Thursday, April 03, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 30, 2014): Film with Two W's

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 30, 2014): Film with Two W's:
Q: The film Wild Wild West had three W's as its initials. What prominent film of last year had two W's as its initials?
There are several comments at the end of last week's post. I too am wondering whether this is an April Fool's joke.

Edit: Indeed it was... Kudos to Al and anyone else that figured it out.
A: "The Wolf of Wall Street" has TWO WS as its initials

171 comments:

  1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g. via a chain of thought, or an internet search) before the deadline of Thursday at 3pm ET. If you know the answer, click the link and submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here.

    You may provide indirect hints to the answer to show you know it, but make sure they don't give the answer away. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the Thursday deadline. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I certainly have a candidate that has the two Ws in the appropriate place, followed though, by something that would naturally follow them. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like a boring answer, but I'm willing to run with it.

      Delete
    2. I am on this wavelength, Uncle John.

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    3. OK, I guessed "World War Z". I should have said "two Ws, chased by something that naturally follows them", or "unnaturally", somehow got the zombie thing.

      Delete
  3. Could it be the 2013 film... Wait, wait. Don't tell me... I hear patience is a virtue that carries a lot of wait. So, WW, could it be The Wait, wait?

    War of the Worlds was made in 2005, not last year.

    Now that everyone has proved that chickens crossing the road are poultry in motion, let's go with Will and some more of his April Fool-ish riddles:

    1. What is black when you buy it, red when you use it and gray when you throw it away?

    2. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday or Sunday?

    3. A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water for over 5 minutes. Finally she hangs him. But 5 minutes later they both go out together and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. How can this be?

    I will post answers on Thursday. (I have more of these)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I give away an answer, will I be hearing from your lawyer?

      Delete
    2. A couple of "classic" riddles:

      4. What Am I?

      A riddle by Horatio Walpole:

      Before my birth I had a name,
      But soon as born I chang’d the same;
      And when I’m laid within the tomb,
      I shall my father’s name assume.
      I change my name three days together
      Yet live but one in any weather.

      5. What Am I?

      A riddle by Jonathan Swift:

      By something form’d, I nothing am,
      Yet everything that you can name;
      In no place have I ever been,
      Yet everywhere I may be seen;
      In all things false, yet always true,
      I’m still the same–but ever new.
      Lifeless, life’s perfect form I wear,
      Can shew a nose, eye, tongue, or ear,
      Yet neither smell, see, taste, or hear.
      All shapes and features I can boast,
      No flesh, no bones, no blood–no ghost:
      All colours, without paint, put on,
      And change like the cameleon.
      Swiftly I come, and enter there,
      Where not a chink lets in the air;
      Like thought, I’m in a moment gone,
      Nor can I ever be alone:
      All things on earth I imitate
      Faster than nature can create;
      Sometimes imperial robes I wear,
      Anon in beggar’s rags appear;
      A giant now, and straight an elf,
      I’m every one, but ne’er myself
      Ne’er sad I mourn, ne’er glad rejoice,
      I move my lips, but want a voice;
      I ne’er was born, nor e’er can die,
      Then, pr’ythee, tell me what am I?

      Delete
    3. Paul. You can "give away the answers" on Thursday so others can take their time to ponder them.

      Delete
    4. ron.

      I was thinking perhaps one of us might post a somewhat long paragraph in a "cryptopost"; and then if a reader selects it, copies it, and pastes it into the "Input:" field of Sharky's Vigenere Cipher, then enters answers 1 through 5 concatenated together into the "Key:" field, then clicks the "decode" button, well then the "Output:" field would make sense. Would it be OK with you if that were posted before this coming Thursday?

      Delete
    5. On second thought:

      Since the wording of the answers to questions 1 to 3 could vary considerably, how about if I were to post my own guesses to questions 1 to 3 in my own words, but crypto-posted to the answers to 4 and 5?

      BTW, Thank you the go ahead to my earlier question.

      Delete
    6. 1. B phlgwfm lhi katw sv zbbg cfsbkbtz ergiemgmsv fmj lieusfugfq. Qa fm hxnwbqrgqh, tfgeou, B rrn'r joknez vecaxo gasp gjggqaz fhd bmbqaz hkegj ear. Bbvtcsn Q'ix brtguol gas drcsc ws bbltgsv jhkblne gp bux qrajk lmvgu jryq; kvq mvh gpsi ayhkoy qhbmnwwqg mnoz gas vupxkkrl ci tfw mwneg.

      2. Vupw. Yvr xldmndo: Ickwo tfw pqelh, whc kokbgr, dnb lrm gawud.

      3. Qzo lvw vhr bwol ahh zirz k ohg, pxt y ukurko. Whyl gpvvv vhc zotq pov nml cw znqk "hge", lcg awv pgudcex; oqd sfnme... powep? A'vt yxoye gl dw bmvhrq ly xblh (xnbwb bux gdmc wxkerdwimf, yn phiusc) orig mvh aaleiy vcqtcfda by hbpgukt cacwoejkxu wsyejgzmel tougv kzr.

