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Puzzle   /pˈəzəl/   Listen
Puzzle

noun
1.
A particularly baffling problem that is said to have a correct solution.  Synonyms: mystifier, puzzler, teaser.  "That's a real puzzler"
2.
A game that tests your ingenuity.



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"Puzzle" Quotes from Famous Books



... provide much entertainment for Christmas gatherings ... ingenious puzzles and problems invented by 'Sphinx,' the Puzzle King."—The Captain. ...
— The Canterbury Puzzles - And Other Curious Problems • Henry Ernest Dudeney

... rustlings far and near, and the ceaseless accompaniment of the river and the frogs. I learned next day that the chestnut gardens are infested by rats; rustling, chirping, and scraping were probably all due to these; but the puzzle, for the moment, was insoluble, and I had to compose myself for sleep as best I could, in wondering ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition - Vol. 1 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... south wall is browed right away," continued the man, after pausing for a moment to puzzle over Smilash's meaning. "I doubt if there's a stone of it ...
— An Unsocial Socialist • George Bernard Shaw

... But puzzle over the odd accident as they might, neither Mr. DeVere, his daughters, nor Russ could understand ...
— The Moving Picture Girls Snowbound - Or, The Proof on the Film • Laura Lee Hope

... in body and mind, feel drawn to the modern arena of the great questions that puzzle. It matters not in which direction a man goes in these matters any more than the length of a step matters so much as does the direction in which the step is taken. He should seek those questions which engross his deepest interest, whether literary, musical, artistic, civic, ...
— A Dutch Boy Fifty Years After • Edward Bok

... complicated jigsaw puzzle. Only by seeing all parts of this intricate picture can you begin to glimpse the reasons ...
— The Flying Saucers are Real • Donald Keyhoe

... these poor Girondins do? Speak their convictions that Louis is a Prisoner of War; and cannot be put to death without injustice, solecism, peril? Speak such conviction; and lose utterly your footing with the decided Patriot? Nay properly it is not even a conviction, but a conjecture and dim puzzle. How many poor Girondins are sure of but one thing: That a man and Girondin ought to have footing somewhere, and to stand firmly on it; keeping well with the Respectable Classes! This is what conviction and assurance of faith they have. They must ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... in, Miss Hannah, to see if there was anything wanting to be done, and I found this boy lying on the floor with the Bible open before him trying to puzzle out the letters for himself. And as soon as he saw me he up and struck a bargain with me to teach him to read. And I'll tell you what, Miss Hannah, he's going to make a man one of these days! You know I've been a colored schoolmaster, among ...
— Ishmael - In the Depths • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... opening the British Museum to respectable people on Sunday, has lately been the subject of some discussion. I think it would puzzle the most austere of the Sunday legislators to assign any valid reason for opposing so sensible a proposition. The Museum contains rich specimens from all the vast museums and repositories of Nature, ...
— Sunday Under Three Heads • Charles Dickens

... call the bad people playing. The Van Dorns and the Satterthwaites will tell you that vice is the recreation of the poor. And it's more or less true." The elder man scratched his beard and faced the stars: "It's a devilish puzzle. Character makes happiness; I've got that down fine. But what makes character? Why is vice the recreation of the poor? Why do we recruit most of our bad boys and all of our wayward girls from those neighborhoods in every city where the poor live? Why does the clerk on $12 a ...
— In the Heart of a Fool • William Allen White

... tears of queens The leaves are red with blood of kings; Unknowing what the mystery means We puzzle at ...
— Miscellany of Poetry - 1919 • Various

... and threw her son out of the window, the inference is that Jove was a man, and actually did something like the thing described; certainly gods, sublimated spirits, aerial sprites, do not act after this fashion; and it would puzzle the mythmakers to prove that the sun, moon, or stars whipped their wives or flung recalcitrant young men out of windows. The history of Atlantis could be in part reconstructed out of the mythology of Greece; it is a history of kings, ...
— The Antediluvian World • Ignatius Donnelly

... learn in the next few minutes how great was the executive ability of Caleb Barter. He had created a mighty puzzle, each and every bit of which must fit together exactly. Time was important in making the puzzle complete—and the puzzle changed with each passing second. As the anthropoid went slowly down the face of the Clinton Building, ...
— The Mind Master • Arthur J. Burks

... wife, with a few others whom she had met in church circles, to dinner, and manifested such an interest in the sewing society that the principal ladies of the congregation called on her in succession; and although they never got beyond an interchange of formal visits, yet it served to puzzle the gossips in the streets, and one or two who had "forgotten" to call on Mrs. McClintock when she first came to the locality paid her a formal visit; their shaky position in society being secured by ...
— The Mysteries of Montreal - Being Recollections of a Female Physician • Charlotte Fuhrer

