I’m going to double post, because it is the end of the semester and there are no deadlines coming up, nothing is due, and I have nothing but free time to post to the blog. But in all seriousness (sort of), I’ve spent some time digging around for answers to this question. Here is a link to a fairly lengthy discussion concerning the riddle:
Reading through the answer given by Cecil Adams who is apparently “the smartest man alive,” I began to feel like a nincompoop. First, because I wanted to know the answer. Second, because even knowing there was no answer, I still wanted to know the answer. Alice knows there are better things to do than waste time discussing riddles with no answer, and here I am scouring websites for every quick quip on the subject.
Carroll definitely got me. The riddle was meant to have no answer, his characters say the riddle has no answer, and I’m still looking for the answer. He probably knew where this was going all along. And still we (read I) get caught up in it. This is shameful. I’m becoming exactly the kind of adult that Alice would despise. If she were here, I’m sure she would tsk-tsk me.