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 ?
Early denies murdering Mr Riddler the week before Christmas last year by stabbing him at her home.
The officers wanted to talk to drug user Riddler after he and Nicola were spotted on CCTV at B&Q in Perth.
Inspired by the classic TV series, the digital comic book features many fan-favorite characters like Catwoman, The Riddler, The Joker and, of course, the dynamic duo of Batman and Robin.
I was dubbed the Riddler, so the rest of the group had to have nicknames too.
And the 76-year-old British legend believes Nolan will choose the Riddler, whose trademark is an obsession with puzzles and brainteasers, to face off against Batman, played by Christian Bale.
JAMIE SPENCER took a huge step towards getting his jockeys' title back when riding a fourtimer at Wolverhampton on Monday, and he should be among the winners again tonight with rides such as The Riddler, who heads the ratings in the Hotel & Conferencing At Wolverhampton Racecourse Median Auction Maiden Stakes (7.
Riddler and her coinvestigators of the open-label, prospective AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) 5142 study compared these three regimens in 753 naive subjects with HIV RNA greater than 2,000 copies/mL and any CD4 cell count.
Without Will Shortz's help, Jim Carrey's Riddler wouldn't have had anyone guessing in ``Batman Forever.
They're all here--those wacky, diabolical villains, The Joker, Riddler, Ventriloquist, Scarecrow and more--sprung from their Home for the Criminally Insane by Batman's arch-enemy, Bane.
Actor Frank Gorshin, the impressionist with 100 faces best known for his Emmy-nominated role as The Riddler on the old Batman television series, has died.
Alessandro Tiburzi, wearing the same green tights and mad shock of fake red hair (prefiguring The Riddler from Batman), was sincere, but did not prance and flit with Di Cosmo's convincing lightheartedness.
Enjoy amazing encounters with Catwoman, duels with The Penguin, contests with The Riddler, and of course, battles of wit with The Joker -- Grab your cape and swing into action with this quintessential Batman compilation.
Bahrain-based reggae band The Legends, DJ Cossta, DJ Riddler and DJ Poppa Bad Bad from Jamaica will also perform and authentic Jamaican and Caribbean dishes will also be sold at the festival.
Washington, May 6 ( ANI ): Television network Fox has revealed that they would come up with the prequel series of Batman series 'Gotham' that will feature younger versions of Bruce Wayne, Alfred the butler, The Joker, Cat Women, The Riddler and Penguin.
Accompanied by an adult Batman impersonator, Batkid rescued a damsel in distress from cable car tracks, captured the Riddler as he robbed a bank, and saved the San Francisco Giants mascot -- Lou Seal -- from the Penguin's clutches.