Thursday, September 12, 2013

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 8, 2013): Shortest Path to the Answer


NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 8, 2013): Shortest Path to the Answer:
Q: Name a famous person in history with four letters in the first name and six letters in the last. Move the first letter of all this to the end. The result will be a two-word phrase that might be defined as "the opposite of a curve." Who's the famous person, and what's the phrase?
What is this? Another reference to the puzzle from three weeks ago? At least we know the answer isn't EDIR ECTLIN.

Edit: The puzzle 3 weeks ago was the one involving a Roman numeral. And this week the puzzle involves a Roman general under Julius Caesar.
A: MARC ANTONY --> ARC ANTONYM

121 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. Does anyone else have an issue with the preferred spelling of the name vs. the preferred spelling of the phrase?

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    1. Yes, I think that may cause a bit of dissension when the answer is revealed.

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    2. Maybe that's what they meant by "Close, but no cigar".

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    3. defined as "the same as a leaky tub" might have been better.

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    4. Do tubs float or sink? Anyway, I think the spellings are right on, according to my education.

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    5. I'm think the famous person would not agree with the spelling of the name.

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    6. This spelling discussion threw me for a bit. The puzzle transfers perfectly. At first I was tried to move the first letter of "all this," thinking this was a bit of chicanery.

      Antony-m will forever remind me of Marc Antony and Arc Antonym. It is an elegant puzzle.

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  3. This name-phrase pairing was part of a Kelsey Blakley New York Sun crossword several years ago.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. jan,
      Guess there’s just nothing new under the new york sun.
      Lego…

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    3. My "hint" and slight issue here was that a google search of "Kelsey Blakley New York Sun" led directly to the result in the top 2 (at the time...now #3) results. I think it's worth checking our clues in general just in case...but if nobody else noticed, I'm in the minority on this one and no big deal. Cheers!

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. I posted on Sun Sep 08, at 05:16:00 AM PDT on last week's thread the following complaint, and although jan replied with a URL which can serve as this submit button for which I'm asking, I still think it's useful that I should repeat my earlier post here on this thread. (I notice that NPR's puzzle page STILL is lacking the submit button as I repost this.)

    Hey, comrades, fellow citizens of this blog, can I borrow your attention? I noticed that benmar12001 failed to mention the fact that the NPR webpage for the puzzle does NOT YET have THE SUBMIT BUTTON!!

    Man!!! Making us wait till the show airs before we can submit our answers? Well, I want to put that idea in its grave right now, not say anything good about it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At 3:30pm PDT, I checked again and STILL the NPR puzzle webpage doesn't have any SUBMIT BUTTON!!

      So as a service to anyone out there wondering "I've solved the puzzle, but how do I submit my answer?", here is the repost of jan's reply to my post above on last week's thread:

      jan replied on Sun Sep 08, at 05:31:00 AM PDT to my post above on last week's thread:

      You want a button? Here's a button:

      http://help.npr.org/npr/includes/customer/npr/custforms/contactus.aspx?pz=t

      Guess what bugged me most about John Oliver's coverage of the NYC mayoral race?

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  6. I finally got it. I think this is a difficult one and after listening to it several times my ears are hurting.

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  7. In case anyone is still interested, yesterday afternoon I posted the following:

    skydiveboy Sat Sep 07, 03:13:00 PM PDT
    New puzzle just came up, and rather early for a change too, plus I think it is going to be rather difficult to solve:

    “Next week's challenge from Ike Yeulow of Darwin, Kansas: Think of a well known movie in two words that begin with the same letter. Remove that letter and replace it with another letter and you will name something Will Shortz enjoys. What is the movie? And what is the thing?”


    This was, of course, a minor hoax on my part, but does contain some hints that it is not for real. There is no Darwin, Kansas and I thought that should be obvious to anyone using this blog should they notice it, which I hoped they would not. Also Ike Yeulow (the supposed submitter of the puzzle) is pronounced: IQ Low. Anyway, I awoke in the night a couple of days ago and for some unknown reason that whole idea was in my head. And I know you all figured out the super easy answer, but it is KING KONG > PING PONG. I thought about including a hint in the presentation that the star was Fay Wray, but felt that would make it look too obvious that it was not for real.

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    1. I fell for your hoax, and although I thought the challenge was absurdly easy, I posted, "The answer is threatening to make my skull explode!" as a nod to King Kong's home on Skull Island.

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    2. Even though you pulled a hoax on your puzzle friends, we know you are an honorable man.

