Thursday, July 26, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 22, 2012): Sports Section

Sports ballsNPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 22, 2012): Sports Section:
Q: Name a sport in two words — nine letters in the first word, six letters in the last — in which all six vowels (A, E, I, O, U, and Y) are used once each. What is it?
Grr!!! I spent a good amount of time trying to find a 9-5 answer before finding out that there was a mistake in the posted puzzle... I bet a few of you were similarly confused. I was working on "organized rugby" as a potential answer until I saw the correction.

Edit: The hints were "Grr" which are the starting consonants of the answer, "9-5" as in odds of 9 to 5, "posted" as in race results being posted and "bet" as what you might do at one of these races.
A: GREYHOUND RACING

94 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 came up with "cryogenic scuba" before hearing the puzzle on the air. It is practiced on Saturn's moon, Titan, I am sure.

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    1. Mine was "firemouth yanks"; now that would have to be an underwater sport, I guess.

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  3. This has to be one of Will's worst. Where does he get these nothing challenges? To top it off, I'm not even sure this is a sport.

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  4. This one was more like a carom shot, just kissing off the eight ball. (This clue may mislead some of you.)

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    1. "Mislead" how? Let's not pursue any black-and-white ideas here; everyone knows "pool billiard" is nowhere near 9 and 6….

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    2. Mislead you into focusing on the wrong area of sports.

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  5. I listened on air and heard the 9-6 puzzle. I then went, as I usually do and checked out the blogs. Seeing no post earlier this morning, I went back to the blogs of last week and saw there was some confusion about the 9-5 versus 9-6. By the time I went back to the NPR site,it had it listed as 9-6 on the Sunday Puzzle section. So I don't know where the confusion is or was.
    I will doggedly pursue the solution as I always do, by checking every list and source for the answer.

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    1. The confusion was because (although Will said 9/6 on the air) NPR initially posted the letter count of the second word as 5. Don't know whether they caught the error themselves or whether they were alerted to it by my e-mail asking for clarity, but in any event they've corrected it to 6.

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  6. Rough one.....then I finally busted through.

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  7. Last night I posted:

    "skydiveboy Sat Jul 21, 10:39:00 PM PDT
    Name a sport in two words — nine letters in the first word, five letters in the last — in which all six vowels (A, E, I, O, U, and Y) are used once each. What is it?

    The new puzzle came up at 9:03 PM and it is really a stupid one again. I found a perfect answer after 39 minutes that has 9 6 instead of 9 5 letters in the two word answer. So, what is wrong with mine? Why not intelligent puzzles instead of mindless list searching torture? I think NPR should demand more of Will Shortz."

    Well I just listened and guess what? A lackey breakdown! It is supposed to be 9 & 6. I was hoping it would be an error. Whoever did this should be banished or forced to attend the Republican Convention!

    Realy lame puzzle!!!

    Hint: John Updike.

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  8. Harry Potter would have no trouble solving this puzzle.

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  9. With the 9-5 clue I found myself going around in circles, the answer just out of reach. Then with the 9-6 correction I came to the answer quite rapidly.

    Chuck

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  10. I meant to get back on my computer to join the discussion right away, but the bus was slow. I'm still panting after rushing back inside through the blistering heat….

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  11. Sport - really ?? I guess we know where Will is going.
    Unicycle hockey - now that's a sport !

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  12. I briefly tried figuring out the 9-5 answer last night but didn't get it. Good think that I listened this morning because there would be a very slim chance, if any, of finding an answer that met the 9-5 requirement.

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  13. Usually not as annoyed as some of you get at the quality of the puzzle, but this one bothered me because this isn't really a sport, now is it?

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    1. MrScience raised the same not-really-a-sport concern. Living in Massachusetts, I would have to agree with both of you.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Well, off course Alice did the same thing, but in a different way, and they sure made sport of her.

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    4. Actually, Wikipedia _does_ refer to this activity a sport.

      Chuck

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    5. If Wikipedia said it, that settles it. Not so sure about what god is supposed to have said though.

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    6. I revere your clue-making ability.

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    7. @ Charles:
      Thanks! I did not think anyone would actually get that clue. Now I really am laughing out loud.
      This is a lousy puzzle, but sometimes we can make lemonade out of lemons here on Blaine's blog with our comments.

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  14. I generally never feel like insulting the poor folks who haven't yet solved the puzzle at this point, but right now I strongly feel like singing out to everyone still searching through long lists of various sports to simply go __________ and leave the puzzle-solving to us!

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

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    1. Now I know I have the right answer. But once again my hint was REMOTE. Hope Blaine isn't still taking it out on my hint from last week.

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  16. Not first class. No Olympic medal for this one.

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  17. Okay, I must be rusty - this puzzle took longer than normal to finish.

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

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Yeah Blaine. In fact that hint is as direct if not more direct than mine, which you deleted!

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. Sorry about that, I'm not very familiar with that particular topic so I missed the clue.

