Sunday, November 30, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 30, 2014): Bertrand Tavernier Word Play

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 30, 2014): Bertrand Tavernier Word Play:
Q: Bertrand Tavernier is a French director of such movies as Life and Nothing But and It All Starts Today. What amazing wordplay property does the name Bertrand Tavernier have? This sounds like an open-ended question, but when you have the right answer, you'll have no doubt about it.
Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are now controlling the transmission. We control the horizontal. We control the vertical.

Edit: The hint was to the striped shirts that this duo wears, one with vertical stripes (Bert) and the other with horizontal (Ernie).
A: Removing a few interspersed letters, 3 words remain --> BERT AND ERNIE

112 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
    Replies
    1. I have no idea what your clue means, but we just recently bought our first TV without vertical and horizontal controls, because my wife couldn't read text beyond the outer limits of the old 4:3 aspect ratio screen.

      Delete
  2. For only the third time ever, I had this one answered before Will finished reading it the second time. Anytime that happens, life is wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Blaine, Will's reading on the air contained an extra sentence with one more clue than the web site's version. Do you want to include that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe Will added something like, "this should be easy enough for a child."

      Delete
    2. Will said, "... and it's something even a child will understand."

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the addendum -- I outsourced this one to my baby boy again. He smiled, suggesting he knew the answer, but wouldn't tell me how to get it.

      Delete
    4. He's waiting until after 3pm Thursday, obviously.

      Delete
  4. This week’s puzzle is fine with me.

    Chuck

    ReplyDelete
  5. I got the answer but not without someone telling me how to get to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you use all of the letters?

      Delete
    2. My answer (in which I have little confidence) does not use all the letters. Does that mean it's wrong?

      Delete
    3. Jan:
      Your "backward" bird clue & not using all the letters is in sync with my answer.

      Delete
  6. Did someone mention a little bird last week?

    ReplyDelete
  7. You can always count on old Zeke, Jan.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Somehow I don't think that a "trendier tavern bra" is the correct answer!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I posted on Sun Nov 30, at 06:07:00 AM PST, near the end of last week's thread:

    On the air, the wording of the puzzle was a little different. Of course he spelled this person's first and last names, and then the words "when you have the right answer, you'll have no doubt about it" were replaced with "you'll know you have the right answer when you get it". But then Will added this: "and it's something even a child will understand". That helped!

    ReplyDelete
  10. O. Ylxptstgc jfd yzp f qgh cbltou. Xz yscy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was pretty easy to decipher, I think. Congratulations to David if he did (see his comment below). Extra credit to anyone who can discern the significance of CFLCL.

      Delete
    2. Well, CFLCL rot13'd is PSYPY. All I can get so far is it's NOT any cryptogram of RTAVR, the letters removed (you'd need not one, but TWO repeated letters).

      If you meant just FLCL, there are quite a few references to that like "Watch FLCL Anime Episodes Streaming on FUNimation☑". (Did Bertrand Tavernier do any work in Anime?) But for CFLCL, well, DuckDuckGo offers a LinkedIn link which tells me nothing, a Fitch Upgrades Energisa and Cflcl to 'A(Bra)'☑ link which takes you to a "404 - File or directory not found." page, and an item in the California Department of Justice California Firearms Licensee Check (CFLC) Applicationform in which the L at end seems to be a typo.

      Delete
    3. CFLCL is AMPAS encoded by CTW.

      Delete
  11. Did Bertrand Tavernier win an Academy Award?

    ReplyDelete
  12. My answer came to me as I thought about our Thanksgiving dinner. Although we had plenty, my brother-in-law was disappointed. His family always had ham, but as we keep kosher, that wasn't an option. He was gracious, but we could see he missed it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Question for Will: Was this puzzle brought to you by anyone? Or anything? Or anythings?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He said on the air that it came from Ed Pegg Jr.

      Delete
  14. Reminds me of an old beer ad campaign.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alas, you are on the wrong track. I was on that exact same track until a friend took a look and got the answer in five seconds.

      Delete
  15. I've got an answer but don't like it. I hope I am not one of those who, when the masses teeter on the edge of the abyss of error, fall in with them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I heard the puzzle while riding in a cab this morning. The driver was helpful as I considered possible answers. Then I got out of the cab and mentioned the puzzle to a nearby cop, and he helped me finish figuring it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To add to the (deservedly) sour tone of the comments on this week's puzzle, let me add that these two characters probably were not named after the cab driver and cop in "It's A Wonderful Life." Or so says someone who was there at the creation: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Are_Bert_and_Ernie_named_after_characters_from_It%27s_a_Wonderful_Life%3F.

