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Puzz.com Puzzle Newsletter Contests

NOTE: Puzz.com's Puzzles, Games & Contests Newsletter is defunct, but feel free to look through this archive of the newsletter contests, which extend back into 1999. Our only current e-mail publication is the AfreeB.com & Puzz.com Newsletter, which contains puzzle contests, trivia, brain teasers, quotes, freebies, and bargains.

This is the complete list of all contests that were run in Puzz.com's Puzzles, Games & Contests Newsletter, along with the winner for each contest. A new contest was announced in each issue of the newsletter.

8/3/01 Contest:

This week I bring you some puzzles of my own. Note that you can only submit one set of answers, so make it a good one! Be the first one to get ALL of these right to win the contest and the prize:

1. My first 5 letters mean “divest,” and I am a youth. What word am I?

2. Spelled similar to a low quality apartment, I am a polygon in which atrocities occurred. What am I?

3. My first 3 letters are a fish, and my next 4 are a state of depression. I made music with a fellow who had the same name as a memory game. Who am I?

4. A mischievous deity, the second part of my name is pronounced the same as a tool used for unlocking doors. Who am I?

5. I mean to “torment,” and my last 4 letters mean to “tease.” What am I?

6. I am a word that indicates that something is shaped like a fan. My last 4 letters indicate tardiness, and my first 4 mean “fat.” What am I?

7. My first 3 letters backward are an acronym for a type of memory. My last half is a valuable metal. What am I?

8. I suggest something that is like a dart. Add the letter “i” before my last letter, and my last 4 letters would then mean “den.” What am I?

Winner: Shirley Wolf


1. stripling
2. Tiananmen (Square)
3. Garfunkel
4. Loki
5. hagride
6. flabellate
7. marigold
8. acicular (could also be spicular) - spicular is probably the better answer - PuzzMaster

7/27/01 Contest:

These puzzles are taken from sources, to be provided with the answers. Note that you can only submit one set of answers, so make it a good one! Be the first one to get this right to win the contest and the prize:

1. A craftsman was making a children’s game in which letters and figures are pasted on wooden cubes. But he needed twice the surface area he had available. How did he get it without adding any cubes?

2. Can you name this famous nursery rhyme or fable? - Complications arose during an investigation of dietary influence; one researcher was unable to assimilate adipose tissue, and another was unable to consume tissue consisting chiefly of muscle fibre. By a reciprocal arrangement between the two researchers, total consumption of the viands under consideration was achieved, thus leaving the original container of the viands devoid of contents.

Winner: Terri Unterreiner, Saint Louis, MO. "puzzles and puzz.com are great!"


1. Each cube was cut into 8 smaller cubes. The surface of each cube is one-fourth that of the large cube, so the total surface area is doubled. Source: The Moscow Puzzles : 359 Mathematical Recreations

2. Jack Sprat Could Eat No Fat. Source: Brain Bafflers

7/19/01 Contest:

This puzzle is taken from a source, to be provided with the answer. Note that you can only submit one answer, so make it a good one! Be the first one to get this right to win the contest and the prize:

At a classic car auction, thirty buyers were present. Ten of the buyers bought fewer than 6 cars. Eight of the buyers bought more than 7 cars. Five buyers bought more than 8 cars. One buyer bought more than 9 cars. What is the total number of buyers who bought 6, 7, 8, or 9 cars?

Winner: Nick Butcher, within only a few minutes of the puzzle being posted. Next week's will have to be harder...

Answer: From the book: "19. If ten of the buyers bought less than 6 and one buyer bought more than 9, that means that 11 buyers do not have 6, 7, 8, or 9 cars. That means that the remaining nineteen buyers do. Source: Are You As Smart As You Think? : 150 Original Mathematical, Logical, and Spatial-Visual Puzzles for All Levels of Puzzle Solvers - one of the best puzzle books ever created!

