Monday, December 31, 2007

Can you solve our Christmas Puzzle for 2007?

Christmas Puzzle 2007I'm a little behind in posting a link to our annual Christmas Puzzle. This year's puzzle involves finding the six pairs of matching images. If you are up for a fun challenge, take a look at the Christmas Puzzle for 2007.

When you solve it, please don't give away the answer (actually answers are already on the page) but feel free to add comments about what you thought... or ideas for the next Christmas Puzzle.

Friday, December 28, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 23): Mountain Range Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 23): Mountain Range Puzzle
Q: Name a mountain range somewhere in the world, move the third letter to the front, and name a nationality that is not near that range. Name the mountain and name the people.
You should be able to solve this week's puzzle really quickly and especially if you have a list of mountain ranges handy...

Edit: The answer was hidden above in "...and especially"
A: ANDES --> DANES

Thursday, December 20, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 16): Pronounced twice?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 16): Pronounced twice?:
Q: Think of a common six-letter word with the following unusual properties: The third and fourth letters are consonants, which are silent, and the fifth letter is a 'T' which is pronounced twice. What word is this?
I think I have the intended answer, but I would object to the contention that the 'T' is pronounced twice. I've checked 8 to 10 dictionaries and each time the pronunciation key has shown a single 'T' sound.

Edit: I was thinking "eighty"... but I'm pretty sure that isn't correct because all the dictionaries show it as pronounced "long A, T". But since I looked, I found a different answer which must be what Will was intending.

A: EIGHTH

Friday, December 14, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 9): 5 letters + 5 letters = 10 letters

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 9): 5 letters + 5 letters = 10 letters:
Q: Think of a well-known actor. Take the first five letters of his first name, and the last five letters of his last name, together, in order. These letters spell the name of a major American city. Who is the actor and what is the city?
I don't think we need to challenge this actors characterization as "well-known". I looked him up on IMDb and he has a good 125 film and TV appearances listed; a testament to his staying power in Hollywood.

Edit: Everyone remembers his role as Moses in the "Ten Commandments", right?
A: CHARLTON HESTON --> CHARLESTON

Friday, December 07, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 2): One Small Step for Man...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 2): One Small Step for Man...:
Q: Take the word "stepparents". Rearrange these 11 letters to spell two words that are opposites. What are they?
The answer is pretty easy to figure out. You'll get it sooner or later, but if not I'll post the answer after the deadline.

Edit: The deadline has passed (homonym of past) so I'll present the answer.
A: STEPPARENTS --> PAST and PRESENT

Friday, November 30, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 25): What's in a Name?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 25): What's in a Name?:
Q: Think of a familiar man's name in four letters. Change the first letter to the next letter in the alphabet, and you'll get another familiar man's name. What names are these?
I have a feeling there are multiple answers to this puzzle. I started by ignoring funky letter combinations (like XY --> Xeno & Yeno?). Once I used likely letter pairs, I came up with an answer. Not sure if it is the only answer, but it does work.

Edit: My clues were "funKY LEtter" and "likeLY LEtter". There was also a reference to XY as in the NBC series Kyle XY. I was going to try and fit in "love it" as in Lyle Lovett, but thought that would be too obvious.
A: KYLE and LYLE

I suspect other answers may also be accepted like: BURT and CURT, MICK and NICK, RAUL and SAUL, MIKE and NIKE (maybe), SHAD and THAD (maybe). Any others you want to mention?

Friday, November 23, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 18): Take Me to Your Leader

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 18): Take Me to Your Leader
Q: Think of the name of a current world leader. Taking the letters in the first half of the first name, and the letters in the first half of the last name, you can rearrange them to spell the language of this leader's country. Who's the leader and what's the language?
I didn't intend to anger many with my sparse clues last week, but apparently I did. Well this week, I hope to give some help that will be directly relevant to the topic. What I suggest is looking at a list of current world leaders, but be sure to look at both the heads of state and the heads of government.

Edit: Apart from the obvious hints, here are the hidden clues:
"anger many", "directly relevant" (= germane).
A: Angela Merkel (Chancellor of Germany)
ANG/MER --> GERMAN

Friday, November 16, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 11): "The Troubadour" Anagrams

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 11): "The Troubadour" Anagrams:
Q: Take the title Il Trovatore by Verdi. Drop one letter. Rearrange the remaining 10 letters to spell two synonyms. What are they?
I was accused last week of giving away too much in my clue... so this week, in order to prevent another fight, I'm only going to give one small hint. The letter you want to ignore is the first one.

