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  • WordNet 3.6
    • v puzzle be a mystery or bewildering to "This beats me!","Got me--I don't know the answer!","a vexing problem","This question really stuck me"
    • v puzzle be uncertain about; think about without fully understanding or being able to decide "We puzzled over her sudden departure"
    • n puzzle a game that tests your ingenuity
    • n puzzle a particularly baffling problem that is said to have a correct solution "he loved to solve chessmate puzzles","that's a real puzzler"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The first jigsaw puzzle was created by map maker John Splisbury who mounted one of his maps on a sheet of hardwood. He proceeded to cut around the borders of each country use a fine saw
    • puzzle Something which perplexes or embarrasses; especially, a toy or a problem contrived for testing ingenuity; also, something exhibiting marvelous skill in making.
    • puzzle The state of being puzzled; perplexity; as, to be in a puzzle .
    • Puzzle To be bewildered, or perplexed. "A puzzling fool, that heeds nothing."
    • puzzle To make intricate; to entangle. "They disentangle from the puzzled skein.""The ways of Heaven are dark and intricate, Puzzled in mazes, and perplexed with error."
    • puzzle To perplex; to confuse; to embarrass; to put to a stand; to nonplus. "A very shrewd disputant in those points is dexterous in puzzling others.""He is perpetually puzzled and perplexed amidst his own blunders."
    • puzzle To solve by ingenuity, as a puzzle; -- followed by out; as, to puzzle out a mystery.
    • Puzzle To work, as at a puzzle; as, to puzzle over a problem.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The largest crossword puzzle ever published had 2631 clues across and 2922 clues down. It took up 16 sq. feet of space.
    • n puzzle A difficult question or problem; specifically, a riddle, or a toy or contrivance which is designed to try one's ingenuity.
    • n puzzle Embarrassment; perplexity: as, to be in a puzzle, or in a state of puzzle.
    • puzzle To perplex or pose with or as with difficult points, problems, or questions; put to a stand; gravel.
    • puzzle To entangle; make intricate.
    • puzzle To resolve or discover by long cogitation or careful investigation; make out by mental labor; cogitate: with out.
    • puzzle Synonyms Perplex, etc. (see embarrass), pose, nonplus, bewilder, stagger.
    • puzzle To be bewildered; be perplexed or posed.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The hardest crossword puzzles according to experts appear in two British papers: "The London Times" and "Observer." Only few readers can complete these and it takes them 2 to 3 hours. The record time for completing a "Times" puzzle was an incredible 3 minutes and 45 seconds by a British diplomat named Roy Dean in 1970.
    • n Puzzle puz′l a difficulty to be solved: perplexity: something to try the ingenuity, as a toy or riddle
    • v.t Puzzle to set a difficult question to: to pose: to perplex
    • v.i Puzzle to be bewildered: to think long and carefully (with out, over)
    • ***


  • Charles Lamb
    “Nothing puzzles me more than time and space; and yet nothing troubles me less, as I never think about them.”
  • Sir Henry Wotton
    Sir Henry Wotton
    “Tell the truth, and so puzzle and confound your adversaries.”
  • J. C. Macaulay
    J. C. Macaulay
    “It is good to pray for the repair of mistakes, but praying earlier would keep us from making so many. When puzzled, go to prayer and listen.”
  • Lewis Carroll
    “Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle.”
  • Doug Horton
    “The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity.”
  • Robert M. Pirsig
    Robert M. Pirsig
    “The truth knocks on the door and you say, go away, I'm looking for the truth, and it goes away. Puzzling.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
For opposal, in the sense of problem. See Oppose Pose (v.)


In literature:

You are a puzzle to me!
"Hope Mills" by Amanda M. Douglas
When he is found he will, no doubt, throw some light upon the puzzling affair.
"The Sign of Silence" by William Le Queux
Then he stopped, and looked puzzled.
"The Missourian" by Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle
Then Rochester, with a little gasp of surprise, recalled that likeness which had puzzled him so much.
"The Moving Finger" by E. Phillips Oppenheim
The actions of our friend, Sir Charles Blythe, were also rather puzzling.
"The Count's Chauffeur" by William Le Queux
I was rather puzzled, but I didn't quite like to say so to Tom.
"The Boys and I" by Mrs. Molesworth
Of course, it had to be halved again for Dave's sake, and an ancient puzzle solved itself in practice.
"When Ghost Meets Ghost" by William Frend De Morgan
It puzzled her to account for all this.
"The Complete Project Gutenberg Works of Jane Austen" by Jane Austen
Kingston looked slightly puzzled.
"Brooke's Daughter" by Adeline Sergeant
His especial hobby was mathematical puzzles.
"The Boy With the U. S. Life-Savers" by Francis Rolt-Wheeler
But he swept the notion aside ere it had well presented itself as a means of solving an astounding puzzle.
"Cynthia's Chauffeur" by Louis Tracy
Scotty was just as puzzled.
"The Scarlet Lake Mystery" by Harold Leland Goodwin
Yet, Rick felt somewhat less than relaxed, and he certainly felt puzzled.
"The Blue Ghost Mystery" by Harold Leland Goodwin
It puzzled her before the puncher's continued speech began to arouse her curiosity.
"Frances of the Ranges" by Amy Bell Marlowe
Mr. Spokesly was puzzled, as he would always be puzzled about women.
"Command" by William McFee
The man was a puzzle.
"Forging the Blades" by Bertram Mitford
This is really a most puzzling trick and yet an easy one to perform.
"More Conjuring" by Hercat
The days that followed were marked for Ewing with a puzzling discouragement; puzzling, because there had been no failure.
"Ewing\'s Lady" by Harry Leon Wilson
His smile faded and he hardly met her eyes: I thought that his aloofness puzzled rather than hurt her.
"The Window at the White Cat" by Mary Roberts Rinehart
The utter absence of motive is the most puzzling element of the whole situation.
"A Mysterious Disappearance" by Gordon Holmes

