Sunday, July 03, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 3, 2022): Add -s, -es, -ies or -ves?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 3, 2022): Add -s, -es, -ies or -ves?
Q: Name a well-known fictional character in two words. Remove two letters from the first word in the name. The result is the plural form of the second word. What character is this?
My first thought was a fictional detective by a well-known author.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 26, 2022): The Lord is a Shoving Leopard

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 26, 2022): The Lord is a Shoving Leopard
Q: How old was Reverend Spooner when he found happiness?
I started counting cobblestones and got the answer.

Edit: The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) by Simon and Garfunkel mentions cobblestones.
A: FIFTY NINE --> NIFTY, FINE

Sunday, June 19, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 19, 2022): Who Are These People?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 19, 2022): Who Are These People?
Q: Think of two famous people — one from business and one from entertainment — whose last names are anagrams of each other. Now take their first names, drop the last letter of each of them, and put the result together, without rearranging, and you'll get the full first name of a famous fictional character. Who are these people?
You can also rearrange the last names to get a place that you might have seen one of these people, maybe both.

Edit: Their last names also anagram to STAGE
A: (BIL)L GATES + (BO)B SAGET --> (BILBO) BAGGINS

Sunday, June 12, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 12, 2022): Twentieth Century American

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 12, 2022): Twentieth Century American
Q: Take the last name of a famous 20th-century American. The 5th, 6th, 7th, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd letters, in that order, name a European capital. Who is the person, and what capital is it?
Change one letter in the capital and rearrange to get a country. Repeat the process to get an element. Repeat the process one last time to get some gemstones.

Edit: BERLIN --> BRUNEI --> ERBIUM --> RUBIES

I had to change the book cover I originally used because it featured pictures of Lusitania, JFK and the Berlin Wall. Oops!
A: LIN(d)BER(gh) --> BERLIN

Sunday, June 05, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 5, 2022): Do You Smell Something?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 5, 2022): Do You Smell Something?
Q: The name of what country contains a deodorant and an air freshener in consecutive letters?
I'm just going to keep quiet and say I agree.

Edit: The additional letters are SH ("keep quiet"). And in French, "d'accord" means I agree and it is pronounced similar to the capital of Dhaka.
A: BAN + GLADE (+ SH) = BANGLADESH

Sunday, May 29, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 29, 2022): Be Right Back

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 29, 2022): Be Right Back
Q: Take an abbreviation found in text messages. Reverse the first two letters, and the result sounds like something else often found in text messages. What are these things?
I might say something else used in text messages. And again, I question the pronunciation.

Edit: Apart from variations in the first vowel sound (EE, IH, UH?), I've always seen the M sound included as part of the second syllable, instead of the first. Oh well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
A: OMG --> MOG --> EMOJI

Sunday, May 22, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 22, 2022): A Pair of Islands Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 22, 2022): A Pair of Islands Puzzle
Q: Take the name of an island. Move its first letter two spaces later in the alphabet (so A would become C, B would become D, etc.). Reverse the result and you'll have the name of another island. What islands are these?
Regulars to this blog have an advantage. While I submitted this awhile ago and don't remember hearing back, I guess it got added to the queue of puzzles. Well, I can't change yesterday, but we can change tomorrow! I say we "keep calm and carry on".

The day before the puzzle was May 21. On that same date in 1976, I was living on Guam and went through Supertyphoon Pamela that went straight over the island. And in May 23, 1960 a tsunami hit the Hawaiian Islands. The other hint was "keep calm" which was what it was like in the eye of the storm (a really eerie experience if you've never gone through such a storm) and also a callback to another puzzle where I mentioned keep calm and love Maui.
A: GUAM --> MAUI

Sunday, May 15, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 15, 2022): Merci Beaucoup

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 15, 2022): Merci Beaucoup
Q: Name a famous living movie star. Insert an R in the middle of the first name, and drop the last two letters of the last name. You'll get a familiar French phrase. What is it?
Déjà vu, for the third time

Edit: Variations of the puzzle appeared in April 2014 and November 2015. I also mentioned the actor in another puzzle from February 2022.
A: CATE BLANCHETT --> CARTE BLANCHE

Sunday, May 08, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 8, 2022): Name that Sitcom

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 8, 2022): Name that Sitcom
Q: The initial letters in the title of a popular movie from this century spell the name of a popular sitcom from the last century. What titles are these?
I'm not going to lie but I thought there might be a link to Mother's Day... there is, but I'm not happy with it.

Edit: LIE -> LYE -> SOAP and also the memorable quote from the movie, "I have had it with these motherloving snakes on this motherloving plane!" (slightly altered from the original).
A: Snakes on a Plane (2006) --> SOAP (1977-1981)

Sunday, May 01, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 1, 2022): Take 4 Steps Forward

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 1, 2022): Take 4 Steps Forward
Q: This week's challenge is more challenging than last week's. Write down the name of a number. Move each letter four spots later in the alphabet — so A would become E, B would become F, etc. The result will be a number that's 44 more than your first one. What numbers are these?
More challenging? That's debateable. This is basically a Caesar cipher, except shifting by 4 letters.

