Saturday, August 04, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 5, 2012)

Computer Mouse, Pockafwye@FlickrNPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 5, 2012): The Cat is Away:
Since I'm not going to be around to comment on the puzzle, I'm putting this week's puzzle on "auto-pilot". Please play nicely and don't give the puzzle answer away.
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.

97 comments:

  1. Next week's challenge, from listener Annie Haggenmiller of Chimacum, Wa.: Take the name of a well-known U.S. city with four syllables. The first and last syllables together name a musical instrument, and the two interior syllables name a religious official. What city is it?

    Submit Your Answer

    If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern.

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  2. Some might not quailfy it as a real musical instrument.

    (BTW: submit answers via the www.npr.org/puzzle site, from which the above puzzle was cut and paste. Do no submit at this site until after Thurday at 3pm EDT.)

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  3. Reminds me of Nelson Mandela, Federico Garcia Lorca and Thornton Wilder.

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  4. The last part of the city is a place where you might be able to find an example of the middle part (but in a different way than the puzzle intended).

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  5. It's going on now. Winner gets md wc.

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  6. Replies
    1. I really like this hint. Obscure, yes, but that is the point.

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  7. Great. Another list puzzle.

    A..B..C..D..E..F..G..H..I..

    Think of a well known American city, four syllables. The first and last combine to make a drink, the middle two name a Native American group.

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    Replies
    1. So..... I am finding this one a bit more challenging than the on-air puzzle!

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    2. You have to cheat to make it work. A consonant that ends the first syllable has to be "borrowed" to initiate the second/third syllable word. Hey, mathematicians borrow all the time. Why can't we? Sorry for all that. It sounded great at 6:45 this morning. For that matter, it's still sweeter than VVINE.

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    3. MrScience:
      What! You say the puzzle is flawed. How can this be? Why, I never!

      Delete
    4. SDB:

      Please continue knitting that handsome tuxedo for Will. Or crocheting a doghouse, or whatever you do when you're not here. I'm not in the mood for your feckless chatter.

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    5. To the eponymous MrScience:
      You seem to lack a sense of humor. No irony there.

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    6. Moi??!! No sense of humor?? Hey, the guys in the lab call me Mr. Hoho. I'm hilarious. I just need to change my name.

      Your new friend,

      MrHoho

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    7. Then why didn't you realize my post was agreeing with and backing yours up? Are you really unaware that I've been complaining about Will's lackluster and frequently flawed puzzles for some time now?

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    8. SDB:
      O Glorioski!! I thought you were commenting on my "puzzle," the one Jim says he found harder than the NPR version. After I admitted that it was necessary to "cheat" in order to get my answer, you were in there noting with bewilderment that I had made yet another error. (My answer was Columbia, as in "Cola" + "Lumbee.") My subsequent references were all clues to Will's question.

      Sorry. I misunderstood completely.

      MrScience

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    9. MrScience:
      Apology accepted.
      I thought there might be a slight misunderstanding going on. No surprise as humor does not always work here. I did not even pay any attention to your puzzle. I usually do not bother with secondary puzzles posted here. I like to use humor to make points, and frequently they are not understood. Peter Ustinov said that comedy is a funny way of being serious. My humor tends toward being a bit dry which makes it hard for many to even see as humor.
      I have submitted several puzzles I made up and never heard back. I don't know why this is as I consider them to be more intelligent than most of those Will uses. Of course that is my opinion and I am not posting them here to back up my statement because then they would have no chance of ever being used.

      Now, when I go back and re-read your posts I realize you were not referring to Will's puzzle, but yours. When I read them I saw that what you said applies to this week's puzzle too. I thought that was what you meant. Also it made me see the flaw, which I have to confess I had missed. When I came up with the answer I was so pleased to have found it that I neglected to look closer at the syllable breaks. Benmar12001 just posted below that he found the same problem with the puzzle.

