TO CLEVELAND AREA
MENSA (CAM)'S BRAIN GYM FOR GIFTED CHILDREN!
you know Mensa has had members as
young as 3? CAM has lots of fun
children's activities not listed on our Calendar. If you like
mental gymnastics like
these consider joining
Mensa for even more fun! Bring your
are samples from an archive of past CAM Gifted Children
Jim Szirony's very cool and very entertaining mental
challenges so return here often for even more
opportunities to s t r e t c h your gifted mind!
Jim, for taking such good
care of CAM's young members and
Challenge #18 Mensa Resources
2005 by Jim
A lake is defined as a large body of fresh or salt water
surrounded on all sides by land. Most of the world's lakes, including
the Great Lakes, were formed twenty thousand
years ago when the glaciers of the Great Ice Age began their final
retreat northward. Other lakes were formed
though volcanic or tectonic activity.
The importance of lakes to human survival cannot be
overemphasized. Lakes provide us with water for our homes, irrigate our
crops and are an important source of
hydropower. Their ecosystems provide us with food and lakes even
improve the quality of our lives as a source of
recreation. Be an amateur hydrologist and match each of the following
facts with the body of water it best describes.
1. Having the largest
surface area of any freshwater lake on
earth, this lake is the largest, deepest and coldest of all the Great
2. The saltiest lake in the
world (6 times the salinity of the
oceans), this body of water lies at the lowest point on earth--over
1,300 feet below sea level.
3. Located in Peru at an
altitude of 12,500 feet above sea
this lake is the largest freshwater lake in South America, and is the
highest navigable lake in the world. Considered sacred by the
Andean people, those falling into its waters are, by tradition, not
rescued but left to drown as a sacrifice to the Earth Goddess
4. This is the only one of
the Great Lakes to lie entirely
the United States.
5. Located in Siberia, this
lake is estimated to hold 20% of
world's fresh water supply. With a depth of over a mile, it
is the deepest lake in the world.
6. The deepest lake in the
United States, this water-filled
caldera has neither inlet nor outlet. Water lost through seepage and
evaporation is replaced
7. This lake was the first
of the Great Lakes to be formed by
melting Ice Age glaciers and is the shallowest of all the Great Lakes.
8. Discovered in 1999, this
body of water is the coldest lake
the world. Its waters have been hidden from view for millions of years.
9. This body of water is the
largest lake in the United States
west of the Mississippi River. A remnant of prehistoric Lake
Bonneville, this lake is 3 to 5
times saltier than the oceans.
10. A major economic and
environmental disaster, this Central
body of water has lost 75% of its volume over the last 20 years. This
would be the
equivalent of draining both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.
A. Lake Baikal
B. Lake Erie
C. Lake Michigan
D. Great Salt Lake
E. Aral Sea
F. Rikki Lake
G. Dead Sea
H. Lake Superior
I. Lake Titicaca
J. Lake Vostok
K. Crater Lake
L. Lake Wobegon
by Jim Szirony
Goldberg Devices makes widgets. Depending on the model, each
widget incorporates a different number of doodads
and gizmos. Due to a sudden demand for widgets, Mr. Goldberg asked both
the supplier of gizmos and the supplier of gadgets to ship the stock
they had on hand. Two brightly colored boxes arrived the next day. One
box contained gizmos; the other held gadgets. Neither box stated how
many parts were inside. At different times, four employees were told to
get parts from the two boxes. The employees were asked to keep careful
track of the amount of parts removed from each box.
At the end of the day, the four employees reported to Mr.
Goldberg. This is what they had to say:
Erno stated, "I immediately followed Betty, and took exactly 2/3 of the
remaining items from the red box. I also
precisely 3/8 of the remaining gizmos."
Ron proclaimed, "I'm not sure what color they were, but I unsealed both
boxes and took exactly 20% of the
contents of each."
3. Rube said, "I was the
last to arrive and I took the final four doodads from its
box. There were 20 gizmos
remaining, but I only needed 8 of them."
Patsy reported, "I arrived just after Ron. I took exactly half of the
contents of the red box and 2/3 of the
the blue box."
