Thursday, February 14, 2013

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 10, 2013): Foreign President Puzzle

Country FlagsNPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 10, 2013): Foreign President Puzzle:
Q: Take the last name of a former president of a foreign country, someone well-known. Change the last letter of this name to an O and rearrange the result. You'll get the last name of someone who wanted to be president of the United States. Who are these two people?
I would have gotten to the puzzle sooner, but the cable modem was on the blink. My hint? The first names have the same number of letters and the middle names almost have the same number of letters.

Edit: Another way to say something is "on the blink" is to say it is "on the fritz". Walter F. Mondale went by the nickname Fritz.
A: (Nelson) MANDELA --> (Walter) MONDALE

145 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. Here's a public service announcement - In reality, no algorithms will be necessary to wrestle this puzzle to the ground.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dang Olympic Committee cutting wrestling from the 2020 Olympics. No 2020 foresight there. :-( However, I am pulling for squash 2020! The committee's reason for not putting squash in as a sport before now? "The game is too fast!"

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  3. If it's half legal than it's fully illegal.

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    1. On my old team at St. Anthony's High School, the half and the full were dreaded and to be avoided at all costs, but not nearly as scary as the Father __________.

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    2. That cross face always put my nose out of joint.

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    3. That's funny, cuz I sent Will a suggestion along these lines. And we're getting hints galore!

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    5. WW:
      The pronouns when masculine refer to both genders, whereas when feminine refer to only the one gender. Mankind is gender neutral and womankind is gender specific. Using the masculine stops a hint from being a gender giveaway. And remember, everyone is singular.

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    6. Damn, Snipper's quip about computer language made me think it was the wannabe whose names are an anagram of "galore". Arghhh, I hate these anagram puzzles: I stared at "Salem" forever, and never got to the next step, even though there is a "Selma" Ohio ten miles from where I live.

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    7. Hi Uncle John,
      There are several internet anagram tools (unless you are a purist). I find that I overthink things when I use the internet & migrate toward complicated answers. Simplicity: not just for patterns any more. (I, too, headed down that global warming hole at first). Damn Leo!

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    8. Yeah, finally! Man, good clues.

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  4. One of these names might remind you of a religion.

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    1. And the birthplace of the other person might remind you of a place where that religion is practiced.

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    2. Aw, cripes, SkyDiveBoy! What a giveaway. Now everyone can easily figure out it's Daniel Webster (lost presidential race three times!)and the religion is, of course, Devil Worship. Nice goin', buddy. I oughta poke you with my pitchfork!

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    3. As long as you don't Polk me.

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  5. Finally a puzzle with no shades of gray.

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    1. SDB, old buddy: Some clues are best if left in the confines of one's own gray-haired head..

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  6. The prez and the wannabe's predecessor have somewhat in common.

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    1. Somewhat not something? Your clues are so precise so I'm just checking, Zeke.

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    2. True dat, Zeke. The former prez and the wannabee's predecessor also have something in common with my neighbor's Colt pistol (although I doubt it is seldom used for that purpose).

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  8. Why does this make me think of Hollande and Merkel discussing the global almond market?

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  9. Thought of that one immediately, but it has to be the last to an "o" and not a "t."

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    Replies
    1. My mind was on the fritz coming up with the answer to this week's clue. As for the "O" and "T"--well, don't cry for me. When it comes to ways to learn the solution, I'm all ears.

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  10. Yeah, I realized that as soon as I posted it. Need. some. coffee.

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    Replies
    1. Did you check out the IU connection?
      Zeke coincidental Creek :-)

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    2. At first I thought you were leading me down the Ether Bunny trail, Zeke. But, I headed north and east then east and south and was clueless no more.

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    3. WW: Over hill and dale, no doubt. Sounds like a fun trip. Did you stop in Jamaica, mon? Last time I was in Kingston, it rained so much, I just sat around my fleabag hotel, The Holditt Inn, indulging in spliffs and watching old "Ozzie and Harriet" and "Perry Mason" reruns. I know I mentioned it a few weeks ago, but I'll say it again, to this man, Della Street was as hot as they come.

