Weekly discussion on the NPR puzzler, brain teasers, math problems and more.
Q: Name a major U.S. city in two syllables. Reverse the syllables phonetically to get the cost of attending a certain NBA game. What is it?
A: PHOENIX --> KNICKS' FEE
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.
that cost can be painful.
I certainly don't earn enough to afford it.
I once read about a famous tennis player who died and came back as a famous cricket player.
I learn something new every day!
Ho ho hum--got it.
Many posters are avowing there are no clues in their posts . I avow there is here.
avow ... I'll have to get back to you on that.
I was so excited to get the answer while the question was still going, so that I understood all your references on the first go this week, that I am delurking! (The challenge did have something of a watered-down spirit this week.)I raise my Scrabble mug of hot beverage to you all.
Yes, welcome. I'm sure you know if you anagram your name plus T you get LURK ATCHA. Glad you lurk no more. ;-)
And, to borrow from Berf, witcha is better than atcha.
Thanks (and back atcha), Paul and Ms. Word! I delurked at Crosswordman's blog, too, and then saw I had typoed in my first-ever comment. I wish I could pretend that was some kind of wordplay; some variant of Muphry's Law is clearly applicable.I tried anagramming Paul, but could only get some kind of lady werewolf to go with the watery spirit. I won't mess with the might Word Woman, who sounds like she already has powers of her own.I guess I'll go play in the snow; requires no cleverness. Happy Puzzle Day!
Really?! You committed a typo at AESAP??? Don't try to kid a kidder.
You solved this puzzle very swiftly, Laruchka. Are You an NBA fan? I hope that you win your lapel pin, so you can keep in your Scrabble mug or give it to your sweetheart, or keep it in your Scrabble mug with your SweeTarts, but I cannot be very optimistic. The chances this week of even “getting the call” from NPR are going to be worse than the odds of winning the Powerball lottery.Name word that does not describe a certain major U.S. city in two syllables. Reverse the syllables to get, “half-phonetically,” the something one learns. What is it?LegoRaiseYourMugDadGumIt!
ron,Yes, UNLESS you want to say SUNLESS (does not describe Phoenix) >>> LESSON.LegoAin'tNoSunshineWhenShe'sGone
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You've buried deeper, zeke creek.
Righto, WW. Even as Will is redoing the oldie moldies I can appreciate the fact that a puzzle in hand is worth two in the bush. In the future I will attempt to remain above the fray. Sure is tempting, though.
I'm going for Tulsa. You don't even have to do her phonetically!
remember the mercurial demise of the Mad Hatter
As posted at end of last week's blog - A very appropriate Sunday puzzle! And will's challenge even has a clue within it!
I kept waiting for Will to use "Bill Clinton's peccadillo" or something like that as one of today's clues, but I guess 7:30 in the morning is too early for that. As for this week's puzzle, it also creates a partial vacuum, to borrow the famous Sports Illustrated euphemism from several decades ago. (No clues in this rant, BTW)
QUINCY, Illinois can lead one to realize that the cost of attending an NBA All Star game held in Venice, Italy (the Republic of Venice) would certainly be one SEQUIN!
Hi. I'm new to puzzling and still quite terrible at solving them. Could someone give me an example of "reversing the syllables phonetically"? It's the "phonetically" part that has me so confused. Thanks guys!
I'm workin' on it, MOV. That, and a buck, will get you a newspaper -- but I'm workin' on it.
demon>>>Monday, erose>>>rosy, Quincy>>>sequin.
I guess I can retire.
Never, retire, Paul.And, MOV, the best example I can muster of merely "reversing the syllables" (with the "phonetically" added) is: "rattan" and "tan rat." Spelling and pronunciation are both retained post-reversal.LegoIAlwaysPhonetIn
By the time I get around to posting something, it's dry and flat. And I had such high expectations.
Oh, now I get it. Very subtle. Very clever. Very good.
Celtic Tick sell
T'was a response to MOV,
Basketball Celtic isn't pronounced with the hard C. :)
To sorta paraphrase a post, and then my reply to my own post near the end of last week's thread:I've made 2 observations:Between the city and the cost, there are only 3 letters in common!And in one of the answer parts, I see we have a curious case of "when two vowels go walking, the second one does the talking"!
