Thursday, October 20, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 16, 2011): Two-word Rhyming Phrases

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 16, 2011): Two-word Rhyming Phrases:
Q: Think of a familiar two-word rhyming phrase that starts with the letter F, like "fat cat." Change the F to a G and you'll get another familiar two-word rhyming phrase. What are these phrases?
My wife and I came up with the same answer and we need to get a hint up quickly, so I guess we'll go with that. I like the first as a familiar two-word rhyming phrase, but I'm not as excited about the second.

Update: After listening to the audio of the puzzle, I discovered that Will provided several other examples of two-word rhyming phrases (fun run, fine line, flower power) which would preclude them from being the answers. So you can scratch my original comment since it no longer fits and would have to change anyway.

Edit: My revised hints were "scratch" and "change".
A: Fender Bender --> Gender Bender

86 comments:

  1. It seems to me that I have read in the past that some Blaineians had used computer programs to assist in finding answers. I’m not capable of doing that, but I will confess that this morning I had turned the challenge over in my mind for ten or fifteen minutes, getting nowhere, and I was getting ready to consult the dictionary. I was going to see if there were more “F” words than “G” words, to see which would be quicker to scan methodically,but I hadn’t even gotten that far when I came across the answer by accident!

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  2. 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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  3. A lot of musical clues fit this week but I'll go with Freddie + Mercury

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  4. I found a simple pair of pairs that seem to work, but, like Blaine, I'm not excited about the second pair. One pair is usually beneficial, the other is not.

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  5. Anyone watching Dancing With the Stars? I was going to watch this week but it's hard to watch TV and drive at the same time! This weeks' puzzle has a real twist to it!

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  6. I don't cherish a possible answer to this week's puzzle! I hope I'm wrong on this one.

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  7. My first attempt involved a "g-phrase" that was used in an episode of The Simpsons. Unfortunately, this isn't the intended answer since Will used the corresponding "f-phrase" on the air as an example. Too bad, since this "answer" had the following interesting property: Drop the first letter of each word in the phrase to get another rhyming phrase that could describe someone less indebted.

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  8. After checking the G-string, Victoria's Secret prang to mind as well as a William Spooner mix-up.

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  9. After reading some of the comments above, I'm afraid I have the correct answer. I guess a caveman could solve this puzzle quickly.

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  10. I agree that this is somewhat out of character for Will but should do no real harm to the puzzle segment in the long run.

    BTW, just for fun I wrote a little program to compare f-words to g-words. FYI, at least in my word lists there are 335 pairs that are spelled identically but for the first letter.

    Chuck

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  11. Will Hillary run in 2012 or end her bid for the presidency?

    Just something I thought about this morning with my coffee and bagel.

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  12. Lorenzo - Your 9:07 post made me think of crossword favorite Uma Thurman, but a quick google brings up a much less attractive alternative, blowing my thought to smithereens!

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  13. I'm from New Jersey. Reminds me of a minor mishap in Middlesex, maybe?

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  14. Молдавские помеха 1190

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  15. phredp, Did you see Cher last week on DWTS?

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  16. I almost had to send in the cavalry to solve this one.

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  17. Does this cause anyone to think of Ernest Hemingway?

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  18. So how about a break now? (My musical clue for this week.)

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  19. SKB,
    Yes, but I never participated because I was an engineering student like Hugh busy working my slide rule and solving scientific equations. Recently have you noticed the week after these blogs are posted the new NPR Sunday Puzzle can be solved with clues from the preceding week? My reference about something on TV was Dancing With The Stars to hint Zodiac (check last week's posts). MEOW!

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  20. Is anyone reminded of Wayne Fontana?

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  21. More Musical Clues: The Cars, David Bowie

    Blaine,

    From last week's clue, it appeared you have cancer, but I don't know if I'm reading too much into it. I hope not.

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  22. musical clues: Lou Reed, Sylvester.

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  23. Jim,
    I'm sure we are thinking the same thing: Monday through Saturday at the discothèque. The power of the Internet!

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  24. Any bankers out there? It rhymes too!

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  25. Or someone who sells a certain kitchen appliance. Isn't this fun?

