## Sunday, January 12, 2014

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 5, 2014): Pleasant Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 5, 2014): Pleasant Puzzle

Q: Name something in five letters that's generally pleasant, it's a nice thing to have. Add the letters A and Y, and rearrange the result, keeping the A and Y together as a pair. You'll get the seven-letter word that names an unpleasant version of the five-letter thing. What is it?
I wish you well in the new year.

Edit: I wish you pleasant dreams.
A: DREAM + AY --> DAYMARE

1. There is a ready-made solution to this week's CHALLENGE when your SHARE of it turns into HEARSAY.

1. Uh-oh, no rules/guidelines this week. We're in for mayhem (January-hem?) now.

2. ron:
I haven't yet figured out why you capitalized 'challenge', but, as a gossip-hater, I love it.

2. I tawt I taw a putty cat.

Chuck

3. Living here in Seattle, where people believe it rains 400 plus days a year, although it has been clear and sunny lately, I am reminded of a Beatles song.

1. I imagine you're not the only one to be "reminded of a Beatles song."

2. Obscure musical/movie clue: "A Little Help From My Friends" / "My Cousin Vinny"

(Probably not the Beatles song you're thinking of.)

3. I never really thought it rained 400

I never really thought it rained 400+ days a year in Seattle ... circa 400 ... maybe.

4. And maybe somebody at Blogger can explain how the above happened.

5. I’m kinda reminded of a Monkees’ song.
(Not much of a hint (above or elsewhere) in this post, just whining, plus a bonus puzzle)

I’m being a bit nit-picky here but, if I have Wills “expected” answer, I take issue with the wording of this puzzle. According to my Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Tenth Edition, the seven-letter word is not a “version of the five-letter thing,” at least according to the five-letter word’s first definition. I suppose one could argue that the seven-letter word is a version of the five-letter thing, according to its second definition which lists three synonyms (including an eight-letter anagram of the seven-letter word if you repeat one of its letters).

Here is a less elegant but more accurate puzzle with an alternative “unpleasant version of the five-letter thing.”:
Name something in five letters that’s generally pleasant, it’s a nice thing to have. Replace the first letter with the counterpart of the last letter (see last week’s A/Z, B/Y, C/X…M/N puzzle), add three consecutive letters of the alphabet, then add another letter, the counterpart of the first letter of that alphabetical trio. Rearrange the result to get a nine-letter word that names an unpleasant nine-letter version of the five-letter thing. What is it?

LegoComplambda

4. I've made a specially-crafted Jumble just for the fine visitors of this blog, where the answer follows the construction methodology of this week's puzzle. No spoilers, please.

1. PC,
Simply an ingenious Jumble! The idea, execution, construction, artwork, the “local connections” pertaining to our blog… Do you do this kind of brilliant creativity professionally? Very impressive.
Also, a lately late person has a connection with this week’s puzzle.

5. Hmmm, not sure sentence one of the puzzle is always true either.

Just watched the Green Bay-SF game. If they have WI-FI in Wisconsin, do they have HI-FI in the 50th state?

1. Yes, they do, WW. The Badger State may have WI-FI, but as a lifelong Packer fan (except for 2009-2010) I pine for the days of WI-FAVRE. (Why Favre? Because he’s never boring.) Guess now, after today’s GB loss, I’ll pull for your team, Denver; Eric Decker’s hometown is about 15 miles from my home, I like the Manning family (Archie is a great dad, Eli’s coming along, and Peyton’s work ethic is legendary), and Coach John Fox seems like a good guy, definitely not a jerk.

According to Wikipedia, since 1996 Hawaii has had no (need of an?) adultery statute, from which I infer that fidelity there is reasonably high. So, just pack your Harman Kardon amplifier, Luxman receiver, Bang & Olufsen turntable and Alpine speakers and you‘ll be able to access the Internet just fine on the Hawaiian Islands.

(Parenthetically, I find that the best way to access the excellent Partial Ellipsis of the Sun blog is to visit a coffee shop that has SCI-FI. My French poodle, however, prefers FI-FI.)