Ok, how about bureau <==> robe-you?
Well, first, MOV, prove you're not a robot.
I was still in bed when I heard this one and thought I might not even try since it's sports related, but I got the answer right away. No hint here.I thought the question the on air guest asked Will was appropriate since I think last week's puzzle was just as flawed as the Tobey Maguire one.
I just realized there is an unintended hint in my above post.
Did anyone else notice how subtle Tulsa is?
Somebody Dick Cavett was once interviewing (I can't find a clip online) brought up the subject of Tulsa, OK? Cavett said something like, "Tulsa. Did you ever notice that is 'a slut' spelled backward?"LegoJethroTulsa
Didn't George Gobel once claim , on the Tonight Show, that no Japanese aircraft made it past Tulsa during WWII?
I doubt it would take a genius to find a slut in Tulsa.
As long as we're at it:A guy asks his seatmate on a train where he's heading, and the other guy says Green Bay. So the guy says Green Bay's got nothing but the Packers and a bunch of ugly whores. And the other guy says his wife is from Green Bay. So the guy asks what position she played.
Probably prop position.
No but I did notice how pricey Tesla is.
Yes but then you might have élan in Muskogee.
Still looking for a funny joke. I think going back to St Peter might help.
Very easy this week. I'm glad it wasn't too tough, because I'd hate to sit through SNL 40 tonight unable to pay attention. Those of you who haven't solved it yet, don't worry. The sun will still rise tomorrow. We'll have a "wintry mix" in the forecast down here in Alabama, but I think you'll know what I mean.
Question: If you assign a numerical value to each letter of the alphabet based on its position (a=1, b=2, etc.) you can sum these numbers to calculate a value for a given word or phrase. Applying that principle, the franchise name of what professional sports team has the same numerical value as the name of the city in which it plays?Stay warm. Thanks -- Phil J.
Musical clue: Fleetwood MacChuck
Name a U.S. president in two syllables. Reverse the syllables phonetically to get the nickname of a certain NBA team. Who is it?
Living here in Seattle, I got that one instantly.
Green Bay --> Buy Green? Not without an aussie accent, "Might".
Follow the instructions in this week's puzzle to name what a fan might use to get to the game.
Could float there on a new ark, without following any instructions.
Or ride a Colum Bus
Interesting bit of trivia: Here in Jasper, we used to have a Chinese restaurant named after the city in this week's challenge. They served great food.
You mean like almond breaded chicken? Or egg foo young? Or General cho's chicken? NOT CHINESE!
Well I watched it the SNL 40 Year Celebration. What a major disappointment! I expected so much more and got so little. kinda like a Will Shortz puzzle. It really sucked!
Yeah, it started out with so much promise then quickly dwindled into ashes.
Take a US city, reverse the syllables phonetically, and get a possible derisive nickname for a current US politician. As a hint the first syllable of the city, again phonetically, often is used in reference to one of the politician's idols.
Take one of the four syllables in the puzzle and move all of its consonants back three consonant spaces in the alphabet and all vowels back three vowel spaces in the alphabet. (For this puzzle, assume that the alphabet is circular, that is, "Z" is the consonant before "B", and "U" is the vowel before "A". Also assume that "Y" is a consonant.)You will get a word currently associated with the city or NBA answer from which the syllable is taken.
Puzzlemeister David,I watched a little bit o' Bo and Luke eludin' the law on the YouTube and, dum-dee-dum-dee-dum, I solved your first puzzle. Your second puzzle is just scary good!LegoBabyIWasBornToGraze
This puzzle has a certain trompe l'oeil to it.
I actually liked the SNL 40 special. So much so that it inspired a puzzle of my own: Name the one-time SNL regular whose name can be anagrammed to spell DARLING DEAR.
Darling dear Gilda Radner, one of the best.
Wasn't that from back in the Gilda'd Age?
Gilda-ing the LilyLeGiltyAsCharged
PJB - Love it, loved her
I don't know if I'm the first person to ever notice that about her name, but I'm sure all the surviving original cast members would agree it's sort of fitting for her.
