April, 2003 Puzzle Contests

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4/30-5/1/03 Contest:

You have to interview 3 men. One always lies, one always tells the truth, and one always alternates in lying and telling the truth. Their names are Alex, Bob and Chris, and you ask them 1 question:

You: Which of you always lies?

Alex: I do.
Bob: Alex
Chris: Bob

Who is the liar, who always tells the truth, and who tells the truth half of the time?

Answer (from the winner):

"Bob is the liar, Chris always tells the truth, and Alex tells the truth half of the time.

Alex said 'I do' to the question which of you always lies. This is not entirely true, since he would pick the real liar if he told the truth. He would pick anyone but himself if he was the real liar. So from that, we deduce he tells the truth half the time. Bob is not telling the truth by convicting Alex, so Bob lies all the time. This is further justified by Chris as the truth teller, convicting Bob."

Winner: Ro Lewis, Raleigh, NC

4/29-4/30/03 Contest:

What word do all of the following have in common?

year frog second

Answer (from the winner):

"The answer is LEAP.

Leap Year - a year which has 366 days instead of 365.
Leap Frog - a child's game consisting of vaulting over the crouched backs of others.
Leap Second - a second added to the UTC time to bring it back in line with celestial time."

Winner: Graeme Black, Vacaville, CA

4/28-4/29/03 Contest:

In cleaning the tables at his restaurant, Elem periodically comes across certain items. Given this, which of the following do you think would be worth the most?

Cudgel Autoharp Alms Aglet Snaffle Fescue

Answer (from the winner):

"A cudgel is a stick used as a weapon, an autoharp is a musical instrument, alms are donations of any type to the poor, an aglet is the plastic thing on the end of shoelaces, a snaffle is a part or a horse's bit, and fescue is grass. I think the autoharp is worth the most money."

Autoharp is the correct answer and many people gave it due to estimation of relative financial value. However, here is the "real" reason it is the right answer, in light of the clues provided. It was provided by Graeme Black of Vacaville, CA:

"The answer is Autoharp.

These represent elements in the periodic tables:

Cu(dgel) = Copper
Au(toharp) = Gold
Al(ms) = Aluminum
Ag(let) = Silver
Sn(affle) = Tin
Fe(scue) = Iron

There were multiple clues in the sentence, including 'tables', 'periodically', and 'Elem'.

Now, even if you took these items as they are listed, the Autoharp would still probably be the most valuable.

Cudgel = A short club.
Autoharp = A zither with string dampening buttons to produce chords.
Alms = Something given to relieve the poor
Aglet = plain or ornament tag covering the ends of lace or point. Shoelace ends.
Snaffle = a simple jointed bit for a bridle
Fescue = a type of grass."

Winner: Emily Brown, student, Keene State College

4/25-4/28/03 Contest:

What do the following 4 items have in common?

late 1980s movie
old lightning

Answer (from the winner):


Winner: Henry DeGraaf. Henry, I have to disagree with your statement "that wasn't so hard." We were swamped with answers, over 90% of them saying that CALVIN was the correct answer. Calvin makes sense for the first 2 items, but is a huge stretch for the last 2. However, it was a good guess. This was a tough one!

4/24-4/25/03 Contest:

What do all of the following words have in common?

key soon goose go eyed atomic

Answer (from the winner):

"Hey 'Mon' - it's MON:

Winner: Dian M Buehlmeier, Pharmacy Network Management

4/23-4/24/03 Contest:

Using only standard US coins currently in circulation, how many different ways can you have 25 cents in change? One way is 2 dimes and 5 pennies, another is 2 dimes and a nickel, etc.

Answer (from Shirley Wolf, who didn't win, but provided a thorough and correct answer):

"There are 13 ways to have 25 cents in change:

1 quarter
2 dimes, 1 nickel
2 dimes, 5 pennies
1 dime, 3 nickels
1 dime, 2 nickels, 5 pennies
1 dime, 1 nickel, 10 pennies
1 dime, 15 pennies
5 nickels
4 nickels, 5 pennies
3 nickels, 10 pennies
2 nickels, 15 pennies
1 nickel, 20 pennies
25 pennies"

Winner: Carl Kirkland

4/22-4/23/03 Contest:

You are about to play a game of Spades with friends. They are out of the room, so you peek at the top two cards in the deck (shame on you!), and see they are the King of Hearts and the Seven of Clubs, respectively. In how many different ways could the other cards possibly be arranged?

Answer (from the winner): "There are 50 cards left in the deck.

They can be arranged in 50! (fifty factorial) ways."

This means 50x49x48x47....x2x1. My calculator shows the number as 3.0414093201713378043612608166065e+64, which is kinda big... :-)

Winner: Al Siller, Rockville, MD

4/21-4/22/03 Contest:

What do the 4 following words have in common?

needle potato ball storm

Answer (from the winner): "EYE. A needle has an eye, a potato has an eye, an eyeball, and the eye of a storm."

Winner: Stefanie Pope, Four Oaks, NC

4/18-4/21/03 Contest:

Replace each of the ? in the following list:

4 sides = tetrahedron
6 sides = cube
8 sides = ?
12 sides = ?
20 sides = ?
4-dimensional cube = ?

Answer (from the winner):

"8 sides = OCTAHEDRON
20 sides = ICOSAHEDRON
4-dimensional cube = HYPERCUBE"

TESSERACT would also be acceptable as an answer on the last item. To see a hypothetical sci-fi/horror tesseract/hypercube "in action" you might want to rent or buy Cube 2: Hypercube. It's low budget and often cheesy, but still fun. Its predecessor is of course Cube.

