Weekly discussion on the NPR puzzler, brain teasers, math problems and more.
Q: Think of a word in which the second letter is R. Change the R to an M, and rearrange the result. You'll get the opposite of the original word. What is it? (Hint: The two words start with the same letter.)
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.
The answer I came up with, and it works, but may not be the one Will is expecting, is perfectly describing this puzzle with the initial word.
I think I have it, too, SkyDiveBoy, but could use a little reassurance before I stick my neck out and post a clue. Would you go so far as to say that the first word actually describes MANY of Will's puzzles as of late? And would you also concur that the two words additionally share the same 6th letter? If so, we're probably on the same page.
Right you are, GorillaBoy. And, may I ask, is there another letter hint you are leaving out?
Yes, but I figured Señor Blayno would consider that too much of a giveaway.
Right again. I did not want to give that part away either.Speaking of giving away, would you be interested in borrowing one of my wives?
Hey, cool it, SDB. My wives read this blog sometimes when I'm out in the field. Besides 5 is crowd.chau·vin·ism (shv-nzm) n. Prejudiced belief in the superiority of one's own gender, group, or kind. (In case you read this hunnie(s), you can see that I called him out.)
Such a shameless display of pandering to the lower classes I hope never to see again. Does it work? Huh?
SDB. I think your answer yields better opposites than Will's intended answer. Mariana suggests both sets of answers. Am I on the right track?
Charles:Who knowss? I am so disgusted with the crap Will has been feeding us, disguised as puzzles, that I not only have quit looking for another answer, but am seriously considering abandoning this waste of time altogether. He receives some intelligent puzzle suggestions, but refuses to use them. This blog (Thanks Blaine!) is the only reason I still participate, and I submit my answers, but don't know why anymore since they no longer award the dictionary as a prize, and I have no desire at all to play the on-air puzzle.
I think I have the answer to this weeks' puzzle. On a side note, I'm sure glad those amateur refs are finally gone. We need to leave the officiating to people who know the rules...although it's not helping my Chiefs at the present moment.
Blaine,You need to change the date at the top!
Jim:It's usually women who are critical of their dates. :)
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I got it but it took a lot of work. I’ll bet the national submission rate is pretty low this week. BTW, no clue should be read into this comment – it’s just a comment.Chuck
What I think is the probable answer doesn't really involve opposites, but things that are different and sometimes used together.There are two other pairs which contain one more letter than the above and are, in some usages, clearly opposites. Just So you can expect different hints.
ABQ and SDB seem to have one of my secondary unclued answers.Phredp may have one or the other of the alternates.
I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that this puzzle took us nearly 2-1/2 hours to solve. HOWEVER, I have a good excuse. Last night I took the wives into Salt Lake to see the band R.E.M. who are currently on their Bleak Sheik Reunion Tour. We got back to Provo at 1:30 AM and I was so amped up, I did not check out until 3 AM. To make matters worse, this morning was one of those rainy, overcast early autumn days in Provo--the perfect morning to sleep in. Ay, here's the rub: We even skipped church (gosh, I hope I'm not losing my religion!).
Not that I don't believe you Abq, but according to Wikipedia - On September 21, 2011, R.E.M. announced their retirement in a news release on its website. Could there be a clue hiding in that ridiculous drivel?
Ouch, my worst nightmare is realized. The accusation of writing ridiculous drivel. I'll have you know that I am a published author, and according to Danielle Steele's review in her book review column, "From the Dismal to the Abysmal", "Mr. ______'s latest book is not some dull or drab novel that should be lightly tossed aside. It should be thrown with great force." So there! Now please excuse me while I prove that I'm not a robot...
Using a word finder and an anagram solver, I eventually got an answer (which seems to be what SDB and Guerrilla are hinting at). Tedious, with no skill involved and no joy at finding the (an) answer. Did anyone have a more positive experience with this one?
