Sunday, October 18, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 18, 2020): Study Your World Capitals

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 18, 2020): Study Your World Capitals
Q: Name a world capital. Change one letter in it to D-Y. The result will be two words, one after the other. The first word names somebody you like to be around. The second word names somebody you don't like to be around. What city is it?
Normally I'd go back to bed, but today I feel like getting the day started.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 11, 2020): Another Round of Drinks!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 11, 2020): Another Round of Drinks!
Q: Name certain fruits — in the plural. Change the second letter to an L and read the result backward. You'll name two things to drink. What are they?
Here's to solving. Cheers!

Edit: I was making an avocado toast!
A: AVOCADOS --> SODA, COLA

Sunday, October 04, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 4, 2020): Aye Yai Yai!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 4, 2020): Aye Yai Yai!
Q: Think of an 8-letter word with three syllables that contains the letter "I" in each syllable — but, strangely, doesn't contain a single "I" sound, either long or short. The answer is not a plural. What word is it?
Too soon?

Edit: I posted my hint not long after waking which most would consider too soon to start drinking.
A: DAIQUIRI ('da-kə-rē)

Sunday, September 27, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 27, 2020): Come Find Me

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 27, 2020): Come Find Me
Q: This challenge is not too hard. Name a major world city with a population in the millions. Take one letter in its name and move it two spots earlier in the alphabet. Reading backward, you now have the name of a major restaurant chain. What is it?
I'm going there without you.

Edit: The Australian airline Qantas has no U in its name.
A: SYDNEY --> WENDY'S

Sunday, September 20, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 20, 2020): What's in a Name?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 20, 2020): What's in a Name?
Q: Take the name of a famous actor — 4 letters in the first name, 5 letters in the last. Spoonerize it. That is, interchange the initial consonant sounds of the first and last names. The result will be two new familiar first names — one male, one female — that start with the same letter... but that letter is pronounced differently in the two names. Who's the actor?
Note: an actor can be a woman too.

Edit: Marion Michael Morrison (aka John Wayne) has a unisex first name of Marion. In addition, the image was of a Post-It Note made by 3M.
A: JOHN WAYNE --> JUAN, JANE

Sunday, September 13, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 13, 2020): U Can't Touch This

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 13, 2020): U Can't Touch This
Q: Name a famous person with the initials M. C. The first initial and last name anagram to the person's field of renown. What is it?
I'm not able to provide a clever clue this week.

Edit: My hint was not able hinting at Cain and Abel.
A: MICHAEL CAINE --> MCAINE --> CINEMA

Sunday, September 06, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 6, 2020): Ancient Deities

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 6, 2020): Ancient Deities
Q: Name a deity in ancient mythology. The first half of the name, phonetically, names a common object. The second half of the name, by spelling, names another object that is often put inside the first one. What is it?
I don't, but others might. Anyone else get sidetracked trying to make Loki turn into lock and key?

Edit: My main hint was that I don't put my phone in a purse, but others might. The comment about Loki/Lock/Key was to point out that the pronunciation of "purse" doesn't match the original syllables of the name, similar how the syllables of Loki don't sound like "lock" unless you isolate the letters.
A: PERSEPHONE --> PURSE, PHONE

Sunday, August 30, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 30, 2020): Make Your Move

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 30, 2020): Make Your Move
Q: Name a famous person in history (5,4). The letters of the last name can be rearranged to name a popular game. And the letters in the first name can be rearranged to name an action in this game. Who is this famous person?
The last name can also be rearrange to name a place where another related game is played.

Edit: The game of "Marco Polo" is played in the pool.
A: MARCO POLO --> POOL, CAROM

Sunday, August 23, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 23, 2020): Where in the World?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 23, 2020): Where in the World?
Q: Think of a place on earth with a four-word name. Take the third word. Advance three of its letters to the next letter of the alphabet (so A would become B, B would be come C, etc.). You'll get the fourth word in the name. What place is this?
Ask someone to point to this on a map and they'll probably get it wrong.

