Thursday, December 3, 2009

NPR Puzzle 11/29/09 I Gather Your Father is a Bather?

Um, the title says it all, but here's this week's puzzle:

Think of three six-letter words starting with B, G and F. The last five letters of the words are the same and in the same order, yet none of the words rhymes with any of the others. What words are these?
See the title for the answer.
 
Note that if the person who operates a lathe was a lather with a long A (not to be confused with the copious amounts of soap suds generated by the titular bather), you have two of the three pronunciations in one spelling.  But I guess that's a stretch.

How did Cotton Mather pronounce his surname?  Let's see -- according to the always reliable Internet, it would have rhymed with gather.  (Which is what I would have guessed, but I've been wrong before.)  His father was Increase Mather. 

So here's my revised (but too long) title for this post:

Willa Cather to Cotton Mather:  "I Rather Gather That Your Father (Increase Mather) was in a Lather Because He was a Bather."

See you Sunday!

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