I was hoping I was the first, but I can't say I'm surprised that I'm not.
Name a U.S. city in two syllables. Reverse the syllables phonetically to get something that makes Jack a dull boy.
If this is Norwalk, Charles, I'll have to disown you.
My Oh Yes!
Charles, Plano, TX.
SDB - Given your location and profession, I assume you had no trouble solving my follow-on puzzle.
Sorry Lorenzo, I didn't even look at it since it had to do with sports. Nothing to do with Deschutes, I assume.
But Lorenzo, if I had to attend, and I hope I won't, I would want to arrive in a Pullman, but I don't think that fits the puzzle definition. I doubt Carnation works either.
I am also sure you didn't mean Quincy as I never wear a sequin. Not even on my tux when I attended Tosca last month.
That one makes sense. Still not sure about David's puzzles, though. Does the second puzzle suggest people attending the team's games BOO a lot?
Due to inclement weather conditions, we had a four day weekend from school, which ended today. Over the break, I did not think to check the puzzle, and as such did not see it until today. Possibly as a result of my rejuvenation (from the four days of rest), it came to me almost immediately.
Well, isn't that just, Ducky?LegoJusticePrevailsInDuckyville!
Strange situation here at home. My brother and my sister-in-law took my two Chinese nieces to Baltimore and Philadelphia for the week, and we've had to look after my oldest niece who's just come down with, you guessed it, strep throat and the flu. I hope I don't get sick again.
pjb,Are you sure your niece did not catch the strep throat and flu from you?LegoTakeTwoCowbellAndCallMeChristopherWalkenInTheMorning
Are you suggesting patjberry may have to change his handle to Typhoidberry?
Ha ha very funny. I've just had a cold, and as long as I don't get too close to my niece I'll be fine. In fact she's spent most of her time here asleep in the computer room. After she goes home I'll probably still avoid that room for a few days. I haven't really been in there much lately anyway. Our desktop computer hasn't worked properly in quite a while.
NPR gives the answer; if one acts as if they know it.
Phoenix: Nicks feeMy hint: trompe l'oeil => faux painting => phoenix.
PHOENIX > KNICKS FEEMy Hint:“I was still in bed when I heard this one and thought I might not even try since it's sports related, but I got the answer right away. No hint here.”I did not intend this to be a hint, but when I looked at it again I saw one. Phoenix is rising up out of ashes, and I solved the puzzle while still in bed having not arisen.
PHOENIX -> KNICKS FEE> Maybe his easiest one of all.Not that hints are really needed when it's the 6th most populous city, but "one" is an anagram of the middle 3 letters.
Phoenix - Knicks FeeMy comment, at the end of last week's blog, concerning the “genesis” of this puzzle was intended as a reference to The Garden of Eden, and the Knicks, who play at Madison Square Garden – which to all us transplanted New Yorkers will always be, “The Garden.”
Especially since it hasn't been at Madison Square, at Broadway and 23rd, for decades.
True, and it's still Sixth Avenue, no matter what the signs say.
oops! I misspelled knick's in my submission. Probably why I did not get the call!
My hint "By the time I get around to posting..." borrowed from the Glen Campbell song about Phoenix, which is flat and dry.
Thanks to Lego, we learned a few weeks ago that 7 - 5 = 9 (IX)>>>PHOENIX>>>KNICKS FEE.
PHOENIX >>> KNICKS FEE "Ho ho hum" >>> Hohokam Indians who lived in the Phoenix area for over 2,000 years before it became a city.
Thanks for the shout-out, ron. "Phoenix" is, as I am sure you all know, the shortened form of the formal name of the former home of the Hohokam: "Phoenickerbockerz!"Incidentally, Word Woman, Arizonians ought to start a petition to rename "Phoenix" as "Hohokum." It is more historical, more fun to say, and could be a sister-city to Santa Claus, Indiana.While we're in a renaming mode, we could change the name of "Candid Camera" to "Hohokam." After all, Truth or Consequences" is just across the New Mexico border a bit... well, actually, it's a fur piece away, but still in neighboring states.LegoOrMaybeHobokenIsHohokam'sSisterCity?
