Thursday, May 03, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 29, 2012): Capital Punishment

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 29, 2012): Capital Punishment:
Q: Name the capital of a country that, when said out loud, sounds like a three-word phrase. This phrase might describe the reason why the police did not catch a barefoot thief. What is the capital, and what is the reason?
We seem to have a pretty characteristic Will Shortz puzzle involving countries, phrases and sounds.

My clue was "characteristic" which contains the letters of the country name in order (cHarActerIsTIc). I'm not going to get into a debate on the French vs. anglicized pronunciation of the capital city. Will must have heard it pronounced "port-oh-prints" just like I have. Get it? The police weren't able to identify the barefoot thief because all they had were "poor toe prints."
A: Port-au-prince & "Poor toe prints"

62 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 bet Bugs Bunny could solve this. Or anyone who is not rich.

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  3. I have a silly, little, grammatical nit to pick: Is it the name of the country -- or the name of its capital -- that is supposed to sound like this three-word phrase?

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  4. Is this an old puzzle Will dusted off for reuse?

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  5. Stupid pun. It's not even pronounced that way. I didn't just dislike it...

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    Replies
    1. Hey Will! Name a fruit that describes a girl with strict parents? How about describing a Honeymoon Salad? (Canteloupe; lettuce alone)

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  6. Rearrange the letters of the three-word phrase to describe something that happens at the Meadowlands.

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    1. Hot! You can also rearrange the capital to name either two fruits or two animals.

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  7. I had to admit I did laugh out loud when I solved this one, but as it turns out the police have indeed been able to catch other criminals in similar circumstances.

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    1. I groaned rather than laughed. I wonder where Mr. Shortz learned pronunciation?

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  8. Thanks a lot, guys. As often, I had not gotten the answer to this after a cursory look at a list of world capitals, but the above comments gave me the solution immediately. And when I did get it, I was badly shaken!

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  9. I did not get it after looking at the above comments. Will brood on any possible solutions and return on Thursday for the answer.

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  10. I certainly hope someone will be around to go to Bucharest.

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    Replies
    1. Way to go! like yours better than puzzle

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    2. Right on, RoRo! At least that would be a reason to be barefooted, and a good one!

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  11. Following is what I posted last night on last week's blog:

    skydiveboy Apr 28, 2012 10:16 PM
    Just came home from a celebration of life party and found the new puzzle up, as I expected, and the answer came to me after about a minute, but I should confess that I did use foreign illnesses to discover the answer.

    And for today:

    I just hope bloggers will show discretion when tempted to post musical clues. This puzzle is easy enough already.

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    Replies
    1. Nice clue, skydiveboy. God bless.

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  12. I've selected my answer though I haven’t submitted it yet. I’m convinced it’s the best answer. I’m not convinced it’s a good answer.

    Chuck

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  13. speaking of bare feet I don't suppose there is a Sandals Resort in this country

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    Replies
    1. No but there should and could be, given its location.

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  14. I am not getting it from the clues ;-( Unless the thief might be a vegetarian? Is this a possibility?

    Help!

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    Replies
    1. I could delete my post or instaed as Roseanne Roseannadanna would simply say "never mind."

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  15. I think I'm with Jan. This week's puzzle left my enthusiasm a little shaky.

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  16. I could really go for some fried seafood right about now, and I don't want to wait very long.

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  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  18. Oh lawdy this puzzle is a pile of merde.

    I spent the last three days with it on the back burner, unable to solve it, even scanning a list of foreign capitals.

    Once I realized what Shortz wanted --

    I have visited the capital in question and it is IN NO WAY pronounced even remotely like the clue would suggest.

    His PronunciAtioN is just sO LAME. Just a stinker of a puzzle.

    Someone needs to get out more.

    -- Other Ben

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    Replies
    1. So I emailed him six puzzles I made up last night as I was unable to get back to sleep. Maybe he will even use one and then we will see if you like my pronunciation any better.

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  19. Will's puzzle pizazz is getting worse and worse. What's happened to you Will?

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  20. I may have figured it out just now, but that would have been thanks to some recent clues, not WS's. If my answer is correct, then I don't understand the "barefooted" clue. I have neighbors who are from that city (and I can't blame them for rather being here), but I won't be so gauche as to tell them about this puzzle.

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  21. Extra, extra. Read all about it! A new puzzle is ready for all.

    Get your new puzzle right here, folks.

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  22. I am new to this blog but have been submitting entries to Will's puzzles for 18 years. I have to say that this is one of the worst I've encountered. I do also however have a solution which may run counter to the the Blogged Hint,s and it does losely involve bare feet. I'll publish that possible answer tomorrow after the close unless someone else beats me to it. My gut reaction, even though I don't like the puzzle is to go with the flow of the blogged hint's.

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  23. Enfin! I got the "barefoot" clue. I'm sticking with the answer I had. I hope the thief was wearing gloves, in case he dropped his loot running.