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    3. Thanks to you both for the comments. And, Bob, I'm glad you explained your skull hint because I did not understand it and that is because I never watched the movie, only the bits that get shown now and then. Not my kind of film. The reason I had the idea of doing this is because of many of the puzzles being so lame that I had the idea of making up one that was really beyond (there's that word again) lame and see if anyone figured it out as being a hoax, but then the King Kong came to me in a flash and I decided it was too good not to use, but still anyone here would get it right away.

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    4. SDB Maybe your ears are still reverberating from the sound of the answer to your faux puzzle. Loved it! although it was less than friendly to send some people in the opposite direction

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    5. Thanks, RoRo, but people are always being sent in the wrong direction. i.e. by the likes of Obama, Kerry and both Bushes for examples. At least I haven't killed anyone so far. :)

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    6. Skydiveboy, I got King Kong and ping pong in a New York second. Then ding dong, the bell went off alerting me to the faux nature of your post.

      More disappointing news: no trip to Tokyo for me in 2020. The IOC decided wrestling was the "new sport" to be added rather than SQUASH. I wish that had been a faux post.

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    7. WW: Yours was the reaction I both expected and desired. I also figured jan, you and RoRo would be those most likely to discover my deception. I also thought jan might not see it until later and I should say all this applies to Blaine as well. But when I read it I thought it must be Lucky Lady. :)

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    8. Last evening's post has me wondering, SDB. Are you friend or are you faux?

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    9. Yes, of course! Keep an eye on me.

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    10. But just what is a faux foe anyway?

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    11. SDB,

      I enjoyed your hoax puzzle more than most NPR puzzles lately, even though it was a humdrum (sing-song) old school (ding-dong) enigma that mimicked mangled washers (wring-wrong) and more directly mimicked mangled mangles (pairs of words are the same save for one letter).

      But I could not come up with your “expected answer” with its pings and kings and things and pongs and kongs and thongs. I did, however uncover two alternative solutions. Here’s how: I worked backwards, asking myself, “What does Will Shortz REALLY seem to enjoy.” Then I recalled the 1946 arctic wilderness flick “Mind-over Matter,” based loosely on Jack London’s “To Build a Fire.” Changing those M’s to other consonants proved fruitless. But then I recalled the 1949 sequel about wild huskies who were trained to become tame sled dogs. The title? “Mush-over Muzzles.” I changed the M’s to P’s, and there I was. Later, I recalled the 1986 sequel to the SCTV ‘s Bob and Doug McKenzie Brothers’ Great White North 1983 film “Strange Brew .” The sequel was titled “Hale Hosers!” I switched the H’s to P’s, and there you go.

      I’ll be watching for not one but two SDB lapel pins in my mail.

      Lego…

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    12. Thanks, I really enjoyed reading your post, even though I have not heard of SCTV ‘s Bob and Doug McKenzie Brothers’ Great White North 1983 film “Strange Brew .” But I frequently find myself thinking about Jack London's “To Build a Fire.” I have been hiking and later on climbing since I was seven and I was always amazed that anyone could be that stupid up there back then. Not Jack London, but the fire builder. I am a bit surprised you did not get the ping pong connection, but I think you may be new to the NPR Puzzle and have not yet heard him go on and on about his ping pong club he started and all that. Anyway all you said about the stupid puzzle was as was intended it should be. It was also somewhat intended as a spoof of Will's poor quality puzzles of late. However, I must say I found our new puzzle this week to be clever and difficult and I enjoyed it. I also do not agree with those who are having spelling problems with it and I intend to say more about that this coming Thursday.

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    13. I was suspicious about the King Kong -> ping pong hoax, partially because Shortz always calls it table tennis, but mostly because it was too early and I couldn't find it on the NPR site. Which, BTW, still doesn't have a submit-your-answer button.

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  8. I'm never letting go of the idea that I might get on air one day.

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    1. Watch out, you might get what you wish!

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    2. This one is stumping me so far. I've looked at tons of lists of famous persons in history. Hard to find a 4-letter first name that translates into a sensical word and losing the initial letter.

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    3. UJ
      Speaking of stumps I love to whittle. One of my favorite pix is a woman carving initials into a tree.
      Zeke

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    4. zeke, Is this your initial posting?

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    5. Holy Cow! That is very tricky and clever! Criminy!

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  9. I hope you don't mind if ole Zeke barges into the discussion. Are we back to the Elves impersonator thing from last week's posting? @UJ: We may have to get a permit for that many Hillbillies to assemble in one place even with goats present. Sounds fun!

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    1. I think people will be dressing up but not in goat's skin. But it must be a ho down cause someone may be fiddling nearby soon.

