Thursday, December 20, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 16, 2012): Where in the World?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 16, 2012): Where in the World?:
Q: Name a two-word geographical location. Remove the first letter. Move one of the other letters to the front of what's left. This will result in a single word. And this word names what you are most likely looking through when you see that geographical location. What is it?
Take the initial letters of the geographical location, add one more letter and the result will be something familiar.

Edit: The answer to this follow-on puzzle was N.P. + R = NPR
A: NORTH POLE --> PORTHOLE

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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4. Yeah, but I have two gripes with "what you are most likely looking through when you see that geographical location".

First, some folks may object "That is one word? I thought it was two words."

Second, the person (or persons) credited with the discovery of the geographical location were definitely NOT looking through any of those things.

1. I googled the solution as two words, and all Google hits had it as one word (on the first two screen pages at least).

Merriam-Webster has it as one word as well.

2. Sounds true. Besides that: those persons would have needed at least one additional aid of sorts to even know what they were looking at was that location.

2. Enya:
You are correct in saying they did not look through one of those things, but it was almost the same, and served the same purpose. I wonder if you will understand what I mean. More on Thursday.

3. I just now did a little more research and have come to the conclusion that Will has it backwards. We would almost certainly not be looking at it through one of these things, but those who first did were. More on Thursday.

4. Submerged in research again, I see. You must be burning a lot of midnight whale oil at yer place. I've been doin' a little research of my own. Did you know that in addition to animals, Noah brought two of every insect on board? Except for the Rocky Mountain Deer Tick. Only brought one of them, which is why they are able to reproduce without a mate.

5. I thought it was because he didn't want any sects on board.

6. Only to the extent that certain sects resisted sexing prior to boarding thereby interfering with Noah's mission and at times disrupting the sextant which of course, told them all where to go.

7. I heard one of the bugs was a highly sextant.

8. I actually had one of those in my family. My Uncle's first wife.

10. And if not, what about your next aunt and her antics?

11. No, she was a highly sextaunt. You should have heard her pant. Enough to move a rubber (pun intended) tree plant. I'd like to rant, but details are scant, so I can't. I suspect, however, we're about to hear YOUR slant.

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5. Salt and pepper?

6. Add an E to the solution and rearrange the result to get to a place quite far from the original location.

1. Good one, TB.

2. I agree with Chuck. Very nice!

7. No matter the weather
No matter the drill
I’m always up for
A new puzzle from Will.

Chuck

8. I was hoping for a really interesting geographic location, like the Mariana Trench, the Great Divide, or even Death Valley. But, alas, those don't work. I guess the real answer is more appropriate as the Winter Solstice approaches.

9. refigerator art

10. Warsaw?
Or is it Wausau?

1. Good one, Leo. I was thinking along those same lines, but in a very different way.

2. Technically, the demonym would be a "Varsovian," Leo. Not to be nitpicky, but I'm just saying.

11. I think Italians will find it easy to understand this one.

1. I guess it depends on whose side you're on.

12. We got a few inches of snow last night in Provo. We're only at 1,909 ft. above sea level, so we don't get as much snow as they do in Salt Lake. When I went downstairs and entered the kitchen, there sat Wife #1 nursing a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. She was listening to a Perry Como Christmas album as she stared out the kitchen window which had a thick coat of frost all around the outside edges.
She continued to look out at the snow-covered mountains, "I can't decide whether to cook or just chill with Perry Como 'til the record ends."
If you're wondering how this story ended, let's just say that Perry won and I made my own darn breakfast.

1. You solved the NPR Will Shortz puzzle, but you are way off in your other conclusion. Probably most will agree with you however, but that does not make them right. I doubt that one in a thousand knows the true answer. We'll talk more on Thursday.

