Thursday, July 28, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 24, 2011): Female Animal and Bird

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 24, 2011): Female Animal and Bird:
Q: Name the female of a certain animal, add the name of a bird, say these two words out loud one after the other, and phonetically you'll name a country. What country is it?
This reminds me of a puzzle from last year, and the weather forecast in Europe.

Edit: In the discussion on a similar puzzle, ewe + crane was given as a possible alternate answer. And my other hint was "U.K. rain(e)".
A: EWE + CRANE = UKRAINE

69 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. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the Thursday deadline. Thank you.

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  2. I don't know why I'm even telling you this story because I know you will all laugh, as I am nwt, but when I first saw the new puzzle, I just had time enough to scribble it down on a small piece of scratch paper, stuff it in my shirt pocket and race to a local restaurant to meet for dinner with friends. When I arrived I needed to use the restroom and as I was standing in front of the porcelain object you might imagine I reached into my pocket for the slip of paper with the puzzle notes and it immediately dropped into the receptacle mentioned above. I dared not retrieve it and so, even though it is an easy one this week, it ended up taking much longer than I expected for me to solve it as I could not really remember it correctly.

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  3. Oh, I almost forgot my clue. It is a musical clue and it is Lenny Welch.

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  4. Like Beethoven's 6th, for example.

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  5. Uncle Joe wouldn't stick his neck out for these milk maid collaborators.

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  6. Have we definitely established that the answer is not Gambia?

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  7. As requested, here is my behind the scenes account of playing the puzzle on air.

    I received the first call around 1pm AZ time. When I saw the funky area code, some synapse clicked and reminded me that it was Thursday afternoon. I answered the call enthusiastically was told that my entry was selected by a very nice NPR staffer. She also asked me if I had played the on-air puzzle before, my mailing address, and the basic questions that you hear on the show (What do you do? How long did it take you to solve the puzzle?) The staffer advised me not to be worried or nervous about being on the radio. The segment would be taped and edited, and the on-air host would be there to help me out. She told me I would receive a call the following morning to tape the puzzle.

    That night I pulled out my Puzzle Master book and asked my wife to read my the puzzles aloud, so I could practice doing the puzzle without seeing it in front of me. This made me feel a little less nervous about the puzzle, but I still didn't know what I would be facing.

    I went to work the next day full of anticipation. I got quite I shock when the call came in and I realized the NPR staffer and I had miscalculated the AZ time difference. They were calling an hour before I expected them to. As a result, I did not have time to retreat to a broom closet away from my shared office. I was on hold about to have my voice levels checked when my office mate appeared. I whispered "I'm about to play the NPR puzzle" and she knowingly closed the door.

    Before recording started, Linda chatted with Will to check his levels. He talked more about being the last person in NY without air conditioning (unthinkable to me in Tucson!)

    About the actual puzzle: I'm pretty certain that this was the geography puzzle that Doc Technical wisely passed on last week. I have to admit here that when Will read the rules of the puzzle, I slightly misinterpreted them. For some reason, I thought that the first two letters started the capital and that the last two letters ended the state. This caused me to be flummoxed when presented with the word SPRINGS. My first notion was to say SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, but couldn't think of a state that ended with -GS. I am very very grateful that this gaffe was edited out of the airing. The same goes for one that Linda got before I did but for some reason didn't want to tell me. After we played the puzzle I decided not to tell Linda that she had mispronounced my last name (there's no 'g'.) and Will told me that he picked this puzzle to play when he read that I had solved the challenge puzzle quickly, as he thought it was particularly tough. (So that's why they ask that!) I told him I hoped I lived up to his expectations, thanked him and Linda, and hung up.

    Nothing left to do but await my prizes now!

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  8. Wow, Banje, sounded good from out here. If I am ever chosen I won't say I got it in the first two minutes (which I raaarely do anyway) Like this week, I was close and thought what was good for the goose applied then realized it was a species name and not a gender issue. Maybe I was focused on that cuz I'm originally from New York.

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  9. Banje - Impressive performance with extra points for style and humor. BTW, I get to Tucson on business a couple of times a year(including later this week). I've not yet been to the botanic garden, but I hear it's well worth a visit.

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  10. Another Musical Clue for you - The Beatles
    I figured this one out just in time. I was about to have a meltdown.

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  11. And herein lies a vital clue! If anyone gets the call and they ask you how long it took to solve the puzzle, tell them you agonized over it for DAYS! :)

    You sounded great, Banje. And Will really did give you a tough puzzle, that's the hardest one I've heard on the air in a long time. Congratulations again!

