Thursday, December 29, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 25, 2011): Unusual, Uncommon Entertainer

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 25, 2011): Unusual, Uncommon Entertainer:
Q: Name an occupation in nine letters. It's an entertainer of sorts — an unusual and uncommon but well-known sort of entertainer. Drop the third letter of the name, and read the result backward. You'll get two four-letter words that are exact opposites. What are they?
I'm sorry for the late post of the puzzle. There was some problem with our internet where it would be up for a little bit, but before I could finish a post, it would come back down. Anyway, it seems to have sorted itself out and my elder son is just grateful that he can get online with his Xbox again.

Edit: Okay, so our internet wasn't really dead (we were just busy with Christmas), but I did like the visual of something going up for a little bit and back down, like a daredevil jumping a canyon or a row of buses. The other hints were Grateful (Dead) and Xbox (Live) which are the antonyms.
A: DAREDEVIL --> LIVE + DEAD

Thursday, December 22, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 18, 2011): A Guy and Another Guy

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 18, 2011): A Guy and Another Guy:
Q: Take the word "at." Put a man's first name on each side of it, and say the word out loud. Phonetically, you'll get a word that describes a growing part of our country. What is it?
Will probably forgot to mention that these are two *different* men's names.

Edit: Sorry, I guess I was trying to imply that Will was getting forgetful in his "old age".
A: Jerry + at + Rick = Geriatric

Thursday, December 15, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 11, 2011): Mixed up animals

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 11, 2011): Mixed up animals:
Q: Think of an animal whose name contains an O. Change the O to an H, and rearrange the result to name another animal. What animals are these?
Hint: Beautifull Desaster

An image search for "Antelope Elephant" came up with this image on DeviantArt by BeautifullDesaster.
A: ANTELOPE -O +H --> ELEPHANT

Thursday, December 08, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 4, 2011): Forget this music, let's get some food!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 4, 2011): Forget this music, let's get some food!:
Q: Name a style of music. Change the middle letter to a B, and you'll name a style of cooking. What are the style of music and the style of cooking? (There are several ways to spell the cooking style, but the answer is one of them.)
Hint: Bert Lance

Edit: Bert Lance, Jimmy Carter's Budget Director, is credited with popularizing the colloquial southern phrase "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
A: Baroque --> Bar-B-Que

Thursday, December 01, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 27, 2011): Common 5 Letter Words Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 27, 2011): Common 5 Letter Words Puzzle:
Q: Think of a common five-letter word in one syllable. Change the fourth letter to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a common word in two syllables, also in five letters. What words are these?
6, 2, 7, 6D --> 8, 9, 11, 29D

Edit: Since Will Shortz is the editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle, my hints are to those puzzles. On 6/2/2007 the clue for 6 down was Charm (Ans: ENDEAR) and on 8/9/2011 the clue for 29 down was Chasm (Ans: ABYSS).
A: CHARM --> CHASM

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 20, 2011): Food Item, Saying and Person's Name

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 20, 2011): Food Item, Saying and Person's Name:
Q: Name a food item. Divide this word in half. Take the second half followed by the first half twice, and you'll get a familiar saying. If you take the second half twice (followed) by the first half, you'll name a well-known person. What are the food item, saying, and person's name?
I vote for the food item being incomplete, but I guess if enough people vote against me, I'll rescind my complaint.

Edit: My hint was "nays" which when added to the food item (mayo) gives the full name (mayonnaise).
A: Food Item: Mayo(nnaise)
Saying: Yo' Mama!
Person: Yo-Yo Ma

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 13, 2011): What Comes Next?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 13, 2011): What Comes Next?:
Q: What number comes next in the following series: 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 15, 20, 40, 51*, 55*, 60 and 90?
See, I thought I had the answer to this, but if so, there are a couple numbers missing.

*Update: The consensus seems to be that Henry Hook and Will Shortz overlooked a couple terms in the sequence and it should be 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 15, 20, 40, 51, 55, 60 and 90. Hopefully everyone is able to solve it now with the corrected wording. If anyone has direct access to Will's email, perhaps they could ask for a similar correction to the puzzle on the NPR website.

Will Shortz has confirmed (see his comment) that he extended Henry Hook's original series (2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 15, 20) and in the process overlooked the numbers above. The NPR website has been updated as well. Thanks to everyone that helped clear this up.

