Weekly discussion on the NPR puzzler, brain teasers, math problems and more.
Q: Name two articles of apparel — things you wear — which, when the words are used as verbs, are synonyms of each other. What are they?
A: SOCK and BELT
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.
I guess Will's wardrobe contains recycled materials
Yep, hand-me-downs apparently...
Thame old thong.
DaveJ, I think you are the only one here who blogged the last time. Why not repost your fine comment?
Doesn't anybody check these? Or has Will exhausted all the possible good puzzles? I'm getting tired of this.
I've figured it out: the common factor is Henry Hook!
(Not that I'm taking a jab at Hook, of course.)
Paul Simon tune.
He had many smash hits. Which one are you thinking of?
Yet another article of apparel.
Jan:If I go further it will be a give away.
Not true! Not true! Not true!
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Last time the lengths of the words were specified. This time there is more freedom to choose alternate answers.
I thought about a witty retort, but decided against it.
If I get called for the on-air puzzle, I'm going to honestly tell Will how I came up with the answer, and hopefully it'll wake him up out of this puzzle stupor.
I listened to the puzzle segment this morning on my bedside clock radio. Had the answer before my feet hit the floor.Chuck
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Blaine, on Thursday, you need to tell me what was too revealing about my posting. I didn't think I was even getting close to the line (which I admit I sometimes try to do).
Jan- have to agree with Blaine on this one. I hadn't solved the puzzle til I saw your clue. (Actually, it was the "Too far..." post which highlighted the importance of your clue.) Solved very quickly after that.
I see Blaine deleted my hint that I posted last night, at the end of last week's blog, right after the puzzle came out. I can see why he might have thought it too revealing, but it seemed obscute to me. Not an easy one to hint at and not give it all away, but then only a three year old could have trouble solving this one. I'm with you, Jan. Think I'll go have a stiff one and wait for next week.
If you want a good puzzle, go check out the Car Talk Puzzler for this week. It is a good logic puzzle.
The real question is what Doug Berman is doing with a drug scale in his remote mountain cabin.
Good Point. I heard he was scaling back.
I don't know why I find this thread amusing, but I do. Perhaps because I think I've solved the CT puzzle, and I see a kinda-sorta connection to the NPR puzzle; but I'll say no more, you know,discretion and all...
Prior restraint? Or am I prying?
I checked the Car Talk site slightly before 2PM Eastern yesterday afternoon and found that my answer was correct.When I checked back a few, or several, minutes later, I noticed the new puzzle had been posted. I still don't know when Saturday ends, but I think I'm getting closer.The 'pill puzzle' reminded me of some old 'sock puzzles', but, of course, it cannot be solved in the same way.Discrete and discreet are very different words, just as 'r' and 't' are very different letters.Rum and coke can be worse than scotch and soda.Moving from drugs to brownies, I have an answer to the new CT puzzle, using only one slice of the knife, but I don't know if it's the hard or easy way, or if it matters.
It matters. They are looking for the easy way. It is easy too. Nice puzzle, huh?
Carnak the Magnificent says, "Weevils, Jordan, and New Years Day."
Okay, one of the nouns that is used as a verb is kind of obvious. But I think the second article of apparel when altered to be used as a verb - well - I think it is a little bit more of a stretch.
I have come to the conclusion that I was barking up the wrong tree with this statement. I should have taken a little more time to think of other solutions.
The Car Talk puzzler came to me really quickly, but then I used to work in a lab and used one of those scales.
My friend Gerard says the universe of possible answers is so small even a toy robot could solve this one.
That is thinking outside the box!
This puzzle must be driving people in Maryland a little crazy.
Snipper, I live in Maryland and I'll drink to that. I tried avoiding the issue but found that was not the solution
Not to mention DC.
Maybe this puzzle takes us back to an earlier time. Just to make it interesting, there's another article of apparel that is also a synonym with Will's verbs.And that word is also a synonym for yet another article of apparel (or two), though as a verb you may think of it as shorthand. And there is something else you might wear that is also a verbal synonym.
We were listening to the puzzle this morning here in the dining hall at the Shady Pines Nudist Camp near Ashland, Oregon. Several of us tried to solve the puzzle, but after 15 or 20 min, we decided that our diaspora from the land of the clothed has left us at a distinct disadvantage. We'll give next week's puzzle a try.
Let us keep it G rated - ABQ, Simon Sais, MDB - or whichever persona you may be using this week.
This is awful. Somebody's tryin' to frame me in a roundabout way. I'd rather be beaten with a rubber hose than besmirch this family-friendly blog.