Edit: It is after the deadline, so I can reveal my clues and the answer. First, if you read above, I mentioned a "fight"... this was a subtle clue toward the answer. Next, I gave a very misleading clue... "The letter you want to ignore is the first one." Here I didn't mean the first one in the word, but the first one in the alphabet. Tricked a few of you on that one, didn't I?
A: Il Trovatore, remove the letter A and rearrange.
REVOLT and RIOT

Thursday, November 08, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 4): Fibonacci's Lieutenant

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 4): Fibonacci's Lieutenant:
Q: Take a common three-letter word, move each letter three places later in the alphabet, the resulting letters can be re-arranged to spell a new word that is a synonym of the original. What are the two words? And here's a hint: all three letters in both words are in the first half of the alphabet.
Honestly, I haven't a clue...

Edit: Well, actually I wasn't being truthful. I did have a clue in the title. And my dishonesty was another clue.
A: FIB --> LIE

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 28): Why a Question about Summer in the Fall?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 28): Why a Question about Summer in the Fall?:
Q: Name something you might wear in the summer. The answer will have two words, with five letters in the first word and three letters in the second. Remove the next-to-last letter and read the result backward and you'll get a word that means 'blocks.' What words are these?
I'm not thinking about things you'd wear in the summer right now. Instead we are focused on our family Halloween theme. I can't reveal what we are all going as yet. You'll have to check our family website for when we post pictures. In the meantime, I will tell you about one of my favorite family themes we did... The Wizard of Oz. Click on Halloween Costumes, on our Family Blog. Look at 2003. The things we had the most problem with were the grass sticking out of my costume (Scarecrow), the funnel on Michael's head (Tin Man) and the warts on my wife's nose (Wicked Witch). Anyway, check back for photos of this year's costumes and perhaps clues to this puzzle.

Edit: Well, I was busy updating our family website with the latest Halloween costumes... but I hope you figured out the clues (Scarecrow = straw, Tin man = hat, Witch = th' warts)
A: STRAW HAT -A --> THWARTS

Sunday, October 28, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 21): Working for Mere Peanuts

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 21): Working for Mere Peanuts
Q: Think of a word that can follow the word 'peanut' to form a familiar two-word phrase. If you take the first letter and move it to the next-to-the-last position, you get another word that can also follow 'peanut' to form another familiar two-word phrase. What are the words?
As you can see from my prior post, I'm a little behind in posting puzzle clues and answers. Trust me, you'll find a couple clues to this puzzle if you look.

Edit: Well the clues were all in the prior post. "Hello kids! What time is it?" was a quote from Buffalo Bob to start the Howdy Doody show (also mentioned) where the kids sat in the...
A: PEANUT GALLERY --> PEANUT ALLERGY

Monday, October 22, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 14): A Country that Makes Cars

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 14): A Country that Makes Cars:
Q: Name a country in 11 letters that has an R in its name. Change the R to a K. Rearrange all the letters to name three makes of automobiles.
This isn't too difficult. There are only 6 countries (in my counting) that have 11 letters and an R. And how many makes of car have a K in them? My one hint: None of them are domestic car makers.

Edit: What time is it? Okay, no complaints please. I know I'm late in posting the answer to the puzzle. Last week, all I did to solve the puzzle was search a list of countries as I noted. When I saw AUDI in one of them, I knew I had the answer. By the way, remind me someday to tell you how my Dad tried to find a good play on "HOWDY DOODY" for the license plate of his Audi 4000. Closest he got was "AUDI DUD" but that didn't look quite right.
A: SAUDI ARABIA -R +K --> AUDI, SAAB and KIA

Saturday, October 13, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 7): Say That Again?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 7): Say That Again?:
Q: Name a well-known city in the United States, two words, 10 letters altogether. Add the letter A at the front, add the city's two-letter state postal abbreviation at the end, the resulting 13-letter chain will be palindromic, that is, it will read backward and forward the same. What city is this?
Well, at least letter 'A' is guaranteed to be the first and last letter... I just had to read it a second time and voilà, I knew the answer.

Edit: If you look carefully at the first letters in "Well, at least letter 'A'" you come up with WALLA. In addition voilà sounds a lot like WALLA also. Read them a second time and you get the answer.
A: WALLA WALLA (Washington) --> AWALLAWALLAWA

Thursday, September 27, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 23): Football on your FM Dial...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 23): Football on your FM Dial...:
Q: Name something a football player wears, in eight letters. Rearrange the eight letters into two four-letter words associated with a fraud. What words are these?
My FM radio is on the fritz, so I had to go to the NPR website for the puzzle. However, you'll ace this puzzle, if you ask me.

Edit: Put it all together, FM + ace + ask
A: FACEMASK --> FAKE + SCAM

Friday, September 21, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 16): Synonyms for fragility?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 16): Synonyms for fragility?:
Q: Name a certain shop some people visit every day. Reverse the order of the last four letters, leaving the other letters untouched, and you'll get a new word that means fragility.
This week's puzzle is really hard!

Okay, I lied...