Edit: My hint was "See, I..." which sounds like CI which is 101 in Roman numerals
A: 101 is next in the sequence. When represented as Roman numerals, each number in the series requires exactly two letters (II, IV, VI, IX, XI, XV, XX, XL, LI, LV, LX, XC, CI...)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 6, 2011): Count the Equilateral Triangles

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 6, 2011): Count the Equilateral Triangles:
Q: Take 15 coins. Arrange them in an equilateral triangle with one coin at the top, two coins touching below, three coins below that, then four, then five. Remove the three coins at the corners so you're left with 12 coins. Using the centers of the 12 coins as points, how many equilateral triangles can you find by joining points with lines?
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, but I know the answer is much smaller than that.

Edit: My hint points to a shorter form of Minnesota, namely the abbreviation MN. That's also the abbreviation for Manganese (Mn) which has an atomic number of 25.
A: 25 equilateral triangles total (see the video for details).


Counting Triangles Puzzle Answer

  • 13 small triangles pointing up or down
  • 4 medium triangles pointing up or down
  • 6 medium triangles pointing left or right
  • 2 large triangles at a slight angle
  • Friday, November 04, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 30, 2011): This Singer Keeps Company with a Logo?

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 30, 2011): This Singer Keeps Company with a Logo?:
    Q: Name a well-known singer. Drop the first and last letters of the singer's first name and you'll get the letters of a well-known company. Drop the first and last letters of the singer's last name, and you'll identify the logo that the company is classically known for. Who is the singer and what's the company?
    Musical clue: Adele & Lil Wayne

    Edit: There were two clues in my answer. First I had an ampersand (&), hinting at the additional symbol needed in the company name. Second if you combine Adele and Wayne you get "Adele Wayne". Patti LaBelle played Adele Wayne, the mother of Dwayne Wayne on A Different World.
    A: Patti LaBelle --> AT&T + A Bell

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 23, 2011): Retail Store to Electronics Manufacturer

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 23, 2011): Retail Store to Electronics Manufacturer:
    Q: Think of a two-word name of a nationally known chain of retail stores. Insert the second word of the name into the exact middle of the first. The result will spell the name of a well-known electronics manufacturer. What are these names?

    Edit: Time to reveal the answer.
    A: Pier One (Imports) --> Pioneer

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 16, 2011): Two-word Rhyming Phrases

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 16, 2011): Two-word Rhyming Phrases:
    Q: Think of a familiar two-word rhyming phrase that starts with the letter F, like "fat cat." Change the F to a G and you'll get another familiar two-word rhyming phrase. What are these phrases?
    My wife and I came up with the same answer and we need to get a hint up quickly, so I guess we'll go with that. I like the first as a familiar two-word rhyming phrase, but I'm not as excited about the second.

    Update: After listening to the audio of the puzzle, I discovered that Will provided several other examples of two-word rhyming phrases (fun run, fine line, flower power) which would preclude them from being the answers. So you can scratch my original comment since it no longer fits and would have to change anyway.

    Edit: My revised hints were "scratch" and "change".
    A: Fender Bender --> Gender Bender

    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 9, 2011): A Group of Twelve and a Group of Nine

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 9, 2011): A Group of Twelve and a Group of Nine:
    Q: Name something that is part of a group of twelve. Change the first letter to the next letter of the alphabet to name something that is part of a group of nine. What are these things?
    Now that I have the answer, anyone care to have a discussion on whether there are eight or nine in that last group?

    Edit: My comment was an attempt to mislead people into thinking the group of nine was planets (8 now without Pluto). My hint was "answer" which rhymes with the answers. The starting letters were hidden in care and discussion.
    A: Cancer (from the 12 signs of the zodiac) and Dancer (from Santa's 8 reindeer plus Rudolph).

    Thursday, October 06, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 2, 2011): A Meal Composed of an Entrée and a Dessert

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 2, 2011): A Meal Composed of an Entrée and a Dessert:
    Q: Think of a common one-word entrée and dessert. When you insert the name of the entrée into the dessert's name, it will read as a certain meal. Name the entrée, dessert, and meal.
    To everyone that appreciates this blog, I say, "Thank you, thank you very much!"

