Oct 042012

In linking to yesterday’s post from Facebook, I put forth the opinion that Spaghetti #3’s words were easier than usual. What I might have been basing this on, I cannot say — in point of fact, I have not yet tried to match you amazing people at turning these random words into clever puzzles. But it turns out yesterday’s words were not easy at all. I had a couple of people IM me directly to say so: “I wanted to contribute something, but, whoa — I’ve got nothing.”

This makes the answers we received all the more impressive. Katherine Bryant had the most-liked comment, with a discovery that you could take consecutive letters from each word and match them to consecutive letters from a particular star. Ucaoimhu once again makes me think I accidentally posted an actual metapuzzle. And Golem clearly takes the highly coveted Rube Goldberg Award for Excessive Convolution. The final step of his solution made me laugh.

Time for Day Four of this madness…


Good luck!

  8 Responses to “Spaghetti #4”

  1. This is my first foray into this game, but I’m pretty confident the answer to the puzzle is BALLOONS.

    First we replace the words with the words they’re clearly cluing:


    Which all notably rhyme with a body part:


    Rearranging the first letters gives JEFF K. One of the more prominent JEFF K’s is Jeff Koons, an artist known for balloon animal sculptures. Since BALLOONS rhymes with Koons, it’s clearly the highly elegant final answer to this round.


  2. This is too easy, even if it’s incomplete.

    Ordering the words by length, and taking the first letters (and assuming that there are a few puzzles in the round that haven’t been solved yet), you get the pattern

    _ I C _ M P _ _ P

    The only word that matches this pattern is NICOMPOOP, found in Chambers as a variant of NINCOMPOOP


  3. The words scream cryptic clue, and indeed you can rearrange the words to make the &lit cryptic clue:

    Playing card, pins and needles in state confound militarism!

    Playing card = MENU, pins and needles = STRAIN, state = KT.

    So we have K(MENU + STRAIN)T confounded (i.e. anagram) to get the answer of TURKMENISTAN which is certainly a region on pins and needles due to in state militarism.


  4. Er…how does KT = “state”?


  5. Ooops…. :) Had an error in that one. Transcribed it wrong.


  6. (I should clarify on mine: the location of the blanks is not arbitrary but is based on the missing lengths of the given answer words. That is, the words we were given were of lengths 7, 8, 10, 11, and 14; I put blanks at 6, 9, 12, and 13.)


  7. Jangler: we here in Kentucky have recently voted to change the state postal abbreviation from KY to KT, because we’re all frankly a little sick of the lube jokes. So I think Todd is OK.


  8. PINS AND NEEDLES here hints at what to do with the other four words; each contains a three-letter word that is part of a common expression of the form “X and Y”. In order of increasing length, we have INSTATE -> OUTS, CONFOUND -> PRO, MILITARISM -> FEATHER, and PLAYING CARD -> YANG. If these “other halves” are stacked up, you can see that the second column spells out UREA; to get the final answer, you then observe that there is another X and Y phrase (with lengths 4 and 7, just like PINS AND NEEDLES) whose parts are impure solutions of, respectively, UREA and ACETIC ACID.


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