Thursday, April 08, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 4, 2010): Death and Taxes

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 4, 2010): Death and Taxes:
Q: Think of a 15-letter word that is spelled without using any of the letters T, A, X, E or S. And it means how Stephen King writes.
Every Sunday I feel the pressure to come up with a solution to the puzzle and then post a good clue as quickly as possible. Other times I can't figure it out and just have to rely on others to post their hints. I guess that's just the way it is.

Edit: My hints were "pressure" (as in blood pressure) and "way" (as in curds and "whey")
A: BLOODCURDLINGLY
Some have proposed blood-chillingly as an alternate answer, but most sources have it hyphenated

47 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. Well, I know one thing: This week's answer is a real scream.

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  3. I think some of our earlier remarks here regarding the “easy” nature of recent Sunday puzzles must have cut Will to the quick. This one is, by his own definition, hard.

    Chuck

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  4. Not sure I have the exact answer. But liked only one description.

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  5. There are a couple of 15-letter hyphenated adjectives that come close, but the puzzle calls for an adverb, and there seems to be only one (the one Blaine hinted at) that works.

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  6. I have TWO solutions that differ by only three letters. Both meet the other requirements.

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  7. I guess Will milked the easy questions as much as he could. Pretty stale by now so he had to come up with a fresh, difficult stumper this week.

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  8. I’m a type of person who likes a really hard puzzle. Despite its difficulty, I’m positive I got the answer this time.

    -- Other Ben

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  9. William, you're right. Since I haven't submitted yet, I think I'll go with the cooler answer.

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  10. This puzzle is scary hard but once you get your thoughts flowing, the answer will come to you.

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  11. William and Ken: Thanks to Ken's comment, I now see the second possible answer. However, I noted (with surprise) that neither this word nor the adjective from which it is formed appears in any of my dictionaries. Is it really a word?

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  12. Well, Curtis and I also prefer the one that Ken didn't select.

    I don't know about dictionaries, but Google gives a lot of hits for both, either with or without a hyphen!

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  13. Being the Type A person that I am, I couldn't give up on this one until I got the answer. Been listening to a lot of old Stones music recently.

    Ken, I may be wrong, but I think that the answer that you prefer requires a hyphen, while the other one doesn't.

    Incidentally, I looked at a list of all the fifteen letter words in the English language, and neither one of the solutions was on the list.

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  14. I am feeling somewhat of a negative response to my choice, but I figure I must weigh certain factors here in order to be positive about my submission. I could just scream.

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  15. One of the answers is in my online dictionary. I easily found the second answer,unhyphenated, in the written word. I'm going with the dictionary answer and I won't cry about it if I'm wrong.

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  16. Looks like all the bases have been covered. I always enjoy the scream in the intro to "PBS Mystery".- So delicate and ladylike.

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  17. Not sure if I have the right answer, but if I do, a change in temperature is usually associated with this word--and I have found references to both colder and warmer temperatures!

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  18. HOW Author Stephen King writes?!

    Why, carbuncles and pustules! This 15 – letter adverb positively describes (well, er, um, ... negatively ... is actually a much more accurate modifier!) HOW feminists’ physiological functioning Worldwide ––– ya’ know, those of us of that sharply incompatible Witchery type whose coddled brew certainly boils or nearly congeals very many, many others ––– is almost always ... viewed!

    Apparently, all of our hot spit is hardly ever thought of as sanguine. Let alone, as true.

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  19. Judging by the small number of posts, I'm going to assume that very few people are submitting answers this week.

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  20. Hi All ! Sorry to miss last week's puzzle, but was on vacation (cruising with my sister on the MS Westerdam). So now I am brown as a berry and fat as a tick and ready to get back to Will's puzzle. Chezedog, got a song for us yet? I think Michael Jackson might fit the bill this week...

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  21. Suzyq, I don't know that Chezedog will post again. He indicated last week that he was "outta here" due to removal of his posts. For a musical hint, I would suggest a Dylan album.

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  22. Alas, Curtis, so it seems. Farewell, Chezedog! The pen is mightier than the sword and it appears a lot of ink was spilled was week. Blaine, in my opinion you do a fine job editing the posts. It's not easy deciding what is a subtle confirmation of the answer and what gives it away.

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  23. CARL, Where are you? What did you
    build this time?

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  24. I agree, Suzyq; Blaine, you do a fine job, and I'd like to thank you for your work on this site. On the rare occasion that you've deleted my posts, I think you've done so fairly.

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  25. Okay, for the record, here's Chezedog's deleted post: "Sunny day, can't sit around in here doing puzzles, gotta get out on the street..."

    But I'm thinking Chezedog was playing an April Fools joke on us and won't be staying away for long.

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  26. Even people in Britain would say this is a "darn" good puzzle in their own way. I wish i could sit back and relax like suzyq

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  27. OK, it's past 3pm ET. My possible answers were 'bloodchillingly' and 'bloodcurdlingly' (although I didn't submit an answer).

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  28. OK, guys, anybody who's been on air before, give me advice! I got the call, and I'm on for Sunday! Whooeee! My new year's resolution this year was to submit an answer every week, which I have done (except for last Sunday while on vacation) and here I go! Looking forward to all your help--
    suzy

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  29. Congratulations Suzyq! Although I've (sadly) never gotten the call, I'm thrilled for you! I'll be listening on Sunday, make all of us here in Blainesville proud!

