- Addendum: “Quick Perception,” from the Saturday Museum
The following anecdote about Poe’s prowess at deciphering cryptograms appeared in the Saturday Museum, 4 March 1843, p. 2, middle of col. 4. Although it has been cited on at least one occasion, it does not appear to have been previously reprinted or quoted.
We have published in the Biographical sketch of Mr. Poe, some evidence of the wonderful power which his mind possesses in decyphering the most complicated and difficult questions. We have another striking instance of the exercise of this power. The Spirit of the Times copied the following puzzle a few days since.
“A Nice Puzzle.—The Baltimore Sun gives the following oddity, and asks for its solution:—“Vgx chc Zezl ahsd sgd zookd?” rzhc z rbgnnkizisqp sn z bntmsqx anx. “Adbztrd gd gzc mn jmhed sa bts hs,” pdokhdc sgd anx.”
The moment it met our eye, happening to be in company with Mr. Poe, we pointed out the article, when he immediately gave us the following solution:—
“Why did Adam bite the apple,” said a schoolmaster to a country boy. “Because he had no knife to cut it,” answered the boy. [End Page 101]