28 June 1996

Lee has a good week (and a riddle)

On Thursday, 27 June 1996, I correctly answered the following riddle, sent to Riddle du Jour by Doug Mattox of Rolla, MO:

Decapitate me and all becomes equal. Then terminate me and I become second. Cut me front and back and I become two less than I started. What am I?

The answer is below, but here's something to make up some spoiler space. I won a 1996 Parrothead Club Caribbean Soul T-shirt for my trouble. And my home page was linked from the "Previous Riddles" section for a week and the "Sphinx's Hall of Fame" for who knows how long. I've been answering their riddles (or at least attempting to) for several months now. I probably get the correct answer about 30-40% of the time, but I was never selected as a winner. This time I was one of 93 people to answer correctly (out of 1316 who guessed). I don't always pay attention, but I'm pretty sure there has usually been more people with the correct answer when I've gotten it right before.

I'm sure this page will seem silly in a few weeks, but I'm writing it shortly after I found out I won, so I'm still excited. It's been a good week, as my (Useless) Super-Hero Generator was selected as a Surfers' Pick by Tony over at Yahoo! on Monday, 24 June 1996. I don't know how he found it since I haven't gone out of my way to advertise it, but I'm not complaining. 8)

Okay, I've wasted enough of your time. The answer is the word "seven."

What, you don't get it? Okay, here's the progression:

even (equal)
eve (2nd person, according to the Bible)
v (Roman numeral five; two less than seven)

Gee, do you suppose my (Useless) Roman Numeral Convertor gave me an advantage? :-)

[This is an early example of what one would later call a blog post. This was posted as two separate pages -- one for the question, one for the answer -- to my personal web site back on 28 Jun 1996. Now I'm putting here, therefore saving a whopping 3 Kb by removing it from my site after twelve years. And yes, it does seem a bit silly now. Oh, and the Riddle du Jour and Yahoo! destinations are long since gone, but the links are maintained for posterity. — 8 Oct 2008]