7/14/01 Contest:

This puzzle is taken from a source, to be provided with the answer. Be the first one to get this right to win the contest and the prize:

Sid Jones was driving in his recently purchased sports car when he noticed that the odometer read precisely 12345.6 miles. What is truly amazing is that his trip odometer underneath read precisely 123.4 miles. What is the smallest distance that Jones can drive so that the two odometers have all ten digits between them, but share no digits in common?

Winner: Nathan Glasser, Somerville, MA

Answer: From Nathan: "861.1 miles. This gives 13206.7 and 984.5 miles." Source: Hard-To-Solve Math Puzzles : Official American Mensa Puzzle Book

6/28/01 Contest:

The puzzles, which are taken from sources (and sometimes slightly modfied) that will be listed with the answers:

1. Two cars start traveling from two different points and in opposite directions in a circuit race at a constant speed. The cars cross for the first time at point A. The second time is at point B. The third time is at point C, and the fourth one is again at point A. How much faster is one car going than the other?

2. 99 + 9 = 9

A five-letter word can be added to the equation above to make it correct. What is it?

3. A rectangular floor is composed of square tiles of the same size, 81 along one side, 63 along the other. If a straight line is drawn diagonally across the floor from corner to corner how many tiles will it cross?

NOTE: You can only submit one set of answers, so make it a good one!

Winner: David Garner, Age 40, Software Developer.

Answers: Quotation marks are around David's exact answers:

1. "One car is going twice as fast at the other." Source: Hard-To-Solve Brainteasers : Official American Mensa Puzzle Book. Buy the book if you wish to read the explanation ;-)

2. "9 minus 9 + 9 = 9" The book actually has the answer as 99 + 9 = 9 DOZEN... but David's answer also works. Source: World's Most Baffling Puzzles.

3. "135 tiles are crossed" Source: Brain Puzzler's Delight.

6/22/01 Contest:

The puzzles, which are taken from sources (and sometimes slightly modfied) that will be listed with the answers:

1. Who pretended that he had gone mad, and was sowing a field with salt instead of seed to prove this, to avoid going away overseas?

2. Below you will find a sentence about a man who ate and ate and ate. Within the sentence are hidden the five parts of his body which grew the fastest. Can you work out, using all the letters, what the five parts are?


3. Supply the missing number in the following sequence:

NOTE: You can only submit one set of answers, so make it a good one!

Winner: Nathan Glasser, Somerville, MA on 6/22/01.


1: Odysseus (Source is Mythology : Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes)
2: feet, head, hands, teeth, ears (source is The Mammoth Book of Astounding Puzzles)
3: 121. "All of the numbers are the number 16, written in different bases. The first is written in the base 16, the second in the base 15, etc., down to the last, which is written in the base 1. The missing number, therefore, is 121." (source is Games for the Superintelligent)
ALL of these sources are linked from http://www.puzz.com/store.html.

6/13/01 Contest:

The puzzles, which were taken (and slightly modified) from a source that will be provided with the answers:

5 analogies. Replace the ? with the correct answer for each one:

1. ? is to 1000 as DECIMAL is to BINARY
2. TAPS is to OWL as ? is to COCK
3. DEAL is to ROOSEVELT as FRONTIER is to ?

NOTE: You can only submit one set of answers, so make it a good one!

Winner: Mark Mammel, College Park, MD


1. 8
4. DESULTORY (but I accepted AIMLESSNESS from the winner)

Source: Miller Analogies Test : Preparation Guide (but our answers are from the first edition)

5/29/01 Contest:

The Puzzle, which is taken (and slightly modified) from a source that will be provided with the answer:

Replace the ? in the following sequence with the correct number:

1 9 19 99 119 199 999 ?

NOTE: You can only submit one answer, so make it a good one!

Winner: This info was accidentally deleted weeks after the contest was over and the prize awarded. Doh!! Feel free to supply this info if you have it... I seem to recall the winner being a woman who had just graduated from college.

