Puzzle 550 & 551, week of Nov 20 & Nov 27, 2023
We’ve got a two week puzzle for Thanksgiving. I was thinking of cranberries which led me to the band. Start with the titles of two songs by the Cranberries. Rearrange the letters to get two food words. One is a word used for groups of food and one is a particular food.
Puzzle 549, week of Nov 13, 2023
Start with a two syllable word that invites you in. Change the emphasis from the first syllable to the second syllable and you get a word that might not let you go.
Puzzle 548, week of Nov 6, 2023
Take the last names of two TV fathers. One from the 1970s and one from the 90s and 2000s; and when you put them together you have a famous American battle.
Puzzle 546 & 547, week of Oct 23 & Oct 30, 2023
Start with a five letter word. The last three letters express when you don’t like how something tastes. Replace them with three letters used when you DO like how something tastes and you’ll get a new related five letter word.
Puzzle 545, week of Oct 16, 2016
Take a three letter abbreviation used this time of year. Shift each of the letters back two in the alphabet and it will be spring.
Puzzle 543 & 544, week of Oct 2 & Oct 9, 2023
What do these names have in common: Darcy, Lowell, Denlin, (and Durrell with a little stretch)? And as a hint, think phonetically. Hint for the second week: If you transform each of these in the same way, you’ll end up with something that many people pay attention to this time of year.
Puzzle 542, week of Sep 25, 2023
What US city (population over 200,000) becomes a world capital phonetically when it you reverse it?
Puzzle 541, week of Sep 18, 2023
I’m looking for a two word phrase you might use when you don’t want help. Move an “S” from the end of the first word to the end of the second word when you DO want help.
Puzzle 540, week of Sep 11, 2023
This week we have a classic geometry puzzle. Given a drawing of a circle, a rectangular piece of paper, and a pencil can you find the center of the circle.
Puzzle 539, week of Sep 4, 2023
Start with something your skin could have gotten from a summer job. Phonetically insert a letter of the alphabet and you have something you might get during the school year.
Puzzle 537 & 538, week of Aug 21 & 28, 2023
My daughter is starting college this week so I’ve got a two week college themed puzzle. Send me a college name that can be rhymed to form three different low places.
Puzzle 536, week of Aug 14, 2023
I’m looking for a seven letter food. The first four letters are two musical note syllables (do re mi etc) and the last three letters include the same consonants from those syllables.
Puzzle 535, week of Aug 7, 2023
Start with a country in all lower case. Reverse the letters in the word (spell it backwards) and then flip the last letter and you will have an animal.
Puzzle 534, week of July 31, 2023
I am remembering Sinéad O’Connor this week. She collaborated with many artists. Take one of her songs written by another artist and when you reverse the words in the title, it will contain the name of another band that she recorded with.
Puzzle 533, week of July 24, 2023
What do these words have in common: Porter, Jenny, Lime, Pickle
Puzzle 532, week of July 17, 2023
Send me a word that means oppressive heat. Change one letter and you get what you might have to do when there is oppressive heat.
Puzzle 531, week of July 10, 2023
Send me a three letter word that forms a compound word when placed before one appendage or after another.
Puzzle 530, week of July 3, 2023
Start with a summer vegetable in three syllables. Change the first syllable and phonetically you have a summer clothing. As a bonus, phonetically one of first syllables is an animal and the other is a place to find animals.
Puzzle 529, week of June 26, 2023
A country in two syllables (both of which are words in their own right). The first syllable is something you would not see on the second syllable.
Puzzle 528, week of June 19, 2023
Take a common weed. Change the first letter and phonetically you now have two animals you might find in a zoo.
Puzzle 527, week of June 12, 2023
Send me a thing that some people are getting this time of year. Insert the letter M and reverse the word to get a past tense verb that might be used in describing these people.
Puzzle 526, week of June 5, 2023
I’m looking for the leader of a country. Insert an A and you get a food from that country. Add an I to your food and you get a food from a neighboring country.
Puzzle 524 & 525, week of May 22 & 29, 2023
Take two negative ways someone can communicate. Reverse one and insert the other inside it and you get a person who might employ these if they are not very good at their job.
Puzzle 523, week of May 15, 2023
I’m looking for a three syllable animal. The first syllable is a place where people meet. The last two syllables are the second half of another place where people meet.
Puzzle 522, week of May 8, 2023
My mother was a computer scientist before she retired so for mother’s day I have a nod to computer science. Which US Vice President is contained phonetically within a common computer science word?
Puzzle 521, week of May 1, 2023
To celebrate May the 4th: Take the name of a well-known Star Wars character. Remove all letters that are not unique and what is left in order is a common four letter word.
Puzzle 519 & 520, week of April 17 & 24, 2023
Start with two birds. Change an O to an E and rearrange to get a building and something you might find in that building. Additional hint: the building can be found on a farm.
Puzzle 518, week of April 10, 2023
What’s the longest chain you can make going from one US state to another where the last two letters of one state overlap with the first two letters of the next state in the chain. For example here is a two state chain: Wisconsin – Indiana
Puzzle 516 & 517, week of Mar 27 & Apr 3, 2023
Take two things you need in order to garden. Rhyme one of them to a new word and now phonetically you have two closely related words that have nothing to do with gardening. As a bonus hint the new words are people.
Puzzle 515, week of Mar 20, 2023
What do these words have in common: morosely, satirist, disaster?
Puzzle 514, week of Mar 13, 2023
This week we have Pi Day, and next week is Spring. Go from “pi” to “spring”. Each step add a letter or change a letter so that you still have an English word.
Puzzle 513, week of Mar 6, 2023
I’m looking for two American cities each with population over 500,000 and a two word name. And each can be anagrammed to a single English word (not the same word).
Puzzle 512, week of Feb 27, 2023
Start with two three letter words – an animal and a place to keep an animal. Add the same 5 letter verb to the end of both and you now have two (8 letter) words that don’t rhyme – another animal and a girl’s name.
Puzzle 511, week of Feb 20, 2023
Take a common proverb in 6 words. Change the first letter of two of the words to a B and you have a commentary on tying knots.
Puzzle 509 & 510, week of Feb 6 & Feb 13, 2023
Send me two four letter words for “nothing”. Take the first two letters of one and the last two letters of the other and rearrange to get another timely word that can also mean nothing in certain circumstances.
Puzzle 508, week of Jan 30, 2023
Two six letter words you might hear on groundhog day. If you swap the first three letters of one with the first three of the other keeping the sounds, phonetically you get a verb and a noun that can be used together.
Puzzle 507, week of Jan 23, 2023
How can you take a street and a road and get a word that is both average and also the model?
Puzzle 506, week of Jan 16, 2023
I’m looking for 3 three-letter animals, change one letter and rearrange the letters to get 3 three-letter trees
Puzzle 505, week of Jan 9, 2023
Start with a four syllable word that is a tool to calm down. Insert the letter T and you will have a new four syllable word that is also a tool to calm down.
Puzzle 504, week of Jan 2, 2023
What do the words: bow does row bass lead sow wind and tear have in common?
Puzzle 503, week of Dec 26, 2022
What do the numbers 7, 17, 119, and 289 have in common?
Puzzle 502, week of Dec 19, 2022
Take a sound from Christmas songs in 2 words, rhyme them to the same leading letter and get two words for cheer.
Puzzle 501, week of Dec 12, 2022
Start with two Hanukkah words. Rearrange the letters and you get two things you might wear biking in the winter
Puzzle 500, week of Dec 5, 2022
To celebrate the 500th Point Puzzle, I’ve got a classic puzzle from cryptology – you want to send 500 chocolate bars to your cousin across the river. You have a chest with a chain and a lock and key. Your cousin also has a lock with a different key. You can send the chocolate by ferry, So the question is how do you get the chocolate to your cousin without the passengers on the ferry eating it or stealing your lock
Puzzle 499, week of Nov 28, 2022
Take a government official. Anagram it and you get something they might be concerned about.
Puzzle 498, week of Nov 21, 2022
Start with a bird and a reptile that share their second syllable. Combine them to form a seasonal word that’s been in the news. It also shares the second syllable and uses letters from both animals to make the first syllable.
Puzzle 497, week of Nov 14, 2022
Start with a three syllable adjective. Insert an “LI” and you get a 4 syllable adjective that describes someone who doesn’t see things described by your initial word.
Puzzle 496, week of Nov 7, 2022
I have a riddle from listener Moe Jaden: What US State gets better if you remove the last three letters. You can remove the last three again and it improves once more.
Puzzle 495, week of Oct 31, 2022
Start with an adjective you may also hear this time of year, in four syllables. Drop letters 4-8 and what remains (in order) is a tool associated with your word.
Puzzle 494, week of Oct 24, 2022
“Beg borrow steal” -> drop five letters and add a “C” and an “H”, rearrange to get two things you might see this time of year
Puzzle 493, week of Oct 17, 2022
I’m looking for a type of activity in five letters. If you change two letters you get another type of activity in the same category. And in fact you can change two letters from your original word in three different ways making three different new activities.
