Thursday, March 21, 2013

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 17, 2013): Water, Water, Everywhere

Falling Water, ericskiff@flickrNPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 17, 2013): Water, Water, Everywhere:
Q: Take an eight-letter word for something used in water. Phonetically remove a word for something else used in water. Squish what is left together. The result, phonetically, will be a verb describing what water does. What words are these?


Edit: In my comment, I said "See, I'll..." as a hint to the chemical symbol of Cl
A: CHLORINE = CL(OAR)EAN --> OAR and CLEAN

164 comments:

  1. I can say for sure that there’s a lot of “phonetically” going on in this week’s puzzle. It’s murky enough that for a while I had a hard time seeing the answer even though it was right in front of my eyes.

    Chuck

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  2. 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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  3. After my initial trivial "solution" (that did not involve phonetics) I progressed to an possible answer that is consistent with Chuck's comment.

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  4. Re the 200-comment "limitation", you can see the rest by clicking on "load more."

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    1. The "load more" link does work in some browsers, but not all (like IE). It's a bug in the Blogger threaded commenting system with more than 200 comments. I've been trying to find a solution; if anyone else with a Blogger blog knows, reply here.

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  5. Tough puzzle. Surprised we haven't heard much from the rest of the crew yet.

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

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    1. That's a remarkable giveaway. Where is our censor?

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  7. AbqG - Difficult to comment without giving too much away. Suffice it to say that I agree with some, but not all of what you posted.

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  8. I really get irrigated by puzzles like this.

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    1. Me too, Jim. But they're (arguably) more fun than a high colonic.

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  9. I'll try using spmeone elses genre. What does the dealer say after you throw your chips on the table?
    Zeke Creek.

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    1. "Call in the mechanic. We have some technical issues on your car's microchip we better figure out before Christmas."

      Off to reread Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, a rather noisy volume of work.

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    2. So are we talking about a recreational device or something like Koolaid?

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    3. Don't think I would drink this Kool-aid, Uncle John. Thank heavens for the Phoenicians. Without them we wouldn't have this awesome puzzle or the letter mem which looks like water waves. ~~~~~

      Mem~o, mem~o, everywhere.

      I could find no anagram for the answer. Guess that makes it kind of special in this crowd. Wonder if there are lots of 8 letter words with no anagrams.

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    4. Well my answer is a real stretch, but I'm going to run with it. I'm an Aquarius, and always like to push the limits of rules.

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    5. Duh. And I'm a friggin' scientist! This is what I submitted: Galoshes, take out "law (of the seas)", and you're left with "gushes". I bet that not a lot of people get this one!

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  10. I think one of the answers may be used in a creek, Zeke.

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    1. I think it would have to be a pretty good sized creek. And then, only if you had your ducks in a row, Skipper Snipper.

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  11. I dunno, Zeke. That's a real head scratcher. Does the dealer say, "No thanks. I only eat 'em with sea NaCl and vinegar."?

    On an unrelated note, there is a new Spanish film out called "El Dos." If you're looking for a great Netflix Sunday night movie, I highly recommend that you see "El Dos."

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    1. I saw it, and I think it stinks!

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    2. Really? I thought it was a real tearjerker, Jan. Not unlike Linda Lovelace's early films where there was rarely a dry hanky in the house.

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    3. Abg,
      Depends on the mood you're in. As for me I'm feeling rather chipper, Snipper.

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    4. Speaking of Linda Lovelace, her co-star, Harry Reems, died yesterday. Please don't re-use those hankies, though...

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  12. I think I've said enough (Imagine that!). I'm gonna sit this one out and cheer from the bleachers for the rest of the day. Good luck, everyone!

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  13. We have an elementary yet timely puzzle on the table today.

