Saturday, May 31, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 25, 2014): On Vacation -- Autopilot Engaged

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 25, 2014): On Vacation -- Autopilot Engaged

I'm unable to post the puzzle this week, but I didn't want to leave you without a place to post comments on the puzzle. Somebody help me out by posting a copy here. Then feel free to add your *hints*.

Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any outright spoilers 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. Thank you.
A: fir(S)t, s(E)cond, (T)hird, f(O)urth, (F)ifth, six(T)h, s(E)venth, (E)ighth, nin(T)h, tent(H) = SET OF TEETH

104 comments:

  1. Next week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Ed Pegg Jr., who runs the website Mathpuzzle.com. The word "sort" has an unusual property: the first letter, S, is found inside the word "first." The second letter, O, is found inside "second." The third letter, R, is found inside "third," and the fourth letter, T, is found inside "fourth." Think of a familiar three-word phrase in 10 letters that has the same property, in which every letter in the phrase is found inside its corresponding ordinal. Here's a hint: It's something most people have, lose and regain. What is it?

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    1. Only chewed on this one for a short while. If you just concentrate on that final hint ("have, lose, regain") that might help.

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  2. Look for the perfect answer on the street of dreams...

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  3. The experience can be rewarding at times.

    Chuck

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  4. I actually have never used that phrase in my life, until this morning. The final word in the phrase has an interesting aspect.

    Movie clue: Babe.

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  5. ron, thanks for posting the NPR puzzle during Blaine’s well-deserved vacation.

    I love the premise of this puzzle. Ed Pegg Jr., whose puzzles Dr. Shortz has often featured, is a wonderfully prolific and creative puzzlemeister.

    I came up with a phrase very quickly but it complies neither with Mr. Pegg’s hint nor with those of ron, Chuck and David. My phrase is something all people have, and only some people lose and regain. So it is back to the drawing board for me.

    Have a restful and memorable Memorial Day weekend, fellow Blainesvillians. And be sure to take some time to remember and thank those, living and deceased, who have served our nation so admirably.
    Lego…

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    1. While I was shucking ears of corn this afternoon (no kidding, corn on the cob for a Memorial Day eve feast), I realized I might have had the correct answer after all, but had just been looking at it all wrong. (However, I am still a tad concerned with the wording in Will’s puzzle hint: “…something most people have…” I now think it should be “something all people have…”)

      My excuse for my confusion: I was somehow preoccupied with the famous Riddle of the Sphinx, and was hung up on considering one’s entire lifespan instead of only a portion of that lifespan.

      (My corn shucking reminded me of my own “Riddle of the Spinks”: “What creature eats elephant ears in the morning, ears of corn at noon, and human ears in the evening?”)

      LegoLeonine

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  6. some may say the answer is pretty straightforward, many will not.

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    1. I say that any puzzle that can be solved with a widely available word list and a single Unix command line is pretty trivial.

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  7. Anyone know anything about the Indo-Hittite languages? They're pretty interesting, too.

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    1. No. That's I as in "first", N as in "second", D as in "third", ..., E as in "eleventh".

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    2. Indo-Hittite languages: "Features such as the lack of feminine gender in the declensions of nominals, a division between an "animate" common gender and an "inanimate" neuter gender, a reduced vowel system, a tendency towards a greater simplicity of the case system, a less typical Indo-European vocabulary, and other striking features have been interpreted alternately as archaic debris, as the nucleus for future developments, or just as being caused by prolonged contacts in typologically alien surroundings "en route" or after their arrival in Anatolia."

      Declensions of nominals...(my sharkasm was sarcasm). ;-)

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    3. jan, I did think your discovering I-H as an 11-letter "version" of the puzzle was fun (but it sent me down the rabbit hole for awhile!)

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  8. What does "its corresponding ordinal" mean? Is Will asking the ordinal of the word in which the letter appears? Or, does he mean the ordinal of the 10-letter phase: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, nineth, and tenth?

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    1. I am pretty sure Will/Ed means the first letter in the phrase appears in the word "first," the second letter appears in the word "second," etc., just as in "sort," the example given: S is in "FirSt," O is in "secOnd," etc.

      Welcome to Blainesville, saukriver. Do you hail from Wisconsin, Minnesota or some other state?

      Lego...

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    2. Thanks. Been here before. Washington State.

      The puzzle was confusing, but Will actually must have intended that the phrase would be drawn from the ordinal in the phrase, not the word. First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth.

