Thursday, May 09, 2013

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 5, 2013): Famous Performer

Duck on a Piano WallpaperNPR Sunday Puzzle (May 5, 2013): Famous Performer:
Q: Name a famous performer whose last name has six letters. Move the first three letters to the end — without otherwise changing the order of the letters — and add one more letter at the end. The result, in seven letters, will name a place where this person famously performed. Who is it, and what's the place?
Reminds me of the joke, "What's the difference between a piano and a fish?" You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish.

Edit: How is a piano like a fish? They both have scales... This puzzle was previously featured in November 2008
A: MARIA CALLAS --> LA SCALA

175 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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    1. I had the same problem I did the first time we had this puzzle. I'm not very familiar with the performer or the place. Got it now...

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    2. Blaine - so you're are not an avid fan of this performer.

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    3. They are two of my very favorite performers. I have all their recordings and constantly play them. It don't get much better than that. I even heard them once when the amplification was not working and still enjoyed it!

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    4. The old lady who got picked "at random" (and who mostly wanted to visit) was a virgin! It was the first time she entered! This happens a significant percentage of the time, (I've observed this phenomenon at least a half dozen times in the past ten years) when you consider that there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of right answers. I think there is a glitch in the software that "randomizes" correct answers, and a newbie catches it's attention.

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    5. And, Uncle John, her first time took only 10 minutes!

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  3. I, like Will, believe in recycling.

    Chuck

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  4. Ron -

    Yes, resign and re-sign were the two words I was thinking in answer to your puzzle last week.

    Chuck

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    1. Nice going. I suspect few people solved it.

      ron

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    2. Will has done this puzzle before. I knew it instantly.

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  5. I had to pace and pace until my feet were sore and blistered before coming up with the answer to this puzzle - but at least it wore away all the dead skin on the soles.

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    1. Actually, not many steps were required this week. :)

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  6. Posted earlier today at the end of last week's blog:

    Could be a hard fight - my hands hurt already - but I think AA has shown me the way.

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  7. Not that obvious, although I got it.

    P.S. Not Wayne Newton

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  8. Luckily, I was watching a triple-feature re-run when the puzzle was broadcast. The first program was an HBO gangsta show. That was followed by a Marx Brothers classic. But it was not until West Side Story came on that I solved it. Not much to do with the rest of my morning now. Guess I'll take the pooch for a ten or fifteen minute walk through Mr. Romano's green meadow.

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    1. Such a short walk. I guess it must be a small dog. How can such tiny dogs be so loud? On the other hand they do make good taco filling.

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    2. He's a mix breed, SkyDiveBoy. Half pit bull and half collie. I've trained him to go get help after he bites people...

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  10. Posted to the end of last week's blog: Remove a letter from the performer's first name to name something performed there.

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    1. Jan, in the spirit of a recent puzzle, say your something out loud and it sounds something like three letters of the alphabet.

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    2. That's a good one, Jan. Does anybody else remember that Will did this one before?

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    3. Obviously I was not in that crowd who had heard the puzzle before, Uncle John.

      All of the clues make so much sense now.

      Sofa King great to be in the in crowd now. ;-)

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    4. I'd heard the puzzle before, but didn't remember the answer. Then, out of nowhere, I thought of the works involved in this performer's career, which surely involved a climb up the ladder of success that was smooth as silk. Now I know that if Will had given us the hint Jan did, I would have thought of it much sooner, although it still would not have been screamingly obvious.

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    5. From what I have read, the Callas climb was not quite smooth as silk.

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    6. Have you listened to any of her recordings with de Stefano? They are OTW.

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    7. I forgot she married Onassis, as did Jackie Kennedy, that would totally have been material for a great clue!

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    8. Uncle John, they were lovers but never married.

      SkyDiveBoy, I did listen to couple of performances. Even with the poor sound quality on my phone their voices were startlingly clear. It seemed as though Maria, especially, poured alot of her life experiences into her singing.

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    9. I don't know that I would use the word "lovers" to describe their relationship. She contributed her looks and glamour and body and he spent a lot of money on her. Oh, wait, you're talking about MC. Not real familiar with their relationship; though Kissinger certainly got a lot of mileage out of being famous or powerful or whatever.

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  11. Don't know what kind of loony tune your daffy duckling is playing there, Blaine, but that reminds me of the night I was on short final and had to ask the tower to turn off the bright lead-in lights.

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    1. Trying a different approach perhaps...is that a dinosaur on your piano, Blaine ? ;-)

      NO SNOW today! Good gardening weather.

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    2. Well it certainly isn't Dinah Shore! :-)

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    3. ...or a bull in a china store...

