Thursday, December 10, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec. 6): Pleasantly I Anagrammed

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec. 6): Pleasantly I Anagrammed:
Q: Take the letters in 'PLEASANTLY,' plus the letter I. Rearrange these 11 letters to name a well-known place. What is it?
When they involve anagrams, we might be tempted to solve puzzles using methods online. Now I could have resorted to an online anagram applet, but this puzzle can easily be solved by hand. I suggest using the latter method for more enjoyment.

Edit: Hidden hint -- Take the first letters of "...solve puzzles using methods online. Now I..." and you get the word spumoni. Quoting from Wikipedia, Spumoni "is a molded Italian ice cream made with layers of different colors.... This dish comes from Naples, and the three-flavored Neapolitan ice cream evolved from it."
A: NAPLES, ITALY

49 comments:

  1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any outright spoilers before the deadline of Thursday at 3pm ET. If you know the answer, click the link and submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here. Thank you.

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  2. One could also re-arrange the same letters to describe a theatrical performance concerning a thin square cracker. 

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  3. I was hoping that my capricious answer "Tin Pan Alley" would work, but it just missed.

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  4. I was thinking Witness Protection Program (you know when they give you a new name and place you in a new city) since "alias plenty" fit the bill.

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  5. This week's answer reminds me of one of my all-time favorite NPR Sunday puzzles, a spoonerism from a few years ago.

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  6. Coincidentally, we dined last night at one of our favorite restaurants, which happens to be located in the Southern California namesake of this place.

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  7. No matter how you slice it, this is perhaps the easiest puzzle of all time. Took me two seconds. As Blaine suggested, you shouldn't even go to one of the anagram websites.

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  8. Lorenzo,
    It must be a chain! I ate at the one in Florida last year.

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  9. OK, since it's an easy week, here's Ken Puzzle #1: Football and Food

    Take the last name of a famous American football player from the 40's to the 60's. Change one letter and you get a popular food item (considered ethnic food in America). Name the football player and the food item.

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  10. I don't know why you people always seem to think these things are so easy. Not everyone's mind wraps effortlessly around these.

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  11. I have been following this site for some time, but never posted. I work on the puzzles with a couple of friends, one of whom is a psychiatrist, but he is terrible and I threw him back into the 'analyst pile' and got a new one. I actually did get this puzzle, but it took me a while. I'm with you 2010, I struggle even with the ones I do get.

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  12. I do believe there's a clue in there somewhere.

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  13. Ken, re #1, I have two possible solutions. The best fit involves legs and brandy. Am I close?

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  14. Lorenzo,
    Your 'best fit' is not the answer I intended. I'm guessing the player you have in mind did not have a career that fully encompassed the range I stated. Also, is that really a 'food item'?

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  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  16. well, I am stumped. Perhaps we don't have the restaurant chain mentioned here in Indiana.

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  17. John,
    None in Indiana but there is one off I72 in Illinois

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  18. I have tried every single combo I can think of.... someone feel free to give me another clue please!!

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  19. Ken, another (wrong) answer to your puzzle involves an obsolete or dialect spelling of victual.

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  20. John, forget the restaurant "chain". Take another look at Hugh's clever hint.

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  21. It's always easy when you know the answer. Unfortunately, I do not. I don't know why I'm so obsessed with it this week. Usually, I just blow it off and don't enter.

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  22. I think i figured it out, but I don't think my answer has anything to do with restaurant chains. However, places in Florida, California, and another country far away from the US all come to mind...am i on the right track?

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  23. P, you got the answer. John and ia2010, the answer is a city and a country. Forget about the restaurant chain. I haven't heard of it and I assume that others haven't either.

    Ken, I'll have some edamame with that. Nice puzzle!

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  24. Ach! Thanks Dave. As soon as you said that, it was a matter of seconds. Oy vey. I'd been focused on two word geographic place names and names of places that are not geographic. Never dawned on me to try that combination - I don't know what my block was! This was a frustrater.

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  25. The answer is obvious but I think some of the clues were terribly misleading.
    Another cuckoo puzzle.....
    Ken, hope you post your answer soon--being a Canadian, it is always difficult to think of American football players.

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  26. Ken, thanks to Dave's hint I finally solved your puzzle. I could kick myself for not getting it sooner. (Actually, I knew the football player but not the food.)

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  27. Dave, P, Cookieface and John: The reference to a restaurant "chain" was Phredp's clever and playful way of hinting that several U.S. cities share this name. And yes, on Saturday I really did eat at an excellent restaurant in the California city of this name. If you're planning to be in the area, I'll be happy to recommend the place.

