Thursday, March 03, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 27, 2011): Acacia and Acadia, I'm Done!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 27, 2011): Acacia and Acadia, I'm Done!:
Q: Take a common girl's name that's six letters long. Change the fourth letter to the next letter in the alphabet to get another common girl's name. What names are these?
I had to laugh when I figured out the intended answer. But it reminded me I needed to pick up some candy at the convenience store.

Edit: My hints - MARS (candy), MART (convenience store), HA HA (laugh).
A: MARSHA --> MARTHA

46 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. Geez, last week's puzzle was so easy, but this one really bogged me down. And I really think it would have been more appropriate for this week's puzzle to appear over President's Day weekend, don't you?

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  3. It took me awhile, but the answer was staring at me the whole time.

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  4. The answer hit me like a football.

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  5. I agree, a President's Day thing.

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  6. I found 7 pairs. 5 live on my street. lol

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  7. I didn't laugh until I said the first name three times out loud.
    2500 entries last week ? must be only a very small bunch of listeners these days...

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  8. Take the two girl's names and rearrange the 12 letters to get a phrase that denotes a type of "severe mother rodent".

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  9. I got the answer and submitted it. But I confess I don’t understand a couple of the above comments...

    Chuck

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  10. I would not call either name "common". I do not know anyone by either name, although I have heard of a few, and they are women, or females, but not "girls".

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  11. I doubt I will have time to solve this puzzle as I travel to India today and will spend the next few weeks at an ashram where electronics are forbidden.

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  12. I found 6 pairs. The first and second pairs are very common, the third is fairly common, for the fourth and fifth pairs-one is common and the other is not and fifth and sixth paris are uncommon.
    So for the first pair of common names I am thinking presidential cookies! For the second pair of common names I'm thinking about drinking green beer!

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  13. TomR, I hope you aren't referring to my title. Those names are obviously not common and are not the intended answer, as far as I know.

    I'm with Janeabelle on the presidential cookies.

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  14. I found and selected an Internet list which purported to contain the top 1,000 most popular girl’s names in English. I only found one pair that met the puzzle's requirements.

    Unlike TomR, I dated a girl in high school with one of given names. And one of my first cousins has the second name.

    Chuck

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  15. Thanks to crazy Feb thunderstorms all night long, I barely slept last night, so I mulled over the puzzle while I was awake. For the only answer I came up with, the names typically end in Y, so I don't think I have the intended answers. I've seen both end in IE, thus making them fulfill the 6 letter requirement, but I think if I had the "correct" answer, it would have been a 5 letter combo.

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  16. SDB, thanks for the India suggestion but I prefer to stay home and mellow out.

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  17. RoRo:
    I understand; no harm at all.

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  18. JenJen, I wouldn't get bogged down in the details. However, in the end, it doesn't sound like you have the answers that others are hinting at.

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  19. Dear MS. JenJen,
    I think I know what your answer is and agree that's probably not the answer Will is looking for (but you are really not incorrect--those are names that work).
    Fancy cookies are paired up nicely while reading a book that hss been mentioned on NPR twice lately about a girl growing up in the 70's.

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  20. I actually wound up with nine pair(!) out of a very generous source file of over 4,200 candidate names. Only one pair would I call "common" (and presidential), and I think I can see some green beer from where I'm standing. The other seven are reaches.

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  21. i'm glad you posted the question because i was beginning to think something happened since both the podcast feed nor the website have posted the segment yet. now 2 less days to think about it...

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  22. Mike:
    Go to NPR then Programs then Weekend Edition Sunday and look there for the puzzle. Someone sure goofed!

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  23. Blaine - thanks - but I am not thrown off by your title - when I say they are not common girls names, I am referring to girls as being young. The names I came up with are not common for girls these days. I'm gonna stew and can some tomatoes - it is an old art form.

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  24. @TomR, I now get what you mean. The first name hit its popularity zenith in the 1950s. And the second name started really fizzling out in the 1940s.