      Delete
  17. I have an answer but I am not amazed. Is that bad?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bryan, I am decidedly unamazed as well. . .

      Delete
    2. Maybe Will is going for street cred ?

      Delete
    3. Throwing this in the vat: RailRoad.

      Delete
  18. My answer did not use all letters; nor did it use same letter twice.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I believe I have the same answer most posters here have, judging from their clues. It sounds like Snipper has an alternative answer, perhaps Will's intended.

    Below is why I don't believe I yet have Dr. Shortz's intended "amazing" answer, which I am supposed to have "no doubt" about:

    Ethel: Lucy, isn’t it a little past Little Ricky’s bedtime?
    Lucy: Yes, Ethel, but the earlier we put him to bed, the earlier he gets up and climbs into bed with us and starts jabbering. I already have an alarm clock, and it works just fine.
    Fred: Heck, at Ricky’s age our kids were always in the sack by 8 o’clock sharp.
    Ricky: But gee whiz, Fred, it’s just a little past 7:30
    Bub: … Oops, wrong sitcom! We mean, Fred: Yeah, but the kid is driving us all nuts with his questions about traveling cultural museums, world currencies… oops, I mean, money, and some guy named Bertrand Taver-whoever-the-heck-he-is. It’s like Little Ricky thinks he’s Will Rickin Shortz or somethin!
    Ricky: Yeah, Fred, I know, the kid can be a real pest.
    Lucy: Enrique Alberto Ricardo! That’s your own flesh and blood you’re talking about here!
    Ricky: Lucy, he may be my flesh and blood, but his behavior is, let’s face it, kinda puzzling. … Little Ricky, go to bed. Right now!
    Little Ricky (turning to Lucy): Aw, Mom, do I hafta?
    Lucy (to Branch Rickey… [Oops, no, why would she be talking to Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey?...] to Big Ricky): Why don’t you tuck Little Ricky in and read him some “Rikki Tikki Tavi,” Ricky?
    Ricky: Aw, Lucy, do I hafta?
    Fred: Big Ricky is right, Lucy. I'd find him some alternative Kipling to read. “Rikki Tikki Tavi,” though very popular, is overrated, really more of a throw-away story in “The Jungle Book,” which indeed was written for children. Ethel and I instead read our kids Kipling’s “Toomai of the Elephants” and “Tiger! Tiger!” (That’s Tiger with an I, not Blake’s “The Tyger.” Our kids wouldn’t have gotten Blake, at that age or at any other, I’m afraid. By the way, did you know that Blake died penniless (I guess he would have said “penceless”) in an alleyway in London called the Fountain Court, behind the Savoy Hotel. Blake lived during the French Revolution. As a young man, during the time he composed his famous short poem, “And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time,” Blake was awaiting trial for supposedly making insulting remarks about the king and praising Napoleon to a soldier. Ironically, the poem was made into the famous hymn 'Jerusalem' during World War I. Its opening line about feet is indelibly etched in the minds of all Britons, along with its evocative "chariot of fire" and "bow of burning gold" references. During Blake’s lifetime ,however, many deemed him mad. This opinion was fueled by Blake's claims to have seen visions of God as a child (not God as a child, Blake as a child). He also claimed to see cherubim and seraphim, and even the Devil himself, sitting on the staircase of his South Molton Street home. But critics today universally consider him to be…)
    Lucy (three hours later): ZZZZZ
    Ricky: ZZZZZ
    Little Ricky: ZZZZZ
    Cliff... Oops! Wrong sitcom again... Fred: ... It's a little-known fact that when he retired for the night Blake always wore pajamas with pink...
    Ethel: C’mon, Fred. Time to go home I'll tuck you in and read you some Rikki Tikki Tavi.

    LeGotSomeSplainin’ToDoFreddy!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I fear this clue may be in jeopardy.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Maybe (baby) I'm (not) amazed.

    ReplyDelete
  22. i thought there was something fishy about the clue, so i wrote my letters in a circle, as a beginning anagrammer, "see..!? same as a child would..."

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lego -
    I didn't have the patience to read your post other than to say that I think my last clue indicates that I actually do have the same answer as you/others.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Replies
    1. Hard to remain neutral about that, jan!

      Delete
    2. And, while we're on the subject, Orion.

