Thursday, October 25, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 21, 2012): World Series of Letters

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 21, 2012): World Series of Letters:
Q: What letter comes next in this series: W, L, C, N, I, T?
I know I've seen this somewhere before.

Edit: The series refers to itself... and the image with the alphabet looping back on itself was to imply this. The comment also should lead you to looking at the question itself.
A: S is the next letter in the series which consists of the initial letters of the original question (What, Letter, Comes, Next, In, This, Series)

86 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. How in the world are we going to solve this one?

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  3. Please excuse the following totally biased commercial announcement. If the series Will’s talking’ ‘bout is the World Series, the next and final answer is St. Louis. Go Cards! We now return you to our regular programming.

    Proudly submitted from the Gateway to the West, Chuck.

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    1. Go Cubbies! (Next year). BTW: Next spring Chicago will have a new farm team in The Phillipines and we Cub fans are expecting great things from the Manilla Folders. Heh, heh.

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    2. The real final answer for the Series is definitely San Francisco! Go Giants! Today was sunny; who knows what kind of weather tomorrow will bring... :)

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  4. Burt Lancaster in Novecento is my clue to this poor excuse for a puzzle.

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    1. I think you're off the mark there, SDB. If you think nine is the key, I say "Nein." Sorry to get in your face, but that's exactly where the answer is.

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    2. AbqGuerrilla:
      Sorry big guy, but it is you who is off the mark. It is a double clue, but not by intention. The crux of my hint is Burt Lancaster and what he did in this film. If you did not see this movie then I see no way you would get my hint, but you were the one I thought most likely to understand my clue.

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    3. Did not see it, but love Bertolucci. Just added 1900 to our Netflix clue. Now get the burro, ragazzo. Your esoteric clue is a bit difficult to accommodate this early in the morning -- especially before my doppo espresso. Ciao bello.

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    4. I already had my fill of butter this morning.

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  5. Sort of like tomorrow nights debate!

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  6. Series? Silly stuff, if you ask me.

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  7. Kudos to wife #1 who solved this in 10 minutes while I was downstairs making coffee. The first thing I should mention is that you will not need a letter-to-number converter (like the one at the top of this page). Nor will you need a custom-made computer program, a list of ball teams, or a list of states and/or their capitols. Will's clue is pretty much all you need. Having said all that, if I were to give you the following puzzle, the answer would be exactly the same as the answer to Will's puzzle.

    Identify the next letter from this sequence:. I, T, N. L, F, T.

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  8. Will said this on the air that this is an old puzzle. There are many similar to it. Blaine's
    clue is more than sufficient.

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  9. A word about last week's puzzle:

    If you listen carefully to Will describing the answer he clearly states that the unusual property is not just that the third letter is silent, but that removing that letter does NOT change the pronounciation.

    I very much doubt that about 500 sent in that answer, including the one chosen as the winner. I say this since the intern did not list this on their website and besides that, (sorry Blaine) but Blaine did not mention it either and used SIGN as an answer word, but when the G is removed it is not pronounted SINE. And then Will does not say anything about the silent letters in two of his words; the ones with two syllables. I think they were poor choices for him to include in his puzzle since he did not include them in the answer.

    I am surprised, AbqGuerrilla, that you are not pointing this out also.

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    1. I agree. Sorta. First off: I concur that Will's original intention did not include our -ectomy rule. He probably read my (or someone else's) submission and added that after the fact in order to thin out the herd (of "winners"). And this is indeed evidenced by the fact that the intern--who was supplied with the original answer last week--did not include it with the solution on the NPR website.

      As for the -ectomy rule as it applies to Wednesday and cupboard, I think that unlike "sign," their pronunciation might or might not change. Kind of a "fielder's choice."

      Sorry for chiming in late, SDB. I went back to bed this morning. Needed to show my appreciation to #1 for solving this week's puzzle.

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    2. AbqGuerrilla:
      I don't think so. Go and have another listen. She askes the listener what word he submitted and Will then tells him that it works. This indicates to me that neither of them even read his answer and it was simply presented to them by the intern as a viable winner. I think very few sent in the full answer.

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    3. The winner submitted the word "enough."
      So your contention is that "enough" (ee-nuff) is not pronounced the same when the "o" is surgically removed? Not sure I follow your reasoning here, SDB. Are you suggesting that the new "word" would rhyme with the man's name, "Hugh." I 'spose it could, but, again, I think this is a fielder's choice.
      (I don't want to seem like I'm in an ass-kissing contest with Will here--but, Will, if you're reading this blog, it's your turn.)

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    4. AbqGuerrilla:
      You are not understanding me today. My post has nothing to do with "enough." I am saying that because she asked him what word he submitted it indicates that they did not read his entry, but relied on it being read by some intern who most likely paid no attention at all to the stipulation that the words must not change pronounciation when the silent letter is removed. Sloppy work.

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    5. AbqGuerrilla:
      And further, I am saying that this winner most likely did not indicate the stipulation that the silent letter must not change the pronounciation when removed. In other words, I believe the interns were not looking beyond the placement of the silent letters. Otherwise would she have asked him what word he submitted; she would have known already and so would Will have known.
      Do you now see what my point is?