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    10. Thanks Mr Science! I have never heard of the Lumbee - so I would not have gotten it. You learn something new every day!

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  8. Got this one in 2 seconds. Gladly, I can spend the better part of today doing something other than going through lists!

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  9. For those feeling a bit blue, this puzzle is a real keeper.

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  10. OK, I get it now. So back to the Olympics (which I link in five or six steps to the answer).

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  11. At first I was stumped so I quit actively thinking about it for a while. But my brain cells must have kept humming along in the background and it came to me – just like that! How does one’s brain do that?

    Chuck

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    Replies
    1. That happens to me frequently. I pored over lists of US cities for longer than I care to admit (it wasn't there). Then, hours later, I just had it. A watched pot never boils, I guess.

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    2. I got the puzzle just as it came online @ 9:03 PM and immediately went through a couple of pesky lists only to realize it was not there. So I took a break outside to enjoy a Dungeness Crab cocktail and another glass of wine. A bit later I suddenly got it, but I don't know how. I do know I got the middle first, but I have no idea what prompted it.

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  12. I haven't accomplished much this weekend, but I have figured out this puzzle. So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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  13. I spent my first 15 years in this town, so it was an instant solve for me. Brought back memories of my first sweetheart and carrying her books home from junior high school. She was kind of stuck up, but man, I sure liked her looks!

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    Replies
    1. Weird … I got a girl in that town as well, from when I visited many moons ago. A fine chick! As unique as the name of the town, I'm sure.

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  14. [Don't fret; this is not a spoiler]
    Hmmm... the capital of Maryland works, but in a really weird way.

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    Replies
    1. explain?? whats an anlis?

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    2. ...And what religious official is a napol?
      (or napo?)

      I thought maybe his idea is that one's anis might be considered a musical instrument by use of... eh... well tuned farting! But still, what religious official is a napol?

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    3. An anis is not an anus. It's not even a word. A rose by any other name....

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  15. The answer made me one with everything, doncha know.

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    Replies
    1. The one you are referring to asked for just that at the pizza parlor, you know…!

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  16. My son wants to play this instrument as a way to make a living. Dangit, that boy ain't right.

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    Replies
    1. Is that any worse than, say, selling propane and propane accessories?

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    2. "The only woman I'm pimping is sweet lady propane! And I'm tricking her out all over this town."

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  17. I'd like for it to be the cello, as in "Monticello," but—wrong syllable! So that option is gone with the wind….

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. I'll give a better clue next week. Promise.

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  20. Replies
    1. Joannie Summers is best known for her 1962 hit "Johnny Get Angry" which features a kazoo instrumental bridge.

      Also noteworthy is that she stretched "angry" into a 3 syllable word pronounced "an-ga-ry"

      LMP

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  21. Replies
    1. Huh? "Chattanooga" (choo choo), you mean?

      How is chatga a musical instrument, and how is tanoo a religious official?

      Seems somewhat off-target….

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    2. The song above does indeed meet the 4 syllable criteria, but the other GM song meeting this requirement is "I've got a gal in Kalamazoo".

      LMP

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  22. Seems like one of the letters in the City's name, i.e. last letter of 1st syllable must be improperly placed as 1st letter of 2nd syllable to create correct answer.

    Is this puzzle slightly flawed???

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    Replies
    1. I guess it depends on how you pronounce it, but I agree with you, benmar.

      Delete
    2. If you pronounce the City's name the way the puzzle expects you to, then the last letter of the 1st syllable is a vowel, and the 1st letter of the 2nd syllable is the following letter in the City's name, which is a consonant.

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    3. But the pronunciation expected by the puzzle is not one I have ever heard. Maybe the natives pronounce if differently - as in Lou-AH-vill, or Cin-cin-AT-uh, or New-ALL-ins.

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  23. As I asked last week, "Does anyone know when Mitt Romney is selecting his VP Candidate?"

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    Replies
    1. Is the Democratic answer Whooc airs?

