Thursday, August 16, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 12, 2012): Two Bugs Puzzle

Two red bugs, Palestrina55@FlickrNPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 12, 2012): Two Bugs Puzzle:
Q: Name two insects. Read the names one after the other. Insert an H somewhere in this string of letters, and you'll complete a familiar word that is the opposite of what either of these insects is. What word is it?
Nixon in China?

Edit: If you check the Wikipedia page for Behemoth, there's mention of a reference to Behemoth in the musical, "Nixon in China".
A: BEE + MOTH + H --> BEHEMOTH

85 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. At the end of our previous puzzle I posted:

    The new puzzle just came up, a little later than usual tonight.

    Name two insects. Read the names one after the other. Insert an H somewhere in this string of letters, and you'll complete a familiar word that is the opposite of what either of these insects is. What word is it?

    My hint:

    If you read page 22 of CONDUCT UNBECOMING, by RANDY SHILTS, you may notice a major editing error that could lead you to the answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you referring to the hardcover edition? The page that starts, "And the Communists had as bad a record..."? I know the answer to the puzzle, but I have no idea what editing error you're talking about. Fine book, BTW.

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    2. I have the hardcover edition, but have found it applies to all editions when I have checked.

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    3. Ah, I think I've got it -- you're referring to a disease?

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    4. Jan, please let's discuss this further on Thursday.

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    5. OK, but this reminds me of my high school Bio teacher, who was a bit dyslexic and whose mispronunciations were notorious. My lab partner and I kept a glossary of these -- a short individual was a "drarf", the class of fish was "piscus", etc. My favorite was the condition in question here. He described the causative organism, the characteristic signs and symptoms, and then told us the name, stressing the wrong syllables, changing long vowels to short and vice versa, rendering it unrecognizable. When I asked, "Isn't that [insert name of condition here]?", he replied, "The two diseases are similar."

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    6. SDB

      Does this have anything to do with Charles I becoming solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short in January of 1649?

      Delete
    7. jan & Mr. Science:

      I prefer not to parse my hint until after the deadline when I will be most open to discussion of same. However, at the risk of annoying some, I will divulge my great pleasure in coming up with this hint on the spur of the moment.
      And to jan, I will also comment that your teacher might have been reminded that god and dog are also similar, but confusing the two might not sit well at seminary.
      And to MrScience, I assume you are referring to when Chuckie was the headliner for the day's entertainment and came up a bit short.

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    8. Good. You parse your hint and I'll parse mine.

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    9. I found the page on Amazon. Could not find any holes in the grammar, spelling, diseases.

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    10. Dang, SDB. It took me a long time to find that error, and I'm an editor. Apparently not a very good one, though.

      Delete
  3. Nc cieh bz nmzwubz h cyaxab. Mojw tek fxxvmyi mze vg qf wmfmvsmhp eybsmw.

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    Replies
    1. If you select and copy Paul's cryptic post above, then go to Sharky's Vigenere Cipher, paste his post into the "Input:" field, then enter that word asked for in the puzzle, that "opposite of what either of these insects is" into the "Key:" field, then click the "decode" button, you'll then see that the "Output:" field makes sense.

      Hmmm,.... One of those insects might be the cause of the problem Paul's having.

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    2. Or one, or the other, or both of those insects might be the solution to the problem Paul's having.

      You never know.

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    3. Klaatu barada nikto! Klaatu barada nikto!

      Delete
  4. Name two things, one produced by each of the insects. Rearrange to get two mammals.

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    Replies
    1. Funny, I'm getting two mammals and an implement, but it's admittedly not as neat as your references usually are, so I'll keep trying.

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    2. Including an "s" improves the first step. The "s" could then be added to (only) one of the mammals to make it plural, resulting in one singular and one plural mammal. (Also, "made" might be a better choice of words than "produced".)

      I thank my editors Paul and jan, without whose keen insights this imperfect work would have been even more so.

