Thursday, March 17, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 13, 2011): Sounds Like Another Name Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 13, 2011): Sounds Like Another Name Puzzle:
Q: Think of a five-letter girl's name that ends in a 'J' sound. Change that to a 'CH' sound to get a common five-letter boy's name. What names are these?
Not to be a pest but didn't we have a puzzle recently involving names? If you thought Marsha and Martha were less common girl's names, what about the names this week? I was going to clump together a clue or two from last week, but I think I'll refrain.

Edit: The first clue was pest as in a tiny fly. The second hint was clump as in comic book character, Midge Klump. The third clue was a reference to last week's post where I mentioned people that shared birthdays on March 10, including gymnast Mitch Gaylord. The final clue was refrain, an indirect reference to the show Sing Along with Mitch.
A: Midge and Mitch

48 comments:

  1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g. via Google or Bing) 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.

    You may provide indirect hints to the answer to show you know it, but make sure they don't give the answer away. Thank you.

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  2. I intend to attend church this morning dressed in monochromatic blue.
    Blaine, I'm sure I'll figure out your hint eventually.
    Won't that be awesome?!

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  3. I'll go along with the answer suggested by the hints but I know no one with the female name and I'll refrain from posting a musical clue.

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  4. As usual I wrote a program to help me figure out the puzzle, but based on the answers it gave me I think it has a tiny flaw of some sort.

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  5. Paul, I went with my friends, GG and GR, but my suit had a little grey on it as well.

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  6. The recurrence of the name theme bugged me too, but only a little.

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  7. Alas, already a spoiler.
    Maybe I'll try to avoid the blog till Thursday, and then only if needed.

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  8. I found a pair of names I like however I had to alter the third letter a little as well as letters 4 and 5. Anyone else find this to be true?

    Chuck

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  9. If the "CH" sound is like that in "CHEF" or "CHIFFON", then I may have found another pair.

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  10. @Chuck - yes, that's required for my answer as well. Since the only requirements for letters in the answers are that the names be 5 long, I don't see this as an issue.

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  11. The lack of creativity in this puzzle is making me ill. A medic might be in order.

    Anyone want to offer up an interesting challenge?

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  12. Hey Tommy, here is one I sent into Will and he dinged it for reasons that might become clear later.

    I'll leave it here for you and the other playmates:

    Find two sovereign nations and one well-known territory administered by a sovereign nation. Each of the three has a well-known name for its ethnicity.

    One ethnicity has eight letters. Drop the first letter and scramble the remainder to get another ethnicity in seven letters. Then drop the last three letters and scramble the remainder to get a third ethnicity in four letters.

    What are the three ethnicities?

    -- Other Ben

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  13. I have not been pleased with many of the puzzles so far this year; many seem to be juvenile and not at all clever.
    I worked on this one yesterday after it was posted and soon came up with the answer some on here seem to think is correct, but seems flawed. I rejected it and finally came up with one that works perfectly, but I did not like it at all. I went to bed having come up with a clue I really like, but when I listened to the puzzle on the radio this morning I felt shot down when I heard Will say the boy's name is common. My answer uses a boy's name I have never come across, but is legitimate. So now I have decided to sing along with the others on here who are somewhat less than satisfied.
    For anyone who is interested in my first answer, here is an idea of the clue I was going to post: I was going to say something about the answer taking what seemed like more than a week to solve.
    I have coined two clever puzzles and sent them to Will, and have not heard back. I do not understand why they are not used as I believe everyone would enjoy them. I will not disclose them here because I still hold out hope they will be used, but I have my doubts that Will has ever seen them.

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  14. Ben,
    I think your puzzle might be a bit complicated for Will to use. Otherwise I would say it would be a welcome change. So, for now, we can go on with puzzles such as: What is WOW spelled upside down? A real mind-bender. Huh?

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  15. @skydiveboy: I think Will has to use relatively simpler puzzles in order to keep the maximum number of people interested, after all, this is entertainment. Based on how subtle the clues you guys use are (most of which are way over my head), I don't think you're really Will's target audience. Y'all are too smart :)

    Now a very minor contribution on my part, a puzzle that won't be on the air for reasons that should quickly become obvious once solved. Consider the following words:

    Ivy
    Excel
    Seedy

    What letter comes next?