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  11. In the exact same year that the US presidential hopeful was trying to lock up his party's nomination, the foreign guy was similarly engaged.

    Also, if you compare Prez Obama's list of first-term accomplishments vis-a-vis those of the foreign former president, you'll find they share at least one achievement in common.

    AND, the wife of the foreign ex-prez has something in common with the wives of both Bill Clinton and Obama.

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  12. Here's one more: The wife of the foreign fellow, much like her namesake, got into a bit of trouble when she was caught with her fingers in the proverbial honey pot.

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    1. I am pro-verb, also pro-adjective. Winnie the Pooh's wife? ;-) Sorry, today's clues are sending me down the proverbial rabbit holes. (Oh, wait, that was last week).

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    3. Ha. I made a comment here not knowing the answer, retracted my comment now knowing the answer so I could make another, more clever comment. The foreign leader is one I kept going back to on the emir puzzle. The US person was before my time but I knew the name.

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    4. Good Morning Word Woman: I understand that Blaine's Bog is pretty much frozen over this time of year, however, I should caution you that you may be skating on thin ice with your pro-verb posting. I would not be at all surprised if the referee were to put you in the penalty box for that comment. I'm just sayin'...
      Puck, the punster.

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    5. Those cold, cold clues led me to a warm, warm place and back again. Pond hockey rocks. Thanks, AbqGuerilla. Btw, I did open the New Yorker file and was amused. Still curious how you wangle a job writing bumper stickers.

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    6. Thanks, Laura, you gave me a great frame of reference.

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    7. Am self-employed, WW. Conceive 'em, design 'em, publish 'em, sell 'em and distribute 'em. Postcards, magnets and patches, too. Sometimes this blog provides grist for the mill. I've made a bundle in the past year on SDB's comments alone.

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    8. Please inform me as to how to privately give you my address so you can send me my royalty checks.

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    9. OK, if you promise not to take me to the cleaners. Wink, wink.

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    10. I promise, and with my sense of humor it would have to be the dry cleaners anyway.

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    11. I'm kinda conflicted on that, SkyDiveBoy. On one hand, most of your postings are comprised of washed up humor. In fairness, however, every now and then you surprise me and coin a clever, sticker-worthy phrase. How about we meet at a laundromat?

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    12. Oh, so now you want to take ME to the cleaners! More spin, huh?

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    13. You really don't need the rest of us, do you? And yet, no man is an island. (oh, wait, another cliche donne come up!)

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    14. @ SDB:
      No, Mr. Mitty, but don't be day dreamin' 'bout no lavish royalty payment. I ain't Rockefeller, you know. I do appreciate you, though (let's not forget I wished you a Merry Xmas). In fact, if I could croon like Eddy, I'd be singin' yer praises in the Tabernacle Choir every time I cash a SDB-joke-funded check.

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    15. AbqGuerilla, did you submit the same puzzle too?

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    16. I wuz just joshin' ya, Dave. The point being that if Will does not give credit to anyone, than anyone can take credit.

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  13. Did Will give me credit on line for submitting this puzzle? The NPR website didn't.

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    1. Nope. He did not, Dave. And I was about to make the same claim.

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  14. 90210 fans should be especially driven to solve this week's puzzle.

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  15. Seems like a crazy sort of puzzle this week.

    Chuck

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  16. Showing the love to those who remain clueless:

    The president that preceded the foreign president's predecessor shares something in common with last week's hero (at least in a homophonic sense). Years ago when he was in the US to address the United Nations, I saw him at JFK International talking on the white courtesy phone.

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    1. The presidential wannabe and someone the foreign leader may have been talking to share something very dear.

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    2. Is it the salutation in most of their personal correspondence?

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    3. The president's precedent had something in common with Beatrix Potter, or Peter Rabbit, or botha them? Was he really at JFK, or is that just idle, wild speculation?