Winner: Al Siller, Rockville, MD

4/17-4/18/03 Contest:

I am a monster that you don't want to look at. Remove my last 6 letters, and you have a creature from the zodiac. What am I?

Answer (from the winner): "cockatrice

(A cock is one of the animals from the Chinese zodiac, and a cockatrice is 'a serpent hatched from a cock's egg and having the power to kill by its glance.')"

Yes, this was a trick question in that it used the Chinese zodiac vs. the standard Western one most of you probably assumed I meant.

Winner: Shirley Wolf, Rockville, MD. Only Shirley got this one right.

4/16-4/17/03 Contest:

I'm the name of a band that was big for a while in the 80s. You don't want to have one of me, unless it applies to someone else. Remove my last 4 letters, and you have a recent event. What am I?

Answer: Warrant/war.

Winner: Lisa M. Borrego

4/15-4/16/03 Contest:

If 9 out of 10 doctors surveyed indicated that they believe 9 out of 10 doctors are competent, which of the following can we conclude? You may choose one of them (indicate which one), more than one (indicate which ones), all of them, or none of them:

A. 9 out of 10 doctors believe they are competent
B. At least 81% of the doctors surveyed believe they are competent
C. 90% of the doctors surveyed believe 1 doctor in 10 is not competent

Answer: C. 90% of the doctors surveyed believe 1 doctor in 10 is not competent. 'A' can be ruled out because this infers that the survey is representative of all doctors, which we cannot conclude from the information given, AND in regards to their own competency. The survey asked about doctors in general, not about the individual ones taking the survey. 'B' can be ruled out because they were asked about the competency of doctors as a whole, and not their own competence. In the group surveyed, it is possible that a very small number felt they themselves were competent. Only 'C' can be concluded, because if they indicated that 90% ARE competent, this leaves 10% that could not be.

Winner: Lonnie Smith

4/14-4/15/03 Contest:

What do all of the following have in common?

Park paw Confederacy

Answer: All three are associated with the word "South" or "south." South Park, southpaw, and the Confederacy was the army of the South during the Civil War.

Winner: Joel Veldt

4/11-4/14/03 Contest:

Something quite relevant is revealed by the following seven words. What is it? Hint: try stacking them.

eraser slugfest enkephalin razee razor squush hippo

Answer (from the winner):
If you line them up.. last letters even, the 3rd letter
from the end.. reading up spells PUZZLES

        e r a s e r
    s l u g f e s t
e n k e p h a l i n
          r a z e e
          r a z o r
        s q u u s h
          h i p p o
Winner: Deborah Cox, Memphis TN

4/10-4/11/03 Contest:

This was a reissue of the 4/8-4/9/03 Contest, but was worth 2 puzzle pieces.

province is to norm as dynasty is to ?

Answer: burg. Normandy (a former province) is to Burgundy (a former dynasty). Both norm and burg are words, and both Normandy and Burgundy have similar last 4 letters and sounds. This was a tough one, and I gave no hints.

Winner: No one, regretably. But you guys tried!

4/9-4/10/03 Contest:

What do all 5 of the following have in common?

English television catfish bass Yucatan

Answer: CHANNEL. English Channel, television channel, channel catfish, channel bass, Yucatan Channel.

Winner: sasiteck; Fairfax County, VA

4/8-4/9/03 Contest:

The puzzle for this contest has not been solved, and is being reissued as the 4/10-4/11 contest, for two puzzle pieces. However, you may begin submitting your answers now.

4/7-4/8/03 Contest:

fictional is to Jubjub as poisonous is to?

Answer (from the winner):

"hooded pitohui

the jubjub is the fictional bird in Jabberwocky and the hooded pitohui is a poisonous bird from Papau New Guinea"

Note from Puzz: pitohui is also an acceptable answer, and I have heard that another species of poisonous bird has recently been found.

Winner: Deborah Cox, Memphis, TN

4/4-4/7/03 Contest:

I am not candy. Not martial matters. 6 letters. Who am I?

Answer (from the winner):

"Answer: Eminem

Not Candy: M & M

Not martial matters: Marshall Mathers"

Winner: Heather Price - Indiana, Project Manager, Interact Mediaworks

4/2-4/3/03 Contest:

What does the following say?

Xy'y x yxxy yyxyy Yxyyxyy yyxyx yyx Yxyyxyyxyy Xyyyxyy yyx yxxy yyxy yx yxy, xy xyyx yyxy "yxxy yyxyx xyy yxyxy yxxyy" yxyy yxxyy yxyx yxyy yxxy yyxxy yyxyy.


It's a good thing Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address the year that he did, or else that "four score and seven years" part would have just been plain wrong.

- Paul Paternoster

Winner: Graeme Black, who writes "I am an Canadian living in Vacaville, CA. I enjoy logic puzzles and cryptograms. I also play hockey, eh!"

4/1-4/2/03 Contest:

What word do all of the following have in common?

hill chain gold money cap motley

Answer (from the winner):


All of the words have something to do with fool:

The Fool on the Hill - Beatles song
Chain of Fools - Aretha Franklin
Fool's Gold - Rainmakers song
A Fool and his Money - 1988 Sondra Bullock Movie
Fool's Cap - a real hat that looks like a jester hat
Motley Fool"

Winner: Michelle Ferri, Philadelphia, PA

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