Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cracking the code

I'm in the old country, and found a notebook from when I was in high school, which included this poem that I had started to write. Though I had no memory of writing it, I instantly saw what the scheme was. 10 points to anyone who can figure it out, and 20 points to anyone who can write the next few lines, consistent with this scheme.

'Twas the night before Christmas when everything started
A check for only 13 bucks had made me downhearted
The train full of numbers gave me a fright
And the fat lady sang at the end of the night.
As I walked to the bridge, I neared my final hour
For there is no safety in nuclear power
"Bingo", they sang as the car drove away
With shocks all around, there was no need to pay
Trained men with balloons marched down the street
In search of the one who stole cupcakes to eat
The boxers fought and fought on the screen
Dodgeball, the blues, and a sullen preteen
The head of the statue was gone, yet he stood
While the football game was played, and the field goal was good
The young one lived with benevolent bears
"Is he human?" they wondered with scientific stares


  1. the gift led her to the bowling scene / in the end, to the car, for minutes fifteen?

  2. 20 points to JXG!!!

    And sorry about the error in the original poem (which I didn't catch until checking reference works more closely).

  3. I can't crack it. Any hints?

  4. Hint 1:
    Every two lines form a unit.

    Hint 2:
    This was the first draft of lines 5 and 6 (which were crossed out but still legible):

    "With a boulder attached, I walked on a slant
    But I could not vouch for the safety of the plant"

    Hint 3:
    To fix the error, lines 13 and 14 should be swapped with lines 15 and 16.