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 perforate someone or something in many places, as with bullets. Often used in passive constructions. Attackers riddled the detective's house with bullets as a warning to stop her investigation. Buildings were riddled with debris from the airplane that had exploded miles above the city.
See also: riddle

riddle me this/that

Used to humorously or sarcastically emphasize a question that undercuts another person's self-assuredness. One uses "this" when the phrase comes before the question and "that" when it comes after. Adapted from the catchphrase of The Riddler, a villain character in the Batman universe of comics, films, and video games. You act like you have it all figured out, but riddle me this: How are we supposed to get that much cash in less then a day? Besides, if you quit your job, how are you going to pay for all these plans, huh? Riddle me that!
See also: riddle, that, this

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 ?
While the riddle can be solved as "Reed Pen" on the basis of its Latin model, its solution is not as straightforward as Symphosius's.
Only one child asks a riddle at any one time, but there can be several receivers.
In the presentation of the blog we included a text that invites the users to write their answers in the comments of each riddle, specifying that in some cases there could be more than one possible answer.
Thus she finds that "contemporary literary criticism following a Paulinetype riddle would be preeminently that of Frye" (87) and offers suggestions for the others, including, apropos of feminist criticism, a list of female types associated with each masterplot.
Shortz diligently wrote four number-related riddles for the movie.
As a member of the staff of the Carnegie Institution Station for Experimental Evolution, Riddle wrote extensively, contributing papers on the physiology and chemical bases of sex, heredity, and endocrinology.
Riddle was also banned from driving for three years.
The police car continued alongside Riddle, of Cwmamman Road, Glanamman, Ammanford, west Wales, but he still did not stop, Ms Mainwaring said.
Riddle was banned from driving until sentencing on December 3.
The case was adjourned for sentencing until December 3, and Riddle was made subject to an interim order disqualifying him from driving.
Although the riddle form in general as well as the Anglo-Saxon riddles in particular can he identified with broadly understood didactic functions, several of the Exeter riddles appear to be especially interested in the nature of wisdom and in the intellectual game of wits ensuing from it.
PUPILS at Stonehusrt Lodge School in Mountsorrel have been keeping busy raising money for charity and creating their own outdoor riddle trail.
9 November 2017 - North Carolina, US-based private equity firm Teall Investments has acquired Boston, US-based millennial-centred agency Riddle and Bloom to expand marketing solutions to next generation consumers, the company said.
From the We Both Read educational series which encourage children to develop reading skills through interactive fun and learning, Riddle Rhymes asks the child riddle questions with rhyming answers in a reading partnership activity with a parent or educator.
Founded as a custom-crush operation for sparkling wine, Rack & Riddle had been paving a unique path since its inception in 2007.