Sunday, September 28, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 28, 2014): Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 28, 2014): Best Thing Since Sliced Bread:
Q: Think of a 10-letter word that names an invention of the early 20th century and includes an A and an O. Remove the A. Then move the O to where the A was, leaving a space where the O was, and you'll name a much more recent invention. What is it?
Did one of these inventors come from Chicago?

Edit: The hint was a reference to the song "Mr. Cellophane" from the musical Chicago.
A: CELLOPHANE --> CELL PHONE

118 comments:

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

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

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  2. I removed the A, but replaced it with another O, leaving the original O where it was. That's where I made my mistake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't be buffaloed by my facetious comments.

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    2. Pluot pie, this Thanksgiving, Mrs. Mengering?

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    3. Mayhaps, Paul.

      Still trying to get the alkaline flats' dust from the NV playa out of my shoes and vehicle.

      Delete
  3. Nothing New Under the Sun Department:

    I made this puzzle up last summer. I did not submit it to Dr. Shortz because I was going to use it in my Puzzleria! blog.

    Now, of course, I cannot do that.

    For what it’s worth, my wording of the puzzle was much less concise than this week’s NPR puzzle. I also gave more clues in the wording of my puzzle, making it even easier than Will’s version!

    My consolation: I know now that alt least one of my puzzles is “Will-worthy.”

    LegoThereAreJustSoManyWordsOutThere

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    Replies
    1. lego:
      I would say that makes you the clear winner in my book.

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    2. Lego is therefore the placeholder name or proxy for the author.

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    3. You called it Lego. It's a wrap.

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. I am reminded of Johnny Nash’s biggest hit.

    Chuck

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    Replies
    1. I am thinking of Cole Porter.

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    2. I'm thinking of cold porter ... now I'm thinking of Sigmund Romberg. I'd provide you with a Youtube link, but sometimes packaging is just packaging. Now I'm thinking of Melanie Safka and the Civil War. Alan Lerner, save me!!

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    3. I'm thinking it sounds more like rap music.

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    4. Reminds me of a city in Alabama, as they say in Birmingham.

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  6. Replies
    1. Now that clue was comparable to my clue. I guess Blaine is afraid of your wrath!

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

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  8. 2 weeks back, I thought the upside down calculator puzzle was just dumb. Most people nowadays have calculator apps, and (unless you turn off autorotation) the numbers read the same when you flip the calculator. But clearly the answer this week is neither colculat r nor calculot r.

    This puzzle has unnecessary holes, like Swiss cheese.

    I am also dumfounded by Blaine's "clue" as machine gun has no O, and corruption has no A. What else was invented by a Chicagoan?

    Some would say that the real inventor was Nicola Tesla who exhibited there in 1893. But changing radio to rodi makes no more sense than Will's flip clue 2 weeks ago.

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  9. To complement Chuck's clue, I'll go with one of Stevie Ray Vaughn's songs...

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  10. Seems like any yo-yo could solve this puzzle. When was the yo-yo invented anyway?

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    Replies
    1. As luck world have it, my lovely wife is from the little Wisconsin town where they used to manufacture yo-yos. I'm not from there.

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    2. loop,

      When I was a boy, during a memorable family summer vacation to Bone Lake, our parents took us on a side trip to tour the yo-yo factory in that Wisconsin burg from which your lovely wife hails. I still can vividly picture the newly hewn wooden yo-yos (“Satellites” and “Butterflies”) getting spray-painted as they circled on an elevated assembly line.

      After the tour my two siblings and I each got a free wooden yo-yo (retail price, about 49 or 59 cents). The real prizes, however, were the fiberglass “Imperial” and “Mardi Gras,” (at a dollar a pop).

      These are my random musings as I’m dunkin’ my toric pastry into my cuppa joe and reflecting on how fortunate I am to be alive.

      Legoyoyo

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    3. Blaine will let just any yo-yo comment here, I guess ;-).

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    4. Oops! Snipper, you just said that. . .

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    5. I've named my yo-yo Shane.

      Ok, I'm done.