I was out walking Boots (our British Bull Dog) when the puzzle came on. As I entered the house, wife #3 relayed the puzzle question to me. She added, "Let's not waist another Sunday on these crummy puzzles." Lucky for me, I solved it in 30 seconds. It was just too easy, so I took some time to find an alternative answer. The obvious answer is comprised of two words with an equal number of letters. If you think of a slightly archaic synonym (also with the same number of letters) for the word signifying the article worn lower on the body, and then use it as a verb, it becomes yet a third verb that is very nearly synonymous with the other two verbs.Additionally, if you think of an article of apparel that is more commonly worn by women and use it as a verb, it is synonymous with the verb for an article of clothing that is commonly worn at specific times of the day. My elderly neighbor, Pierre, practically lives in one. To complicate matters further, there is a rather dressy apparel item that historically was worn by men, but is now worn by businesswomen and lady politicians. The verb form is ALSO synonymous with the two verbs previously alluded to.Looks like Will is gonna have egg on his face next week. I love it when Will is forced to take one in the shortz!
Not to beat a dead horse, but getting back to last month's "aloha" puzzle: how 'bout a nice Hawaiian Punch?
Or better yet, Jan, might we interest you in a quick shot o' whiskey.
Mathematical clue: 62.8
The circumference of a circle with a radius of 10?
The 62.8 is a thinly disguised reference to 6/28/2009, when Will last used this same puzzle. Why the decimal? Didn't want it to be too obvious. A "belt" that long would require a high degree of obesity to fit, if in inches, but might look pretty nice if in cm.
Hey did your hear the one about what would have happened if Romney had won the election? Because of the story about how he traveled on vacations with the family dog strapped to the roof of the car? Had he won, they would not have risked getting a dog as a pet and there would be a new cat in the white house.
As momma used to say, "y'all gots too mich time on yo hands. Git a jab!"
Wife #1 just found yet another viable solution. There are two articles of clothing that, prior to the 1930's, were detachable units. Since that time, they have become a part of a larger article of apparel. If you accept these items as possible solutions to this week's puzzle, then they too, when used as verbs, are synonymous, as any cop on the beat will affirm. Gonna go nab a sandwich. Will check back later.
This puzzle can't be a bore. It seems like there are competing answers. Perhaps Will needs a real yelling at for this.
well it recently hit below freezing here so I know I will not be wearing my mini til spring SDB Name that tone in four letters - Good one!
Keep your toes warm as well.
Don't, do, don,t, do...
So is this a Yoda thing (do or don't do, there is no try) cuz he usually only wears one kind of garment
YET ANOTHER SOLUTION: Without a doubt, this is not Will's intended answer--it's far too deep for even Jack Handy--so I hope you will keep your sword sheathed, Blaine. Please allow me to totally change gears on this one.There is a relatively informal and somewhat shapeless garment worn by women. There is another item that is commonly worn around the house, in very informal situations, and by many Wal-Mart shoppers. I've never taken a shine to them, myself. When used as verbs, these two items also become synonymous. Think Mitt Romney's official positions on public healthcare.
I'm thinking this came to me too quick. Should I reconsider before I submit?
It's too bad that the verb tenses probably have to be consistent. Otherwise "fleece" and "stole" would be a killer solution.
Will has lately been reusing old puzzles as if there were no yesterday. You have to wonder what kind of backward idiom would do that.
I think Richard Nixon once had something to say about this puzzle.
Yes, but he kept it brief.
You could be a millionaire.
This puzzle is so easy, I bet Santa Claus may send in the answer.
Is a chastity belt an article of clothing?
Ruth, did you work on that one pro Bono?
Y'know, sdb, you're just as copper/tellurium as can be!
On this site, would it be like chastisement from Blaine? Methinks it fits.
Why, I oughtta...
Now I see that there are two alternate answers. Not sure which one to submit.
Flipping a coin could be a tie breaker.
Strike up the band to the same old same old.
Leo –My personal opinion is that one pair is the more obvious, the more synonymous, the more elegant and clearly the intended answer. Your mileage may vary :)Chuck
Depending on having a heavy foot or not.
Let's agree that there may be many possible answers and wait until 3 PM Thursday (or better yet, when it's posted on the WESUN website) for verification of what Will's INTENDED answer is, as well as other correct ansers submitted.My clue of 67 to last week's answer was cryptic, so here's the connection: 1987 was the last of SIX consecutive years with no digits repeated, whereas 2012 is the first of SEVEN such years.Finally, perhaps it's appropriate that the list of prominent individuals who passed away this year contains many names with double consonants--a hint to the years 1988 through 2012 being a string of years with repeated digits. Warren Rudman, Larry Hagman, Marvin Miller, Phyllis Diller, Anna Schwartz--the list goes on.