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    3. Is that the same as to say that the ten letter word contains the phrase, i.e the 3 short words in the phrase as 1 word?

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    4. Benmar12001,

      Pardon me if I misunderstand your question, but there is no ten-letter-word in this puzzle (at least not in the answer I got). The answer is a ten-letter phrase consisting of three words.

      In my answer, a word is formed by adding the first three letters of the third word to the end of the first word.

      Lego…

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  9. ──┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬──
    ══╪═══╪═══╪═══╪═══╪═══╪═══╪═══╪═══╪═══╪══
    ──f───s───t───f───f───s───s───e───n───t──
    ──i───e───h───o───i───i───e───i───i───e──
    ──r───c───i───u───f───x───v───g───n───n──
    ──s───o───r───r───t───t───e───h───t───t──
    ──t───n───d───t───h───h───n───t───h───h──
    ──┴───d───┴───h───┴───┴───t───h───┴───┴──
    ──────┴───────┴───────────h───┴──────────
    ──────────────────────────┴──────────────
    I was hoping that the above would look better. Anyway, anybody here can select the above display, copy it, then go into their text editor (should not be a problem with Notepad; those using EditPad or EditPad Lite should create a new text file with Ctrl-N, but then select "Convert", then "Text Encoding", then select "Unicode, UTF-8"; do this before you paste!), then as noted in the parenthetical note, paste it. It will look much better!

    On Thursday, I'll repost the above display, but in each column one letter will be uppercase.

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  10. I GOT IT. SO DID FEDERER TODAY.

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  11. Curiously enough, I just returned from Cote D'Ivoire or the Ivory Coast as only some say, and had to bring my unpacking to a grinding halt to solve this puzzle.

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    1. Welcome back, RoRo. Your puzzle-solving skills are clearly just as sharp as before your trip, jetlagged and all.

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  12. So, if I could dissolve 23 ounces of salt in a quart of water...

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  13. I just got back home from hiking a small section of the Cascade Crest Trail with my younger brother. I read the puzzle when it was posted early Saturday morning while we were getting ready to head out to the mountains, but I had no idea what the answer was. When we got back to the car my brother said, "I'm totally exhausted, but you seem to have a gleam in your eye." I laughed and told him I had just solved the puzzle as we were getting close to the car. ha-ha!

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    1. There you are, skydiveboy. Glad the answer cascaded your way with nary a computer program in sight.

      I tried a cut and paste approach, to Noah Vail (rained 48 hours in our mountains).

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  14. Me and my pards jes got done riding our Harleys. It came to me as I was downing a glass of water. Come to think about it just about popped me in the nose.

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  15. I figured out Will's intended answer fairly quickly, but began by trying thinking of lots of things that fit his description (have, lose, regain in the lifetime of many folks), regardless of whether they matched the letters: being unwed; a bald patch; in diapers; etc. among others! :-)

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  16. Actually, for the (probably) intended answer, some people (notably, judges in painting contests(?)) lose again and regain again.

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  17. This has nothing to do with the puzzle, but I am becoming aware of how much Canada and Africa have in common. Consider the following:

    Africa has Lake Victoria
    Canada has Victoria, B.C.

    Africa has East London
    Canada has London, Ontario

    Africa has Tarzan
    Canada has tar sand

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    1. I was not expecting the last pairing and will admit to laughing out loud, sdb.

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    2. jan, ivory much appreciate your comment.

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    3. Nah, I'll just leave it to ron to finish this.

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    4. Well you sure Toronto it for awhile.

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    5. You're just saying that for the Halifax.

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    6. Man, I to ba and to ba of my life.

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    7. No time to blog, Halifax it to you.

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    8. Sorry Jan,
      I did not see your 6:12 post, but Huron to something. This entire thread is somewhat Erie.

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    9. there's Mon tree al over at Puzzleria!

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    10. And Zeke, it gives you something to Saskatchewan.

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    11. Thinking of some Flin Flon for dessert.

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    12. I think you have all moosejawed this to death...

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    13. ron, do you think it may be a case of lingual diarrhea? If so, then we at least are not Alberta bound.

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    14. Yes this is serious. Send in the Calgary.

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    15. "Leave it to ron to finish this."

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    16. ron:

      You have me laughing now because I am so glad you posted that last one. Before I posted the one you are responding to I at first typed, "Maybe it is time to send in the Calvary!" I looked at it before going for the Publish button and was unsure if anyone would get it. So I came up with the Alberta constipation post instead. Kudos to you for proving me wrong. I love it! Perhaps I should have left it in the Pipeline.

