Thursday, June 17, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 13, 2010): One of these things is not like the others

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 13, 2010): One of these things is not like the others:
Q: Write down the following five names: Christian Dior, Anne Boleyn, Edna Ferber, Indiana Jones and Richard Simmons. The first four names have something unusual in common that the fifth name does not. What is it? Give another name that shares this property. Hint: It's a property that only a few names have. To show that you have the right answer, think of another name that shares the same property. Any name that shares the property will be considered correct.
183 kg cat?

Edit: Okay, so 183kg is 403lb. If you Google for "403 pound cat" you'll end up finding the Jacksonville Jaguars Mascot who has been portrayed by Curtis Dvorak
A: You should have noticed that the letters of the first and last names are consecutive. But what about Richard Simmons? Some have suggested that the first letter should be in an *odd* position of the alphabet (e.g. A, C, E, G, etc.). But that's like saying it should be people with consecutive letters that aren't exercise gurus. The actual answer is that both the first and second letters in each name are consecutive.
Christian Dior, Anne Boleyn, Edna Ferber, Indiana Jones. But Richard Simmons' second letters are "i" and "i" which aren't consecutive.

So what names did you come up with? Here's just a few of the one's I thought of:
Adrián Beltré - Boston Red Sox 3rd baseman
Andy Borowitz - Comedian and Satirist
Andrea Bocelli - Italian pop tenor
Charles Dickens - English novelist
Chris Dimarco - American golfer
Curtis Dvorak - portrays the Jacksville Jaguars mascot, Jaxson de Ville
David Ebersman - CFO of Facebook
Don Eppes - FBI agent on the show Numb3rs
"Duke" Evers - Trainer of Apollo Creed and later Rocky Balboa
Harry Ibrahim - Asian Fashion Designer
Odalis Perez - MLB pitcher, formerly of the Washington Nationals
Ogden Phipps - Financier, Tennis Champ and Racing Horse Breeder
Rhea Silvia - Mythical mother of the twins Romulus and Remus
Robert Sproul - Former University of California President
Ross Spencer - Mystery Writer
Shirley Tilghman - President of Princeton University
Tom Upton - Former MLB shortstop

53 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. I had a hard time with this one but finally came up with an answer.

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  3. Greetings to all from Siena, Italy. (Not a hint, just letting you know the international scope of this blog.)

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

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  5. Expectations are great for this puzzle.

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  6. I think I got it. At least I sent an answer in :) I was thinking of a famous recording star...

    Chuck

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  7. I am having a hard time with this as well. Bill, I think it may be a bit odd to even consider having a 19th wife although men and women fantasize about harems.

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  8. Blaine, I've never heard of a feline that heavy. If it was a pet, that would be odd.

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  9. I see the property that all five have in common, but I don't see how the first four names differ from the fifth. Any hints?

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  10. Actually, I found two unusual properties that the first four examples share and the fifth does not. In my opinion, one of the properties is more unusual than the other so that’s the one I went with.

    Chuck

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  11. Dave,

    You've got a good start, keep going!

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  12. Four GPS units would help me figure this one out.

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  13. The musical hint might be one of the Jackson Five hits that made Billboard.

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  14. I found two answers which I don't think have been hinted at.

    One should be known to some Californians.

    The other may be hinted at by WS in the puzzle itself. The professions of two names (one is listed) begin with the same 4 letters. There are other pointers and indicators (intended or not).

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  15. I could give a musical hint, but it would be a real spoiler.

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  16. Lorenzo,

    You are in Siena? On our honeymoon, I tried to take my wife to the Locanda dell'Amorosa, having seen it featured on the Travel Channel. But, alas, we couldn't get reservations.

    -- Other Ben

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  17. Looks like most have solved this week's puzzle already, so I'll offer a bonus challenge:

    Using ALL the vowels only once (and just one of them twice) make a complete sentence that is likely be spoken in the very near future.

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  18. DaveJ,

    It's an odd query.

    -- Other Ben

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  19. Mario: Prost! I was just trying to add to a cheerful discussion!

