Thursday, October 03, 2013

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 29, 2013): Something in Your Home

What's That (Vowel) Sound? : NPR:
Q: Name something in seven letters that most people keep in their homes. Take the first, third, fourth and seventh letters and rearrange them. The result will be a four-letter word naming something that the seven-letter thing is commonly used for. What is it?
For some reason, the answer hasn't yet come to me so I can't post a clue. I'll leave that to all of you.

Edit: No clue here; didn't get it until Wednesday evening.
A: ASPIRIN --> PAIN

169 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.

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  2. Barely took a minute to solve. Too easy. Also interesting that for the on-air gam, there were two on the phone.

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  3. Most people use their car ExHAusT for HEAT?

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    Replies
    1. The first answer that came to me was using a DoORmaT to TROD on.

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  4. Remove the fourth letter of the seven letter word and rearrange to name a specific type of four letter word that the seven letter word is used for.

    Name a similar thing in thirteen letters; the first, seventh, eighth, and tenth letters can be rearranged into the same four-letter word, describing something that both the seven- and thirteen-letter words are used for.

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    Replies
    1. Aspirin > Asp_rin / Sprain;

      Acetaminophen > _cetam__o_hen / Pain.

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  5. As a rule, I use this thing for other purposes.

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  6. I could tell you the name of a competing item, but I'll just take the first, third, fourth and seventh letters and rearrange them.

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  7. www.newyorker.com/humor/issuecartoons/2013/09/30/cartoons_20130923#slide=9

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  8. This thing is usually found in a certain place and is used for other purposes, too. And did you notice that only 150 correct answers were submitted last week? 150 correct answers are by far the fewest number of correct answers I can ever remember.

    Chuck

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    Replies
    1. I'm not surprised that there were only 150 correct answers last week. That was a ridiculous puzzle. Will is quite the character sometimes, but I wasn't amused.

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    2. With odds like that, how was I not picked!!!!

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    3. I wonder if Will picks people who submit answers later in the week...They have likely worked harder for it.

      I enjoyed the puzzle and was quite amused, bemused, and tickled.

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  10. You may just abuse me, but I thought this one was easy.

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  11. 7 letter item might be in more than 1 word, 4 letter item in 1 word

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  12. So easy even Mr. Science got it! It took Mrs. Science a bit longer, but that's because she out tending the sheep. Yes, SDB, standing in her field.

    Idle curiosity: Is (was?) either of the on-air contestants a regular participant in these conversations? With only 150 candidates, the odds are pretty good.

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  13. Musical clue: a certain Allan Sherman parody. And, as it turned out, surprisingly, the song it parodied.

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  14. Replies
    1. I have no idea what you mean by that, but in the context of this puzzle, the reply that came to mind was, "Not tonight, dear."

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    2. jan,
      That is my clue for this puzzle.

      Delete
  15. To Blaine:
    Olive U, that's my alma mater.

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    Replies
    1. It wasn't all that bad. While students at other universities had keggers, we had martinis at 5PM sharp. I still keep a pimento of those occasions.

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    2. Olives play a big part in Greek life, so I'd guess Greek life was big at Olive U?

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  16. Many people use an ANTACID for DATA

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  17. and some people may use a STEAMER to SEAR their food.

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  18. ...or they could cook their EARS or another (British) body part in it!

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  19. Could you toast RATS in a ToASteR?

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    Replies
    1. I used to do that, but my cat preferred them tartare.

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    2. Ken's answer appears to be a giveaway!

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    3. none of these is a giveaway.

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    4. I prefer to just shoo the RATS away with a SWATTER

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  20. Some people use coupons to buy cups and others use a thermos to rest. Let this be an inspiration to all,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ron,
      Any serious puzzleophile is reasonably inspired now.
      Legophiliac…

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    2. Reasonably so, Lego. Though the fishnet stocking image was a little hard to shake.

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    3. WW,
      I do not understand your hard-shell compulsion to “shake off this (imagined) demon.” Fishnet stocking is a perfectly innocent image taken smack-dab from the Gospel of Luke, where Simon-Peter and his posse, with a little help from JC, are stocking their fishnets with a “miraculous catch of fish!”
      Luko-Lego…

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    4. Luko-Lego,
      Good, um, catch.
      Word Catcher in the Wry Woman

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    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    6. ASPIRIN is used to treat PAIN. The letters of "ASPIRIN" are contained in the first 7 letters of "INSPIRATION."

