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