Sunday, January 2, 2011

Playing With Words

Happy New Year, everyone. I hope that 2011 will be a great year for us all.

Here's something a little different this week. I thought I'd have a bit of fun playing with words.

Through the 1970's and 80's, I consistently purchased a puzzle publication called Games Magazine. Though it has disappeared from newsstands at least once since its original launch, it was eventually bought out and republished under its new ownership, and still appears at larger book stores and magazine vendors. I never did renew my own subscription (nor my trust in them), which had been paid in advance for a two-year period, just days before it went bankrupt that first time.

A semi-regular feature was devoted to what they call "Wacky Wordies." Familiar names, phrases and everyday words are configured in an unusual way so that you can read the solution by thinking outside of the box. For example:

klat would be "back talk" since it's the word "talk" written backwards.

ssssssssss match would be "tennis match" (10 s match)

smoke would be "smokestack"

I've created six of this sort of wordplay below. In order to make it a bit easier, the background image* of each gives an added hint as to what the answer might be. Only the coloured letters with black outlines are the actual puzzle words to consider. Anything else is part of the hint. Consider the positioning and quantity of letters in some cases. They may help you to come to the solution.

It's all just for fun but for this purpose, I will turn on the moderation feature just for a few days so that your comments/guesses will not show publicly until all of the answers are in. I'll announce names and link to the blogs of those who get all 6 correct (or equally clever) answers. I'll reveal all comments after a few days and I'll post the correct responses on Wednesday's post along with the Posts of the Week. I'm going to be away from my computer for a few days so that I can help a friend pack up her house but I'll be around to visit your blogs after that.

*All background images are either from copyright-free sites or are my own photographs or graphics.







Remember that moderation is on only for a few days. Your comments will appear after a few days, and as usual after that.


Kristina P. said...

These are so fun! I need to come back and play when I'm not distracted. I used to love these things.

MaggieGem said...

Ok, so I'm going give it a go... I'm not very good at these things, need to keep fit to keep up!

Being the simple one of few words, I think a got a few

Forty Niners
Three Blind Mice

Fragrant Liar said...

Hey, Hillary! Happy new year!

I love these word games. Here are my guesses:

West Indies
Forty-Niners (Football)
Three Blind Mice
Unfinished Symphony

Hope you're having a great holiday.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful idea! But I'll need more coffee before being able to tackle this...

June said...

West Indies
Forty-yard line
Three blind mice
Schubert's Unfinished Symphony
The Hun Invasion

These things make me crazy.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

my early morning bleary eyed self is staring uncomprehending at HUNGARY though....

Sarah Knight said...

Ha! I think I got a whole one of these the first glance over. When I was 11-12 there was a program at my school called TEEM - where they would take students with high GPAs from the 6 elementary schools and take them to a class in town at the library — where basically we did puzzles & brain teasers & problem solving activities (I'm pretty sure my mom still has the sweatshirt)... These definitely harken back to my youth
: )

Have a Happy New Year!

Zuzana said...

Aw, Hilary, you got me with this one, my brain is not entirely working just yet, but my answers in a totaly messy order are mice, symphony and Hungary.;) Hehe, only 3 as I am clueless for the rest.;)
I hope you had a great New Years Eve and a happy 2011 to you and yours,

Christine said...

wow, you amaze me, my brain is too tired to solve any yet, but i sure would love to go on a scavenger hunt on your team :)

happy new year!

Dawn said...

football tread
no m-i-ce
Oh I have NEVER been good with these word games:))

Mental P Mama said...

West Indies. I'll be back later for the others. Need more coffee;)

Hilary said...

I can't believe another similarity between us.......I use to buy that magazine ALL the time.......when I read the beginning of your post, my mouth dropped.
That is NOT a common affliction, being hooked on the old Games mag.
There are probably a lot more, I suspect.

lime said...

well i've got west indies and hungary, other than that i'm not doing well, then again i did just wake up and that's never my brightest time, lol.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm.....noodle scratchers...Well, you stumped me on 3 of them, and I think I may have 2 them!
1. ?
2. Forty-Niners
3. Three Blind Mice?
4. ?
5. ?
6. Hungary

Very cool Hilary!

Leah J. Utas said...

1. West Indies
2. 40 yard line
3. Three blind mice
4. Schubert's Unfinished Symphony
5.H to O

Thanks, Hilary. This was fun.

Pauline said...

1. West Indies
2. Forty Niners football team
3. 3 blind mice (3 mice with no eyes)
4. Unfinished Symphony
5. H2O (the letters H to O)
6. HUNGARY (the country)

This was great fun! More fun than cleaning house which is what I am supposed to be doing! Happy New Year, Hilary!

