Thursday, May 05, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 1, 2011): Transferring Universities

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 1, 2011): Transferring Universities:
Q: Take the name of a well-known U.S. university. One of the letters in it is a chemical symbol. Change this to a two-letter chemical symbol to name another well-known U.S. university. What universities are these?
If you are a regular visitor to this blog, you'll know I sometimes complain about the puzzles Will picks. This time, since it was submitted by a regular visitor (Dave Taub), I'll try to be not so critical. I will say I like how the chemical elements are related, but I feel one of these universities may not be as "well-known" to some.

Edit: All of my hints referred to the chemical elements. Both are radioactive hence the comments about "critical" and being related. Also the post started with "...you are a..." = U, Ra.
A: DUKE (University) - U + Ra = DRAKE (University)

74 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. Blaine: I agree with you on this one, assuming I have the correct answers. Do you think if we complain, Will will duck the issue?

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  3. Things could get confusing if their athletic teams played each other and wore their school colors.

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  4. I awoke in the middle of the night, last night, with this puzzle giving birth and it is too saufistikated for Will to use, I think, so you are all welcome to see if you can figure out why epic scenes in movies are effeminate.
    Because they are _______.

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  5. Lorenzo: Do you think this could lead to pugilism?

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  6. SDB: Re the sporting event - clever comment!

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  7. At last something meaty for my computer to chew on (and masticate it did, for a good 15 minutes or so, that's a very long run for one of my puzzle solver programs). It spit out nine technically correct pairs. One is even a homonym :)

    Four of them depend on dropping common words from the full names like "college", "university", "institute", etc. IE: Hat College vs Heat University would be considered a valid pair.

    Then we have to whole "well known" thing, which drops my list to one. Which SDB has, and I'm guessing that's what Will is looking for. It also was the first one my computer clicked on, which may or may not be a hint :)

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  8. Lorenzo: Thanks. Then I think you might enjoy the answer to my puzzle above.

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  9. Are we dealing only with universities, or are colleges included?

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  10. Dave,
    Congratulations for having your puzzle chosen. I think T&F fans (even ones from Eugene, OR) will think the second university is well-known.

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  11. I got a kick out of the shot of the newly-weds driving in the Aston Martin DB6 with British/Irish L Plate for learners.
    I wonder if onlookers in St. James's Park across from Horseguards Parade were even looking at it.

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  12. I attended both UCB and UCLA. Alternative answers?

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  13. Ken, thanks. I'm not sure what T&F is. If it's related to my home town, I have an idea what it is. The intended answer isn't an abbreviation, i.e., UCB, UCLA, etc.

    Blaine, I submitted the puzzle several months ago, so I don't remember how I worded it. It's possible that Will changed it a little.

    Blaine, SDB and Lorenzo (and I think Ken), you got it!

    Happy puzzling.

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  14. Ken, I was thinking of something else. There's actually a connection between one of the answers and one of your alma maters in terms of track and field.

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  15. Or remove 16 and 6. Could go either way.

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  16. What a coincidence, Ken -- my niece lives a few miles from UCB and will be attending U of Chicago in the fall, where there's a connection with one of the answers (sort of) in terms of squash & football. While my son is at MIT, in a city whose namesake just got a sponsorship connected even more vaguely with one of the answers.

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  17. Take one of the intended answers and swap one chemical symbol for another. The original word and the new word are synonyms for words in a familiar slogan. What is the new chemical element?

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  18. TB: You lost me. Es ist eine kleine wortspiele. I hope that helps. If approached correctly I think this will be very easy to solve.

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  19. SDB, I think I have your intended answer. Think of how my comments might relate to this week's puzzle.

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  20. This puzzle attacks your brain. It's like a raid on your cranium.

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  21. Way to go, Dave.

    BTW, did anyone else notice there were a lot of royals at the wedding this weekend?

    Chuck

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  22. Chuck: They probably had nothing else to do.

