Sunday, December 04, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 4, 2016): Stuck in the Middle with You

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 4, 2016): Stuck in the Middle with You:
Q: This challenge may sound impossible, but there's a good answer. Think of a common two-word phrase, in seven letters, that has two R's in the middle. And "in the middle" means exactly in the middle. What phrase is it?
I'm sure you'll figure this out before breakfast.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 27, 2016): Sporty Actress

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 27, 2016): Sporty Actress:
Q: Take the first name of a famous actress. Drop a letter. Rearrange what's left, and you'll get a word used in a particular sport. This actress's last name, without any changes, is another word used in the same sport. What actress is it?
Sorry to drop the ball, but I've got nothing.

Edit: As others have noted, a similar version of this puzzle was presented in March 2007 - Best S'porting Actress. As for me, I guess I just threw a gutter ball this week. :)
A: KIRSTIE ALLEY --> STRIKE, ALLEY

Sunday, November 20, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 20, 2016): Creative Challenge (cont.) - Wrap the Beet vs. Beat the Rap

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 20, 2016): Creative Challenge (cont.) - Wrap the Beet vs. Beat the Rap:
Q: This is a two-week creative challenge. The object is to write a conundrum or riddle that starts "What is the difference between ..." — in which the answer involves a transposition of words.

For example: What is the difference between a chatterbox and a mirror? Answer: One speaks without reflecting while the other reflects without speaking. Or: What is the difference between a lucky criminal and some Saran with a garden vegetable? Answer: One beats the rap while the other wraps the beet.

Change of spelling in the words is allowed, but not necessary. Entries will be judged on their sense, naturalness of wording, humor, elegance and overall effect. You may submit up to three entries. Mr. Shortz will announce his favorites — and the overall winner — in two weeks.
Hmm... not much to comment on this week. Obviously this is different than most of Will's puzzles in that it is open-ended and is a two week challenge. Start collecting your ideas and we'll discuss them all after the Wednesday deadline.
A:
The winner:

What is the difference between a priest and his dog? One wears pants and a collar while the other wears a collar and pants.
— Roxanne Abrams, Skokie, Ill.

Runners-up:

What's the difference between a plane taking off and an entomologist? One flies away while the other weighs a fly.
—Ellis Seiberling, New Orleans

What is the difference between Sting and a retired E.P.A. official? One led the Police while the other policed the lead.
—Brett Hunkins, Okemos, Mich.

What's the difference between a twin and a nudist? One bears a likeness while the other likes a bareness.
—Mark Litten, Seminole, Fla.

What's the difference between a libertarian and a charitable pharmacist? One leaves you alone while the other loans you Aleve.
—Mark Mikula, Bristol, R.I.

What's the difference between a straight-A student and a car safety inspector? One breaks the curve on a test while the other tests the brakes on a curve.
—Amy Higgins, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Honorable mentions:

What is the difference between a patient child at a Lionel store and one who teaches powerlifting? One waits to use the trains while the other trains to use the weights.
—Daniel Rosenblum, Teaneck, N.J.

What is the difference between a mall security guard and a deli refrigerator? One locks the stores while the other stores the lox.
—Allan Richardson, Jacksonville, Fla.

What's the difference between a funny guy next door and a radius or ulna? One is humorous to a neighbor while the other is neighbor to a humerus.
—John Perri, Plano, Texas

1) What's the difference between an unlucky hiker and a martyr? One crosses a bear while the other bears a cross.
2) What's the difference between a mountain climber and a dieter? One scales a face while the other faces a scale.
—Margie Shields, San Mateo, Calif.

What is the difference between a metal craftsman working for a funeral home and a laborer in England? One pounds urns while the other earns pounds.
—Judy Davis, Asheville, N.C.

What is the difference between a criminal and a guard? One fences watches while the other watches fences.
—Kerrie Serpa, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

1) What is the difference between last week's quarterback and this week's kidney stone? One threw passes while the other passes through.
2) What is the difference between a sperm donor and a stockbroker? One shares cells while the other sells shares.
—Jim Serpa, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

What's the difference between a coloratura soprano and an N.F.L. referee? One hits high notes while the other notes high hits.
—Anthony Gray, Closter, N.J.