Using the information presented above, help
Mr. Goldberg determine the original number of gizmos or gadgets present
in each box. To do this he must find the color of the shipping box, the
order each employee obtained parts, and how many of each part the
by Jim Szirony
Each seemingly random group of letters presented below consists of a
pair of interlocked words. The letters of each word are in their
correct order, but are intermingled with one
other. Each word pair is of equal length. For example, T R M
U O N S E
Y T consists of the words TRUST and MONEY (T R m U o n S e y
Unlink the letters to discover the words hidden in plain
5 LETTER WORDS
1. P A P E P N L N
2. H O B U E L S O W E
3. C P H O I L A L R L
4. C J O R O K N E Y S
5. E W E E R I I R D E
6 LETTER WORDS
6. L P U
A Z W Y Z E L R E
7. G R E A E Y L S L E Y R
8. N O B T U R I G F L E Y
9. A H A M R O A E S B S A
10. J G H A E G U T T A O R
7 LETTER WORDS
11. U S S A U M U A R L A
L I Y
12. A Z Y C R M Y U L I R G C Y
2006 by Jim
Spring has finally arrived. By carefully following
instruction, you will chase away the winter
doldrums and discover an April sign of the longer days and warmer
1. Write the words "CABIN
FEVER" with no spaces between the words.
2. Insert the letter "G" to the right of each
3. Inset the letter "A" between any adjacent
4. Change the 12th letter from the right and the 16th letter from the
left to the letter "C".
Move the fourth consonant from the right to the 10th position from the
left and insert an "L" in its original place.
6. Change the 6th vowel from both the left and right to the
Move the third consonant from the left to the 8th position from the
right and insert a "T" in its original place.
Move the fifth vowel from the right to the 13th position from the right
and then change the 8th consonant from the left to the 19th letter of
9. Move the 9th consonant from the left to the
right of the third vowel from the left, leaving the letter
in its place. Also change the fourth "G"
the right to the 13th letter of the alphabet.
10. Move the 9th
letter from the right to the left of the 14th consonant from the right,
leaving the letter "T" in its place.
Change the 18th
letter of the alphabet to the 23rd letter from the end of the alphabet.
11. Remove the 7th vowel from the right and change the 15th consonant
from the left to the 25th letter of the alphabet.
12. Remove all the "B's" and "C's"
then reverse the order of all letters.
by Jim Szirony
We live in a highly complex technological world. Intricate
electronic devices that were once in the realm of science fiction now
fill our homes. Our daily lives involve greater contact with
increasingly sophisticated equipment. Citizens are now asked to vote on
issues concerning controversial scientific and medical developments.
Only a public that is scientifically and technically aware can make
informed choices on such important matters.
With this in mind, let's test your Science IQ. Match each of
the following scientific terms with the definition that best describes
4. Centrifugal force
5. Centripetal force
A. The property of
matter by which, unless acted upon by an external force, an object at
rest will remain at rest and an object in motion will continue in
motion at a constant velocity and in a straight path.
B. The outward
push exerted by an object moving in a circular path around another
object. For example, the energy supplied by the earth's rotation
causing a flattening of the Polar Regions and a bulge at the equator.
C. A gelatinous
substance derived from red algae used as a culture medium for bacteria
growth. It is also used as a thickener in ice cream.
D. The numerical
measure of the ability of a force to twist or rotate an object. It is
equal to the force multiplied by the perpendicular distance from the
point of rotation. For example, the force needed to push open a door
will vary depending on how far from the hinges you push.
E. The generation
and collapse of low-pressure bubbles in liquids subjected to a
mechanical force (such as a rotating boat propeller).
F. The measurement
of the energy unavailable to do mechanical work in a closed
thermodynamic system (that is, one that receives no external energy
input); the tendency toward maximum randomness.
characteristic or measurement of a fluid's resistance to flow when
subjected to an applied force (such as a pump). A fluid's internal
H. The inward
energy applied to an object to keep it moving in a circular path around
another object. For example, the force supplied by earth's gravity to
maintain satellites in orbit.
I. This substance
augments the rate of a chemical reaction, while itself undergoing no
J. The dissolving
and removal of substances, such as salt and nutrients, from soil
through the movement and action of water.
by Jim Szirony
Although dogs are considered man's best friend, cats are the
world's most popular pet. It is estimated that they outnumber pet dogs
by over 15 million worldwide.
Cats have established habitats on every continent except Antarctica.
Compared with dogs, cats
have only recently been domesticated--some 6,000 to 8,000 years ago.
Because of this and
cats particular suitability for the jobs of pest and garbage control,
there was neither
time nor need to modify the morphology (physical structure) of cats
through selective breeding.