Puzzle suggestion: Anagrams of college names. A few weeks ago, Will used KENT STATE and TENT STAKE as the answer to a challenge. That was a no brainer. It barely qualified as an anagram.College names make for interesting anagrams--some easy, some more challenging. I suggested to Will taking the possessive form of the name ED, adding the name of a vital body part needed to do well in college, and use these letters to come up with the name of a college familiar to NPR listeners. He didn't use my suggestion, but I've come up a with many more anagrams of college names. Try these:I HATE SOOTA WISE HOLY ONEI THEN SLICE A BRAIN
That puzzle was over a year ago.
You're right--it was longer ago than I realized. Time flies.I also ran across the answer to this week's challenge in my archives. Didn't realize it had been used before.That said, I came up with 3 words that I thought worked--SOCK, BELT, and BOOT (as in "GIVE HIM THE BOOT" or "BOOT HIM OUT")
AND STILL ANOTHER SOLUTION! An article of apparel favored by women in winter (Sonja Henie was often photographed wearing one). And an item that cowboys and soldiers can barely do without. The verb forms of these words mean exactly the same thing and are common sporting terms, although the former is used more in football and the latter in baseball (particularly in the outfield).
SOOT to the head.
I guess Will thinks he can pull the wool over our eyes by recycling a puzzle.
Well, dag, Curtis, most items to be worn are seasonal so maybe Will thinks of puzzles in the same "light".
I never realized that being a puzzlemaster was a contact sport – but it must be. Obviously, Will got hit in the head and fumbled another one. Or, perhaps, his eggnog was laced with something.Not only is this a repeat puzzle, but there are multiple good answers. So, in the spirit of the upcoming holidays: Package your presents, hang up your decorations and let’s show some restraint and cut Will some slack.
AK-127, NCC-1830, AK-94
When the PM calls at 3 p.m. Thursday does he set up the game for real time Sunday, or do we play the puzzle right then?
@Zeke - The call on Thursday comes from the NPR staff and just confirms the winner. They then set up a call for Friday around Noon EST on Friday to record the puzzle segment that will air on Sunday.
Thx, have coffee will travel. Zeke, the moon tan boy.
I'm sure everyone has lost interest by now, but we just came up with still another acceptable solution. Think of an article of apparel worn primarily by women (mostly prior to 1970). My corpulent Aunt Hattie would never get dressed without one. Now think of a below-the-waist garment that was worn over the top of the first item. The verb forms of these two items are 100% synonymous if you read the first three definitions. Again, not exactly the low-hanging fruit that Will has in mind. I think the puzzle would have been more interesting had he asked listeners to come up with THREE pairs of words instead of just the easy one.
Or three synonymous words.
Dictionary.com states, in part –Sock: to strike or hit hardBelt: to hit very hard, far, etc.Last Sunday I said, “I listened to the puzzle segment this morning on my bedside clock radio. Had the answer before my feet hit the floor.” Feet was intended to evoke sock and hit was intended to evoke both sock and belt as verbs.Chuck
SOCK & BELTMy Hints:"I see Blaine deleted my hint that I posted last night, at the end of last week's blog, right after the puzzle came out. I can see why he might have thought it too revealing, but it seemed obscure to me. Not an easy one to hint at and not give it all away, but then only a three year old could have trouble solving this one. I'm with you, Jan. Think I'll go have a stiff one and wait for next week."The post Blaine deleted was: Rowan & Martin. This refers to their old Laugh In TV show, where they constantly used the phrase: Sock it to me."have a stiff one" as in a "belt" as a strong drink is sometimes called."Darn!" People used to darn their worn out socks."This puzzle is so easy, I bet Santa Claus may send in the answer." Santa knows all about stockings. Not to mention a belt now and then too.I did not remember this puzzle being used before. Now I am curious when it was last used here. Maybe Will is going to use it again next month too.
> Doesn't anybody check these? Or has Will exhausted all the possible good puzzles? I'm getting tired of this.The first time Will used this puzzle (on 6/28/09), he introduced it by saying that "tire" and "exhaust" name parts of a car, but as verbs are synonyms.> I've figured it out: the common factor is Henry Hook!Both times this puzzle was used, the previous week's puzzle was by Henry Hook.> (Not that I'm taking a jab at Hook, of course.)> He had many smash hits. Which one are you thinking of?> Not to beat a dead horse, but getting back to last month's "aloha" puzzle: how 'bout a nice Hawaiian Punch?Jab, hook, smash, hit, beat, punch: more synonyms.> Not true! Not true! Not true!I.e., "Lie! Lie! Lie!", as in the chorus of "The Boxer", the Paul Simon tune we were referring to.>> I listened to the puzzle segment this morning on my bedside clock radio. Had the answer before my feet hit the floor.To which I responded something like:> I find my bedside clock radio is getting dusty. Have you had your clock cleaned lately?And Blaine deleted that. Was that really so much more revealing than all our other hints?> I think Richard Nixon once had something to say about this puzzle."SOCK it to ME?"www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qRZvlZZ0DY> AK-127, NCC-1830, AK-94Namesakes of Alnitah, Alnilam, Mintaka: the 3 stars of Orion's BELT.
