Thursday, October 10, 2013

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 6, 2013): Saying in Seven Words, Seven Consecutive Consonants

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 6, 2013): Saying in Seven Words, Seven Consecutive Consonants:
Q: 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?
I have one word, and it starts with C.

Edit: For those that live in glass houses, my one word is CURTAINS!
A: People (who live) in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

152 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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    Replies
    1. What do folks think about using 'Y' on this one?

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    2. I suppose if it is used as a consonant like in yellow but not a vowel as in sky. But Will didn't say anything about Y so you might make an assumption that it isn't in the string of seven consonants.

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    3. Found a 'Y'-less one anyway...

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    4. I guess I wouldn't shy away from exploring the possibility.

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    5. But, you mightn't think he'd use a 'y'.

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    6. Well, I found a 7-word common saying that uses the 'y', but I don't know of the saying being expressed using 9 words.

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    7. Was your 'y' saying "If (at first) you don't succeeD, TRY, TRY again?"

      Given the 'y's is used as a vowel and I have never heard the saying without the 'at first', this seemed like a no-go. I didn't spend any more time checking for others.

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    8. 'y's are. I wasn't wise enough the first time I typed that

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  2. Hint: You can anagram the 7 consonants into...not a word ;-).

    But, there are some consonantal repeats.

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  3. Here is a 9 word saying using EIGHT consecutive consonants (including Y): "Habits of a lifetime are not liGHTLY THRown away!"

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    1. ron,
      An eight-letter string! You get extra credit. The oNLY FLY TRapped in the ointment might be that the “Y” in “liGHTLY” arguably functions as a vowel, not a consonant. Grammatical dogma seems to require at least one vowel per syllable, no? Oh yes, another mummified fly is the seven-word requirement. But wait, maybe a pithier version of this saying could be “Lifetime habits are not lightly thrown away,” or perhaps “Lifelong habits…?”
      Those dipteran quibbles aside, ron, why not submit your overachieving saying to NPR? Whether Will lauds, accepts or even mentions it on-air would be an interesting experiment in how he handles enigmatological one-upmanship.
      Lego…

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    2. Oh Lego my ear for just a moment, please, I beg you. And may I remind you, sir, that American nuns have been out of the habit for decades now and without redress? Well maybe....

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    3. Just now arrived home. I was well aware that the Y in "LIGHTLY" functioned as a vowel; I was attempting to offer a "familiar saying" that provided a hint/clue to the actual solution: the word THROWn. I had initially written this familiar saying as "Habits of a lifetime SHOULDN'T be lightly THROWn away," but then I thought this might be too obvious a clue.

      The fact that the challenge said: "The answer is a common saying, IN ORDINARY ENGLISH" meant to me that contractions (and other punctuation marks, e.g. Mrs.) were allowed and that it was only the sequence of actual consonants which were to be counted.

      So here is what I had proposed for my Thursday post:

      TODAY'S JUMBLE: Unscramble these nine Jumbles to form nine ordinary words:

      ELOPPE {HOW EVIL} NI SLAGS SHOEUS NUTHOLDS WORTH ONSETS

      Finally, I suspected that Blaine's word that starts with C was not clue, but cliché. I see I was wrong. Curtains!

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    4. Ron, I suspected the same...But, we ought to have known it was curtain 'cos Blaine's got swag. ;-)

      No worries on the rookie reveal, Blaine. I truly hope kaylasdad99 will come back and join the fun.

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  4. Are we to assume that the string of consonants are broken up by one or more spaces? (Otherwise, this would reduce to "find a word with seven consecutive consonants.")

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    Replies
    1. Ah! You must be thinking of that common phrase about Hirschsprung's disease... :)

      Yes, assume you are to only look at the letters.

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    2. So many questions...

      Speaking of Hirschsprung's disease and the colon: Do contractions count? (Not to be confused with counting contractions ;-) ).

      Where there's a Will, there's a way.

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    3. Nice going the Merry Rose. You won the "Pick A Range" competition again.

      Of course, contractions (the grammatical kind) are acceptable. See Charles' and John Brown's comments.

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    4. Hey, Ron, thanks for the Merry Rose congrats. I'd not heard that expression before...and I quite like it.

      Indeed, 'twas Charles' and John Brown's comments that inspired my question.

      It's been a quiet week here on Blaine's blog where...well, you know the rest.