    Edit: My hint was a reference to Elvis Presley who starred in the 1967 musical film Clambake. Incidentally, a version of this puzzle appeared back in August 2007
    A: LAMB + CAKE --> C(LAMB)AKE

    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 25, 2011): Occupational Study Puzzle

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 25, 2011): Occupational Study Puzzle:
    Q: Think of a ten-letter occupation ending in "er." The first four letters can be rearranged to spell something that person would study, and the next four letters can be rearranged to spell something else that person would study. What is the occupation?
    This week I'm going to put my feet up and let everyone else come up with the obvious clues.

    Edit: You put your feet up on a footstool or ottoman. The flag of the Ottoman Empire had both a STAR and a MOON.
    A: ASTRONOMER --> STAR, MOON

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 18, 2011): College Campus Mix-Up

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 18, 2011): College Campus Mix-Up:
    Q: Take the name of a well-known university in two words. Switch two letters in the respective words; that is, take a letter from the first word, put it in place of a letter in the second word, and put that letter where the first letter was. The result will name something you might take on a camping trip. What are the names of the university and the camping item?
    To tell the truth, while the two-week challenge was interesting, I'm glad we are back to our regularly scheduled program with a weekly NPR puzzle.

    Edit: The original host of To Tell the Truth was Bud Collyer. On radio (and later TV and film) Collyer supplied the voices of both Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent.
    A: KENT STATE --> TENT STAKE

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 4, 2011): Two-Week Challenge - Famous Person Palindrome

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 4, 2011): Two-Week Challenge - Famous Person Palindrome:
    Q: This is a special two-week creative challenge involving palindromes. A palindrome reads backwards and forward the same. Write a palindrome that contains the name of a famous person. For example: "No, Mel Gibson is a casino's big lemon." Or "Ed, I saw Harpo Marx ram Oprah W. aside." You can use the famous person's full name or just the last name, whatever you like. The object is to write the most interesting palindrome that contains a famous person's name, past or present. Any length is fine, short or long. Palindromes will be judged on their interest, elegance and naturalness of syntax.
    Given this challenge is open-ended, there are no hints in my post this time. So anyone going to tackle a Sarah Palin palindrome?
    A: "Did I cite operas I'd revere? Verdi's are poetic. I did!"
    Runners-up:
    "Peewee let reborn Robert E. Lee weep."
    "Yawn, Madonna may baby a man, no damn way!"

    Thursday, September 01, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 28, 2011): Air Cushioned Anagram

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 28, 2011): Air Cushioned Anagram:
    Q: Rearrange the twelve letters of the words "AIR CUSHIONED" to name a person in the media, first and last names.
    Previously, this puzzle would have had the ability to heal nannies!

    Edit: If you anagram 'heal nannies' you get 'Liane Hansen'.
    A: The new host of Weekend Sunday Edition, Audie Cornish

    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 21, 2011): Certain Amphibians Need Not Apply

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 21, 2011): Certain Amphibians Need Not Apply:
    Q: Take the name of an aquatic animal, in two words, six letters in the first word and four letters in the second. Remove the first letter of each word, the remaining eight letters in order, will spell a word that might describe an animal that is not aquatic.
    This seems to be a common problem for me. I should know this answer, but instead it is right on the tip of my...

    Edit: My hints were "common" as in the "common seal" (also known as the harbor seal) and "tip of my..." referring to the way a trained seal can balance a ball on the tip of his nose.
    A: HARBOR SEAL --> ARBOREAL
    So, would a tree frog be both arboreal and aquatic?

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 14, 2011): Dog Breed and Animals Puzzle

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 14, 2011): Dog Breed and Animals Puzzle:
    Q: Name a breed of dog that starts and ends with the same letter of the alphabet. Drop that letter at both ends, and if you have the right dog, the remaining letters phonetically will name some animals. What's the dog and what are the animals?
    It's a bit of a stretch to say that the remaining letters are pronounced exactly like the name of some animals.

    Edit: My clue was "stretch" referring to the shape of this dog. The puzzle also reminded me of this Sprint commercial
    A: Dachshund --> "achshun" --> Oxen

    Sunday, August 07, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 7, 2011): Sunday Puzzle

    NPR Sunday Puzzle

    You're on your own this week... the blog author is on vacation and the robot has taken over.