      Delete
    7. Do what you think best. I will be posting the answers on Thursday.

      Delete
    8. question 2.
      I can't give the answer yet? how about Tuesday?

      Delete
    9. zeke creek.

      If you know the answers to questions 4 & 5, then you can select and copy my crypto-post above, paste that into the "Input:" field of Sharky's Vigenere Cipher, enter the answers to questions 4 & 5 into the "Key:" field, click on the "decode" button, and you'll see my guesses as to the answers to questions 1, 2 and 3 in the "Output:" field. You can then give your own crypto-post encoded to the same key.

      Delete
  4. Clearly it is a biopic of commentator "Word Woman".

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  5. In my view it comes down to whether articles of speech are properly excluded, etc.

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  6. I have a candidate movie that meets the requirements. And though it has a couple of interesting aspects I would question use of the adjective, prominent.

    Chuck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with your qualms about the use of prominent. I'm sure this wasn't as prominent as Nebraska or 12 Years a Slave.

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    2. Couldn't it be a "prominent flop?"

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    3. Wait, Water World wasn't last year....

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    4. jan, I have been waiting for someone to post Water World.

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    5. Waterworld (1995) wouldn't work in any event; it's a one word title.

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    6. How about Willy Wanker and the Chocolate Factory?

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  7. Speaking of flops vs blockbusters, I wouldn't have thought a soggy biblical epic would make $44M its first weekend. Oh, well, Noah counting for taste...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that I think about Noah and Water World, it's even more surprising for a prequel to do so much better than the original.

      Delete
    2. Speaking of WW movie titles, when will there be a Wonder Woman movie?

      http://entertainment.time.com/2013/08/30/why-dont-we-have-a-wonder-woman-movie/

      Delete
    3. WW:
      I was also thinking about that old TV series. It seemed to get my dad excited. I suppose the movie version won't be made until you sign the contract. :-)

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    4. ;-). Yeah, I might enjoy movie directing/producing, as long as WW gets to explore lots of rocks/fossils/planets on her quests.

      Delete
    5. I was thinking more of you in the starring role. Maybe it could be titled: Wonder Woman gets stoned with Rocky.

      Delete
  8. I was hoping it would be the 2008 documentary, "Bush's War." I think that would be an appropriate answer for this week.
    I found a title that works perfectly and it is listed as both 2012 and 2013, so I don't know if it is the expected one. This seems to be a very lame puzzle anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a foot dragger, weally wame, in keeping with last week's answer.

      Delete
  9. The one I chose did not show in theaters until 2013 but came out in 2012.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet we have the same one.

      Is this puzzle just cheap/free advertising? The on-air challenge certainly was.

      Delete
  10. I think I remember seeing a film about two sets of female sheep Siamese twins who became best friends, called Double Ewe, Double Ewe.

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    Replies
    1. Did it also have a subtitle: Wooly Wooly? If it's the same film, it was a shear delight. And wasn't it recently reviewed on the Moth Radio Hour?

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    2. I feel a bit sheepish asking this, but when is Ewecarist anyway?

      (Gawd! We've now gone from chickens to sheep.)

      Delete
    3. ... And when the sheep come home to roost, watch out!

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    4. We could utilize the Black Watch. When the sheep come home to roost, are they roosters? Is this some kind of Chicken Connection starring Gene Hackman?

      Delete
  11. Speaking of wooly wooly: Matty's a really smart one.
    ...real big eyes ands a woolen jaw, wooly boolie...

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  12. There is one unique answer to this weeks challenge. I think a correct entry to NPR has to include an explanation of your answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The unique answer requires a close look at the question.

      Delete
    2. Wow! what a beautiful puzzle. I wonder how many solvers came up with the right answer but missed the point. I decided not to spend time on it, and didn't pass it on to family - yet. I must have been solving in background mode when the answer appeared (no question about it.) Legolambda's clue was also already in existence just waiting to be used.

      Delete
  13. Anyone here remember that popular TV program of years back that depicted the lives of those who raise frogs in order to sell the legs to fine restaurants? I think it was called Wide World of Warts.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Carnac: (eyes closed in concentration, holding a sealed envelope near the side of his turban):
    “Sis-Boom-Baa!”
    Carnac: (after blowing open the envelope and fishing out the contents to read them):
    “Describe the sound made when a sheep explodes.” See this LegoLink.

    If sheepskin = diploma, then a diploma mill is an “academic” institution that fleeces its graduates and their future employers.

    Mary had Aegean lambdas, fleece as white as snow,
    But vats of Grecian Formula restored their youthful glow.
    These baa-baa baby black sheep have no touch of gray or bald spot
    And dream of leaping o’er the sea to caper in the Hellespont.

    If a Greek speaker were to say, say, “Lambda,” its initial would be “Lambda.” right? Is my lemma a lemon? Or is it sublime?

