June, 2002 Puzzle Contests

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6/26/02 Contest:

If a body of water possesses a prime number, duplications attempt to do us harm, and a phone company has just been purchased by a feudal leader, what 3 things are we talking about?

Answer and Explanation: I had intended the three movie titles of "Ocean's Eleven," "Attack of the Clones," and "Lord of the Rings." Yes, the phone company/rings bit was cheesy, but maybe a good association teaser. Our winner chose "Double Jeopardy" instead of "Attack of the Clones," and since this is a movie and no one else had more than 2 answers of the 3 that could be counted correct, I did not have to consider if it was the "best" answer or not, and declared him the winner automatically.

Winner: Andrew Silikovitz from West Orange, NJ

6/25/02 Contest:

In an alien language:

"hooofd fssdfj ewrew sdfsdo" means "throw my stone away"
"ewfw fsfe sdfoe" means "from his hip"
"ooww ddww ffee wwws" means "first, second, third, fourth"
"fdier fdeww jefw ceef fowrs" means "the dog likes fire hydrants"
"owers cwmmw eressw wrs lers" means "eighth sun we have created"

You know that the ORDER of the words in this language often do not fall in the same order when translated. With this in mind, and knowing that these aliens are fond of our music from the 60s and 70s, in describing your location, what does the following most logically translate to in our language:

ewrew fsfe eressw ddww fowrs

Answer and Explanation: Third Stone from the Sun. This is an old song by Jimi Hendrix, who was famous in the 60s through to 1970, and of course his fame continued posthumously. A few people answered "Third Rock from the Sun," but this is technically not correct, given the hint of the song. In looking at the puzzle, you could see that one alien language word was being used in the sentence from each translated phrase. So, you had to put together a sentence or title that made sense using one word from each phrase, and knowning that the words could be arranged in almost any order. Third Stone from the Sun (i.e. Earth) is the best answer given all of the clues provided. Funkadelic, eh?

Winner: Jim Mehring, Data Processing Mgr

6/24/02 Contest:

You must answer all 4 of these correctly to be entered to win -

1. What words or names are alluded to below that sound the same but are spelled differently:

Writing implement (3 letters), State University (4 letters)

2. Head Fry Chew Bait

Which of the 4 words above does not belong? Try to find the best answer.

3. Tight Head Bear Bush Alligator Flick

Which of the 6 words above does not belong? Try to find the best answer.

4. Rick Moranis is best associated with which of the following:

Keymaster Shroomy Casper Gaza

Answers and Explanations:

1. What words or names are alluded to below that sound the same but are spelled differently:

Writing implement (3 letters), State University (4 letters)


2. Head Fry Chew Bait

Which of the 4 words above does not belong? Try to find the best answer.

CHEW. The others are associated with fish: fish head, fish fry, and fish bait.

3. Tight Head Bear Bush Alligator Flick

Which of the 6 words above does not belong? Try to find the best answer.

BUSH. The others are associated with the word skin: Skin tight, skin head, bear skin, alligator skin (boots), skin flick.

4. Rick Moranis is best associated with which of the following:

Keymaster Shroomy Casper Gaza

KEYMASTER. He becomes the Keymaster in the movie Ghostbusters.

Winner: Robert Reber

6/21/02 Contest:

I am what you might call someone who greatly covets money. The first third of me indicates a style of music. What am I?

Answer and Explanation: rapacious. You'll see that the first 1/3 (3 letters of 9) spell out "rap." Only 4 people answered this correctly before 8:00 AM on 6/22, I'm guessing because I got it out in the afternoon on a Friday, and delivery time for the mailer was a bit slow. We had a couple of other answers come in that had merit, but this is the better answer of those submitted.

Winner: Arthur Spiller, Houston, Texas

6/19/02 Contest:

I'm going to be out tomorrow, so no contest for Thursday. To make up for it, whoever wins today's contest gets 2 Puzzle Pieces. I'm also giving you until 8:00 AM CST on Friday to send in your answer, so try to take time and make sure you have it right before sending it in, since the time limit is extended by a day.

Because the prize is 2 puzzle pieces vs. 1, and you have until Friday morning to solve this, I have to make this one a little toughter. You'll go round and round with this one.

You must get both parts of this puzzle right to be entered to win -

6 10 22 4 17 ?