    Thursday, August 04, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 31, 2011): Hey! A New Puzzle!

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 31, 2011): Hey! A New Puzzle!: "
    Q: Name a famous person from America's past who has four letters in his or her first name and five letters in the last. Take a homophone of the last name, move it to the front. The result would be something a woman might write. What is it?"
    Doh!

    Update: "Doh!" sounds like "Doe" which is a female deer.
    A: John Deere --> Dear John

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 24, 2011): Female Animal and Bird

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 24, 2011): Female Animal and Bird:
    Q: Name the female of a certain animal, add the name of a bird, say these two words out loud one after the other, and phonetically you'll name a country. What country is it?
    This reminds me of a puzzle from last year, and the weather forecast in Europe.

    Edit: In the discussion on a similar puzzle, ewe + crane was given as a possible alternate answer. And my other hint was "U.K. rain(e)".
    A: EWE + CRANE = UKRAINE

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 17, 2011): Vacation Hospitalization

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 17, 2011): Vacation Hospitalization:
    Q: Think of an adjective that might describe a child before a summer vacation. Change the second letter to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll name someone you might see in a hospital. Who is it?
    I'm sorry to dash your hopes, there are no clues in this post today.

    Edit: In printing, there's an em dash (—) and an en dash (–), related in size to the printed letter 'm' and 'n', respectively. That was a hint to the letters that are changed. Also, the sentence included "I'm" and "in", the prefixes to the answers.
    A: IMPATIENT and INPATIENT

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 10, 2011): Classic TV Show and a Well-Known Writer

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 10, 2011): Classic TV Show and a Well-Known Writer:
    Q: Name a classic television show in two words with eight letters. Remove one letter from each word. The remaining six letters, in order, will spell the last name of a well-known writer. Who is it?
    Musical hint: btmiihlsihhwbwr

    Edit: Back in November we had a discussion about how there were actual lyrics written by Gene Roddenberry for the Star Trek theme. The clue above would be the first letter of each line.
    A: STAR TREK
    Remove T from the first word, K from the second word
    Jean-Paul SARTRE

    Thursday, July 07, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 3, 2011): Famous Film Director Puzzle

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 3, 2011): Famous Film Director Puzzle:
    Q: Think of a common four-letter adjective. Then take its opposite in French. (It's a French word that everyone knows.) Say the two words out loud, one after the other, and you'll name a famous film director. Who is it?
    It's déjà vu, all over again.

    Edit: I used the comment "déjà vu" recently on the post entitled Same Puzzle: True or False?. In addition, a very similar form of this puzzle appeared back in January 2007.
    A: TRUE + FAUX --> François TRUFFAUT

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 26, 2011): A Ballerina and a Fictional Character

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 26, 2011): A Ballerina and a Fictional Character
    Q: Take the word "ballerina," drop one letter and rearrange the remaining eight letters to name a well-known fictional character. Who is it?
    My wife asked me, "A hat puzzle, then a helmet puzzle. What's next?"

    Edit: My first hint was "my wife asked me" as in being asked to a Sadie Hawkins' Day dance. The last two puzzles involved hats and a helmet. This week you can say the puzzle involves a Capp.
    A: Ballerina (remove 'a') --> Li'l Abner

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 19, 2011): Things You Might See in a Mine

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 19, 2011): Things You Might See in a Mine:
    Q: Think of a former world leader whose first and last names both sound like things you might see in a mine. Who is the leader, and what are the things?
    Now that this blog has been mentioned on the NPR website, we can expect great things. Here come all the new visitors looking for the answers to last week's hat puzzle. For the rest of us, this week's puzzle shouldn't be too hard.

