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  • Writer's pictureThe Paladins

Exotic limericks (#1)

Do you think the limerick is dead as an art form, or of limited value? That is because you never imagined that it can be used as a form of partially asynchronous cryptology. The limerick is due a renaissance, as a method of conveying secret messages, and in this article we set out a few practical examples of limericks that contain ciphered messages. Each of these limericks has been individually tailored to be addressed to a specific person, and in each case that specific person will we hope recognise themselves. It is also possible that other third parties may recognise some of the people to whom these limericks are addressed, or they may scratch their heads trying to work it out or trying to establish what message each limerick is really delivering.

We are tentatively of the view that the revival of the limerick is a superlative development in cryptology. In this preliminary essay we set out a series of such limericks, almost as brain teasers, and we advise the reader that most of these limericks were drawn up simply and straightforwardly in a few minutes each while in the back of a taxi in bad traffic in a major world city, illustrating just how easy this method of encryption may be to use. In the second essay in this series, we will continue to explore some of the more theoretical issues underlying the use of limericks as a form of cryptology.

We must warn the reader that several of these limericks contain adult themes and some readers might find them tasteless. The professional work which requires use of cryptology often engages adult themes, or matters that can be tasteless, and hence we make no apologies for the content we set out below. What we can assure all our readers is that none of the limericks below are intended to create unlawful threats (although paranoiac Russians might be inclined to think that some of them do) or otherwise contravene the criminal law or cause distress or offence to their intended recipients.

Nonetheless, should you consider yourself of a sensitive temperament, and you do not wish to read material that might touch upon adult themes, then we invite you to stop reading this article now.

We must also add the disclaimer that many or even most of the hidden messages contained in the limericks below are entirely fictitious, frivolous or amusing. This is not a webpage professing to impart any genuine intelligence. It is just a bit of fun, intending to illustrate how the limerick can be used in cryptology.

And with those preliminary observations made, we now continue to our sample of cryptographic limericks, all of which are entirely original and recently written. To repeat, none took more than about five minutes to write.


Limerick #1

There was an old man with a pen

Followed by identical men

Had some muck on his shoes

Could not be removed

Til he went up the Clock Strikes Big Ben

Limerick #2

There was a five-times encounter

That led to more than steamy banter

The brown shoes took over

She got a red pullover

And now she misses his canter

Limerick #3

There once was a man in big cars

Who'd far rather be in a bar

Gandalfs gave him him lemons

He sent them to St Clemens

And now his large bar has last laugh

Limerick #4

There once was a man from the north

Whose accent the substance he caught

A bloody great Jack

Far up on his back

Meant this was a man who had thought

Limerick #5

There once was a man from the street

Who climbed up a pole while he beat

He reached out on top

Found never a flop

And now the two stand head to feet

Limerick #6

There once was a man from the lakes

On poverty he put the brakes

His umbrella went thin

But now he takes the King

And he rattles the snakes with his ring

Limerick #7

There was was a man who was orange

Who thought and spoke like a lozenge

A man with face hair

couldn't make it more clear

But his fee was enough for some Bollinge

Limerick #8

There once was a gentleman waiting

Loyal and chivalrous despite baiting

His decency shone

Like she who has gone

And his military leader is waiting

Limerick #9

There once was a man on his knees

Who thought he might do with the trees as he please

But life is not like that

Head and feet acrobat

And know he is some smelly cheese

Limerick #10

There was a good lawyer called Piers

Who wasn't particularly queer

But he knew an old man

Ignored all the spam

And ordered in the garden sheers

Limerick #11

There was a young lady from Tube

Who magically swallowed the lube

When he wanted growth

She said let's have them both

And the boobs became friends with the tubes

Limerick #12

There was a lady from Car stairs

Who depilated downstairs

The shock was so strong

She was strapped in her thong

And then downstairs things went in pairs

Limerick #13

There was a good lady downstairs

Who didn't quite follow the airs

She knot up her trunk

Thought she had the top bunk

And was left out to air with the flares

Limerick #14

There was a tough man who said Sir

We're in an exceptional blur

When I sit up high

We'll all respect sky

And this is a lesson we learn

Limerick #15

There once was a girl from downstairs

Who breathed in the tropical airs

She stayed very low

Had her own glow

But ended up second to bears

Limerick #16

There was a wise man with some doubts

As to what all of this was about

He stepped over the boulders

Looking over each shoulder

And was proud to send bears on the rout

Limerick #17

There was a fat man with some men

Who thought that he could Big Ben

Through friends he acquired

He thought he had fired

But he found himself face in the Fen

Limerick #18

There once was a man in the Chair

Who was losing all due nasal hair

He got down for the priest

But was only a lease

And now he has hills versus bears


In some cases more than one of these limericks may be about the same person! We re-emphasise that none of these limericks should be treated with too much seriousness, although they all reflect in some degree or other a set of political facts.

We must emphasise that we will revolutionise the Organisation. There will be no more creeps and traitors.

If you are reading this, I want you to know that we shall deal with traitors and criminals with the full force of law. We will not do it in the way that Vladimir Putin litigates with himself: by killing people. I have seen that, and it is not pretty, and we are above it. But it will be one prosecution after another for traitors and for the disloyal. I will not hesitate to push for the longest terms of imprisonment.

All the rest of us will serve our countries with honour, dignity and hard work, as befits the extraordinary public office and duties bestowed upon us. Those who fall beneath that high standard expected of public officials with such sensitive and important duties that they are bound to exercise in pursuit of the public weal, shall find themselves in technical problems they could scarcely imagine.

So that is how we shall run things. We looking forward to seeing you all soon.

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