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    17. We shouldn't Jasper him on like that.

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    18. XLent idea, sdb.

      My question: why are cities and provinces in Canada so amusing to this group?

      Ignorance is not always bliss.

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  18. Alberta lot we can keep this up all night, but I need to work in the morning. BCing you!

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    1. jan, BCing you too. From my Canadian friends ~~ PEI: Potatoes Every Inch.

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    2. It may be Remo(te) to B.C., but you shouldn't have any trouble finding a Dildo in Newfoundland.

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    3. I don't know what to Sato that, sdb.

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    4. The Honore'able' Sato, eh WW?

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    5. Most Honore able, zeke creek. Merci, Monsieur. I also heard tell it was a tiny Canadian village. But, then, I am a bit of a (maple) sap.

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  19. I am slightly Baffin by all this articulation but Ottawa it to end. But eventually it will a mounty to bull (winkle ;)
    I could drink a case of all of you and still be on my feet!

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    1. Is that a good thing, RoRo?

      Canada Dry humour, indeed.

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    2. Yea, the rapid fire tickling your noses and fancies thing is fun, RoRo, but we needed your wise, measured perspective to so das one up.

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    3. To the Victoria goes the spoils.

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  20. So a shark, a beaver and a senior walk into a bar. The barkeep asks the shark, "How'd you manage to walk in here, anyway?" Shark gives her an icy "let's stick to business, shall we?" stare, and says "Bloody Mary ... and keep 'em comin'". Beaver buys a bottomless beer. Senior says "All I want is the two pints you refused to serve me a year ago."

    Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm two cubed to the 2th?

    There's a 42 in there somewhere, I swear it.

    I've made it to 1024 a couple of times, but 2048 eludes me.

    P.S. settled folklore ... Dawson, indeed! ;)

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  21. set of teeth

    Last Sunday I said, “The experience can be rewarding at times.” Remember the Tooth Fairy?

    Chuck

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  22. > So, if I could dissolve 23 ounces of salt in a quart of water...

    ... I'd have a 12 molar solution, just like in a full set of teeth.

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  23. SET OF TEETH

    "Sharkasm" referred to sharks having numerous sets of teeth.

    "Your puzzle-solving skills are clearly just as sharp" to RoRo referred to teeth's sharp edges, especially when cutting through the gums."

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  24. first
    second
    third
    fourth
    fifth
    sixth
    seventh
    eighth
    ninth
    tenth

    SET OF TEETH


    My hint:
    Remove the R from “THE STREET OF” and rearrange the remaining letters to yield: SET OF TEETH.

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  25. SET OF TEETH

    My Hints:

    “I just got back home from hiking a small section of the Cascade Crest Trail with my younger brother. I read the puzzle when it was posted early Saturday morning while we were getting ready to head out to the mountains, but I had no idea what the answer was. When we got back to the car my brother said, "I'm totally exhausted, but you seem to have a gleam in your eye." I laughed and told him I had just solved the puzzle as we were getting close to the car. ha-ha!”

    Both Crest and Gleam are famous toothpaste brands.
    I think I showed remarkable restraint in not posting anything about WS giving us a puzzle we could finally sink our teeth into.
    I would say this is just another one of Will’s “familiar phrases” I don’t think I have ever encountered.

    Alternate Answer:
    In this shit

    That’s my biting commentary for now.

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    1. Great restraint, sdb.

      Similar things I knew I couldn't post either:

      Lots of things about molars, crowns. jan, your 12 molar solution was a great way around that.

      Indentured servant.

      What other things were off limits but chomping at the bit to be written?



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    2. So, my 3rd molar allusion, although salient, was not sagacious?

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    3. It was. I forgot about that, Paul. Salient, sagacious, AND saline.

      Na Clearly too. . .(NaCl)

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    4. Wasn't Close a toothpaste brand also?

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    5. RoRo, I think you are referring to Close-Up. But we are going to give you the cigar anyway.

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  26. "Teeth" is just one letter from "tenth".

    Babe: I'm sorry I bit you. Are you alright?
    Sheep: Well, I wouldn't call that a bite myself. You got teeth in that floppy mouth of yours or just gums?

    My comment above:
    "Actually, for the (probably) intended answer, some people (notably, judges in painting contests(?)) lose again and regain again."
    The judge in a painting contest is an Art Official, as in artificial teeth.