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    6. Since Blaine, along with DaveJ, did away with that initial post and his post I removed both of mine too. It was fun while it lasted though. :)

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  19. Replies
    1. Thanks for that one, Ice-9! Your clue unleashed old, vague memories of that particular scene in the video. Very low-budget but way more creative and fun than any music video I've seen lately. God I love Devo.

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  20. The MENSA exam wasn't this difficult.

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  21. Wow. I was just able to track this one down. This is obscure.

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  24. (No hints in the following.) After reading all the above comments, I am convinced that there are at least two valid answers to this challenge. Since I have become a follower of this blog, I have been made aware of how often there are alternatives, and how seldom Will mentions them.

    If not a hint, just a marker? I'm too tired, but I'd give a penny for your thoughts.

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  25. I think Bob Kerfuffle might be on to something. When AbqGuerrilla made his post, skydiveboy his reply, and Tom posted "Blaine!" I wondered what either of the posts could've had to do with the answer.

    benmar12001, if you really believe that your post (which I got see in time) was REMOTE, and that SDB's reply was more direct than YOURS, then we really have found different answers, and you actually have no idea what a dead giveaway your clue was!

    AbqGuerrilla and skydiveboy, the only reason that Blaine has not deleted either of your posts is that he, Blaine, must be just as stumped as to your answer as I am!

    One clue as to Blaine's and my answer: although the vowels are each used only once, Blaine's and my answer begin and end with the same consonant.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Really!!??

      After having looked up that certain disambiguation on Wikipedia, I'm now convinced that every answer found by anyone starts with the same first word, which explains why you've now deleted AbqGuerrilla's post.

      Anyway, if you go to Wikipedia's home page and type just the first six letters of that first word into its search box, a pull-down menu appears. At the top is 1st word followed by a 5 letter word which is not only a letter short but repeats a vowel, then the 1st word all by itself, and then, 3rd line down, you see the answer that I submitted!
      Three lines further down still, you see the answer that I submitted again, this time with the initial letters of both words capitalized, and then followed by "Association"! Anyone who tries this will see that my answer qualifies and that the first letter of the first word and the last letter of the second word are in fact the same consonant.
      I REALLY wonder what YOUR second word is!

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    3. Sorry, I misunderstood your clue about letters. Yes, we have the same answer.

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  26. *** SIGH *** Scratch my last post.

    I just looked up a certain disambiguation on Wikipedia.

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  27. Blaine,

    Your answer doesn't begin and end with the same letter?!

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    1. Oh sorry, I misunderstood that wording. I thought each word started and ended with the same letter. Yes, I do have that same answer.

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  28. Hopefully taking a stab at what I thought might be a likely 6 letter generic sport term, I found less than 50 possibilities for the the particularizing 9 letter term, and an obvious choice.

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  29. Is Abqguerrilla actually in Abq? I am. And does this "sport" require a helmet? And isn't life cruel?

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  30. For those that got to read the deleted abq post, a pitcher was indeed worth a thousand hints, if you know your poisons...

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  31. It took me a bit, but I finally got a handle on this one.

    Followup puzzle... name a one word piece of sports equipment in which all six vowels are used once each. Hint, if the athletes could use this piece of equipment in the sport above they would surely win.

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    Replies
    1. A handle is a bet at the dog track and an autobicycle would come in handy if a greyhound could ride one.

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  32. Musical clue: Simon and Garfunkel

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  33. GREYHOUND RACING

    My Hints:

    "John Updike" is a hint at his famous novel, RABBIT RUN. A fake rabbit is used to entice the dogs to race. Greyhounds are not known for critical thinking.

    "Well, off course Alice did the same thing, but in a different way, and they sure made sport of her."

    This hint is in answer to the question of greyhound racing being a sport. Alice followed/chased a rabbit through the looking glass. Then those she encountered made fun/sport of her. Also I hoped it would appear that I made a typo and instead of OFF it should be OF, but I did this on purpose as an afterthought. Alice was off course; racing greyhounds are on course. I imagine most read this as of course. :)

    "If Wikipedia said it, that settles it. Not so sure about what god is supposed to have said though."

    As Charles apparently noticed, I got a little dyslexic with DOG and it came out GOD. A gold star to Charles for noticing the hint. :)

    I also enjoyed AbqGuerrilla's double hint indicating greyhound cocktails and a Roy Clark hit song, "Thank God and Greyhound." I did not think it was all that obvious, but when some here pointed it out as being a giveaway it probably was wise to delete it which was unfortunate in my opinion.

    This was another really lousy puzzle, but it made for lively comments.

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    1. And isn't the greyhound track outside Boston called Wonderland?

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    2. I just now looked that up, and you are correct, but I knew nothing about it. There is Wonderland Trail that encircles Mt. Rainier National Park for 93 miles, but greyhounds are not indigenous to the park unless you count the bus line.

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    3. Wonderland was a greyhound racing track north of Boston until greyhound racing was banned in MA a few years ago. (See Wolfgang's post above.)

