Weekly discussion on the NPR puzzler, brain teasers, math problems and more.
Q: Name two animals, both mammals, one of them domestic, the other wild. Put their letters together, and rearrange the result to name another mammal, this one wild, and not seen naturally around North America. What mammal is it?
A: DOG + GNU = DUGONG
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 didn't get the answer at first, but then the bell rang! --Margaret G.
At first, I thought Will was up to his old tricks, but don't be led astray.
Great clue, jan.
Too bad birds & fish don't count as mammals, though they are animals, so PIG + DARTER = PARTRIDGE won't count, but BOAR + CAT = ACROBAT, an extinct mammal no longer "seen in and around North America" certainly seems an apt solution!
Got it and I feel good about it. When you get it you’ll feel good about it, too.Chuck
Chuick - Be nice!
No dig intended. It’s actually a clue though perhaps too obscure. More Thursday.Chuck
Chuck - Actually, I think I understand your clue and my reference was to a particular model of the brand of sports equipment you referred to. (Some clever Blainesville bloggers might observe that as the temperature rises, the sport in question becomes torture.)
Whenever I hear the name of a late U.S. industrialist, financier, philanthropist and art collector, I am reminded of my answer to this puzzle.LegoHaveABeterHintButBlaineWouldHaveToBanIt
I think I got the answer but I'm not sure because this clue makes no sense to me...
Tom,My apologies. The hint is admittedly obscure. I'll bet you have Will's intended answer. I perhaps should have italicized the word hear for emphasis. But, better yet, check your answer against jan's excellent and clever clue at 8:33 AM.LegoTheObscure
I'm thinking of a possible title of a novel and film about a pet that goes missing.
I would expect Phil and Chuck to provide some help before the full moon.
Is Blaine's picture hint truncated?
I believe it's called an animalgam.LegoLambSphinxGriffin
Yes, I checked with my neigh bore, who is a dentist and he agrees.
The answer animal was once thought to be a different kind of chimera.
skydiveboy,Your dentist neigh-bore must look many gift horses in the mouth before he drills.jan,One's odds of "getting the call" this week are pretty decent... not that that does you or me any good!LegoIt'sChimiraculous!
Lego,My dentist neighbor has been at it quite a while and he really knows the drill. When I need his advice he usually can fill me in.
A typically incisive comment! Hey, whaddya get if you leave a back tooth in a beaker of vinegar overnight?
jan,I'm not sure I have the wisdom to know, but perhaps a visit from the Tooth Fairy. Or molar sour perhaps.
Speaking of not being sure of something. I bet a lot of us are wishing we knew the answer to this week's puzzle.
You get a 1 molar solution, of course. Anyway, I gone about as far as I can on this particular topic before Blaine shuts me down.
jan,You got me on that one. I right away figured it had something to do with molar, but I never heard of 1 molar before. I never took chemistry. Anyway thanks for your extraction distraction.
What about bruxism?
Beter to seek an equilibrium.
Did you know that if you anagrammed porcupine and dog you might find reducing poop?
So I have an answer that works only if you take the domestic animals name first when you mash them together.If you combine the names together with wild animal first, no rearranging is necessary. Otherwise, this works perfectly, and gives you reason to get some chili.
I finally have an answer. It involves an animal I'd never heard of before. I'm convinced it works perfectly, but I'd be more certain it's the intended answer if more of these comments made sense to me. Only one does, which I find quite comical.
Paul,I think you have it.
Objectively or subjectively, sdb?
I think you solved the puzzle.
Yeah, Christ, having it could be a real pain.
You could always open an account at Petsmart.
Petco's closer, but we're talkin' landlord, lease, ... I'm thinkin' hamster ... actually, I'm thinkin' ant farm ... or aquarium ...
Actually I first typed Petco, but decided to change it to Petstupid. But, really Paul, I think you should ask your mom before you adopt one.
Haven't conversed with Mom lately. Looking forward to it.
Well be sure to let her know your willingness to take it for walks and all that bother.
Of course, you can't take a goldfish for a walk ...
Paul! Don't be so negative. You can at least try. Take along some of that flaky fish food and use it as a treat.
Maybe you're right, sdb.Maybe ... what am I saying?One might even coax it into a Hamiltonian Path.
Well I suppose that would be easier than taking it on the Santiago de Compostela.
You could do it sitting down.
Not me. NPR keeps telling us now that we do too much sitting. It could be Sitting Bull though.
OK. Gotta go to work in an hour or three. Nice talkin' with you, sdb. G'night.
Goodnight Paul. Gee, now it's beginning to sound like The Waltons in here.
