Friday, December 30, 2005

Namely This (12/31)

My name is Smatt. It is a combination of "Steven" and "Matthew," and I ask people to call me by it much like a guy named William insists on people calling him Bill.

Here's the puzzle:

Can you think of a word which contains the letters of my name "smatt" within it? The letters of my name are unseparated and in the same order (in other words, you don't have to worry about "ttams").

Click here for the answer!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Drop One Coming Back (12/30)

First, read the paragraphs. The instructions come afterward.

"Honey," said the husband, "You're trying to tell me that you made a business trip all the way to ______, Texas, and all you had for meals was ______? That ain't no way to eat in a big city! You needed to get yourself some steak!"

He noticed the ______ in her ______, the shaking in her whole arm and body, and yet he didn't believe. "Really," he thought, "who would?"

"You didn't see what I saw," replied the wife, "On my first day in the city, I saw a wild animal." She leaned close and whispered something to her husband and then resumed in her normal voice, "and it was coming for me. For the rest of the trip, I had lost my appetite."

The husband laughed. "Ain't no ______ driving ______ ______ trying to kill my wife. That don't make no sense! Besides, the little burglars ain't got the legs for it. Well, anyway, I'm glad you're home safe." He put his arm around her.

"You sure are something," said the wife in a menacing tone. "Daddy had an expression when choosing coffins and dealing with people: if the ______ ______, bury it. Well, you better start believing in driving animals, otherwise we're through."

"What the heck are you talking about? And what does your crazy coroner father have anything to do with this? Ain't no big deal if I think you're crazy. I still love you."

Fill in the blanks with the following instructions and descriptions:

Four different paragraphs have blanks in them. For our purposes, these paragraphs are labelled 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Each number has a pair of answers (though #3 is composed of three words, one and two blanks). The first blank will always have a minimum of one adjacent double letter (like the E in DEER). The second blank(s) will always be the first word read backward while dropping the double letter (#3 ends up making two words in the second answer, though).

For example, examine the following sentence:

He shot the ______, making its hide turn from brown to ______.

The answer would be DEER and RED.

Can you do the same with above story?

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Two Legitimate Patterns (12/29)

Examine the following pattern (the two lines are meant to be read as one pattern):

1 5 10 20
1 5 10 ??

One legitimate answer for the question marks is 20. There is another legitimate answer with a solid logical reasoning behind it.

What is the second answer?

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Two Very Different Words (12/28)

I'm thinking of a word which means "to lie or cheat." Drop the last three letters, and you'll get a type of grass.

What are the two words?

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Monday, December 26, 2005

Weak Link (12/27)

Which of the following words does not belong?


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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Two Shows (12/26)

I'm thinking of a familiar show on TV. Change two adjacent letters to an R, rearrange the letters, and you'll have another familiar TV show.

What are the two shows?

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Saturday, December 24, 2005

'Tis the Season (12/25)

Normally on Sundays, I put up a pencil puzzle. I'm breaking the pattern for a Christmas brainteaser. Hope you don't mind.

I'm thinking of a body part. Change two of the letters, rearrange them, and you'll get the word CHRISTMAS.

What's the body part?

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Bonefide Example (12/24)

I'm thinking of a type of common animal. Add two pairs of double letters (AA and BB for example), rearrange the letters, and you'll have an example of that animal.

What are the type and example?

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Friday, December 23, 2005

From the Right (12/23)

We're all used to lining words up from the left. If you line them up from the right, different patterns emerge.

For example, if you knew the word CHEETAH shared two letters in the same location only oriented from the right, you might guess ANTEATER. The T and the first E in both words fall in the exact same location only if the words are lined up from the right. Notice that "anteater" is longer than "cheetah." Length is irrevelant; finding letters in the same spot is all that matters.

Now take the name DRACULA. There is an animal also feared for its teeth which shares five letters in the same location when the words are lined from the right.

What is it?

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It's Show Time (12/22)

I'm thinking of a TV show. If you speak the syllables in reverse order, you'll phonetically get a problem which requires a city street contruction employee.

What are the problem and show?

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

There Ain't No Good (12/21)

Ever heard the song with the line "There ain't no good in our goodbyes..."? I want to set up a puzzle with a similar pattern.

