Thursday, February 26, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 22): What's on your desk?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 22): What's on your desk?:
Q: Name an item often found on a desk. It's a hyphenated word. Add an 'S' to the beginning of each part, and you'll get two synonyms. What's the item?
I'm looking at my desk trying to figure out what this item must be. My desk is pretty clean except for the items I'll eventually need to do my taxes (...that nasty IRS!). My wife was thinking it's something related to "ink" --> sink. I was thinking of something related to "light" --> slight. But neither of those ideas seemed to pan out.

I get the feeling people won't be happy when they hear the answer. Anyone else bothered by the puzzle this week?

Edit: There were quite a few clues in my post: Paperwork that is yet to be handled probably appears in this place, "Nasty IRS" is an anagram of the two synonyms, and "pan" is a synonym for tray, while "out" is an antonym for in.
A: IN-TRAY --> SIN, STRAY

43 comments:

  1. Blaine, I agree! In fact, the desktop item is not listed as a word in any of my dictionaries. Just another reason why businesses should move to a paperless environment.

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  3. waddles
    same as steve (my son wrote that)

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  4. Steve, the unwritten rule here is that you can provide *hints* to the answer but you are not allowed to post the outright answer to the puzzle before the deadline!

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  5. Blaine, my apologies! new here.

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  7. I would consider the two words only loosely considered synonyms!

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  8. Blaine and Lorenzo paralleled my thinking and clue exactly. Nobody I checked with today ever called the desktop item that.

    Blaine's comment reminded me that I'm happy for Cookieface. She doesn't have to put up with those arbitrary people he mentioned.

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  9. Blaine, did i hear the answer at church this morning?

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  10. Will Shortz said "office desk" on the
    radio. The comments above make me
    want to give up on this one.

    Liane Hansen said, "... over 2500 this
    oast week.." referring to Al Capone.

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  11. Hugh--
    I wish it were true what you said about arbitrary people--In Quebec , it is much worse. Why, bacause if you need info in English, they still send it in French. The only good thing is that my daughter is the CA (CPA) for me, and she does the translating. LOL And to boot, our taxes are off the wall--very HIGH!

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  12. Daniel; The word you may have heard probably depends on whether the speaker was admonishing the congregation or warning his flock.

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  13. "his" flock ... maybe ... but why not also the admonishing or warning assignments coming on to the men of the congregation by way of a female declarant, a her-director at mosque, temple or church, as well. heck though, what'd I know 'bout such tasks -- being only an office desk-secretary 'n' an a-theist 'n'all. heh-heh.

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  14. If you Google the item, as a hyphenated word, you get lots of hits. It's not something I'm used to hearing but it must be familiar to others. I still think it's far from the best of the NPR Sunday Puzzles; more toward the mangy cur end of the spectrum than the purebreeds. Almost want to call animal control...

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  15. This is a tough one. Any more clues? Muchas gracias.

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  16. Dave, there are lots of good hints. If you kind of free-associate with what I said at the end of my last post you might get it. At this point I feel that to make it easier than it already is might be giving it away; that would be a terrible transgression!

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  17. THANKS, everyone, for the hints.
    The "mangy cur" did it, Carl.
    I wonder if Will Shortz did this
    one himself. I doubt he would
    have used it if he did.

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  18. Geri - the NPR site says the puzzle was submitted by 'someone'in Valley Stream, N.Y. (don't want to list the persons name here) so it's not a Will-puzzle.

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  19. Carl, thanks much! It took me about a minute to get the answer after reading your hint. Like Blaine's wife, my first thought was ink/sink, but I couldn't think of anything that paired with it except ink-well (?) and sink/swell aren't synonyms. Pretty weak puzzler, but some might find it tres bien.

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  20. re "the admonishing or warning assignments coming ... by way of a female declarant, ... as well." and "what'd I know 'bout such tasks -- being ... an a-theist," well, of things churchy I do not want to know ... since of one of those things, for certain, I DO know: Sexism IS the ORIGINAL one.

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  21. Blaine,
    Stumbled upon this blog and I love it, thanks for keeping it going.
    Seems like most have gotten this week's puzzle, I was wondering if I could get another hint towards a puzzle you discussed in an earlier entry's comment section. A word w/ 9 letters, one vowel that repeated 5 times, consonants occur only once? Its been haunting me for some time. So far I have "buzz" and "honey" as hints.
    I apologize if there is a better place to post this.