What's the difference between a pizzeria and John McEnroe? One serves slices while the other slices serves.
—Justin Rosales, Dumont, N.J.

What is the difference between Charlie Brown and a shyster? One checks kites while the other kites checks.
—Dan Simmons, Salem, Ore.

What is the difference between a responsible drinker and an affectionate puppy? One handles his liquor while the other licks his handler.
—Loretta Srch, Iberia, Mo.

What's the difference between Prince Charles and rice at a wedding? One is heir to the throne while the other is thrown to the air.
—Darryl Nester, Bluffton, Ohio

1) What's the difference between a convict and an autograph? One is booked in a pen while the other is penned in a book.
2) What's the difference between a medical recruiter and a Photoshop expert? One picks the doctors while the other doctors the pics.
—Summer Beretsky Bukeavich, Williamsport, Pa.

What is the difference between a clothing store and a day trader? One stocks shorts while the other shorts stocks.
—Marshall Savitt, Albany, N.Y.

What is the difference between a subprime loan crisis and a commemorative William and Kate wedding plate? One roils the markets while the other markets the royals.
—Leah Cole, Quincy, Mass.

What is the difference between a tangled ball of string and a brave knight? One is a frayed knot while the other is not afraid.
—Bryce Mayo, Gillette, Wyo.

What is the difference between an era without war and a sprig of a certain herb? One is a time of peace while the other is a piece of thyme.
—Michael Boone, Agoura Hills, Calif.

What's the difference between a panicked driver and a radio deejay? One hits the brakes while the other breaks the hits.
—Alan Nyquist, Keego Harbor, Mich.

What's the difference between a drill instructor and a dog trainer? One barks a command while the other commands a bark?
—Manuel Bass, Fullerton, Calif.

What's the difference between a marathon race official and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.? One times the runs while the other runs the Times.
—Kevin Devine, Marlborough, Mass.

What is the difference between the I.R.S. and a flood? One levies taxes while the other taxes levees.
—Brian Dontchos, Seattle

What is the difference between a successful student and a food safety inspector? One meets the grade while the other grades the meat.
—Janice Gargan, Southern Pines, N.C.

What is the difference between a choral director and a detective? One leads a choir while the other acquires a lead.
—Curtis Johnson, Denver, Colo.

What's the difference between a Vandal and a Manhattan shopper? One sacks Rome while the other roams Saks.
—Andy Calderwood, Santa Barbara, Calif.

What is the difference between a gas station and a gymnasium in Prague? One is a place to check a tire while the other is a place to tire a Czech.
—Bruce Weitzman, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

What's the difference between a bus driver and a tissue? One knows the stops while the other stops the nose.
—Miles Histand, Portland, Ore.

What is the difference between a renowned attorney and a storm drain? One is a great suer while other is a sewer grate.
—Ryan McNeill, Watkinsville, Ga.

What is the difference between a ship and the Rose Bowl Court? One floats on the waves while the other waves on the floats.
—Mike Strong, Mechanicsburg, Pa.

What's the difference between a power hitter and the operator of an outdoor movie theater? One drives in runs while the other runs drive-ins.
—Steve Feldman, Framingham, Mass.

What's the difference between a beach bum abroad and the lord of the manor? One surfs overseas while the other oversees serfs.
—John Byrne, Medford, Mass.

1) What is the difference between a traveler too sick to go and a husband with his feet in the way? One misses the trip while the other trips the Mrs.
2) What is the difference between a happily married working man and a man getting a divorce? One kisses his wife goodbye upon leaving his house while the other kisses his house goodbye upon leaving his wife.
—Patrick Berry, Jasper, Ala.

Several more entries Will liked that were repeated:

What is the difference between a jeweler and a jailer? One sells watches while the other watches cells.

What is the difference between a break-dancer and a museum curator? One busts a move while the other moves a bust.

What is the difference between a mariner and narcotics agents? One sails the seas while the others seize the sales.

What is the difference between a politician and an Indian restaurant chef? One curries favor while the other favors curry.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 13, 2016): Creative Challenge - Beat the Rap vs. Wrap the Beet

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 13, 2016): Creative Challenge - Beat the Rap vs. Wrap the Beet:
Q: This is a two-week creative challenge. The object is to write a conundrum or riddle that starts "What is the difference between ..." — in which the answer involves a transposition of words.