2. Truth is a gateway drug.

3. My Gateway computer can be a bit addicting too.

4. SDB: Well, I was just about to start pounding "I respectfully disagree" on the old keyboard, and then I thought it might be in my interest to consult Wikipedia. Lo and behold, you are correct. Hence I disrespectfully agree. ;-)
Coincidentally, a few seconds after my earlier posting, Wife #1 inexplicably turned off Perry Como, fired up the range, and recited one of our house rules, "The first one to arrive in the kitchen on a Sunday morning is the official cook of record." Katerina is Polish, so we had sardines and cream cheese with our scrambled eggs. My mother was assisting with the fruit salad and slicing toasted nuts. When I complained that I was starving, she tossed me a single nut and said sarcastically, "Here, have an almond, Son. Breakfast is nearly ready.' Our nearest neighbor, Chandler Wobble and his wife, Bobbi, brought a desert dish and joined us for brunch. Trust me, you haven't lived until you've gobbled Bobbi Wobble's cobbler.

5. And did you notice the spelling discrepancy in two of your posts? On Thursday I will try and remember to mention a wonderful book to read on this subject.
Now see if you can decypher my double hint in my 10:27 AM post above. You may be closer than you think.

6. Yes, Sgt. Preston, I gottum (yer clues), but I guess Yule have to take my word for it. And, of course, I had to commit to the spelling error, lest Blaine expeditiously bury me in an avalanche of censorship. Alas, we all fear the husky arm of the decider. And now Wife #1 has traded the Perry Como album for the Velvet Underground Live in Norway with special guest, Iggy Pop. Believe you me, I'll take an Iggy-Lou combination over the singing barber any day of the week. You kan believe that!

7. Good, and speaking of Norway, do you happen to know that the most popular means of transportation in Italy is the Fiat? In France it is the Renault. In Germany it's the VW. Of course in Sweden it is the Volvo. Given all that, what is the most popular in Norway? Feel free to answer openly.

8. I know they made a really cool looking little car called the Troll in the 50's, but no more. I also Googled the answer and discovered that VW's and Toyotas are the best selling autos in Norway these days. That being said, when I was stationed in Oslo, I thought everyone was driving a Harvey because when they got in their car and put it in gear, they'd all say "har ve go." Weak, I know, but I detect the distinct smell of a far superior SDB joke in the air. So, OK. Let me have it...

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10. The most popular means of transportation in Norway: The Fjord.

11. Hey, go with the flow!

12. Velvet Underground and Iggy Pop? What a Vicious combination. They have a Real Good Time Together. I Can't Stand It.

13. Yes, especially since they're both manic depressive, Leo. Wink, wink.

13. This is a huge puzzle. Bravo for the enormity of it all.

14. I think I'll have a small glass of something in the study after dinner.

15. If you can't run with the big dogs stay up on the porch!

16. When the Phoenix rises from the ashes you will know that it is well.

17. Eugene O'Neill and Deborah Hoffmann.

1. I like that one.

2. SDB - my sister thanks you.

3. Is this an indication that there is a Team Lorenzo?

4. Not for puzzle-solving purposes, but I do have cameo appearances in two of her films.

5. I'll try dropping the name Riemann here, and see what happens.

6. Paul - Interesting hypothesis! You may be thinking of different Hoffmanns and Riemanns. On the other hand, there is a Riemann connection with two degrees of separation.

7. I can only conclude that 'Riemann' was hyperbolic... go figure!

18. Humphrey Bogart

19. Cleveland Browns

20. musical clue: The Carpenters -1972.

1. Jim, Is that the only explanation you can give?

21. I didn't see anyone else comment on this,so I will. I got Blaine's reference (first time in a long time !)

Maybe a note for the "other blog" but I think the relatively complex puzzle instructions this week might reduce the number of entries this week.

No hints in this entry.

1. DJ, I thought I got Blaine's reference but then...OUCH! What was that?!

2. DaveJ: Don't pirate Blaine's reference.

3. ...from the guy who says Will has it backwards...

4. ssodmreatwh kicnagbftai mtiuloibaar

22. A good place for a short, bright drive.

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23. I'm reminded of a slightly different version of a poem skydiveboy posted several weeks ago:

Mary donned her little skates,
Upon the ice to frisk.
Wasn't she a foolish girl
Her little *?

24. Sorry, gang. While I have been current (lately)on my puzzle production, I have neglected to let you know when they were ready. The answers have already been posted so I will link you to the the puzzle page which (as you already know) has a link to the answer page.