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    1. We will make oreoite molecules Friday with the Kdgr Set. 'Ch2Fr' for two chocolate "atoms" for every one frosting "atom."
      Elementary on two levels. ;-)

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    2. WW: Busted! You stole that last quote from Sherlock Holmes. It was the book where he shared bunk beds with Watson on the Orient Express. Look it up.

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    3. Not. I am putting everything on the table. Period.

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  14. Does anyone else find the last of the answer words a bit troublesome? I mean as it being a bit of a stretch.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Come on, Natasha. You can tell US. We're all friends here.

      I have been trying to see the comet all week with no luck. Rumor has it that NASA shot it down. You'd think they'd at least have hired an airplane to tow a banner: "This comet has been removed by the authorities."

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    3. Remember the amazing view of Hale-Bopp Comet from the CO mts about this time of year in 1997?! Now that was a comet!

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    4. I saw that comet in '97 while I was skiing Ajax in Colorado. Speaking of Ajax, isn't Comet a cleanser as well? Very, very cleaver, Word Woman. Your dropping clues at an astronomical pace! And doesn't this product contain an ingredient that shall go unmentioned lest we risk the censor's scrub brush?

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    5. Which comet were you talking about originally, GuerillaBoy? Didn't know there was a visible one around now. By autumn, we should be able to see C/2012 S1, which they say may rival Hale-Bopp, though these things are hard to predict. Having the Great Comet of 2007 in the sky, as bright and comet-looking and long-lived as it was, was certainly a remarkable experience.

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    6. Oops... make that the Great Comet of 1997.

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    7. Jan, old buddy. You gotta be puttin' me on. How is it possible that the second most clever clue-giver on all of Blaine's Blog could possibly be so ill-informed on current events. The comet, PANSTARRS, is the #3 news story of the month--right behind the new Pope and NYC's cannibal cop who infuriated Mayor Bloomberg with his plan to kidnap, cook and eat women and then wash them down with a 24 oz. soda pop. Personally, I feel the very thought of kidnapping and cooking anyone is unconscionable. And soda is a violation of my fitness plan. A cigarette works just fine.

      For more on the comet:

      http://earthsky.org/space/comet-panstarrs-possibly-visible-to-eye-in-march-2013

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    8. Aw, AbqG how kind of you to recognize me as the most clever clue-giver on Blaine's blog. Right gentlemanly of you.

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    9. Bummer. Have to catch it next time it comes around. It's been overcast here lately, anyway.

      And it's not yet a crime in NY to conspire to drink a 24-oz soda. Just to sell it...

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    10. AbqGuerrilla:
      So now you have me wondering just how far up from the bottom of the scale you place yourself????????? Just wondering...

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    11. Btw, Jan, I've been checking low in the western sky for the comet. It's been described as "a speck, not spectacular" so I don't think we are missing anything Hale-Boppy in magnificence. From Australia, though, there are some splashy comet photos available.

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    12. Heard there was a meteoric event yesterday on the East Coast around 8 p.m. local time. Any one lucky enough to see it? It was described as a ball of green fire exploding into sparks of green and purple.

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  15. So I have a question: Assuming the word is ABCDEFGH, are we to remove a set of contiguous letters (eg DEF) or non-contiguous (CFH)?

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    1. I'm wondering the same thing.

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    2. I also had that thought, but discounted it.

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    3. I just figured it out and they are together. It was the "phonetic" that messed me up but is also the key. I somehow kept thinking that the remaining letters would spell a legitimate word that was a homophone of the verb. If I tried to pronounce the remaining letters without the original context, they wouldn't have made sense. See I'll learn to make assumptions.

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    4. I think we may have the same answer, but I am still a bit uncomfortable with the way we are expected to pronounce the last word.

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    5. Sounds like homophonophobia to me.

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    6. Is that like someone on a cell phone you may be reluctant to reach out and touch?

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  16. The letters that are removed are contiguous. The ones remaining are squeezed and pronounced consistently with the original word.

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  17. I assumed they were to be contiguous.