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    4. I kid you not. He was on his way to Joe Hanna's Burger Hut in the TWA terminal when he received the page. I was enjoying a glass of port with Elizabeth, my ex. She recognized him first. He was walking down the jetway with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill).

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    5. Something in common w/Peter Rabbit, not Brer Rabbit, although I don't sanction that kind of comparison. And the rabbit lost the race, anyway, to that tortoise.

      Abq, who had/has more wives - you or the President?

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    6. Not sure which prez you are referring to, Leo. As for me, I have taken five brides over the years. In the past, when the question came up on the first date, I would hastily make lemonade from them lemons and declare, "Well, some guys are just afraid to make a commitment."

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    7. Where did you take these five brides, and what did their husbands have to say about that?

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    8. Take the phonetic form of the last name of the world leader's successor. it might make you think of the only female leader of Great Britain.

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  17. A question about the "alternate answer" to last week's puzzle: is there any way to ask Will Shortz if he REALLY believes that Archie Goodwin was Rex Stout's "most famous character"? He doesn't think that designation should go to Nero Wolfe?

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  18. Anchors away. I know both of them. I'll let the clerk know at NPR.

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  19. Blaine:
    Last night, on our blog for last week, I posted post #200. Now there are 208 posts, but I cannot view those later posts. There is a window I click on to upload more, but nothing happens. Do you know about this and why it is happening?

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    1. Something must be on the fritz.

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    2. I wouldn't manifest any sign of discomposure, if I were you, skydiveboy.

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    3. Blaine:
      Just returned from the library where I tried accessing those posts with one of their computers—same thing happens, or actually doesn't happen. I also noticed that your age questionaire is missing. So, we have 8 posts in last week's blog we cannot access and the age ??? is gone. Please comment on this. Thanks.

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    4. Now I just checked again and another post was added to last week's blog and does not appear. So now nine posts cannot be viewed.

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    5. I'd manifest a sign of compassion, if I were me, which I'm not, yet.

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    6. I'm looking at the Blogger settings to try and figure out the 200 post issue; other than that I'm not sure what I can do. As for the age poll, there aren't enough safeguards in their poll widget to prevent multiple votes. Somebody decided to play with it and set all the results to the same number so I decided to remove it. I was hoping to add other polls but not until I can find a better poll widget that prevents such vandalism.

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    7. Thanks Blaine.
      Come to think of it, Hitler had problems with Poles too, but he couldn't get rid of all of them.

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    8. Yeah, 'straw' or otherwise.

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    9. Are you behaving yourself Paul? (Me neither.) Actually Hitler didn't know Jack about Poles, and I heard that he hated them because he was turned down when he auditioned as a Pole Dancer.

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    10. Well, skydiveboy, it's been documented that you hear things I don't.

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    11. Maybe we can get you a fair hearing.

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    12. Good point, SkyDiveBoy. I like a man that knows his history. And did you know that as a direct consequence of Hitler's rejection as a Pole Dancer he invaded Lapland in 1944? He knew where the big money was.

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    13. Well perhaps, but my understanding is that he was uber depressed from the realization he was losing the war and had an halucination of his former high school gymn teacher/coach ordering him to take a lap.

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  20. I'd love to participate in the blog chit-chat, but for the second week in a row, if I talk about myself too much, I'll give away the answer.

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    1. Yes, you're such a giving person. :)

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    2. I know. I almost mentioned you in a clue. Isn't that funny?! Off to make some mac and cheese for my friends.

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    3. Uff da, I hope it's a mac and cheese hotdish (with crushed potato chips on top).

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    4. Are hotdish and covered dish synonymous, Peter? I'm sure you have that covered. ;-)

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    5. Peter ~ You can talk about yourself all you want, but I happen to know you were married to Ayn Rand at one time. I wouldn't spell out any details of that arrangement, as people might get the right idea. Silence is golden, mate.

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    6. Now that you mention it, you should probably avoid commenting on Tommy Boy's Midweek Puzzle Break this week, too.

