Henri Arnold began as a sports and editorial cartoonist, but he has co-produced Jumble since 1960. Jumble is a word puzzle which appears in several US newspapers each day. The answers are usually found in the next day's paper, if you can't figure them out. I find it hard to believe that folks cannot figure these things out.
There are four jumbled words in each puzzle: Two 5-letter words and two 6-letter words. When you unscramble
these four words, there will be letters indicated by circles in those unscrambled words which you then have to unscramble to solve the main puzzle which is indicated by a cartoon
. That will usually be in the form of a somewhat insipid
joke or pun
. The degree of difficulty in this final step is usually dependent upon the number of letters involved.
It seems that I have a knack for these particular puzzles. I've always been able to work most of them within a couple of minutes. I feel sure that this is no real talent, and that there is a certain percentage of the populace who have this knack. Unfortunately, it never seems to be the folks I'm around. Once they discover my little talent, they're always shoving them in my face, saying, "OK, smartass: What's this one? Huh?" Then it becomes a matter of not letting the pressure of the moment get to me. If the word isn't immediately recognized, I try to relax my mind and just let the letters float around up there.
Sometimes, in real life, this knack for unscrambling letters in words becomes bothersome. For instance, there is a brand new Heart Hospital which has been built near my house. I have to pass it on a regular basis. The road to the new hospital has a big sign with the name on it. The name of the road is MedCath Blvd. I guess it's a Catholic operation, or else they are specialists with catheters. I'm not sure. But I am sure of this:
Every time I see the name of the street that leads to this new hospital, all I can see is "McDeath" written on the sign. I live in fear that I'll be in an ambulance one day and the last thing I'll see before I pass away is this foreboding sign telling me that I'm on my way to the land of Quarter Pounder Hell.