Lego,This was thought of before, but the citizens of Hoquiam, WA, were upset.
And I thought it was WW's jaded response to my "urn" joke and Tommy Boy's follow-up, which were both quite clever IMHO. I suppose I should have known better.So, what was AVOW all about?And what are the similarities and differences vis-à-vis jade and turquoise? [I could research it myself, but, with a geologist in residence, why should I?]
Lego, I enjoyed learning about the Hohokam Indians while at the U of A. Hohokam and jojoba nut, too--a jolly place all around.Avow was just to highlight that "ho ho hum" meant something, Paul.For a start, turquoise is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminiumand jade is actually two metamorphic minerals with variable silicate formulae with Fe, Ca, Al, and Mg. Maybe we'll explore this more over at you know where (You do know where, right?)
On that Englishman's blog, Joe Kupe cleverly said:OK, we had Phoenix, Knicks Fee too, but we also had Raleigh, Lira whereas Lira is the currency in Turkey and the NBA played an exhibition game there this year and that is a certain NBA game! Curious to see how he scores this one!
Phoenix, Knicks FeeLast Sunday I said, “Musical clue: Fleetwood Mac.” Think Stevie Nicks and then think of what you have to pay to attend a Knicks game.Chuck
And guess who was born in Phoenix.
Stee-Fee Knicks! Paul, you have just proven that everything in the world is related to everything else. The word "coincidence" has no meaning. The universe id just one big three(four?)-dimensional chain in which every link is connected to an infinitude of other links!LegoEverybody'sEverything
And, further coincidencelessness: Alice Cooper was born in Phoenix the same year as Stee Fee. (Paul, did you just know that about S.N. or was it a Googled/DDG moment?)
It was Googled -- sometime betweenSun Feb 15, 05:11:00 AM PSTandSun Feb 15, 06:29:00 AM PST2015, of course ... A.D., of course.I think it's 4-D at the very least, lego; and that's just the uni- (not the multi-) verse.
As Carl Sagan might have put it, "Billions and billions of hyperstars!" (And Carl didn't mean "hyper stars" like Charlie Sheen, Lindsey Lohan, Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus!)LegoShamelesslyHypingMyBlog!
Lego,I just have to ask. ACT Theatre here in Seattle will be putting on a production of Tennessee Williams's, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof later this year. Will One of the performers be a high purr star maybe?
And I just have to add, Alice and Stevie may be equally long in the tooth, but my (limited) research indicates that Alice was born in Motown.
Paul, sure 'nuff, DETROIT it is despite the Phoenix site that claims Alice. His wiki entry does say that Alice "originated in Phoenix," whatever that means. Guess you just can't trust the internet--can you believe it?
Hey, WW, neither one of us is Ella Mae Furnier. Am I right?
Yeah, she was there (wherever) and we were not.
My hints:...Will is redoing...Willis Reed of the Knicks....in the bush.Dave Debusher of the Knicks....the fray. Sure is...Walt Frazier of the Knicks.MercurialVolatile and flighty as the Phoenix.Mad hatterManhattan It is the mercury that sets the hatter off...
Re my follow-up puzzle: As anyone in Seattle connected with aviation knows, a fan might take a taxi to get to the game.
Lorenzo,Very clever! Especially when SeaTac is on the minor end of a major U.S. city. Truth is I never would have thought of Sea Tac as to me SeaTac is just our major airport and only recently incorporated as a town. It still is not in my memory bank as a town, so it never even crossed my mind. I am surprised you came up with it unless you once lived around here. I don't go to sports games, but if I do I don't want to go in a taxi if I can go in a Chelan, I mean Lancia.
My clues "SUNday puzzle" referred to Phoenix suns. Will's clue "phonetically" seemed similar to Phoenix.
And here I was almost considering making the Glen Campbell reference myself. You do have to admit some of your clues can be rather out there. The Stevie Nicks connection I got right away, but I probably wouldn't have clued into any of what Zeke just posted. I don't even recall that post. I did however suggest the "sun"(Phoenix Suns)will "rise"(from the ashes, perhaps). There might have been another musical reference, though. Didn't Charley Pride have a song where he asked, "Is anybody goin' to San Anton', or Phoenix, Arizona?"
