(As in “Hooked on Funix”)


Word puzzles based on syllable sounds.

Each puzzle solution is the name of a classic TV show or movie or comedy team. If a show or movie, the solution includes (usually), in order, the name of the show and the names of major characters and the actors/actresses who played them. The syllables of the solutions are hidden, in order, within the syllables of the puzzle statement and the puzzle statement may or may not make sense literally. Most puzzles include clues to the solution. Note that syllable sounds are used and not syllable spelling. In the first 10 puzzles, syllable sounds in the puzzle are loosely matched to those in the solution. In puzzle 11, dictionary pronunciations are matched between puzzle and solution.


Hints at bottom of page. Clues or solutions via email.


For example:


Hint: TV show

Entertainment News: The Twyla Tharp Dance performed a delightful program at the Arizona Convention Center to the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein with a laser light show. The tinkling sound of breaking glass was heard.


Solution: “The Twilight Zone” – Rod Serling

Clues: Description of show is improbable. Last sentence refers to show’s opening sequence.


Puzzle #1

Rating: Ridiculously Easy


“Well, I guess I’ll hop along now, cast off, adios. I’d like to eat ice cream at will. Yum! Boy, I’d like some now.”


Puzzle #2

Rating: Very Easy


“Kemo Sabe, long time no hear. Pony Express slow? No wampum for stamps? Medicine Man give you tonic for sore toe. In trade, Chief Blue Jay ask, ‘Them silver spurs on your heels?’ What’s that you say, Kemo Sabe? We should jump those 50 heavily-armed outlaws and have a shootout? What do you mean by ‘we,’ Paleface? We be all alone, stranger. We be clay pigeons in a ton of trouble. Need I say Moore?”


Puzzle #3

Rating: Easy


“Here’s how to earn your Marksmanship Merit Badge, my scouting brothers:

  1. When hunting grouse, a shotgun should be your choice.
  2. Use a harpoon when stalking a pig in a poke.
  3. To hunt for a Chia Pet, go to Costco.
  4. To relax after hunting, read a Zen poem.”


Puzzle #4

Rating: Hard (However, it contains a key to unlock it.)


“The ‘Catch of the Day’ is Icelandic Cod. Our dessert cart features chocolate mousse, custard cream pie and apple pie. To accompany your feast, we offer several wines and liquors. Our wines are some older and some younger and to go with them we have pepper jack, cheddar, limburger and Monterrey jack cheese. May I suggest a tossed salad with low-carb dressing for madam, followed by pheasant under glass? And for you, sir, perhaps a Waldorf salad, some turtle soup, and the Chef’s Special Linguine with Squab. My name is Matthew. For your next special occasion, our banquet room holds a thousand people.”


Puzzle #5

Rating: Medium


“Today’s ‘Tea-Time Movie’ is Whether Leather starring Celery Stewpot, Judges Mozart, Laramie Wyoming, Rio D. Janeiro, Captain Kirk, and Ulee Gold.”


Puzzle #6

Rating: Easy-Medium


“Ma name’s Lefty. Ah woik fer Big Al. Ah met dis aye-poppin’ dame las’ night a th’ fights. Took her ma place bud it was no sale. She made fa th’ door bud ah grab’d her an’ sez, ‘Ah wan ya fer ma moll. Fahgive ma achuns. Will ya be ma goil?’ She sukka punshed me.”


Puzzle #7

Rating: Easy


When considering which shows to turn into puzzles, not every show is suitable. Here are some of the reasons a show might not be suitable along with examples:

The Simple Life – modern garbage

My Three Sons – I’ve forgotten their names

Hee Haw – too many names

Gomer Pyle, USMC – not enough names

My Little Margie – I loved Gale Storm, but show is not well-known

Maverick – Bret and Bart, but only one actor

Police Squad – not widely broadcast

Heckle and Jeckle (cartoon magpies) – title says it all

Doogie Howser, M.D. – not a classic


Puzzle #8

Rating: Medium


“Hold your breath as I announce the first annual Y-o-u Awards, for those who weren’t quite good enough to win an Emmy (M-e) Award. The first winner is Darby O’Gill who wants to thank all of the Little People and his sponsor, Hogan’s Heroes & Deli. The next winner is The Pied Piper in La La Land sponsored by Dale’s Dead Bug. Then we have Bobby Socks and Lizzie Borden in Beaver Fever. Best song is ‘Skip to the Loo, My Darling’ sung by Minnie Pearl, with runner-up ‘Valley Girl’ sung by Annie Lennox. Thank you for tuning in. You may now exhale.”


Puzzle #9

Rating: Medium


While surfing one day, I came across an awards show: “The last award goes to Doogie Howser, M.D. Unfortunately, Doogie, the PhD, caught VD in his BVD’s and OD’d. As if this show wasn’t drab enough already, we can’t sink any lower, so next up is Boba Fett of the LAPD doing his rendition of the Hunchback of ND from his new CD, ‘Duets with KD.’ But first, a word from our sponsor, Clairol HD: ‘Ladies, do you go to a salon for new hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and lips? Why not just get a new head?’ Now, take it away, Bobi: ‘The bells! The bells!’ D-D-D-Dat’s all, folks!” Click.


Puzzle #10

Rating: Medium


Animal House is one of the all-time great movies, with Harold Ramis and pals as writers. My favorite scene involved the dead horse. Some labeled it swill, but this charming tale of Faber College posted impressive numbers all over the country and particularly among younger audiences.


Puzzle #11

This one is my tour de force, my piece de resistance. I spent a long time matching the dictionary pronunciations of the syllables in the puzzle and solution.

Rating: Medium-Hard


From An Aesthete’s Wisdom of Gardens and Orchards, Chapter 1: Plants by Region:

“In the Midwest, choose beds of cosmos and a never-dormant olive tree.

  For the West, which has mountains, in July plant dandelions, gardenias, and in the lowlands, scarce crocus and geraniums.

  For the East, which has cold winters, bold ageratums and for a distinctive touch: a manicured jack-in-the-pulpit.

  For the South, which has hot summers, try inhaling the fragrance of daisies and cow parsnips.

  For the North, which has icy winters, plant leopard lilies, lilacs, and carnations, and in the orchard, dwarf Alberta peaches.

  For all regions, try larkspur.”



Puzzle #1: TV show star

Puzzle #2: TV show stars

Puzzle #3: Movie Stars

Puzzle #4: Movie title

Puzzle #5: Comedy team

Puzzle #6: TV show stars

Puzzle #7: TV show

Puzzle #8: TV show

Puzzle #9: TV show

Puzzle #10: TV show

Puzzle #11: Movie