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

talk in riddles

To speak in a (perhaps intentionally) convoluted way. That record store clerk is like some kind of magic gnome who talks in riddles. He never gives a straight answer when you ask a question about something.
See also: riddle, talk

be riddled with (something)

To be full of or consumed with something. Your proposal was completely unrealistic and riddled with flaws—that's why it was rejected. He is still riddled with guilt over the car accident he caused last month.
See also: riddle

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

or

speak in riddles

If someone talks in riddles or speaks in riddles, they talk in a slightly strange, or mysterious way and it is not clear what they mean. Stop talking in riddles and tell me what you're getting at! `What did she mean by that?' `You know what Judy is like. She often speaks in riddles.'
See also: riddle, talk

talk (or speak) in riddles

express yourself in an ambiguous or puzzling manner.
See also: riddle, talk

be ˈriddled with something

be full of something, especially something bad or unpleasant: His body was riddled with cancer.Her typing was slow and riddled with mistakes.
See also: riddle, something

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 ?
The court heard how Early was often heard screaming at Mr Riddler in the terraced house they shared on and off.
Aside from the Riddler, they will be introducing Harley Quinn.
indicating that Riddler players request more pages and spend more time at the site per usage day than any other content site on the Web.
Also on display in the video related to the Batmobile are some of the Riddler sequences.
DJ Riddler has worked with renowned DJs from around the world including Bahrain's own DJ Outlaw, DJ Westside and DJ Jackson.
And Edward Riddler, 28, was jailed for six months yesterday for defying the court order.
From the riddles themselves, the short accompanying paragraph, and the spidery handwriting, I surmise that the Riddler is a retired man in his late seventies, enamored of the sonnet form and of the old-fashioned English riddle-poem (such as "Little Nancy Netticoat"), and quite unconcerned whether or not anyone solves his blasted riddles.
IT will come as a shock to comic book fans, but in athletics terms at least, peace appears to have broken out between Batman and The Riddler.
If the club needed the money that badly then why has The Riddler taken another bonus of half million?
Police are appealing for information and are keen to trace a man who had been dressed as The Riddler.
Almost 25 years after Wouldn't It Be Good raced up the charts, Kershaw is bringing his show, The Riddler Returns, to Ouseburn - but don't expect too many synth sounds.
Michael Caine believes the Riddler will be Batman's enemy if and when director Christopher Nolan decides to make a follow-up to last year's blockbuster "The Dark Knight.
Eddie Murphy is to play The Riddler in the new Batman movie.
The company chairman, Gordon Riddler, said, 'I am pleased to release the final results for the year ended 30 June 2008.