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?

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

Sunday, March 13, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (March 13, 2016): Monthly Actress and Poet Meeting

NPR Sunday Puzzle (March 13, 2016): Monthly Actress and Poet Meeting:
Q: Take the name of a well-known actress. Her first name starts with the three-letter abbreviation for a month. Replace this with the three-letter abbreviation of a different month, and you'll get the name of a famous poet. Who are these two people?
At least there are only 12 months to deal with, not 13.

Edit: The actress played President Alma Coin from District 13 in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay" (Parts 1 and 2).
A: JULIANNE MOORE --> MARIANNE MOORE

Sunday, March 06, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (March 6, 2016): Five Words on a Keyboard

NPR Sunday Puzzle (March 6, 2016): Five Words on a Keyboard:
Q: Bail, Nail, and Mail are three four-letter words that differ only by their first letters. And those first letters (B, N, and M) happen to be adjacent on a computer keyboard. Can you think of five four-letter words that have the same property — that is, they're identical except for their first letters, with those first letters being adjacent on the keyboard? All five words must be ones that everyone knows. Capitalized words and plurals are not allowed. What words are they?
The word "adjacent" may give you some problems, but assume that Will meant "on the same row" and it will all mesh. If you still have problems, you could always just pry up a few keys.

Edit: My hints were the word give which was one of my words. There was also mesh which was a hint to "jive".
A: DIVE, FIVE, GIVE, HIVE, JIVE
Other answers are also possible.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 28, 2016): Graphing is Where I Draw the Line

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 28, 2016): Graphing is Where I Draw the Line:
Q: What two eight-letter terms in math are anagrams of each other, one from geometry, one from calculus?
I'm just going to say initially you may be confused, but you'll get it.

Edit: The initial letters of the two words are I and T.
A: INTEGRAL and TRIANGLE