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  24. No flaw. Syllabic weight issues require the second syllable to begin with a consonant.

    Yes, syllables can have weight issues. I've recommended gym memberships, Syllabic Weight Watchers, numerous bypass surgeries (alveolar, palatal, velar, glottal, et al.), but those syllables are just too darn stubborn.

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    Replies
    1. I can't imagine where you are getting your information. I just checked several dictionaries and encyclopedias, including The New Oxford American Dictionary, both online and hard bound, and they all show it the same way. No source I checked agrees with you.

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    2. It's Phonetics 101. A vowel, because of its low phonetic value, can't stand alone as a syllable nor begin one. It needs to be anchored to a consonant. (Keep in mind I'm referring to vowels and consonants as sounds, not as letters. The word 'analog' obviously begins with the letter 'a' when spelled, but it begins with the glottal stop /?/ when articulated.) The Wikipedia gods explain it well enough here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syllable#Structure
      The third syllable in the answer begins with a consonant for the exact same reason: it must.

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    3. Benmar, Leo, and SDB must have an answer in mind that differs from jsulbyrne's (and MrScience's, and Tommy Boy's, and AbqGuerilla's—and mine).

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    4. A syllable is typically made up of a syllable nucleus (most often a vowel) with optional initial and final margins (typically, consonants).

      The above is a cut & paste from the source you cite. And your source does not trump the ones I cited. Play with the word amethyst and don't forget to look it up too.

      Delete
  25. I wonder if Tennessee William's play The Glass Menagerie has ever been performed in this city.

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  26. Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep.

    The connection and links are somewhat complicated and indirect. Have at it!

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    Replies
    1. This song was a 1971 hit for the brother-sister duo Mac and Katie Kissoon, whose last name sounds like "KAZOO.

      LMP

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  27. Interestingly, Webster’s 11th Collegiate dictionary has the first syllable ending with a consonant. However, their phonetic spelling has it ending with a vowel – the consonant is shifted to the second syllable.

    Chuck

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  28. Figured it out. Actually thanks to one of the clues here :)
    My clue is baseball. Alternatively, Seussical the Musical.

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  29. Really bad musical clue: Hello Dolly!

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    Replies
    1. I do not agree. I like it. I held off using it myself.

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    2. Uh-oh: now I've shown less restraint than SDB! ;-)

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    3. I don't see it as much of a giveaway since you posted it so near the deadline.

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    4. Erring on the side of caution, I refrained from posting "Carol Channing."

      Delete
  30. Kalamazoo --> kazoo --> lama

    Last Sunday I said, “At first I was stumped so I quit actively thinking about it for a while. But my brain cells must have kept humming along in the background and it came to me – just like that! How does one’s brain do that?”

    One usually plays the kazoo by humming.

    Chuck

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  31. KALAMAZOO = LAMA & KAZOO

    My Hints:

    "Reminds me of Nelson Mandela, Federico Garcia Lorca and Thornton Wilder."

    Mandela is close to Tibetan Mandala Wheel. Lorca was a close friend of Salvador Dali. Thornton Wilder wrote Hello Dolly.

    The puzzle was stated incorrectly. The syllable breaks in Kalamazoo are: Kal/a/ma/zoo.

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  32. KALAMAZOO
    Instrument: kazoo
    Religious official: (Dalai) Lama

    My clues were:
    (1) Alluding to the swing-era hit I got a gal in Kalamazoo: "I got a girl in that town" and "A fine chick!" (a line uttered by one of the two singers performing the song in the movie Orchestra Wives).
    (2) In response to Theodore Valley's "one-with-everything" comment, an allusion to the joke: The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza parlor and says, "Can you make me one with everything?"
    (3) "I'd like for [the instrument] to be the cello, as in 'Monticello,' but…that option is gone with the wind”: the kazoo is a wind instrument.
    (4) Chattanooga (choo choo) "seems somewhat off-target": Chattanooga, TN versus Kalamazoo, MI.

