The author blog of C. J. Ivory

Tinkerer with words. Dresser-Upper. Adorer of Steampunk and VictoriaNoir fiction. Occasional Lawgineer.

May 16, 2011

Tuesday Tangle: The Strangest Speed Date Ever

Today's tangle is two puzzles - one fairly straight-forward, the other more difficult. I couldn't figure out the second one until it was explained to me, so well done to you if you manage it!

The Strangest Speed Date Ever

Mallory, tired of spending her Saturday nights sitting on the coach and watching reruns of bad movies, decided to give speed dating a try. But on the first attempt, all she seemed to meet were weirdos...

Her first speed-date partner, Ewan, was odd. He told her straight off that he liked balloons, but hated parties. She asked him if he liked books, and he said yes – but he didn’t like reading. When the conversation turned to sport, Ewan told her that he liked swimming, but didn’t like water.
Weird, Mallory thought. “Do you like towns or villages?” she asked.

What did Ewan say?

Hint: (scrollover to reveal) If you’ve never come across one of these puzzles before, they can be maddening. Look at the names of the things Ewan does like, and see if you can spot any similarities.

Next Mallory talked to Gerald, a biologist. He liked toads but not frogs. He said he ate berries, but not fruits. He liked the colour orange, but not purple.

Uh-oh; another live one. Mallory changed the subject to poetry.

Can you figure out whether Gerald likes Byron or Shelley?

(Solution below)

EWAN Solution: Ewan likes words that have double letters in them (balloons, books, swimming) and doesn’t like words without double letters (parties, reading, water). Going by these rules, Ewan would like villages but dislike towns.

GERALD Solution: This one is a bit harder. The same rules apply, but you need to think a bit more laterally. What do the things he favours have in common? They all begin with two letters which makes a word on its own: Toads = To; Berries = Be; Orange = Or. So, following this logic, Gerald would like Byron (By), but not Shelley.   


Trisha said...

Wow, this kind of thinking is NOT what my brain's used to :P But it was an interesting exercise! :)

Jonathan Dalar said...

Ewan's solution could also be that he liked the higher alphabetical word of the two, in which he would have liked towns over villages. I've heard that version too.

Interesting exercise, though. Cool way to stimulate some brain cells!

linda said...

Oooh, puzzles! I knew the first one but not the second. Thanks for sharing!

Charlotte Jane Ivory said...

Glad you guys enjoyed these! I got SO mad trying to figure out the second one, I don't mind telling you :)
@ Jonathan - clever clogs, coming up with an alternative solution! Nice one :D