Edit: Many people believe this to be the southernmost point of Africa but it's actually not.
A: CAPE OF GOOD HOPE (G>H, O>P, D>E)

Sunday, August 16, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 16, 2020): Taking the Intra-Europe Train

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 16, 2020): Taking the Intra-Europe Train
Q: Think of a major city in France whose name is an anagram of a major city in Italy. Each city has more than 100,000 people. What are the cities?
I thought I had it with AMIENS and MESSINA. I guess I'll have to take a new tack.

Edit: I was hinting at NEW ORLEANS.
ORLÉANS <--> SALERNO

Sunday, August 09, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 9, 2020): A Puzzle for the Birds

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 9, 2020): A Puzzle for the Birds
Q: Think of a famous living person in the entertainment field whose first name is a bird. The person's last name is a quality of this bird — something its feathers have. Who's the famous person, and what's the bird?
Hint: Steamboat inventor?

The actor adopted his stage name from a combination of the CBS casting director, Robert Dale Martin, who gave him his first big break, and the televangelist archbishop, Fulton J. Sheen. If he had chosen their first names he might be Robert Fulton.
A: MARTIN SHEEN

Sunday, August 02, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 2, 2020): Name with 5 Consecutive Letters

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 2, 2020): Name with 5 Consecutive Letters
Q: Think of a famous living American whose first and last names have a total of eight letters — all different. Five of these letters are consecutive in the alphabet. The remaining three can be rearranged to spell a woman's nickname. What famous American is this?
Do they have open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension?

GANFORT is a medicine that can be used to treat the stated conditions. It anagrams to GRAFTON, as in author SUE GRAFTON which was a hint to the woman's name.
A: ELON MUSK --> KLMNO + SUE

Sunday, July 26, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 26, 2020): Tumbling Tumbleweed

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 26, 2020): Tumbling Tumbleweed
Q: Think of a common two-word phrase for something you experience in a desert. Rearrange the letters to get a single word for something you should do in the desert as a result.
Think of a two-word phrase that means the same thing as the word. Rearrange to get something you can experience in the Arctic.

Edit: The answer to my puzzle was DRINK WATER --> DARK WINTER
A: DRY HEAT --> HYDRATE

Sunday, July 19, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 19, 2020): Not A Wear

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 19, 2020): Not A Wear
Q: Think of a six-letter word for something you might wear. Insert an "O" in the exact middle, and you'll get a phrase meaning "Not aware." What is it?
A Rubik's Cube

A Rubik's Cube is 3 x 3 x 3 which is 27. The 27th president was TAFT who shares the same 3 consonants (in order) as the answer.
A: OUTFIT --> OUT OF IT

Sunday, July 12, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 12, 2020): Follow that Car!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 12, 2020): Follow that Car!
Q: Think of a two-word direction or command. Take the first letter of the first word plus the entire second word, in order, and you'll get a common name for one receiving that direction or command. What is it?
It seems a suitable time for some misdirection.

Edit: "Suitable time" = "Opportunity" as in one of the Mars Rovers.
A: ROLL OVER, ROVER

Sunday, July 05, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 5, 2020): Wisdom of the Crowd

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 5, 2020): Wisdom of the Crowd
Q: Think of an eight-letter word for something we all crave now. It consists of three consecutive men's nicknames. What are they?
Hint: Mapplethorpe's mom

In a recent film on Robert Mapplethorpe, the role of his mother, Joan, was played by actress Carolyn McCormick. "Carolyn M." is an anagram of the answer.
A: NORMALCY = NORM + AL + CY

Sunday, June 28, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 28, 2020): Five-letter animals

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 28, 2020): Five-letter animals
Q: Think of a five-letter animal. Remove the middle letter, and two opposites remain. What animal is it?
I have two answers. One would be familiar to crossword solvers, the other (intended) answer is probably simple enough for an elementary school student.

