Sunday, February 17, 2013

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 17, 2013): The Cat is Away

Computer Mouse, Pockafwye@FlickrNPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 17, 2013): The Cat is Away:
Since I'm not going to be around to comment on the puzzle, I'm putting this week's puzzle on "auto-pilot". Please play nicely and don't give the puzzle answer away.
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.
A: POLICE ACADEMY --> POLIE AADEMY

149 comments:

  1. Bring me a shirt; double water buffalo with long sleeves, please. :-)

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    1. ??? But, Blaine your clue is sooo clever. We promise to play nicely without you. Hope you are on a fun excursion, Blaine.

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  2. Here's the new puzzle: Name a well-known movie in two words with a total of 13 letters. Each of the two words contains the letter C. Drop both C's. The letters that remain in the second word of the title will be in alphabetical order, and the letters that remain in the first word will be in reverse alphabetical order. What movie is it?

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    1. Caution: you may experience dropsy when solving this puzzle.

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  3. I think I have an answer but one of the words repeats a letter.

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    1. I think I got the same answer then. My second word repeats a letter but it meets the criteria.

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    2. I've got the same answer too. Admittedly it lacks the Shortz standard of "elegance," but I've been going through lists of movies on and off all day and have yet to find anything else that fits the profile.

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  4. Wonder if this film ever won a Blue Ribbon Award?

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    1. I'm no authority on movies and I saw this film a long time ago, so my memory may be a bit fuzzy, Al, but I should like to state that if they gave an Oscar for brutality, this film would be a serious contender. Had I performed my Netflix due diligence (I think they call that a uniform background check these days), I prob'ly woulda bailed on this one.

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    2. I checked the cinematic encyclopaedia on this one, AbqG. The volume of brutality was indeed higher by at least a factor of one.

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    3. OK, so where, if at all, does 'Straw Dogs' fit in to this discussion. Just curious.

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    4. Paul: Straw Dogs is more violent, without a doubt. But the key word here is brutality, that's why the clue was dispatched as such. I think Straw Dogs is a red herring that will only leave many of our associates flat-footed. That is to say, no amount of detective work will get a blogger from Straw Dogs to the solution title.

      Getting back to the glitch on the NPR puzzle page, I just got confirmation on my two-way NPR car radio scanner: "Ten-double-zero! Puzzle Web page down, I repeat we have a web page down!" It's the one radio message that just sends chills down the spine of any serious puzzler.

      SkyDiveBoy, where are you? Taking early retirement like the Pope?

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    5. I enjoyed what the Jesuit priest said about the Pope raising the bar on giving up something fo lent.

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    6. Aw cut the old guy some slack, Zeke. He did what he had to do. After all, defending pedophiles is a young man's game. And rumor has it he is citing his glaucoma as an excuse for turning a blind eye toward child abuse. If the Catholic Church were any other enterprise in the country, they would have been shut down by now. Can't figure how it is that they remain in "business."

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    7. Twas one o' his makin de crack, bro. Not exactly bumper sticker material, but pretty good considering.

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    8. Isn't he about the average age for our blog?

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    9. 'Straw Dogs' referred to the fact that this movie is such a 'dog' that people might want to cast lots to choose one unlucky person to view it for all. Now, THAT'S whitewashing the situation!

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    10. David, I owe you big time.

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  5. How come the NPR website still shows the Feb 10th puzzle? I refreshed the page, cleared my cache?

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    1. I see what you mean, phredp, and I have no clue. I'd just work around it if I were you.

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    2. I suspect that many of our fellow bloggers will use this as a cop out for not even attempting to solve the puzzle.

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    3. That is a possibility, AbqG.

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    4. here's the link: http://www.npr.org/2013/02/17/172208237/dear-mr-president-whats-your-name

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  6. Could it be that the "missing in action" Blaine is also the NPR puzzle page webmaster?

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  7. I submitted the answer on the Feb. 10 form and wrote today's date. It went through and I got a confirmation email.

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    1. Me too! Perhaps if they replay today's episode next week, one of us will win!

      Reminds me of the time I needed to bait a mouse trap, but was clean out of cheese. I used a photograph of some camembert from Bon Apetit. Next morning, the cheese was gone and in its place was a picture of a mouse.

      Long time, no see, Natasha.

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    2. Thanks, Abq. I have been here just observing these days.

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  8. Waxing alphabetically, it's interesting to note that Sting's day job, during his early years as a musician, was teaching ABC's at a grammar school.