I always enjoy the quest and the final delight in getting the right answer. I felt the same way about this week's puzzle.Chuck (not a robot)
Chuck, in general I agree, but this week I couldn't think of a more analytical or creative approach to the puzzle and felt only relief when the mechanical search was over. (Fortunately, at least I started at the optimal end of the alphabet!)
I'm with you all the way, Lorenzo. I felt exactly the same way TWICE today. Once, when I solved this cheerless snoozer of a puzzle and then again when I found my 3/8" socket wrench that went missing a week ago. Unfortunately, I started searching at the wrong end of the garage...
Once again AbqGuerrilla, your veracity comes into some question. You say your 3/8" socket wrench went missing. And now you have found it according to your post. I feel I really must ask where, exactly did you find your wrench? I have great confidence you found your missing wrench in the exact spot where you left it a week ago. Is this not so? And if it is indeed so, then I call into question your assigning blame on its dissappearance to your wrench, when it should be placed on yourself, assuming it was you who handled it last.Just how do you respond, AbqGuerrilla?
OK, SDB. So my 3/8" socket did not, in fact, go missing. I misplaced it. That being said, the search was not nearly as gut wrenching as your long-winded diatribe. All seriousness aside, bruddah, I consider myself a lifelong learner (that's what it says on my résumé, anyway) and as such, I appreciate the edification. As my Uncle Jack said when he tried on his new prosthetic leg, "I stand corrected."
Uncle Jack sounds like a stand-up guy. Apparently he also had a rather wrenching experience.
Blaine doesn't seem to have provided us with his usual hint. I wonder if he is having trouble solving it and has decided to sleep on it awhile.
We know AbqGuerilla wasn't being truthful. Perhaps he went to see the Everly Brothers, instead. Or is he having deja vu all over again?
O.K. Leo, I may not have been entirely truthful, but there was a fair amount of truthiness in my posting--IF one were to take the time to read between the lines. As for the Everly Brothers, if Little Suzy were still around, I'll bet she could solve this puzzle while dozing in some dingy theater. Speaking of music, it just so happens that I was listening to an old Mama Cass song when the puzzle solution suddenly popped into my head and flickered along like an old re-run of "The Jung and The Restless". Heh, heh.
I'm not a-Freud to say that I saw that same rerun.
OK, so here's what happened. I wrote a little comment, previewed it, thought....'eeeh, do I want to post that?'...went downstairs to another thread, composed another little comment, tried to post it, and it turned up up here....As the people I work with like to say, "I'm over this!"My original comment HERE was:(something like) "Sometimes, a post is just a post," Freud fumed.Let's see if it winds up HERE.
'Huzzah,' he said, with contemptuous abnegation, as he cluelessly sought to decipher Blogger's protocol.Please prove an intelligent being programmed you.
Some of the above comments regarding Will's perhaps confused interpretation of opposites reminds me of my visit to Oporto, Portugal in 1999. I will endeavor to tell the story, but I must caution you not to interrupt, thank you.There were the three of us on a month long driving tour of Portugal and Spain, with me providing all the driving. In Oporto one day near the beginning of our trip we hired a car and driver guide for the day who was supposed to speak English. As it turned out he was only slightly familiar with our language and had difficulty communicating effectively with us. We realized he was doing his very best and we did not complain in any way and were determined to make the best of it.At one point during the day we were guided into a very old cathedral by our guide who had access due to his profession. At the head of the knave, forgive me if I have the wrong term, I hate religion, the entire wall was carved hardwood that I believe they originally intended to cover with melted gold. This was common in these old churches that flaunted all their riches from the New World, but they must have run a little on the dry side when it was time for this edifice.Eventually we were offered the opportunity to tour the floors below, where the bodies of the dead, along with ancient bones, were kept and displayed. After returning to the main floor again where the services were held, we noticed an enclave carved into the left side of the main hall and we all four entered this small enclosure which belonged to some wealthy family. They too had a carved alter that was behind an iron gate, but this one was covered by something that had turned rather black over time.Jerry, a retired professor, who had organized our vacation, wanted to know what was covering the carving since he could tell it was not gold. When he asked our guide the poor man was unable to find the proper word to inform us that it was silver. He kept trying to tell us it was the opposite of gold. Not wanting to offend this gentleman I prevented myself, with great difficulty, from supplying the word that is in fact the opposite of gold: Sh*t! Silver, of course, being similar and not opposite. I had to wait until much later before I was able to relate this to my friends who thought it just as humorous as I. Hopefully Will's intended solution is not that screwed up.
