Thursday, May 10, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 6, 2012): Bronte Sisters Turn a Phrase

Haworth by Man Alive!NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 6, 2012): Bronte Sisters Turn a Phrase:
Q: Using only the six letters of the name "Bronte," repeating them as often as necessary, spell a familiar six-word phrase. What is it?
The Bronte Sisters grew up in a small village called Haworth. The question is whether this is relevant to the puzzle.

Edit: A small village is a hamlet and the famous soliloquy continues with "...that is the question".
A: To be, or not to be

101 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. Reminds me of a Shinto saying.

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    Replies
    1. "That that is is that that is not is not that is it is it not it is" is not a Shinto saying(although Victor Borge could have had a field day with it).
      "To admit a fault is the beginning of righteousness".....is.

      I lied.

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  3. It would be a bigger challenge to us the real spelling of the sister, Brontë

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  4. I doubt that there is a satisfactory clue for this challenge. But then, what do I know? I'm just a small-town boy myself.

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    1. Believe it or not I was born within a few miles of Haworth. The village and surrounding moorland areas were to be popular haunts for hiking and exploration when I was in my teens and early years beyond. This area of northern England, nestling in the Pennine range of hills and bordering the counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire, is strikingly beautiful with a know human history dating back to the late stone age unearthed monuments and artifacts prove this beyond question. If there are a few clue words in this posting they are likely intentional.

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  5. OK, so this week's puzzle is too easy, for a change, but wasn't last week's winner, Jeanne Grace of Fairport, NY, one of the sharpest on-air players in a long time? I mean, does she know her obscure island names, or what?

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    1. I joined the broadcast as she was coming up with Rarotunga for "R" and Iceland for "I". What did she have for "O", "N" and "B"?

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    2. I'm just glad it was not I ... or is it me?

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  6. I think Sinatra said this phrase.

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    Replies
    1. René Descartes first came up with perhaps the best complement to the phrase.

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  7. Will definitely has a familiar phrase here

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

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

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    Replies
    1. Oops, I clicked delete on the wrong comment. Jim said this, "Forget this puzzle. I just went to brunch and had the best ham omelet!"

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  10. Only 400 or so of us got "poor toe prints" last week. That's the smallest number I remember in a while.

    Celebrity clue: Victor Borge

    Chuck

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  11. This is what I wrote at the end of last week's blog just after the puzzle was posted:

    "skydiveboy May 6, 2012 03:22 AM
    It just came up now.


    skydiveboy May 6, 2012 03:30 AM
    This one is questionable to say the least."

    END

    Now, since it might be a difficult puzzle I will have my breakfast and then have a more leisurely, enjoyable time with solving it.

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  12. Using the letters in the word DUMB as many times as necessary, describe both this puzzle and how you felt if it took more than five seconds to get the right answer. Which is not Port-au-Prince

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

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  14. This puzzle is pretty easy, but here is a more interesting answer:

    Tonto no bet on torn tent!

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    Replies
    1. It's a carryover from last week, "Rotten toe note bore no robber"

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    2. No bonnet nor beret on Boone!

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  15. This reminds me of a sign I once saw on the door entering a medical clinic that said tuberculosis testing was done on Wednesdays only.

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  16. Will the pitcher during the Red Sox Memorial Day game be short wearing a cocked hat, or tall wearing a normal cap?

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  17. Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" comes to mind. Or is it "Jaberwocky"?

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  18. Now that was very strange indeed. When I typed my "I am not a robot" verification words(?) the first letters were a dead giveaway for today's answer. How do you do that, Blaine?

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    Replies
    1. That's a good question. I have had somewhat similar experiences in the past and almost posted about it.

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    2. Almost?...You DID post about it sdb, I remember...something to do with "nasal"...check the (recent) archives.

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    3. You are right; I did post about it. I forgot; probably due to malnase. Which reminds me. Wasn't yesterday the day we all celebrate Mexico inventing mayonnaise?

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  19. I thought of using an alias today because I wasn't sure if Blaine would delete any posts from Tommy Boy or not.

    Thanks SDB.

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  20. My friend Rick just told me he needs to declare bankruptcy. I rather insensitively responded "Alas, you're poor, Rick."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ben Franklin might just have something to say about that. Check your almanac.

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    2. I felt bad for Rick, so we shared a pitcher at the local tavern - my treat. After a couple cups, I had my fill. With only a sip's worth of beer left in the pitcher, I nodded to him and said "Alas, your pour, Rick."

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  21. I wonder who actually wrote this puzzle. Did Will give any indication? I forgot to pay attention when I listened.

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    Replies
    1. Gary Witkin of Newark, Del.

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    2. jan, some scholars might disagree.

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    3. Some Brits might have some fun doing an anagram of Newark, but I sure wouldn't do that. Would I?

