Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Fun - Mini-Sudoku Puzzle (nine squares!)

Mini-Sudoku (nine squares!)For all of those that are tired of having to fill in a full Sudoku grid, here's a Mini-Sudoku Puzzle. The goal is to fill the nine squares with just the digits 1 to 9. The only hints provided are the "L-block" hints at each corner. Each value tells you the sum of the five squares that make up the two adjacent edges.

Note: This is not a magic square. You cannot make any assumptions about the totals of the rows, columns or diagonals.

See how quickly you can come up with the unique solution. I'll probably post the answer next Friday. In the meantime, please don't reveal the answer so others can enjoy the puzzle too. Post comments on whether you find this puzzle easy, hard, fun or frustrating. I'd be interested in your solving techniques and times, too.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 21): Opposites Attract

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 21): Opposites Attract:
Q: Take a common two-word phrase with four letters in each word. Each word has a single O as its vowel. If you add an R somewhere in the second word, the two words become opposites. What is the phrase?
Well at least Will is leaning toward puzzles that take more than 30 seconds to solve...the last one took several days for some people. Your solving time will be quicker if you remember the words are opposites once you add the 'R' (I started searching for synonyms.) Don't give away the answer before the Thursday deadline, but feel to take a shot at posting some "hints".

Edit: My hints weren't very good, but there were some references to Will (Shortz), length of time (long and short), and the obvious inclusion of the word "shot".
A: LONG SHOT --> LONG, SHORT

Thursday, September 18, 2008

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 14): Name that Animal

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 14): Name that Animal:
Q: Take the phrases 'move over' and 'local call.' In each case, the last three letters of the first word are the first three letters in the next. Name a familiar animal, in two words, in which the last three letters of the first word are the first three letters of the next. Hints: It's a furry, four-footed animal that can grow up to six feet in length. The first word in its name has five letters, the second word has eight.
We seem to have the question early this week from the RSS feed. My daughter, in kindergarten, knew the answer to this. Her class has been studying animals. If she can get this, so can you! Incidentally, some sources I checked said they could grow to be 8 feet in length... that's large! Zot!

Edit: There were several clues above. In kindergarten you learn your ABCs... that was a hint to think of animals at the beginning of the alphabet. Also, if anyone is familiar with the comic strip B.C., you should know what Zot refers to.
A: GIANT ANTEATER

Thursday, September 11, 2008

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 7): You'll Figure it out in the End

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 7): You'll Figure it out in the End:
Q: Kris Kristofferson's last name starts with his four-letter first name. Can you name a famous American whose last name ends with his four-letter first name? Hint: The last name has seven letters.
Note: It is easy to overlook that the last name ends with the letters in his first name, so rather than MARK MARKHAM, you should be looking for names like MARK WIDMARK (not the answer).

Edit: Check the comments for clues like "jump" and "wicked" (homonym for "evil" = "evel")
A: Motorcycle Daredevil EVEL KNIEVEL

Thursday, September 04, 2008

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 31): Labor Weekend Sale, Vowels Are $100, Three Days Only

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 31): Labor Weekend Sale, Vowels Are $100, Three Days Only:
Q: Think of a 9-letter word with no repeated letters. The letters in the odd positions (the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th positions) are vowels. All five vowels, A, E, I, O and U, appear once each in some order. What word is this?
When I first read the puzzle, I thought "I already know the answer". It's the word FACETIOUS with A-E-I-O-U appearing once and in order... After I had that in my mind, for awhile it prevented me from noticing that I hadn't solved the right puzzle.

I think others might be stymied by the fact that the correct answer is a word that people commonly misspell. Hopefully you aren't one of the people that suffers from such an inability to spell. P.S. I was able to come up with two answers, but the second is not a common word at all. I wonder if anyone will submit it?

Edit: It's after the deadline so I think it okay to reveal my hidden clues: "prevented" and "suffer from".
A: INOCULATE