Thursday, June 09, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 5, 2011): TV Series and Famous Actor

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 5, 2011): TV Series and Famous Actor:
Q: Take the two-word title of a TV series. The first word contains a famous actor's first name in consecutive letters. The second word is a homophone for this actor's last name. Name the series and the actor.
My hint: 80% of Ararat in space... figure that one out.

Edit: In the main asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupiter, there is an asteroid with the designation 96205 Ararat. If you take one figure (digit) off the end you are left with 9620 (80% of the original). That asteroid has the designation 9620 Ericidle
A: American Idol --> Eric Idle

68 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. Emphatic expression of commitment.

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  3. I like to linger over my fried rice.

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  4. Blaine, I think I know where you're going, just not sure how you got there. In any event, I sulute your cleverness.

    This puzzle reminds me of ocular disorders, ie., dyslexia.

    Lorenzo, what do you get when you cross a Chinese harbor bird with a duck?

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  5. I used to skydive there. Forget that. My dyslexia struck again.

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  6. Stop. Before I go any further I have to tell you that the only thing I use my TV for is to watch DVDs so I’m really awful with the "TV series" type of puzzle. I was stuck staring at that stop sign for a long time. But then I looked up. The heavens delivered the answer to me and I went on my merry way whistling a happy tune...

    Chuck

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  7. Kudos to Will. This puzzle is completely different. Musical clues could be too obvious. How about John Philip Sousa?

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  8. Either my brain is getting lazy or this was harder than recent puzzles, know what I mean...?

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  9. OK, since we all found this far too easy to solve and now have lots of time on our hands with nothing else to do, try and figure this out:

    The other day I was standing before the supermarket olive bar, filling up a tub with my favorites, and was suddenly reminded of sporting events. Can anyone figure out why?

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  10. Au contraire, f5575a18-7651-11e0-8f0a-000bcdcb471e –

    Someone has already provided a musical clue and obviously it wasn’t too obvious :)

    Chuck

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  11. I must be dense..I'm not getting any of the clues this week???

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  12. Just take your time and savor your rice. And then spend some more time contemplating why Sarah Palin said Paul Revere was also informing the British on his famous ride.

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  13. Chuck,

    I'm sad to say, or rather, I'm proud to say, I've never watched the television series. So, if there were a musical clue to the show, I missed it. My clues were to the actor and his television series, which I saw when it originally aired, and I still see it on occasion, occasionally on YouTube.

    And now, it's ....

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  14. I usually solve these things algorithmically. This time, I didn't have to go any further than the name of my programming language! (Good thing, too. This would have been a pain to code.)

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  15. I had Chinese food last night for dinner and the fortune in the rice cookie lied to me!

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  16. @SDB I thought you said you had cider with your chinese food or did you lie about that as well ?

    And now for something else, what comes next:

    N N W W S ....?

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  17. DaveJ:
    Me lie!?
    Reminds me of a recent president who likes to tell people that he was "the de-cider."

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  18. @Tommy Boy - that is A solution, but not one that relates to this week puzzle. Non-hint - this happened to be a favorite of Elvis Presley (now that's some trivia!)

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  19. With how quickly all of you get these puzzles I feel slow sometimes. I am terrible with actors names who are in series. Still not sure of the answer. It is entirely possible that I have not seen said actor nor television show. Or perhaps I am thinking too hard about this. BTW, are they including The as a third word? I.E. The Partridge Family= too many words.

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  20. @Kaleena, first the puzzle doesn't state that the actor is related to the series, though I know the actor did appear on it a few months back. Also, it is a true two word title with no additional articles or prepositions.

    Let's pretend there was a series called "Stomp Crews". That would work for Tom Cruise. Get the idea?

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  21. Stomp Crews was my favorite program when I was a kid. Too bad it was in B&W.

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  22. After I posted that my sister and I figured it out. Thanks for the help. I figured that articles like "the" and "a" were not included.

