February, 2003 Puzzle Contests

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2/28-3/3/03 Contest:

There is something unusual about the following words, and it has nothing to do with their meanings. What is it?

maillot nomad bole vendeuse chicken xanthene zeitgeist

Answer (from the winner): "Each word begins with a letter of the alphabet which is typed on the bottom row of a standard keyboard. From right to left, these letters are: M,N,B,V,C,X,Z."

Winner: Shirley Wolf, Rockville, MD

2/27-2/28/03 Contest:

I am supposed to be filled with gold
If you could only find my road
As to which America, you would look in the South
What am I?

Answer: El Dorado, the fabled city of gold that many explorers searched for in vain.

Winner: Colin McEwen

2/26-2/27/03 Contest:

I am the period of the reign of a certain Emperor. Replace my first 2 letters with one letter, and you have a group of islands. What am I?

Answer (from the winner): "Meiji (era). If you replace the first 2 letters with 'F,' you get Fiji which is a group of islands.

Emperor Meiji -
(1852-1912), reigned in Japan from 1867 to 1912. Meiji means enlightened rule, and the period of the emperor's reign was known as the Meiji era. . During the Meiji era, Japan began to develop as an international industrial and military power. The emperor, whose given name was Mutsuhito, was born in Kyoto. I hope I win. Thanks a lot."

Winner: Ashok of Redondo Beach, CA USA.

2/25-2/26/03 Contest:

The following set of words suggests another set, also containing words. All of the words in the set not shown end with the same 5 letters. As a further hint, 2 of the words in this second set are related to today's offer (Psychic Realm). What are the words in the second set?
Answer (from the winner):
Winner: Diane Cizunas, Illinois

2/24-2/25/03 Contest:

animal is to sacrifice as drink is to ?

Answer: libation. From Dictionary.com:

The act of pouring a liquid or liquor, usually wine, either on the ground or on a victim in sacrifice, in honor of some deity; also, the wine or liquid thus poured out. --Dryden.

A heathen sacrifice or libation to the earth. --Bacon.

Just as an animal is sacrificed, so is a drink (sometimes in conjunction with an animal sacrifice). Many people answered toast, but that is not a sacrifice, as you consume vs. sacrifice the drink by pouring it on the ground. This one was tough!

Winner: Robin Pasholk, Neenah, WI. Many people missed this one.

2/21-2/24/03 Contest:

There is something mostly odd about the following statement. What is it?

Spry is Mande issei

Answer (from the winner): "The first six prime numbers are 2,3,5,7,11,13. The word 'primes' is spelled out if you take the second, third, fifth, seventh, eleventh, and thirteenth letters in 'Spry is Mande issei.'"

Winner: Shirley Wolf, Rockville, MD. Shirley was the only person to get this problem right.

2/20-2/21/03 Contest:

heep is to amb as oat is to ? (hint: 2 letters, related to psychology)

Answer: id (a term brought to us by Freud, or as Bill and Ted called him, "Frude Dude"). The analogy is sheep is to lamb as goat is to kid. A kid is a young goat, just as a lamb is a young sheep.

Winner: David Fontes

2/19-2/20/03 Contest:

forethought is to Pro....... as afterthought is to ?

Answer (from the winner): "Epi... Prometheus means Forethought, and one of his brothers was Epimetheus or Afterthought." Also, as hints, each dot represented a missing letter in the name of Prometheus (so 10 letters), and the P was capitalized to indicate it was a name. This was a tough one!

Winner: sasiteck; Fairfax County, VA. Many people missed this one.

2/18-2/19/03 Contest:

I am a malady caused by eating something bad. If you heard me and did not know my definition, you might think that I meant to 'not deceive a female sibling.' What am I?

Answer (from the winner): "I believe the answer to today's puzzle is 'trichinosis,' which means 'infestation with or disease caused by trichinae and marked especially by muscular pain, dyspnea, fever, and edema.' And it sounds like 'trick no sis' or 'not deceive a sibling.'"

Winner: Cindy Eulitt, Charlotte, NC

2/14-2/18/03 Contest:

I am a deity known for lack of order. Read me backward, and you have a dad. What am I?

Answer (from the winner): "Eris, sire"

Winner: sasiteck; Fairfax County, VA

2/13-2/14/03 Contest:

I am a reward. Read backward, you believe something. Change one of my letters, and you have a drink. What am I?

Answer (from the winner):

"Meed is a reward
Deem is to believe
Mead is a drink made of fermented honey and water"

Winner: Michelle Ferri, Philadelphia, PA

2/12-2/13/03 Contest:

Remove my last letter, and you have something that can happen to the skin. Remove my first letter, and add a letter to the end of me, and you have a symbol involving life. I can hold stuff. What am I?

Answer (from the winner): tank (other words were tan and ankh)

Winner: Diane Cizunas, Illinois

2/11-2/12/03 Contest:

I am the making of a sound. Remove one of my letters, and you have something that is used to make certain baskets. Remove my last 2 letters and my first letter, and you have what the author of this puzzle is, to some extent. What am I?

Answer: Whicker, wicker, and (admittedly) hick.

Winner: P. Kader from Wisconsin. Kader was the only one to answer this correctly.

2/10-2/11/03 Contest:

7 letters in each word
Alliteration is present
Reptiles are involved
A girl with red hair is known for saying it
What am I?

Answer (from the winner): "'Leaping lizards' - Little orphan Annie"

Winner: Paul Riemer, Tonawanda, NY

2/7-2/10/03 Contest:

For my second part, if you travel by sea, you move in terms of me
For my first part, cut off my last three, then add a new one in my middle, and you can drink out of me
If you know of Alexander, you've almost certainly heard of me
What am I?

Answer: Gordian knot. Knot for nautical measurement & gourd were the 2 clues.

Winner: Diane Cizunas, Illinois

2/5-2/7/03 Contest:

ccrr is to core as cccrr is to ?

No one solved the contest on 2/5-2/6, so I submitted it again on 2/6, with the hint: think old numbers.

Answer: ocre or ore - either answer is acceptable. The letters are mirrors of Roman Numerals. c is the third letter of the alphabet, and the third to last letter in the alphabet is x; r is the 9th to last letter, so its mirror is i, etc. You get:

XXII is to XLIV as XXXII is to LXIV or LIV

Which translates to: 22 is to 44 as 32 is to 64 or 54. The analogy can be see as adding 22, or adding 10 (both of which give an answer of 54) or multiplying by 2 (which gives 64).

Winner: No one. This was evidently an extremely difficult problem.

2/4-2/5/03 Contest:

I am "heads" on a coin. Permute 2 of my letters (of which there are 7 in total), and you have another word. What am I?

Answer (from the winner): "Obverse (the other word being 'observe')"

Winner: David Pipe

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