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  20. ** Clarification to my poorly worded puzzle:
    You'll need to add the consonants of our choice to make the words.

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  21. ** Clarification to the clarification:
    You'll need to add the consonants of YOUR choice to make the words

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  22. I solved the puzzle part, but need help with another name that shares the property.

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  23. Val,

    I would have no reservations helping you with another name, but posting a hint might attract unwanted attention from Blaine.

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  24. One of the people nominated for a Tony qualifies as having the "property." Or, search out your USA Weekend Magazine from Sunday's paper. . . Even better, read the first few clues above. That's where I found some really good hints.

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  25. So, Jutchnbev, would that TONY nominee be like Tom Sawyer and want to tell people how to paint a certain item? I think I have the answer but is it so simmple or am I missing a trick.

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  26. No, Ro,Ro, but the actor has very lovely osteopathic inclinations, loves homemade cooking, wears very expensive leather, and is looking for a vocalist. I can't vouch for painting.

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  27. Thanks guys but I am still confused. I think I should just start at the beginning but I see so many genderless patterns (including the TONY nominee. Yet when I think of my days in the theater as a property mistress I was only hired for three out of four shows.

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  28. I suppose #42 would be rejected for not being technically correct

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  29. As a heavyweight I finished the fifties with the title

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  30. Musical clue for another solution to this week's puzzle: Three blind mice, three blind mice, see how they run . . .

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  31. Ben, sorry you never made it to Locanda dell'Amorosa. I've never stayed there, but I hear it's a terrific destination. Did you ever get to Siena? This year I'm here for two weeks taking a course in Italian and staying in a small apartment close to the Duomo.

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  32. Hey guys,

    Every once in a while, Will Shortz one of my puzzles on the air. After last week's spoonerism puzzle, I emailed him my latest puzzle submission, another spoonerism. I felt pretty good about its chances, but Will passed on it.

    I wrote about the experience on my blog here - check it out!

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  33. "USES one of my," that should have said

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  34. Ben, does Will personally respond to your puzzle submissions?

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  35. Ben,
    I take it that you have Will's personal email address, and I don't begrudge you that as you may have worked hard to get it. I've submitted a few puzzles (including some tried on Blainesville) using the link on the NPR site. I've never received any response from Will. I don't know if he even reads them.

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  36. Ken –

    After my on-air appearance I submitted a few puzzles to the Weekend Edition address and finally – out of the blue – Will responded to me with a non-NPR address.

    I’ve submitted a few more puzzles after that and though he’s never accepted any of them he always responds. Once I even got a “close but no cigar” (my words not his) response.

    Anyway, I’ve found Will to be quite approachable and down-to-earth.

    Chuck

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  37. The first pattern leapt out at me almost immediately. Alas, all FIVE names shared the same property, so I returned to the drawing board. It was then that the second showed itself. As for an example, that took me a while as names are not my strong suit. In the end, I settled on a name simultaneously literary, culinary, and televisionary which satisfied the requirements. It was THEN, after a series of ghosts paid me a visit as I slept, that the more obvious choice came to mind.

    Classic.

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  38. Robert G. Sproul past president/provost UCLA

    Possible hint from WS:
    Indiana Jones, ARCHaeoligist, only fictional character.
    Inigo Jones, ARCHitect, of St. Paul's in London.
    Given the other way around the example would have been a dead give-away.

    The names of many people who would probably prefer not to be mentioned here turned up by using common first names having reasonable digrams for the last name. It may be that the name must be well known, as implied but not stated by the examples given.

    I believe that the following have not been hinted at:

    Adam Bede
    Ethel Funches
    Stephen Tulloch
    Tony Upchurch

    I wonder if the actual but unused first name "Jens" would negate Neptunemikey's hint.

