Sunday, January 25, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle, Sun, Jan 25, 2009

I loved the "on-line challenge" in today's NPR Sunday Puzzle segment. It involved sentences in which the names of cars were hidden.

Hiding answers in sentences is a common feature of cryptic crosswords: in the "hidden" clue type, the answer is concealed in consecutive letters of the clue; the words not needed for that are the definition of the answer (cryptic clues almost always give you two ways to get the answer - some kind of wordplay and a definition).

Coming up with hidden word clues is lots of fun and gets progressively more difficult the longer the answer. The compiler Brian Greer (a former crossword editor of the London Times, who wrote about how to solve that Times Crossword) managed the prodigious feat of hiding Bath and Wells (which is a diocese - or "see" - in the Church of England). The whole clue read:
Some job at hand? We'll soon see
The challenge for the listeners this week was:
Think of a word that starts and ends with the letter 'm'; drop the first 'm,' insert an 'o' somewhere and you'll get a new word that means the same thing as the first word. What words are these?
This is exactly the sort of question that my TEA Crossword Helper software can help out with. In this case, it came through with the answer very quickly. I'll give more details after the closing date for the puzzle.

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