Puzzle 492, week of Oct 10, 2022
Start with an 8 letter adverb. Rearrange the letters and you get a three word phrase that means the opposite of your original word.
Puzzle 490 & 491, week of Sep 26 & Oct 3, 2022
Take a compound word for a type of weather and spoonerize the two syllables. (ex funny bone -> bunnyf phone) If you include the middle sound in both words you get an action that might help you get out of this weather.
Puzzle 489, week of Sep 19, 2022
Send me the first book (two words) by a modern American novelist. Rhyme the two title words to a “W”, add “ER” to the end of one, and phonetically you get two rock bands. Interestingly both bands started playing within five years of when the book was published.
Puzzle 487 & 488, week of Sep 5 and Sep 12, 2022
And now that our brains are warmed up, here is a harder puzzle. This week’s is a classic logic problem. There are twenty coins. 4 are heads up and 16 are tails up. If you are blindfolded, can you divide the coins into two piles so that both piles have an equal number of tails up? HINT: the two piles do not need to have the same number of coins.
Puzzle 486, week of Aug 29, 2022
School is starting up again in many places. It’s time to warm up our brains. A student is putting sections in her notebook. Biology is before English but after Spanish. Math is before Spanish but after History. What order are the subjects?
Puzzle 485, week of Aug 22, 2022
A nine letter word with only one vowel (the other 8 letters are consonants)
Puzzle 484, week of Aug 15, 2022
I’m looking for something found in the sky. It has alternating consonants and vowels. Move each consonant forward one in the alphabet and also alternate with vowels and you to get something invented in the 1860s
Puzzle 482 & 483, week of Aug 1 and Aug8, 2022
Start with a household appliance that many people are using this time of year. Drop an “E” and rearrange to get a dessert and part of a dessert.
Puzzle 481, week of July 25, 2022
Send me a word that means “to be”. Remove one letter and you get a word that could mean “not to be”.
Puzzle 480, week of July 18, 2022
Say three letters of the alphabet aloud and phonetically you get a common (English language) woman’s name. Speak the last two letters in reverse and you get another common woman’s name (English language).
Puzzle 479, week of July 11, 2022
Send me an adjective for a beach vacation. Move the leading letter to the end and phonetically you have a mountain range.
Puzzle 477 & 478, week of June 27 & July 4, 2022
We’ve got a classic math puzzle and two weeks to play with it. You have 3,000 bananas, and a monkey. You and your monkey need to deliver the bananas to a town 1,000 miles away, but your truck will only carry at most 1,000 bananas at a time. Every mile that you travel, your monkey eats one banana (if there are any in the truck). What is the most bananas that you can deliver? You can cache them along the road, but you can’t leave your monkey behind.
Solution: If you move all your bananas exactly far enough to eliminate one trip for the next leg, you optimize the number you can deliver. So you travel 334 miles and drop 666 bananas three times – leaving 1998 bananas cached at the 334 mile mark. The next leg you only need two trips so you can travel 499 miles and drop 500 bananas each time. You are now at 833 miles from the beginning and have 1000 bananas to deliver the remainder of the distance. You carry them in one trip to the end and have 833 bananas when you arrive.
Puzzle 476, week of June 20, 2022
Start with a US location in the news this week. Replace an N and a Y with an L and an H and rearrange the letters to get a fish, a bird, and a mammal.
Puzzle 475, week of June 13, 2022
What do the following geographic locations have in common? La Paz, Baghdad, the Limpopo river, and the Pacific Ocean.
Puzzle 474, week of June 6, 2022
Take a country. Remove the first third and fifth letters and you are left with a part of the body.
Puzzle 473, week of May 30, 2022
Start with a common two word phrase which comes from the French. Rhyme each word with a P and you have a word from Chess and a word from Bridge. Rhyme each word with a hard G and you have where you might have been for Memorial Day and what you might have needed to get there.
Puzzle 472, week of May 23, 2022
Take a famous artist. Cover up one and a half letters and you are left with an artistic covering.
Puzzle 471, week of May 16, 2022
Start with a snake. Rearrange the letters to get what some people might feel about it.
Puzzle 470, week of May 9, 2022
Start with a flower. Add an M at the end and then read it backwards and phonetically you will have a Muppets song.
Puzzle 469, week of May 2, 2022
I’m looking for a 3 digit number. If you add an 8 at the end making a four digit number, then you have a number that is twice as big as if you had added a 2 at the beginning instead.
Puzzle 468, week of , 2022
Take the two title characters from a fairy tale. Replace a G with T and O and rearrange to get something you’d be glad of in a rainstorm, and a specific type of that thing.
Puzzle 467, week of , 2022
I’m looking for a common 9 letter word that contains all five vowels in alphabetic order.
Puzzle 466, week of Apr, 2022
Inspired by last week’s puzzle, this puzzle comes from listener Deral McKeel. Take another tree in three syllables. Reverse the first syllable and replace a “t” sound with an “n” sound and phonetically the three syllables now form a common three word phrase.
Puzzle 465, week of Apr, 2022
Name a tree in three syllables. Reverse the first syllable and phonetically you have an action associated with the last two syllables.
Puzzle 464, week of Mar 28, 2022
What one word country name contains the letters A, B, C, and D?
Puzzle 462 & 463, week of Mar 14 & Mar 21, 2022
Send me a chain where each link is a common two word phrase or a compound word that shares its first half with the previous link and its second half with the next link. I’m looking for a chain that starts and ends with Spring. For instance Spring chicken could go to Chicken Coop – spring cleaning to cleaning house to house cat
Puzzle 461, week of Mar 7, 2022
March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. So I’m looking for two types of cats (one domestic and one wild). Change an I to an A and rearrange to get two other animals (one is plural).
Puzzle 460, week of Feb 28, 2022
This week we have a variation of a classic math riddle. If one third of the ants from the ant hill can carry off one third of a cookie in one third of an hour, how much can all the ants carry in one hour?
Puzzle 459, week of Feb 21, 2022
We’ve got cold wintery weather here in Bend this week so I’m spending the week playing wordle and have brought you a winter wordle inspired puzzle. I am thinking of a five letter winter word. I am only giving you information about the letters that you guess correctly in the correct location. Your first guess you get the first letter correct. Your second guess you get the first two letters correct. Your third guess gets the first three letters correct and on your fourth guess you get the word. What set of winter words meets this scenario?>
Puzzle 457/458, week of Feb 7 & Feb 14, 2022
I’m looking for a pair of famous lovers. Between them their names have five of one letter and six of the consecutive letter of the alphabet. Additional hint. Each name has four of one of the letters.
Puzzle 455/456, week of Jan 24 & Jan 31, 2022
Start with a movie title from the 2010s. Take one letter, move it to the end and then read the result backwards. You will now have one of Shakespeare’s plays. Additional hint: The movie was not that well known but the title is also the start of a very well known movie from the 1990s.
Puzzle 454, week of Jan 17, 2022
I’m looking for four letters that can be rearranged to form more than five different four letter words
Puzzle 453, week of Jan 10, 2022
I’m looking for two ocean hazards, 7 letters and 9 letters. Remove the four letters that they have in common from each word and rearrange the remaining letters to get “Iron Mule” (a silent film from 1925). Bonus if you’ve seen the film, tell me if it’s any good!
Puzzle 451/452, week of Dec 27, 2021 & Jan 3, 2022
I’m looking for a two syllable word for something that women needed in the 18th century but no longer require. Rearrange the letters and you get something else that women needed in the 18th century and no longer require.
Additional hint: the items are not specific to the 18th century. One is something that was worn and the other is not clothing but it would be required by an unmarried woman going out.
Puzzle 450, week of Dec 20, 2021
Start with a word for Christmas in two syllables. Split the word into its two syllables and rhyme each syllable using the same starting sound to get two new words that are opposite the Christmas spirit
Puzzle 449, week of Dec 13, 2021
Start with the two well-known winter characters. Take the first name of one and the last name of the other and spoonerize them to get slang words that are synonyms
Puzzle 448, week of Dec 6, 2021
I’m looking for a classic novel in four words. Drop the article and preposition. The remaining two words you can swap the syllables in one and replace an R with an L in the other and they are synonyms..
Puzzle 447, week of Nov 29, 2021
This week’s puzzle comes from listener Penny Yost. Name a word that starts and ends with the letter K and has a double K in the middle.
Puzzle 446, week of Nov 22, 2021
Planning for Thanksgiving. Find two countries that contain all the letters of “green bean” between them with a few left overs.
Puzzle 445, week of Nov 15, 2021
Well it turns out that there are quite a few things that can get you through the winter months that anagram to Darkness and Light (with two vowels in place of the S’s). Thanks to listeners Deral, Wendy, and Barry who all sent in my favorite of Read Knit and Laugh. Interestingly my answer contained one of the same words but not the other two. So this week, find another solution that includes Read, Knit, or Laugh. Substitute a synonym for that word and you will have a common phrase.