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  26. Tasslehoff Burrfoot. And there are even more!

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  27. After replaying the audio, I discovered that my second attempt was also given as an example on the air. Now that I finally found the intended answer, many of the hints make a lot more sense to me.

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  28. Lorenzo:
    Don't feel bad about not getting my "cavalry" hint. I don't think anyone could, but I promise I will explain Thursday next.
    I don't think most people realize how easy it is to make up one of these simple puzzles, whereas the solving may be difficult. The same applies to jokes, as in riddles. The answer is what gives birth to the joke and the puzzle. Puzzles and jokes are seldom, although occasionally, constructed in a linear fashion.

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  29. I wish the second pair of words was as straightforward as the first pair. You agree, Freddie?

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  30. @Lorenzo, I too have just listened to the audio of the puzzle and Will gives "fat cat," "fine line," "fun run" and "flower power" as examples. That eliminates the answer that my wife and I came up with initially (fun run, gun run). That's good because it didn't sound like the intended answer.

    For once I'm going to have to go back to the drawing board and find the actual intended answer.

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  31. Blaine -> It should be easy now providing you send her back to the drawing board too.

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  32. Yeah, What about the Geico Gekko? Straight up British or Aussie?

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  33. RoRo, I don't think Geico would appreciate the F-word here.

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  34. Roro -> What about Flo, The Progressive Girl, instead of that quaint little gecko? And who is that man with the goggles and sledgehammer?

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  35. Saturday evening I too right away came up with fun run = gun run and was not convinced. Then flower power = glower power. I never heard of glower power, but Googled it and there it was, but I was thinking I would wait and not submit it until I read posts here on Sunday. But when the radio came on and I heard Will say flower power I was both relieved it was not the answer and irritated that I would now need to expend more effort, but when I finally thought of one of the words it all clicked.
    It reminds me of a popular Mexican movie of a few years ago.

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  36. sdb - Since you have spelled out "glower power", I will note that in my post in response to Lorenzo, I was referring to the fact that Uma Thurman had the role of Medusa (talk about glower power!) in the movie (dare I admit I saw it?) "Percy Jackson and The Olympians". But when I looked it up and saw that Mr. Burns had used the expression, I threw in "smithereens" as a nod to Waylon Smithers (and who knows, maybe taking us back to the original puzzle.)

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  37. I solved the puzzle by reading an Internet list for words beginning with "F", starting with three letter words, and working up to the final answer by sounding it out with words starting with "G" that rhyme. Not very difficult, and it took only a few minutes. I wasn't convinced the words I had were the correct answers because they seemed inappropriate for a family radio show, but after reading some early clues posted here, I knew I had it correct. Who knows, there may be other solutions too.

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  38. Yeah Flo glo is kinda with it but who was that (kinda) masked man (person?) anyway? So SDB, is the cavalry thing from the old answer or your new one?

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  39. Dollars to doughnuts the answer I submitted is the intended answer and based on a number of comments here some others do too. While I agree that one rhyming pair is more familiar than the other both pairs appear in multiple dictionaries and I have certainly heard each of them used.

    Chuck

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  40. RoRo:
    My cavalry hint is aimed at the intended answer. It is not worth your time because it is first off hinting at a private joke I made up recently. Wait until Thursday.

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  41. Okay, I was going through some word lists and *ding*, the answer finally hit me! While my original hint was intended for "fun run" and "gun run", I'm not going to try and change it now. It's vague enough you might mistake it for a hint to the actual answer. :)

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  42. Blaine -> Congratulations! I am new to this fine group of intellects. I am certain you could start a "Think Tank" to solve many complex problems in addition to the NPR Sunday Puzzler. Any chance for a social get together event in the future? You must have several hundred viewers in addition to the regulars who post comments here.

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  43. Here's a diversion from this week's puzzle. How many non-rhyming F/G pairs can you think of? For example:

    five/give
    food/good
    full/gull
    frown/grown
    finger/ginger

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  44. Did someone sneak in a reference to a lawn mower?

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  45. Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    And I'll get on my knees and pray
    We don't get fooled again!