Regarding sentence one of this week’s puzzle, I believe the qualifier “generally” lets Will off the hook.

LegoLambeau

2. Semper FI, Lego. Sorry about the Packers.

Hmmmm, I consider the first term generally neutral but, more later, k?

Aloha,
Word

6. Just posting to get in on the current week's thread, even though I probably won't understand most of the comments. My puzzle-related comment is on last week's thread as usual.

7. I just got back from horsing around with my grandchildren. We are getting pounded with some ice and snow. It is a week late for Christmas, but I will take it.

8. From the end of last week's: old now defunct half hour LA area cable comedy show!

1. AW! Who de-funked the funk out of this West Coast phenomenon?

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10. How ironic that this particular theme would be featured after my lover's layover forced him to stay with me an extra couple of days, causing me very unpleasant feelings. WW, have you ever experienced this?

1. Locovore in all areas, Ruth. ;-) What an epiphany!

2. I love that song! Especially Dino Martin's rendition. Better than a lullaby.

3. I had a mad crush on that man growing up. I tried to be a "Golddigger" but he had already left the show. He had such swagger!

4. RoRo,
Dino Martini was a singer and swinger and swigger with swagger. Jimmy Swaggart was a dogmatic martinet.
LegoLaMoonHitsYourEye...

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1. I enjoy your jumbles. Try to do some more with:
Ruth's LAYOVER LOVER
RACED for DAYCARE
a MAYORAL MORAL
she SINGS SAYINGS
he ESSAYED SEEDS
an ELDER RELAYED a message to him
FEWER FREEWAY(s)
SOMEDAY he'll have a DEMO

Just a few suggestions.

BTW How are you able to post a hyperlink? I don't know how to do that on a blog.

2. Ssh, you're giving away my future pool of Jumble answers!

As for how to post a hyperlink: Blogger allows use of a select subset of HTML. Converting the text "Example" into a link that points to "http://www.example.com" is done with the the following code:

<a href="http://www.example.com/">Example</a>.

which, when posted, looks like

Example.

3. Thanks. You've taken the STING out of STAYING!

12. PC,
Jumbilation! Not sure how Blaine feels about this but, in my jumble opinion, contributions such as yours are an integral part of this blog. I love it when bloggers post puzzles they create by “riffing” on an NPR puzzle theme or on other bloggers’ postings of original impromptu puzzles.
I admire Mr. Shortz and his puzzle wizardry but, because he understandably strives to purvey reasonably solvable puzzles, his weekly NPR challenges are frequently fish-in-the-barrel mental exercises. (I know, I’m sounding like an intellectual snob.)
In short, we’re here because we enjoy puzzles; the more puzzles, the more enjoyment.
Lego…

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1. Not tonight, merde!

Also, Blaine gave the italicizing, bolding, linking lesson on 1-13-13 (at the end of that week's blog) if you need a refresher.

2. Thanks. Underline button does not seem to work.

14. Just trying it out:

BOLD

italic

2014 New Year's Quiz

1. ron, I did the same thing when I learned how to do those fun things...;-)

The NYE quiz was fun. I have my red Italian skivvies all ready for next year...

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1. Are you intentionally using jumbles that have 2 or more solutions??? LICENSE/SILENCE LINSEEDS/IDLENESS, etc.

2. The above comment from ron was meant to be in reply to this comment from Paul, lower down the page. Alas, Blogger is a logy barge.

3. And losing the golf tournament on the last hole was a bogey large.

4. W,
Spoonerific! And Happy Blaine-blog Anniversary. (?)

LambdoLega

5. Thanks, Lego. Great to have found this delightful group of lexicophiles and numberphiles (fun website)...Wow, there are such things as Love Numbers h, k and l :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_number

6. If you're playing as part of a team, a 'bogey large' would probably earn you an icy stare, and maybe even a hiss, on the solemn procession to the clubhouse, where you would have to buy the beer for everyone. It could be a royal pain in the duff.