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    7. Lego, have you been too busy perusing Beautiful LEGO to join us?

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  21. We use our STEWPOT for STEW. ---Rob

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    Replies
    1. For a laugh, anagram STEWPOT.

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    2. SDB - stay on your own side of the bed.

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    3. One anagram is something left by another anagram (in church)

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  22. Since this puzzle is so easy; here is a joke I made up yesterday afternoon while standing at the supermarket wine tasting:

    What do international politics and transporting portable toilets have in common?

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    Replies
    1. The correct answer (not the one you all were thinking) is:

      They both require a John Kerry.

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    2. So did the stewpot segue into port-a-pot or should we blame it on the wine? Good one! I prayed to my patron St. Jo for the answer and I got it

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    3. RoRo, I have prayed for lots of things but never the answer to the Sunday puzzle. Did you have a good Mountain Day?

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    4. Yes but I celebrated it on a Saturday by dancing on a stone at the inner harbor. I enjoyed the morning with my head (and the rest of me) spinning around in space. We shot a music video with dances from Cote de Ivoire. What is your new profile pic? Looks like the sun has three eyes?

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    5. Hi, RoRo, that sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate! Anywhere we could view your wonderful dancing?

      My profile picture is Partial Ellipsis of the Sun, inspired by National Punctuation Day and excitement about all things science. It is also the name of my new blog...working on my first post now. It should link from my blogger profile page, unless there's a total ellipsis of the sun ;-).

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    6. blast off day?
      what r the details? I will let you know if the dance video is available. The music is a blend of Baltimore and Cote d'Ivoire house party.

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    7. There's three big black spots on the sun today...

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    8. ...Paul, thanks for sharing a flare for the dramatic ;-).

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  23. It took me about 2 miles into my run to get the answer. A related puzzle based on a wrong answer:

    Name something in seven letters that most people have in their homes. Take the first, third, fourth and seventh letters and change one to the next letter in the alphabet. The result will name something that the seven-letter thing is used for. What is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's interesting: When my wife asked me how I came up with the answer, I told her I thought about it for a while, without success, then went for a bike ride, and after about 2 miles it just popped into my head. Had to spend the rest of the ride trying to think of clever clues.

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    2. Hmmm, 3.5 miles into our hiking Hell's Hole trail in the Mt. Evans wilderness and I had nothing. Nothing but golden quaking aspen, a coyote, a falcon and an eagle keeping us company. And back down, a few ideas but nothing rock solid. I am still mulling. The elk were bugling in Bergan Park meadow on the way home. Really amazing.

      Olive you seem to be having a jolly good time. Thanks for the pimentos, SDB. A good chuckle.

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    3. No wonder you couldn't think of the answer: you're over 11,000 feet on that trail. Hypoxia will do that to you. The elk, too. Good thing they weren't bagpiping; it could've gotten ugly.

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    4. It is best to avoid elk and their ilk.

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    5. Lot of elk there recently? Was it an elky summer?

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    6. A very Elke Summer indeed! We saw one big, beautiful elk hop right over the barbed wire fence and across the road to challenge another big guy who was hanging with a group of about 20 or so females and babies. Amazing sounds just at dusk.

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    7. Yeah, "crepuscular" was our word-of-the-day when moose-watching around Mt Washington in NH a few years ago. And a fine word it is.

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    8. You may not believe this, but you just reminded me that I had dinner with Elke Summer in Wurzburg, Germany in March 1964.

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    9. I prefer chocolate mousse crepes myself.

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    10. Jan, imagine if they had called the "Twilight" series "Crepuscular" instead. ;-)

      Hypoxia tends to hits me above 13,000 feet. But, thanks for thinking of that!

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    11. SDB, did you have chocolate mousse crepes with Elke Sommer? Charismatic megafauna all around!

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    12. Nope, nothing at all memorable about the food. She ate like a hummingbird—perhaps even less.

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    13. Hope it was well-seasoned nonetheless...

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    14. It would have been, but the well was closed due to contamination.

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    15. Oh, and I have hiked this trail the last weekend in September for 13 years. I took it as a good sign (pun intended) that the Hell's Hole Trailhead sign had been removed this time. Never understood why it was called that anyway as the trail opens up to the most amazing meadows and then to a bristlecone pine tree stand.

