In the Math Corner of my October Diary I departed from math for a change (with Martin Gardner as precedent) and posed a wordplay exercise.
Write something intelligible using only those letters of the alphabet that, in their capital forms, contain a curved portion. In other words, use only the letters B, C, D, G, J, O, P, Q, R, S, and U.
I confessed I had not myself got much beyond low nonsense like DO BOGUS GODS JOG, POOR JOB?
Hoo-ee, do people like wordplay or not? This one got a much bigger reader response than the average brainteaser.
Here are the responses that came closest to making sense, organized in sub-categories.
- Longest: POOR BOB'S PUG DOG POOPS ODOROUS GOO. OOPS! "GROSS BOOBOO, BOGUS CUR!" SOBS BOB. DOUR BOB'S
JOB: SCOOP UP SPOOR, POUR SUDS, SCRUB OR SCOUR POROUS ROCOCO RUG SO GOOD ODORS OCCUR. "PRO JOB!" PURRS GURU BOSS, "CURB PUPS SO OUR
SUBURBS SPUR PROUD JUJU!"
- Most topical:
ODOROUS GROUPS DO DRUGS, "JOG", ROB. PROUD DUO, GOOD BUD DO COP'S JOB, DROP CRUD.
- Most scripturally sound: "DO GOOD, BRO" — GOD
- Best suggestions for tabloid headlines (which I think is the natural cultural home for this particular style of
BUG SPOOR SOURS GOOD CURDS
COP GROUP DUBS PUGS GOOD DOGS
BOOR POURS SUDS JUG UP PUB DOOR
SOURPUSS BOOR ROBS ODD JOB GROUP
- Deepest vocabulary dive: GOOD JOB CROUPOUS BOORS SCRUB ODOROUS DOG SUBGROUPS. "Croupous" is
unknown to Dictionary.com but listed in Webster's Third:
"relating to or resembling croup … attended with the formation of a deposit or membrane."
- Closest approach to salacity: CORA'S B-CUP BOOBS POP UP; JOJO'S DD-CUP JUGS DROOP. "UP" CORA DUG POP GROUP
GOGOS; DOUR JOJO DUG GROUP
BÖC. CORA'S PUSS COCO PURRS; JOJO'S DOG CUJO BURPS. CUJO DUG UP
- Best improvement on my own feeble effort (see above): DO BOGUS GODS JOG POOR BUG?
- Most elegiac: OUR DOG, CUR, OD'D, POOR SOB.
- Most valiant attempt at political relevance (described by the attempter as "Pretty poor, except as a description
of the daily round of ol' Brandon"): US PRS JRB: P, P, P, P, POO, POO, P, P, P …
- Runners-up: (1) GOOD GOD, SOB OR BROOD SOURPUSS CROSS, POOR PROUD DOUR BOSS, OR CUSS SOUR BOG ODOR, OR SCOOP, SCRUB, OR SCOUR DOG POOP RUG SPOOR.
(2) BUD'S DOG POOPS RUG. PROUD BUD SCRUBS UP DOG'S POOP PDQ. GOOD JOB! GOOD GOD, DO BUD'S DOG'S POROUS DUGS DROOP!