Thursday, June 20, 2013

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 16, 2013): Words with Unusual Properties

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 16, 2013): Words with Unusual Properties:
Q: Write down these five words: "mate," "peck," "miss," "pot" and "blunder." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And, can you name one other word with the same property?
The hard part will not be figuring out the pattern but finding another word. But even that shouldn't be difficult if you have a good list. The really hard thing will be to provide a clue that doesn't give things away and since I can't think of one, I'll just say, "Happy Father's Day!"

Edit: The word "list" follows the pattern. I think you could also make a case for "pappy" or at least "pop" which are synonyms of father.
A: The property that these words share is that you can replace their first vowel with any of the standard 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u) to create a valid word:

mate --> mate, mete, mite, mote, mute
peck --> pack, peck, pick, pock, puck
miss --> mass, mess, miss, moss, muss
pot --> pat, pet, pit, pot, put
blunder --> blander, blender, blinder, blonder, blunder

A few possible answers using common words.
bad, bed, bid, bod, bud
bag, beg, big, bog, bug
last, lest, list, lost, lust
pap, pep, pip, pop, pup
patting, petting, pitting, potting, putting

If you allow some latitude with archaic words:
blathering, blethering, blithering, blothering, bluthering
slathering, slethering, slithering, slothering, sluthering

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 a chain of thought, or an internet search) 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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have unearthed a commonality but it doesn't seem that unusual, but, indeed, rather common.

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    2. And Happy Father's Day to all you uncommon dads!

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    3. It's on occasions such as this that I sometimes inquire as to my tremendous good fortune. Children are the heritsge of the LORD.

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    4. Nice on the long words, Blaine. Bluthering is the only one I'm not so sure of.Back in the olden days of gold, the ring?

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  2. Finally, at last, I've solved it. Next week's challenge is much easier than LAST WEEK'S CHALLENGE.

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  3. Won't get bogged down on this one!

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  4. All done and submitted. Musical clue: Margaritaville. BTW, I agree with Blaine - coming up with another word was harder than figuring out the common property.

    Chuck

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  5. Some puzzlers might be bothered by the similarities between this week's answer and a recent one. But, I wouldn't make a huge deal out of it.

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  6. Sit under a tree and don't think. It'll come.

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  7. I have already posted my response at the end of last week's thread, but seeing the giveaways that pepper the conversation here, I will add the thought that of the three answers I have come up with, two can be directly related to computers.

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  8. With the help of my computer, I got a big list of possible answers, but I think Blaine's is the best.

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  9. I posted the following at the end of last week's blog:

    "Solving the puzzle is easy, but finding another qualifying word is difficult.I got another word, but it took a bit. Now it will take even long to come up with a clever clue."

    This is the best I seem able to come up with:

    Getting the answer to this puzzle requires a major BLANK BLANK.

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    Replies
    1. SDB: Would this be easier for regular puzzlers ?

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    2. Probably so. I did not use any list. I went back to bed and thought about it and it came fairly easily. Not a bad puzzle this time.

      Did you solve the Car Talk Puzzler of yesterday? If so, maybe you can guess my joke, but I doubt it.

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    3. By the way; is your cat neutered?

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    4. I spay, I spay I spay - I guess your BLANK BLANK was not the scatological pun I thought it was - have to wait till Thursday to find out !

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    5. No, I think your BLANK BLANK guess is on the right track. My cat query is unrelated.

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    6. A significant BLANK BLANK took place from 1350 to 1700.

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    7. SDB, what's your Car Talk joke?

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  10. What's the longest word you can come up with that fits this puzzle? I have two 9-letter words but I'm sure there are longer ones.

    "Very unusual" is better translated as "actually fairly frequently found in the English language."

    My computer runs on salmon today, btw.

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    Replies
    1. I've got five 9-letter words, which I suspect is only half as many as you have. But nothing longer.

      My list has over 1000 words altogether, but I'm suspicious of many of them.

      Happy Pappy's Day to all!

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    2. WW:
      Is your computer the one at the end of the roe or is it all loxed up? Mine is swimming up creek.

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    3. ZC, my computer is attached to my neck. And, yes, it enjoys a good swim...but more often in a pool, lake or the ocean.

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    4. So, if you're using one of those fat-and-saltwater computers for this, where do you plug in your Ethernet cable so you can post here? Or do your fillings pick up wifi?