In poetry:

Is it mockery or flattery?
Her dear look puzzled says;
So utterly unconscious she
Of her own loveliness.
"Immortal Eve - III" by Manmohan Ghose
The Dean's face wore a puzzled look,
And then a look of joy;
Then said, "'tis you the teacher are,
I am the scholar, boy."
"The Dean's Brother" by John Hartley
But the child was sorely puzzled,
Why dear grandmamma should go
To dwell in a stranger city,
When her children loved her so.
"Jamie's Puzzle" by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
An artist's eye would look around,
Upon these calmer days,
And view the pure white heaps of snow,
With pleas'd and puzzl'd gaze.
"A Snow Storm" by Thomas Frederick Young
Phunny-kind puzzles her queer, wee brain
As slowly she toddles in again:
--"Is she a nawful, ugly, old
Giant--or what--this
"Saarchinkold!" by Clara Doty Bates
Fair world! these puzzled souls of ours grow weak
With beating their bruised wings against the rim
That bounds their utmost flying, when they seek
The distant and the dim.
"Honours -- Part II." by Jean Ingelow

In news:

I've done enough of these things now to know, though, that your finish time really depends on the puzzle's author.
I am a little puzzled by Michael Wood's comments about Joyce's Ulysses ( NYR, October 13).
I found the concerns expressed by Sealaska's Executive Vice President in the Aug 21 edition of the Empire in an article titled, "USDA's Sherman discusses forest transition in Juneau," puzzling.
Artifacts give group a puzzle to solve.
The Natural Confectionery Co. Launches its newest product, Guzzle Puzzle.
Links to PDFs of Reader crossword puzzles and previous weeks' solutions.
Bill Leff chats with Natan Last, the youngest person every to publish a crossword puzzle in the Sunday New York Times and one of the people behind Word: 144 Crossword Puzzles That Prove It's Hip to be Square.
Honeybee decline has been a puzzling problem for farmers and entomologists alike since 2006, when honeybees began mysteriously dying in large numbers.
What bothers me about this new smartphone puzzle is not the pointless activity itself, but the praise the developer is receiving.
It's all about Lilith in this puzzling, ridiculously over-the-top episode.
In its simplest version, QuaDror looks like a child's wooden puzzle.
Solution to puzzle, It All Revolves Around You.
Labor Movement crossword puzzle solution.
Click and drag puzzle pieces.
It was a puzzling problem, but Paul Bills knew sooner or later he'd find the perfect home when he moved back to Mercer County from Florida five years ago.

In science:

The resolution of this puzzle, and thus the completion of the universality proof for β = 1, is the primary ob jective of this paper.
Spectral Universality of Real Chiral Random Matrix Ensembles
This is a puzzle which has not yet been completely solved.
Cosmic Dust in the 21st Century
Given the realization that matrix theory should describe a second quantized theory, the puzzle discussed above regarding the continuous spectrum of the theory is easily resolved.
M(atrix) Theory: Matrix Quantum Mechanics as a Fundamental Theory
He notes that “This puzzling phenomena remains unexplained.” [p. 387].
Quantum theory and the role of mind in nature
Using this new quantum gauge theory of gravity, we can explain some important puzzles of Nature.
Gauge Theory of Gravity
Contrarily, it will help us to understand some puzzle phenomena of Nature.
Gauge Theory of Gravity
And in this case, there would be a possible solution of this puzzle.
Properties of String Theory on Kaluza-Klein Melvin Background
While thinking about this, we ran into two puzzling facts (Verbunt et al. 1984).
X-ray sources in globular clusters
In contrast, phase transitions in systems with (quenched) disorder3 exhibit many puzzles and are still far from being understood.
Critical exponents of four-dimensional random-field Ising systems
These results have not been understood completely yet; thus, the exact relationship between BEC and superfluidity remains puzzling.
Bose-Einstein condensation and superfluidity of dilute Bose gas in a random potential
Such a comparison (see Fig. 2) reveals a puzzling similarity of both the functions aD (1/Q) and aan (Q2 ), that could be essentially improved by changing aD (1/Q) for aD (cF /Q) .
On the Fourier transformation of Renormalization Invariant Coupling
However some puzzles still remain unresolved.
The phase-diagram of the IGM and the entropy floor of groups and clusters: are clusters born warm?
And, even more puzzling, noise can play the role of the synchronizing factor.
Synchronization of Random Linear Maps
Our model may explain some puzzling features of GRBs.
Photon Emission in a Cascade from Relativistic Protons Initiated by Residual Thermal Photons in Gamma-Ray Bursts
On the other hand, the undoped kagom´e lattice has a very interesting and puzzling groundstate of a new type: while this system is also magnetically disordered, it has quite a small triplet gap (∆T ≈ 0.05J ) .
Spin-Charge Separation in Two-dimensional Frustrated Quantum Magnets