Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 18, 2012): Common Five Letter Words

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 18, 2012): Common Five Letter Words:
Q: Think of a familiar five-letter word in two syllables. Change the middle letter to the preceding letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a familiar five-letter word in three syllables. What words are these?
I bet some people will be coming up with the answer almost immediately while for some it is going to take a few hours.

Edit: The hints were "bet" (as in alphabet) and "coming"/"going" (since aloha can mean hello or goodbye).
A: ALPHA --> ALOHA

132 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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correction: Because of Thanskgiving, the deadline this week is Wednesday at 3pm ET.

      Delete
  2. And please try to keep your discussions tied to discussing the puzzle.

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  3. HI there - I actually submitted a similar puzzle a while ago, with the same two words, but with different phrasing of the puzzle. I can see the one Will used is more elegant (note to self: submit puzzle with elegance and a link between the words) I think this puzzle is a little harder - took me several hours then I finally got it (unlike Will's French friend a while back)

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  4. I'm on the east coast, so I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted with this week's puzzler when I checked out the blog at 7:00 AM (EST), thanks SDB.

    Amazed that I solved the puzzle in less than a minute. Hard to believe that my first guess of how to go about solving it led to positive results.

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  5. 11thplace –

    I don’t know what your method for solving the puzzle was but, for me, the answer was literally the first word pair I thought of.

    Chuck

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    Replies
    1. The real challenge, as always, is to try and figure out how Blaine's "clue" relates to the solution. It's like playing "Six degrees of Kevin Bacon".

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  6. Sometimes I wish I hadn't gotten started with Will's puzzles in the first place. They can be very frustrating. Need some relaxation. Bye for now, going on vacation.

    Regards - Phil J.

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  7. I'll bet a few will have trouble solving this, in layman's terms.

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  8. (Posted to the end of last week's blog earlier)

    There is also a (different) answer to this puzzle if you turn it around: Think of a familiar five-letter word in THREE syllables. Change the middle letter to the preceding letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a familiar five-letter word in TWO syllables. What words are these? One of these words also relates to a line of banter we had in last week's puzzle blogging.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Last night I posted these three:

    New puzzle is now up.
    I might need a lot of help answering this one.

    And a bit later:

    The is a connection here to a line of banter we had in last week's puzzle blogging.

    And finally:

    Obama would most likely get this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think you need a lot of help, SDB. All you really need is a little head outta ass removal service. May I assist you?

      Delete
    2. I think you may have assembled your post incorrectly.

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    3. As in ass backwards? Perhaps 'tis I who needs the craniorectalectomy?

      Delete
  10. Figured it out in little time. Maybe I'll relax with some music by the King...

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  11. The puzzle...

    All the clues given...

    It's all Greek to me.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ugh. I heard it wrong and thought I needed to change it to the following letter of the alphabet rather than the preceding. I came up with a nice pair that way, the second word of which had me thinking of spring. Ah well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that's the version I mentioned above.

      Delete
  13. I agree with 11thplace that Blaine's clues can be almost as mysterious as the puzzle!

    But once I've solved the puzzle, your clues generally make sense, Blaine. (As does your clue this week.) And once you even posted a clue that gave me the answer. (It was for the puzzle whose solution was TINKERBELL--I forget how long ago that was.)

    Happy Thanksgiving to all! Thanks for the puzzle and this blog, among many things....

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    Replies
    1. KDW - I agree. Only once (many years ago) did Blaine's clue lead me to the answer. (As I recall, it involved "zot" and "aardvark".) After the fact, Blaine's clue(s) make sense this week, although I must confess that(unfortunately) I was not in the group that solved the puzzle immediately.

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  14. Let's see: Kenya is a five letter word with two syllables. Obama is a five letter word with three syllables.

    The Little Rascals are back on television!

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  15. I struggled with this one almost as much as I agonized over Blaine's admonition regarding "remaining strictly on topic." Aggressive male bloggers like SkyDiveBoy and me will not take literary castration lying down. After all, it's the loosely related banter that keeps this blog interesting -- at least for me. In case that clue was too vague, let me continue.