Answer: 1199. The number of times the letter "N" appears in the words that constitute the numbers steadily increases by 1.

Source: Mesmerizing Math Puzzles : Official American Mensa Puzzle Book

5/18/01 Contest:

2fu = gr8 most logically means what?

Winner: Derek Stoughton, age 18, of Austin, Texas, on 5/18/01.

Answer: Derek wrote "Too few are great." The answer I had was "tofu is great," but Derek had his answer in before several people who did come up with my answer, and I think that "logically" it is about as much correct (or something like that!). If you thought this one was too easy, next week's will be MUCH harder ;-)

5/13/01 Contest:

My first half means “cornmeal boiled in water.” My second half is a chamber. I may be poisonous. What am I?

Winner: Sue Sawyer on 5/13/01.

Answer: Mushroom.

4/28/01 (through 5/1) Contest:

Carolina Intelligence Test - be the first one to get all of the problems right to win a prize. Later (4/30) announced that the highest score would win the prize, with it to be split in case of a tie. Submissions had to be in by 1:00 AM, CST on 5/1.

Winners: Tie of 9/10 between Brendan Cassida, a 22 year old Internet application programmer located in Spokane, Washington, USA, and "Chris Lawson, Schuylerville, NY, age 16, job=resident genius?" This quiz proved to be a quite a challenge, especially with our having over 14,500 subscribers now!

Answers: Found on this page.

3/22/01 Contest:


You have 4 boxes, numbered 1 through 4, in increasing order of size. A box of lower number will fit inside of a box of higher number, but not the other way around. You place the boxes in an empty room. How many possible ways could they be arranged? Folding, cutting, etc. any of the boxes is not possible, and stacking them or laying them in different positions is not counted. One way is for them all to be separate, another for 1 to be inside of 2, and 3 and 4 separate, and so on. You must list all of the “permutations” for the boxes, not just provide the total number of permutations.

Winner: Nathan Glasser, Somerville, MA, USA

NOTE: Next week's will be MUCH harder, so it is less of a speed contest.

There are 15 ways

1 2 3 4
12 3 4
12 34
34 1 2
13 2 4
13 24
24 1 3
14 2 3
14 23
23 1 4
123 4
124 3
134 2
234 1

3/15/01 Contest:


An odd number contains the numbers 1 & 6. If the first 2 digits of the number were separated from the last 2, the first 2 digits would make a new number that is twice as large as the number created from the last 2 digits. What is the number?

Winner: Kristin Meek, Chicago, IL, on 3/15/01.

Answer: 6231 was Kristin's answer, but there are other correct answers as well. You guys are solving these too fast... next week's puzzle will be a bit harder!

3/12/01 Contest:


wheel + can = star + star + lid
file + lid = wheel + star + lid
wheel + wheel = file + can
lid + star = can + X

Which object should replace X to complete the equation above, and what is the numeric value of each object? You must get both parts right to win the contest.

Winner: Jordan Buller, Computer Technician, Virginia Beach, VA

Answer: Note that there are other possible numbers that can be assigned to the objects, but the object in question is always the same. The answer, as written by Jordan:
Wheel = 4
File = 5
Can = 3
Star = 1
Lid = 5

| lid + star  |
| = can + X   |

X = can

3/5/01 Contest:


Rapper Vanilla Ice T. has just busted a new rhyme, and it has instantly gone platinum. Can you decipher what the name of the album should be based on the code/sequence in this excerpt from his brilliant song “Don’t Hate the Playa, Hate the Game,” and is also the missing next line in the song?

Don’t y’all feel silly,
And think it’s 'bout time to free Whilly?
You’d better not playa hate
Considering your mental state
I’ve added a new protein shake to my meal
My biceps are starting to look like steel
My abs are flat and hard like a shield
I’m like a solja’ in the field
Far away on a deserted island
Every citizen is law abidin’
I can find anything under the sun
And in every church I’ve found anon
My bed smells like a skunk

Winner: Jennifer Narang on 3/5/01.