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    5. No cables, no fillings, Jan. Just some gray matter. Because, as this puzzle shows, the answer is not black and white.

      Color me bemused.

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    6. Jan:
      I think you might be on to something. Last year my dentist informed me the Feds put pressure on him to implant chips in his future patient fillings. He is thinking of going public and has already come close to signing a book deal. If you think I'm making this up, just stay tuned to Fox News. Avoid the Rush.

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    7. Thanks, WW. One more to add to my list!

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    8. SDB: Sounds more convenient than Bluetooth, and less conspicuous (unless it really IS blue). But, as Laurence Olivier asked, is it safe? Guess you always have to careful when picking dentists...

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    9. Jan:
      Right, but usually I find it is the dentist who does the picking.

      Did you happen to see the excellent British movie, "The Last Hangman," starring Timothy Spall as Albert Pierrepoint, in the title role?
      One of his "clients" about to step on the trap door asked, "Is it safe?" Spall didn't answer, but just left him hanging.

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  11. Several of the clues are a dead givaway. My answer in the same as Benmar 12001's but different.

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  12. I've said in the past that I stop looking after I've found one good answer to a challenge, but you keep throwing these others in my face, so I am now up to three that are rock-solid, one which requires a bit of French which is in everyone's English vocabulary, and a special but highly dubious answer of my own.

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  13. I have the intended answer but also came up with an interesting phonetic solution that is even more than what was asked for.

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  14. I got some possible answers on my own and some more after reading the above comments (only because I knew what I was looking for). Did anyone get any "extra credit"?

    I guess I gave Will too much extra credit for last week's puzzle, since he seemed unaware of the the common and changed letters anagramming to "father".

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    Replies
    1. I thought that also, David. Will last week, you this week?

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  15. My problem is that I believe the commonality I've found is too vast! I have made the following observations:

    All 5 of those words can be:
    1. a BLANK1, or
    2. a BLANK2 (BLANK3'd with BLANK4), or
    3. a BLANK2 (BLANK3'd without BLANK4)

    But I've found lots of words which meet the same criteria. In fact, BLANK3 AND BLANK4 would ALSO qualify!

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    1. ....fan: Your comment illustrates a key problem with puzzles of this type (including those asking for the next number in a sequence): Given a finite number of words (or numbers), there are many possible similarities or patterns that they share. Of course, the intent of the puzzle is to find the most elegant one, but that’s a matter of opinion. I’ll see on Thursday if this one evokes a reaction of “aha!” or “ugh!”.

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    2. Lorenzo, I will give you the finite number of words, but not numbers.

      Which brings up the change in syllable emphasis on finite vs. infinite. No wonder English is so hard to learn.

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    3. I'll take not only the words but the numbers as well! My claim follows from the fact that given n data points on a graph (with different x-coordinates), there exists a polynomial of degree n-1 or less that passes through all n points. For example, two points determine a line, three points a parabola, and so on. (See "Lagrange interpolating polynomials" or "unisolvence theorem" for more.)

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    4. Hmmm, I guess I was thinking of the infinite number of numbers in a solution set to start with vs a finite number of words in a solution set.

      But, if you start with a finite set of either, ok. Lo, and behold, enjoy a Giant Fie Night. ;-)

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    5. Is there any chance of getting in on this, in some limited way?

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    6. What I meant was, give it a go.

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  16. I am truly torn.

    First, I am torn between just getting on with my life, and finding the true essence of this puzzle.

    Second, I am torn between seeing this puzzle as immensely complex, and therefore way beyond my skills, as suggested by some of the other comments, and seeing this puzzle as really simple and obvious, the way I originally understood it, leading to the large number of accurate solutions.

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    Replies
    1. Bob K, I've opted for the "life is too short" point of view.

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    2. Or perhaps, Lorenzo, " Life is too Shortz."

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    3. The fact that I didn't think of your wording just proves that the puzzle area of my brain is not working this week.

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    4. Hmmm, I'd hate to humiliate myself by making some ill-considered claim about now.

      Delete
    5. PANS PENS PINS PONS PUNS
      I don't think Pons, the disgraced electrochemist, is allowable, but pons, a part of the brain, might be(although I see spellchecker doesn't like it).

