Greg Hunter

Archive for the ‘Puzzles’ Category

Challenge: Cosynonymous Names

In Puzzles on August 18, 2009 at 7:04 PM

Every now and then I’ll post a problem whose answer I may or may not know. In this case it’s more open-ended, but your job will always be the same: post solutions in the comments. For now, “winners” just get to feel smug, but later I might think of some kind of prize. (Whatever it is will be distributed retroactively, if that makes sense. So your early efforts won’t go unrewarded.)

A cosynonymous name is a full name in which the first and last names are not synonyms of each other, but are both synonyms of some other word. I first thought of this when I heard the name Rob Stein: both of his names are synonyms of “mug”.

Other examples include Josh Child, Bill Storm, Frank Savanna, and John Spaces. For each of these, try to find the linking word without consulting a thesaurus.

Reasonable female versions are harder to come up with, since most common female names that are also English words have very few synonyms, often falling into the category of flowers (Rose, Daisy, Amaryllis) or gems (Crystal, Ruby, Topaz). The best I’ve come up with is Dawn Flinch. Unlike the rest, however, I can’t find any evidence that someone with this name actually exists.

Challenge: Can you think of others? Bonus points if there’s a real person who has that name. Post your best results in the comments.

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Logic Skills, General and Specific

In Puzzles on August 12, 2009 at 9:23 PM

Logic puzzles, perhaps more than any other type of game, are an inherently solitary activity. Word puzzles such as crosswords are fun in groups; video games, even single-player ones, are prime topics for discussion and commiseration; single-player board games (Solitaire, for instance), invite spectators. But nobody ever wants to talk about logic puzzles for particularly long.

So the circumstances under which I’m now starting to blog about these puzzles are somewhat bizarre. The talks I’ve had with people about logic puzzles have been mostly summary: “Oh, you play Kenken?” “I used to be really into Minesweeper.” “You should try Honeycomb Hotel. It’s all I played after getting my wisdom teeth out.” Discussions of the finer points are rare, and attempts to solve in groups often lead to conflict, with one party accusing the other’s markings of being too sparse or too messy. All of this means that I have no idea what the general population knows about puzzles, so I apologize if the material herein is too basic or too esoteric. Please correct my course in the comments, if necessary. Read the rest of this entry »