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Great fun Hilary! Here are my guesses:

* West Indies
* Forty Niners
* Three Blind Mice
* No Symphonies
* H2O
* Hungary

Looks like you are already having a fun 2011!

ellen abbott said...

the first one is West Indies. The second I think is 40 yard line. then three Blind Mice. the others I couldn't get.

Rebecca said...

very cool

Rajesh said...

Simply wonderful.
Wish you Happy & Prosperous New Year.

She Who Carries Camera said...

A girl after my own heart! (I think you know how much I love games). BUT, I'm terrible at this particular game and I always skip over it whenever I see one! HA!

But, I did give yours a try and all I could get so far is "West Indies" and "Three Blind Mice". I'll keep thinking, though.

Bossy Betty said...

Ohhhh. I love these kinds of games. I can only get West Indies and Hungary. That "mice" one is driving me a little crazy!

Russell said...

Whoa!!! Could I actually be the FIRST one to post on your new post!! I am usually about #129! Heh!

Okay. I DID get the last one (!!) and I have an idea about some of the others....

Very, very good! I enjoyed these a lot and hope you will do more in the future!

I am going to submit this now and maybe I will still be first!!

Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR Hilary!!

Russell said...

Whoops..... never mind! Heh! Looks like you will publish the comments in a few days so the rest of us won't know the answers -- and that is pretty smart. I should have thought of that when I posted my comment a bit earlier.

I will be back to see what the answers are to these creative word puzzles!

Take care.

Tabor said...

I feel terrible...having a rotten head cold...but I really don't think I could get any of these even if I had the energy to try harder. It will be fun to see. What is the radio program that does this?

Anonymous said...

I am not really into riddles and puzzles but it looks like you spend a lot of time on yours. They look great. Thank you for taking your time out to create them.

Dawning Inspiration said...

Oh my - love these - what fun....can't wait to see the answers. I think I know one for almost sure and another I might know part of...

Eddie Bluelights said...

Hi Hilary
Having a go at this - Great fun

1. West Indies
2. Forty Niners
3. Three Blind Mice
4. Schubert's Unfinished Symphony
5. Stuck on this for a while but as the letters run from H to O I think the answer is H2O
6. Hungary

Not entirely sure about no 3
Great fun LOL
Happy New Year ~ Eddie

NJ said...

1 I believe is West Indies.
2 49ers
3. 3 blind mice
4. Not sure
5. Not sure
6. Hungary

thanks for reminding me that my brain is getting older with age. Happy new year Hilary!!!

steviewren said...

Okay, I admit it. I'm terrible at this kind of thing. I'll check back for the answers though. I'm sure many of your readers are way more clever than me.

ethelmaepotter! said...

What a great idea! Not sure they're all right, but I'll have a go at it!
1) West Indies
2) Forty-Niners
3) Three Blind Mice
4) Unfinished Symphony
5) H2o
6) Hungary (REALLY liked this one!)

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

You're driving me crazy here, Hilary. I'm pretty sure of three, not so much on two, and no idea on one.
1. West Indies
2. Forty Niners
3. Three Blind Mice (no eyes)
4. No Knee
6. Hungary (I loved the illustration for that one.)

Shammickite said...

Well Hilary, you are really taxing the old grey matter now! Don't you realise we're all tired out after all that celebrating for Hannukah, Christmas, New Year, Qaanza etc etc...?

OK, let's get started...

1. West in Deees! (West Indies)
2. Fourtyniners
3. Three Blind Mice, poor things they have no "i"s!
4. The Unfinished Symphony
5. H2O (H to O)
6. Hungary!
My mother used to sing a song that went like this:
Austria was Hungary, took a bit of Turkey and fried it in Greece. Great big Italy kicked little Sicily right into the middle of the Mediterranean Sea!

Out on the prairie said...

1.West Indies
3.Three Blind Mice
4.Schubert's Unfinished Symphony
5.H 2 O

These pestered me until done, Phew!

Dave said...

West Indies
Forty Niners
Unfinished Symphony

Dave's wife Jill

Anonymous said...

The first one escapes me, but after that it looks like we have:
49'ers football (how nice of you to think American!)
3 blind mice
unfinished symphony
--another tip of my brain visual--
Hungary! (although Gary is probably wondering why you hung him!!)

This was a lot of fun. Thanks, Hilary! :)

Phyllis E said...

Great start to the new year, Cuzzie!

I have:
West Indies
(San Francisco) Forty-Niners
Three Blind Mice
Schubert's Unfinished Symphony
Water (ie., H2O)

Love the word puzzles.