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    5. ...On Blaine's blog where...all the women are strong, the men are good-looking and the blog obfuscation skills are above average...

      Apologies to you, mike_hinterberg. I posted my question after I came up with a different answer. The alternative works, but not as well.

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  5. I have a word ending with 4 consonants, and one starting with 3, which, side by side, could form the core of any number of 'sayings', some of which might be seven words in length.
    That and 75 cents'll get you a newspaper.

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  6. Let's not cast aspersions on Will this week.

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  7. Congress goes to great lengths shirking responsibility.

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    1. Agree with this posting heartily!

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    2. Speaker causes angst shrinking from his responsibility.

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  8. Using contractions did the trick for me, after getting hung up on "Strength Through Joy", a Nazi leisure group. There is a connection to last week's puzzle. And a couple of ties to deposed royalty.

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    Replies
    1. I too took a short look at "Strength Through Joy" but like you and the Germans, found no joy there. Nicht scheiße!

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  9. If I am on a train going through a long tunnel, and it has passed 87.5 % of the tunnel distance, can I say "I have now passed seven eighths through the tunnel?" (8 consonants)

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    1. Ken,
      You may be taking this all too lightly. Can you now see what I mean? :-)

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    2. Waaah I can't tell when you are kidding.

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    3. Ken, you can...but other people on the train might move away a bit :-)

      And it could be a short tunnel. . .

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    4. zeke:
      Maybe this will help. What the train conductor and a person who has just "died" have in common is that they both need to go towards the light.

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    5. What if the light is an oncoming train?

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    6. I believe they train for such events.

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    7. But zeke and W.W. and jan, I think we may be getting off track here.

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    8. SDB, are you just saying that for (Doppler) effect?

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    9. For the train sound...not the light, of course.

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    10. Now you're making light of my posts!

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    11. SDB: We have posted simultaneously at least three times today. I feel your pain below...Sigh...

      Lightposts always make my evenings. :-)

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    12. Ken, I bet you didn't gauge there'd be so many tie-ins to your comment!

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    13. Ken does not seem narrow-minded so I am sure riding these rails is a real trip for him. Wheel spoken, Ken?

      SDB, through all the pain I guess you appreciate me more now than a few weeks ago ;-).

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    14. WW,
      A few weeks ago? What happened a few weeks ago?
      Also, how much have you appreciated since then? It's not my default anyway.

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    15. So the train in the tunnel reminded me of math "word problems and my intolerant friend who gave a party but would not invite any trees He said Yew can't come Pear, Apple, and Oranges. (hope I am not giving anything away since I don't have the answer yet)

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    16. Perhaps you are afflicted with tunnel vision.

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  11. Thinking about ways to approach it structurally to yield the solution is/was part of the fun. But there are already big, explicit hints to narrow it down. A plea for subtlety!

    Algorithms, scripts, and lists can surely get it done.

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  12. Good night Mrs Calabash, wherever you are?

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    Replies
    1. Very creative. What's the nine-word version?

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    2. TomR,
      I agree with kaylasdad99 that your answer is indeed nifty, although I don’t agree with kaylasdad99’s subsequent bean-spilling post, below. (kaylasdad99: I know you’re a newbie to this blog, but ignorance of the law is no excuse, especially when the law is laid down plainly and Blainely as you enter the site. Justice requires a knuckle-rapping. [I‘ll go fetch a wooden ruler, my knuckle-knocker of choice.] That censure said, welcome to the blog, but please be more than a bit more circumspect in the future.)
      TomR, although SCHNozzola’s caTCHPHRase is not the answer Will is seeking, it might qualify as an “alternative correct answer” if not for Will’s seven word/nine word stipulation that also served as a hint. Maybe if you go with, “Good night (to you) Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are?” even though Jimmy Durante probably never said it that way. (He did originally say, “Good night Mrs. Calabash,” however, before eventually appending the concluding three-word clause, according to Wikipedia.) I suggest you submit it; curious to see if Will accepts it,. After all, he did accept CLEANER/CARE (kind of a STReTCH, IMHO) as an alternative to last week’s ASPIRIN/PAIN puzzle.
      Lego…

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    3. Good night Mr. Calabash. I can rest easy knowing all is well on Blaine's Blog.

