Solution, as published in the New York Clipper, August 21, 1869, p. 159. "Answer to rebus."
Consolidated Show, largest on earth
over 400 men and horses
will be at every principal place in New York
anybody who decyphers this rebus
will receive a ticket by forking over 50 cts.
"Yankee" Robinson, designer
Possible partial solution (based on information below):
Yankee Robinson's Consolidated Double Circus.
Largest on Earth Over 400 Men and Horses Under the Big Top.
Two night stand. Be at every principal performance ___.
Anybody who brings this rebus will receive one ticket by forking over 50 cents.
Yankee Robinson, designer.
Row 1: "Yankee Robinson's Consolidated"?
Row 2 (may not be a puzzle):
Row 3: first item looks like an animal with two heads, second item looks like a bed with possibly a bird to the right, third item looks like a flying bird, fourth items looks like a reclining woman with no clothing, fifth item looks like a bottle with label, sixth item looks like a man in some sort of costume/uniform with something near his left hand, seventh item looks like an eye, eighth item looks like peas in a pod.
Row 4: first item ?, second item ?, third item a building, fourth item ? animal, fifth item the letter 'Y,' last item a boat (ark?) on water.
Row 5: First item letters 'Ne', second item part of a body, third item ?, fourth item two letters 'O' or two zeros, fifth item letters 'T' and 'H,' sixth item an eye, seventh and eighth items letters 'S' and 'R,' ninth item letter 'E' over some sort of wagon, tenth item 'DouBleeWe'
Row 6: This may be one or two rows. First item state of Illinois, second item letter 'R', third item letter 'E' with something attached, fourth item (3 parts) ticket? over a man and some sort of symbol, fifth item, an insect, sixth item letter 'Y,' last three items equal fork + king + over + fifty cents - "forking over fifty cents."
Possible solution for part of row 4 from Brian Nisonger: The mule in line 4 is probably "ASS." That makes it P Farm Ass (Performance). I can't figure out the rest of the line though. Also in the other one you mention this turns it to Pea + Ass or Pass .... then its Ne+Body so Anybody ... it might be a pass for anybody who figures it out.
Possible solution for row 2 from Ed Bilodeau: Largest on Earth Over 400 Men and Horses Under the Big Top.
Possible solution for rows 1, 2, 4, 6 from Carl.
Rows 1 and 2: "Yankee Robinson's Consolidated Double Circus." There's a little bit of showmanship involved in that concept. Anyone who solved the puzzle would be told that they were indeed getting a bargain because they were seeing two shows for one!
Row 1: Music may be written as part of a complicated score, or it might just
show a solo part. In line one, not only is the musical notation "solo", it is also just one note! Next comes the U-shaped Greek symbol um, meaning plural, and changing "solo" to "soli". Part of the word consolidated.
Row 2: Line two is more than an image of a circus, notice there are TWO tents, his consolidated shows.
Row 4: The second item in line four is a string of fireworks on a stick, meant to be lit and waved around, a fireworks "display".
Row 6: The little figure at the bottom of the puzzle is Yankee Robinson himself, so it is his signature: Yankee Robinson D-sign R (Yankee Robinson, designer). To expand more on the probability that anyone who solved the rebus received two 25c tickets for 50c. Robinson wasn't especially successful in 1860, although he did do better financially for a while after the Civil War. He wouldn't be cutting his ticket prices in 1860.
A little friendly banter goes a long way. One Globe of Death performance
always ended with a sad story of a previous motorcycle rider who was
injured, and the hat being passed for charity because the riders were
uninsurable. When the young lady brought the top hat back to the announcer he would say to the audience, "by the way, have you met my lovely wife Charity?"
- Carl in Wisconsin, an old carney.
Possible solution from Sean & Troy - This is what we were able to come up with (while we can justify most of it there is a bit we need help on).
1 & 2. YAN KEY ROBIN S' C on N SOL I DATE D SHOW.
3. TWO-EWE NIGHSTAND BAT EVE RYE PRINCE EYE PEA
4. AWL P FARM___________
5. N E BODY HOE-B RINGS TH EYE S R E-BUS DouBleeWE
6. ILLinois R E__ TICKET BEE Y FORK KING 50 CENTS GUARD R 'D'-SIGN
Yankee Robinsons' Consolidated Show.
Two Night Stand. Be at (B-AT) Every (EVE-RYE) Principal (prince-i-p-awl) Performance (P
Anybody who brings this rebus will re(ceive?) one ticket by forking over 50 cents. Guard our design. (?)
Possible solution for rows 1, 4 and 5 from Dave: Row 1 - More thought on "consolidated." The musical note (if one began the scale at the right place) could be the "sol" in a scale and that strap could be an eye (or i) such as sewn on clothing, thus CN sol i date d = Consolidated. The 4th line begins with an awl ("all") and I would call the building an inn ("in"). I also believe the 3rd symbol on the 5th line is a hoe that has been turned into a lower case "b" and that the two loops are rings, making the line read, "Anybody who brings this rebus will.."
Possible solution for rows 5 and 6 from Helena: I think that the first couple of symbols on line 5 read "Anybody," and then the symbol with the eye is "This" and then I think that the next symbol is "rebus," as I think that the symbol that looks like a carriage is supposed to represent a bus. Then the next symbol that you have as doub lee wee is in fact read as double ewe, which would make the next rebus "will" as you get 'w' and 'Illionis' or "ill." I think that the symbol next to the big E on line six is a sieve which would make the rebus read "receive," and then of course you get the Yankee Robinson ticket. So I think that the gist of the last two lines is that anybody who is able to solve the rebus RECEIVES a free ticket without "forking over" the required fifty cents admission.
More possible solutions from Helena: I think that the line five rebus with the symbol and the two OOs might actually be "presents" because I think that the two 0s might represents cents. I am not sure what the symbol before that is but that is the only word that i could think of that would fit. Then on the very bottom of the puzzle, the rebus that is next to the guy that looks like a soldier, I thought that that might mean designer as you get a D in a sign in what looks like an R.
I've been trying to solve this puzzle for several years. It was published in the New York Clipper, August 21, 1860, p. 149 (also in August 7). Supposedly the solution was to be in the next issue of the Clipper (August 14), but I could not find it. The rebus seems to use some of the verbiage used in Robinson's advertisements. I have two more of these Yankee Robinson puzzles, both very poor quality photocopies of what seem to be advertising items handed out to the public. Some items in these additional puzzles are also used in the above puzzle. They are the item that looks like peas in a pod followed by what looks like a mule, a reclining woman, the letters NE followed by part of the human body (one has a head on the body but still no arms or legs), and a bed. If you have a solution for any part of the above puzzle send it to Puzzle. Thanks! Judy Griffin.
Last modified January 2007