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  46. Thank you jan. That hint of yours had the answer immediately come to me.

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  47. For any of you still having trouble solving this mystery, the FBI should provide a clue.

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  48. FENDER BENDER & GENDER BENDER

    My clues for this week:
    No one could get my "cavalry" hint because it hints at a private joke I made to amuse myself recently and political correctness prevents me from using it in most cases. I live one mile from a great park overlooking Puget Sound and often visit there. There is a male in his fifties who frequently is escorted to the park and he takes the same photos over and over with his small camera. He is a harmless, mentally deficient person who bothers no one, but is rather strange to observe as he is a male of large build with a crew cut. Okay so far, but he must feel he is a woman trapped in the body of a man because he always wears full length flowing dresses and high heel pumps. I am happy to report that I have never observed anyone bother him, but I hope this does not change. Since I enjoy playing with words one day recently I came up with a term for this person that I would not want him to hear, but privately I find amusing. The term is DRAGOON, as in the French cavalry. It is a combination of drag and goon put together. I have no interest in offending this person or anyone else, so I keep it to myself, but felt I might get away with using it here as a clue.

    Ernest Hemingway and J. Edgar Hoover were both persons who had major gender issues and so I alluded to them as hints.

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  49. Another clue was:

    "So how about a break now? (My musical clue for this week.)"

    I now cannot remember what I was thinking of and will have to get back with the answer when my memory kicks in.

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  50. Next clue:

    "It reminds me of a popular Mexican movie of a few years ago."

    That would be, Y Tu Mama Tambien.

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  51. I got it now:

    "So how about a break now? (My musical clue for this week.)"

    The first 4 letters of this sentence make up the word, SOHO. LOLA by the KINKS took place down in Soho.

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  52. Ever the one for the obvious, I got the answer "by accident." Fortunately the accident was only a "fender-bender".

    In a later post, Mr. Smithers is a noted example of a "gender-bender."

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  53. Here are my clue explanations: cherish -> Cher -> Chaz, Молдавские помеха 1190 as in The War of Transnistria (Bendery) November 1990, Banker = Tender Lender, Kitchen Appliance Sales = Blender Vendor, Tasslehoff Burrfoot -> kender race from the Dragonlance, and so on. 73 .-.-.

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  54. All the references to automobile insurance companies, and a comment to Blaine to "send her" back to the drawing board too.

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  55. And Hillary - "end her" bid

    Lender's bagels

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  56. Don’t know about you guys, but after I found the answer last Sunday I thought long and hard before sending it in. I’m truly surprised that someone in NPR’s Hey This Is A Family Show Department would have killed a puzzle whose answer was a cross dresser or something similar.

    But as I had posted earlier, I wrote a little computer program to pull out all my f-words and g-words that were spelled the same except for the first letter. I found 335 pairs and Fender/Gender is the only one that made good sense. So regardless of my misgivings it had to be right and I submitted it.

    Anyway, FYI, besides the usual definition of gender bender there is also a technical one. Many computer cables connect, for example, a male plug to a female socket. However, sometimes you have to get a special cable or adapter to reverse the standard connection and, again for example, go male to male or female to female. Such non-standard cables and adapters are called gender benders.

    One dictionary I found acknowledges the tech definition of gender bender but also says “See Gender Changer.” I’ve been around IT for over 25 years and I’ve never heard an IT person use the phrase Gender Changer. In my experience it’s _always_ been Gender Bender.

    Go Cards!

    Chuck

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  57. so PhredP what was your hint referring to?

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  58. So I've been a lurker here for a few months; this is my first post. I have been patiently waiting for my phone to ring at 3 PM on a Thursday since the days of postcards. Oh well. Not this week either.
    I did not get the answer that you all got - I submitted something else, incorrect, I now see.
    Wonder if anyone else matched me:
    Freak Week and
    Greek Week
    I guess I thought maybe Will was getting a jump start on Halloween.

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  59. @Deborah, welcome!

    I think the only problem with your answer is that the puzzle says that you should change the letter F to a G. If the puzzle said that the result sounds like another 2-word phrase, you might have something. But you had to change an 'a' to an 'e' to Freak in to Greek and I think that breaks the puzzle constraints, or at least the assumptions I had about the puzzle.