Cuzzie P (who has arrived at destination without seeing a single manatee)

Daryl said...

Happy New Year!

Suldog said...

West Indies, Forty-Niner, Three Blind Mice, Unfinished Symphony, H2O, Hungary.

Clever! Thanks for the brain workout. I used to buy "Games" once in a while myself, back in the day. It was always good for filling the time when waiting for an appointment or whatever.

photowannabe said...

Boy, I guess I am off to a miserable 2011 start. Why can't I figure these out??
1. have to work on this one.
2. 49ers football
3. 3 blind mice
4. Shubert's unfinished symphony
5. haven't a clue
6. Hungary

Jackie said...

I used these types of puzzles (and that particular book) in my classroom. I love these...and my students always asked for a puzzle of the day. :))))

Anonymous said...

This was fun! I think I got 5 of them right, but the other one I'm just taking a wild guess.
1. West Indies
2. 49'ers
3. 3 Blind Mice
4. Unfinished Symphony
5. Lake Hino
6. Hungary

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Oh, I'm so dense. Number 5 is H2O.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Clever, Miss H. My guesses:

West Indies - West in D's
Fortyniners - 4 T - 9 R's
Three Blind Mice - no "i"'s (eyes)
Unfinished Symphony - self evident
H2O (water) - H to O
Hungary - Hung Gary

sage said...

I'm reading blogs so as not to think and now this! :)

Just a quick review tells me the football is the "49er's" and the last is Hungary... Someone else can work on the rest.

Kate said...

I found you from Long Hollow. I love your site. I’m going to poke around a little bit, but don’t worry I’ll put everything back where I found it!!

Frank Baron said...

Oh, you know I'm hopeless at these things and if I can't solve them in 10 seconds I start to itch and I have to go do something else while berating myself for my stupidity.

So, after at least 2 grueling minutes of thought spread over three or four sessions, I am no further along than the first glance.

Forty-Niners football is the only one I could figger.

Excuse me while I twitch and scratch and berate.

Turtle Guy said...

Popped in from AC's place - I'm thrilled to meet a wordie!!

Let's see... I didn't get all of them, but here are my best guesses....

WEST in Ds?

??? not a clue - sad to say I even Googled this one :(

I'm going to guess something about blind mice with no "i"s?

The unfinished symphony - that one was easy...

H to O, or water

GARY - that one's a mystery to me... I'm intrigued to know, though!

messymimi said...

From the bottom up, it looks like


H2O (H to O)/formula for water

Symphony (sympho-knee)

Three Blind Mice

49ers (4 T, 9 R) San Francisco football team, if i remember correctly

Danged if i know! This one i have been puzzling over for 3 days, as have several people in my house. Westward or westword just don't seem right.

Anyway, those are my best guesses.

Dianne said...

my brain hurts ...

Bob Bushell said...

Thanks for that, I wonder if..................

She Who Carries Camera said... more!! Hungary!! :-)

She Who Carries Camera said...

I'm on a roll....H2O...water!

She Who Carries Camera said...

Hubby just got "49rs"!

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Ha! It's me again. Actually, I kind of like my first answer to Number 4; but, upon further reflection, I realized that the correct answer is "Unfinished Symphony." As you can see, your little game has kept my mind busy for the last couple of days. This one came to me as I was sitting in a doctor's office with my sweet hubby.

She Who Carries Camera said...

Ah-ha!! I had to go to Wikipedia and there I saw it immediately ~ Unfinished Symphony!

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Ok, I'll give it the old hillbilly try.
West Indies (map)
Football Stars
Three Blind Mice
I haven't the foggiest....

Those are my answers and I'm stickin' to them...less I can figure out the forth one.

God bless you girl and have a terrific day and lodes of fun with your quiz! :o)

Thumbelina said...

I love these. They're like the game "Dingbats" - do you have that in Canada? Here's my answers -
West Indies

The 49 ers

Three blind mice (3 mice with no i's)

Unfinished symphony

Water (H to O = H2O)

Hungry / Hungary (Hung + Gary)

That was FUN!! No point linking to my blog at the mo if I got all these right, but it was FUN!! Thanks.

Mage said...


Sandra said...

I just love doing puzzles like these!

1. West Indies
2. San Francisco Forty-niners football team
3. Three blind mice
4. Unfinished symphony
5. H2O
6. Hungary

Thanks -- that was fun!

Anonymous said...

I can't get off this...I got another one! The first is West Indies!!! I kept saying West between D's...then it hit me!

Unknown said...

You realize this is a ver tough assignment, Hilary!

Just the same, Happy New Year. I'll be back for the answers! :D