Sunday, August 07, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 7, 2011): Sunday Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle

You're on your own this week... the blog author is on vacation and the robot has taken over.

79 comments:

  1. Hold on - you mean we're on hold !

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  2. Well, OK - here is the puzzle:

    Take a common two-word phrase that's the present tense of a verb. Move the last two letters to the front without making any other change, and you'll get a new two-word phrase that is the verb's past tense. What phrases are these?

    ---Rob

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  3. Does anyone know the answer? I can win an Ipad from my dad if I know the answer to the puzzle. Yes, I am allowed to use the internet to search for the answer.

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  4. Hieppy, you won't find the answers here but clues to point you in the right direction. Good luck on the iPad. Might want to do a search for "two-word verb phrases".

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  5. The puzzle on the website is different from the puzzle that Will read on air. The real puzzle is the one Rob submitted.

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  6. Ok. Thank you for the suggestion. I am working hard for this Ipad. My guess is since it is a two word phrase, it can't be an irregular verb. If so, the ending of the past tense has to be "ed". So I am going thru the list of words that start with "ed" or "de". I have found no luck for the Ipad yet, but I am trying. Any clues, please share. Thank you.

    p.s. Enlish is my secondary language that's why I have to work extra hard for this Ipad.

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  7. I have a great clue, but I think it would be giving away too much. I'll take it under advisement and decide later.

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  8. Would someone please clarify the puzzle for me. The puzzle says move the last 2 letter of the word to the front. Let's say if the word is "come forward". Am I moving the "me" of the word "come" or the "rd" of the word "forward"?. Thank you.

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  9. Hieppy:
    You are moving the last two letters of the phrase. "RD" is correct. Also you might think outside the box a bit; but something could also be said for thinking inside the box too.

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  10. I think that if the two-word present tense is "come forward" then you have to move rd to the front, to get the past tense "rdcome forwa." Of course that doesn't work. I do not know if the space between the e / f remains or shifts to some other pair of letters. ---Rob

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  11. Rob:
    Your answer to the above question you posted is in the puzzle: "without making any other change."

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  12. The puzzle is still not posted on the puzzle web site. I wonder what is going on with the NPR staff.

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  13. I got the Ipad!!!
    Thank you phredp, skydiveboy, and DaveJ.
    I followed the advice of phredp and went thru the list of the verb phases, with the clarification of the rule from skydiveboy. Once I see the word from the list, the "bell" start ringing, recalling "the magical word" I've read on this blog. Thank you.

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  14. Hieppy:
    Congratulations!
    Now, just don't use it while driving.

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  15. SDB, the "answer" I submitted involved moving the space as well as the last two letters. I've since come up with another possibility that does not have this defect, but it does not seem related to your comment about taking your clue under advisement. So perhaps you have found yet another possible answer.

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  16. Lorenzo:
    I'm glad you posted as I am somewhat unsure if my answer is the one Will is looking for, but I love it. It is humerous too. It sounds to me like (god I hate that word now days) your second guess is the one. My clues are word plays.

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  17. I just looked at my notes and see that I underlined an answer that is probably the one Will wants, but I prefer my discovery.
    A hint to the one I underlined might be: Topsy Turvy.

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  18. I just returned from dinner with my folks. Don't let this puzzle stick in your craw.

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  19. Ken, I think we have the same answer, even if it does require moving the placement of the space.

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  20. Mine is also a space-mover, and I'm sure it's the same as Lorenzo's and Ken's.

    I think there's a way of reading what Will says that makes our answer okay. The first word has N letters, the second has M. Instead of finishing with a new first word that has N+2 and second word with M-2, I finish with a new word that has N and a new second word that has M. Obviously the space has to move in one sense, but in another sense you have to do it that way to avoid "making any other change".

    [The word play clue about advisement still has me puzzled, I must say, so I'm looking forward to coming up with your alternative answer!]

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  21. This puzzle has been getting more confusing to me as I go along. I think my original thoughts on moving the space were not fully thought out and now I wish I had not stated them as I again think Will has been somewhat unclear. My answers all have a slight space movement involved. I have been trying to find a solution that does not do this, and have found the perfect word, but cannot find the other word that fits perfectly.

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  22. Question/Clarification:

    Are the verbs the same in both phrase 1 and phrase (just different tenses) or does phrase 1 use a different verb than phrase 2 ?

    I have been assuming they were the same verbs, but have not found any verb yet whose past tense is formed by adding two letters in front, so I think I may have been chasing down the wrong path here...