... understand," said my friend, "but says that her people are much like human beings, and do most of the things human beings do." I asked her other questions, as to her nature, and her purpose in the universe, but only seemed to puzzle her. At last she appeared to lose patience, for she wrote this message for me upon the sands—the sands of vision, not the grating sands under our feet—"Be careful, and do not seek to know too much about us." Seeing that I had offended ...
— The Celtic Twilight • W. B. Yeats

... Miss Hampden," he began, looking at me through his half closed eye-lids, "you are beginning to puzzle me strangely. Did any one ever tell you you are ...
— The Doctor's Daughter • "Vera"

... regularly under the actual inspection of Mr. Channing, or whether Hamish went over them aloud. If only the latter, could the faults be concealed? She knew nothing of book-keeping, and was unable to say. Leaving her to puzzle over the matter, we will return to ...
— The Channings • Mrs. Henry Wood

... treasured, for they filled her with a pleased wonder. She had seen the changes herself to which he referred; but how could a simple girl wield such an influence over the grave, studious man? That was the puzzle of puzzles. It was an enigma that she would be long in solving, and yet the explanation was her own simplicity, her truthfulness to all the ...
— Nature's Serial Story • E. P. Roe

... the least surprised," returned Wyley with an easy smile. "Though I admit that I am interested. A wife is sauce to any story." He looked placidly round the company. He alone held the key to the puzzle, and since he was now become the centre of attraction he was inclined to play with his less acute brethren. With a wave of the hand he stilled the requests for an explanation, ...
— Ensign Knightley and Other Stories • A. E. W. Mason

... take some of the particular facts of life that puzzle us and test them with the hypothesis of special creation, and also with the hypothesis of reincarnation, and see which can really explain them in a satisfactory manner. We will take some facts of real life. In a Massachusetts prison there is an old man whose name became familiar ...
— Elementary Theosophy • L. W. Rogers

... explain his exhilaration. On the contrary, under the circumstances it seemed grotesquely unwarranted. However, it was a brief visitation and was gone before he had finished dressing. It left a little trail, the pleased recollection of it and the puzzle of it, which remained unsolved. And, in fact, waking happily in the morning is not usually the result of a drive home from a funeral. No wonder the sequence ...
— The Turmoil - A Novel • Booth Tarkington

... anything but portrait-like. It has been objected to the great Italian landscape painters that they did not discriminate between one tree and another, but indulged in a "painter's tree." There is far more variety in those of our native artist, yet it would puzzle a critic to say what his trees really are, and to point out in his landscapes the distinctive differences between oak and beech, and elm. The weeds, too, in his foregrounds, have neither form nor species. On the margins of his brooks or pools a few sword-shaped dashes tell of reeds and ...
— Great Pictures, As Seen and Described by Famous Writers • Esther Singleton

... let me tell you of a third matrimonial proposition, which gives me more puzzle and dislike a great deal. And that is, Mr. Adams has, with great reluctance, and after abundance of bashful apologies, asked me, if I have any objection to his making his addresses to Polly Barlow? which, however, he told me, he had ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... that point puzzle you?" exclaimed Florian, greeting the allusion to Browning as the war-horse welcomes the battle. "Then you have never chanced to run across the first edition of Child's Scottish Ballads. You get the story there, of Childe Roland following ...
— Double Trouble - Or, Every Hero His Own Villain • Herbert Quick

... past, where he had been for some years trading and speculating in the various islands. He now spoke Dutch, French, Malay, and Javanese, all equally well; English with a very slight accent, but with perfect fluency, axed a most complete knowledge of idiom, in which I often tried to puzzle him in vain. German and Italian were also quite familiar to him, and his acquaintance with European languages included Modern Greek, Turkish, Russian, and colloquial Hebrew and Latin. As a test of his power, I may mention that he had made a ...
— The Malay Archipelago - Volume II. (of II.) • Alfred Russel Wallace

... stood, till—flash! and the long pointed bill pinned a perch, a foot and a half beneath the water. He had quite made out a breakfast, when, stepping upon a tall tussock, he stood face to face with me—a human spectator! It was only for a moment that I could keep motionless enough to puzzle him. Some muscle must have twitched, for he understood and leaped into the air with a croak of ...
— Roof and Meadow • Dallas Lore Sharp

... Aeneid immortalized the mythic voyage of the Trojan adventurer, who passed along this iron-bound coast on his way towards the mouth of Tiber. Their modern, or rather medieval name of I Galli is somewhat of a puzzle. Erudite scholars affect to derive it from Guallo, a fortress captured during a war between King Roger and the Republic of Amalfi, but this explanation, we confess, does not sound very reasonable. Others ...
— The Naples Riviera • Herbert M. Vaughan