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  24. I wasn't planning to post again until tomorrow however as Blaine's blog appears to be clue related I thought that I'd add my own; but also try not to give too much away. My thoughts on the barefoot issue is that there could be some connection to what you'd use to test the Water. As for the what I percieve to be the majority verdict I'd go with some form of Nobility Switch.

    FYI I met with Will on the eve of his investiture into the Doctrate of letters at Wabash College, Indiana

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  25. Timely news: The Washington Department of Corrections announced that Colton Harris-Moore, the "Barefoot Bandit", was transferred out of solitary confinement today.

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  26. Haiti - Port-au-Prince = poor toe prints

    My clues were:

    "Just came home from a celebration of life party and found the new puzzle up, as I expected, and the answer came to me after about a minute, but I should confess that I did use foreign illnesses to discover the answer."

    Foreign illnesses = foreign sicks = forensics

    "I just hope bloggers will show discretion when tempted to post musical clues. This puzzle is easy enough already."

    I was afraid people might post Prince musical clues.

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    Replies
    1. I thought you were referring to the cholera outbreak they recently had in Haiti that was supposed to come from Pakistan (I think)

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  27. When I got the answer, "I was badly shaken." Both a reference to the devastating earthquake which hit Port-au-Prince, and, sorry, my PC reaction that the earthquake made P-a-P a somewhat unfortunate subject for a lame pun.

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  28. My hint was that "His PronunciAtioN is just sO LAME."

    This was implying HisPANOLA, the island mass shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

    And, for the record, the island is a Kreyol and French speaking nation. The name of the town is pronounced similar to "po-to-PRAHNCE" and rhymes with LANCE, not with SINCE, and has no R sound in it. Which is why this puzzle is a stinker.

    Hey, Shortz, name a U.S. State that sounds like a problem in your kitchen? VERMONT!

    -- Other Ben

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  29. Replies
    1. And what's the reason the police didn't catch the barefoot thief?

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Jan:

      Cats (Cat man)go barefoot, known to make little noise, thereby evading police.

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  30. I didn't just dislike it...
    I Haitied it!

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  31. "I could really go for some fried seafood right about now, and I don't want to wait very long."

    This was a hint to Long John Silver's, the fast food seafood restaurant. Long John Silver was the cook on the ship Hispaniola in Robert Louis Stevenson's book, Treasure Island.

    Haiti is one of the two countries located on the island of Hispaniola.

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  32. Last Sunday I said, “I've selected my answer... I’m convinced it’s the best answer. I’m not convinced it’s a good answer.” Poor toe prints... I stick with my original assessment. I just didn’t like it :(

    Chuck

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  33. My clue of Nobility Switch was a vauge reference to the Pauper Prince (Port au Prince). My alternative, but hardly plausable solution, was Tokyo (Toe-Ka-O)(Toe Knock-out) perhaps sugesting that the barefoot villian had escaped after kicking a potential arrestor senseless.

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  34. I figured it out thanks to the French (see also the gauche and enfin I threw in) sprinkled in some comments (e.g., "pile of merde"--as in "pardon my French"?) in combination with the criticism voiced by some that "it's not pronounced that way."

    So once I gave the pronunciation some latitude, I thought of "poor to prince" at first, as in a thief getting rich quick after a successful heist. From there it didn't take long to arrive at the "poor toe prints."

    My post saying "I hope the thief was wearing gloves, in case he dropped his loot running" was a hint that the gloves would prevent leaving fingerprints.

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  35. I did not solve the puzzle this week. I was stuck in another part of the world, trying to get something going with Mogadishu....something something something "shoe".
    As you can see, it didn't go anywhere.
    Felicitations a tout le monde qui solved the puzzle.

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  36. Was anybody else led to Svarlbard? with the administrative center of Longyearbyen? Leo's Bugs Bunny clue led me to that and I tried to make Lonngyearbyen into "long eared bunny" - Hence my inquiry into whether the thief might be a vegetarian. I also thought Benmar's question about the country being a place for hiking was a clue. Svarlbard is known for being a top location for hiking.

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    Replies
    1. Huh??? You may be thinking too much, Jim.

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  37. Perhaps I was too harsh in my earlier remark. The consonant and vowel sounds were all OK. The only misdeed was that the accent was on the wrong syl-LA-ble. Perhaps I should extend more poetic (puzzlabic?) license...

    Chuck

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  38. It's now almost 2 1/2 hours after 9:00pm on Saturday night PDT, but neither http://www.npr.org/series/4473090/sunday-puzzle, nor http://www.npr.org/sections/games-humor/ are showing any new links to the next puzzle.

    Will is late this week. Does anybody know what time this day last week the link to this past week's puzzle was posted?

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    Replies
    1. Still not up as of nearly 1:30am ET.

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    2. This one is questionable to say the least.

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    3. Great hint, SDB! You've got more in that brief sentence than you could shake a stick at.

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    4. Zit, xieu mt e hsph imox.....jr ulfwf xssvfmmok umnit.
      (Trust me, I didn't mean to say "zit")

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