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!

I 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