16. PlannedChaos,
What have you done to piss off Blogger?

1. I take it I'm not the only one having trouble with Blogger. The problem in my case is that when posting a comment, it often obliterates an earlier one that I had made. I'm trying a workaround of logging out and then logging back in after adding a comment, though I haven't yet determined if that actually helps.

2. Sorry PlannedChaos, but even though I am a third generation Seattleite (in fact it was my great, great grandfather who handed the Indians their first cups of Starbucks coffee when they—the Indians— arrived) my family was not into logging, and therefore I am afraid I cannot be of assistance to you in this matter. However, I did manage to meet Bill Gates twice, if that is any help.

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19. This is my first time posting here. I've come up with a couple, and doubt they're correct...fling and flaying, sling and slaying. because they don't necessarily mean something to have, nor is the second an unpleasant version of the first. I don't have the answer(s) yet. Just a thought. The letters a and y must be together in the new word, but is order important? Perhaps it's ya somewhere in the second word.

1. I believe the answer to your ya is nein!

20. YO ... _□
SNIDESEL ... □_□_□_□□
ILSCENE ... □□__□__
EGGWARS ... __□□□__

The shepherd boy used his □□□□□ for □□□□□□□.

Honest to God, I started working on this "masterpiece" before reading BirdQueen's comment. And I believe both BirdQueen and RoRo are correct.

1. The intended answer is:

OY
IDLENESS
SWAGGER
The shepherd boy used his SLING for SLAYING.

I noticed SILENCE shortly before or shortly after I posted; I'm not sure which. Either way, I wasn't going to do anything about it. And LINSEEDS never would have occurred to me.

21. Both? Not if I'm wrong :)

1. I don't think there's a plausible answer with the YA construction, but I don't think the wording of the puzzle precludes it.

2. The VOYAGER remained in his GROVE.

3. there's no problem
Only solutions

4. Nobody's right if everybody;s wrong
And it really doesn't matter, if I'm wrong, I'm right
Where I belong I;m right ...

22. Alright, since we are playing games here, I have a joke I made up last week while trying to get back to sleep. I knew immediately that it was a joke that the public would not get, but would only be understood by those of us who make up quality jokes. Trying it out has proven me correct in this assumption, but when explained they all seem to think it funny. Please let me know if any of you can guess the meaning and what you might think.

(pause, I'm getting my breath here)

Three clergymen, a Protestant minister, a Catholic priest and a Jewish rabbi walk into a bar. The bartender greets them and asks, "Only three today?"
They look somewhat surprised and the priest, after looking around, replies, "Where's Mohammad? He was just with us a moment ago."
He then says, "I guess we will have to come back later."

1. The four clergymen have been ritualistically meeting at this bar at 3PM Thursday since their college days (when Mohammad was known as Cassius). Since embracing Islam and becoming an imam, Mohammad has not, of course, imbibed a single drop of alcohol, but he still enjoys communing with his old friends, and has a soft drink instead. The only problem is, his favorite soft drink is Mountain Dew, which this bar does not serve. It's not a real problem, though, because there's a vending machine, about a block from the bar, which does. On this occasion, however, after greeting his friends in front of the bar, he realizes he has neglected to pick up his soda, and, as they enter the establishment, he turns and dashes up the street to the vending machine, well aware that the Mountain Dew would not come to him.
What are the names of Mohammad's three friends?

2. I don't recommend trying to answer that question (or riddle-solving in general) while piloting a vehicle.

3. Joe George n Buster. Ken was waiting out in the car.

4. Paul,
Great try that had me laughing, but nope, it is really much more simple than you are making out. Others have tried to make religious and alcohol connections, but that is not it.
HINT:
The joke begins along traditional formula lines, but then suddenly changes.

5. Okay my joke explained:

Many jokes begin with 3 or 4 men, from different backgrounds, such as states or jobs, are at a bar where the first says or does something and then the second does something similar followed by the third doing almost the same, but then the fourth does something unexpected and quirky which is the punch line.
In my joke, the religions have no bearing other than to make it easier to understand. That is why I chose Mohammad to be the missing member of the group because it would be obvious that he was also a cleric and Muslim.
These men never get to the part we are expecting where the first orders a drink, or proposes a toast, or something and it proceeds from there to the last guy providing the quirky punch line. They cannot begin the joke because something happened to delay one of the players. That is the joke. The participants are all aware of why they are there and what they will be doing (a joke) as if they are actors in a play. I now want to find someone who makes up jokes and see if he will get it, as expect he will.

