Memorable Utterances

William Buckland awoke one night and told his wife, “My dear, I believe that Cheirotherium‘s footsteps are undoubtedly testudinal.” They induced a garden tortoise to walk through a paste of flour, and the impression it left matched the fossil footprint.

On summiting the Finsteraarhorn in 1845, M. Dollfus-Ausset cried, “The soul communes in the infinite with those icy peaks which seem to have their roots in the bowels of eternity!”

In 1919 Cecilia Payne bicycled to the Cambridge Solar Physics Observatory, found a man repairing the roof, and said, “I have come to ask why the Stark effect is not observed in stellar spectra.” He was E.A. Milne, and he didn’t know. “Later he became a good friend and a great inspiration to me.”


“The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer.” — Edward R. Murrow

“To see what is in front of one’s nose requires a constant struggle.” — George Orwell

“How hard I find it to see what is right in front of my eyes!” — Wittgenstein


  • SWEET-TOOTHED has three consecutive pairs of letters. SUBBOOKKEEPER has four.
  • Will you answer this question negatively?
  • 4624 = 44 + 46 + 42 + 44
  • The telephone number 278-7433 spells both ASTRIDE and CRUSHED.
  • “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” — Emerson


“The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth and have it found out by accident.” — Charles Lamb

“The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground green.” — Thomas Carlyle

“Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.” — Alexander Pope