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  12. One of the names used in the on-air puzzle is homophonically related to the performer and place, sort of.

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  13. Speaking of easy puzzles, has anyone else found it easier this week to prove they are not a robot?

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    1. Yeah. They're teaching to the Turing test now.

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    2. In a master class, no doubt.

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    3. Yes, easier than a voyage on the high seas.

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    4. ...but noteworthy nonetheless.

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  14. Once again I have to weigh in on this one but I don't want to use harsh words so I will leave it at that

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  15. Part of The Festival of Bones

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  16. I'm not there yet. Guess I missed it the first time around. And my garden calls. . .

    RoRo, your clue made me think of a folk group called The Mother Folkers, the most carefully pronounced name in show business.

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    1. Don't worry. It ain't over till it's over.

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    2. Jan, you have such a wonderful way with words! :) Hey! That could be a clue too, huh?

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    3. Focus on tilling led me astray, Jan.

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    4. Sorry, but I didn't want to give too much away. So, now you know how you solve a problem like this?

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    5. Sounds like I do. Thanks, Jan.

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  17. This type of performance venue can be found in many cities. New Orleans, Abbeville and Dothan are of particular interest.

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    1. Oh you should see ours here in Seattle.

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    2. $20 mil from mom's kids. Gotta love it.

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    3. Didn't submit, but used this exchange to search for "seattle performance venue 20 million" which pointed to an opera hall, then "famous opera halls" which contained "Cal" (as in Ripken, another hint) as a syllable, which was fortunately #1 on the list -- I wasn't familiar with the hall or the singer (despite several hints pointing to the word "callous"), but I guess that's how you learn! So...thanks!

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    4. Mike:
      I could have posted that Giuseppe di Stefano & Maria Callas were last at the Seattle Opera House April 23, 1974 (I was there too) but it seemed like it would be too easy to Internet search the answer if I did.

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  18. WW -

    I have a copy of the first album released by The Village Fugs. As with the Folkers, one has to take care with pronunciation.

    Chuck

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    1. I have that album too. I saw them live in the Village in August 1966. I was returning from living in Germany for 2 1/2 years. It was a shock getting back to this awful country, but the Fugs helped a bit.

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    2. I was in elementary school then and have not heard The Fugs on any stage. Is it "fuhgs" or "foogs?"

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    3. It is fugs, the exact same annoying made-up word Norman Mailer used in, The Naked and the Dead, his WWII masterpiece. What a juvenile country we live in where adults are treated as small children who would melt once having heard an epithet. You know; the epithets they hear every day when they are away from home or at school. Well fug that!

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    4. well it's 123 what r we fighting 4 ....
      First heard this song at the "Button Tree" in Philadelphia. Also learned to play a guitar during that time and earned my blisters singing protest songs

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    5. Did you hear about that London furniture store called "Sofa King", their motto was "Sofa King Wonderful". It took the officials 15 years to catch on.

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    6. We bought two couches from Sofa King when we were London. Had them shipped to Provo. Unfortunately, our cats wrecked 'em. We were Sofa King bummed.

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    7. so why did they settle for being just Wonderful when they could have been Sofa King Awesome?

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    8. I guess if everyone on this blog posts a variation it won't take me 15 years to finally get the joke.

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    9. SDB, I know how you feel.

      AbqGuerrilla, you can't make this stuff up.

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    10. Joke? What's Sofa King funny?

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    11. That's what I want to know. Perhaps you could couch it in another way.

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    13. Enough with the furniture jokes! You lazy boyz 'n' gurls are driven' me chaisey. You have, in fact, propelled me to open a second bottle of King Daven Port (Tawny). It may be pricey, but it's cheaper than an hour on the settee in Dr. Philbin's office.

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    14. This is nothing more than pure bunk. I suggest you sack it and give this subject a wide berth before you get cot and Blaine decides to chaise yous outta here and we have to look for a new platform, not that it mattress to y'all.

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    15. You clowns are off your rockers!

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    16. Maybe with some nice area rugs under them. . .

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    17. And Mitt Romney is perhaps the only person in the world who ever had a carpet on the roof of his station wagon.

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    18. And reliable sources say it was a nice berber on his suburban.

      My dad once drove through town with the entire Provo rugby team on the roof of his Ford Country Squire. I think that's kinda' similar.

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    19. I think your sources may just have fed you a shaggy dog story. I happen to know it began as a tight weave, but soon became a deep pile.

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    20. Several years ago, a new business opened in Rutherford, NJ, calling itself the "Fun Ghoul Costume Company." Despite immediate protests, it is still open under that name.

      (Youse guys do speak New York-Italian-American, don't youse?)

