Ralf P. Olio writes ...

In all my years with NPL, I've always somehow only composed Ralfs once or twice, and
I don't remember exactly how they work. Could someone send me a crash course off list
unless there is general interest? Thanks, Joker

Oh good heavens. OK, the short answer is: “Any way they want to.”

The longer answer… Ralfs come in a number of varieties. For instance:

In other words, well, see the short answer.

–Ralf P. Olio, Nahant MA


From the Guide to the Enigma's Glossary:


a particularly outrageous or ludicrous puzzle used in a special section of each year's April issue of The Enigma. Ralfs (or Ralves) are purported to be written by one Ralf P. Olio as an April fool, but like Santa Claus, Ralf P. Olio has many Earthly helpers. Ralfs are known for their off-the-wall bases and for ignoring, twisting, and blatantly flouting Guide rules. The derivatives Ralfish and Ralfy are sometimes applied to non-Ralf flats. (For the transposally challenged: “Ralf P. Olio” is an anagram of “April Fool.”)