Sunday, April 23, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 23, 2017): Billboard Hot 100 Creative Challenge

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 23, 2017): Billboard Hot 100 Creative Challenge:
Q: It's a two-week creative challenge. The object is to mashup the titles of past No. 1 hits on the Billboard 100 pop chart to tell a story. For example: "I Shot The Sheriff" "The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia." "The Morning After" "I'll Be There" "Leaving On A Jet Plane."

Wikipedia has a list of the Billboard No. 1 singles from the Hot 100 era, 1958 to present, which you can use. Your story can include up to seven song titles. Entries will be judged on cleverness, naturalness of reading, memorableness of the songs and overall elegance. You can send up to three entries and the best one, based on Will's opinion, will play the puzzle on the air in two weeks.
Get those creative juices flowing...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 16, 2017): A Runny Variety of Cheese Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 16, 2017): A Runny Variety of Cheese Puzzle:
Q: A spoonerism is when you change the initial consonant sounds of two words in a phrase to get a new phrase. For example, "Tames Jailer" is a spoonerism of the singer James Taylor. "Spark Mitts" is a spoonerism of the swimmer Mark Spitz. The name of what famous entertainer — first and last names — has a two-word spoonerism meaning "A runny variety of cheese"?
I got caught up on "entertainer". That's not the first word I'd used to describe this person. Anyway, back to getting dressed for Easter.

Edit: My pants are a little loose, so I made sure to wear a black belt.
A: BRUCE LEE --> LOOSE BRIE

Sunday, April 09, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 9, 2017): Deep Dive Under the Sea

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 9, 2017): Deep Dive Under the Sea:
Q: Name a well-known U.S. city in two words. Replace each of these words with a word that rhymes with it, and you'll name a large sea creature in two words. What is it?
It's a brainstorm...

Edit: ... is an anagram of Manta birostris which is the Giant oceanic manta ray.
A: SANTA FE --> MANTA RAY

Sunday, April 02, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 2, 2017): Proper Name Anagrams

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 2, 2017): Proper Name Anagrams:
Q: Think of four 4-letter proper names that are all anagrams of each other. Two of them are first names — one male and one female. The other two are well-known geographical names. What names are these?
If I combine the first names I get a third person.

Edit: Liam Neeson and Mila Kunis starred together in the movie Third Person
A: LIAM, MILA, LIMA, MALI

Sunday, March 26, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 26, 2017): Kitchen Remodel

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 26, 2017): Kitchen Remodel:
Q: Name two things found in a kitchen — one starting with G, the other starting with K. If you have the right ones, you can rearrange the letters to name two other things, one of them found in the kitchen starting with F, the other one probably found elsewhere in the house starting with K. What things are these?
Anyone have an answer not involving a brand name?
A: GRIDDLE + KNIFE --> FRIDGE + KINDLE

Sunday, March 19, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 19, 2017): I (blank) you!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 19, 2017): I (blank) you!:
Q: Think of a familiar phrase in the form "I ___ you," in which a four-letter word goes in the blank. Rearrange those letters and you'll get another familiar phrase in the form "I ___ you." Both phrases get more than half a million hits in a Google search. What phrases are these?
Lickin' chicken

Edit: "I read you lickin' chicken" -- military radio slang for "loud and clear."
A: I DARE YOU (~542,000 results), I READ YOU (~577,000 results)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 12, 2017): Two Word City Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 12, 2017): Two Word City Puzzle:
Q: Name a well-known city in the U.S. Two words. The second word rhymes with a word meaning "certain stories" — and the first word rhymes with something found in those stories. What city is it?"
I've been waiting for Will to drop a real GEM of a puzzle.

Edit: George Edgar Merrick was the planner and builder of the city of Coral Gables, Florida in the 1920s.
A: CORAL GABLES --> MORAL, FABLES

Sunday, March 05, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 5, 2017): Playing Games

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 5, 2017): Playing Games:
Q: An easy-ish one this week. Write the name of a game in small letters. Reverse the second and third letters. Turn the fourth letter upside-down. The result will name something else to play. What is it?
You can't convince me to give you an iota of help this week.

Edit: Not one scrap which anagrams to...
A: craps <--> cards

Sunday, February 26, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 26, 2017): I'd Like to Buy a Vowel, Pat

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 26, 2017): I'd Like to Buy a Vowel, Pat:
Q: Take five consecutive letters of the alphabet. Write them in left-to-right order. Insert five letters at certain spots. These will all go between the first and last given letters. The result will be a famous actor — first and last names. Who is it?
Typing test: "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country."

