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Sunday Puzzle: Old Riddles


On-air Challenge: As you may know, I'm an avid collector of old puzzle books. I recently acquired one published in 1863 titled Bwother Tham's Conundrums. Most of the conundrums in the book are essentially impossible to guess, but I was able to get some of them. See how you do on these. Often it helps to think literally.

1. What did Adam first set in the garden of Eden?
2. What question is that to which you must answer yes?
3. Would you rather an elephant kill you, or a gorilla?
4. Why does a miller wear a white hat?
5. What is that which goes from London to York without moving?
6. What is the smallest bridge in the world?

Last week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Greg VanMechelen, of Berkeley, Calif. Name something birds do. Put the last sound of this word at the start and the first sound at the end, and phonetically you'll name something else birds do. What are these things?

Challenge answer: Chirp and perch.

Winner: Sravana Chennupati of Oakland, Calif.

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Steve Engler, of Wayland, Mass. Write in capital letters the name of a popular vehicle brand. Move two vertical lines closer together. Add a horizontal line. The result will be another popular vehicle brand. What names are these?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here by Thursday, April 8, at 3 p.m. ET. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR's Puzzlemaster Will Shortz has appeared on Weekend Edition Sunday since the program's start in 1987. He's also the crossword editor of The New York Times, the former editor of Games magazine, and the founder and director of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (since 1978).