    Chuck

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  18. Interesting that Will's statement of the puzzle says to "Squish what is left together." That suggests a very messy result!

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  19. Just solved it. Jeez** Ch*ist, that's one sorry puzzle.

    -- Other Ben

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    1. You're sure right about that, mister.

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  20. Speaking of a gushing overflow. Was anyone put off by the banal reporting on the new head of the Roman mafia this morning?

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    1. Here in Provo, SkyDiveBoy, the boys down at the barbershop refer to him as the "newly elected accessory-after-the-fact."

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    2. Could that be "accessory-after-the-de facto?

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  21. Hey again,

    I think I've got it.

    Hey, has anyone read that book "The Yellow River" by ..... I. P. what was his last name?

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    1. Yes. He was Korean and his last name was Phlaumacks.

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  22. What's worse than a non-dirty joke with a bad "pun"chline?

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    1. Excellent, Jan. And you know why there were no jokes (clean or dirty) about Jonestown?

      The punchline was too long...

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    2. Actually, Jan, SDB meant to say, "Very chlever," but he probably hasn't had his khlonopin yet. Either way, it was a totally chule and well-thought-out chlue.

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    3. "If you don't keep it that way, you're in trouble."

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    4. The comment above meant to follow the WW comment below.

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  23. SBD = Silent but deadly applying to the clue today as well as to some delicate passing of gas. I will let y'all infer SDB. ;-)

    And on a related note, my brother and his girlfriend just left :(. We are all swimmers who found the last word a stretch also.

    Or maybe just a laps in ool time. Sign at local swimming spot:" Welcome to our ool. Notice there's no P in it. Please keep it that way."

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  24. At first I was put off by this puzzle, too. But I have since changed my opinion and think it’s fairly clever. I wonder if they cover this in the Hooked on Phonics materials :)

    Chuck

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    1. OMG, you too? I've been hooked on fonics for 15 years, Chuck. Bought a dime bag of vowels just yesterday, Bro. Used to do guttural consonants like there was no tomorrow, but I had to get off the hard stuff. It was killing my throat.

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  26. Chuck, I'd agree on some levels. Phonetically, prepositionally, and squishily, this puzzle has it goin' on.

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  27. I like this puzzle. It reminds me of our President - bright, articulate. It also reminds me of one of my favorite blues songs of the 1980's, "Conjunction, junction, what's your function?"

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  28. I just figured this one out. Here I was paddling myself for how long I was taking to solve it.

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    1. Normally, I get red in the face when I take too long to solve these puzzles, Curtis. But you obviously take things to a whole new cheeky level.

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  29. Kinda makes you go H 2 Oh!, huh?

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  30. In the words of H2Omer Simpson, "H2D'oh"

    - Curtis

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    1. Not trying to be mine but Bart had something touche about his Shortz.
      Zeche Chreech sans paddle.

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  31. After reading some of these posts, I'm beginning to question my answer. So, could one of you word people answer my question? "Can something used in water" be plural?"

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    1. It is rarely in the first case, almost always in the second. Hope that helps, Lorenzo.

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    2. Interesting. I would have said the opposite. So, the probability of two solutions to the puzzle seems to be increasing.

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    4. True enough, WW. The exception in the second case, however, is that if one finds oneself up the proverbial tributary without the proper means of locomotion, the implication is that there was only one and it's whereabouts is currently unknown. D'accord?

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    5. D'accord, AbqG. You would generally start with the singular in the first case but generally start with the plural in the second, oui? No ifs, ands or buts!

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    6. Except for Curtis's red one, of course.

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    7. Yes. . .Speaking of colorful, I counted 17 pale green new iris shoots today!

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    8. Mai daughodills are ready two shough aupt.

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    9. And if my wives find out how much time I've been p*ssing away on this blog, I'll be pushing up daisies any day now.

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  32. Got it tout a LHeure. Oh Oh, wee wee. Mercy buckets for the man sewer.

