Friday, March 6, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle 3/1/09 - Texas Scramble

We were away in Brooklyn last weekend for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, so missed the usual Sunday puzzle broadcast on NPR. Luckily Will Shortz posed the on-air and audience challenges for everyone to solve.

In fact, the assembled intellects were such that Will only needed to give the first letter and length of the anagrammed Shakespeare characters for someone to know the answer, for example:
Will: six letters starting T
Anon: HAMLET (ie Thelma anagrammed)
Will: six letters starting B
Anon: OBERON (ie Borneo anagrammed)
The challenge for listeners this week was:
Take the phrase "atlas of the world," change the E to an R, and rearrange all the letters to name two cities that are closely related.
Merl ReagleThis puzzle came from compiler Merl Reagle, who was a commentator at the finals of the ACPT. We're told that he couldn't solve his own puzzle, but I find that hard to believe!

Magdalen got the answer almost immediately as Dallas and Fort Worth, reasoning that the "closely related" cities were probably one of the well-known twin cities. I still have difficulty with puzzles like this, as my knowledge of US geography is limited - I'd still have difficulty labeling all the states on a map, for example.

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