Thursday, May 24, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 20, 2012): Present and Past Tense Verbs

Drawing a blankNPR Sunday Puzzle (May 20, 2012): Present and Past Tense Verbs:
Q: Think of a common three-letter word and five-letter word that together consist of eight different letters of the alphabet. Put the same pair of letters in front of each of these words, and you will have the present and past tense forms of the same verb. What words are these?
I appear to be drawing a blank...

Edit: My hints were "drawing" (with ink) and "blank" (as in zero/ought). In the comments I had other hints like "I'm not kidding" (i.n.k.), "last decade" (the oughts), "Oops, unfortunately good hints take..." (o.u.g.h.t.), "I now know" (i.n.k.), "I figured" (thought) and "just assume" (think).
A: INK & OUGHT --> THINK & THOUGHT

87 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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    1. Blaine:
      THANKS SO MUCH FOR DELEATING MY POST.
      I did not actually have the answer when I posted it. I believed I had it, but I was not quite understanding the puzzle. I have the answer now, but I will need to work on coming up with a hint. The funny thing is that my post did not clue me in either. I got the answer another way. Now I understand why you were upset. :)

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. I'm not kidding, please don't give direct hints. Haven't I been saying that for the last decade?

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    2. Well, with rounding, yeah.

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    3. No, I take it back; my bad.

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  4. I wonder what Will is trying to do to us.

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  5. My appologies to Blaine for being careless with my clue.

    It occurs to me, however, that all this week some folks might leave a post here, go away believing they've left a perfectly subtle clue, and come back later to find their post deleted, and be genuinely puzzled as to why -- not even having realized that they had slipped up and used one of the words in the answer!

    To all the folks to whom that happens, I offer this consolation: I understand that Will Shortz himself in one of these NPR Sunday Puzzles, challenged his audience to come up with some words which were so common that one of the answer words actually happened to be used in the framing of that very puzzle challenge itself! Yep, the very question turned out to contain one of the answer words!

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    1. So we're all vulnerable...good to know.

      Delete
  6. Musical clue: Jimmy Durante
    Cartoon clue: Tweety Bird

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  8. This was not as tough as it seemed at first.

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  9. Musical clue: Aretha Franklin

    Chuck

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  10. When the answer came into my brain, the accompanying noise was a possible third tense (common, but bad grammar)

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  11. I'm imagining Homer Simpson drooling over the appetizers at Luigi's...
    "Mmmmm......fried calamari."

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  12. Piedmont's Peter Persoff penned a pretty puzzle, I perceive.

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  13. Put a pair of identical letters in front of the three and five letter answer and get something that you want (new five letter word) in a particular situation (new seven letter word).

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    1. Nice one Dave. I like the fact the the seven-letter words don't rhyme.

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    2. So Dave, I am not getting your hint this week! I do have what I believe to be the intended answer - but I am not getting what you are alluding too.

      Did you get my John Waters hint last week?

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    3. Dave -

      It's also related to last week's puzzle :)

      Chuck

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    4. Yet another possible word combination similar to Dave’s idea: if you were standing on a <5-letter word> you might be glad you <7-letter word> your hang glider.

      Chuck

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  14. Who gives a hoot about these puzzles? By the way, wasn't Sean Penn part of an answer some time ago?

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  15. Never mind - I figured it out!

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  16. It took me longer to come up with a clue that (hopefully) won't cost me another Blaine demerit than it did to solve the puzzle.

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  17. I get accused of doing this all the time.

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  18. P.S. Blaine, your clues (nothing; blank) gave it away instantly.

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    1. Oops, unfortunately good hints take a lot of effort and I now know that I didn't succeed in that endeavor. I figured people would just assume I didn't have an answer.

      Delete
    2. Blaine:

      If you "didn't have an answer," why was my indirect clue deleted???

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    4. Blaine:
      Sorry again. I just saw the deletion and was scratching my head and then it dawned on me why you deleted it. So now I'm laughing at myself. I want to say more, but it would get deleted for the same reason. It will be nice to get past Thursday.

      Delete
  19. Figured this one out in about 2 minutes. Now I'm going to go eat some dots.

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  20. I better jot this one down since I won't have my computer on me this week.

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  22. This one is easy, if you try finding the two tenses of the verb first, rather than the original 3 and 5 letter words.

