Sunday, February 22, 2015

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 22, 2015): The Oscar Goes To ...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 22, 2015): The Oscar Goes To ...:
Q: 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.
Do you think her middle name was for her mother?
A: JAMIE LEE CURTIS

140 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.

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    1. Blaine: yes, and her sister's, too.

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    3. not the only thing she got from her mother.

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    4. OK, now you're making me CRAZY! I'm gonna have to go take a cold shower.

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  2. Ron Howard's daughter, BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD has 3 male first names. I know, not 5-3-6. Well shorten DALLAS to DAL to obtain BRYCE DAL HOWARD, now 5-3-6!

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  3. She may have been named for her mother but that is a very fishy clue.

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    1. An interesting idea. They are phonetically very similar.

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    2. Her dad seemed gay. He even did one movie in drag.

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    3. He was gay.

      I know this is a thorny issue, but wasn't Jesus an early cross dresser?

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  4. As posted at the end of last week's thread, I'm pretty sure any clue I could give would be too obvious...

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    1. It's a beautiful day in this Denver neighborhood (just one).

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    2. It's a snowy, beautiful day

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  5. Goodness gracious this week's puzzle was a relief.it was much easier than the last few weeks' puzzles.

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  6. Am I the first to observe a very weird connection between her middle name, the month and day of her birth, AND one of the names in ron's post above?

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    1. I'm pretty sure I have the right answer and yet this clue makes no sense to me...

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    2. Yes, EaWAf, and another person with 3 first names.

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    3. Just five years' difference in your guest puzzle, EaWAF.

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. It might be so, or it might not be.

    Chuck

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  8. Blaine's "standard reminder" comment says "You may provide indirect hints to the answer to show you know it, but make sure they don't give the answer away."

    To best show that I know it, if you go the IMDb, set its search box to "names", and enter <6-letter name><comma><space><5-letter name><space><3-letter name> and then click the magnifying glass button, it says 'Displaying 2 results for "<6-letter name>, <5-letter name> <3-letter name>" and below that you see the 5-3-6 answer, and below that, a 5-3-6-5 name. And I've never heard of that person's 5 letter long last name.

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    1. Most excellent way of verifying! This is the answer I had as well, and I certainly have never heard that last name before today. Anyone have an answer that doesn't return the results specified by Weird All Fan?

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  9. I would have been one of the first solvers if Snipper hadn't guessed before me : ( (at the end of last week's thread)

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  10. Change one of the three names to a name that is exclusively female (as far as I know). Rearrange those names, and, phonetically, you'll have the name of a man who achieved some fame, but not in show business (in the strict sense).

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    1. I now see that the above is expressed somewhat imperfectly. i'm not sure of the best way to correct that. I guess I'll leave it as is and wait and see.

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    2. Paul,

      Generally, an excellent “piggyback puzzle.” Your answer has a connection (during one of the most tumultuous years of the 20th Century) to a guy with two first names (not to be confused with a horse with no… well, you know).

      Because Will’s puzzle this week is easier-peasier than last week’s easy-peasy effort, I have posted three piggyback puzzles” (puzzles that are similar to or build-on another puzzle) on my Puzzleria! blog just now.

      Here is one of those puzzles:
      Name a famous living actress who goes by three names, 8, 5 and 5 letters long, respectively. The first is traditionally female, the second is traditionally male and the third is a homophone of the second name in this week’s NPR puzzle.
      Who is she?


      If you do decide to visit Puzzleria!, linger a while if you like, but then be sure to return to Blainesville. Thank you.

      LegoMilwaukeeBravesCareerYear1964…Doo-Wop

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    3. Her last name used to be her middle name. I have heard two different explanations for what became her middle name.

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  11. I've got a gut feeling I have the right answer. Maybe I can take something for that.

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  12. I have an alternative if:
    1. One uses a non-standard (for a male) spelling of the first name.
    2. The six letter name is, according to one website I saw, somewhere between the 15,000th and 20,000th most popular name in the US.
    3. You can "cheat" (there is a trick involved).

