Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 20, 2011): Food Item, Saying and Person's Name

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 20, 2011): Food Item, Saying and Person's Name:
Q: Name a food item. Divide this word in half. Take the second half followed by the first half twice, and you'll get a familiar saying. If you take the second half twice (followed) by the first half, you'll name a well-known person. What are the food item, saying, and person's name?
I vote for the food item being incomplete, but I guess if enough people vote against me, I'll rescind my complaint.

Edit: My hint was "nays" which when added to the food item (mayo) gives the full name (mayonnaise).
A: Food Item: Mayo(nnaise)
Saying: Yo' Mama!
Person: Yo-Yo Ma

108 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 Wednesday 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 Wednesday deadline. Thank you.

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  2. How many people will be eating this food on Thanksgiving Day?

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  3. Sorry about the above post. I THOUGHT I had posted the following:

    In the comments of THIS PAST WEEK'S blog,

    Blaine said...
    Done! And the missing word (I believe) is 'followed'
    Sat Nov 19, 10:26:00 PM PST

    and then Blaine said...
    By the way, it isn't magic. I found it referenced from another link on the NPR site:
    Games & Humor
    Sat Nov 19, 10:28:00 PM PST

    and then I added my comment about having gone to that link, and that I'd found many links to THIS PAST WEEK's puzzle, but none to the upcoming one.

    But then I posted the above comment after rechecking that page and finding the link:

    Where In The Blanks Are The Answers?

    Blaine, how does one remove their own posted comment on this blog?

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  4. The food item is not something my doctor wants me to have. The famous person is not someone I am a fan of. And the saying is not something I would ever say, particularly at Thanksgiving dinner.

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  5. 5. Duh! Now, pass me a Corona.

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  6. This week's puzzle reminds me of my troubled youth when I was strung out and sought clinical help.

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  7. Tom W, we usually have it the day after.

    Bravo to all who solved this puzzle already.

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  8. The food item is incomplete; the "saying" is so fatuous that I am surprised the PM would use it; oh, and the other part of the answer is missing a dash of precision.

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  9. Seems to me this is the third week in row that the statement of the puzzle was either unclear or incorrect. (In particular, I think this week it should say "familiar phrase" instead of "familiar saying.") Perhaps Will should spent a few extra minutes fine-tuning his wording, and that's no joke!

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  10. OK so it would be better to say a familiar abbreviation for a food item. Mama Mia the quality of these puzzles goes up and down !

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  11. Yes -- Will has been up and down lately.

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  12. Oops -- my comment unintentionally overlapped DaveJ's. Please don't smear my name.

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  13. Joke clue: Sylvester Stallone

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  14. Maybe I shall ponder this while listening to some music...

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  15. I just listened to the puzzle and indeed the word "followed" was left of the transcription on the NPR website.

    Also, if it wasn't apparent, the deadline this week is Wednesday because of Thanksgiving.

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  16. Man, seems as though Will's brain has turned to string!

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  17. Can't see why everybody gets so uppity with this man. Hell, give him a break.

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  18. A Crazy Horse joke in Chinglish?

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  19. Blaine:
    Did you intentionally leave out a word in your last post? Or are you having an NPR intern moment?

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  20. It’s past mid-November now and – at least here in St. Louis – it’s much cooler than it has been. But I’m still fondly remembering vacation last summer and the beach: “Last one in’s a rotten egg!”

    Chuck

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  21. I thought that might make you laugh. :)

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  22. Reminds me of a limerick, a real corker. But it gets me down that Will never calls.

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  23. Jan, I was expecting another dog clue from you this week.

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  24. Well finally I got it! I had some pretty strange earlier guesses that never quite worked from the hints that I thought I understood, but didn't. I am a fan of the person, and I even thought of this person's name earlier, but did not see the connection then; can't understand why now. Anyway I think I will now reward myself with a left over Dunkin Donut and go back to bed.

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  25. I don't know about you all, but in New York City this certainly qualifies as a saying.

    -- Other Ben

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  26. I had trouble solving this puzzle mostly because many of the hints had me looking in a couple of different directions than were intended. I may elaborate on this come Wednesday. Because of this I would advise those still searching for the answer, that they take a more clinical approach.

    As to the puzzle, I see there are a great deal of negative comments and no positive ones. I agree that this puzzle has much in common with Thanksgiving: Just another turkey. I therefore include myself solidly with the nays.

