Drooing the Droo

Last month the MBM team participated in a trivia night, or “TRIV NI”, which I THINK is how people abbreviate such things. It was a fun evening EVEN THOUGH OUR TEAM WAS NOT SUCCESSFUL in the end. (We were in third place, I believe, but only lost by 2 points to the winner (and 1 point to the runner up, which I think is how math works. Too bad there weren’t really any math questions, I think I would have done well).

There were a variety of questions (no math): current events, to audio clues (songs!), this and that and the other thing. One round was all about “PICTORIDDLES”, or “PICTRIDS” as you’ll find them abbreviated. Do you guys know what I am talking about?

Here’s an example of some classic PICTRIDS:


Can you get them all?

Starting from the top left: PIGGY BACK RIDE, then SIDE BY SIDE, then LAPTOP COMPUTER, then the bottom row: PARALLEL BARS, 4-D (FORTY) DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS, and then finally: ALL HANDS ON DECK.

These are some of the easier ones (I had to look up the BAR BAR one though, and quadruple D days and quadruple D nights COULD ALSO have described a weekend to remember many, many years ago, but I digress).

These were about the calibre of the ones that we had to solve on trivia night, but recently I came across these things called “Droodles”. WERE YOU AWARE OF THEM? Apparently it is a MADE UP WORD, which is supposed to make one think of “Doodles, Pictures and Riddles”. It was coined by a Roger Price in 1953 and the guy MADE A FORTUNE off of these silly, nonsensical puzzle drawings. Apparently they appeared in newspapers and puzzle books in the ’50s and ’60s and people WENT NUTS for them. There was a Droodles game show on NBC in 1954, and Frank Zappa even had a Droodle as the cover of his 1982 album “Ship arriving too late to save a drowning witch”, which didn’t make any sense to me until I actually saw the album cover and then it is kind of clever. Do you see it?


1953 must have been quite a year. You’ve got Queen Elizabeth II getting herself coronated (hello!) and mere days before that, Sir Edmund Hillary and his faithful manservant Tenzing Norgay were the first ADULT MEN to scale to the very top of Mount Everest. Did I ever tell you my Tenzing Norgay story? A worked with a lady whose parents lived next door to one of Tenzing Norgay’s children, and Tenzing would come and visit them often, and this lady was able to get her picture with him. She showed me that picture one time, and I was very impressed.

And to top both those achievements, some guy did some goofy drawings and BECAME A MILLIONAIRE. It was a different time, people. Before the internet ruined everything. It was a time when a person could come home from the office, recline in a chair with a cocktail and peruse the evening newspaper, and CHUCKLE over a DROODLE before eating meatloaf (probably) and going to the Rotary Club meeting.

You know, I was curious about these Droodles, and so I google image searched some of them, but the annoying thing is that I couldn’t really find the solutions to them and they really don’t make any sense to me. Did you want to give them a try?


What the hell is this? Seriously. Is it a piece of wood with a croquet hoop sticking out of the side of it? I don’t get it.


Okay, this one has a little bit of a “Little Prince” vibe. Oh, sorry, I mean “LE PETEE PRANCE” for you continental types out there. Right? Remember the beginning when the author talks about the boa constrictor that eats an elephant? Well this is not a boa constrictor, nor is it an elephant, but it just made me think of it. Is it a worm? Why is his front half all segmented, Ben Franklin style? Is it even a “he”? I suppose it could be a lady worm. I don’t know. Thoughts?


This was a GAME SHOW, people. It might have been really cool when people were into LSD and other mind-altering drugs. I mean, maybe this rectangular thing appears to MOVE when you are under the influence of SUBSTANCES. Maybe that contributed to its popularity? What are those things on top? Ants? Are they supposed to be the finger nails of someone hanging on for dear life on the other side of the rectangle? Is it the Droodle’s way of saying that most men lead lives of quiet desperation? Maybe it will all become clear after a bourbon OR TWO.


I think I’m getting the hang of these now. It’s an apple for sure, right? And are those TWO worms, or just one worm doing gymnastics? Or if you squint your eyes a little, it looks like a duck’s bill. Is it a blind duck with a Tintin style hair-do? I’m overthinking it. It’s an apple, right? Oh, man. I wish I had never heard of these Droodles.


I bet Queenie never bothered with Droodles. She’s strictly a Sudoku girl. Keeps her young!


Sir Edmund and Tenzing share a smile (and a cuddle!) after solving a Droodle together halfway up Everest.


1 Comment

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One response to “Drooing the Droo

  1. Brett Saladino

    The first one is a man playing trombine in a phone booth. The second is a worm crawling over a razor blade. The third is a man standing on a diving board, seen from below. I don’t remember the apple one. I had a book FULL of these when I was a kid back in the early 70s.

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