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  23. Ah, nevermind, I feel dumb now. I was definitely over thinking it.

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  24. Les, My comment was poorly worded.
    I should have said that if Will Shortz
    had tried to SOLVE this puzzle he
    might have rejected it.

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  25. Dave, I assume you figured out "BEEKEEPER"

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  26. Blaine, I think you mean Dan, not Dave.

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  27. Dan, I assume you figured out "BEEKEEPER"... Dave already did. :-)

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  28. The puzzle this week left a vague unclean taste in my mouth. I really didn't like it.

    I finally got the answer hinted at here, and I submitted it. The item seems more British, though -- I've never heard it anywhere. All the Google hits are on the other side of the pond. And they can't even drive on the correct side of the road over there, so why should they get the answer?

    I almost submitted a second answer which I far prefer, if only because it doesn't seem so pathetic. This second item is on any desk, is hyphenated, and the two resulting words aren't quite perfect synonyms, but I do think the overall answer is better.

    - Other Ben

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  29. Blaine, nice!

    Ben, not only do Brits drive on the wrong side of the road, but they talk funny. How about a hint to your solution?

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  30. The answer I submitted was IN-TRAY going to SIN & STRAY, which is clearly the preferred choice of the team here, judging by the religious zealotry on display this week.

    I'm afraid I won't be able to check in later, so instead of posting a hint and then an answer, I'll just say that I far prefer TABLE-TOP going to STABLE & STOP.

    Granted "stable" and "stop" are only synonyms if you are dealing with a teetering object about to fall, a drunkard, or an open wound. And tenuously so.

    But at least I've seen a table-top on just about every desk. An in-tray? I dunno.

    - Other Ben

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  31. i thought along the lines of "word" and "print"

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  32. IN-TRAY is not so uncommon-in fact, they are an--d were quite common in days of loads of paperwork--perhaps more commonly called IN-BOX or OUT-BOX
    and they were kept on the side of the desk--but they actually were two or three trays stacked one on top of the other. Not so uncommon but still a silly puzzle.

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  33. Oh, I've had trays for handling stuff to be done, or for holding things that are done. But I've never called them "in-trays" or "out-trays". That's my complaint with the puzzle. If the answer was "in-box" I'd be much happier. But I don't think "sbox" is a synonym for anything...

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  34. I got it. Wasn't sure it was right until you posted the same answer.

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  35. Other Ben, Where did the rule for
    which side of the road to drive on come from?
    Did we have a "Department of Correct-
    ness" at one time?

    Dave, Maybe we had a "Right and Wrong
    Council" that Japan and England paid
    no attention to, huh?

    This puzzle is certainly a "mangy cur"
    that is unworthy of its status on NPR.

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  36. Geri, I hope you realize that I was kidding. I'm sure that our speech is as funny to the Brits as theirs is to us.

    I agree that the puzzle didn't meet NPR's usually high standards.

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  37. Dave, Me too--kidding. That's what
    it's all about.

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  38. Oh, it is quite clear that the Brits cannot speak English. But they got their revenge on us by sticking us with English measurements and then converting to metric. I think we're the last people on earth who still use idiocy like feet and ounces.

    As for the rule about driving on the right/correct side, it is simply the rule of the majority. It is clearly not safe having a few holdouts who insist on behaving in such a manner.

    And then using the phrase "in-tray" to boot. I mean really!

    - Other Ben

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  39. Geri, I thought the hokey-pokey was what it's all about. The bottom line is that this week's puzzler was lame.

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  40. BEN--u are right about the metric system. I learned feet and inches, Fahrenheit, etc. and I still cannot do everything in metric and I am Canadian nd we have been metric since the early 70's. It is supposed to be a far superior system...guess one day the USA will catch up. You're country is still pretty darn good for lots of things. So we can all be happy for that!

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  41. Ben, it's not just the U.S., we have Liberia and Burma as well. Together we will change their minds. Who says a base-10 measurement system is the best? What's wrong with 12 inches being a foot, and 3 feet being a yard, and 22 yards being a chain, and 10 chains being a furlong and 8 furlongs being a mile? That's logical, right? There's no problem remembering all that, is there? It's much better than that metric system with all those kilo-, deca-, milli- prefixes -- so confusing!

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