1. Tell me what number should replace the ? in the number series above

2. The series indicates a word. Using the same exact system that produced the number series above, give me the series for a 3 dimensional version of that word.

Answer and Explanation: Quoted directly from the winner:

"1. The next number in the series is 14. (You subtract from each term in the series 6,10,22,4,17 the successive digits of pi=3.1415, to get 3,9,18,3,12. Then you check which letters of the alphabet occupy the corresponding positions in the alphabet: C,I,R,C,L. It follows that the next letter is E; adding its position in the alphabet (5) with the next digit of pi ((9), gives 14 as the next term.)

2. The 3-dimensional version of circle is SPHERE. The letters of "sphere" occupy positions 19,16,8,5,18,5 in the alphabet. Adding these values to the digits of pi gives 22,17,12,6,23,14."

An alternate set of answers 3 different individuals came up with involved adding 1s or 2s to the alphabetical letters based on whether the letters were even or odd numbered. However, the hint that "you'll go round and round with this one," and that the first word is CIRCLE, I think that pi is a "better" answer, making Zaheer the sole provider of the correct answer.

Winner: Zaheer Jhetam, Manager: Logistics and Quality (in Johannesburg, South Africa)

6/18/02 Contest:

You must get both parts of this puzzle right to be entered to win -

I am a famous Shawnee. Remove my 3rd to last letter, and then read the remaining last 3 letters backward, and you have an edge, rim or border. My first letter is the last letter in a word for ice cream in a glass with syrup and whipped cream (are you hungry yet? Are you?). Tell me:

1. Who I am and

2. What the "ice cream in a glass" word indicated above is


1. Tecumseh. The backward word was hem.

2. parfait.

Winner: Al Siller. Quite a few more people answered this one correctly than the previous puzzle.

6/17/02 Contest:

I am a nearly neutral slightly bluish medium gray. Remove my first letter, and you have a type of nobleman. Assume you have a polyhedron with the same number of sides as there are letters in the word for the nobleman. Each of the sides of the polyhedron are of the exact same dimensions. Now tell me:

1. The word for me.

2. The number of distinct color patterns that can exist for the polyhedron if each of its sides are painted either white or black. A pattern is only "distinct" if it does not duplicate another pattern by rotating the object. For example, there is only one pattern for one side black and the others white, since it does not matter which side is black, if you rotate the object.


1. Pearl. Several people said earl and other things, but it is clear that "the word for me," refers to the "I" in "I am a nearly neutral slightly bluish medium gray" (i.e. Pearl).

2. 5. A lot of people answered 6. However, if you look at a tetrahedron (a pic is on problem 32 on http://www.eskimo.com/~miyaguch/titan.html for example), or better yet have one, as I do (in the form of an old Dungeons and Dragons die), you'll see that you get:

all sides black
all sides white
1 side black, the rest white
1 side white, the rest black
2 sides white, 2 sides black - it does not matter which sides are which, since the exact same pattern exists by rotating the object

Winner: Devinder Singh. A total of 4 people answered the puzzle correctly before 8:00 AM this fine morning. I rolled a tetrahedral die (no joke) to determine the winner, and Devinder's number came up.

6/14/02 Contest:

RIN WHO? Ring-a-ling, ding-a-ling! What 16 letter word is the answer to this teaser? P.S. Your spelling must be perfect!

Answer: tintinnabulation

Winner: Andrew Silikovitz from West Orange, NJ

6/11-6/14/02 Contest:

Sorry it's been 2 full days since the last newsletter went out... my wife was having pain (other than me, as I'm sure she'd say!) for a couple of days, and saw her doctor. Next thing I know, I receive a call saying I must take her to the hospital right away for surgery! So, the last couple of days have been spent in the hospital, but mostly watching our wonderful but attention-requiring 10 month old, and thus not getting a whole heckofalot of work done. She was released yesterday, and is recovering. Anywho, I wanted you to know that I fully intend to have this newsletter out 5 days each week, and this is about the only type of thing that will keep that from happening. Now, on with the show!


Replace the ? in the following series: 14 17 7 24 11 ?

Answer: 12. Subtract each number in the series individually from 26. You get, in the order that they appear in the alphabet: 12 = L, 9 = I, 19 = S, 2 = B, 15 = O, and 14 = N, LISBON. Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. The title of the puzzle was somewhat a hint because the man-of-war is often referred to as the PORTUGUESE man-of-war.