For example, if I gave the clue "There ain't no POSITIVE in our FAREWELL," you would replace "positive" and "farewell" with words which match the above pattern, in this case "good" and "goodbye." In other words, the first word will be the first part of the second word.

Here's the clue:

There ain't no VEGETABLE in our WINE...

Can you crack it?

Click here for the answer!

Monday, December 19, 2005

SAT Vocab (12/20)

From the letters A, D, E, L, P, and W, you can form several three letter words without doubling letters:


Two of these words together means "the loose skin under the throats of cattle." No letter repeats.

What's the word?

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

European City (12/19)

I'm thinking of a European city in two syllables. Say the syllables in reverse order, and you'll get a sentence fragment describing what happened to the people on the continent. You'll be able to finish the following sentence:

THEY _____ _____.

What are the city and sentence?

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Alphabet Soup I (12/18)

Hungry? In this puzzle, you'll need every single letter of the alphabet, and perhaps a little broth.

The following clues when answered correctly will use all 26 letters. You may use any amount of outside letters and rearrange the current letters any which way you want. However, there's a catch: you may only cross off letters that are adjacent.

For example, if you saw the following string of letters "O N J R T P I E C" and had the clue DRINK, you might guess ORANGE JUICE. Because you may only cross off adjacent letters, you would have to choose between the string O, N, J, and R or the string I, E, and C, but not both. By solving one clue, you also reveal the necessary letters for the other clues.

One last thing: the string of letters wraps around onto itself so that the last connects to the first.

Got it? Good luck!


1) reclusive writer
2) section at the grocery store
3) type of museum
4) Flash's nemesis
5) symptom
6) astrological tool
7) mood
8) type of doctor

Click here for the answers!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Forward and Backward (12/17)

I'm thinking of a famous city in Europe which is six letters long. Four three-letter words can be formed by dividing the city's name in two and reading both sets forward and backward.

What's the city?

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Belonging and Not (12/16)

Of the following words, which does not belong?

pure, rain, great, also, plane, mail

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Movie Meaning (12/15)

I'm thinking of a one-word movie title. Drop the first letter, and you'll have a word which is the opposite of one attribute of the movie title.

What are the movie and word?

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Same Three Letters (12/14)

I'm thinking of a common nine-letter word, partly shown below. The first three letters are also the last three in reverse order.

_ _ _ LPR _ _ _

What's the word?

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Who's Your Hero? (12/13)

Several common words are just a few letters shy of being a different word. With the word THE, you can make a new word by inserting an RE between the H and E, thus making the word THREE.

Now take the word HERO. By adding two identical pairs of letters in the same order in two different places in and around the word HERO, you can create a new, though common, word.

What's the word?

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Leftovers (12/12)

I'm thinking of a two-word movie, which is a modern classic. After dropping each of its double, non-consecutive letters (for example, in THE BIG LEBOWSKI, the E's, B's, and I's are double, non-consecutive letters), you're left with a T and a W.

What's the movie?

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Heart of the Matter (12/11)

In Asian philosophies, there is something called "chi" (pronounced CHEE). "Chi" is a life force that can be manipulated and which affects us on a daily basis, from balance to healthy living.

In the following puzzle, you'll be tracking down the "chi" of words in whatever form it comes. Spelling does not matter; only the pronunciation must sound like CHEE. Every clue below will lead you to an answer with "chi" or its various spellings in it.

For example, ORANGE JUNK FOOD would produce CHEETOES.

Ready? Good luck!

1) Purse brand
2) Asian martial art
3) Cheetoes's mascot
4) South American country pronounced correctly
5) Italian painter and ninja turtle
6) Rerun TV show's sour dad
7) Latin saying
8) Mike Meyer's "Simon" insult
9) Indian game
10) Bart cartoon
11) Indian tribe
12) Pasta with cream sauce
13) Little dog
14) Steve Martin flick with kids
15) Short story writer

Click here for the answers!

Friday, December 09, 2005

What's in a Name (12/10)

I noticed a type of car which has a disconnected double letter (like the disconnected T's in TASTE). Between the double letters was a word which is something you'd find in a playground.

What's the car and what's the something?

