Sunday, October 19, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 19, 2014): Time To Flex Those Math Muscles

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 19, 2014): Time To Flex Those Math Muscles:
Q: The following challenge is based on a puzzle from a Martin Gardner book, that may not be well-known. Out of a regular grade school classroom, two students are chosen at random. Both happen to have blue eyes. If the odds are exactly 50-50 that two randomly chosen students in the class will have blue eyes: How many students are in the class?
It's going to be hard to provide hints to the answer this week.

Edit: My hint was "Be" which is the symbol for Berylium, element 4 on the periodic table.
A: 4 students (3 with blue eyes and 1 without).

The probability the first child has blue eyes is 3/4. Once that child is taken out of consideration, there are 2 children with blue eyes out of 3 so the probability is 2/3. Multiplying that together, we have 3/4 x 2/3 = 2/4 = 1/2

An alternate way to think of it is that there are 6 pairings of the 3 children. In 3 of those pairings you'll have two blue-eyed children. In the other 3 pairings it will be the brown-eyed child with one of the blue-eyed children. So exactly half of the pairing are two blue-eyed children and the other half are a brown and a blue-eyed child.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 12, 2014): Country and Capital Mixup

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 12, 2014): Country and Capital Mixup:
Q: Name a certain country. Change one letter in its name to a new letter and rearrange the result to name another country's capital. Then change one letter in that and rearrange the result to name another country. What geographical names are these?
There's one more thing you can do. If you draw a triangle connecting the 3 capitals from the puzzle, the center of mass of that triangle is very close to the capital of a well-known country. And that country has the same number of letters as the answers to the puzzle.
A: SPAIN <--> PARIS <--> SYRIA

Sunday, October 05, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 5, 2014): Morning Routine

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 5, 2014): Morning Routine:
Q: Take the first four letters of a brand of toothpaste plus the last five letters of an over-the-counter medicine, and together, in order, the result will name a popular beverage. What is it?
I don't suggest consuming what is formed from the leftover letters of the second word, followed by the leftover letters of the first word.

Edit: The leftover letters are R+ODENT.
A: PEPSodent + rICOLA --> PEPSI COLA

Sunday, September 28, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 28, 2014): Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 28, 2014): Best Thing Since Sliced Bread:
Q: Think of a 10-letter word that names an invention of the early 20th century and includes an A and an O. Remove the A. Then move the O to where the A was, leaving a space where the O was, and you'll name a much more recent invention. What is it?
Did one of these inventors come from Chicago?

Edit: The hint was a reference to the song "Mr. Cellophane" from the musical Chicago.
A: CELLOPHANE --> CELL PHONE

Sunday, September 21, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 21, 2014): Go Ahead, Make My Day!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 21, 2014): Go Ahead, Make My Day!:
Q: Name a famous actor best known for tough-guy roles. The first five letters of his first name and the first four letters of his last name are the first five and four letters, respectively, in the first and last names of a famous author. Who is the actor, and who is the author?
Clinton Eastham and Arnolfini Schweiss? They're famous authors, right?

Edit: The hint was They're which contains (Jane) Eyre.
A: CHARLes BRONson --> CHARLotte BRONtë.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 14, 2014): Calculator Geography

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 14, 2014): Calculator Geography:
Q: If you punch 0-1-4-0 into a calculator, and turn it upside-down, you get the state OHIO. What numbers can you punch in a calculator, and turn upside-down, to get a state capital, a country and a country's capital?
It's easier to solve this puzzle than it is to provide hints. Just focus on the letters BEGHILOSZ.
A: BOISE (35108), BELIZE (321738) and OSLO (0750)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 7, 2014): T is for...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 7, 2014): T is for...:
Q: Think of a word starting with T. Drop the T, and phonetically you'll get a new word that's a synonym of the first one. What words are these?
My apologies to all for not posting the puzzle on Sunday. I never finished solving the puzzle and therefore forgot to put up a post.
A: TWIRL and WHIRL

Sunday, August 31, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 31, 2014): Before and After

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 31, 2014): Before and After:
Q: Think of a word that means "to come before." Replace its last letter with two new letters to get "someone who comes after you." These two words are unrelated etymologically. What words are they?
The anagram of one of the words makes me want to cry.
Edit: The anagram is TEARDROP.
A: PREDATE --> PREDATOR

Sunday, August 24, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 24, 2014): The 1960s vs. the 1990s

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 24, 2014): The 1960s vs. the 1990s:
Q: Name a world leader of the 1960s — two words. Change the last letter of the second word. Then switch the order of the words — that is, putting the second word in front. The result will name a hit song of the 1990s. Who is the leader, and what is the song?
For once I'm up early. Maybe it's a sign I should start my morning routine.

Edit: The hints were up early/morning (a.m. = Alanis Morisette), sign (Burma Shave roadside signs) and morning routine (shaving = Burma Shave)
A: U THANT (Secretary General of the U.N., from Burma) --> THANK U (by Alanis Morisette)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 17, 2014): Target Practice

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 17, 2014): Target Practice:
Q: You have a target with six rings, bearing the numbers 16, 17, 23, 24, 39, and 40. How can you score exactly 100 points, by shooting at the target.
Finally a math puzzle, but then it has to be one that isn't very challenging. If you are having trouble, just keep firing arrows; you'll hit it eventually.

Edit: You'll need the full complement of 6 arrows.
A: 16 + 16 + 17 + 17 + 17 + 17 = 100