A conundrum is a riddle in the form of a question, the answer to which involves a pun.
Originally the term was applied to any quaint expression.
It is thus, in its modern form, a union of the elaborated riddle and the impromptu pun. With the earliest development of intelligence came the discovery of likeness and difference in things, and the search for analogy was carried out along both sensible and absurd lines, the latter drifting into a double analogy of thought and form, of which the conundrum is the logical product.
The literatures of all peoples contain the riddle, which might be witty or serious as impulse prompted. All bright and clever minds have seen the possibilities of the pun, and so common is it as an impromptu form of wit among keen people, so general the temptation to fall into it, that it is looked upon with disfavor, as a pitfall for thought, which often prevents it from finishing its course.
Have some good old-fashioned fun with this Handbook of Conundrums!
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