WORD GAME WEDNESDAY:Rebuses (not “to bus again”)

Rebuses are groups of letters, numbers, pictures, etc. that represent words or phrases. IOU is a kind of rebus, representing the phrase ‘I owe you’. Most people know a puzzle in the form of a rhyme which starts; ‘YY U R,’ which means ‘Too wise you are . . .’Try to solve the following rebuses.

Example: Which two letters, followed by a number, sound like a word for a person of any kind? 

Answer: N E 1 (which sounds like ‘anyone’).


1. Which two letters of the alphabet sound like: (a) jealously, (b) a climbing plant, (c) a literary composition, (d) a number?

2. How many women’s names (first names) can you create out of groups of letters?

3. Which four letters of the alphabet sound as if they mean ‘Are you all right?’?

4. Which sets of three letters of the alphabet, when spoken aloud, sound like words that mean respectively: (a) a flower; (b) a being; (c) an opponent; (d) vigour?

5. If ‘B 9’ means benign, can you think of: (a) a letter and a number which sound like ‘earlier’; (b) two letters and a number which sound like ‘to diverge’; (c) a letter, a number, another letter and another number which sound like ‘to lessen your guilt’?

6. Solve this rhyming puzzle from A New Collection of Enigmas (1810):To nothing add ten, with three-fifths of two score, And let them be join’d by five hundred more; These rightly combin’d, will give you the name Of a city that’s high in the annals of fame.

7. Which parts of the world do these two stand for?C C C C C C C & E E E

8. Which single letter expresses gratitude?

9. Decipher these rebuses: ALL 4 1 & 1 4 ALL D & G B O WAR AND PEA M Y E C B X E W D & E D D THE SAND

10. Devise a rebus to represent the phrase ‘Long time, no see’.

11. Which popular song from 1941 could be symbolized simply by the letter ‘X’?

12. If you find question 9 simple, try to uncover the phrase symbolized by the single letters A, D, S, V, or R.


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