      I don't see any problems with BALL BELL BILL BOLL BULL.

      Delete
  17. Given that it was Father's Day, and I still had to walk the dog, I couldn't muster the energy to work on the puzzle. It sounded kinda bland anyway. So, in the meantime, my wife solved it. I guess life is a crap shoot. Maybe I'll get the next one.

    -- Phil J.

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  18. As always, many of the comments here are facetious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Were you abstemious when you came up with that clever comment? It's as solid as a sequoia.

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    2. Us, facetious, Ward? ;-)

      It made me think of the differences between facetious, sarcastic, sardonic and ironic. Is facetious the most light-hearted? Do sarcastic and sardonic generally mean to inflict pain? And where does the irony of it all fit in? By stating the opposite of what is observed is irony generally considered hammer over the head...
      or can we have gentle irony?

      Musings for a Dynamo (rearrange) afternoon.

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    3. There you go, putting all your irony in one foyer.

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    4. Rainy days wouldn't get our state of CO down right now though!

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    5. See, I told you you couldn't trust it.

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    6. Did you write that with a facetious grin or a sardonic grin, Paul?

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    7. Straight face - go figure.

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    8. Curtis, you've got all your ducks in a row! And Word Woman has reminded me of one of my favorite palindromes,"So many dynamos."

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    9. Ward, I often think that when coming to Blaine's blog.

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    10. Ward, I see now. Facetious. Curtis. Abstemious. All those ducks/vowels in a row. D(aeio)uh!

      Delete
  19. I wrote the five words down and strangely enough they were all in my handwriting! Unfortunately I can't name one extra.

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    Replies
    1. CactusKP, use Paul's straight face above to figure it out. I can think of another one you might know but Will won't use it.

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    2. P.S. And at least two more that Will will use.

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  20. Is it necessary to literally write (as in use cursive) the words down, or will printing them reveal the answer as well?

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    1. Actually, I found that pondering this question was, ultimately, non-productive. The answer came to me, rather quickly, once I stopped pondering this conundrum.

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    2. "Sit under a tree and don't think. It'll come." ?

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    3. It's not necessary to either write or print them. While there are many other words with the same property, these five, in this order, were clearly chosen to provide a big hint.

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  21. Ruth, the answer will be revealed either way.

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    Replies
    1. Sigh...this is one of those Thursdays when I will be quite relieved once 3:30 comes. Signed, Clueless in Cleveland.

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  22. One of my "go to" movies, Almost Famous, was brought to mind with this puzzle. That is, of course, if I'm on the right track.

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  23. WW – Tried your method but all that came were a couple of squirrels!

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    Replies
    1. Lorenzo, "Leave it to The Beaver." Oh, wait, that was last week!

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  24. **NO HINTS IN THIS ENTRY**
    It would appear (from the relatively low number of posts on this blog so far) that this might be one of the more challenging puzzles Will has posed for a while. I was wondering, for those that have solved already, if one or two particular words gave solvers a breakthrough, in my case it was POT then BLUNDER.

    Also an observation, for me it is hard to determine if a hint is really a "giveaway" unless I have not solved the puzzle. And then they "hints" are frustratingly meaningless (and that's the way it should be !)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BLUNDER was my gateway to the answer.

      I often work on the puzzle on my Sunday long run. In the process of trying to solve various prior puzzles, I had come up with several acceptable words that fit this week's puzzle. It still took me about half an hour to realize that is what this week's puzzle was.

      The only word Will and I had in common was POT, so it was easy to come up with my submitted answer

      Delete
    2. David, glad you were able to share the process of getting to the point of the puzzle. Food for thought for us puzzlers.

      Delete
  25. Interesting puzzle - haven't come up with any of those big words yet so I'll just submit a smaller word for an answer.

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    Replies
    1. There are at least 6 nine-letter words and 1 ten-letter word. Tells you something about these words.

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    2. If you really mean those numbers (6 and 1, and not multiples thereof), then we haven't found the same unusual property.

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    3. Hmmmm. I really mean those numbers, Jan. Although, now I've found 7 and 1. I'm not quite sure what you mean by "not multiples thereof." They are separate, unique words.

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    4. This is really turning out to be one puzzle where I will be very happy to see what the "official" answer is!!!!