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  34. Ravings - or ramblings - of a madman?:

    My marker: I'm too tired, but I'd give a penny for your thoughts.

    My two possible answers were GREYHOUND RACING and CLAYCOURT TENNIS. I thought of the latter all by myself, but Wikipedia gives it some support.

    Hence, "Too tired" was a marker for Goodrich, stock symbol GR, a company I associate with tires, though apparently they are out of that business, with the same initials as Greyhound Racing.

    "A penny" = a cent, abbreviated Ct, for Claycourt Tennis.

    A day after I posted, it struck me that "too tired" might be taken as a substitute for "dog tired", which would be giving too much away (although I had used it without thinking of the connection.) So I wanted to post "Love is blind", meaning I had been so taken with my hint that I failed to consider other meanings. But before posting, it struck me that "Love" could be taken for the tennis term, another unintentional giveaway, so I crudely anagrammed the phrase into "Evil is blond", just because I was hung up on it.

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    1. I think more than a few thought of Claycourt Tennis, myself included. However, Wikipedia et al divide clay court into two words.

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  35. My hint was a reference to The Simpson's and their dog, Santa's Little Helper, a greyhound. As a side note, the very first episode of that show, 23 years ago, revolved around how the family obtained the dog.

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  36. Greyhound racing.

    Last Sunday I said, “With the 9-5 clue I found myself going around in circles, the answer just out of reach. Then with the 9-6 correction I came to the answer quite rapidly.”

    “Going around in circles, the answer just out of reach,” was intended to evoke a dog track with the hare staying just ahead of the pack. “Came to the answer quite rapidly,” was intended to evoke the greyhound, one of the world’s fastest critters.

    Chuck

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  37. > M8 vs C2? No contest!

    M8 Greyhound light armored car: 56 mph
    C-2 Greyhound cargo plane: 394 mph

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  38. Rough one referred to a barking dog "ruff".....busted through was reference to "bus" as in greyhound bus.

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  39. I posted on Sun Jul 22, at 12:34:00 PM PDT:

    I generally never feel like insulting the poor folks who haven't yet solved the puzzle at this point, but right now I strongly feel like singing out to everyone still searching through long lists of various sports to simply go __________ and leave the puzzle-solving to us!

    Greyhound's TV commercials way back in the '60's contained the jingle "Go Greyhound, and leave the driving to us".

    When benmar12001's post came up right after my post: "A good day for a long bus ride!", I was worried Blaine might delete both of our posts!

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  40. Bob Dylan aka Robert Zimmerman grew up in the little town of Hibbing, Minnesota. Greyhound Lines was founded in this little town.

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  41. My, Blaine deleted hint, was: it seems like a good day for a long bus ride.

    SDB: Did that hint lead to the answer in an unacceptable way???

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    1. I am a bit confused as to why you are asking me since your comment was removed/deleted before I could see it and I did not comment. However, I can see how Blaine might have thought it too revealing, but it is a close call in my opinion. I would also say that once one has solved a puzzle someone else's hint may appear more obvious.

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    2. SKB:

      Your opinion was requested since I would consider you you an expert!

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    3. Thank you for the compliment, but I should point out that I have had a couple of my hints in the past deleted too. I think Blaine is fair and considerate. I frequently think of what I believe to be clever/funny hints, but don't post because I am a bit unsure if they might give too much away. With a super lame puzzle like the one this week I tend to loosen up a bit probably out of disgust at the puzzle question. I prefer a puzzle that requires a bit of knowledge of the world, and by that I don't mean sports and Hollywood and TV. A puzzle like this that requires a mindless eye trip through long lists is nothing more than a bore to me. Fortunately, after obtaining the answer I am sometimes able to have fun with hints. This was the case this week.
      I hope both my posts to you are helpful.

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    4. SDB:

      My sentiments completely.

      Thank you!

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  42. "Hopefully taking" - to show what vowels were where.

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  43. The name of the mechanical 'rabbit' that the greyhounds chase is usually called 'Rusty'

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  44. Replies
    1. I thought FOR SURE (and commented thusly) that you were referring to Devo's song "Freedom of Choice," the video of which had Mark Mothersbaugh dressed up as a dog running in circles:

      In ancient Rome there was a poem
      About a dog who found two bones
      He picked at one, he licked the other
      He went in circles til he dropped dead

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  45. Given the ever-looming threat of spontaneous combustion, Fung Wah Racing would be much more exciting.

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    1. *WOULD* be? What do you suppose the Mass Pike is for?

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  46. My clues were:
    "Let's not pursue any black-and-white ideas": alluding to gray (or grey).
    "The bus was slow": does Greyhound come to mind…?
    "Still panting": like a dog, or a hound.
    "Living in Massachusetts, I would have to agree [it's not a sport]": dog racing was banned in MA, causing venues such as Wonderland Greyhound Park to close.

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  47. The new puzzle is up. I think I've figured it out. It's asking for a the name of a certain entertainer.

    Funny thing, I was thinking of a show on which this person used to be a regular - and it's not even on tonight!

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