Wednesday, August 26, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 23): I like knocking down pins

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 23): I like knocking down pins:
Q: Think of two words that each mean 'bowler.' Put them together, one after the other, and you'll name a sport in two words that is not related to bowling.
On a different note, remember how bowling used to be frequently televised? I don't think I've seen it that much these days...

Edit: There isn't much need for me to explain my hints, but the title refers to knocking things down. That applies to bowling or the answer to the puzzle. Similarly, both bowling and this sport used to be frequently on TV, all the time it seemed in the early 70s; now not so much.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 16): Beware of Invisible Cows

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 16): Beware of Invisible Cows:
Q: Think of a common street sign with three words: four letters in the first word, four letters in the second word and three letters in the last. Drop the last letter of the first word in the sign and you'll get a new word that is a synonym of the last word in the sign. What is the sign?
Mr. Shortz states that it is a "common street sign" so I'm sure it's not Beware of Invisible Cows. However, I'm suspicious; I've looked up and down a list of Road Signs and don't see the answer. No doubt I'm thinking too hard so let me ponder this a bit more.

Feel free to add clues in the comments, but no outright answers or spoilers, please.

Edit: Remember Will didn't say traffic signs. That was a clue. In addition, hopefully my clue indirectly made you think of animals.
A: CURB YOUR DOG (Cur = Dog)

Friday, August 14, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 9): Would you like cream and sugar with that?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 9): Would you like cream and sugar with that?:
Q: A waitress walks up to a breakfast table with five logicians and asks, 'Does everyone here want coffee?'
The first logician says, 'I don't know.'
The second logician says, 'I don't know.'
The third logician says, 'I don't know.'
The fourth logician says, 'I don't know.'
And the fifth logician says, 'No.'
To whom did the waitress bring coffee — and why?
No doubt the waitress has to be a logician too. This reminds me of a related joke:

René Descartes walks into a diner and orders a cup of coffee. The waitress asks if he wants cream and sugar to which he replies, "I think not". He promptly disappears.

Edit: The answer isn't too difficult if you just think of each person's reply choices...
A: The waitress asks, "Does EVERYONE here want coffee?"

If the first logician didn't want coffee, he knows that not EVERYONE wants coffee so he could have replied "No." But he doesn't yet know what the others are thinking so he answers "I don't know." This tells us he wants coffee.

Similarly, the second logician has determined that the first logician wants coffee. Now we are in the same situation as the first logician. If the 2nd logician didn't want coffee, he could say, "No." But because he replies "I don't know." it means he also wants coffee.

The same logic applies to the 3rd and 4th logicians.

The fifth logican has determined that all the rest want coffee. If he also wanted coffee, he would reply "Yes" because he can accurately determine that everyone wants coffee. However, he doesnt want coffee and therefore answers "No", because he is the lone logician that doesn't want coffee and therefore NOT everyone wants coffee.

The waitress (being the consumate logician herself) brings coffee to logicians 1 through 4. Logician 5 is not served coffee.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 2): Show Me the Money!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 2): Show Me the Money!:
Q: Take a slang term for money. Change one of its letters to the next letter of the alphabet. Rearrange the result, and you'll get another slang term for money. What are the words?
To be honest, I haven't figured this one out yet. I thought I was close with BEAN and BANK, but it fails the "next letter" rule.

Edit: I must admit I'd never come across the term Do-re-mi as slang for money. There were less than 300 entries so I don't think I was alone.