Thursday, May 27, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 23, 2010): What Country Doesn't Have Problems?

What Country Doesn't Have Problems?:
Q: Name a country that is spelled as a solid word. Change two consecutive letters in it to a single R. The result will name a problem that this country has traditionally faced. What's the country and what's the problem?
My hints this week? 43 and 66...

Edit: Malaysia is the 43rd most populated country and the 66th largest country by total land area in the world.
MALAYSIA - YS + R = MALARIA

51 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. This Truth will not help –– cuz it is nearly universal re ALL of the World countries’ postings: If one reads both of, say, the Wikipedia entries (there now being two major ones) specifically recounting the details re the millions of people in this country, one should quite easily come to the conclusion that this country has, or EVER has had throughout all of its history, residing within it … not (more than) one woman.

    Well, … maybe there’re … three!

    Simply this Truism? It’s a heartache.

    [Imagine … even just one … whole country (let alone, all of ‘em) of this characteristic, detailed and throughout all (the writings re its) history, which is ... the Flip / Reverse.]

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  3. Countries without the subsequent r problem, traditionally or of today:
    Kuwait and krait
    Libya and lira

    And one solution which I find cutsey and, as ancestrally out of northern European blondesense, sooooo have a huge problem in this particular country’s relentless humidity: Haiti and hair!

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  4. Eliza - sorry, but your answer is probably not correct. Despite what you may have been told, rain is not really a problem in Spain.

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  5. Those of you who know me, this week's puzzle is bad, bad.

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  6. Pearl Jam has the answer to the cause of the problem this country faces.

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  10. Watch out! Here comes Blaine!

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  11. In the creative solution department, my vote is for Lebanon. Being Lakers fans, they have a problem with LeBron (James).

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  12. There is a single word that almost sounds like the country and which may describe the the first appearance of the problem.

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  13. My first answer to this week’s puzzle – the one that came to me by instant intuition, without any thought or investigation – was _so_ stupid I decided that if that was the answer I would boycott Weekend Edition Sunday and not even send it in.

    Fortunately, it wasn’t :)

    My erroneous country begins with an “H.” Did anyone else come up with this?

    Chuck

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  14. I'm guessing that if the RAIN in SPAIN falls mainly upon the PLAIN, then it isn't really a problem. Agreed?

    -- Other Ben

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  15. Still haven't figured this one out...what are the chances that an island has problems with one particular kind of tree?! ;-)

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  16. I think this country has the same problem as Ghana and Guyana, only not nearly as bad. Besides, it looked very good in the film, "Entrapment". Oh, maybe I was just watching Catherine Zeta-Jones the whole time.

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  17. Chuck - I saw the erroneous "H" country before I found the correct answer as well. I don't think the word with an "r" is really a problem for the entire country. It just took me a few minutes combing through a list of countries to find the correct answer.

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  18. Blaine, your clues are often times tougher than the challenge themselves (a compliment, not a complaint, by the way). But I've never been so lost trying to figure out your clue as I am this week.

    Anyone else want to comment on Will declaring the answer to last week's challenge -- "Abstain" and "Sober" to be a "near miss" because they are different parts of speech?

    I'm semi-outraged he wouldn't accept that answer, since the original puzzle made no mention of the related words having to be the same parts of speech, only that they need to be related.

    I've always suspected they don't go through all the answers submitted, they just pick one and if it's the wrong answer, they go on and pick another. As a sober abstainer myself last week, if it was the case my answer was finally selected and then improperly discarded, I'd be furious, not that I'll ever know for sure. But the part of me that hopes that my pick is selected against all odds each week can certainly imagine that scenario.

    It's really going to bug me if Spain and rain or Haiti and hair is the answer he's looking for this week, and that his feverish mind has come up with some reason to discard what I think is the correct answser.

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  19. I agree, Chrisidore, that not having the same part of speech threw me as well.

    Close by, in Singapore, I was told they actually hang people if they are caught in the area of the airport with drugs. Not a quandary for me.