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    6. I'm not. What goes down must comeuppance.

      Novelty toys/fads like the Superball and Silly Putty also had this "must come up" property.

      LegoYeoYeoman

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  11. 500 BCE for the yo-yo. About 25 centuries off.

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  12. clearly the answer is somewhere between 20 and 40

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    Replies
    1. Well Zeke, you found me! We can start our own puzzle site.

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

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  14. Replies
    1. That's a pretty opaque clue, except for PEOTSers.

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    2. Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood sign in Hollywood Hills, Redwood Forest, Disneyland, San Diego Zoo, Big Sur… all Calcites.

      LegoLand

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    3. Wave bye to the fringe groups as the state dries up, burns up, or tectonically heads out to sea.

      Delete
  15. This one was so easy that I got it before Will finished reading the puzzle on air. It's got to get better than this.

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  16. Come listen to my story 'bout a man named Jeb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, Saukriver.. See the bolded 'b' in my comment.

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  17. I like your mechanism drawing, Blaine. What does it do?

    It's the second thing this month that reminded me of Homer Price's donut machine. (The first was the automatic pancake making machine at the motel I stayed in while visiting Yellowstone.)

    My vote for the patent drawing of the century, though, has to go to Blonsky, et al, Apparatus for facilitating the birth of a child by centrifugal force.

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    Replies
    1. George and Charlotte Blonsky (not Bronte): this was a patently bad idea.

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    2. Yeah, much better just to set up the whole labor and delivery team on a Round Up.

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  18. The answer was in front of me the entire time.

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  19. Replies
    1. I guess I fixed it. Don't know how.

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  20. To solve this puzzle, we need to use our heads and wrap our minds around the subject.

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  21. update on last week's hints: My reference to the Emerald Isle was designed to throw you off course to think of Irish authors. But the Ireland actually referred to Jill Ireland, the wife of the actor.

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  22. Fun twist: Take an alternate invention that ALMOST fits Will's description (it was technically invented in the late 19th Century, but everything else holds) and perform the exact same machination. The result will be a description of the primary advantage his new invention holds over its predecessor (especially noticeable, though slightly frowned upon, when used with the old invention from this clue).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought of a different meaning of the same result, probably not PC.

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    2. I got hung up on your clue and trampoline, then ended up trying to find a "tromp line" and failed.

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  23. You guys may think this is a wrap but I'm on a roll now. Clearly, even Chicagoans with a machine gun can use someone to cover them now and then.

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    Replies
    1. Happy Mountain Day, RoRo! "On a Clear Day, you can See Forever. . ."

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    2. Wish I was there now. Those baggie lunches and my bike were all I required

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    3. I thought I had the answer, but forgot. Perhaps it will come back to me.

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    4. You know, ZC, we can see right through this ploy of yours. Don't think you can tap dance your way out of this!

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    5. perhaps if there were different lifetimes we would see eye to eye on this.

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  24. My initial thought, which was too obvious and clearly not the answer, did provide some insight towards the real answer (which I clued above).

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  25. I found this puzzle to be very transparent.

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  26. I think it's a feigned transparency.

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    Replies
    1. Gotta fill up my prophane tank now, Leo.

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    2. Apparently the answer is pretty corny.

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    3. Cellophane used to be made from corn starch.

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  27. We're just overjoyed to be in the Dublin jail.

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  28. I heard that a worker on the manufacturing line of the original product had to jump into acid when a certain problem occurred.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Blazing Saddles comes to mind for some reason. And, I always wondered what kind of wrap parties Mel Brooks threw at the end of his movies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At first I was thinking he would have really done it up proper, but then I remembered he was the guy who paid his staff with paddle balls. Talk about cheap!

      Delete
  30. Replies
    1. CELLOPHANE >>> CELL PHONE

      Calcite is birefringent like cellophane.

      "Man named JEB," JEB is the monogram for Jacques E. Brandenberger, the inventor of cellophane.

      "On a clear day" you can see right through transparent cellophane.

      "Prophane tank" was meant to echo the "phane" part of cellophane.