Edit: Crosswords have made me familiar with quite a few 5-letter african animals (OKAPI, ELAND, NYALA...) and it was the last one that results in two cities (New York and Los Angeles) on opposite coasts. Not the intended answer, but I liked it nonetheless.
A: SWINE --> SW (southwest) and NE (northeast)

Sunday, June 21, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 21, 2020): Lake and City in Europe

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 21, 2020): Lake and City in Europe:
Q: Think of a famous person whose name consists of three names. The first and last letters of the first name plus the first and last letters of the second name plus the first and last letters of the third name, in order, name a city and lake in Europe. Who is it?
Edit: I didn't have it initially (kept trying to make Geneva or Zurich work). I decided to stay neutral and not say anything...
A: Lulu Garcia-Navarro --> Lake Lugano and Lugano (Switzerland)

Sunday, June 14, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 14, 2020): Five Letter Words

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 14, 2020): Five Letter Words:
Q: Think of a five-letter word. Change the first letter to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a new word that doesn't share any sounds with the first one. Then change its first letter to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a third word that doesn't share any sounds with either of the first two. What words are these?
I'm reminded of something from 2006. That won't help anyone, but I'll explain on Thursday.

Edit: For our family Christmas "Close But No Rhyme" Puzzle from 2006, the first clue was "A Christmas tree limb that is not smooth to the touch." The answer is a pair of words that might appear to rhyme (same ending letters) but don't. The answer was ROUGH BOUGH.
A: BOUGH, COUGH, DOUGH

Sunday, June 07, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 7, 2020): Open for Curbside Pickup

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 7, 2020): Open for Curbside Pickup:
Q: Name a well-known restaurant chain. Rearrange its letters to name a large area in the United States. This area has a two-word name. What is it?
This was extremely easy.

Edit: In other words, it was a cinch (like a belt). Also, if anyone did a reverse image search on the picture, you'd see I had to crop out a Taco Restaurant logo.
A: TACO BELL → COAL BELT

Sunday, May 31, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 31, 2020): Parlez-vous Français?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 31, 2020): Parlez-vous Français?:
Q: Think of a familiar three-word name of something. The first word in that name is a number. Let's call that number "x." The last "x" letters of the second word of the name are a French translation of the third word. What's the name?
I can't give a hint that doesn't give it away.

Edit: If I did give a revealing clue, someone would say it was TMI (too much information) but that abbreviation would also be too revealing. Bonus hint. In one of my replies I said "Cool".
A: THREE MILE ISLAND, ÎLE = ISLAND

Sunday, May 24, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 24, 2020): Win the Race

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 24, 2020): Win the Race:
Q: Think of a well-known European city in seven letters. If you remove the third letter, you'll get a two-word phrase describing what you must do to win a race. If instead you remove the fourth letter, you'll get a two-word phrase describing what you can't do to win a race. What's the city?
Or change the penultimate letter and rearrange to get a car part. Or change it to a different letter to get a type of truck.

Edit: FANBELT or FLATBED.
A: BELFAST --> BE FAST, BE LAST

Sunday, May 17, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 17, 2020): Department of (Anagrams)

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 17, 2020): Department of (Anagrams):
Q: Name a Cabinet department — as in "Department of ___." Rearrange the letters of what goes in the blank to get the brand name of a product you might find at a drugstore or supermarket. What is it?
Anagramming "Housing and Urban Development" might take several months.

Edit: My hint was that from conception to labor is about 9 months. It also hinted at Labor Day being a few months off.
A: LABOR --> ORAL-B
or STATE --> TATE'S or DEFENSE --> SENEFED

Sunday, May 10, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 10, 2020): Car Pets

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 10, 2020): Car Pets:
Q: Name the make and model of a popular car. Change the first and last letters of the make to name an animal. Change the first and fourth letters of the model to name another animal. What car is this?
Well, I can make FORD into WORM, but how will I make an animal out of MUSTANG? :)

Edit: My hint was "how will" --> "howl"
A: TOYOTA COROLLA --> COYOTE, GORILLA

Sunday, May 03, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 3, 2020): Four Blanks

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 3, 2020): Four Blanks:
Q: Think of two common phrases in the form "___ and ___," in which the blanks stand for four-letter words. All four words in those two phrases have different first letters, but the last three letters in the words are the same. What are the phrases?
Kuantan Port Malaysia or Macomb, Illinois

Edit: Kuantan Port is home to NDWT (New Deep Water Terminal) and Macomb, IL is home to WTND 106.3 FM
A: NEAR and DEAR, WEAR and TEAR

Sunday, April 26, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 26, 2020): Eight Letter Landmark

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 26, 2020): Eight Letter Landmark:
Q: Name a famous American landmark in 8 letters. The first 4 letters in order are the first 4 letters of the name of a famous person associated with this landmark. Who is it? Here's a hint: The famous person's name also has 8 letters.
Bonus puzzle: Find another 8-letter word that starts with the same two letters. It also starts and ends with the same letters as the landmark. What word is it?