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  9. Didn't I use Wyatt Earp as a clue/hint recently?

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    1. At the risk of starting something I know I won't want to finish, who do you think killed Johnny Ringo?

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    2. Paul:
      As you are apparently aware, this is one of those history questions with no certain answer that is known. This leaves it open for numerous theories, most of which are ridiculous. I have not found it as interesting as other mysteries, but I tend to hold with the suicide explanation. There is no credible evidence that it could have been one of the Earp’s or Doc Holliday. Other murder theories have little or no supporting evidence. I find it a bit fantastic to believe someone was looking for him and just happened to find him asleep under that tree. It just is not believable to me. Also nothing I have read indicates he was shot from a distance, and for someone to get that close while he was sleeping in that uncomfortable position, outside, seems highly unlikely to me. I also find the neighbor who heard a single shot that evening to be indicative of suicide. I have not heard anyone explain why a murderer would have felt it necessary to make his death appear to be suicide. Similar to someone killing a drug dealer today. No one would care enough to investigate.

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  10. I don't know which is more shameful—Will Shortz offering us this terrible puzzle, or my actually spending time going over lists of movies when I kept telling myself it was not worth my time, and then to finally come across the title of this poor excuse for a use of film. And, NO! I did NOT see this movie.

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  11. I felt the same way. Usually I justify the time researching the puzzle because I learn something useful along the way. Having seen only clips now from the movie, I have to agree, SDB, it's a poor use of film. Well, this might be interesting, does anyone use "film" any more?

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    1. Apparently most movie theatres still show movies on actual physical film. Conversion to digital is coming but it is an expensive conversion (over $100,000).

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  12. To qualify as "film," I believe the rule is the presentation must have subtitles, a budget of under $2 million, or have the word FIN at the end. You'll notice Will referred to it as a "movie."

    That being said, I agree that this movie is one of the best examples thus far that Republicans can point to in their efforts to defund the arts.

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    1. True Dat! However, I heard the sound effects were delivered in an unusual way and may have been, sadly, the best thing about the movie. The only sound effect I can do is smack my bubba gum.

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    2. Hey, RoRo, Lawrence House now has its own web page. Thought you should know. Ok, back to your bubba gum, lady!

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  13. Please assure me that this didn't win an Oscar.

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    1. Only in the Oscar Shortz category.

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    2. Fortunately, I didn't see it, but with a running time of 96 minutes it seems to be at least an hour and a half too long.

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    3. Hi Lo,
      Not a big flick fan, myself, but from everything I've read it's definitely de do do...

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  14. Hey peter krueger, is that what sting was doing year-round? Or summers only?

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    1. he didn't teach summers, but I think the two of them and the other guy could open a school with the movie's title.

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  15. All I know is that they made an entire squad of sequels to this one.

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    1. This was the clue that helped me!!

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    2. Drinking my Lipton's tea, thinking about your clue, Curtis. Mother of sorrow, that's a good one!

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    3. Well, it's a crumby puzzle, Cookieface. Let's see how you do next week.

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    4. A bit off-subject. What is the roundabout date for the venerable "back in the postcard days?"

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    5. Postcard days ended in the fall of 2001, coinciding with theU. S. Postal anthrax scare. Straight from Will.

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    6. I'm sure I remember sending in some postcards via Pony Express. I think smoke signals may have been involved, too.

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  16. I hate these ones that expect you to be familiar with "popular culture". Criminy, I've looked at a lot of movie lists. Can you believe how many stupid "films" get made?!

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  17. Jolly good show, Zeke. Most of the time you sound like you're from the hills of Tennessee but today you sound a bit British. Indeed, it would be fun to know roundabout when postcard days ended.

    Cookieface, welcome! If you stay around here for awhile, we may see how the cookie crumbles.

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    1. Check the archives, WW, cookieface has been here awhile...unless it's a different cookieface...and how many people would choose such a moniker?

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  18. Hoist your swords into the sky, all hail West Virginny. His majesty's bloodline reigns eternal. (especially here :-)

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  19. I started playing the puzzle around 1998. You still submitted your answers by postcard then.

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    1. Late 90's, early aughts sounds right to me.

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  20. Incredulous that that this movie had one sequel, let alone more than one.

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  21. At first I thought Will was trying to get more puzzle participants. Now, I wonder if he's going for fewer players.