Go here first

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1. Jan, I think that one is a bit over the top.

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3. Jan: I think it is cute, but too well known. i.e. a give-away.

4. Phooey! Give a guy some latitude!

5. Funny! I guess Blaine also thought it was too revealing and all encompassing.

6. Hey Jan, just wondering. Do you have a degree?

7. What's your angle, SDB? I don't know if you're on the right track.

8. Well, that's the long and the short of it.

9. friend has 10 degrees and no job. Apparently he does not have enough degrees to make him a hot property

10. A bit off the subject again, don't you think? But if I can offer some encouragement to your friend. Only the dogged are finding jobs these days.

26. Senator Daniel Inouye's ship comes in.
Great men will be missed.
Zeke 'Go For Broke' Creek.

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1. With a few minor changes.

2. Seems like you boys are dipping your toes into waters from which I was expelled yesterday, while just trying to go with the floe.

3. Jan:
I agree with you and I have been waiting to see if Blaine will too.

4. Waiting? That's an understatement if ever I heard one. Licking your grizzly chops in anticipation would be more accurate.

5. Jan ~ I think that may be the point. Toe dipping is encouraged. You, on the other hand, may have neglected to see Blaine's "No Diving" sign. (Easy on the ripcord there, SDB, we're talking water here.)

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7. So, in terms of the author of the puzzle identified on the NPR website…white lie?

8. Yes, but this is double toe dipping.

9. So you say, but this little piggy begs to differ. (This is between SDB and me. You better stay out of this one, Wolfie, if you get my drift. Don't want you to get burned.)

10. Now, let's not be piggish, miss.

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12. First it was getting piggish, and now it seems we're getting a bit Picci with Otto. Let's not get Henri with those we disagree with. For an ice breaker maybe we should chill out a bit.

13. Come on back in, Jan. The water's great.

14. It might be warmer to come back in August.

15. Warm up the spruce goose.

28. Feels like I knew this one off the top of my head.

29. I had to search to the ends of the Earth to solve this one.

1. You really pulled off a good one, u.j.

2. Thank you Zeke. I must admit to being a little intimidated by all the smart people here.

3. You're welcome, woody.
Intelligence is sometimes like the bark on a tree. Peel it away and it reveals what we really are.
Zeke the mental midget :-)

4. Good one, Uncle John, and you didn't even have to go out on a limb.

Reminds me of an ongoing discussion going on at the Woodland Park Zoo, here in Seattle, regarding their elephants. Elephants like to roam (I like going to Rome) and need lots of landscape in order to do this. It is being propossed that they be given to another facility where they can be happy, such as San Diego's Zoo.

That was the long way of saying there is not enough trunk space.

5. Send 'em to Tuscany.

6. But then some of the younger ones might get cars and become Alpha Males.

30. Just as an FYI, there's only one way to solve this week's puzzle...

1. you don't say?

2. I was alluding to the fact that at the North Pole, the only way (or direction) one can look is South, regardless of where one turns.

31. NORTH POLE > PORTHOLE

We seem to have lost the N, however, while the P was freely dispersed, no ground was stained.

My hint:

"I think Italians will find it easy to understand this one."

This is a double hint. Understand in Italian is "capice." Add a space and you have cap ice, which is a reference to the North Pole. The second part of the hint is that while most people will probably say that Peary or Byrd were the first to reach the North Pole, the facts tell a very different story. Roald Amundsen, of Norway, who was the first to reach the South Pole, was also the first to reach the North Pole, along with Oscar Wisting, who was with him at the South Pole. The Italian connection is the airship Norge they used to reach the North Pole and return. It was designed by the Italian aeronautical engineer, Umberto Nobile, who captained the Italian air crew.

I discovered some photos of this airship, including a video, www.criticalpast.com/.../65675051109_North-Pole-expedition_Roal..., of it close up, moving out of a hangar. It had numerous portholes that are clearly visible in the video.

