Thursday, August 04, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 31, 2011): Hey! A New Puzzle!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 31, 2011): Hey! A New Puzzle!: "
Q: Name a famous person from America's past who has four letters in his or her first name and five letters in the last. Take a homophone of the last name, move it to the front. The result would be something a woman might write. What is it?"
Doh!

Update: "Doh!" sounds like "Doe" which is a female deer.
A: John Deere --> Dear John

64 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. Oddly enough this puzzle reminds me of my clue for last week's puzzle and I am racking my brain, trying to come up with a clever clue that will combine the two.
    In the mean time, what would Godzilla think?

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  3. I'm reminded of a song I heard on Dr. Demento some years back, the "Hey Der Milwaukee Polka" by Jonathon Brandmeier.

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  4. @skydiveboy: Answering your question from the previous post (about how I got my answer): No programming this time :(, it just came to me after a minute of thinking about it (does that make you green with envy? :) Being Saturday night I *was* well into my cups, perhaps that helped.

    The last part of the clue was key for me. What would a gal write that (most) guys wouldn't?

    Not sure where you're going with Godzilla, but history shows again and again how nature points out the folly of Men.

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  5. Ah, another female animal reference. Is today's winner also from this blog, I wonder.

    On a side note, the use of homophone and phonetically is unnecessary. One would suffice.

    In any event, I would call the authors mean girls and myself a cab since my car is in the shop.

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  6. In three steps, each involving small change, the person's name can be transformed into a convenience for a dancer.

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  7. When Will gave the puzzle on the air, he left off the redundant "phonetically."

    I was stumped because this is not really a famous person from America's past - yeah, the person is in America's past, but the person's fame, to my mind, comes from something other than being a historical personage.

    I was also stumped because, unsexist me, I had trouble thinking of something a woman would write that a man wouldn't; but it isn't a sexist issue.

    ---Rob

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  8. I'm sure I want to use a Ted Nugent song as a musical clue, I just can't decide which one!

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  9. At least no one calls this a classic TV show.

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  10. Blaine,

    Sorry to have to tell tell you this, but I've found another, more interesting puzzle site. I know you feel disappointed, but I'm sure you'll find someone to replace me. We've had a good run, but I think it's time that we part company.

    Best Wishes -- Phil J.

    (P.S. You know I'm kidding -- right?)

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  11. With a little imagination, my Uncle Joe (Stalin) clue from last week might help.

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  12. Didn't even know this was a real person. Then again, I also thought Jimmy Dean (of sausage fame) was either made up or named after James Dean, so what do I know.

    Original Ben

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  13. Phil Phil Phil you know nothing runs like a man asked to make a commitment

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  14. James Dean, in "Rebel Without a Sausage"...

    Ben - you've never seen a Jimmy Dean commercial, hawking his breakfast meats?

    Here he is:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojKCcs0-nNQ

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  15. I thought and thought and was awfully disappointed with the result of all that thinking...

    Chuck

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  16. Rough morning. I came downstairs, only to find that my dog had gotten out through a gate that was inadvertently left open. I spent around an hour trying to find her, but finally tracked her down. She's safe and sound now.

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  17. @DocT:
    Envy is not the dominating emotion here; rather it is disappointment in myself for not getting the answer right away. Maybe I should attempt a poor excuse by saying I had just returned from a nearby wine tasting, but I doubt that influenced my reasoning ability, or lack thereof. After I posted my question to you, I began to realize that you must have got it right away and why didn't I?

    I awoke this morning thinking Will did not state the puzzle quite accurately. So imagine my surprise when I began reading these posts to find some others are also having similar thoughts. I was going to post something along the line of: Did Aunt Jemima invent pancakes or obesity? Of course I have no intention of doing so now. But I will mention that Julia Child and Betty Crocker (talk about a crock!) never were on speaking terms.

    I could say more, but will wait for Thursday. Godzilla will be explained then too. Surprise here that you are not getting that clue now that you solved the puzzle though.

    Just one more thing. I can't recall ever hearing it said that James Dean's sausage was lacking.

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  18. That Godzilla is a really frightening character! When I see him on the screen, I feel like I have a bright yellow streak down my back!

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  19. William:
    Try and blend in with the other viewers.

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  20. Back in May, when the puzzle dealt with uranium and radium and universities, I noted a connection with the football stadium and squash court at the U of Chicago. There's a different connection with the same place this week.

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  21. Thanks to Banje for posting his on-air experience last week. I got called shortly afterward and knew what to expect. Homophones are not so obvious for a non native English speaker. To me route in paper route sounds nothing like root in root beer.

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  22. Congratulations Birgit!! You sounded great.

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  23. Yes, nice job, Birgit. While listening to you, I mentioned to my wife that a homophone puzzle must be tough for a non-native speaker, but I *AM* a native speaker and had the same problem you did: the paper route I had when I was growing up sounded like "rout", not "root".

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  24. The answer is located in the woods, no?

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  25. Congrats, Birgit! And I agree with you about pronunciation, paper route (in my neck of the woods) rhymes with tapir trout (the other, other, OTHER white meat that geneticists are working on :)

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  26. They keep posing these trashy puzzles on National Public Radio?!? Is there any Federal money going into this nonsense? I'm going to write to my Congressman! (Oh, sorry, "Congressperson.") Hell, I'm going to write directly to Speaker Boehner! Maybe he can put an end to this affair!

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  27. Jan, there is a more visible connection with the University of Alaska!

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  28. I agree, Birgit. I thought paper route was the most difficult one this morning.

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  29. Where's Robert De Niro when you need him?