    Also, there are several singular/plural combinations that come close, but fail one or more of Will's criteria:

    1. you add 1 letter to the original 3/5 letter words
    2. the 3/5 letter "stems" are not words
    3. one of the stems is not 3 or 5 letters
    4. some letters are repeated in the "stems"
    tion
    This also reminds me of one Click and Clack had several years ago, in which they asked for a plural having no letters in common with the singular. The words were "cow" and "kine."

    Finally, does anyone know of a situation where you add THREE letters at the start to get present and past tenses of the same verb?

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    1. I meant "past/present" not "singular/plural" Sorry for the faux pas.

      Libertarian Math Prof (somehow my log in isn't working, but that's who I am)

      Delete
    2. Just in case this is what you had in mind, I'd like to point out that the past tense of "heat" is NOT "preheat"; it's "heated".

      Hmmm..., In the preview to this reply, it's saying "Anonymous said...". I assume the same thing happened to you, thus explaining your parenthetical note. In case this reply is credited to "Anonymous", this is "Enya_and_Weird_Al_fan" replying.

      Delete
  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  24. Perhaps a military theme here, with jets and tanks.

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  26. This writing should be removed by a blog administrator.

    -- Other Ben

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

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    1. Sorry, I thought that one was on the safe side of the foul line. Blaine's ref's whistle is getting a workout this week!

      Delete
  28. My week's all screwed up. I thought yesterday was Tuesday.

    Pool's open!

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  29. THINK & THOUGHT from INK & OUGHT

    My first post was deleted by Blaine, and properly so, for having one of the answer words. This is because I did not understand exactly what the puzzle required. I thought we were looking for verbs that were both present and past tenses, like SET. I went to bed thinking I would solve the puzzle on Sunday, but about an hour later I awoke with what I thought was a workable answer. I was wrong there too, but got up and posted with what I thought was a clever hint included. Next morning (Sunday) when I saw my post had been deleted I was really surprised, but then figured out that I did not really have a workable answer.
    When I finally understood and solved the puzzle I posted:

    "Blaine:
    THANKS SO MUCH FOR DELEATING MY POST.
    I did not actually have the answer when I posted it. I believed I had it, but I was not quite understanding the puzzle. I have the answer now, but I will need to work on coming up with a hint. The funny thing is that my post did not clue me in either. I got the answer another way. Now I understand why you were upset. :)"

    There is a lame clue in there with the word BELIEVED used in place of THOUGHT. Also, "coming up with a hint" indicates thinking.

    Later I again used one of the answer words, but this was due to carelessness. I never realized how much we use these two words. Enya_and_Weird_Al_fan was correct when he pointed this out to us.

    I didn't like this puzzle at first, but when I finally understood what was expected correctly I changed to liking it.

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  30. ink, ought, - think, and thought.

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  31. Last Sunday I said, “Musical clue: Aretha Franklin.” She had a big Top Ten hit in 1968 titled, “Think.”

    In response to Dave’s puzzle variation I said, “Dave – [ the answer you’re looking for ] ... is also related to last week's puzzle.” Last week’s answer was medicine. The two letters Dave was looking for were DR.

    And finally, in a similar vein as Dave’s variation I said, “Yet another possible word combination similar to Dave’s idea: if you were standing on a < 5-letter word > you might be glad you < 7-letter word > your hang glider.” That would be brink and brought.

    Chuck

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  32. Durante: Ink-a-dink-a-doo
    Tweety: I tawt I taw a puddy tat
    And my deleted post, in its entirety: "So, Decartes walks into a bar..."

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  33. Using an anagram of "ought", I posted that the puzzle was not too hard.

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  34. Eight removals this week! Is that a record?

    My removed clue was, "This week's puzzle brings to mind a small but capable locomotive."

    http://www.amazon.com/Little-Engine-Original-Classic-Edition/dp/0448405202

    ("I think I can", ... , etc., "I thought I could", ... etc.)

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    1. Isn't locomotive Spanish for crazy purpose?

      Anyway, having caught your train of thought, I enjoyed your hint prior to its deletion, which I agree with BTW. I think.

      Delete
  35. Sorry to everyone that got deleted. What with the constant (possibly inadvertant) use of "think" and "thought" (even Will was guilty of using "Think" in the actual question which Enya noted, but I didn't want to bring too much attention to beyond her comment) and what I consider nearly direct clues to think or thought (Rodin's sculpture = The Thinker, small capable locomotive = "I think I can...", Rene Descartes = "I think therefore I am"), I was kept busy.