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  23. Yes, I thought that might be your angle, but you are still losing me, although you may have the answer, I cannot tell.
    Re: the puzzle this week, I thought the number elements thing was more a red herring than a way to solve it. I only went there to prove my answer after I solved it logically.

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  24. The answer my friend is ....Classic Bob Dylan.
    Classical gas, for that matter!

    If you are not familiar with the second "well known" university, you did not go school at the first one!

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  25. With the hints above the only universities that I can think of that share similar letters are Harvard, Havorford, and Hartford. But when I look at the periodic table I find none of the letters that would be in the names of them.

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  26. USC/USNA(United States Naval Academy--but not a university)

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  27. benmar: No, but they do sit and contemplate all day.

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  28. skydiveboy:
    Really?!...At the Naval Academy?...I have nooooooooooooooo personal experience in this matter, but..................?

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  29. And I have personal experience at USC.

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  30. Take the A train, as in Aflac.

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  31. @Jan - I heard that bird made some bad tweets and is now looking for work ;)

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  32. Naval gazing:
    Excessive introspection, self-absorption, or concentration on a single issue. i.e. war.

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  33. Like Martha and Midge, there seems to be a difference between what I consider common or well known, and what Will considers common and well known. However, I owe a big thank you to the hinters. Here in Albuquerque, one of the schools would be too small to be considered "well known." Congrats to Dave.

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  34. TB:
    Yes, you have the correct answer. I awoke in the middle of last night and saw clearly your explanation/proof. I am laughing at myself for my inability to see properly what you were trying to tell me yesterday, even though I understood your gist. I just never looked at my puzzle from the angle of what was missing. This reminds me of poets who say their readers are better interpreters of their work than they themselves. Also Harold Pinter, who would not discuss the meanings of his plays. I assume you solved it the way I expected, but I won't reveal that yet. Good work!

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  35. `(SD&T)B:
    I know what I eat; I know not what I do. -- Dali

    An infrequent contributor to this blog may be able to elucidate.

    I believe Jan has the NPR puzzle nailed this week.

    I'd also like to congratulate Dave on a masterful incision into reality.

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  36. Thanks for the congrats, everyone. I really like some of the hints.

    Janeabelle, the classical gas that you speak of is indigenous to my hometown. Did you intentionally do that?

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  37. I could fisticuff it out over whether Paul McCartney is alive or not but I prefer to do a 180 degree turn and listen to some jazz and blues. Bow wow wow EEELIIII Yale!!

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  38. My musical clue is Buster Poindexter's Hot Hot Hot.

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  39. Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzo were wed 26 years ago today.

    [from] Nano J-Ma and Chief Feeline
    [to] Favour Name and Flinched

    Paraphrase Vinny y
    Verger to the Fore

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  40. Congrats, Lorenzi. You got married a month and a half before my wife and I got married.

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  41. Albuquerque = Duke City
    I owe a = location of Drake (Iowa)
    ta da!

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  42. Other working combinations:

    Mercy College, Mercer College
    Pace University, Grace University
    Howard University, Broward University

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  43. I used duck as a hint for Drake.
    I used pugilism ad a hint for Duke.
    The answer to my puzzle is EPICENE.

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  44. @f5575a18-7651-11e0-8f0a-000bcdcb471e
    Pace University, Grace University

    Okay, P is Phosphorus, but what is Gr?

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  45. Re: Post - Sunday May 01, 6:l7:00 AM PDT

    If the potassium in Drake is converted to phosphorus, you get drape. These words are synonyms for the 50's slogan DUCK and COVER.

