riddle


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a riddle wrapped in an enigma

That which is so dense and secretive as to be totally indecipherable or impossible to foretell. It is a shortened version of a line used by Winston Churchill to describe the intentions and interests of Russia in 1939: "I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest." Many versions, variations, and appropriations of the quote, its structure, and its meaning have since been in use. I can't make any sense of this calculus textbook, it's like a riddle wrapped in an enigma. I just don't have any idea what Mary expects from me; she's a riddle wrapped in an enigma.
See also: enigma, riddle, wrap

a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma

That which is so dense and secretive as to be totally indecipherable or impossible to foretell. It is from a line used by Winston Churchill to describe the intentions and interests of Russia in 1939: "I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest." Many versions, variations, and appropriations of the quote, its structure, and its meaning have since been in use. Political campaigns make my head hurt. They're just a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
See also: enigma, inside, wrap

riddle someone or something with something

to fill someone or something with small holes, such as bullet holes. Max pulled the trigger of the machine gun and riddled Lefty with holes. The police riddled the wall with holes trying to shoot the escaped convict in the house.
See also: riddle

talk in riddles

to talk in a way that is difficult to understand
Usage notes: A riddle is a difficult and confusing description of something.
She keeps talking in riddles, instead of just coming out and saying what she means.
See also: riddle, talk

riddle with

v.
1. To pierce something in many places, especially with bullets or some other projectile: The troops riddled the side of the tank with gunfire.
2. To be permeated with some kind of puncture or hole. Used in the passive: The side of the house was riddled with bullet holes.
3. To be permeated in many places by something, especially by flaws. Used in the passive: That report was riddled with errors.
See also: riddle
References in periodicals archive ?
Tests found Riddle had 127 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, nearly four times the legal limit of 35 micrograms.
TERRIFYING: Motorists swerved to avoid Gordon Riddle in his car
Even a cursory etymological examination of the origins of the riddle concept in Germanic, Romance and Slavonic languages assures us of two chief roles that riddles must have performed in early cultures, namely that of wisdom and that of magic conjoined with the sacred.
Sador, who must save his life and that of Celinde by answering the first riddle, hesitates momentarily before verbalizing the awful truth, clearly feeling that such actions would be better passed over in silence:
from Drake University in Des Moines, Riddle had moved across customer service and operations to become vice president of government relations.
Handelman, entitled "Traps and Trans-formation: Theoretical Convergences between Riddle and Ritual.
Riddle serves on the boards of the Executive Leadership Council, Public Affairs Council, Guttmacher Institute, African-American Experience Fund of the National Parks Service, Smithsonian National Museum of African American Art, National Coalition and Caucus for the Black Aged, Americans for UNFPA and is an Honorary Trustee of the Des Moines Art Center.
From now until the end of September proceeds from my ghostwriting services will benefit I Love To Write Day," said John Riddle, the Founder of I Love To Write Day.
Originally refused permission to convert four ageing 'heritage asset' farm buildings into homes at Blakelaw Farm, Bellingham, Coun Riddle took his own council to appeal - and lost.
With his opposition whittled down to a single opponent, Riddle casts the race in a light that will be familiar to anyone following the Republican runoff for U.
VisitScotland announced that Philip Riddle - who last year earned pounds 215,000 - would no longer carry out the job of chief executive.
Peter Maxwell Riddle, 48, confessed driving without a license before a Darwin court after getting busted on October 7.
Those who miss seeing an episode or a riddle on television can visit www.
HILL NOTED in a Review of English Studies essay titled "Saturn's Time Riddle: An Insular Latin Analogue for Solomon and Saturn Lines 282-91" that the riddle Bilbo was able to "answer" only by a stroke of luck was likely to be familiar to Hobbit readers (282).
1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services, one of the largest custom wine operations in the nation, announced the release of the Kansas City Royals World Series Championship Brut sparkling wine.