February Mindbenders

A Wiry Problem

In order to repair the eccentric electrics system of an office block, Colin has had to replace some of the wires.  Having managed to lay down five wires from the top floor to the ground floor, he thinks to himself, “Silly me, I should’ve used different coloured wires.  Now how am I going to know which wire is which?”

It’s too late to undo all the wiring and identify them before putting them in again.  But if only the ends on the top floor can be somehow matched up to the ends on the ground floor, the wires can be connected up again and power to the building can be restored.

Meanwhile the lift doesn’t work, since the power is off, so Colin would rather not exhaust himself with too much more stair-climbing.  Armed with a continuity tester and a set of sticky labels, he figures out an ingenious way of matching up the wires so that the right connections can be made.  After one trip up the stairs and one trip down again, the wires are all labelled in matching ends ready to be connected up.

How does Colin manage to sort out the wires?


The Common Word

Find the word that fits after the first word and before the second to make a compound word or phrase.  (Example: life JACKET potato, as in life-jacket, jacket potato.)

  1. life … teller
  2. ghost … hall
  3. card … show
  4. blue … light
  5. postal … form


Lost Words

In each line, a three-letter word has been omitted from some longer words.  Each line has its own missing word, which stays the same across the line.  Can you put the words back?  (Example: LET makes tabLET, athLETe, pLEThora)

  1. ___tle, toc___a, lo___e, ___ch
  2. ba___, an___m, ___atre, a___ist
  3. ___l, s___p, tat___, car___n
  4. th___, ___ling, t___er, cr___le
  5. ___e, hor___, b___le, f___ge


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