Weekly discussion on the NPR puzzler, brain teasers, math problems and more.
Q: Think of a well-known place name in the U.S. that's four letters long. Switch the second and third letters to get a well-known place name in Europe. What is it?
A: ERIE (Pennsylvania, or Lake, or Canal) --> EIRE (Ireland)
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 hear a strange melody playing... ---Rob
Rob,That is the only clue anyone should need to solve this week's NPR puzzle.Very complete, succinct wording.Blaine,Your graphics are always excellent, but I particularly admire your offering this week.(No clues in this post)LegoLambda
I take it that palindromic "place names" are unacceptable such as ANNA, Illinois and ANNA, Estonia.
How about OTTO, NY 14719 and the OTTO Hotel in Berlin as "place names" ? Are they well-known enough?
The first genuine on-air challenge. Or perhaps that is a mistake.
You say potato, I say potahto.
My DH said the way I pronounced it was wrong. -- Margaret G.
time will tell.
Musical clue: The Eagles?
After drinking their way through the Big Game, I wonder how many folks will feel a little green tomorrow. I suppose we could play off all the team colors, and suppose some folks will be blue (sad), or red (angry), as well.
I'm orange with envy for those who got the answer before I did.
Perhaps you can be mauve or chartreuse with satisfaction because you got the answer. Or, you you can have a stout sense of pride...
I have an odd feeling about this puzzle.Chuck
One of the "pregame" hints led me to the answer, and now they seem to just be piling on.Maybe Blaine needs to tighten up security around here.No, it's all right, I probably would have gotten it by tomorrow, anyway.
Oh, how could I, with MY HANDLE, not get this one?
Fish pooCarp crapGreek flatulenceFrat fartMutilated wooden seabird statueSawn swanChuck
A treeless hillsideBare braeWhere are the European & U.S. elements of your answers?
I keep my cereal fiber in a bran barn.
The 4 letter answers are relatively common: bolt blot, tarp trap, wrap warp, liar lair, brat Bart, gaol goal, fowl flow, lion loin.Harder to think of longer ones, especially that are relevant:5 lettersSouthwest weather warning: drier direrDuring and after cooking: fired friedMess on the cloth: satin stainTrite colleague: corny cronyMud brick house: adobe abode (personal favorite)6 lettersFrightened into holiness: scared sacredGeorge Washington: farmer framer (a bit obscure)garter grater (no clue for this, tried but tired....)7 lettersSculptor's desire: craving carving8 lettersMaterial that once allowed water passage: previous perviousAnd the longest I've come up withMaking molds for concrete: performing preforming
and of course adobe abode doesn't follow the rule, but I still like it.
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Why didn't Will save this puzzle for March or October?
Oh, I think today is perfect for it.
When I was fifteen years old I lived near one of these.
"I gotta mule, her name is Sal, fifteen years on the Erie Canal."
I think I've got this one. As for something I hope I haven't got, here's a puzzle of my own, I hope you like it. Take the following phrase: THAT SORE PART Drop one letter and rearrange the rest to get something in two words that may or may not be going around this particular season. It's pretty catchy, don't you think?
You don't need to remove the one letter to get the same answer.
sdb,Yes, but in three words rather than two.pjb,Catchy? Yes, especially if one is a fur trader of the female persuasion (very carefully worded phrase). Catchy as HER STOAT TRAP.LegoLesVoyageurs
This challenge is frightening, in more ways than one.
Seems that both of these places inspired songs, one inspiring far more than the other.
Sorry to be cryptic, but he's up to his old tricks again.
Up (or Down) to more cross words again?
OK ... this is just getting to be ridiculous!
Yikes! Agreed. I hit send once. Will nix 2/3 of them.
Yeah, this uncommanded reposting bug is a pain. I've taken to superstitiously navigating away from the page right after posting, in case refreshing the browser page is somehow triggering it.
... not quickly enough, I guess?
So we don't have to prove we're robots any more, just that we have endless patience.
Also:It seems whenever I access a YouTube video anymore, I wind up with a SERIES of YouTube videos. Anyone else noticed this phenomenon?
Yes, Paul! I guess this way if your attention lags for a few seconds, the next video is running and you are more likely to keep watching.
Why were just some but not all of the Groundhog Day posts repeated?
Didn't you see the film? Not everything that happens on Groundhog Day gets repeated exactly.
The essence of conversation is allowing one's partner in the conversation to respond.Might work for conservation, too; I really didn't check
It took me almost 1/2 of a kilometer to solve the puzzle on my run yesterday.
Both places added together yield Nihari.
Another Musical clue: Ukulele..................
I look forward to hearing your explanation of that clue, Ken.
It has me curious,as well.
UKulele might have been too obvious but I intended to reveal that the European answer was located in the United Kingdom
I've got something that works, but it uses the European location's native tongue spelling, not what we call that place.