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Instrumental Lettering (12/9)

I'm thinking of an instrument. Place the last two letters at the front of the word in reverse order, and you'll have a palindrome (that is, the letters will read the same thing forward and backward). The new group won't be a real word, though.

What's the instrument?

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Palindrome Chunks (12/8)

First, read the paragraphs. The instructions come afterward.

Paul was an unusual boy. From an early age, he didn't play much with the other children, preferring activities which required only one. He insisted on wearing _______ well into boyhood and was just fine rejecting the usual undergarment upgrades. As far as hobbies, he loved _______ and even knew the different needles and patterns. He was comfortable sitting still for hours at a time, whiling the hours away without so much as a nod.

When Paul got to high school, he was completely _______. His laugh was deep and peculiar for someone so skinny. He didn't know what to say or do, didn't even know how to walk without drawing attention to himself. We got him a beat-up _______ to drive to school in, and perhaps that was his first real step into manhood.

But he never lost his high school nickname, _______. Perhaps he had received it from an upperclassman, or perhaps it was because he hadn't hit his last growth spurt until he was seventeen. Whatever the reason, the nickname stuck all the way until he landed a Saturday morning TV show for kid's. It just goes to show you never know.

Fill in the blanks with the following rules:

1) Every word will contain a palindrome chunk. A palindrome chunk is a set of letters found within a word which by themselves are a palindrome. For example, the word DIVIDE has the palindrome chunk DIVID which when read forward and backward is the same.

2) Every word will contain a palindrome chunk of five or six letters in length. The words will never be precise palindromes and thus will always have an extra letter or more on top of the palindrome chunk. This means that words will never be shorter than six letters.

3) Each palindrome chunk uses a different vowel (A, E, I, O, and U). There is no limit to the number of times a vowel is used in a particular word, only that there are no competing vowels. If the above example DIVIDE were in the paragraph, the 'I' would be used (not the 'E' which is not part of the palindrome chunk) and would indicate to the solver that the A, E, O, and U remained to be used in the answers.

Can you figure out the boy's life story?

Click here for the answers!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Service (12/7)

I'm thinking of a common, service-oriented business in two words. Switch the first letter in each word, and you'll get what Bush needs to stay in Iraq (well, one of the many things), also in two words.

What's the business and what does Bush need?

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Monday, December 05, 2005

In the Genes (12/6)

Is it really all in the genes? Well, perhaps. With this one, I'm thinking of a business in which the letters D, N, and A can be found in the business name in that order. The title of this puzzle is a little hint, too.

What's the business?

Click here for the answer!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Book in Numbers (12/5)

I'm thinking of a famous book in two words. I have changed the letters to numbers so that letters which appear alphabetically before other letters are also numerically before other letters and vice-versa.

For example, the word STARTERS could be coded 45135234. The A=1, the E=2, the R=3, the S=4, and the T=5. The number one could not be W, X, Y, or Z because there are four numbers which come after it. Even though the letters R, S, and T are adjacent and have corresponding numbers which are consecutive (3, 4, and 5), this is not a rule, as the A and E demonstrate. The numbers are only an indication of a letters placement in the alphabet in regards to the other letters.

The famous book in numbers is coded as below:

36527642 1682.

What is it?

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Saturday, December 03, 2005

To Save a Spot (12/4)

There are many words which require the use of the letters R, S, V, and P. Every clue below will lead you to a word which contains each of the letters R, S, V, and P at least once.

How many can you get?

1) snakes
2) communicative demeanor
3) best-selling Canadian game
4) what the army has most of
5) the boss
6) to struggle through
7) every president has one
8) term and office of a state's leader
9) gases
10) celestial explosion

Click here for the answers!

Friday, December 02, 2005

For Starters (12/3)

I'm thinking of a well-known person with three names. The first three letters in each of this person's name follow a peculiar pattern: exactly one letter differs between the first and second set of three letters and between the second and third set of three letters.

For example, in the name JOSEPH MOSES MISHRAM, the sets of letters JOS, MOS, and MIS follow the pattern.

Hint: The person is an author.

Who is this person?

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Junk Food Baby (12/2)

I'm thinking of a junk food brand that phonetically sounds like something the average baby is born with, in two words (adjective + noun).

What's the food and what's that something?

Click here for the answers!