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. Although each of these insects plays a key role in the web of life, we think of one as a creator and the other a destroyer.

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  7. The British and Americans pronounce this word quite differently.

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  9. Solving these weekly puzzles is not a full-time Job.

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    Replies
    1. That's why Jack could never accumulate enough funds to invest.

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  10. This one took me a little longer than Kalamazoo! I liked E_W_A_f's test. Still I can't figure out Lorenzo's mammals.

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  11. My hint: a children’s rhyme.

    Chuck

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  12. Anudder hint: There have been Sci-Fy movies made about BOTH of these insects AS WELL as the answer word formed when joing them and adding the "H".

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  13. Musical clues:

    MISS GLORIA and TOM PETTY

    -- Other Ben

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  14. Replies
    1. That would be my clue too. Great minds...?

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  15. Replies
    1. Neffq o epuxsi fch jmszi?

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    2. Decoded (see E&WAf for instructions), my reply reads: Maybe a little too close?

      A moth that gets a little too close to a flame might get 'smoked', and I thought at first that 'honey' might be too close to being a giveaway. But, after thinking about it, it seemed that an obvious reference to a possibility the solver is bound to eventually consider anyway may actually deter the solver from considering that possibility.

      Later in the week it occured to me that 'smoked' might actually refer to the caterpillar Alice meets in Wonderland.



      Delete
  16. One of the insects is mentioned in a book in a book that some think is sacred: the name of the book in the book is the same as the familiar trivial name of an alkoxyalkane. Curiously, the other insect was once responsible for creating an operational failure that came to be named for yet a third insect.

    Am still working on the 2 mammals...
    Ken#2

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  17. Perhaps a little Chianti would help a person solve this puzzle.

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  18. D'oh! Finally got it by looking at a list of insects. Helps to be retired and not take time away from any gainful employment!

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  19. I just figured out Blaine’s puzzle comment. As I’ve said before, figuring out each week’s clues / hints / statements / comments on this website is frequently harder than figuring out the underlying puzzle itself :)

    Chuck

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  21. William Blake once saw a ghost that may have challenged the "opposite" idea of this puzzle (although it was neither of these specific insects).

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  22. I found the two mammals but there are no letters left over for the implement. The no-plural comment also jives.
    Ken #2

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  23. Will spoke to us this week from an "undisclosed location" where the highly private International Puzzle Party was holding its annual meeting. Now that the meeting is over, I can report that various clues put the location at the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel in Arlington, VA. http://puzzleparty.org/

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  24. "Fee fi fo fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman..."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. cause the next line is, "be he live or be he dead". Or, be he moth.

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  25. I was out of town so last week's puzzle gets posted today.

    Have Fun!!!

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  26. So while I am minding my Ps and Qs I guess I'll go out and get some peas and corn from that green guy.

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  27. For those still trying to find Lorenzo's mammals:

    1. Forget any "thing" that tastes good.
    2. One of his mammals has NO "S" in its plural.

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  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  29. BEHEMOTH from BEE & MOTH

    My Hint:

    "If you read page 22 of CONDUCT UNBECOMING, by RANDY SHILTS, you may notice a major editing error that could lead you to the answer."

    At 800 pages, including index, this is rather long so I narrowed it down for you all by indicating the page to look for, which is the second page of the first chapter. This is referring to Dr. Tom Dooley. The sentence with the glaring error is at the middle of the page:

    "Though he had not been a stellar medical student, he soon recognized symptoms of tropical maladies he had studied just two years before at St. Louis University medical school: yaws and smallpox, leprosy and elephantitis, malaria, and, of course, malnutrition.”

    There is no such malady, affliction, disease, or even a word as elephantitis. The intended word is: elephantiasis. This grievous error is in all editions of the book, including reading page 22 online via Amazon.com. (Sorry, Natasha, but I checked right after I read your post.) When I read this great work in 1993, when it came out, I was shocked as I caught this mistake, and every time I came across a later copy I would check to see if it had been corrected. I still wonder if it is an author error or an indiscretion of the typesetter or someone else due to the rush to publish before Mr. Shilts’s impending death.