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    1. Hi RoRo, you don't run into many man sewers now do you? Or as public tv/radio is wont to say "sewists."

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  33. No but I knew a co-worker who used to run into the "Man Hole" (local watering hole) at lunch time. I would probably be once again living in St. Croix if the psych hospital did not hire him over me. I am sure he was more concerned with filling man holes rather than filling the position. He tried to "tempt" me to work under him there but the green was not enough and I did not want to dirty my reputation through his lack of ethics.

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  34. Finally I have the answer you all were hinting at and can now appreciate the may excellent clues (especially Jan's). On Thursday, I will try to defend my alternative solution. In the meantime, let me just say that my original post was designed to point to Progressive Insurance.

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    1. Lorenzo,
      I have an alternative solution of sorts that I was led to by your 'progressive' hint. I think I could justify it's second and third words, but the first is problematic. Pressing on, however, if the first 'word' is acceptable, take the central half of it, add a letter to the end of that, and you'll have a certain malady. Join the remaining two quarters to get something you (Lorenzo) dislike using to solve these puzzles.
      Does any of this make sense, or should I consider booking passage to St. Croix and seeing if the place RoRo mentions will admit me?

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    2. Paul,
      I think we should both head for St Croix! I can't make your comment fit my "solution." I do agree, however, that the first word is problematic for two reasons: It's a plural noun and I'm not sure a "something" can be plural; and, although common, it does not appear in any of my dictionaries.

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    3. I'm sure there are lots of "somethings" that are singular but end with an S. For example I have a pair of swim trunks, goggles and fins and I'd say they are each something that could be used in water...

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    4. Thanks Blaine. The trunks and goggles are good examples, but in the case of the fins, isn't it the "a pair of" that makes them singular? The initial 8-letter word in my "solution" is more like fins, in that, although they are usually sold and used as a pair, without the "s" there is only one of them.

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    5. To put it another way, is it grammatical to say "fins are something that is used in water?"

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    6. I don't know, bro. Mine are used all the time when I swim.

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    7. Lorenzo ~
      It is "Fins are something that are used in water." Better, of course, to say, "Fins are things that are used in water." Fins is the subject. "Something" in your sentence is what grammarians call a "distracting predicate nominative." It is always the subject, and not the predicate nominative, that determines which verb form is used.

      More examples:

      "The real draw at this bar is the margaritas." Draw is the subject. Margaritas is just a PN.

      "The main attractions(subject) on this blog are the humor(PN)."

      Enough of this seriousness...let's get back to the silliness!

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  35. The base answer makes more sense phonetically. The letters are not contiguous and the use of the second word may be questionable. It all depends for whom the koolaid is prepared. :-)

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  36. For the 'ell of it, I got a hint from Una and Ginger.

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  37. The first half, anagrammed, also has to do with water.
    The 2nd half, anagrammed, also has to do with water /phonetically/.

    (These observations can be stated more descriptively, but didn't want to hint too much towards the original puzzle)

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    1. Very nice, Mike. And in keeping with our hush hush topic here, the second-half word tosses out what's not necessary?

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    2. Just saw the /phonetically...Better get on form here before I fill out another comment. ;-)

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  38. Replies
    1. Of course, the list of recognized heavy metals is mercurial. How iron-ic is that?

      Unless, of course, this clue is somehow a testament to Heavy Metal music, in which case it is such an obscure tool that it risks causing one to have faith no more in this motley crew of possessed black sabbath puzzle bloggers thus sparking mayhem and a general exodus. (there are 7, in case you are trying to find them all)

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    3. Musical clue: Billy the Mason.

