Thursday, January 21, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan. 17, 2010): The Last Shall be First, and the First Last

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan. 17, 2010): The Last Shall be First, and the First Last:
Q: Find the full names of well-known female TV stars — one actress and one comedian. The first four letters of the actress' first name are the last four letters of the comedian's last name, and the first four letters of the comedian's first name are the last four letters of the actress' last name. Who are these well-known entertainers?
This could be hard if you aren't familiar with the comedienne. Also, be sure to read the puzzle carefully. I will say that both were on screen together in a scene involving a math competition. How's that for a useful clue?

Edit: First, the initials of the actress and comedienne were hidden in my post above, several times (THis COuld, THe COmedienne, maTH COmpetition). TH = Teri Hatcher, CO = Cheri Oteri.

Second, Cheri Oteri was half of the Spartans Cheerleaders duo with Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live. Teri Hatcher hosted SNL back on April 20, 1996 and joined them as Gabrielle in a skit entitled Spartans Math Competition
A: CHERI OTERI and TERI HATCHER

77 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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  3. It's obviously not Jane Kaczmarek and Alex Borstein.

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  4. Blaine, definitely one of your more laconic clues!

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  5. Was that an erotic hearth scene?

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  6. Got it - and to celebrate, I think a spot of fortified wine is in order.

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  7. The missing letters span A to H.

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  9. Oh, Phred, that's a giveaway!

    -- Other Ben

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  10. I thought my clue was good, but now I see I missed a letter. So I must retract the clue. Sorry, please ignore it.

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  11. Other Ben, I think just another guy's comment is more of a giveaway than Phred's!

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  12. JenJen, that's what I was going to say, too.

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  13. Oops, I didn't see "another guy", I thought you meant the fact that Ben pointing out that it was a giveaway made it more of a giveaway. Really.

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  14. Haha - nope, the 2nd comment, which has now been removed, was pretty obvious.

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  15. Ken, I still like your comment. What's a mere "i" among friends?

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  16. does anyone feel like dropping another clue--I am stuck.

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  17. cookieface,
    I'm sure you can find a list of comedians somewhere... pay attention to the first and last 4 letters after swapping.

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  18. Are the comedienne and actress still alive? If so, still performing?

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  19. Yes and yes, Dave.

    Did anyone watch the Golden Globes last night, or did you watch something else?

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  20. Like cookieface and Dave, I'm stumped. I think this may be the first time since last summer that I won't submit an answer.

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  21. JenJen, thanks. I'll see what I can come up with.

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  22. The actress and comedian are about the same age, roughly two years apart.

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  23. I am getting nowhere fast....nothing is working for me...........

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  24. Let's see if I can help without being too obvious. Aside from some episodic appearances, the actress has held significant parts in two different series on one network. A current series on another network covers similar ground to her first series.

    I don't regard the comedian as a household name. She worked on an weekly series that spawned some notable stars. But, her subsequent stardom has been modest.

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  25. Cookieface, Dave and Tom - I would like to offer you a couple of words of encouragement but that might be too much of a hint. (Sorry, I'm sure that was of no help! But take Blaine's advice and get some comprehensive lists of actresses and comediennes.)

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  26. Sorry about my blatant hint(s). Was it the first hint or the second hint?

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  27. phredp-I would have loved to see your hint as I am STUMPED--I am usually good with clues but am at sea this week.

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  28. I spent a lot of time on this one and almost had a aneurysm figuring it out until I tried a different list of comediennes than the one I had been using.

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  29. I just started actively playing the puzzle recently. Last weeks stumped me hard, I couldn't get past flight/fight as one of the possible words. Anyways, thanks for the clues. A combo of a couple clues on this post helped me think of a search term, and in the end, took less than a minue.

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  30. Dave, I'm glad you figured it out. Unfortunately, I'm going to give up. Maybe I'm handicapped since I haven't had a television for over two years. Perhaps I'll have better luck next week.

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  31. What are the rules for giving clues/hints?

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  32. Don't give any obvious hints or clues. Personally I usually give "hints" that are really more of a way to show I know the answer, but only those that also know the answer will understand it.

    Like last week, the answer was HALF-JOKING, so somebody commented that it took them about 30 minutes to figure out the puzzle. Get it?

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  33. Tom (and anyone else who is having a problem with this week's puzzle), go to the list of comedians on Wikipedia and make sure you read the puzzle to know what you're looking for.