      Lego, I thought cleaner/care was a decent answer especially if you consider the "found in most homes part" on a more global level. Likely more natural cleaners than manufactured aspirin to be found.

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    4. Lego:
      I grew up listening to and watching Jimmy Durante, and I can tell you with no reservations (sorry Tonto) that he did include "wherever you are." He had great stage presence and personality, along with a nose rivaling those found atop Mt. Rushmore.

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    5. WW,
      As usual, you are right. My beef with the cleaner/care concerned the “care” portion. Question: “What are you using that cleaner for, Mildred?” Possible answers: “Spot-removal.” “Disinfecting.” “Deororizing.” “Dirt.” (Aspriin is to pain as cleaner is to dirt.) Alas, I failed to consider “care” as a synonym for maintenance, as in floor-care, for instance. Mea maxima culpa!… a phrase I actually recited as an altar boy during the Latin Confetior prayer at the foot of the Notre Dame Parish altar.
      SDB,
      Right you are about JD. Wonderful entertainer who seemed to be a good guy, with a heart big as his proboscis, and a proboscis big as Cyranose. Were President Durante’s mug atop Rushmore along with the stone-faced four, you could land helicopters on his schnozz.
      My kudos to you -- and to the many brilliant bloggers (WW, Jan, ZC, RoRo, ABQG, and many others) with whom you parry -- for your rapier-wit and relentles(s)wordplay. I do my darnedest to keep up with your banter while evading your swashbuckling befuddlements.
      Also, I was impressed with your gracious response -- “Good one” -- to CJI’s clue, just below (it was indeed a good clue), in light of the brief SDB/CJI kerfuffle (sorry, Bob) a few weeks back concerning the “An Englishman solves American puzzles” blog. Lots of mutual respect on this site.
      Remorseful and laudatory Lego…

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    6. Thank you Lego for the kind remarks. And by the way did you happen to watch the film they made of the helicopter on Mt. Rushmore? "Blackhead Down!"

      Oh, and re: "and a proboscis big as Cyranose." Mrs. Calabash is (s)not saying, but Rene knows. .

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    7. Legolambda, thanks for the shout out (isn't that a name of one of those "care" products?) Any way, not feeling so smart this week, I will follow the advice of the only phrase I know that kinda fits but uses the wrong kind of "Y". Any one have a musical hint?

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    8. Ok I'll put that in my pipe and smoke it. Got'cha!

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    9. Great musical clue, SDB. And amazingly fast, too.

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    10. That is a really good clue, SDB. It's been several years since I've watched Koyaanisqatsi; I think it's time to pull out the DVD.

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    11. Diplego,
      Thank you for your kind words and your expert smoothing over, soothing back together skills. We needed that. And, if you are out there, AbqGuerilla, we really do miss you.

      And I will include cactusKP's clue from last week among the most clever ever:

      This puzzle reminds me of a friend that moved from TX to CA to become an actress, but instead of working in movies she is a surgeon in San Francisco.

      ASPIRIN' actress works in the BAY E.R.

      CactusKP managed to get in that feel for aspiring without saying it AND the brand name BAYER.

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

      CactusKP's clue is in the category of subtleness I believe Mike Hinterberg is craving...

      Now, to you, SDB. I would much appreciate if you would find another way to show us bloggers you are upset a clue has been revealed. In my inadvertent case a couple of weeks ago you invoked the name of someone millions of people do hold close. I no longer practice Catholicism, but I did find it offensive. That was behind my suggesting ?, ??, or even ??? to let bloggers know a clue has been revealed.

      So...here's to more quiet deposition...And quiet deposition takes time as geologists know. Perhaps we might all wait a bit to come up with that truly buried clue that hints ever so gently...and yields a multi-layered masterpiece.

      Koyaanisqatsi is such a masterpiece, SDB. Thank you.

      Word Woman

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    12. WW:
      It must have been my JC remark, but I don't see what it has to do with Catholicism, which I detest and have no respect for. I am reminded of a quote by Gandhi: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” Gandhi
      I am also reminded of a common epithet many Catholics in Spain use: "Christ in his pain!" used the same way I used JC. I found it extremely amusing when I first heard it. Anyway you may recall that I deleted the comment. But I make no apologies for it. And besides, that was a while back and is now water over the DARN. :-)

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    13. WW, missed CactusKP's clue, but yes, it is indeed that extra-layer-of-abstraction, with a faint hint of Earl Gray, that goes nicely with a good puzzle.