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  27. I got this because my mother told me to stop watching rap videos on MTV and study hard.

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  28. Hey Jan! Are you making a graves error in your statement?

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  29. Blaine - 10,000 lakes... again....

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  30. SDB -> You should have a Coke with that donut or mathematically: a + bi, where b = 0. Jan, I can hear you laughing now!

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  31. Ralph L. -> They are also here in Florida.

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  32. I agree SDB; this week's puzzle just doesn't cut the mustard.

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  33. Maybe the puzzle library is getting spread thin.

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  34. Let's not beat up Will too much. Maybe it's just that he's been tying his bow tie a little too tightly lately.

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  35. I have a friend whose brother knows someone who works at the N Y Times and says Will is somewhat high-strung and sometimes has cross words with others who work there.

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  36. Well, SDB, I will certainly take your word for that. By golly, if that’s the opinion of an anonymous blogger’s friend’s brother’s acquaintance claiming employment by the same company as Will Shortz, it’s good enough for me!

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  37. This brings back fond memories of my vacation in England and a trip to The Tower of London to see The Beefeaters (ER). Has anyone else been there?

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  38. Tom W.:
    Been to London, but not the Tower. I see you managed to keep your head about you in spite of your incarceration. I hope they didn't keep you on the Rack too long and you were able to loosen up soon after.

    PlannedChaos:
    Thanks for the vote of condiments. I was deathly afraid people might not take my post as being credible.

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  39. SDB: So gouda of you to notice. I mustard the effort to fact-check.

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  40. Enough of this; I knead to ketchup on my soap opera.

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  41. All these puns fill me with emulsion.

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  42. SDB -> I was intentionally indirect so the food item would not be so obvious, but they are chronologically correct. Did you understand my complex variable reference? If not, your VOM will provide the correct answer.

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  43. Last week I was a day late. This week I'm a day early.

    Midweek Puzzle

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  44. Lee Harvey Oswald on Hill Street??

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  45. With the holidays soon upon us: Seems like nobody in my house likes surprises. This year I'm wrapping my gifts in cellophane.

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  46. Everyone who is mad at Will this week needs to chill out. Anyone having jello on Thanksgiving?

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  47. I think most people who use this phrase probably never listen to NPR, let alone the Sunday puzzle. Solving the person's name was immediate, but the phrase didn't make sense until I was able to confirm it with a Google search.

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  48. Funny, but it rhymes with a person in the news all the time!

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  49. Took me a while, but I finally figured it out. Good clue, Jan. A classic puzzle for every parent - or at least 1/2 of them.

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  50. f55718 -> May I be the first to congratulate you? By the way, are all those letters and numbers random or do they mean something, possibly in hexadecimal?

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  51. And finally, for the engineers: 65 < f < 987.

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  52. Forget the jello, and try the banana pudding.

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  53. I partied with the king's horses and men and all I got was this...

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  54. Tom,

    When I post in AIM, that series of #s and letters are generated. I have no idea what they mean, and that is not my AIM user name.

    Sounds like a good name for my next child, though.

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  55. So Tom, you have something in common with Placido Domingo. Both of you have to put up with people mispronouncing your name.

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  56. My hints and more:

    "...take a more clinical approach." A reference to the Mayo Clinic.

    "...I will now reward myself with a left over Dunkin Donut..."
    Duncan Yo-yo Company that was popular when I was a kid, but I don't know if it is still around now.

    "I therefore include myself solidly with the nays." 'nays' is a hint at the missing part of the food item.

    "Maybe the puzzle library is getting spread thin." Hint at sandwich spread.

    "... Will is somewhat high-strung..." Hint at strings on a cello.

    "...able to loosen up soon after." Hint at strings again.

    "Thanks for the vote of condiments." Hint at Mayonnaise.

    "ketchup" Ditto.

    For history buffs:

    In this country it is commonly understood that Mayonnaise was invented by the eggheads at the Mayo Clinic. While they did indeed discover a remedy for Mayomalaise, which is the lack of energy to get the last spread out of the jar, they did not invent Mayonnaise. This food item was the creation of the Mayonnasians who inhabit the archipelago of Mayonnasia in the South Pacific.
    Please do not take my word for this. I fully expect our new Blog Librarian, PlannedChaos, will research this ASAP. :)

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  57. "Perhaps Will should spent a few extra minutes fine-tuning his wording, and that's no joke! "

    Fine-tuning, as a cello.