Answer: From Jennifer: "I hate this bunk (second letter of last word of each line)." Note that I asked "what the name of the album should be," and I think that this title is appropriate (bunk is another word for buncombe/bunkum, meaning 'nonsense').

2/24/01 Contest:


Chemist Jim Nimb likes Canada, Zen, cod, and osmosis. He’s a swingin’ cat alright! Tell me something else he is also certain to like.

Winner: Jill Sugarman, who writes "I'm an attorney and paperweight collector and seller (www.apassionforpws.com) who also has a passion for games and puzzles!"

Answer: Jill's answer was "He's certain to like zither, Louisiana, paint, Rousseau, and hanggliding (if it's one word!)." Each of the words in the problem begin and end with a letter for an element on the Periodic Table. Example: Canada = Ca (Calcium). Jill saw this, and ran with it!

2/19/01 Contest:

Question: In honor of the holiday, I give you


What 3 letters would come next in this series: KCA RRA KLO LLI HCU NHO EYA ?

Winner: Andrew Silikovitz from West Orange, NJ, on 2/19/01.

Answer: HTR. The sequence is in each step the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd letters of a President's last name. The sequence begins with the 7th President, Andrew Jackson (KCA), proceeds through the other odd numbered Presidents, and ends with Chester Alan Arthur, 21st President of the United States.

1/24/01 Contest:

Question: This puzzle is (minus a hint) taken from a source - to be provided on http://www.puzz.com/newscontests.html when the problem is solved:

How would you write 400,000 in Roman numerals?

Winner: We had numerous correct submissions, but the first one to have a correct answer in was Serge V. Trepakov, Novosibirsk, Russia.

Answer: To quote Serge:

'CD' (means 400) with bar placed on top
of string (means 400*1000)"

Source: The problem was taken from Terry Stickels's Mind-Bending Puzzles 2000 Calendar for 4/24/2000.

12/4/00 Contest:

Question: This puzzle consists of 6 problems, each problem having 2 answers... when you submit your answers I’ll tell you if you got them all right or if you didn’t, but I won’t tell you how many of them you solved/missed, or which ones you solved/missed... each problem consists of 2 words. All of the letters in the second word are from the first word, and are in the same order. Example:

Armstrong (9 letters) - move at a pace between running and walking (4 letters)


Here we go:

1. Forerunner (9 letters - error in newsletter said 8 letters - sorry, folks) - person who resembles another (6 letters)
2. Used to remove sand (7 letters) - genus of plants, with compound flowers (5 letters)
3. Boiled cereal (8 letters) - crest of 2 sloping surfaces (5 letters)
4. Fiasco (7 letters) - entice (4 letters)
5. Troublesome person (7 letters) - a type of mammal (4 letters)
6. Very serious (7 letters) - Greek name for a planet (4 letters)

Winner: Shirley Wolf on 12/5/00

1.  harbinger, ringer
2.  blaster, aster
3.  porridge, ridge
4.  failure, lure
5.  hellion, lion
6.  earnest, Ares (or zealous, Zeus - my original answers)

11/26/00 Contest:

Question: This puzzle is from a book - source to be revealed when the problem is solved:

“Motorboat M leaves shore A as N leaves B; they move across a lake at constant speed. They meet the first time 500 yards from A. Each returns from the opposite shore without halting, and they meet 300 yards from B.

How long is the lake, and what is the relation between the two boats’ speeds? Sharp wits can solve the problem with a minimum of calculation.”

Source: The Moscow Puzzles : 359 Mathematical Recreations, problem 227.

Winner: The following individuals submitted correct answers within the same time frame: Shirley Wolf, Yevgeniy Polonskiy, Mat Cusick, Nathan Glasser, Jessica Sweeney, and Alexandra Mogilevsky. I assigned a number from 1 to 6 to each individual, and rolled a die. Shirley's number came up, so she is the "winner," inasmuch as she gets the prize. Good job, folks!