    I gave up on this puzzle an hour ago, but wife #3 kept at it. I had my headphones on. My thoughts on some distant star as I listened over and over to my favorite track on the Magical Misery Tour album. She yanked off my earphones and exclaimed, "I've got it!"

    #3 is an extremely bright woman. We met 11 years ago on Match.com. She was a flight attendant for a small regional carrier. On our first date, she asked me if I had a lot of emotional baggage. I quipped, "Just a few carry-on items." We were married two months later and her company gave us two first-class tix to Europe where we rented a sports car and toured the continent.

    Ciao for now. Hasta la bye-bye. Catch you on the rebound.
    And if I don't see ya, I'll see ya!
    GuerrillaBoy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, a trip to Europe. Were you incontinent the whole time?

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    2. Yer in big trouble, SDB. Better keep it on topic, lest you piss off the man.

      Delete
    3. Lots of rain here this week; wish I were in the tropics.

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    4. I don't know why you don't say shalom, GB.

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    5. Never could figure out if shalom meant hello or goodbye, so I refrain from using the word. Wife #2 is Jewish. Last year we were unable to visit her parents over Passover because she had a yeast infection. She spent the entire weekend trying to teach me the Hebrew spelling system, but it was more like Greek than English. So I gave up.

      Delete
    6. I bet you really got a rise out of her though.

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

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    1. That clue is a bit of a revelation, Jim. Still, I only give these bloggers maybe one chance in eight of deducing its relevance.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Sorry you deleted your OMG clue, Jim. I did not think it was obvious at all. Guess it's irrelevant now ;-) So what's with the Big O's? Are you a tire salesman doing a little product placement? Better be careful not to tread on Blaine's territory. You notice I've been keeping a low profile this week.

      Delete
  17. Jim - your read my mind. (Great minds think alike?)

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  18. GuerillaBoy,

    You gave away too much - about Wife #3, that is. I think I might know her. Will she turn 50 on December 7?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leo, are you sure about 50? I thought she was much older.

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    2. Oh, Lord, I thought she was the last wife and was 50. Just doing some detective work.

      Delete
    3. No she will not be turning 50 on Dec. 7th. In all liklihood she will be turning around the dance floor in her hula skirt as we will be in Maui celebrating our anniversary on that date.
      As they say in them parts,
      Adios little old howlie amigo!

      Delete
  19. The side show has run away with the circus!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shalom means peace. Last I checked.

      Delete
    2. Hey, what's the Hebrew word for 'disturbing'?
      That would be interesting to know.

      Delete
    3. It's not a word, but a saying, "My mother's coming for dinner."

      Delete
    4. Sorry, benmar, I meant to place these comments elsewhere, and Blogger......did what Blogger does.

      Delete
    5. Benmar:
      Sideshow? Circus? Man, them is some pretty cryptic clues. Took me forever to figure 'em out. Then I realized, hey, these clues are so far off the map they're not even in the continental United States. Very clever.

      Delete
    6. Yeah, I 'ken' but I won't, Beavis.

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    7. AG must have been a Don Ho fan.

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    8. Actually, I've been known to carouse with a Ho or two in my day, Benmar, but Don was not one of 'em.

      Delete
  20. Miss Congeniality. (You know, the Sandra Bullock movie.)

    ReplyDelete
  21. This puzzle reminds me of America's number one naval destroyer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to my Internet research, America's #1 naval destroyer is a hula hoop with a tack in it.

      And, just for the record, there IS a clue here.

      Delete
    2. AbqGuerrilla:
      Yes we know—you gave it away!

      Delete
  22. Blaine:
    If we all "try to keep (y)our discussions tied to discussing the puzzle," how will we know who wins?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In other words, ties are for Christmas.

      Delete
  23. Dear Fellow Bloggers:
    If you have not solved this puzzle by now, you may as well give up because there are more giveaways on this page than Obama's re-election campaign. Speaking of free stuff, I'm gonna take my food stamps down to Safeway and see if they'll redeem them for a nice pineapple upside down cake.