Edit: This one was actually really easy, I think. If you focus on the suffix, -NESS comes immediately to mind. Reverse it and the answer is obvious. By the way, the subtle hint was lied which is an anagram of deli.
A: DELICATESSEN --> DELICATENESS

Thursday, September 13, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 9): Still working on this one?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 9): Still working on this one?:
Q: Take the word 'near.' If you shift each of its consonants to the next consonant of the alphabet, and each of its vowels to the next vowel in the alphabet, you get the word 'pies.' Find a one-word title of a famous novel (also made into a film) that — if you shift each of its consonants and vowels in the same manner — gives you another one-word title of a famous novel that was also made into a film. What novels and films are these?
Well, there's the puzzle. I'm actually still working on it so I don't have any clues to post. Even coming up with one-word titles that are both novels and movies is proving difficult. I hate to admit it but, I'm feeling nearly brain-dead. Anyone able to help me get over my large mental roadblock?

Edit: I must apologize because those hints above were really subtle and misleading. Unless you are astute, they don't give you the answer, but if you have the answer, it hopefully confirmed you were correct. The hints were "nearly brain-dead" and "large roadblock". Since it is after the deadline I can reveal the answer.
A: COMA --> DUNE
  • COMA (1977 Robin Cook novel, 1978 Michael Crichton movie)

  • DUNE (1965 Frank Herbert novel, 1984 David Lynch movie)

  • P.S. As a bonus, can you find the name of an animal in 5 letters, perform the same translation and come up with a fabric?

    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 2): They're both trees -- but quick, are they synonyms?

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 2): They're both trees -- but quick, are they synonyms?:
    Q: Rearrange the letters in CHARADES, to make two words that are synonyms. What are they?
    My first attempt resulted in CEDAR and ASH -- while they may both be trees they certainly they aren't synonyms (anymore than black and white could be considered synonyms). But I do have the correct answer, and I've already given you a couple clues...

    Edit: The title has a dash in it... and mentions being quick. And later on there is another dash and a mention of black and white which, among other things, are types of races. So the answer is:
    A: CHARADES --> DASH + RACE

    Friday, August 31, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 26): Providing clues in close to realtime

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 26): Providing clues in close to realtime:
    Q: Name an event at which food is served (eight letters). Inside this word is the name of a food in four letters. Remove these four letters, and the remaining four letters, in order, will name another food. What words are these?
    I'm not sure if I have the intended answer or not. The foods seemed to be right there in the answer without having to look "inside" too hard.

    Edit: I'm still not sure if this is the intended answer or not, so we'll see on Sunday. The clue to my answer was in the title "close to realtime" which should have made you think of...
    A: MEALTIME --> MEAT + LIME

    Edit: Indeed my answer was not the intended answer. 'L' from the comments notes that the intended answer is probably:
    A: CLAMBAKE --> LAMB + CAKE

    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 19): Music Is in the Air

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 19): Music Is in the Air:
    Rearrange the letters of NITROGEN to get a familiar word everyone knows, that did not exist 10 years ago. What is it?
    The title was intended for the on-air puzzle, not the challenge for the week. Or was it?

    Edit: I have to think the title was a deliberate hint since there is no mention of air in the on-air puzzle, just musical instruments. And air is 78 percent nitrogen. So the answer is...
    A: NITROGEN --> RINGTONE

    Saturday, August 11, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 12): No Help Today

    I'll be on vacation this next week, so I won't be able to post clues about the puzzle.

    Edit: For completeness, here's last week's puzzle and answer:

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 12): No Help Today

    Q: Think of a pair of words that commonly go together. They're part of a larger group, but this pair of words is commonly said together. The first word contains a "W" sound without the letter "W" being in it. And the second word contains a "W" that is silent. (The pronunciation of the word wouldn't be changed if you remove the "W.") Name this pair of words.
    The date of the puzzle was August 12, made up of the digits "1" and "2". I wonder if that was a hint?
    A: ONE, TWO

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 5): Outdoor Activity Puzzle

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 5): Outdoor Puzzle:
    Q: Think of a six-letter word ending in a vowel that names something worn outdoors. Change the vowel to a 'G' and you'll name a popular outdoor activity. What activity is it?
    I have the answer to the two pieces of the puzzle, but trying to come up with a good clue is taking a toll on my brain.

    Edit: Check the answer and the clues should be obviously (two piece, "a toll" as in Bikini Atoll)
    A: BIKINI --> BIKING

    Thursday, August 02, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 29): A Tale of Two Movies

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 29): A Tale of Two Movies:
    Q: Name a well-known movie in five letters, two syllables. The vowel sound in the first syllable is a short 'i.' Change that vowel to a long 'i' and phonetically, you'll name another famous movie, in six letters. What movies are these?
    A couple hints: An older film and a more recent film. Also, the answers don't actually share a lot of letters in common. So there you go, I've kept you in suspense until later in the week...
    A: Sicko (2007) and Psycho (1960)

    Thursday, July 26, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 22): Sly as a Fox

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 22): Sly as a Fox:
    Q: Think of an adjective that would describe a fox. Remove all the letters in the even positions — second, fourth, sixth, etc. The remaining letters, in order, will answer this clue: Fox's natural rival... what is it?
    This puzzle was initially posted on the NPR website saying "A fox's natural rival". The new wording seems to imply that this involves the Fox network, Fox News, Fox Sports, 20th Century Fox, etc. I first thought that it might be CRAFTY --> CAT, but that doesn't make sense. Then I thought the answer might be CUNNING --> CNN, but that only works if you take out an additional N. Anyone else have the answer?