Puzzle 444, week of Nov 8, 2021
With the end of Day Light Savings time we are all feeling the darkness in the evenings. So this week, start with “darkness” and “light”. Replace the two ‘S’s with two vowels and rearrange to get three things you might do to get you through the winter months.
Puzzle 443, week of Nov 1, 2021
This is based on a tweet by Grant Sanderson. I’m looking for four numbers where A + B = X + Y and additionally if you write out the numbers A and B they will anagram to X and Y. For example twenty plus thirty one = thirty plus twenty one. One additional restriction is that all four numbers are in the range zero to fourteen.
Puzzle 442, week of Oct 25, 2021
Start with a seasonal decoration. Rearrange the letters and you get two words used to describe young people causing trouble.
Puzzle 441, week of Oct 18, 2021
Take someone people would like to meet followed by someone people would like to avoid. Phonetically you have a world capital.
Puzzle 440, week of Oct 11, 2021
Start with a three word idiom for something no one wants you to do. Insert the word “to” and change two “E”s to an “A” and you have something that people might request of you.
Puzzle 438 & 439, week of Sep 27 & Oct 4, 2021
Take the best friend in a book turned movie hit from the 1930s, Insert the best friend from a book turned movie hit in the early 2000s and you get a North American city. There were no correct answers last week so I’ve extended the puzzle one more week with this additional hint: One of the best friends is not human.
Puzzle 437, week of Sep 20, 2021
A well-known actress, 6-4. You can form a common two word phrase (6-5) where both words use five letters of her first name in order although not the same five.
Puzzle 436, week of Sep 13, 2021
What do these phrases have in common? An ogre dreams. An ogre endures. I abhor anger. Those who yell owe more to society. Drain, dig, or compost.
Puzzle 435, week of Sep 6, 2021
Take a compound word that is a school supply. Separate it into its two constituent parts and you get two things not allowed in school.
Puzzle 432,433,434, week of Aug 16,23, and 30, 2021
We’ve got a three week classic logic challenge. There are 50 people stranded on an island. 25 have brown eyes but none know their own eye color. One day a ferry arrives and the captain says “If any of you know your own eye color, tell me and I will take you off the island. Oh and I see someone with brown eyes.” The ferry returns every day after that and gives people the same chance to declare their eye color. If none of the islanders can communicate with each other, but they can all see each other’s eyes and all are extremely logical, do any of them get off the island? And if so which day and who?
Puzzle 431, week of Aug 9, 2021
Two puzzle listeners are celebrating their Pearl anniversary this week. So this week I’ve got an anniversary theme puzzle.
The traditional anniversary gift for one year is contained inside the traditional gift for another year, and on top of that the second year is also a multiple of the first.
What are the gifts?
Puzzle 430, week of Aug 2, 2021
Start with two summer fruits. Rearrange the letters to get a word from fencing and a word from many speed competitions
Puzzle 429, week of July 26, 2021
Take two activities you might do, both of which are in the Olympics, replace an A with an S, and rearrange to get two one-syllable rock bands (one is a common nickname for the band)
Puzzle 427/428, week of July 12/19, 2021
Write down something you might want when you are planting. Turn your page 180 degrees so the word is upside down and you have something you don’t want in your vegetable crop.
Puzzle 426, week of July 5, 2021
Start with a sound in two syllables that you might have heard on the fourth. Replace the last two letters with a B and you’ll get a food some people were eating on the fourth.
Puzzle 424/425, week of June 21 & 28, 2021
We’ve got a two week puzzle. Send in a common phrase of the form “something and something” where both of the “something” words are typed entirely with the left hand. The phrase I am thinking of has 4 letters in the first word and 6 letters in the last – but if you come up with another phrase, send me that.
Puzzle 423, week of June 14, 2021
Here is a spin-off of last week’s puzzle. Create your own chain of synonyms where each link is a homonym of the link before. In other words the word changes meaning before you add the next synonym. For example based on last week’s puzzle you could have Weightless – Light – Bright – Smart – Hurt.
Puzzle 422, week of June 7, 2021
I am going to give you every other word of a sequence. What are words that go between these and what is the logic? Heavy, dark, dumb, soothe.
Puzzle 421, week of May 31, 2021
Start with the last name of a famous athlete in three syllables. Change one letter to the next letter in the alphabet and rearrange to get another type of sports figure.
Puzzle 420, week of May 24, 2021
It’s a big gardening week in Central Oregon. Start with a type of squash start you might be moving into the ground. Change one letter and rearrange to get something that is at peak harvest.
Puzzle 419, week of May 17, 2021
Start with dart duel and chess and rearrange the letters to get another way to compete.
Puzzle 418, week of May 10, 2021
This week is a trigonometry word challenge. Start with “secant” and “pi”, add two letters, and rearrange to get a well-known 20th century singer.
Puzzle 417, week of May 3, 2021
I’m looking for another common 7 letter word made up of two animals, although not necessarily mammals this time. One restriction is that the resultant word is not an animal.
Puzzle 416, week of Apr 26, 2021
There is a mammal that ends three different seven letter words. Each of these words has another mammal in the first part of the word as well. One word is common, and the other two are not common.
Puzzle 415, week of Apr 19, 2021
Roll two dice to get two numbers A and B from 1 to 6
Alice is told the product of A times B
Bella is told the sum of A plus B
Alice: I don’t know what the numbers are
Bella: I don’t know either
Alice: Now I know.
Bella: Me too.
What is one of the numbers?
Puzzle 414, week of Apr 12, 2021
Start with two sweet foods starting with the letter C. In both cases replace the C with the same letter and you get two alcohols.
Puzzle 413, week of Apr 5, 2021
What do the following words have in common? “Disrobing, overcrowded, knowledge, ravenous, alibis, deejay”
Puzzle 412, week of Mar 22, 2021
Start with a spring word in two syllables. Drop the first letter and you will have a fall flower.
Puzzle 411, week of Mar 22, 2021
An animal in two syllables. Change one letter and you get a piece of clothing in three syllables.
Puzzle 410, week of Mar 15, 2021
I’m looking for the name of a country in one word that contains the name of a mountain inside it.
Puzzle 409, week of Mar 8, 2021
An eight letter word where only one unique consonant is used although it can be used more than once.
Puzzle 408, week of Mar 1, 2021
Start with the last name of a well-known writer in one syllable. Add an “S” and you have an English word. Add another S and you still have a word. Add a third S and you have another word. And as a bonus you can add a fourth S and still have a word.
Puzzle 407, week of Feb 22, 2021
Take a common two word phrase for a star, spoonerize it and phonetically you get a (less common variant of a) phrase that can be finished with the word “star”.
Puzzle 406, week of Feb 15, 2021
Define a keyboard snake as a word where every letter touches the letter before it on the keyboard, for instance “weeds”. Which US president’s name forms a keyboard snake?
Puzzle 404/405, week of Feb 1/Feb 8, 2021
This is a spin off of last week’s weekend edition puzzle about letters and children. What four letters from the modern English alphabet said aloud phonetically create an adjective that could be used to describe childhood or a flower or the life of a mayfly. For example if you say the letter K and the letter G you get the word “cagey”.
Puzzle 403, week of Jan 25, 2021
Start with “groundhog” add the two letter abbreviation for a state where winter might be over and rearrange the letters to get two mythical creatures.
Puzzle 402, week of Jan 18, 2021
Start with “Every thief and babysitter”. Replace two words with synonyms and then spoonerize them to get a common idiom.
Puzzle 401, week of Jan 11, 2021
Name a country with four consecutive letters of the alphabet in order in the name although not necessarily next to each other. (For example MoNacO has three consecutive letters of the alphabet in order.)
Puzzle 400, week of Jan 4, 2021
Stick two colors together, change an E to a U and you get an animal in four syllables.
Puzzle 399, week of Dec 28, 2020
You had to listen to this one. Each of the song snippets starts or ends with a number which I have cut. Figure out the number and then send me (A – B) * (C – D).
Puzzle 398, week of Dec 21, 2020
Start with two fictional Christmas characters. Replace an I and two R’s with a G and T. Rearrange the letters to get two drinks.
Puzzle 397, week of Dec 14, 2020
I’m looking for opposites that you might be noting or celebrating this week. Replace the first letter of each with a “B” and phonetically you now have two ways to express displeasure
Puzzle 396, week of Dec 7, 2020
Start with two birds. Rearrange the letters and you will get a seasonal item found in many houses this week, and the two letter abbreviation for the US state with the highest number of these items.
Puzzle 395, week of Nov 30, 2020
You have a very large piggy bank with an infinite number of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Every morning you take three random coins from the bank and put them in your pocket. When you pass the playground you randomly pull one of the coins from your pocket and put it on the slide for the kids to find. What is the expected value of that coin rounded to the nearest cent.
Puzzle 394, week of Nov 23, 2020
Start with two foods (one that many people will be eating this week). Replace an “E” with a “C” and “O”. Rearrange the letters to get two genres of music.
