Sunday, May 22, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 22, 2016): Another Household Item

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 22, 2016): Another Household Item:
Q: Name a common household item in 6 letters. Change the middle two letters to a P, and you'll get the 5-letter last name of a famous person who professionally used that item. What's the item, and who's the person?
Is pectin a household item used professionally by Chef Jacques P├ępin?
A: CAMERA --> CAPRA

Sunday, May 15, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 15, 2016): Creature Comforts

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 15, 2016): Creature Comforts:
Q: Name a creature in nine letters. The name contains a T. Drop the T, and the remaining letters can be rearranged to spell two related modes of transportation. What are they?
A: BUTTERFLY --> UBER, LYFT

Sunday, May 08, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 8, 2016): Household item

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 8, 2016): Household item:
Q: Name something in 11 letters that's a common household item. You can rearrange the first six letters to form a synonym of a word spelled by the middle three letters. What is the item, and what are the words?
For some reason this was the first thing I thought of today. By the way, if you rearrange the last 6 letters, you can name something else that is a common household item, and something that definitely is NOT.

Edit: Given that Sunday was Mother's Day, Mom was the first thing I thought of. The last 6 letters of the answer can be anagrammed to REMOTE or METEOR.
A: THERMOMETER --> MOTHER and MOM

Sunday, May 01, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 1, 2016): Entrance and Exit

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 1, 2016): Entrance and Exit:
Q: Think of a word that means "entrance." Interchange the second and fourth letters, and you'll get a new word that means "exit." What words are these?
Anyone watch Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Edit: An episode of the show from 1991 was entitled "Gateway Getaway" where Robocrook steals the St. Louis Arch. It's especially notable for what happened in the final round.
A: GATEWAY --> GETAWAY

Sunday, April 24, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (April 24, 2016): Drugstore Singer

NPR Sunday Puzzle (April 24, 2016): Drugstore Singer:
Q: Name a famous singer — first and last names. The last four letters of the first name spelled backward plus the first four letters of the last name spelled forward ... read together, in order, name a section of products in a drugstore. What is it?
At a minimum we need a name like BURL IVES, with four letters in each name.

Edit: Burl Ives was in the musical "Paint Your Wagon" and sang "They Call the Wind Maria". The song was the inspiration for Mariah Carey's name.
A: MARIAH CAREY --> HAIR CARE

Sunday, April 17, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (April 17, 2016): Give 'em the old Razzle Dazzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (April 17, 2016): Give 'em the old Razzle Dazzle:
Q: Take the name of a famous musical. Write it in upper- and lowercase letters, as you usually would. Now turn one of the characters upside-down and move it to another place in the title. The result will be the last name of a well-known stage performer. What is the musical, and who is the performer?
Chicago? Nope. Cats? Nope. Hmm... I'm not getting it!

Edit: My hint had question marks, an ellipsis and an exclamation point to point you to thinking about the punctuation.
A: Oliver! --> (Laurence) Oliv¡er

Sunday, April 10, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (April 10, 2016): And Threes a Crowd...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (April 10, 2016): And Threes a Crowd...:
Q: Name something in eight letters that's usually bought in pairs. Change the second letter to the letter two spaces later in the alphabet, and you'll get a new word that names something else that's usually bought in pairs. Both words are plurals. What are they?
Put the two words together and that's also something that you can buy. Who knew?

Edit: You can buy Speakers for your Sneakers or even Sneakers made into Speakers
A: SNEAKERS/SPEAKERS (Will also accepted Slippers/Snippers)

Sunday, April 03, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (April 3, 2016): A=1, B=2, C=3, ...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (April 3, 2016): A=1, B=2, C=3, ...:
Q: Take the word EASY: Its first three letters — E, A and S — are the fifth, first, and nineteenth letters, respectively, in the alphabet. If you add 5 + 1 + 19, you get 25, which is the value of the alphabetical position of Y, the last letter of EASY.

Can you think of a common five-letter word that works in the opposite way — in which the value of the alphabetical positions of its last four letters add up to the value of the alphabetical position of its first letter?
I'm crossing this off my list of tough puzzles; this is way too EASY!

Edit: My hint was to crosswalks which are called "zebra crossings" in the U.K.
A: ZEBRA is one possible answer. TABLE, WHACK and MACED also fit the criteria.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (March 27, 2016): Both man and woman...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (March 27, 2016): Both man and woman...:
Q: It's a two-line verse from the Nov. 12, 1803, issue of the Boston Weekly Magazine:

I am both man and woman too,
And go to school as good boys do.
Will Shortz is looking for the answer to this riddle so submit your best answer to the NPR website.
I've pulled an image from the original issue of the Boston Weekly Magazine (November 12, 1803) if that helps.

Edit: The same rebus/riddle appeared in the December 1759 issue of The London Magazine. The answer given in the following month was that the answer is "I". But this answer was less than satisfying so Will picked a different answer.
A: Ruler

Sunday, March 20, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (March 20, 2016): A Mix of Vowels and Consonants

NPR Sunday Puzzle (March 20, 2016): A Mix of Vowels and Consonants:
Q: Think of a common nine-letter word that contains five consecutive consonants. Take three consecutive consonants out of these five and replace them with vowels to form another common nine-letter word. What is it?
Just to clarify, the first word has 5 consonants in a row; they aren't consecutive in the alphabet. I could have been at this for many weeks if I hadn't changed another assumption I incorrectly made.

Edit: My hint was "weeks" sounding sort of like an antonym of strengths. My mistaken assumption was that Will wouldn't pick a plural as a word so I was initially focused on compound words corkscrew. Incidentally, STRENGTHS is the longest English word with just one vowel.
A: STRENGTHS --> STRENUOUS