What Riddle Takes 150 Years To Solve?

What Riddle Takes 150 Years To Solve?

If you know the story of Alice in wonderland you will be familiar with the mad hatters riddle: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Lewis Carroll drew inspiration for the white rabbit from St. Mary’s church. could soon have another connection with Carroll as a local Beverlonian may have solved the mad hatters riddle after 150 years.

It is known that Lewis Carroll gave an answer to this riddle in later additions of Alice in wonderland but could Lewis Carroll’s answer have been another riddle in itself.

He published the answer as “Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat, and it is nevar put with the wrong end in front.”

It was only realised recently that he had spelt nevar incorrectly on purpose but the misspelling was corrected by the publishers. Nevar is raven back to front.

It has troubled that the second part of his explanation (and it is nevar put with the wrong end in front) does not fit both a raven and a writing desk.

Neil Bant, a local Beverley lad, thinks that this could be another riddle and he may have just solved the riddle that was first set by Lewis Carroll in 1865.

Neils answer to the riddle seems obvious when spoken;

One is nevar backwards and the other is forwords.

The mis-spelling of forwards as for-words fits the saying for both the raven and the writing desk. Other authors have come up with answers like both have inky quills, but Neil’s simple line to solve the riddle fits with the Alice story itself.

Whilst Alice is moving forward in time, the characters in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are moving backwards in time.

With this discovery isn’t it great that you can also discover the new Beverley cinema and go and see Alice Through the Looking Glass locally too.



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This article has 1 Comment

  1. Well done Neil!

    I don’t think it would go down well in a Christmas cracker though.

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