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  22. Earl Grey, 4 oz. for $5.00. While supplies last. I'd include a link, but that would be spam, and I wouldn't do that, especially while Blaine is absent.

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    1. You're doing Earl Grey, Word Woman's doing Lipton. I'd like to say, I haven't copped since school.

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    2. Speaking of 'T', Tommy, how did you get the inside track on this one?

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    3. Sometimes the path to an answer is steep.

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    4. ;-). And so is the learning curve.

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    5. Aren't 'path to an answer' and 'learning curve' virtually synonymous?

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    6. Ah no, we're not going to quibble like SDB and AbqG, are we? Speaking of AbqG, you've been quiet lately, sir. We're never going to get to blog 200 without you. ;-)

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  23. I would never have solved this challenge on my own, but after reading all the comments, I have gotten the answer without any recourse to lists of either movies or films, so I will continue to maintain at least my Platonic relationship with the blog!

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  25. Sorry I've been AWOL for so long. Hope I'm not in too much trouble because of that. Although I'm sure eventually I will manage to go from meek to mean, I realize getting off the hook's not that easy.

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    1. Just so I understand, Wolfgang, are you intimating we Blaine bloggers are an acerbic group or that we are average...or maybe both ? ;-)

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    2. On average pretty acerbic, quite possibly…!

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  26. Hey Wolfie! Welcome back. We did put out an APB on you, but I guess we can call off "the man" now.

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

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    1. Back n takin care of bizness.
      Zeke "thing 1.5" Creek.
      Better clean up those spots!

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    2. Well, yes, Thing One and Thing Two were flying kites in the house/blog. Good thing we have you, Thing 1.5, to keep our electrons in order here.

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  28. Two words for a movie title turns out to be an uncommon number. Who knew? Based on the first comments here, I searched for lists of violent movies. IMDB has "The most disturbing and mental violent Films." Amazingly, that list has two movies that are two words, each word with a "C" (I'm being loose with counting the/a/an as a necessary word). One of them is even 13 letters, oddly. They don't work, so I'll tell you: Cannibal Holocaust and An American Crime. They both sound bad enough to satisfy the badness mentioned in later comments, too. Oh, well. I need to sleep tonight, so I'll exploit the clues here along with Google to seek unconundrumption. I give sincere thanks to all you inscrutable people for your almost-adequate help.

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  29. Unconundrumption. I like it. Wish we could be more helpful. Anagram something. It couldn't hurt.

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    1. When I anagram something, I get in the smog, and then I feel more lost than ever. :) Seriously, I simply Googled part of an earlier post and was able to find the answer and get a good night's sleep. That Google-able clue is against the rules here, I suppose, but I was grateful. I also realized that I needlessly confused myself by looking for "violence" when the word used here was "brutality." I was also thrown off because--I hesitate to admit--I actually enjoyed this movie.

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    2. Oh, Dan Axtell, how I like a good set-up! You got in just under the wire. Or something. Working on raising my scrutability score today. What did you like about the movie? (If you can answer without giving it away).

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    3. Yes, the too-helpful posting disappeared shortly after I used it. As I understand it, no one is supposed to be scrutable around here until 3:00 Thursday. I was using "inscrutable" as a compliment. As for my enjoyment of this movie, I just remember laughing. I was younger then and it's not something I'm proud of. I could give a couple of specifics, but it's not 3:00 yet. By the way, I got my lapel pin late last century, so I don't send in answers anymore. That was, technically, back in the post card days, although I used email.

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    4. Laughing is good. Will you put on your lapel pin and tell us more now?

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    5. In the words of Roseanne Roseannadanna, "Never mind." I was thinking of Police Squad. Leslie Nielsen was thoroughly absurd (and was once a Sunday Puzzle answer). I know nothing of Police Academy, but I suspect it has significantly more brutality than Police Squad. Yes, everyone who gets on the air gets a lapel pin regardless of cluelessness.

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    6. I was wondering which posting was the "google-able" one—apparently it was the one Blaine removed.

      Actually, I found that googling "Bubba" (which appeared in posts by RoRo and WW) also led to the solution—on the second page of search results.

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    7. It was the Roger Ebert review that was searchable: "It's so bad, maybe you should pool your money and draw straws and send one of the guys off to rent it so that in the future, whenever you think you're sitting through a bad comedy, he could shake his head, and chuckle tolerantly, and explain that you don't know what bad is."

