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Crypton 06

Updated: November 10th, 2006



A correct answer we received from
Marjan Langereis Tja,
dat was natuurlijk niet zo'n probleem:
De Prinsengracht
Miep van Berkestijn HYPERION


CRYPTON 06/9906
1. P O L Y P H E M U S What made him famous? His using so many words to tell
the neighbours that no man had blinded his single eye?
2. U L Y S S E S If you listen well, you'll hear at once for whom the epic
of the Trojan horse was sung in Scheria's brazen hall
3. C A L Y P S O Dancing to her namesake Caribbean rhythm was furthest
from her when she had to let go her beloved from her isle
4. S I R E N S When these sea-nymphs raised their voices, a roll-call was
the thing to do, provided there was anyone left aboard
5. C I R C E Caught in a jam in Piccadilly, she observed the conditions
which would turn men into swine
6. N A U S I C A A While the C.I.A. man was taking a sauna, in strolled this
brave little princess with a wagonload of laundry
7. L O T O P H A G I A tribe named by its sustenance, while it kept the lot of
them on a vague plane of subsistence
8. P E N E L O P E Resolve to withstand her suitors' pleas sailed her weavingly
through the score of years her husband roamed the seas

But lo ! There's more to it !


A Titan, son of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaea or Ge (Earth); father of Helios (the Sun), Selene (the Moon) and Eos (the Dawn), and precursor of Apollo the sun god.
He was the owner of the island of Thrinakia (an old name for Sicily, it having "three corners"), where his daughters Lampetia and Phaethusa tended his sacred cattle.

It was this cattle that caused the ruin of all of Ulysses' ship and crew together, and angered the gods to the point that they delivered him for the next seven years into the oppressive embrace of the sea-nymph Calypso, hopelessly longing for home.
These flocks must not be violated, as they were sacred to the sun god. Ulysses would willingly have passed the island without stopping, but his companions so urgently pleaded for rest and refreshment, that he yielded. He bound them, however, with an oath that they would not touch one of the animals, but content themselves with what provisions they yet had left on board.
So long as this supply lasted the people kept their oath, but contrary winds detained them at the island for a month, and provisions failing, they were forced to rely upon the birds and fishes they could catch. Famine pressed them, and at length one day, in the absence of Ulysses, they slew some of the cattle, vainly attempting to make amends for the deed by offering from them a portion to the offended powers.
Ulysses, on his return to the shore, was horror-struck at perceiving what they had done, and the more so on account of portentous signs which followed. The skins crept on the ground, and the joints of meat lowed on the spits while roasting.
The wind becoming fair they sailed from the island. They had not gone far when the weather changed, and a storm of thunder and lightning ensued. A stroke of lightning shattered their mast, which in its fall killed the pilot. At last the vessel itself came to pieces. The keel and mast floating side by side, Ulysses formed of them a raft, to which he clung, and, the wind changing, the waves bore him to Ogygia, Calypso's island. All the rest of the crew perished.

1. Polyphemus
Single eye Someone with only one eye we're used to call a Cyclops
Blinded by "no man" This Cyclops, blinded by some "oudeis", definitely not "a nobody", though the first two syllables of his full name, "Odysseus", won't have sounded so much different
Using so many words Many = poly (in Greek); Root PHEM = to speak, [cf. blas-phem-e]
Must have been quite a blabber, this Polyphemus
Famous "Poly + famous", if not for the ring of it, should have put you on the right track

Son of Poseidon, and one of the Cyclopes, a giant with only one eye in the middle of his forehead, who lived in Sicily. He was blinded by Ulysses, whom he had taken prisoner with twelve members of his crew.

Though a shepherd, and normally living by a diet of ewe's milk and cheese, Polyphemus turned out to be a man-eater when he found Ulysses and his comrades in his cave.
To escape certain death, Ulysses offered him wine, telling the ogre his name was "Oudeis", or "Noman". After devouring another two of the crew, Polyphemus lay down to sleep. Ulysses hardened a stake in the fire and after poising the burning point exactly above the giant's one eye, he buried it deeply into the socket, twirling it round as a carpenter does his auger.
The howling monster called aloud on all the Cyclopes dwelling in the caves around him, far and near. They inquired what grievous hurt had caused him to sound such an alarm and break their slumbers.
"Noman," he replied, "Noman has hurt me."
And they answered, "If no man hurts thee it's the stroke of Jove, and thou must bear it."
So saying, they left him groaning.
The next day, Ulysses and the remaining crew escaped from the cave, driving a good part of Polyphemus' flock to their boat. They put them aboard with all haste, then pushed off, and when at a safe distance Ulysses shouted out,
"Cyclops, the gods have well requited thee for thy atrocious deeds. Know it is Ulysses to whom thou owest thy shameful loss of sight."
This was not a very smart thing to do, for the giant, hearing this, lifted a rock high in the air, and hurled it in the direction of the voice, almost smashing the vessel's stern. And besides, the revealing of his real name would cost Ulysses dear, for Polyphemus told his father, the mighty god of the sea, who from then on would thwart Ulysses' return in every way he could.