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    4. Thanks for reminding me, skydiveboy. I agree with EKW's appraisal of your coin-weighing answer. I also think 16,6,2,1 works. I'm not all that interested in enumerating the possible solutions; if I feel like enumerating, I think my efforts would be better spent rereading actonbell's discourse on the 'chairs' puzzle. I'm thinking a heavy coin can be found from among 81 coins in 4 weighings, and there's only one way to do that, but I may be wrong. If so, maybe Blaine will correct me. I think the problem must be entirely similar if the fake coin is light, but what if you don't know whether the 'slug' is light or heavy? That could be of interest.

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  39. What's really neat is that the word was picked for use on St. Patrick's Day.

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  41. Yes, ZC! And we all know that Blarney Stone is a sham rock.

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  42. Well wooly bully, ww. You musta been listening in as matty tol hatty bout the thing she saw.

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    1. Really neat, Zeke. My kids would be all over that. I like it though. It was one of my dad's favorite sayings...and he was a really neat guy.

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  43. Zeke, I used to love singing that song growing up. we rented a room in our house to a woman named Hattie and she ended up smearing our walls with cooked green beans when she was finally evicted. Housekeeping was not one of her strengths.

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  44. RoRo, don't think I know the song. Can you sing a few bars?

    A friend with a new baby named her Hattie. She says it is coming back into vogue.

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    1. It is a nice name. As long as that other Hattie does not come back into my life.

      Zeke made a good start of the song. Something about" had 2 great big eyes??? and a wooly jaw" then repeated Wooly Bully forever. I always wondered if there was a hidden meaning in the song. Music back then only hinted at being "dirty", at least on the radio.

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    2. Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.

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    3. 'Fraid we're all L7's on this bus

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  45. I'm a first-time poster to this blog. My contribution to this week's puzzle is not a clue but rather a variation of the puzzle, with a different but somewhat similar answer:

    Q: Take an eight-letter word for something used in water. Phonetically remove a word for something else used in water. Squish what is left together and lop off the last letter. The resulting word is a synonym of "liquid." What words are these?

    As usual, solving a puzzle is a catalyst for creating a puzzle. Thanks. I enjoy all you clever bloggers.

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    1. I saw that too and wondered if it might actually be the answer. In fact I think it works about as well as what I believe is the intended answer.

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    2. Or try this variation: Take a seven-letter word (plural) for something used in water. Remove the same number of consecutive letters that you remove from this week’s NPR puzzle. Squish what is left together. The result, phonetically (using the same pronunciation rules as in this week’s puzzle), will be a verb describing what water does. What words are these?

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    3. Which makes me wonder, LL, if there's an 'e' on the end of a word, phonetically, would you pronounce it?

      Goin' with the flow here on the first day of spring. Things are sure starting to green up with all our recent H2O (taking nothing out of that).

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    4. ;-). Maybe I should be more specific:

      If the e is meant to be silent but it's still there would you then pronounce it as something-ee?

      Waiting, anticipatingle(e).

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    5. WW,

      OK, it’s a good question. I believe only a phonetic fanatic would pronounce the final e. A strict phonetic spelling of “railroad,” for example, would be ral-rod, kind of like it would appear in the dictionary pronunciation guide but minus the diacritical marks indicating short or long vowels. That’s because our alphabet, alas, lacks those nifty pronunciation aids. A less strict but also less ambiguous spelling would be rale-rode, which we would pronounce with a long a and o and silent e’s because we are familiar with the “vowel-consonant-final-silent-e” pronunciation convention.

      In a perfect phonetic world, our alphabet would jettison the superfluous C, X and Q ( K and S, Z and KS, and KW will suffice), deep-six the soft G (J works fine), never use PH or GH for the F sound, double the number of vowels so as to cover “the phonetic long and short of it,” etc.

      But of course, that alphabet wouldn’t be as much fun. Puzzles like “how do you pronounce “ghoti”? would go the way of the blue walleye. Homophones would fall victim to homicide, wordplay and puns pine away like O Tannenbaums O’January. The Scripps National Spelling Bee would become irrelevant and pointless, with contestants asking ad nauseam, “Can I hear the pronunciation again?”