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  30. Just listened to the puzzle. Nice job Birgit, and congratulations. You've now proven that it's not how early you submit your puzzle that determines whether you get called. :)

    Also, I listened to the wording that Will used to state the puzzle. The first time he didn't use the redundant word "phonetically", but the second time he did.

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  31. Hey All:
    I have a brilliant idea!
    I suggest everyone here take a few minutes to recall as many of the memorable quotes this "famous person" is remembered for saying. We can then post these quotes here after the deadline Thursday. With a little encouragement, I think we might even be able to get Blaine to offer a modest prize to the person who posts the most verifiable quotes. How about it, Blaine?

    Hint: Just think of the last several dinner parties you attended and I'm sure a few of these well known quotes will come to you.

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  32. I blogged part of one but I won't hold my breath for any others. I am not sure that well-known would have been a more appropriate term or not.

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  33. RoRo:
    I do not believe that will qualify as a quote from this "famous person." I don't even believe he said it originally. I could say more, but will wait for Thursday.

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  34. "Where did all those Indians come from?"

    Or was that from George Custer?

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  35. That wasn't his first errer or his last. (So to speak.)

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  36. Probably not his first arrer, either!

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  37. @DDL:
    That is so very clever the way you are playing with the word "error" to make a connection with "arrow." I wish I had thought of that.

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  38. Good morning to all. Now that we've all had our coffee, it's time for a free puzzle refill at

    Midweek Puzzle Break

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  39. August 4, 2011
    My clues:
    "Oddly enough this puzzle reminds me of my clue for last week's puzzle and I am racking my brain, trying to come up with a clever clue that will combine the two."
    This is comparing urinal and john, as in restroom and its' furniture. I am also hinting at Combines.

    "In the mean time, what would Godzilla think?"
    This clue/hint references the meeting between Godzilla and Bambi in the film, "Bambi Meets Godzilla." In this cartoon Godzilla demonstrates his Top Down Management skills.

    "William:
    Try and blend in with the other viewers."
    This is another reference to the BMG film mentioned above.

    "Hey All:
    I have a brilliant idea!"
    This is a HAY clue that goes on to sarcastically point out my displeasure with how Will presented the puzzle this week. I do not feel that John Deere fits the "famous person" classification. The slogan RoRo refers to does not qualify as a quote in my mind. I suspect it was not even said by him, but by someone in marketing. Did Henry Ford come with, "Ford Has a Better Idea!"? I would say this is a famous name of a person not widely known in our history.
    I also thought it might be a woman since Will did not leave it at "person." This caused me to pay more attention to female names of famous persons as I went through several lists. I should have thought of Dear John Letter right
    away, but it just seemed to escape me. As it happened I made the puzzle far more difficult than it actually is.

    I had an interesting thought caused by this puzzle and the way it was stated. It occurs to me that the most well known name in the world today is most likely of a person who did nothing of note; said nothing of note; and had nothing at all to do with why we know her name. This is Mercedes Jellinek, the daughter of an Austrian diplomat in the past. Her first name became how we refer to the cars made by Daimler Benz. Only her first name is used and hardly
    anyone would recognize her last name. She was never famous, yet her name is recognized by people all over the world just as some other famous one name persons are.

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  40. At the other end of the spectrum I doubt many people outside the auto industry know who Edsel Ford was, but everyone knows an Edsel is a clunker.

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  41. From above:

    Ah, another female animal reference. Is today's winner also from this blog, I wonder.

    Since a "Dear, John" letter is by nature generic, if one were to be formal, it would be "Dear, John Doe" (a deer, a female deer).

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  42. Doctechnical:
    Right on! I was thinking of mentioning Edsel Ford, along with some others, but decided I said enough. Any ideas on how I might get all these Edsel's out of my back yard?

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  43. John Deere's invention was known as "the plow that broke the plains" (see my comment in last week's blog, re "plain broke"). The stadium at U of Chicago is/was Stagg field.

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  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  45. My clue 1933-1944 refers to the date the soap opera "Dear John" aired on the radio.

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  46. Jan:
    A great musical clue would have been Virgil Thompson. I wish I had thought of it.

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  47. Natasha, my mentioning Phil's name 3 times was a reference to that same john-Marsha show. and of course to the "marketing" jingle - Nothing runs (quite?)like a deer(e).

    Obviously it can't be reprinted but I am curious about what in the world you said after the answer was revealed that got you censored.

    Hugh, help me out with the dance "gear"? mini puzzler you posed?

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  48. RoRo i misspelled a word and deleted the comment myself.

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  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  50. I guess my "Deer john" reference kinda stunk.

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  51. RoRo, I was playing off your last week's story.
    "small change" was meant to be a clue for john dough for the public "convenience".

    (Deere, deer, doe, dough for the 3 step morph.

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  52. TomR:
    I suspect you were making a reference to what animals do in the woods. When a domesticated dog leaves this little gift on our lawn we tend to call it dogdoo. I suppose if a young deer were to do the same on our lawn we might call it fondue. Especially in Sweden anyway.

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  53. @hugh OOOOO! Got it! LOL

    @SDB "Cheez um Bread, Mon" - another Caribbean expression meaning like OMG

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  54. Robert De Niro was nominated for an academy award for his role in "The Deer Hunter" and was featured on the movie's poster. Maybe one has to be a certain age to remember that.

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  55. Bryan:
    Well I am old enough to remember that movie, but I did not make the connection from your clue. BTW, those mountains in the film are actually located here in NW Washington State. De Niro also came out here a few years later to film "This Boy's Life." I think he likes it out here for vacations too.

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  58. Hi people,
    The new puzzle is posted. It's a bit hard to find, but google the date and it'll be there. I'll solve it while heading to my folks' place tomorrow.

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  59. Of all of our pets, our beta fighting fish, Mr. Ito, particularly liked this week's puzzle.

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