2. Ulysses
If you listen well, you'll hear "you listen", not quite but almost sounds like U-lisse(n)
Scheria the island of the Phaeacians, where Ulysses [Odysseus] washed ashore
The brazen hall of Alcinous the king, where Demodocus the blind bard sang the story of the Trojan horse, at which Ulysses wept and revealed himself

The Roman name of the Greek Odysseus, hero of Homer's "Odyssey", and king of Ithaca.

Odysseus and the Sirens Roman mosaic from Dougga

When, in the first part of the "Odyssey", Ulysses reaches the island of the Phaeacians, a godlike people, his ordeals are almost over. By the genius of this design, the greater part of the story can be placed in Alcinous' court, and recounted by the hero himself.

The next day Ulysses set sail in the Phaeacian vessel, and in a short time arrived safe at Ithaca, his own island. When the vessel touched the strand he was asleep. The mariners, without waking him, carried him on shore, and landed with him the chest containing the costly gifts the king and all the chiefs had presented him with, and then sailed away.
Poseidon was so displeased at the conduct of the Phaeacians in thus rescuing Ulysses from his hands that on the return of the vessel to port he transformed it into a rock, right opposite the mouth of the harbour.

Homer's description of the ships of the Phaeacians looks like an anticipation of modern navigation by satellite. Alcinous says to Ulysses:

"So shalt thou quickly reach the realm assigned,
In wondrous ships, self-moved, instinct with mind;
No helm secures their course, no pilot guides;
Like man intelligent they plough the tides,
Conscious of every coast and every bay
That lies beneath the sun's all-seeing ray."

- Odyssey,Book VIII

3. Calypso
Her namesake Caribbean rhythm the Calypso
Had to let go her beloved The nymph Calypso had kept Ulysses a prisoner of her love for seven years. At last the gods relented and sent Hermes to release him
Dancing was furthest from her Calypso bowed to the will of the gods, and was left on the beach crying, while Ulysses put to sea on a raft of his own making

The queen of the island Ogygia on which Ulysses was wrecked. She kept him there for seven years, and promised him immortality and perpetual youth if he would remain with her forever.
But he persisted in his resolution to return to his country and his wife and son. Calypso at last received the command of Zeus to dismiss him. Hermes brought the message to her, and found her in her grotto, which is thus described by Homer:

"A garden vine, luxuriant on all sides,
Mantled the spacious cavern, cluster-hung
Profuse; four fountains of serenest lymph,
Their sinuous course pursuing side by side,
Strayed all around, and everywhere appeared
Meadows of softest verdure, pupled o'er
With violets; it was a scene to fill
A god from heaven with wonder and delight."

4. Sirens
When these sea-nymphs raised their voices the Sirens, known for the devastating effect of their voices on mariners with unprotected ears
A roll-call as every seaman felt an irresistible urge to jump overboard, and swim like crazy for the leering beauties on their merciless rocks
Anybody left aboard?

The Sirens were sea-nymphs who had the power of charming by their song all who heard them, so that the unhappy mariners were irresistibly impelled to cast themselves into the sea to their destruction.

Watch the mariner drowning, begging the pitiless nymph, by John William Waterhouse.

When taking his leave of Circe, Ulysses had been instructed by her to fill the ears of his seamen with wax, so that they should not hear the strain; and to cause himself to be bound to the mast, and his people to be strictly enjoined, whatever he might say or do, by no means to release him till they should have passed the Sirens' island.
As they approached the island, the sea was calm, and over the waters came the notes of music so ravishing and attractive that Ulysses struggled to get loose, and by cries and signs to his people begged to be released; but they, obedious to his previous orders, sprang forward and bound him still faster.

Watch the alluring Sirens, besetting Ulysses and his dauntless men, by Draper.

They held on their course, and the music grew fainter till it ceased to be heard, when with joy Ulysses gave his companions the signal to unseal their ears, and they relieved him from his bonds.

Only the Argonauts, when passing by the Sirens' island, stayed clear of their tempting music, as Orpheus took his lyre and sang a song so enthralling that nobody heard or cared for the Sirens' voices.

JW Waterhouse, Circe offering the drink to Ulysses; click to enlarge
5. Circe
A jam in Piccadilly yearns for completion by "Circus"
Turn men into swine which is exactly what she always did

A sorceress, sister of Aeetes, who lived in the island of Aeaea.
When Ulysses landed there, Circe turned his companions into swine, but Ulysses resisted this metamorphosis by virtue of a herb called "moly", given him by Hermes.

Circe entertained Ulysses as courteously as she had done his companions, and after he had eaten and drank, touched him with her wand, saying,
"Hence, seek thy sty and wallow with thy friends."
But he, in stead of obeying, drew his sword and rushed upon her with fury in his countenance. She fell on her knees and begged for mercy, and meekly she repeated the solemn oath Ulysses dictated her to release his men and to dismiss them all in safety after hospitably entertaining them.
Circe kept her promises so well that Ulysses seemed to have forgotten his native land, and to have reconciled himself to an inglorious life of ease and pleasure. At length his companions recalled him to nobler sentiments.
Circe aided their departure, and instructed them how to pass safely by the coast of the Sirens.