Blainesville Motto: "You do have to admit some of (y)our clues can be rather out there."
Thank you, friend. :)As I overheard the other day, "That Zeke is one trying individual." Effort does not go unnoticed. ;)
When I clicked on Weekend Edition Sunday, to find the puzzle and make my entry, the story right above it was about the Phoenix Suns.
You're kidding! That seems like way more than an ordinary coincidence. It only took me a few short minutes of looking up a list of US cities and then it practically jumped out at me. I do have to admit I like them a little better when they're that easy. Every week I check out the crosswords on the Guardian website and the Private Eye crossword, which is what I was doing just now, in fact. You talk about tough puzzles. I couldn't finish the Prize puzzle, and I've been getting a lot better at that one lately. Then with the Private Eye puzzle, they don't even really publish last week's answer, so you have to really take it on faith that every answer you come up with makes sense or parses out right. As if that weren't enough, that puzzle can get pretty raunchy. Did you know the word "pecker" can be a British term for "courage"? The things you learn from these things sometimes. Next up will be the Everyman puzzle on Guardian. That's the easiest one, though I still have to look up some questionable answers occasionally.
Yes, I don't do crosswords, but I do know something about British slang. During WWII, you know, the big one, when our boys (what an endearing term, don't you think?) (Please don't bother an answer as I don't really care) were stationed in dear olde England and one of the young women would invite a soldier or airman to "come by and knock me up." Or if he should perhaps be feeling a bit down in the dumps (just love that one) to "well, keep your pecker up."
Just listened to Says You a few hours ago. They always have two bluffing rounds for both teams to make up definitions for a certain unknown word(think the game Balderdash, pretty much the same thing). On this particular episode, both words began with the odd combination fn: fnarr and fnord. I'd never heard of such a thing, but apparently fnarr means an evil laugh, and fnord means something out of context that's actually shocking. Pity Richard Sherman never lived to actually reveal whatever dictionary he'd been using. I would've remembered seeing words beginning with fn. As for the Everyman puzzle, it was easy though I did have to look up some answers, like "bakewell tart".
It is Richard Sher. Not Sherman.
Sorry. This thing autocorrected. Richard Sherman obviously comes up more often than Richard Sher. I must not have noticed that before. This one I caught. Don't have as much to say with this post. If you got my earlier posts about Mr. Sher's untimely death, you would know I certainly know which is which.
Thanks for catching that skydiveboy. See you guys later today for the new Sunday Puzzle!
Next week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Smatt Read of Somerville, Mass. Actor Tom Arnold goes by two first names — Tom and Arnold, both male, of course. And actress Grace Kelly went by two first names — Grace and Kelly, both female. Name a famous living actress who goes by three first names, all of them traditionally considered male. The names are 5, 3 and 6 letters long, respectively.
jan, You beat me to it. Now I'm back to bed. I bet I never even heard of her. OH wait! I actually may have it.
An unsubstantiated rumor about her is relevant to the puzzle.
If I have the right actress, her first and second names are now used for both sexes. Her last name is almost always male, however.
*YAWN* Took me 5 seconds again this week.
I'm a little surprised that Smatt Read hasn't shown up in Blainesville. I'd guess he'd fit right in.
I'd like to know how Smatt got his name. Gotta be a good story there.
It's S. Matt Read's pen name.
I guessed it right away!
Didn't she once win a Tony award?
I saw her mom at a motel once, We started a
..,nice interview, but were cut off short.
And her father could be a bit of a drag
I would have been the first solver if Snipper hadn't guessed before me : (
I'm pretty sure any clue I could give would be too obvious...
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. . .
I submitted "d.c."/Canadian dollar (Toronto raptors)---I was wondering if folks thought this was an acceptable response to the puzzle. Thanks!
I'm not sure where "phonetically" would apply in your answer. If you were going for "seedy" that might be the syllables reversed.
thanks for the feedback! (I was thinking "C.D. was the phonetic reverse of "D.C." and also short for "canadian dollar").