Sunday, August 24, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 24, 2014): The 1960s vs. the 1990s

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 24, 2014): The 1960s vs. the 1990s:
Q: Name a world leader of the 1960s — two words. Change the last letter of the second word. Then switch the order of the words — that is, putting the second word in front. The result will name a hit song of the 1990s. Who is the leader, and what is the song?
For once I'm up early. Maybe it's a sign I should start my morning routine.

Edit: The hints were up early/morning (a.m. = Alanis Morisette), sign (Burma Shave roadside signs) and morning routine (shaving = Burma Shave)
A: U THANT (Secretary General of the U.N., from Burma) --> THANK U (by Alanis Morisette)

90 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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes! Hoping everyone is ok in the CA quake, Blaine. (Great to see you up early though)

      Delete
    2. I can't speak for Blaine, but it was a long rocking motion in Berkeley. Talked to someone in SF who said it was sharper there, but it seems most of the damage is local to southern Napa County.

      3 am is pretty early - in the Bay Area a lot are now in sleep deprivation.

      Delete
    3. I experienced sharp then long rolling motion in Berkeley. Not fun.

      Delete
    4. I live in Seattle where earthquakes are an inevitability and just as serious a concern, if not even more so, than in California. I have protected myself by purchasing no-fault insurance.

      Delete
    5. My wife's brother was in the airport terminal in Santiago, Chile, when last night's magnitude 6.4 quake hit there, and her sister's family in Piedmont, CA, was awakened by this morning's quake. So far, NJ seems stable.

      Delete
    6. It sounds like Blaine had a close shave this a.m.!

      Delete
    7. Has anyone discovered whose fault it was?

      Delete
  2. It must be an age thing. I clearly remember the leader, saw the potential for a song title, but had to use Google to confirm there was such a song. Can't say I'm familiar with the singer either. Glad my kids don't follow this blog or they'd have something else to tease me about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was familiar with the artist and the song, but had forgotten about the spelling of the song title. I too had to search to confirm.

      Delete
    2. Interestingly, the song mentions a country that borders the leader's country.

      Delete
    3. While the two countries are neighbors, they don't share a common border.

      Delete
    4. I believe they do. Double-check your maps and also search for the two country names and the word "border".

      Delete
    5. Oops. Checked a different map. My error, There is a common border.

      Delete
  3. Reposted from the bitter end of last week's Comments:

    There's an odd connection between our world leader and Mr. Auric Goldfinger.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I stopped paying attention to pop music (also quit watching TV) in the mid-80s so I’m woefully ill-equipped to handle popular culture questions after that period. I bid you all a fond adieu for this week.

    Chuck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mamaw creek and I gave it the heave ho in 1985.
      Acquaintances feared that we would be totally out of touch. I guess they've never heard of reading. :)

      Delete
  5. I'm feeling a bit sheepish that it took me so long to finally figure this one out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your clue has reminded me of phonetic palindromes; words or sentences which if spoken into a tape recorder and then the tape is played backwards, sounds the same. An example: Instructing a Scotsman, a German, and an American to each answer in the affirmative: "Say 'Aye', 'Ja', 'Yes'."

      In his book "Inversions", Scott Kim discusses these and gives a couple other examples: "Ominous Cinema", and another example with "revere" in the middle.

      Why do I bring this up? Well, based on your clue, if you took a recording of the correct pronunciation of the first part of the world leader's name and then played that backward, I don't think you'd get what I think you think you'd get.

      Delete
    2. I think you are right about that.

      Delete
  6. Earlier this morning on last week's thread, after I quoted the new NPR Sunday puzzle, the following replies came along:

    First, jan made a reply on Sun Aug 24, at 05:50:00 AM PDT which Blaine considered too much of a giveaway:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    Then I replied on Sun Aug 24, at 05:59:00 AM PDT:

    Yeah, but the first name of that world leader, and hence the last word in the song title, - is that really a word?

    Then MrScience chimed in on Sun Aug 24, at 06:03:00 AM PDT:

    There's an odd connection between our world leader and Mr. Auric Goldfinger.

    Then jan on Sun Aug 24, at 06:05:00 AM PDT:

    Actually, the first name really isn't.

    And finally Blaine on Sun Aug 24, at 06:12:00 AM PDT:

    Seems Mr. Shortz deliberately used "word" instead of "name".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. It's a tough earthnut to crack.

      Delete
  7. Congratulations to the Little League team from Chicago. Beating that tremendous team from Nevada was a great feat, much less not getting run ruled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. run ruled is also known as the mercy rule. mercy merci thank you.