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    1. David,
      I have a guess: Did she have a role in a movie that also featured a rodent? (Two brothers also had roles in the movie.)
      LegoGuesser

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    2. Yes, although I had no idea about he brother thing.

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    1. That's a little too revealing, Eddy.

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    2. What's your new thumbnail, WW?

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    3. Solar cookers. They melted chocolate in 15 minutes in s'mores yesterday morning. 24 hours later we are covered in up to a foot of snow.

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    4. I'm gonna guess the kindergartners made solar 'smores.

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    5. Obviously, I type too slowly.

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    6. Slow cooking, slow typing--works for me.

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    7. So, today you can pour some sweetened condensed milk on the snow for snow ice cream.

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    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. While I got this week's answer, I missed last week's. I hate it when I don't get them on a regular basis.

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    1. Maybe you need to try a different challenge.

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  15. EAWAF (or anyone) -

    Would someone use their blog post and type in exactly what you'd type in the IMDB search box? Obviously, I don't need it to solve this puzzle as I solved it some time ago. But I think it might come in very handy for future reverence. Thanks.

    Chuck

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    1. Chuck, future reverence--is that like church on Monday? ;-)

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    2. Oops :)

      Perhaps I misunderstood EAWAF's earlier post. Can you query IMDB for all movie people that have names in the form of 6, 5 3? If so, how? I can't seem to find a syntax it will accept...

      Chuck

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    3. Obviously, by displaying stuff between these < > brackets, you're supposed to replace those brackets and whatever stuff I had typed with what that stuff represents. Those who have solved the puzzle know what the 6-letter name, the 5-letter name and the 3-letter names are.

      Now, if you're wondering how I displayed those < > brackets, that's easy:

      &lt; = <, &gt; = >, and of course &amp; = &.

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    4. I did misunderstand. I was looking for a way to query for _all_ people with a name in the form of 5-3-6, not just at the answer to this week's puzzle.

      Chuck

      BTW, if there is a way to do this, I would still like to know how.

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  16. ...wasn't any more revealing than Blaine's hint at the top,
    "Do you think her middle name was for her mother? "

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    1. My hint may be slightly revealing but certainly doesn't provide how the name may be related or give any specific letters.

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  17. As I posted very early this morning just after the puzzle was posted online by NPR:

    skydiveboy Sun Feb 22, 05:09:00 AM PST
    "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."

    Today:

    And of course I did have it and here's a hint if you really need one:

    The Far Side comics come to mind. Also the author, Paul Bowles. Good luck trying to figure them out though.

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  18. I encountered her once at a Whole Foods in Los Angeles. She was very nice and down to earth. I was behind her in the checkout line and she offered to trade places after noticing I had fewer items, but the cashier had already begun scanning hers.

    She must've been hungry because she picked up a carrot from the belt, started chomping on it, and told the cashier "Make sure you charge me for this" while holding up the remaining half carrot.

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    1. I bet she already had 24 carrots.

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    2. I guess by eating it raw she was being cautious not to get carroted arteries.

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    3. Don't they sell carrots by weight? Did they weigh the remaining half and double it?

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    4. So, Blaine, I see you decided to weigh in on this important issue. Perhaps now is the time for a full fledged investigation into Carrot Gate. (I also want to point out the orange/green connection to a recent NPR puzzle.)

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    5. They didn't carrot all if they charged her. I wish I could add the reason.

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    6. If she dropped the last part while driving home in her SUV and it disappeared under the seat I suppose the result might have been car rot.

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    7. No, no, no! That weighing-the-other-half-of-the-carrot-and-doubling-it trick won’t work. Carrots are conical (and, like carrot-expert Bugs Bunny, comical) so, depending on which carrot-end the muncher munched, somebody gets the raw end of the stick, so to speak.

      You’ve got to weigh the muncher pre-munch and post-munch, then subtract. But that does not mean you are done. As any loupe-lidded jeweler can tell you, weighing carrots is a delicate balance. After subtracting you multiply by pi, divide by phi and, because carrots are a root that is often cubed in salad preparation, you then must take the cube root.