    Weigh in. Anyone? Rho Rho? SigmaDeltaBeta? (What a fraternal-kind of guy!) Al(pha)? zeta-kappa? Untransliteratable jan? Delt-avid? kappa-#%@&%-iotas? Madame Nu? rho-on? Chuck (pronounced Kuck by us Greeks)? Beta-mu? Epsilon-etc…fan? Pi-aul? UpsilonJ? LexiLady [LL] (also known, on her own Partial Ellipsis Of The Sun blog, as SigmaSigma or LithoLogoLass {LLL})?

    The one-L lama, he's a priest
    The two-L llama, he's a beast
    And I would bet a silk pyjama
    There isn't any three-L lllama
    (Ogden Nash later appended a footnote to this poem: "The author's attention has been called to a type of conflagration known as a three-alarmer. Pooh."

    Must’ve been an A.A. Milne fan.

    LegoRam’s-A-Lamb’s-DaDa-Ding-Dong

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary had a little plane,
      In which she liked to frisk.
      Now, wasn't she a foolish girl,
      Her little * ?

      Delete
    2. On the lambda question, if you're looking for a cleaner answer to solve problems: Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead. Peace!

      Delete
  15. sdb,
    I suspect our friend abqG has had authorities often frisk his *. The moral? One should not partake in risky behavior in the BeeHivior State.

    mike_,
    Nice puzzle hint(erberg)… I think.

    I’ve been in a puzzle-solving funk the past few months, either unhappy with or uncertain about my responses, which have often been dead wrong. Same thing this week. I have an answer that might be right, but I don’t really like it. I feel I’m missing something, just as I felt when I whiffed on the recent his/she/liquor cabinet key/upside-down clock puzzle.

    Suppose a “prominent” film had been released last year, another Genesis epic in the style of “Noah” titled “I Am Abel,” with screenplay adapted from the account of Creation by the Yahwist, who channeling his inner-Poe, penned the following words of God to Cain, the world’s first murderer: “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”
    Now that’s inspired prose of biblical proportions!

    And further suppose Mr. Reiss’s puzzle this week would have read:
    “The film ‘Almost An Angel’ (1990) had three A’s as its initials. What prominent film of last year had two A’s as its initials?”
    Will Will accept “I Am Abel” as an answer?

    For those who fancy further fiction about the Greek alphabeta, check out my recent rambling post on the March 25 edition of Word Woman’s PEOTS blog site, a virtual trellis where the vines of science and philology, lexi and litho, lovingly entwine.

    And, while you’re there, treat yourself to a sampling of the blog or, better yet, a journey through its entire content and archives. It’s a bountiful Olympian vineyard, minus the mythology but not minus the natural grandeur and wonder. This is especially evident in the wisdom, wit and wordplay generated by WW (aka SS) and posters who are actually versed in both science and linguistics. A new topic is posted on the site each Tuesday.

    LegoFrisky*

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    Replies
    1. I rather suspect abqG was caught with coffee grounds in his cell, or something else just as serious. Or perhaps he was found not wearing his magical underwear! I would like to know just what he is in for. Do you suppose it was parking violations?

      Delete
    2. Lego, thanks for the plug! Look for an " epic " April Fool's post tomorrow. ;-) Guest writers welcome, no foolin'.

      Btw, I think AbqGuerrilla is in for verbal punishment.

      Delete
  16. Absolutely no idea on the challenge, except that it will involve foolery. In shear agony!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that's what California thought, Bob K.

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  17. Re: Ron's post about the woman who shoots her husband, holds him under water, and hangs him before they go out....I wouldn't be at all surprised if she blew him up too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was shocked when I heard she had him fixed!

      Delete
  18. You all being NPR fans know they do an April Fools piece every year on All Things Inconsiderate. What you don't know, until now anyway, is that I have an inside source who has confidentially revealed to me what it will be for tomorrow. SPOILER ALERT! Do not read beyond this point if you do now want to know ahead of time. Okay, so hear it is. They are doing a piece on the Republicans allowing all of Obama's federal judge appointment to go through. A last minute change of heart on the part of these good folk who take up way too much trunk space, by that I mean they belong to the elephant party.

    ReplyDelete
  19. he he he its me its me its Zekey C.
    Check out dese rocks in mah haid WW.
    Happy E. T. Bass Day. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laboring over this one, Zekey. I never take your haid for granite ;-).

      Delete
    2. The wild mountaineer from the Andy Griffith Show, Ernest T. Bass, was the best rock-thrower in the county. His birthday is celebrated on 4/1. Museums of natural history celebrate by allowing children to bring in their prize rocks to be identified by the resident geologist. You be it, WW.

      Delete
    3. Lairn somein new evry day, zekecreek. Twas also Rachel Maddow's birfday and today is my pup's adoption day. No foolin'!

      Btw, if you throw dem rocks, pretty hard to identify 'em mid-throw, ya know.

      Delete
    4. Pends o war dey land, rockette :-)

      Delete
  20. very easy! One of you had almost got it

    ReplyDelete
  21. April Fool's Post.

    Try to answer each question before you read on.

