Thursday, September 02, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 29, 2010): Famous Writer Anagram

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 29, 2010): Famous Writer Anagram:
Q: Take the word 'bookman.' Change a letter and rearrange the result to name a famous person who wrote books. What person is this?
Since the puzzle is up early, I'll put in a quick clue: Alizée

Edit: My first clue was "put in" as in Vladimir Putin who shares the same name as the author. My second clue was "Alizée", a young French singer whose most successful single was "Moi Lolita"
A: (Vladimir) NABOKOV, most famous for the novel Lolita

36 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. There's a little kink in this puzzle.

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  3. Would the musical--not literary--clue be the color purple?

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  4. The writer's second vocation was one where dirty people plied poetry.

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  5. Alas, brute force isn't helping me this time, I've got 8 candidate surnames and none of them seems to be a name of a famous author. Although one is the name of famous film maker...

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  6. Blaine, thank you for the clue. That, along with an uncharacteristic (really!) interest on my part, led me straight to the answer.
    My clue is Vivian.

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  7. I still don't know how you're able to post the puzzle so early. Do I need to call the puzzle police?

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  8. LOL!! It already was posted, but just not linked from the usual places yet. I did some searching on the NPR site and found it. No puzzle police are necessary. :-)

    By the way, Will's wording on the air was slightly different. "...rearrange the result to name a famous person who wrote books. Who is this person?"

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  9. An ear for French could be helpful.

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  10. Interesting that this writer used an anagram of his/her name for a person in his/her book.

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  11. Didn't this guy write a book about Joey Buttafuoco's girldfriend?

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  12. A friend--too lazy to want to play the puzzle properly--has pointed out an alternate answer: a person who, in addition to a distinguished career in a pertinently related field, apparently happened to write a couple of books.

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  13. Orangebus, my previous clue was a musical clue: There's a little kink in this puzzle. Another musical clue is The Police.

    Al, I googled Will Shortz puzzle on Saturday night and got last week's puzzle. Then I googled Will Shortz puzzle August 29 and it was the first hit. You can frequently get the puzzle the night before the show. No, Blaine's not clairvoyant.

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  14. Dave and Al - The Saturday night posting of the Sunday puzzle seems to happen most frequently on holiday weekends. We'll see if this holds true for Labor Day next week.

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  15. I didn’t use anyone’s clue to solve this: a little Web research and a tiny computer program did the trick for me.

    However, Blaine – I understood your clue as soon as I researched it. Good one.

    Dave – I had to do some mulling to understand yours. But after I did, I liked it. Clever.

    Still working on the color purple...

    Chuck

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  16. Dave, I got your musical clues, but my wife Janice still prefers the other interpretation of your first clue.

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  17. All –

    I know this isn’t an original idea with me but what about having a Blaine’s Puzzle Blog get-together sometime / somewhere? If even 10 folks showed up it would be a great event.

    Hey – let’s ask Will! This is his audience. Why not?

    Chuck

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  18. Chuck: The Color Purple: What was the eponymous character's last name?

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  19. Chuck, that's a great idea!

    Lorenzo, my clue was an unintentional double entendre (if that's possible, since by definition, double entendres are intentional).

    I think Blaine's clue is a little too obvious since googling the clue easily leads to the answer.

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  20. Chuck,
    That's what I've been sayin'! Maybe Will and Merl will show. But perhaps a momentous occasion could be the momentum like Blaine getting on the air. But if it does not happen within a year we could just do it.
    So T. your lol is all you need for a start? As for me, whatever I want, I always get now that I am grown.

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  21. You know when Will says the puzzle is easy, many people find the opposite to be true. I wonder how many people could name any other works by this writer - but I suppose you can be famous for just one book. Be interesting to see how many entries this week...

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  22. Yes, RoRo. It is the start of this week's universal clue. You can arrive at the same clue by anagramming the last 6 letters of a very well known 7 syllable string, though spellings vary. If you comment on this post, start with "Sol, Ti, and you'll be fine.

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  23. Orangebus, not quite clear on your musical clue.

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  24. I believe there are more than enough clues posted already so I will just say: SUBMITTED!

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  25. I got it T. Although I am waiting for payday and the dough-re-mi that seems so fa is on my mind right now.

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  26. DaveJ - I agree. This author is well-known/notorious for just the one book. But, most North Americans would recognize the title of that novel. Musical Clue: "Don't Stand So Close to Me" by the Police.

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  27. The intended answer is (Vladimir) NABOKOV, famous for the novel Lolita.

    Natasha mentioned and Barnes_Durco alluded to the fact that Vladimir Nabokov would often use anagrams of his name (like Vivian Darkbloom, Vivian Bloodmark, Dorian Vivalcomb, etc.) as characters in his stories.

    Another interesting technique he used was an acrostic in the final paragraph of "The Vane Sisters".
    I could isolate, consciously, little. Everything seemed blurred, yellow-clouded, yielding nothing tangible. Her inept acrostics, maudlin evasions, theopathies - every recollection formed ripples of mysterious meaning. Everything seemed yellowly blurred, illusive, lost.

    When you read the first letter of each word, the result is as follows: Icicles by Cynthia. Meter from me Sybil.

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  28. One other hint I provided in a reply:
    LOL!! It already was posted...

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  29. I still did not understand the color purple clue. looked up musical cast but did not get it.

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  30. Blaine, I have a question for you. How can I contact you? My email is temporariry up on my blog site. T

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  31. Nabokov’s second vocation was lepidoptery (the collection and study of butterflies). Anagrams include “dirty people” and “plied poetry.”

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  32. My first musical clue was there there was a little kink in the puzzle. Lola was the Kink's biggest hit, so a little Lola is a Lolita. My second musical clue was The Police. They mention " . . . the book by Nabokov" in Don't Stand So Close To Me.

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  33. The color purple, in this instance, has nothing to do with Oprah. Rather, the point is that Lolita's "real" name is Dolores Haze, and her mother is Charlotte Haze. Now, perhaps I'm suffering the effects of too much LDS in the 60's, but I figured "Purple Haze" to be an appropriate--if typically obscure--musical clue. Easy as 3.14159? Perhaps not.

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