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  22. Can citizens of this happy country listen to NPR?

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    1. If by Happy Country you mean England then, as virtually eveywhere else, it is possible to listen to NPR via podcasts and direct internet streams but when I am there as opposed to at my home in the USA I normally just pick up the puzzle from the Weekend Edition Website.

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

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  24. Well, I've submitted my entry, and the literary reference, AND ALSO the parody reference!

    Who out there can name not only the original author of this week's answer, but another famous author who in one of his great works, uses the same winning phrase as the start of a parody?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I had a certain German emigrant in mind, but I'm afraid naming that name would make it too obvious by now....

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  25. Blaine:

    Hard to understand why my "indirect clue" was deleted???

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    1. It's a losing battle... everyone here has given so many "indirect" hints to the author it's sort of meaningless to continue deleting, but I just wish people wouldn't be so obvious.

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    2. And what about deleting my comment? If anything, it pointed away from the author.

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  26. A couple of possible 6-word alternative answers to this week's challenge (playing off the intended correct solution):

    What some evangelicals might ponder

    What people often consider if their computer freezes

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    Replies
    1. Or what kind of steak to buy?

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    2. The alternative answers I came up with--in case you didn't already figure them out--were

      To be reborn or not reborn

      To reboot or not to reboot

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  27. Okay, I read every clue and still have no clue.

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  28. Blaine, it seems to me like every week (or at least those when I can't get the puzzle quickly), the battle has been lost here to suppress the obvious comments. I recall you changed your standard reminder once, but it seems to be hard to calibrate everyone on what indirect clues mean.

    In the exchange below from 2 weeks ago, Enya gave me the answer immediately by drastically narrowing the list of names to consider, not to mention saying it was a singer. (Bad example?)
    "Enya_and_Weird_Al_fan Apr 21, 2012 11:32 PM

    Blaine asks: "Am I the only one that thinks there should be a couple more letters at the end of the man's name or can we agree that it's more of a nickname?"

    I happen to know of a well known singer whose first name is just that -- only 4 letters long. It's true that there are some guys with that name, but where they've doubled that last letter, but that's not the case with the singer."

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  29. Roberto better enter on tenor note. Roberto better not boot tenor note! Or Roberto be one rotten tenor.

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    Replies
    1. This should not go unacknowledged.

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  30. Long ago I had a "supervisor" named Walter Snyder. He was no writer.

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  31. I once lived in a city where there was a high concentration of prostitutes to johns. It was there where I worked for a company that did product testing for some well known companies. On one occasion, I had a difficult time deciding whether I really preferred the fifth toothpaste that I had tested. Being the old man that I am, I cashed out my IRA and moved away. I now spend most of my time with my fishing rod and a six pack of strange brew and nary a care in the world.

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  32. This one was a piece of cake.

    What something more challenging? Check out Click and Clack's Challenge this week at cartalk.com.

    They put together their show on Wednesdays, I believe, so you can post after Thursday to avoid giving away the answer.

    New to this blog, but not to the Puzzle (been entering since 1990, and was the on-air contestant on 07/05/92) and NPR, I remain,

    Libertarian Math Prof

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    1. That Cartalk puzzle has aired several times before. Probably with the same winner every time.

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    2. Several times indeed. I've always wondered if they air it again, do they give out a new prize? It does seem they just use the same name as the original broadcast.

      As for the puzzle, it reminds me of the riddle that ends with the surgeon saying "I can't operate on this boy; he's my son!"

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    3. I know someone who has won (at least) twice for the same cartalk puzzle. Hence, the next time I see her I should be able to resolve the issue of whether it is or is not the case that you get an additional prize for a rerun.

      Delete
  33. Still clueless, I think I have the author but none of the quotes fit. I made a list of interesting words and could make up my own quote but I hardly think it would be considered well-known. And I love Victor Borge and helped to house sit for him once in Virgin Islands tho I never met him. I am just plain stumped.

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    Replies
    1. I hope Victor helped :)

      Chuck

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    2. Yes, Victor and my love of all kinds of breakfast treats.

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  34. Wait a minute. I just got it so I will stop brandishing all weapons.

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  35. Wasn't the puzzle about "Foul tips" a few weeks ago?

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  36. Like usual, I probably won't get the call from NPR this week. Que sera sera.

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    Replies
    1. Now, see, I *KNOW* this is the week that Will is gonna call me, 'cause at 3:00pm on Thursday, I'll be on a plane between Newark and Chicago.

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    2. too bad just when you will be enroute from point A to point B

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    3. It could just as well be from point A to point C, couldn't it? Or to point D, or some other point?

      How can we find out?

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    4. In terms of seating:
      2B or not 2B, that is the question...