    Giraffe Test

    1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?


    Stop and think about it and decide on your answer before you scroll down.








    The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.




    2 How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?












    Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator?

    Wrong Answer.

    Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.








    3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals

    attend .... Except one. Which animal does not attend?











    Correct Answer : The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there. This tests your memory. Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.



    4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and you do not have a boat. How do you manage it?












    Correct Answer:? You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

    According to Anderson Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the Professionals they tested got all questions wrong, but many preschoolers got several correct answers. Anderson Consulting says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals do not have the brains of a four-year-old.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aw maaan I thought sure I was supposed to take the elephant out of the fridge and ride across on his back. Or take the elephant out and get in myself and let the elephant drag me and the fridge across. Is there a prize at the end of this Whirl Wind of a puzzle? Is that two W's or just one word?

      Delete
  22. I think several of us have come up with an answer that fits the question, but is about as satisfying as cotton candy in a hail storm with a runny nose. (No, the hail storm is not the one with the runny nose.) I suspect the answer is a trick or a joke because of this and the words in the question have other meanings than the obvious. A leaky heater core will cause a prominent film on the inside of your windshield, and your initial response might be to turn on your windshield wipers, but to no avail. I am sure this is not the intended answer or I would not post it here, but this is how I am thinking about this puzzle. I also suspect I may not know enough to solve it, especially since I have not seen any of last year's movies.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have stumbled across an answer, apparently produced about a year ago, that seems to fit the puzzle without obscuring anything but the "prominent film" part. It even seems to fit what appears to be Blaine's hint! My Inner Sheldon is whining to the effect that he doubts anyone ever went to the theater to see it, but I'm not going to listen to him, this week.

    -- Orangebus

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. But, really, now that "April Fools is done ... gone ... past: Who's the biggest fool at last?"

      Did anyone else even find this "movie" that was neither "prominent" nor a "film"?

      Delete
  24. I would suggest that a film that grossed less than $20 million and was initially released in 2012 (although some sites list its release date as 2013) isn't what Will is looking for although he might give it a shout-out on the air. If you have the correct answer, you know that you have the correct answer. If you're not sure if you have the right answer, you don't. [There are no clues in this post].

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. That's not the one I came up with.
      Orangebus

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  25. What famous American used the initials W. W. but whose first name was Thomas? Click HERE for answer, only if you give up. Unfortunately, no recent "prominent" film has bee made about him.

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  26. You don't have to click HERE for the answer. You'll find the answer OVER THERE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clever, libertarianmathprofessor.

      Delete
    2. Good points. 12 to go...

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    3. SDB
      I LIKE MINE WITH CHERRIES THE PEACH WILL DO.

      Delete
    4. zeke,
      Thanks for reminding me to pick up my shoes at the repair shop.

      Delete
  27. This is not a clue, but just a note that I was the on-air challenge player this past week. As a postcard-era player for over 25 years, I had become reconciled to the fact that my randomness skills were totally inadequate. Not so! So my advice is to hang in there and keep on submittin'!
    I didn't realize that the on-air part was edited, and perhaps it never has been prior to my playing it, but Will asked 4 more riddles that ended up on the cutting room floor. Here they are and I will post the answers tomorrow, if they are needed:
    1) When a person falls out of a window, what does he always fall against?
    (I didn't get this one, and neither did Rachel)
    2) What is so fragile that it can be broken by the mere mention of it?
    (I actually got this one!)
    3) How many hardboiled eggs can a person eat on an empty stomach?
    (I didn't get this one, and neither did Rachel, but I felt that I had heard it before but couldn't recall the answer.)
    4) What was tomorrow but will be yesterday?
    (I did get this one, after a bit of agonizing!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know the answers to 3 and 4, but would you want me to wait until after tomorrow before posting them?



      Delete
    2. Yes, welcome Mr. Moonlight. I think I know these answers (1 is a little dicey). I wondered the same. Tough puzzle. I didn't know the editing was that stringent.

      Delete
    3. 3. I can eat 50 eggs. (I know that's not the real answer, but I couldn't resist.

      Delete
    4. What falls but does not break and what breaks but does not fall?

      Delete
    5. ron,
      That's night and day above the others!

      Delete
    6. Welcome, Mr. Moonlight, and thanks for your insights. That was one tough on-air challenge, and you comported yourself very well. It would have been nice if NPR wouldn’t have edited out Questions 2 and 4 that you shared with us. I think Question 2 is pretty tough. Kudos to you.

      Still, your 25-year perseverance paid off. You beat the odds by being the one chosen out of 900 correct entries.

      When I was an on-air puzzle player, my challenge was much, much easier but I still stumbled on a few. They did no editing on the puzzle Q&A, but they did understandably edit some of my response regarding how I solved that week’s puzzle. I rambled a bit. (Yes, I know, regular readers of Blaine’s Puzzle Blog are incredulous about this revelation, since they know I never even come close to rambling in my posts!) I suspect NPR edits for time, trying to keep the segment within the seven-minute ballpark.

