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CategoriesNooks and cranniesYesteryearSemantic enigmasThe body beautifulRed tape, white liesSpeculative scienceThis sceptred isleRoot of all evilEthical conundrumsThis sporting lifeStage and screenBirds and also the bees SEMANTIC ENIGMASIn a Christmas cracker my mommy uncovered the conundrum "Why is a computer mouse once it spins?" The answer was given as "Due to the fact that the better the fewer." Is tbelow any interpretation to this? THIS "nonsense" question was famous among the RAF apprentices at Halton, Bucks, in the beforehand 1950s, as soon as the full version was: "Why is a computer mouse once it spins? Since the greater they fly the fewer, and the engine driver"s name was Smith. Why was his name Smith? Due to the fact that his father"s name was Smith." Apart from the logic of the last little, the repartee had no meaning whatsoever and also was more than likely the precursor of the Monty Python type of humour. John Nixon, Horley, Surrey. THE CORRECT wording must have been "Why does a mouse once it spins?" via the then noticeable answer "Higher or lower". At least that was the version which sixth formers at Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool offered in the early 1960s to test the gullibility of younger members of the institution such as myself. It was rumoured that it had actually been devised by John Lennon, a pupil at the institution until 1959, yet perhaps I am being gullible in believing this. Geoff Black, Cambridge. 1919. The Black and also Tans were prodding the armchairs with bayonets to watch if the stuffing was hand-grenades. We kids were lined versus the wall. "When is your husband also expected?" the officer asked my mother. "When is a mouse when she spins?" she responded, including, to his elevated eyebrows, "The greater the fewer". He and we kbrand-new the conversation was closed. He gathered his men and left - without finding the wireless transmitter under the aspidistra. Maurice F deCogan, Dalkey, Co Dublin. THE RIDDLE initially pertained to my attention as a student fresher in 1942. At the exact same time another expression was famous. In answer to any type of question to which one might give no answer, such as "Have you watched so-and-so?" or "Have you read such-and-such?" the reply would certainly be "No, however my sister rides a bicycle." Tright here was likewise a sort of son-of-computer mouse to which the answer was "No, however you deserve to clean a straw hat with a lemon." Unfortunately I"ve forobtained the question. Although this appears to be so a lot student nonsense, it taught me the interpretation of non sequitur. As Hugh Lloyd said to Tony Hancock in The Blood Donor, "For points unknown there is no discovering." Peter M Horsey MA, Stockbury, Sittingbourne, Kent. BRUNEL aget (he was a boyhood hero of mine). This strange saying relates to a certain kind of governor on steam engines, whereby revolutions of the engine are lessened if a spinning weight (mouse) is lifted up a shaft by its centrifugal force, releasing vapor push and ensuring fewer revs: the better, the fewer. Such systems were widespread on static engines choose those discovered initially in cotton mills in the heyday of the vapor rdevelopment. Patrick Nethercot, Durham. the interpretation has to execute via the centrifugal governor on an old heavy steam engine - the weight was called the computer mouse, and also as the engine rpm enhanced the mousewould certainly climb due to centrifugal force. But as the computer mouse increased, the arm would force the steam valve in the more closed direction, thusreducing the rpm, that is, the higher (the mouse), the fewer (rpms).So for a provided setting of the mouse on the arm, the engine would run at a consistent rate. Thomas Charles Jepson, Bridlington United Kingdom This is a question asked of the Zen Buddhists. The Dalai Lama once asked what surprised him the majority of about humankind, answered "Man, Since he sacrifices his wellness to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recupeprice his wellness. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the current. The outcome being that he does not live in the current or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived" When you think around it - many type of human being accumulate riches and also the m ore they acquire the even more unhappy they are and also the much less he becomes. Gloria Clift, Mt. Martha, Australia With the slight variation - "Why is a mouse if it spins?" "Because the higher the fewer" - I knew this from the Conundrums area of a book of parlour games and also pastimes, published, at a guess, in the 20s or 30s. It"s a book of delights which I would certainly love to share with my grandyoungsters yet the title is beyond my recollection; it simply might have been "101 Nights". Leonard Morrison, Smethwick United Kingdom Has anyone heard of this before "Why is a book as soon as it"s read?" Clues: 1) the better it flies the fewer" clue 2) the pith of the story lies in the boys answer to his mothers question" clue 3) "Know never before even more." My grandad was tormented with the question as a child by his dad and also has continued to torment the remainder of the household with it. I can not number it out and it has actually been driving me crazy for 20 years!! Mandy c, Australia My parental fees offered to quote this item of nonsense: it was plainly a standard joke in the second people war. In a wartime film (title now forgotten), Stanley Holloway is telling a background joke to which the punchline is "the greater it goes, the Fuehrer". The context provides it clear that the audience would certainly have actually recognised the pun. Andrew Makin, Silsden, Halifax I recontact the answer to "Why is a computer mouse as soon as it spins" being "A banana that green" and holding the hands about 6 inches acomponent. Alan Birt, Bury St Edmunds, UK In the 1940s my father, that fought in WWI, would certainly ask me the riddle "Why does a computer mouse once it spins ?" When I gave up he would chuckle and also reply "Because the higher it goes the fewer" and insurance claim to have no better explanation. I think in "Oh, what a lovely war" tbelow is a pointer that the answer refers to an infantryman"s idea that the greater a staff officer was promoted the fewer brains he had.I personally am attracted to the tip that it wregarding execute via an engineering rate governor - however had been adjusted coarser consumption in the trenches. David Muncey, Kirkcaldy, Scotland Add your answer