... The puzzle of getting the wagons down next engrossed the attention of our best engineers. The proposition to unpack the lading, take the wagons apart, and carry all down by hand, appeared for a time to be the only feasible ...
— Crossing the Plains, Days of '57 - A Narrative of Early Emigrant Tavel to California by the Ox-team Method • William Audley Maxwell

... here? I scarcely know myself. It's everything or nothing. The key to the puzzle. I tell you, M. Fuselier, things are becoming increasingly ...
— The Exploits of Juve - Being the Second of the Series of the "Fantmas" Detective Tales • mile Souvestre and Marcel Allain

... must alter the colour of your hair, then you must have a false nose, and put a spot on some part of your face, or a wart, or a few hairs." I laughed, and said, "Help me to contrive this for the next ball; I have not been to one for twenty years; but I am dying to puzzle somebody, and to tell him things which no one but I can tell him. I shall come home, and go to bed, in a quarter of an hour."—"I must take the measure of your nose," said he; "or do you take it with wax, and I will ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... very good of you, Hunky, to take so much interest in me, and incur so much risk and trouble; but do you know," said Leather, with a look of surprise, not unmingled with amusement, "you are a puzzle to me, for I can't understand how you could tell Captain Wilmot such a heap o' lies—you that has got the name of bein' the ...
— Charlie to the Rescue • R.M. Ballantyne

... also to van Riebeek, to Jimenez and even to Ruth Ortheris, which seemed a little odd. Ruth seemed to think so, too, and Mallin hastened to tell her that Borch was with Personnel, giving some kind of tests. That appeared to puzzle her even more. None of the three seemed happy about the presence of the constabulary troopers, either; they were all relieved when ...
— Little Fuzzy • Henry Beam Piper

... presents a similar puzzle on the civilian side. It is situated at the junction of two waterways, one of which leads directly from the Thames Valley to the West of England, yet it does not seem to have been of a considerable civil importance until the establishment ...
— The Historic Thames • Hilaire Belloc

... Weird, and wise, and witty as Aesop was this child, like him deformed; and to draw out his quaint remarks, read him fresh from his Maker's hand—this warped, and tiny, imperfect volume of humanity—was to me an ever-new puzzle and delight. Severity he had been used to of late, I saw plainly. He shrank with winking eyes from an uplifted hand, even if the gesture were one of mere amazement, or affection, and sat patiently, like a little well-trained dog, when he saw food placed before me, ...
— Miriam Monfort - A Novel • Catherine A. Warfield

... the yard-man, with alacrity; and he went off shaking his head, as if all this was a puzzle beyond his ...
— The Adventures of Don Lavington - Nolens Volens • George Manville Fenn

... sudden impression on the mind was superstition or fancy, though it might have been thought so, had it not been proved by the event to have a real physical and moral cause. Had not the same face returned again, the doubt would never have been properly cleared up, but would have remained a puzzle ever after, or perhaps have been soon forgot.—By the law of association as laid down by physiologists, any impression in a series can recall any other impression in that series without going through the whole in order; so that the mind drops ...
— Table-Talk - Essays on Men and Manners • William Hazlitt

... was induced to forego celebrating the event on his motor horn (the very same which had tortured the New Hampshire echoes), and to assert his authority over his juniors; and finally a plan began to emerge from the chaos, and each child to fit into it like a bit of a picture puzzle. ...
— The Glimpses of the Moon • Edith Wharton

... carefully all the way, but nowhere did we come upon any trace of the Striped Beetle. At several places they had seen the brown car go by the day before and at one place it had stopped for gasoline, but no one knew of any repairs that had been made on it. The thing began to loom up like a puzzle. If the Striped Beetle had not been delayed by accident why had not Gladys arrived in Ft. Wayne the night before ...
— The Campfire Girls Go Motoring • Hildegard G. Frey

... of the Two-Surface Flying Machine Introductory Chapter by Octave Chanute, C. E. II. Theory Development and Use Origin of the Aeroplane—Developments by Chanute and the Wrights—Practical Uses and Limits. III. Mechanical Bird Action What the Motor Does—Puzzle in Bird Soaring. IV. Various Forms of Flying Machines Helicopters, Ornithopters and Aeroplanes— Monoplanes, Biplanes and Triplanes. V. Constructing a Gliding Machine Plans and Materials Required—Estimate ...
— Flying Machines - Construction and Operation • W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