      I have a question of puzzle ethics and etiquette to ask you and all other NPR puzzle participants, with or without lapel pins. Should a lapel-pinned puzzle player cease submitting answers? Cease for a year or two, and then resume submitting? Go for the “gold” again immediately in hopes of playing on-air two consecutive weeks?

      jan, great scene, great film.

      LegoLapelpinned

      Delete
    7. jan, tough scene to watch. Next time, he oughta try caviar eggs ;-)

      Lego, as to your moral and ethical dilemma, we could ask The Ethicist at the NYT or go direct to the source and ask Will...

      Delete
    8. What we have here is failure to communicate. I thought that film was a bit eggistential, but that scene was a crackup; no yolking.

      As to your question, Legosubmitter, I think you should continue sending in the 2 or 3 correct answers you arrive at during a year, but should you again be among the chosen phew, then you should decline the on hair challenge. As for me, and I have posted this in the past here, so this is a repast; I send in the answers, but have no interest in playing the on air challenge, but I would like to ask WW a couple of questions.

      Delete
    9. sdb, what would you ask Woodrow Wilson?

      Delete
    10. I would ask Woodrow Wilson if he would like me to get help to dig him up and out of there.

      Delete
    11. No insightful WW I questions?

      Delete
    12. Do you really think Wilson would tell me the truth as to why he caved in to the bankers demands that we enter the war in order to protect their loans to Germany? Oh, wait! I almost forgot. That war was all because of a shooting in Sarajevo. Silly me for not accepting the nonsense I was taught in grade school.

      Delete
    13. Thanks to all for the kind words of welcome and support. Here are the answers to the other riddles:
      1) He always falls against his will.
      2) Silence
      3) One, because after one he no longer has an empty stomach.
      4) Today. Today was tomorrow and today will be yesterday.

      I think my answer to Lego's query will be to continue submitting, and if I'm randomly chosen after another 25 years, I'm sure at age 88 I probably won't remember that I had been!

      Delete
    14. MM:
      Thanks for the postings with the great information, not to mention the 4 missing questions. I usually listen to the broadcast while still in bed and barely aware. (Please, no bad jokes about being barely clothed too.) I thought it was an eggspecially (sic) difficult challenge and not one I would have wanted to be on air with, although I did get the first one almost instantly. I think the host has less pressure than the guest to figure them out.

      I like the 4 missing ones you posted above, as I already mentioned. I got all of them quickly, except the first one took a little longer, but they all just require a different way of looking at things.

      I am still wondering if I am unable to come up with the April Fools answer to this week's puzzle because I am not familiar with the "film," or some other pop culture things I pay zero attention too.

      Good luck on still solving these puzzles at 88. In dog years I think that is vertical double infinity.

      Delete
  28. thanks for the encouragement MM.
    don't be a stranger around these here parts.:-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks for this fun forum, everyone. Still got a few hours, yes? When you solve the puzzle, you will have no doubt about it.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This makes me want to go back and watch Wayne's World again.

    ReplyDelete
  31. For All the 2013 films which start with W, there appear to be three films that have their initials as “WW + another letter.”

    World War Z. (WWZ) Probably the intended answer.

    The Wolf of Wall Street. (WWS)

    The Way Way Back. (WWB)

    April Fool-ish Riddles:
    1. Charcoal Briquettes as used in barbecuing are black when you buy them, red when you use them and gray when you throw them away.
    2. Sure you can name three consecutive days: yesterday, today, tomorrow.
    3. The woman was a non-digital photographer. She shot a picture of her husband, developed it, and hung it up to dry. (shot, held under water, and hung)
    4. H. Walpole riddle answer: TODAY (What was tomorrow and will be yesterday?)
    5. J. Swift riddle answer: Reflection in a mirror.

    What falls but does not break and what breaks but does not fall? Night falls and day breaks. (SDB nailed it.)

    What do you call a camel that has no humps?




    Humphrey! (Thanks Jon Stewart)

    ReplyDelete
  32. WAR WITCH (Rebelle)

    Alternates:
    World War Z
    The Way, Way Back
    We Are What WE Are
    Why We Ride
    When I Walk
    War On Whistleblowers
    The Wolf Of Wall Street

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SDB I was with you on this one. Film may not have been prominent (I don't even know if it was worth the ticket) but I am sure there are thousands of films made this year that did not even make the list so prominent is relative. Anyway the puzzle said "as its initials not in or part of and I think WOWS would be the initials. However, I am sure it wowed more than War Witch.

      Delete
    2. clarification - I chose War Witch and WOWS referred to Wolf of Wall Street

      Delete
  33. w/o articles: "Wolf of Wall Street," or maybe "none," per April Fools.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Guess I got the right answer for the wrong reason!

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  34. WORLD WAR Z

    I said this puzzle was sneaky. Initials are WW for World War and Z is not an initial, it's just Z, in this instance.

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    1. Same reason I submitted that answer...