      Delete
    3. BERTRAND TAVERNIER -VAT RR = BERT AND ERNIE

      As jan correctly surmised, ice cube referred to the Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica. A pair of high energy neutrinos were detected in 2013, possibly of astrophysical origin. They were the highest energy neutrinos discovered until then and nicknamed nicknamed "Bert" and "Ernie" after characters from the Sesame Street TV show. The Big Bird neutrino came later that year.

      Vat RR referred to the leftover letters.

      Delete
    4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf0nL8lOWbQ

      Delete
  25. It's not old hickory, is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking President Andrew Jackson provided another example of this week's outstanding 'property', but was unable to find much evidence of Caesar ever working with Benny, so I guess not..Well, if Old Hickory doesn't meet the criteria, some new tree no doubt does.

      Delete
    2. Wow, you went pretty far out on the gangplank for that one, Paul.

      Appreciated, nonetheless.

      Delete
    3. You go far enough out on the gangplank --- you meet another gangplank.

      Delete
  26. Down at the Waffle House:
    Zeke: You all got the answer?
    Marcie: Zekey, I had it before you said it.
    Zeke: In that case I'll have a special. Two all beef patties, spe..
    Sue: You'll have to take that up with the big redhead creekster. Just the usual for you, Zekey poo. Scattered, smothered, covered!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I’m not sure if Sal Manilla, Liz Teeria, Bruce Ellosis and other food disease experts follow this blog but, if they do, I need some advice.

    I looked inside my fridge this morning and saw that we still had turkey, rolls, vegetables (including rutabaga) and apple pie left over from Thanksgiving Day dinner. I checked for mold and gave a little whiff. They seemed okay but I still tossed them into the compost, reasoning, “Why take a chance?”

    Now I am halving qulams (which is better than nausea, I suppose) and second thoughts. Should I have saved the leftovers, perhaps made a salad or stew or something out of them?

    LegoListeriambda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Martha Stewart here, and I just want to say that you did the right thing in tossing that crap out. You can't always smell the stuff that can make you very, very sick. Now I need to get back to counting my money.

      Delete
  28. I have a 2PM (Central) appointment today so I won’t be able to log on right at the witching hour like I usually do. Anyway, I’m sure 99% of us here have the right answer so anything I say would be redundant at best. Catch you later this afternoon.

    Chuck

    ReplyDelete
  29. BERT AND ERNIE or TAVERN BARTENDER or TRENDIER TAVERN BAR

    I can’t believe it if any of these is the intended answer! Well actually I can, after all this is another lame Ed Pegg, Jr. puzzle, and they are only getting worse.

    The first answer jumped out at me instantly as I read the question, but I just as quickly dismissed it as being way too childish to be the answer we were told we would know was right.

    If one of these is the intended answer, I prefer Tavern Bartender, but since Will Shortz mentioned something about a child getting it, I imagine it is B&E. “I found no amazing wordplay property.” The only amazing thing about this puzzle is that is was accepted for use on NPR. And what about all the unused letters?

    Hopefully I am wrong and there will turn out to be a satisfying answer, but I sincerely doubt it.

    NOTE: I sure hope no one reading the above will think I didn’t thoroughly enjoy this outstanding puzzle.

    ReplyDelete
  30. My question about winning an Academy Award was a reference to an Oscar, who is a Sesame Street resident, like BERT AND ERNIE.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Bertrand Tavernier contains, in order, BERT AND ERNIE (and some other letters).


    > Did someone mention a little bird last week?

    A little yellow duck, maybe?


    > I fear this clue may be in jeopardy.

    Monday's Jeopardy! Clue of the Day:

    TV Characters

    This 8'2" character who made his debut in 1969 is still going strong.

    Hey, whaddya get if you cross Big Bird with Ernie's rubber duckie? (Suprisingly, none of the contestants got the answer right.)


    > Reminds me of an old beer ad campaign.

    I've always thought that Bert and Ernie resemble Bert and Harry Piel (voiced by Bob and Ray).


    > And, while we're on the subject, Orion.

    Today's (tomorrow's?) Orion flight test was to carry, among other artifacts, Ernie's rubber duckie. Who better than a bath toy to observe how fast money flows down the drain in zero gravity?

    ReplyDelete
  32. The extra letters can be arranged to form ART-RV. Picture a disgruntled Bert pushing a broken-down Winnebago filled with paintings, sculptures, and such while Ernie merrily steers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh. But shouldn't that be Art Mobile?

      Delete
    2. That would be a great puzzle (the ART-RV leftovers) if that was in fact what was intended, except that would not be consistent with the "... and it's something even a child will understand."

      Delete
    3. What can I say? I'm easily amazed.

