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Riddle from the Hobbit (Posted on 2003-06-05) Difficulty: 2 of 5
This thing all things devours:

Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.

See The Solution Submitted by The Mighty Puck    
Rating: 3.2941 (17 votes)

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re(2): solution? | Comment 5 of 33 |
(In reply to re: solution? by Tim Axoy)

"Devours" is a singular verb. Its subject must therefore be "this thing", rather than "all things". The word order has been changed poetically, but spelled out prosaically, it is saying "This thing devours all things", rather than "All things devours this thing." In the latter the number of the subject does not match the number of the verb.
  Posted by Charlie on 2003-06-05 06:10:05

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