Winner: Tamyra, Wash., DC, who writes: "It's nice to win stuff... especially when procrastinating at work. I just graduated from GWU, and I subscribed to this newsletter to keep my mind sharp. Thanx Puzz.com!"

6/10/02 Contest:

Greg, the winner of the "math puzzle," writes:

"Hi, Bill

Tough puzzle -- (x^3-x^2+x)^2 took a little while!

Please forego the title and just call me Greg. I live in Willowick, Ohio (greater Cleveland) and am an Industrial R&D Manager with degrees in physics and electrical engineering. I got to your website by way of my seventh-grader's math class. His teacher used your puzzles to stump the budding geniuses and, after I saw your site, I HAD to subscribe to the newsletter.

Keep 'em coming,


Greg Kazek"

The Contest:


There are 2 lines to this puzzle. You are given one here, but the other one should rest immediately above or below it. Decide what the missing line is. Here is one of the lines:


Answer: AIEAOEASEIU. Put them together and you get:
Read from top to bottom, or bottom to top going right to left, and it spells out UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Winner: Andrew Silikovitz from West Orange, NJ

6/5-6/10/02 Contest:

The winner of Tuesday's "earth" riddle was Nicole Dulpers, age 31, who lives in Barcelona, Spain.

We have had 2 winners since the last newsletter went out! The Last Puzzle Contest:

"I'll drink to that," said George. Lovely Lucy smiled nervously, and checked her watch. Rockie and Bullwinkle suddenly appeared on the television, right on time. No one suspected anything, and they were in for a big surprise. Rolling down the hill was a large boulder, coming their way... In regards to Joan Jett, what does the above nonsense reveal?

Answer: "I Love Rock 'N Roll" - this is an album by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Take the first letter or letters at the beginning of each sentence, and this is what you get.

Winner: Phil, who writes: "Thanks for letting me know that I solved the puzzle! I enjoy doing all sorts of puzzles, love to read anything I get my hands on. I live in NJ and enjoy all outdoor activities such as hiking and traveling. I would welcome emails from other members should they wish to correspond. Thanks very much once again!"

The "math puzzle" contest, which had a reward of 3 puzzle pieces:

The following relates to a certain mathematical operation: Put 1 in me, and you get 1 back. Put -3 in me, and you get 1521; 4 in me, and get 2704; -2, and get 196; -11 in me, and get 2140369; 8 in me, and receive 207936. What will you get if you put 15 in me? Hint: "X" is written 3 times in this function, where X is the number being input, and none of the 3 Xs are to the same power.

Answer: 10017225. The actual equation was: (-Xcubed +Xsquared -X)squared. Change "cubed" and "squared" to powers of 3 and 2. Evidently not an easy puzzle...

Winner: Gregory K. I don't currently have any other info on Gregory, other than that he has a "Ph.D." in his return address field. I guess it took a doctorate to solve this one, folks!

6/4/02 Contest:

Monday's ("stock" puzzle) winner was Dawn Wolfson, from West Hills, CA. Dawn had a sick child and was unable to respond to me before yesterday's issue, so was "unknown." Congrats again, Dawn! The Contest:

People dig me, but some say I'm terrible. There are several elements to consider, but you have to narrow it down to just one. What am I?

Answer: earth. People dig earth, and it is one of the 4 ancient elements (earth, wind, fire, and water). It was kind of a red herring to have people looking for actual Periodic Table type elements. The last hint, and yes, it's a bit of a stretch, but the comment that it's "terrible," which plays on the similar sounding and similarly spelled word "terra," which is a land/earth related word.

Winner: Nicole D. Nicole hasn't had a chance to respond to my email telling her she's won, so we may have a little more about her tomorrow. Something I've noticed: guys, the women are beating you at an alarmingly high rate on these contests...

6/3/02 Contest:

Associated with smoking barrels, you can also have options with me. Made plural, I'm a type of framework you don't want to be in. What am I?

Answer: stock. Riddle clues included: the movie title "Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels," stock options, stocks.

Winner: Unknown. The individual didn't submit any info other than the answer, and didn't reply to my email requesting more info, etc. I can tell you that he or she has an AOL address, though, so that narrows it down quite a bit. Right? Well, congratulations, whoever you are!

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