    I really think the blog administrator should go over this week's postings and make a few arrests.

    Book 'em, Blaino!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's with this self-incrimination, AbqG—you didn't have to do that! :-)

      (It doesn't take a PI or even state police to see you're just as guilty…!)

      Delete
    2. Yes, Wolfie, I felt it best to come clean since the Big Kahuna is on the warpath this week. I 'spose a lot of folks around here would be happy if I just "hit the road, Jack." Lord knows I mean well. My best defense is the fact that although I dish out quite a few verbal pokes-in-the-ribs, 25% of them are self-inflicted wounds. Bottom line is that it is not my intent to poi-son this blog, Captain. Cooking up stimulating repartee, you sea, is my only fun on weekends.

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

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    4. Gotta do what you gotta do, AbqG. You sound like a true role model. I know the type: working Saturdays and Sundays, and no drinking, either. Well, I must say I'm not quite like that (if you haven't already noticed).

      Delete
  24. This is a video that everyone must see:

    http://vimeo.com/35055590

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cute! Some part of the story is missing, though.

      Delete
  25. Went to the KC Chiefs game today and got to go on the field (they still lost another). The only memorable thing I left with was that stupid Baha Men song they played. I hate that song.

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  26. At this very moment, WNYC-FM (Will Shortz's local NPR station) is running David Garland's One-Hour Hawaiian War Chant Extravaganza. Hum along:

    www.wnyc.org/shows/spinning/2012/nov/18/

    ReplyDelete
  27. Seems like a lot of give-a-way clues this week.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I think there may be a new trend happening here lately that could destroy this blog. It might help if each of us were to ask ourselves if we might be the culprit. The way I see it a very few are becoming indiscriminate in their posting of clues that are not well thought out so as to not give the answer away. Another trend I have noticed is occasionally someone will feel the need to elaborate on another persons hint, even to the point of eliminating the obscurity that was originally intended by the first.
    Perhaps we could all take a moment to reflect and see if we could modify our posting in a more thoughtful manner that will benefit us all. Let us not point fingers, but simplly do a little reflecting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well put, SDB. Thanks for the post.

      Delete
    2. I think it would be a lot more interesting if we start a finger pointing brawl.

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    3. We could celebrate with a Hodown on Wednesday at 3 PM.

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    4. Don Ho is a well-known singer from Hawaii, the ALOHA state.

      Delete
  29. Hello? It would be interesting to know why Blaine deleted some comments, but not others. Apparently, there were more blatant giveaways than what's already been posted. Goodbye.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leo,

      I don't Blaine deleted ANY comments this week. All of the ones that have been deleted so far have been done so by the folks that made the comment in the first place. I only took my post down because Abq inferred that my original post was a "bit of a revelation". Then I made it worse by typing a message with a bunch of capital letters - that I felt compounded the problem - so I deleted that one too.

      To my knowledge, our kind blog administrator has not deleted a single post this week . . . .

      yet!

      Delete
  30. Maybe Al Gore? There's some disagreement on this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not many posts relating to "alpha", so here's mine. There was disagreement among pundits during the 2000 Presidential Election whether/not Al Gore was an ALPHA male.

      Delete
  31. oooh baby let's stay together Lovin this weather weather times are good or bad
    Prime directive sing like nobody's listening!!

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

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    Replies
    1. You gave it away to soon!!! Wednesday at non, this is Tuesday.

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    2. Once again I'm reminded of my favorite bumper sticker:

      SO MANY IDIOTS. SO FEW COMETS.

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    3. We all doin' what we can, sdb.

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    4. And wasn't it an asteroid? Or have I misinterpreted?

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    5. Paul:
      It was Heaven's Gate cult and the Hale-Bopp Comet. They committd suicide thinking they would reach the alien spacecraft that was following behind it. They didn't even make it behind the Comet under the sink in their kitchen.

      Delete
    6. Ah, I did misinterpret. Didn't really follow all the details of that story. Thanks.

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    7. Cult? I thought they were an "Away Team".

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    8. Isn't that what they called themselves? And wasn't Uhura's brother among them?

