Thursday, June 28, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 1): Squirrel Prevention

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 1): Squirrel Prevention:
Q: Will has a problem. For a long time squirrels have been jumping from trees near his house onto his roof. His house has an attic fan, and the squirrels can enter the attic thru a hole cut in the roof for the fan. Will had the tree branches cut back from the house to prevent the squirrels from getting into the attic. Now the squirrels have started running up his front steps, jumping up on the railing at the top, jumping six feet onto the telephone wires leading into the house — and from there, jumping to the roof. As Will cannot get rid of the railing, the telephone wires or the front steps, how can Will prevent the squirrels from getting onto his roof?
The most obvious solution is to prevent them from entering the fan opening by adding a wire grate. But that doesn't really prevent them from getting on the roof. The other obvious solution would be to add a large disc-shaped baffle to the telephone line. As long as they can't see through the baffle, the squirrels will be deterred from jumping over because they can't judge their landing spot. The drawback is that it is a rather ugly addition to the telephone line. However, my submitted solution is something else that I think is creative, amusing and practical. I'll tell you what I came up with after the deadline.

Edit: Here's my solution which may or may not match with what Will picks on Sunday...
A: I suggest adding a section of PVC pipe around the telephone line, slightly bigger than the wire so that it will easily spin. Imagine the fun you'll have watching the squirrels try to either land on it (flying off into space) or trying to cross it (and being spun back toward the ground). In my mind it meets the criteria of being practical, creative and amusing. If Will implements this solution I hope he films it so we can all have fun watching the results.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (June 24): Ran to Oregon?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (June 24): Ran to Oregon?
Q: Take a familiar three-word title, with four letters in the first word, two letters in the next and six letters in the last. The last word contains the consecutive letters R-A-N. Change the R-A-N, to O-R and you'll get another familiar three-word phrase. What is it?
If you finish this quickly it will be quite an achievement.

Edit: I barely finished reading the puzzle and I had the answer, so I doubt others struggled with this for too long. The six letter word with R-A-N in it was the key and the rest fell into place. In case you can't decipher the clues, "finishing quickly" was a hint to racing, but a certain race extended over several days. And "quite an achievement" was a clue to the second part of the answer.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (June 17): Is it Philadelphia?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (June 17): Is it Philadelphia?
Q: Think of a well-known U.S. city; the letters in its name can be rearranged into a symbol for 1,000, a symbol for 10, and two words meaning zero. What city is it?
All this talk of U.S. cities reminded me of a puzzle from last November; it's likely you'll find a clue there. I got distracted for awhile thinking the answer was LEXINGTON (G, X, NIL, NOT, NONE?) but it obviously wasn't right...

Edit: Well it's after the deadline so here are my clues. First, what really helped me was to use a list of the 100 Most Populous Cities in the U.S., something that I posted in response to an NPR Puzzle post from last Thanksgiving. It's pretty obvious that the answer has to have an 'X' in it, so that narrows it down.

If that wasn't enough help, there were additional clues. The title refers to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love and there were a couple clues (...November; it's likely... and the list with Lexington) that pointed to LOVE and NIL. So it is time for the answer:

Friday, June 08, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (June 10): Accidental Acrostics - Isaac

NPR Sunday Puzzle (June 10): Accidental Acrostics - Isaac
Q: A two-part challenge. Either half will work. Take the name Isaac. Those letters are the initials of a classic song. Name the song. (Hint: the 'I' does not stand for the pronoun and neither 'A' is the article.) So think of a famous song that represents an 'accidental acrostic' of Isaac — or think of any other legitimate 'accidental acrostic' of five or more letters.
There's a Fleetwood Mac song called "Hungry Country Girl" that has the lyrics "I sat around and cried" but that doesn't meet the puzzle criteria for a couple reasons (includes 'I' and isn't the song title).

Our family spent much of the weekend working on this and we truly don't have an answer to either part. However we are singing a couple new songs we created called "Iguanas, Sharks, Aardvarks and Camels" along with the soon to be a hit song, "In Summer, All Animals Combust"

If we figure something else out, we'll post a real clue here. (And we are truly clueless at this point, so don't go looking for hidden clues in the post above...)

Edit: I've since learned that there is an old song called "Ida, Sweet as Apple Cider." I think I might be a notch too young to remember it, so no wonder we never figured it out. I should have realized that "classic" might have meant written in 1903...
A: Ida, Sweet as Apple Cider

Friday, June 01, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (June 3): Drop First Letter, Add a B

Drop First Letter, Add a B:
Q: Name a European nationality, drop the first letter, insert a 'b' somewhere later in this string of letters and the result will name a group of people found mainly in Asia. What groups of people are these?
Is it vital I answer this week? You can figure this out on your own, can't you? Okay, I'll give clue... think of being hidden in a place associated with Carroll O'Connor.

Edit: The first part of the answer was hidden in "Is it vital I answer..." and the second part referred to the Taliban hiding out in bunkers and caves in the border regions of Afghanistan.