This means there are relatively few domestic cat breeds. While there
are 150 different breeds of dog, the
Cat Fanciers' Association recognizes only 39 pedigree breeds of
domestic cat. Twelve felines from the CFA list of recognized breeds
have gone into
hiding. Each is of a different breed.
Solve the following anagrams to find the crafty creatures. For
help you can
consult the CFA list of breeds at: www.cfainc.org/breeds.html
The numbers in parenthesis after
each anagram denote the number of words in each cat breed's name.
1) I Sesame (1)
2) Baseline (1)
3) Macabre Libation (2)
4) Canine Moo (2)
5) Gruff Mania (1)
6) Krishna Ragout (2)
7) Sugar Pain (1)
8) Waterfront Goes Inca (3)
9) Gamy Petunia (2)
10) School Rhino Portrait (2)
11) Circular Name (2)
12) Bias Any Sin (1)
2006 by Jim Szirony
Manufacturing requires 4,000 kWh (kilowatt-hours) of electricity each
month to operate its facilities. To receive tax incentives for the use
of eco-friendly power sources, Madison Manufacturing must meet certain
energy-source criteria. They are: Power must come from three
different power distribution companies.
Only 20% to 30% power is to come from fossil fuels (coal, gas
Only 20% to 30% power is to be nuclear.
40% to 60% power is to be hydroelectric.
has chosen three power companies as electric suppliers. Two of the
companies sell power only in blocks of 100 kWh. One sells only in
blocks of 1000 kWh. Each charges a different rate per
kilowatt-hour, and each distributes a different percentage of power
from at least two of the three required source catagories. Below is a
summary of each company.
|| Block Size
||Cost per kWh
an employee of Madison Manufacturing, you have been assigned to analyze
the above data and determine how many blocks of power must be purchased
each month to meet the tax incentives. Your recommendation must be for
exactly 4,000 kWh and provide the greatest savings to your company. For
a greater challenge find all three possible solutions.
2006 by Jim Szirony
summer, the Vagabond family travels by motor home to visit different
municipalities in the United States. This year's trip included stops in
15 different cities in 15 different states. The Vagabond children,
Wendell and Wanda, discovered that each city they visited had a
different nickname. They challenge you to match each city in their
travel itinerary with the nickname by which that city is known.
|1. Akron, Ohio
2. Battle Creek, Michigan
3. Beaver, Oklahoma
4. Boston, Massachusetts
5. Chicago, Illinois
6. Nashville, Tennessee
7. New Orleans, Louisiana
8. New York, New York
9. Ormond Beach, Florida
10. Reno, Nevada
11. Rigby, Idaho
12. St. Louis, Missouri
13. Scranton, Pennsylvania
14. Seattle, Washington
15. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
The Big Easy
Biggest Little City in the World
The Birthplace of Speed
Birthplace of Television
Cow Chip Throwing Capital of the World
The Electric City
The Gateway City
2006 by Jim Szirony
At the end of the season,
the sportswriters who cover the Wannabee Baseball League present awards
to their choice of the league's best infielder, best starting pitcher,
best relief pitcher and best outfielder. Each of this year's recipients
(including Ted) looks forward to a tryout with a major league team.
Using this information and the clues presented below, find the full
name (one surname is Morris), nickname (one is "Swami") and playing
position of the four talented players.
1. The four players are Mr. Lopez, the outfielder, Hank and the one
known as "Junk."
2. Hank is not known as "Boom", he does not play shortstop and his
surname is not Jackson.
3. Mel is a starting pitcher.
4. Roberto, who is not Mr. Jackson, does not play in the outfield and
is not known as "Eephus" or "Boom."
5. Mr. Oland does not play an infield
2006 by Jim Szirony
In 1790, the United States Congress voted to establish a permanent home
for the federal government. On July 16, 1790, the District of Columbia
was founded upon 100 square miles of territory donated by the states of
Virginia and Maryland. The original concept of a federal
capital envisioned the seat of government as a federal domain, not a
populated city. This domain was officially named Washington on Sept. 9,
1791. The urban growth of the City of Washington began with the influx
of thousands of people following the Civil War. Become a
capital tour guide. See how many of the following questions regarding
the City of Washington and the District of Columbia you can answer
1. The original name of Washington D.C. was:
C. Federal City
2. The boundaries of the District of Columbia and that of the City of
Washington D.C. are congruent.