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    5. Me, too. I counted the letters incorrectly on the new word. There are 2 ten-letter words and 6 nine-letter words by my book.

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  26. Eureka! (finally!). Actually a nice puzzle. "Aha!" rather than "ugh!".

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  27. Musical clue: "Swinging the Alphabet".

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  28. Hmmmmm. Saw that. Still don't know why. Tomorrow I will though, Jan.

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  29. I've gone up and down on this one but I'm now certain my answer agrees with the other clues here. I particularly like the answer suggested by WW's response to CactusKP but know it won't make the cut.

    My answer comes in at seven letters and is strangely self-referential.

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  30. My cousin, Vernon, has it all figured out.

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    Replies
    1. These are words that can be both VERBS AND NOUNS

      DIG (unearth)
      BRANCH, LEAVE, LEAF, NEST SQUIRREL! ~~Lorenzo) "Sit under a tree and think. It'll come."
      FISH (salmon)
      SWIM
      FATHER "Will last week, you this week?"
      GO for it. Have a GO!
      CLAIM
      NEEDLE, PRICK, PIN
      ANSWER
      PROCESS
      THOUGHT
      BOOK

      Two ten letter words: PHOTOGRAPH, EXPERIENCE
      Six nine-letter words: TELEPHONE, TELEGRAPH, BROADCAST, HIGHLIGHT, INFLUENCE, TRANSPORT.

      Anything more magical with AEIOU order?

      Delete
    2. A friend once said there's no noun that can't be verbed.

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    3. "There are known nouns, and there known unknown nouns..." I hope you choose your friends more carefully than that. :)

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    4. The Urban Dictionary defines verbification as the changing, through poor language, of a noun into a verb.

      And verbiage is defined as excessive wordiness. Although, to me, it seems adjectiviage/adverbiage would be more apt. Why blame the true verb that's just trying to do something?

      And now comes "verbage" to evoke garbage. "i" am staying out of it.

      Delete
  31. In each word, the first vowel can be replaced by any other vowel (A, E, I, O, U) to make a valid new word. (That's why these words come in multiples of five.)

    > I discovered the common factor pretty quickly, described it to my wife, and she got another word right away.

    gat, get, git, gut

    > I've got five 9-letter words, which I suspect is only half as many as you have. But nothing longer.

    bat, bet, bit, bot

    > Happy Pappy's Day to all!

    peppy, pippy (?), poppy, puppy

    > It's not necessary to either write or print them. While there are many other words with the same property, these five, in this order, were clearly chosen to provide a big hint.

    bag, beg, bog, bug

    > Musical clue: "Swinging the Alphabet".

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_Y6UKMp8Qw

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I consider my "Swinging the Alphabet" hint to have been the worst give-away clue I've ever gotten away with. I fear Blaine may be getting soft....

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    2. Jan:
      Sorry, but I just cannot accept what you are saying about our dear Blain. He may be getting saft, seft, sift or even suft, but soft—never!

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  32. Thanks to the puzzle, this bit of '80s awesomeness has been stuck in my head all week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FB6iJ4GUkF4

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  33. Substituting any vowel for the word’s accented vowel produces another valid English word.

    mate mete mite mote mute
    pack peck pick pock puck
    mass mess miss moss muss
    pat pet pit pot put
    blander blender blinder blonder blunder

    Another word with this quality is

    bag beg big bog bug

    Last Sunday I said, “All done and submitted. Musical clue: Margaritaville.” I.e., “There’s booze in the blender.”

    Chuck

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  34. If you replace the first vowel in each of these words with any other vowel you will still get a common word.

    MATE PACK MASS PAT BLANDER
    METE PECK MESS PET BLENDER
    MITE PICK MISS PIT BLINDER
    MOTE POCK MOSS POT BLONDER
    MUTE PUCK MUSS PUT BLUNDER


    BAG
    BEG
    BIG
    BOG
    BUG


    My Hints:

    “Solving the puzzle is easy, but finding another qualifying word is difficult. I got another word, but it took a bit. Now it will take even longer to come up with a clever clue.

    “This is the best I seem able to come up with:

    “Getting the answer to this puzzle requires a major BLANK BLANK.

    “Probably so. I did not use any list. I went back to bed and thought about it and it came fairly easily. Not a bad puzzle this time.

    “By the way; is your cat neutered?”