    No joke - My favorite Yo Mama joke: "Yo Mama is so old, she sat behind Jesus in the third grade!"

    (Won't mention: What's the difference between a cello and a violin? A cello burns longer.)

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  58. "5. Duh!" -> Cinco de MAYO.

    Limerick, Cork, Down, and MAYO are all counties in Ireland.

    Where is this quote from? Kurt Vonnegut, maybe? "They say that the ancient Mayans invented the elevator. So, what does that make me, mayonnaise?" Couldn't get that out of my brain this week, but I couldn't place it or make a clue out of it, either.

    Yo-Yo Ma's latest album is "The Goat Rodeo Sessions". The artists, in alphabetical order by last name, are Stuart DUNCAN, YO-YO Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile. There's that Duncan Yo-Yo again!

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  59. I liked the hint from PlannedChaos to "Are You out of Your Mind?". The initial letters anagram to Yo-Yo Ma and it was a callback to the NPR Puzzle from Aug 8, 2010.

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  60. My clue was:

    “It’s past mid-November now and – at least here in St. Louis – it’s much cooler than it has been. But I’m still fondly remembering vacation last summer and the beach: ‘Last one in’s a rotten egg!’”

    The three necessary ingredients for mayonnaise are oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and egg yolk.

    Chuck

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  61. Blaine,
    I thought your use of the word "rescind" was a reference to "yo-yo sales", a deceptive practice in auto sales.

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  62. Jan, the dog clue I was expecting from you is the name of a yoyo trick.

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  63. My hints...

    Lee Harvey Oswald on Hill Street?? was in reference to the character Dt. Patsy Mayo on Hill Street Blues (Lee Harvey Oswald referred to himself as a patsy)

    All the king's horses and all the king's men (Humpty Dumpty - (egg))

    10,000 lakes - again was in reference to Minnesota - Rochester MN to be exact. HQ for Mayo Clinic.

    And my comment to Jan was trying to understand the clue. My "graves" error comment was in regards to an old quote from Peter Graves in Airplane.

    "Give me Hamm on 5, hold the mayo"

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  64. SDB, my earlier jape in regards to your comment about Will Shortz was really just an excuse to link to that classic scene from Spaceballs, which is what I’d thought of while reading your post. And of course the horrible pun exchange that followed was great fun.

    On a more serious note, I’m afraid the historical record disproves your dubious claim that the Mayo clinic discovered a remedy for Mayomalaise. The remedy actually originated with Ronald Reagan, who was first to posit that Carter’s infamous Mayomalaise speech could be counteracted with a handful of jellybeans.

    Blaine, nice to see you got my video clue. (No need for me to explain it now!)

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  65. NPR stooped to an even lower level this week with this disparaging reference to mothers. Just do a Google search for "Yo Mama", and you will find a plethora of insulting "jokes" that have no place here. I don't feel this is appropriate material to be aired over public radio, so perhaps a few complaint letters to the Federal Communications Commission are in order. Ghetto slang has no place on the open airwaves. A few weeks ago, it was gender bender that undoubtedly offended many listeners. Is NPR purposely trying to debase their listeners? I'll have to think twice about contributing to my local NPR station the next time I hear them conducting a fund drive. Worse yet, NPR receives government funding, so you would expect their choice of words to be proper and without any confrontation. Just look what's making the news headlines these days. Any thoughts?

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  66. What about NPR promoting fat-filled, high-calorie condiments like mayonnaise!!! And I don't know anything about this "Yo-Yo Ma", but I'm sure if his concerts are anything like other concerts I've heard about he and his band probably play at high volume while youth in the audience share illicit drugs!!! What is NPR promoting these days?!?

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  67. Tom W.:

    Yes! Many thoughts and here are a couple:

    Why all the fuss about words? No one has ever been able to show me any evidence of even slight harm being caused by offensive language. I personally don't use the term in the puzzle, but big deal. And what in the world is objectionable about Gender Bender?

    You mention the government which makes me wonder why you are not complaining about our government waging wars in several countries around the world that never attacked or even threatened us, yet we are murdering their men, women and children and telling us that our soldiers are defending our country. Now that makes me sick. It appears to me that you just might be in a canoe in the middle of the Nile River.
    Well, you did ask for our thoughts and those are just a very few of mine.