    And I think it's safe to say that Will sweat more than you did :)

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  12. Banje,
    Does the caller ID say NPR? I wonder about that because I do not answer my phone unless I recognize the ID. Wondering if I have missed an NPR call. Thanks

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  13. I don't think it will be giving anything away for me to tell you that when I first read the puzzle question I immediately thought that the answer must be Bichistan. It only took me a moment to then realize that the latter part of the question would not be satisfied, and so I then felt relieved. Now I can just hear some of you asking yourselves why I would not want my initial solution to be correct. Well I will tell you. As anyone who is familiar with world affairs well knows, the Bichistani's are perhaps the most obnoxious people on the planet. They never pass up an opportunity to
    complain at the least provocation. Some of you will remember the huge flap that came into being shortly after the Bush W. administration came into being, when W. publicly admitted to not knowing where Bichistan is located. It
    took only a few short hours for the Khay 9 in Khenilbad to jump all over this gaff. So, perhaps that was not overwhelming at that time, but consider all our problems in that part of the world now. Do we really want to enrage
    the quick to rile Bichistani's again should they choose to manufacture another "crisis" over using their country in a puzzle? In the famous words of Descartes, "I think not!"

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  14. Natasha, as of two years ago, caller ID displayed a number with the 202 area code but not the NPR name.

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  15. @Natasha - the Thursday call I got was from 202-513-xxxx, which is the Washington, DC area. I don't remember anything on the ID portion itself.

    The actual Quiz call did say "NPR"-something on the ID, but that comes after the Thursday call.

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  16. What had a beak and glowed in the dark?

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  17. A beak keeper near Three Mile Island?

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  18. Hugh's got the answer I think Will was looking for, though RoRo's first idea is completely legitimate. No one's going to pull the wool over their eyes! I've got 2 others. One of the birds is a bit obscure, but I'm sure Obama would approve.

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  19. I confess it took repeated perusals of my list of countries this week. I almost caved and forgot about the whole thing but finally my brain was elevated to the point that I found the right answer.

    Congrats Banje!

    Chuck

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  20. Several of us seem to agree on the desired answer. I have a second perfectly good answer, but unfortunately it may only work in Massachusetts.

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  21. For me, the first half was the key; everybody must have gotten it as quickly as I did.

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  22. D flat major, my favorite key ever.

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  23. Banje, nice job this morning. I had the same experience as you did when I got the call, but they didn't edit anything out. Your puzzle was difficult because the rules weren't very clear.

    Blaine, I was going to use the same hint as you, about the weather forecast in London.

    Here's another puzzle, very similar to this week's puzzle, but the answer is a bit of a stretch:

    Put together a female animal and a male bird to get the name of a country.

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  24. Benje,

    Nice job!

    Regarding this week's puzzle, my wife came up with an alternative answer (or is mine the alternative?). I checked with the folks at WPGB and they agreed that both answers are acceptable.

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  25. TB, INDEED! LOVE THOSE BLACK KEYS!

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  26. Literally, the first female animal I thought of was correct. 30 seconds later I had the country.
    Your clue rules, Blaine.

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  27. Dave,
    Sounds like the answer to yours was my initial solution. I performed dances from that country in Seattle Washington where the weather forecast was similar to Blaine's country every afternoon. I was at first in a real hurry to learn the dances since the original indigenous members of the troupe had quit and had to stretch those neck muscles to keep up.

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  28. @Barnes_Durco
    In my case it was the second animal I thought of. Quite your noble creature, it is.

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  29. Lorenzo, you remind me of Gomez Adams, and not because of the harpsichord.

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  30. It has been brought to my attention by a close friend that I may owe some of you an apology, especially if you might have been puzzled by my reference to the country of Bichistan. It was pointed out to me that in fact there is no country of Bichistan. If you were mislead by my grievous error in this regard, I offer you my most sincere apologies. All I can say in my defense is that I must have been thinking of Canada.

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  31. skydiveboy:
    I think you meant "misled" rather than "mislead", (but, hey, I'm no grammerian)...unless, of course, your intent was to divert the discourse back to plumbing, in which case, I apologize.

    Tomás Niño:
    Is Gomez Adams related to the founding fathers, Sam and John? I ask only because I suffer from Attention Deficit, and refuse to admit it's a "Disorder".

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  32. @sdb, as the Jamaicans would say "Rude Boy"!(not in an impolite way)

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  33. I'm not a grammarian either, but I think he meant Gomez Addams. Sam and John spelled their name differently!

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  34. Paul and William, you are both correct, it is Addams. In my defense, I will tell you that Sam Adams is related to Bell's Two Hearted Ale, which may be at the root of the problem.

