Happy puzzle day! Today's edition is a bit macabre, and has nothing to do with baseball, but I hope you'll enjoy it nonetheless.
Read the following verse carefully and fill in the blank with the proper number of diseased sailors (including the last two who didn't immediately die):
Not well-versed in the high seas,
The ____ sailors caught disease.
Rotten mutton made them ill,
Benign it looked but looks can kill.
They ate and when their feast was through,
'twas heaven taking all but two;
Two sick survivors lost at sea,
If I've seen worse, I lie to thee.
Will fortune save their aimless boat?
Both reaffirm their faith and hope;
Their tombstones nonetheless will say,
"They won our hearts but lost their way."
Hint #1 (7:56am): The puzzle was inspired in part by the Plain White T's.
Hint #2 (10:03am): It might help to recite the verses to a friend (or to yourself).
Note (not really a hint, but sort of I guess) (11:49am): Getting the correct-syllabled number to fit the meter of the poem is not the methodology (such a methodology would not result in a definitive answer anyhow, as there are countless numbers each with a given number of syllables. And the meter on these puzzle-poems is never perfectly correct...).
Solution: click here.
Puzzle Rules: Comment freely in the thread, but if you have the solution, please don't give it away to everyone in the comments section. Instead, do the following:
- Email us with the correct number along with your reasoning. Submitted answer without the reasoning, or those submitted with the incorrect reasoning, will count for participation only, even if the number itself is correct. And please include your screen name somewhere in the email; and
- Post a comment simply saying you have emailed your solution attempt. I may not be able to reply to your original email promptly, so please be patient and check back on the comment thread for the latest news; I may confirm correct answers there.
You have until midnight PT tonight to submit your answer. Answer will be posted tomorrow morning. Good luck!
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