Friday, March 19, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 14, 2010): Tasty Opposites

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 14, 2010): Tasty Opposites:
Q: Think of two words that are opposites, beginning with the letters 'H' and 'M.' Change the 'H' to an 'M.' Say the result out loud, and you'll have the name of something nice to eat. What is it?
At least this week's challenge doesn't involve anagrams. (However, if you miss them and want to hear some more, listen to the on-air puzzle; it's all about anagrams.) Just like a couple weeks ago, I think the wording of the puzzle is a little misleading. If you want something nice to eat, don't take a small bite. You want the whole thing.

Edit: My hint was "some more" as in "s'more"
A: HARSH + MELLOW --> MARSHMALLOW

45 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. Interesting little puzzle this week, although I still think Will should be skewered as his last efforts over the last month had no intellectually nutritional value!

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  4. As a vegetarian, I can't participate in this weeks puzzle.

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  5. This week's musical assistance came from Olivia Newton-John, of all people...

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  6. From the wording, I thought only the H-word, changed to an M-word, would be the answer.
    But, I see a solution that involves pronouncing (or mis-pronouncing?) both words - the new M-word followed by the M-antonym.
    What pattern does your solution fit?
    If it's both words, and I was a more bitter person, I would think Will should be fired.

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  7. That was exactly the interpretation I initially had. Sounds like you've figured it out.

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  8. Barnes and Blaine, if that was Will's intent, then there would be no reason to have that second word. He would have asked us to change an H word to an M word, resulting in something nice to eat.

    It took less than five seconds to solve this one. I'm getting tired of these soft puzzles. C'mon, Will, challenge us! Give us some more difficult puzzles.

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  9. Dave, that's just how my brain interpreted it. I disagree that there would be no reason to have the 'M' word in the puzzle. For example, I could have a puzzle with an 'L' word and 'R' word that are antonyms. If you change the 'R' to an 'E' you get a number. The 'L' word wasn't used, but the pairing of 'L' and 'R' gave you a clue to the words, right?

    Anyway that was my initial assumption thinking the 'H' and 'M' antonyms would a common pair of opposites. Yes, the assumption was wrong.

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  10. Rick should have no problem with this.

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  11. You say you want more anagrams?! Here's a reference to one related to this week's challenge:
    "A large room in which mothers of deployed troops might gather."

    (A related one, involving a homophone, pertains to 15 minutes of fame.)

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  12. Will Shortz significantly reworded the problem from how I submitted it. I agree that his wording is confusing. Both the modified H word and the M word need to be said together.

    -Brett

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  13. Blaine, please don’t diss me for giving away too much but the answer to this week’s puzzle is flat-out an anagram of either Carly Simon, Olivia Newton-John, The JB’s or the Beatles. Or was that last week’s anagram...

    Chuck

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  14. I figured out the answer. If you want a hint, too bad. You won't get a peep out of me.

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  15. Hey Chezedog - Love your clue this week. And, to get this week's answer, we have to squish the two words into one.

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  16. I've submitted a couple puzzles to Will over the last several months. But, given his taste for anagrams and such, he hasn't bitten into them. So, I'll post them here for fun:

    1. Take the name of a well-known musician. Remove the last letter of the musician's first name and the first two letters of his or her last name. The remaining letters will form the name of another well known musical act. Name the musician and the act.

    2. Name two states and a Canadian Province or Territory. The last two letters of the first state are the first two letters of the second state. The last two letters of the second state are the first two letters of the Province or Territory. The last two letters of the Province or Territory are the first two letters of the first state. Name the two states and the Province or Territory.

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  17. Curtis, I immediately got number 2. I don't know why, but the first state popped into my mind as soon as I read the puzzle. I like these puzzles where words are mashed into each other.

    Blaine, I get your point, but I think that the puzzle is kind of random if the second word isn't included in the answer. Just my opinion. I actually came up with an answer to the puzzle interpreting it the way that you originally interpreted the puzzle. Did you come up with an answer?

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  18. Sure did. In fact, I just popped one in the microwave the other day and heated it up. Makes a somewhat filling treat.

