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GeekWire Puzzles, January 2012

On the GeekWire podcast for January 28th, Puzzazz Founder Roy Leban presented an on-air puzzle to Todd Bishop and John Cook, and also gave listeners a challenge.

On-Air Puzzle

If you've ever listened to the Sunday Puzzler on NPR with Will Shortz, this puzzle format will be familiar to you. Listeners at home can see if they can figure out the answers faster than Todd and John.

This puzzle is about phrases that feature the letters G and W. For example, the clue dispatches from the digital frontier gives you GeekWire, and what you might call a walk-off home run gives you Game Winner. The answer can be a single word, like GeekWire, or a two-word phrase, like Game Winner.

Go to the podcast right now, or read the clues below, then listen to get the answers and hear how Todd and John did. The interview with Roy starts at the 12:30 point and the puzzles start at 21:45.

Here are the clues:

  • An early U.S. President.
  • Something you might hear while somebody is covering your eyes.
  • Glinda in the Wizard of Oz.
  • Computer company with a cow mascot.
  • A major park in Seattle, on Lake Union.
  • Subject of Al Gore's book, An Inconvenient Truth.
  • The longest structure in China.
  • Advice from Horace Greeley.
  • A defunct product from one of the world's largest technology companies.

Listener Puzzle

Word ladders are a classic puzzle type that were invented by Lewis Carroll. In a word ladder, you transform one word into another word by creating new words by changing one letter at a time. In each step, you can only change a single letter.

For example, JOHN can be transformed into TODD in seven steps:

JOHN
JOIN
COIN
COIL
TOIL
TOLL
TOLD
TODD

The listener challenge is to make the shortest word ladder that transforms GEEK into WIRE. All words in the ladder are common English words -- no Internet slang or made-up words allowed. Send your answers to contest@geekwire.com. GeekWire will hold a drawing of all corrrect answers, with two winners receiving tickets to the GeekWire Meetup on February 8th, Game Night.

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