Edit: The bonus puzzle answer was ALPHABET which starts with A and ends with Z.
A: ALCATRAZ --> AL CAPONE

Sunday, April 19, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 19, 2020): Boys and Body Parts

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 19, 2020): Boys and Body Parts:
Q: Name part of the human body in seven letters. The first four letters, in order, spell a familiar boy's name. The second through fifth letters, in order, also spell a familiar boy's name. What body part is it?
Change the 6th letter to the one immediately before it in the alphabet. You can rearrange the letters to spell a plural of another body part.

Edit: Hint: AREOLAE
A: EARLOBE --> EARL, ARLO

Sunday, April 12, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 12, 2020): LARGE to SMALL Word Ladder

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 12, 2020): LARGE to SMALL Word Ladder:
Q:
The challenge is to create the shortest possible word ladder connecting LARGE to SMALL, changing one letter at a time, making a common, uncapitalized word each step of the way. Here's the tricky part: Plurals and verbs formed by adding -s are not allowed.
This could take some time to figure out.
A: LARGE, SARGE, SERGE, VERGE, VERSE, TERSE, TEASE, CEASE, CHASE, CHOSE, WHOSE, WHOLE, WHALE, SHALE, SHALL, SMALL (15 steps).

Sunday, April 05, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 5, 2020): State Your Business

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 5, 2020): State Your Business:
Q: Think of a well-known U.S. city. Its population is over a quarter of a million. Phonetically, the first syllable of the city's name plus the first syllable of the name of its state will sound like a well-known brand name. What is it?
Part of this brand was owned by **** *** at one time.

Edit: The company was Sara Lee
A: PLANO, TEXAS --> PLAYTEX

Sunday, March 29, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 29, 2020): April Foolish Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 29, 2020): April Foolish Puzzle:
Q: Here's an April Foolish puzzle. Think of a world capital. Drop the third and fourth letters, and keeping the remaining letters in order you'll name a state. What state is it?
What an appropriate time to post this puzzle — in more ways than one.
A: BEIJING --> State of BEING

Sunday, March 22, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 22, 2020): Names with Four Pairs of Double Letters

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 22, 2020): Names with Four Pairs of Double Letters:
Q: Many famous people's names contain three pairs of double letters, like Johnny Appleseed and the actress Jennifer Connelly. But there are two famous fiction writers — one male, one female — whose names have four pairs of double letters. The male writer is Tennessee Williams. Who is the popular female writer?
This took Blaine much longer than expected. We had a TENNESSEE WILLIAMS puzzle back in 2014 with lots of discussion on alternate answers, but I'm pretty sure her name didn't come up then.

The initial letters of "This Took Blaine" are also the starting letters of "The Thorn Birds," arguably her most famous work.
A: Colleen McCullough

Sunday, March 15, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 15, 2020): What Kind of Animal Is It?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 15, 2020): What Kind of Animal Is It?:
Q: Think of a well-known entertainer, six letters in the first name, four letters in the last. You can change the first letter of the entertainer's last name to name an animal. And you can change the first letter of the entertainer's first name to get what kind of animal that is.
Did you know this entertainer is one of 14?

Edit: She is the youngest of fourteen children.
A: CELINE DION, LION, FELINE

Sunday, March 08, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 8, 2020): Upcoming Pi Day

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 8, 2020): Upcoming Pi Day:
Q: This week's challenge is something different. It involves Pi Day, which is this coming Saturday, March 14 — commonly written as 3/14. That's been designated Pi Day because 3-1-4 are the first three digits of pi. Well, the letters of "Pi Day" also have a curious mathematical significance. What is it?
A math conundrum!

