Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday NPR 06/14/09 -- Straight & Tidy

Well, we know "straight & tidy" isn't the answer, because "tidy" doesn't contain an 'e.' But before we look as some other near-answers, here's the 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.
Okay, we've come up with some other non-answers, and then we have some almost answers, which I think I'll submit, just to see if I get the honorable mention. (I love the honorable mention!)

For example, STAFF and TEACHERS aren't precisely synonyms, but kinda sorta. Similarly, STEP and TERRACE are close but no cigar. Ross had one: TENOR and STRAIN, as in the quality or drift of a conversation or debate. (That seemed a bit iffy, but he's the word freak, so I just go with his flow, as it were.)

That leaves me with the right answer, a variant of the right answer, and two acceptably plausible wrong answers. I will divulge all on Thursday night!

Meanwhile, here's your value-added puzzle for this week: Thinking of some plausible variants on Will's test for today, I came up with MARE, for no particular reason. 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

Prepare

Technology used in brain scans

What a UPC is

What an Isabel Allende novel is likely to contain

Laid off staff, in England

What a couples counselor might talk about

What identical twins might have

What a ratio is

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