Weekly discussion on the NPR puzzler, brain teasers, math problems and more.
Q: Take the phrase "a few Texans come in." Rearrange these letters to name a geographical place. What is it?
A: SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO
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.
I think an extra 'l' snuck into amalgamate, Blaine.Word "A la carte" Woman
Oops! Fixed the typo.
It's not "each lion loved" either!
And it's certainly not "I scorn canonical affairs!"
Blaine could have said I guess it's not a "mangy mortal amoeba" either.
This one took less than 45 seconds.
Not much to say on this week's puzzle."It's a Wonderful Life" (which I watched last night for the first time) would have made a good clue for last week's puzzle. In it, two of the characters are Bert (Ward Bond as the policeman) and Ernie (Bishop as the cab driver, played by Frank Faylen).
David,Tim O gave this great clue last Sunday:“Tim O.Sun Nov 30, 06:33:00 PM PSTI 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.”I had long toyed with the idea of making a Puzzleria! puzzle out of that “coincidence.” Bu t I figured Jim Henson/Frank Oz were probably Capra buffs, so those Muppets’ names may not have been so coincidental after all.What is your review of “IAWL?” All thumbs up? All thumbs down?LegoZuZu’sPetals
I forgot to get back on after deadline and explain my clue, but I was hinting at the same thing it when I said that getting the answer so fast made my life wonderful.
Rakewell,Righto. Now I recall your clue. Nice one.Hey does anyone know whether Ernie and Bert were named after this cop and cabbie?LegoEnquiringMind
Lego, I believe you are right about the muppets being named after the story. Some people say the Flintstones were fashioned after Jackie Gleason - Honeymooners. Any other cartoon knock offs? Maybe some in Spanish speaking areas.
RoRo,I is absolutely true about The Flintstones being fashioned after The Honeymooners, and we all knew it at the time.
Have you been good. Maybe you can get a new toy
Have you ever heard Tina Turner’s version of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”?Chuck
It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Oops, posted late to the old blog.Last week, Word Woman gave the one-word clue, "railroad". Ironically, that works this week, too.
Way before Waffle House, Zeke.
Regarding this week’s puzzle: Yes, easy… but reasonably difficult in the good ol’ “postcard era” when we solved such challenges not with online anagram generators but with handfuls of Scrabble tiles strewn across our kitchen tables.Regarding “Amazing Wordplay Property”:Okay, we were all justified in tossing out those leftover RTAVR letters. No B&E behind the wheel of an ART-RV. No B&E buccaneers on TV, ARR!Still, you gotta admire Dr. Shortz for not backing down, assuming he even listens to our Petty lamentations about “amazing wordplay property” inflation. I noticed this morning that when he repeated last week’s puzzle on-air, he did not omit the word “amazing.” He did not “swallow” or “rush over” it, like a student reporting report card results to his parents: “I gotta B in English, an A in History, a-d-in-math, and an A in Computer Science.”No, instead Will boldly emphasized the word “amazing”! Now that’s in my/our face! We may not have been wowed, but Will was not kowtowed.Still, at least one good thing came out of this week’s NPR puzzle: Thanks to “A few Texans come in,” I now have a nifty “All the news that’s fit to print”-style motto for my Puzzleria! blog site: “We examine no facts!”LegoAmazin’Mets
To paraphrase Will Shortz: Yes, I said (at the end of last week’s thread) “What amazing wordplay property does Dunamase Castle in Ireland have?”
Lorenzo, in the spirit of bilingualism, "Una mas castle?" ;-)
U a man's castle... Me, Santa Claus, n'est-ce pas?
Ron, you done amaze me!
I posted much earlier this morning on last week's blog, in reply to Lorenzo's most welcome puzzle:"Does Major Grey have anything to do with this?"
SDB - I await your answer to your question on Thursday. (Chutney???)
Lorenzo,Sorry not to have answered earlier, but when I wrote I thought you would surely get my hint, but now I am thinking I am seeing something you have not noticed in your castle. But, yes, I am referring to chutney, and I also have another hint I added in my above post which compliments it.
Lorenzo,My use of "chutney" refers to its use in Indian food. I also said your puzzle is "welcome" because I right away saw "Namaste" and this is Hindi for 'welcome."
I got this week's answer in about three minutes. I hope for Christmas somebody brings me a new iron.
The clue is a clue to the answer.
Take the phrase "a Texan comes in, pistol drawn." Rearrange these letters to name a geographical place. What is it?Answer:_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Hint: Vacation paradise spotLegoPackin’TropicalHeat
In honor of Claudia Brenner's amazing performance on the air: Aloha, Roman monk!
Pardon me, Roy, is that the cat that chewed your new shoes?
More like a rattle snack.
I had this one almost right away, but didn't realize it until later. In search of a solution, I traveled high and low, near and far, sailed the seven seas, ventured home and abroad as much as my Passport would allow me, and even passed through Deep in the Heart of Texas.
"A few Texans come in" and it's all downhill from there. I bet the former inhabitants of this place wish THEY had had better border security. Came real quick; one of the letters is almost a dead giveaway.
Your captcha didn't come up this time, Blaine. Does that mean your regulars get to go in the fast lane?