    Edit: The hints this week: "Expect Great Things" is the slogan of Kohl's Department Store. "...come all the..." anagrams into "coal helmet". And the references to "hard" and "hat" should also get you to helmet.
    A: HELMUT KOHL --> HELMET, COAL

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 12, 2011): Sam Loyd's Hat Rack Puzzle

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 12, 2011): Sam Loyd's Hat Rack Puzzle:

    This Hat Rack Puzzle by Sam Loyd was published 100 years ago in Woman's Home Companion:
    Q: A hat room contains a wall with 49 pegs, arranged in a 7-by-7 square. The hat clerk has 20 hats that are to be hung on 20 different pegs. How many lines, containing four hats in a straight line, is it possible to produce? A line can go in any direction: horizontally, vertically or obliquely. To explain your answer, number the pegs in order, from 1 in the upper left corner to 49 in the lower right corner; list which pegs you put the 20 hats on, and give the total number of lines containing four hats in a row.
    Liane has left, but it also seems like the NPR website editors are gone. Last week they had "goose" as a two word phrase (instead of "roast goose") and this week they misspelled Sam Loyd (as Sam Lloyd). Anyway, back to the puzzle; not counting rotations and reflections, I have 3 ways to get the answer.

    Edit: If you re-read my post you'll see the phrase "are gone" at the end of the first sentence. This is a homophone of Argon with atomic number 18, a clue to there being 18 lines in the solution(s).
    A: I found 3 main solutions (not counting reflections and rotations). Click each one to see a larger view with any rotated/reflected variants.
    Hat Rack Solution 1Hat Rack Solution 2Hat Rack Solution 3

    Thursday, June 09, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 5, 2011): TV Series and Famous Actor

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 5, 2011): TV Series and Famous Actor:
    Q: Take the two-word title of a TV series. The first word contains a famous actor's first name in consecutive letters. The second word is a homophone for this actor's last name. Name the series and the actor.
    My hint: 80% of Ararat in space... figure that one out.

    Edit: In the main asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupiter, there is an asteroid with the designation 96205 Ararat. If you take one figure (digit) off the end you are left with 9620 (80% of the original). That asteroid has the designation 9620 Ericidle
    A: American Idol --> Eric Idle

    Thursday, June 02, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 29, 2011): Same Puzzle: True or False?

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 29, 2011): Same Puzzle: True or False?:
    Q: Think of two five-letter words that are exact opposites, in which the first two letters of each word are the same as the first two letters of the other, only reversed. Hint: The fourth letter of each word is A. What two words are these?
    Déjà vu. Okay, so time for some open discussion. What do you think of Audie being the regular host of NPR: Weekend Edition Sunday? Is she doing a good job? How does she compare to Liane? How is Will with a new puzzle partner? Do you even listen to the puzzle on-air or do you read it online only? What do you think of them repeating a puzzle? Do you have a better puzzle?

    A: Same as last week

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 22, 2011): Five Letter Opposites

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 22, 2011): Five Letter Opposites:
    Q: Think of two five-letter words that are exact opposites, in which the first two letters of each word are the same as the first two letters of the other, only reversed. Hint: The fourth letter of each word is A. What two words are these?
    I don't know what they mean... for about two months now.

    Edit: The lines above are from a funny YouTube clip. Try not to laugh too loudly! Newlywed Game: Urban or Rural
    A: URBAN and RURAL

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 15, 2011): Four by Four Crossword Square

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 15, 2011): Four by Four Crossword Square:
    Q: Create a 4-by-4 crossword square with four four-letter words reading across and four different four-letter words reading down. Use the word 'nags' at 1 across and the word 'newt' at 1 down. All eight words must be common, uncapitalized words, and all 16 letters must be different.
    You could use recent hints in my other post...

    Edit: My hint last week was "a tan" which coincidentally works this week as a clue to the least common word in the grid. I'd put ecru in the same family as tan, beige and khaki. In addition, reading the first letter of each word in my clue (Y,C,U,R,H,I,M,O,P) gives you the set of letters needed to complete the crossword square.
    A:
    Across: NAGS, ECRU, WHIM, TYPO
    Down: NEWT, ACHY, GRIP, SUMO

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 8, 2011): Happy Mothers' Day

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 8, 2011): Happy Mothers' Day:
    Q: Think of two common girls' names that are seven letters long and that start with the same four letters in the same order. Drop these four letters in each name, and mix the last three letters in each name to come up with another common girls' name in six letters. What names are these?
    We were out all day in the sun celebrating Mothers' Day; I got a tan. By the way, is the six-letter name Barbie?