      But even then, you must sit the muncher upon one side of a humongous balance scale and make her wear a fake carrot nose, like Frosty the snowman. On the other side you must place Daffy Duck because he is a friend of Bugs, and because a duck floats in water just like a carrot does. But unlike wood, which also floats in water, a carrot has few burnable calories. So the muncher’s carrot-nose (with nominal calories not yet burned) cancels out the weight of the duck.

      Ergo, if the two sides balance after the supports are pounded away with mallets, it follows that the actress’s weight is negligible (and negligee-ible) , and therefore she must be a supermodel who eats nothing but carrots, and so she must be charged, not only with the crime of “consumerism consumption” (known more familiarly as “munching while marketing”), but for the entire cost of the crateloads o' carrots she must have been munching before she even approached the check-out counter.

      LegoShe’sASupermodel!

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    8. It was a loose, pay-by-weight carrot - probably about 35 cents/lb back then. The cashier gave her a pass.

      It was lunchtime on a Friday, a rather humdrum one, and she was buying quite a bit of food. I surmised she was preparing for a big weekend gathering, perhaps with lots of...guests.

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    9. Of course. I'd never want to say vulgar is associated with her.

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  19. Got it! The last time I came up with the answer this fast was back in October!

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  20. All these celebrities going by. . .the book? train? boat?

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  21. The actor who played opposite this actress in one of her movies was very popular and likeable until his true self emerged in later years.

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  22. OK, that's pretty easy. Didn't even have to scan lists. Her last name is on a certification document issued early in the 20th Century, and numbered "01" that has come up on final Jeopardy.

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    1. A little too easy to search that one.

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    2. ... and the last names are spelled differently.

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  23. Will gave a clue to her real last name.

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  24. Got it almost instantly this morning, but I had to change my email address to be able to send in my answer. Usually I've used berryberry@mindspring.com, but what with that one not considered valid on this blog, I had to change it. Not even sure how I started out with the "mindspring" one. I think my mom must've used it first. So today, you might say I ended up trading places.

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  25. Will gave the perfect clue in one of the names in the puzzle itself.

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  27. Historical figure, frequent crossword fill, last name same as actress's middle, married someone whose last name is just one letter away from the actress's.

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    1. ... and the person most closely associated with the actress's birthday is now very near a place named for the historical figure and spouse. (These could not be considered helpful clues.)

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  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Whoa, quite delayed double postings now. It's an annoying little bug.

      It's an annoying little bug. . .

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    2. Yes. I think it has something to do with an interaction with the browser. If I kill the window right after posting, it doesn't seem to happen.

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  29. Her father and mother's murderer have the same given name.

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  30. Her (somewhat less famous) sister is also a valid answer.

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  31. While we're at it, here's a puzzle also incorporating the actress's middle name(by sheer coincidence): Think of a well-known filmmaker, first name and last. Drop the first letter from his first name, and you'll get a type of fish. Reverse his last name entirely, dropping no letters, and you'll get another type of fish. Who is he, and what are they? Tell ya Thursday.

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    1. First name of the filmmaker is the name of one of my cats.

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    2. Nice puzzle, pjb. In 1994, a Mr. Miller was this filmmaker's nemesis.

      How many cats you got, David? BTW, the brothers who costarred with the actress (in your above clever puzzle) appeared in four other movies together also.

      LegoPiscineContestCompetitor

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    3. Not a half bad puzzle PJB! Too bad you didn't save it and submit it to NPR. Maybe you still can - in a year or two when it has faded from memory.

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    4. pjb,
      I think your puzzle is just as good as most puzzles we get from Will, but easy to solve. I mention this because I think you gave away too much information in your presentation for the solving of this week's puzzle. I mean the mentioning of the middle name. I am not posting this as a criticism, but as a caution to be more careful so as not to lead others to solving the NPR puzzle. Had you left out the middle name hint I would not be posting this.

