Thursday, December 18, 2008

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 14): Need a List of Musical Instruments?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 14): Need a List of Musical Instruments?:
Q: Name a musical instrument, change the third letter to a different letter and double the last letter. The result will name a famous singer, in two words. Who is the singer and what is the instrument?
First, here's a list of musical instruments courtesy of Wikipedia. I had to see it a couple of times before I found the answer. Hint, if you are young you may not know this singer... go ask your Mom or Dad.

Edit: My first hint was that the list contained the instrument, but as a singular noun. The second hint was to "The Mamas and the Papas".
A: MARACAS --> MAMA CASS

33 comments:

  1. I expect most will solve this quickly, probably by tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hope my hint is not something that can give me a black eye. The instrument appears in the list Blain cited as it is usually used. Curiously, it does not appear that way in the dictionarys I usually consult, even as an an amplification.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't see any problem with your hint, except you left off an important last letter --> Blaine

    ReplyDelete
  4. Blaine: Is this singer also known as a director of adult films? Or does this puzzle have more than one answer?

    ReplyDelete
  5. No adult films as far as I know. Blaine's hint should clue you in. I almost choked when I read it.

    - Other Ben

    ReplyDelete
  6. Was hanging out with both my parents and my girl's parents this week. Normally we'd play cards, but just to shake things up we tried this week's puzzle. Didn't take too long.

    And, Plume, the answer is NOT Asia Carrera's former husband! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I found this site to be extremely helpful

    http://www.enchantedlearning.com/music/instruments/

    ReplyDelete
  8. The singer in question died right after a sold-out performance at the height of their solo career. Strangely, another equally famous (depending on one's tastes?) performer would die in the same flat about four years later. The second performer is someone more likely to have been familiar with the instrument in question...

    There are subtle deceptions (or unintended misdirections?) in the clues Will offered.

    As to whether this singer should be called famous... in their time they were considered a pretty big talent.

    And the instrument in question have been around a lot longer than the person. Oh shoot, a typo...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Y'know, I think one could maybe get the idea from the tone and language of my last comment that I've been sucked into USA's House marathon...

    I guess maybe you were hoping for a clue, but I don't wanna go where you wanna go right now, sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Carl, last week's Puzzler was very difficult, but we won't get fooled again.

    ReplyDelete
  11. plummew, I came up with the exact same film director as you. If I figure out the real answer of the singer and the instrument, I'm going to send it into NPR and include the alternate answer of the director, just to see if Will accepts it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's so chilly here in Chicago, but my pastor likes it that way.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'll interject here that if you're looking for clues as to what type of instrument it is, don't do word-association with Chicago.

    Just watched a House episode in which all but the last minute of the show was a series of hallucinations in the main character's head. House came to the conclusion that he needed to do something so extreme that it could never happen in the real world to snap himself out of it. That was interesting.

    Wonder what it would be like to watch a marathon of I Love Lucy after not having watched that show for so long...

    That show had some great moments, like the scene where Lucy and Harpo Marx recreated a classic Harpo routine involving a mirror. And those scenes at Desi's club? Great fun and good music. Lots of talent. Lots of instruments. Yep, good show.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm a bit confused as to the relationship between singers and porn directors.

    Am I missing something here?

    After all, you can also take the most famous *martial arts* film star of all time, remove the second and fourth letters of his first name, change the third letter of the resulting three-letter word, and then remove the last letter of his last name. You'll also find a musical instrument there, reading left to right.

    But you could also just read a book or something. Or watch I Love Lucy.

    - Other Ben

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ben, he probably knows you're gonna stay cold.
    I heard Piere SD had a windchill of -39 this morning! Great way to start a Monday.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Blaine

    I was going to add that last letter if the ladies were having trouble, but no need now.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you Blaine for this wonderful website. It is so stimulating to read the posts on here. I find it so relaxing during my breaks from writing lectures.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great site, Blaine. Seaason's greetings, everyone. Ugh, too many Holiday parites, too many sweets. Is everyone getting fat?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sean, you gonna eat that sandwich?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Natasha, your link led me to the answer after reading Blaine's clue a few times. Thank you for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Here's a bonus puzzle:

    Rearrange the letters in the name (first and last) of this week's singer to form a 3-word phrase meaning roughly "Reduced fossil-fuel law."

    ReplyDelete
  22. Phredp,
    Your hint sounds good to me. In fact, it was all I hoped my hint on Sunday would be, but I couldn't guarantee that anyone would get it. Oh well, sometimes it just turns out that way.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lorenzo,
    At first, I thought you were missing a letter in your puzzle. But I looked it up and you are exactly right.

    ReplyDelete
  24. What's interesting about the martial arts film star and the film director is that they are both derived from the SAME instrument.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I just figured out the singer! I read Carl's first clue about four times, looked at Natasha's list of instruments three times, and did several Internet searches before the answer finally came to me. You can make a strong argument that the intended answer is not the singer's real name, but more the nickname that they were better known by. Also, knowing the band that this singer was in before he/she went solo will help you immensely.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Okay Lorenzo, I'll see you and raise...

    You could also rearrange those letters to spell something that means "wavers" or "varies between extreme alternatives." Or even to spell what could happen if a well-known canine star sat too long on an airplane...

    And if you throw into the mix the only vowel that's missing and anagram that, you get lots of fun stuff including the title of a classic album by arguably (?) the most famous of (British import) acts in the early history of rock and roll... except that the first word is actually a synonym of the word in the original album title...

    Here's a fun link for you. It's probably the best one I've found so far. I used to use one that was a bit simpler, called Brendan's Online Anagram Generator, but it's not maintained anymore. Which is good because it forced me to find this one:

    http://wordsmith.org/anagram/advanced.html

    ReplyDelete
  27. Carl,

    Thanks. I particularly liked the one about the bugs.

    Another good anagram generator is called The Anagram Engine and can be found at easypeasy.org/anagrams.

    ReplyDelete
  28. The Anagram Engine is found with the extension .com, not .org

    Try
    http://www.easypeasy.com/anagrams/

    ReplyDelete
  29. As Don in Seattle can attest, it's really beginning to look a lot like Christmas here (but maybe he's visiting friends in Palm Springs or something...). Need to make some photographs of this snow.

    I wonder if we've set some kind of record for most hours between posts here... except maybe for that time not so long ago when nobody could post for a couple days.

    Anyone still struggling? Might it be time for the really blatant hints? Or should we wait for Monday mornin'? And Don, if you did go somewhere warm and sunny, all I can say is, how could you leave and not take me?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh my gosh, I'm so slow.
    I've been reading all your hints for this week's puzzle and I couldn't figure it out until I read carl's.
    And then Blaine's made sense.
    I just have to tell you all that you're extremely smart, and I wish I could get the puzzle as fast as you.
    ~Samkizzle

    ReplyDelete
  31. This new puzzle looks vaguely familiar. Anyone hear the new puzzle?

    ReplyDelete
  32. The mistake on the website is not found in the audio version, but the new puzzle does involve a musical instrument, and Santa Claus...

    I believe it went like this: name two things Santa carries, put them together and you have a musical instrument.

    You can listen to the puzzle on npr.org.

    ReplyDelete