      I do not plan to rent the movie, but I bet rentals get a bump from this NPR mention. It's the sad nature of us humans and "awareness" as they say in the marketing biz.

      I tried Googling "Bubba" and got no "Police" results after 25 pages. Google search results are highly personalized nowadays, especially if you're signed in. If "Police Academy" comes up on the second page of any search, it may be that Google knows that you like bad movies--or, more likely, that you're interested in NPR puzzle answers.

      It's been an enjoyable conversation about this puzzle and, now, I'm going to sign out of Google, because I never want Police Academy to be near the top of one of my searches ever again.

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  30. Did we ever resolve the issue that arose earlier in our discussion about having a repeated letter in one of the words? Fair or not fair?

    Chuck

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    1. I think we would agree that the letters A-B-B-C are in alphabetical order.

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    2. Good - because the only movie I found Sunday that met the other requirements has a repeated letter :)

      Chuck

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    3. Since the answer has a repeating letter, does that also qualify it as an assault answer?

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    4. Yes, but it does not automatically disqualify it.

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  31. Two repeating letters are OK. Twenty are not :)

    Chuck

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    1. Twenty repeating letters would constitute a senseless act of vowel alliance.

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  32. From the clues I was looking at lists of violent movie franchises. The movie I finally found is in a totally different genre. Anyway, it seems to work. It does have the repeated letter.

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    1. Ever go to Young's? Ice cream and goat slobber. That's what I call one stop shopping!

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    2. How did you know where I live, Zeke?

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    3. Previous post of 10 miles fron Selma OH. It's a radius thang, neighbor. We've been up here for several years now.

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    4. Are you a WYSO man? Bluuegrass Gospel and Shakin' Dave are my favorites.

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    5. Oh sure, listen to WYSO a lot. We should be better friends: s8tt10@gmail.com

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  33. Words could be added to part of this movie's title (and it's definitely a movie and not a film) to result in a phrase that would not apply to this movie.

    If I got any more specific, Blaine would delete my post. However, I can say that the general concept of my post appears elsewhere in this blog.

    BTW, my post last week relating to the world leader's successor making one think of the only female British PM was former South African President Thabo MBEKI having phonetically the first name of Becky THATCHER, Tom Sawyer's object of affection in Mark Twain's classic novel.

    LMP

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    1. LMP, I believe our comments intersect.

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    2. Believe it or not, LMP, your beautiful conection between the British PM and the South African President inspired one of my previous comments this week. And, no, I'm not trying to whitewash the situation.

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    3. Welcum back LMPy, whr u b at?

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  34. Well, based on my investigation, it doesn't appear that this film has won an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award or any other noteworthy recognition. Only "notworthy" recognition.

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  35. Notworthy? Perhaps the Catholic ritual award.

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  36. Police Academy

    Last Sunday I said... nothing. I wasn’t sure that the “aa” derived from academy counted as being in alphabetical order but I finally came around when several of you expressed an opinion.

    Chuck

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  37. POLICE ACADEMY

    My Hint:

    "Didn't I use Wyatt Earp as a clue/hint recently?"

    Wyatt Earp was a police officer.

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    1. ~~Police Academy~~

      If you anagram the letters in Encyclopaedia, moving one volume from N to M, so effectively "Emcyclopaedia," you get Police Academy. My nod toward inscrutability. ;-)

      I liked Blaine's challenge to us which I saw as a chance for us to self-police as well as a nod to Kim Catrall who was in the movie. "Rally round!" was a nod to the second half of her name.

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  38. My "clue" was really a SMH comment. The fact that the original movie gave birth to 6 sequels says something about the general mentality of moviegoers, and apparently I am missing the gene.

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  39. "Platonic relationship" suggests "Plato's Academy" suggests "Police Academy" . . . at least to an unschooled lout such as I am.

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  40. My reference to summers was not to the warm season, but to Sting's fellow member of the Police. And I waited til late Wednesday to suggest the film hadn't won an "Academy" Award or any of the other film honors.

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  41. I don't have to explain "cop ... school", do I?

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  42. The movie's writeups described it as being 'de do do...', refers to the Police song.
    @ Ruthie, the genetic deal for base slapstick is most likely an xy thing as opposed to xx. :-)

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  43. My hint re-prior week in LA refers to Christopher Doermer case.

