by John McCall


Ben Franklin,
Gimme a Break

Puzzles based on Ben and Verse

Answers with explanations for
3, 4 & 5-choice puzzle

The following explanations may seem superfluous, but because of a subjective element in these Puzzles, it seems advisable to explain the answers.

Answers to Three-Choice Puzzle

1. At a great pennyworth (bargain), pause a while.
b. Low price? Break … twice.
- It’s the only jingle to reference low cost

2. Many complain of their memory, few of their judgment.
c. Most blame their recall, their sense not at all.
- It’s the only jingle to refer to both memory and judgment.

3. By diligence and patience, the mouse bit in two the cable.
a. Drip … drip … drip – mountains split.
- It’s the only jingle to suggest the effectiveness of persistent activity. (Item b referenced patience but only to describe its limitation.)

4.They who have nothing to trouble about will be troubled at nothing.
c. Why father your bother?
- It’s the only jingle to suggest that some people invent their troubles.

5. An honest man will receive neither praise nor money that is not his due.
b. Take shady laurels? Against my morals.
- It’s the only jingle to condemn taking undeserved credit

Answers to Four-Choice Puzzle

1. The wise man takes more advantage from his enemies than a fool from his friends.
a. Get beat at chess? Learn foe’s finesse (i.e., cleverness).
- It’s the only jingle that indicates gaining an advantage by learning an enemy’s ways of winning.

2. As pride increases, fortune declines.
a. Ego feeds on luck’s seeds.
- It’s the only jingle to suggest that pride causes misfortune to increase over time.

3. A man is never so ridiculous by those qualities he has as those he affects (i.e., pretends) to possess.
d. Put on frilly? Turn off, silly.
- It’s the only jingle to imply affectation and the ridiculous appearance it makes.

4. Employ thy time well if thou meanest to gain leisure.
b. Grind done, perked fun.
- It’s the only jingle to refer to leisure resulting from time effectively used

5. Fear to do ill and you’ll … never need nought else (i.e., you need never fear anything else).
b. Install one alarm (against doing harm).
- It’s the only jingle to refer to creating fear within oneself of harming others

Answers to Five-Choice Puzzle

1. Half-hospitality opens his doors and shuts up his countenance (his facial expression); apparently, the host was stony faced.
e. Snobs warm invitation to refrigeration.
- It’s the only jingle to refrain from blaming the guest.

2. Idleness is the greatest prodigality (extravagant wastefulness).
e. Watched … clock … in hock.
- It’s the only jingle to directly suggest imagery for idleness (watching the clock) and its cost (in hock).

3. Declaiming against pride is not always a sign of humility.
b. “Down with elites!” (Quick grab their seats.)
- It’s the only jingle to refer to speaking strongly and hypocritically against pride.

4. Love your neighbor, but don’t pull down your hedge.
a. Care for all – and your wall.
- It’s the only jingle to imply both a generous heart and a strong regard for privacy.

5. Cunning proceeds from want of capacity.
c. Those unable tilt the table.
- The only jingle that to specifically imply that craftiness may be a result of incompetence.


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Rev 2010-1.