Sunday, February 7, 2010

NPR Puzzle 2/7/10 -- Kings and Queens

Hello, this is Crossword Man standing in for Magdalen, who is on the West Coast visiting a friend. This is the gist of today's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
The nickname of a well-known queen is an anagram of the name of a well-known king. What are their names?
Despite Will's assurances, I thought this was one of his more difficult posers. But when I did see the answer, I knew it was right: the queen is well-known and the king is well-known. On the other hand, when I called Henry, he hadn't got the answer and Magdalen is still struggling with the puzzle.

By coincidence, the hostess gift Magdalen brought to her friend also involved royalty. It's called Kings and Queens and was first published in 1932. This book of children's poems was co-written by the English writer Eleanor Farjeon and her brother Herbert, who is mainly known for his work in British theater.

I was surprised not to have heard of this book before, as the humor seems akin to another book I love, 1066 and All That. There is a poem for each monarch from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II (in later editions). Here's an example Magdalen picked out:

William Rufus
WILLIAM THE SECOND
He had a red head
One day to the forest
His huntsmen he led;
A fellow named Tyrrel
An arrow let loose,
And William fell dead
As a Michaelmas Goose --
And nobody knows
If the fellow name Tyrrel
Took William's red head
For the king or a squirrel.

Don't assume this is in any way related to the NPR puzzle: regular readers know we try not to be spoilers in this forum. As usual, we'll say what we think the answer is in a post on Thursday.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

so they're "real" queen and king ?...not, like, the king of pop and the dairy queen ?

Marie said...

The queen was a real queen, the king--maybe not.

Magdalen said...

Thanks, Marie -- that was just what I needed to get the puzzle. (It's been nearly impossible living with Himself when he knew the answer and I didn't.)