6. Nausicaa
C.I.A. + sauna anagram: Nausicaa, a brave little princess
A wagonload of laundry As far as I know, there's only one such story in the world, though in "Una giornata particolare" "La Loren" and "Il Mastroianni" also had a lot of wash flying between them

Daughter of Alcinous, the king of the Phaeacians, who had been warned by Pallas Athene in a dream that her wedding-day was approaching. In preparation, Nausicaa saw fit to organize a thorough washing of all the clothes of the royal household, and with a train of maidens set out for the shore the next morning.
The washing done, they bathed themselves and played with a ball. Athene caused the ball thrown by the princess to fall into the water, whereat they all screamed, and this woke up the shipwrecked Ulysses lying asleep behind some bushes.

Sadly needing help, Ulysses jumped at the occasion, and covering his nakedness with a leafy branch, stepped out from the thicket. The virgins at the sight of him fled in all directions, Nausicaa alone excepted, for her Athene aided and endowed with courage and discernment.
A right choice of words never failing him,
"I'm not sure, whether thou art a queen or a goddess immortal",
Ulysses explained to her his awkward position, and she, moved as well by his words as by his appearance, lend him some clothes an shew him the way to the palace of her father Alcinous.

7. Lotophagi
Named by their sustenance So, they're named by what they eat, having little elso to show for
A vague plane of subsistence The food is causing a vague perception of being; so, it would be a drug
a lot of them / vague Who are those eaters of drugs in the Odyssey? Take your pick:
"lot of / vague", sounding close to Lotophagi, or Lotus-eaters

Lotus-eaters, name of a people who ate the fruit of a plant called lotus.
The companions of Ulysses who landed among them and partook of their food lost all memory of home and had to be dragged away before they would continue their voyage.

8. Penelope
Withstand her suitors' pleas Who else than Penelope, the Cheat your Suitors championess of all times
Weavingly She promised her suitors to choose one of them for her husband as soon as she'd finished her weaving, but unravelled at night, what she had woven by day
The score of years For ten years, indeed, she kept weaving and unravelling, waiting for her husband to come home after the ten more years of the Trojan war. Imagine, ten years at the loom! And still not bent with rheumatism, but attractive enough to charm a host of suitors, some of them half her age! What a woman! And how she must have loved her husband to hold out for so long.
Her husband Ulysses, roaming the seas

The wife of Ulysses, and mother of his son Telemachus. She was the daughter of Icarius, a Spartan prince.

JW Waterhouse, Penelope at the loom; click to enlarge Ulysses, king of Ithaca, sought her in marriage, and won her, over all competitors.
They had not enjoyed their union more than a year when Ulysses was called to the Trojan war. During his long absence, and when it was doubtful whether he still lived, and highly improbable that he would ever return, Penelope was importuned by numerous suitors, from whom there seemed no refuge but in choosing one of them for her husband.
Penelope, however, employed every art to gain time, still hoping for Ulysses' return. One of her arts of delay was engaging in the preparation of a robe for the funeral canopy of Laertes, her husband's father.
She pledged herself to make her choice among the suitors when the robe was finished. During the day she worked at it, but in the night she undid the work of the day.

But at last, none of her arts could postpone the final decision any longer.
The very evening of Ulysses' homecoming, disguised as an old beggar, Penelope consented to submit the question of her choice to a trial of skill among the suitors. The test selected was shooting with the bow.
Twelve rings were arranged in a line, and he whose arrow was sent through the whole twelve was to have the queen for his prize.

All things being prepared for the trial, the first thing to be done was to bend the bow in order to attach the string. Telemachus endeavoured to do it, but found all his efforts fruitless; and modestly confessing that he had attempted a task beyond his strength, he yielded the bow to another. He tried it with no better success, and, amidst the laughter and jeers of his companions, gave it up. Another tried it, and another; they rubbed the bow with tallow, but all to no purpose; it would not bend.
Then spoke Ulysses, humbly suggesting that he should be permitted to try; for, said he,
"beggar as I am, I once was a soldier, and there is still some strength in these old limbs of mine."
The suitors hooted with derision, and commanded to turn him out of the hall for his insolence. But Telemachus spoke up for him, and, merely to gratify the old man, bade him try.
Ulysses took the bow, his own bow, which in former times one of his brother heroes had given to him, and handled it with the hand of a master. With ease he adjusted the cord to its notch, then fiting an arrow to the bow he drew the string and sped the arrow unerring through the rings.
Without allowing them time to express their astonishment, he said,
"Now for another mark!"
and aimed direct at the most insolent one of the suitors. The arrow pierced through his throat and he fell dead. The other suitors Ulysses left not long in uncertainty; he announced himself as the long-lost chief, whose house they had invaded, whose substance they had squandered, whose wife and son they had persecuted for ten long years; and told them he meant to have ample vengeance.
All were slain, and Ulysses was left master of his palace and possessor of his kingdom and his wife.

"Which were the words they to each other said,
When first they lay together in their bed?"



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