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  32. In response to your piggyback puzzles, Lego, the first two are easier than the third. I did have to look up movie actress lists. I don't think the Oscar-winner part applies though, unless I'm thinking of the wrong actor. The other two certainly fit. Good ones!

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    1. Thank you, pjb. And thanks for visiting Puzzleria! (Tell your friends!)

      I stand corrected about the "The Oscar-winning part not applying." I stand corrected. The person in question, with the initials M.C., has been nominated for three Oscars in the category of "Best Sound."

      For the record, I would have had to consult "actress lists" to solve all three piggyback puzzles I created.

      The one to which we refer is:
      Name a famous living actress who goes by two first names, 7 and 3 letters long, respectively. Remove a letter from the first name, remove the space between names and divide this result into four bite-sized words (three letters or less… okay, “three letters or fewer”) that form a true statement about an ESPN football analyst, a country singer and, perhaps a three time Oscar winner. (I have to say “perhaps” because I cannot find the information I require to verify that this Oscar-winner meets the criterion of the true statement... even with the vastness of the Internets and the glory of the Google at my fingertips!)
      Who is she?

      LegoWorstSound

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  33. For the most part, I got the answer to the third piggyback puzzle. I'm just stumped as to whom the sound nominee is. True, no lies.

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  34. patj,

    Sorry. I do not mean to waste your time on this. And, I made a mistake in my post above. The sound nominee's initials are M.M., not M.C. His last name is Metcalfe. You know his first name.

    The odds are only one-in-twelve that Mr. Metcalfe satisfies the criterion of my puzzle. But I wanted to put somebody with Oscar credentials into my puzzle to make it timely on Academy Award Day. And I cannot believe that I cannot determine whether he satisfies the criterion. I thought everything was findable on the internet! Maybe I'm not as proficient in the use of search engines as I thought I was.

    Lego...

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  35. Don't sweat it, Lego. The only one fitting the description in the answer that I could find was Mr.Metcalfe. Besides, it's not like Will actually used that for the week's challenge. As far as the answer goes, it probably still applies. He is what the actress's name less one letter says. That may be the strangest worded sentence I may have ever heard, read or said.

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    1. Thank you, pjb.

      Regarding you “strangest worded sentence” comment: You apparently have not been reading the comments I too-profusely post on Blaine’s and other blogs, including my own Puzzleria!

      Speaking of which:
      Just as “there is more than one way to skin a c…” (Gosh, how I Loathe that expression!), there is also more than one way to learn a lesson. And… to solve a puzzle.

      Some of us are tactile solvers. We enjoy solving Rubik’s cubes, tangrams, matchstick puzzles, Scrabble or anagram-tile puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, interlocking wooden puzzles, etc.

      Others are auditory solvers. They listen as Will Shortz broadcasts his Sunday NPR puzzle and then blurt out the answer before he says good-bye to Rachel! Others like to read puzzles in puzzle books or on puzzle blogs. Some may take pen to paper and doodle or play with the puzzle’s words, letters and numbers in search of a solution.

      And still others enjoy visual puzzles (there is some overlap here with tactile puzzles): Jumbles, Escheresque optical illusions, geometric poasers, rebuses, crosswords, etc.

      I have posted what I deem a pretty good, if I do say so myself (another loathsome expression!), visual puzzle over on Puzzleria! this week. It is titled “Seeing Double Slice: Caption (not-quite-so) Obvious.” I will be posting the answer to it in our “Comments” section later today (Tuesday, as we do for all our puzzles every week).

      If you are a visual puzzle solver, give it a glance. Thank you.

      LegoMoreThanOneWayToSkinAKnee

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  36. Changing the subject just slightly, there is a Winter Weather Advisory for our area. They predict possibly three inches of snow late tomorrow. Maybe even three to five. Hope everyone else is keeping warm and not getting sick this winter. BTW I'm over my cold. Only problem now may be cabin fever. Got a little Wanda---er, wanderlust.(We still have this week's puzzle to hint around about, you know.)Also, my niece is about over her being sick. That's my girl.