Answer: Lake = 1200 yards, ratio of speeds of M and N are 5:7. A more complete explanation, with diagram, can be found in the book.

11/21/00 Contest:

Question: Who is the author of the bizarre yet humorous (in some opinions (-:) recent comic strips that occasionally involve a character who delivers milk?

Winner: Both Laura Bisnett and Jonathan Rosborough (latter at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada) answered the question correctly, but their answers were submitted so closely together that I had to randomly select one of them as a winner, and Jonathan got lucky and won the prize (I rolled a die - odd Laura, even Jonathan - a 2 came up)!

Answer: Jonathan wrote "The author's name is Max Cannon and the comic strip is called Red Meat." The character is Milkman Dan, who is NOT a good role model for children!

11/2/00 Contest:

Question: This trivia teaser is yet another movie quote question, BUT to make it a little more interesting, it is in cryptogram format! HA!! So first you must decipher the code. To see how cryptograms work, visit http://www.puzz.com/cryptoquotes.html The puzzle: What sci-fi movie contains the question and answer combo as follows:

“Cho yh mhq slu lblf otuc g sqm och yhqvel-ajhiili mhq gfy uclf iulgei mhqj ohxgf?”

“Elu ctx dllz clj.”

Winner: Richard Horwood, a 27 year old Unix System Admin from Melbourne, Australia on 11/17/00.


"How do you get even with a guy who double-crosses you and then steals your woman?"

"You let him keep her."

Rutger Hauer, Deadlock.

10/24/00 Contest:

Question: What famous sci-fi movie contains the statement “don’t trust anyone over 30” ?

Winner: Jordan Buller, Computer Technician, Virginia Beach, VA on 10/24/00.

Answer: Planet of the Apes.

2/22/00 Contest:

Winner: Kush David Goyal, a student at the University of Michigan, on 2/24/00. Good job!

Please note that you may only submit ONE answer to this contest. If your answer is wrong, you cannot try again. Send your answer to NewsContest@puzz.com. Good luck!

The prizes are the same as for the Hidden Puzzle Contest (http://www.puzz.com/hidden.html), and this now includes all of the puzzle card decks you'll find on this page, which make excellent prizes and gifts. This puzzle is from Terry Stickels himself. Here goes:

3 circles can intersect each other in such a way that a maximum of 7 bounded areas or regions can be created, that are not further subdivided.

What is the maximum number of areas or regions that result when 3 intersecting circles are intersected by a rectangle? The resulting answer should again reflect the fact that the resulting areas or regions are not further subdivided.

You can receive help from friends, and use any reference aids you want.

Answer: 31.

1/25/00 Contest:

Winner: Patrick T. Wahl of Greeley, Colorado, USA

The prizes are the same as for the Hidden Puzzle Contest (http://www.puzz.com/hidden.html). If you are SURE you know the answer, send it to NewsContest@puzz.com. To see if someone has already won the contest, or to see if any hints have been posted, visit http://www.puzz.com/newscontests.html at any time. Here goes:

I have 30E 20S 12P and 11L. What am I?

You can receive help from friends, and use any reference aids you want.

Answer: Icosahedron. As stated by the winner: "An icosahedron has 30 edges, 20 sides and 12 sharp points. Its English name is spelled with 11 letters."

12/28/99 Contest:

Winner: Both Mark Mammel and Robbie Magness solved the puzzle in the same time frame. I randomly selected Robbie as the winner of the prize, but congratulations to both of these guys - this was a tough one!

The prizes for this one are the same as are available for the Hidden Puzzle Contest - http://www.puzz.com/hidden.html Here's the puzzle:

What are the last 4 letters in this series? vklclaannb

If you are at least 99% SURE you have the correct answer, send it to NewsContest@puzz.com. I'll let you know if you have it right as soon as I can. If you don't, but we still don't have a winner, you can try again... And no, the answer isn't annb! Please see the hint below, which indicates that it must be something else...