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    6. OK. I get it now, but don't they usually ask the caller what his/her solution was?

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    7. AbqGuerrilla:
      No, they frequently ask how long it took for him to solve it.
      This should make it clearer to us listeners how they do this, I think anyway. They, the interns, pick a winning entry on thursday and call him and set it up for friday. Rachel and Will are not even present or on the phone for this.
      On friday they are informed they have the winner on the phone and to go for it.
      If you go back and listen to Will and Rachel this morning (actually Friday last) I think you can tell this from their inflection and questions.
      Now, I don't think this is always how it is done. It might be very different when it is a puzzle asking for creativity or perhaps solving the triangle puzzle.
      Remember too that last week Will told us he made this puzzle up on the spot. I don't think it is anything to brag about though. :)

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    8. AbqGuerrilla:
      I guess I should also mention,, at the risk of stepping on toes I don't want to trod upon, that this blog and the other one, An Englishman Solves American Puzzles, both missed this part of the unusual property as stated by Will this morning, and we also know many bloggers did too.

      I really do encourage everyone reading this to go back and carefully listen to the first part of the puzzle segment this morning and see if you agree.

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    9. AbqGuerrilla:
      Hey, I completely forgot to ask how things went this morning and if wife #1 has been going around with a big smile on her face all day. (You didn't fall asleep did you?)

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    10. I, in fact, DID fall asleep, but it was after the fact...so all is good on the home front. Very nice of you to follow up.

      Meanwhile, I'll call tow trucks for Blaine 'n' the Brit.

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  11. Surely everyone's ready intuition ends serendipitously?

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    1. I hate when ppl do this; even when ppl is me.

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  13. I like this puzzle, but I did solve it instantly. Makes up for all the wasted time last week, I guess.

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    1. You're not serious, are you?

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    2. All Cirriusness aside, Jan, when am I ever? ;-)

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  15. Ouch! Just figured it out! Duh!

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  16. Reminds me of Tom Servo and Crow discussing the names of charities involved in their walk-a-thon. One of Tom's began (I think): "Hi everyone, let's pitch in n' get cracking here in Louisiana doing right, Eh. Now then..."

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    1. Well done!

      But mayhap there is a bit more? Please return on Thursday, after the de-witching hour, and explain WHAT they are being assisted to do.

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    2. No problem! Gives me plenty of time to find the MST3K episode and refresh my memory (which only yielded as far as the above).

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  17. This one is easy, as there are only 26 possibilities you have to check out.

    LMP

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  18. My sincerest apollogies to lurkers for the tardiness of my clue. ABQ's rough treatment of my name (originally Huw) left me in a huff.

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  19. Sorry, Hugh, my jokes may be slightly off-color at times (albeit apropos) -- but when my representation of my fellow bloggers' names is off-hue...well, that's just totally unacceptable. Please forgive me. ;D

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    1. No problem. Just an acceptable chance to keep things going and to sneak in my clue.

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  20. This puzzle gives me deja vu all over again.

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    1. Perhaps from yesterday when you read phredp's post above.

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    2. So sorry,SDB, I just got back into town yesterday from a week out of town, and hadn't gone through all the posts.

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    3. Not really a problem; I just thought it was humorous. Now, let's get serious. We all want to know where you were. And not only that, but did you bring us presents?

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    4. We went to Hawaii (Big Island and Kauai). As a present, I brought all of you my undying luuuvvvv!

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    5. Wonderful. We only want to know why we were all not invited to join you. But seriously, which one of the letters in luuuvvv is silent?

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    6. Well, it would have been a tight fit if I invited you all along. Granted, the first car I rented there was a pretty big Taurus. But, with seating for only three in the back, any others would have to ride in the trunk, leaving little room for my camera. And, going anywhere without my camera makes me grumpy.

      On Kauai, we got a Ford Focus, so we could get a couple folks comfortably in the back seat, and maybe one in the trunk, still making me less than happy to leave my trusty Nikon and tripod behind.

      The beds were king-size, so there was room for more than two people there, but I'm pretty sure that would have been a touch awkward, since my wife doesn't take kindly to random puzzlers crawling under the covers.

      So, as happy as it would make me to have this smart group along, the logistics would have needed some tweaking.

      The silent letter in luuuvvv is the fourth Q.

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  21. BTW, if anyone here uses Facebook, feel free to connect with me there, https://www.facebook.com/curtis.johnson.125

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    1. If I friend you will you takeme to Hawaii next time you go? or even to San Francisco

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    2. I'd love to, but Hawaii was a one-time deal. I can't afford to go again. If I take you to San Francisco, I'm afraid I'd have to make you hang out with my relatives. Do you really want to do that?

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    3. As long as they are Padre fans. As an upstanding (When sober) Baltimorean I cannot hang out for long periods of time with Colt or Steeler fans.

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  22. What letter comes next in this series: B, L, T?

    Once you have solved, you may proceed to a place where I have finally gotten caught up in puzzle production.

    This way, please.

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  23. “S” is the next letter in the SERIES or SEQUENCE.