    BIT & BOT are part of BAT & BET & BUT

    BLANK BLANK = vowel movement. Too big a clue had I spelled it out.

    BAD & BED are part of BID & BOD & BUD.

    A neutered cat is a GIB and part of GAB & GEB & GOB & GUB. I know—way too obscure.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Some of you mentioned having a good "list" - last, lest, lost, lust.

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  36. I had this prepared and will post it:

    \Ravings of a madman (that’s one word):

    (Most of this was written on Sunday; thought I could get over it. Didn’t work.)

    My answer was BAG BEG BIG BOG BUG

    I posted a marker to that effect Sunday morning, carefully avoiding any direct hint. I was quite surprised when, less than an hour later, someone posted a comment including the phrase, “it took a bit”, directly naming AN alternate answer, BAT BET BIT BOT BUT!

    And add BAD BED BID BOD BUD

    and also BAN BEN (Scottish for “within”) BIN BON (you know, part of “bon voyage”) BUN.

    IMHO, none of those 20 words or their inflected forms should have been in any comments posted before the Thursday deadline. No, I never was popular in school, or anywhere else. (Update Monday - Should there be about a thouseand banned words?)

    PS - If slang is OK, could also have GAT GET GIT GOT GUT

    (Monday:) WW tells me, TAN, TEN, TIN, TON, TUN.
    DAN, DEN, DIN, DON, DUN

    Anyhoo, my comment was:

    “I must remember the old adage, drawn from carpentry: Measure twice, cut once. Or in the case of puzzles, read twice, answer once.

    I spent a great deal of mental energy trying to fashion an answer to what I thought the challenge was, and it was really starting to bother me. Then I read the exact statement of it, saw all the whys and wherefores, and had the answer almost immediately!”

    The first paragraph, aside from being true, emphasized the fact that BUG had been used twice in the last few weeks as part of a possible answer.

    The word “fashion” (for “style”) was a nod to my best attempt to solve the challenge as I had mistakenly understood it. For some reason, I thought we were asked to come up with a vowel run which would include “y”, and I imagined STALE, STELE, STILE, STOLE, STULE, STYLE. (Update - I was going to say that STULE didn’t qualify as a word, but since it sounds like the German word for chair, I just looked it up , and it had a bare-bones Wiktionary entry for just that, presumably by way of Yiddish or something. So maybe it does work, though I wouldn’t expect Will Shortz to accept it.)

    “starting to bother me” - cluing BUG, my anchor word.

    “whys and wherefores” - a reference to that “y” which mis-led me, or perhaps led me to a better answer!

    And from my subsequent post, “two can be directly related to computers,” obviously BUG and BIT/BOT.

    ReplyDelete
  37. My clue: Re: not getting "bogged" down. bog, big, bud, bad, bed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just checking to see if you were on your toes!

      Delete
    2. Yes, on my bullet, bollet, billet, bellet, ballet toes!

      Speaking of dancers, where is RoRo?

      Speaking of humor classes, where is AbqGuerrila?

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    3. Last I heard he is still in detention after attempting to punch line one of his teachers.

      Delete
  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  39. So that's it? A simple vowel run? And except for "pippy" (having a large number of small seeds?) and "lust", nothing over three letters? Oh, well.

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  40. How about PATTY, PETTY, PITTY, POTTY, PUTTY?

    Apparently PITTY, according to Urban Slang Dictionary, is a guy you want to holler at.

    No comment. ;-)

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  41. I figured this out when seeing the first letter in each of the five words was, using Will's order, A, E, I, O, U.

    My extra word(s) were: BALL, BELL, BILL, BOLL, BULL.

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  42. other words with that property (listing the "a" word only:

    ham, lane, mall, bat, tan, band, fan, and last

    LMP

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  43. Also: BALLER, BELLER, BILLER, BOLLER, BULLER.

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  44. Well I believe that everyone who posts here before the deadline, even if he DIDN'T get the right answer, should nevertheless still post on reveal day to explain their earlier post.

    I posted on Sun Jun 16, at 09:52:00 PM PDT:

    My problem is that I believe the commonality I've found is too vast! I have made the following observations:

    All 5 of those words can be:
    1. a BLANK1, or
    2. a BLANK2 (BLANK3'd with BLANK4), or
    3. a BLANK2 (BLANK3'd without BLANK4)

    But I've found lots of words which meet the same criteria. In fact, BLANK3 AND BLANK4 would ALSO qualify!