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  68. Oh my gosh! I just read the Wikipedia page for this Yo-Yo Ma. One of his listed occupations is as a pedagogue! Did we not learn anything from the whole Sandusky scandal?!?

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  69. Blaine and SDB -> Many thanks for your prompt replies and allowing me to post my thoughts. Rappers are trash, and I don't allow their music in my household. I'm surprised that Will Shortz would air the puzzle this way, certainly there are other channels, such as the BET Network on cable TV. I'm going to listen to the show on Sunday morning to see how this is handled over the air. Maybe Audie Cornish will thing it's cute, but I find it insulting and not appropriate for airing on NPR radio. By the way, in my field of Electrical Engineering, MF means microfarad, a unit of capacitance. But if I heard that abbreviation used on NPR now, it would have a totally different meaning.

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  70. SDB -> Have you ever served in the US Military or visited a US Embassy overseas? Concerning gender-bender, just take a look at Cher's daughter now.

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  71. Here's just one example why this is so offensive:

    http://www.yomamajokesgalore.com/dirty.html

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  72. Blaine:
    Yes! He gets to our children by stringing them along!

    Tom W.:
    Yes, I served overseas for three years in the army and I am not at all proud of it, but I am writing a book about my experiences.

    I never had occasion to visit an embassy during any of the times I lived in Europe (Heaven!), but after my three years in the army I was recruited by the CIA, and they really wanted me badly too, but I turned them down. No regrets there.

    Why are you asking though?

    As to looking at Cher's daughter. Is she bothering you, or causing any harm? But on the other hand what about her thankfully dead father? Just take a look at that creep.

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  73. SDB -> Europe has nothing over the USA. I lived and worked in Europe for over six years. Yes, it's attractive but every foreign visitor to the USA that I've met is always amazed with the abundance of food, availability of healthcare, and the huge homes we live in compared to their homelands. Gasoline has always been much more expensive in Europe, and grocery stores in Germany shutdown at 2 PM every Saturday and don't reopen until Monday morning. The food shelves were always empty by Noon every Saturday. You will never see this happen in the USA, unless the Weather Channel predicts a severe storm that affects transportation in that area. So we should all be thankful to be Americans. As far as Cher's daughter, she is still biologically a women. Her appearance has changed due to surgery and hormones. Too bad because she was once an attractive young woman before this happened. Are you part of the Occupy Wall Street movement?

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  74. Tom W.:
    Your European experiences sound so sad. Mine, on the other hand, were wonderful. I meet European visitors on an almost daily basis and when they figure out that I am not going to condemn them for their honest opinions on this country they open up and tell me what they really think, and it is not anything like what you have posted. I am not at all thankful to be living in this crummy country. My eyes were opened a very long time ago to the truth. As for Cher's daughter, I think she has a name, you still are not saying what in the world your problem is with him.??? Did Jesus tell you to hate him? Occupy Wall Street is the hope of our future. You did not ask yet, but I DO NOT SUPPORT OUR TROOPS! True democracy scares you, doesn't it?

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  75. Hey guys, you both have some valid points that should probably be posted on another site. I would enjoy sharing opinions with each of you in private. With a little detective work, you can figure out how to contact me if you are interested.

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  76. Lorenzo:
    I tried but I do not understand Outlook.

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  77. Lorenzo:
    Speaking of free speech and what is and is not appropriate, have you seen/read Dinner With The Ambassador, by Arthur Miller, an article? I think you will find it well worth the read and it can be found online with some work.

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  78. O_o …Wow, it just got real. What happened to this blog? *weeps*

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  79. Dry those tears, PC, Toto will be here in a minute and everything will be just fine.

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  80. SDB -> From your last comments, you sound like a very troubled person. I certainly hope you aren't serious, but if you are so dissatisfied, you should pack your bags and move overseas because you don't sound like a proud American. It's no wonder you only served a few years in the Army with that attitude and/or lifestyle. And forget about working in the IC, because you would never pass the screening tests, I assure you. Lorenzo -> Yes, I agree, and I will try to contact you.

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  81. Tom W.:
    I find nothing so pathetic as a person who says/implies: My country; love it or leave it. You come across as a mindless, military lifer. Oh, and by the way, I DID pass the screening tests, I assure you.

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  82. SDB -> I doubt that, and you certainly wouldn't pass now with your current attitude. You should be a thankful American, and if you don't agree, then watch the evening news tonight to see how the rest of the world spent Thanksgiving Day.