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    9. People scoured the skies looking for them, but the kitchen remained soiled as it was lacking Comet.

      Delete
    10. "Uhura's brother".....good find....I guess...
      If you never crap up the sink, you never need Comet...just sayin'.

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

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  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I was thinking along the same lines. Either a case of hit and run, or too stupid to even figure out how to delete his post. Perhaps he hit the trail in a big way.

      Delete
  35. Has anyone seen mtbiker on this blog before? I haven't, so as far as I'm concerned, he has made quite the first impression with his entrance. (Yes, I'm assuming mtbiker is a guy. A girl would think twice if it was five minutes past the hour and no one had posted the answer yet.)

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

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  36. SkyDiveBoy:
    Now that the jig is up, I want to set the record straight on something. When you posted the clue "America's favorite naval destroyer," I thought for sure you were making reference to Leo's December 7th reference, which was clearly a nod to Pearl Harbor and that you were somehow pointing to one of the eight battleships that were sunk that day. So I responded with my little hula hoop reference. I had no f-ing idea that you were laying down a super-obscure Hawaii clue. That only became clear to me when you chided me for my hula hoop comment. No foul intended, bro. Will you still be taking me to the luau on Friday night?

    I'd also like to weigh in on the subject of giveaway clues. Most importantly, to quote George W. Bush (sorta): "Blaine is the decider." If he did not feel any of this week's comments disclosed too much, then I'm cool with that. I would only add that in all the months that I have been lurking around this blog, not once, let me repeat, not once, has a clue I have gleaned from this site led me to the solution. Not once. Many of them are so vague (i.e., 26 degrees of separation) that when I do solve the puzzle, I'm left scratching my head wondering, "Where the heck was s/he going with that one?"
    Aloha,
    Guerrilla Boy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A little premature ABQ. Have you been told that before?

      Delete
  37. I would like to begin by saying "Hello." You all are a great help to me in providing laugh, chatter and clues. Eucharisteo (thanks). Zeke

    ReplyDelete
  38. One of the words was spoken exactly halfway through a TV time slot last Monday.

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  39. All in all, this has been a very unsatisfying NPR Puzzle week. I feel so disconnected. Romeo, where art thou?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruth:

      Hey "Babe," you really hit that one outta the ballpark!

      Okay, so I wasn't going to post this, but your Alpha Romeo hint is forcing the issue. The last couple of days I've had this Alpha Romeo hint knocking around in the empty space between my ears, but have not been able to quite make it work, and besides it being a giveaway.

      This Italian on a business trip to Hawaii drives a hard bargain aloha the place.

      I know, it need a little more time in the oven. Just couldn't make it come together.

      But that does remind me of the Hawaiian joke I made up last year.

      If Alaska is a giant size state, and Rhode Island is a tiny size state, then I suppose Hawaii is palm size.

      Delete
    2. I know you were hinting at ALFA Romeo, but I was "congratulating" you on your triple entendre, automotive, Shakespearean, and International Phonetic Alphabet-ish: ALPHA, BRAVO, charlie, ..., india, JULIET, kilo, ... quebec, ROMEO, sierra, ...

      Delete
  40. I believe that we need a VP of operations as a Blaine backup. For example, the "giveaway" remained on the blog too long.

    Please allow me to nominate SDB.

    ReplyDelete
  41. ALPHA = ALOHA

    My hints:

    "Last night I posted these three:"

    New puzzle is now up.
    I might need a lot of help answering this one.

    And a bit later:

    There is a connection here to a line of banter we had in last week's puzzle blogging.

    And finally:

    Obama would most likely get this one.

    ANSWERS:

    1. "a lot of help answering" The initial letters spell ALOHA

    2. In that banter we spoke of ALPHAbet soup.

    3. Obama was born in Hawaii when he wasn't also being born in Kenya. I understand he delayed releasing some documentation proving he was born in Hawaii in the belief he could use it later as a Trump card.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Answer: alpha, aloha

    Last Sunday I said, “The answer was literally the first word pair I thought of.” Alpha, of course, is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and means something that is first.