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  30. ! I bloodcurdlingly CONGRATULATE you, Suzyq !

    carbuncles and pustules =
    i) boils, used by witches in incantational chant for coagulated potion – / brew - making
    ii) boils, as in some folks' bloods boiling upon encountering witches and vice versa

    positive(ly) / negative(ly) = Rhesus blood antigens in primates' pregnancies
    physiological functioning = circulatory system
    sharp(ly) = pricking sharps used in letting blood, needles, other instruments causing blood - spillage
    incompatible / type = more blood – letting / – transfusing terms
    witchery = critters using lots of bloooood in daily routines
    coddled / congeals = as in coagulated / clots / clotted = more bloody terms
    hot spit = another bodily fluid
    sanguine = as well as adjective for positive, lively, spirited, buoyant and upbeat, one also meaning scarlet and bloody
    true = "True Blo(ooo)od" television program / HBO

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  31. suzyq –

    I was on-the-air several years ago. I would suggest your being alone in a quiet room with no distractions. Maybe having a pencil and pad of paper handy just in case...

    The producer will call you around lunchtime tomorrow (Friday), have you read something and get some sound levels for your voice. Then there’s a little dead time but you’ll soon be added to a call Liane and Will are already having. The rest of the opening format you already know. Eventually Liane will announce your name and bring you into the taping.

    I was nervous as hell for the first few questions. Looking the fool in front of a few friends or family members is one thing. Looking like a doofus in front of a couple of million people is another :) Anyway, after I got the first few answers under my belt I climbed down from the ceiling and the rest of my time was almost mellow.

    After they say goodbye, stay on the line for a little while and when the tape stops rolling they’ll get some contact info from you so they know where to send your loot.

    And you know what? People you know from all over will probably call or e-mail you later that day. It’s amazing how large NPR’s listenership is...

    Chuck

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  32. suzyq - congratulations and good luck! My wife Janice played on the air a couple of years ago and agrees with Chuck's advice. She did well, and the few gaffs she did make were edited out. You'll do fine!

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  33. Suzyq, congratulations!!! I was stoked to have my puzzler read on the air last month and now I'm waiting to be called to be on the air. Best of luck on Friday. We'll be listening on Sunday.

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  34. Congrats, Suzy!

    I also submitted BLOODCURDLINGLY, but obviously was a wallflower once again. When I clued that I was "a type" of person and I was "positive," well, I am.

    So if any of you see me with a half-completed Friday crossword puzzle in hand, having stabbed myself in the temple with a pencil, please know that I am type A+. And call for help (either an ambulance or Merl Reagle).

    -- Other Ben

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  35. Suzyq, one more thing. In addition to all the NPR goodies, you will probably also receive an email from Richard Renner with a link to his NPR Puzzle Synopsis site.

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  36. Thanks everybody for the tips and best wishes. I am looking forward to this, as much as one can when there's a real possibility I'll make a complete fool of myself before the entire NPR audience (which consists, probably, of Blainesville and my immediate relatives). I think the fix was in for this one, as Stephen King and I both live in Bangor, ME. Either that or it is very, very spooky...
    Wish me luck and send me all your erudite thoughts and random trivia at 12:45 pm tomorrow--suzyQ

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  37. My post: "Not sure I have the exact answer. But liked only one description." First letter of each word in second sentence spells blood.
    Did this clue help anyone?
    Congrats Suzyq!!! Have fun.

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  38. Suzyq! Congrats. I'm rooting for you. I hope you have ice water in your veins, i.e., you answer those on-air puzzles bloodchillingly.

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  39. suzyq, Whopeeee for you! Take a few deep
    breaths and enjoy.

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  40. bloodcurdlingly
    I have a book: "Coined by
    Shakespeare Words and Meanings First Penned
    by the Bard." by Jeffrey McQuain and Stanley
    Malless which credits Stakespeare with coining
    "bloodstained." Maybe our "Will" aspires to
    out-coin the Bard.

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  41. Well, it's over, it was palindromes and I did only fair to middling, but Will Shortz is still going to let me wear the lapel pin...

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  42. suzy, we all look forward to hearing your performance. In the meantime, you are probably already working on next week's puzzle, which the rest of us won't see before tomorrow night at the earliest.

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  43. Suzy, I look forward to hearing you on the radio. Congratulations again for being picked!

    grumble, every week, mumble, never picked, grumble, my turn?, mumble :-)

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  44. As far as next week's clue goes, to the best of my memory, it went something like this: take two four letter words that are something you might order at a restaurant, combine the words together and drop the last letter to get a palindrome-like phrase that is spelled the same forwards as backwards.
    As an aside, I ruefully suggest that this puzzle was probably was a clue Will had intended to give me during the on-air taping, but as he could sense I was struggling with the easier clues, he didn't give it to me and used it for this week's puzzle instead. Good luck all! My motto for this week: (WHY do I keep forgetting this??!!) "Better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

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  45. A few minutes ago I taped you and the
    palindromes. You were GREAT. Congratulations!
    Only 450 for last week.

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  46. Suzyq, you did a good job!

    This week's challenge wasn't just a holdout from your session, because the number of letters is different.

    French fries are my favorite!

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