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  34. I am still trying to out how my clue was too much of a giveaway?? Maybe after 300pm on Thursday someone would care to elaborate. Obviously if you know the answer the hint jumps out at you but if you don't then it doesn't. Thanks for your input. And I have seen way more blatant hints posted on the past that weren't removed.

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  35. Like, what tripped me up at first was I wasn't sure from the puzzle whether the letters that are the same between each name were in the same order or not. Can anyone say whether this is a legitimate clue?

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  36. Sam Lee, you're correct that the wording of the puzzle was slightly ambiguous in this regard. I'm sure that a clarification would be viewed as an appropriate "clue" in this case.

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  37. You don't have to rearrange any letters; they're in order. It's funny, when you figure it out, you'll probably smack yourself in the forehead (assuming you're familiar with these women).

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  38. One of the ladies' names could be mis-pronounced as a foreign word for bathroom (different spelling though)

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  39. Has anyone on this forum ever been on the show? I was surprised that they taped it ahead of time. I always thought they did everything live, but I guess everything like car talk, wait wait are taped ahead of time. Sorry off topic, does anyone know how to be a guest on wait wait don't tell me?

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  40. Sam Lee, we've had several people picked to play on the air. DaveJ had a stint, and I remember Lorenzo saying his wife had made it. I know of one other but can't remember his name right now.

    Also, several people have submitted their puzzle ideas to Mr. Shortz and had them used on the air.

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  41. @Sam Lee - From Wikipedia:
    Wait Wait... listeners also participate by telephoning or sending e-mails to nominate themselves as contestants.

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  42. My new year's resolution was to play the puzzle weekly. Otherwise I wouldn't have struggled through with this one! I agree with Chezedog that a drink is in order after completing it! Don't know about you all, but I brooded on this one for hours!

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  43. Thank goodness the answe will be posted tomorrow--TGIT!!!

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  44. @cookieface, did you ever figure out the answer?

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  45. O m' daaaahlings! Even out in the French countryside, the farmer and her kiddos do not need to tarry very long down at the local candling nursery 'fore they can share with each other the wonders of 17 - and 21 - and 24 - day - born bambina quail, hen and pheasant chix!

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  46. I FINALLY got it. And,as JenJen suggested,I smacked myself in the forehead despite being completely unfamiliar with the comedienne. Thanks for the hints.

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  47. SAM LEE--no, I have not figured it out! ABsolutely nothing is helping me....I thought that maybe once I was on the right track but I guess not. Thanks for asking....

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  48. This puzzle reminds me of a pair of Bart Simpson's classmates.

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  49. Blaine, Was the other one who played
    on the air Minncognito?

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  50. Yes, good memory! I searched back and he was on in Sept. 2009. Thanks for the reminder. And if there is anyone else I've forgotten, please chime in...

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  51. Like Blaine said, look for a list of comedians, you can find them easily online. Find the females, pay attention to the first and last names. Curtis gave a wonderful clue. I have a couple hidden clues in a previous post. Good luck

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  52. I don’t watch any TV so I’m completely lost when it comes to popular culture puzzles such as this week’s. Didn’t even try to solve it. I’m much better with word and number puzzles.

    I’m one of those here who has played on-the-air several years ago. Here’s what my experience was.

    The producer called me shortly after 3PM eastern on Thursday, chatted a while and confirmed my interest in actually playing on air. Evidently some don’t. They chicken out or get scared or lose interest or whatever. But I said I did want to. He set up the taping for lunchtime on Friday.

    He called me Friday around noon and joined me to a call already in progress between Liane and Will. We chatted for a while and they got some sound levels. Liane asked me to stay on the line after the segment was through being taped so that they could get my mailing address, etc. And then it was off to the races. Liane gives her little introduction. Will gives the answer to last week’s puzzle and then I’m introduced. And then the questions start.

    I will admit to being quite nervous at first. Looking stupid in front of a few friends is one thing. Looking stupid in front of several million people is another. Anyway, I did fine and after I’d answered the first few questions my stage freight disappeared.

    It was fun. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I got a few phone calls from old friends and acquaintances all around the country after the segment aired that Sunday. It’s amazing the “reach” NPR has...

    Chuck

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  53. I have the answer thanks to my daughter -- she got it fairly quickly but she watches more TV than I do. I would never have guessed the answer in a million years, so I do not feel badly at all.....