      Delete
  8. Wasn't there some question of this world leader being accused of verbal bullying?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Replies
    1. taking off from skydive boys bullying post witth a little bit of taunting

      Delete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What I said before is true - I know absolutely nothing about 1990s hits or musical artists. I have never heard of the song or the artist. Obviously, I have heard of the world leader. I just _hate_ to spend any length of time on Sunday afternoons looking through lists. But I finally got it and I am grateful.

    Chuck

    ReplyDelete
  12. Not to change the subject, or anything crude like that, but today on my bike ride which took me past a nursery several miles north of my house, I noticed they had placed a sandwich board sign proclaiming they were having a "dahlia sale" this weekend. I wanted to stop and go inside and ask if they might know what you call a beast of burden indigenous to Peru when it is loaded up with dahlias, but when I am moving, I am moving and find it difficult to stop for anything other than to release some of the mornings coffee. Oh, yeah, they call it a Dahlia Llama.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mamaw Creek aint into dahlias. She wants nothing but roses.

      Delete
    2. Not to change the subject, but what do you call 8 rabbits in a line all walking backwards?










      A receding hareline, of course.

      Delete
    3. And remember when President Jimmy Carter was attacked by a rabbit? In order to fend it off he had to employ a rabbit punch. Carter wasn't about to put up with any bunny business.

      Delete
    4. but roses but roses dahlias. un secretary-general

      Delete
    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    6. There was a young man of Westphalia,
      Who painted his rear like a dahlia.
      The drawing was fine,
      The color divine,
      But the scent... ah, that was a failia

      Delete
  13. Not to change the diaper, or anything really crude like that, but today on my bike ride which took me past a children’s nursery several miles south of my house, I noticed they had placed a sandwich board sign proclaiming they were having a "sandwich sale" fundraiser this weekend so they could purchase dahlias to plant around the nursery grounds. (I wish I could hook them up with a good dahlia nursery someplace!)

    I wanted to stop and go inside and buy a ham-on-rye, so I did. On my way to the sandwich kiosk, I strolled past a trio of female toddlers each cradling a Betsy-Wetsy in their cherubically chubby arms. “Who are those little girls?” I asked the sandwich slinger. “Dolly Mamas,” she replied.

    LegoLambdollymama

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My dear lego,
      You do realize you have now stepped beyond the limits of polite discourse and that I will never be able to forgive you for this indiscretion no matter how humorous it may be. That being said it is rather creative for a Midwesterner. So, I say petal power to you. And at the risk of appearing crude, why haven't you solved my puzzles yet? I have more but hesitate to offer up such wealth where it is not fully appreciated.
      Such as, What did Lake Washington say after the first heat of the hydroplane races earlier this month? "Okay, I'm a wake now."

      Delete
    2. skydive boy,
      At the risk of appearing crude, O’il keep trying to solve your puzzles. But it won’t be easy. They are murky and deep. And slippery. And quite right slick.

      I believe it was Lake Washington who said, “I cannot tell a lie. It was I. I was the lake that became a wake. But I’d rather be waking than taking a snooze. I don’t wanna see Zees in a bubble hovering above my head. I have a plethora of apathy land a one-track-mind lack o’ wanna, when it comes to golden-slumber nirvana.”
      (And I feel compelled to add), not to mention undisturbed serene surfaces (would be an inexcusable omission.)

      LegoSleepDeprived.

      Delete
    3. to cop a few Z's a ball peen hammer should do the trick.

      Delete
    4. After reading the above, decided alpaca another comment (or two) in...
      Stopped by a local llama farm and noticed they had put a bell the largest male, As a fan or 50's Rock and Roll, I immediately recognized this as a, "Ram o' Lama Ding Dong."
      AND, with apologies to Ogden Nash, if a one l lama is a priest, and a two l llama is a beast, what is a three l lllama?

      Delete
    5. or an animal with too much teasterone, or a form of yeast.

      Delete
    6. We've already discussed this. A 3-L lllama is what they call a big fire in Boston.

      Delete
    7. Dag hammer should an ex un secretary-general.

      Delete
  14. As usual, by the time I get the solution to the official challenge, this group has gone way beyond!

    Anyhoo, I heard the challenge while driving to the beach yesterday morning, didn't see any dahlias, and forgot about it. I think I know too many world leaders from the 60s, and absolutely no songs from the 90s, so it seemed unlikely that I would ever solve it.

    But something must have merged in my subconscious during the day and overnight, and when I rolled out of bed this morning I had acquired the answer! I had to google my suspected song title to see that it was in fact real, and there it was. So I should be grateful for the inner workings of my mind!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob, we certainly are grateful for the inner workings of your mind. Check out the just-posted last photo on this week's PEOTS for a clue to my brain's inner workings.