3. Many foreign embassies are located in Washington, D.C.;
they number about:
4. In which presidential election year were citizens of the District of
Columbia first eligible to participate?
E. They are still not eligible to vote. 5 The citizens of the
District of Columbia are officially represented in the federal
A. One Senator and one
B. They have no official representation
C. A member of the President's Cabinet
D. An Ombudsman
E. A delegate to Congress
6. "Celebrate and Discover" has been replaced on District of
Columbia license plates; they now bear the motto:
A. Don't Tread On Me
B. Taxation Without Representation
C. Capital City
D. Stand And Deliver
7. Located in Washington D.C. is the Master Clock for the
States -- the Standard of Time for our country. Which of the
following organizations has, as part of its mission, maintaining the
Master Clock and providing a source of precise time information for
Global Positioning Systems and the Department of Defense?
A. The U.S. Naval
B. Bureau of Standards
C. National Academy of Sciences
D. The Pentagon
E. Starfleet Command
8. Of the nine presidents listed below, three do not have
memorials in our nation's capital. Which is the correct
A. Theodore Roosevelt,
Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson
B. Ulysses S. Grant, George Washington, Robert
C. Harry S. Truman, Ronald Reagan and Andrew Jackson
9. See if you can place the following popular D.C. locales in
order of least to most visited annually.
A. Smithsonian Natural
B. Union Station
C. White House
D. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
E. National Zoo
10. The Smithsonian Institution consists of 16 museums and
A. The National Gallery of
B. The National Zoo
C. The United States Botanic Garden
D. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
E. National Center for the Preservation of Gurning
2006 by Jim Szirony
the missing mystery word that links to the clue words given below. The
linked word is commonly used in conjunction with each of the clue
words. For example, if the clue words are: Cut, Art, Ceiling, Eye and
Block; the word Glass would link to each clue word giving us Cut Glass,
Art Glass, Glass Ceiling, Glass Eye and Block Glass.
|| Angel, Day, Shoe,
|| Up, Box, Diving, Ratio,
|| Candy, Bottom, Slide,
|| Baiting, Carpet, Seeing,
|| Reckoning, Head, Serious,
|| Cross, Daily, Blind,
|| College, League, Drum,
|| Dumb, Cow, Closing,
|| Boston, Cold, Decency,
|| Forum, Wide, French,
|| Paper, Nothing,
Restaurant, Passing, Free
|| Sick, Monkey, Open, Salt,
2006 by Jim Szirony
is a group of related words encrypted by a simple letter substitution
code. Each category has its own individual code. To solve a CryptoList,
look for words with unique letter arrangements, or double letter
combinations; also look for common two or three letter words. The most
common letters in the English language, in order of frequency, are: E,
T, A, O, I, N, S and R
|FUL XFY PIWQZF VXUOY
|G ZFIWVXRGV VXUIT
|XFY VGQXG ZOGJVY
|WX'V G LUQSYIAJO OWAY
|G ZFGIOWY DIULQ ZFIWVXRGV
|LY'IY QU GQPYOV
|Noted Ski Resorts
|SDRBODXR OBZ ABTXPWDTB
|MDUQSTIDXR ABTXPWDTB DX CDXMKC
|SVYQQ, VESNPZV GVYVIV
|WHY CVEENT, RIVML
|LSNP KVZERYSHPK, ZNYYNWWNN
|BVGAWLY MLEN, JTLFRYK
|WYLJWMLN, JNWZ CRPKRYRV
|EVAN XEVGRI, YNJ TLPA
|FLHYZ WMVWZV, GVERQLPYRV
2007 by Jim Szirony
Visual puns are words and symbols that, based on their arrangement or
position, represent another
word or phrase. For example, if the entry reads: Esgg Segg Gegs Gseg,
the answer would be "scrambled
eggs." See how many of the following entries you can correctly
|1. He ar t
Deficit Deficit Deficit Deficit
|3. P er s
|4. Dollars Dolars olars oars oas as a
|5. Boom Boom Boom
11. I ___r
|6. Gallop Schedule
2007 by Jim Szirony
left a door open at the Kareless County Zoo. Ten groups of animals have
escaped. Each type of animals has gathered with its own kind somewhere
on the zoo grounds. Help the zoo director restore order. Hidden within
the Word Search puzzle below are the names of the ten types of animals
and the ten social units that they have formed.
puzzle is the list of animals and social units that you must locate.