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    2. Jes mark it down on your calendar for a real hot foot stompin time. Make mine turkey in the straw.

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    3. ZC, which calendar should I use - AD, BC, or CE?

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    4. My friend, Julie Ann, is a BC girl. I enjoy Peanuts.

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    5. You know, zeke, I live here in Seattle, not far from Canada, and I am sure I know her. She tends to be a bit of a ham, in my opinion.

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    6. My daughter, Mary Ann, and her son, Sheldon, are living in Seattle.

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    7. Barge hints to lazy days on denial. Elves impersonator refers back to the Santa hint from last week. Elvis and MA lived in Memphis. Memphis Alexandria, Egypt. Memphis, Tennessee.

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  10. I went out for my long run today trying to come up with 4 letter names and by the end, my brain was crammed full of them, but I did not have the answer. I was sitting at dinner about 8 hours later and the answer just came to me without my really thinking about it.

    I see a connection to more than one recent puzzle.

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  11. To grasp this puzzle, you need to be in a state of denial.

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    Replies
    1. I agree (even though I still don't have the answer).

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    2. Lorenzo, I've been wondering where you were. Maybe this will help: You, of all people here, should have the answer. Some like macaroni and others prefer spaghetti.

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    3. Lorenzo, I'm in the boat with you.

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    4. Eureka! Thanks Judge Bev, SD Boy and W Woman. Now I know another clue. A very nice puzzle, actually.

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    5. Lorenzo, I would have known the better half if someone had only told me.

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    6. MA,s better half was a Ptolemy (told me).

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  12. Does the solution to this week's challenge involve an acronym such as NATO?

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    1. I think you may be a bit mixed up about this one.

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    2. The solution to this week's challenge does, indeed, have a direct connection with the ACRONYM NATO, which anagrams to MARC ANTONY + O.

      Remove (& rearrange) the first 3 letters of ACRONYM and replace them with the first three letters of NATO (also rearranged) to obtain ARC ANTONYM, “the opposite of a curve.”

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  13. I finally got it. It just came to me on the wings of a dove. I’m not really concerned about the spelling issue some of you have mentioned. A lot of Will’s puzzles are “bent” in some way (no pun intended). This is another one of those. Besides, I always thought the opposite of a curve was either a fast ball, change up or knuckle ball.

    Chuck

    BTW, the Submit Your Answer link is working now.

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  14. OK all you NPR listeners. How many of you heard the "All Things Inconsiderate" piece I just now listened to about the 86 year old woman on the East Coast who had been in excellent health and very active, but suddenly kept passing everything for weeks and her doctors were unable to help and she ended up in a nursing home? Well, her daughter took her to a doctor at Brown University who knew immediately what was wrong. A disturbance in her digestive tract caused by a reaction with an antibiotic. He recommended a poop transplant. NO, I am not making this up. She resisted, but gave in in desperation and it immediately worked. OK, so did anyone see the more subtle humor in this story? i.e. the doctor was at Brown University. How fitting. Life has it's humorous moments if you are open to them.

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    1. Yes, SDB, but those of us with ties to Brown University must maintain our sense of decorum to

      THE END.

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    2. Do you mean the ties that bind?

      There is So Cal and there is No Cal and then there is fecal.

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    3. Speaking of curves, reminds me of an old old commercial for Scotts tissues. Some times we weren't sure if they were referring to the product or the product for which it was intended - "Greeeeat Scott Extra soft Extra strong an extra 130 feet loooooong!"
      Of course you can always get more juvenile and exchange an n for the c in the product name. So SDB how did I get on this poor substitute for an ABQ rant?

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    4. Since you asked, RoRo. You are simply a fallen woman. What else can I say? This conversation has surely reached it's bottom.
      At least it was well seated at first. Don't forget to backup your hard drive.

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    5. true true I must have regressed too far back into childhood after celebrating birthdays with my two aunties this weekend

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    6. RoRo, hope you had fun with Auntie Nym and her sister. Did you celebrate with Synonym rolls?

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    7. Yes and homonym grits as well.

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  15. I just got the answer! I'm going to reward myself with a Jell-O Pudding Pop!

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  16. yeah somebody got popped alright

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  17. I finally got it, and I agree that Blaine's clue is very good. So was Hugh's. I think this puzzle is sufficiently convoluted to provide material for Richard Sher's NPR puzzle
    program "Says You"!

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  18. Mark Antony, ark antonym (arc antonym)

    Last Monday I said, “I finally got it. It just came to me on the wings of a dove.” Dove was intended to evoke Noah’s Ark and the end of the Great Flood. As the story goes, the dove returned to the boat with an olive branch in his mouth.