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  39. Hugh –

    I didn’t “hint” it here, but the eponymous Adam Bede was indeed my submitted answer. Great minds... :)

    Chuck

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  40. Adrián Beltré - Boston Red Sox 3rd baseman
    Andy Borowitz - Comedian and Satirist
    Andrea Bocelli - Italian pop tenor
    Charles Dickens - English novelist
    Chris Dimarco - American golfer
    Curtis Dvorak - portrays the Jacksville Jaguars mascot, Jaxson de Ville
    David Ebersman - CFO of Facebook
    Don Eppes - FBI agent on the show Numb3rs
    "Duke" Evers - Trainer of Apollo Creed and later Rocky Balboa
    Harry Ibrahim - Asian Fashion Designer
    Odalis Perez - MLB pitcher, formerly of the Washington Nationals
    Ogden Phipps - Financier, Tennis Champ and Racing Horse Breeder
    Rhea Silvia - Mythical mother of the twins Romulus and Remus
    Robert Sproul - Former University of California President
    Ross Spencer - Mystery Writer
    Shirley Tilghman - President of Princeton University
    Tom Upton - Former MLB shortstop

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  41. Yeah! I knew the first initial thing was too easy. Thanks Jutchnbev for trying to help me with Stanley Tucci - good movie clues. (I added Stanley Turrentine (jazz artist)and Neptunemikey's Ingemar Johanssen (boxing champ) to my list even without knowing about the second letter rule.

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  42. BTW –

    The other property that the first four names share but the fifth does not is that they all contain one letter repeated three times.

    Chuck

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  43. My hint in response to Val was no reservations. If you Google no reservations, the first hit is Anthony Bourdain. I also thought of one of the first daughters, Natasha (Sasha) Obama.

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  44. In the other thread, I replied that I had thought of ten or so names that met the criteria. I was hinting at tenor Andrea Bocelli.

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  45. I think we should submit this list to Will. We have propbably discovered the mother lode of names in this category. Blaine, please add actor Stanley Tucci to your list. RoRo figured out my clue above. He doesn't appear on any of your lists, but defintely fits the category.

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  46. Let's not forget Robert Spano, conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra!

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  47. Anthony Bourdain and Ingemar Johanssen are particularly good because their first, second and third letters follow the rule!

    Anquan Boldin, wide receiver on the Baltimore Ravens.

    My three blind mice hint referred to Andrea Bocelli.

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  48. When I heard this puzzle, I knew that the supposed rarity of the "property" was overstated (just like it was in the Croquet/Lunette/Renoir/Turnstile puzzle). I had Great Expectations (Charles Dickens) that people on this blog would think of many, many names with the property, and I was right.

    Chris Dishman (former NFL player) and Roderick Spencer (writer, husband of Alfre Woodard) also meet 3-letter property.

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  49. Blaine's "clue" didn't help me at all.
    But "odd pet" fits the pattern.

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  50. Dave, do yu live near Baltimore (I do)or just a big sports fan? I met some of the Raven players during a football 101 course but admittedly have not kept up with some of the roster.

    Ken, I met Alfre Woodard years ago when I performed a walk-on part in a play held in a loft in Soho. Alfre and an actress named Mary Alice (Different World) were the stars and I was paid a whopping $30.

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  51. I also sent in Anthony Bourdain, who I liked cause his name works for the first three letters.

    I clued by telling Lorenzo I hadn't been to an inn in Siena that I had seen on the Travel Channel cause I couldn't get a reservation. Anthony Bourdain's entertaining TV show on the Travel Channel is called "No Reservations."

    Then Tom clued the same thing, rather more strongly.

    By the way -- I have actually stayed at the Locanda dell'Amorosa. If you can make it to Siena, I highly recommend it.

    As for Will Shortz, I find him to be shockingly approachable. I first encountered him after I called the NY Times and left a message on his machine about a clue in a NY Times puzzle. He called me back from his home in Westchester a day later and didn't even block caller ID.

    I've written him and he writes back rather promptly from his AOL address. I think he's quite available.

    I have since sent him three NPR Sunday Puzzle ideas, none of which he has used. He replied to my latest one a few weeks ago and wrote "Thanks, Ben! I shall think about this."

    Shortz is a tough nut to crack.

    -- Other Ben

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  52. I thought the answer was that "Richard Simmons" isn't his real name......

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