Thursday, August 26, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 22, 2010): Countries Trading Chemicals

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 22, 2010): Countries Trading Chemicals:
Q: Take a country whose name contains a symbol for a chemical element, and change it to a different chemical element to get another country. For example, if Aruba were an independent country, you could take the 'AR,' which is the chemical symbol for argon, and change it to 'C,' which is the chemical symbol for carbon, to come up with Cuba. There are two answers to this puzzle, and both must be found.
I've tried thinking of clues but whatever hints I create, they seem too obvious. The nature of the puzzle limits me, in what I can say. I've got the two pairs of countries that Will is thinking of. Let's see if you can figure them out too.

Correction: I've now found 3 pairs of answers. All meet the criteria that Will provided. One of the pairs I hinted at before is probably not in Will's intended answers but does fit. All countries and chemical symbols are valid.

Edit: My clues were the words just before the commas above. "I create" is an anagram of I, TA, CE, RE (the chemical symbols from two pairs of answers). "Limits me" is an anagram of ML, MT, IS, IE (the ISO country codes for two pairs of answers). The elements from the third pair would be AL, NI and the country codes would be DZ, NG.
First country pair:
ALGERIA and NIGERIA, exchanging Aluminum (Al) and Nickel (Ni)

Second country pair:
MALI and MALTA, exchanging Iodine (I) and Tantalum (Ta)

Bonus country pair:
ICELAND and IRELAND, exchanging Cerium (Ce) and Rhenium (Re)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 15, 2010): There's Been a Mix-up at the Nursery

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 15, 2010): There's Been a Mix-up at the Nursery:
Q: Name two girls' names that are anagrams of each other, and both start with the letter 'C.' The answer should be a well-mixed anagram, with more than two letters switched in one name to get the other.
I'm guessing there might be some debate on the meaning of "well-mixed". I'll just say that if your names end with the same letter, you probably haven't found Will's intended answer. I'd provide a better clue, but after several days of camping I'm smelling pretty funky, so a shower is the first order of business.

Edit: My hint was "funky" as in Cornelia Funke, the award-winning German author of children's fiction. While there are other possible answers (CARLA/CLARA, CLAIRE/CARLIE), those aren't as long and as mixed up as what I assume is Will's intended answer.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 8, 2010): To Yo, or not to Yo

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 8, 2010): To Yo, or not to Yo:
Q: Take the letters in the name of cellist Yo Yo Ma, and rearrange them to form the initial letters of a familiar six-word question. What is the question?
I could give a musical clue, but it would give it away.
P.S. She might spell the word "Colour".

Edit: My first hint was to Victoria Beckham. The "P.S." was a hint to her nickname (Posh Spice) and the "Colour" clue was the fact that she is British. Her first solo single was "Out of Your Mind". In addition, if you anagram the letters in "Colour" you get "R U Loco?"
A: Are You Out of Your Mind

Sunday, August 08, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 25, 2010): Make Your Own Spoonerism Riddle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 25, 2010): Make Your Own Spoonerism Riddle:
NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 1, 2010): Make Your Own Spoonerism Riddle:
Q: This is a two-week creative challenge. Come up with a riddle that starts off with 'What's the difference between' and involves a spoonerism. A spoonerism is when consonant sounds are interchanged. For example, 'What's the difference between an ornithologist and a loser in a spelling bee?' The answer: 'One is a bird watcher, and the other is a word botcher.'
Hmm... not much to comment on this week. Obviously this is different than most of Will's puzzles in that it is open-ended and is a two week challenge. Start collecting your ideas and we'll discuss them all in two weeks after the deadline.
What's the difference between a wedding chapel and a restaurant's daily specials? One is a marrying venue, the other is a varying menu.

What’s the difference between a guinea hen and a young witch? One is a wild chicken and the other is child wicken.

What’s the difference between a dasher and a haberdasher? One makes short spurts and the other makes sports shirts.