    Edit: Okay, I'm going with JJ's submitted answer (see comments). Listening to the puzzle, Will definitely left out the article 'a'. Given that the posted puzzle changed from 'A fox's...' to 'Fox's...' I have to assume that this implies that it isn't the animal. I think the answer is CNN, but I just didn't have the right adjective. And yes, CANINE can be used as an adjective too.
    A: CANINE --> CNN

    Sunday, July 08, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 15): Outdoor Sports Centre

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 15): Outdoor Sports Centre:
    Q: Name two outdoor sports or games in seven letters. The first two letters of the first sports name are the same as the first two letters in the second sports name. And the last two letters of the first sports name are the same as the last two letters in the second sports name. Hint: The names do not end in 'N-G.' What sports or outdoor games are these?
    Incidentally, I'll be travelling on holiday shortly (gone for a fortnight), so I won't be able to post clues or answers during that time. You'll just have to get your clues from listening to the NPR programme. Cheerio!

    Edit: Well, I'm a little late in getting this updated. The hints (centre, travelling, holiday, fortnight, programme, cheerio) were obviously pointing to sports that are typically British. So time for the answer:
    A: CRICKET and CROQUET

    Thursday, July 05, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 8): Going Places

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 8): Going Places:
    Q: Name a place where most people would like to go. The name of this place contains the letter 'V' somewhere inside it. Replace the 'V' with 'T' and 'H' to name a person you wouldn't expect to go there. Who is it and what's the place?
    I can tell you I wouldn't want to be heading there anytime soon... but perhaps some day.

    Edit: I doubt anyone needed help on this one.
    A: HEAVEN --> HEATHEN

    Thursday, June 28, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 1): Squirrel Prevention

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 1): Squirrel Prevention:
    Q: Will has a problem. For a long time squirrels have been jumping from trees near his house onto his roof. His house has an attic fan, and the squirrels can enter the attic thru a hole cut in the roof for the fan. Will had the tree branches cut back from the house to prevent the squirrels from getting into the attic. Now the squirrels have started running up his front steps, jumping up on the railing at the top, jumping six feet onto the telephone wires leading into the house — and from there, jumping to the roof. As Will cannot get rid of the railing, the telephone wires or the front steps, how can Will prevent the squirrels from getting onto his roof?
    The most obvious solution is to prevent them from entering the fan opening by adding a wire grate. But that doesn't really prevent them from getting on the roof. The other obvious solution would be to add a large disc-shaped baffle to the telephone line. As long as they can't see through the baffle, the squirrels will be deterred from jumping over because they can't judge their landing spot. The drawback is that it is a rather ugly addition to the telephone line. However, my submitted solution is something else that I think is creative, amusing and practical. I'll tell you what I came up with after the deadline.

    Edit: Here's my solution which may or may not match with what Will picks on Sunday...
    A: I suggest adding a section of PVC pipe around the telephone line, slightly bigger than the wire so that it will easily spin. Imagine the fun you'll have watching the squirrels try to either land on it (flying off into space) or trying to cross it (and being spun back toward the ground). In my mind it meets the criteria of being practical, creative and amusing. If Will implements this solution I hope he films it so we can all have fun watching the results.

    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (June 24): Ran to Oregon?

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (June 24): Ran to Oregon?
    Q: Take a familiar three-word title, with four letters in the first word, two letters in the next and six letters in the last. The last word contains the consecutive letters R-A-N. Change the R-A-N, to O-R and you'll get another familiar three-word phrase. What is it?
    If you finish this quickly it will be quite an achievement.

    Edit: I barely finished reading the puzzle and I had the answer, so I doubt others struggled with this for too long. The six letter word with R-A-N in it was the key and the rest fell into place. In case you can't decipher the clues, "finishing quickly" was a hint to racing, but a certain race extended over several days. And "quite an achievement" was a clue to the second part of the answer.
    A: TOUR DE FRANCE --> TOUR DE FORCE

    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (June 17): Is it Philadelphia?

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (June 17): Is it Philadelphia?
    Q: Think of a well-known U.S. city; the letters in its name can be rearranged into a symbol for 1,000, a symbol for 10, and two words meaning zero. What city is it?
    All this talk of U.S. cities reminded me of a puzzle from last November; it's likely you'll find a clue there. I got distracted for awhile thinking the answer was LEXINGTON (G, X, NIL, NOT, NONE?) but it obviously wasn't right...

