CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is
Featured Book
The Young Wizard's Hexopedia
Search Site

Breathing Circle
Music Box Moment
Cautious or Optimistic
King of Hearts of War and Peace
As I Was, As I Am
Perdition Slip
Loves Me? Loves Me Not?
Wacky Birthday Form
Test Your ESP
Chess-Calvino Dictionary
Is Today the Day?
100 Ways I Failed to Boil Water
"Follow Your Bliss" Compass
"Fortune's Navigator" Compass
Inkblot Oracle
Luck Transfer Certificate
Eternal Life Coupon
Honorary Italian Grandmother E-card
Simple Answers


A Fine Line Between...
A Rose is a ...
Always Remember
Annotated Ellipses
Apropos of Nothing
Book of Whispers
Call it a Hunch
Colorful Allusions
Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up?
Disguised as a Christmas Tree
Don't Take This the Wrong Way
Everybody's Doing This Now
Forgotten Wisdom
Glued Snippets
Go Out in a Blaze of Glory
Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore
How to Believe in Your Elf
I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought
Images Moving Through Time
Indubitably (?)
Inflationary Lyrics
It Bears Repeating
It's Really Happening
Last Dustbunny in the Netherlands
Miscellanies of Mr. Jonathan
Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led
No News Is Good News
Non-Circulating Books
Nonsense Dept.
Not Rocket Science
Oldest Tricks in the Book
On One Condition
One Mitten Manager
Only Funny If ...
P I n K S L i P
Peace Symbols to Color
Presumptive Conundrums
Puzzles and Games
Letter Grids
Tic Tac Toe Story Generator
Which is Funnier
Restoring the Lost Sense
Rhetorical Answers, Questioned
Rhetorical Questions, Answered!
Semicolon Moons
Semicolon's Dream Journal
Simple Answers
Someone Should Write a Book on ...
Something, Defined
Staring at the Sun
Staring Into the Depths
Strange Dreams
Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out
Telescopic Em Dashes
The 40 Most Meaningful Things
The Ghost In The [Scanning] Machine
The Only Certainty
The Right Word
This May Surprise You
This Terrible Problem That Is the Sea
Two Sides / Same Coin
Uncharted Territories
What's In a Name
Yearbook Weirdness
Yesterday's Weather
Your Ship Will Come In


September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006


Magic Words
Jonathan Caws-Elwitt
Martha Brockenbrough
Gordon Meyer
Dr. Boli
Serif of Nottingblog
Joe Brainard's Pyjamas
Ironic Sans
Brian Sibley's Blog
Abecedarian personal effects of 'a mad genius'
A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
Puzzles and Games

September 16, 2017 (permalink)

Checkers isn't as big a game as it used to be.  From Le Rire, 1899.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

September 11, 2017 (permalink)

Here's a game played with a hair brush, a folded newspaper bat, a bath robe waist cord for a net, and a plaster-of-Paris advertising pickle as a ball, from "A Better Game" by Robert Carlton Brown and illustrated by Arthur William Brown, in Pearson's, 1910.  "When I'm served pickles I want 'em on a plate."
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

September 5, 2017 (permalink)

Here's a "word in a urinal" puzzle from Le Rire, 1903.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

August 30, 2017 (permalink)

Playing chess while asleep, from Harmsworth Magazine, 1899.  See If a Chessman Were a Word: A Chess-Calvino Dictionary.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

August 11, 2017 (permalink)

"On the turn of the card," from Truth Christmas Number, 1894.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

August 6, 2017 (permalink)

From Truth Christmas Number, 1894.  See If a Chessman Were a Word: A Chess-Calvino Dictionary.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

June 20, 2017 (permalink)

This rather occult-looking rebus (in German) features a succubus who has apparently hearned how to be her own cat.  (See How to Be Your Own Cat.)  From Die Bühne, 1927.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

June 9, 2017 (permalink)

It actually takes two sphinxes to turn a crossword puzzle into a riddle.  From Die Bühne, 1925.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

May 21, 2017 (permalink)

Here's a crossword puzzle dictionary from Die Bühne, 1925.  Here's a gift idea for puzzle lovers: Wye's Dictionary of Improbable Words: All-Vowel Words And All-Consonant Words.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

May 11, 2017 (permalink)

Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

March 17, 2017 (permalink)

Here's a Chess queen from 1876, courtesy of the Library and Archives Canada.  See If a Chessman Were a Word: A Chess-Calvino Dictionary.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

March 11, 2017 (permalink)

From Jugend, 1909.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

February 26, 2017 (permalink)

Can you read her face to determine the strength of the hand she was dealt?  From Hunter College's Wistarion yearbook, 1962.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

February 22, 2017 (permalink)

Here's a precursor to Sudoku, from Jugend, 1912.  Can you fill in the rest of the numbers properly?  Here's the solution, in black text on a black background [highlight to view]:  (reading left to right, top to bottom).
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

February 20, 2017 (permalink)

Water dominoes are played much like regular dominoes, though the rules are more fluid.  From Mocca, 1935.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

February 11, 2017 (permalink)

Can you guess the visual pun here?  The answer is in black text on a black background; highlight to view:  From Cartoons Magazine, 1919.
Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

February 4, 2017 (permalink)

Here's a yew at the center of a labyrinth (Cassell's, 1896), but recall that "You [like the yew] are at the center of the maze" (Howard A. Sherman, The First Mile, 2005).

Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

January 30, 2017 (permalink)

Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

November 9, 2016 (permalink)

This is a fairly easy visual puzzle that inexplicably doubled as an ad for coffee, c. 1890.

Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

October 28, 2016 (permalink)

An initial reaction to our puzzler This Book is a Cactus by Bob Neale, author of This Is Not a Book: "One very sneaky treatise.  Actually, it is blatantly intellectual as much as it is absurd.  And I even wonder if it is a guide to spiritual meditation.  But I have a way to go with it to come to any conclusion.  Right now, I just know that there is a hell of a lot more in it than I can comprehend."

Tumblr Twitter Facebook Google+ Pinterest

Page 1 of 5

> Older Entries...

Original Content Copyright © 2017 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.