How about a garland for your holiday decorations?
M rvn Etpekz eqgwzh.V.K. -- Fgsg Pgkfof!Te! Mzavpd qf aat utmdeca.
I can't get this to yield anything meaningful using Sharky's Vigenere Cipher, with the correct answer as they key. What kind of cipher are you using?
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It's Sharky's Vigenere Cipher 1.0, but the key is not what you think. Hint: M isn't I.[Damned quotation marks]And I'm scratching my head along with Uncle John. What happened to the captcha? I found it reassuring to think that a robot didn't think I was a robot.
I guess I meant I found it reassuring to think a robot thought I wasn't a robot. Subtle difference. Remember when Holden Caulfield tried to call his girlfriend and nobody kept answering? That still cracks me up.
Actually, it's not his girlfriend (just looked it up).
Captcha in the Rye.J.D.Lamdba
Lego!I never thought of you as having a wry sense of humor.
Didn't Judy Garland train there?
and a couple of other places as well
"Like a good neighbor..."
"MEXICO" was the first place name I found within the given phrase, followed by "NEW MEXICO." However, I didn't recognize SANTA FE right away until I spanned the globe in search of various geographical names (countries, seas, lakes, cities, mountains, etc.) and passed through Deep in the Heart of Texas to arrive at Santa Fe.Happy Holidays everyone!
The one thing I found interesting about this puzzle is that you'll be hard pressed to solve it using on-line tools, otherwise this is just a straightforward anagram. My wife and I solved on the kitchen table using UPWORDS tiles - while playing RUMMIKUB - oh for those days before electronic games....
I beg to differ Dave. One on-line tool gave an instantaneous answer - with no alternatives.
And what about the on-line Tool below who had his post removed by Blaine?
I wasn't going to say anything earlier, but indeed you get the answer immediately from anagram-solver.net
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Jamie Maxfield:Welcome to the blog, but please delete your giveaway post. We don't do that here.Thanks
Jamie, do you know Harriet Scooler?
Jamie and Harriet are probably mtn biking buddies.
They are likely out looking for sphalerite together; it's not too hard.
Brought to you by the Department of Shameless Plugs.
Hey, hold on just a minute there, Paul. I, not Word Woman, am the director of the Department of Shameless Plugs. (Blaine can confirm this.) I also head the Department of Shameful Plugs. (BTW, new puzzles are posted early Friday on Puzzleria!)LegoLambdAshameda
I liked Lorenzo's early seasonal clue and Blaine and ron's geographical anagrams. I decided to take mine to Sharky for gift-wrapping: MERRY CHRISTMAS! (some assembly required*)I'm afraid the "Dunamase Phenomenon" has me perplexed. It just seems paradoxical to me.One could, of course, take a different track with this puzzle -- I had heard the song, of course, but had no idea who sang it in what movie prior to Sunday. I also enjoyed benmar's comment relating, I believe, to grabbing a bite while journeying in a rickety conveyance. I hope I haven't made a false assumption; it's been known to happen.And Norman is a city in Oklahoma. Who knew?_____________________________________________________*Assembly instructions:1) Be sure to prime it.2) Ho, ho, ho!3)Ahhh ... I'm outta here!
"I solved this in less than 45 seconds referred to the recent sale of a Georgia O'Keeffe painting, Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1, which sold for less than $45 million."Sheesh" referred not only to the fact that if you have a pulse you could solve this, but also to a word which contains "she" anagrammed twice and to the artist, Georgia O'Keeffe, a Santa Fe resident. The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe is remarkable.
Santa Fe, New MexicoMy hint:“Boy is it ever cold!” (I posted this at the end of last week’s blog and did not bother to repost it here.)NM is known for their chilies. A lousy puzzle deserves a lousy hint. Who ever heard of this statement: "a few Texans come in."? This is obviously the result of someone entering the answer into an anagram solver in order to hopefully discover something that would make an interesting puzzle. I believe this fails completely. Had this person discovered a common expression, then perhaps I would accept this as a passable puzzle, but this is beyond LAME!
Santa Fe, New MexicoLast Sunday I asked, “Have you ever heard Tina Turner’s version of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” what with Santa appearing in all the big malls now... Of course I might have been thinking of Tina Fe(y) instead of Tina Turner...ChuckP.S. I went shopping earlier this week for some camouflage pants but I didn’t see any...
Maybe they were crouching behind the hidden tiger.
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO> Last week, Word Woman gave the one-word clue, "railroad". Ironically, that works this week, too.As in Santa Fe. (Or iron horse, I suppose.)> How about a garland for your holiday decorations?The Oscar for Best Song in 1946 went to "On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe", sung by Judy Garland.
My clues: "Happy Trails & "Rattlesnakes"
“A few Texans come in.” = Santa Fe, New Mexico.Blaine's “Amalgamate my boron” (also “mangy mortal amoeba”) = Montgomery, Alabama. Not the answer.My hint: (same as Blaine's, that the answer is a city + state) “each lion loved” = Cleveland, Ohio. Not the answer either. And it's certainly not “I scorn canonical affairs” = San Francisco, California.
