re probably right
We’re not finished, however; a turn lies in sight:
The next, falling, burns; Mr. Daniels soon follows -
The man of his jewelry drinks whiskey, then swallows,
stands with his two twins; they must think themselves best.
They’re not now, but may be, if luck can be pressed.

I hold to my seat as the next falls to fire;
Then follows a shovel of upper-most rank.
I’ve won now, you see, and chip in to your pyre:
Your road to the monarch has become your plank.

If you keep what you have, you will never then know
If I’ve got you or not, if you’ve bested your foe.
If you unhand your treasures on top of the green
My once-empty house will consume them, I glean.
Lady luck made a rustler in Houston of me:
I’ll grab up your doggies and hold them with glee.

Now tell me, in losing, what board do you see?

This riddle was submitted by Oudeis.


  1. That's the right track, yes... but there's a bit more detail, I'm afraid. What cards are on the board, and how did the game play out?

  2. My reasoning and complete answer are too long to post as a comment (nearly 500 words), but if anyone's interested I've posted them here.

    The short answer, to what the riddle actually asks for (the board), as far as I can see, is: Nine of Clubs, Two of Hearts, Ace of Hearts, Jack of Diamonds, Ace of Spades.

  3. not interested to read de entire qn..toooooooooo bigggg!!!!

  4. I first thought it was a metaphor for something but by the end I was soooooo confused, what in the world did I spend the last few minutes reading? Hey don't laugh but at first it sounded like it was explaining the sky like the sun going up and all but using names of people to represent each thing, then after that I was totally lost!!!

  5. Very nicely done, Charli! You’ve by far the gist of things, though I differ on a few details:

    The game is indeed Texas Hold’em, as correctly surmised from the last stanza. I have to admit, “doggies” is a spelling error on my part—they are indeed meant to be “dogies"; it’s just that Microsoft Word’s autocorrect feature apparently disagrees…

    From the top, then:

    The first line is intended to be parsed as Richard (of Loxley’s fair patronage)—with the second through fifth words all used appositively to identify King Richard, the object of Loxley (Robin Hood)’s patronage—but the “Richard of Loxley” reading suffices equally well, since it leads to the same conclusion. As aptly concluded by Clarli, Richard the Lionheart robbed “of his name” (Richard) “and his beast” (Lion) leaves the suit for the reader’s “hole” cards—the cards held by an individual player in Hold’em. The King’s “fine wife” is the Queen, and with that you have your personal cards identified: The King and Queen of Hearts.

    The second round refers to the speaker’s hole cards. The Queen in this stanza (“Alice’s Queen,” so the Queen of Hearts) plays two games. The first is identified when she throws “the moon garbed in John’s angry shade”, bouncing it “off the sky where the heavens were laid” and “snatch[ing] up her stars”. The game here is Jacks; The queen throws a red ball (John, as the author of Revelations, described a moon turned to blood—a red moon—which here signifies a red ball) on the surface holding the jacks (“her stars,” and, extending this metaphor, “the heavens”). Given this, it’s a matter of arithmetic: “The round two past first” in Jacks is “threesies”, in which each player grabs three jacks per bounce of the ball. There were ten jacks “first in play”, and we’ve had “two grabs, quite clean”, so that the number of hacks remaining is 10 – 3 – 3 = 4. In this setting, the Queen takes her turn, grabs her three jacks, and gives me “what remains”—a single Jack; her Jack; the Jack of Hearts”.

    The second half of the stanza refers to tennis, the game for which the Queen has switched to her green ball; as verified by the fact that when she attains “a quick win” I am left with “love”—no score, in tennis terms. The second card here is “her score”, which I “append to my hole” by adding it to my “hole” cards. Unfortunately, my pun here is erroneous. My intent was to imply that she “aced” me—so that I have her Ace, the Ace of Hearts, in my hand—but it seems I’ve confused my tennis terms, since I describe no “acing” whatsoever. Perhaps a more appropriate re-write would end this stanza with “her ball soared untouched; I’d just love, all too droll;/She gave me her serve to append to my hole”.

    More in a separate response, since I'm hitting the caracter limit...

  6. As correctly identified, the next stanza describes the flop, and the “imagine concealed in a flame” is the first “burned” card—which is dealt face-down and out of play. “A half dozen clovers and half more” signify, as again correctly noted, the 9 of Clubs as the first card in the flop. The other two cards are the “following two, all three emblems the same.” My meaning here is somewhat less complex than anticipated: The two cards following the nine of clubs (with all three [cards’] emblems the same) are the ten and the Jack of clubs. I appreciate the word play involved in picking out the two and Ace of hearts—but the two of any suit is typically printed with four emblems (one below the number 2 on each numbered corner, and two in the center) rather than three, as I understand it.
    The reader now holds a King-high straight in clubs and hearts, and we’re set for the turn: Mr. Daniels of his jewelry is the Jack of Diamonds, as Charli identifies; and he “stands with his two twins” (one on the board and one in the speaker’s hole) to make three of a kind. This is a hand that many people would bet into heavily—three jacks, with an ace kicker not on the board—but it is not yet the best, as it loses to the reader’s straight. It may become the best hand if it improves to a full house.
    Quite right on the next stanza as well; the “shovel of uppermost rank” is the Ace of Spades, which gives the speaker a full house on the river. The speaker bets and notes that the reader’s King-high straight (“your road to the monarch”) will be his or her undoing, as further remarked in the final full stanza: If you “keep what you have” and fail to call, you lost without seeing my cards; while if you “unhand your treasures” and call or raise you’ll lost to my full house.
    The board I see, then, is 9C, 10C, JC, JD, AS. My hole cards are JH, AH; and yours are KH, QH.

    That’s about it. Hope you guys enjoyed the riddle—and kudos for the answer supplied!

  7. Hmm, it's interesting to see the actual answer. The second verse appears to be a little more crucial to the solution that I'd thought!

    Thanks for the riddle: I enjoyed it very much.


Leave your answer or, if you want to post a question of your own, send me an e-mail. Look in the about section to find my e-mail address. If it's new, I'll post it soon.

Please don't leave spam or 'Awesome blog, come visit mine' messages. I'll delete them soon after.

Enter your Email and join hundreds of others who get their Question of the Day sent right to their mailbox

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

The Lamplight Manor Puzz 3-D
Are you looking for a particular puzzle, riddle, question, etc? Or do you want to find the answer today rather than wait till tomorrow!