For added difficulty, hide either or both of the lists. As a final
challenge, see if you can match the animals with their associated
2007 by Jim Szirony
allusion is a powerful literary tool by which a short reference to a
person, place, event or another writing is used to convey deeper
meaning. The description of a person as "Scrooge-like" would be an
allusion. This allusion immediately brings to mind all the
characteristics of the heartless miser of Charles Dickens' A Christmas
Carol. The allusion also carries the deeper meaning that even one such
as Scrooge is not beyond redemption.
Hack Wordsmith, an
aspiring author, has collected a number of literary allusions and their
meanings for his new book. Hack is throwing down the gauntlet and dares
you to match the allusion with its meaning. Don't have feet of clay,
pull out all the stops and see if you are up to the challenge.
||1. Achilles' heel
||A. Sudden, but brief, success.
||B. Impending disaster.
||3. Crossing the Rubicon
||C. Success at too great a cost.
||4. Cut the Gordian knot
||D. The illusion of having options.
||5. Dark horse
||E. A seemingly insignificant but
ultimately fatal vulnerability.
||6. Flash in the pan
||F. Over-embellishing. Trying to improve
what is perfect.
||7. Gilding the lily
||G. Making an irrevocable decision. Going
past the point of no return.
||8. Hobson's choice
||H. A diversion, a misleading clue.
||9. Play possum
||I. A little-known candidate that receives
||J. A predicament with mutually exclusive
options. A no win situation.
||K. Present a false persona. To feign
||12.Sword of Damocles
||L. To solve a complex problem in an
2007 by Jim Szirony
Philips has assigned six of his students to present oral reports on
milestones in genetic research. Each student has chosen to discuss a
significant genetic breakthrough and the scientist (or research team)
responsible. One child chose the team of James Watson and Francis
Crick. The students have been selected to present their reports in
Using this information and the clues below, try and determine the order
each student presented their report, the researcher
they chose and the significant achievement of that scientist.
The Genetic milestones are printed in italics. The girls are
Jenny, Natalie and Suzy; the boys are Adam, Daniel and Nick.
1. The six students are, in no particular order: Natalie, the second
presenter (whose report was not about the
of Gregor Mendel), the one who reported on Barbara McClintock's work,
Nick (whose presentation did not concern Erwin Chargaff), a girl's
account of the discovery that traits are carried by discrete units
called genes, and a boy's report of the 1880 discovery of what would
come to be known as chromosomes.
2. Adam's report is on transposable or jumping genes. The Gregor Mendel
presentation was not fifth, nor did Suzy present it.
Lap-Chee Tsui's achievement (which was not presented by Suzy) was
neither the third nor the last report of the day. The research of
Lap-Chee Tsui and Gregor Mendel concerned neither helical DNA nor
4. Nick was first presenter. He did not discuss the discovery that DNA
is composed of a complimentary pair
A girl (who was not Jenny) reported on the completion of a gene map for
cystic fibrosis. Her presentation was immediately before Daniel's
report on the research of Walther Fleming, and sometime after both
thedescription of Erwin Chargaff's studies and Adam's presentation.
6. Suzy (who did not discuss the discovery of genes) spoke immediately
before Jenny who spoke sometime before Natalie.
2007 by Jim Szirony
present history has been shaped by the struggles of the past. Great
battles have not only determined territorial boundaries but social,
political, religious and economic destinies as well. The recent movie
300 depicts such a battle.
In 480 B.C. the Persians, commanded
by Xerxes the Great, son of King Darius, were preparing to attack the
city of Athens. The Greek army led by King Leonidas was to defend the
mountain pass of Thermopylae. A Greek traitor, however, told Xerxes
about an alternate way into the city. Leonidas now had to withdraw his
army, leaving only a small force of 300 Spartans to cover their escape.
Let us now turn to other historic battles. Presented below are
the names and descriptions of eight historical conflicts. Test your
battle readiness and see if you can match each battle with its
appropriate description. For an added challenge try to arrange them in
proper chronological order.
|2. The Armada
being abandoned by the Spartans, (Sparta was the dominant military
city-state of ancient Greece), the vastly outnumbered Greek forces
defeated the Persian army of King Darius. This battle assured the
genesis of Western civilization and clearly defined the line between
Eastern and Western culture.