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  28. I came up with ISLE A PLANTY and PAALLYSTINE but I don't think either are correct - I think it's time for chow instead...

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  29. I don't know why I had to boot this one around for so long before I got it. Maybe my mind was roaming a little too much.

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  30. Curtis: I know why it took you (and me) long. Like many of us, you are a literate person, and punctuation matters to a literate person. The answer includes a punctuation mark that was not part of the clue. When solving a puzzle we often need to be flexible and playful.

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  31. Dave, that’s a bit of a giveaway!

    Anyway, as long as we’re doing giveaways, here's Ken Puzzle #2: Football and Food (except this one is by Other Ben).

    Take the first name of an American football player who played from the late 60’s into the 70’s. He then became a popular cultural icon as a sportscaster, actor, and TV celebrity.

    Then he killed his wife and a friend of hers and was embroiled in the trial of the century. He got off, but is in prison now for armed robbery.

    His first name, with no changes, is a popular American breakfast beverage.

    Name the football player and the beverage.

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  32. Oh Jeesh! I hate these tough sports-reference puzzles; I'm not much of a sports fan. What I am is knee-deep once again in getting this bsmt finished. Will check in from time to time. Looking forward to not living on frozen things that you put in the oven...

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  33. Ben... I was so close to solving your puzzle, but I've never heard of a breakfast beverage called "Orenthal". :-)

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  34. The NYTimes Sunday Dec 6 crossword brought Carl to mind. It was one of the trick entries. Anyone else catch it?

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  35. I think "Orenthal" is not politically correct nowadays. The PC term is "Asian", e.g., having Asian tea for breakfast.

    Regarding Ken's Puzzle #1: I appreciate the people who actually played. Lorenzo's first two solutions showed much effort. His first was crazy good, but wrong. His second did not "dot every i or cross every t" of the requirements. Dave and ia2010 left clues that they kicked the answer squarely between the uprights.

    Now before the puzzle gets commandeered even more than it already has, here is the answer.
    Football Player: Lou Groza
    Food Item: Gyoza

    Domo Arigato

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  36. Ben, are you saying that I gave Will's puzzle away or Ken's puzzle? For Will's puzzle, I said that the answer is a city and a country and for Ken's I said that the food is Japanese. I really don't think that either of those clues gave away the answer.

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  37. Nowhere in Will's puzzle does it say that the place is even a proper noun. For example, "the fifty yard line" could be a well-known place, albeit not the answer to this puzzle.

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  38. Finally got this week’s puzzle! Now that that’s out of the way, here’s a puzzle I sent Will a year or so ago. Though he didn’t want to use it, he was very gracious with his declination. Anyway, here it is for your solving pleasure...

    Think of a pair of words, a phrase that means more than one of one gender. Take away one letter, combine the remaining letters and you get a word that means more than one of the other gender. What words are these?

    Chuck

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  39. Lou Groza Award Given Today
    My puzzle was quite timely!

    By the way, if anyone wants to sample gyoza, I recommend Trader Joe's. Buy them at the frozen food section, follow the directions, and enjoy.

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  40. Chuck:
    Now that the week is over, would you please give us the answer to your puzzle???
    Thanks

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  41. Naples, Italy. The answer jumped out at me as soon as I saw the last letters of pleasAnTLY.

    Chuck, is the answer TWO MEN? Remove the T and you get WOMEN.

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  42. Congrats - the answer is indeed TWO MEN and WOMEN.

    I think I'll wait until Will's next puzzle is posted and then share the Stupid Christmas Quiz. True, it's campy, but there's some fun to be had, too.

    Chuck

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  43. This week's puzzle is on the NPR website a little early:
    Name five two-digit numbers that are evenly spaced out — like 32, 34, 36, 38 and 40 — in which all 10 digits from 0 to 9 are used once each. What numbers are these?

    I got two answers that seem to work.

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  44. Les, I think there are exactly three correct answers.

    BTW, it seems that each December around the holidays, the puzzle is posted early.

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  45. Am I making too much of this puzzle? I came up with an answer in about 2 seconds but it couldn't be that simple. What does Will mean by "evenly spaced out (I sometimes am as well!)?

    Should there be a pattern like all even numbers.
    Confused in Missouri

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  46. phredp, I assume "evenly spaced out" means that the difference between each of the five numbers in the sequence and its predecesor is constant. In Will's example (32,34,36,38,40) the constant difference between pairs of numbers is 2.

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