      Delete
    2. U THANT >>> THANK U

      "Bob, we are certainly grateful. . ." so THANK U!

      Delete
  15. Would someone mind emailing me the answer as I am stumped and cannot figure this out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We don't do that. Tune in after noon on Thursday.

      Delete
    2. I think you are close, tho.

      Delete
    3. Fear not, Mr. Duck, you are in good company. This one's a stumper for sure, but I'm thinking the key is in the "world leader" designation. Beyond that, my cup runneth dry.

      Delete
    4. Ruth - much appreciative. Your hint clinched it for me. Before that I was feeling so disconnected and vulnerable.

      Delete
    5. RoRo, I'm all too happy to help a fellow (or is it fella?) Blainster find the answer - paying it forward, if you will - even though I remain stumped. Eagerly awaiting your explanation later today of how I helped.

      Delete
    6. The name is on this page, but not in the 'World leaders' section.

      Delete
    7. And didn't Alanis Morissette portray a 'world leader' in 'Dogma'?

      Delete
  16. NOT A CLUE:
    Looking for the popular theme song to a 1990's movie where a shadowy governmental department purloins a French teenage junkie out of a life sentence in exchange for training her as Le Cordon Bleu aboard a passenger ship.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well, this one almost stumped me. I was only vaguely aware of the world leader, I don't recall the song; I know the artist, but not the song.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I agree with Curtis. Obscure. I just got it. No gratitude to anyone here because your hints didn't help. A true world leader, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being ungrateful is a really bad habit. :-(

      Delete
    2. The post I wanted to make but knew would be axed: " U-2 aerial photos shared during the Cuban Missile Crisis by one U (Kennedy) to another U.

      Delete
  19. So glad that Blaine came out okay. It was. a. really. close. shave.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blaine woke early,
      Shaken from bed.
      Why'd he delete
      What jan said?

      Delete
    2. It was. a really. close shave.
      this is my poor attempt at a Burma Shave drive by advertisement.
      U Thant was Burmese

      Delete
    3. I wonder if Alanis Morissette ever recorded "Myanmar Shadow"?

      Delete
  20. U THANT -> THANK U

    > It sounds like Blaine had a close shave this a.m.!

    As in Burma Shave, and Alanis Morissette.

    > Actually, the first name really isn't.

    "U" is not Thant's first name, it's an honorific, akin to "Mr."

    > I think you are close, tho.

    I didn't think Blaine would let me get away with posting "I think u r close"....

    My comment that Blaine deleted was something like "I am not ungrateful that this was easy to solve." "Am" for
    Alanis Morissette, "un-" for United Nations, and "grateful" for "Thank U". (So, why did 3 other "grateful"comments pass muster?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, Verizon Wireless definitely said it was 3:00 pm EDT when I hit "publish".

      Delete
    2. jan:
      I guess you'll have to broaden your Verizons. :-)

      Delete
  21. UN Secretary General U Thant > Thank U by Alanis Morissette

    My Hints:

    “I'm feeling a bit sheepish that it took me so long to finally figure this one out.”

    A female sheep is a EWE.

    “Wasn't there some question of this world leader being accused of verbal bullying?”

    His name is likely to many times be pronounced, YOU TAUNT. This sounds as if he were being accused of bullying.

    I saw the Blaine deleted post by jan, but it did not lead me to the answer, in fact it lead me far afield looking at songs by The Grateful Dead. I solved it by going through a list of world leaders until I came to the answer name and realized it was the solution immediately. Had to Google the song though. No idea what that and the artist are about. I was not aware there were popular songs in the 1990s. I still hold out hope we may have them again though.

    Anyway an easy puzzle to solve, but still a good one. I can’t remember how long it has been since I have heard U Thant’s name, yet it was common at one time. Thant’s For The Memories.

    ReplyDelete
  22. U Thant --> Thank U by Alanis Morissette

    Last Sunday I said, “What I said before is true - I know absolutely nothing about 1990s hits or musical artists. I have never heard of the song or the artist. Obviously, I have heard of the world leader. I just _hate_ to spend any length of time on Sunday afternoons looking through lists. But I finally got it and I am grateful.” Grateful as in thank you.

    Chuck

    ReplyDelete
  23. From my comment, one of my six-degrees-of-separation markers: "something must have merged " . . . and . . "I had acquired the answer!" is a reference to a (presumed) gentleman on the Rex Parker blog who goes by the name of M&A (in his case for Masked and Anonymous, but same initials as Mergers and Acquisitions), who has an uncommon attachment to the letter "U", enough to stand for U Thant. And of course, I was grateful along with everyone else.