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    21. What did you say that got deleted, WW?!

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    22. I ought not to say until Thursday, Uncle John.Although, had I buried the clue (like my dog buries treats in the couch), I may have been able to leave the clue. A tad too excited about finally figuring it out. ;-)

      Speaking of dogs, my little rescue pup is doing much better with antibiotic eye cream. Yeah!

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    23. I'm so glad! Thank you for saving him, or her.

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    24. She's a great little dog. It was a mutual rescue.

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  19. The first three letters in the place are the same of an "incorrect" (for several reasons) place that I thought of when initially trying to solve the puzzle. This did not lead to my getting the answer.

    I saw this place around Thanksgiving 2009 (not a clue).

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  20. Like Blaine, I'm not all that familiar with this performer, or the venue. I do enjoy this art form in moderation, but it's not my absolute favorite. I'd still enjoy it more than a stay in Shawshank...

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  21. In bed. 1:49am here on the east coast. After racking my brain, it finally just came to me. Appeared out of nowhere. My first thought after discovering the answer: "...whoever she is."

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    1. If you really don't know; think shipping.

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  22. Funny how I am really good at crossword puzzles but always over think this kind of stuff. Ugh

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    1. For you & for Paul: Overthinkingit.com. Was checking out Goofy/Pluto arguments. I have a feeling I am close but no cigar.

      My pooch is sick today. :-(.

      First letter N E 1?

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    2. Sorry your pooch is sick. So was the performer when the love of his/her life remarried. The love did not even announce it ahead or use an emissary to spread the news

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    3. Thanks, RoRo. To the vet's tomorrow we go.

      Re: lack of anouncement or emissary:

      Oh, pretty effusive rowdy antics going on there!

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    4. The initials of the performer would be the same as the person who introduced him or her.

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    5. Maria Callas= MC, master of ceremonies.

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  23. It took me a very long time to appreciate this kind of talent, even though at certain places and certain times I'm convinced I have it.

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    1. Don't echoes tend to convey less information? However, from where I sit, all information is welcome. Regrettably true.

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  25. Exactly, and if you anagram the performer's first and last names together you'll get a synonym for cronies.

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  26. It's almost what baseball player, Ripken, feels for his wife after a couple of viagra...

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    1. Or, sigh, why a sailboat doesn't move.

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  27. Hopped on the caddy to motor over to the barbershop for a haircut, and...eureka, I finally got it.
    zc

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    1. In the caddy :-)
      Surprised you let me get away with that.

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  28. Oh, now I see.

    You can tuna, salmon, and sardines; but you don't can Steinways, Baldwins, or Yamahas.

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    1. Yes. I think I first learned that old joke with the punch line: "You can tuna fish, and you can tune a piano, but you can't tune a fish."

      And, apropos of this week's puzzle, you can scale a fish, but you can't remove the scales from a piano. And what do a ladder in Milan and a fish have in common? You can scale either one, which sounds a lot like "ladder" in Italian, which is found in Milan as the name of a performance venue.

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    2. I don't want to hear any more tuna jokes. Just today I got a letter from Ford recalling my Mercury Grand Marquis. It seems they found my Mercury has too much tuna fish in it.

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    1. I tend to agree, Jan. Googling certain parts of the above description takes the user straight to the aforementioned Wikipedia page.

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    2. I agree. How insensitive.

      But this wins the prize for the most obscure puzzle answer.

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  30. After reading one comment, bada bing! I got it.

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  31. I was away for the weekend, and while it is only Tuesday, it seemed like it took forever to solve this one. Now we can wait and see if Will will call us on Thursday.

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  33. How long can you hold your ......breath?

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  34. I am intrigued by EAWAF's (now deleted) comment. Will you share with all of us on Thursday?

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    1. Ruth, I also am curious (but not yellow) about the comment. I am also curious about which clue helped Snipper.

      Hope y'all had a good Fibonacci kinda day, 5-8-13. Lots of good things from those i-ending folks (and a few not so great).

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    2. Sorry, I meant which clue helped Aaron.

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    3. Even tho you meant Aaron, I was helped by the first name clue (first posted by Jan) echoed by others.

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    4. Snipper, I am always curious to hear what clues make the aha! moment.

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  35. Couple of cartoons from last week's New Yorker that I thought would appeal to this group:

    Sign on playground fence: "ULTIMATE FRISBEE 3 - 5 P.M."
    Underneath, in smaller letters: "PENULTIMATE FRISBEE 1 - 2:30 P.M."

    Glum-looking couple at a restaurant table. "It'll never work -- you're a moviegoer and I'm a film buff."