Puzzle 393, week of Nov 16, 2020
Put together two foreign words for “the” and you have an English noun used for some people. Put together two other foreign words for “the”, add an “s” and you have a second English noun used for some people.
Puzzle 392, week of Nov 9, 2020
I’m looking for a foreign phrase in 7 letters commonly used in English. The first four letters are a large US company. The last four letters are also a large US company
Puzzle 391, week of Nov 2, 2020
If you are solving this week’s Weekend Edition puzzle, you might notice this spin-off puzzle. Start with a US city in two words, 5-3. Remove the first letter of the second word and concatenate the remaining letters to get a rock band.
Puzzle 390, week of Oct 26, 2020
Send me a word ladder (a chain where you change one letter at a time forming English words at each step) from VOTE to PART passing through TAKE along the way. So VOTE to TAKE to PART.
Puzzle 389, week of Oct 19, 2020
I’m looking for two presidential candidates from successive elections. Take the first name of one followed by a vowel sound, then the first name of the other followed by another vowel and phonetically you have the title character of a fairy tale.
Puzzle 388, week of Oct 12, 2020
Start with a fall treat in two words. Add H and R and rearrange the letters to get three types of trees.
Puzzle 387, week of Oct 5, 2020
I’m looking for a classic rock song. If you write the song and the band with normal capitalization, all the capitalized letters will be from four consecutive letters of the alphabet.
Puzzle 386, week of Sep 28, 2020
Start with a well-known actress. Change one letter in her first name and rearrange the letters to get a type of squash. Add two letters to her last name and rearrange those letters to get another type of squash.
Puzzle 385, week of Sep 21, 2020
For Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur, here is a geometry puzzle. You have two equilateral triangles, each with an area of 45 sq inches and you overlap them to form a Jewish star. What is the area of the hexagon on the inside of the star?
Puzzle 384, week of Sep 14, 2020
It’s hard to think about anything beyond fire here in Oregon right now. So this week I’ve turned three fire words into clothing. Start with three five letter fire words. Remove an E and add a C for one. Remove an S and add an A on the second word. And for the final word, just add an R. You now have three pieces of clothing.
Puzzle 383, week of Sep 7, 2020
Start with two nouns for synonymous emotions. Remove the final two letters of each to get the root. You can now add the same suffix to both and get opposite meanings.
Puzzle 382, week of Aug 31, 2020
Start with a battle site in the US. Add two consecutive letters of the alphabet and you get ice cream.
Puzzle 380 & 381, week of Aug 17 & 24, 2020
Following up on last week’s puzzle, send your own title with a capital city hidden phonetically inside. Use a state or country capital hidden in a title of any kind: movie, song, book, etc.
Puzzle 379, week of Aug 10, 2020
The following song titles each have something hidden phonetically from the same category. What is it? “It’s not What You Know” (New Fast Automatic Daffodils), “Lost In You” (Rod Stewart), “Boys Eat Your Hearts Out” (Beth Cayhall).
Puzzle 378, week of Aug 3, 2020
It is really hot across the country right now. But if you take two vegetables that you might be starting to harvest and rearrange the letters, you will get a two word phrase for weather that helps with the heat.
Puzzle 377, week of July 27, 2020
Start with a famous actress. Remove the first letter of her first name and the last letter of her last name and phonetically you have two things that might be part of breakfast.
Puzzle 376, week of July 20, 2020
Take two foreign coins – Replace the P with a W and O and you can rearrange to get something you might see this week.
Puzzle 375, week of July 13, 2020
Charlie has a small closet but is determined to wear a different outfit every day of the year. He considers his outfit to be shoes, pants, shirt & hat and if any one of these is different it is a different outfit. What is the minimum number of items he must have in his closet.
Puzzle 374, week of July 6, 2020
Start with two female animals. Add an H, and rearrange the letters to get a tool and something you might use it on this time of year.
Puzzle 373, week of June 29, 2020
Take what you do to remove a job followed by what you do if you have a job and you will get a compound word that is timely.
Puzzle 372, week of June 22, 2020
Start with a national park. Move one letter forward 6 in the alphabet and one letter back 6 and you now have a well known fictional character.
Puzzle 371, week of June 15, 2020
Start with two foreign words for ‘father’. Rearrange the letters to get two things made to be stepped on.
Puzzle 370, week of June 8, 2020
I’m thinking of two famous African Americans born in the same decade. They share the first letter of their first names. If you take the first letter of the last name of one of them and move it to the end of that name, you get something the other is famous for.
Puzzle 369, week of June 1, 2020
Spy, spur, and spire each have a one syllable synonym that have something in common. What is it? (That’s spy as a verb, spur as a verb, and spire as a noun.)
Puzzle 367 & 368, week of May 18 and May 25, 2020
A common two word phrase for the conclusion. Remove a T and only moving the space, you now have two ways to do violence, or two ways to cut something.
Puzzle 366, week of May 11, 2020
Start with two one syllable words that are things you might need to write a song. Reverse the letters in one and stick them together to get a celestial object.
Puzzle 365, week of May 4, 2020
Start with something you might wear in the rain. Add an S and rearrange the letters to get something worn in the same way but much less useful.
Puzzle 364, week of Apr 27, 2020
I’m looking for a one syllable city (in English). Add a single letter and you get a three syllable literary character. Both the city and the character are well-known.
Puzzle 363, week of Apr 20, 2020
I’m looking for two one syllable verbs starting with S. Add the same three letters to the end of each verb and you get two plants. (One is an alternate spelling.)
Puzzle 362, week of Apr 13, 2020
Start with a common three word phrase. Swap the first and second words and stick them together to get a new word. You now have a two word phrase meaning the opposite of what you started with.
Puzzle 361, week of Apr 6, 2020
Start with a six letter drink. You can remove a final or initial letter forming a new word. Do this one letter at a time until you have only one letter left. Each step is an English word. And if you allow one proper noun, then there are two completely different paths from the initial drink to the final word although the final word is shared.
Puzzle 360, week of March 30, 2020
I’m looking for a gardening word. Hidden within the word are four body parts. The letters of each body part are in the correct order but not necessarily consecutive. For example the word “clippers” contains the word “lips”
Puzzle 359, week of March 23, 2020
A five letter word that means to clean. Anagram it to get what we are hoping cleaning will do to the spread of the COVID-19 virus
Puzzle 357/358, week of March 9 & March 16, 2020
I’m looking for a gerund/adjective that means to get more of something (in particular). Remove an E and you have a homophone (noun) for something with an extreme amount of that same thing.
Puzzle 356, week of March 2, 2020
I have a real life puzzle this week. My husband and I noticed that our Prius external temperature consistently skips some degrees. It shows 32, 34, 36, 37, 39, 41, 43, 45, 46 – switching from only odds to only evens or vice versa every 9 degrees. Come up with a plausible reason for this.
Puzzle 355, week of February 24, 2020
Start with a rock band in three words. All three words share two letters. Remove those letters and anagram the remaining letters to get a another rock band (with “the”) plus the first two letters of the country that band comes from.
Puzzle 354, week of February 17, 2020
Take a country. Insert a letter and you now have the first name of a former prime minister of this country.
Puzzle 353, week of February 10, 2020
Start with a word that means to rule. Add an S in the middle and you have a word meaning to stop ruling.
Puzzle 352, week of February 3, 2020
I’m looking for a landform in four syllables. If you take the first syllable you have one word. Take the first third & half of the fourth – and phonetically you have another word. These two words are items used for the same purpose.
Puzzle 351, week of January 27, 2020
What football term has no letters that fit between the baseline and meanline when you write them in lower case in cursive. In otherwords they all stick up or down.
Puzzle 350, week of January 20, 2020
Start with a service profession in nine letters. Remove the art and what you are left with is slang for what the people being served might be on.
Puzzle 349, week of January 13, 2020
What US State can you remove a letter and have an English word, remove a second letter from what remains and still have an English word, remove a third letter for a word and finally remove a fourth letter and still have a word?
Puzzle 348, week of January 6, 2020
What do these words all have in common? Lashes, Helmet, Eyewear, Spine, Cloak, First?
Puzzle 347, week of December 30, 2019
Start with Raise Ground. Change each word two times. Each change is either a synonym or a homophone. You will end up with a compound word that is appropriate for our new year.
Puzzle 346, week of December 23, 2019
Start with a word used during Hanukkah. Replace an “H” with “N and T”, rearrange the letters and you get a word used at Christmas time.
Puzzle 345, week of December 16, 2019
This week I’ve got a variation on a classic algebra problem. (It’s intended to be heard not read!) There is a convention of dogs and poets. Each dog has one tail, and each poet has 2 tales; each dog has four feet, and each poet has 7 feet (2 of their own and 5 in their poem). If there are 96 feet, and 26 tails/tales, then how many dogs are at the convention?
Puzzle 344, week of December 9, 2019
I’m looking for two more three syllable foods that share their vowel pattern (same vowels in the same places). Between them they use two distinct vowels and three distinct consonants.