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    7. Better late to the party than to miss it entirely.

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  21. Synonymous yes, but around here (shall we say) it's known as hotdish.

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    1. Hot dish? Are we still talkin' 'bout Della here, Peter.

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  22. Finally a puzzle I can solve again.

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    1. To the blogger vandal: please watch this 34 second video. To everyone else enjoy a good laugh: WHO DONE IT

      Thanks, Word Woman

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    2. Watched the video several times; it was funny.
      Finally began to notice the change in inflection of the woman's voice, and decided to investigate 'Clever Hans'. It'll give me something to do until Irwin lets me out of here.
      Thanks, Paul in PA.

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  23. Glad you enjoyed it, Paul in PA.

    First the blogger scandal, now the pope is resigning...If you can't get the link above to work just type in "who did this mess " on youtube.com. I promise it's worth the 1/2 minute.

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  24. It has the distinctive scent (stench) of an mtb.

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  25. I have an alternate answer that involves a former Prime Minister and a presidential wannabe.

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    Replies
    1. This reminds me of an old TV show called Combat!

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  26. Tease your taste buds and your mind. The new puzzle is up.

    Bon apetit

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  27. Male from Los Angeles informs me that weather conditions are better there than here. Not real news, and a friend called to say that Sunday coffee at Starbucks was off. Yet another item that didn't need saying - I think the technical term is noise

    35 inches of snow. Parking lot now clear at the cost of some spaces, but only one lane of most streets open. Plows could go only so far before blocking street with their load to be picked up later by a front loader. 2 lanes tomorrow. School Wednesday. Downtown parking soon.

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    1. I feel compelled to share an eerie coincidence with you, Hugh. I too got a call from Los Angeles yesterday, but from a female (my daughter), who confirms what you said: Beautiful weather. As if that were not enough, I also had coffee at Starbucks yesterday and mine was off too!. I think the cream was sour. Just had to share. Our planets must be aligned or something.

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    2. School tomorrow, Hugh? Do you teach, learn (both?), or follow the news (all three?)?

      Venn and the art of blog maintenance.

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    3. Paul, Just looking forward to grandkids doing something useful.

      Local news either late or useless (noise).

      Internet via dialup not too revealing.

      However, the town has a great reverse 911 system well as DPW.

      Otherwise, I try not to believe the saying:
      "The more you study, the more you know.
      The more you know, the more you forget. The more you forget, the less you know. So why study?"

      And, for ABQ, don't study much, but do expose myself.

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    4. Speaking of the weather, Hugh, you should be thankful you're not exposing yourself here in Provo. It's been frigid for the last couple of weeks. Most of the local exhibitionists have resorted to merely describing themselves to passersby.

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    5. PS Hugh: Thanks for the long-hanging fruit. Usually I have to set up my own jokes and then shoehorn the punch line in at the end. You're the best!

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    6. You may be interested in knowing, WW, that the guy in Ryerson's photo was arrested immediately following the photo shoot. I think I read somewhere that the prosecutor had trouble getting the evidence to stand up in court. (badda-bum)

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    7. Have a Clark Bar, ABQ, as you realize you made it all up.

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  28. Let me take a moment in time to suggest a musical clue - Peter Paul and Mary or Richie Havens

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    1. ... and for the US presidential wannabe, a Capitol Steps parody (which doesn't really give much away, I know, but naming the song they parodied would).

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    2. RoRo ~ Peter, Paul & Mary? Richie Havens? Are you trying to tell us that both of these politicians were just plain old "folks?" If so, that's not very helpful, RoRo. Speakin' of folks, were yours on a skulling crew when you were born? Just curious, 'cause I love your name.
      GuerrillaBoy

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    3. Born on a yacht, in the lap of luxury with diamonds on the soles of my shoes

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    4. Wow, what a coincidence, RoRo! I was born on a hockey rink. We were both walkin' on ice!

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  29. If you anagram the last name of the presidential contender, you get a word that might describe a nutty e-mail message. If you anagram the foreign ex-leader's last name, you get a two-word directive that one might issue to one who shuffles too much.