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  35. Paul:
    Spell check failed again. It failed to get the lead out. I again find myself plumb out of excuses.

    RoRo:
    I haven't been to Jamaica yet, but that sounds like a rather fun expression. I am engaging in a bit of pay-back, and I imagine "Rude Boy" applies.

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  36. Why not take a drive over to see the new puzzle that's up at

    Midweek Puzzle Break

    Start your engines...

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  37. Ukraine - ewe & crane

    My clues:
    First I left a long post that used the word, "you," and then went on with references to a urinal. CRANE is one of the two largest manufacturers of urinals in this country.

    Lenny Welch had the great hit in the 1960's, "Since I Fell For You." He did not actually mean a female sheep to the best of my knowledge. Just my opinion.

    As to my posts re: Bichistan, I should take this opportunity to apologize to Descartes for my intentionally misquoting him as saying, "I think not."

    Now I am on my way to Kowloon.

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  38. I like "Uganda," though the phonetics only works in select areas.

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  39. Bryan: Yes, like Massachusetts!

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  40. Ewe take the high road, and I'll take the low road.....

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  41. @Bryan: I was thinking that might work in Australia...

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  42. Besides Ukraine and Uganda, I liked COW + RHEA -> KOREA, and SOW + MALIA (a passerine bird endemic to Sulawesi, Indonesia) -> SOMALIA.

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  43. @William: "Ugandar? Ewe can't get theah from heah."

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  44. I don't know about ewe, but I'm ready for a gnu puzzle.

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  45. D flat major, my favorite (key ev)er. As Lorenzo pointed out, Kiev is the capital of Ukraine.

    Capital idea, Tish!

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  46. @SDB Those of us who inhabit B'stan don't know about urinal brands. Last time I used a public men's bathroom was in 1970 in a Boston bus terminal when I discovered I was too old to fit under the door of the ladies pay toilet (did not have the dime, only my bus tix) and complained to the authorities that men did not have to pay to play so I used the men's room when it was vacated. I have come a long way, baby (I think) since then.

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  47. My reference to "definitely not Gambia" was a nod to the fact that the government there wishes the country to be known as "The Gambia," while some years ago the answer country was commonly known as "The Ukraine," but once they left the orbit of the USSR they dropped the definite article and are now simply Ukraine. In my twisted mind, it makes sense.

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  48. When I read Mrs. Lorenzo's comment Saturday evening, I immediately thought of J.S. Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze", which, when encrypted with a Vigenère cipher with keyword "Ukraine" yields the gibberish I posted then.
    My intentional misspelling of "grammarian" on Tuesday was a nod to Kelsey Grammer, best known for his portrayal of Frasier Crane.

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  49. @RoRo:
    Are you admitting to being an international criminal!?
    Well, I suppose the statute of limitations for crimes of defecation have expired by now. Just be careful crossing the border to be sure.

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  50. DDL --
    Wasn't J. Lo IN Ukraine last weekend?

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  51. My comments last Sunday were:

    I confess it took repeated perusals of my list of countries this week. I almost caved and forgot about the whole thing but finally my brain was elevated to the point that I found the right answer.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    “Caved” was as good a hint as I could think of for Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. “Elevated” was a call out to crane (albeit the machine, not the bird).

    Chuck

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  52. Chuck:
    I thought you were using "perusals" as a clue for ewe.

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  53. Bob, I thought your clue went something like this:

    Gambia -->> Lambia -->> Ewebia ...

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  54. @SDB tis true, as I go through multiple states I do imagine my status as one of a "wanted person" :) My guy lives in NH and I generally fly but occasionally if I bus thru Boston I sit back and contemplate how far I've come. @William, thanks for explaining
    J-Lo. You had me stumped there.

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  55. Doc Technical,

    The plot thickens. I received a deluxe Scrabble set in the mail yesterday. No books or pins yet...

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  56. The new puzzle is up. It may have feet of clay, so to speak.

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  57. Took me an hour and 4 minutes! Then it just popped in.

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  58. In a strange way it reminds me of my hint to this week's puzzle.

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  59. DocT:
    You got this one right away! Did you create a program, etc., or just wrestle with it?

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  60. An appropriate puzzle for the week the country goes plain broke.

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  61. Jan:
    There is a difference between not having the money/ability to pay our bills and not having the will/desire to pay our bills. One is being broke and the other is being dishonest.

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  62. This is still reminding of my clue for our last puzzle and I am racking my brain trying to come up with a clue that will combine the two.

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  63. Not sure I have the same answer as everyone else - I'm not getting any traction on the hints so far. Regarding the budget crisis, write your congress person and tell 'em where to get off...

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