6. So ... though I feel as if they're in a play, they are anyway?

I think I might have gotten it if I'd heard it spoken with the correct intonations, but you're right, I way overthought it. I even named the rabbi Abraham, the minister Martin, and the priest John (because they looked around, and Mohammad was gone).
And I can't believe no one else saw the connection between this week's puzzle and a national holiday coming up later this month.

23. Mankind has left behind clues on the Moon

1. Do you mean back in the '70's when our astronauts discovered orange dust/dirt on the moon? I always thought it must have been some Tang they spilled.

2. Tangential comments make Blaine's Blog go round, sdb.

3. WW:
Thank you for not poonishing me.

4. Sdb, my pleasure.

I will miss the wild rush at 3 p.m. EST tomorrow. But, I will do a face palm in honor of you all.

Word

5. W,
Don't you mean 2:59 p.m. EST?
Face palm = covering you eyes with a palm leaf as you bask on the sun-baked beach?

6. Right on lego! Maybe if WW turns the cafÃ© lamp on, and ignores the face palm, she will find it easier to read her watch. :-) (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

7. Please, let me translate. "Face palm"= face palm tree, look at watch, 2:59, 3:59, 4:59? No worries. Touch aa, listen to words with many vowels. Face palm tree again, handily. Aloha. Word.

8. Oops! No watch. Sun coming up or in the middle or going down. ;-)

9. So, WW, water you doing now?

24. I got the second word while trying to figure out all the clues. BTW, I really enjoyed all the Planned a Chaos jumbles. The definitely shed some light, too.

1. I was in the middle of word 2 when I figured out the answer. You can tell by all the typos. Terrible! I was in a state of Unplanned Chaos..

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26. Hey jan,
Did I hear New Jersey's version of Big Bertha just now give his "I didn't have sex with that bridge!" speech? Our Big Bertha is still stuck dealing with a transportation issue and I suspect your Big Bertha is too. The bigger they are...

1. He says, "Mistakes were made." A familiar refrain.

2. Looking at Christie, I tend to doubt he has ever missed a steak in his life.

3. He's actually relatively svelte these days. A friend posted that we'll know he's out of the race when he has the lap band removed.

27. DREAM > DAYMARE

My hint:

“Living here in Seattle, where people believe it rains 400 plus days a year, although it has been clear and sunny lately, I am reminded of a Beatles song.”

“Everybody had a wet dream” from, I’ve Got A Feeling, is the lyric I was reminded of.

1. That's one Beatles song I don't remember. I thought of "A Day in the Life", which prompted my comment about the importance of maintaining a reality-based focus while driving.

2. I usually try and do my nails while I am driving. Occasionally I finish and have time to do my fingernails too.

28. dream, daymare

Last Sunday I said, “I tawt I taw a putty cat.” A tweety bird daymare.

Chuck

29. The “pleasant and nice thing to have” (sometimes) - a DREAM.

Add “AY” to obtain: DAYMARE, an “unpleasant form of a dream.”

My “clue/hint” was the word “ready-made” the first 7 letters of which anagram to DAYMARE. Capitalizing “CHALLENGE” was simply a form of misdirection away from “ready-made.”

The Beatles (John Lennon) song I am reminded of is IMAGINE, which is a kind of (day)dream, and the lines:

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm “not the only one.”

lego's puzzle turned "day" into "night."

1. Funny, Ron, but the Beatles song that came to my mind was "A Day in the Life"....somebody spoke and I went into a dream.

2. My musical clue posted at the end of last weeks' blog stated that I missed the recently deceased Phil Everly. The Everly Brothers had a hit single "Whenever I Want You All I Have to Do is Dream"

3. phredp:
I also thought I saw a 'horse' connection in 'sparked' and 'rockers'.