    Anyway, I hope I didn't offend anyone and I still aim to keep it a fun place for people to post comments and their creative indirect hints.

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    1. Enya could be a "he" too... not sure. I like Enya and Weird Al too, so please don't accuse me of a gender bias.

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    2. I wasn't offended, because I suspected I was pushing a boundary with my clue. I'm just surprised the Tweety Bird clue got by. It seemed a little obvious to me.

      Delete
  36. Re: Blaine's tag of the "oughts" for the last decade: We never really did reach any kind of consensus on a name for 2000 - 2009, did we? I had agitated for either the "naughties" or the "uh-ohs", but neither caught on.

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    1. Interesting point, but it is actually 2001 - 2010. There is no year zero.

      Delete
  37. I, Enya_and_Weird_Al_fan posted on Sun May 20, at 04:14:00 AM PDT:
    "My apologies to Blaine for being careless with my clue.

    It occurs to me, however, that all this week some folks might leave a post here, go away believing they've left a perfectly subtle clue, and come back later to find their post deleted, and be genuinely puzzled as to why -- not even having realized that they had slipped up and used one of the words in the answer!

    To all the folks to whom that happens, I offer this consolation: I understand that Will Shortz himself in one of these NPR Sunday Puzzles, challenged his audience to come up with some words which were so common that one of the answer words actually happened to be used in the framing of that very puzzle challenge itself! Yep, the very question turned out to contain one of the answer words!"

    As Blaine has noted, yes, this post was indeed a clue. Will's puzzle question this week not only contains one of the answer words, it starts with it!

    I suppose you might perceive additional clues in my post as well. Look what great lengths I go through to avoid using the word "think"! "It occurs to me", "Some folks might ... go away believing ... and be ... puzzled as to why ..."; I've sorta made the word "think" conspicuous by its absence! In my first post that got deleted, I suppose I was trying to hide two of the answer words in plain sight.

    BTW, Blaine, I'm a MAN!! Yes, the actual Enya has many fans of both genders.

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  38. Is past tense when you have eleven tenths or more?

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  39. So, Dumpsterdivelad, hope I did not get you in trouble with my w-ink

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  40. Replies
    1. Right, my aunt and unk live in Illinois.

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    2. was that the aunt that eloped ?

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    3. Funny that you should ask because it makes me recall sending a puzzle to Will several years ago having something to do with antelope. It was not one of my better efforts and Will did not use it. And to further answer your question: No, but my own mother eloped with my father many years before I came on the scene, so for once it was not my fault.

      Delete
    4. Oh that must the one that can't elope...

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    5. Yeah, it was something like that.

      New puzzle is now up BTW.

      THINK THINK THOUGHT THOUGHT THINK THINK THOUGHT THOUGHT

      I think I now have that out of my system.

      Delete
  41. My clue "this writing should be removed by a blog administrator" was of course a reference to Blaine's having to blow the whistle fifty times this week.

    But the writing could be in INK, and it really OUGHT to go.

    -- Other Ben

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  42. My only actual hint this week was a reference to the Aretha (we need a last name?) hit Chuck mentioned.

    Any references to mental activity that don't start with "t"....don't count.

    Despite (possible) appearances, I was NOT clever enough to pick up on Blaine's "last decade => oughts" hint; I was (operating in literal mode) chiding him for his exaggeration.
    The blog archives only go back to 2005, which is only seven years (but, with rounding, a decade, OK), but Blaine only started issuing his "standard reminder" sometime in 2009......I think.
    And now Ben comes along with this "fifty times" nonsense, and I know without counting, that dumpsterdivelad is closer to the correct number......

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  44. The new puzzle is up and just when you think the puzzles can't get any worse along comes still an even more shameful example. Will should feel more than little sheepish. Perhaps it is time for him to pack it in and we get another puzzle master along with all the new hosts. It may be redundant for me to add that I solved this one in no time at all.

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  45. Yeah, pretty easy. But it's late here. I think I'll wait and submit my answer in the AM.

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  46. I didn't want to wait for Blaine to set up this week's blog, so I posted my clue near the end of last week's:

    Sat May 26, 07:47:00 PM PDT
    Yeah, pretty easy. But it's late here. I think I'll wait and submit my answer in the AM.

    Why AM? Initial letters of Alpaca and Merino!

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