... that is as exquisite as it is indescribable—one of those vague, elusive, and yet powerful odors so characteristic of spring flowers. You will smell it—the air will be full of it—and yet it will puzzle you to locate it. The wind will blow from you and it will be gone. Then a breeze will blow your way, and the air will suddenly be overpoweringly sweet with the scent shaken free from blossoms so small as to be hardly noticeable unless one makes a careful search for them. Then, too, the fruit ...
— Amateur Gardencraft - A Book for the Home-Maker and Garden Lover • Eben E. Rexford

... puzzle only, an anomaly, upon that one, white, unruffled consciousness! His first principle once recognised, all the rest, the whole array of propositions down to the [110] heartless practical conclusion, must follow of themselves. Detachment: to hasten hence: to fold up ...
— Imaginary Portraits • Walter Horatio Pater

... letter, "but what shall we do, Enos, about bringing her home? Mr. Freeman truly says that, while Rose is eager to take Anne to Boston, we may feel that it would not be right for her to go. It is indeed a puzzle, is it not? Whatever possessed Anne to turn upon Amanda in such fashion, and then to run off?" and the good woman shook her ...
— A Little Maid of Massachusetts Colony • Alice Turner Curtis

... taxation?] What, then, are taxes? The question is one which is apt to come up, sooner or later, to puzzle children. They find no difficulty in understanding the butcher's bill for so many pounds of meat, or the tailor's bill for so many suits of clothes, where the value received is something that can be seen and handled. But the tax bill, though it comes as inevitably as the autumnal ...
— Civil Government in the United States Considered with - Some Reference to Its Origins • John Fiske

... or no judge, who wished to prepare an argument on one side of a question should think fit to cast that argument for convenience' sake in the form of a judicial summing-up of both sides is, and must remain, a puzzle. ...
— In the Name of the Bodleian and Other Essays • Augustine Birrell

... that I know of. Come, Chief Inspector, this finessing with me is highly improper on your part—highly improper. And it's also unfair, you know. You shouldn't leave me to puzzle things out for myself like this. Really, ...
— The Secret Agent - A Simple Tale • Joseph Conrad

... been a merry prank; he was still a prank, but not often merry. His spirit seemed to be overcast; and the terrible fact came out gradually that he was not 'nicely disposed.' His relatives failed to understand him, and they gave him up like a puzzle. He was self-contradictory. For instance, though a shocking liar, he was lavish of truth whenever truth happened to be disconcerting and inopportune. He it was who told the forewoman of his uncle's millinery ...
— A Great Man - A Frolic • Arnold Bennett

... definite which must be laid to his account as a fault. He certainly had a capacity for becoming perfectly childish in his indulgence in ingenuities that have nothing to do with poetry at all, such as puns, and rhymes, and grammatical structures that only just fit into each other like a Chinese puzzle. Probably it was only one of the marks of his singular vitality, curiosity, and interest in details. He was certainly one of those somewhat rare men who are fierily ambitious both in large things and in small. He prided himself on having written The Ring and ...
— Robert Browning • G. K. Chesterton

... This puzzle was not on Monday night long in being resolved. Ollivarez entered, and a child in the gallery commenced crying with that persevering quality of tone which threatens long endurance. Mr. Yates could not resist the temptation; and Ollivarez, the newly-created Duke of Medina, promised ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... presented itself to Joel on the day preceding the golf tournament and the football game with Westvale. On account of the latter there had been only a half hour of light practice for the two squads, and Joel at half past four had gone to his room to study. But when it came time to puzzle out some problems in geometry Joel found that his paper was used up, and, rather than borrow of his neighbors, he pulled on his cap and ...
— The Half-Back • Ralph Henry Barbour

... to interpret each other. Yet, after giving due weight to such answers, Perugino, being what he was, living at the time he did, not as a recluse, but as a prosperous impresario of painting, and systematically devoting his powers to pietistic art, must be for us a puzzle. That the quietism of his highly artificial style should have been fashionable in Perugia, while the Baglioni were tearing each other to pieces, and the troops of the Vitelli and the Borgia were trampling upon Umbria, is one of ...
— Renaissance in Italy Vol. 3 - The Fine Arts • John Addington Symonds

... aisles had the usual round-headed windows, with the unusual (for England) circular windows above. There were flat buttresses; but I must reject the flying-buttresses of some restorers. The clerestory windows are a puzzle. Everybody maintains they were Pointed, and, if so, they would have been inserted at the same time as the new roof; but there seems to be no trustworthy authority for this. In Finden's engravings after Hollar they are taken ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of St. Paul - An Account of the Old and New Buildings with a Short Historical Sketch • Arthur Dimock