I was a little more specific in providing a state capital, not just any city, state pair.
My clues: ....I'll be, quirky..." = Albuquerque "...forward thinking" referred to the 'four word' answer = santa fe new mexico
Speaking of Albuquerque, I miss our friend AbqGuerrilla. Buona natale a te e alle sue moglie!
That's right - I miss him too. I guess, in his place, a few Texans have come in!
Sunday at 2:04 PM PST I posted the following “piggyback puzzle” to Will’s Weekend Edition Sunday puzzle, created by Harry Hilson: Take the phrase "a Texan comes in, pistol drawn." Rearrange these letters to name a geographical place. What is it?Answer:_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ - _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Hint: Vacation paradise spotThe “vacation paradise spot” I had in mind with my hint was the island paradise, Cozumel, Mexico.My geographical place is: A Mexican poster-island town. (poster-island, as in the whole “poster-child/poster-boy” idiom).LexicoLambda
This is my post near the end of last week's thread, which Blaine decided was too much of a give-away:┬───┬─┬─┬───┬─┬─┬─┬─┬─┬───┬─┬─┬─┬───┬─┬──╪═══╪═╪═╪═══╪═╪═╪═╪═╪═╪═══╪═╪═╪═╪═══╪═╪══┼───┼─┼─┼───┼─┼─┼─┼─┼─┴───┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼──┴───┼─┼─┼───┼─┼─┼─┼─┼─────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼──────┼─┼─┼───┼─┼─┼─┼─┴─────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼──────┼─┼─┼───┴─┼─┼─┼───────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼──────┼─┼─┼─────┼─┼─┴───────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼──────┼─┼─┼─────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼──────┴─┼─┼─────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼────────┴─┼─────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼──────────┼─────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼──────────┼─────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┴──────────┼─────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─┴───┼────────────┴─────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─────┼──────────────────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─────┼──────────────────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┴─────┼──────────────────┴─┼─────────┼─┼───────┼────────────────────┴─────────┼─┼───────┼──────────────────────────────┼─┼───────┴──────────────────────────────┴─┼────────────────────────────────────────┴────────────...And this is what I had planned to post at noon last Thursday.A FEW TEXANS COME IN.A───F─E─W───T─E─X─A─N─S───C─O─M─E───I─N──╪═══╪═╪═╪═══╪═╪═╪═╪═╪═╪═══╪═╪═╪═╪═══╪═╪══┼───┼─┼─┼───┼─┼─┼─┼─┼─S───┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼─SA───┼─┼─┼───┼─┼─┼─┼─┼─────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼─A────┼─┼─┼───┼─┼─┼─┼─N─────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼─N────┼─┼─┼───T─┼─┼─┼───────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼─T────┼─┼─┼─────┼─┼─A───────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼─A────┼─┼─┼─────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼──────F─┼─┼─────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼─F──────E─┼─────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼─E────────┼─────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─┼──────────┼─────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─┼───┼─N─N────────┼─────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─E───┼───E────────W─────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─────┼───W──────────────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─┼─────┼──────────────────┼─┼─────────┼─┼─M─────┼───M──────────────E─┼─────────┼─┼───────┼───E────────────────X─────────┼─┼───────┼───X──────────────────────────┼─┼───────I───I──────────────────────────C─┼───────────C────────────────────────────O───────────OSANTA FE, NEW MEXICO
Today's date, a rare one: 12/13/14 !
I just missed. I should have posted this at 10:11 this morning!
ron,Posting something at 3:16 PM PST might be the next best thing.Or maybe something works with upside-down digital clocks. Or Roman numerals.LegoFrontDoorLocked?TryTheBack
Or 10:11 PM tonight.
The comment above is “quintessential Kerfuffle.” Terse. Logical. Brilliant in its elegant simplicity.” No need to bother with that military-time backdoor 3:16 PM crap, ron. Just wait a half-day! Even a broken clock is correct twice every 24 hours..LegoLamBobIsTheMan
It's now 10:11 pm EST 12/13/14 !
Lorenzo, Did you see the explanation I posted Thursday to your wordplay?
Got it. Thanks.
Next week's challenge: Think of a common exclamation in four letters. Move the last letter to the start, and then add a new letter to the end, to get another well-known exclamation. What is it?
Seems vague. But when the chips are down, I check the Internet for lists.
Looks like one of those sesame street clues will work here again. This one is really easy.
I have an answer which I like, but I know it's not what is wanted because(1) each exclamation is two words(2) they are in different languages, and(3) maybe they aren't all that common.But if you agree with my answer, give me a ring!
I believe I have the expected answer. In comparison with Bob Kerfuffle's:(1) each exclamation is just one word(2) they are both in English, and(3) I think they're both quite common.My only problem: If you enter the 5-letter exclamation on dictionary.com, you get 3 regular definitions and 1 British Dictionary definition, but all as nouns, not one as an interjection (which, of course, is what an exclamation is).Most people do realize that it is an exclamation as well, though.
Hi, I'm back, this time with the right answer. Thank you to one of the hints above. (Hey, I might have gotten it on my own, but unlike last week's Matt Gaffney meta answer, I'm not so swift.)