I mentioned a book on all this, Huntford, Roland (1985). The Last Place on Earth. London and Sydney: Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-28816-4. I cannot say enough good things about this monumental work. I would recommend it to anyone who is at all interested in adventure, history and the truth.

I awoke yesterday morning with the realization that it can truly be said of Roald Amundsen, that his accomplishments were Poles apart and they come bearing their own approval of Seal.

Speaking of deleted posts, I am reminded how fortunate it is that Polar Bears only inhabit the Arctic regions, and not the Antarctic. Imagine how much more difficult dealing with them would be if they were bipolar.

This was an easy puzzle to solve if you paid attention to each hidden Claus.

To cap it off it should be noted that a Byrd named Richard flew South in the winter and North in the summer. Since Richard Byrd, Frederick Cook and Robert Peary all lied about their reaching the North Pole; they were all part of an Evil of Axis.

32. North Pole, porthole

Last Sunday I said:

No matter the weather,
No matter the drill.
I’m always up for
A new puzzle from Will.

Up was intended to evoke North as in North Pole. Happy Winter Solstice Eve, everyone :)

Chuck

1. I thought your main hint was drill, making reference to those desiring to drill for oil where they shouldn't.

33. The USS Skate was the first submarine to surface through the ice at the North Pole.

My deleted hint was "What color is the bear". Sheesh.

"Latitude", "angle" and "right": 90 degrees.

"Dipping" was a Big Dipper reference, playing off a (later deleted) Ursa Major post. (Though it's Ursa Minor that includes Polaris.)

And my post in last week's blog about staying 3 meters away: I wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole.

34. NORTH POLE - PORTHOLE

My clues:

You'd need "at least one additional aid of sorts to even know" you are looking at that location.
Unlike the top of a mountain, or an artifact like Mount Rushmore, the North Pole is not that visually obvious. You'd need, e.g., a compass or some other geo-spatial instrument.

"Humphrey Bogart"
A loose reference to the movie Chain Lightning, where Bogey is a test pilot flying an experimental aircraft across via the North Pole.

"White lie"
White is the color of the polar bear.

My other clues were censored, so that preempts any more comments here.

1. Wolfy,
I got your additional aid hint, but now am surprised you are including a compass. A compass is of no use at either Pole, or in getting there. It is extremely complicated to locate the Poles. Amundsen left Norway and studied in order to be able to locate the Poles. You can't even look at which side of the trees the moss is growing on. :)

2. Hm, I figured the compass would be contingent on "geographical" vs. "magnetic" pole. (Suppose you stand right atop the magnetic North Pole...is the compass needle going to spin?)

3. Even moreso than Congress.

4. To be serious, I am not sure what the needle would do. I understand it would be highly (no pun intended) eratic anywhere close to the Poles. Also the needle does not point to the Pole, but the magnetic Pole. Still of no use at either Pole. I do not recall the details now, but I remember reading about Amundsen spending, I think, more than a year studying under some expert in Germany? in order to be able to locate the Poles and he was not inclined to be interested in that kind of study, but knew he must. When he and his team reached the South Pole they spent a lot of time and effort determining they had actually reached it. Also they wanted to make it obvious to Scott that they were there first and more effort was spent making sure of that too. I seem to also recall that a chronograph was necessary. I suppose now with satellites it is easy.

35. Okay, why don't we now revisit the very first comment with replies on this week's thread, in which the initial comment still survives? (Blaine deleted the first two.)

I posted on Sun Dec 16, at 05:53:00 AM PST:

Yeah, but I have two gripes with "what you are most likely looking through when you see that geographical location".

First, some folks may object "That is one word? I thought it was two words."

Second, the person (or persons) credited with the discovery of the geographical location were definitely NOT looking through any of those things.

Wolfgang replied Sun Dec 16, 12:04:00 PM PST

1. I googled the solution as two words, and all Google hits had it as one word (on the first two screen pages at least).

Merriam-Webster has it as one word as well.

2. Sounds true. Besides that: those persons would have needed at least one additional aid of sorts to even know what they were looking at was that location.

skydiveboy then repled on Sun Dec 16, 12:13:00 PM PST:

Enya:
You are correct in saying they did not look through one of those things, but it was almost the same, and served the same purpose. I wonder if you will understand what I mean. More on Thursday.