    Ok, the blanks were:

    BLANK1 - noun
    BLANK2 - verb
    BLANK3 - use (so BLANK3'd becomes used)
    BLANK4 - object

    And as my post stated, if you lookup "use" and "object" on dictionary.com, you'll find that they are, like the words "mate", "peck", "miss", "pot", and "blunder", can all be nouns, verbs (used with object), and verbs (used without object).

    I actually expected to see a reply along the lines of "Yeah, but whether any of the words are a BLANK1 or a BLANK2, the BLANK5 is the same, but when either BLANK3 or BLANK4 are a BLANK1 or a BLANK2, THEN the BLANK5 is DIFFERENT!!

    (BLANK5, of course, turning out to be punctuation!)

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  45. The first vowels in the five words are aeiou. The words can be used as both verbs and nouns. The next vowel being "y" I picked the word fly.
    My first hint:
    Sometimes as in sometimes y.
    Children...lord as in lord of the flies.
    Cousin Vernon as in verb noun.

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  46. ok I was so confused. I started like WW thinking about words that were nouns and verbs thinking you could father someone and be a father. Then clues triggered me to think again and I got the interchangeable vowel thing but when I chose word "list" I thought I was wrong cuz Blaine used that in clue. Then I thought what if the first letters could be flipped but wiss and wate did not seem like good fits so I was confussed (and confused as well. Then Jan?'s clue of Swinging Alphabet gave me courage to submit while still haunted by WW tree clue. Anyway, I was not selected after all that angst.

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    Replies
    1. It always begins with angst, but eventually it becomes engst, then ingst, and ongst before finally becoming ungst.

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    2. Far too much angst, RoRo.Wild dancing all around from clue to clue. Probably made your heart go PATTER, PETTER, PITTER, POTTER, PUTTER. ;-)

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    3. At least mine are words, SDB!

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    4. And would we expect anything less from Word Woman, lass? It would be our loss.

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    5. A bit windblown here; I am at a loess for words, SkyDiveBoy.

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    6. As my barber says, "Your loess is my Rogaine."

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    7. I hope your refer doesn't have a chilling effect. Anyway, I'll respect your token.

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    8. Wow never thought about the sim between rogaine and regain til just now. I was once referred to Rogaine but deferred myself due to differing opinion with the Doc. Acupuncturist sat me down and set me straight, back to my Naturally Curly Hair (without the TONY)

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    9. RoRo, glad you were able to reregain your curly hair. Do they still make Tony hair products? Happy summer solstice!

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    10. I don't think so. Although I'm glad he Theater of New York Awards still exist.

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  47. So I went with the interchangeable vowels and chose "ball"

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    1. It was confusing, RoRo. I was getting encouragement from Bob (on color, I thought) and Jan, initially, on the 9 letter words...but there was that nagging AEIOU. . .Ha! It was very unusual, relatively speaking.

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  48. Nor was I chased after, cheesed, chised, chosed, or got to chused

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  49. A phonetic corollary: add an er sound to each vowel and you get air, ear, ire, ore, ewer and sometimes wire.

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    1. Clever, Tommy Boy. But, you needn't be coil with us. ;-)

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  50. Sorry, Word Woman, but your mention of "not black and white" made me think of TAN TEN TIN TON TUN.

    The real problem with this week's puzzle was the part that said "can you name one other word with the same property?", when obviously there are many other words that fit the bill. I still kinda like my STALE STELE STILE STOLE STULE STYLE.

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  51. Okay expert wordies, what word would you have used besides "property" (which had me going down the wrong track to nowhere)? I would have rephrased the question differently, but Will didn't ask my opinion.

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  52. Okay, Word Woman just posted way, way above, asking me what my Car Talk Puzzler for this week related joke I made up last Saturday is. I said I would post it this Saturday (tomorrow) if anyone was interested. Well, I suppose it is late enough that I can post it now without stepping on their toes. But you will have to read or listen to their puzzle, and solve it, to get the relationship.

    My Joke:

    What were Isadora Duncan's last words?

    No one knows for sure, as it was a muffled response.

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    1. You scarf up those jokes, SDB.