Edit: Men serving country was a hint to jury duty and "Twelve Angry Men". The other hint was "aid" which is a homophone of "ade" as in lemonade.
A: JKLMN --> Jack Lemmon

Sunday, February 19, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 19, 2017): A Change of Outfits

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 19, 2017): A Change of Outfits:
Q: Think of an article of apparel in five letters. Change one letter in it to name another article of apparel. Change one letter in that to name a third article of apparel. Then change one letter in that to name a fourth article of apparel. The position of the letters you change are different each time. What articles are these?
Mr. Shortz has delivered a fun puzzle this week.

Edit: My clue was delivered as in the *stork* delivering babies. If you anagram stork you get skort.
A: SKORT <--> SKIRT <--> SHIRT <--> SHIFT

Sunday, February 12, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 12, 2017): Having Fun in the Kitchen

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 12, 2017): Having Fun in the Kitchen:
Q: Name some things commonly seen on a kitchen table. Switch the positions of the fifth and sixth letters of the word, and read the result backward. You'll name two things commonly seen in a kitchen. What are they?
For us, practically everything ends up on the kitchen table, but maybe the rest of you have a "normal" amount of stuff to consider. It's all relative.

Edit: Well, perhaps I have everything but the kitchen SINK? My other hints were rest as in NAP and relative as in KIN.
A: NAPKINS --> SINK, PAN

Sunday, February 05, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 5, 2017): And They Lived Happily Ever After

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 5, 2017): And They Lived Happily Ever After:
Q: Name a prominent figure in a fairy tale. Write this in all capital letters. Add a stroke to one letter and rearrange the result. You'll name another prominent figure in a fairy tale. What two fairy tale figures are these?
A: FROG —> OGRE

Sunday, January 29, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 29, 2017): Take six different letters

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 29, 2017): Take six different letters:
Q: Take six different letters. Repeat them in the same order. Then repeat them again — making 18 letters altogether. Finally add "tebasket" at the end. If you have the right letters and you space them appropriately, you'll complete a sensible sentence. What is it?
I'm not sure I'd call it "sensible" unless it was spoken by someone a little nutty.

My hint was to nuts, bolts and washers.
A: HERWAS --> HER WASHER WAS HER WASTEBASKET

Sunday, January 22, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 22, 2017): Think of a Number...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 22, 2017): Think of a Number...:
Q: This week's challenge is unusual. The numbers 5,000, 8,000, and 9,000 share a property that only five integers altogether have. Identify the property and the two other integers that have it.
The hard part isn't figuring out the pattern, it's figuring out how we are supposed to extend it to find integers four and five.

Edit: The title contains each of the vowels (a,e,i,o,u) exactly once. The 4 and 5 in my hint refer to the number of digits in the two other answers.
A: When spelled out in English, the numbers contain the 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u, but not y) exactly once.
The other two numbers would be 6,010 (six thousand ten) and 10,006 (ten thousand six).

I discounted answers like 80,000 and 90,000 which also contain y and wouldn't preclude 26,000 as an answer.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 15, 2017): Gods of Comedy

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 15, 2017): Gods of Comedy:
Q: Take the first and last names of a famous comedian. The first three letters of the first name and the first letter of the last name, in order, spell the name of a god in mythology. The fourth letter of the first name and the second through fourth letters of the last name, in order, spell the name of another god. Who's the comedian, and what gods are these?
Here's a long list of comedians and a list of gods to help you out.

Edit: The antonym of long is...
A: MARTIN SHORT --> MARS, THOR

Sunday, January 08, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 8, 2017): The Cat's Away...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 8, 2017): The Cat's Away...

I'm unable to post the puzzle this week, but I didn't want to leave you without a place to post comments on the puzzle. Somebody help me out by posting a copy here. Then feel free to add your *hints*.

Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any outright spoilers before the deadline of Thursday at 3pm ET. If you know the answer, click the link and submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here. Thank you.

Update:
Q: Think of a two-word phrase you might see on a clothing label. Add two letters to the end of the first word, and one letter to the end of the second word. The result is the name of a famous writer. Who is it?
A: VIRGIN WOOL --> VIRGINIA WOOLF

Sunday, January 01, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 1, 2017): Start the Year with a Word Square Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 1, 2017): Start the Year with a Word Square Puzzle:
Q: Take the four-letter men's names TODD, OMAR, DAVE and DREW. If you write them one under the other, they'll form a word square, spelling TODD, OMAR, DAVE and DREW reading down as well.

Can you construct a word square consisting of five five-letter men's names? Any such square using relatively familiar men's names will count. Will has an answer using four relatively common names and one less familiar one.
This list of 5-letter names or this list of 5-letter boys names should help you get started.
A: Will's intended answer was:
KEMAL
EMILE
MILAN
ALAIN
LENNY

One of the many possible answers, and the answer of the person chosen to play on the air was:
ABRAM
BLANE
RANDY
ANDRE
MEYER