      As for the disposition of deposition: "Geologic time includes now" -- Gerry Roach.

      Hope you're enjoying this bit of Indian Summer!

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    14. Mike H, re: Earl Grey hints: Apple-pear stew: BergaMott's sauce.

      I first heard Gerry Roach's quoted by a fellow hiker atop Mt Bierstadt..."and gravity never sleeps."

      Savoring every minute of our great Indian Summer!

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    15. Apologies all on missing the giveaway clue by kaylasdad.

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    16. You've got a life, Blaine, I suppose.

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  13. One's eyes might glaze over looking through all the lists of sayings, phrases, and cliches.

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. You could at least read the STANDARD REMINDER posted above. PLEASE DELETE YOUR POST!!!

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    2. kaylasdad99: Please delete your post and provide only an oblique clue, the more obscure the better. Thanks. Blaine's instructions are given at the top of this blog.

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    3. Please delete your post, friend. There is plenty of time to discuss the validity of the puzzle after 3pm Thursday.

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    4. kaylasdad99: To reiterate SDB, WW, and Zeke's comments - kindly delete your post. Blaine makes it perfectly clear not to openly discuss the answer until after the Thursday deadline.

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    5. where's the blog administrator?

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    6. Apology accepted. Looking forward to discussing the puzzle details with you after 3 p.m. EST on Thursday.

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  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. A word of advice to newbies (and veterans as well); Before posting, browse through the blogs for recent weeks to get the "feel" of what this site is all about,. It's not about the puzzle, per se,but more about clever word games--puns, anagrams, clever phrases, etc. related to Will's puzzle challenge.

      No big deal if your post has been deleted. It's happened to all of us. It's part of the learning curve.

      Welcome!

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    3. LMP,
      Well-said/written. Ditto.
      Lego...

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  16. A musical genre, and a CD/album title from someone who I think qualifies in this genre, are relevant here.

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  17. RoRo, you asked last week about my blog...the second post is just up. You can find it by clicking on my blogger name and clicking on the link that pops up. I'll not need to post again about it here, just expect a post every Tuesday.

    And Lego, I meant DiplomatLego. I hope you know that. Fellow Blainesville puzzlers, if you need to find me I will be over on my blog for awhile.

    Word Woman

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    Replies
    1. WW Fascinating Brainulated sugar - Sweetness for the brain LOL

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    2. RoRo, thanks for taking a look.

      In case you need it: Cutter-Ziskind geology majors.

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  18. Replies
    1. Butterscotch Schnapps is far more common.

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    2. Borscht schlepper - waitress at a cheap Yiddish diner.

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    3. So my summer (regular not Native American) drink is fuzzy navel. doesn't have 7 consonants unless I drink 7 in a row then I say ZZZZZZZ at the end.

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  19. I wonder if they served borscht schnapps at Strength Through Joy camps? To celebrate the Non-Aggression Pact, or the invasion of Poland, or something?

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    Replies
    1. What about a belt of borscht schnapps in the Borscht Belt?

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  20. It took me forever, but I finally have an answer. Spoonerize two consecutive words in the answer then google the result for a bad joke. I would guess that most of this blog's readers already know the joke.

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    Replies
    1. Is that the one involving deposed royalty that I alluded to?

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    2. Yes. I also like the connection to last week's puzzle you alluded to (or should it be "to which you alluded"?).

      By the way, I'm pretty sure that in Shakespeare's first draft, Romeo saw both Juliet and Rosaline (Juliet's cousin and Romeo's initial love interest) in the window and said "But, soft! what lights through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet and Rosaline are the suns. How did I get to Tatooine?” He first decided to change the name to Tatouine so he could use all the vowels exactly once in the name, but then decided that no one in the audience would get the Star Wars reference, so he changed to the line we all know.

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    3. Regarding not ending a sentence with a preposition: as Churchill said, it is a rule up with which I will not put.

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  21. It is strange to me that most adherents to this doctrine end the commandment with a preposition.

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  22. And as the gardener at the Vatican often said, "Let us spray."

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  23. People (who live) in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

    How apropos.

    Corollary: Clay artists who live in glass houses SHOULD throw pots.

    My clue referred to the 1955 "glass box" Cutter-Ziskind houses at Smith College and geology majors. Though, generally, we threw our extra rock samples into the Connecticut River on field trips.