      Delete
  33. I sat this one out, because, like @skydiveboy, I wrote down the name as Will gave it, underlined Bert and Ernie immediately, and then puzzled over what possible wordplay there was. As the week went on and all comments seemed to point to sesame Street, I thought perhaps you were all in on a big joke. And now @Paul tells me what it is: The leftover letters anagram to the equivalent of last week's "traveling cultural museum."

    Is that all there is, my friends? Then let's keep dancing . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  34. I guess I was stuck in the "Bert ran the tavern here" rut. Maybe next week.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Here we go again. Will Will provide an answer with truly “amazing wordplay” on Sunday? One we all have missed? In the past I would have said “Yep, hope springs eternal.” But now, in this season of impeding brumal despair, I fear I must say (as I should have said regarding the recent four clock faces/LICV puzzle) “Nope, hope falls, not vernal.”

    BERTrAND tavERNIEr. Yes, interesting and kinda cute wordplay. But about as amazing as a corn maze post-threshing. (Should that maybe be “Maize maze?” Or, perhaps, if it’s one operated by Word Woman/Scientific Steph’s pooch,” Maizie’s Maize Maze?)

    This puzzle might have approached the “amazing wordplay” standard, if only Ed Pegg Jr. or Dr. Shortz had not chosen as their movie director Frenchman bertRand TAVernieR, with those pesky left-over R-TAV-R letters. (BTW, I love Paul’s ART-RV theory!)

    No, our puzzle constructor and puzzle master had two (not one, but two) fine Scandinavian movie directors at their disposal (emphasis intended) from which to choose: BERTker ANDER NIEmit or BERT o’scANDa ERNIEr! (O’Scanda Ernier is part Irish, I think.)

    As for my “hints” this week, I was obsessed with those darn leftover letters, R-TAV-R.

    In my Dec. 1, 3:34 AM tome, I wrote: Why don’t you tuck Little Ricky in and read him some “Rikki Tikki Tavi,” Ricky? (Rikki tikki TAVi, Ricky = R-TAV-R)…. “Rikki Tikki Tavi” ... is ... a throw-away story...” (So I guess we have to throw away “R-TAV-R.”)

    In my Dec. 3, 10:55 AM comment, I wrote:
    “I looked inside my fridge this morning and saw that we still had turkey, rolls, vegetables (including rutabaga) and apple pie left over from Thanksgiving Day dinner. … I still tossed them into the compost… Now I am having… second thoughts. Should I have saved the leftovers, perhaps made a salad or stew or something out of them?”

    MY explanation:
    Turkey, Rolls, Vegetables, Rutabaga and Apple pie start with T,R,V,R and A. I hated to toss those letters away, but I couldn’t figure how I could make anything worthwhile out of them.

    LegO'ScandaLambda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martha Steward here again.

      That was a hint!? It is not nice to deceive Martha Stewart.

      Delete
    2. Paul McCartney, songwriter. Now we're talkin' "Maybe I'm amazing!"

      The White Album had some filler, but it's up there with my favorite Beatles' albums, along with Rubber Soul, Revolver and the Capitol release of Yesterday and Today. Had "The Beatles" (White Album) been pared down from a doube to a single album (tough editing there) it would have been near perfect.

      RingoLambda

      Delete
  36. Remove a few characters from the director’s name and you spell out – in order – two best Muppet friends, Bert and Ernie.

    Last Sunday I said, “This week’s puzzle is fine with me.” Fine as in ducky. Ernie’s signature song is Rubber Duckie.

    Chuck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope your appointment went well, Chuck.
      You didn't miss a wholehellofalot here.

      Delete
  37. THIS sounds like an open-ended question...”

    Bert ran de tavern, eh?
    (yea!) Sesame Street child's talk. Hardly “amazing!”

    This answer totally mangles the correct pronunciation in French of “Bertrand Tavernier.” Ugh.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I had Bert and Ernie. My clue "someone telling me how to get to it" referred to Sesame Street theme song lyrics - "can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street". Later clue "didn't use same letter twice" had sesame within (usesame).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoops, saw you had the same clue as me with an earlier timestamp -- just an oversight, but bad form on my part...And good clue, on yours!

      Delete
  39. I noticed that - but no worries!

    And Lego - I didn't mean to be 'snippy' in my post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. mike_hinterberg,
      We are happy to overlook your oversight. We’ve all had them. (I myself have 20/20 oversight!) How’s your young puzzle prodigy doing?

      Snipper,
      No snippiness taken. I just completely missed your fine “uSE SAME” clue. Sorry.