B. After crossing the Alps with
the intent of fomenting revolt against the Romans, the Carthaginians
commanded by Hannibal faced the largest Roman army of its time--16
legions comprising nearly 90,000 men. This conflict was Hannibal's last
great victory, and one of the costliest battles in history. In this
one-day battle the Romans lost 50,000 men. Hannibal's dream of an
uprising went unfulfilled, and eventually Hannibal returned to Africa.
This one-day battle was the last time England was conquered and it also
marks the emergence of Britain as a world power. The death of King
Edward III (Edward the Confessor) created a power vacuum. Harold
Hardrate, king of Norway, was crowned as his successor, but William,
Duke of Normandy also laid claim to the throne. William's successful
invasion of England resulted in the death of Harold, and marked the
beginning of the English feudal system.
D. King Philip II of
Spain, with the backing of Pope Pius V, attempted to overturn the rule
of Queen Elizabeth I of England and return Britain to Catholicism.
Raising the largest naval fleet of its time, King Philip planned to
escort the Duke of Parma's Army of Flanders in an invasion across the
English Channel. Poor planning, such as having no means of resupplying
the Armada, combined with bad weather, fickle winds and effective use
of fireships by the British doomed the Armada
culmination of a two-month siege, this battle ended the dominance of
the Ottoman Empire over SE Europe. The army of Grand Vizier Kara
Mustafa Pasha was poised to overrun this capital city of the Hapsburg
Monarchy. Rather than storm the city, the Vizier waited for
surrender. This gave time for Jan III Sobieski, king of Poland, to lead
a Christian coalition relief army and overwhelm the Ottoman forces. The
Grand Vizier was executed for his defeat.
F. This battle
brought an end to 23 years of conflict. Napoleon Bonaparte returned
from exile to regain power in France. A European coalition of nations
declared him an outlaw and began to assemble a large army commanded by
the British Duke of Wellington. Napoleon had to attack first, lest his
army be overwhelmed. Despite having fewer troops, Napoleon nearly won
the battle, but deep mud limited his mobility and superior numbers
prevailed. The name of this battle has become synonymous with disaster.
G. Although it was fought to a draw, this battle was the
bloodiest single day in American history. Confederate forces under the
command of General Robert E. Lee were invading Maryland. Union troops
led by Major General George McClellan were able to stop Lee's advance,
causing Lee to withdraw back to Virginia. President Lincoln considered
it enough of a victory to issue a preliminary Emancipation
Proclamation. At the end of the battle 23,000 Americans were killed or
wounded, more than nine times the total of D-Day 1944.
Considered the pivotal battle of World War II, this winter campaign was
the bloodiest battle in human history, with over 1.5 million
casualties. German armies were advancing toward the Caucasus, an
oil-rich region in southwest Russia, when Adolph Hitler diverted them
to attack this city, an important rail and waterway hub. After bombing
the city to ruins, German forces found it to be an impenetrable maze.
The Axis forces were never able to make up their loss of men and
2007 by Jim Szirony
People have always been interested in comparing and rating objects and
events. Valid comparisons,
however, cannot be made without a proper framework. Mathematic ratios
provide this framework.
is a comparison of the magnitudes of two or more things. Ratios are
usually written as fractions. Alternatively, a colon punctuation mark (
: ) can be used to separate the numerator and denominator.
are just ratios expressed as decimal fractions. One well-known ratio is
p (pi), the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It
is approximately equal to 3.14159.
is a ratio where a change in magnitude of one thing is considered
against a standard or measurement. An example would be a highway speed
of 35 miles per hour. Proportions are equations with ratios on both
sides (such as: 2/3 = 4/6); the proportion represents the equality of
Test your ability to understand and manipulate ratios by solving the
1. Which is smaller
seven-sixteenths of 72, or 23% of 150?
Joe knows that he, and the 16 other boys in his class, represent 47% of
the total number of students. How many students are there in all?
Slick Sam's Used Car Lot is offering specials on selected cars priced
at $8,800. On cash sales only, the purchaser can choose an immediate
$525 cash rebate on the car, or he can elect to receive a 6% discount
off the purchase price instead. Which of the deals is better, and what
is the percentage savings of the better deal?
4. Anne mixes
lawn seed for a local distributor. The most popular seed blend is a mix
of four parts bluegrass with three parts fescue. Today, Anne has been
instructed to fill eight orders for this blend as shown in the chart
below. See if you can determine the proper amounts to complete each
order. Round to the nearest hundredth.