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    Replies
    1. Blaine, part of the current renovation of Cutter-Ziskind includes new, energy-saving CURTAINS! Compared to some of the houses on campus, they are pretty ugly.

      I thought your C word was cliche.

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    2. Cutter-Ziskind were the jewels of the campus so to speak

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  24. People (who live) in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    An alternate could be:

    I’ll have butterscotch schnapps on the rocks.
    I’ll have butterscotch schnapps on the rocks, thank you.

    My hint: Koyaanisqatsi
    This film had a torturous Philip Glass soundtrack that droned on throughout the entire boring film that was nothing but film footage pieced together. As you might have already guessed, I hated it, but there were others who thought it a masterpiece. I think I would prefer water boarding.

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    Replies
    1. Funny -- I was just discussing sinusitis treatment with a colleague. I mentioned that I recommend neti pots to patients who don't mind being waterboarded.

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    2. That's just another sinus of our times.

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    3. You do know I was saying your clue (not necessarily the film) was a masterpiece, right?

      And water boarding can be arranged. . .

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    4. You'll have to take a rain check on the waterboarding as others are in front of you.

      I did understand your compliment, at least I thought I did, but I am still trying to understand why you and CJI think it is such a good hint. I am just not seeing it that way for some reason. Maybe because it came to me so quickly, but I don't know. I am sometimes really happy about a clue I come up with and wonder if others here feel the same. I think I thought of it because I still have vivid memories of sitting in the movie house in agony listening to that awful sound and the barrage of pictures with no dialogue. Yesterday I did watch the five minute sped up version and thought it was reasonable in that format, but hated the background noise.
      Thanks.

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    5. I can't speak for Curtis, but for me it was partly extending an olive branch. You have written more clever clues.

      My goal is to keep rookie and veteran reveals off the blog. Jan's request to simply remove the clue was all I needed to do that. If I wanted a dye a tribe, I'd go watch "Avatar." My suggestion to use '?' was not to highlight the clue as being revealing...but perhaps a simple "please remove it" is more effective.

      Hope we can be on the same page to keep the blog about word play, obfuscation, obliqueness, puns and word-love camaraderie.

      Word Woman

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    6. Now that makes more sense. As to "dye a tribe," they used to do that a lot, but it caused a problem with red skin and was discouraged.

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    7. Now a silence unweaves
      the shroud of words
      we have woven.

      Enough words. Friend,
      you can make the ear see.

      Speak the rest of this poem
      in that language.

      - Rumi

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    8. Perhaps the next time someone needs to express incredulous anger at someone ignoring the blatantly obvious standard reminder, "LESUS!" could be used without offending anyone.

      pic.twitter.com/qrtxFd2mDZ

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    9. Ron, truly lovely. Thank you. . .


      Jan, I could go with that...or maybe "POMEGRANATE!"

      Delete
  25. > There is a connection to last week's puzzle.

    I can be such a pane in the glass.

    > And a couple of ties to deposed royalty.

    The Galerie des Glaces at Versailles comes to mind, as does the old joke about the deposed king who flees with his beloved chair to a thatch hut in the jungle.

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    Replies
    1. Au contraire, Jan, you are not a pane in the glass!

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  26. You know how I'm always claiming that I see clues to this puzzle in Will Shortz's NY Times crosswords? Well, this Monday's Jeopardy! Clue of the Day (also published in the Times, usually near the crossword) was:

    Category: TOYS

    A CAVEMAN-THEMED GAME IN WHICH "ROCKS" WERE THROWN AT OTHER PLAYERS LED TO THE CREATION OF THIS PRODUCT IN 1969

    Answer: NERF

    I.e., the kind of rocks people in glass houses should throw.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry -- Answer: WHAT IS NERF?

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    2. You have a lot of nerf posting that.

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    3. Jan, Non-Expanding Recreational Foam (NERF) fits with the contraction theme in the cliche too.

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  27. Yup.
    I was actually glancing at a list of sayings, and thinking about writing a quick script to do the dirty work ("algorithms, scripts..."), when it occurred to me that contractions would help...and shortly thereafter, that an "-ldn't" contraction was more than halfway there...so it ended up being a short, manual text search.