    Were there such a word as "elephantitis" it would of course mean, irritation of the elephant. And while this is certainly to be avoided at all costs, it is still not a word. Elephantiasis is a word I have noticed throughout my life being mispronounced as are arctic, Nazism, vigilantism and preventive, to name just a few. Unfortunately this misuse has the effect of causing those who update dictionaries to sometimes include these ignorant usages in newer editions much to my displeasure. Such is the power of ignorance.

    It should not be necessary for me to point out that an elephant may be considered a behemoth, but there it is just in case, and the use of elephantitis in lieu of elephantiasis is a behemoth of an error.

    MrScience:
    You asked: “Does this have anything to do with Charles I becoming solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short in January of 1649?”

    Nope.

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    Replies
    1. I knew it didn't. That line is from Thomas Hobbes' "Leviathan," one of the first works of political philosophy to create a form of goverment from the needs of those living under it, rather than on, say, the divine right of kings. Hobbes begins by considering humanity in a very early, primitive state, which he calls "that state of nature." Hobbes concludes tht in such a state, without mutual cooperation and some form of social unity, "the life of man would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."

      All of this is put forth in the first of two works on political theory, the "Leviathan." A second, less well-known work followed, called "Behemoth." So you can see how I practically gave it away.

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    2. Yeah, if there are more than 20,000 correct answers this week I'll know it was because of you and your, or perhaps our, give-away clues. :)
      Interesting information BTW. I'm glad we don't live in difficult times now. (Yeah, right!)
      I thought you might be hinting at beheading and making a connection with bee. I'm happy to now know you were being more clever than that.
      I'll trade you my copy of Conduct Unbecoming if you will trade me your Hobbes. Scratch that. I've got way too many I'm trying to get to as it is.

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    3. My copy of Hobbes is pretty well thumbed. By the way, if you can find the frontispiece to Leviathan (and you need go no further than Wikipedia), take a look at the Leviatan itself, a giant composed of the bodies of all the members of society. But the head is the king's alone. Despite his will to found society on some claim other than the divine right of kings, Hobbes ended up concluding that absolute monarchy was the best way to keep the peace.

      And now I attempt to read those inane words written by computers, placed to be sure I am not a computer.

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    4. Now we seem to have Levolor. The blind leading the blind.

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  30. > Solving these weekly puzzles is not a full-time Job.

    A full-time job is usually 40 hours a week. Job 40 is where we first meet BEHEMOTH.

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    Replies
    1. And poor Jack Benny was always <40, and 'funds to invest' probably doesn't signify 'capital' very well, but then I wasn't Really trying to signify that kind of capital.

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  31. In Silence of the Lambs, the killer put a moth in each of his victims throats. Hannibal Lector, famously, enjoyed chianti with his "meals."

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    1. Lecter. It's okay, I knew what you meant.

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    2. I was just spelling it on the fly anyway. I didn't recall the specific spelling at the time of the post.

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  32. Thanks Jan, love your sense of humor though I thought the references to jobs had something to do with busy as a bee. SDB, you did it again, introduced me to something new. I looked at the elephantitis and it did not sit right with me but I glossed over it. Mainly because a mosquito, to whom I may be a behemoth, was in my room and like Daniel (Goliath) he had me on the ropes so to speak.

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    Replies
    1. A Mosque Ito! What would O. J. Simpson have to say about that? :)

      Delete
  33. bee, moth --> behemoth

    Last Sunday I said, “My hint: a children’s rhyme.”

    Of course I was thinking of “Eeny, meeny miny mo” with the double-ees evoking “bee” and “mo” evoking “moth.”

