Clue versus Detail

I like puzzles, but don’t like riddles much.  I always feel I’m the butt of the joke with a riddle, like it’s obvious to everyone but me.   When is a jar not a jar is about as far as I’m willing to go on the riddle side.  But puzzles are something else.

You’re constantly confronted, in puzzles, with whether something is a clue or a detail.  (There’s a book that’s wonderful on this distinction:  The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry.   Kind of a dry Ray Bradbury.)     That’s what makes a something mysterious.   Mystery, if not all messed up with too much personal wretchedness as always happens on television, is thrilling.

The metaphor to life seems banal:  The need to distinguish between what really matters and what are just embellishments, insignificant crap that we would be better of ignoring, or at least only being curious about and not all bent out of shape if it’s not right.

Mobius Lives