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  19. I'm not absolutely sure that my answer is the same as the official one, but it's definitely acceptable.

    When the puzzle requires you to say it out loud, it means the spelling is wrong after substituting the "h" for an "m".

    The first m-word (that's the opposite of the h-word) has no connection to the final m-word, thus its place in the puzzle is somewhat superfluous.

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  20. My pronunciation (or is that pronounciation) must be off, 'cause those two words don't really sound the same. Perhaps I'm being overly critical, I should chill out...

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  21. Eddie, you interpreted the puzzle the same way Blaine did. Will is looking for a word that contains both the first m-word and the second m-word, read together. The original m-word is not superfluous.

    Blaine, I think we got different answers to your original interpretation of the puzzle. My h-word can be changed to an m-word that is a flavor, an after dinner treat, and something you grow in your garden. Admittedly, the opposite of the h-word is a bit of a stretch, but it might work.

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  22. DaveJ, I gotta agree with you. This is a silly puzzle and disappointing. As without substance as the food item in question.

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  23. Dave, I realize now that you were asking if I had an answer for the original interpretation (two words rather than one). No, I didn't actually. As for your "answer", may I have a hint? Not to the first word, but the antonym?

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  24. Just finished my taxes!!! Woo Hoo! Along with a nice unexpectedly healthy refund. Time to go camping.

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  25. Blaine, It's sorta like where they make coins, I think.

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  26. I think this puzzle is a little easier for the baby boomers in the audience. The antonyms are not necessarily in the current slang. Those who got the puzzle within a few seconds might be showing their age ... or their attitude towards controlled substances.

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  27. William, that's the h-word being changed to an m-word, right? So what's the antonym to the h-word? I need a hint.

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  28. Blaine, I think the problem is you're letting it get to you. You should try to chill; if you're too tense, it won't come to you. Of course, maybe I misunderstood you and you figured out the two-word solution...

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  29. Blaine, I haven't a clue. But Dave must have had something in mind!

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  30. Ohhhhh, I see. Trying to figure out DAVE'S puzzle.

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  31. Dave's m-word (opposite of hint) might be "mislead" or "misdirect" or something along that line.

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  32. William, you got the m word.

    Blaine, I came up with two antonyms. One is a specific large number and the other is an indefinite large number, i.e., a word such as many. I'll admit that both answers are a bit of a stretch, but they might work.

    Ken, your answer popped up just as I was posting my response. Yes, mislead or misdirect both work, but I was going in a different direction. Your answers are actually better than mine.

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  33. Curtis,
    Back to your music puzzle from a few days ago...the musician I'm guessing is a bass guitarist. I don't know if he's "well-known" but his band was.

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  34. Ken,

    I think you got it. This musician is a bass guitarist, and it would be fair to say that his former band is better known than he is. One of his former band mates, now deceased, enjoyed more notoriety than the subject of my puzzle.

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  35. It took awhile to reel in the answer.

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  36. Answers to my puzzles:
    1. Phil Lesh (of the Grateful Dead) remove the last l of Phil and the Le from Lesh and it forms Phish.

    2. Iowa, Washington, & Ontario

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  37. Has anyone said marshmallow yet?

    -- Other Ben

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  38. As of Thursday noon has anyone posted
    last Sunday's amswer? Where?

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  39. I was lying about anagrams, Carly Simon and the Beatles. However, Olivia Newton-John had a huge hit with Have You Never Been Mellow and The JB’s (who James Brown recorded with for a few years) had a sizeable hit with Gimme Some More (as in S’Mores).

    Chuck

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  40. Based on my misinterpretation of the poorly constructed puzzle, my answer was as follows:
    1. The H-word was harangue.
    2. The original superfluous M-word was mollify (opposite of the verb harangue).
    3. The final M-word (after replacing the H with an M) was marangue, which was not a real word, but sounded like one, meringue (definitely something nice to eat).

    P.S. I agree with Blaine (when both of us were on the wrong track) that in certain cases, the first M-word is necessary as a clue for the H-word. And he gave a very good example of such a case.

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  41. Next weeks puzzle is already up and it seems weak to me but perhaps I shouldn't risk upsetting the natives...

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