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  16. DT:
    You are correct. I did keep this in mind when I sent in my two puzzles. They are simple, but interesting and not just a mindless change of consonants. For me a puzzle should be satisfying when solved; not simply an "OK" moment.

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  17. @SDB, I too just listened to the puzzle and Will did use the word common on the boy's name (but not the girl's). If he said the opposite, I might argue for your answer.

    @DT, I almost like your puzzle until it comes down to the answer. Asking for a letter gives the pattern away, but if you ask for a word you lose the prior pattern of two letters. And I don't think a printer's measurement is that well- known except to crossword puzzle enthusiasts.

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  18. So far I’ve found 3 pairs of names that all work on some level.

    Two of the pairs have an OK girl’s name (that of an accounting clerk where I used to work who was also an excellent Bridge player) but a boy’s name that is so unusual you’d only find it on name lists. You’ve never known one, never read about one in a book or seen one on TV or in the movies. That doesn’t sound like a Shortzian thing to do – he’s pretty “meat and potatoes” when it comes to the Sunday Puzzle.

    The third pair has a less common girl’s name but was actually the name of a person I used to work with in the past – she was a sales rep for a credit reporting company. The boy’s name is one that you for sure have heard of. I believe this pair is one the benmar12001 was alluding to (except that I can think of two band front men with the name, not just one). The problem with this pair is that you have to mess with the third letter of the name, too, not just the 4th and 5th letters. Still, the letters produce sounds that are phonically so similar as to be practically identical. This pair is my pick of the litter.

    Chuck

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  19. I got the answer to this puzzle in less than a minute. I know a man and a woman that have these names.
    I agree, Will is a little short on funds in the creativity bank. I was so disappointed I got out my favorite doll and we had a sing-a-long.

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  20. Blaine & DT:
    I agree with Blaine re: DT's puzzle. I see where the puzzle is going, but I am not getting the next two letters. Lack of specific knowledge, I think. I had the same problem with a recent puzzle here where the answer is, Wayne Manor. I never read comic books and did not watch the TV show or movies, so I had no way of knowing the answer. I did finally get it however, due to a great clue on here about David Niven and his relationship to Peter Justenough. I knew Peter Ustinov was batman to Niven and with extensive research I finally came across the answer in Wiki.
    I think my favorite puzzle from here was several years back and was a Spoonerism of Custer and Keaton. As soon as Will said the year in question was 1876, I was sure it had to be the Custer battle, and from there it was easy to figure out and satisfying as well.

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  21. I wonder if a certain character with tall hair would work...

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  22. Only a real character can be certain.

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  23. Interestingly enough, the female first name and the last name that most of us think of when we figure out the male first name are entomologically related.

    For those of you who have submitted puzzles to Sunday Edition but haven't had them read on the air, keep trying. I've submitted at least fifteen puzzles, but only one of them has been used. Oddly, it was a month or two before I was a contestant on the show. I've never gotten a response back from Will about why my other puzzles weren't used, now was I told in advance that he would be using my puzzle.

    Ben, do you send your puzzle suggestions directly to Will or do you use the NPR link? I'd like to get some feedback on puzzles I've submitted.

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  24. One of the girl's name that I am thinking of was used on the air in this on-air challenge. I wonder if that disqualifies it as a correct answer.

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  25. DT, perhaps as a fill in the blank puzzle:

    I - V - Y

    E - X - C - E - L

    S - E - E - D - __ ?

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  26. A couple posts have commented on the letter changes required in this week's puzzle. The puzzle is an extension of the on-air puzzle where the 'J' sound is replaced by the 'CH' sound. In the example, SURGE might become SEARCH. If the letter changes are causing you to discount your answer, don't.

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  27. Blaine:
    Does that mean I have a chance of getting the puzzle I just made up on the show? It follows:

    Think of two States in two words each. The first letters of each State can be exchanged to name the same two States.

    Name these States.

    Hint: They are close together.

    Or perhaps Will will think it just too difficult.

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  28. Benmar Should I follow the bouncing rock?
    I used to love to add the boy's name into the song the "name game" but I better not have let my parents hear me.
    I love the creativity generated on the blog this week .