... up and down the hall, which would be hers? There was no reasoning which could help him in the midst of that puzzle. He walked to what he judged to be the middle of the hall, turned to his right, and opened the first door. A hinge creaked, but it was no louder than the ...
— Way of the Lawless • Max Brand

... doing so, but that must have been the cause of their looks of alarm. I believe that one can remain for a fortnight at this inn without payment, unless conscience interferes; and people who had stayed there told me that meat had been served to them from the monastery kitchen; so that puzzle still remains a ...
— Russian Rambles • Isabel F. Hapgood

... guess how she enjoyed the lawn with its roses, and the beautiful river. Fresh from the poor little cabin on the hill-top, she nevertheless fell with the greatest ease into the ways and habits of her new life. It did not puzzle or disturb her in the least to live in large rooms, be waited on by servants, or have nice things about her; she took to all these naturally. For a few days Mr. and Mrs. Grant watched with some anxiety, fearing to discover a flaw in their treasure, but no ...
— Nine Little Goslings • Susan Coolidge

... imagine the whole of Europe with St. Petersburg, Paris, and London transformed into a vast rubbish-heap. How could we expect the kindlers of such a fire to retain any consciousness after so vast a devastation? He used to puzzle any who professed their readiness for self-sacrifice by telling them it was not the so- called tyrants who were so obnoxious, but the smug Philistines. As a type of these he pointed to a Protestant parson, and declared that he would ...
— My Life, Volume I • Richard Wagner

... chin, and smooth placid cheeks were strongly expressive of quiet decision and dignified force of will. The mouth, almost always the tell-tale feature of the face, seemed in his case rather calculated to puzzle any one who would have speculated on the meanings shadowed forth by the lines of it. It was certainly, with its large rows of unexceptionably brilliant teeth, a very handsome mouth. And it was often not devoid of much sweetness. Nobody had ever imagined that they detected any ...
— A Siren • Thomas Adolphus Trollope

... the versifier may draw the knot of logic, yet for the ear he still leaves the tissue of the sentence floating somewhat loose. In prose, the sentence turns upon a pivot, nicely balanced, and fits into itself with an obtrusive neatness like a puzzle. The ear remarks and is singly gratified by this return and balance; while in verse it is all diverted to the measure. To find comparable passages is hard; for either the versifier is hugely the superior of the rival, ...
— The Art of Writing and Other Essays • Robert Louis Stevenson

... was a puzzle at the very start of the case. It was in all probability Mrs. Willoughby who had looked at the jewels in both cases. On the other hand, it was Annie Grayson who had been seen on at least one occasion, yet apparently had had nothing whatever to do with the missing jewels, at least not so far ...
— The Dream Doctor • Arthur B. Reeve

... puzzle. The Galilean is not witless, but hath both wit and wisdom and speaketh with authority. Yet came neither his wisdom nor authority from the Temple. So did the lawyers and scribes question among themselves, and we held council. And to me it ...
— The Coming of the King • Bernie Babcock

... Natacha relapsed into dreaming and wondering how it had all happened. Not being able to solve the puzzle, she drifted into reminiscence once more. She could see him—him—and feel his impassioned eyes fixed on her face. "Oh, make haste back! I am so afraid he will not come yet! Besides, it is all very well, but I am growing old; I shall ...
— In the Yule-Log Glow, Book I - Christmas Tales from 'Round the World • Various

... of front Gerrard had not time to puzzle over at the moment, for as Sher Singh left the tent under the escort of Badan Hazari, the Rajah's minister, Diwan Dwarika Nath, appeared out of the darkness with his attendants, and cast a keen glance at the departing figure. ...
— The Path to Honour • Sydney C. Grier

... south upon the plain. These hills are of pure white sand, thrown up in ridges, and sometimes in cones, to the height of a hundred feet, and without tree, bush, or shrub, to break their soft outlines, or the uniformity of their colour. But the greatest anomaly of this geological puzzle is, that water-ponds are found in their very midst—even among their highest ridges—and this water not occasional, as from rains, but lying in "lagunas," with reeds, rushes, and nymphae growing in them, to attest that the water is permanent! The very last place where water might be ...
— The White Chief - A Legend of Northern Mexico • Mayne Reid

... I mean. In the beginning a star, when drawn with a nail into a brick looked as follows: {illust.} This sign however was too cumbersome and after a short while when the meaning of "heaven" was added to that of star the picture was simplified in this way {illust.} which made it even more of a puzzle. In the same way an ox changed from {illust} into {illust.} and a fish changed from {illust.} into {illust.} The sun was originally a plain circle {illust.} and became {illust.} If we were using the Sumerian script today we would make an {illust.} look like {illust.}. This system of writing ...
— The Story of Mankind • Hendrik van Loon