I think Bryan on Sun Sep 30, at 06:49:00 AM PDT, posted a much more concise comparison on last week's thread:One could say that a big car is, in a sense, the opposite of a small car. However they are both, in fact, cars. This just goes to show that sometimes opposites can be, in a sense, somewhat the same.So, big car vs. small car; silver vs. gold; I still haven't found an answer yet, but I have a good idea how these "opposites" are gonna pan out.
Like SDB and Man of La Mancha, there is a certain amount of going around Robin's barn to create this solution?
I found a solution...but I don't think it's the one Will is looking for because it's not very "elegant".In Merriam-Webster, my "word A" and "word B" are listed as "Near Antonyms". Are any of the other solutions people have found listed as actual "Antonyms"?Frankly, this puzzle is so un-fun that I have no desire to continue searching for other answers. :)
You have the answer most of us are talking about.
As they say in the hood, "Yeah, that's what we're talkin' about."
In that case, I'm deleting my comment, since it probably gives too much away. I really hope you're wrong. What a ridiculous waste of time!
AbqG What hood are you talkin about?
You know. I'm talkin' about the hood I'm referrin' to. THAT's what I'm talkin about.
ok AbqG, just make sure you don't wear a hoody in case the hood you referrin to is referee'd and someone mistakes you for their worst nightmare Now That's what I'm talkin about!
I hear dat, bro. But on a brighter note, Florida has enacted serious measures to make sure unfortunate events like the shooting of a teen armed only with a can of iced tea and some Skittles© does not happen again. They have instituted a two-week waiting period on the purchase of Skittles©... Now THAT'S what I'M talkin' about...
OK OK FYI I would be a Sistah not a brothe picture you see is of my two grand bros who do have hoodies and a teddybear who has one too but they are vegan so they won't be eatin skittles just yet.
Speakin' of referees, no foul intended, Sistah RoRo. The picture is kinda small and hard to make out on this little jive-*ss laptop. So please forgive the unintentional gender dis'. I just figured the kid was you and that you were very well-spoken for your age (you know: "Young, Gifted & Black"). And just for the record, some of my best friends wear hoodies--and they ain't eatin' no Skittles© neither (double negatives are not allowed on this blog, but triple negatives are A-OK). And speakin' of vegans, I wish I could attach a picture of the sticker on my bumper: "I'm a vegan zombie -- and I vote!" (Made it myself!) Peace out!
So, what I wanted to say HERE was:(something like)How much protein in a pimento?Is someone who eats only chicken, turkey.........road runners, canaries(with or without speech impediments)............squab, pheasant, etc,.... an 'ornivore'?Peace............tell me where 'out' is?
All I can say is that meat is murder, but fish is justifiable homicide. Out is not a physical place. It's just "in" to say "out" after peace, as in "over and out." But you know that. You're just pushin' my button (somebody musta told you it's an "outie.")
To: AbqGuerrilla"over and out" is an oxymoron! It is as incorrect as it gets. OVER means "Your turn, I am handing it back to you to talk." OUT means END OF CONVERSATION. This is just another reason why I seldom enjoy a Hollywood movie.
OK. Have it your way, SDB. I have bigger phish to phry. OUT.(OVER)
A good puzzle for a computer programmer. Where's Doctechnical when we need him?
Hey, SDB, on another topic, are you following Fearless Felix's free fall next week? Is he going to glide gracefully past Glamorous Glennis's goal?