      "Mary Anderson invented windshield wipers" pointed to another invention used on something transparent.

      My last clue was a hopscotch board. But, you saw right through that one. . .

      Word Woman

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    2. Brilliant! The Smithie, a mighty woman is she, with strong and myelin-clad neurons.

      Delete
  31. CELLOPHANE > CELL PHONE

    My Hints:

    “lego:
    I would say that makes you the CLEAR winner in my book.” Cellophane is clear.

    “I am thinking of Cole Porter.” You’re The Top has a line with the word CELLOPHANE:

    You're the top!
    You're Mahatma Gandhi.
    You're the top!
    You're Napoleon Brandy.
    You're the purple light
    Of a summer night in Spain,
    You're the National Gallery
    You're Garbo's salary,
    You're cellophane.
    You're sublime,
    You're turkey dinner,
    You're the time, the time of a Derby winner
    I'm a toy balloon that’s fated soon to pop
    But if, baby, I'm the bottom,
    You're the top!

    BTW, if you haven’t figured it out already from this short excerpt from Cole Porter’s excellent song, You’re The Top, it is a double entendre as were many of his songs. He was far more clever than most are aware.

    “Gates.” Cellophane was invented by Swiss chemist Jacques E. Brandenberger. In Berlin, Germany is the Brandenburg Tor. Tor translated into English is GATE. I sure hope no one thought I meant Bill Gates. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought you meant Bill Gates, confusing him with Apple computer or the I-Phone.

      Delete
    2. This morning I thought of cellophane flowers.
      I won't say what colors they were ... you have to GUESS!

      Delete
    3. Wow, while musing over SDB's lesson on the Birds and the Bees, this child of the fifties just got the Dublin Jail Scotch thing. I forgot we used to call tape "cellophane tape". I guess Scotch tape is like pampers and kleenix

      Delete
  32. CELLOPHANE, CELL PHONE

    > I saw through this one pretty quickly.

    Transparently obvious clue.

    > Reminds me of a city in Alabama, as they say in Birmingham.

    In Birmingham, England, a "Mobile" is a cell phone.

    > Wave bye to the fringe groups as the state dries up, burns up, or tectonically heads out to sea.

    Word Woman was referring to the birefringence of calcite and cellophane.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Last Sunday I said, “I am reminded of Johnny Nash’s biggest hit.” I Can See Clearly Now – like looking through cellophane.

    Chuck

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  34. My blog deleted by Blaine: "I'll scotch that," scotch meaning to strike out.

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    Replies
    1. If it's any consolation, I think it was a bad rap.

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  35. CELLOPHANE 1912.

    CELL PHONE 1973.

    My hint/clue: PLACEHOLDER +N(ame) contains the letters of CELLOPHANE & CELL PHONE (minus D & R).

    A Hong Kong movie theater asks its patrons to leave their cell phones ON when they take their seats. Please watch this 1½ minute Video to experience what they experienced.

    ReplyDelete
  36. My clue - the yoyo - referred to Yoyo Ma, the great "cello" player.

    My initial thought was auto"mobile" which hinted at the "mobile" phone.

    ReplyDelete
  37. @PlannedChaos (the 'Reply' button seems to be broken):

    http://www.answers.com/Q/What_was_Amos_Hart's_occupation_in_the_movie_Chicago

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't understand how this is meant to be a reply to my original comment. Care to clarify?

      Delete
    2. Chicago is in Cook County. I thought your comment pertained to Blaine's hint in some way. When I eventually (with help from the Englishman's blog) figured out Blaine's hint, I naturally wondered what Mr. Cellophane's occupation was -- cook, crook, or something else.

      Delete
  38. Next week's challenge: Take the first four letters of a brand of toothpaste plus the last five letters of an over-the-counter medicine, and together, in order, the result will name a popular beverage. What is it?

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  39. Next week's challenge: Take the first four letters of a brand of toothpaste plus the last five letters of an over-the-counter medicine, and together, in order, the result will name a popular beverage. What is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I have the answer already.

      Delete
    2. I don't think I have ever heard of the OTC medication, but this puzzle is close to being a classic.

