Games + Leisure

Games + Leisure
6:34 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

A Puzzle In E-Z Mode

NPR

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word ends in E and the second word starts with Z. For example, given, "popular blush wine," the answer would be: White zinfandel.

Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, Calif. Take the name of a well-known American businessman — first and last names. Put the last name first. Insert an M between the two names. The result names a food item. What is it?

Answer: Muskmelon (Elon Musk)

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Games + Leisure
1:36 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Getting To Know The IN Crowd

NPR

On-air challenge: Every answer to the given clue is a made-up, two-word phrase in which you add IN to the front of the first word to get the second word. For example: shoe insert; sole insole

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Games + Leisure
11:51 am
Sun May 25, 2014

A Puzzle In The Merry Merry Month Of May

NPR

On-air challenge: The theme of today's puzzle is May. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with MA and the second word ends with Y. Example: Alcoholic beverage made from fermented mash: Malt Whiskey

Last Week's Challenge: Name a famous actress of the past whose last name has two syllables. Reverse the syllables phonetically. The result will name an ailment. What is it?

Answer: Sarah Bernhardt — heart burn

Winner: David Hodges of Collingswood, N.J.

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Games + Leisure
12:11 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

A New Kind Of Sports Star: Gamers Make It To The Next Level

The studio audience watches a match between professional teams Dignitas (left) and Evil Geniuses (right) during the League of Legends North American Championship Series on Feb. 22.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

The world of competitive online gaming hit a milestone last week when the prize pool for The International — a tournament for the game Dota 2 — reached more than $5 million, the largest in the history of e-sports.

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Games + Leisure
11:24 am
Sun May 18, 2014

Finding The Answers Within

NPR

Spoiler Alert: The answers for today's on-air challenge are given below. Read no further if you're playing along with the audio.

On-air challenge: The on-air puzzle this week consists of some of the runner-up entries from our two-week creative challenge. Every answer has six or more letters.

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Games + Leisure
12:13 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Andrew W.K.: Jesus Christ Super Quiz

What's the buzz, Andrew W.K.?
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 3:51 pm

Musician, motivational speaker, and party pro Andrew W.K. is a man of many talents—but did you know that he is also an expert on Jesus Christ Superstar? We wrote him a quiz on his favorite rock opera.

After the game, hear he and house musician Jonathan Coulton duet on "What's The Buzz."

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Games + Leisure
11:47 am
Sun May 11, 2014

Delivering A Bouquet Of Phloxes

NPR

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is a game of categories based on the word "phlox." You'll be given some categories. For each one, name something in the category beginning with each of the letters P, H, L, O and X. For example, if the category were "comic books," you might say "Phantom, Hopalong Cassidy, Lone Ranger, Our Gang Comics and X-men." Any answer that works is okay, and you can give the answers in any order.

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Games + Leisure
1:32 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Read Between The Letters

NPR

On-air challenge: Every answer is a five-letter word. You will be given a clue for the word. Besides describing the answer, the clue will also contain the answer in consecutive letters. For example, given "It's near the planet Mars," you would say, "Earth."

Last week's challenge Mike Reiss, a writer for The Simpsons: Name a famous actor or actress whose last name ends in a doubled letter. Drop that doubled letter. Then insert an R somewhere inside the first name. The result will be a common two-word phrase. What is it?

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Games + Leisure
2:24 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Getting Back In The Game: Finding The Right Game To Play

The Walking Dead, based on the hit TV series and comic book, is an example of a graphic adventure game.
Telltale Games

Originally published on Sat April 12, 2014 5:11 pm

In our Getting Back In The Game series, we're showing you how to get into the wide world of video games — whether you're new to gaming or a former player who hasn't picked up a controller in a while.

Like movies, books and music, there are countless video games to suit all interests and tastes. And like those other mediums, you can drill down into every genre to find more and varied sub-genres.

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Games + Leisure
10:20 am
Mon May 5, 2014

A Video Game Meant To Take Us Back To The Physical World

People gather to play Ingress in Austin, Texas. The video game has been downloaded 2 million times and is popular in the U.S. and Europe.
Niantic Labs

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 2:38 pm

Mobile phones and computer screens can distract us from engagement in the real world and that's been especially true of video games. But, there's an innovative game being played around the globe that's designed to use the same technologies to get its players more engaged with each other and the physical world.

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Games + Leisure
10:08 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Gaming While Male: A 'Privilege' Few Men Recognize

In video games, sexism often comes in the form of male-dominated storylines and character archetypes. In the video game community, it takes a more menacing shape.

It ranges from attempts to silence female critics to the harassment of fellow players. Some harassment even goes so far as phone calls and rape threats, as one female game developer found out last year.