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  60. RoRo,
    My first hint dealt with Dancing with the Stars (Chaz Bono) and driving while watching could cause a "fender bender". The second clue quoted an old Who song and referred to Fender guitars.

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  61. My clue was "prang" = accident

    I thought Tom W.'s reference might have been to another phrase I was't familiar with - MAN CAVE, resulting in my lawnmower question.

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  62. Why all the hints at Cher and DWTS? I don't watch TV, so please enlighten me.

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  63. Cher's daughter is now her son, Chaz Bono, who underwent a sex change (gender bender), and is currently on Dancing with the Stars.

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  64. Dave:
    Thanks for Chering this info. I was somewhat aware that Chaz was a lesbian, as I recall, but not that she was transgender. It seems to me that this must be the most difficult of lives for a person to live and my heart goes out to them for the pain they must suffer. I have long wondered if it is a mistake for a person to alter his/her gender or to go with what must be a very uncomfortable situation as it is. I have a deep understanding of samsara (reincarnation)and know that we all occasionally change gender on the path, and fear it may be causing a delay in personal evolution to not accept the way we are at birth, so to speak. I really wish I knew the answer, but I don't. I am grateful I have no such dilemma in my current life, but also am aware that I do not know what challenges await me in future lives. A much larger puzzle than anything Will ever provides.

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  65. New puzzle just came up folks.
    It is a real looker this time too. Am I the first to solve it?

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  66. I've solved it and I'm the first to offer a complaint about it. Since Blaine has not yet updated this page, here's the puzzle:

    Next Week's Challenge comes from listener Douglas Heller of Flourtown, Pa.: Think of a two-word name of a nationally known chain of retail stores. Insert the second word of the name into the exact middle of the first. The result will spell the name of a well-known electronics manufacturer. What are these names?

    My complaint is this: Isn't the answer to the first part actually the first two parts of A THREE-WORD NAME?

    Just to be sure I entered that answer -- JUST the first two parts into Wikipedia's search engine and not only did that third word show up, the second word WAS REPLACED by a symbol *representing* the second word! How's THAT for a clue!?

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  67. E&W Al fan - I'll excuse the omission of the third word but I too was concerned about the representation of the second word.

    As for your question: "How's THAT for a clue!?", there's a possibility that both of our posts will be removed as being too revealing.

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  68. I suspect Will did not even notice what you two guys are talking about. I didn't until it was mentioned above. I love not being aware of most advertising. I tune most of it out without trying. There have been several times where I needed to locate a particular business and had to look up where it was located only to discover I had been driving past it almost daily for many years and never noticed. I know advertising works, but not on me.
    I too am wondering how Blaine will react to your posts. One never knows.

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  69. Constant angular velocity vs. constant linear velocity.

    That's a clue, believe it or not :)

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  70. In defense of the puzzle, Will said on air the 'common name' although that is not included on the web site. Similarly, most refer to 'The Home Depot' as 'Home Depot'.

    The next issue does present a problem. But not having seen the store front in many years, I don't know if I would have made that distinction.

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  71. So I guess the answer is not Hodepotme then!

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  72. I actually Googled that just in case.

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  73. There may be too much pressure to be the first to post a comment here.

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  74. You know who is without equal? Willa Cather!

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  75. I until recently always heard her name wrong and thought it was usually followed by the word "fit" and referred to a device used in hospitals.

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  76. SDB -- No, that's her brother, Foley...

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  77. Jan:
    Ah, thanks, I think. Or perhaps this blog is now becoming more informative than I actually desire.

    What happened to our fearless leader?

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  78. I've been busy with Halloween costumes so haven't solved the puzzle yet. I have to post something so you guys have a place to discuss.

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  79. I got last week's and had a clue, but I decided not to post it as it might've been too much. Anyway, it's a limerick I wrote years ago. You'll see how it fit:

    On 5th in New York was a vendor.
    To him went a boy named Sue Blender.
    Though he'd tried in vain
    To change his name,
    It was easier to change his whole gender.

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