    Chuck

    ReplyDelete
  43. My "reversed" word pair was PEONY and PENNY.

    > I don't know why you don't say shalom, GB.

    "Shalom", like ALOHA, is used for both "hello" and "goodbye". My wording refers to the Beatles' song, "Hello, Goodbye", to which GuerillaBoy alluded.

    ReplyDelete
  44. My comment about aardvarks and zot was both a true statement as well as a hint to alpha-omega.

    ReplyDelete
  45. True, clever, subtle, succinct, unobtrusive, inoffensive...imagine that.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Replies
    1. No soap, Capt. Nemo, because amole does not qualify as a "familiar" word. Well, perhaps at MI-6 they do.

      This raises a good point though. I was pleased Will did not specify the words were common, instead he said familiar.

      Delete
  47. I was just playing around with an AL Greene song and changing whether to weather in honor of Hawaii's climate which sure beats Baltimore's about now. Prime similar to alpha. I usually get a response to my antics from SDB but the biker chick? trumped me

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  48. My clues:

    Miss Congeniality—alluded to the scene where the Sandra Bullock character talks about how "Aloha" means both "hello" and "good-bye."

    "It doesn't take a PI or even state police"—a reference to the shows Magnum, P.I. and Hawaii Five-O.

    "I know the type: working Saturdays and Sundays, and no drinking, either. Well, I must say I'm not quite like that (if you haven't already noticed)."
    Those were references to the Jack Lord character from Hawaii Five-O for one and to my very "casual" pic (with a Hawaiian-style short on) for another.

    "Cute! Some part of the story is missing, though."
    A reply to the video to which Jim's post was linked. That video patchworks snippets from movies to the lyrics of the Lionel Richie song Hello. With the "part missing," I was referring to "Aloha" also meaning "Good-bye."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I meant "Hawaiian-style shirt, of course.

      Delete
  49. My clue: (side show/circus) - Hawaii being the "side" show with the Pres.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Replies
    1. And the third syllable is hiding where?

      Delete
    2. Such a stickler for details SDB!

      Delete
    3. Well Jim, the puzzle is about converting a five letter, two syllable word into a three syllable word by changing the middle letter to the one preceding it in the alphabet. What do John Solo's two words have to do with this puzzle? Nothing at all!

      Delete
  51. May be a stretch, but I was thinking 'tiler' as in someone who puts down tile for a living is pronounced ti-l-er (i.e. ty-el-er) Certainly two words far more common than alpha and aloha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John Solo:
      There is no need for anyone to experience lasting confusion as to the pronunciation of the words we use. That is why we have dictionaries. Here is a link to a free one, available to all online that even provides audible pronunciation to this two syllable word:

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tiler?s=t

      I strongly recommend dictionaries to anyone wishing to stretch his mind.

      Delete
    2. I assumed (like almost everyone else?), that to convert from 2 to 3 syllables, you'd need to convert a consonant to a vowel. Maybe John Solo's postulate is worth exploring.

      Delete
    3. Having done only a fraction of my dictionary homework, I think:
      TILER is two syllables(Tippecanoe is four)
      LYRE is one syllable
      LIAR is two
      FIRE? I want to stay on the good side of the Pointers....and the Boss.
      What's IDEAL? Go figure.

      Delete
  52. My Clues: I'll bet a few will have trouble solving this, in layman's terms.

    "I'll" as in hawaiian isle
    "Bet a" as in alpha beta (similar to blaine's clue)
    "layman's terms" as in hawaiian lei

    ReplyDelete
  53. I really like "PEONY" and "PENNY", Jan. You should have suggested that pair to WS.

    ReplyDelete
  54. New puzzle is up and it is surprisingly easy to find the (intended) answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree and already sent in my answer.

      Delete
    2. At first I thought it was going to be the second time I do a load of laundry and all my socks survive.

      Delete
    3. I can't wait to see what Blaine puts up for a clue because I'm having no luck at all coming up with one.

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    4. Now I think about it there may be celebrations in many parts of the world to mark this occasion.

      Delete