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  36. Thanks for sharing, Jan. Nothing like a New Yorker cartoon.

    I dated a guy for a summer who was sooo into birds; sometimes I think he thought he was a bird. And I am a penultimate fish. I truly knew from the beginning that it would never work. Although I was impressed that he went swimming with me on our second date.

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    1. I guess he didn't care for the pecking order and didn't feel he measured up on the scale.

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    2. And he went the way of the dinosaur ;-).

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    3. And you swam off to Cealicamp?

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    4. I'm finding this thread quite entertaining; perhaps it appeals to my facile nature.

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    5. Leviathinthian, sdb, leviathinthian.

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    6. Leviathanthian....
      Dang me, they oughta take a rope and hang me!

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    7. Coelacanths go to Coelacamp, SDB . I was not going to be picky but hey, you can take it if you can dish it (see comment to Jan~~He did say "sounds roughly like.")

      And he went the way of the dinosaur has a whole new meaning now, eh?

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    8. I canth agree with you moore, but I was using one of my Lifelines and invoking poetic licentiousness.

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    9. Or perhaps, as earlier, being lazy.

      I can forgive you though, SDB. R. C. Moore rocked my world in paleontology. Ah, spirifers!

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    10. Not laziness, I knew it was not camp, but I was having trouble trying to be humorous. I should have quit while I was ahead. Anyway don't you agree that poetic licentiousness can be Sofa King fun?

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    11. The camp part was terrific, SDB! I was referring to the beginning of the word as coela-, not ceali-.

      And, yes.

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    12. Yeah, I knew it was an odd spelling, but the spell check did not help and I was lazy. I've been walking 9 to 12 hours every day lately and it's tiring.

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    13. I am thinking about walking the Camino de Santiago. I don't really know why, but it keeps after me.

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    14. Sounds like an ambitious quest, sdb; I'm afraid, if I attempted it, I'd wind up in an infirmary....so I'd probably just take a cab, instead.

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    1. MARIA CALLAS >>> LASCALA

      Divan! for Diva! Perhaps "Yeah, my dog buries bones in the divan" might have remained. Blaine, thumbs up?

      "Clowns are off your rockers" referred to the opera featuring the clown, Pagliacci.

      Area rugs alluded to "aria rugs."

      "Sounds like I do" in reply to Jan's comment referred to The Sound of Music and "How do you solve a problem like Maria."

      "Fibonacci and folks with names ending with i's" (and o's and a's for that matter :-)) referred to the Italian origin of the opera.

      Most of my clues evolved from the furniture thread. Sofa King glad you started it, Uncle John.

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  38. I have an appointment this afternoon so I can’t make my top-of-the-hour post today. I’ll catch up with you all after I get back.

    Chuck

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  39. Maria Callas @ La Scala

    My hints:

    “They are two of my very favorite performers. I have all their recordings and constantly play them. It don't get much better than that. I even heard them once when the amplification was not working and still enjoyed it!”
    The word, they, is a bit misleading, but Maria Callas usually performed with my favorite tenor of all time, Giuseppe de Stefano. The real hint is re: the amplification not working. Opera singers do not use amplification.

    "Pippo" This is the nickname of Giuseppe de Stefano.

    “Yes, easier than a voyage on the high seas.” Hinting at high Cs in opera.

    “If you really don't know; think shipping.” Callas was married to shipping magnate, Aristotle Onassis.

    There were other hints at small dogs which hinted at Puccini. Also a hint at “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings!”

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    1. I don't think Maria and Ari (nice orthographic relationship there!) were ever married.

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    2. Jan, You are correct and I knew that, but decided not to correct my comment due to being lazy. I hope you know that Robinson Crusoe and Enrico Caruso are similar, but different.

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    3. That's why the emoticon ;-)

      Personally, I hate opera, but loved "kill the wabbit".

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  40. MARIA CALLAS

    > Remove a letter from the performer's first name to name something performed there.

    Duh.

    > Don't know what kind of loony tune your daffy duckling is playing there, Blaine, but that reminds me of the night I was

    on short final and had to ask the tower to turn off the bright lead-in lights.

    The phrase used is "kill the rabbit". As in the Bugs Bunny / Elmer Fudd classic, "What's Opera, Doc?"

    > One of the names used in the on-air puzzle is homophonically related to the performer and place, sort of.

    Robinson Crusoe. And his brother, Enrico ;-)

    > Don't worry. It ain't over till it's over.

    When the fat lady sings.

    > So, now you know how you solve a problem like this?

    See The Sound of Music

    > Or a black-vs-white poetry contest?

    A RACIAL SLAM

    > Or a competitor to the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile.

