Thursday, November 18, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 14, 2010) : Tune into TNT

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 14, 2010) : Tune into TNT :
Q : What is the longest familiar phrase, title, or name in which the only consonants are N and T, repeated as often as necessary? The other letters are vowels.
On the air, Will mentioned he had an answer with 18 letters. I've matched 18 letters but have a feeling we can do better than that.

Edit : Did you notice that I placed an extra space in front of each colon in this post? The hint was the sci-fi series "Space: 1999".
A : The song "Nineteen ninety nine" by Prince.
Will also accepted the 1947 French film Antoine et Antoinette.

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. Anticipated in a Paul Simon song.

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  3. I'm reminded of the puzzle a few weeks ago when we were searching for hard to find symbols on the keyboard.

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  4. I've also matched an eighteen-letter answer, but I feel like I'm on the cusp of something bigger.

    - Other Ben

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  5. Any hints? Did you find a phrase, a title or a name?

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  6. I can't get this one and I don't understand why. If I do get it, I think I'll throw a party.

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  7. In order to accurately pass along the hazing rites of passage from class to class in fraternities, there’s always initiation annotation.

    And then there’s the still popular – if somewhat dated – Broadway musical and movie, “No, No, No, No, No, No, Nanette.”

    Chuck

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  8. I think the answer can be found on a "modern" keyboard.

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  9. If you guys think the 18-letter answer qualifies as a familiar phrase, title, or name, then I’ll extend it back eight steps and get a 37-letter answer. Google it (with quotes) and you get results (all pertaining to a single person). Although this answer is not likely to be accepted, I’m submitting it.

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  10. Look out! They're talking holiday shopping season already!

    Merry Christmas?

    Merry X-mas?

    Can I Xanax?

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  11. Is the answer a phrase, a title or a name?

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  12. Dave, yes, yes, half.

    tyglo,

    My puppy's "intention" to get my "attention"
    Was obvious at my back door.

    Hence my "intuition" was brought to fruition
    I've paw prince all over my floor.

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  13. Speaking of dogs, our new puppy Carina really enjoyed the "one-on-one attention" she received from the trainer today.

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  14. If you promise to keep quiet, I have a 19-letter answer that is familiar in at least some vocations (Google returned 35 results). If you promise to be really quiet, I can make that a 24-letter phrase that is even less common (no Google results of the exact sequence), but is no more contrived than the first. No, I probably won't submit either one as a familiar phrase.

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  15. I have an eighteen letter song title that fits, but, like the names Mr. Mister and Dr. Hook, it wouldn't normally be spelled out. And, for that matter, the song's creator doesn't always spell his/her name out. I'm not quite ready to submit it yet, hoping for a better answer.

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  16. I can't get it. I think I need to get my daughter, who just turned eleven, to help me.

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  17. tyglo, I don't think you need the help, but I wonder if a performance from the original series will appear on a sequel. The performer's name is apropos to the name of the series. This hints to a match WS's count.

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  18. Okay, it seems I have the same eighteen-letter phrase everyone else here is pretending not to have.

    As a chemist, I went into the lab trying to prepare various compounds involving neon tantanate (but neon is so damn inert), and even created nitrates of every Scrabble player's favorite elements, Ununtrium and Unununium.

    But I couldn't make anything stable without an M or an R. So I'll just submit the thing we all have.

    -- Other Ben

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  19. I was finally able to figure it with the help of my computer, which is now out of a shop. It went in because of a major glitch.

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  20. Maybe you need a new power generator for your computer.

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  21. I’m pretty sure that I found Will’s 18-character answer, but I can’t verify that based on the hints I found here. Anyway, I then expanded it to 30 characters.

    Then I guess I got carried away (and maybe strayed a bit from the intent of the puzzle), building on the above to get an 85-character phrase that is similar to phrases commonly heard on AM radio stations as lead-ins during special promotions.

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  22. Good grief, I've been so busy with work that I haven't spent any time on this... a very quick pass-through give me a rather technical (heh) phrase in 18 letters & two words that refers to a problem with the iPhone that made news recently...

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  23. I wonder if LBLFD hints at an upcoming meeting.

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  24. Best I could come up with (in about five minutes' effort) was "antenna attenuation".

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  25. Me and Prince gonna party like it's 1999.
    Wat chall have?

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  26. Nineteen Ninety Nine? OH! I did not think of y as a vowel....ugh!

