Remember Rebus puzzles? They’d use pictures to represent words, usually with letters added or subtracted. For example F + [a picture of an arm] = FARM. Remember those?
Well, Dante doesn’t. Nevertheless, he has become a living rebus generator. Here are some examples:
* Laura is sitting on the floor working on a photo album. Dante is next to her, “helping.” Without preamble, he stands up and says, “A-L”, then points to his bottom. Would it help you to know that due to Laura spending her junior year in Scotland, she always refers to the rear as “bum”?
Answer: AL + [bum] = ALBUM!
* Many of them don’t even have that much context to help the solver. Frequently, he’ll just toss one more or less out of nowhere, or at least nowhere recent. This weekend he shouted, with no apparent prompting, “Shick-a, GREEN LIGHT!” The accent is on the “a”. It could also be spelled “Chica”.
Answer: CHICA + [green light] = CHICAGO! He’s tuned into Chicago right now because he’s been watching the excellent Powers Of Ten video (which begins in Chicago) over and over again lately. Hat tip to Stephen Granade for pointing me to it.
* That video led him to others about the varying sizes of stars in the universe. Lately he’s been setting up different-sized marbles and balls next to each other, and explaining, “This is the sun. This is Rigel. This is Arcturus. This is VY Canis Majoris.” And so forth. It also inspired the rebus he threw at me tonight: “Beetle” followed by various slurping sounds. “Are those drinking sounds?” I asked. “Yeah,” he said. “Drinking orange juice.”
Answer: BEETLE + [juice] = BETELGEUSE! Not the Michael Keaton movie. He doesn’t remember that either, but he’s far less likely to invent it on his own.