    My clue:

    “Burt Lancaster in Novecento is my clue to this poor excuse for a puzzle.”

    Novecento is a Bernardo Bertolucci, Italian movie made in 1976 with an all-star cast including, Robert De Niro, Gérard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda, Donald Sutherland, Alida Valli, and Burt Lancaster . The film is five hours 15 minutes in length and the American title in English is “1900.” There is a scene about an hour into the movie where Burt Lancaster goes into a tirade centered on the “S” word: Shit. S is the 19th letter in our alphabet.

    This movie was way ahead of its time partly for this scene that was very controversial and for a far more shocking reason than the S word along with other explicit scenes throughout. We can all be thankful that this film did not do well in American theaters because, as we well know, science has proved that children must be protected from hearing the S word or risk their growth being stunted.

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    1. I will have to look for that very ssspecial scene. I googled it and thought you meant his being a padrone similar to padres - san frisco style.

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  24. Each letter is the first letter of each word in the question. The next word in the question is “series” so the next letter is S.

    Last Sunday I said, “If the series Will’s talking’ ‘bout is the World Series, the next and final answer is St. Louis.” S for St. Louis. [Editor’s Note: For historical accuracy, San Francisco would have been a better clue but S, for San Francisco, would still result in the correct letter.]

    Chuck

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  25. Can you make up another sentence that uses the same sequence of starting letters. For example:

    Who likes Chinese noodles in their soup?

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    1. Not only Who, but Hu Jintao also likes noodles in his soup.

      Or perhaps You simply spelled Hu incorrectly.

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    2. Wise lords can never ignore the signs. (This was in my fortune cookies after the soup.)

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  26. Anyone figured out what comes after B, L, T in my previous post?

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    1. Yes, Tommy, it's not 'M' as in 'mayo', but it's very close. Making no progress at all with your puzzle triathalon, however.

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    2. I see skydiveboy stepped in while I was composing my verbose comment....and maybe I need to check my spelling of 'triathlon'.

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    3. Sorry, Chuck, but I think the others have it. How 'bout those Tigers? Ugh!

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  27. Did anyone else notice that, if you googled the puzzle as written, you got right through to Richard Wiseman's book "Puzzled," and then a peek at that book at amazon.com turned up the answer?

    I thought it would have been a bit much to capitalize every word in my clue ("Surely Everyone's Ready Intuition Ends Serendipitously?"). Was it even slightly helpful to anyone?

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    1. This is an old puzzle. If you google for "WLCNIT" you find numerous answers right away.

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    2. What's fun is seeing someone restate the question without the original wording. For example: "What follows as the next letter in this pattern: WLCNIT?"

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  28. The correct answers should exceed 3000!

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  29. In my clue, I referenced Tom Servo's walkathon charity, which was not HeCTRAD, but rather H.E.L.P.I.N.G.C.H.I.L.D.R.E.N.T.H.R.O.U.G.H.R.E.S.E.A.R.C.H.A.N.D.D.E.V.E.L.O.P.M.E.N.T., which stands for "Hi, Everyone, Let's Pitch In 'N' Get Cracking Here In Louisiana Doing Right, Eh? Now Then, Hateful, Rich, Overbearing Ugly Guys Hurt Royally Every Time Someone Eats A Radish, Carrot, Hors d'oeuvre, And Never Does Dishes. Eventually, Victor Eats Lunch Over Peoria Mit Ein Neuesberger Tod."

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    1. Except that charity would be H.E.L.P.I.N.G.C.H.I.L.D.R.E.N.T.H.R.O.U.G.H.R.E.T.S.E.A.R.C.H.A.N.D.D.E.V.E.L.O.P.M.E.N.T. (Note the "T." in "R.E.T.S.E.A.R.C.H.")

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  30. The new puzzle is up. I solved it in less than a minute, but it's one of those in which some people will figure it out in two seconds -- and still be angry at themselves for not having solved it in less than one second.

    At least it's got a Halloween theme to it.

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  31. New puzzle's up. Not very, uh, difficult.

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    2. My earlier post was a bit garbled. (Hey! It's just getting light out there, and my powers are somewhat diminished.) Here's what I meant to say ...

      Change the last letter in the final word to another letter, rearrange to get a word (a verb) associated with Christmas. Rearrange the letters in that word to get another word, one that might concern Santa.

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    3. Good Morning Mr. Science ~ First of all, wife #2, who is a Republican, has been trying to convince me that you do not even exist, but I think differently. Anyway, just wanted to confirm that our answer concurs with yours.
      I'll wait until Blaine finds time to update the blog to post my clue.
      GuerrillaBoy

      PS If Santa is visiting the east coast this Halloween, he'll have plenty to be concerned about.

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  33. At least the puzzle didn't day "commonly used words". I think my first word is in the top 100 but the second one is not in the top 5,000.

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    1. Then I don't think you've got the same answer that we've got. I'd say both the first two words are in the top 100 but the third word may well be outside the top 1,000. My first thought as I considered the third word was "Could that actually be a single word?" But then I checked with dictionary.com and yes, it is! - and it's pronounced as if it were the two separate words.

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