    Edit: My hints: "a tan" reverses to be the first 4 letters of both names. "Barbie" referenced the phrase "put a shrimp on the barbie" which was popularized in ads for the Australian Tourism Board. Colloquially in Australia, a girl or woman might be called a "Sheila".
    A: NATALIE and NATASHA --> SHEILA

    Thursday, May 05, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 1, 2011): Transferring Universities

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 1, 2011): Transferring Universities:
    Q: Take the name of a well-known U.S. university. One of the letters in it is a chemical symbol. Change this to a two-letter chemical symbol to name another well-known U.S. university. What universities are these?
    If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you'll know I sometimes complain about the puzzles Will picks. This time, since it was submitted by a regular visitor (Dave Taub), I'll try to be not so critical. I will say I like how the chemical elements are related, but I feel one of these universities may not be as "well-known" to some.

    Edit: All of my hints referred to the chemical elements. Both are radioactive hence the comments about "critical" and being related. Also the post started with "...you are a..." = U, Ra.
    A: DUKE (University) - U + Ra = DRAKE (University)

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 24, 2011): A Place of Power Puzzle

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 24, 2011): A Place of Power Puzzle:
    Q: Think of a familiar three-word phrase in the form '___ and ___'. If you remove the 'and' and put the second word in front of the first word, you get a compound word naming a place of power. Hint: The compound word has nine letters. What is the three-word phrase, and what place of power is this?
    I'm going to have to lie back on the sofa and ponder this puzzle.

    Edit: Sofa is a synonym for divan which is also the Muslim word for council chamber or boardroom.
    A: Room and Board --> Boardroom

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 17, 2011): Sports Venue Transforms into Sport Equipment

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 17, 2011): Sports Venue Transforms into Sport Equipment:
    Q: Think of a nine-letter word naming a venue for certain sports. Three letters in the word are repeated. Remove all the repetitions, and the remaining six letters can be rearranged to name a piece of sports equipment. What are these two words?
    I might have to pray to a Norse god for assistance on this.

    Edit: The hint pointed to Odin, the Norse god. O is an oval shape, like a racetrack, while din is a synonym for racket.
    A: Racetrack (remove the duplicated letters r,a,c and rearrange) --> Racket

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 10, 2011): Weight Weight... Don't Tell Me

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 10, 2011): Weight Weight... Don't Tell Me:
    Q: Name a unit of length in the plural form. Rearrange the letters to spell two units of mass, also in the plural form. What units are these?
    Don't worry. My memory may not be the best, but I wasn't going to forget to post the puzzle. On that note, I was thinking of a couple award-winning hints, but they were too obvious. Instead, I'll just point out that technically the puzzle should have asked for units of mass, not weight. I've made the correction above.

    Edit: My first hints were worry/memory which were a clue to angst/rom. My second hints were note and award-winning which should have pointed to music awards, specifically the Grammy and Tony Awards.
    A: Angstroms --> Grams and Tons

    Thursday, April 07, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 3, 2011): Moby Dick scores an 82

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 3, 2011): Moby Dick scores an 82:
    Q: Assign every letter of the alphabet a numerical value: A=1, B=2, C=3 and so forth. Think of a classic work of literature that has eight letters in its title. When the letters are given a numerical value, they add up to 35. What's the title? Clue: The title has two words.
    Clue: 12,672

    Edit: First hint was 12 as in Adam-12, second hint was 672 as in the birth year of Venerable Bede
    A: ADAM BEDE, the first novel by George Eliot

    Thursday, March 31, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 27, 2011): This Puzzle is Rated PG for Mild Language

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 27, 2011): This Puzzle is Rated PG for Mild Language:
    Q: Take the word 'calm' and flip the letters A and L to get 'clam.' Take the last name of a film director known for using profanity, and flip two pairs of letters in place to get a word used as a substitute for profanity. Who's the director, and what's the word?
    Have I ever used profanity? I plead the fifth.

    Edit: The name Quentin comes from the Latin quintus meaning "the fifth"
    A: Quentin TARANTINO (swap AN and NO) --> "What in TARNATION!"

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 20, 2011): Consumer Protection Laws Anagram

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 20, 2011): Consumer Protection Laws Anagram:
    Q: Take the phrase 'consumer protection laws,' and rearrange the letters to name a person in broadcasting and an issue of public debate. Hints: The name of the person in broadcasting has five letters in the first name and five letters in the last name. For the issue of public debate, it's a familiar two-word phrase with seven letters in the first word and five letters in the second. What name and phrase are these?
    If NPR keeps posting the puzzle this early we'll have to stop calling it the Sunday puzzle! Are you following what I'm saying? Are you clear? Cool.