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  23. Tommy Boy dropped a musical clue for the T.V. show, but I'm not sure it was intentional. Was it?

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  24. Some clues. Nothing intentionally musical. Tell me more.

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  25. The misspelling in your first post.

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  26. TB - I look forward to learning something about Chinese harbor birds after tomorrow's deadline.

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  27. Dave, try as I might, I can't find the connection.

    I was trying to transport you to what I think Blaine might be alluding to. I may be off base, but I'll be beaming if I'm right. I might even sip on a bourbon!

    Lorenzo, make sure you're sitting down. It's a real stinker.

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  28. I started out with a list of televion shows from Wikipedia, winnowed that list to get just the 2-word titles, then ran that against a list of male first names. Nothing. So I put the puzzle down for a while, until just a bit ago. Then I found a much more comprehensive list on epguides.com (in CSV format no less, probably too late to use now, but it may come in handy for future puzzles) to have the answer I was looking for.

    I really should have thought more on the musical clue provided by Mr. Hex (I hope you don't mind the familiarity, f5575a18-7651-11e0-8f0a-000bcdcb471e) - the answer (or one of them) is there. I also agree with his opinion on the show in question, I'd only watch it with a gun to my head. Blech.

    I do like the work of the actor, however. At any rate I'm glad I solved it, I get all cranky when I can't figure out the puzzle :)

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  29. I really saw red when I heard this puzzle announced. It was a quiet week, so I had a lot of time to work on it. I spent countless hours thinking of TV shows with two-word titles and was rather abashed when I realized the solution was completely different from anything I'd imagined.

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  30. This one took me awhile, but I finally got it, thanks in part to the clues here. And thanks, as well, to absurdity.

    It was quite difficult, if you know what I mean. But I'd best say no more.

    -- Other Ben

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  31. Ladies and gentlemen, the new puzzle is up and ready for any and all challengers. Follow this link:

    Yellow Brick Road

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  32. Doctechnical -

    This puzzle also made be bring out my spread-
    sheet. After I filtered for two-word titles (and first word more than 3 letters), I scanned down the last names and found the homonym.
    The list was sorted alphabetically by the whole title, and I actually got it faster that it could have been, due to a similar show where the first word starts with an earlier letter.

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  33. The actor's singing - unusual timbre, but he's OK.

    For me, this was a satisfying puzzle to solve. No computer or lists. Just discussion, rumination, and gestation. At 12:21am Monday as I'm turning out the light, the answer dawned as if by magic despite the fact that I'm rotten at name recall.

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  34. According to the Associated Press, a moose on the loose barged into the Brunnsgarden retirement home in southwestern Sweden today.

    A Møøse once bit my sister...

    Mynd you, møøse bites Kan be pretty nasti...

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  35. hugh:
    I love your clue. Was thinking about something similar, but did not think of your clever bit, A.

    Jan:
    Put a bandaid on the bite and do NOT scratch! Some people prefer to use chocolate.

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  36. My clues:
    Lodi, CA is an anagram for Idol.
    Rice is an anagram for Eric.
    Lied is an anagram for Idle.
    Lingering references equate to Idle.
    This puzzle took me less than 10 minutes to solve and I don't watch TV. It would be nice to get a real challenge for a change.

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  37. Gee Blaine, with a clue like that... I thought the clues were not supposed to be dead giveaways. :)

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  38. My previous remarks...

    - - - - - - - - - -

    “Stop. Before I go any further I have to tell you that the only thing I use my TV for is to watch DVDs so I’m really awful with the "TV series" type of puzzle. I was stuck staring at that stop sign for a long time. But then I looked up. The heavens delivered the answer to me and I went on my merry way whistling a happy tune...”

    - - - - - - - - - -

    A couple of things...

    American Idol just came to me as a bolt from the blue – not through any programming. Then I noticed that Eric was embedded. Then I thought of Idle.