    Chuck

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  19. Marc Antony > arc antonym

    Marc Antony (frequently misspelled Mark instead of the more correct form, Marc, short for Marcus, [Mark is a stand alone name]) was a famous Roman otolaryngologist who practiced in ancient Rome and could be frequently heard on the streets of that city imploring the citizens to “lend me your ears.” He was deeply involved with his research and held many hearings and my hint was in mentioning that my ears hurt. Later he went on to design and construct the Erie Canal, which helped Julius Caesar's army cross the Rubicon during Caesar’s salad days and it was due to the rather gay style of their uniforms the term, Italian Dressing soon emerged. He then sent Uri on ahead to pave the Apian freeway (one of the many roads that all lead one to roam) enabling Caesar to return to Rome, as foretold by his tossing a coin (not a salad this time) into the Tivoli Fountain during his last Roman Holiday, and then to become emperor and make pomp pay for all the great revelry they were to enjoy (think toga parties, frequently catered by Al Fresca) thanks to the latest Nero updates. Rome was a walled city and when Caesar and his army (including Marc Antony) were approaching you could hear the lookouts, who were adept at Farsi, call, “I see ‘um!” Of course Caesar ordered the crouton and entered the city. Later he developed a body of legions that the doctors were unable to heal. The rest is thistory. I think this is all just a bit eerie.

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    1. That took a lot of gaul. Enough to be divided into 3 parts.

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    2. Yes, and I have been waiting anxiously to post it. Now I hope the Mac Senate will not throw me to the lions.

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    3. OK jan, I'll try bunal next time.

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  20. > Guess what bugged me most about John Oliver's coverage of the NYC mayoral race?

    The way he pronounced the name of "ANTONY" Wiener, a.k.a. Carlos Danger. Who came in a poor 5th in the Democratic mayoral primary, but still outpolled the winner of the Republican primary.

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    1. I'm pretty sure that Anthony Wiener meant to lose, which is why he released his follow-up sexting history, when it looked like he might actually win. He was in it only for the continued publicity. Any day now he will announce the start-up Wienerbook™, an adult only version of Facebook, complete with a Lick™ button.

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    2. David, in the spirit of the Roman Numeral theme of late, I believe that's the " L ick " button for 50 icks per button pushed.

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  21. My use of the word "crammed", but present tense and backwards, becomes "Marc", as in "Marc Antony", which results in "Arc Antonym".

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  22. Marc Antony ==> Arc Antonym

    I posted on Sun Sep 08, at 01:05:00 PM PDT:

    I posted on Sun Sep 08, at 05:16:00 AM PDT on last week's thread the following complaint, and although jan replied with a URL which can serve as this submit button for which I'm asking, I still think it's useful that I should repeat my earlier post here on this thread. (I notice that NPR's puzzle page STILL is lacking the submit button as I repost this.)

    Hey, comrades, fellow citizens of this blog, can I borrow your attention? I noticed that benmar12001 failed to mention the fact that the NPR webpage for the puzzle does NOT YET have THE SUBMIT BUTTON!!

    Man!!! Making us wait till the show airs before we can submit our answers? Well, I want to put that idea in its grave right now, not say anything good about it!

    Within my complaint, I was hoping to remind you folks out there of a familiar Shakespearian quote:

    "Hey, comrades, fellow citizens of this blog, can I borrow your attention?"

    "Friends, Romans, countrymen. Lend me your ears."

    "...I want to put that idea in its grave right now, not say anything good about it!"

    "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him."

    -- from Marc Antony's speech to the crowd in William Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar", Act III, Scene II.

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  23. My request at the end of last week's blog, " Would you please pass me another piece of corn?" was of course another re-phrasing of "Lend me an ear."

    And in telling ron "I think you may be a bit mixed up about this one" above, I was expressing appreciation of his anagram of the answer.

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  24. My clue endorsed Blaine's clue which referred to the "Roman" numerals past puzzle of 3 weeks ago.

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  25. MARC ANTONY >>> ARC ANTONYM

    I used my ark this afternoon to navigate our recent Colorado floods and mudslides.

    Breadthless referred to cornbread made from "Lend me your ears," famously uttered by Marc Antony in the Shakespearean play "Julius Caesar."

    Breadthless also refers to the Euclidian definition of a line.

    For me, the answer was an Arc de Triumphe after a few days of mulling it over with friends..."Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song" and, SDB, " I'll try not to sing out of tune." ;-)

    This was fun.