Jan,I'm not really following it, but am fully aware and am interested in the outcome. I think he will succeed. This has been very well planned and the equipment these days is far better than in 1960 when Joe Kittinger set the record. Also, Joe was not an experienced skydiver, no matter what you may have heard and read. This guy is much more qualified and with his excellent gear I doubt there will be any problem of note.The highest I have jumped is 16,000' which I did on two occasions. What is more unusual is that one time, on purpose, I jumped from 1,000' AGL. I dove out the door and waived back prior to activating (dumping) my main. I have this on film too. I thought I would be scared as I was about to jump since it was so low, but as it turned out I felt perfectly comfortable. I also one time jumped a 'chute that the evening before I had packed blindfolded. I consider neither of these jumps to have been at all dangerous for me. I tend to look at risks from a logical point of view rather than from the viewpoint most skydivers take, which is purely emotional.
I dunno... There were qualified people and a lot of expensive gear behind Apollo 1, Soyuz 1, Soyuz 11, Challenger, Columbia, etc. Shit happens.
I'm not saying there are not risks. There are, but this is not at all as risky as all the hype would have you believe.
After writing, running & debugging a program to go through my Sorted Anagrams List and display possible answers, I've submitted what I believe to be the best choice and two other possibles.My primary submission was not what SDB and AbqG came up with as my words are each 9 letters long and the only matching positions besides 1st letter as the puzzle asks for are the 3rd letters. 6th letters? With my words they're different. With my other possibles, the 6th letters are the same.
To those of you who manage to guess my submission, if you select and copy my crypto-post below, then go to Sharky's Vigenere Cipher, paste into the "Input:" field, enter my initial "2nd letter is R" word into the "Key:" field, and then click the "decode" button, then the "Output:" field will make sense and you'll see my submission for "other possibles".Pb, ozo jsm xpcyg zss zswv fsdnlwv uywg szmfl ber oup vwsezbu wsmk, qpl cpytsmkmp twjfvwv plh ab dytejjgwry efv uyoh wsi glivf krch ak CCCGVZQWV. Tf bcz T hgf'u dwbg willjeu mrf ofgx kvow xc glivf drdwatmvg khci VJFRFM & GCISEZ rbr GCEYGO & UCUPLR.
I didn't guess or figure out your submission; I decoded your cipher; and I think your solution, reminiscent of a Hall & Oates lyric and a Goldie Hawn movie, exceeds what Will intended.Opposite,schmoppositeRobot,schmobot.
Lorenzo –Can’t say about Doctechnical, but writing a computer program was the way I solved the puzzle this week. As far as I’m concerned, there is one and only one answer that meets the puzzle requirements and is head and shoulders above all other word pairs. More Thursday.Chuck
Will is a current events sort. With that said, look to current events. By the way, aside from the first letter in each word, there is no further match up!
benmar12001 -If you use your initial "2nd letter is R" word as the key to the crypto-post below, then does the "Output:" field make sense?Hzrum bsh'kt iisllrt mwzw, eg jyrlh nek zlkum peh qwxv bmwvv owuh znhk'zw jhia ITUMEMQXF. Lxegw gry ptbv yh elxu hcv wgtxxvhc, Z'pd blt lhj fjx bkeg mwv owg ws zr uzvkb fvliif-tgaw eohkv mk JUSBWAVWK.
Enya, et al.:Your request is way beyond my linguistic skills. Can't wait til Thursday.
