One of the many ways I misspent my youth was by playing the original Colossal Cave text adventure. A bunch of y'all probably played Zork back in the day, but I always liked Colossal Cave better. Possibly because I played it so much and knew it so well.
Anyway, I was looking for something in old archived files today and I came across a reference to the game, and it occurred to me that I could use the power of the Web to find more information about something I've long wondered about.
In the original (350-point) version of the game, there's a certain place where you find some issues of Spelunker Today magazine. If you try to read the magazines, you're told: "I'm afraid the magazine is written in dwarvish."
But in one of the first two versions I played (either the Logical Business Machines version or the version on the Stanford computers, in the late 1970s or early 1980s), you could find a Dwarvish/English dictionary elsewhere in the caves. And if you read the magazine with the dictionary on hand, there was a poem that provided hints for the game.
The only bits that I remember went something like this (Note: Spoilers for the game here):
[something something], take my advice
Say Giant words and go there twice;
You may believe my words are droll,
But that's the way to fool the troll.
If maze-confusion is in your head,
Remember: Easy Sally says she never even entertains newly-weds.
I thought at the time that this was a standard part of the game, but no subsequent version that I've encountered includes the poem. (Though there is another version that includes the dictionary, and gives you a couple paragraphs of non-hint prose when you read the magazines with the dictionary's help.)
So, on the off chance that there's someone out there who knows something more about this: drop me a note! I'm curious as to (a) what the whole poem said, (b) who wrote it, and (c) which version of the game it was in.