    And I never bothered to look up the real syllable breaks in Kal/a/ma/zoo, so…ignorance was bliss, I guess!

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  33. My clue referred to the fact that menagerie, in one sense, is synonomous with zoo, pointing roughly to Kalamazoo.

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  34. "So back to the Olympics (which I link in five or six steps to the answer)."

    Olympics - London - Dickens - Scrooge - "Bah, HUMbug!" - humming into a kazoo as indicated by Chuck above - Kalamazoo.

    Yes, I realize that with six degrees of separation I could probably link the Olympics to any city on Earth, but the above is what I had in mind. I'll try to be more specific in the future, but some clues seem perilously close to giving it all away. ("Keeper", "I've got a gal", etc.)

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  35. The USTA National Boys Tennis Championship has been held in Kalamazoo, Michigan since 1943. This year’s event is being played from August 3-12. The winner in the Boys 18 division receives a coveted Main Draw Wildcard (md wc) to the US Open Tennis Championship. Last year’s winner was Jack Sock. Who will win this year?

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    Replies
    1. Didn't know any of this prior to last week...but as it turns out, "Jack Sock 2011" was an easily-Googlable spoiler, FYI. Cheers!

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  36. > Ogden Nash comes to mind.

    The one-L lama, he's a priest,
    The two-L llama, he a beast,
    etc., etc.

    > A watched pot never boils, I guess.

    Wikipedia says the name Kalamazoo may come from a Potawatomi word meaning "boiling pot" or "place where the water boils," referring to a legend of some fast guy who had to run to a point on the river and back before a pot of water boiled in order to impress his bride or father-in-law or something.

    > Really bad musical clue: Hello Dolly!

    As in Dalai Lama, or Dolly Llama.

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  37. Can the interior syllables be reversed to get Mullah?

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  38. Mr Science:
    So now that Thursday is here, what is your answer to the other 4 syllable city??
    TY

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    Replies
    1. Given above (see Monday Aug 6), with apologies for sloppiness:

      COLUMBIA

      "COLA" + "LUMBEE" but only if you slither the "L" around. As I said earlier, it sounded good at 6:45 AM!

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  39. I posted on Sun Aug 05, at 01:25:00 AM PDT:

    Mmmmm, I love onions!

    The song "I Love Onions", by Susan Christie, has a kazoo playing during part of the chorus.

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    Replies
    1. Forgot about this one. I remember this song well. I'm sure that there are other songs featuring the kazoo.

      LMP

      Delete
  40. my son wants to play this instrument "as a way to make a living" -> lyric in DOLLY (Dalai?) Parton's "9 to 5"; also the kazoo would be something a child could easily play

    King of the Hill references -> the episode in which Bobby was being tested by monks to see if he was the reincarnation of a lama.

    I wanted to make a reference to the heavy use of kazoo on Frank Zappa's "Freak Out!" album, but I couldn't think of anything clever enough that wouldn't give it away.

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  41. The Kalamazoo Promise is a pledge by a group of anonymous donors to pay up to 100 percent of tuition at any of Michigan's state colleges or universities for graduates of the public high schools of Kalamazoo. Pretty cool, that.

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  42. For anyone that is familiar with Imogen Heap's song "Hide and Seek", my favorite cover version is a 8 part kazoo remix.

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  43. "....feeling blue" referred to Michigan ("go blue"); "...keeper" referred to zoo-keeper.

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  44. I'm blanking on why I clued baseball. Really, no idea at this moment.
    Seussical because there is a song about Solla Sollew which somehow kind of rhymes with Kalamazoo or at least has the same syllabication.

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    Replies
    1. Because Kalamazoo is where Derek Jeter grew up?

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  45. My Bob Burns reference:

    http://www.captainkazoo.com/gal3.html

    I wish I still had mine in a box to show Noel Barrett.

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  47. 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