30. Some late arrivals -- looks like ... Steven Tyler, Alice Cooper, the Wilson sisters, Claude Debussy, Cass Elliot, John Sebastian, Gary Wright, ...who else? Well, do me a favor, open the door, and let 'em in.

Oh, and there's Dion. Let him in, too.

If you're not too choosy, Debussy rhymes with DiMucci ... kinda.

31. Horsing around with the grandkids and getting pounded by ice and snow after Christmas but I'll take it.

horsing mare daymare.
dreaming of a white Christmas.

32. In case you haven't seen it, here is

Dubai's world record NYE fireworks 2014

1. Very impressive! Not as impressive as our fireworks, but in order to see our fireworks you need to travel to countries like Afghanistan. It comes down to priorities. Where do you want to spend your money? On your own people and place, or chasing some misanthropic phantasy.

33. > What am I going to do if I can't think of a clue?!?!

Sounds like a daymare to me!

> Obscure musical/movie clue: "A Little Help From My Friends" / "My Cousin Vinny"

Mona Lisa Vito: So what's your problem?

Vinny Gambini: My problem is, I wanted to win my first case without any help from anybody.

Mona Lisa Vito: Well, I guess that plan's moot.

Vinny Gambini: Yeah.

Mona Lisa Vito: You know, this could be a sign of things to come. You win all your cases, but with somebody else's help, right? you win case after case, and then afterwards you have to go up to somebody and you have to say, "thank you."
[pause]
Oh my God, what a fucking nightmare!

34. Trust me, finding out your LOVER's LAYOVER has created the perfect opportunity for him to stay an extra couple of days will quickly turn a dream into a daymare (or recurring nightmare).

35. My clue about the old TV program: "Dream-On."

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37. My two pointless observations for the day:

After I posted my comment, that the answer word, daymare, first appeared in 1737, according to my Merriam Webster's, I wondered if someone with a big computer and the OED could prepare a short list of words from 1737 and get the solution easily. (I got it easily because someone posted the word "dream" earlier in the day.)

And thinking of musical clues, might it be easier to think of some composer or group that never had a song without some reference to dreams or dreaming?

38. Another appropriate Beatle's tune would be Hard Day's Night.

39. WW:
Did you hear about the Hawaiian magician who could make coconuts disappear by palming them?

1. Frond memories!

2. With fronds like those, who needs anemones?

3. Yes, I agree, but I also have to say I prefer anemones to alimonies.

40. Take the first 3 letters of the 6 letter name of my first grandson (born today). The 3 letters are a common nickname of the 6 letter name. Add an AY and rearrange the 5 letters to get the name of my granddaughter, born 5 months ago today.

1. DANiel & DYANA, the divine!

2. Less common boy's name, more common girl's name.

3. That's my neighbor's name, Les Khamun.

4. SIDney & DAISY ?

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6. Ron got it.

7. David, congratulations on the births of both Sidney and Daisy! Very exciting!

Waking to a cloudy, misty morning here in Hanelei Bay with a sweetly singing bird, flowers in the trees, green mountains, and a different, pure air. It could be a DREAM but certainly not a DAYMARE. There's a little wooden bridge to get here so it keeps the tour groups away...

My bother and girlfriend have been here 6 times so have introduced my mom and me to poke (even for breakfast;-)), the sweetness of a place with three lanai (lanais?), and walking and swimming along the beaches...

Yes, it is dreamy! I was referring to More Later, K? and Martin Luther King's dream speech. Another reference to "night, merde?" for night mare...but that was many moons ago.

Frondly,
Word

P.s. Appreciating all the puns and stories and discussions...poke and fresh coffee calls. Mahalo.

8. WW:
I am still trying to understand why you are visiting Hawaii when you now have grass huts in Colorado. I came to the conclusion that you are pausing on your way to points farther east and this is simply a lei-over. Or perhaps your travel agent thought you said Macadamia when you actually said Macedonia. In any case I do hope you'lava good time. Hula knows what beach in our future?

