The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998




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Quotations about Games & Puzzles


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Life is more fun if you play games. ~Roald Dahl


The problems of puzzles are very near the problems of life; our whole life is solving puzzles. ~Erno Rubik, as quoted by Arthur Fisher, "Rubik's Reduced," in Popular Science, 1997


But cards are war in disguise of a sport... ~Charles Lamb


Clarissa:  Talbot, it is so delightful to have you back again. I shall now have such charming evenings with you at chess.
Talbot:  At what?
Clarissa:  Chess — the king of games.
Talbot:  Do you call it a game? Ha! ha! No, thankee; life's too short for chess.
~H. J. Byron, Our Boys, 1875


The perfect family board game is one that can be played each time with fewer pieces. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


You don't have to be a beer drinker to play darts, but it helps. ~Author unknown


Never neglect an opportunity to play leap-frog; it is the best of all games, and, unlike the terribly serious and conscientious pastimes of modern youth, will never become professionalized. ~Herbert Beerbohm Tree, as quoted by Hesketh Pearson ("Sir Herbert Tree," Modern Men and Mummers)


Never play Twister naked unless you have a can of non-stick cooking spray. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book, 1995, collegiate-empowerment.org


It is hoped that some expert will leave for future generations a record of the rules of the game of Beaver. It is played, I understand, by two persons, and the points are scored as in tennis. Whichever of the two first cries "Beaver!" as a beard heaves into sight, scores. At the sight of a white beard, one cries, "Polar beaver!" which counts a game. At the sight of a royal beard, the correct call is "Royal beaver!" which counts not only as game, but as sett and match. There is a story of a Cambridge function at which, on the entrance of King George V., the audience of undergraduates rose to their feet with a universal shout of "Royal beaver! Game, sett, match!" It is possibly untrue. There are, I believe, still other variations of the game, and, no doubt, in time it will become as elaborate in its niceties as poker. ~Robert Lynd, "Beaver," Solomon in All His Glory, 1923  [This essay first appeared in 1922 in the New Statesman with a slightly different wording. —tg]


Elderly people say that is a silly game, and that is true enough. On the other hand, it is a silly game in the English tradition of silliness... It may be that all games are silly. But, then, so are human beings. This does not happen to be the planet into which the wiser spirits choose to be born. ~Robert Lynd, "Beaver," Solomon in All His Glory, 1923  [This essay first appeared in 1922 in the New Statesman with a slightly different wording. —tg]


“All the world's a game,
  And men and women merely Billiard-players.”
  SHAKESPEARE (a little altered)
~Captain Crawley (George Frederick Pardon, 1824–1884), The Billiard Book, 1866


As a game of mingled skill and chance, Billiards stands at the head of what may be called Indoor Athletics. Requiring far less mental exertion than Chess... it provides amusement for the mind, it also affords exercise for the body. ~Captain Crawley (George Frederick Pardon, 1824–1884), The Billiard Book, 1866


Snooker on television is the moral
Equivalent of war. Man against man,
It is a pitiless yet bloodless quarrel
Racking the nerves behind the deadened pan.
Slowly a break accumulates like coral
Yet has the logic of a battle plan.
Fought out on a flat sea within four walls
Well has this conflict been called chess with balls.
~Clive James (1939–2019), Poem of the Year, 1983, clivejames.com


Whoever called snooker ‘chess with balls’ was rude but right. ~Clive James (1939–2019), "The Sound of the Crucible," 1984, clivejames.com


Whoever dreamed up Scrabble had an exaggerated idea of how many seven-letter words have five i's. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Egotism, n:  doing the New York Times crossword puzzle with a pen. ~Author unknown


Do I rue a life wasted doing crosswords? Yes, but I do know the three-letter-word for regret. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


The self-complacent actor, when he views
(Stealing a sidelong glance at a full house)
The slope of faces from the floor to the roof
(As if one master spring controlled them all)
Relaxed into an universal grin,
Sees not a countenance there that speaks of joy
Half so refined or so sincere as ours.
Cards were superfluous here, with all the tricks
That idleness has ever yet contrived
To fill the void of an unfurnished brain,
To palliate dulness, and give time a shove.
Time as he passes us, has a dove's wing,
Unsoiled and swift, and of a silken sound;
But the world's Time is Time in masquerade.
Theirs, should I paint him, has his pinions fledged
With motley plumes; and where the peacock shows
His azure eyes, is tinctured black and red
With spots quadrangular of diamond form,
Ensanguined hearts, clubs, typical of strife,
And spades, the emblems of untimely graves.
What should be, and what was an hour-glass once,
Becomes a dice-box, and a billiard mace
Well does the work of his destructive scythe.
Thus decked, he charms a world whom fashion blinds
To his true worth, most pleased when idle most,
Whose only happy are their wasted hours.
Even misses, at whose age their mothers wore
The backstring and the bib, assume the dress
Of womanhood, sit pupils in the school
Of card-devoted Time, and night by night
Placed at some vacant corner of the board,
Learn every trick, and soon play all the game.
~William Cowper, "The Winter Evening," The Task, 1785


I stayed up one night playing poker with tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died. ~Steven Wright, A Steven Wright Special, 1985, stevenwright.com


POKER, n.  A game said to be played with cards for some purpose to this lexicographer unknown. ~Ambrose Bierce


At my house, when a missing pawn shows up in the Scrabble tiles, it counts as an extra blank. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Indeed, it is impossible to win gracefully at chess. No man yet has said "Mate!" in a voice which failed to sound to his opponent bitter, boastful and malicious. ~A. A. Milne (1882–1956), "A Misjudged Game"


Old card players never die, they just shuffle away. ~Author unknown


Video games ruined my life. (Good thing I have two more.) ~Author unknown


The human need to play is a powerful one. ~Leo Buscaglia, Bus 9 to Paradise: A Loving Voyage, 1986



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