Edit: In retrospect, perhaps mentioning a Roman statesman whose eponymous cipher usually involves a shift of three letters was a bit too revealing.
A: THREE --> XLVII (47)

Sunday, April 24, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 24, 2022): The Cat's Meow?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 24, 2022): The Cat's Meow?
Q: Name a sound made by a certain animal. Change one letter in it to the next letter in the alphabet and you'll get a color associated with that animal. What's the sound, and what's the color?
Don't get stuck on this puzzle -- I spent more time transcribing the puzzle than I did answering it.

Edit: Don't get stuck in the mud, like a pig.
A: OINK --> PINK

Sunday, April 17, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 17, 2022): Name That Vehicle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 17, 2022): Name That Vehicle
Q: Name a vehicle in two words — 4 letters in the first, 5 letters in the last. Move the second letter of the last word into the second position of the first word. The result phonetically will name a popular figure from legend. Who is it?
Is it the Skipper from Gilligan's Island?

Edit: In 1938's The Adventures of Robin Hood, another character (Little John) was played by Alan Hale, Sr., the father of Alan Hale, Jr. who played the Skipper.
A: FIRE TRUCK --> FRIAR TUCK

Sunday, April 10, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 10, 2022): Silent L Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 10, 2022): Silent L Puzzle
Q: Think of a 5-letter word with an "L" that is pronounced. Add a letter at the start to get a 6-letter word in which the "L" is silent. Then add a new letter in the fifth position to get a 7-letter word in which the "L" is pronounced again. What words are these?
Are we back to the ARSON --> ASH puzzle?

Edit: Johnny Carson was older than Johnny Cash. Also, if you want to get to the prior puzzle on the desktop version of this blog, you click on "Older Post"
A: OLDER --> SOLDER --> SOLDIER

Sunday, April 03, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 3, 2022): Celebrities of the Past

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 3, 2022): Celebrities of the Past
Q: Name two well-known celebrities of the past who had the same six-letter first names and the same initial in their last names. What follows that initial in one of the last names is a criminal activity. And what follows that initial in the other name is the result of that criminal activity. What celebrities are these?
The first celebrity I had in mind wasn't that far off, but as a result it took me quite a while to get there in the end.

Edit: I first thought of George Burns which coincidentally had BURNS and URNS. In the end we all turn to ASH but we can all hope we take as long as George Burns to get there.
A: JOHNNY CARSON, JOHNNY CASH --> ARSON, ASH

Sunday, March 27, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 27, 2022): State with All the Vowels

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 27, 2022): State with All the Vowels
Q: Name a state that contains all five vowels — A, E, I, O, and U — once each.
I went from thinking this would be easy, to impossible and finally...

Edit: ...I was very happy! By the way, this puzzle was very reminiscent of another "state" puzzle for April Fool's week in 2020. Coincidence?
A: A state of EUPHORIA (Other accepted answers included Mozambique, the Republic of Chad, and different states of being — such as anxiousness, exhaustion, pandemonium, and perturbation.)

Sunday, March 20, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 20, 2022): Words and Numbers

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 20, 2022): Words and Numbers
Q: If a BOY is 5,839, and a COW is 6,874, how much is a FISH?
And what is 538,716?

Edit: The picture of the Scrabble tiles was supposed to hint at using some mapping of letters to numbers that you might encounter in a grid format, specifically the periodic table.

Using the single-letter elements, 538,716 equals 53 (Iodine=I), 8 (Oxygen=O), 7 (Nitrogen=N), 16 (Sulfur=S) which spells IONS; negatively or positively charged atoms.
A: Using the single-letter elements in the periodic table, FISH = Fluorine(9), Iodine(53), Sulfur(16), Hydrogen(1) --> FISH = 953,161

Sunday, March 13, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 13, 2022): A Walk in the Park

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 13, 2022): A Walk in the Park
Q: Think of two four-letter words that complete the phrase "___ in the ___." Move the first letter of the second word to the start of the first word. You'll get two synonyms. What are they?
I thought it would be easy to complete the phrase, but after looking through every list I can think of... oh wait, I have it.

Edit: Hints: 'complete' and 'every' are synonyms for 'whole' and 'all'.
A: HOLE in the WALL --> WHOLE, ALL

Sunday, March 06, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 6, 2022): An Awkward Quack

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 6, 2022): An Awkward Quack
Q: Words starting with a "kw-" sound usually start with the letters QU-, as in question, or "KW-," as in Kwanzaa. What common, uncapitalized English word starting with a "kw-" sound contains none of the letters Q, U, K, or W?
I fell down and broke my wrist last week so I'm a little slower typing this morning. You don't have to tell me to be more careful on ladders. As for the puzzle, I have 3 potential answers. Native speakers of a certain language would knock out two of the words leaving only one intended answer with the right sound.

