Thursday, September 30, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sept. 26, 2010): The Best Things in Life...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sept. 26, 2010): The Best Things in Life...:
Q: Take the phrase 'patron saint,' remove a letter, then rearrange the letters to create a new, familiar two-word phrase that names something important in life. Hint: The first word has three letters, the second word has seven.
The list of anagrams I came up with spanned 4 pages. How come one of the words in the phrase wasn't in the list?

Edit: I'm sure Liane and Will would say, "The Best Things in Life are Listener Supported". Though there is one intended answer, there are really 4 pages of them. I also hinted at the fact that part of the answer is an acronym rather than a "word".
A: PATRON SAINT - A --> NPR STATION

48 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. Tarnation! This puzzle IS the pits -- a jar of peach pits.

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  3. My computer helpfully suggested four things that are aren't good in life, at least in it's opinion. It also suggested something that might be handy for people who dream of doing surveying work. And something a soldier might eat just before turning in.

    Despite all these alternatives, it was pretty obvious what answer the Puzzle was looking for. A bit self-serving, no?

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  4. Doctechnical and Cameo,
    I came up with up with a combination that fits your comments, but it's a phrase that's new to me.
    A search with the phrase suggests, but doesn't prove to me, that it is akin to a 3 letter acronym. Did Doc reverse the 3 letter word for one of his hints?

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  5. Only the last paragraph of my previous post refers to the actual puzzle answer. The other hints were for alternate 3-letter/7-letter word combos one could come up with that aren't the answer.

    Part of the answer is looking everyone in the face right about now :)

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  6. I agree with Blaine and Doc that this week, exclusive use of an anagram solver is not particularly recommended.

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  7. Althogh the folks at WeSun offer no more "Daniel Schorr-ing"
    We haven't heard the end of their subliminal schnorring!

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  8. Is the first word of this "familiar two-word phrase" actually a "word?" I think not!!!!

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  9. Got it. Thank's all - The wrong phrase I had in mind (close to one of Doc's hints except for a word reversal), when used in a search, led to MREs - certainly "self served" items.

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  10. Due to my profession, I'm hopelessly stuck on Gershwin. Help!!!

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  12. I really am still befuddled. I feel like punching something but don't know if I can. Am I anywhere close? Can I find the answer on the Sesame street channel or should I change the station?

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  13. I think I got it guys. Won't say anything. But what an answer it is!

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  14. Tommy Boy: It is agreed that one letter is ancillary and of no advantage, and avails as much as an appendix in your abdomen.

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  15. Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! Up in the sky!

    Chuck

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  16. IQ Test Question (for those who have solved this week's puzzle):
    Which of the following doesn't belong?
    (a) Pasadena
    (b) Denver
    (c) Albuquerque
    (d) Honolulu
    (e) Baton Rouge

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  17. Lorenzo, (c) is my number 1 choice.

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  18. Doc, which letter do you mean? Nice Post. Really.

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  19. Lorenzo, Either I don't have the right answer or I have failed your IQ test, but my answer to your query is f) all of the above have what I submitted as my answer.

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  20. Jutchnbev, you are right that all of the above have what you submitted, however, as Tommy Boy suggested (and hinted), the intended answer is (c).

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  21. Tommy Boy: In the spirit of your own puzzle from last week, I would say that(c) was your A1 choice.

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  22. Lorenzo, thanks for checking in. New puzzle up shortly.

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  23. I'm glad I hesitated on submitting my answer. Up until now the best solution I had was "nap rations." To me, those naps are pretty important. I think, somewhere along the line, the Magliozzi brothers transmitted the correct answer into my brain from their satellites in space (maybe it as a Plymouth Satellite).

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  24. It would seem that there could be more than one answer, depending on what you think is important in life.

    For example, what would the owner of a tanning salon say is important? What would a Punk Rock fan say?

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  26. BTW, I do agree that Will seems to have taken little bit of creative license in the wording of this week's puzzle, but maybe he just got a little upset because he go off at the wrong stop on the way to work.