Puzzle 343, week of December 2, 2019
I’m looking for two foods in three syllables each. Each uses only one vowel (repeated) and they share their vowel pattern – the same vowel in the same places.
Puzzle 341 & 342, week of November 18 & November 25, 2019
Create a word ladder that goes from THANK to FEAST by changing one letter at a time with each in between entry being a common English word. There is no one correct answer – any ladder with valid words will be accepted!
Here is one possible solution: THANK, THINK, CHINK, CHINS, CHIPS, CHAPS, CHARS, CHARM, CHASM, CHASE, CEASE, LEASE, LEAST, FEAST
Puzzle 340, week of November 11
Start with an animal that is also a verb. Take the past tense of this verb and phonetically you have another animal.
Puzzle 339, week of November 4
Start with a common abbreviation for one item of a group. Move the letters forward two in the alphabet and you get a common abbreviation for another member of the same group.
Puzzle 338, week of October 28
Start with a classic novel from the 19th century in two words. Spoonerize the words and replace a “TH” sound with a “V”. Phonetically you have a sight that would be appropriate for Halloween.
Puzzle 337, week of October 21
Start with a six letter word for something some people don’t believe. Insert an “a” in the word and phonetically you will have a 7 letter word for something some people don’t believe.
Puzzle 336, week of October 14
I’m looking for a one syllable vehicle. Reverse the letters and you get another one syllable vehicle.
Puzzle 335, week of October 7
What do these words have in common: Corn, Cuba, & Crumpet… and hint, it’s not that they all start with a ‘C’!
Puzzle 334, week of September 30
A location in Europe in three syllables. Remove the last letter and you get a one syllable English word.
Puzzle 333, week of September 23
Take two animals that could pull a wagon. Remove an E and put the words together to get something happening this time of year.
Puzzle 331 & 332, week of September 9 & 16th
Start with two celebrities who commonly go by one name, five letters each. Add an R and rearrange to get two mammals. Additional hint for 9/16: Both celebrities are women and one is a musician.
Puzzle 330, week of September 2
We’re heading back to school in Bend this week so I brought you a school themed puzzle. Start with two geography terms, two syllables each. Split the syllables of one and insert the other word. Then remove a C and two S’s. Phonetically you now have a four-syllable subject you might learn in school.
Puzzle 329, week of Aug 26
What do these names all have in common? Dirk, Bob, Wade, Doyle, Thor? And as a hint this puzzle is timely.
Puzzle 328, week of Aug 19
Start with a tree in three sylla bles. Write it in cursive and then move one line from the bottom of a letter to the top – mirror image and you will have a piece of clothing in two syllables.
Puzzle 327, week of Aug 12
A prisoner is tunneling out of the prison yard. Every day he digs three feet but every night the rain collapses two feet of his tunnel. If the tunnel must be 20 feet to escape, how many days will it take him to escape?
Puzzle 324, 325, 326, week of July 22nd, July 29th, Aug 5th
Using only letters found in the words “June, July, August” write your own proverb. You can use each letter as many times as you want.
Here are two examples:
- A june egg’s just as ugly as an august egg
- A jay stung’s a nasty jay.
Puzzle 323, week of July 15th
Send in a superhero whose name can be spelled from one line on a standard keyboard
Puzzle 322, week of July 8th
I’m looking for a common 5 word saying that uses a dancing metaphor. If you combine two of the middle words, phonetically you have a piece of dancing clothing.
Puzzle 321, week of July 1st
I’m looking for a compound word associated with Independence Day. If you split this word into its two component words, you can form two distinct word ladders between them. Both of these word ladders have only two words in the middle (between the starting and ending words) and none of the middle words are the same between the two ladders.
Puzzle 320, week of June 24th
Building on last week, I am looking for a state whose postal abbreviation is also a two-letter abbreviation for an element in the periodic table, and the capital city of this state can be spelled using abbreviations in the periodic table.
Puzzle 319, week of June 17th
What state can be spelled entirely from elements in the periodic table that have a single letter abbreviation?
Puzzle 318, week of June 10th
A father plus a traditional gift to a father plus a little bit of common sense gives you an 8 letter word for something many fathers need.
Puzzle 317, week of June 3rd
Following up on last week’s theme, start with a three letter abbreviation for something some people may have just gotten. Add two vowels, and without rearranging you have something they hope not to get this summer. I’m guessing there will be more than one creative answer to this puzzle so I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
Puzzle 316, week of May 27th
Take three consecutive letters of the alphabet. Insert three vowels and you now have a six letter word for what some people will become this month.
Puzzle 315, week of May 20th
Start with the letters “memorial day”. change o to fl and rearrange the letters to get three words for the same type of animal
Puzzle 314, week of May 13th
Start with a US National Park in two words. Change the leading sound of both words to the same new sound to get two new words that rhyme with your original words. These two words are both common names; one male and one female. For Example: Lake Clark becomes Bake & Bark
Puzzle 313, week of May 6th
For mother’s day I have a flower themed puzzle. Take two ways your mother might prefer you not to talk, put them together and phonetically you will have a flower.
As an additional hint, the words are both one syllable and start with the same letter.
Puzzle 312, week of April 29th
Two constellations, 6 letters in one, five in the other.
Rearrange the letters to get a fictional monster in one syllable and what you would have to do to see one in three syllables.
Puzzle 311, week of April 22nd
Start with an Easter candy. Spoonerize it and change one vowel sound and phonetically you now have a well known song from the 80s.
Puzzle 310, week of April 15th
Three digit number Add 3 to the first digit and you 2 times what you would get if you subtracted 3 from the last digit
Puzzle 309, week of April 8th
I’m looking for a five letter word that is plural. It has a homophone that is three letters and singular and you might be thinking about it this week.
Puzzle 307 & 308, week of March 25th & April 1
Start with two march madness teams from this year. Rearrange the letters and you will have a basketball term and four vowels.
Puzzle 306, week of March 18th
I’m looking for a country name that can be split into two English words. Then switch the leading letters of the two words and you will get two new words.
Puzzle 305, week of March 11th
Last week’s was hard so we’re going for something a little easier this week… Take four consecutive letters of the alphabet in reverse order. Remove one and you now have something some people will be doing this week.
Puzzle 304, week of March 4th:
A specific large object of study and the middle name of someone who might study it. Get rid of two E and two S (but replace one of the Es with an I) and you have something happening this week.
Puzzle 303, week of February 25th:
Start with a winter ailment. Move every letter forward 3 in the alphabet (a moves to d etc). You now have the first word from a colorful expression of a symptom of this ailment.
Puzzle 302, week of February 18th:
Start with a spice in 6 letters. (Cloves) move the fourth and fifth letters back one in the alphabet and you get something made of water (clouds)
Puzzle 301, week of February 11th:
Start with two (one syllable) animals (in plural form) that live in the water and are not fish. Change an A to a U and rearrange the letters to get two things that people might get on valentines day
Puzzle 300, week of February 4th:
Start with a country in 8 letters. Remove one letter and you will have something that could identify a person.
Puzzle 299, week of January 28th:
A heteronym is a pair of words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently like wind and wind. I’m look for three heteronym pairs that rhyme. So you have three words that rhyme and then without changing the spelling you have three new words that also rhyme.
Puzzle 298, week of January 21st:
Take something you might wear in the winter. Reverse the letters and replace an ‘A’ with an ‘O’. Phonetically you now have a name brand that some people have in their refrigerator
Puzzle 297, week of January 14th:
My brother-in-law sent a t-shirt to my daughter recently. When we received a shipping receipt the t-shirt message was truncated. We were able to deduce the logical ending of the message. The receipt had the t-shirt text as: “My password is the last 8…” What is a smart-aleck end for this t-shirt text?
Puzzle 296, week of January 7th:
Start with an animal. Keep the first four letters where they are and a fifth somewhere in the word. Add the letters for an English pronoun and you now have a Mexican food. And the interesting part? There are two distinct answers to this puzzle. Send them both.
Puzzle 294 & 295, week of December 24 & December 31st:
Translate the numbers “two” and “nineteen” into a foreign language. Replace “O and U” with “LEW”, rearrange the letters and you will have two (two-syllable) words that are synonyms.
Puzzle 293, week of December 17:
Start with the title of a Christmas movie. Discounting any short words like articls conjunctions and prepositions you will have a two word title. Add one letter to the first word and replace the first two letters of the second word and you will have two trees.
Puzzle 292, week of December 10:
Take a two word winter sports phrase. Add a “D” in front of the second word and you get something the first word might go into.
Puzzle 291, week of December 3:
Start with the title of a Beatles song. Rearrange the letters and you will have two things a man might put on when dressing for work.
Puzzle 290, week of November 26:
You have three dreidels that are four sided each. You continue rolling all three until either they all have gimel, the “everything” symbol, or exactly one has gimel and then you stop. For this game, you win if all of them have gimel and lose if only one does. What is your probability of winning?
Puzzle 289, week of November 20:
Start with two traditional thanksgiving vegetables.