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Games + Leisure
6:45 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

First In, Last Out

NPR

On-air challenge: For each word provided, give a word that can follow it to complete a familiar two-word phrase. The first two letters of the provided word should be the last two letters of the answer. Example: Red Square

Last week's challenge: Name certain trees. Also name something that trees have. Rearrange all the letters to get the brand name of a product you might buy at a grocery or drug store. What is it?

Answer: Firs + Leaves = Life Savers

Winner: Nils Thingvall of Lafayette, Colo.

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Games + Leisure
4:36 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

E.T.'s Home Is Found: Trove Of Atari Games Unearthed At Landfill

An E.T. doll was held up at the site of an exploratory dig for old Atari video games Saturday. Workers dug into a landfill in Alamogordo, N.M., that had long been rumored to be the final resting place of millions of copies of the game E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.
Juan Carlos Llorca AP

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 8:54 am

For decades, it was mere legend: an "Atari Dump" rumored to harbor millions of copies of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, a video game so bad that burying it in the New Mexico desert seemed the best way to move on.

But now, the Atari graveyard has been exhumed, and the latest attempt to find the cache of game cartridges has been declared a success. Helped by heavy machinery, a crew found some of the games today, in a dig that inspired the Twitter hashtag #DiggingET.

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Games + Leisure
11:53 am
Sun April 20, 2014

April Showers Bring Puzzle Flowers

NPR

On-air challenge: With spring in the air, it's a fitting time for a flower puzzle. Find the flower answer using its anagram, minus one letter. Example: R-I-S-H-I, minus H, is "iris."

Last week's challenge from listener Louis Sargent of Portland, Ore: Name a well-known American company. Insert a W somewhere inside the name, and you'll get two consecutive titles of popular TV shows of the past. What are they?

Answer: Westinghouse; West Wing, House

Winner: John Rowden of New York

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Games + Leisure
10:27 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Getting Back In The Game: Arming Yourself To Play With Strangers

With millions of players worldwide, World of Warcraft is one of the largest and longest-running massively-multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG).
Blizzard Entertainment

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 2:29 pm

In our Getting Back in the Game series, we're showing you how to get into the wide world of video games — whether you're new to gaming or a former player who hasn't picked up a controller in a while.

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Games + Leisure
9:16 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Looking High And Low For Middle C

NPR

On-air challenge: This puzzle is called "Middle C." For each prompt or clue, think of a common three-syllable word or name in which the middle syllable is pronounced "cee." Example: Coming immediately before = preceding.

Last week's challenge: Last week's challenge came from listener Mike Reiss, a former writer and producer for The Simpsons. The film Wild Wild West had three W's as its initials. What prominent film of last year had two W's as its initials?

Answer: The Wolf Of Wall Street

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Games + Leisure
5:59 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

Fool Me Once, Shame On You; Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me

NPR

On-air challenge: This week's challenge comes from a book called Puzzles & Pleasantries, published by the Old Farmer's Almanac. Since April Fool's Day is coming up on Tuesday, the challenge questions are all April Fool-ish. Each one has appeared in a past year of the Old Farmer's Almanac, and each has a legitimate answer.

Last week's challenge: Name a capital of a country. Change the first letter to name a familiar musical instrument. What is it?

Answer: Caracas, maracas.

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Games + Leisure
11:32 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Two Is Company, But Three Is A Crowd

NPR

On-air challenge: A series of paired words will be provided. For each pair, think of a third word that can follow the first one and precede the second to complete a familiar two-word phrase. Every answer starts with "W." Example: Open and Awake; Answer: Wide.

Last week's challenge: This puzzle was created by Will Shortz for an event held recently at the Museum of Mathematics in New York City. Take the name of a classical Greek mathematician. The letters in his name can be rearranged to spell two numbers. What are they?

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Games + Leisure
12:00 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

A High Five On The Seven Seas

NPR

On-air challenge: For each five-letter word provided, insert two letters after the first letter to complete a familiar seven-letter word.

Last week's challenge: The challenge came from listener Harry Hillson of Avon-by-the-Sea, N.J. Take the first name of a nominee for Best Actor or Best Actress at last Sunday's Oscars. You can rearrange these letters into a two-word phrase that describes his or her character in the film for which he or she is nominated. Who is this star, and what is the phrase?

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Games + Leisure
11:30 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Let's All Go To The Lobby, To Get Ourselves A Treat

NPR

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "Let's." Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or title containing the consecutive letters L-E-T. Specifically, the first word will end in L-E and the second word will start with T.

Last week's challenge: Write down these six words:

  • Cupid
  • Yoo-hoo
  • Eyeball
  • Entrance
  • Seafood
  • Wiper
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