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  37. We got a big snow job here in Jasper! Outside it's whiter than the list of this year's Oscar nominees! It's very rare to get snow down here, but when we do they'll talk all day about the weather on TV. Taylor Hicks even made an appearance, singing the "Snowman Builder Blues" with a few of the folks on Fox 6 News. My nieces and my nephew are probably sledding right now. It looks beautiful out here.

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  38. Thanks Jim for what you said about my puzzle. I have actually tried to send in ideas on the regular answer from before, but I never heard back from them. I may not have been doing it right. I have to admit I'm kind of a novice when it comes to computers. Sometimes it's all I can do to use my Kindle Fire. I have mastered a few things on our desktop and my mom's laptop, particularly Crossword Weaver, but I probably still have a lot to learn.



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    1. JAMIE LEE CURTIS

      "It's a beautiful day in this Denver neighborhood (just one)" pointed to the Curtis Park (now often referred to as RiNo) neighborhood in Denver.

      "Just five years' difference in your guest puzzle, EaWAF." referred to JLC's title of Lady Haden-Guest.

      And "vulgar is" referred to the bacteria Chlorella vulgaris, sometimes found in yogurt, as endorsed by JLC.

      Delete
  39. One of my close relatives worked in creative arts portion of her movies.

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  40. Jamie Lee Curtis

    My hints:

    “The Far Side comics come to mind. Also the author, Paul Bowles. Good luck trying to figure them out though.”

    Both these hints are pointing toward the middle name, Lee, which in nautical terms means downwind. A boat in order to protect itself from a storm might move to the LEE side of the island where the winds would be reduced. Paul Bowles wrote The Sheltering Sky.

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  41. Jamie Lee Curtis

    Last Sunday I said, “It might be so, or it might not be.” Like True Lies :)

    Chuck

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  42. JAMIE LEE CURTIS

    > An unsubstantiated rumor about her is relevant to the puzzle.

    True? Lies?

    > Historical figure, frequent crossword fill, last name same as actress's middle, married someone whose last name is just one letter away from the actress's. And the person most closely associated with the actress's birthday is now very near a place named for the historical figure and spouse. (These could not be considered helpful clues.)

    Robert E. Lee married Mary Anna Randolph Custis, great-granddaughter of Martha Washington by her first husband. John F. Kennedy, assassinated on Jamie Lee Curtis's 5th birthday, is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, near the Custis-Lee Mansion.

    > Her last name used to be her middle name. I have heard two different explanations for what became her middle name. [regarding Jennifer Jason Leigh, Lego's puzzle answer].

    She was born Jennifer Leigh Morrow. I've heard that she took Jason as a middle name as a nod either to Jason Robards, or to Rick Jason, her father, Vic Morrow's, friend and co-star on Combat!.

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  43. Jamie Lee Curtis. My post concerning her father being a bit of a drag, was a reference to her dad, Tony Curtis, and his role in the classic movie, "Some Like It Hot."

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  44. Jamie Lee Curtis. I referred to the shower scene in "PSYCHO" after Blaine wondered that her middle name might be a tribute to her mother: Janet Leigh. Also, mentioned that dad, Tony Curtis, seems gay, and was in drag in "Some Like it Hot".

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    1. Of course Jamie Lee Curtis was known as the "Scream Queen" from the Halloween movies early in her career, hence the name is not the only thing she got from her mother.

      All of the west will be like the Bates Motel as they ask us to cut down on our showers!

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  46. I worked with a guy whose parents named him Leigh Jamie in homage to Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis. He hated his name.

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  47. Day two of the "Snowpocalypse" here in Alabama. My brother has no electricity, but we still have ours, thank God. I too said Jamie Lee Curtis, and referenced Trading Places, My Girl, A Fish Called Wanda, and True Lies. Funny I didn't think of her Actavia yogurt ads. The answer to my puzzle was SPIKE LEE, and PIKE and EEL. Pretty good, huh?

