## Thursday, November 27, 2008

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 23): Famous Singer Anagram

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 23): Famous Singer Anagram:
Q: Name a famous singer from the past who has five letters in his or her first name and six letters in the last. Rearrange the letters of the last name, plus the last letter of the first name (seven letters in all) to name a place where this singer famously performed. Who is the singer and what is the place?
In the comments from last week, Natasha says this is easy. I've obviously been overthinking it then.

Edit: I was less familiar with this singer so it took longer to get the answer. There were some good clues in the comments, including "alas, I am, Carl" which was an anagram of the singer's full name and uses of the word "callous".
A: Maria Callas --> La Scala

1. I'm not 100% sure I'm right, but I think the singer is Bono...

Which, since somebody might actually think I'm serious, is my way of saying I'm still working on it. So far I'm come up with an amazing number of singers whose first and last names have five and six letters, respectively.

2. I'm trying to work backwards and thinking about the place where this (here we go again) "famous" singer "famously performed".

I think this is a great example of the kind of puzzle where if you're lucky your brain accidentally goes in the right direction and you solve it quickly.

Right now I'm imagining (I said imagining...) Natasha sitting back and going, NEENER NEENER NEEEEENER... Hey Natasha, how about a very general clue that steers me in sorta the right direction?

4. Y'all might be barking up the wrong tree, ya hear? I got it - worked it backwards a bit and looked at a list of famous singers on the 'net.

5. Yeah, Natasha, an easy one this week. A really fine singer, but labeled as hard-hearted, feeling no emotion and showing no sympathy for others! Too bad!

6. Natasha's right, it's easy. It's just not the kind of music young people would pick as universally popular. I guessed the type and the place fell out for me. after that the singer was obvious.

I wonder if Will will ever again give us a hard puzzle like a word ldder, IT would be difficult to give hints about that type of puzzle.

7. Steer away from the favorites of the teens.

8. I know you are all trying provide some useful clues, but they are all greek to me. I get the feeling that some people might be very familiar with this singer and others may not. Some may be finding it very difficult (alas, I am, Carl) and others may not have any trouble with this.

9. Wow, cannot believe Will has stumped Blaine and Carl!! Hint: Go through a list of famous places in the world for concerts. That may help.

10. I stand corrected. I see that Blaine has the answer.

11. NPR is ending the competition on Wed. this week.

12. One more clue? Working nine to five today, will try to think of something else on the way home :-)

13. I stand corrected. I see that Blaine has the answer. I do? Then how come my answer involves someone singing in a fancy restaurant in Beverly Hills? :-)

14. Now I'm really confused???

15. phredo, Our CLUEMASTERS have done
a great job this week. Read and
reread until. . . you get it.

16. Bravo a tutti che ha preso esso!

17. Mama mia this one's annoying me! And Blaine's not much help with his fancy restaurant nonsense!

I'll keep trying; after all, like Berra said, it's not over until the... no wait... until it's over. Yeah, that's it.

And you people with your stingy, not very helpful hints, don't be so cold and... um, not warm... or something...

But all seriousness aside, this one was a lesson in density (my own).

18. And since we're on the subject (aren't we?) of cooking (Hi herblady!), have you folks ever watched the Five Senses? Love that movie...

Oops, should be giving hints or allowing space for others to do so, maybe. Well, I'll try to think of something later; right now my fingers are sore and dry from so much typing. Ever hear the claim by some that most house dust is dead skin? I guess anyone who's had a dog in their house can believe it could be true...

19. Blaine,

20. Esso eccedenza quando la signora grassa canta.

21. Natasha, did you get the right answer? You don't get the fancy restaurant clue? Anytime Blaine says he doesn't have the answer and then finishes with a smiley emoticon you can tell he's pulling our collective leg.

And Rick, judging by your clues I suspect you have the wrong singer... Nine to Five? Y'all? What the heck is your performance venue? Or are you throwing us a red herring? Oops, I mentioned seafood... That could be a clue, sorta. Herring, restaurant, fish... scrod, halibut, sturgeon, sole... Sole mio... O sole mio... Sorry, my mind wandered...

22. And quit posting in Portuguese. It's rude.

23. I thought of a singer right off the bat who has one part of a famous concert venue in her name, but not the entire venue. I had to start all over again, and now I'm officially stumped. I'm having no trouble at all coming up with names, though. Maybe the answer will come to me when I walk into the bathroom or something.

24. Btw, I believe Will said that he would be on Millionaire the next two days as the new "Ask the Expert" lifeline. I recommend that the rest of you tune in to the show and look out for him.