    Anyway, I thought this puzzle was a bit elegant, like many are, despite our occasional complaints, because there was a bit of logic in narrowing down the possibilities -- hence my consternation about the open discussion of contractions. (And then the answer itself! =) )

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    Replies
    1. I think your contractions approach was a pregnant idea.

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    2. I thought I had the answer earlier, but "Braxton-Hicks" didn't work. (Stolen/modified "Labor Day" joke from a friend).

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    3. Mike, I was convinced, like Paul, that "strength through" adversity, weakness, joy, something was the answer...Yet, there was a nagging feeling that it wasn't quite right. Seeing all the posted contractions in the previous posts made me wonder...Though I resolve to wonder alone next time ;-)

      My midwife laughed out loud when she asked how my contractions were when I was in labor with my son. "Can't, wouldn't, couldn't, shouldn't," I replied.

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    4. And I've been on YouTube all week, playing and replaying "Tommy's Holiday Camp", substituting Heinrich for Ernie and Adolf for Tommy.

      Fun for the simple-minded.

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  28. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rugs.

    People living in glass houses shouldn't throw wild parties.

    People who live in glass houses shouldn't.

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    Replies
    1. People in glass houses shouldn't throw up.

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tracy_Caldwell_Dyson_in_Cupola_ISS.jpg

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    2. I almost posted that one too, along with throw fits and many others.

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    3. I wouldn't have mentioned it, were it not for that picture, which I think is very cool. I guess I was also alluding to space sickness, to the lack of "up" to throw there, but mostly to what a neat glass house it is (and the pretty blue rock outside the windows).

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    4. Amazing photo. Thanks for sharing, Jan.

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  29. My clue - "A musical genre, and a CD/album title from someone who I think qualifies in this genre, are relevant here" referred to Rock and Billy Joel's "Glass Houses" album.

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  30. WW, SDB, anyone interested:

    Howsabouthis:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSTTOO5-xSI

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Paul. Perhaps we could all get together and break pita bread during a screening.

      As with many things, I prefer the slower version.

      Ha! One of my words to prove I'm not a robot was SNAILS!

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    2. Trully, WW. thou art a (prophet)ess.

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  31. 'Waaah I can't tell when you're kidding" is in reference to the typical whiner who can dish it out, but can't take it.

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  32. There was once an island kingdom whose people were all fabulously wealthy. Even though they could have afforded to live anywhere they wanted, tradition dictated they stay on their tiny island home.

    Eventually, their king became frustrated and called a meeting of the tribe's elders. He said he wanted them to figure out a way he could enjoy his wealth, and stay within traditional guidelines.

    After much consideration, the elders suggested he build a magnificent throne. When he objected there was not enough room in his hut for a throne, the elders suggested he call in an engineer to solve the problem.

    Soon, the king's tiny hut was rigged with an elaborate system of ropes and pulleys. He could lower the huge throne for use during the day, and at night, he could haul the throne up, and lower his bed. This was truly the best of both worlds for the king.

    Unfortunately, after a few months of constant use the ropes frayed, and one night, the throne slipped and came crashing down on the king, killing him.

    The wise men of the island recognized a lesson in this experience and added to the lore of their people this statement: "People who live in grass houses should not stow thrones."

    Chuck

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  33. I wonder if we could combine the Oval Office with the Lincoln Bedroom. ;-)
    I'm afraid not.

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  34. Don't call in an engineer. We have Homie Despot.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I realize that the consensus of this blog is that “Y” words shouldn’t count. Nevertheless, I offer the following 7-word solution, along with its 9-word version:

    The 7-word version: There’s no such thing as “slightly pregnant”

    The 9-word version: There is no such thing as being “slightly pregnant”

    Thanks – Phil J.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phil J.
      I like your solution, very creative and clever, albeit alas not likely to pass Shortz Muster ("Long on taste, great on burgers!"). Blaine explained well whY this is in his response to Word Woman at our blog's beginning this week.
      The "...sometimes Y" rule is one of those quirks that makes our language so playfully fun. The Y that serves as a shuffle-footed pedestrian consonant within words like churchyards, steelyards, stockyards and junkyards is supercharged into into a high-revving vrooming vowel when you lop off the "-ards."
      Talladega Lego...

      Delete
    2. I have wondered all week about the consonant/vowel swinger Y and the swinger W in our alphabet and Y W never gets called out in the realm of "sometimes."