    Edit: Well it's after the deadline so here are my clues. First, what really helped me was to use a list of the 100 Most Populous Cities in the U.S., something that I posted in response to an NPR Puzzle post from last Thanksgiving. It's pretty obvious that the answer has to have an 'X' in it, so that narrows it down.

    If that wasn't enough help, there were additional clues. The title refers to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love and there were a couple clues (...November; it's likely... and the list with Lexington) that pointed to LOVE and NIL. So it is time for the answer:
    A: KNOXVILLE --> K, X, NIL, LOVE

    Friday, June 08, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (June 10): Accidental Acrostics - Isaac

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (June 10): Accidental Acrostics - Isaac
    Q: A two-part challenge. Either half will work. Take the name Isaac. Those letters are the initials of a classic song. Name the song. (Hint: the 'I' does not stand for the pronoun and neither 'A' is the article.) So think of a famous song that represents an 'accidental acrostic' of Isaac — or think of any other legitimate 'accidental acrostic' of five or more letters.
    There's a Fleetwood Mac song called "Hungry Country Girl" that has the lyrics "I sat around and cried" but that doesn't meet the puzzle criteria for a couple reasons (includes 'I' and isn't the song title).

    Our family spent much of the weekend working on this and we truly don't have an answer to either part. However we are singing a couple new songs we created called "Iguanas, Sharks, Aardvarks and Camels" along with the soon to be a hit song, "In Summer, All Animals Combust"

    If we figure something else out, we'll post a real clue here. (And we are truly clueless at this point, so don't go looking for hidden clues in the post above...)

    Edit: I've since learned that there is an old song called "Ida, Sweet as Apple Cider." I think I might be a notch too young to remember it, so no wonder we never figured it out. I should have realized that "classic" might have meant written in 1903...
    A: Ida, Sweet as Apple Cider

    Friday, June 01, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (June 3): Drop First Letter, Add a B

    Drop First Letter, Add a B:
    Q: Name a European nationality, drop the first letter, insert a 'b' somewhere later in this string of letters and the result will name a group of people found mainly in Asia. What groups of people are these?
    Is it vital I answer this week? You can figure this out on your own, can't you? Okay, I'll give clue... think of being hidden in a place associated with Carroll O'Connor.

    Edit: The first part of the answer was hidden in "Is it vital I answer..." and the second part referred to the Taliban hiding out in bunkers and caves in the border regions of Afghanistan.
    A: ITALIAN - I + B --> TALIBAN

    Friday, May 25, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 27): Hi Ho Silver, away!

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 27): Hi Ho Silver, away!:
    Q: Each answer is a familiar two-word phrase in which each word has four letters. The middle two letters of the first word are 'hi' and the middle two letters of the second word are 'ho.' Two different phrases have this pattern. What are they?
    I'm not putting a lot of effort into a clue this week so you'll have to be on the lookout for your own answers. I will tell you that I don't think the answer is CHIC SHOP, THIN CHOP, THIS SHOE or WHIZ SHOW, but I guess that was obvious.

    Edit: The clues were all in this sentence, "I'm not putting a lot of effort into a clue this week so you'll have to be on the lookout for your own answers." In golf, when you are slightly off the green (not putting), you might use a CHIP SHOT. And if you are in the crow's nest (as the lookout), you might cry, SHIP AHOY!
    A: The two-word phrases I came up with are:
    CHIP SHOT and SHIP AHOY!

    Thursday, May 17, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 20): Mother's Day Puzzle

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 20): Mother's Day Puzzle:
    Q: Name certain internal parts of the human body, five letters, the word is plural. This word contains an 'i.' Change the 'i' to an 'o,' spell the result backward, and you'll name another part of the body that's very near the first ones. What body parts are these?
    I know I ought'ta provide a clue to this puzzle, but I was too busy organizing a Mother's Day Brunch for my wife, my mother and my sister. A trio of moms, near and dear to my heart, were all treated to a scrumptious buffet in the atrium of a nearby hotel. Maybe if I have time, I'll post a clue later in the week.

    Edit: So you caught all the clues, right? We had the phrase "I ought'ta" which sounds like "aorta" and then "A trio" which sounds like "atria". There was mention of my "heart" and finally the hotel atrium (plural = atria).
    A: ATRIA (two upper chambers of the heart) --> AORTA (large artery leaving the heart)

    Friday, May 11, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 13): I've Been By This River...

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 13): I've Been By This River...:
    Q: Think of two countries whose names start with the same three letters. Set these names side by side, drop the first three letters from each of the names, the remaining letters, in order, will spell the name of one of the longest rivers in the world. What are the countries and what is the river?
    I actually went past this river on a trip my family took in 1980. I'm going to give a big clue; the river doesn't go by any major cities. And notice the puzzle says one of the longest rivers, so we can rule out the Nile naturally.