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  35. Wizard’s Way

    Last Sunday I posted that I’d found a candidate movie that met the requirements. And although it had a couple of unusual aspects, I questioned use of the adjective, prominent.

    Wizard’s Way is a British, indie, mockumentary/comedy about some folks who love to play an outdated computer game, Wizard’s Way. (BTW, there isn’t and never was such a game – it’s completely made up.) The movie was nominated for an award at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival. But more interesting, Jack Black has purchased the rights to remake the film. Does that make it “prominent”? Perhaps. Perhaps not…

    Chuck

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  36. I think the intended answer is World War Z, the 'rationale' being that 'Z' is not the first letter of a word, thus not an 'initial'.
    I think War Witch is a better answer, regardless of what year it belongs to or how prominent it was or wasn't.
    In the spirit of AFD, and recalling the recent digital clock nonsense, I think Magic Magic should also be accepted, and some others. Heck, let's include The Wolf of Wall Street and WhatEver else anyone can cook up an excuse for.

    I think black coal burns red, turning to gray ash.
    I think yesterday, today, and tomorrow are consecutive days, and the next day is overmorrow, not aftermorrow as I misremembered earlier in the week. I also think Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing Day are consecutive days. Or 31st, 1st, 2nd, etc.
    I think that wicked wife probably found some way to frame her poor husband for all those crimes of which he was the victim.
    4) yesterday, today, tomorrow again
    5) a reflection?

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  37. World War Z is what I submitted, but I had no confidence in it. I understand the rationalization that Z isn't an initial, or that Z is for zombies, which don't exist, or are mostly silent, but none of that seems satisfying. I suspect none of us has the right answer. Or, another dumb puzzle :-(

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  38. The Initials of "The Wolf of Wall Street" are T.W.O.W.S. or Two W's. That's the trick to the answer.

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    1. If that is the intended answer then I think it should have been stated better, such as, two W's twice.

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    2. I bet that's the intended answer.

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    3. By Jove, I think you've got it!

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    4. Yeah, I like that better.

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    5. Congrats, Al. Great solving.

      And let's also give Mr. Reiss and Will due credit for creating and purveying this very clever puzzle. I dismissed The Wolf of Wall Street completely.

      I was in the same World War Z boat with WW, Paul and, especially, jan , who had no confidence in WWZ. Neither did I, but it was all I had.

      T'Will be interesting to see if Will accepts Chuck's "Wizard's Way," but probably no, not prominent enough.

      Remember the upside down clock puzzle, 15 correct answers? I'll bet this puzzle garners 10 or less. Good odds that we will be hearing Al on-air on Sunday. Here's to ya, Al. Go git 'em!

      LegoImpressed

      I was

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    6. Well stated, Lego! I agree entirely. In fact, I now rate this as one of the all-time best of the NPR Sunday puzzles.

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    7. Al OK you wowed me with that answer. Always love a new perspective

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  39. I agree with "World War Z". "Z" is not an initial.

    My April Fools answer was "Window Wonderland" from the Hallmark Channel. I WONDERed whether hallmark could be a synonym for prominent, but Mr. Roget offered no support.

    Orangebus

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  40. Yes, "The Wolf of Wall Street" (TWO WS) provided the familiar puzzling-answer "zing" that I didn't get when first considering
    World War Z
    or
    War Witch

    My clues:
    "Zed's Dead, baby." -- not World War Z. And a quote from "Pulp Fiction..."
    "A cleaner solution to solve problems" -- In "Pulp Fiction," the "cleaner" was Winston *Wolf* (Harvey Keitel), who quotes, "I solve problems."
    "Peace!" -- Not war -- not WWZ or War Witch.
    "+1, mostly" Regarding when the movie came out. It's actually mostly been out in 2014, having only been out for a week in 2013.

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  41. I did not submit an answer, but I like Al's "The Wolf of Wall Street" (TWO W'S) better than"World War Z", especially as an April Fools' Day puzzle. I think "Z" would be an initial just like the "S" in Harry S Truman.

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  42. Several of you have made an interesting argument that the “Z” in World War Z is not an initial. However, as David said our 33rd president, Harry S. Truman, had no middle name. The “S” did not stand for anything. Yet I am sure none of us here would have any qualms about referring to the “S” as President Truman’s middle initial.

    Chuck

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    1. Maybe we were just grazping at strawz in dizzatizfaction, Chuck.

      Word NMI Woman

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    2. Somewhat similarly for Ulysses S. Grant.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotch-Irish_American

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    3. Mental Floss calls 'em "fake initials:"


      FAKE INITIALS

      I worked with a guy named D from OK. Folks could not handle it though and he quickly became Dee or D. Even his business cards had D. Kemp though he never went by Kemp.

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    4. The is a difference between Ulysses S. Grant and Harry S Truman concerning their middle initials/names. Grant had a middle name, Ulysses. Truman did not have a middle name, only the initial 'S'. Also Truman did not use a period after the 'S'. It is frequently added however, by those who are not aware of this. I feel much better now. I've always wanted to do a period piece.

