Thursday, August 27, 2009

NPR Puzzle 08/24/09 -- Rolls Royces for NASCAR?

We have a special feature today (we're only a day late for this), but first -- last week's puzzle:
Think of two words that each mean "bowler." Put them together, one after the other, and you'll name a sport in two words that is not related to bowling.
The answer is Roller Derby. For Ross's benefit, here's what Roller Derby looks like. And if anyone wants to know the rules, check out an odd computer-animated explanation here.

The explanation is pretty straightforward. Bowlers roll the ball (bowler = roller) and a bowler hat in the US is called a derby. Of course, "roller" is also slang for a Rolls Royce, and derby is a race (e.g., the Kentucky Derby), so how cool would NASCAR be with Rolls Royces? I'd watch that!

We learned that yesterday was (is?) Will Shortz's birthday. Happy birthday, Will!

In his honor, here's a special value-added puzzle. We all know his categories puzzles for NPR's on-air contestants. Well, here's a fun one. Take the 13 letters of HAPPY BIRTHDAY and for each letter (so, yes, two H's, two P's and two Y's), name a different nation's capital. I'll tell you now that the Y's are the worst, so if mere mortals wish to skip them or look them up, I'm cool with that. As a special bonus round, which letter do you think has the most capitals?

This week's added-value puzzle was explained by Will on the radio --
From two given four-letter words, rearrange the letters of one of them to get a synonym of the other. For example, given "each" and "pain," the answer is "ache," because "ache" is an anagram of "each," and it means "pain."
-- only we used 5- and 6-letter anagrams. I also asked if you could figure out which of the following Ross objected to, albeit mildly. I could have made it slightly less objectionable, but it's such a lovely construction now that I can't bring myself to either delete it or change it.

Start begin/binge

Recap/caper dance

Chews plugs/gulps

Sound blare/abler (this was the one Ross objected to, as sound isn't quite the same as blare)

Bardo/broad woman

Cited named/ad-men

Bugle/bulge surge

Cafe's/faces sides

Craft trade/rated

Float/aloft above

Learn glean/angle

Early/layer sheet

Under below/elbow

Shoal shelf/flesh

Loves beaus/abuse (Henry objected to this because the French would be beaux)

Sherpa/phrase saying

Blamed/bedlam uproar

Erring/ringer expert

Bemoan grouse/rogues

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