    Edit: The Lena River is in Russia and flows to the northeast out of Lake Baikal then eventually due north into the Laptev Sea. My family rode the Transiberian Railway in the spring of 1980, shortly before the boycotted Olympics in Moscow. Most people aren't familiar with this river unless they've seen it in a crossword puzzle, but it is categorized as the 10th longest river in the world at approximately 2,650 miles. Incidentally, the name of the river was hidden inside of Nile naturally.
    A: CHI(LE) + CHI(NA) --> LENA.

    Friday, May 04, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 6): Knock, Knock... Who's There?

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 6): Knock, Knock... Who's There?:
    Q: Think of a six-letter plural word naming a certain category of foods. Change the first letter to a 'C,' then re-arrange the result to get an adjective that describes many of these foods. What is it?
    The important letter in the clue is 'C'... Aren't you glad I'm here to give you clues?

    Edit: Remember this old Knock, Knock joke?
    "Knock, knock" Who's There?
    "Banana" Banana Who?
    "Knock, knock" Who's There?
    "Banana" Banana Who?
    "Knock, knock" Who's There?
    "Banana" Banana Who?
    "Knock, knock" Who's There?
    "Orange" Orange Who?
    "Aren't you glad I stopped saying Banana?"

    The other clue was the letter C, as in vitamin C which is prevalent in citrus fruits.

    A: FRUITS +C-F --> CITRUS

    Friday, April 27, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 29): Up a Tree Without a Clue

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 29): Up a Tree Without a Clue:
    Q: Name a famous character in literature and legend, two words, five letters in the first name, four letters in the last. The second letter of the first name is 'R.' Move this 'R' to the second position of the second word, say the result out loud and you'll name a vehicle. Who is the character and what is the vehicle?
    Someone's going to have to come to my aid with a clue this week...

    Edit: Who comes to the aid of a cat stuck up a tree? Okay, I know the clue was obvious, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway.
    A: FRIAR TUCK --> FIRE TRUCK

    Saturday, April 21, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 22): Is that Really an Office *Item*?

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 22): Is that Really an Office *Item*?:
    Q: Name something commonly found in an office. It is two words, with five letters in the first word and four letters in the last. Both words are the last names of famous singers. What is the office item, and who are the singers?
    It might be a trivial distinction, but I'd hardly call this an office item. Technically it is something found in an office... but I don't think of it as a single, tangible item.
    Edit: Okay, so perhaps I was getting a little petty, picking on the puzzle clue.
    A: TOM PETTY and JOHNNY CASH --> PETTY CASH

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 15): Two-word Phrases and Car Parts, a Common Theme

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 15): Two-word Phrases and Car Parts, a Common Theme
    Q: Take the phrase 'saturated fat,' which contains the letter pair 'AT' three times, and think of another familiar two-word phrase, this time containing the lettered pair 'SE' three times. Drop the 'SEs' every time they appear and the remaining letters, in order, reading left to right, will name part of a car. What is it?
    I have to get on Will's case. Just three weeks back we had a puzzle involving two-word phrases and a car part. Practical wisdom would say that you need to vary your puzzles a little. Sounds like he might not be listening to me however...
    Edit: The clues were "Practical wisdom" and the reference to the puzzle a few weeks back with the faulty car horn (and the words "sounds" and "listening").
    A: HORSE SENSE --> HORN

    Thursday, April 05, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 8): I'll State for the Record that I'm No Fool

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 8): I'll State for the Record that I'm No Fool:
    Q: Take the names of two U.S. States, mix them all together, then rearrange the letters to form the names of two other U.S. States. What states are these?
    I had the answer to this puzzle after a few minutes of thinking but thought I must have missed something. The answer seemed like an oversight on Will's part. I even spent time writing a few Excel macros to find 1225 combinations of the 50 states (50 x 49 / 2, excluding duplicates), sort the letters alphabetically then find matches. All that effort was overkill, because it brought me back to the original "simple" answer I had at the beginning. Next time I'll focus on the date the puzzle is aired, rather than when the answer will be announced.

    Edit: Sure enough, there is only one set of four states that answer the puzzle. And they are the first four I thought of. This was obviously an April Fool's joke to make us think the puzzle was much more complicated than it really is.
    A: NORTH CAROLINA + SOUTH DAKOTA
    = SOUTH CAROLINA + NORTH DAKOTA

    Friday, March 30, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 1): Rejuvenate Puzzle

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 1): Rejuvenate Puzzle:
    Q: Take the word, rejuvenate. Add two S's, and rearrange the resulting 12 letters to name a famous person (first and last names). Who is it?
    I've been trying to think of somebody famous... I figure this person might be known for being on TV, or in movies, or in politics, or as an athlete. Unfortunately, I don't have a clue to give you and it is late. Taking a hint from the puzzle, I need to get to bed and let the body and mind rejuvenate.