      ’Twould be an alphabet rife with characters but bereft of character. More phonetic, sure, but less phun.

      Sorry for such a long howl. I’ll try to keep my future howls shorter, perhaps even schwa-sized (in other words, more consonant with brevity).

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    6. I forgot to mention that the answer would not be a verb.

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  46. When I moved to NJ, I was amazed to learn that the 8-letter word is NOT often used in water here.

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    1. If you are near Atlantic City, who needs it?

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    2. I expect RoRo means for swimming not drinking?

      What do you think of any of these things in water? Are they getting under our skin when we swim?

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    3. Short answer, pro. Long answer, tomorrow.

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    4. WW and Jan, I was referring to swimming although after I moved to the Caribbean and returned to look at my "childhood watering holes" (Atlantic City and Coney Island) I couldn't put my big toe in. Turquoise waters had me spoiled. I drink distilled water so I was not focusing on public drinking water.

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  48. For 2013, puzzle number 12 appears on 21 March. A moment of reflection, please.

    Your journey starts here.

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  49. Start with chlorine. Remove “or” (oar, phonetically). Remaining is “chline” (clean, phonetically, with the silent “h” and “ine” being pronounced as in the original word, chlorine.

    Last Sunday I said, “I can say for sure that there’s a lot of “phonetically” going on in this week’s puzzle. It’s murky enough that for a while I had a hard time seeing the answer even though it was right in front of my eyes.” Murky enough so that it had to be chlined up before I could see it :)

    Chuck

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  50. CHLORINE –OR = OAR > CHLINE (CLEAN)

    My hint:

    "Musical clue: Heavy Metal"

    In my opinion there is nothing CLEAN about this puzzle.

    When I first read the puzzle the word, SAILBOAT came to mind. I saw that it didn't work and then noticed the puzzle said "something used in water." It did not say "something used in THE water." That told me the eight letter word most likely was something added to water and not an object.

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    1. I see now that I forgot to explain my hint above. Heavy Metal = metal from iron ore = oar.

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  51. Replies
    1. Very funny!
      Lorenzo, have you been up in Victoria, B.C. lately? Perhaps to visit Mr. Floatie.

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    2. My sham of a solution was 'life vest'. It provides insurance against drowning, but I'm afraid it has to be two words. A LifeVest™ insures against SCA, but I doubt it's intended to be used in water.
      Can E(a)VES be 'phonetically removed' from 'life vest'? I dunno; who wrote the book on 'phonetic removal'?
      Archimedes knew a lot about *something* water does(just like Wojciehowicz), but I doubt if either Archie or Wojo knew *what* water does. I certainly don't.
      Adding an 'R' to 'FEVE" gives you a certain type of malady.
      Someone on this blog used to encourage people to solve puzzles without consulting a LIST. I was thinking it was Lorenzo, but it might have been Blaine, or someone else.
      An old nickname for 'life vest' is 'Mae West'. Mae had a famous line about 'institutions'.
      I'm ready anytime Flo is.

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  52. > jan Sun Mar 17, 11:39:00 AM PDT
    > We have an elementary yet timely puzzle on the table today.

    CHLORINE is atomic number 17 on the periodic table.

    > When I moved to NJ, I was amazed to learn that the 8-letter word is NOT often used in water here.

    This refers to legolambda's clever alternate puzzle answer, FLUORIDE. Yeah, NJ's is one of those backwards states that sees floridation as a commie plot, gotta preserve our Purity Of Essence, as Jack D. Ripper sez. Not to mention keeping our dentists employed.

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    1. Of course, there can be too much of a good thing (Dorothy Parker notwithstanding). E.g., see this week's New England Journal of Medicine: "Skeletal Fluorosis Due to Excessive Tea Drinking", http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMicm1200995.
      Who knew that "brewed tea has one of the highest fluoride contents among beverages in the United States"???