My request was for you to simply do these 7 steps:1. Move your cursor to the point where my crypto-post above begins.2. Hold down your left click button while moving your cursor to the point where my crypto-post ends. That's called "selecting".3. Now with my crypto-post highlighted, hold down the "ctrl" button and press "C". That's called "copyihg".4. Now go to Sharky's Vigenere Cipher. I've made that step easy for you. Just move your cursor to its name right here in THIS step, and click and you'll get there.5. Move your cursor to inside the "Input:" field, click, then hold down the "ctrl" button on your keyboard and press the "V" key. That's called "pasting".6. Move your cursor to inside the "Key:" field, click, then type in the initial word of your submission to the NPR Weekend Sunday Puzzle site. You know what that word is. It pertains to current events. It has all the same letters as your other word save for one less R and one more M, but aside from the first letters of both your words being the same, there are no further match-ups.7. Finally, move your cursor to the "decode" button on the screen and click. And if I've correctly guessed your initial "R is the 2nd letter" word you submitted, then the "Output:" field will make sense.
Actually I had performed the above and as I indicted, it was beyond my linguistic skills re-interpretation.
You're saying that what I had guessed to have been your submission was incorrect?Of the words you submitted, the one whose 2nd letter is R is not what I thought it was?
I probably do not have the preferred answer; however, tomorrow I will indicate and explain what I came up with.
And likewise, tomorrow I will indicate what I had thought was what you had come up with. Hint: Because you had said "look to current events", I had keyed my most recent post to a word that's VERY MUCH current events related (especially tonight!), AND of course, its 2nd letter is R.
That should've been "I had keyed my most recent crypto-post..."
Enya:We both have the same answer!
Does that mean we both submitted the same answer to the NPR Weekend Sunday Puzzle site (the key to my 1st crypto-post), or that I did after all, correctly guess what you had submitted (the key to my 2nd crypto-post)?
I'm so glad that linguistic skills finally improved!(I really would like to know how it was that your linguistic skills had caused your previous de-cyphering attempts to fail.)
The results were incomprehensible.
My submitted answer involves five-letter words. I guess many here do not find this PUZZLE to be straightforward and ordinary. One BROODS that it is versus straightforward and ordinary.
Is it just coincidence that one of the words in your post here has striking similarity to one of the words of my submitted answer, which involves nine-letter words?
Goodness gracious. This country woman simply submitted a short, straightforward answer--one that seems to fulfill the puzzle's requirements. After Thursday's deadline, I'd love to read the more sophisticated answers submitted. Thanks!
Blaine, our gracious host, why no hints or comments from you this week?
Ken, Thanks. I saw your comment about a five letter solution andfound it. It certainly seems to satisfy all the requirements.
Alas, in the waning moments of this challenge, I have not come up with a solution. However, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for those who confessed that solving this puzzle contributed no joy to their day. And now, if you'll indulge me in another midweek puzzle... Here we go
prose --> poemsLast Sunday I said, “I got it but it took a lot of work. I’ll bet the national submission rate is pretty low this week. BTW, no clue should be read into this comment – it’s just a comment.”OK, so I lied about that last part – it wasn’t just a comment. “It took a lot of work” – just like writing a poem takes a lot of work. “Read” – just like you do with prose or poems.And to further the “what are opposites” conversation, I note that Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, 11th Edition – a source Will has long considered to be authoritative – lists “prose” as the antonym of “poetry”.Chuck
DREARY & DREAMYIt will be interesting to see what Will's intended answer is. In any case a dreary puzzle.Also I posted:"Blaine doesn't seem to have provided us with his usual hint. I wonder if he is having trouble solving it and has decided to sleep on it awhile."Hinting at dreaming during sleep.
You will notice that there was a picture of a light switch by Blaine's input! That was the hint.
I went with dreary and dreamy as well, but I'm kinda likin' the poetry and prose thing...
I also submitted dreary/dreamy, but M-W calls those words "near antonyms". Ho well.
President/pediments: please see below: pediment being a synonym of bottom & Antonyms: topMain Entry: bottom Part of Speech: nounDefinition: foundationSynonyms: base, basement, basis, bed, bedrock, belly, deepest part, depths, floor, foot, footing, ground, groundwork, lowest part, nadir, nether portion, pedestal, pediment , rest, seat, sole, substratum, substructure, support, terra firma, underbelly, underneath, undersideAntonyms: top
I too saw that pediments is the word coming from president after the letter change, but I did not make any connection and still don't.
