I stole the puzzle from my favorite philosopher, Walter Benjamin. He won’t mind, so let’s go ahead and have some fun with this.

All I’d say is that it is a pretty damn difficult nut to crack.  

Enjoy!
Mariana Rio Spider

 

Six authors are sitting in a Danfo bus somewhere in Lagos. The lay out of the bus is such that three of them are sitting on each side. Adichie, Selasi, Soyinka, Binyavanga, Ikhide, Bulawayo. Their professions are—though not in the same order—essayist, historian, humorist, novelist, playwright, and poet.

Each one has written a book, which another one of the party is currently reading.

Adichie is reading essays.

Binyavanga is reading the book by the person sitting opposite him.

Selasi is sitting between the essayist and the humorist.

Ikhide is next to the playwright.

The essayist is sitting opposite the historian.

Soyinka is reading a play.

Selasi is the brother-in-law of the novelist.

Adichie, who is sitting in the corner, is not interested in history.

Soyinka is sitting opposite the novelist.

Ikhide is reading the book by the humorist.

Bulawayo is reading poems.

Your task is to match each name—Adichie, Selasi, Soyinka, Binyavanga, Ikhide, Bulawayo—to the professions: essayist, historian, humorist, novelist, playwright, and poet.

Post your answer on the comment section. 

Good luck and have a lovely weekend!

 

The original puzzle was reprinted in Walter Benjamin’s Archive

The image in the post is an illustration by Mariano Rio and part of a book project titled Why Spiders are Always Found in the Corners of Ceilings. See more of Rio’s work {HERE}

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

9 Responses to “Solve This Literary Puzzle — Six African Authors Are Sitting In A Danfo….” Subscribe

  1. Chuzee 2014/02/07 at 11:46 #

    Abegi, park well with your “Investigative bloggerism” – We’re NOT ready to be put on a PREMIUM TIMES journey again. We are still recovering from #Toboregate.

  2. Ainehi Edoro 2014/02/07 at 11:50 #

    Lol!

  3. NinaG 2014/02/07 at 12:11 #

    Binyavanga, essayist
    Selasi, poet
    Soyinka, humorist
    Ikhide, historian
    Bulawayo, playwright
    Adichie, novelist

  4. Ainehi Edoro 2014/02/07 at 12:25 #

    Okay. This an excellent start. I’m really interested in the method you used to crack the puzzle.

  5. NinaG 2014/02/07 at 17:00 #

    The first thing I knew: Selasi was either the poet or playwright and the essayist was either Bulawayo, Ikhide, or Binyavanga.

    So I decided to draw two seating charts with Selasi as the poet for both charts. Then I played with seating with Bulawayo as the essayist in one chart and Binyavanga as the essayist in the other chart.

  6. Ainehi Edoro 2014/02/07 at 18:46 #

    Cool. Worked sorta the same way with me. I started with Selasi too. Trying our different seating arrangements also helped.

    There seemed to have been the most information about Selasi. So I figured out that she was certainly not the essayist, humorist, historian, or the novelist. Once I charted out their seating position, it was clear that she was the poet. From that point, it all fell into place.

    So fun!

  7. toye 2014/02/08 at 13:17 #

    Solved.

    First I drew a table of all authors, filled in what they were reading and what they weren’t authors of. Drew the seating chart and then started to plug in the gaps using all that info. Steps were:

    selasi essayist and humorist are on one side. Soyinka is opposite novelist. Selasi isnt novelist cause his brother inlaw is, essayist is sitting opposite historian and soyinka is sitting opposite novelist that makes him humorist

    Adichie is in corner. 1 corner is soyinka. 1 is essay which he’s reading. Another is historian which hes not interested in. He’s noveslist

    Binyavanga is reading the book by the historian or novelist. Cant be Novelist cause soyinka is sitting opposite novelist

    Selasi is therefore reading the last book which is the one by the novelist(Adichie his brother in law)

    We have the seating positions of 4 professions. Outstanding is Playwright and Poet
    Ikihide is sitting next to playright, selasi cant be playwright because the we have all the writers on that side of the bus so playright takes the empty spot and ikihide is historian

    Bulawayo is reading the book by the poet so he is playwright and selasi is poet.

  8. Ainehi Edoro 2014/02/08 at 14:46 #

    This is awesome Toye! The more I get all these feed back, the more I realize how many different ways there are to solve the riddle. So exciting!

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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