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    2. Oddly enough, March 17 was also the anniversary of the 2007 chlorine gas bombing by insurgents in Anbar, Iraq. Musical clue: "And the green gas blew all around"

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  53. A dirty puzzle with even dirtier clues, if I ever swam in one. Epic fail, Will.

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  54. my "Blaine deleted" clue:

    If I had 4 daughters, I would name them Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine & Iodine & if I adopted one, I name her Astatine (the hot one).

    In my view, the hard part was to extract the oar and clean out of chlorine.

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  55. Unless Blaine has already worked it out how about we keep 195-200 open for the guys who get the jump on the new puzzle?

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  56. I had 2 answers. One was Will's sbd the other was wrong on so many levels.
    Fluorine-urin=floe.
    Urine works fine depending for whom the koolaid is made.
    Hints: just go with it-flow.
    Dealer says YOU'RE IN.
    DEPENDS on the mood YOU'RE IN.

    Chlorine- or=chline.
    Hints: sans paddle-oar.
    Billy the Mason-Mason Williams-Classical gas.
    St. Patrick's Day puzzle on chlorine-chlorine means pale green.
    Sam the Sham and the Pharraohs-shamrock.
    Referral to L7 with Sam does not have to pretend-the group L7 had the song Pretend we are dead.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Chlorine - or (oar) = chline (clean).

    "Put it all on the table. Period." A nod toward the periodic table.

    17 pale green iris shoots referred to the atomic number of chlorine and its color.

    Mechanic, technical, Christmas: all other words with silent h's.

    "I don't know, bro. Mine are on when I swim" referred to the alternative bromine used in some swimming pools.

    Legolambda, enjoyed your phonetics explanation almost as much as your clever name. It's got schwagger.

    Jan, the fluoride stuff is interesting. A doctor friend in NH sees many people with horrible teeth; most people are on well water. She gave her kids fluoride drops.

    A puzzle with phonetically spelled words is pretty interesting. You could say "phone net tickle, Lee" to your friends with that name. ;-)

    Off to have some ghud chline fuhn!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Happy World Water Day 2013, everyone!

    ~Word Woman~

    ReplyDelete
  59. My alternate puzzle from above: "Take a seven-letter word (plural) for something used in water. Remove the same number of consecutive letters that you remove from this week’s NPR puzzle. Squish what is left together. The result, phonetically (using the same pronunciation rules as in this week’s puzzle), will be a verb describing what water does. What words are these?"

    Answer: "Ferries", take out "er", you are left with "fries", pronounced "freeze", using the same rules as the Sunday Puzzle.

    ReplyDelete
  60. The new puzzle is up, and here it is:

    Next week's challenge from listener Andrew Chaikin: Take the four words "salt," "afar," "lava" and "trap." Write them one under the other, and the words will read the same vertically as horizontally. This is a word square of four-letter words. Note that the only vowel in this example square is an A. The object of the challenge is to create a five-letter word square using only common,
    uncapitalized English words, in which the only vowel in the entire square is A. The word in the center row, and column, is NASAL.

    On Thursday, I'll be posting this:

    ╔═══╦═══╦═══╦═══╦═══╗
    ╟─□─╫─□─╫─N─╫─□─╫─□─╢
    ╠═══╬═══╬═══╬═══╬═══╣
    ╟─□─╫─□─╫─A─╫─□─╫─□─╢
    ╠═══╬═══╬═══╬═══╬═══╣
    ╟─N─╫─A─╫─S─╫─A─╫─L─╢
    ╠═══╬═══╬═══╬═══╬═══╣
    ╟─□─╫─□─╫─A─╫─□─╫─□─╢
    ╠═══╬═══╬═══╬═══╬═══╣
    ╟─□─╫─□─╫─L─╫─□─╫─□─╢
    ╚═══╩═══╩═══╩═══╩═══╝

    except with all those white squares ("□") replaced with other letters.