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  29. skydiveboy,
    If I were Will, I think I'd have trouble deciding how to make "States" "sound capitalized", if that makes any sense.

    Blaine,
    Sorry if I stepped in where I shouldn't have.

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  30. @SDB: Actually, that reminds me of a puzzle Will used some years ago, which went something like this: Name two states. Re-arrange their letters to name two *different* states.

    I note that he gave out this puzzle on April Fool's day :)

    Oh, and regarding my puzzle: Yes, a certain knowledge is needed to solve it, but it's quite common knowledge. Nothing so esoteric as comic books, and something I was taught (lo, those many years ago) in grade school.

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  31. DT:
    Now I think about it, you are right, and I remember that puzzle too.

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  32. This one is really easy. I'd feel like a real jughead if I hadn't gotten it.

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  33. DT:
    I almost forgot to mention that I did figure (the fitting word, I think) out your puzzle.

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  34. Funny thing, but these names have the same meaning.

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  35. Speaking of past puzzles, I just went back to see what people posted re: the Spoonerism challenge last July as I was not using this blog then. There were some good ones.
    I made one up and sent it in, thinking it had a good chance, but it did not even get mentioned. I would have posted it if I had known about the blog back then.
    This is what I made up and submitted:

    What’s the difference between Casper the Friendly Ghost and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? One is a curious spook and the other is a spurious kook.

    When I came up with it, I first thought of Rush Limbaugh, and then Glenn Beck, but I guessed Will would be reluctant to get that personal, so I settled on dear old Mahmoud.

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  36. By the way, here is the April Fool's State Name Puzzle to which DocTechnical was referring.

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  37. @Blaine - I remember that was the first time I heard the Puzzle and thought "It would be pretty easy to write a program that would solve that..."

    So I wrote the program, it kicked out the answers, and *then* I realized it was April First :)

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  38. DT:
    I had a hard time with that states puzzle. I kept thinking it must be West Virginia and East Virginia.

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  39. When it comes to girls named Midge,
    You'll only find a smidge.
    Come on now Will;
    Enough of this swill.
    The puzzle is becoming a bidch.

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  40. My first choice for an answer before I found Will said the boy's nmae is common was:
    Marge > March, as I at first rejected the answer Will intended: Midge > Mitch, and a clue was that it seemed like it took more than a week to solve. A month being more than a week.
    I also said I would sing along, which is a clue for the old Mitch Miller TV show.

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  41. There are 2 names I would have gotten in trouble for singing as part of the "Name Game" song and Chuck did not end in ch.

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  42. You may recall earlier in the week, as the Groundlings were complaining about Midge/Mitch, that I posted an alternate puzzle. Here it is:

    PUZZLE:

    Find two sovereign nations and one well-known territory administered by a sovereign nation. Each of the three has a well-known name for its ethnicity.

    One ethnicity has eight letters. Drop the first letter and scramble the remainder to get another ethnicity in seven letters. Then drop the last three letters and scramble the remainder to get a third ethnicity in four letters.

    What are the three ethnicities?

    ANSWER:

    TAHITIAN
    HAITIAN
    THAI

    I submitted this to Will and he liked it, but dinged it because he had done another puzzle with Haiti and Tahiti in it. Sigh.

    Also, Dave asked if I send puzzles directly to Will or if I use the web form. The answer is that I send them to Will, but I'm quite certain that if I gave out his email, Merl Reagle would come over and open a can of whup *ss on my head.

    -- Other Ben

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  43. Ben:
    Too bad he didn't use your puzzle. Don't you Hait it when that happens?
    How did you find Will's email? I don't think he ever got my puzzle suggestions because I used the reply method.

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  44. I didn't like the difference due to the "d" and "t" sounds for Midge and Mitch, but I must admit that Bridges and Britches was used for the on-air puzzle...

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  45. Thanks for your answer, Ben. I figured that you had a direct line to The Man. I agree with Will's assessment of your puzzle. He used that one just a few months ago. Keep trying. I've sent a lot to him, but he's used only one. I don't remember the puzzle of yours that he used, but I remember that he used one around a year ago.

    My clue this week was that the two names were entymologically related. A midge, as you know, is a small insect. A (Mitch) miller is a type of moth.

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  46. The new one is up. It is too easy!

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