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Chapter 6, "The Riddle of Bilbo's Pocket," despite returning to his main theme of riddling, shows Roberts at his most extravagantly digressive, as he discusses how pockets did not exist in the Middle Ages, and that they consequently seem anachronistic for the medievalistic setting of Tolkien's Middleearth.
The very act of writing is represented as a riddling practice.
In some societies, riddling is an adult pursuit (Burns, 1976:47).Adults could be part of the riddling session with children where they share their riddles with them or they could also riddle among fellow adults, especially in societies where riddles are similar to proverbs.
However, the social and educational meaning of riddling from the children's perspective, and the way these meanings are played out in the making of children's peer culture, have only been included in studies of childhoods and children's folklore in African contexts to a limited degree.
Despite this general scholarly view, it is hard to believe that Aldhelm, the pioneer of riddling in Anglo-Saxon England, had no acquaintance with this well-known riddle form.
Thus, most of the materials in the first chapter are ancient, but Cook also manages to give an overview of her whole subject by also including the later life of the two classical "riddling beasts," the sphinx and the griffin: the sphinx's reception in later art and iconography, from Renaissance engravings to James Thurber cartoons, and the several rediscoveries of the pun on griffin and griphos, the other main Greek term for riddle.
Of course, it has frequently been observed that riddling occurs, both in folklore and in ritual, on occasions that mark an individual's transformation or initiation: one frequently encounters fiddling at weddings, funerals, the consecration of kings, rites of initiation, public sacrifices, new year's celebrations, etc.
With today's molding machine technology, sand riddling no longer has a place in the mold production cycle.
For a recent survey of Old English and Medieval Latin riddling tradition, see Andy Orchard, "Enigma Variations: The Anglo-Latin Riddle Tradition," Latin Learning and English Lore: Studies in Anglo-Saxon Literature for Michael Lapidge, ed.
In the earlier text Sigurthr refuses to grant a dragon's request to identify himself by name, replying "riddlingly" instead, while in "Inside Information" Tolkien writes that Bilbo, completing his fourth noncommittal "answer," was "beginning to be pleased with his riddling" (XII:213).
In the long history of wine, riddling is itself a fairly new concept, invented by the widow Nicole-Barbe Clicquot, who became head of Champagne Clicquot around 1810.