Edit: Telling me to be careful on a ladder would be preaching to the choir. BTW, I learned this week that I do NOT have a fracture in my wrist, just a sprain so that was welcome news.
A: CHOIR with possible alternates of COIF and CROISSSANT. Some might argue that COOPERATE could work if you slur the sounds together.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 27, 2022): The Oscar for Best Animal Goes To...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 27, 2022): The Oscar for Best Animal Goes To...
Q: Name a famous actor — first and last names. Remove the last letter of each name. You'll be left with an animal and an adjective that describes that animal, respectively. Who is the actor?
Figuring "actor" could apply to either gender, I tried to make Cate Blanchett and Elke Sommer work. Suddenly the planets aligned to give me the answer.

Edit: One hint was gender (male) and the other was planet (Mercury). The actor portrayed Freddie Mercury
A: RAMI MALEK --> RAM, MALE

Sunday, February 20, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 20, 2022): Head and Shoulders Above the Rest

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 20, 2022): Head and Shoulders Above the Rest
Q: Name a part of the human body. Insert the name of another part of the human body. You'll get a brand name found at the supermarket. What is it?
Savage commercials for this product.

Edit: Adam Savage (of Mythbusters fame) played Mr. Whipple's stockboy, Jimmy, in a Charmin commercial
A: CH(ARM)IN

Sunday, February 13, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 13, 2022): What to Name the Babies?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 13, 2022): What to Name the Babies?
Q: Think of a common boy's name and a common girl's name that are pronounced the same even though they have only two letters in common. And if you reverse the boy's name, phonetically you'll get another common girl's name. What names are these?
I'm not staying awake worrying if the pronunciation is exactly the same, nor am I going to question whether the reversed name meets the definition of phonetically sounding like a girl's name. I'm just going to see if NPR sends back an email response this week.

Edit: I was hinting at "Sleepless in Seattle," "When Harry Met Sally" and "You've Got Mail" by Nora Ephron.
A: Aaron, Erin --> Nora

Sunday, February 06, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 6, 2022): A Game of Telephone

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 6, 2022): A Game of Telephone
Q: What language in seven letters can be spelled using the letters on three consecutives keys on a telephone? It's a language you would probably recognize, but not one that many people can speak.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Time to try Bing Translator

Edit: My original hint was to James Avery who played a Klingon on a couple episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. After being deemed TMI, I posted about Bing Translator which has Klingon as one of its language options.
A: 4(GHI), 5(JKL), 6(MNO) --> KLINGON

Sunday, January 30, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 30, 2022): Square Off and Exchange Punches

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 30, 2022): Square Off and Exchange Punches
Q: Think of a familiar two-word phrase meaning "to fight." Change the third letter of each word to get two new words that are opposites of each other. What words are these?
I have one answer, but won't have the other until around Wednesday.

Edit: We have a waning crescent heading into the new moon (around Tuesday) followed by a waxing crescent.
A: WAGE WAR --> WANE, WAX

Sunday, January 23, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 23, 2022): Wondering What To Do in your State Capital?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 23, 2022): Wondering What To Do in your State Capital?
Q: Name a state capital. Take the last two letters of the city's name and the first two letters of its state's name. Then rearrange these letters to name an activity closely associated with this city. What is it?
Was I the only one that initially thought Will had misspelled the activity?

Edit: Honolulu was one of the first state capitals I thought of, but thought the activity would be a luau... After trying some other capitals, I circled back to hula.
A: HonoluLU, HAwaii --> HULA

Sunday, January 16, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 16, 2022): 5-Letter Nicknames

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 16, 2022): 5-Letter Nicknames
Q: What three common five-letter nicknames have the same last four letters and alphabetically consecutive initial letters? Or to put it another way, think of three common five-letter nicknames that have alphabetically consecutive initial letters and the same last four letters. Which common nicknames are these?
L'Eggo my Eggo!

Edit: Lego Movie 2 introduced members of Benny's Space Squad
A: JENNY, KENNY, LENNY

Sunday, January 09, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 9, 2022): A=1, B=2, C=3...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 9, 2022): A=1, B=2, C=3...
Q: Let A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc. Think of a five-letter word whose letters' values add up to 51. Now take this word's last two letters. Add their values. (For example A and C would total 4.) Change these two letters to the single letter of the alphabet that represents their total. (In this case, D.) The result will be a new word that is the opposite of the original. What words are these?
I threw together a chart to help us.

Edit: "Threw" is a homophone for "through". Also the diagram is made up of thick and thin lines around the boxes.
A: THICK and THIN

Sunday, January 02, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 2, 2022): Chopped-up Vegetable

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 2, 2022): Chopped-up Vegetable
Q: Take the name of a certain vegetable. Move the 7th, 5th, and 6th letters — in that order — to the front of the word. Phonetically you'll name another vegetable. What vegetables are these?
Now take the 2nd, 3rd and 1st letters of the new vegetable and add them at the end and phonetically you name yet another vegetable.

Edit: Take 'BROCCOLI' and add the letters 'ROB' at the end and phonetically you have BROCCOLI RABE
A: KOHLRABI --> "BRA-KOHL-I" --> BROCCOLI