    Update: Someone asked me if I was truly not going to give a clue this week. Yes, he thought I had failed to solve the puzzle and therefore couldn't provide a clue. I would venture a guess that he hasn't read many of my posts, because he would see that I often try to fake people out, but really do have a clue there. In fact there are numerous hints in this post, but just don't try to pin me down to admitting where they are, at least not before the deadline.

    Edit: Well, the person in question has been known for all of those roles from a WWF Wrestler on TV, to film roles, to being Governor of Minnesota. His nickname was "The Body" and that clue was hidden in my first post. In the update, if you read it aloud, you'll hear the words "Yes, he" and "venture a" which sound like his name. And "fake" and "pin me down" were obvious references to WWF/WWE wrestling, though many will still contend that it is real wrestling.
    A: REJUVENATESS --> JESSE VENTURA

    Friday, March 23, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 25): Motto Puzzle

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 25): Motto Puzzle:
    Q: Think of a well known two-word motto. Say it quickly and it will sound like a different two-word phrase for the result of some auto garage work. What is it?
    I don't think a clue is merited this week. If you just sound it out, you'll get the answer.

    Edit: Reread those last two sentences and you'll find the hidden clues that I gave you (even though I said I wouldn't). Merited should make you think of merit badges and scouting. What's the motto of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts? Also, the word sound when you are thinking of a car should make you think of the horn...
    A: BE PREPARED --> BEEP REPAIRED

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 18): Best S'porting Actress

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 18): Best S'porting Actress:
    Q: Take a six-letter word used in a certain sport. Add the letter 'I.' Re-arrange the resulting seven letters to spell the first name of a famous actress. This actress's last name, in five letters, identifies the place where the sport is played. Who is the actress and what is the sports term?
    I may have this completely wrong, but I think I saw this actress on a late-night infomercial trying to sell teriyaki however, given the early hour, it's likely my brain was just a little scrambled.

    Edit: Get it? Sell Teriyaki... unscrambled becomes...
    A: Well the sport is bowling. When you knock down all the pins, you have a:
    STRIKE + I --> KIRSTIE
    And bowling is played in an:
    ALLEY
    So the answer is KIRSTIE ALLEY

    Friday, March 09, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 11): Good = Yummy or Healthy?

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 11): Good = Yummy or Healthy?
    Q: Name something to eat in two words, with seven letters in each word. All the letters in the first word are in the first half of the alphabet, A to M. All the letters in the second word are in the second half of the alphabet, N to Z.
    It's something good to eat, and the answer is plural. And here's a hint: the initials of the two words are A.S.
    No hints this week, but just be sure you don't make the mistake I made... I thought the last letters of each word had to be A.S. Silly me!

    Edit: I would have thought that chocolate cake was good to eat, but I guess Will was going for good for you, not just good tasting. Oh you caught me, I did leave a clue with the A and S. First word starts and ends with A, and the second word starts and ends with S.
    A: ALFALFA SPROUTS

    Thursday, March 01, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 4): Scrambled actress

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 4): Scrambled actress:
    Q: Take the thirteen letter word, Melancholiacs, add the letter R, then re-arrange all the letters to name a famous actress. Who is it?
    This one took awhile to figure out because you can form all sorts of common female names with those letters. Plus with the Academy Awards on, I kept thinking that there would be a connection to some recent actress, or someone receiving a lifetime award. Well, I was wrong...

    Edit: Time for the answer. I remember this actress from her days on Mary Tyler Moore and later on her own show as Phyllis.
    A: CLORIS LEACHMAN

    Thursday, February 22, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 24): As Easy as Pi...

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 24): As Easy as Pi...:
    Q: The object of this challenge is to develop nine different mathematical expressions that equal eight. You must use the digits 2, 7 and one other. And that other digit must be a one in the first expression, two in the next expression and so on, up to nine. You can use a digit once and only once in each expression.

    You may use the four arithmetic symbols: plus, minus, times and divided by, as well as exponents and decimal points. You may use parenthesis as you need them.
    Yippee! Another math puzzle! I like the word puzzles, but it's nice to have a math puzzle now and again. Unfortunately any clue I could provide would give away too much... just read the puzzle carefully and use all operators mentioned. As an extra challenge, see if you can make eight from 2, 7 and 0 also.

    A: Here are my answers. As mentioned, I found I had to use the four basic operators and exponent and decimal too.
    ONE: 7 + 2 - 1 = 8
    TWO: 7 + ( 2 / 2 ) = 8
    THREE: 7 + 3 - 2 = 8
    FOUR: 2^( 7 - 4 ) = 8
    FIVE: 7 + ( 2 * .5) = 8
    SIX: (2 * 7) - 6 = 8
    SEVEN: ( 7 / .7 ) - 2 = 8
    EIGHT: 7 + .2 + .8 = 8
    NINE: (7 + 9) / 2 = 8
    ZERO: 7 + 2^0 = 8

    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 17): As Easy as Pie...