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Legolambda sure is a cheerful fella for such a skilled puzzle ninja.Not sure I have this one; it's only my second week! Was difficult to find the mammal, but now that I have it, it seems that it couldn't possibly be that straight forward...
I have an answer which works but have to say that the wild Mammal was previously unknown to me. I suspect that the number of correct entries will be low.
I HATE anagrams!
Enigma arts. Aha!LegoLambda, A bad elm log
Take THAT, controllers!
Good one, legolambda!
I'm thinking the domesticated animal is a "cat" and the wild animal is a "squash" (think of how many of them you see on a country road), with the resulting not naturally seen animal a "sasquatch", although some people might think it is only rarely seen.
David,Isn't Mitch McConnell a sasquatch?
skydiveboy,Mitch McConnell, at the moment, has his hands planted firmly beneath his sASSquatch! (TanMan's are under his fanny)David,I'm thinking the domesticated animal is a "mad cow" and the wild animal is a "dead skunk" (think of how many of them you see on a country road), with the resulting not naturally seen animal a "weak-Dom sand duck", (which is related to the ostritch) although some people might think it is only rarely seen outside of Seattle… where, for example a few days ago, a Dom-inating defense which held it head high for three quarters finally ducked its head under the sand, proving itself to be a weak-Dom under-the-sand ducker in what used to be the Kingdome.LegoKegCapers
I now understand why John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, is not a ventriloquist. Even when he's not speaking his lips never stop moving.
If anyone is interested, NPR posted on their FB page the video from last week's winner of her parents' reaction while they were listening on Sunday.
Here's the direct link to the youtube video.
Reality TV done right.
I wish Will would present us with new puzzles more often. So many are repeats.
sdb, I believe you have it.
Yes. I posted a hint on Monday.
AM or PM? And, by "a", do you mean "one" or "at least one"?
PM. One, but I think I know what you are hinting at, and I was being careful that it would not give anything away. After, I thought I should have made a joking comment re: dandruff. Does that help?
I had heard of this mammal, though it didn't spring to mind. Google was no help, but I found it scrolling through the index of a biological Dictionary. We do have a close relative of it "in" N. America, sort of. I was gonna submit "Girl+Lola=Gorilla".
But "Girl" + "Lola" has 3 L's. "Gorilla" only has 2.
The 'L' you say!
It's a French gorilla -- l'gorilla.
I actually like French gorilla ice cream ... I think that's what it's called.
Not to be confused with a French Kiss, I hope.
Dog + gnu = Dugong, which is closely related to the Manatee. Thanks Enya_and_Weird_Al_fan, that's ONE of the reasons I'm so lousy with anagrams: I can't do simple math! "French gorilla ice cream", I've tasted that on a few dates! Kind of fishy, actually.
DOG + GNU = DUGONGMy Hints:“Speaking of not being sure of something. I bet a lot of us are wishing we knew the answer to this week's puzzle.” But some of us gnu the answer.“I wish Will would present us with new puzzles more often. So many are repeats.”But I think this is his first gnu puzzle.
cat, bear --> catbear --> bearcatLast Sunday I said, “Got it and I feel good about it. When you get it you’ll feel good about it, too.” You’ll feel good as in you’ll feel OK. OK because according to the Wikipedia article bearcat can also be spelled bearKat.Chuck
Chuck,I can imagine that my response to your clue made no sense whatsoever. Having come up with the gnu answer, I read your post, was baffled and Googled “gnu feel good.” I discovered that Feelgood is a snowboard model and that B-Nice is a competing model manufactured by a company named GNU. My comment about the sport becoming torture as the temperature rises referred to waterboarding.
Remembering Lorenzo's affinity for tennis, I went from NICE to NIKE to REEBOK and PUMA to no avail. Then Chuck's "dig" brought me back to DUGONG, but BEARCAT never occurred to me.
Maybe I've been too wrong for too long.
DOG + GNU -> DUGONG> At first, I thought Will was up to his old tricks. . .You can't teach an old dog gnu tricks.> ... but don't be led astray.Like the Sirens of myth, for whom the Sirenia are named.> The answer animal was once thought to be a different kind of chimera.A mermaid.> A typically incisive comment! Hey, whaddya get if you leave a back tooth in a beaker of vinegar overnight?Incisors, molars... dancing around "canines".
DOG + GNU >>> DUGONG The upper and lower pairing of the teeth of the dugong, 126.96.36.199/188.8.131.52, could lead to "bruxism" or teeth grinding.This was so simple it was difficult.Great "old dog gnu tricks" clue, jan.
Gnashing is even better, Paul. Thanks.With regards to Ogden Gnash. Who gnu?
Man Wolf - Wolfman, doesn't get much wilder, and unfortunately not seen in these parts nowadays.
