Earlier today I’ve brought you these laugh-out-loud puzzles from the incomparable quiz king Frank Paul, winner of Only Connect, part-time TV presenter and author of a new book of holiday riddles (more on that later).
Here are the puzzles with answers again.
(And if you can think of more Spaonisms and anagrams like the ones below, please post them below.)
1. Silver beds
A spoonerism is when two consecutive words (or elements within a word) swap their initial letters or sounds. Rephrase the following sentences using a pair of sponisms
Example: Delicate subscribers welcome men from France. Answer: Frail henchmen welcome the French
a) Hummus ingredients choose a dairy product.
b) Orangutans and gorillas ate fruit that grows on vines.
c) The food brought to school was not affected.
d) Rodents suppress feline fury.
e) Babies make noise while fighting illness.
Answers: a) Chickpea chooses cheese.
b) The apes ate grapes.
c) The packed lunch had no effect.
d) The rats in the cat’s cage are on a rampage.
e) Rattlesnake babies fight with rabies.
Rephrase each of the following sentences using three words that are anagrams of each other. The number of letters in the anagram is in parentheses.
Example: The most agile members of the clergy do not give up (7). Answer: Priest-priests insist.
a) The reptile present expresses remorse. (6)
b) Saves the more unpleasant parts of the eyeballs. (7)
c) An opera heroine adds toppings to Mexican food. (5)
d) The most stable fiber strands are deposited. (7)
e) A business that sells goods at a reduced price initiates cases of price reduction. (10)
Answers: a) The current snake repents.
b) Keeps disgusting retinas.
c) Tosca’s Taco Coat.
d) Dump of the hardest threads.
e) The discounter introduces discounts.
3. Double blanks
Fill in the blanks in the following sentences. Each blank space contains the same sequence of letters in the same order, although they may have different punctuation or include a space. All the sentences are coherent, although sometimes surreal!
An example: Children’s books should have easy-to-read _______________ little animals and magical atmospheres, and I believe we should _______________ any children’s author who explores more sinister themes by making them explain themselves to a jury of outraged parents. Answer: First blank “prose honey” second “pursue”
a) Her fiancé left her shortly after the proposal when he found out that she had sold _______ to buy pickled _______
b) I was explaining, “The purpose of ________ is to store information,” when a student shouted, “I refuse to learn anything about biology that isn’t mentioned in Book ________!”
c). My superstitious roommates who keep wishing for what they think is a shooting star before discovering it’s actually _______________ their misfortune, crying loudly while I’m trying to sleep that if it was a shooting star, their dreams would be _______________ .
d) I have a strong suspicion that some members of the film crew I invited to my house were stealing Japanese food: it is probably no coincidence that as soon as _______________ _______________ sushi and katsu curry started to disappear.
e) “How should _______________ the light that refused to believe in refraction be? It should be thrown prism!” As soon as I heard it _______________ tears of laughter.
Answers a) her ring/herring
b) genes are/genesis
c) comet, root / came true
d) operators/came, ramen
e) punished/pun I spilled
Thanks to Paul for these puzzles. If you like his style, why not ask Santa for his new book, Twelve Christmas quizzes, which is released on Thursday. You can pre-order at Guardian Bookstore or at other outlets.
In the meantime, I’ll be back in two weeks.
I post a puzzle here every two weeks on Monday. I’m always on the lookout for great puzzles. If you want to suggest one, write to me.
I give school talks about maths and puzzles (online and in person). If your school is interested, please contact