Sunday, August 19, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 19, 2018): Part of a Complete Breakfast

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 19, 2018): Part of a Complete Breakfast:
Q: Think of a brand name you might see on your breakfast table. Change one letter to a Y and rearrange the result to get a familiar two-word phrase that names something else you might see on your breakfast table. What phrase is this?
It could be Grape Jell-O® but Grape Jelly doesn't involve any rearrangement.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 12, 2018): The Missing Link (Part 2)

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 12, 2018): The Missing Link (Part 2):
Q: Continuing on from Part 1, here's Part 2 of the challenge.

These four words have a very interesting and unusual property in common — something about the letters in them (all the letters). What is it?

SCARECROW
SCREENSAVER
CAMERAWOMAN
CURVACEOUSNESS

When you know it, think of a common 7-letter word that shares the unusual properties of both last week's and this week's words.
If you are thinking anagrams, you are heading down the wrong path. Personally I don't feel the second property is that uncommon. However some of you may still be wishing the deadline was extended another week.

Edit: The hints were "down" and "extended" trying to hint at the missing descenders and ascenders when written in lowercase. And the word "uncommon" was an example of such a word.
A: In lowercase, the words have no ascenders and descenders
scarecrow
screensaver
camerawoman
curvaceousness

The common words that I found that could both contain a planet and only use these letters were:
aVENUeS -> VENUS
MAnneRS --> MARS
MAnuReS --> MARS
MARacaS --> MARS
MARoonS --> MARS
MARrowS --> MARS
MoAneRS --> MARS

I submitted AVENUES because VENUS wasn't included in last week's planet list.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 5, 2018): The Missing Link (Part 1)

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 5, 2018): The Missing Link (Part 1):
Q: This is Part 1 of a two-week challenge. You'll need to solve both parts before you send in your answer. So hold your answer for now.

These four words have a very interesting and unusual property in common. What is it?
NEANDERTHAL
EMBARRASS
SATURATION
CONTEMPTUOUSNESS
Don't get overenthusiastic — be sure to wait until after the two-week deadline. Here's a link to Part 2.

Edit: oVerENthUSiastic contains the letters of yet another planet in order.
A: All the words contain planet names

nEAndeRTHal --> EARTH
eMbARraSs --> MARS
SATURatioN --> SATURN
coNtEmPTUousNEss --> NEPTUNE

Sunday, July 29, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 29, 2018): Let Me Phrase That Differently

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 29, 2018): Let Me Phrase That Differently:
Q: Think of a familiar two-word phrase in 8 letters — with 4 letters in each word. The first word starts with M. Move the first letter of the second word to the end and you'll get a regular 8-letter word, which, amazingly, other than the M, doesn't share any sounds with the original two-word phrase. What phrase is it?
A: MAIL SLOT --> MAILLOTS

Sunday, July 22, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 22, 2018): Part Human

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 22, 2018): Part Human:
Q: Name two parts of the human body. Say them out loud one after the other. The result, phonetically, will name something delicious to eat, in 7 letters. What is it?
I could claim credit for this puzzle based on something I wrote several years back.

Edit: I used BROW, KNEE (BROWNIE) as a hint to a previous puzzle involving body parts.
A: BROW, KNEE (BROWNIE)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 15, 2018): Famous Chicagoan

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 15, 2018): Famous Chicagoan:
Q: Name a famous person from Chicago — first and last names. The last name ends in an E. Change the E to an I and rearrange the letters in just the last name to get a famous actor — whose first name is the same as the first person's. Who are these people?
Technically their first names aren't the same. The actor has played a character in the same occupation as the person from Chicago and possibly based on the person.

Edit: The first names are AL(phonse) and AL(fredo). Al Pacino played Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy.
A: AL CAPONE --> AL PACINO

Sunday, July 08, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 8, 2018): Slicing your Pancake

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 8, 2018): Slicing your Pancake:
Q: The word PANCAKE has an unusual property. If you remove its last letter, you get a series of U.S. state postal abbreviations — PA, NC, and AK. Can you name a major city and state that both have this property? To solve this, first think of a state in which you can drop its last letter to leave a series of state postal abbreviations. Then find a major city in that state that also has this property. The city and state names have to be different. What city and state is it?
To your pancake, add butter, syrup or whipped cream, as you like it.

Edit: One of the characters in Shakespeare's "As You Like It" was Orlando de Boys.
A: ORLANDO, FLORIDA

Sunday, July 01, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 1, 2018): Your Title Goes Here

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 1, 2018): Your Title Goes Here:
Q: Name a woman's title. Drop the first and last letters and read the result backward to get another woman's title. Both titles are common English-language spellings. What titles are these?
It's a pity I live on a rocky hill.

My comment was pointing out that Ñ isn't always the same as N. The name Peña means rocky summit or rocky hill. But without the tilde, the word pena means pity. NPR recently had a similar problem with año and ano.
A: BARONESS --> SEÑORA (or just SENORA in some dictionaries)

Sunday, June 24, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 24, 2018): X Marks the Spot

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 24, 2018): X Marks the Spot:
Q: Think of a well-known commercial name in 9 letters. Change both the fourth and ninth letters to X's and you'll get two other familiar commercial names, one after the other. What names are these?
I didn't realize how many commercial names contain X. Trix, Timex...

Edit: Perhaps a little too obvious -- a cereal and a watch brand.
A: CHEVROLET --> CHEX, ROLEX

Sunday, June 17, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 17, 2018): Four-letter American Companies

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 17, 2018): Four-letter American Companies:
Q: Think of a familiar hyphenated 7-letter word. The first 4 letters name a prominent American company, and the last 4 letters name a different prominent American company. What word is it?


A: Vis-à-vis (Visa, Avis)