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  44. 'Squad' was the catalyst for me, as it was for cookieface, and, apparently, hugh. I liked WW's follow-up, so I tried following up with a 'Linc' to a 'Clarence' sale on tea. It works better if you're laboring under the misconception that Police Academy is 'kindalike' Airplane!, which I no longer am. When the import of David's biblical-type reference dawned on me, I thought AHA!....but, no, that was Robert Hays, not even Hayes....oh, well.
    Hightower...Psalm 144...'nuff said.
    Tommy Boy used the phrase 'panned by the acamedy' way back in the Beatrix Potter puzzle. Is he psychic? More to the point, did he really mean to spell it that way?
    As skydiveboy no doubt surmises, I really don't give a rodent's behind how JR met his demise. But Tackleberry, Becky, and Val joined forces on me.
    If I point out here that the citrus fruit I consumed awhile ago was, in fact, NOT A TANGERINE, will my conscience stop hounding me?
    ..............FIN.................

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    1. Wow. I'm usualy a better speller then that.

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    2. Master of both the spoonerism & the egghorn, Tommy Boy!

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    3. That was then; this is new.

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    4. Well done. Care to try a mondegreen or soramimi, Paul?

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    6. Soramimi...you mean like, 'The Bear Missed the Train'? It took awhile, and I've also discovered that 'learning curve' has more to do with 'rate' than 'route', so the answer to my question elsewhere is probably 'no'. Sometimes rate is a function of route, but who wants to argue? Aren't 'quibbles' those furry critters from Star Trek?
      I tend more toward paraprosdokians, myself. I am reminded that someone recently thought to educate my local community with a definition and numerous examples of same, until the local newspaper editor dismissed them as 'bumperstickerianisms'...or something like that.
      Yes, I have also noticed AbqG's absence; kind of like the train that wakes you up in the middle of the night when it doesn't go through; and I honestly hope that he is, like your mom, well and happy.

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    7. Agreed, Paul. Footnote: quibble is archaic for pun.

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  45. Paul, I totally missed the link to Clarence reference. Nice Linc!

    Snipper, I thought you might also be referring to Sting's last name of Sumner. So I did learn something. . .

    Zeke, double water buffalo with long sleeves?

    See this movie? Y not. ;-)

    Cheers,
    XX (and it's not kiss, kiss)

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  46. And WW, I didn't know sting's last name was sumner, so I learned something too!

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  47. Ancient Order of Waer Buffaloes and the FOP. Parties waiting to happen. Besides if Blaine went anywhere cool, like maybe Podunk, I was giving him an opportunity to bring me a t-shirt. Judging by the kids in his video he appears to be a great dad.:-)

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    1. Aw, Yes! Will you tell me about the little finger of West Virginny that sticks up in between Ohio and Pennsylvania? What's that all about?

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    2. Jest keepin order. Dem twos always fussin.

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  48. My clues:

    "Hope I'm not in … trouble"
    As in: in trouble with the law/the police.

    "Go from meek to mean … hook's"
    Alludes to one of the cadets, by the name of Hooks, who undergoes just that change at the end of the movie ("Don't move, dirt bag!!").

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  49. Does anybody here remember what time it was last week when the new puzzle was posted?

    As I type this, it's 3am Pacific time.

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  50. Well, guess what, the new puzzle is up!

    Next week's challenge from listener Brian Greer of Portland, Ore.: Name two parts of the human body, 10 letters in all. Place their names one after the other. Take a block of three consecutive letters out of the second word and insert them somewhere inside the first word without otherwise changing the order of any of the letters. The result will name a kind of doctor. What kind of doctor is it?

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  51. Will the name of the doctor be ten letters, or will the result of removing the three letters from the second word eliminate the remainder?

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

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    2. Mouse calls? Horse calls?

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    3. Louse calls. My mouse made the wrong sort of call.

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    4. Mr. scifi. You want to remove the give away? Thx
      .

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  53. No, it seems to me that the kind of doctor will have 10 letters. E.g., if the first body part is ABCDE and the second is FGHIJ, then the kind of doctor might be ABGHICDEFJ. I'm wondering how literally to take"kind of doctor". I'm stuck on SPINE being a body part and SPIN DOCTOR being the answer, but of course that doesn't work.

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  54. Have you XYs guys ever been to an andrologist?! Looking at doctor lists there just aren't that many that are only ten letters. So this should be easy, right?

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  55. Oh, did you enjoy the on-air player's comment that there was a new release of Police Academy every year he was in elementary school? Thinking our blog age distribution makes it not so likely he plays here.

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