## Thursday, December 31, 2009

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec. 27): Last Puzzle of 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec. 27): Last Puzzle of 2009:
Q: Take the phrase 'pray when.' Double four of these letters. Using these letters plus the four singles, rearrange all 12 letters to spell a familiar phrase. What phrase is it?
Anyone else think this is one of the easiest puzzles of the last twelve months? Let's hope the puzzles for 2010 are more challenging.

Edit: I really don't know the answer to this week's puzzle so I'll just wish everyone a...
A: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

## Wednesday, December 23, 2009

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec. 20): After Dinner and Before a Job

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec. 20): After Dinner and Before a Job:
Q: Think of a familiar two-word phrase, five letters in each word. The second word starts with P. The phrase names something that is nice to have after dinner. Change the P to an S, and you'll get another familiar phrase that names something that's nice to have before you start a job. What phrases are these?
Whoever came up with this has created a neat little puzzle. I only wish I could come up with a neat little clue to go with it.

Edit: Neat is a synonym for clean...
A: CLEAN PLATE --> CLEAN SLATE

## Thursday, December 17, 2009

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec. 13): All The Digits Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec. 13): All The Digits Puzzle
Q: Name five two-digit numbers that are evenly spaced out — like 32, 34, 36, 38 and 40 — in which all 10 digits from 0 to 9 are used once each. What numbers are these?
The first answer came to me as I was driving and listening to the puzzle. However, as I was typing this clue, I came up with another answer that also works. How to give a clue without giving it away, I don't know.

Edit: The clues were to driving which should have made you think of either a car (ie. Car 54) or golf (ie. 18 holes). Those were the starting numbers of two of the four possible sequences.

The tens digit will either step by 1 (5,6,7,8,9) or by 2 (1,3,5,7,9) always ending on 9. The ones digit will also step by 1 (0,1,2,3,4) or by 2 (0,2,4,6,8) always starting (or ending) on 0. That leads to 4 possible sequences:
Starting with 10 stepping by 22 (20+2)
Starting with 18 stepping by 18 (20-2)
Starting with 50 stepping by 11 (10+1)
Starting with 54 stepping by 9 (10-1)
A: There are four possible sequences of two-digit numbers:
• 10,32,54,76,98

• 18,36,54,72,90

• 50,61,72,83,94

• 54,63,72,81,90
• ## Thursday, December 10, 2009

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec. 6): Pleasantly I Anagrammed

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec. 6): Pleasantly I Anagrammed:
Q: Take the letters in 'PLEASANTLY,' plus the letter I. Rearrange these 11 letters to name a well-known place. What is it?
When they involve anagrams, we might be tempted to solve puzzles using methods online. Now I could have resorted to an online anagram applet, but this puzzle can easily be solved by hand. I suggest using the latter method for more enjoyment.

Edit: Hidden hint -- Take the first letters of "...solve puzzles using methods online. Now I..." and you get the word spumoni. Quoting from Wikipedia, Spumoni "is a molded Italian ice cream made with layers of different colors.... This dish comes from Naples, and the three-flavored Neapolitan ice cream evolved from it."
A: NAPLES, ITALY

## Thursday, December 03, 2009

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 29): I'm not a Poet...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 29): I'm not a Poet...:
Q: Think of three six-letter words starting with B, G and F. The last five letters of the words are the same and in the same order, yet none of the words rhymes with any of the others. What words are these?
This puzzle is rather easy and I don't have time to come up with a clever clue, but this does remind me of our annual Christmas Puzzle from 2006 entitled Close But No Rhyme. It's based on the same concept of non-rhyming words that only differ in their first letter. Enjoy.

Edit: The clue word was "rather". Also, question #17 on our Christmas puzzle used 2 of the 3 words.
A: BATHER, FATHER and GATHER