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  27. Which harks back to that old chestnut about the difference between a countertenor and George Washington.

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  28. Chestnut? I thought it was a cherry tree. (No, I haven't heard it. And the difference is...?)

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    1. Gotta have something to do with falsetto/set o' false. Can't quite pin it down.

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    2. George Washington may have thrown a silver dollar, but he did not show quarter. Woodn't you know it?

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  29. I almost posted:
    “Hit a mule deer and blew out the transmission on my 1993 Honda Accord. Had to get a new one. Needed a new grille, too. Insurance didn’t cover a cent. Shouldn’t have set my deductible so high.”
    (Transmission has broken teeth that need to be replaced. “Grille” echoes teeth.)

    With our fearless leader on vacation, I didn’t want to risk a give-away clue, although I realize my fellow Blainesvillians would have snapped me to my senses and clamored that I “Remove your comment, Sir!”

    Puzzler solvers who are closer to their “baby-teeth years” than to their potential “false-teeth years” had an advantage this week. When I came up with “set of teeth” I thought, (as my mind focused on codgers, not babies), “Well, not most people have, lose and regain these. All people have them, and some lose and regain them.

    Only later did I focus on toddlers, which is where (I guess) Ed Pegg Jr. and Will intended our focus to be. But even then, my quibble with the word “most” still stood. Don’t all people have baby teeth, lose them and regain permanent teeth? Isn’t the instance of toothless toddlers statistically negligible enough to favor the word “all“ over “some”?

    LegoQualmda

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Benmar12001,

      My apologies in not being more prompt in explaining that clue. Thank you for reminding me of it.

      1. Set
      2. Of
      3. Teeth

      The word formed by adding the first three letters of the third word (TEEth) to the end of the first word (SET) is SET + TEE = SETTEE.

      By the way, for those who have a hankering for more puzzles, the new Friday Puzzleria! is now open for your patronage. Thank you. Hope to see y’all there!

      Lego…

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    4. I knew a kid born without the two front teeth. (her mom did not do calcium while prego.) She was only 6 but I wondered if there would be adult teeth or if all her life she would miss those two front teeth

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    5. Would that be a case of adulteration? Anyway, she would be no good as a politician. Everyone would see right through everything she said.

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    6. RoRo, I met a young child yesterday with the same problem! Wish we could be like sharks and have a seemingly unending supply of teeth.

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  30. My post was all CAPS. Like on my teeth someday.reference to Federer was b/c he had a straight set victory.

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  31. s───e───t─────o───f─────t───e───e───t───h
    ╪═══╪═══╪═════╪═══╪═════╪═══╪═══╪═══╪═══╪
    f───s───T─────f───F─────s───s───E───n───t
    i───E───h─────O───i─────i───E───i───i───e
    r───c───i─────u───f─────x───v───g───n───n
    S───o───r─────r───t─────T───e───h───T───t
    t───n───d─────t───h─────h───n───t───h───H
    ┴───d───┴─────h───┴─────┴───t───h───┴───┴
    ────┴─────────┴─────────────h───┴────────
    ────────────────────────────┴────────────

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  32. Me and my pards jes got done riding our Harleys. It came to me as I was downing a glass of water. Come to think about it just about popped me in the nose.
    Harleys - choppers
    By accident this old man drank the water with his false teeth. Just about popped me in the nose.

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  33. Next week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, Calif. Take the name of a well-known American businessman — first and last names. Put the last name first. Insert an M between the two names. The result names a food item. What is it?

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    1. This is one of those puzzles which I think requires the internet. I had to look up the businessman on an internet list, and then when I saw what would turn out to be the answer, I had to enter it into Wikipedia to verify that yes, that’s a food item, all right. My submission to NPR actually includes the first sentence of the food item’s entry in Wikipedia.

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  34. I'm sure that Dan Pitt has seen plenty of this businessman's products in Palo Alto. I'd love to run off with a Weekend Edition lapel pin this week, but I doubt I'll be able to.

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  35. Just back from vacation, and given this super-easy puzzle. Thanks, Will for not taxing my brain too much!

    Can read all about it in the Chattanooga Times, or, in this time of global warming as some say, in the New York Times.

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  36. I question whether this businessman is "well-known". His company has generated some press, but his name hasn't sent waves across the media.

    The food item - or at least its variants - is quite well-known. Now on to Sunday chores!!!

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