Thursday, June 18, 2009

NPR Puzzle 6/14/09 -- Marital Relations

Here's this week's puzzle:
Think of one word that starts with "te" and another word that starts with "st" — and they're synonyms. Hint: The "te" word has two syllables; the "st" word has one.
Well, which of the following (arguably) right answers did you pick?

STRESS & TENSION

STRAIN & TENSION

STORM & TEMPEST

My suspicion is that Stress & Tension is the "right" answer, but that Strain & Tension will be accepted. I predict Will will dismiss Storm & Tempest on the grounds that a tempest is a specific sort of storm, so they are not synonymous. I also sent in Stamp & Tender -- Ross gave it to me, so complain to him -- and I'm assured that they share the meaning of . . .

{cue the crickets}

Well, folks, I guess we struck out on that one -- I had assumed it had some Spenserian meaning that was connected with the reason bank notes are "legal tender." But when asked for a more precise meaning, our very own Crosswordman admitted defeat. I did warn him I'd rag on him, but only because he's normally very very precise about such things.

Here are the answers to the value-added puzzle for this week: Think of two-word phrases where the first word starts with MA and the second word starts RE. Here are the definitions:

Polling the customers Market Research

Prepare Make Ready

Technology used in brain scans Magnetic Resonance

What a UPC is Machine Readable

What an Isabel Allende novel is likely to contain Magical Realism

Laid off staff, in England Made redundant

What a couples counselor might talk about Marital relations

What identical twins might have Marked resemblance

What a ratio is Mathematical relationship

And, in light of the theme of this week (stress? tension? strife?), I've entitled this post accordingly. See you Sunday!

2 comments:

Dan said...

I was positive on TENSION & STRESS, and am irked as I listen to Will Shortz not even acknowledge that there was more than one correct answer.

Magdalen said...

I KNOW! What's up with that??? I actually think tension & stress/strain is a better answer, particularly in the structural engineering sense (y'know -- weight-bearing loads for steel I-beams and that sort of thing).

Crazy! Not his best puzzle, that's for sure.