September, 2002 Puzzle Contests

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9/30-10/1/02 Contest:

You don't know it, but she has blinded me with part of it. 9 letters here, folks. Don't ignore this one. What word am I referring to?

Answer: nescience. The "you don't know" and "ignore" hints were playing on the word's meaning, which is ignorance, or lack of knowledge. I just now read on dictionary.com that the word also can indicate Agnosticism, which I wasn't aware of (excuse my nescience, please :-) The "she has blinded me with part of it" clue referred to the 'science' part of the word nescience, and was a play on Thomas Dolby's song "She Blinded Me With Science".

Winner: Deborah Cox, Memphis TN. Only Deborah and Cindy Eulitt of Charlotte, NC got this one. While only these gals got the actual word, many of you picked up on the clues regarding the song.

9/26-9/30/02 Contest:

This puzzle was first issued on Thursday, with no winner:

I am a group that loves something. Remove my last 5 letters, and then add a space in what remains, plus 4 letters at the end, and you have a famous man who we lost too soon. What am I?

On Friday, reissued the puzzle, but with the following at the beginning of the newsletter:

Well, we had no winner for yesterday's contest, so have a Heart, and please try again. Man, it's not that tough! I'm raising the reward to 2 puzzles pieces, which you can of course use for our various prizes. You have until Monday at Noon to solve this one!

Answer: philharmonic. The person alluded to was Phil Hartman, one of the greatest comedians of all time.

Winner: Donna Smock, Monmouth, IL. A total of 5 people answered this one correctly.

9/25-9/26/02 Contest:

wolf is to vark as assee is to ?

Answer: The most common answer was atchie, which I counted as correct. The analogy would go aardwolf is to aardvark as Tallahassee is to Tallahatchie. My intended answer was: aardwolf is to aardvark as fricassee is to... and the answer could be ative (fricative), or as Andrew Silikovitz submitted, tion (friction), or a few other possibilities. 5 people answered this one correctly, and all 5 except Andrew went for the Tallahatchie version.

Winner: Kazza in Western Oz. Kazza's number came up again!

9/23-9/25/02 Contest:

This one was sent in 2 issues of the newsletter, with the prize going up to 2 puzzle pieces in the second issue:

Replace the ? with the correct number:

7  2      9  6     2  8     3  1

4  15     1  6     5  18    4  ?

You may have to look not up and down as much as around for some information to get this one, but it's available at dictionary.com and elsewhere. It's not a piece of cake, yet not altogether different.

Answer: 7. There were 2 hints, both alluding to pi: 3.141592653... if you number the digits after the decimal point, you get:

With those substitutions in mind, to get the number in the bottom right corner of each set, add the other 3 substituted numbers. The first one is 6 (7) + 4 (2) + 5 (4) = 15, etc. Yes, this puzzle proved to be too tough. Today's should be a tad easier.

Winner: No one. Sorry!

9/16-9/23/02 Contest:

#1: This one was sent in 2 issues of the newsletter:

A few hints: this word is not in all dictionaries, especially if it is an abridged dictionary, but it is in Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary: Tenth Edition, and I'm sure it is in most if not all unabridged dictionaries. There are several clues in the paragraph that follows. The word is not psychology, sociology, or biology, but it's a word not completely unlike those. Final hint: it is something I originally heard about in a philosophy class. Here you go (again):

Finally, the cause is known to be a word that has half of the total number of points and edges of an octahedron in letters. Study hard on this one, as it is vital that you see the immanent scope of this conundrum, and bring an end to it!

Answer: teleology. An octahedron has 6 points/vertices and 12 edges, making 9 letters in the word in question. Teleology is concerned with final causes (hint was "Finally, the cause") and ends (hint was "bring an end to it"). Vitalism (hint was "vital") is a related word, and I threw in "scope" to play off the "tele" part of each word (i.e. telescope and teleology). This was evidently a toughie.

Winner: No one. Sorry!

#2: rus efl obv recv acn luvp qeu meuc oeln ropc

What a cruel beast I am! You must determine which item from the set above does not belong.

Answer: meuc. Put the last letter of each in front, and then read each backwards, adding "ine" and you get: ursine, feline, bovine, cervine, canine, vulpine, equine, leonine, and porcine. Uemcine is not a word, so it's the odd one out.

Winner: Kazza in Western Oztralia. Only Kazza and Andrew Silikovitz got this one, and Kazza's number came up on the roll of a die.

9/12-9/13/02 Contest:

nuances image crows arm rhodora bag

One of the words above does not belong. Which word is it?

Answer: crows. Line the words up in reverse order as follows:


Remove crows, and you get BRAIN GAMES: BRAIN, taking the first letter of each word, and GAMES, taking the last letter of each word.

Winner: Anne Vincent, Alexandria, OH. Anne and one other person got this right (a Ms. Fitzgerald, I think), although I believe both gave different reasons from mine. Hey, they had a 1 in 6 chance, right? Anne was randomly determined the winner.

9/10-9/12/02 Contest:

wings bullet barren

The above clues relate to a certain name. There are 2 words in the name. What is the name?

Answer: My answer was Desert Eagle, which is a well known (and evidently very powerful) pistol. However, no one gave that answer. A few people did say Red Barron, and that is also correct.

Winner: Anne Vincent, Alexandria, OH

9/9-9/10/02 Contest:

Replace the 2 ?? with the items that belong in each place:

A4 B6 C2 D9 E8 L7 M5 ?? ??

NOTE: This problem is slightly altered, but taken from the book Brain-Flexing IQ Tests.

Answer: R3 S1. Put in numerical order, the letters spell SCRAMBLED.

Winner: BARBWYRE. Only 3 people answered this one correctly.

9/6-9/9/02 Contest:

fries mitt elevator hamburger fish stairs

A 7 letter word, or the sound or spelling of part of the word relates to all of the 6 items above. What is the word? (Hint: think bad joke)

Answer: ketchup. Ketchup is used with fries and hamburgers, the "ketch" of ketchup sounds like the word "catch," and this is how the words mitt and fish are related (catching with a catcher's mitt, and catching fish). Elevator and stairs are related as the "up" part of ketchup. Lastly, the bad joke part comes from the joke told by Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, although I'm sure this is an older joke which has been around for a long time. I've paraphrased it below:

A tomato cannot keep up while walking with his tomato parents, and the father tomato walks over and steps on the younger tomato, and says "ketchup." Yes, a bad joke, indeed.

Winner: Anne Vincent, Alexandria, OH. Anne was the only one to answer this puzzle correctly.

9/5-9/6/02 Contest:

Is it possible to remove one from nineteen and get twenty? How?

NOTE: This was taken from the book Brain Bafflers. I reworded the puzzle so that if it appears in its original form on a web site, search engine querries would be less likely to find it.

Answer: From the winner: "in roman numbers 19 is written as XIX, whilst 20 is written XX, so if you take away I from 19 the remainder is XX."

Winner: Gilbert Diedrichs, Hamburg, Germany. We had close to 40 submissions for this one.

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