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    1. WW, where art thou in CO? For some reason, I though Grand Junction/Western Slope.

      It's a soggy mess here on the Front Range.
      Ark, indeed: The NWS used the phrase "biblical rainfall" for Boulder County

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    2. Hi Mike, I'm in the Denver metro area...so southeast of the mess in Boulder/Longmont/Estes Park and north of the mess in Colo Springs. Feeling pretty lucky. How about you?

      I remember my boss telling us new geologists about the Big Thompson flood of 1976...and here we are. Half a year's rainfall in 24 hours. . .

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    3. Up in FtC...I work (when not from home) at Anschutz, I heard/read that East Denver/Aurora was pretty bad, too? In town here, looks more like a big wet spring storm, but I guess the canyon roads/fire areas got it worse.

      Definitely heard stories, seen signs of the Big T flood, and spent quite a bit of time up there, I can't imagine. Yeah, Estes is looking pretty bad -- the Lawn Lake flood evidence/alluvial fan from decades ago is still a stark reminder.

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    4. From what I've read, Aurora is pretty bad and there is a new evacuation for parts of Commerce City due to a nearby dam close to overflowing. We have not been hit too badly in southeast Denver (knock on wood).

      Yes, the gigantic alluvial fans were first on our geologic trips with Bob. He was an awesome boss and just died last month. He showed us Easterners such a reverence for the power of water in the West.

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  26. My clue was the "asp" in the word grasp and "state of denial" was referencing the Nile.

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  27. My clue referred to a book called Never Letting Go, by a "psychic lawyer" named Mark Anthony.

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    Replies
    1. Curtis, I am curious as to when one might need to consult a psychic lawyer?

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    2. I generally wouldn't need to consult such a lawyer. And, if he's truly psychic, he knows that I won't show up at his door.

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    3. This reminds me of quite a few years ago when I was walking through one of those horrible festivals we here in Seattle are so fond of, but I hate. I believe it was Folk Life, which I call Folk Death, and as I passed the umpteenth blanket on the grass with unkempt woman and ugly cards ask me if I wanted my fortune told, I responded with, "If you don't already know, then I think not!" This was not appreciated on her part, I have to report.

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  28. My hint that SDB is an 'honorable man' was a reference to Mark Antony's funeral oration in Julius Caesar.

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  29. My clues were "opposite " direction, fiddling referred to Nero in the Nero future, and somebody got popped referring to Julius Caesar getting murdered. Word Woman understood my use of aunties for antonym. Also, I hear there were goats running around the senate at times so I made a reference to dressing up (in togas) but not in goat skin. SDB, I liked your Roman Holiday story.

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  30. Grrr... 8:00 ET, and still no new puzzle. Just a teaser about the on-air puzzle: "Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the initials M-N."

    Killing time, looking around the website at the goodies the winner gets, besides the coveted lapel pin: "Grammar Girl's 101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again", and "Grammar Girl's 101 Words Every High School Graduate Needs to Know." Any relation, Word Woman?

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    1. Naw, though I am related to Wonder Woman. I wonder every week how to solve this puzzle!

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  31. OK, it's up now: "This week's challenge comes from listener and crossword constructor Dave Hanson of Mounds View, Minn., who I met last week in Minneapolis. Name a well-known person from the 20th century who held an important position. Take the first and last letters of this person's last name, change each of them to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll get the last name of another famous person who held the same position sometime after the first one. Who is it?"

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. There must be a step-by-step method of solving this one. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, unless it's washed out, like all of those in Colorado that we've been seeing on the news. What'll I do then?

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    3. Hey, this blog got a shout out on air today!

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  32. Listening now...a shout out to Blaine's Puzzle blog...at long last!

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    1. And though the on-air contestant alluded to us here, it was Will who named Blaine's Puzzle Blog. ;-)

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    2. I was the on-air contestant this morning, and I didn't mention the name of the blog because I was afraid the increased traffic would overload Blaine's server. ;-)

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    3. Congrats to you...and welcome!

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  33. When I first heard this challenge, I thought it might be quite a struggle to come across the answer, but actually it didn't put up much of a fight; no blood was shed.

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  34. The latter help the position 12 times longer than the former.

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  35. If not for a bad case of butterflies - they would have held the same two positions..

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  36. I usually win the puzzle competition in our family, but today my wife had it solved before I had a chance to get warmed up.

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  37. Batting two for two today: Mike Pesca of NPR mentioned the Olympics and Squash!l

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  38. Woohoo! Blaine's Puzzle Blog got a mention on this week's Sunday Puzzle!

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