    My remarks were trying to evoke a picture of being in idle by being stuck at a stop sign. And I was trying to evoke a picture of being crucified while singing a happy tune and whistling as Eric Idle did in The Life of Brian’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”

    Chuck

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  39. An "emphatic expression of commitment" would be "I do!"

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  40. L, a perican eider. PU

    B, thought you were Star Trek-ing as in "Beam me up, Scotty."

    Dave, was George Takei ever on Idol?

    Dave J, what was your intended solution?

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  41. I did get this one, but most of the clues meant nothing to me. I have never watched the show.

    I didn't submit it as I am traveling for a few days. It often seems I know the answer when it is a week that I am traveling.

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  42. @TB, okay now I get your Sulute reference which give us Star Trek and then "Beam me up, Scotty" which leads to Scotty McCreery, this season's winner of American Idol. That's quite a stretch and doesn't use my 80% of Ararat clue at all.

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  43. I Wrote that "it was quite difficult, if you know what I mean. But I'd best say no more."

    This was an obvious reference to "know what I mean, say no more, say no more," at least for Python fans. It's one of Eric Idle's most famous routines:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ona-RhLfRfc

    -- Other Ben

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  44. Nudge Nudge Wink Wink Say No More... Reportedly Elvis's favorite Python sketch, written and performed by Eric Idle and Terry Jones.

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  45. Still trying to figure out some of these clues.

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  46. The møøse references were lifted straight from the credits for "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (you can google the text of either line). The moose-on-the-loose story is real.

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  47. For Paul:
    I didn't properly explain my clue for: "I used to skydive there. Forget that. My dyslexia struck again."
    I forgot to explain that Lodi, CA was a very popular skydiving venue, and LODI is an anagram for IDOL.

    I would now like to take this opportunity to thank my friend and helper, Anna Graham, for her invaluable contribution in providing my clues.

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  48. Jan, thanks -- I had found the moose story, but hadn't searched for the møøse, thinking it was your own invention.

    skydiveboy, thanks -- I had assumed you were skydiving over some Chinese harbor, and then wondered how it was that I missed your first Lodi reference.

    Also thanks to Blaine for the asteroid names.

    My brain is now more settled, and with a few more bits of infomation in it -- thanks again!

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  49. Tommy Boy, your "suluted" clue led me to Star Trek and "beam me up, Scotty." That led both Blaine and me to Scotty McCreery, the winner of American Idol. That was the musical hint I thought you were dropping.

    I solved the puzzle on Tuesday, but it took me awhile. I went through two lists of television shows to no avail. Then I googled and went through a list of actors and as soon as I got to Eric Idle, I had that aha moment.

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  50. New puzzle is up, and it's a head-scratcher. Even if I were to write a program to brute-force the answer, I'm not sure it would finish before the deadline. Gad! I may have to think about this one! :)

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  51. Yeah, I have been working on it for a bit and am sure I have not found the best answer yet. Maybe I will need to buy a few more hats and pegs. Also it is difficult to scratch your head with several hats on it.

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  54. DaveJ:
    Do any of your rows have more than 4 hats?

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  57. This is nicely worded puzzle, the use of a 7x7 grid is a bit obtuse though...

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  59. At the risk of asking a painfully obvious question, each counted row is of *unique* pegs, correct? A row composed of 1,2,3,4 is the same as 4,3,2,1 and only counts as one line?

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  61. If you have hats in positions 1,2,3,4, and 5 does that count as 0, 1, or 2 lines of 4 hats?

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  63. Bryan:
    Yes! That is my questin too.

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  64. So sorry SDB - it had such beautiful symmetry - I got lost in pattern ! I also found two ways but prefer one over the other.

    Here's a link where you can redeem your scotch:
    http://tinyurl.com/44pber9

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  65. I sometimes had a bit of trouble counting too.
    That Scotch sticks to my throat. You need to refine your taste buds, DaveJ.

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