      Oh! I just read dendrochronologists have discovered a bristlecone even older than "Methuselah" in the White Mountains of CA. I stood in awe of the older gentleman 30+ years ago.

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    16. I love crepes with mussels. I have only seen elk in the winter but I loved to watch moose (meese, mooses LOL) walk when I was up at Dartmouth. The body undulation was cool (and the weather very cold) WW I love hiking where it's just me and nature

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    17. Me, too. Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek?"

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  24. Of course there’s the railing used by the girl...

    Chuck

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  25. Something that most people keep in their “homes,” eh? This puzzle reminds me of a phonetic name of an ex-porn star. The title of his Cliff-notes bio: “Fun… R.I.P.”).
    Fishnet-stockinged Lego…

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  26. Many pet owners keep goodies in the house for their dogs.

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    Replies
    1. Is that your final answer? Or just a ruff draft?

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    2. My dog, Al, is really quite talented.

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    3. Thanks for sharing that with us Paul. :-)

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    4. Al is a TrUMpeT-playing MUTT, named after Al Hirt.

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  27. Lots of drinkers keep alcohol around the house to mix with their cola.

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    Replies
    1. We do, but it's just a cost of living activity.

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  28. Many people keep a TrIMmeR for a trim.

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  29. Did anyone see a clue in Blaine's comment?

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    Replies
    1. No, but then, I didn't see one in SDB's, either.

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    2. I see Blaine's clue and I'll raise you SDB's. Both cleverly scripted, gentlemen!

      Delete
  30. A clue for folks out there familiar with the old sitcom "Gilligan's Island":

    Think of an episode in which Mrs. Howell felt that her husband was taking her for granted. (I forget the reason why; -- It doesn't matter anyway.) So in this scene she's seated at table with the professor; Mr. Howell is there, well within ear-shot.

    Mrs. Howell to the professor: "Say something scientific".

    The professor utters a scientific sounding multi-syllable word, followed by a common two-syllable word; then he softly says to Mrs. Howell, but loud enough that we the audience can hear it, what that two-word phrase really means. THAT'S the seven-letter word.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, EAWAF. With some work, this led me to the answer.

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    2. Sorry, I thought it was TMI, after inventing a coconut-based internet on the island.

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    3. Yes, this leads to the answer via googling.

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    4. Anyway, googling [Howell "say something scientific"] led directly to the answer in one of the top results, but otherwise a good clue. I always try to google hints before posting to make sure they can't be directly reverse-engineered...usually, a bit of obfuscation, if not brevity, helps with that, so one-liners in "crossword speak" or "Jeopardy-speak" usually end up being more secure, IMHO.

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  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  32. I don't think you'll find this product in a birdcage.

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  33. My husband uses this item prophylactically. Should we all?

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    Replies
    1. TMI, I think. Narrows down the category too much.

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    2. Actually, I avoided saying too much so I wouldn't be TMI'ing everyone. I try to keep this blog clean.

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    3. Way too much information, Ruth.

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  34. This puzzle reminds me of a friend that moved from Texas to California to become an actress, but instead of working in movies she is a surgeon in San Fransisco.

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    Replies
    1. ASPIRIN' actress works in the BAY E.R.

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    2. CactusKP, so good. I aspire to your level of cleverness, irony and quiet deposition.

      Delete
  35. We don't use the 7 letter word, we use a 9 letter related item - actually, I thought most people had by now.

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    Replies
    1. Same here, Eric, although many have stuck with the original.

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  36. I can barely tolerate any more torment from this puzzle.

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  37. I miss my moas. I used to shampoo them every Sunday.

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  38. The geriatric crowd uses Geritol to get girls.

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  39. And let us not forget...

    the yogurts made especially for consumption by guys

    and

    the wrapper whose sole function is to wrap stuff :)

    Chuck

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  40. Hey Leo - check out the initial/first post above.

    Hey Eric, your reply to Hugh looks like a clue to me?

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    Replies
    1. It isn't a clue - just playing along with his word!

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    2. I saw that, but you (inadvertently?) provided a clue!

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  41. I got hung up on a well-hung houndog of a man one time. He lost his dee in a cat fight but he filled in the gap

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  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  43. A nascent analogy let's genial escapsism slip into cacophony.