25. Since you mentioned Will, wanted to tell you all about yesterday's Seattle paper. There are two main newspapers in Seattle, the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post Intelligencer, and they're published together under something called the JOA, or joint operating agreement, which the Times tried, unsuccessfully, to dissolve a couple years ago.

That's just irrelevant trivia, kinda... But on Sunday they're published as one paper, with some sections (like the editorial page) divided. So, buy one you get both...

And on the puzzle page of the Sunday paper are, among other things, two big crossword puzzles. One is the New York Times puzzle (a week later than in the real NYT), and the other is Merle Reagle's puzzle. So, yesterday the NYT puzzle was a submission by... Merle Reagle. Rare and to be savored: a double dose of Reagle!

Have any or all of you happened across the site "Rex Parker does the NYT Crossword Puzzle?" If you get genuinely stumped and you want the answers, it's a fun source.

Definitely more fun than watching soaps...

;)

26. Carl, I get weekly Merl Reagle puzzles ten days before the Washington
Post publishes him. The Argonaut, for
some mysterious reason, gets him early. www,ArgonautNewspaper.com.
I was able to finish "One Fine Day
at the Animal Salon" in a reasonable
amount of time BUT I may NEVER finish
"Crossword Crossword." Have you
seen either of these?

27. Will could not answer the questions on the Millinaire yesterday.

28. They need Ken Jennings. Geri, I did the Animal Salon puzzle last night; it was unusually easy for a Merle Reagle puzzle. What is Crossword Crossword? Is it the name of a daily puzzle or a particular NYT puzzle or what?

29. I thought of a country singer first but in the end Blaine's cultural insight made more sense.

Don in Seattle (Hey Carl!!)

30. It seems Rick has been hinting at a certain country singer with the right number of letters. But I don't get the location. Can you explain it to me?

31. Don in Seattle, did you see and did you get all my Seattle references for last week's puzzle, trying to make people think of Frasier Crane? I even told a blatant lie; it was sunny and I said it had been raining for so many days I was thinking I needed a psychiatrist...

32. Carl, I did, those clues did it for me, especially the sunny day reference. I nearly called you on it, but couldn't post a comment.
I work in Ballard - how about you?

33. As Natasha said, stay away from any of the teeny-boppers' favorites. Their music is all Greek to me! For this puzzle, I think that being older is definitely an advantage.

Ciao, Carl! ;-)

34. I do remodels, all over the area. But I'm at home today getting some cleaning and organizing done. Later will go to my girfriend's place in Lynnwood to help her buy stuff for and prepare a nice T-day dinner.

Since you live in Seattle are you, like my sweetie and I, a Vietnamese noodle soup junkie? I love to eat at Than Vi, at 12th and Jackson.

35. Oh, sorry, should have said I live in Columbia City, about 4 1/2 mi. south of downtown Seattle near Rainier Ave S.

36. Carl, Have never had that. So many good places to eat here - I work right by Hale's Ales on Leary and LOVE the smoked salmon chowder. Yummy.
This year my sweetie and I are headed to Victoria for the holiday - how's that for different?? Enjoy your day and our miserable rainy weather. Isn't there an aria dedicated to us callous, scaly Seattleites and our climate??

37. Good Deity! You've never had Pho? It's a light soup with lots of rice noodles and vegetables and your choice of several different kinds of meet and/or tofu. When you're served you get a plate with mung bean sprouts and basil leaves. Tear the basil leaves off the stem and put them in the soup, followed by the sprouts. It's wonderful.

Pho Ga, for instance, has chicken in it. One of the things I LOVE about Seattle is that there are places where you can see five different Pho restaurants from one spot.

38. Okay, been a while since I offered up a challenge of my own...

Take the very common phrase, Gobble Sullen Pizza, and rearrange the letters to spell a rather obscure internet blog.

No, really, I'll try to get something going in the next couple days. Why don't some of you create a puzzle or two for us?

39. Okay. Take the name of a college football mascot that can also be used as a verb. Remove one of its letters. Take the last letter in the name and move it to the place of the letter that was removed. You will get a word that can be used as a noun or a verb.

What is the mascot, and what is the derived word?

41. I just discovered that if you remove a letter from the singer's first name, the type of song he/she sings is revealed.

42. Carl, I get a weekly Merl Reagle
from The Argonaut on Thursdays.
"Crossword Crossword" is the one
that followed "One Fine Day in the
Animal Salon" and it ain't easy.
When, where, and how did you get
the Animal Salon puzzle? Let me
know when,if,where you get "Cross-
word Crossword" and what success
you have with it. I gave up.