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  27. Boris Yeltsin was President of the Russian Federation from NINETEEN NINETY-ONE TO NINETEEN NINETY-NINE.

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  28. Y is not a vowel. Pat Sajak says so.

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  29. Everyone noticed the capital letters in Tommy Boy's post, right? MCMXCIX

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  30. When Paul Simon wrote "Mrs. Robinson" in 1968, some, including Joltin' Joe himself, initially thought the reference was about the demise of DiMaggio. After DiMaggio's death in 1999 , Simon performed the song at Yankee Stadium in his honor.

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  31. Bah. At least my answer doesn't rely on the cheap plastic imitation "vowel".

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  32. I submitted 1999, even though I thought it was a hinky answer. I really would have liked to have used w as a vowel (as in the word "cwm").

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  33. Could it be the Lawrence Berkeley (National) Labs Fire Department?

    LBLFD Photo

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  34. Yes the official answer maybe rather dull (repeating number nine three times ?), I had more fun developing contrived phrases, e.g. band's motivation when playing the national anthem: "Intent to tune a nation to attention" 30 letters and all FIVE vowels.

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  35. "Natty nonentity yeti toy yoyo: ninety yuan a unit."

    So there.

    :)

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  36. If you feel like splitting hairs, how about w as a vowel? Cwm is a well-known word, crwth less so, but in the dictionary.

    1999 Toyota?

    Great costumes!

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  37. Hugh said,
    > 1999 Toyota?


    That would be a good example of using y as a consonant, wouldn't it?

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  38. Doesn't Toyota rhyme with iota?

    /throwing vowels on the fire :)

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  39. I submitted "ten-to-one attenuation" with 19 letters. I know it's a little specialized but at least it has all full-time vowels.
    And it is much more familiar (35 Google results) than "nineteen-to-one attenuation" (none).
    I thought maybe radio folks would think it's familiar.
    Prince's album is "1999", so how does "NINETEEN NINETY-NINE" qualify?

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  40. Nineteen ninety nine qualifies because the only consonants are N and T. Will didn't ask for the name of a Prince album using only N and T. We used Prince clues because 1999 written out is nineteen ninety nine.

    Blaine, I too thought that Tommy Boy's roman numeral clue was very clever. I'm sure most people caught my "new power generator" clue.

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  41. Dave - thanks for your reply.
    I can "buy the vowel" - I was asking about the familiarity - not that I expect my answer to appear on "Wheel of Fortune" as a phrase.
    Ken alluded to whether a date (or a range of dates), spelled out, is a familiar phrase. I know I don't see many bank checks filled that way... :)
    I do see, in Google results, a couple titles - songs by Christian Death and Heaven - familiar?
    Am I missing a more familiar use of "nineteen ninety nine"?
    Maybe I'm dense - it still took me a minute to get the "new power generator" clue.

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  42. \tȯi-ˈō-tä\ from Meriam Webster online, a vowel according to Blaine's reference.

    My choice and clue was 1999 by Tom Sands who also appeared on Hawaii-5-O. An interesting life involving the Sinatras and Elvis.

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  43. Neither of tomorrow's puzzle answers has a "Y" in it, so I'm happy :) Pretty simple puzzle, although I've never heard of one of the places involved.

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  44. My 18-character phrase was nineteen ninety nine (1999)

    My 30-character phrase was nine nineteen, nineteen ninety nine" (9/19/1999).

    Building on the above, here is my made-up 85-character phrase similar to those commonly heard on AM radio stations as a lead-in during special promotions (celebrating the nineteenth anniversary of “Radio Station 990,” for example): Attention: Tune in to nine ninety at nineteen nineteen nineteen on nine nineteen, nineteen ninety nine… (Attention: Tune in to 990 at 19:19:19 on 9/19/1999…)

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  45. Looks like there are two acceptable answers: Nineteen ninety nine and Antione et Antionette, a 1947 French movie. I'm sure all of us know that movie. Yeah, right.

    This week's puzzle is too easy.

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  46. On the air Will mentioned a third answer as his "favorite" which was the decade from "nineteen ninety to nineteen ninety nine"

    Apparently there were only 300 correct answers submitted...

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  47. Why was "nineteen ninety to nineteen ninety nine" given special mention while my answer "NINETEEN NINETY-ONE TO NINETEEN NINETY-NINE" was not? I'm outraged!

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