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  83. Doubt all you want, Doubting Thomas, but the truth is still the truth.
    Why are you telling me I should do as you believe? I am not telling you what to believe.
    Why do you refuse to answer any of my previous questions to you, such as what do you have against Cher's child? What is so offensive to you about the term, Gender Bender? Are you a repressed homosexual, or in some other way sexually conflicted? Why did you post: "It's no wonder you only served a few years in the Army..."? Do you really think I am stupid enough to waste my life that way? What do you have against Occupy Wall Street? You raise all these issues and then you have nothing to say. I could have a more meaningful conversation with my vacuum cleaner, however, I will admit that you are more vacuous.

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  84. Wow! woke up to a kitty fight!

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  85. I never knew that Yo-Yo Ma, the acclaimed classical cellist, also had a rap connection. So, tying these things together in my clue about "wrapping my gifts in cellophane" was totally accidental. I was only going for the cellophane hint.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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  86. Wow! I thought Tom W. was just trying to be funny and so I played along. I guess things got a little too heated and personal. This is not a political discussion forum, and I would appreciate it if people wouldn't make directed comments going forward.

    I really don't have much control except to either delete comments or to lock commenting in a thread, but I'd rather not have to do any of that. Everyone, please remember the day. Be thankful and appreciative.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  87. Happy thanksgiving to you and your family Blaine.

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  88. So, I found the source of my (misquoted) quote. It was indeed Vonnegut, from "Cat's Cradle":

    While Miss Faust and I waited for an elevator to take us to the first floor, Miss Faust said she hoped the elevator that came would not be number five. Before I could ask her why this was a reasonable wish, number five arrived.
    Its operator was a small ancient Negro whose name was Lyman Enders Knowles. Knowles was insane, I'm almost sure--offensively so, in that he grabbed his own behind and cried, "Yes, yes!" whenever he felt that he'd made a point.
    "Hello, fellow anthropoids and lily pads and paddlewheels," he said to Miss Faust and me. "Yes, yes!"
    "First floor, please," said Miss Faust coldly. All Knowles had to do to close the door and get us to the first floor was to press a button, but he wasn't going to do that yet. He wasn't going to do it, maybe, for years.
    "Man told me," he said, "that these here elevators was Mayan architecture. I never knew that till today. And I says to him, 'What's that make me--mayonnaise?' Yes, yes! And while he was thinking that over, I hit him with a question that straightened him up and made him think twice as hard! Yes, yes!"
    "Could we please go down, Mr. Knowles?" begged Miss Faust.
    "I said to him," said Knowles, "'This here's a _re_-search laboratory. _Re_-search means _look again_, don't it? Means they're looking for something they found once and it got away somehow, and now they got to _re_-search for it? How come they got to build a building like this, with mayonnaise elevators and all, and fill it with all these crazy people? What is it they're trying to find again? Who lost what?' Yes, yes!"
    "That's very interesting," sighed Miss Faust. "Now, could we go down?""Only way we _can_ go is down," barked Knowles. "This here's the top. You ask me to go up and wouldn't be a thing I could do for you. Yes, yes!"
    "So let's go down," said Miss Faust.

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  89. Jan:
    Vonnegut must have had more fun writing those lines than a kid in a candy store with a ten spot and no supervision.

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  90. New puzzle's up. For what it's worth, I think this one's a turn-off.

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  91. The new puzzle is up and I am delighted to not have to wait until after nine this week.

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  92. Actually, I take back my hint. I switched the order of the 1-syllable and 2-syllable words. Still working on it...

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  93. I suspect this will be another week with few who get the correct answer.

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  94. Jan I think you could have a Shortz moment in your sleep!

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  95. If you are having trouble solving this one, then think of soup or comity.

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  96. There are multiple answers which satisfy the "common" requirement. I think four.

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  97. I suspected there might be more than just one that works. I wonder if I got the intended one. Anyway mine works perfectly.

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  98. Bryan, I'm up to five that qualify.

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  99. Are you guys using a computer program or just your gray matter?

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  100. SDB, sort of a little of each. Not a computer program, but some lists based on a reasonable assumption about the original 4th letter.

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  101. I'm not into programing, so I just tried to approach it logically, but I don't really know how the answer came to me, but I like it. The letters I began working with turned out to not be the ones in my answer, oddly enough.

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  102. Too busy today. Will have to look at this after dinner, once I remove some things from my honey-do list.

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