Rearrange the letters and you will get two cooking terms. One is something you might do while cooking your turkey and the other is a measurement.
Puzzle 288, week of November 13:
Start with a two word foreign phrase commonly used in English.
Replace both leading consonant sounds with “L”, put the words together, and phonetically you will have a woman’s name that features prominently in several well known songs.
Puzzle 287, week of November 5:
Take 7 consecutive letters of the alphabet. Delete one and double another and rearrange the resulting letters to get two words. A job and an item that a person with that job might use.
Puzzle 286, week of October 29:
Start with a four letter monster. Transpose the first two letters and you have a word that might be part of your Halloween costume.
Puzzle 285, week of October 22:
Keeping with the election theme, take the two major party candidates in a presidential race from the last 100 years. Add an E and an H and rearrange the letters to get three units of measurement. (As a bonus fall harvest themed hint, these units could measure your apples, your cucumbers, and your tractor.)
Puzzle 284, week of October 15:
Start with part of a house. Remove a greek letter from the front and replace it with another greek letter. Phonetically you will have the last name of a former presidential candidate.
Puzzle 283, week of October 8:
Congratulations to listener Deral M who has now won the Point Puzzle 25 times. In recognition of that I’ve created a puzzle around the number 25. This puzzle was also inspired by Dan Finkel’s blog Mathforlove.
Deral and Carly both choose a number from 1 to 25, inclusive.
Carly asks “Is your number the square root of mine?”
Deral answers, “I don’t know. Is your number equal to mine?”
Carly answers, “No. Is your number the square root of mine?”
Deral answers, “Yes.”
What are their numbers?
Puzzle 282, week of October 1:
Continuing with the sports/city theme this week, take an NFL team and a Major League baseball team. Remove all letters that they share one to one. (So if they both contain the letter P, but one has it twice – only remove one P.) The remaining letters will spell Reno, a city in a state with no pro sports teams.
Puzzle 281, week of September 24:
Start with the nickname of a major league baseball team. Change one letter, rearrange the letters, and you will have one of the 10 biggest US cities without a pro sports team.
Puzzle 280, week of September 17:
Since it is now apple picking season, we have an apple puzzle this week. Start with a US city over 500,000 in population. Change one letter and you have a popular variety of apple.
Puzzle 279, week of September 10:
Start with a national park in Alaska plus an animal that you might see there. Remove the letter “c”, Rearrange the letters and you will have two water craft including one commonly used by the Inuit.
Puzzle 278, week of Sep 3rd:
For back to school. Start with something you might be buying for art supplies in four letters. Move every letter back 11 in the alphabet wrapping if necessary and you will have an art technique.
Puzzle 277, week of August 27th:
Start with an instrument of measurement and the unit that it measures. Taking each unique letter from the two words you can rearrange the letters to get “a fire month”
Puzzle 276, week of August 20th:
Start with two 4 letter verbs that could be in your response to an invitation. Drop the last letter on one and put them together to get a 7 letter tool that you might use in the wilderness.
Puzzle 274 & 275, week of Aug 6th and Aug 13th
For the first two weeks of August we have a two week challenge. A few months back I introduced the idea of compound word chains where the second half of one word begins the next. Here is a compound word circle: sidewalk walkway wayside where the last word circles back to start the first. Send me your own three compound word circle. I will select one winner from among any circles received by Saturday August 18th.
Puzzle 273, week of July 30th:
You have 6 cards in order – 8,9,10,J,Q,K. You cut the deck twice without shuffling and then you and your friend take turns drawing from the top. The winner is the first to draw a face card.
What are your chances of winning if you go first?
Puzzle 272, week of July 23rd:
Start with an animal and also the word for the male of that species. Add the letter “F” to one of the words and you will now have two words that could be considered English antonyms.
Puzzle 271, week of July 16th:
Keeping with the music syllable theme… Start with a country. Remove the last letter, read the remaining letters backwards and you will have music syllables. (do re mi fa sol la ti)
Puzzle 270, week of July 9th:
Name a US city (population over 200,000 whose name can be spelled using only the music syllables do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, and ti
Puzzle 269, week of July 2nd:
One of the traditions here in Bend for the fourth of July is a pet parade. So I am bringing you a puzzle about cats and dogs.
Start with two words; a wild cat and a breed of dog. Take the last three letters of each and you will have an “N” and 5 of the last 7 letters of the alphabet.
Puzzle 268, week of June 25th:
You decide to have your first summer barbecue of the season.
At your barbecue, 2/3 of your guests have a hamburger, 1/2 have corn on the cob, 5 people have both, and 1 person has neither.
How many guests are at the barbecue?
Puzzle 267, week of June 18th:
Take a girl’s name in five letters. Move the first letter forward one consonant in the alphabet and the second letter forward one vowel and you have another common girl’s name. Do this again and you will have a third common girl’s name.
Puzzle 265 & 266, week of June 4th & June 11th:
I’m looking for four one syllable words that start with the same letter. They each have a homophone. Take the letter that they all start with, and the four homophones, and you will have a well-known category of five items. One of the words is a foreign word that is commonly used in English. Another word is an exclamation or interjection.
Since there were no correct answers the first week here is an additional hint: All four homophones are letters of the alphabet. So take the four letters plus the letter that the words start with and you will have a set of five items.
Puzzle 263 & 264, week of May 21st & 28th:
Start with two words that are opposites, “Blank and blank”. Change the first letter of each and then put a C in front of the phrase and you will have a common phrase for two items some people need this time of year.
Since there were no correct answers the first week, here is an additional hint:
Both of the words that you start with are one syllable. One starts with a vowel and one with a consonant.
Puzzle 262, week of May 14th:
Take a greek letter and spell it out in English. Rearrange the letters and you will have two parts of your face.
Puzzle 261, week of May 7th:
Here’s a mother’s day puzzle: Start with a country, put a mother in the middle and you will have a tea.
Puzzle 260, week of April 30th:
The coach tells you:
All of our swimmers with a blue suit have short hair. Which of these swimmers do you need to check to confirm the coach is correct?
Alice has a blue suit.
Beth has long hair.
Catherine has short hair.
Danny has a red suit.
Puzzle 259, week of April 23rd:
Write down a well known rock artist, first and last name with no space between them.
You can split the letters into four short English words without rearranging the letters. The first word is a math term, the second is the second word in a Shakespeare title, the third is a trick and the fourth is in the (unofficial) postal services motto. Who is the artist?
Puzzle 258, week of April 16th:
I’m looking for two verbs. One is something you might do and the other is how your head might feel after you do it. Stick them together and remove the final letter and you will have a spring vegetable.
Puzzle 257, week of April 9th:
Start with a five letter one syllable verb. Bend one line to get a five letter two syllable noun that is something you might be thinking about this time of year.
Puzzle 256, week of April 2nd:
Start with a well known children’s picture book. Replace each word (other than “the”) with either a synonym of a homophone or a homophone of a synonym and you get: “Don the idled close radius”
Puzzle 255, week of March 26th:
Start with something you might be expecting this weekend, in five letters. Move each letter of the word back 9 in the alphabet, wrapping where necessary, and you will have what you might be engaged in when it arrives.
Puzzle 254, week of March 19th:
In honor of the first week of spring, I’ve brought you a spring puzzle.
Start with a flower. Add one letter without rearranging the word and you will get another word associated with spring.
Puzzle 252 & 253, week of March 5th & March 12th:
Start with an instrument in two syllables. Spoonerize the two syllables (swap the leading consonant sounds) and phonetically you will have another musical term.
Since there were no correct answers the first week, here is an additional hint. The instrument might be found in a rock band.
Puzzle 251, week of Feb 26th:
Write a spice. Draw a single line segment and you will have an article of clothing.
Puzzle 250, week of Feb 19th:
What is the next number in this sequence: 2, 16, 54, 128?
Puzzle 249, week of Feb 12th:
Send me three things you can make out of snow.
Each is a five letter word.
They all share two consonants, and as a bonus between them they use all the vowels (aeiou) at least once.
Puzzle 248, week of Feb 5th:
Take the name of an Olympic movie. Remove any letters found in PyeongChang, then remove duplicates, and the letters that are left can spell “First”
Puzzle 247, week of Jan 29th:
I’m looking for two genres of music. Put them together and you get a candy.
Puzzle 246, week of Jan 22nd:
This week’s puzzle comes from Math for love by Dan Finkel. Draw a square on the XY Axis. If every corner of your square has integer coordinates, which of the following could not be the area of your square: 17, 18, 19, or 20
Puzzle 244 & 245, week of Jan 8th & Jan 15th:
Since the winter holiday is ending and many students are back in school this week I have a puzzle combining both.
Start with two world capitals.
Rearrange the letters and you will have a (lesser known) winter holiday drink, and a (well-known) name of a US University.
Since there were no correct answers during the week of January 8th, we’ve extended this puzzle one more week and given two additional clues:
If you alphabetize the list of countries, the two world capitals will be next to each other.