      As to the muff-ling, not at all miffed here. (Or maffed,etc)

      I'll say your joke bemused me.

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    2. I have been having fun with it all week. Had I been there in 1927 and used it, I think they would have thought it a bit tired. On the other hand, necking in cars has continued unabated.

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    3. One of my favorite jokes: Did you hear there was an earthquake in Ontario, Canada last month? Yes, it measured 5.1 on the Richter scale, but you know, with the exchange rate that's like a 5.6.

      Others?

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    4. To me the exchange rate seems to be reversed from reality, but I'm not sure who is Richter, you or me. Eh!

      Remember, back in the 1950's, when Leave It To Beaver first aired, and Canadians at first hearing the title, thought it was a slur on their country?

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    5. Does it help to know the Richter Scale measurement was taken here in Golden at the National Earthquake Information Center (home of Waverly Person)?

      Watched the Beav in reruns so I don't remember Canadian slurs in the '50's. But, I do like maple leaves.

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    6. I find it pretty loony that some Canadians are complaining that their new paper money smells like maple syrup (honest!).

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    7. Jan:
      I could make up a joke about their money previously smelling like beaver, but I've already made up enough jokes today about Canada.

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    8. Jan, You might also be interested in knowing that Canada Money anagrams to: A Manna Decoy.

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    9. Jan, what on earth (not After Earth) were you referring to with the 9-letter word reference early in the game?
      Maple money~~sweet!

      Maple Leafs sounds better to my ear than leaves. Why the f to v switch anyway?

      And SDB, Canadian jokes? ;-)

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    10. You started the Canadian joke thing. That got me trying to come up with something Canadian. I began thinking about Mounties, but decided to make one up about beavers when that term came into my head. I have to say, though that your Seismic joke did not click with me. My favorite Canadian joke is an ad-lib I came up with years ago while doing business up there, which I did often. I may have posted about it on this blog way back. Too long to go into again on the blog.

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    11. The Moby word list include massiness, messiness, missiness, mossiness, and mussiness.

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    12. Didn't know about the Moby Word List. Yet another tool...With the exception of messiness, pretty sure I have never used those words.

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  53. http://books.google.com/books/about/Scott_s_Muffler_Protects_the_Face_Ears_N.html?id=Z9vjZwEACAAJ

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    1. Lnj, jdo, oj xy krrye vpvkcagosy cujt luy l toie vxsy, tnvn luy oot'k hnbi l toie vxsy tu senz qp tu uenzl hizy, rvmle? Su xlnj M oije't rth ehgk srtxpniv wvzl l pxvpbymeiue!

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Muz nhnz emoak eajmyg g huryxtot nign e arugofoxtot?

      Delete
  54. Sunday, June 23 challenge is now posted on the NPR site - and again, there is an error on the page, although this one could just be a typo.

    I have absolutely no idea what the answer is, BTW.

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  55. Next week's challenge: Write down these five words: "aide," "heart," "tough," "gelatin" and "emanate." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And what's another word with this property?

    I got the answer almost immediately, but as with last week, it may take a bit for me to get another word that qualifies. Going back to bed for now.

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  56. Two of my answers have almost, but not quite, the same meaning; however, one of them is probably unacceptable. The other might be used in a description of the common property.

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  57. Referring to Bob's admonition last week, should we avoid "directly naming an alternate answer". Or is the real contest to see how many we can fit in a single clue?

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  58. Thinking about the puzzle on the way to Church I wasn't paying attention at the intersection. Sally's passionate plea brought it home.

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  59. The first answer I came up with is a real stinker..

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  60. I was up very early (for me) today, but now that I have had breakfast, I believe I know the answer to the challenge, and as usual I will stop looking after finding one good example word.

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    Replies
    1. john brown - I beg your forgiveness, six times! All of my sins were completely accidental.

      Like any veteran sinner, I will look for someone else to blame - in this case Will Shortz for suggesting that the "unique" property of his example words is really that rare, when it seems actually to be quite common. (Six more potential apologies!)

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    2. My breakfast did not include coffee! (Zero apologies!)

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  61. To make this a little more challenging, I'm trying to come up with a movie title where each word in the title fits the category (not including one-word titles - too easy).

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  62. You do, you did, you don't...repeat as often as you like.

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