    By the way, if anyone is interested, you can go to Wolfram Alpha and type a name to see a lot of information and a popularity graph.

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  25. OrangeBus, I am still trying to wrap my head around the Fredma hint. Although if I think about the flintstones and my childhood dolly(considered hi-tech back in the 50's) it could work to give me a second pair but I would have to change the ending.

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  26. RoRo, Thanks for taking the time to ask. It's really two clues in as many words--perhaps overly succinct, but certainly compact. You're on the wrong track with Fred and Wilma, though. And though I'm of the generation that remembers them, you need to travel forward in time, for my own childhood has not necessarily ended. More or less, it's a matter of applying the algorithm and keeping up with the Joneses.

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  27. As I often do, I thought about for 10-20 minutes, then came here and found what I considered "an outright spoiler".
    Blaine, I humbly and timidly suggest that you reword your "standard reminder". Perhaps define "clue" as not something to point anyone in the right direction (for example by substantially narrowing down a large list), but to demonstrate that you know the answer to the others that already do. Usually, Blaine's clue is a puzzle itself.

    Posted with sincere hope that I am helping everyone here. I am glad this blog is here, please don't suggest that I don't read it.

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  28. I have two clues in my first post.
    Ashram is an anagram for Marsha.
    Removing the fourth letter from each of these names leaves the letters: MARHA. An anagram of these letters can lead to: HARAM. Haram is forbidden by Islamic Law, so my second clue is the word forbidden.
    I have a third clue in my reply post to RoRo, where I used the words: harm at, which is an anagram for Martha.

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  29. I used the mellow for mallow (Marsh) I thought also about Bettie and Betsie (like Betsy-Wetsy doll) but the endings were not that common. I also considered Mariel and Marjel but realized my friend with the latter name was the only one I know. What was the green beer solution?

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  30. By the way, the NPR puzzle is finally posted.

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  31. Here are the nine I came up with:

    1 TAMARA TAMBRA
    2 MARSHA MARTHA
    3 KEISHA KEITHA
    4 ALESHA ALETHA
    5 VERSIE VERTIE
    6 ELICIA ELIDIA
    7 MEGGAN MEGHAN
    8 MARHTA MARITA
    9 FREDDA FREEDA

    ...of which #2 is the only "common" set, with #7 coming close IMO.

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  32. Blaine, as a favor to one who does not deserve it, could you clue me in to the "boldface italics" trick?
    I'm pleased and heartened that the NPR puzzle has now been indexed in it's usual manner.
    RoRo, I hope that, after a perusal of the on-air challenge, the "green beer" angle will be of no further difficulty to you.
    I'm still not absolutely certain that the transcript corresponds exactly with what I heard last Sunday morning; but let that go.

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  33. Lorenzo--what is the anagram for "severe mother rodent"? that you posted earlier.

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  34. Marsha ! Marsha ! Marsha !
    sorry, had a Brady Bunch moment there....

    "Less than 1 in 12,500" is common ???

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  35. @cookieface, could it be HARSH MAMA RAT?

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  36. @Paul, you can use limited HTML tags in your posts like <b>bold</b> or <i>italics</i>

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  37. Cookieface, yes, Blaine's answer is what I had in mind.

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  38. Thank you, Blaine.
    I appreciate the help.

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  39. To be specific:
    Apply the algorithm: FREDMA becomes FREEMA.
    That may seem to mean nothing to you.
    But search for FREEMA WHO.
    You should find "Freema Agyeman" -- a lovely acress who played "Martha Jones" in the (modern) third (and fourth) series of "Doctor Who".
    Reverse the algorithm: MARTHA yields MARSHA.

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  40. Blaine, Thanks for the tip.

    Just practicing ...

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  41. The new puzzle's already posted. My clue was that the answer was STaring me in the face. S and T are the two interchangeable letters in Marsha and Martha.

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  42. cory What was the football theme?

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  43. OH MY NOSE! The Brady Bunch, of course.

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