    We could also look at the bright side: If the confusion he caused leads to fewer people solving the puzzle, then it increases the chances of those who do solve it to be selected.

    PS: Has anyone figured out the two alternate solutions I was alluding to above?

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  27. Phil, did you remove an 'I' to get the first one? I'm not sure on the second. Perhaps you removed an 'N'?

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  28. I live in New York City, where RAT POISON is key to a good life. But I think Shortz lives upstate.

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  30. Sorry for the deletions earlier. Tommy Boy mentioned the specific letter that was removed. And Ben gave too much of a hint to pledge drives.

    The answer (as posted above now) is:
    NPR STATION

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  31. The answer I'm sure they were going for is "NPR Station". Like I said, a little self-serving. But it is fund drive season, isn't it?

    I had my computer list what seven-letter words could be made from the letters in "Patron Saint", and show what letters would be left over. The nine (useful) words I got were:

    Artisan, spartan, patinas, Tsarina, instant, patriot, rations, station, transit. The first four of these left the letters N, O and T free, so those were the four things my computer said were *not* important in life.

    "Rations" left "tap", so that's what a soldier might eat before turning in, and "transit" left "nap", what you might dream of doing surveying work with.

    I also got the proper name Rip Stanton. Don't know the gentleman myself, but I imagine he's important in somebody's life :)

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  32. Wow, I was so stuck on rations and thought I read something about non- punch through (NPT) so I went with that. I guess Blaine saw I was so hopelessly lost on the NPT (National Public Television) acronym that if he removed my blog I would have gotten the word "station" as a contender so he left me alone. I am sure those that had it, had it by then.

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  33. Actually, I just noted the tiny trash can next to my comments. Has that always been there to give me a chance to delete my own or is it there for some other reason? I would have noticed if someone else "canned" me, right?

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  34. Blaine,

    Correct on the first one, you remove the I. Also note that this answer has a string of seven letters unchanged from the original phrase.

    NOT correct on the second, you do not remove an N (at least not in the solution I'm thinking of). Note that this one is a little bit of a stretch. Interestingly, you probably will not find this answer in an anagram website, but this is a shortcoming that I think those websites should address.

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  35. Phil, okay how about removing a T in the second one?

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  36. Phil, I give up on #2.
    Lorenzo, when are you giving the explanation of your multiple choice puzzle answer?

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  37. Blaine,

    Some fans of Punk Rock might not know specifically what is important in life, but it’s likely that they feel it's Not Ol' Blue Eyes.

    That points up the shortcoming that I see in on-line anagram websites -- you can't anagram into a celebrity's name or other proper names. I think they should have a check-box option to include celebrities, politicians, countries, cities, etc., in their solutions.

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  38. Blaine, my post was far more egergious than mentioning a letter omission. I guess I was inadvertently testing the limits.

    So The A Twice Isn't Of Need? --> STATION

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  39. Blaine, in case Lorenzo is already into next week, perhaps you should consult with Madeleine Brand.

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  40. Blaine, all of the cities except Albuquerque have an NPR station located at 89.3. (My member station is 89.3, KPCC in Pasadena.)

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  41. Ah! I even had the list of NPR stations but never put two and two together. I took it as an unrelated puzzle.

    I was noticing that all those cities contain pairs of consecutive letters, either forward, backward or both. I was trying to make that work.
    pasaDEna
    DEnver
    albuqueRQue
    HoNOlulu
    BAtON Rouge

    My other thought (after seeing Tommy Boy's response) was that the postal codes all ended in vowels (CA, CO, HI, LA), except Albuquerque (NM).

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  42. Honolulu is the only one that is not located in one of the contiguous 48 states.

    Blaine, hope that my second answer was understood. Sorry if the question was too much of a stretch.

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  43. Tommy Boy, Blaine and the group: In fact, I am already into next week's puzzle, which was posted particularly early this week. My clue:
    Was turned away by Nadia.

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