      LegOverlookerOversighted

      Delete
  40. I used Blaine's clue (a reference to The Outer Limits) to look at the beginning and ending of each word, and from there the answer quickly followed. Thought that was too much of a giveaway though, and was glad to see it wasn't the actual intended clue.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I feel a little like Oscar the Grouch when I think about this puzzle.

    I arrived in Burbank last night, what "amazing" wordplay property does that city's name have? HINT: Victory is ours!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ecoarchitect,

      Does the second puzzle, “Civil Descriptive Disorder,” in the October 31 Puzzleria! menu relate at all to your comment?

      If so (or even if not), note that we did not oversell it with words like “amazing!”

      LegoBeautifulDowntownLambda

      Delete
    2. Pure coincidence (or not, the night is Jung) that we referred to the same city. I was willing to sacrifice strict descriptive accuracy for a more succinct clue. I did arrive here Thursday night to give a conference talk and start a project, so that was also convenient.

      I mostly included it as a commentary on the Will's hyping the connection as "amazing". Cute, yes, clever, sure. If Tavernier had some connection with Sesame Street or the Muppets THEN it would rise to amazing. But I see no connection, not even through Kevin Bacon.

      I also wanted to try my cheap imitation of Blaine's skill in giving clues; the Burger King in Burbank is on the very suburban Victory Blvd.

      I also offer my cheap version of your complex palindromes: "Dogma is: "I am God!"". I came up with that many years ago in response to some very imperious professors.

      Delete
    3. ecoarchitect,
      "Dogma is: I am God!" is a succinctly excellent palindrome. And it makes sense!

      Incidentally, your screen name ought to give you a leg up in deciphering my first hint in the current Puzzleria!'s third "Zooligical Slice" puzzle, "What Creature is this, not yet laid to rest?"

      LegoOgel

      Delete
  42. me too - felt let down. Got the Bert and Ernie part but could not get what would make this an "amazing" wordplay. Kept thinking I was missing something.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Bert and Ernie TV Arr(rrr) as in the video of Bert and Arnie as pirates

    ReplyDelete
  44. Again, I think the puzzle was 'decent,' but, like others, agree it could have had better wording. Where's an editor?
    Howzabout,
    'What *screen-related* wordplay property does the name Bertrand Tavernier have? This sounds like an open-ended question, but even a child could answer.'
    ****
    Although I think both 'screen-related' and the 'child' part might be too many clues, I also think that
    1. The child comment Will made *was* a part of the clue, and should have been part of the transcription.
    2. The word 'amazing' was inappropriate here...but it's also being overused socially.
    On a humourous note -- if you're not easily offended by language (NSFW and not-safe for young ears), but enjoy discussion regarding it, consider comedian Louis CK's take on the word 'amazing' (written or audio)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In retrospect, isn't 'amazing wordplay property' really an oxymoron?

      Delete
    2. Or an anachronism. I dunno. I get tired easy.

      Delete
    3. Capt. Nemo,
      B&E TV… ARR! Swashbuckling Bert! Sea-Roving Ernie!
      I think you’ve got it!

      mike_hinterberg,
      I’m with you and RoRo, and I like your rewrite if Will’s puzzle. My puzzles over at Puzzleria! often need editing Soooo, if you’re not too busy…

      Paul,
      Regarding: “Amazing wordplay property.”
      I checked this nifty link. Not so much an oxymoron. Sure, it’s somewhat alliterative. Anachronism is more in the old upside-down digital clock/four Roman numeral-letters-on-clock-faces realm.

      No, the figure of speech really nails it is… hyperbole!

      (Oxymoron? No, “MoxieOrion: the soft drink of future astronauts!”)

      LegoMoron

      Delete
  45. Next week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Harry Hilson of Avon-by-the-Sea, N.J. Take the phrase "a few Texans come in." Rearrange these letters to name a geographical place. What is it?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Wow, this one's really difficult.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Easier than last week, when the only thing I came up with was “reindeer.”

    ReplyDelete
  48. What amazing wordplay property does Dunamase Castle in Ireland have?

    ReplyDelete
  49. I'm not good at anagrams, but I did this one in my head. (The NPR challenge, that is, not Lorenzo's.)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Tomorrow, at work, no matter how cranky I'll be, quirky puzzles always get me going.

    ReplyDelete
  51. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate the time you took to create that diagram and format it correctly, but you obviously realize it gives the answer away directly by telling you how to rearrange things.

      Delete
  52. Need to be forward thinking on this one!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Last week, Word Woman gave the one-word clue, "railroad". Ironically, that works this week, too.

    ReplyDelete