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  30. I'm pretty sure the answer does not involve Sylvestre Ntibantunganya of Burundi.

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  31. I know that's where I started. ;-)

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  32. Good thing you guys are being careful about not letting the cat out of the bag. This is a family show.

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  33. Let's not forget that the Manson's, Adams's, and Kardashian's are families, too, Aaron. Not to mention the Columbo, Gambino and Bonnano families.

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  34. Google honors an alumnus today.

    http://www.google.com/#q=George+Ferris&oi=ddle&ct=valentines_day_and_george_ferris_154th_birthday-1032005-hp&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42452523,d.dmQ&fp=17efb8a1cdd7c58b&biw=1024&bih=676


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/comic-riffs/post/george-ferriss-day-off-to-play-today-google-doodle-marks-valentines-day-with-a-heart-like-a-wheel/2013/02/14/bcc8b37c-76c2-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_blog.html


    And on another note:

    Our History in 2 minutes- has sound.
    It's a final project by a high school student.
    Big Bang intro on steroids.

    http://marcbrecy.perso.neuf.fr/history.html

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  35. Nelson Mandela, Walter Mondale

    Last Sunday I said, “Seems like a crazy sort of puzzle this week.” Crazy, the 1961 Top Ten hit sung by Patsy Cline, and #85 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, was composed by Willie Nelson. Which was intended to evoke Nelson Mandela. And with a little help from letter substitution, was intended to evoke Walter Mondale.

    Chuck

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  36. Walter Mondale & Nelson Mandela

    My Hints:

    "One of these names might remind you of a religion."

    Maṇḍala (मण्डल) is a Sanskrit word meaning "circle." Mandalas have spiritual and ritual significance in Hinduism and Buddhism. The term is of Hindu origin.

    "Finally a puzzle with no shades of gray."

    A hint at black & white.

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  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  38. > Why does this make me think of Hollande and Merkel discussing the global almond market?

    "Mondial" and "mandel" are "global" and "almond" in French and German, respectively.

    The Capitol Steps' "The Wreck of the Walter Fritz Mondale": http://www.capsteps.com/sounds/mondale-wreck.mp3

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  39. My clue: "Fitting & Proper for February" = Black History Month.

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  40. Walter "Fritz" Mondale is still alive! My mac & cheese hints alluded to Mondale's alma mater, Macalester College in St. Paul. It is also alma mater to Kofi Annan; hence both men may consider Macalester dear. Damn Leo! is an anagram of Mondale pointing toward the zodiac sign associated with summer and global warming.

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  41. My clues:

    Here's a public service announcement - In reality, no algorithms will be necessary to wrestle this puzzle to the ground.

    "public service announcement" = PSA, for President of South Africa

    "in reality" referred to the new Mandela reality show

    "no algorithms" was just a joke about Al Gore

    "wrestle to the ground" was reference to the half/full Nelson move in wrestling.

    Can't believe no more wrestling in the Olympics! Will miss those uniforms.

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    Replies
    1. Snipper, I thought you might be referring to the "arm wrestling" exchange between Mondale and Reagan.

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  42. 'The Great Mandala' was on PP&M's 'Album 1700'.
    Mondale was born in Ceylon, MN; both Hinduism and Buddhism are practiced on the island of Ceylon.
    'Manifest any sign of discomposure' is a roundabout way of saying 'blink'.
    The earlier seasons of 'Combat!' were filmed in black and white, and I seem to recall hearing one of the show's actors say they used chocolate syrup for fake blood. If you need further elucidation, ask Ward.
    I liked (for lack of a better word) the 'shuffler' anagram. I had the 'table' interpretation almost immediately, and the 'floor' possibility kicked in about a day later.

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    Replies
    1. All seriousness aside, Paul, I love that album. Like everyone else, I bought it for "...Jet Plane" (which I quickly became tired of) but grew to love Whatshername and Bob Dylan's Dream. (No clues here).

