Sunday, September 30, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 30, 2012): Opposites Attract

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 30, 2012): Opposites Attract:
Q: Think of a word in which the second letter is R. Change the R to an M, and rearrange the result. You'll get the opposite of the original word. What is it? (Hint: The two words start with the same letter.)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 23, 2012): Anatomy Book

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 23, 2012): Anatomy Book:
Q: Name two parts of the human body. Put them together one after the other. Change the 7th letter in the result to the next letter of the alphabet to name something that's often found in books. What is it?
If I add anything, I think I'll give it away (as it seems to happens in the comments too often) so I'm going to say nothing.

Edit: If I were to add anything, it might be in a footnote. the other hint was TOO OFTEN which anagrams to FOOTNOTE.
A: FOOT + NOSE --> FOOTNOTE

Thursday, September 20, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 16, 2012): I'd Like to Buy a Vowel

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 16, 2012): I'd Like to Buy a Vowel:
Q: Think of something that the majority of adults buy. It's a two-word phrase with 10 letters in the first word and nine in the second. This phrase uses each of the five vowels (A, E, I, O, and U) exactly twice. What familiar product is this?
Lmnvskr ukbaxmu quytf ggzm aca jqhhkiv rsxgmph uv uqfk sv eox mvuixeves.

Edit: If you decode that using Sharky's Vigenere Cipher and the key of "Geico" you get "Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance."
A: AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE

Thursday, September 13, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 9, 2012): Pick a Pill

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 9, 2012): Pick a Pill:
Q: Name a world capital whose letters can be rearranged to spell a popular and much-advertised drug. What's the capital, and what's the drug?
I apologize for being sleepy last night and not getting to the puzzle, but I have the answer now. Oorah! The hint? Study the picture.

Edit: The obvious hint was "Oorah!" which is uttered by the Marines. Their hymn includes the line "...to the shores of Tripoli". The less obvious clue was the picture which takes a little explaining. While it initially looks like an open hand with 3 pills, they are actually 3 pill bugs, also affectionately called "rolly polly" bugs. 3 = tri, rolly-polly = poli. Sorry, I know it wasn't a very good clue.
A: TRIPOLI --> LIPITOR

Thursday, September 06, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 2, 2012): Autumn Leaves

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 2, 2012): Autumn Leaves:
Q: It's an anagram word ladder. For example, take the word "spring." If the last letter is changed to an "o" and the result is rearranged, you get "prison." Or, instead, if the last letter is changed to an "e" and the result rearranged, you get "sniper." Or change the last letter to an "a" and get "sprain," and so on. For this challenge, start with the word "autumn." Changing one letter at a time, and anagramming it each step of the way, turn "autumn" into "leaves." Each step has to be a common word. In how few steps can you do it?
I know Will frowns on capitalized or plural words, so I initially looked for an ideal answer without any plurals (except for leaves). As luck would have it, that forced me to use "vestal" or "teasel" which seemed worse than using plurals so I relaxed that restriction. There are multiple answers, but I believe only one acceptable length.

Edit: My clue was intended to hint (but not give away) that there is an ideal 5-step* answer. The word "luck" hinted at amulet being required in most of the common 5-step chains. *In my terminology a step is when you go from one word to the next.
A: The following chain is 5 steps and uses common words. Your answer may be different.