Bear Necessities: A Winnie-the-Pooh Puzzle With A Sweet Solution
Image Credit: Source material: Wikimedia Commons, AA Milne, EH Shepard. Design: Slurrp Team

ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ The first Winnie-the-Pooh book was published on October 14 in 1926. This year marks its 96th anniversary.

ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ The book detailed the lives of Pooh and his friends, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger and Christopher Robin (modelled on the author AA Milne’s son). 

ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ Pooh loved to eat. But he loved the anticipation of the moment before he started eating even more; best of all, he loved eating in the company of his friends.

ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ

On 14 October 1926, English playwright AA Milne published a book of children’s stories, called Winnie-the-Pooh. It narrated the adventures of the eponymous protagonist — an anthropomorphic bear — and his circle of friends: Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger. 

Pooh had made an appearance in a short story (“The Wrong Sort Of Bees”) by Milne the previous year, but the author couldn’t have foreseen the ways in which the book would shape his life, his son’s (the real Christopher Robin), and those of children (and adults) around the world. 

Milne based Pooh on one of his son’s toys, a stuffed teddy called Edward Bear. The boy had renamed his toy after a rescued female black bear known as Winnipeg (Winnie, for short) at the London Zoo. 

Milne’s legacy was cemented as a writer of children’s books and poetry, but it also strained his relationship with his son, who grew to abhor the teasing and attention he suffered as a consequence of being immortalised as a whimsical little boy in the Pooh stories. In his later years though, Christopher made peace with his complicated cultural inheritance, recognising how much it meant to readers around the world, and even donated his original Pooh bear and other stuffed toys to the New York Public Library.

In the spirit of that generosity — and Pooh’s own philosophy of “What could be more important than a little something to eat?” — here’s a word puzzle for you. These eight jumbled words represent the foods Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Rabbit, Roo and Heffalumps & Wozzles (who share the same favourite), in that order, are fondest of.

The circled letters in the unscrambled words are an anagram for a timely reminder from Pooh and friends. Answers at the end of this post.

ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ

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(Answers: 1. Hunny, 2. Birthday Cake, 3. Haycorns, 4. Thistles, 5. Extract of Malt, 6. Vegetables, 7. Milk, 8. Pooh’s Hunny. Pooh’s message: Eat healthy!)