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  43. A FEW OF MY CLUES INTERPRETED:

    The former prez and the wannabee's predecessor also have something in common with my neighbor's Colt pistol (although I doubt it is seldom used for that purpose).
    ALL ARE CALLED PEACEMAKERS - MANDELA, CARTER & COLT

    WW: Over hill and (MON)dale, no doubt. Sounds like a fun trip. Did you stop in Jamaica, mon(DALE)? Last time I was in Kingston, it rained so much, I just sat around my fleabag hotel, The Holditt Inn, indulging in spliffs and watching old "Ozzie and Harriet" (THE NELSON FAMILY) and "Perry Mason" reruns. I know I mentioned it a few weeks ago, but I'll say it again, to this man, Della (MANDELA) Street was as hot as they come.

    In the exact same year that the US presidential hopeful (MONDALE) was trying to lock up his party's nomination, the foreign guy (MANDELA) was similarly engaged (LOCKED UP).

    Also, if you compare Prez Obama's list of first-term accomplishments vis-a-vis those of the foreign former president, you'll find they share at least one achievement in common. (FIRST BLACK PRESIDENTS IN THEIR RESPECTIVE COUNTRIES)

    AND, the wife of the foreign ex-prez (WINNIE MANDELA) has something in common with the wives of both Bill Clinton (HILLARY ALSO WENT INTO POLITICS) and Obama (MICHELLE IS AFRICAN-AMERICAN and WINNIE IS AFRICAN).


    @ SDB:
    No, Mr. (WALTER) Mitty, but don't be day dreamin' 'bout no lavish royalty payment. I ain't(NELSON) Rockefeller, you know. I do appreciate you, though (let's not forget I wished you a Merry Xmas). In fact, if I could croon like (NELSON) Eddy, I'd be singin' yer praises in the Tabernacle Choir...

    The president that preceded the foreign president's predecessor (PIETER BOTHA) shares something in common with last week's hero (at least in a homophonic sense). Years ago when he was in the US to address the United Nations, I saw him at JFK International talking on the white (SEGREGATIONIST) courtesy phone.

    I kid you not. He was on his way to Joe Hanna's Burger (JOHANNESBURG) Hut in the TWA terminal when he received the page. I was enjoying a glass of port with Elizabeth (PORT ELIZABETH), my ex. She recognized him first. He was walking down the jetway with Sen. Dick Durbin (DURBAN) (D-Ill).

    @ Peter Krueger ~ You can talk about yourself all you want, but I happen to know you were married to Ayn Rand
    (PETER KRUGER-RAND) at one time. I wouldn't spell out any details of that arrangement, as people might get the right idea. Silence is golden (GOLD COIN), mate.

    If you anagram the last name of the presidential contender, you get a word that might describe a nutty e-mail message (E-ALMOND). If you anagram the foreign ex-leader's last name, you get a two-word directive that one might issue to one who shuffles too much (DEAL, MAN!).

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    Replies
    1. And Ginger Rogers might say to someone who has nothing whatsoever in common with Fred Astaire: ____, man!

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  44. Half legal, fully illegal/full nelson on the matt is illegal in freestyle.
    Cross face nose out of joint/wrestling.
    Prez and wannabes predecessor wre both nelsons.
    IU connection/last weeks contestant and Will had that connection.
    B.T. ratas/rats in spanish, Boom Town Rats favorite "I don't like Monday'L's.

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  45. I finally got my 3pm call, Thursday. That poor telemarketer won't be doing that again. :-)

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  46. Ha ha, Zeke! Blaine, no blog 200 issues this week. Al Gore on "Wait, wait, don't tell me" is cracking me up.

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    1. Yeah, he's seeming much more human. It's amazing, the advances in AI technology lately. (That sentence is unintentionally ambiguous in a sens serif font.)

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  47. Jan, naturally intelligent and tres amusant especially if you truly mean Sens, not sans serif. ;-)

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    1. Can't take credit for a typo, alas.

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