    Chuck

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  34. Paul posted on Sat Aug 11, at 11:28:00 PM PDT:

    Nc cieh bz nmzwubz h cyaxab. Mojw tek fxxvmyi mze vg qf wmfmvsmhp eybsmw.

    I Replied on Sun Aug 12, at 12:47:00 AM PDT:

    If you select and copy Paul's cryptic post above, then go to Sharky's Vigenere Cipher, paste his post into the "Input:" field, then enter that word asked for in the puzzle, that "opposite of what either of these insects is" into the "Key:" field, then click the "decode" button, you'll then see that the "Output:" field makes sense.

    Hmmm,.... One of those insects might be the cause of the problem Paul's having.

    And indeed if you carry out my instructions above with "behemoth" entered into the "Key:" field, then the "Output:" field becomes:

    My vest is missing a button. This may require all of my sartorial skills.

    I thought that since moths make holes in clothing, a moth nibbling on his vest near that button may have been responsible for that button coming off and now being missing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. However the button got lost in the first place, it was the notion that a Behe moth would probably have to be intelligently designed (one might say 'tailor-made'), and the fact that Dr. Behe is a professor at Lehigh University (LU) that reminded me to replace it.

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    2. When you replied on Sun Aug 12, at 01:15:00 AM PDT:

      Or one, or the other, or both of those insects might be the solution to the problem Paul's having.

      You never know.

      I thought you were simply refering to the fact that some varieties of moth spin silk and bees make wax. (Could beeswax be useful in sewing, perhaps in helping to thread the needle? I would think beeswax to be too soft and crumbly that to actually carve a new button from it would make a poor button.)

      Delete
  35. Lorenzo:
    What are your two mammals??

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    Replies
    1. I was so focused on 'honey' that I never figured this out.
      ox + whale(s) = wax + hole(s)

      Delete
    2. I was focused on 'cocoon'.

      cocoon + wax = cow + coon (with an 'ax' left over) clearly wasn't right, but, in my beFUDDlement, I wanted to rescue it by modifying to ox + 'waccoon'

      Eventually, I came up with honey + flaw(s) = hyena(s) + wolf, but that still wasn't right.

      Delete
    3. I posted on Wed Aug 15, at 12:45:00 AM PDT:

      For those still trying to find Lorenzo's mammals:

      1. Forget any "thing" that tastes good.
      2. One of his mammals has NO "S" in its plural.

      And as Lorenzo has posted, his answer is:

      Bee: Moth:
      wax, hole
      ox, whale

      My first clue was that the thing made by the bee is NOT HONEY. My second clue, of course, applies to the ox, the plural of which is oxen -- no "s".

      Was anybody helped by my post?

      Delete
  36. My clue about William Blake and the ghost refers to his painting "The Ghost of a Flea," which shows a reptilian, vampire-like man -- Blake depicted the flea's bloodthirsty essence as a behemoth, turning our notion of the insect as a tiny, insignificant thing on its head.

    Just before that clue, I posted "They Might Be Giants minus Charlie Parker," but I deleted it right away, because I figured out that a fairly simple Google search could lead one directly to my reference: TMBG's song "Bee of the Bird of the Moth."

    ReplyDelete
  37. "A whopper of a hopper?"

    Whopper = behemoth

    hopper = RADM Grace Hopper; to acknowledge Ken's clue of
    "an operational failure that came to be named for yet a third insect." = moth and bug.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:H96566k.jpg

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  38. SDB BLAH BLAH BLAH. Get a life whoppee you caught a TYPO!!!

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  39. My first clue directed to the book of Ether in the book of Mormon: there "deseret" refers to the honeybee. Some (i.e. Mormons, one of whom I am not) consider this book sacred.

    Hugh was correct wrt the bug/moth hint. Congratulations.

    I got the ox + whales solution (thanks Lorenzo) after spending an inordinate span of time looking for a moth-related word containing an "a" so that one of the animals could be "hyena" from "honey". Hahahaha.

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  40. The new puzzle is up and I definitely feel like a winner.

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