Saturday, June 16, 2012

A clever puzzler from the departing Car Talk boys

I've seen similar puzzles that involved changing one sentence into another by moving spaces before (Gyles Brandreth had a whole chapter on them in The Joy Of Lex), but I've never come across one that got three different words or sets of words out of the same letter.
RAY: What can I say? Here we go. I'm going to read you a sentence that has five words missing. The missing words will each be denoted by a "blank." Your job, if you so choose, is to fill in the blanks.
"The (blank) doctor was (blank) (blank) to operate, because she had (blank) (blank)." So there are five words that are missing. 
TOM: I could make up all kinds of fill-ins for that. 
RAY: But, here are the constraints. The letters used to fill in the first blank - after the word "the" - are going to be the same letters used to fill in the two blanks after the word "was" and, the two blanks after the word "had." 
So, if for example there are ten letters in that first blank, then the two blanks after word "was" will use those same ten letters, but to make two words. That will also be true for the two blanks after the word "had." 
But here's the twist. You cannot re-arrange the letters. Only the spaces between the letters can be changed.
This time I won't make you wait for the answer.

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