    I also read "no other changes" to mean the space does not move.

    I also assumed "move to the front" means move to the front of the first word, not the front of the second word.

    (spent way too much time on this already - hope the answer is not a groaner)

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  23. DaveJ:
    You have stated my concerns very well. I am now finding myself having arguments in my head over a phrase(s) being past tense or not. This is making me present tense.

    Maybe Ken should go visit his folks again and report back.

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  24. What about Hieppy and the ipad his father gave him?!!!! Did he get the right answer? What was the "bell" that was ringing? and "the magical word" he'd read about in the blog?

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  25. Jim:
    I also have these same questions.

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  26. I too am, at present, tense! Any body have a musical clue?

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  27. RoRo, how about Styx or The Beatles?

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  28. This is going to be a long week.

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  29. My folks moved from the old family home into a smaller space. The burden of maintaining the large former space (work that eroded their senior years) is past. Although they had to move spaces, they say their present work is perfectly acceptable.

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  30. I'm left wondering whether or not the last two letters must maintain their original order. For the earlier example, wouldn't "drcome forwa" also satisfy the wording of the puzzle?

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  31. Bryan:
    If we are allowed to do that then I think the puzzle would be easy, but I have not actually tried it that way, but have had the same thoughts. I keep thinking something will jump out at me from some bushes or whatever, but it has not happened yet. And I am not quite sure my solution will be accepted.

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  32. I awoke this morning thinking about a possible connection with Parker Brothers, but I so far am unable to quite make it fit. Has anyone else thought of this?

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  33. I might have found the intended answer. We shall see. I hope I'm right.

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  34. SDB - Any insights gained from your latest answer?

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  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  36. When I was in Army Basic Training we began at the Rifle Range. After it came in sight we had to sight in.
    I doubt that will help you here, but I left a clue in my previous post.

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  37. Ken, Lorenzo and Crito, I have the same answer as you. I really hate ambiguous puzzles such as this one.

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  38. I must confess that I do NOT have the answer. Every time I think I do, I later realize it does not meet one of the stipulations. Even the answer I like best I now noticed has the tenses reversed. I really do not like this puzzle. It seems to me we have to stumble across the right word to get it and all I'm doing is stumbling.

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  39. Oh boy, I finally got it!
    SDB, your first post indicates the same answer.

    Yes, mine is a "space mover" but I don't think Will included that as a "change".

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  40. SDB - well I thought you had it...
    your last post must have already been in the queue before I posted mine.

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  41. Barnes_Durco:
    I hope you really do have it and did not make my error. I keep thinking I will think of the word that works, but no.
    Did you find it on a list of verb-phrases?
    I think I will take a vacation to Las Vegas and seek out some verb.

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  42. This must be Blaine's fault. He goes on vacation, and everything falls apart!

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  43. Running out of time and still clueless.

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  44. Tommy Boy:
    You may be clueless, but how about me? I'm clueless in Seattle!

    Orangebus:
    I've been thinking about Blain's vacation too.

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  45. I'm preparing for the worst.

    This reminds me of an earlier defeat. The puzzle went like this:

    Think of a word containing the W sound that doesn't contain a W. Think of another word that contains a W, but no W sound.

    The answer was so simple and yet I never got it.

    I'm hoping this isn't a repeat.

    For those who never heard that puzzle, I'll wait until tomorrow to post the answer.

    But for those looking for something to do, the new puzzle is up. Follow this link.

    Where the hell is Blaine!?

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  46. This puzzle corroded my self confidence until 3:11 am. Funny thing - ken's clue describes the reason I woke up, and the ah-hah moment arrived.

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  47. Tommy Boy, here's a last minute hint just for you. A sell rated mid cap blend stock in the consumer discretionary sector.

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  48. Since I arrived at a solution quickly, this puzzle did not “eat at” me like it apparently “ate at” others. I figured that the two-word phrase would consist of a verb-preposition pair and that the verb would have an irregular past tense, e.g., eat/ate, go/went, is/was, and are/were.

    The “space movement” did not eat at me either. I did not even consider it an issue until others mentioned it. I did not attempt to find other solutions. If there are others, please share them.

    My clues: dinner with my folks –> eat at/ate at; stick in your craw –> eat at; eroded -> ate at

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  49. @Tommmy Boy -

    RE your "W" puzzle - is that all there is to it or am I missing something? I came up with two words that fit the bill(s) in less than a minute, so I'm thinking I either got very lucky or misunderstand the puzzle.