    And when I thought I was being thanked for hints by someone using only the name "hugh" (could that stand for "U"?), I could only wonder if M&A visits this blog also.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Once again, my "take things too literally" weakness sent me down the wrong path. "U" isn't a word, or is it? I can just hear Alanis saying "You Oughtta Know." Ah well, adieu til next time...

    ReplyDelete
  25. SDB, I also went back in time when I was little girl (yes, Ruth) and that name was like a household word I heard very often.
    I was stumped for a while. I focused on Burma and Laos but on heads of state. Jan, if you don't have a clue the grateful hint did not matter. I was searching to see if the Grateful Dead had gotten back together to make a new hit in the 90s LOL.
    Ruth, I thought you were speaking generally, did not realize you did not have answer. Your tip to concentrate on "World Leader" prompted me to think of UN Secretary General and led me to answer. I think it was exactly 1990 when I stopped focusing on popular music as "my music" so I missed this one which I am sure had to be controversial at the time.

    ReplyDelete
  26. U Thant - Thank U
    King Idris - I Drinking, Country Western of course.

    ReplyDelete
  27. And now ... The discovery no one cares about ... U Thant and Auric Goldfinger both orchestrated something called "Operation Grand Slam."
    Thant (or is it U?) was tying to rid the Congo of secessionists, while Goldfinger's goal was a bit more far reaching -- to rid the world of Pussy Galore, and to irradiate Ft. Knox's Gold supply, thus driving up the price of his holdings. Isn't this interesting?

    ReplyDelete
  28. I wrote: 3 am is pretty early - in the Bay Area "A Lot Are Now In Sleep" deprivation.

    First letters spell ALANIS, and as others have noted her initials are am. My Only Regret Is Submitting Simple, Easy Tips Than Exhausting possibilities for her last name.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Mr.Science,
    That is a nice coincidence (and as far as we know, neither Auric nor U was much of a power hittler, both banjo hitters). There is also a nice tie-in between Auric Goldfinger’s shenanigans and the second of three puzzles this week over on Puzzleria!, one that involves the Wizard of Oz.
    New Puzzleria! puzzles uploaded there every Friday!

    As for this week’s NPR poser…
    ecoarchitect, U could have hit me over the head with a hammarskjold and I still wouldn’t have solved it.
    Still, I came so close, yet was so far. So, no Red Auerbach cigar!
    I just chose the wrong U.N. Secretary General, the little known U Nothingcomparex 2, who succeeded U Thant and whose tenure lasted just a day or two. Sometimes his name is spelled U Nothingcomparex II, like they do with royalty, popes, and, at least for the time being, Super Bowls… Oh, excuse me, I mean “The Big Games.” I wasn’t sure what letter to change, what with the “2” and all, so I just changed the “x” to an “s” and, voila!, there appeared “Nothing Compares 2 U” penned by Prince, another world leader of sorts, and sung by another angst-ridden singer of the 1990s named Sinead who I think might have been related to a late cardinal from New York.

    Legoldfinger

    ReplyDelete
  30. My computer has been down since Wednesday. Here's what I had intended to post on Thursday:

    U THANT


    U” is an honorific roughly equivalent to Mr. in Burmese.

    THANK U (1998)

    EARTHNUT” contains the letters U THANT + ER.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Next week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Peter Gwinn, a former writer for The Colbert Report. Think of a word that means "to come before." Replace its last letter with two new letters to get "someone who comes after you." These two words are unrelated etymologically. What words are they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm,.... I've thought of a word that means "to come before", to which I can replace its last letter with three new letters to get "someone who comes after you - to punish you!

      Delete
  32. Today (8/31)'s challenge is so easy that I can't think of a hint which wouldn't give it away immediately. But I do want to go back to a comment I made on August 14, wherein I said that Will Shortz seemed never to use the word "anagram." Today, he did use the word anagram in setting up the on-air puzzle. My apologies to Will, and may he not bring down a curse upon my children and their children and all the others who come after me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob K, perhaps Will was simply concerned about making an anagrammatical mix-up.

      Delete
  33. Please bear with me if I drone on, but I'm feeling pretty good about my solution.

    ReplyDelete
  34. The first word also refers to some popular online activities,

    ReplyDelete
  35. So does the second word, unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Since this puzzle was so easy, I started playing around with Google Translate on the first word. I find it fun to translate a word or sentence into another language, such as Macedonian, and then translate it back into English. It's almost always something similar, but not quite the same.

    ReplyDelete