The drink is associated with an antiquated tradition.
Puzzle 242 & 243, week of December 25th & Jan 1st:
We have a two week challenge for the New Year.
I’m looking for three classic works of literature with numbers in their titles. Add the three numbers together and you get 2018.
Puzzle 241, week of December 18th:
This week’s puzzle is inspired by a puzzle from the National Museum of Math: You have an eccentric uncle who only buys gifts with prices that are prime numbers. This year he decides that looking at all his gift prices together he will have the digits 1-9 exactly once. To minimize cost, how many presents does he buy and what is his total?
Puzzle 240, week of December 11th:
What common phrase derived from Latin, could also mean that you are in favor of a rock star? (The spelling is the same, pronunciation slightly different)
Puzzle 239, week of December 4th:
Start with an insect.
Remove the 3rd, 4th, and 5th letters and add a new letter at the end.
You now have a word from human anatomy
Puzzle 238, week of November 27th:
My daughter is turning 13 this week so in honor of “teendom” I am bringing you a puzzle about slang.
Start with an item of clothing. Change or add one letter, without rearranging, you now have a synonym for “lit”. Or if you are over 25, that’s a synonym for “cool”. There are multiple different answers to this, so send me two and we’ll see how many different synonyms we can get.
Puzzle 237, week of November 20th:
I’m looking for a four word chain of compound words where the last word of one becomes the first of the next.
Here’s an Example:
upset setback backfire firefly
Send me another four word chain where the first word is bypass and the last is boardwalk.
Puzzle 236, week of November 13th:
Take a five letter one syllable word and replace a V with a U to get a five letter two syllable word.
Puzzle 235, week of November 6th:
Take two objects of play. One is a name brand child’s toy, the other a piece of equipment in a game played by all ages. Put them together and phonetically you have a type of cooking.
Puzzle 234, week of October 30th:
Start with a three letter word that expresses how you might feel about something. You can add two different suffixes expressing a positive amount and will end up with two words that are opposites. (In one of them, the root word drops a letter.)
Puzzle 233, week of October 23rd:
Start with a four letter noun that is something you might try to do today. Remove the vowel and you will have an expression someone might use if you don’t do your noun.
Puzzle 232, week of October 16th:
Start with the star of an actor from a scary movie. Remove any letters shared with the name of the movie what remains can spell “Boo” plus L.
Puzzle 231, week of October 9th:
It’s fall harvest time so I have a harvest puzzle for you this week.
Start with a two word phrase for something you might remove when making jam.
Change the fifth letter to a new letter and remove the second letter. You now have a fall food.
Puzzle 230, week of October 3rd:
This week’s puzzle is a modified version of the classic math game, NIM. You and a friend have a pile of 6 beans. At each turn you must take either one or two beans. The person who takes the last bean loses. Do you want to go first or second?
Puzzle 229, week of Sep 25th:
Start with a 6 letter plural noun that is something people might talk about this time of year. Move each letter back 7 in the alphabet (or forward 19) wrapping where necessary. Remove the fifth letter and you will have a verb describing the way people might talk about the object.
Puzzle 228, week of Sep 18th:
Many proverbs and sayings use alliteration. This one stood out to me. The proverb is 9 words long and all but the first word start with either T or G.
Can you identify this saying just by the initial letters?
Starting with the second word we have: TGGTTTGG
Puzzle 227, week of Sep 11th:
I’m looking for a flower. The first and last letters are consecutive in the alphabet. There are also four letters in the middle of the flower that are consecutive in the alphabet. The letters are together in the word, but not in alphabetical order.
Puzzle 226, week of Sep 4th:
Start with a part of a boat. Take a homophone. Rearrange the letters to form another word. Now take a homophone of that word and you will have the action performed with the first word.
Another way to look at it: Take a word related to boats and the action it performs.
Each of these words has a homophone and those two homophones are made up of the same letters.
Puzzle 225, week of Aug 28th:
I just did a hilly bike ride in Portland this past weekend so here is your mountain and valley inspired puzzle.
Start with two one word, one syllable tv shows.
Change the last letter of each and one will be a synonym for a mountain and the other a valley.
Puzzle 224, week of Aug 21st:
I am looking for a common three word phrase.
Each word has three letters and the whole phrase only uses two distinct consonants, but it uses 4 different vowels including Y.
Puzzle 223, week of Aug 14th:
This week’s puzzle is inspired by email from a listener. The word “syzygy” is a very unusual 6 letter word with Y appearing every other letter. It refers to a straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies (such as the sun, moon, and earth during a solar eclipse).
So in honor of the eclipse and the word syzygy, send me five words.
Four six letter words, one for each of the vowels a, e, i, and o, with the 2nd, 4th, 6th letter of the word being the vowel, and for u send a 7 letter word (still with u as the 2nd, 4th, and 6th letters).
Puzzle 222, week of Aug 7th:
Start with a country name (in English). Add in a stack of currency in the middle and you will have another country name (in English).
Puzzle 221, week of July 31st:
I’m looking for a well known novel from the 1970s with three words in the title. Only one vowel is used (multiple times) and as a bonus the last word is made up of four consecutive letters from the alphabet plus an S.
Puzzle 220, week of July 24th:
Getting out of work in the summer to enjoy the long summer evenings, I’ve been thinking (or more precisely eating) a lot of summer fruit.
So for this week, I’ve got an easy puzzle for your summer brain about summer fruit.
I’m looking for a berry. Replace one letter with a different letter, rearrange them and you will have a melon.
So, something berry, change a letter, rearrange them and you will have something melon.
Puzzle 219, week of July 17th:
Start with a four letter ocean animal.
Reverse the letters and phonetically you have a sound made by a land animal.
Puzzle 218, week of July 10th:
Name a six letter country (spelled in English), that if you add the values of the letters gives you an even 100?
That’s A=1, B=2, etc.
Puzzle 217, week of July 3rd:
Start with 8 consecutive letters of the alphabet. Drop one letter, rearrange the remaining letters and you will get a nickname and last name for a US President. The nickname is a common nickname for the given first name of this president.
Puzzle 216, week of June 26:
I just saw terminator for the first time, so in honor of that, here is an 80s movie puzzle.
Take two, two letter abbreviations. One refers to a date and the other refers to a (racing) time. Rearrange them and alternate them with a single letter.
You will get an 80s movie.
(In other words, take a fifth letter and it will be every other letter of the movie.)
Puzzle 215, week of June 19:
Thinking about going abroad for the summer, or maybe for the next four years? Here’s a puzzle to get you thinking “foreign”.
Take the name of two foreign currencies.
Turn one letter upside down to make it a new letter, add a ‘y’, and rearrange the letters to get two flowers.
Puzzle 214, week of June 12:
Start with a foreign word most Americans would be familiar with. Remove the last letter, reverse the remaining letters and you get another foreign word that most Americans would also be familiar with and could be considered a synonym/translation of the first word.
Puzzle 213, week of June 5:
After last week’s warm-up logic puzzle we have a classic puzzle this week:
You have 9 balls and a balance scale. They all look alike, but one of the balls is heavier than the others. With just two weighings on the balance scale, how can you find the heavier ball?
And if you prefer you can do one of my favorite weighing puzzles:
You have 12 balls and one of them weighs different from the others, but you don’t know whether it is heavier or lighter. With a balance scale and three weighings, find the different ball.
Puzzle 212, week of May 29:
Wake up your brain before it falls asleep for the summer! This puzzle is a warm up logic puzzle. Next week’s will be a little harder.
You take a DNA test and find that you have genes A, B, C, & D. You know that you got one of these from each of your grandparents and that the A gene came from one of your grandmothers (but you don’t know which). Your parents and grandparents are all willing to be tested. How many tests must you perform to know which gene came from which grandparent, and what is your strategy? (Each parent has the two genes from their two parents.)
Puzzle 211, week of May 22:
We had a sudden summery week here in Bend, so I made you a summer themed puzzle.
Start with a summer activity in 6 letters. Move the last letter two later in the alphabet and you will have some summer clothing.
Puzzle 210, week of May 15:
I’m looking for a compound word. It’s a verb in 8 letters. Switch the order of the two words making up the compound word and you get a two word phrase that means the opposite of the compound word.
Puzzle 209, week of May 8:
With Mother’s Day coming up we have a mother theme in this week’s puzzle.
I’m looking for two TV mothers with less-than-perfect husbands. Take their first names together, remove the only duplicate letter, rearrange the remaining letters and you get “RIGHT DAME”. Who are they?
Puzzle 208, week of May 1:
Start with a two word dog breed. Remove the mistake. Then move the last syllable to the front, and phonetically you will have a soothing hot drink.
Puzzle 207, week of April 24:
What is unusual about this phrase? (Or what do the words in this phrase have in common?)
Giddy fifty flight high pig flip
Puzzle 206, week of April 17:
Here’s another tax puzzle.
Start with a tax term, add one letter and you will get a spring flower.