    ReplyDelete
  61. May I suggest using the unicode characters U+FF21 through U+FF3A:

    ABCDE
    FGHIJ
    KLMNO
    PQRST
    UVWXY


    Multiple answers this week, you think?

    ReplyDelete
  62. Curious:

    Here again is the template (improved a little):

    ╔═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╗
    ╟─*─╫─*─╫─N─╫─*─╫─*─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─*─╫─*─╫─A─╫─*─╫─*─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─N─╫─A─╫─S─╫─A─╫─L─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─*─╫─*─╫─A─╫─*─╫─*─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─*─╫─*─╫─L─╫─*─╫─*─╢
    ╚═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╝

    And here it is substituting your U+FF21 through U+FF3A unicode characters:

    ╔═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╗
    ╟─*─╫─*─╫─N─╫─*─╫─*─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─*─╫─*─╫─A─╫─*─╫─*─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─N─╫─A─╫─S─╫─A─╫─L─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─*─╫─*─╫─A─╫─*─╫─*─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─*─╫─*─╫─L─╫─*─╫─*─╢
    ╚═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╝

    I should point out that the first set appears perfectly aligned in a text editor such as Notepad, while your unicode letters, which are visible (and I'm surprised; the name of the character set to which I had to convert the newly opened text document, is called "Unicode UTF-8"; and I was sure that I would have to change it to a UTF-16, for which my choices are "little endian" and "big endian" - both unreadable.) - those letters form misalignments in the text editors! - And while testing these out in Notepad, I now feel I must abandon those little square characters ("□"), because although they do just fine in EditPad and EditPad Lite, they cause misalignments in Notepad!
    As I type this, I'm not sure how it's gonna turn out. Your letters, although readable here in the editting session, look different than they do in your post above.

    Now the preview:

    The template does not look perfect in the preview!

    ReplyDelete
  63. I think I'll have to go back to this as the best template so far:

    ╔═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╗
    ╟─□─╫─□─╫─N─╫─□─╫─□─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─□─╫─□─╫─A─╫─□─╫─□─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─N─╫─A─╫─S─╫─A─╫─L─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─□─╫─□─╫─A─╫─□─╫─□─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─□─╫─□─╫─L─╫─□─╫─□─╢
    ╚═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╝

    It looks absolutely perfect both in EditPad Lite and in this comment editor on which I'm entering this very comment right now.

    I just wish I had a better filler character to use to show where a future letter will be placed. The square character ("□") makes the template appear badly misaligned in NotePad. To view the template in EditPad Lite, just copy it here, go to EditPad Lite, <cntrl>N to start a new document, then select "Convert", "Text Encoding", and then select "Unicode UTF-8". Do this before you paste!

    You may wish to use this template to experiment and come up with your solution:

    ╔═══╤═══╤═══╤═══╤═══╗
    ║ □ │ □ │ N │ □ │ □ ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ □ │ □ │ A │ □ │ □ ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ N │ A │ S │ A │ L ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ □ │ □ │ A │ □ │ □ ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ □ │ □ │ L │ □ │ □ ║
    ╚═══╧═══╧═══╧═══╧═══╝

    Obviously, that template does not look nice at all here!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Screen captures of the above post, rendered in:

    WebKit (Safari);
    WebKit (Chrome);
    Gecko (Firefox);
    Presto (Opera).

    I do not have access to Internet Explorer and so cannot see what it looks like rendered using Trident. Isn't a 5x5 grid of monospaced letters sufficient?

    ReplyDelete
  65. You can go ahead and dismantle the geek code grids, guys. I would have had a bear of a time solving it with them anyway. Don't mean to sound histrionic here, but while you were traveling around the world and back devising your tables, I solved this in my head in 9 minutes while listening to the news. Thanks anyway. I realize you were trying to help. (clues to all four words are here).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see clues to all 5 words, if you want to include "in your head" for NASAL. :)

      Delete