Thursday, March 12, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 8): Cat Got Your Tongue?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 8): Cat Got Your Tongue?:
Q: Think of a familiar phrase in five words that means 'tongue tied.' One word in it has one letter, one word has two letters, one has three, one has four and one has five — though not necessarily in that order. What is the phrase?
This week, I have no way of providing a clue that won't give away the puzzle.

Edit: I was speechless, completely tongue-tied, I guess you could say I was...
A: AT A LOSS FOR WORDS

43 comments:

  1. Too easy, but the answer contains a flaw.

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  2. If you look hard enough you may find the answer.

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  3. This one is so easy, it leaves me speechless.

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  4. Even with a degree in Speech Communication from WWU, I still get tongue tied especially when a freind's pet passes away.

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  5. The phrase is practically the same as a practice attributed to itinerant salesmen and political canvassers. Just change a 4 letter word to the answer's 5 letter word.

    I'm inclined to agree with Lorenzo. The phrase has what I believe to be a more common meaning than tongue-tied. The phrase may be more commonly used with a 4 letter contraction in place of the 3 letter word.

    Possibly I'm a spoiler, but I'd be happier with better puzzles.

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  6. I'm not sure what phrase Lorenzo and Hugh are going for. I don't see a problem with the construction of the answer.

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  7. David, my apologies. I reviewed some of my previous messages, and I see that I failed to answer your question re my alternative answer to the CERvANtes CRANE question. I left the answer at:

    http://puzzles.blainesville.com/2008/11/npr-sunday-puzzle-nov-16-authors.html?showComment=1236534960000#c8269383830881204518

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  8. Blaine, In my case, a person might be more inclined to use a unique possessive pronoun rather than an article.

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  9. Blaine, I agree with you. The five word answer is grammatically correct and there is nothing that I would change to make it more proper. I think that you and I have a different answer than the answer that Lorenzo and Hugh arrived at.

    Without giving the answer away, in my answer, there are two letters used three times. Lorenzo and Hugh, does that agree with your answer?

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  10. Dave, yes, my answer agrees. I wasn't arguing about grammer, just my opinion about usage. For good measure, another letter is used twice.

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  11. This puzzle reminds me of the soulless knight who misplaced his sword

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  12. I have to say that this is the worst puzzle that Will has given us.

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  13. Blaine, Actually, there is nothing wrong with the answer. I was just giving a clue. Initially you may not get my meaning, but eventually I'm sure you will.

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  14. I'm reading that everyone thinks this one is so easy but I don't have it - yet. I am stuck on cat got your tongue to the point I cannot think of anything else. Trying to purge thoughts........

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  15. Don-Some of the boys in preschool are playing with swords made out of sticks. At least they are not using stones to break bones.

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  16. Hey twohumansadinfinitum... I'll tell you how I found it. I confess: I cheated! I googled "cat got your tongue synonyms." So if you get frustrated enough to do the same, you'll find the answer.

    Geri, Hi! Hey, let's u and me leave our respective spouses/partners and run away to Tahiti or somewhere...

    Wait, would have to be somewhere we can get public radio... NOT. Thanks to the internets we can listen to everything on demand from anywhere! So there's no obstacle... except money...

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  17. Of the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet the answer uses nine.
    I agree with Blaine, Dave, and Micro Piranha on letter counts.

    Maybe this one will be the all-time
    winner of number of correct answers
    to NPR.

    Re Fort Worth/Dallas: Liane Hansen said: "A lot of people knew the answer to that. We received over 3000 entries."

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  18. Carl, YOU'RE ON. Don't worry about money.

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  19. Ah yes, now I see a flaw in the answer also... but I'm sure it won't stop people from sending it in.

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  20. Linda Richman's all verklempft - cuz s(he), via Mike Myers, and with a wee bito' sprechen Sie deutsche, could almost always Coffee - Talk.

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  21. I am Carl's girlfriend. He will not be posting on this blog anymore. When I saw his previous post I was unable to respond in any meaningful way, verbally or otherwise. I haven't been so... oh what's that expression... Well, I couldn't talk. I mean I was just, speechless. I was mmmfffmmff! mmmfff!

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  22. twohumansthreedogsandacat: The mind purge really does work. I had a problem getting my more or less plausible solution out of the way. Pay no attention to my previous notes.

    I am now in agreement with Dave's letter counts augmented by Geri and Micro Piranha.

    Other comments now make sense. Nice one Lorenzo.

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  23. If you look up tongue-tied synonyms you will find the answer.

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  24. Thanks, Natasha; that's what I meant. I'm distracted today and, as you may have noticed, in an unusually silly mood. Has to do, to some extent, with my glee at the discovery of how many different facebook groups one may join which are very anti a certain right-wing spokesperson who's been in the news a bit more than usual of late. One could say the individual in question is seldom, if ever, (the answer to this week's puzzle).

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  25. This is Dave here. Sometimes my son (micropiranha) doesn't sign off of his gmail account, so when I post on this blog it posts under micropiranha instead of Dave. In the future, if you see anything from micropiranha, it's from me.

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  26. I think Mr. z gave this out not for its merits as a challenge, but because it is presumably quite rare to find a phrase with such interesting letter counts. I imagine he was tempted to just say "Just find a common five-word phrase with one 1-letter word, etc." but that would have left a paucity of correct entries and a lot of judgment calls on whether stuff like "A My Name Are Alice" would count.

    Plus, I imagine he's exhausted after that tournament.

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  27. Carl, Your reference to the "right-wing spokesperson" reminds me of a clue in the Washington Post Sunday
    puzzle for March 1 "Running Gags" by
    Merl Reagle. The 97down clue says, "Mark Lane book, ____Judgment." Two-word answer, six spaces. It's amazing how that person seems to suddenly have become important. I wonder where his parents got his first name.

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  28. I finally got it. Took forever to get the cat out of my head. I would have used a clue like misplaced language.

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  29. I found that while the answer did contain a flaw it was not, so to speak, flawed...

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  30. what did the mime say when he got "daylight saving time" backwards?

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  31. Thanks Hugh. (Clearly I need to bone up on my Sci-Fi authors, but the Roswell connection was indeed an interesting wrinkle.)

    And if anyone needs help filling out their NCAA basketball tournament brackets this year, at least remember the adage that it's the teams with solid GUARD play who WIN games in March...

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  32. matador's glossy forged swords

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  33. Timmy, I think your comment is way too close to giving out the answer.

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  34. only if you know the answer.

    is 1 hour set ahead?

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  35. can someone please email me the answer. im really getting mad and i can't concentrate on anything else anymore. my email is bigmikeh94@gmail.com

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  36. ok nevermind I got it. and btw, i get timmys clue now.

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  37. the comment made about "looking up tongue-tied synonyms" gave away the answer---but who cares, this site is entertaining. if one sees the flaws in oneself, and corrects them, then maybe they'll have some fun.

    turn a - into a +

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  38. AT A LOSS FOR WORDS (it's thursday evening) :)

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  39. Yep, I posted the answer already, up above in the original post.

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  40. Too easy once again. I hope Sunday's Puzzler is more challenging. Have a good weekend, everyone.

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