In the middle '80s, I sold a couple of puzzles to Games magazine. Nothing fancy, mainly simple quizzes, often with a connection to foreign languages. Two examples are shown below. The images are lousy, so you probably can't read them. Tell you what: here's one of them for you to test your wits against, from the August 1985 issue, with a difficulty rating of one and a half stars:

Dutch Treat

The Dutch language includes many compound nouns that when translated literally describe the things they refer to accurately but unidiomatically. For example, the Dutch word for "jet plane" is straaljager, which literally means "sunbeam chaser." Six other Dutch words are listed below with their literal translations. Can you pick each one's correct meaning?

1. Wolkenkrabber, "cloud scratcher"

a. television antenna

b. helicopter

c. tall building

2. Stofzuiger, "dust sucker"

a. vacuum cleaner

b. industrial exhaust fan

c. static ion charger

3. Verrekijker, "distant-looker"

a. radar screen

b. telescope

c. fortune-teller

4. Aardappel, "earth apple"

a. potato

b. boulder

c. acorn

5. Kippevel, "chicken skin"

a. plastic wrap

b. goosebumps

c. feather

6. Neushoorn, "nose horn"

a. sneeze

b. handlebar mustache

c. rhinoceros

For the correct answers, click here.

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