      Dipthongingly,
      W.W. (live from the Welsh valley of CWM)
      ['ardly anyone in the cirque this beautiful day]

      Delete
    3. A diphthong is sometimes worn for swimming in the Mediterranean.

      Delete
  36. Calling all East-coasters! Calling all East-coasters!

    As I type this it's 4:37am Pacific time, which means it's 7:37am Eastern time. My local NPR station plays the Sunday puzzle at around 7:40am my time, so I'm hoping there are followers of this blog who live on the East coast and are about to hear the puzzle right about now.

    Would one of you be so kind as to post what you've heard? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  37. In NYC, it airs at 8:40. Nothing posted yet. Until a few weeks ago, they usually posted it a couple of hours earlier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can also stream WNYC's audio feed, including the puzzle, at www.wnyc.org.

      Delete
  38. New puzzle is up. This one is a two-week challenge and it's a long one. Here goes:

    Next week's challenge: (Please note: this is a two-week challenge) Take a seven-by-seven square grid. Arrange the names of U.S. cities or towns in regular crossword fashion inside the grid so that the cities used have the highest possible total population, according to the 2010 Census. For example, if you put Chicago in the top row and Houston in the sixth row, both reading across, and then fit Atlanta, Oakland and Reno coming down, you'll form a mini-crossword. And the five cities used have a total population, according to the 2010 census, of 5,830,997. You can do better.

    As in a regular crossword, the names must read across and down only. Every name must interlock with at least one other name. And no two letters can touch unless they are part of a name.

    What is the highest population total you can achieve? And when you send in your answer, please include the names of the cities, in order, across and down.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I've devised the following grid to help out:

    ╔═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╗
    ╟─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╢
    ╚═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╝

    The reason I've included the single-line cross-hairs inside each double-bordered square is that to post solutions here (two Thursdays from now, of course!) and not have them look like a bunch of misaligned junk, you'll need to replace the single-line crosses with letters. Had the letters been placed with a space before and after, then the rows with spaces would look a lot narrower than the border rows. Even this way they won't be perfectly aligned, but they should look somewhat decent. For example:

    ╔═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╦═╤═╗
    ╟─C─╫─H─╫─I─╫─C─╫─A─╫─G─╫─O─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─T─╫─┼─╫─A─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─┼─╫─R─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─L─╫─┼─╫─K─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─┼─╫─E─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─A─╫─┼─╫─L─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─┼─╫─N─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─N─╫─┼─╫─A─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─H─╫─O─╫─U─╫─S─╫─T─╫─O─╫─N─╢
    ╠═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╬═╪═╣
    ╟─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─┼─╫─A─╫─┼─╫─D─╢
    ╚═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╩═╧═╝

    Not perfectly aligned, but still looks pretty decent.

    And for those who'd just like a simple grid that they can use with their text editor, just select, copy and paste this:

    ╔═══╤═══╤═══╤═══╤═══╤═══╤═══╗
    ║ │ │ │ │ │ │ ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ │ │ │ │ │ │ ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ │ │ │ │ │ │ ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ │ │ │ │ │ │ ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ │ │ │ │ │ │ ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ │ │ │ │ │ │ ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ │ │ │ │ │ │ ║
    ╚═══╧═══╧═══╧═══╧═══╧═══╧═══╝

    Like I said, looks crappy here, but in your text editor, it'll look great!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Whoops, forgot that on this system, triplets of spaces are compressed into a single space. So here's that simple grid again, this time with periods for you to replace:

    ╔═══╤═══╤═══╤═══╤═══╤═══╤═══╗
    ║ . │ . │ . │ . │ . │ . │ . ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ . │ . │ . │ . │ . │ . │ . ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ . │ . │ . │ . │ . │ . │ . ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ . │ . │ . │ . │ . │ . │ . ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ . │ . │ . │ . │ . │ . │ . ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ . │ . │ . │ . │ . │ . │ . ║
    ╟───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───╢
    ║ . │ . │ . │ . │ . │ . │ . ║
    ╚═══╧═══╧═══╧═══╧═══╧═══╧═══╝

    That's the one that'll look great in your text editor.
    Also, for those of you whose text editor is EditPad (or EditPad Lite), after creating your new document, you'll need to select Convert, Text Encoding, and then select "Unicode, UTF-8" before pasting.

    ReplyDelete