Pete intends to walk across Bobcat Mesa. Crossing entails a 2-mile
uphill walk followed by a level 5-mile plateau and then a 2-mile
descent. Pete knows he can walk level ground at a rate of precisely 3
mph. Downhill, he can achieve a steady 5 mph; uphill only 1.5 mph.
Determine how long it will take Pete to cross Bobcat Mesa.
In a survey of 2,500 people, it was found that 32% of those questioned
preferred the new Pearl-Paste toothpaste. Of those who liked the
toothpaste, 56% of them were women. How many women liked the
toothpaste? Assuming the smaller sample is representative of the larger
sample, how many women took part in the survey?
passengers aboard a cruise ship are about to disembark for a shopping
spree on the tiny island of Caveat Emptor. First they must covert their
U.S. dollars to island currency. Each Caveat Emptor pound (CEP) is
worth .622 of a U.S. dollar (USD).
Complete the following currency exchange transaction chart.
Lisa noticed that a 45-foot flagpole near the C. M. Burns Building cast
a shadow that measured exactly 12 feet in length, while the Burns
Building itself cast a shadow of 40 feet. How tall is the C. M. Burns
2007 by Jim Szirony
looking through a dictionary, one might get the impression that the
study of words is an exact science. Language, however, is more like a
living organism. New words are born; other words lose their usefulness
and die off. Even common words may not remain static, but can develop
new meanings. Consider the word "cute"; its original meaning was
Etymology is that part of language science
concerned with the origin of words and their evolution to current
usage. Some words like "pizzazz" and "grungy" seem to have come from
nowhere. Other word origins can be traced precisely, such as "Lyme
disease" being named after the Connecticut town where the first illness
occurred. Then there are words and phrases that require the detecting
skills of a Nero Wolfe to divine. "Mother Goose" has actually been
traced back to a Mrs. Elizabeth Goose (1665-1757) of Boston.
are a list of words (or phrases) and their current definitions. Become
the Origin Oracle and select the correct origin from among the choices
1. Hat trick: A player's act of achieving three scores, either
consecutively or in one game.
A. From the Roman custom
of presenting a laurel wreath as a tribute.
B. Accomplishing a magical feat like a magician pulling a rabbit out of
C. From the cricket custom of passing the hat after a bowler scores
2. Slapstick: A type of comedy featuring pratfalls and absurd violence.
The Roadrunner cartoons feature slapstick comedy.
A. From a device,
consisting of two hinged pieces of wood; used by clowns to produce a
loud slapping noise.
B. From the Yiddish word "shtick:" a bit of clowning.
C. From the Three Stooges proclivity towards slapping one another.
3. Quark: Any member of the smallest group of subatomic particles. They
are one of the building blocks of protons and neutrons.
A. From a nonsense word
found in James Joyce's 1939 novel Finnegans Wake.
B. Named after a character in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
C. From the quartz crystal in which they were discovered.
4. Rigmarole: A confusing, complicated and frustrating procedure.
A. From the term for
fouling in a ship's rigging.
B. Accomplishing a magical feat like a magician pulling a rabbit out of
C. From a medieval game of randomly read poetry verses.
5. Grandfather clock: A tall, floor standing pendulum clock.
A. From the clock being as
tall as grandfather.
B. From the 1876 song My Grandfather's Clock.
C. Because the clock looks like "grandfather's coffin."
6. Red tape: Excessive bureaucratic procedure marked by complexity and
A. Refers to the uniforms
of British officers in colonial times: red coats with a thin sash.
B. Official documents have traditionally been bound with red ribbon.
C. From the complicated command structure of the Red Army.
7. Bigwig: An important person.
A. From France's Louis XIV
practice of wearing long wigs.
B. From Dolly Parton's practice of wearing large wigs.
C. From senior members of the pre-Civil War Whig party.
8. Superman: A man with exceptional strength, abilities or powers.
A. From comic book
creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
B. From Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw in his play Man and
C. From the Jewish legend of the Golem.
Triple Threat Sudoku
© 2007 by Jim Szirony
The Triple Threat Sudoku consists of three interlocked Sudoku grids
sharing a 3x3 box with its
neighbor. Each Sudoku column, each row and each 3x3 box must be filled
with the digits 1 through 9 in any order. The 3x3
boxes that are shared between Sudokus are filled in identically for
each individual puzzle.