President at the TOPpediament at the bottom
I understood your post. I don't agree with it.My Merriam-Webster states:pediment noun 1 : a triangular space forming the gable of a 2-pitched roof in classic architecture; also : a similar form used as a decoration.2 : a broad gently sloping bedrock surface with low relief that is situated at the base of a steeper slope and is usu. thinly covered with alluvial gravel and sand. I still do not see any connection.
I submitted Prepared & Pampered, working under the theory that a pampered person is unlikely to be prepared in life. I have no idea what answer Mr. Shortz intended.
DREARY and DREAMYDRONE (loafer), and DEMON (live wire)PROSE and POEMSHint given - "Just So" referring to Kipling's Just So Stories
I submitted PROSE and POEMS. A puzzle is a poser - anagram for prose - which is straightforward and ordinary writing. Broods means mopes - anagram for poems – which is the opposite or versus (sounds like verses) of prose.prose - writing that is not in verse; ordinary written or spoken language. Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary"All that is not prose is verse; and all that is not verse is prose" [Molière Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme]
Do people agree that if the intended answer was DREARY/DREAMY, then Will was being needlessly obfuscatory in his cluing, and not in a fun, clever way?
Yes, but I think prose/poems may be his intended answer, although I think dreary/dreamy is more correct, but when has that ever stopped Will?
'Needlessly obfuscatory'?, I dunno, but I do think he was asking us to compare oranges with mangoes.
After discussing all this chatter with wife #1 over breakfast this A.M., we are taking issue with the PROSE - POEMS "solution." Although I agree with SDB that this seems to be the sort of answer that might appeal to Will's tastes -- and despite Chuck's posting about Merriam Webster's decision to list POETRY as an antonym of PROSE (after all, she's the authority we trust), I'm stickin' with DREAMY-DREARY. POETRY may indeed be the opposite of PROSE, but clearly the opposite of POEMS is not PROSE. The opposites of POEMS are many and they might include essays, novels, and short stories, to name a few. In summation, POEMS are specific pieces of writing that can actually be read, but in my mind POETRY is more a type of literature and therefore favorably compares with an opposite TYPE of literature: PROSE. What say ye?
BROODLESS and BLOSSOMEDOne who is BROODLESS has had no children, no offspring.BLOSSOMED need not only apply to flowers - even though a blossomed flower is now reproducing. When a girl goes through puberty and develops, she can be said to have blossomed.Anyway, so the key to my 1st crypto-post is BROODLESSand the key to my 2nd crypto-post is PRESIDENT.
I was finally able to decode your message. My original error was "president" vs. "PMESIDENT."Thx.
I too ended up with prose and poems, after mentally working my way through the alphabet for words starting with ar, br, cr, dr, etc. I don't really like the collective noun - plural noun match up, nor do I see them as clear antonyms, but it works better that dreary and dreamy. All in all, a fairly prosaic puzzle.
Will said on the air he did not allow "dreary" and "dreamy." He gave as the reason that you did not have to rearrange the letters to get from one to the other.But this is not true!The puzzle says: "Think of a word in which the second letter is R."OK, this is DREARY."Change the R to an M...."OK, this is DMEARY.".... and rearrange the result."OK, of course you have to rearrange, and you get DREAMY.Will!
I was just coming on the blog to see if anyone had already called Will out on this. Thanks, Rob!
Ou est Blaine?
Don't wake the Blainster; he's still sleepin' on it—probably enjoyin' his dream too and not all that eager to rejoin this dreary puzzle.
New puzzle is now up and running and it is an actual puzzle this time! It will take a little time figuring it out this time also.
This must hold the record for earliest release time of a new Sunday puzzle.
The early worm gets the bird.Will someone go tell Jan she can now wake Blaine up from his stupor, whoops! I meant to say slumber, so he can clue us in on this new one?
According to my latest count, the answer is a prime number.