Thursday, October 08, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 4): Chain Reaction

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 4): Chain Reaction:
Q: The challenge is to find a chain of 'C' words to connect 'carbon' to 'circuit.' Each pair of words completes a compound word or familiar two-word phrase (e.g. CASH COW or CREDIT CARD). Will's chain has seven words between 'carbon' and 'circuit' for a total of nine words. The answer doesn't have to match Will's, but each word has to start with 'C,' and each has to combine with the words before and after to make a compound word or familiar two-word phrase.
You can work this forward and/or backward; I did both. In retrospect I shouldn't have had so much trouble finding the joining word in the middle. It's hard to give clues without revealing the answer. I'll just say I'm pretty sure I have the same list as Will.

Edit: The hint above referred to the middle word in the chain which coincidentally was "center".
A: CARBON - COPY - CAT - CALL - CENTER - COURT - CASE - CLOSED - CIRCUIT

28 comments:

  1. Blaine, 0 comments? No, we're not ignoring you! It's just that some of us started without you and posted our comments on last week's blog.

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  2. I know, I noticed that. I was a little behind in posting this week partly because I couldn't figure out an easy way to post hints without giving away much of the puzzle. I get the feeling others might be struggling with that too. It's actually easy to solve the puzzle than it is to give obtuse clues for it.

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  3. I guess I had the same experience as everyone else. I have now replaced the jargon word I used after the Celine Dion word (for a 7 word series) with a better word (for a 9 word series).

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  4. I started from the front and the back and came to a dead stop in the middle. I came up with an 8 word series then threw my keyboard out the window. I called tech support (which helped)and came up with the correct 9 word series.

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  5. Hugh, I'll be interested in understanding your Celine Dion reference. Neither Canadian chanteuse nor Charlemagne, Canada were part of my chain!

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  6. Phredp, I sure you now have the intended answer. However, your earlier reference to a "keyboard shortcut" intrigues me. I assume you were thinking of "Control C", but, going forward I couldn't get beyond "C clef".

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  7. I submitted my 15-word chain as a goof. We'll see what happens.

    -- Other Ben

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  8. Lorenzo, Celine Dion was the answer to one of WS's puzzles. Change 2 letters to produce words which can be described by one word. That word works with my earliest clue (not here) to hint at the technical jargon used in the 7 word series.

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  9. CARBON copy cat call center court case closed CIRCUIT

    Does anyone agree?

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  10. Lorenzo, I was thinking COPY COMMAND for the keyboard hint.

    Tech support referred to CALL CENTER.

    CARBON - COPY - COMMAND - CENTER - COURT - CASE - CLOSED - CIRCUIT

    Changed it to the same answer as Natasha posted

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  11. I had Court Clerk and couldn't get it to work with Closed Circuit. Guess I gave up too easily.

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  12. Since Will said he would accept alternative answers, I decided to give one.

    Carbon-Credit-Card-Catalog-Company-Cellphone-Case-Closed-Circuit

    Company is a little weak, I admit.

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  13. I submitted two answers. The first was the same as Blaine's, then this one:

    Carbon-copy-center-court-case-closed-Circuit

    The possible weak link is Copy Center which may not be common enough to be a "familiar two-word phrase."

    http://www.copycenterplus.com/
    http://www.conlinscopy.com/

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  14. I tried this:

    Carbon copy cat call collect cash cow college circuit

    Collect cash is the weakest link. Any thoughts?

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  15. Joe W, there were supposed to be seven words between carbon and circuit.

    I submitted:

    Carbon-copy-center-court-case-closed-caption-code-circuit

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  16. Obviously Will's answer has 7 words between carbon and circuit, but the puzzle specifically says the answer doesn't need to match Will's.

    My question is would a shorter chain or a longer chain be viewed as a "better" answer? I think it would be challenging to see how far you could get with a chain that connected the words, with extra credit for well-formed C-C pairs.

    I'm curious Other Ben. What did you submit in your 15-word chain?

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  17. A shorter word list is:

    carbon
    copy
    cat
    cracked
    case
    closed
    circuit

    A Google search indicates that “cat cracked” is a common shortened version of “catalytically cracked”.
    (and for good reason).

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  18. I liked this week a lot, perhaps because there is no right answer.

    Blaine asked if a longer or shorter answer is optimal and I think there is no answer to that question either. A shorter answer is more elegant, but I failed to see "CENTER - COURT" (even though I'm a huge basketball fan. Perhaps it's tennis?).

    So I went with the more creative, longer version, which was also fun. Here's a 15-word chain:

    carbon
    copy
    cat
    call
    center
    cut
    clean
    catch
    cold
    cream
    cheese
    cake
    case
    closed
    circuit

    And then I used the gerund CALLING to avoid my personal dead end of CENTER and submitted this shorter one too:

    carbon
    copy
    cat
    calling
    card
    case
    closed
    circuit

    Not as short as Hugh's, but I hadn't ever heard of "cat cracked".

    -- Other Ben

    P.S. I was passed over this week for any Nobel prize whatsoever. I have almost no chance of winning economics, the last one left.

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  19. Other Ben, As Liane would say, "Great work!"
    BUT I don't understand "cake case."

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  20. Geri,

    Ever go into a diner and there is a glass display case with all of the desserts, sometimes rotating slowly? That's a CAKE CASE.

    Check it out:

    http://images.google.com/images?q=cake+case

    -- Other Ben

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  21. --Other Ben, Now I know. THANK YOU.

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  22. An alternative with seven words...

    Carbon, copy, cat, calling, card, carrying, case, closed, circuit

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  23. I am so glad that patdugg and Other Ben got the same answer as I did. I got this week's puzzle in under 120 seconds.

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  24. carbon-credit-card-carrying-case-closed-circuit

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  25. Alice's list is better than mine

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  26. Mine was different as well:

    Carbon
    Credit
    Card
    Carrier
    Case
    Closed
    Circuit

    Any feedback on this one? Card Carrier and Carrier Case may be weak, but they both seem acceptable.

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  27. Here's the shortest one I could create:

    carbon
    carbon cycle
    cycle cross (questionable)
    cross circuit
    circuit

    carbon cycle cross circuit

    cycle cross is questionable because it's an english-language corruption of the more-commonly-used term "cyclocross".

    Here's the one I submitted:

    carbon
    carbon credit
    credit card
    card counter
    counter charge
    charge conference
    conference circuit
    circuit

    carbon credit card counter charge conference circuit

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  28. I got 11: carbon-copy-cat-call-center-city-chest-cold-case-closed-circuit

    ReplyDelete