Until today I never knew how to pronounce it - only saw it in print. Sounds a bit like a word heard at Fenway Park.
North coast to us, UJ..
Éire from ErieMy hint:“I'm orange with envy for those who got the answer before I did.”Green is not the only color associated with Ireland. Orange is the opposing color. The Loyal Orange Institution, more commonly known as the Orange Order, is a Protestant fraternal organisation based primarily in Northern Ireland.
Erie (Pennsylvania), Eire (the Irish name of Ireland, also the former name of the Republic of Ireland)Last Sunday I said, “I have an odd feeling about this puzzle.” Odd as in eerie.Chuck
ERIE (Pennsylvania) >>> ÉIRE (Ireland) "Looking at this from acute angles." pointed toward the acute accent on the leading "e" in Éire."You saw potato, I say potahto" in response to ecoarchitect's comment referred to the pronunciation many use for Éire as "Ire" rather than the proper "Air." "I know" was confirming this. The addition of the acute accent for one place and not the other makes this puzzle a bit less elegant, IMHO.
ERIE -> ÉIRE> I may die a critic, but some would object to the spelling of your answer.Per Wikipedia, the spelling Eire (without the diacritical mark) is generally deplored by Irish-speakers as worse than a misspelling, because eire is a separate word, meaning "a burden, load or encumbrance".> Musical clue: The Eagles?Don't they nest in (a)eries?> Oh, I think today is perfect for it.Sunday, February 1, was the feast day of St. Brigid, patron saint of Ireland.> Sorry to be cryptic, but he's up to his old tricks again.In Sunday's New York Times Cryptic Crossword, 22-D: "Odd East Indian": EERIE.
What is the correct pronunciation of "Eire?"
Ruth, I have heard both "air" and "air-ih," just never "ire."
It's a crossword puzzle fave, but I've never heard anyone pronounce it.
Per Wikipedia, ɛərə, or eːɾʲə.
Jimmy Cliff says irie. Close enough.Nihari is an Indian stew.Erie Indians and Irish stew.Lake Erie is my north coast.
Eire is in Ireland, technically not on the continent of Europe
I'm glad I sent in Erie and Eire. I thought it was too far-fetched but have learned that I shouldn't be deterred by that!
Me too!My comment, "Strange puzzle . . . "Strange => (e)erie.
Writing of eerie, the eerie duplicating bug appears to be fixed. Blaine, did you fix it?
ERIE and EIRE. Also, concerning THAT SORE PART: Drop an A and rearrange the rest to get STREP THROAT, though I hope no one here has it. Take it from me, you don't want it.
Yes, and if you leave the A in you get A STREP THROAT. I had a strep throat when I was a kid.
(Unable to post earlier)ERIE, Pennsylvania or the Great Lake.EIRE = Ireland. Check out the pronunciations (British & American) of EIRE HERE. There are probably few Americans who know how to pronounce EIRE correctly. “Potato/potahto” good clue WW!Then there are the little too obvious references to EERIE clues such as Chuck's “odd feeling” & Rob's “strange melody,” etc.
Thanks for the kudos, ron. For my money, ecoarcitect's "on-air" and reference to error via mistake were purely blissful, subtle, and clever clues for this puzzle.
"... almost 1/2 of a kilometer to solve the puzzle on my run ...". Kilometer has 9 letters, 4 (almost half) of which are I E E R, which anagrams to the answer(s).
Embarrassing that it took so long to get this as I live/work in the U.S. city... Just figured we weren't popular enough anymore to be the actual answer. (Also, my first post here. I've been following along for years!)
Yes, welcome BookThief! We like newbies!!!
My reference to Shannon Sharpe was a reference to Shannon Ireland.
My hints were security (for first Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, from Erie, PA) and tomorrow (which,on Sunday, was Groundhog Day, an interruption of the hibernation of certain marmots -- Hibernia seems not to be etymologically related, however).SERIES, believe it or not, was an accident. I noticed it immediately after posting, but decided to let it stand and see if the context provided adequate camouflage.
I posted on Sun Feb 01, at 10:17:00 AM PSTOh, how could I, with MY HANDLE, not get this one?A synonym of "Weird" is "eerie", and the other part of my handle, Enya, is a native of Ireland, or "Eire" in Irish Gaelic.
My favorite clue was SDB's "orange with envy" post. Couldn't top it.
Next week's challenge: The challenge comes from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. Name someone who's the subject of many jokes; two words. Remove the space between the words. Insert the letters O and N in that order — not necessarily consecutively — inside this string of letters. The result, reading from left to right, will be two words of opposite meaning that this someone might say. Who is it, and what are the words?
Still working on this. Peter Collins also created the recent Halle Berry -> holly berry puzzle.