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  44. Somewhere down the list we fill the toilets with silt.

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  45. My new bride's date of birth is 11-21-81.

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    Replies
    1. November 21 is the 325th day of the year (non-leap year years). 325 and 81 are common aspirin dosages.

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    2. Loop, is that why you married her? ;-)

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    3. Okay, so I fudged her birthday. She still needs the aspirin to put up with me, though.

      Delete
  46. Yesterday we hiked to the location of the January 29, 2006 challenge, after which this easy puzzle was much appreciated.

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  47. 113th US Congress, giveth and taketh away.
    So what is John Boehner smoking?

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    Replies
    1. Given our puzzle guidelines, BoEHneR is smoking some kind of herb...is that what you were thinking?

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    2. TheSmithsonian Museum in D.C. is closed except for the paleontology department which will be running on a skeleton crew.

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    3. Running on top of those Stegosaurus plates will shred you ;-), SDB.

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    4. There is simply not a shred of truth to that.

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    5. The 113 Congress remark was in relation to the "pain," in part (from one POV) in withholding healthcare, e.g. drugs like "aspirin." A stretch.
      Instead of aspirin, some folks claim that smoking certain "herbs" help with headaches -- yes, I was wondering if Mr. Boehner was one of them.

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  48. Can this thing come in handy in the house (and the senate)?

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    Replies
    1. A pair of steel-toed boots - most definitely!

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  49. Blaine,
    As we approach 200 may we jump over to a lesser used week to continue our banter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only the first 200 comments appear initially. If you click on "LOAD MORE" at the bottom of the page, the rest (or, I guess the next 200) will appear.

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    2. That might work for you, but it doesn't do anything when I click on it. I imagine I am not the only one.

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  50. Load more doesn't work in the mobile version nor the PC version for me.

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    Replies
    1. zeke, I can't believe you would post such a give-away clue! :-)

      Delete
  51. ASPIRIN

    My Hints:

    “Good day to you, sir.”
    Remove the PAIN and you are left with SIR. Without pain it now should be a good day, sir.

    "A nascent analogy let's genial escapism slip into cacophony."
    The initial letters anagram to ANALGESIC.

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  52. > As a rule, I use this thing for other purposes.

    ASA is how "aspirin" is usually abbreviated (acetylsalicylic acid). Useful for treating fever, thrombocytosis, and heart attacks, and preventing heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, colon cancer. And pain. Good stuff!

    > I could tell you the name of a competing item, but I'll just take the first, third, fourth and seventh letters and rearrange them.

    Tylenol.

    > www.newyorker.com/humor/issuecartoons/2013/09/30/cartoons_20130923#slide=9

    That dog's a bayer.

    > Musical clue: a certain Allan Sherman parody. And, as it turned out, surprisingly, the song it parodied.

    "Headaches, headaches. Aspirin commercials give me headaches." The original song was "Heartaches". See above.


    > I have no idea what you mean by that, but in the context of this puzzle, the reply that came to mind was, "Not tonight, dear."

    "... I have a headache."

    > No wonder you couldn't think of the answer: you're over 11,000 feet on that trail. Hypoxia will do that to you. The elk, too. Good thing they weren't bagpiping; it could've gotten ugly.

    Hypoxia and bagpipes both cause headaches. Keep the aspirin handy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bagpipes don't give me headaches, Jan. Accordions do, though.

      Poked around aspiring as a clue, but thought it was too obvious.

      Delete
    2. I don't mind bagpipes myself, either, but you've got to respect the fact that they've been banned in some places, historically. Not to mention their association with haggis.

      Where would Weird Al Yankovic be without an accordion?

      I had the same thought about "aspiring".

      Delete
  53. aspirin, pain

    Last Sunday I said, “This thing is usually found in a certain place and is used for other purposes, too. And did you notice that only 150 correct answers were submitted last week? 150 correct answers are by far the fewest number of correct answers I can ever remember.”

    The certain place is the medicine cabinet. “And is” anagrams to NSAID, the type of drug aspirin is. “Are by” anagrams to Bayer.”

    Chuck

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  54. ASPIRIN >>> PAIN

    "I see Blaine's clue and I'll raise you SDB's. Both cleverly scripted, gentlemen!" referred to aspirin requiring a prescription in the early days after the drug was made in a lab.

    SDB's referral to " Good day to you, sir." and having a headache was fun.