      Delete
  40. Darn! Beaten to the punch again! - Twice, even!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry if I stepped on your toes there. But I'm impressed at how early on Sunday morning skydiveboy gets up on the left coast to post.

      Delete
  41. Take the unused part of the over-the-counter medicine, add the unused part of the brand of toothpaste, and with no rearranging needed, you get the name of a family of animals.

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    Replies
    1. Great observation! And confirms my answer -- must be a very simple challenge if I got it so fast.

      Delete
    2. I agree, excellent observation, E&WAf.

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    3. And an appropriate family of animals it is.

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    4. The relationship between animals and toothpaste has never been closer...

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    5. Enya_and_Weird_Al_fan,

      I second... no third... wait... fourth, okay, I guess fifth what everyone above me has said. Great observation! You should have your own puzzle blog. (The ending syllables of the toothpaste and family of animals are related etymologically.)
      LegoImpressed

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    6. Actually, it's an order of animals, not a family. Remember, King Philip came over for great sex.

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    7. I heard it was the spaghetti. . .

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  42. 'Eycnihbu' ucu pt htblvpx qycts ruce vt hplc gjv ujzxoe gjiqzbw b jvvknj wxu rbwxjjm.
    HDMGEY VFKT iyq ccn yct scdwztjy tmczgevx, zmdccv fpj, wju QP VTJ YJEF krcev sjiigai. Egazgufrnvux, D upsaf 'jetori rbrv' crphjlt.
    Kw atp'gf lbv swkapmmrf, pqz hxhfg dv otiijarncqjy.
    X ufbwxjy D doar jvcwy Afrggiofi pebegju mdh Nmz cj 'Of' -- D rpsyf sg bmdoe.
    Zgccsdt Tysmr ymdcfb ndfwy rwbr sqcmx yxe uvvy jjm hplt, dlv qjdl uuck umz sjb jkkj Opajy Jcif Mjlf’q.
    Pkxcwn psc fqdgydbfq cctmfbte ga evnqjeiyag.
    Iqrwtse (gjv qycts Qvidwsy) zocj vycy nipsgjvcwote krp ckpz ip bekem,imxoi, qtzpp xdmb cqivjm, qvr gjfuj rwp rbrv uhjidf ekjm izbzcykekedch rugzt szjsmau rpi gdtgai tqsogpj bh kjjdg wmjgc otqtncavj.
    Pto ip krpkkti iic qqldqz kjqvqe.

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  43. Got it, Now I wonder how long it will be before the two TV ads, and their jingles, stop echoing in my brain

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I dunno, SuperZee, does that make you a Super Jingoist? ;-)

      Delete
  44. my buddy brad says only bUllies drink this stuff

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  45. I have wondered this all week: Isn't an invention in 1900 one made in the late 18th century, rather than the early 19th century? The 18th century ended on December 31, 1900. (I paid attention during all the Y2K brouhaha.)

    Will, well?

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    Replies
    1. I had the same thought, but, um, you might want to recheck your eighteenths and nineteenths.

      Delete
    2. Dagnabbit! Invention of the late 19th century which ended on December 31, 1900.

      Guess I didn't pay enough attention. Else, I need more coffee, Bob K. Probably both ;-)

      Delete
    3. In my version of last week’s cellophane/cell phone puzzle by Henry Hook, I clued cellophane by writing: “Take an early twentieth century invention most likely kept in the kitchen….” My Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary Tenth Edition says the word “cellophane dates from 1912.

      I think I remember a 1950s-1960s TV documentary show called “The Twentieth Century” (I can’t find it in Internet searches). The name confused me. “Aren’t we living in the nineteen hundreds?” I asked my parents. They explained to me how Jesus lived and died in the first century, even though those years really started with two phantom zeroes (the Roman fire happened in (00)64, for example). The second century had years that started with a “1”, and so on.

      LegoJustAddOneToGetTheCentury

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    4. I remember watching Walter Cronkite's Twentieth Century every Sunday on CBS. Heavy emphasis on WWII, lots of Prudential ads.

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