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  48. I would have been one of the first solvers if Snipper [[hadn't guessed]] before me : ( (at the end of last week's thread)

    Curtis married actor Christopher Guest on December 18, 1984, becoming the Lady Haden-Guest when her husband inherited the Barony of Haden-Guest in 1996, upon the death of his father.

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  49. If you want to take claim to that one, be my guest. :)

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  50. Dec. 18, 1984? Guest was a cast member of SNL at that time. Plus, "This Is Spinal Tap" was out, too. Didn't realize he's a baron though.

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  51. ron posted on Sun Feb 22, at 07:16:00 AM PST:

    Ron Howard's daughter, BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD has 3 male first names. I know, not 5-3-6. Well shorten DALLAS to DAL to obtain BRYCE DAL HOWARD, now 5-3-6!

    Many posts later, I posted on Sun Feb 22, at 08:00:00 AM PST:

    Am I the first to observe a very weird connection between her middle name, the month and day of her birth, AND one of the names in ron's post above?

    I also posted on Sun Feb 22, at 08:22:00 AM PST:

    Blaine's "standard reminder" comment says "You may provide indirect hints to the answer to show you know it, but make sure they don't give the answer away."

    To best show that I know it, if you go the IMDb, set its search box to "names", and enter <6-letter name><comma><space><5-letter name><space><3-letter name> and then click the magnifying glass button, it says 'Displaying 2 results for "lt;6-letter name>, <5-letter name> <3-letter name>" and below that you see the 5-3-6 answer, and below that, a 5-3-6-5 name. And I've never heard of that person's 5 letter long last name.

    Ok, if you go to the IMDb, set its search box to "names", and enter "Curtis, Jamie Lee" and then click the magnifying glass button, it says 'Displaying 2 results for "Curtis, Jamie Lee"' and below that you see "Jamie Lee Curtis" and below that you see "Jamie Lee Curtis Taete".

    Then, if you click on Jamie Lee Curtis, then her IMDb page comes up, and you see that she was born on November 22, 1958.

    Lee, November 22, and Dallas from "Bryce Dallas Howard" (mentioned in ron's post) -- strange connection, huh?

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  52. Suggests a vast conspiracy. No?

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  53. Jim,
    I don't think you should use the word, avast until September 19 - International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

    ( Something is not working on blogger. I was unable to post below your above post.)

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    1. sdb,

      You Really Talk Like A Pirate on September 19? What a backwards PALTRY excuse for a holiday!

      LegoAAAARRRRGGHH!

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    2. We don't aaaargue with the aaaaaarmada.

      Delete
  54. RIP Leonard Nimoy DYNAMO IN ROLE. Just came to me.

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  55. Next week's challenge: Name a city whose name ends in a long-A sound in which that sound is not spelled with an "A." Change the sound to a long-O and phonetically you'll name a famous person whose name does not contain the letter "O." What city and famous person are these?

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    1. City and person are of the same country.

      Delete
  56. Enjoyed Will's hint on the on-air synonyms puzzle word "aver."

    Yeah, it's a synonym of "aver."

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  57. That was so easy I am speechless for a change.

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  58. Nice to come back to a challenge I can solve. But I'm glad I don't have to spell out the names involved; I don't think I can, and that would spoil my victory!

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  59. I started off trying to think of US cities, but although I was in a very patriotic mood, that didn't give me anything to say to this one. (Not even a tiny bit, thank you.)
    LLAP

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  60. Sigh. I thought Will was giving up this type of puzzle for these forty days.

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    1. Don't get huffy. You don't want to be known for a Taipei personality...

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    2. So Taipei I could not wait for the spelling bee. . .

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    3. Is that Maizie frolicking on The Dress?

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    4. Haha. How did the dress thing pick up so much steam?

      Also, a Morning Edition story on Will Forte's new tv series and ads on NPR for same?!

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    5. WW. I get your very clever hint!

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  61. I guess it's not a city in New Mexico and a fake St. Nick.

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