The Nixon sock it to me line was on Rowan & Martin's Laugh In.
Yup. And cute little Judy Carne is 73 years old.
SDB- Adding another degree of separation - The answer to the million dollar question for the first winner of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. President Nixon starred on Laugh-In (uttering the line "sock it to me"). Hence my clue - "you could be a millianaire"
I feared Blaine would render me Ruthless once again by deleting my comment about the chastity belt.
I wondered about that too. If Rowan & Martin was too much of a give-away, what about using one of the answer words, i.e. belt?
"My friend Gerard (Kuiper, he of the eponymous BELT) says the universe of possible answers is so small even a toy (Rock 'em, SOCK 'em) robot could solve this one."
Here is a list of my possible answers:BELT / SOCK (to punch)DRESS / ROBE / SUIT (to put on clothing)COLLAR / CUFF (to arrest)SHIFT (a shapeless dress) / FLIP-FLOP (to put (something) aside and replace it by another or others)BOOT / MUFF (sports term meaning to commit an error, esp. when fielding a ball)GIRDLE / SKIRT (to pass along or around the border or edge of)
VEIL / SHROUD / CLOAK
slip & skirt
Sock, belt and hose.
I considered adding cuff with sock and belt, but I had no illusions Will was looking for that.
Skirt flipfloptop capsock belt
My clue:If the Romney's had won the white house the might have adopted a new pet. Rather than getting a dog like the one they used to strap on the roof of the car they might have gotten a new cat for the white house. The old cat in the white house being "Socks" - the Clinton's kitty.I wonder if that old cat is still alive -anybody know?
Socks was put down in 2009 due to cancer. He was almost 20 and is now in cat heaven, feline fine.
coat and wrap
skirt & shrug
More possible answers:BOOT / SHOE - To reject or cast away.BOOT / SOCK - To hit and/or attack. (I confess here to have been influenced by the Canadian comedy troupe The Frantics, with their slogan "Boot to the head".)CAP / TOP - To further add, esp. to capacity; i.e. when refilling a beverage, to "cap it off", or to "top your tank" when refueling.
ABQ, I got the first two and the last. I thought about cuff but as a slap. Did not think about collar. Curtis, I was not cussing at you but meant the dag to be short for dagger like cloak to pair with mask which was suspect but Richard's veil was a good one
I think most of us will agree, RoRo, that there are more than one acceptable answer. I feel particularly strongly about the DRESS/ROBE and the MUFF/BOOT combos as well as Richard's VEIL/SHROUD entry. I will have my ear glued to the radio this Sunday to hear whether Will is able to "man-up" and admit that there are several solutions or whether he just proclaims BOOT/SOCK to be "the" answer and then skips along on his merry way to his next ping-pong tournament.
I think it will be belts and socks unless that was not the same answer from before
Coat & cloak
Coat and dress? Like in putting dressing on a salad?
My clues alluded to Sock and Belt, Muff and Boot, Wrap and Tie.Anyone go along with Wrap and Tie?Just thought of Scarf and Down. But is Down an article of clothing?
So Zeke, what's the punchline to your Carnak riddle? Best I could come up with is "What are 3 things that are totally unrelated to one another".
Bole bull bowlshoe away the boleweevil.jordan the shoe selling bull.new years day bowl as a bowling shoe.Pretty well removed, but I was bowled over by the repeat puzzle.
Part 2 of the Carnackism.At the risk of offending our afendi Simon Saiz:Johnny "Carnack" Carson wore a towel on his head.To towel off/ to shoe away.
May you die a slow death in a sock full of smelly camel toes hanging from the belt of Sheik Urbuti. :-)
I humbly bow at the flipfopped feet resting beneath the skirts of the great abq.
New puzzle is up, and I've said this before for several of the past few puzzles, but it applies to this one as well. There are gonna be some people who solve this week's puzzle in two seconds – and still be angry at themselves for not solving it in less than one second!
Movie hint: Goldfinger
Little House on the Prairie....more than a couple degrees of separation.Speaking of degrees of separation, you may need to access the puzzle by way of the NPR homepage...if they haven't fixed it yet.
Just hearing the name of the county this city is in gives me the creeps.
Not a big Ozzy fan?
Back to the campaign trail!
Puzzle solved in less than a minute; time to take a break!
Left me gasping. I could barely handkr it myself.
Done with this puzzle. Going for a Sunday drive with my Bubbie. Hopefully she'll stay in one lane.
I get a feeling there will be few praising WiLl for this puzzle.