... word of five letters find: 1st. An hour-glass puzzle, the central letters of which, read downward, signify to perform again; horizontally, a symbol often used in writing, a beverage, a vowel, a performance, to provide. 2d. A word-square containing a unit, a vehicle, an epoch. ...
— St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, January 1878, No. 3 • Various

... to think the writers donkeys. How they obtained her address was a puzzle; they stole in to comfort her slightly. They attached her to her position of Defendant by the thought of what would have been the idea of her character if she had flown—a reflection emanating from inexperience of the resources ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... ample evidence of a warm and almost West Indian climate among the low basking islets of our northern carboniferous seas. Or take once more the oolitic epoch in England, lithographed on its own mud, with its puzzle-monkeys and its sago-palms, its crocodiles and its deinosaurs, its winged pterodactyls and its whale-like lizards. All these huge creatures and these broad-leaved trees plainly indicate the existence of a temperature over ...
— Science in Arcady • Grant Allen

... moral—of enemy commanders. Some one else noted that the supposed speciality of the General immediately opposite us was that of making fierce attacks across impassable marshes. "Good," put in a third some one. "Let's puzzle the German staff by persuading him that we have an Etonian General in this part of the line, a very celebrated 'wet-bob.'" Which sprightly suggestion made the Brigadier-General smile. But it was my good fortune to go one better. I had to partner him at ...
— Pushed and the Return Push • George Herbert Fosdike Nichols, (AKA Quex)

... lined with people they knew, servants and negroes, standing about the driveway and outside the fence, people of the village grouped along the sidewalk, everybody out upon their doorsteps to watch the coach go by, and to all the face of the bride was a puzzle and a surprise. They half expected to see another coach coming ...
— Marcia Schuyler • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... as he started toward the spot where silence now reigned. "Come along after me, Jack, darlint; and please remimber that if the beast springs at me, I depind on you to knock spots out of him. Keep back, the rest of ye, now, till we solve the puzzle." ...
— Motor Boat Boys Down the Coast - or Through Storm and Stress to Florida • Louis Arundel

... I think. If she doesn't deserve to be, who does?" he continued, rousing himself somewhat from his absent manner. "I suppose, now, there is no absolutely faultless woman; and yet I sometimes think it would puzzle the most fastidious critic of human nature to point out any one particular in which Miss Francie could be finer than she is; I think it would. It is not my business to find fault; I don't want to find fault; but I have often thought over Miss ...
— Prince Fortunatus • William Black

... I take off my shoes and put on a pair of zori, or straw sandals provided for me, as the rock is extremely slippery. The others land barefoot. But how to proceed soon becomes a puzzle: the countless stone-piles stand so close together that no space for the foot seems to be ...
— Glimpses of an Unfamiliar Japan - First Series • Lafcadio Hearn

... points in the missive which seemed of greater interest to him than others. For example, the place whence it had been addressed was an ever recurring puzzle; he also dwelt long upon the sentence which referred so delicately to a paternal relationship. The most exigent passages, however, were those relative to the time he might look for the man's coming. As specially directed, ...
— The Prince of India - Or - Why Constantinople Fell - Volume 1 • Lew. Wallace

... reach to Legare Street. It runs in the family. Julian Pringle, he died in '70, he was just the same. Now why should a long nose run through a family like that, or a bad temper, or the colour of hair? I don't know. The world's a puzzle and the older one grows, the more it ...
— The Ghost Girl • H. De Vere Stacpoole

... "That's the puzzle! I do not know. I never heard of any such person in my life—not that I remember. Evidently, though, he knows enough about me to know that I own that sheep ranch, and to think that I ought to go out there and see it. I do ...
— The Story of Wool • Sara Ware Bassett

... upon the subject," said Holmes. "He remarks that, while the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will do, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals vary, but ...
— The Sign of the Four • Arthur Conan Doyle

... down to puzzle over those parts of her letter which he had barely skimmed; faded into insignificance for the moment before the outstanding confession that she really loved him. But they loomed larger and larger, more and more puzzling and ominous, as he read and reread them. Finally he thrust ...
— Black Oxen • Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton

... as Evelyn, who was a constant puzzle to her mother, this argument had very little weight compared with her own sense of duty to her parents. Her somewhat ideal education made worldly advantages of little force in her mind, and love the one priceless possession ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... of the coinage, the gossip of the king's embroilments with the Parliament—these things, it may again be said, occupied Law's mind far less than the question of gaining audience with his fair rescuer of the morn at Sadler's Wells. This was the puzzle which, revolve it as he might, not even his audacious wit was able to provide with plausible solution. He pondered the matter in a hundred different pleasing phases as he passed from the Bank of England through the crowded streets of London, ...
— The Mississippi Bubble • Emerson Hough

