Thursday, January 31, 2008

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 26): A Puzzle for the Birds

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 26): A Puzzle for the Birds:
Q: Take the three bird names egret, crane and owl. Rearrange the 13 letters to spell three other bird names. They are all common names. What are they?
You can solve this iteratively... look closely at the letters and find a bird name (say WREN), those letters, in turn, should lead you to another bird, then look at the remaining letters, etc.

Edit: Some of my clues were hidden in the comments. I mentioned having a 'sharp eye' or some would say 'eagle-eyed'. I also said that user 'Feed' should be proud of her answer, or some would say she has something to 'crow' about. And above I said, "those letters, in turn" which should lead you to 'tern'. Finally, my post ended etc which gives you the initial letters of each bird.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How about a math puzzle?

It has been awhile since I've posted any non-NPR puzzles. Here's one to make you think:
Q: A nine-digit number ABCDEFGHI is such that its digits are all distinct and non-zero. It has the following properties:
The two-digit number AB is divisible by 2,
the three-digit number ABC is divisible by 3,
the four-digit number ABCD is divisible by 4,
and so on until finally,
the nine-digit number ABCDEFGHI is divisible by 9.

What is this special nine-digit number?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 12): Tale of Two Authors

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 12): Tale of Two Authors:
Q: Name a famous American novelist whose last name contains nine letters. Drop the first and last letters, and rearrange the remaining seven letters to name another famous American novelist. Who are these authors? Hint: The first novelist is male, and the second one is female.
If you look for a clue in my title, you'd be missing something obvious -- Charles Dickens is an English novelist, not American. Honestly you'd figure out more from the puzzle than from examining my title for a hidden clue. The one thing I will say is that both novelists were alive at the same time, though barely. Does that help?

Edit: The title was an obvious reference to "A Tale of Two Cities". The item that was missing was the letter 'A'. That was a rather obtuse clue to "The Scarlet Letter", a novel by the first author.
The other clue was hidden in "puzzle than from examining..."
"Ethan Frome" was a novel by the second author.
The 3rd clue just gave you more information to confirm your answer and might have given away that both authors were deceased.
Putting it all together:
(Nathaniel) HAWTHORNE (1804-1864)
(Edith) WHARTON (1862-1937)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 5): Happy New Year!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 5): Happy New Year!
Q: Take the phrase, Yeshiva Center, a place of Jewish studies, rearrange these 13 letters to name a well-known movie. It has three words in its name. What movie is it?
I've had a long-time yearning to come up with the ultimate clue to one of the puzzles... and sorry to say, all I have is a mediocre set of clues for this one. I don't have any wonderful insight into how to solve the puzzle. I just kept rearranging letters on the paper until I saw a couple words that were familiar. I suppose you could use an online anagram solver, but what fun is there in that? Anyway, my first instinct was to think that one of the words was a common article like "the" or "an". I'll just tell you, don't bother. Also, none of the words is extremely long, so don't get too fancy. Finally, my really useful hint is if you rearrange the letters you can spell "I envy teachers". (I guess I really meant to say useless hint. Fortunately I have another 51 weeks to come up better clues on future NPR puzzles.)

Edit: My post mentioned a "long-time yearning" and included the word 'year' a couple times. Time for the answer:

Thursday, January 03, 2008

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 30): And what does 2 + 0 + 0 + 8 equal?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 30): And what does 2 + 0 + 0 + 8 equal?:
Q: Take the equation 5 + 5 + 5 = 550. Make this equation true by adding a single line. Hint: The answer is not to put a slash through the equal sign to make it not equal.
I was excited to see a math puzzle this week, but then I realized it was an old math puzzle I'd seen many times before. You can probably find it if you look. An additional hint, you can't touch the equal sign at all, so don't get any ideas of changing it to ≤.
Edit: Time to reveal the answer since it is after the deadline:
A: Add a line to one of the plus signs to make it look like a 4:
5 4 5 + 5 = 550