    If it makes you feel any better, I didn't get the answer to Will's puzzle this week, either.

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  50. Ah, I just realized why Mr. Shortz wouldn't consider moving the space to be a "change" - there are no spaces in crossword answers, are there? :)

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  51. Ken, I went through exactly the same process to get the same answer. Regarding your clue, besides the reference to dining with your folks, I thought you might also be referring to "ET come home".

    A near miss was "put in" but "input" is not a two word phrase.

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  52. I played with "input" along with many others too. Up beat and beat up, but tenses are reversed. I feel beat up though.
    I consider the space change to be significant and only considered a space change to be allowed if it was by moving a two letter word to the front and maintaining the space. Thanks Will.
    My first guess was "On pass" & Pass on." Again, the tenses are reversed and it may not even qualify as a verb.
    This was more frustrating to me than the phony debt crisis.

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  53. The W puzzle as stated by Tommy misses the requirement that words are related. Without that requirement, the puzzle lacks the right punch combination.

    A related puzzle for the letter Y could be solved with United Way.

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  54. Yeah, I got that one right away. I first came up with "out" and then "who" and then "you." It then occurred to me that something might be missing as there were too many easy answers.

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  55. SDB - Your first post included the words "great" and "later", so I thought you had it.

    My first post included the word "indicates" as a further clue.

    My 2nd post had the word "queue" which has a similar pattern as "eatat" (.1212)

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  56. BD:
    My first clue had "take it under" to indicate undertaker. It was a clue to my stupid answer of "pass on" that obviously does not fit.

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  57. Man, so simple and right under my nose. So @Lorenzo, I looked at lyrics for I am the Walrus but I maybe it was the band's name? as intended clue, but then what about Styx? They had Walrus song in common.

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  58. I do not like this kind of puzzle, but it is the kind Will mostly offers. If he had not made the stipulation re: "without making any other change" then I might still not have got the answer, but I would feel much better about it. It seems to me that it is important for the puzzles to be stated clearly and without ambiguity.

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  59. I suppose I left out some important criteria. Two failures in one week.

    The intended answer was one and two.

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  60. RoRo, sorry for the unhelpful musical clues! I was hinting at "eight" (ate) with the album Pieces of Eight and the song Eight Days a Week.

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  61. Hand in and in hand came to mind immediately for me.

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  62. "Hand in" and "in hand" was the answer I submitted also. But then I also included
    "end up" and "up end", which I *thought*
    could be SDB's answer with his "Topsy Turvy" clue.

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  63. Judging by the number of regular puzzle bloggers who did NOT get it this week, I'm guessing NPR will announce how many total entries they got (not correct answers) and I'm thinking that number will be low - there I feel better now...

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  64. Enya_and_Weird_Al_fan:
    I think it was, but there is a problem with the tenses and if one is really past tense.

    I was in a local park this week and saw many kids playing in tents as I drove past tents. Nothing is more in tents than camping.

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  65. There is another way of getting to the same result by simply moving the "E" to the end of the first word and adjusting the space. This is more economical and saves much time too. The question is: How will Will know if people arrived at their answer by this questionable method. I don't think we should take this lightly. We might consider rioting and burning cars.

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  66. I got the answer, eat at and ate at, but it's a lame puzzle.

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  67. My submission was: tuned in - intuned

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  68. @Sue Byers
    Tuned is past tense. Have we confirmed that "eat at" and "ate at" are the answers?

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  69. Dave:
    It is indeed a "lame puzzle." And an anagram of lame is meal. Do think there might be some connection here?

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  70. Up until last week the puzzles were getting posted on NPR's site Saturday nights between seven and ten EST. I wonder what changed?

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  71. The puzzle's up and running.

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  72. I could solve this puzzle with the help of a teammate.

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  73. The official answer is up on the NPR site, and it is indeed EAT AT / ATE AT.

    No, Will! "Eat at" is not a two-word phrase that is the present tense of a verb! It is a two-word phrase that contains a verb in present tense! Grrrrr.....

    ---Rob

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  74. I'm sure Ken has the intended answer, but I think there may also be another involving a variety of unrelated animals.

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  75. I wonder when Blaine gets back from vacation.

    Anyway, I believe I've figured out the answer to the new puzzle. I'm reminded of one of my favorite cartoon characters from the mid to late sixties.

    *whispering* "Chuga-chuga-chuga-chuga, chuga-chuga-chuga-chuga, chuga-chuga-chuga-chuga,..."

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