And then skydiveboy replied again Sun Dec 16, 12:34:00 PM PST:

I just now did a little more research and have come to the conclusion that Will has it backwards. We would almost certainly not be looking at it through one of these things, but those who first did were. More on Thursday.

....And then the further replies digress into other topics like insects and Noah's ark.

...Anyway, SDB, I've read your initial post since it's now OK to talk about the North pole and portholes, and I see that you believe that Perry did not really reach the North pole. I wonder how you account for the National Geographic Society having been convinced that he did?

1. First off, it isn't Perry. It is Peary. The NGS, hoping to save face, is not very convincing to those who took the time and effort to closely examine the evidence.

You might want to take the time to Google:

Who Was First at the North Pole?

By JOHN TIERNEY (NY Times reporter)

One short bit follows:

"But if Cook and Peary weren’t first, who was? For a while it looked as if Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr. deserved that honor for his reported flight over the North Pole in 1926. But in 1996, as my colleague John Noble Wilford reported, Mr. Rawlins turned up evidence against Byrd’s claim, too. So I (like Mr. Rawlins and Mr. Bryce and others) would give the honor to Amundsen, making him the discoverer of both poles. The great Norwegian explorer floated over it in a a dirigible in 1926 along with a group of companions."

2. Another good info source on this subject:

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

3. From the wiki piece mentioned above:

Peary's claim to have reached the North Pole has long been subject to doubt.[17] Some polar historians believe that Peary honestly thought he had reached the pole. Others have suggested that he was guilty of deliberately exaggerating his accomplishments. In recent years, Peary's account has encountered renewed criticism and skepticism, as reviewed by Berton (2001) and Henderson (2005).

 Lack of independent validation

Peary did not submit his evidence for review to neutral national or international parties or to other explorers. Peary's claim was certified by the National Geographic Society,[when?] a major sponsor of his expedition, a few weeks before Cook's Pole pretension was rejected by a Danish panel of explorers and navigational experts. His so-called "proofs" were never made available to similar scrutiny by for instance the Danish panel.[when?] The Society's chief,[citation needed] Gilbert Grosvenor, furthermore persuaded the National Academy of Sciences not to get involved. The Royal Geographical Society of London gave Peary its gold medal in 1910, despite internal council splits which only became known in the 1970s. However, the RGS based their decision on the belief that the NGS had performed a serious scrutiny of the "proofs", which was not the case. Neither the American Geographical Society nor any of the geographical societies of semi-Arctic Scandinavia has recognized Peary's North Pole claim.

36. Whose side/some of the Italian cruise ships portholes had a good view; some didn't.

Huge enoormous/Titanic.

Porch/PORTch

ashes, it is well/Horatio Spafford, Chicago fire, his wife's ship did not make it to port.

Cleveland Browns/Jim Brown, ice Station Zebra.

Dan Inouye/his ship cane to port.

Spruce Goose/Howard, Ice Station Zebra.

Pulled off a good one/POLEd

1. Sorry about the misspelling, fat fingers and a small phone keypad.

37. Wolfgang & SDB -

FYI from Wikipedia:

The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is, subject to certain caveats, defined as the point in the Northern Hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface. It should not be confused with the North Magnetic Pole.

The North Magnetic Pole is the point where the Earth's magnetic field points downward; in other words, if a magnetic compass needle is allowed to rotate about a horizontal axis, it will point straight down when it is over the North Magnetic Pole. There is only one location where this occurs, near (but distinct from) the Geographic North Pole.

Chuck

1. I wonder where that will be tomorow:-)

2. I think both Wolfgang and I agreed already with the first paragraph above. As to the second, I find this rather impercise and questionable at best, not to mention it was not backed up.

3. The second paragraph is precise and accurate.

The "North Magnetic Pole" of the Earth is currently in Northern Canada, and magnetically it is actually a south pole, which is why the north pole of a magnet (e.g. in a compass) is attracted to it. The magnetic pole has also moved around quite a bit in the last 100 years (http://phys.org/news8917.html). The geographic pole only moves a few meters due to the Earth's wobble (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandler_wobble).