    Edit: The NPR puzzle is part of Weekend Edition Sunday (host Liane Hansen). The day before, NPR broadcasts Weekend Edition Saturday (host Scott Simon). "Are you following what I'm saying?" was a hint to the game Simon Says. "You clear" was a hint to "nuclear" while "Cool." was a hint to cooling down a reactor.
    A: SCOTT SIMON, NUCLEAR POWER

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 13, 2011): Sounds Like Another Name Puzzle

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 13, 2011): Sounds Like Another Name Puzzle:
    Q: Think of a five-letter girl's name that ends in a 'J' sound. Change that to a 'CH' sound to get a common five-letter boy's name. What names are these?
    Not to be a pest but didn't we have a puzzle recently involving names? If you thought Marsha and Martha were less common girl's names, what about the names this week? I was going to clump together a clue or two from last week, but I think I'll refrain.

    Edit: The first clue was pest as in a tiny fly. The second hint was clump as in comic book character, Midge Klump. The third clue was a reference to last week's post where I mentioned people that shared birthdays on March 10, including gymnast Mitch Gaylord. The final clue was refrain, an indirect reference to the show Sing Along with Mitch.
    A: Midge and Mitch

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 6, 2011): In a Galaxy, Far Far Away...

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 6, 2011): In a Galaxy, Far Far Away...:
    Q: Think of a two-word phrase that means a time long ago. Move the third, fourth and fifth letters to the end of the phrase, without rearranging those three letters, to get a new two-word phrase that means the beginning. What phrases are these?
    One less than Osama's and one less than Les Essarts.

    Edit: Today (March 10) happens to be the birthdays of Sharon Stone and Osama bin Laden. Sharon's age is 53, Osama's is 54. That was the hint for STONE AGE. The other hint was a reference to the Tour de France 2011. Stage two of the race will be a circuit out and back to Les Essarts. Decrementing you get STAGE ONE.
    A: STONE AGE --> STAGE ONE

    Thursday, March 03, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 27, 2011): Acacia and Acadia, I'm Done!

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 27, 2011): Acacia and Acadia, I'm Done!:
    Q: Take a common girl's name that's six letters long. Change the fourth letter to the next letter in the alphabet to get another common girl's name. What names are these?
    I had to laugh when I figured out the intended answer. But it reminded me I needed to pick up some candy at the convenience store.

    Edit: My hints - MARS (candy), MART (convenience store), HA HA (laugh).
    A: MARSHA --> MARTHA

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 20, 2011): Know Your Anatomy

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 20, 2011): Know Your Anatomy:
    Q: Spell a part of the human body. Change one of the letters to an E, and rearrange the result to name another part of the human body. What body parts are these? Clue: Both parts of the body are things you can see.
    Within a minute I came up with 3 valid pairs of body parts. I have a fourth pair that is questionable, but still could work.

    Edit: Time to reveal my 3 acceptable pairs.
    A: NECK (C to E) --> KNEE
    ARM (M to E) --> EAR
    HAND (N to E) --> HEAD

    Note: Will also accepted CALF (L to E) --> FACE

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 13, 2011): Two Presidents Visit the Capital

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 13, 2011): Two Presidents Visit the Capital:
    Q: Name a world capital. Add the letter R, and rearrange the letters to name two U.S. presidents. What is the world capital and who are the presidents?
    I'm primarily thinking of countries in Africa, maybe Chad?

    Edit: The flag of Chad has the primary colors of blue, yellow and red in 3 vertical stripes. This matches exactly with flag of Romania which has the same tricolor pattern (with cobalt blue instead of indigo, but you can't tell me they look that different). The capital of Romania is Bucharest
    A: BUCHAREST + R --> BUSH + CARTER

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 6, 2011): You are Cleared for Take-off

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 6, 2011): You are Cleared for Take-off:
    Name two things an airplane does. Each of these is a single word. Put them together, one after the other, to make a compound word that names something it's nice to have as big as possible. What is this thing?
    I don't know about you, but I like my porterhouse as big as possible...

