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A Riddle - Richard Sharpe's father

Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:29 pm
by Sun Fin
OT: I'm not 100% sure if this is the right board or whether The Pub would be more appropriate but a moderator can decide.

OK guys, since we're a history board I'm sure many of us are familiar with historical fiction writer Bernard Cornwall and his most famous creation Richard Sharpe. Those of you who are as obsessed as me will know that the name of his father was never released; however when Bernard Cornwall was asked by a fan he gave out a riddle. That riddle is still unsolved. So, I want to solve it. But I think I’ve got a better chance of achieving this if I work with you guys as many of you are smarter than me :lol:.

So the riddle is: ‘Take you out, put me in and a horse appears in this happy person’

My first thought was
a) find another word for a happy person
b) take out the letter ‘u’
c) replace it with ‘me’
d) We know it’d be right by the inclusion of a breed of a horse in the name.

After trying this for a bit I decided to see if anyone else had posted any of their thoughts online. One guy came up with this and posted it up on Bernard Cornwall’s website and got a response:

Q: From your clue, was Sharpe's father a smuggler perhaps ? [Take the 'u' out, put 'i' (me) in, the horse is a 'gg' and the happy person a 'smiler'] You didn't specifically mention a prize, so I assume the traditional reward of the hand of your daughter and half your bank account applies...

A: You're not too far off, but still no cigar, daughter or the ten bucks you mentioned.


Now this guy approached it similarly to me. But he did a few key things differently:

a) First of all he did it backwards to the away I approached it. I tried starting with the word describing a happy person and taking the ‘u’ out and putting ‘me’ in. I still think I’m doing it the right way round but it does open the idea I might be wrong.

b) Second of all he put ‘I’ in instead of ‘me’ which prompted me to instantly face palm for my stupidity. I’m sure this guy is right for that.

c) Thirdly instead of using the breed of horse to confirm his answer he used it to give a few letters. I’m not gonna lie, I’m no expert on horses so what relevance ‘gg’ has I don’t know but I’m open to the idea of using that or something similar.


So a possible route to finding the correct answer:
1. Another word for a happy person.
2. Take out the letter ‘u’.
3. Add in me, ‘I’.
4. Add in something to do with horses, maybe ‘gg’.


Some words I’ve come up with (I used Optimist as a base and then used a thesaurus for words with a ‘u’ in):
• Utopian
• Buoyant
• Sanguine
• Vivacious
• Jaunty


So Scholars, what do you say? Are any of you interested in trying to solve this with me?

Re: A Riddle - Richard Sharpe's father

Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:05 pm
by Lord Yang Jiahua
Sure Sun Fin, ill try....

My first thought is despite it being a riddle, ever thought this might be a cypher, a messege that the letters can be moved around to get a new one?

Huh,What perplexes me is the 'in' in the riddle, because if i had to go for the literal meaning here, it would be 2 suitors and a lady.

Firstly i'd guess the 'you' would either mean courting the lady(modernly Take you out)or it means to remove the other suitor so he cannot court the lady, the horse was usually what fine gentleman in the 19th century rode(besides a carriage) when going to a lady's house. Happy person, could either be from the lady's perspective or the man's, as in the suitor she loves shows up, or the woman he loves accepts and loves him back.

This is just my view of it, so do go easy on the criticism.

Re: A Riddle - Richard Sharpe's father

Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:38 pm
by Sun Fin
Thanks for your thoughts LYJ.

I've had little experience of cyphers but what you say sounds very reasonable. However it seems unlikely since Sharpe's mother was a prostetute and his father a client who would have had little-to need to court her.

Once again thanks for the attempt though :)