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Library: Clues on How to Title a Book.


Author: Yari
Date:Nov 2 1995

   I leaned back, scanning the skies and noting the position of the 
sun.  "Later than I would have imagined...Perhaps there was too much 
data right from the start."  I heaved a sigh, I did so hate to see
my races go unfinished, but the time limit had passed, and no one 
had yet finished.
   A noise alerted me to their presence, I saw all of them, off in 
the distance, still unsure of where to go, so I called out to them.  
As one they turned to look and trotted to me.
   The leader was out of breath, as were they all.  "We failed, 
again!  I am beginning to hate these outings!" he said through his 
panting.  "You must tell us!  How were we to find our way?"
   I looked them over. They looked weary, indeed.  After a moment, I 
spoke.  "Did you hear about Barnum's shop?  Seems there will be a 
tariff placed on his goods."
   The racers looked confused, all save their leader.  He was used 
to sudden changes in conversation when dealing with me.  He sat 
down, and feigned interest.  "Oh really, do tell, Yari."
   "Well, it's really a matter of quality, when dealing with rings.  
You have to inspect them very carefully, even small parts within the 
whole can make all the difference.  Have you ever really looked at a 
ring?" I asked.
   "Hmm, yes, I have," the leader said.  The others were still 
standing behind him, exchanging looks of confusion.  "But I would 
think that something must be new, else the tariff would not be 
   Perceptive for a troll, the leader is.  "Yes.  It seems that 
there has been some sabotage of recent shipments of his raw 
materials used in ring making.  Some competitor, most likely, is 
pouring a substance over the ring stock, rendering it worthless.  
Some sort of a tar, I think."
   The leader nodded.  "I am sorry to hear that for Barnum, he has 
always been a fair shopkeep.  Now, if we may, I'd like to talk about 
your race?  Can you give any sort of hint as to the correct path to 
use in the forest?"
   "You wish to speak of the race, eh?  Isn't that what we were 
talking about just now?  All right then, I'll be direct, so listen 
carefully.  When you try to beat a riddle, you must dissect 
everything, even the smallest detail must not be left 
uninvestigated.  Riddles play on your preconceptions, dissolve them, 
and you may find yourself looking at a righteous victory."
   The leader of the racers frowned even more deeply than I.  
"That's it?  There is nothing more?" he asked, already knowing the 
answer.  He stood, and without another word, stalked off.
   I heaved a sigh and went home.  Perhaps next time, they would 
finish the race.

That's it.  That's my hint.  Don't complain, it's actually useful.  
I am going to write up the solution and post it along with this one.  
So, if you really want to know the answer, read the answer 
book...But, I urge you to read this book VERY carefully and at least 
try to figure out what the solution to the riddle is based on, even 
if you cannot get the actual answer.