... Kamtchatka and Korea, Arabia and the Indian Peninsula all point south? South America, Africa, and Australia are drawn out into wedges narrowing southwards. They are like stalactites in a grotto. But however much you may puzzle over the globe, and however much you may question learned men, you will never know why the earth's surface has assumed exactly the form it has and ...
— From Pole to Pole - A Book for Young People • Sven Anders Hedin

... been the reasons for my fellow-traveller's anxiety about my name and occupation, I knew not, yet could not help feeling gratified at thinking that as I had not given my name at the coach office, I was a great a puzzle to ...
— The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Vol. 2 • Charles James Lever

... sense, the Bible of the Greeks, and as society improved in morals, and thought was directed more and more fearlessly towards religious questions, the puzzle as to the immoralities of the gods became acute. The religious and intellectual developments of the sixth century B.C. led to various ways of explaining the old stories. Sophocles is conciliatory, conceiving ...
— Among Famous Books • John Kelman

... we were desirous of obtaining. We got Murden's consent to act in the plot, and by the aid of a wig his disguise was complete. As for Steel Spring, he was to remain as he was, without disguise, but was to vehemently deny his cognomen, and puzzle Mr. ...
— The Gold Hunter's Adventures - Or, Life in Australia • William H. Thomes

... finds myself tacklin this hopeless puzzle from every angle I could think of. I tried 'phonin' to Claire's old street number. Nothin' doin'. They didn't know anything about ...
— The House of Torchy • Sewell Ford

... absolution, and offered him the book at an immense loss on the sale price. 'If you were,' replied the doctor, 'to bring the book at my door for nothing, I would take it with a pair of tongs and drop it into the gutter.' It was a puzzle to everyone what the little doctor did with all his purchases, which were limited chiefly to classical books. At his death, however, it transpired that he bought for the various Universities of the United Kingdom. The doctor's son, a poor curate, entered his ...
— The Book-Hunter in London - Historical and Other Studies of Collectors and Collecting • William Roberts

... "bookworm" could gloat, a chest of secret drawers into which the curious delight to pry, a difficult problem in Euclid for the mathematician to solve; and an unreadable book for the author. A conglomeration of languages for the scholar, a puzzle for the historian, and a subject for the novelist. These are points which it is not the object of this book to attempt to clear up and settle; all it aims at, as in the case of my "Cry of the Children from the Brick-yards ...
— Gipsy Life - being an account of our Gipsies and their children • George Smith

... the instance of that boy of Dalhem is perplexing. Whether it was the spirit of the child that returned into his body to animate it anew, or the demon who replaced his soul, the puzzle appears to me the same; in all this circumstance we behold only the work of the evil spirit. God does not seem to have had any share in it. Now, if the demon can take the place of a spirit in a body newly dead, or if he can make the soul by which it was animated ...
— The Phantom World - or, The philosophy of spirits, apparitions, &c, &c. • Augustin Calmet

... jar of Holland blue, Which he carefully carried to its place. Then, with a smile on his aged face, He drew up a chair to the open space 'Twixt table and chimney. "Without preface, Young man, I will say that what you see Is not the puzzle you take it to be." "But surely, Sir, there is something strange In a shop with goods at so wide a range Each from the other, as swords and seeds. Your neighbours must have greatly differing needs." ...
— Sword Blades and Poppy Seed • Amy Lowell

... which divided their lives. To the son the shock was scarcely less violent than to the father. The Seder, which the day's unwonted excitement had clean swept out of his mind, recurred to him in a flash, and by the light of it he understood the puzzle of his father's appearance. The thought of explaining rushed up only to be dismissed. The door of the restaurant had not yet ceased swinging behind him—there was too much to explain. He felt that all was over between him and his father. It was unpleasant, terrible even, for it meant the annihilation ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... after Rome had been taken by the Gauls, the senate, on a sudden emergency, armed ten legions, 3000 horse, and 42,000 foot; a force which the city could not have sent forth under Augustus, (Livy, xi. 25.) This declaration may puzzle an antiquary, but it is ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 3 • Edward Gibbon

... to puzzle ourselves with insoluble questions about the co- operation of God's power and man's; but practically, is it not true that God reaches His end, of the establishment of Zion, through the Church? He has not barely willed that the world should be saved, nor barely that it should ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Isaiah and Jeremiah • Alexander Maclaren

