coverOn Friday I posted this puzzle….

Yesterday I went to a restaurant with my rather strange friend, Mr Riddle. When the waiter came to take our orders, my friend said:

“Sir, I bear a rhyme excelling
In mystic force and magic spelling
Celestial sprites elucidate
All my own striving can’t relate”

What did he want to eat?

If you have not tried to solve it, have a go now.  For everyone else the answer is after the break.

The number of letters in each word of the riddle are as follows:

3.14159265359 and so on…..which is pi – so Mr Riddle ordered pie!

Did you solve it? Any other answers?


I have produced an ebook containing 101 of the previous Friday Puzzles! It is called PUZZLED and is available for the Kindle (UKhere and USA here) and on the iBookstore (UK here in the USA here). You can try 101 of the puzzles for free here.


  1. Not a chance! Familiar enough with pi but never made the connection regarding the number of letters per word.
    Ahem (clearing the throat before lodging my complaint) of course there is no comma in pi!

    1. In some countries they use a comma as decimal separator. But English is not the native language.

      I think mister Riddle leaves a restaurant hungry often…

    1. I got the pi answer… but sorry if I’ve missed an obvious joke, but what’s the reference to Sprite all about? Several people have mentioned it now but I don’t get it.

    2. The words ‘Celestial sprites’ appear in the poem, so I think people are picking up on that as a possible reference to the well known lemonade drink. I could be wrong though. Don’t quote me.

  2. In which case never order anything in a chinese restaurant if they interpret the letter count in your uttered words as numbered items on their menu.

  3. I looked at the puzzle and could see that the answer would involve word counts, or initial letters, or puns of the rhyme’s phrases, and just couldn’t be bothered to put the work in to resolve the puzzle. A negative datapoint for your collection…

  4. Haha, oh goodness, not a chance for this one. I didn’t even bother trying to combine letters.

    I settled with bear flank and a sprite.

    Still gonna forward this, as the solution is just hilarious 😛

  5. Waiting for pedants to complain that the rhyme only gives an approximation for pi, therefore Richard’s answer is wrong and the riddle is unsolvable…

    1. anyone who had already seen it (usually discussed as a mnemonic device to help you memorize the first few digits of pi, not as a riddle) would instantly recognize it.

      if you had never seen it, you would look for actual meaning in the gibberish and find none.

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