Write Us A Riddle Contest: Results

Hello, riddlers! You are no doubt waiting with bated breath for the results of the riddle-composition contest. Well, as luck would have it, we have a final decision for you.

The panel of professional poets and Anglo-Saxonists who acted as judges would like me to let you know that ALL the entries were very good indeed. This is not an empty ‘you’re all winners on the inside’ accolade, but the real opinion of each and every judge. However, since this is supposed to be a contest…we’re pleased to announce a joint victory for: Alison Offer and Juliana Poole. If the winners are reading this: I’ll be in touch shortly to see about sending you your brilliant prize of Riddle Ages key-rings.

We hope the rest of you enjoyed writing your fantastic riddles and will consider entering again in the future.

Everyone, please enjoy reading Alison and Juliana’s riddles below:


Author: Alison Offer

(in Old English)

Ic ferede feorran      in fyrngearum

ofer ismerum      isernheardum,

hwælplegstowe.      Oft hwistlede seo lyft,

wind winterceald,      ymb min wæggræge hrægl.

Sungon and swegde      samod ætgædere

min flangefaran,      farena gliwcræft

amyrgde mine heortan.      Mirige ic eom giet ac heortleas,

for æt flæsce and felle      feond me bestripte,

mid scearpseaxe       sixfealdlice

min ban þurhdraf.       Nu þæs beornes æþm

hwistleþ þurh minum lice,      and heortan wera

min sweg frefraþ.      Sæge hwæt ic hatte.

(in Modern English)

Far I travelled       in former years

over iron hard      oceans of ice,

the whale’s playground.      Oft whistled the air,

the winter-cold wind,      about my wave-grey robes.

My comrades in the arrow      all called and sang

together,      their travellers’ music

Brightened my heart.      Bright I am still, but heartless,

for a fiend stripped off      my flesh and skin,

with a sharpened knife,     six times over

bored through my bone.     Now the breath of a man

whistles through my body     and the hearts of men

are consoled by my song.      Say what I am called.


Solution: a goose bone flute (the six piercings are one at either end, the three finger holes and the sound hole)


Author: Julianna Poole

I am a strange creature,

Vast and minute.

I am not opaque,

Yet I conceal exotic depths.

I am the vector of poison,

And you thirst for me.

You can freeze by my hand,

Or you can burn.

I teem with pestilence,

And I held you before you were born.

You cannot live without me,

Yet sometimes I kill.


Solution: Water


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