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  54. First time I used this blog. I couldn't have figured it out without your clues. Thanks again, they were real and they were spectacular!

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  55. Suzyq, just curious which clues helped you figure it out?

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  56. I've added the answer to the original post above along with my hidden "clues".

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  57. The only clue that I saw (or that I understood) was the reference to fortified wine. Thanks Chezedog! I knew then it had to be a Sherry, Brandy or some such variant. I have never heard of Cheri Oteri, and have only a vague knowledge of Teri Hatcher but I love Seinfeld...I see now that those of you who are SNL devotees point out the Spartan reference, which I actually picked up on, due to laconic, but not being an SNL-er, Sparta meant nothing to me. Being part of this blog is every bit as fun as doing the puzzle live, I suspect!

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  58. O tarry share = O teri, Teri and Cher homonyms
    daaahling = darling = cheri in French
    poultry's candling nursery = hatcher y

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  59. I'm a little surprised that the word "esoteric" didn't crop up.

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  60. I tried to include "live" and "guest" in one of my posts to allude to SNL and a guest host. Good job everyone, this was fun. I think I'll copy susyjpq and try to do it every week this year.

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  61. I did notice all your not-quite-so-subtle clues, Iowa Blue, but by then I'd already figured out the puzzle! Can you tell me, Blaine, what was the clue that you removed that was posted by phred on Sunday?

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  62. I dropped a clue, "almost had A ANEURYSM . . . " Add an 'S' to A ANEURYSM and that's an anagram for Susan Mayer, the role Teri Hatcher plays on Desperate Housewives.

    The puzzle was actually pretty easy to figure out once I got a comprehensive list of comedians on Wikipedia. I focused on the last four letters of the female comedians' last names and when I reached Oteri, BINGO!

    JenJen, good clue when you hinted at a show being on at the same time as the Golden Globes.

    Where have you been, Blue?

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  63.  
    I'm jumping in real late on this one but, once again, I wrote a program. I really know very little in the actress / comedian name area and the fact that the list I got from Wikipedia didn't have Ms Hatcher kinda slowed me down. I would be interested to learn what list actually has both of these gals. Anyway, here's a link in case anybody wants to see some more tiny-c. BTW, I've started a Facebook group called, you guessed it, tiny-c Programming Group and would love to get a few more memebers.

    http://primepuzzle.com/tc/comedian.html
     

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  64. Thanks Dave! I was wondering if anyone caught that, or just thought I was making idle chit-chat. :)

    Tiny Tim, is it possible you misunderstood the puzzle? Teri Hatcher is not considered a comedienne, hence not being on the list you reference. The puzzle called for figuring out one actress (Hatcher) and one comedienne (Oteri), not two actresses-slash-comediennes.

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  65.  
    I told you I don't know anything about actresses and comediennes :) Thanks JenJen. To leave my program alone and still have it work, I'd have to find two lists, one for actresses, one for comediennes, and concatenate 'em. I'll see if I can do that. BTW, it took all day to get this thing to work. It helps being semi-retired.
     

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  66. For my clue, I named 2 ladies who are each best known for playing a character named Lois, just like Teri did.

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  67.  
    Based on JenJen's clarification, I've changed the program to read two different files. Other changes were made. The link in my previous post is still good and if anyone wants to see what's current, click it. Thanks again JenJen.
     

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  68. From the deleted posts:

    just another guy said:
    I hope it doesn't take you til Saturday to figure this puzzle out, otherwise you'll miss the deadline for submitting your answer.

    phredp said:
    Three cheers if you can figure out the comic. And you've got to be super to get the actress this week. Tough one Will!

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  69. My deleted clues referred to Cheri Oteri's skits on SNL as the cheerleader and Teri Hatcher played Lois Lane in the Superman series (super to geet the actress).

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  70. Phredp, I thought your mention of Will was a veiled reference to Will Ferrell, too. I guess I read too much into it. :)

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  71.  
    You're welcome JenJen. On my way home from my first day back to work I (I teach and my school's back in session) realized there's a much slicker way to match up the comediennes and the actresses but I'm getting used to realizing w/ every accomplishment there's another approach.
     

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  72. Dear Bloggers:
    NPR has already posted the new Sunday question for January 24th, 2010. Hope it is not as difficult as last week's.
    CF

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  73. CF, a good clue for last week would have been that the puzzle had already been posted on Saturday night. For this week, posted in the middle of the night might be helpful.

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