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    5. Let's just all hope that "Jan" and "Jan's luggage" arrive(d?) at the same location ... in a timely fashion.

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  37. TO BE OR NOT TO BE

    Sounds like someone who can't decide what size shoes to buy for his toddler. Anyway, my hints:

    "This one is questionable to say the least."

    Well that is the question Hamlet is wrestling with.

    "Now, since it might be a difficult puzzle I will have my breakfast and then Have A More Leisurely, Enjoyable Time with solving it."

    The caps inside the sentence spell Hamlet.

    "This reminds me of a sign I once saw on the door entering a medical clinic that said tuberculosis testing was done on Wednesdays only."

    TB or not TB; that is the question.

    "I wonder who actually wrote this puzzle. Did Will give any indication? I forgot to pay attention when I listened."

    Hinting at the controversy concerning the true author of the plays attributed to Shakespeare. I have been following this subject for 41 years now.

    googlyeyes1 Sun May 06, 01:42:00 PM PDT
    Can citizens of this happy country listen to NPR?

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    RepliesskydiveboySun May 06, 06:32:00 PM PDT
    "A few can."

    "You happy few." Not from Hamlet, but a hint towards the author.

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    Replies
    1. I thought the breakfast reference was to a ham omelet, possibly with a side of bacon.

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    2. Good one! But, to be Frank, it seems to have shifted to still another author now, as I am sure you already are aware.

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  38. Last Sunday I said, “Celebrity clue: Victor Borge.”

    Victor Borge, now deceased, a Danish American comic and musician was sometimes referred to as The Clown Prince of Denmark. Hamlet was, of course, the Prince of Denmark who spoke the famous words, “To be, or not to be.”

    Chuck

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  39. Is that trip from A to B, or not to B? That is the question!

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  40. I posted on Sun May 06 at 02:54:00 PM PDT:

    Well, I've submitted my entry, and the literary reference, AND ALSO the parody reference!

    Who out there can name not only the original author of this week's answer, but another famous author who in one of his great works, uses the same winning phrase as the start of a parody?

    The original author, of course, was Shakespeare, but the other famous author was Mark Twain, who, in "Huckleberry Finn", has one of his characters, "Duke", recollecting Hamlet's soliloquy to "The King". This is shortly into Chapter 21. Duke starts out with the same six-word phrase, but his recital quickly turns into a hodge-podge of Shakespearian quotes:
    "To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin
    That makes calamity of so long life;
    For who would fardels bear, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane,..." and it goes on for a whole page.

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  41. My original clue was W.S. which Blaine deleted, I suppose as being "too obvious." I then posted Walter Snyder (initials W.S.), which passed scrutiny.

    P.S. Anyone out there have been directly alerted to answer based on "W.S.?"

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    Replies
    1. Don't forget Sir Walter Scott.

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    2. prostitutes to johns. (whore ratio - Horatio)

      I had a difficult time deciding whether I really preferred the fifth toothpaste that I had tested. (tube “e” or not tube “e”)

      old man that I am, I cashed out my IRA (Gary Oldman & Tim Roth (IRA) starred in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)

      fishing rod (Shakespeare brand)

      strange brew(Bob & Doug movie “based” on Hamlet)

      All very ham-fisted, but that is the way I roll.

      Delete
  42. The post of mine that got deleted began with "WS did come up with a familiar saying" (or so). I soon realized I'd inadvertently placed a clue, although I really meant just Will Shortz.

    As for the "parody," once Mel Brooks was mentioned, I thought it better not to mention Ernst Lubitsch by name anymore (whose original To Be or Not to Be was remade by Mel Brooks).

    For all of Blaine's concerns about obvious clues, I found it amazing he re-admitted the "ham omelet" clue, which I thought was more obvious than the mention of WS.

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    1. Actually, it led me on a wild goose chasing Bacon but then I never do think straight when it comes to my love of eating

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  43. Roger Bacon? Wasn't he the author of Hamlet?

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  44. Hey, Tommy Boy!

    Why no mid-week puzzle this week? I think this is the latest you've been since you started doing it.

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  45. My clues were obviously spoonerisms of "Alas, poor Yorick"...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXixlEy5Gfc

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  46. Puzzle is little late, but now up. Not worth much effort. At least Will didn't blame this one on a listener!

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  47. I have to say this this is about the lowest Will has sank to so far. He should be ashamed. This one is making me ill. Why can't he do better than these stupid puzzles he has come up with lately? This one is just too dumb for a hint.

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  48. The people in the diving profession will be offended by this puzzle.

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    1. You noticed that too. Perhaps that is why I used the term: sank.

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    2. Best to just laugh about this.

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    4. Do you mean instead of the aspirin?

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  49. Demented musical clue: Jonathon Brandmeier

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