    LA SALAMI CAR

    > Or, sigh, why a sailboat doesn't move.

    ALAS, CALM AIR

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  41. "Could be a hard fight - my hands hurt already - but I think AA has shown me the way."

    Not really hard at all -

    "my hands hurt" - getting callouses, for Callas;

    "AA has shown me the way" - with their famous 12 step program, where La Scala means "the steps".

    (Actually I have no personal knowledge of AA.)

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  42. But for the redundancy, it wasn't obvious per my clue.

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  43. Maria Callas, La Scala

    Last Sunday I said, “I, like Will, believe in recycling.” This week’s puzzle – in slightly different form – has been asked before. One Sunday in 2008 the puzzle was: “Name a famous singer from the past who has five letters in his or her first name and six letters in the last. Rearrange the letters of the last name, plus the last letter of the first name (seven letters in all) to name a place where this singer famously performed. Who is the singer and what is the place?”

    Chuck

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    1. Chuck, I saw Blaine referenced that puzzle above when he gave the answer. The original puzzle limited it to singers; I think that made it easier.

      I mostly use my phone to check the blog. Blaine's website, I've discovered, tags all names (among other things like anagrams) in past puzzles...But, this made me laugh more.

      It is a bit more interesting to think about it for awhile. Frustrating, but interesting.

      And, I'd agree with Mike H. about the fun of learning with the blog. The blog is often more challenging and fun than the puzzle.

      Grazie!

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    2. My clue:
      Between tractor pulls, bigtime wrestling,and the likes my folks made sure we got a well rounded cultural experience. Maris Callas in Rosini's Barber of Seville.
      Caddy - Seville
      haircut - barber

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  44. My clues:

    "It took forever..." Referred to Forever Callas (the movie).

    "...if Will will call us..." Referred to Callas.

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  45. Festival of Bones / El Festival de las Calaveras

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  46. Ruth posted on Wed May 08, at 06:52:00 AM PDT:

    I am intrigued by EAWAF's (now deleted) comment. Will you share with all of us on Thursday?

    And Word Woman replied on Wed May 08, at 04:34:00 PM PDT:

    Ruth, I also am curious (but not yellow) about the comment. I am also curious about which clue helped Snipper.

    Ok, I had first wondered how many responders attacked the problem by listing places of performances and working backwards.

    Then I admitted that before now, the only performer I knew of with that last name was a certain comedian; and I included a quote from that comedian's Wikipedia page. I now know that I'd better not take too long a quotation from Wikipedia or any other reference page, as a Google search can lead folks right to it.

    Anwway, the comedian to whom I referred was Charlie Callas.

    (Maybe I'd've been OK if I had simply said that I had seen him walk on hot coals on a "Circus of the Stars" show.) -- Those were some pretty good shows. Too bad it went away.

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  47. Ruth:
    May I have the anagram you were thinking of for crony??? Is a letter missing perhaps!
    I cannot get it and I have tried...
    Thamks

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  48. Word Woman: Re: dinosaurs = birds?: Check out Colin Tudge's book, "The Bird", the chapter on evolution, "How Birds Became". He doesn't buy the argument himself, btw, but he lays it out nicely. He does point out, correctly, that if birds evolved from dinosaurs, then birds are dinosaurs. (Humans didn't evolve from apes, of course; humans and apes evolved from a common hominid ancestor.)

    Saw another pterodactyl on my bike ride through the swamp this morning. And a tom turkey courting a hen, and a painted turtle. Didn't see the piece of glass that flattened my back tire, tho, dammit.

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    1. Interesting stuff, Jan. Maybe we could get schooled on fish next ;-) !

      Sorry about your tire. Sure is beautiful here. Both Julie Andrews and Prince Harry are here in CO but neither has invited me to tea.

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  49. New puzzle is up:

    Name a famous American man, first and last names. Change the first letter of his first name from T to H. The result will sound like a term for an attractive person. Who is it?

    What's the best strategy for solving this puzzle? I can not name one. There are so many famous American men whose name starts with T! Is he a musician? A ballplayer? An actor?

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    1. I got it right away, jan. I took a logical approach to solve it by just thinking about it.

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    2. I guess you could say I found this one to be smooth sailing.

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    3. I can think of so many great clues, but they all are too revealing. However, the answer may come to you while you are cooking breakfast this morning, if you actually do that. Now I am again going back to bed while you are thinking about your kitchen.

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    4. I am not fond of this puzzle; I shall simply avert my eyes.

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  50. More appropriate for the famous American's wife!

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  51. Bravo to the early solvers. Our usual networking with each other will help get this one.

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  52. It's easier than last weeks rerun.

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