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    5. I have a middle initial, I, that doesn't stand for anything. My mother told me I could pick any middle name I wanted. She claims there were homework papers of mine in 1st or 2nd grade that had "IceCream" there.

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    6. I have never had a middle name, nor felt the need for one, but I am a "Junior." As the years have gone on, and one needs to match one's birth certificate with one's passport with one's credit card with one's airline ticket, I wish my parents had skipped the Junior and given me a middle name. No, I won't change my name now, and my middle initial is not "J." (Does make it easy to see when I get mail from those who don't know me!)

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    7. My middle name is K, without the period. Poor old Harry got a period after his S on his tombstone. Good thing he wasn't around for that.

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    8. See, that's the great thing about death: stuff like that no longer bothers you.

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    9. btw
      My middle name, "K" is shorter than my middle initial, "K."
      :)

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    10. And now the USPS and IRS etc would prefer we use no punctuation at all any more. Period pieces may become a thing of the past.

      I, K, O, S: maybe they could just be middle letters. ;-)

      K, K?

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    11. On another font, bloggers all, do you know about kerning?

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    12. chickens of a feather...
      YY GUYS R US.

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    13. As in typography? You're talking to a printer's son, with a California job case hanging on the wall. Why?

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    14. I just ran across the word kerning today in association with this rock in Gloucester, MA:

      http://www.panoramio.com/m/photo/10594534

      Unlike you, jan, I had no typography experience growing up.

      I took a cotton to the word and wondered if others in our group knew about it.

      Kern Al (or Keen Al) probably knows of it ;-).

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    15. Appropriate message for a geologist. I assume the gap between the Y and O is what brought up the topic of kerning?

      My inlaws described a couple in which the rocks in his head fit the holes in hers. Or the other way around.

      When I was in 7th grade, all the boys in school had to take print shop class, and learn to set cold type. Really prepared us well for the modern world.

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    16. It was actually the closeness of R and H making it look almost like one word. If they had just moved that O over a bit...

      We started the conversation with the 14-year-old suggesting saving the Feds $ with Garamond font and somehow ended up at Babson's Boulders where Babson wrote his "book" on glacial erratics:

      http://www.thedacrons.com/eric/dogtown/babson_boulders_gloucester.php

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    18. There are, of course, many well-known persons who are known by their first initial + their middle and last names and who do not, therefore have a middle initial:

      J. Edgar Hoover
      L. Ron Hubbard
      G. Gordon Liddy
      F. Lee Bailey
      F. Scott Fitzgerald
      C. Everett Koop
      H. Ross Perot
      T. Boone Pickens, et al.

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    19. They have one. They just don't use it regularly.

      Fresh puzzles, ron?

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    20. This is a challenge to come up with a few of these on your own. (These are taken from a few years back.)

      ANNUAL NEOLOGISM CONTEST
      Once again, The Washington Post published its yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate word meanings.

      1. Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.

      2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

      3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

      4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

      5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

      6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

      7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

      8. Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.

      9. Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

      10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

      11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

      12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.

      13. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.

      14. Pokemon (n), A Jamaican proctologist.

      15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die your Soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there.

      16. Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts.




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    21. Here are a few I made up in the past:

      À la carte: How devout Muslims order when they dine out.

      Bigamy: The neighbor's kid I don't like.

      A patchy fog: An example of when forecasters use Native American terms to predict the weather.

      Paradox: When you're examined by two physicians simultaneously.

      Chimpanzee: A gay monkey.

      Bread dough: What this country needs the most.

      Peruvian Andies: Citizens of Peru named Andrew.

      Steering Committee: New term for a western roundup.

      Someone with a checkered past: A former super market employee.

      A very touching story: Anything published in Braille.

      Crack Research Team: Nudist camp researchers.

      Indentured: Most dental school students.

      Fondue: Something unwanted that is left on your lawn by a baby deer.

      Algorithm: The manner in which Al Gore dances.

      Polynesia: When you think you might have contracted amnesia more than once but can’t really remember.
      Or it could also be not remembering if you have seen the musical, South Pacific.

      Toiletry: What a dog uses when there is no fire hydrant handy.

      Verboten!: How Germans wish someone a pleasant sea cruise.

      Stable income: What someone who owns a riding academy has.

      Metronome: A midget bus driver.

      Tiffin: Lunch at a famous New York jewelry.

      A sleighing song: What Saint George was singing as he rode out on his trusty steed to kill the dragon.

      Flushed cheeks: What you may get when you put halibut leftovers in the toilet.

      Hysteria: History in the making.

      Malaysians: The most despondent people on the planet. (Malaiseians.)

      Entomologist: A fine ants professor.

      Elevators: For people too polite to stare.

      Gall Bladder: An organ used only when eating French cuisine.

      Palm size: Hawaii

      Downer: Graveside burial.

      Raw deal: What I usually get from the butcher.

      Okay, I need to go cook dinner. Enjoy.


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    22. Alternate Esplanade definition: What Lucy asked of Ricky over and over.