... Mount Desert'—F. E. Church, N. A. A puzzle. We are glad once more to welcome to a public gallery a significant work by this widely known and much admired artist. Of late, the exhibition of such works (in so far as we know) invariably alone, may perhaps have ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol III, Issue VI, June, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... endless devices to make the noonday siesta full of contentment—he followed the back track a little way, stepping carefully in his own footprints; branched off on the other side of the trail, and so circled swiftly back to join his little flock, leaving behind him a sad puzzle of disputing tracks for any ...
— Secret of the Woods • William J. Long

... the strange condition that her father Pelias had laid upon all suitors, he was heavy-hearted. Only that man who should come to woo her in a chariot drawn by a wild boar and a lion might ever marry Alcestis; and this task was enough to puzzle even a king. ...
— Children's Literature - A Textbook of Sources for Teachers and Teacher-Training Classes • Charles Madison Curry

... the place where he boarded we learned that he got a letter from Arizona—trust the average landlady to look at postmarks—that he seemed greatly agitated all that day, and left that night. No one has seen him since. Why he went is a puzzle. Where, we don't care. So long as he keeps out ...
— Cy Whittaker's Place • Joseph C. Lincoln

... this phenomenon categorically to the old man, who only smiled meaningly by way of answer. His superior smile led the young scientific man to fancy that he himself had been deceived by some imposture. He had no wish to carry one more puzzle to his grave, and hastily turned the skin over, like some child eager to find out the ...
— The Magic Skin • Honore de Balzac

... an unusual dovetail joint, which, when put together properly is a puzzle. The tenon or tongue of the joint is sloping on three surfaces and the mortise is cut sloping to match. The bottom surface of the mortise is ...
— The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1 - 700 Things For Boys To Do • Popular Mechanics

... deserted his work and was frantically dashing out on to the veldt. They uttered shrill cries as they ran, and every man had some sort of weapon in his hand, either a tomahawk, a billet of wood, or a rock. With marvellous celerity they formed a huge circle, though what they were after was a puzzle to me. I fancied for awhile that one of their number must have run "amuck," and the rest meant to send him to slumber. Quickly they narrowed the circle, the whole body of them moving as if linked together and propelled by unseen mechanism. When the circle got about the third the size of ...
— Campaign Pictures of the War in South Africa (1899-1900) - Letters from the Front • A. G. Hales

... scene of The First Person Singular shifts between the kinetic panorama of modern New York and the somewhat stultifying quietude of a small Pennsylvania town. A mysterious Mrs. Ventress is the centre of its rapidly unfolding series of peculiar situations. Mrs. Ventress is a puzzle to the townspeople. They believe odd things about her. The particular family in Tupton with which she comes in contact is an eccentric one. The father is a recluse—for reasons. His adopted daughter, Bessie Gedney, is an odd character among young girls in fiction. Dr. Gedney's ...
— When Winter Comes to Main Street • Grant Martin Overton

... carefully. Under a cairn exterior he concealed a throbbing heart, for in that valise was the Doctor's pistol, upon which he relied in anticipation of future dangers. The officials opened the valise. It was apparently a puzzle to them. They found but little clothing. On the contrary, a very extensive assortment of articles wrapped in paper and labelled very neatly. These they opened one by one in the first ...
— The Dodge Club - or, Italy in 1859 • James De Mille

... Let us concern ourselves about the past only as that past shall contribute to a more glorious future. It is not mounds, pyramids, or bronze tablets we should be building for later generations of archaeologists to puzzle their ...
— See America First • Orville O. Hiestand

... imperfect language. But from the man who dared to interpose a human comment on the Scripture, I most rigidly demanded a clear, single, self-consistent sense. If he did not know what he meant, why did he not hold his peace? If he did know, why did he so speak as to puzzle us? It was for this uniform refusal to allow of self-contradiction, that it was more than once sadly predicted of me at Oxford that I should become "a Socinian;" yet I did not apply this logical measure to any compositions but those which ...
— Phases of Faith - Passages from the History of My Creed • Francis William Newman

... him "Cat-thumper," after the Indian fashion of christening a child from some marked exploit or incident in his career. This became contracted to "Thumper," an appropriate title, for, with the fat pickings of the restaurant, his bearship grew with a rapidity that made it a puzzle how his ...
— Red Saunders' Pets and Other Critters • Henry Wallace Phillips



Words linked to "Puzzle" :   word square, stump, excogitate, escape, befuddle, bedevil, mull, game, mull over, speculate, confound, sudoku, think over, elude, contemplate, meditate, chew over, ponder, reflect, discombobulate, riddle, confuse, fuddle, fox, ruminate, mix up, acrostic, tangram, problem, dumbfound, crossword, throw, muse



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