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  46. Here's the list of candidates my program came up with:

    1) duke ==> drake via u-->ra
    Duke University (NC) -> Drake University (IA)

    2) newbury ==> newberry via u-->er
    Newbury College (MA) -> Newberry College (SC)

    3) pace ==> paine via c-->in
    Pace Univerity (NY) -> Paine College (PA)

    4) park ==> clark via p-->cl
    Park University (MO) -> Clark University (MA)

    5) howard ==> broward via h-->br
    Howard Unviversity (DC) -> Broward College (FL)

    6) mercy ==> mercer via y-->er
    Mercy College (NY) -> Mercer University (GA)

    7) mills ==> miller via s-->er
    Mills College (CA) -> Miller College (MI)

    8) webb ==> weber via b-->er
    Webb Institute (NY) -> Webber International University (FL)

    9) wiley ==> wesley via i-->es
    Wiley College (TX) -> Wesley College (DE)

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  47. Why is 287 a numerical clue? In the Pantone Color System it is the official specification of "Duke Blue":
    http://library.duke.edu/uarchives/faqs/duke_blue.html

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  48. fisticuff? Duke it out, 180 equals the sum of atomic numbers, Paul incident was supposedly started by a Drake newspaper. jazz for Duke ellington and blues for the school colors of both and eli Yale song incorporating words "Bulldog, Bulldog" for the cute little mascot of Drake.

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  49. Janeabelle, Classical Gas was written by Mason Williams, who lives here in Eugene, home of the Ducks.

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  50. Prince William is now the Duke of Cambridge. Which is not what Harvard people call their school, despite optimistic Duke alums' references to the Harvard of the South.

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  51. My mistake: Pace and Paine. "Gr" doesn't work for Grace.

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  52. The driver was the duke.
    The park contains Duck Island and a lake for drakes.

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  53. New puzzle is out alrerady and it is another stupid one!

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  54. The unmanly may roar at this one!

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  55. I have 121 possible answers for tomorrow's puzzle. I hate subjective clues like "common girl's name" - who's the judge of what's common?

    Grr.

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  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  57. Happy Mother's Day to all who qualify!
    Especially, those who:
    a) Do needlework, e.g. quilt
    b) Expect to commemorate a wedding within the next nineteen squared plus four days.
    *****************
    I'm pondering a quote from Satchel Paige----
    "Ain't no man can avoid being born average, but there ain't no man got to be common."
    Try substituting "mankind" for "man".
    *************
    As I have not yet solved the most recent NPR puzzle, I cannot certify that the above remarks are 99.44% extraneous.

    Caveat emptor.

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  58. My clue for the new puzzle: Padme hunts moose in the Outback.

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  59. Could even be Scott's counterpart spelled with 6 letters instead of 5.

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  60. G'day mates. Where's our fearless leader? Got your hints, Doc.

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  61. Anyone find the answer that could contain two different six letter girls names? One of the seven letter names is obviously not found in too many American girls names lists. And both are names of popular actresses although one is deceased.

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  62. Phredp: Yes, my program came up with a good number of cases where the same two 7-letter names yield 2 or more 6-letter names. In my example (which Dave made easy work of :) I have no fewer than 6 possible "output" names, although most are just spelling variations.

    The list of female first names I used was *very* generous. There were almost 900 seven-letter names on it.

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  63. I would have preferred to post the following in this week’s area, but obviously Blaine has been captured by space aliens.

    A problem with this kind of puzzle is that you never know if you’ve got the answer the puzzle’s creator (and Will) are looking for. I’ve known women with the names I submitted and all three names are ranked in the top 500 female names. But does that make them common?

    I found some other names that – for subjective reasons – I liked more: one is in a poem, one is in a song – but they aren’t ranked as high as the ones I submitted. I went with the ranking.

    Chuck

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  64. I've only come up with one answer so far, but I think it's a good one. Both 7 letter names are popular (or, at least at some point in time were popular). I'm not sure if phredp and I are thinking of the same names, but I can quickly think of actresses with both names. In fact now that I think about it even more, there's a mother/daughter pair of actresses with both names!

    The 6 letter name is a less-common but more feminine spelling of a name that could be either male or female. Anyone else possibly have the same answers as me?

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