Hint: Also in the 12/28/99 issue was this set of series puzzlers: http://www.puzz.com/seriespuzzlers.html. Your hint is this: the contest puzzle mentioned above contains ELEMENTS from at least two of the problems in http://www.puzz.com/seriespuzzlers.html... I'm PRIMARILY concerned with teasing your brain, and sometimes you have to look up and down, forwards and BACKWARDS to solve my stumpers.

Answer: ileh. The series is vklclaannbileh, which is the letters for the elements on the Periodic Table that have prime atomic numbers (up through 23), listed backwards! H (1) is not prime, so: he(2), li(3), b(5), n(7), na(11), al(13), cl(17), k(19), v(23). Admittedly a very tough puzzle.

12/16/99 Contest:

Winner: Shirley Wolf of Rockville, Maryland. Congratulations (again!) Shirley! That's two wins in a row out of nearly 7,000 subscribers - quite impressive.

Christmas is less than 10 days away, and if you haven't gotten all of your shopping done, we're here to help - with free prizes! If you are the first person to answer all of the questions below correctly, you win $30.00 worth of free merchandise to be shipped anywhere you want - free of charge! The merchandise must be selected from our store (http://www.puzz.com/orderform.html), and of course includes our ever popular computer brain/test game THINKfast. If you don't know the answers offhand, you might still have a chance of winning if you can look them up quickly! The questions:

1. In the movie Bone Collector, what does the Bone Collector turn out to be? Answer: a book.
2. H.P. Lovecraft often refers to an 'insane Arabian man' in his stories. What is this man's name? Answer: Abdul Alhazred.
3. Which character in children's literature tried to steal Christmas? Answer: The Grinch.
4. When is 9 less than 8? Answers: When turned upside down, when negative, when the 8 is horizontal (thus becoming infinity).
These last two puzzles are borrowed from Terry Stickels' Mind-Bending Puzzles books (read about them on this page), one each from volumes 1 and 2, and are used here with permission from the author:
5. What is 1/10 divided by 1/2 divided by 1/5 times 7/9? Answer: 7/9.
6. If the volume of a cube is 729 cubic feet, how many cubic yards is it? Answer: 27.

11/27/99 Contest:

Winner: Six people submitted correct solutions to this contest before the deadline, and of the six, I randomly selected Shirley Wolf of Rockville, Maryland as the winner. Congratulations, Shirley, and to all of you who tried the contest!

The first person to solve all of the following puzzles wins a box of THINKfast - no strings attached! All you have to do is figure out what the 5 words are, and email them to: NewsContest@puzz.com before Monday, 11/29/99. You must have a legitimate answer to each puzzle to receive any response to your submission (e.g. you couldn't write 'crayon' as the answer to puzzle #1 and receive a response). The winner will be listed that day on http://www.puzz.com/news.html, and if there is no winner, the contest will continue until someone solves it, and the winner will then be listed on http://www.puzz.com/news.html. If no winner is selected before 11/29, those who submitted legitimate answers will be told the number they had correct, and they can submit new answers for a second chance. If more than one correct submission is received by the deadline, and it is not clear who was first, we’ll randomly select from the correct submissions. Please send along what information you’d like listed about yourself if you are the winner - that’s all that we’ll list. You can use a nickname, etc. instead of your real name, if you want to. The puzzles:

1. --el-a-a Definition: a long, loose article of clothing with a hood.
2. --c-r-o-e-t- Definition: quality of having no body.
3. --n-t--e Definition: reduce in size by making a hole in.
4. --u-p-k- Definition: road used to avoid the toll on a superhighway.
5. --s-o-h-l- Definition: studier and collector of phonograph records.

The answers:

1. djellaba
2. incorporeity
3. puncture
4. shunpike
5. discophile

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