My answer was CAT+BEAR = BEARCATIt really only fits the puzzle if you say the domestic animal first, otherwise there is no need for rearranging.
The comment I found "comical" on Monday was from Margaret G., aka Unknown. Funny I didn't get Lego's philanthropist/financier/etc. until Wednesday. I'll let him explain.Just got jan's "gnu tricks" about an hour ago.sdb's "knew" very cleverly concealed itself from me in plain sight -- by the time "rnew" showed up, I was ready for it.Bruxism made me think of gnashing, which gnaturally made me think of equilibrium.What about MONGOOSE? Isn't a GNO a wildebeest who can still remember stuff?
'new', not 'mew'
Thanks, I always like a good joke! I wanted people to think of a gong that rang - dugong. I got part of the answer from Jan's hing (dog), and somehow missed the "gnu" until I started looking through a list of Australian mammals. --Margaret G.
My obscure clue:"Whenever I hear the name of a late U.S. industrialist, financier, philanthropist and art collector, I am reminded of my answer to this puzzle."alluded to the American finacier J.P. Morgan, whose homophone is Jaye P. Morgan, a panelist on the 1970s so-bad-it's-so-so "Gong Show, with emcee Chuck Barris. GONG >>> DUGONGThe clue I didn't give because it was too much of a give-away would have involved the phrase BRACKISH CUR, which anagrams to CHUCK BARRIS, or "Salty Dog."LegoGongable
DOG + GNU = DUGONG (Marine mammal of South East Asia)Yes, jan. “You can't teach an old dog, like Will, new (gnu) tricks!”
I thought they had a vaccine for 'DUGONG'?
Here is some hot gnus: I did not solve this. But, thanks for all the hints.
Wow, I was so out of it, besides being out with the flu. I tried to run with Tricks are for Kids and tried the Hare - y combos that would not work. Good thing I did not get it. I probably would have referenced the Chuck Berry song and been banned from the blog.
COLT + APE = POLECAT True polecats are not native to North America (only to Europe -- see the Wikipedia article on polecats), although some Americans mistakenly refer to skunks as polecats.
My post referred to Punxsutawney PHIL and Staten Island CHUCK, and to BEFORE THE FULL MOON = GROUNDHOG Day.Remove R, O, and H leaving GUN DOG to help with retrieving or confirming the answer.
OK, tell me that 116-A in tomorrow's (Sunday's) New York Times crossword isn't a nod to this week's NPR puzzle.
116-A in tomorrow's (Sunday's) New York Times crossword isn't a nod to this week's NPR puzzle.Well, you asked.And, yes, I am a robot.
For us non-subscribers, will you spill the beans, er, clue?
Caution to an orphan girl not to leave her wildebeest behind?ANNIE GET YOUR GNU(The theme is "Twist Ending".)
Okay jan, I guess you gave it your best shot. So, nug, nug, nug for you. i.e. nugies.
jan,To Will’s NPR offering, it is indeed a nod. Or at least an odd coincidence. Even I, a lowly NYT non-Sunday-subscriber can discern some of Will's other clues in this "Twist Ending" crossword puzzle:This often gets tangled up with laurel wreaths and needs to be cream-rinsed and conditioned? (12 letters)“Not to beat a dead horse, but TV game show producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman -- who put emcees like Mr. Martindale on the same pedestal with announcers like Mr. Pardo -- followed this credo?: “… (19 letters) CommercialPromotingShariLewisPuppet…TheRedPlasticToyBrickVersion? (10 letters)
Next week's challenge from listener Ben Bass of Chicago: Name someone who welcomes you in. Insert the letter U somewhere inside this, and you'll name something that warns you to stay away. Who is this person, and what is this thing?
I heard this challenge at 8:40 AM, pondered it, got nothing.Just now I heard the re-broadcast at 10:40 AM (NPR never airs an hour just once!), and something came to me immediately, but I said, "No, that can't be!". Looked it up in the dictionary, and what do you know, it was.None of this has anything to do with the fact that Ben Bass and I are BFFs. (translation - I've met him at a couple of ACPTs, shook his hand and talked with him. Nice guy.)
Where have you been, Bob K? Swimming with the dugong?
Yes, Bob. I too always miss your insightful commentary when you take a posting break. I think I might have the answer you came up with, but I am not yet convinced it is Will's intended one.LegoDon'tMuffleTheKerfuffle!
I'm not confident in the answer I have, might have to change it and keep searching......
None can say this is harder than last week's puzzle. I don't much like Will's description of the second object, though.
Unknown Margaret: Gonna stick with last week's clue?
Yes, upon reflection, I think I shall stick with last week's clue. Thanks! --Margaret G (feeling a little sea-sick)