For example: What is the difference between a chatterbox and a mirror? Answer: One speaks without reflecting while the other reflects without speaking. Or: What is the difference between a lucky criminal and some Saran with a garden vegetable? Answer: One beats the rap while the other wraps the beet.

Change of spelling in the words is allowed, but not necessary. Entries will be judged on their sense, naturalness of wording, humor, elegance and overall effect. You may submit up to three entries. Mr. Shortz will announce his favorites — and the overall winner — in two weeks.
Hmm... not much to comment on this week. Obviously this is different than most of Will's puzzles in that it is open-ended and is a two week challenge. Start collecting your ideas and we'll discuss them all in two weeks after the deadline.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 6, 2016): No Vowel Left Behind

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 6, 2016): No Vowel Left Behind:
Q: Think of a sign that's frequently seen around this time of year — two words of four letters each. Among these eight letters all five vowels — A, E, I, O, and U — appear once each, along with three consonants. What sign is it?


Edit: My hint was "LOVE MAUI" which uses the vowels in the same order as the answer.
A: VOTE AQUƍ

Sunday, October 30, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 30, 2016): Name in the News

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 30, 2016): Name in the News:
Q: Think of a name in the news that has a doubled letter. It's a person's last name. Change that doubled letter to a different doubled letter, and you'll get the commercial name for a popular food. What is it?
A: (Evan) MCMULLIN --> MCMUFFIN

Sunday, October 16, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 16, 2016): Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Blast-off!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 16, 2016): Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Blast-off!:
Q: This is a two-week challenge. Take the digits 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1, in that order. Using those digits and the four arithmetic signs — plus, minus, times and divided by — you can get 1 with the sequence 5 - 4 + 3 - 2 - 1. You can get 2 with the sequence (5 - 4 + 3 - 2) x 1.

The question is ... how many numbers from 1 to 40 can you get using the digits 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 in that order along with the four arithmetic signs?

You can group digits with parentheses, as in the example. There are no tricks to this, though. It's a straightforward puzzle. How many numbers from 1 to 40 can you get — and, specifically, what number or numbers can you not get? Will Shortz will reveal his solution in two weeks.
Enjoy the two-week math challenge. Feel free to post *how many* numbers you can create, but just not specifics on which ones and with what expressions.

Edit: A bit of a trick here. You can create 39 numbers, but not 39. :)
A: Without resorting to tricks, you can write expressions for all but number 39.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 9, 2016): Grabbing a Bite to Eat Before the Movie

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 9, 2016): Grabbing a Bite to Eat Before the Movie:
Q: Name a famous actress of the past — first and last names, 10 letters altogether. Change one letter in the first name and one letter in the last. The result is a two-word phrase naming a food item often found in a kitchen cabinet or refrigerator. What is it?
I was looking into the yard and the answer came to me.

Edit: Obviously I was looking out the "Rear Window"
A: GRACE KELLY --> GRAPE JELLY

Sunday, October 02, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 2, 2016): What Do You Do?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 2, 2016): What Do You Do?:
Q: Name an 11-letter occupation starting with H. If you have the right one, you can rearrange the letters to name two things a worker with this occupation uses — one in six letters and one in five. What occupation is it?
I came up with curtains and a towel, but that isn't right.

Edit: My clues were to shears (curtains) and a drier (towel).
A: HAIRDRESSER --> SHEARS + DRIER

Sunday, September 25, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sept 25, 2016): Close but no Rhyme

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sept 25, 2016): Close but no Rhyme:
Q: Take the words DOES, TOES and SHOES. They all end in the same three letters, but none of them rhyme. What words starting with F, S and G have the same property? The F and S words are four letters long, and the G word is five letters. They all end in the same three letters.
As a bonus puzzle, can you think of 6-letter words starting with F, S and G that end with the same letters but don't rhyme? (P.S. Two of the words were used in our Christmas Puzzle from 2006)

Edit: The answer to my bonus puzzle was FINGER, SINGER, GINGER.
A: FOUL, SOUL, GHOUL