    Edit: Porterhouse is a type of steak which is a homophone of stake which is a synonym of the answer.
    A: BANK + ROLL = BANKROLL

    Thursday, February 03, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 30, 2011): Q to N, Synonym Puzzle

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 30, 2011): Q to N, Synonym Puzzle:
    Q: Think of a common word that's six letters long and includes a Q. Change the Q to an N, and rearrange the result to form a new word that's a synonym of the first one. What are the words?
    I'm feeling this puzzle could be hard... how about you?

    Edit: I had a couple hints, one about how you might feel and then hard was a synonym for "uneasy".
    A: QUEASY - Q + N --> UNEASY

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 23, 2011): Another 5-letter Countries Puzzle

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 23, 2011): Another 5-letter Countries Puzzle:
    Q: Name a nationality. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth and 10th letters in order name a country. Also the fourth, fifth, seventh, ninth and 12th letters in order also name a country. Neither country is related to the nationality. What nationality is this?
    Both countries have been the answer to recent NPR puzzles. That aside, a couple lists I checked for nationalities had a shorter version, but thanks to this puzzle, I stand corrected on the nationality name.

    Edit: We had a recent 5-letter country names puzzle. And we've seen Ghana and Haiti mentioned in other puzzles. My hint was the "ISTAN" from "I stand". The lists I checked had "Afghani" as the nationality rather than "Afghanistani".
    A:
    afGHANistAni (GHANA)
    afgHAnIsTanI (HAITI)

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 16, 2011): ABCDEFG plus 1 minus 1

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 16, 2011): ABCDEFG plus 1 minus 1:
    Q: Take the first seven letters of the alphabet, A through G, change one of these letters to another letter that is also either A, B, C, D, E, F or G. Rearrange the result to spell a familiar seven-letter word. What word is it?
    The old adage goes something like "don't deface the facade with a cabbage"... right? Oh, that's not a clue at all. While you are waiting for a better clue, here's a short musical interlude.

    Edit: I composed that musical piece with the notes F,E,E,D,B,A,G repeated several times. I varied the octaves but otherwise they were always those notes.
    A: ABCDEFG - C + E = FEEDBAG

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Write the Alphabet Backwards, Quicker than Forwards!

    The alphabet, backwardsI was reminded recently of a way to impress your friends and perhaps win a bet too. It involves writing the alphabet backwards faster than they can forwards.

    The key is to learn the backwards alphabet as "words" rather than individual letters. If you break it into chunks of 4 letters (with 2 left over) you have:
    ZYXW VUTS RQPO NMLK JIHG FEDC BA
    Phonetically think of this as the phrase:
    "Zixwa Vuts Irqpo Nimlick Jig Fedic Bah"
    Practice saying this as you write each set of letters one after the other. With a little practice you'll be able to write this very quickly.

    Now you are ready to challenge your friends to a race. You can even bet them that you'll write the alphabet backwards faster than they write it forwards. The reason it works is you won't need to stop, think, sing that alphabet song, go back a few letters, etc. You simply write down your 7 "words" as quickly as possible and you are sure to beat them.

    Enjoy!

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 9, 2011): A Peril, in Apparel

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 9, 2011): A Peril, in Apparel:
    Q: Name an article of apparel in the plural form, ending with an S. Rearrange the letters to name an article of apparel in the single form. What things to wear are these?
    Alternatively, name an item of food in the plural form. Rearrange to name something you might do on a bike.

    Edit: My alternate puzzle results in the additional anagrams of TACOS and COAST.
    A: COATS --> ASCOT

    Thursday, January 06, 2011

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 2, 2011): First Puzzle of the New Year

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 2, 2011): First Puzzle of the New Year:
    Q: Take a plural noun that ends with the letter S. Insert a space somewhere in this word, retaining the order of the letters. The result will be a two-word phrase that has the same meaning as the original word, except in the singular. What word is this?
    Hmm... the first puzzle of the new year is usually easy. I would like to say I have it, but the answer currently eludes me. I'm positive I'll get it eventually.

    Edit: Yes, I had the answer despite what I wrote. Here are my hints: "Easy" is an anagram of the answer. "I have it" is close to the phrase "the ayes have it". If you combine "say" with the "e" in eludes, you also get the letters in the answer. And "positive" was a hint to "yes" being a positive response.
    A: AYES --> A YES