Formal LaddersLanguage brain teasers are those that involve the English language. You need to think about and manipulate words and letters.
Jenn Rahlwitz stood in front of her shallow closet, staring at the left side, where she kept outfits she hardly wore. In two hours, Allen Nella would ring her doorbell and expect her to be ready for the party. She pulled out a dress that helped accent what Monique told her was still a girlish figure. She tried it on, liked the effect, and went hunting for the earrings that complemented the soft red fabric.
After ten minutes of futile searching, she remembered where she'd left them: on loan to her niece at college. However, the blue topaz studs caught her eye. They clashed horribly with the dress, but they went well with her new jeans.
Change DRESS to JEANS, changing one letter and making a legal English word at each step.
She picked out a baby-blue cashmere blouse to go with it, thinking of meeting Allen's artsy friends. The more she looked in the mirror, the less she liked the informality of jeans. Back to the closet, where she switched to a skirt.
Change JEANS to SKIRT, using the same rules -- and you may not repeat any words.
She took off her earrings and blouse, sat in front of the make-up mirror, and contemplated her naturally pasty complexion. This part would be easy: a little foundation, a little blush, frequent smiles, and an active mind would be all she'd need for the evening.
Change PASTY to BLUSH; you know the rules by now.
Just as she was finishing, she saw Allen pull up to the curb and get out of his ... that wasn't his Mazda, that was a rented Lexus! She suddenly realized that he hadn't said "block Thai affair", he'd said "black-tie affair". Twenty seconds upgraded her shadow and lipstick as her mind raced through the back of the closet, coming up with a long-unused evening dress that would complement the earrings. Thanks to her frequent downtown walks with her nephew, she still fit into it.
Change SKIRT back to DRESS, avoiding any of the words you used in the first two clothing changes (DRESS to JEANS to SKIRT).
By the time he'd extricated the corsage from the back seat and figured out how to lock the car automatically, she'd managed to pull on the dress and change shoes. Thanks to the long, winding front walk with two gates and a hedge, she beat him to the front door by several seconds.
The next hour was a pleasant collage of fancy car, formal presentations, gourmet snacks, and polite conversation. Then the music started, and she realized that the number was not the free-form rock with which she was comfortable -- it was a Latin-American rhythm.
She saw Allen's hand in front of her, the classic "May I have this dance" offering.
"Do you Samba?"
One last time, change DANCE to SAMBA.
Hint(1) DANCE to SAMBA includes an adjective that is better known as a girl's name.
(2) Some of the words are not in everyday use.
(3) In the clothing changes, those words include "thens", although a longer answer with only common words is available.
(4) In DANCE to SAMBA, those include hance, pense, terne, gemmy, and gammy.
AnswerDRESS to JEANS
dress dregs drags brags brans beans jeans
JEANS to SKIRT
jeans weans wears weirs whirs whirr shirr shirt skirt
PASTY to BLUSH
pasty paste passe pause cause cruse crush brush blush
SKIRT to DRESS
skirt skint skins shins thins thens thews trews tress dress
"then" has a noun definition of "a particular point in time"; "thens" is its plural.
--- or ---
skirt shirt short shorn shown shows chows chews chess cress dress
dance hance hence pence pense tense terse terne terns terms germs germy gemmy gammy gamma gamba samba
"hance" means "eleveate", more common in the form "enhance".
"pense" means "think".
"terne" means "gloomy" or "fierce"; in another derivation, it's "lacking in brilliance".
"gemma" is a bud-like growth.
"gammy" is "bad", now seen as "gamy"; it also refers to a local cant (language).
For those not into classical music, the "viola di gamba" is a common period instrument.
See another brain teaser just like this one...
Or, just get a random brain teaser
If you become a registered user you can vote on this brain teaser, keep track of
which ones you have seen, and even make your own.
Back to Top