      TWOWS (lunchmeat): The wurst of Will Shortz.

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  43. I've been had by The Wit Of Will Shortz!

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    1. Credit where credit is due. Mike Reiss supplied the wit, but Dr. Shortz might be applauded for something else ... editorial genius, for example.

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    2. I think Will Shortz must be given credit for another thing: Delivering this challenge orally. Aurally, it is undoubtedly correct. But I wonder if it was fair to render it in print, as on the NPR website, where it reads, "The film Wild Wild West had three W's as its initials. What prominent film of last year had two W's as its initials?" Not quite the same as "TWO WS."

      Not that I really feel hurt; I never would have gotten it anyway.

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    3. I suppose now we have nothing better to do than wait for Sunday morning to hear Will Shortz's initial response.

      I think there may be several "correct" entries where the person, like me, did not detect the clever answer, but still got the right movie, because WS did not ask for more than the name of the film.

      Calling it a film, rather than a movie, had me looking for something other than a movie, such as Saran Wrap, but with Wonder Wrap instead. Of course that was a dead end, and I hardly looked at the intended movie because the W's were not together. All in all though it is an interesting puzzle.

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    4. We need more ron and Lego puzzles...and the answer to some of the earlier ponderables...

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  44. I submitted World War Z. WW2. The z is my 2 which is just as plausible as the upside down digital clock from several weeks ago.

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  45. This one is a cheap scam, not even worthy of the title "puzzle". The rule for the answer is not applicable to initial clue: Wild Wild West is not preceeded by a phrase whose first letters are t-h-r-e-e.
    Hey, Will Shortz: I have riddle game for you. Here's my first one -- for you to guess: ‘What have I got in my pocket?’

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  46. I’ve done some historical research. Remember that Feb. 2 upside-down digital clock/SHErry wHIS-KEY liquor cabinet puzzle. Guess who solved that one correctly. It was Al, this week’s “TWO WS” puzzle-solver.

    Both puzzles, IMO, are excellent, challenging and fair. (I respect xfyre’s opinion but could not disagree more.) It’s an annoying cliché, but both puzzles required “thinking outside the box,” which is precisely what Al and who knows who else did. Al did not get “the call” from NPR on Thursday, Feb. 6. Sadly, he posted above that he didn’t get today either. What‘s a guy gotta do? The gods of randomness must have something against him!

    Even with about 75% of 2014 remaining, I nominate Al for “Blaine’s Puzzle Blog Solver of the Year.”

    This puzzle is not “April Fools trickery.” It’s “what-a-puzzle-should-be trickery.” I don’t feel at all April Fooled; I feel April Stumped!

    LegoPegleg

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  48. If I were Will I would have written the puzzle as: what prominent film of last year had two Ws as its initials? (No apostrophe.)

    Chuck

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  49. Re: Ron's 5 riddles

    I had correctly guessed that the answer to Q4 was "today", but I had thought the answer to Q5 was "skin". Everyone else had "reflection".

    So anyway, if anyone had selected my crypto-post in the replies to ron's post, copied it, gone to Sharky's Vigenere Cipher, and pasted it into the "Input:" field, then entered "today skin" into the "Key:" field, then clicked the "decode" button, then the following would've appeared in the "Output:" field:

    1. I believe you have in mind charcoal briquettes for barbecuing. In my experience, though, I don't recall seeing them glowing red during their use. Instead I've noticed the areas of initial burning of the coals being gray; and the gray slowly spreading over the surfaces of the coals.

    2. Sure. One example: April the first, the second, and the third.

    3. She did her deed not with a gun, but a camera. That which she held was not so much "him", but his picture; and under... water? I'll leave it to others to post (under the same encryption, of course) what the actual contents of typical photograph developers fluid are.

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  50. Next week's challenge: The challenge comes from listener Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, Calif. Split pea soup is something that might be found on a menu at a diner. The phrase contains each of the 5 vowels — A, E, I, O and U — exactly once. Name something else that might be served in a diner — also 3 words, consisting of 3, 6 and 8 letters, respectively — that contains each of the 6 vowels (A, E, I, O, U and Y) exactly once.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  51. Next week's challenge: The challenge comes from listener Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, Calif. Split pea soup is something that might be found on a menu at a diner. The phrase contains each of the 5 vowels — A, E, I, O and U — exactly once. Name something else that might be served in a diner — also 3 words, consisting of 3, 6 and 8 letters, respectively — that contains each of the 6 vowels (A, E, I, O, U and Y) exactly once.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've said this sometimes before regarding some past puzzles, and it applies to this week's puzzle as well.

      There are some folks out there who will figure this one out in two seconds -- and still be angry at themselves for not having solved it in less than ONE second!

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  52. Lpq dewvggma pwfuuqkawz cs hrckalqbgaaj afqfwnds agmtp pr zejhxcx vrje.

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    1. The key to Paul's crypto-post contains 4 of the 6 vowels including Y.

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    2. Excellent, E&WAf; I'm impressed!

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  53. No one will say that this week's puzzle is not fair.

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