    What about music? Peggy Lee?

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  20. Chrisidore - once you have the answer, look up the country on Wikipedia and you'll understand Blaine's clue.

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  21. Just relax about a musical clue. Just rock it.

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  22. Jutchnbev and Natasha, congrats on being part of the Blaine removal trifecta along with me. I didn't think that my clue was that obvious, but I guess it was. Sorry, Blaine.

    Lorenzo, oddly enough, Blaine's clue still works if you transpose the 43 and 66 to 46 and 63. Check it out on Wikipedia. I thought that there was a mistake in the clue at first, but then read the rest of the article and realized that it wasn't.

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  23. There's a possibility that Blaine's "66..." is a double clue.

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  24. I later realized my error and am glad Blaine removed it.

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  25. I wonder if a surname could be a problem in Suriname ?

    Anyone else wonder why Will used the word "Solid" ? Isn't "single" just as good and more common ?

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  26. Dave, that's cool on the 43 and 66 transposition. Hadn't noticed that before. As for your prior clue, I may have deleted it in error assuming it was related to jutchnbev and Natasha's clues which also didn't give away the answer, but seemed to all point in the same direction.

    Hugh, I hadn't intended another clue with the 66... but I can perhaps see where you are going with it.

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  27. I'm glad everyone here is so well-behaved when Blaine has to make a deletion. We are, after all, visitors on his site. It's sad when someone like Chezedog starts a melee over the edits.

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  28. Curtis, I agree with you 100%. Blaine devotes a lot of time and energy to the website and I'm happy to be a part of this great community. If he decides to delete all of my posts, well, it's his website so he can do whatever he wants. If the worst thing that happened to Chezedog was that Blaine removed his post that day, he had a pretty good day.

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  29. I agree, Blaine deserves all the credit in the world for the work he puts in on the blog. The clues he allows demonstrate he's got a fairly liberal interpretation of what is too obvious. There's one clue that remains this week that I thought got awfully close to the line.
    The few times I've had a post removed I felt bad I had crossed the line, but I didn't feel it was unfair. I know Blaine has only the best interest of the blog participants at heart -- let us have fun with clues, but don't spoil it for those who don't want the puzzle spoiled.
    Blaine, don't worry about pesky little stings from pests like Chezedog about your stewardship. Your post removals aren't enough to get under the skin of the rest of us.

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  30. I think I got the answer, but I still don't get Blaine's clue...

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  31. Look up the country on Wikipedia and you'll understand the clue.

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  32. I would suggest a musical hint of "Ethanopium"

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  33. samlee79, My "hint" isn't really a hint. It's more of a confirmation that you have the correct answer. If you Google the country name and the numbers, you'll see the relationship.

    I'll explain it later today after the deadline.

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  34. Like many of you, I've been submitting the correct answer for years, but, alas, I have never received that call at or about 3pm.

    My answer for this week: MALAYSIA + MALARIA

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  35. Guess who's going to be the contestant on Will's program this week. I've been submitting answers for about a year, so if I can be the lucky one, anybody can. I usually do well when I play from home, but I'll probably choke tomorrow when they call me. The phone call will come at 9:45 a.m. PST and the taping is supposed to take approximately half an hour. I hope I get a good night's sleep tonight so I don't make a fool of myself.

    My clue that Blaine deleted from the blog was, "My dog has enough fleas to sink a ship." ENOUGH FLEAS = ANOPHELES, the genus of the mosquito that spreads malaria.

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  36. Wars fit (online) definitions of another of some, well, very many (but certainly not aaaaall) countries’ “traditional problems,” and, thus, does then the country of Wales fit with all of Mr Shortz’s puzzle parameters.

    Little to no mention on wikipedia / other websites’ entries and posts of any contributions to Life At All in this country and in almost all others by … those countries’ wimmins.

    “It’s a Heartache” = Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler’s smash hit.