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 17): As Easy as Pie...:
    Q: By using only the letters in the phrase 'Triple Mocha,' and repeating them as often as you wish, you can spell the name of another cold treat. The answer consists of four words, with a total of twenty one letters. What is it?
    This week's puzzle is so easy you can figure it out in less than 5 minutes. In fact I did it with 1 second to spare. I think my clue is probably harder to figure out than the puzzle is. So what was my clue?

    Edit: Well, what's something cold that goes nicely with pie? Okay that is obvious, but that wasn't the only clue. 5 minutes is 300 seconds. 1 second to spare means 299 seconds and 299 in Roman numerals is CCIC.
    A: CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM

    Thursday, February 08, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 10): Strut your Stuff on this Brain Buster

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 10): Strut your Stuff on this Brain Buster
    Q: This challenge is literally a brain buster. Think of a word that can follow brain and precede buster, in each case completing a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase. What word is this?
    Here's your chance. I believe in your ability to solve this puzzle without any hints from me... or can you?

    Edit: By the way, I actually did give you a few clues. I believe in your ability is another way of saying what? And is there any word in the title you could anagram?
    A: BRAIN TRUST and TRUST-BUSTER so the word is TRUST (which is an anagram of 'strut' from the title).

    Thursday, February 01, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 3): A Little Game Of Rearranging Es

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 3): A Little Game Of Rearranging Es:
    Q: Name a famous person, a living American, with a one-syllable first name and a one-syllable last name. Add a short 'E' sound to the end of this person's first name, add a long 'E' sound to the end of this person's last name, say the result out loud and it will sound like a common uncapitalized English word. Who is the person, and what is the word?
    I feel stupid. I spent several days trying to figure out where the E sounds were supposed to go (before the names, after the names, before and after, after and before). I don't know why I didn't read it clearly and see that the puzzle clearly says they both go at the end of each name. I have an answer but I question whether the short 'E' sounds isn't more of a short 'I' or an unaccented schwa sound. Neither dictionary I checked had it as a short 'E' sound. Perhaps I have my answer wrong too... I'll have to wait until Sunday.

    Edit: Well, the title was a hint... if you read the first letter of each word see what it spells? I'm still not positive I have the right answer but here what I thought it was.
    A: AL GORE --> ALLEGORY

    Friday, January 26, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 28): Is that really how you pronounce it?

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 28): Is that really how you pronounce it?:
    Q: Name a famous film director, whose last name has two syllables. Phonetically these two syllables sound like words that are opposites of each other. What are the words and who is the director?
    I was looking through a list of Oscar nominees and winners for Best Director... I think I found the answer, but if that's it, it's really bogus.

    Edit: Did you get the hint? Real --> TRUE, Bogus --> FAUX
    A: François Truffaut (prounounced trū-fō') leading to the opposite words TRUE and FAUX.

    Thursday, January 18, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 21): After the New Year's Shindig...

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 21): After the New Year's Shindig...:
    Q: A special challenge open for two weeks. The object is to arrange 16 different letters of the alphabet into a 4-by-4 square, so that four common, uncapitalized words read across and four common uncapitalized words read down. To start, the second word across is RULY. This is the only slightly unusual word in the square. Every other word in it is one any school child would know. Can you do it?
    Now that my wife and I are done with the New Year's Eve shindig in the city, is time to get things back in order here. However, I will say we were quite a cute couple and my wife looked gorgeous in her fancy dress. Anyway, back to the puzzle solution. Given that you already know one of the words, and the letters can't repeat it really isn't that hard to figure out. I would definitely work on the word in the last column since there are fewer choices. From there things should fall into place. If you find it hard, at least you have a couple weeks to work on it.
    Edit: Once you see my answer, you'll notice all the clues above. New Year's Shindig = Bash, In order = Ruly, Cute couple = Item, Fancy dress = Gown.
    A:
    BASH
    RULY
    ITEM
    GOWN

    I've learned from other sources that there is an alternate answer. After some additional trials, I came up with it too. It only varies in a couple letters:

    GASH
    RULY
    ITEM
    DOWN

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    The Disguised Triangles Revisited...

    Count the trianglesA couple months back I posted this picture and asked people to count how many different triangles are in the hexagonal pattern to the right. It is now time to reveal the answer. Click the picture for the solution.

    Saturday, January 06, 2007

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 7): ...and a New Year Dawns

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 7): ...and a New Year Dawns:
    Q: Think of a familiar two-word phrase, in the form, BLANK-OIL. And another familiar two word phrase, in the form, OIL-BLANK, in which the two words in the blanks are anagrams of each other. Here's a hint: Each of the anagrams is a regular four-letter word. What phrases are these?
    Edit: Technically the answer to this could be LAMP OIL and OIL LAMP, but I think the intended answers are true anagrams of each other.
    A: PALM OIL --> LAMP OIL