Puzzle 205, week of April 10:
I am looking for a 6 letter adjective meaning tiring.
The first 4 letters of the word is something you might take when you are tired.
the first 3 letters of the word is something that might make you tired this week.
Puzzle 203 & 204, week of Mar 27 & Apr3:
Games Magazine recently ran a rhyming contest for their readers and I thought it would be fun to give my listeners a chance as well. This is a two week challenge.
Send me two sentences with the same number of syllables. Every syllable in the first sentence rhymes with the corresponding syllable in the second sentence. Entries will be judged on how well both sentences make sense, length, humor, and creativity.
Here is a (short) example:
Sentence 1: I sold you beets.
Sentence 2: Why fold two sheets?
Puzzle 202, week of Mar 20:
We’ve got a probability puzzle this week. Start with 100 green jellybeans and 100 yellow jellybeans. You can divide them into two jars any way you’d like.
If you plan to choose one jar at random, and then one jellybean from that jar at random, what is the best way to distribute the jellybeans into the jars so that you maximize your chances of getting a green jellybean?
Puzzle 201, week of Mar 13:
I’m looking for two symbols from Ireland. One in two words, one in two syllables. The second word and second syllable are synonyms.
The first word and first syllable are also related in meaning.
As an added bonus both symbols are real items with a reputation for endowing people with something good.
Puzzle 200, week of Mar 6:
Last week’s was hard. So here is an easier typewriter puzzle: Send me a US State capital that is typed entirely with one hand.
Puzzle 199, week of February 27:
I am looking for an 8 letter word that can be typed with standard touch typing fingering, using a qwerty keyboard, and using each finger just once.
If you get this word, you are exceedingly lucky.
Puzzle 198, week of February 20:
Start with a one word insect. Add a foreign word starting with M to the front and then split the insect into two pieces. You will have a three word phrase for someone who might be buying things in preparation for a holiday.
Puzzle 197, week of February 13:
I’m looking for a word related to the body. When you add an ‘S’ to the end of the word you get a word that can represent less than without the ‘S’
Puzzle 196, week of February 6:
I’m looking for a kind of cake in three syllables.
Take the first two syllables and replace the the last letter of the first syllable with an ‘A’ and the last letter of the second syllable with a ‘B’, rearrange the letters and you will get something that might be taken to visit the last syllable.
Puzzle 195, week of Jan 30:
I’m looking for a verb that means to add something or to take that same thing away. I can think of two answers to this and in both cases the verb can also be used as a noun which represents the thing being added and removed.
Puzzle 194, week of Jan 23:
Two words that are synonyms for protest that differ only in their first letter.
Puzzle 193, week of Jan 16:
Start with an item of winter clothing.
Change the first letter to the two letters preceding it in the alphabet (so for instance you would change ‘C’ to an ‘A’ and ‘B’).
Rearrange the letters and you will have another word for the same item of clothing.
Puzzle 192, week of Jan 9:
I’m looking for two slang terms for being drunk. In their normal English definitions they are opposites.
Puzzle 191, week of Jan 2:
Here is another classic puzzle with many versions floating around. A king decides the kingdom needs more girls. He decrees that every family can have as many children as they want as long as they have girls. As soon as they have a boy, they must stop having children.
After 5 years, what will be the approximate ratio of girls to boys among the under 5 set?
Puzzle 190, week of Dec 26:
I’m looking for a new year’s resolution in two words. Start with three contiguous letters in a row on a standard keyboard. Using these as many times as you want and adding an “A” in the first word, and a “B” in the second word you can form a new year’s resolution.
Puzzle 189, week of Dec 19:
Start with the name of a fictional character associated with Christmas, take the last four letters, rearrange them, and you get what many kids want for Christmas.
Puzzle 188, week of Dec 12:
Take a word relevant to this season and reverse the letters. Phonetically you will now have the first word of a popular two word Disney song title.
Puzzle 187, week of Dec 5:
You have a spherical snowball 10 cm across. You make a straight cut across the snowball and your piece has a circle of diameter of 8 cm. How far did you cut from the center of the snowball (closest distance from your cut to the center)?
Puzzle 186, week of Nov 28:
Start with an animal. Add an “EEE” sound and phonetically you will have a food.
Now add the same adjective in front of either the food or the animal and you will have a more specific food or animal.
Puzzle 184 & 185, week of Nov 14& Nov 21:
Hint: The secret information is hidden phonetically inside these lines…
The following three lines (that are very loosely tied together into what one could almost call a story arc – but not quite) contain a secret message that might describe how some people are feeling after the election:
“Ready Niles?” sang Erma.
“Ready! Press, shunt, and pull.”
“You win. I accept ants are better than worms.”
Puzzle 183, week of Nov 7:
Using just five 0’s and any mathematical operations that you wish, can you make 40,320? You can group operations and use parentheses as needed.
As a hint think of a mathematical operation that can map 0’s into some other number…
Puzzle 182, week of Oct 31:
I am looking for two words that are homophones. One is the name of a movie from 2006. If you drop two letters from the other, it is the name of a movie from the mid 90s.
Puzzle 181, week of Oct 24:
Start with something you might see on Halloween in two syllables.
Take the first syllable and double the vowel to get a new word.
Take the second syllable and replace the “E” with an “A” and you get a second word.
These two words are closely related.
Puzzle 180, week of Oct 17:
We have another fall harvest themed puzzle this week. Start with an American actress. Five letters in her first name, five letters in her last. Take one letter from her last name and replace the last three letters of her first. Take three letters from her first name and replace the last four letters of her last name. You will have a two word item commonly found at a fall harvest festival.
Puzzle 179, week of Oct 10:
This week I’m looking for a 5-letter fall treat where all but one letter are in the first 10 letters of the alphabet.
Puzzle 178, week of Oct 3:
This questions came up at work this week. Many of you have heard that it only takes 23 people to have a 50% chance that two of them will have the same birthday…How many people do you need to have a more than 50% chance of having at least 2 pairs of matching birthdays.
How about 3 pairs? That’s 3 sets of 2 people sharing a birthday.
Puzzle 177, week of Sep 26:
Take two one syllable slang words.
The first might represent how you are treating someone if you do the second.
Put them together and phonetically you get an olympic event.
Puzzle 176, week of Sep 19:
Start with 3 three-letter palindromes that are shorthands in different ways.
Drop the last letter from the middle palindrome, put them together and you will have a sweet. What is it?
Puzzle 175, week of Sep 12:
You have a box full of unsorted socks. They are identical except for color: White, Black, and Blue. How many socks do you need to pull out of the box to guarantee that you have four pairs?
Puzzle 174, week of Sep 5:
Start with a food you might have at a barbecue.
Change the last letter to two letters (that form a sound associated with peace). You will now have a word for the sound of too much lighter fluid on your barbecue coals.
Puzzle 173, week of Aug 29:
Take a single word and a two word phrase that both describe a model’s activities. Stick them together and you get a god from greek mythology. Who is the god?
Puzzle 170, week of Aug 8:
Here is an August puzzle based on two words formed from the letters of the word August: TAGS and GUST. What is the shortest word ladder you can create to go from TAGS to GUST using the standard word ladder rules? (You can only change one letter at a time and each intermediate word must be a standard English word.)
Puzzle 168, week of July 25:
What do these four words have in common:
Kites, Tally, Jibed, Cub
Hint: Look at your keyboard.
Puzzle 166, week of July 11:
Start with a kind of creature in plural
Change the vowel sound and phonetically you will get the noise those creatures make.
Puzzle 165, week of July 4:
As I watched the fireworks on Monday I started to think about things that go boom.
Start with the name of a supersonic jet. Move the last letter to the start and phonetically you will have two items that might feel the same if you touch them.
What is the name of the jet?
Puzzle 163, week of June 20:
What do the following words have in common?
wonderful, tube, fortunate, atypical, tenderness
Puzzle 162, week of June 13:
I am looking for a four digit number. The first two digits are a perfect square. The last two digits are a perfect square. The first two sum to the last two. The last two square to the first two. What is the number?
Puzzle 161, week of June 6:
Here in Oregon school is almost out. So this week I have a vacation puzzle.
Start with an item you might take on vacation in two words. Read every other letter and you will get a famous actress from the 1920s and 30s. What is the vacation item and who is the actress?
Puzzle 160, week of May 31:
Start with 4 consecutive odd numbered letters (standard A=1 to Z=26 numbering).
Take an “R” and a second copy of two of your letters and insert the three into your sequence.
The result is a farming term.
Puzzle 159, week of May 23:
What is the next letter in this sequence? O I U Y T R
Puzzle 157, week of May 9:
What does this expression evaluate to:
√(6 + √(6 + √(6+ √(6 + etc))))
Puzzle 152, week of Apr 4:
In what scenario would 4,416 be closer to 3,416 than it would be to 4,415?
Puzzle 151, week of Mar 28:
What do the following 4-letter words have in common? (Hint: It’s not that they all start with vowels!)
aced, amps, earn, edge, ever, inks, oath, oops