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  37. Congratulations Dave! You're the second resident of Blainsville to be selected to play on the air in the last few weeks! Maybe it's something in the water here in Blainsville. Good luck, make us proud!

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  38. Yeah, Dave!! Congrats. You and Cookieface over the short time I have been a BlogBuddie. Maybe the magic will rub off. Blaine, you ever been chosen?

    I thought about Wales and Wars but I figured US has had more recent war problems than them.

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  39. Good luck tomorrow, Dave. Also, your "enough fleas" clue was great. I think Blaine realized it shoulda/coulda stayed.

    My musical clue: In the climactic scene of the film Zoolander, two songs alternate during an assassination attempt on the Prime Minister of Malaysia. The first is RELAX (by Frankie Goes to Hollywood), and the second is ROCK IT (by Herbie Hancock).

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  40. Congrats Dave and don't worry about the on-air taping, I was nervous when I did it last year but Liane is really gracious and they record more than they need so they can pick the best bits to air. And you'll get to hear next week's puzzle before all of us ! Good luck

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  41. Dave –

    Congrats on your selection!

    As to how it’s going to go, it’s the luck of the draw. The evening before my taping I went back and listened to the previous six on-air puzzle segments. Five I would have aced or at least done OK on. One I would have been lucky to get one question right :)

    My standard advice: be alone in a quiet room with no distractions. Have pencil and paper handy just in case. Relax if you can – I wasn’t at first but mellowed out after I correctly answered the first few questions. Enjoy – this is probably going to be the only time several million people will simultaneously hear your voice :)

    Chuck

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  42. Dave, sorry about the deletion. All the deleted posts seemed to be related to getting bitten, so I thought they added up to a spoiler. It was actually a well-crafted clue.

    Alas, in my many years of sending a response nearly every week, I have yet to be called. But I'm still happy to hear when someone does get picked.

    One week I'll have to post a bogus puzzle here and have everyone answer that one while I'm the only one that submits the real answer. Think that'll work? Beware next April 1st. :)

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  43. To my shame, Wales missed my consideration. I started trying to solve the the puzzle via a list of countries, but decided after 10 minutes that that was just going to be aggravation. So I decided to make guesses at the problem, and the solution occurred almost immediately.

    My confirmation "malaise" and hint, "66..." depended on "perhapses" and "sounds likes".

    Blaine, I had "sick,sick!!!" in mind with the aim of steering solvers away from countries.
    As far as having my clues deleted, or being asked to delete my own; I always glad to have confirmation that someone has understood what I am nattering about.

    Dave, I'll be recording you on my cell phone.

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  44. Good luck Dave....BTW, I have never been chosen cuz I do not submit my answers but I love to get them and / or at least work out the puzzles.This is for your info RoRo

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  45. In case anyone is curious, one of my clues this week was melee, which is a homonym for Maylay. The other clue, "Ethanopium" refers to a song by "Dengue Fever." That band takes its name from a disease similar to malaria, which also vectors through mosquitos. And, good luck Dave. It'll be fun listening to you.

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  46. Ken, Relax and Rock It are two great songs. Curtis, nice musical hint, too. Lots of great hints this week.

    Time for bed. I have a busy day tomorrow. Thanks for all the great comments. I'm happy to be part of such a great group.

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  47. It went really well. The only glitch was that someone started cutting the grass right outside Will's studio while Will and Liane were recording, so Will had to go outside and ask the guy to wait until we were done recording. I was a little nervous, but I didn't embarrass myself.

    Next week's puzzle is simple. I got the answer as soon as Liane finished reading it and they were very impressed.

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  48. Dave, you did a great job! I didn't come up with this week's answer quite as fast as you, but I did at least get it before we finished breakfast.

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  49. CLUES ANYONE PLEASE- I must be on the wrong track or have misread the clue

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  50. Surprised that Wales and Wars was not also a correct answer. Based on Blaine's hint, Wales had wars in the year 43 and 1066....

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