9. Word, here's some John McPhee to read while you're cooling your heels among the hot rocks there.

10. WW bides her time in a bayside paradise.

11. My congrats also to Grandpa David, for his progeny and for his serendipitous AY puzzle.
And nice work too, Paul,on your "last gasp" AY puzzle celebrating our favorite wahine, Word. Thanks largely to Mr. Chaos, we have now officially exhausted every possible combination of [five-letter-word/seven-letter-word-using-those-letters-plus-AY]!
BlegoLaBogey

12. Hey, thanks jan, sdb, Lego, and Paul for the good wishes, puns, AY-YA extensions, and reading material. It is fun to be Word Wahine here, Lego.

I just read McPhee's lava chapter, jan, and, as always, am in awe. I smiled at the way he slips in comparing the formation of the Hawaiian islands over a hot spot to a sewing machine needle punching through a moving cloth. Smiled at the Mark Twain reference, at the width of the lava flow "as wide as the Mississippi River in New Orleans." Smiling lots...it seems island life agrees with me. ;-)

Wish you were here. Truly. ~ Word

13. WW:
Have you come across their term for the Hawaiian gay civil rights struggle yet? Out rigor.

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42. As ron noted above, DREAM/NIGHTMARE was the answer to my “less elegant but more accurate puzzle with an alternative unpleasant version of the five-letter thing.”

The Monkees’ song I was “kinda reminded of” is “Daydream Believer,” and the “lately late person (with) a connection with this week’s puzzle” is Phil Everly (“All I have to do is Dream”), who was also mentioned by phredp and alluded to by Paul (McCartney?) by wedging into his post the Wings’ song “Let ’Em In” which mentions “Phil and Don” (Everly). We would have to let in indeed a full house of artists “knockin’ on the door” who have recorded dream/daydream songs (not so many daymare/nightmare songs, or movies, except for the Elm St. series franchise). Thus I agree with Bob K’s to-the-point observation that it would be an easier task to make a list of musical acts whose catalogues are devoid of (day)dreams.

Paul,
I enjoyed your imaginative yet logical explanation of SDB’s inscrutable formula-tweaking performance-art rabbi-minister-priest joke and, in naming the trio, your allusion to a great song. That is, the song about “St. Simon Peter” ushering A., M., J. and B. into heaven. It was sung by Dion, whom “St. Sir Paul” should have “let in“ to his song (along with Phil and Don) but whom you actually did let into your earlier post (see preceding paragraph).

WBG (Word Beach Girl),
Thanks for the heads-up on Love Numbers. Until now the only Love Numbers I knew of were those box-scored by Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love (nephew of Beach Boy Mike Love), who garners numbers of points, rebounds, blocks and assists every time he takes the court.

I have reconsidered and now agree with you that a dream is generally neutral rather than “generally pleasant, it’s a nice thing to have.” Nightmares (not pleasant) are a sizable subset of dreams, at least in my experience. And I suspect that I (we?) tend to block out/unremember much REM unpleasantness. As for non-slumbering dreams, MLK’s “I have a dream…” is positive, but “dreaming your life away” is negative. So, it’s a wash… Picture a box of Surf laundry detergent. Oh wait, I forgot, all you need do is meander out onto your lanai!
LegoLullaby

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44. New puzzle has just now erupted! Now is not the time to harbor bad felines. Put down that Mai Tai, WW, and get with it.

This new stinker was scent in by:

Next week's challenge: Name a familiar form of exercise in two words. Switch the order of the two words. Then say them out loud. The result phonetically will name something to wear. What is it?

45. Got this one immediately. Appropriate timing for this puzzle.

46. After solving this puzzle I wanted to give the "V" sign and celebrate with a bowl of popcorn.

47. Reminds me of another favorite of NPR listeners, just a little.

48. This was so easy, I was too upsit to do my sit-ups. So I just rummaged through my wife's underwear drawer (see earlier puzzle) until I found a push-up bra. (No hinting needed this week.)

49. I agree. Not too hard.

50. This puzzle appears to be written like an advertisement. Please help improve it by rewriting promotional content from a neutral point of view.