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Preview: Blaine's Puzzle Blog

Blaine's Puzzle Blog

Weekly discussion on the NPR puzzler, brain teasers, math problems and more.

Updated: 2018-04-25T14:46:54.159-07:00


NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 9, 2017): Deep Dive Under the Sea


NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 9, 2017): Deep Dive Under the Sea:
Q: Name a well-known U.S. city in two words. Replace each of these words with a word that rhymes with it, and you'll name a large sea creature in two words. What is it?
It's a brainstorm...

Edit: ... is an anagram of Manta birostris which is the Giant oceanic manta ray.

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 12, 2017): Two Word City Puzzle


NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 12, 2017): Two Word City Puzzle:
Q: Name a well-known city in the U.S. Two words. The second word rhymes with a word meaning "certain stories" — and the first word rhymes with something found in those stories. What city is it?"
I've been waiting for Will to drop a real GEM of a puzzle.

Edit: George Edgar Merrick was the planner and builder of the city of Coral Gables, Florida in the 1920s.

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 21, 2016): Name that Rhyme


NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 21, 2016): Name that Rhyme:
Q: Name a famous person with the initials B.S. and another famous person with the initials G.M. — whose first and last names, respectively, rhyme with each other. One of the names has one syllable and one has two syllables. Who are these famous people?
I'd rather be reminiscing about my vacation.

Edit:The song Reminiscing mentions Glenn Miller, and during American Idol's 2007 broadcast of Idol Gives Back, Ben Stiller jokingly threatened to sing the song nonstop until $200 billion in donations was achieved.

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 20, 2015): Foretold Fourfold Puzzle


NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 20, 2015): Foretold Fourfold Puzzle:
Q: Take the words FORETOLD and FOURFOLD. They start with homophones, FORE and FOUR, and they end with rhymes, TOLD and FOLD. The challenge is to find two common nine-letter compound words that have the same property. Specifically, the two homophones are each five letters long, and the rhymes have four letters each. What words are these?
Edit: In one of my comments, before I knew the answer, I said it wasn't BIRTHDATE-BIRTHMATE or WAISTCOAT-WASTEBOAT. I had to delete that for obvious reasons.

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 16, 2015): Easily Say Lei


NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 16, 2015): Easily Say Lei:
Q: Take the word EASILY. You can rearrange its letters to spell SAY and LEI. These two words rhyme even though they have no letters in common.

What is the longest familiar word you can find that can be anagrammed into two shorter words that rhyme but have no letters in common? The two shorter words must have only one syllable.
I guess we'll all be spending time with a rhyming dictionary and an anagrammer.

RTP = Rhyme Time Prime


Since I can't seem to fix Blogger's 200 comment issue, here's a new post for your three-word rhymes.

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 25, 2013): Open for Business


(image) NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 25, 2013): Open for Business:
Q: Think of a business that's found in most towns. Its name consists of two words, each starting with a consonant. Interchange the consonants and you'll get two new words — neither of which rhymes with the original words. What business is it?
Checking with my dictionary, I can confirm the words don't rhyme. That goes double for last week's answer.

Edit: My hints: The words "Checking with" start with the same letters as the answer. Doubling 38 from last week you get 76 which is the name of a gas station (which may also have a car wash) and is the year the movie Car Wash was released.

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 10, 2013): As the Saying Goes


(image) NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 10, 2013): As the Saying Goes:
Q: Think of two familiar three-word sayings in which all three words are the same length. The middle word in both sayings is the same. In each saying, the first and last words rhyme with each other. What two sayings are these?
Maybe these sequences will provide a clue: 0, 0, 8, 102... and 1, 9, 41, 129...

Edit: The sequences above are found in the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (OEIS) as A001575 and A001846. The phrases were first recorded in the years 1575 and 1846, respectively.
A: "Haste makes waste" and "Might makes right".

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 15, 2012): Is There a Doctor in the House?


(image) NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 15, 2012): Is There a Doctor in the House?:
Q: The name of something that you might see your doctor about is a two-word phrase. Three letters in each word. When these six letters are written without a space, a three-letter word can be removed from inside, and the remaining three letters in order also form a word. What's interesting is that the four three-letter words — the two in the original phrase, the one that was removed, and the one that remains — all rhyme. What is the original phrase?
The picture this time is from Halloween 2005 when we all went as various doctors. Speaking of doctors, is there ever one in the house?

Edit: Perhaps too obviously, a moving, emotional theatrical performance can result in there not being a dry eye in the house.

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 16, 2011): Two-word Rhyming Phrases


NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 16, 2011): Two-word Rhyming Phrases:
Q: Think of a familiar two-word rhyming phrase that starts with the letter F, like "fat cat." Change the F to a G and you'll get another familiar two-word rhyming phrase. What are these phrases?
My wife and I came up with the same answer and we need to get a hint up quickly, so I guess we'll go with that. I like the first as a familiar two-word rhyming phrase, but I'm not as excited about the second.

Update: After listening to the audio of the puzzle, I discovered that Will provided several other examples of two-word rhyming phrases (fun run, fine line, flower power) which would preclude them from being the answers. So you can scratch my original comment since it no longer fits and would have to change anyway.

Edit: My revised hints were "scratch" and "change".
A: Fender Bender --> Gender Bender

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 10, 2010): Rhyme Time


NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 10, 2010): Rhyme Time:
Q: What are the two longest rhyming words that have no letters in common? For example, 'pie' and 'guy' rhyme and do not share any letters. The answer words cannot start with an unaccented syllable, such as 'today.' The source for acceptable words is Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary.
Hooray! This time the puzzle isn't one that can easily be solved via computer. In fact, depending on your definition of "rhyming" there may be several answers coming Will's way. Let's discuss, but don't give away an answer before the deadline.

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 29): I'm not a Poet...


NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 29): I'm not a Poet...:
Q: Think of three six-letter words starting with B, G and F. The last five letters of the words are the same and in the same order, yet none of the words rhymes with any of the others. What words are these?
This puzzle is rather easy and I don't have time to come up with a clever clue, but this does remind me of our annual Christmas Puzzle from 2006 entitled Close But No Rhyme. It's based on the same concept of non-rhyming words that only differ in their first letter. Enjoy.

Edit: The clue word was "rather". Also, question #17 on our Christmas puzzle used 2 of the 3 words.

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 7): Rhyme Time


NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 7): Rhyme Time
Q: The words "chic" and "squeak" rhyme with each other, even though they have no letters in common. Think of three words containing a total of 12 or more letters that rhyme and have no letters in common. The words must be common, uncapitalized words, and each will have just one syllable.
I have an answer that is 3 words, 4 letters each, but I'm not sure it is the intended answer. I expecially like one of the words (3rd alphabetically), but I'm questioning the second word. Everyone's heard of it but I don't know if it follows all the rules. For anyone that is searching, I think a rhyming dictionary might be the key to solving this. Also, it's important to note that chic has repeated letters, so that doesn't seem to be disallowed, as long as the words don't share common letters.

Edit: Initially I was thinking of KNEE, QUAY, PRIX, but my dictionary doesn't like prix except in grand prix and prix fixe.
SKI, QUAY (pronounced like 'key'), THREE
There are other possible choices like:
pooh, screw, gnu (or flu)