Thursday, September 10, 2009

NPR Puzzle -- Not as Divisive as All That?

A math problem with elements but no numbers? That was this week's puzzle:
Take the names of the first nine elements of the periodic table: hydrogen, helium, lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and fluorine. Select one letter from each of these names in order to spell a familiar nine-letter word. Hint: It's a word used in math.
This is the sort of puzzle that is a snap with TEA. Basically, you spell out all nine elements (removing duplicate letters within each word), in their order:
[hydrogen][helium][lithum][berylium][born][carbon][nitroge][oxygen][flourine]
You get the answer -- NUMERATOR -- and also RUMINATOR, OILMONGER, and DUMB BARGE. Don't ask me what a dumb barge is.

And now for our island vacation. As with Will's on-air puzzle, you get a word and a single letter which when anagrammed gives you an island. The islands are in red!

Key + S = Skye

Slobs + E = Lesbos

Boron + E = Borneo

Await + N = Taiwan

Shred + O = Rhodes

Micron + A = Minorca

Jicama + A = Jamaica

Camaro + J = Majorca

Rained + L = Ireland

Neuron + I = Reunion

Teenier + F = Tenerife

Radians + I = Sardinia

Nomadic + I = Dominica

Madonna + I = Mindanao

Enlarged + N = Greenland

Mistreat + O = East Timor

Lusitania + C = Saint Lucia

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