Thursday, January 29, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 25): Starts with M, Ends with M

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 25): Starts with M, Ends with M:
Q: Think of a word that starts and ends with the letter M, drop the first M, insert an O somewhere and you'll get a new word that means the same thing as the first word. What words are these?
Truth be told, I'm not positive I have the right answer so I won't say anything (As they say, "A closed mouth gathers no foot.")

Edit: "Truth" was an obvious hint to the synonyms.
A: MAXIM --> AXIOM

Thursday, January 22, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 18): Everything but the Kitchen Sink

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 18): Everything but the Kitchen Sink:
Q: Name an implement that might be in a kitchen drawer. It's a compound word. Add the letter S after each half of the compound, and you'll get two synonyms. What implement is it?
This one is hard. I've been going crazy trying to think of the answer. For awhile I was stuck on dessert implements (pie slice, icecream scoop, etc.). I just couldn't stop thinking of sweets! Oh well, maybe someone else will know the real answer...

Edit: I was going to say "this one is hard to crack", but I thought that would have been too obvious. The "crazy" clue referred to the synonyms that are eventually formed. "Sweet" really was a reference to Tchaikovsky's "Suite".
A: NUTCRACKER --> NUTS, CRACKERS (as in crazy)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 11): The Sound of Letters

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 11): The Sound of Letters:
Q: Take a very common three-letter word. Say the letters phonetically and together they'll sound like a six-letter word meaning knockout. What word is it?
I think I have the answer, but I'm not sure. I don't usually pronounce the six-letter word that way.

Edit: I've checked 3 dictionaries and none of them have the 3-syllable prounounciation, though I'm sure we've heard it pronounced colloquially with 3 syllables. You shouldn't have needed much help this week, but if you did, I've included it a couple times in this post.
A: BUT --> BEAUTY (bee-YOO-tee)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 4): She was Bitten by the Acting Bug

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 4): She was Bitten by the Acting Bug:
Q: Take the last name of a famous actress in 2 syllables and 9 letters. Transpose the syllables and you'll have, phonetically, the word for a common ailment. Who is the person and what is the ailment?
For some reason I came up with the names Meryl Streep, Maureen Stapleton, Stockard Channing and Catherine O'Hara. They don't seem to match the puzzle at all, do they?

Edit: If you look up those actresses in IMDb, you'll find they were all in the same 1986 Movie
A: Sarah Bernhardt (1844–1923) --> Heartburn

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year's Resolution: Exercise Your Brain

Cross-Number PuzzleAs long as everyone is making New Year's resolutions, I hope you've made one to get more mental exercise. To start you off, here's a challenging "Cross Number Puzzle." The grid above is filled in like a traditional crossword puzzle, except every answer is a three-digit number (100-999) rather than a word. Warning: some of the clues may have you going in circles but there is a unique solution..

Click here for a printable version of the puzzle. And don't worry, you can get around to your other resolutions, like not procrastinating, and going to the gym later. Go sit on the sofa and work on a puzzle instead!

Across:
1. 3 Down plus 5 Across
3. One-seventh of 8 Across
5. Half of 14 Across
6. A prime number
8. Seven times 3 Across
10. Twice 7 Down
12. A perfect square
14. 9 Down reversed
15. The sum of its own digits, times thirty-seven
16. A perfect square

Down:
1. 13 Down plus 10 Down
2. Average of 9 Down and 14 Across
3. 1 Across minus 5 Across
4. A multiple of three
7. 16 Across minus 1 Across
9. 1 Across plus 5 Across
10. 13 Down plus three hundred
11. 12 Down minus 1 Down
12. Anagram of 4 Down
13. 1 Down minus 10 Down