Edit: The number of letters in each word – A(1) math (4) conundrum (9)
A: The position of each letter in the alphabet is a perfect square: A(1), D(4), I(9), P(16), Y(25).

Sunday, March 01, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 1, 2020): Wrong Trousers

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 1, 2020): Wrong Trousers:
Q: Think of a hyphenated word that describes certain pants. The first half of the word and a homophone of the second half are synonyms. What kind of pants are these?
I could sew burlap together and make the opposite of these pants.

Edit: The hidden hint was "... sew bur..." which sounds like SOBER -- an antonym of the words.
A: HIGH-WAISTED --> HIGH, WASTED

Sunday, February 23, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 23, 2020): Word Operation

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 23, 2020): Word Operation:
Q: Name a well-known game in 8 letters. Drop the 5th letter, move the 1st letter into the vacated spot, and you'll name, in order, a part of the human body. What game is it?
So to verify, 8 for the first part and 7 for the second.

Edit: You spend a lot of time counting cards that add to 15.
A: CRIBBAGE --> RIB CAGE

Sunday, February 16, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 16, 2020): Be Quiet!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 16, 2020): Be Quiet!:
Q: What familiar 10-letter word contains a silent B, E, and O — not necessarily in that order. And those three letters don't have to be consecutive in the word.
I hope I don't get called this week.
A: SUbPoENAeD

Sunday, February 09, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 9, 2020): World Traveler

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 9, 2020): World Traveler:
Q: My friend Penelope, who is from La Jolla, went on a world vacation. She stopped in Santa Rosa, Toronto and Casablanca. What European capital did she also visit?
This puzzle shouldn't require much more than a list or an atlas.

Edit: The word "REquiRE" also starts and ends with the same two letters.
A: AMsterdAM follows the same pattern as PEneloPE, LA jolLA, SAnta roSA, TOronTO and CAsablanCA.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 2, 2020): Forwards and Backwards

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 2, 2020): Forwards and Backwards:
Q: The actress Michael Learned, who played the mother on The Waltons, has an unusual property in her name. The last three letters of her first name are the same as the first three letters of her last name reversed. The name of what current celebrity has the same property? Here's a hint: The first and last names each have 6 letters.
I guess I'll just be content knowing I finally have the answer, even if I had to ask family members for help.

Edit: In particular, a younger member of the family. Also her initials are hidden in the word "be".
A: BILLIE EILISH

Sunday, January 26, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 26, 2020): What's My Job

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 26, 2020): What's My Job:
Q: Write down the letter C. Beneath that write ENT. And beneath that write a G. What profession do these letters represent? Here's a hint: It's a two-word phrase — 10 letters in the first word, 5 letters in the second.
I believe the operative word is "write".

Edit: Actually the operative word is "operative" :)
A: Under C, Over a G, ENT --> UNDERCOVER AGENT

P.S. If anyone is interested, an almost identical version of the puzzle was played on-air about 10 years ago.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 19, 2020): Staying Alive

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 19, 2020): Staying Alive:
Q: Name something everyone has, starting with H. Add an E, and rearrange the letters. You'll name two things that every person must do to stay alive.
I'm pretty sure my grandpa doesn't have this.
A: HEARTBEAT + E --> EAT, BREATHE

Sunday, January 12, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 12, 2020): Three Word Phrases

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 12, 2020): Three Word Phrases:
Q: Think of a familiar three-word phrase that has the following property: The first word is a number. Let X be that number. Then the last X letters of the second word form, in order, a common abbreviation for the third word.
I might have heard my wife utter this in the last couple weeks.

Dancing on New Year's Eve?
A: TWO LEFT FEET --> FT., FEET

Sunday, January 05, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 5, 2020): Informal Names of Body Parts

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 5, 2020): Informal Names of Body Parts:
Q: Think of an informal term for part of the human body that consists of two alcoholic beverages, one after the other. What is it?
I got stuck on "beer gut" but I should have used the resources at hand sooner.

Edit: I should have used my head
A: NOG + GIN = NOGGIN