Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 22): Okie-Dokie!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 22): Okie-Dokie!:
Q: Think of a word containing the consecutive letters O-K. Remove the O-K, and you'll get a new word that's a synonym of the first word. What words are these?
The first thought I had when I figured out this puzzle was the Latin phrase "cavit lukom". You can argue that I haven't got the right conjugation but looking back on it, I still contend that the clue is useful nonetheless.

Edit: If you followed my hints you would take that bogus Latin phrase and write it backwards as MOKULTIVAC. After removing the OK you have MULTIVAC. If you Google for that you'll find that Isaac Asimov had a loosely connected series of stories involving a fictional computer called Multivac. One of those stories was Jokester (1956).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 15): How About Tele-Commuting?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 15): How About Tele-Commuting?:
Q: Name an auto manufacturer and a telecommunications company, both well-known companies, whose names are exact opposites of each other.
I'm still going through the following lists so I think I'll quickly step out of the way and let others provide their clues.
List of Automobile Manufacturers
Telecommunication Companies

Edit: It's after the deadline, so I'll reveal my hints (going through = wading, quickly step = sprint). I'm not sure my answer meets the "exact opposites" criteria. If you have a different answer, add it to the comments.
FORD - to cross a body of water by wading (moving or proceeding with difficulty or labor)
SPRINT - to run or go at top speed especially for a short distance.

Update: I'm 99.9% sure that Ken has the intended answer. It fits the criteria of being tricky and also *exact* opposites.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 8): Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 8): Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...:
Q: If you write 'WOW' in capital letters and hold up a mirror at the side of the word, you'll see 'WOW' perfectly reflected in the mirror. Here's the puzzle: Think of a nationality and write it in capital letters. If you remove one stroke from the first letter, and one stroke from the last letter, and hold up a mirror at the side, the name of the nationality will be perfectly reflected in the mirror. What nationality is it?
Looking at the comments that were added to end of last week's puzzle (regarding this week's puzzle), the most prevalent misunderstanding is what is meant by removing a pair of strokes and then looking at the reflection. Personally I hate it when a puzzle needs explanation but I think it is necessary this week to clear up the confusion. Basically if you take the name of the nationality as written in uppercase letters, it won't be horizontally symmetric. But if you remove a stroke from the first letter, and a stroke from the last letter, the remaining pattern of strokes will look the same when you reflect them in a mirror.

The alternate interpretation, and perhaps how this could have been made more elegant is to think of shifting a stroke in the first and last letters slightly. Then the resulting reflection would be of the original nationality, rather than just a horizontally reflective pattern of strokes.

Edit: The two hints hidden above were "prevalent" and "I hate it". René Préval is the current President of the Republic of Haiti.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 1): Noah Adams has False Teeth?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 1): Noah Adams has False Teeth?:
Q: Take the name 'Noah Adams,' as in the former host of All Things Considered. Add the phrase 'false teeth.' You can rearrange all 19 letters to name a famous work of literature. What is it?
I may not be as clear-headed in the morning, but am I the only one that thinks there's an extra article in the answer?

Edit: The two hints were "morning" and "am" which point to A.M. or Arthur Miller, the playwright.
A: (The) Death of a Salesman