Wikipedia and The Argonaut spell
Reagle's first name with only
four letters. How does your
source spell it?

43. Animal Salon (I think this is from watching Jeopardy; I abbreviate the name of the puzzle just as contestants abbreviate the category to conserve time...) was in this past Sunday's Seattle paper. So I imagine Crossword Crossword will be in the next one. Looking forward to it.

I never give up on a c-word puzzle--too stubborn. If I really can't figure it out I go online to try to find some answers. I used to bet people I could solve the daily NYT puzzle in fifteen minutes or less, and I won more often than I lost, even Thursday and Friday puzzles. But I'm not in the big leagues.

44. And you're right; I've been misspelling Merl Reagle's name. I swear that's the first time I've ever made a mistake! :-)

45. "Crossword Crossword"
I picked it up for "one more look"
Maybe there's hope for finishing it
after all. I want to be "stubborn"
like you, Carl.

46. Finally got it. Thanks for the skinny on the clues.

47. Ken - you confirm my belief that I must keep my day job and not come up with puzzles!!

48. Don, a good puzzle is like fine wine. Don't ask me to explain that because I have no idea what it means...

No, what I mean is it takes some time and some thought to come up with a good challenge, as a general rule.

Right now I'm working on an idea that just occurred to me--a theme puzzle involving the world of film, with multiple anagrams. I'll play around with it this evening and post it tonight or tomorrow. I'll let you all know ahead of time that all the hidden words are very related and it'll be much easier once you get one or two of them.

49. I once again missed Will's call this week, but I'm almost certain the singer is Merle Reagle and the place he sang is while gargling, perhaps in his bathroom.

What a diva.

50. Ben, MERL Reagle. Four letters in his first name. See yesterday's exchanges.

51. Here's a fun little challenge for you; been playing with anagrams and noticed something interesting...

Think of a two word phrase, a statement you might make upon observing some horrific injustice or some terribly unnatural phenomenon. Now anagram, individually, both words in this phrase to say, essentially, the same thing. But in language that sounds somewhat archaic...

Understand that you rearrange only the letters of each individual word in the phrase to make the corresponding word, in the same order, in the new phrase.

I'm sure I can't have been the first to notice this oddity, so maybe some of you have seen it somewhere already.

52. Carl and Ben, Merle Baker has four
Newsday puzzles in 2008:
4-13. 7-27, 9-14, and 11-9.
We have a Merl and a Merle!

54. Rick, I'm with phredo. Sounds like
a country singer to me. Did you get
a place?

55. I had never heard of Maria Callas or The Scala until now. The only opera fan in my family is my grandmother. I wonder if she would have known this puzzle if she had tried harder on it. I was actually thinking of opera when I read the clue about steering away from music that is popular with teens. Only problem is, I could only think of Luciano Pavarotti, who died earlier this year but doesn't come anywhere close to the puzzle requirements. I've never been a big opera fan.

Anytime Will gives us a puzzle involving a personality from here on out, I'm not paying any attention to the word "famous." It always seems to refer to a person who is well-known only to a certain group of individuals. In addition, I always feel like I'm at an unfair disadvantage with these types of puzzles since I'm only 18 years of age and these people either died well before I was born or are in TV shows or music genres that I don't watch or listen to.

Oh well. The good thing is, these puzzles always make me think long and hard, which is never a bad thing.

56. Danpendry, I feel so sad that your having been born so much more recently than I puts you at such a disadvantage at solving puzzles! You'll just have to be patient; I know it seems like it'll take forever but trust me, you'll be in your fifties in no time!

But seriously, you need to do something to fill up that time and one thing you can do is FOCUS ON GETTING AN EDUCATION! You will never regret it later. Good luck and enjoy the experience of all those years you still have in this world.

57. Busted - I was stuck in a mental thing with "subtracting letters" from last week. I guessed Dolly Parton & Opry - but that was with my bone-headed mental gaffe. Sorry about that - keeping quiet this week since I have no idea :)

58. the new puzzle is up. . .I wouldn't want to illegaly bring the answer into the comments for the last puzzle. . .plus you have to be careful carryig that type of thing around.

59. I can tell you for sure that these are *famous* crimes! LOL..

I can also tell you that the first one is NOT "solvingpuzzlesincorrectly."

60. sorry about the typo, that isn't a crime is it? I am such a bugger about these things.

61. This week's puzzle will be easier for someone who lives in New York City, or maybe for someone who lives in Brownsville, Texas...

Still working on my puzzle I promised I'd put up the other day. Been too distracted by a chance to spend several days in a row with my sweetheart.

62. Doesn't the first lawbreaker have some restaurants in Florida?