Is that enough back up?

If I were looking at the North Pole, I would be looking through an airplane window, not a porthole.

4. Bryan:
No, that is not enough backup. The needle would be pointing down long before the Pole was reached and any reading would be useless.
You could be on a ship at the Pole and looking through a porthole, but more likely you would be up higher or on deck. But the first to get there were certainly looking through portholes.

5. Well, that is really a matter of measurement accuracy, not the definition of where the pole is. In fact the magnetic pole is found quite precisely using magnetic field measurements. The crudest of these measurements is the "dip needle" described, though we can do much better these days with modern apparatus.

I would be in an airplane, in any event. With the heater on.

6. I believe you are very much mistaken about magnetic field measurements working as you describe. That is why Amundsen dis not use them, because he knew they were useless at the poles.

7. You cannot use magnetic measurements to find the geographic north and south poles, because the magnetic poles are not in the same place. This is true. Also, for the geographic poles, stellar observations are much more accurate. However, to find the magnetic poles, you use a magnet.

8. You use a magnet to find a magnet. What kind of nonsense is that? Yes, it can be said a compass is used in locating the magnetic pole, but from a very long distance away, not close to the pole where it would be useless. As for the geographic pole locations, a compass is totally useless no matter what nonsense you may find on the internet.

9. You can use a dip needle, a kind of compass that perhaps you don't know about, to find the magnetic pole. It is not nonsense at all. I suggest you look it up. I am glad to see you agree with me that a compass is useless to find the geographic poles.

And why is the puzzle not up yet?

10. Page myself. Brilliant!

38. My "Salt and pepper?" comment has survived! Someone before me had made the observation that the challenge was "timely," but that comment seems to have disappeared.

So I simply posted some SEASONings to suggest that the challenge was "seasonal."

39. Eugene O'Neill: Long Day's Journey into Night.
Deborah Hoffmann: Long Night's Journey into Day.

1. Bro. Lo,
I was thinking you were referring to "The Iceman Cometh."

3. I'm married to grandma. That makes mom my sister, and I'm my own grandpa.

40. (N)ice! I confess I hadn't thought of that one.

1. It would be nice to get away from this ice in Nice. Capice?

41. Blaine, why was my post last Sunday with just the word "timely" removed?
There were lots of more obvious clues posted that remained.

1. I kept it for awhile, then nixed it after thinking the timely --> winter/Christmas --> North Pole/Santa connection was pretty direct.

As for other hints, I probably overlooked them in longer comments. :)

42. SDB LMBO Anyway, how was my 10 degrees off the subject? Maybe you don't ge t cold as easily but North Pole makes me want to run for cover.
@ Jim, I hope you know I was quoting the song and not insulting you

1. No, I got your ten degree hint and my first sentence in reply was to throw off those who had not solved it yet and also just as a way for me to make my dog sled comment. Your post has my Approval of Seal.

2. k That was a good hint way the by!

3. Thanks, it was a bitch coming up with that one.

43. I knew that RoRO. We are good :-)

44. New puzzle is up! I'll need to ponder it; but it's still a beautiful puzzle.

1. And if you remove the first letter of the name of the god, you might be left with what this puzzle may elicit.

2. Take the last name of a famous actor. Drop the first letter, and you'll get the last name of a famous artist. Drop the first letter again, and you'll get the name of a god in classical mythology. What names are these?

3. Anagram the name of the god twice to get two cartoon characters used in advertising (one used by two different companies in two different industries).

4. @skydiveboy, re your 5:26 comment: Be sure to keep up your defenses - following your reasoning one more step may make you vulnerable to charges of trading on privileged information.

5. I think the wording of this puzzle might have some folks looking in the wrong direction for the god. @Jan - your anagram comment is especially clever.

6. Bob Kerfuffle:
After I posted that and went back to bed I thought I should have mentioned that you can then remove the first letter of my hint word at the end to reveal where you should send in your answer to the puzzle when you finally solve it.