    I am guessing that Blaine's clue "all of you" refers to the Alka Seltzer commercial tag line "I can't believe I ate the whole thing."

    Btw, the answer came to me as I took some Aleve tablets after Sunday's hike...Aspen tree bark contains salicylic acid contained in aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid or ASA). But, there was no aspen bark harvesting for me.

    Bayerly yours,
    Word Woman

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  55. Aspirin; Pain
    "Barely took a minute" referred to Bayer aspirin.
    "Too easy" referred to taking two aspirin.
    Eric's PITA (in response to Hugh's Tapioca) is an acronym for Pain in the Ass.

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  56. I thought "Leave" in Blaine's comment (Aleve) was a clue. Not sure he meant this as a clue.

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    Replies
    1. I took "leave" as a clue. Then I said as a follow-up to my post "Not sure anymore I do". Those first letters are NSAID.

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    2. David, I thought you were having a grammar hiccup.

      Delete
  57. Anyone come up with an answer to my alternate:

    Name something in seven letters that most people have in their homes. Take the first, third, fourth and seventh letters and change one to the next letter in the alphabet. The result will name something that the seven-letter thing is used for. What is it?

    I'll come back later with my answer if no one else does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bedroom to bdrm to BDSM. I don't think we will hear this challenge on air anytime soon.

      Delete
  58. I suspect, if there is a clue in his post, that Blaine is waiting for the aspirin to kick in, which would be the answer to his pain.

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  59. My clues:
    Something that most people keep in their “homes,” eh? This puzzle reminds me of A PHONETIC NAME (anagrams to “acetaminophen”) of AN EX-PORN (“naproxen”) star. The title of his Cliff-notes BIO: FUN… R.I.P. (“ibuprofin“).
    (John Holmes is the name of the phonetically homey late porn star, for all you imprurient innocents out there.)
    “Any Serious Puzzleophile Is Reasonably Inspired Now,” acronyms to ASPIRIN.
    A synonymy clue you didn’t need, so I didn't post it: “I reckon all o’ us here down in Blainesville is strivin’ (aspirin’) to solve that thar puzzle, or not to give no giveaways.”
    Zeke-Creek-inspired Lego…

    ReplyDelete
  60. My clue about St. Jo's had to do with St. Joseph's aspirin for children. Orange flavored. Anyone remember those?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remember? They still make it: stjosephproducts.com/products/aspirin/. It's just not marketed for children. Remember cases of Reye's syndrome? Me neither -- I started in medicine long after we stopped giving aspirin to kids with fevers.

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    2. In my youth, I swallowed an entire bottle of them and had to get my stomach pumped - quite a "pain".

      Delete
  61. Blaine, we haven't heard from you since Sunday morning. You still with us, man?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leave Blaine alone. He's observing the shutdown.

      Delete
  62. I posted on Mon Sep 30, at 07:09:00 AM PDT:

    A clue for folks out there familiar with the old sitcom "Gilligan's Island":

    Think of an episode in which Mrs. Howell felt that her husband was taking her for granted. (I forget the reason why; -- It doesn't matter anyway.) So in this scene she's seated at table with the professor; Mr. Howell is there, well within ear-shot.

    Mrs. Howell to the professor: "Say something scientific".

    The professor utters a scientific sounding multi-syllable word, followed by a common two-syllable word; then he softly says to Mrs. Howell, but loud enough that we the audience can hear it, what that two-word phrase really means. THAT'S the seven-letter word.

    I believe in the actual TV episode the professor uttered "Salicylic acid (aspirin)". I believe the professor left out the prefix "acetyl-".

    ReplyDelete
  63. The transcript of this week's puzzle is still not up, but here's what I recall (not verbatim):

    Find a familiar saying in 7 words (sometimes heard in 9 words) in which 7 consonants appear in a row.

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  64. The puzzle is up now. Here it is exactly:

    Next week's challenge from listener Ed Pegg Jr. of mathpuzzle.com: What familiar saying in seven words has seven consonants in a row? The answer is a common saying, in ordinary English. Sometimes it's expressed in nine words rather than seven, but it's the same saying. And either way, in one spot it has seven consecutive consonants. What saying is it?

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  65. The first answer I came up with last week was CLEANER and CARE but didn't post in case it was the answer. After listening to the puzzle this week, I guess others did also.

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