Sunday, March 01, 2015

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 1, 2015): Phonetic Phun

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 1, 2015): Phonetic Phun:
Q: 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?
I won't say what I really think of this puzzle.

Two hints: "Say" is phonetically the last syllable in the city. And it also is a clue to being a mime.
A: MARSEILLE (France) --> (Marcel) MARCEAU

134 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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  2. Taipei must have been a typeau.

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  3. It goes without saying I had to think outside the box on this one.

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  4. Replies
    1. Niamey (capital of Niger) would have worked if you spelled your name differently, Cap'n.

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  5. As posted earlier: I guess it's not a city in New Mexico and a fake St. Nick.

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  6. A decent puzzle to start the new month.

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  7. I posted the following earlier this morning:

    skydiveboy Sun Mar 01, 06:01:00 AM PST

    That was so easy I am speechless for a change.

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  8. Blaine, your clue gave the answer away for me, with many of the above hints confirming.

    My niece spent a school year in that city.

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  9. Can't sleep - clowns will eat me...

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  10. I am feeling very stupid today-need more clues.

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  11. My clue from the end of last week:

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

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. This puzzle is easy, but seems like it should be more difficult. I agree with Snipper that it is a decent puzzle.

    My friend came up with Monterey right away for the city, but stalled on the person. She forgot about Hugeaux Mauntenegreaux (the “neg,” of course, can be considered as negligible). I urged her to submit it to Will, see what happens.

    The answer I Will submit is not his intended answer either. It involves a very small village in the same country of Will’s intended city. The person is either a posthumously inducted Hall-of-Famer or a Japanese orchestra conductor if you misspell his name. My answer has a snowball’s chance in Puzzlerian! ovens of being accepted. So does my friend’s answer.

    Congrats to Dr. Shortz for the expansion of the puzzle section in the NYT Magazine.

    LegeauxFromLegezInEspana

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  14. The answer must require silent letters, at least.

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  15. My friend Beatles_and_Melanie_fan, owns "The best of <this individual>" on a vinyl record album. He only listened to it once.

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    Replies
    1. I found an article about this album just now. Interesting!!

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    2. He assures me it is true. He does admit, though, that the person's last name, as printed on the album, is not the correct spelling. The album, although 100% REAL, is apparently a joke and the real person would not permit the use of his real name.

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    3. I guess he was staying silent on the issue so as not to create more publicity.

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    4. Obviosity reigning supreme today. . .

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    5. It's not reigning. It's snowing (as usual).

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    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    7. Here also. My brothers are stuck in Detroit enroute to CO.

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    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    9. Blaine, any help in cleaning up this bugginess is much appreciated.

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    10. Regarding the weather:

      I've had it with these MFing flakes on this MFing plain!

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  16. Replies
    1. I wish I could have been in the courtroom to hear that testimony. I bet it required your full attention.

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    2. This person's name was intentionally misspelled on the album and the person lost. Not sure it went to courtroom. If so, listening to the full alum in court must have been interesting.

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    3. Natasha, I hope that on Thursday at noon PST you post a link to that article you referenced in your reply to my first post here (above).

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    4. Just plug in the name of the person in your google search: The best of ..........
      Let me know if you still cannot find it.

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    5. I suppose the judge considered it somewhat a black and white issue.

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  17. I do know the person in this puzzle was once asked to be in a movie for which he would have been best suited, but he turned them down.

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    Replies
    1. That happened a lot during the silent film era.

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    2. I was lucky to catch a performance.

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  18. So, based on all this commentary, I should have the answer now? Am I really so tired, that I am not getting it?

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. Nellie,

    You can watch these clowns all day but that won't necessarily help you see the answer; sometimes their clues are meant to obscure. Skydiveboy is in particularly rare form today.

    There are variations of this puzzle:
    Take a first name ending with a long a sound, change it to a long o sound and you get a car company. Neither name has the pronounced letter in its long sound.

    Take another first name ending with a long e sound, change that to a long o sound and you get the last name of a well known former national leader. Again, the letter is not in the pronounced sound.

    Wasn't this person used in a previous Will Shortz puzzle? Long gone, some golden answer?

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  21. Thanks everyone, I solved it and can now sleep tonight.

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  22. You probably don't need a Xanax like I usually do. My prescription ran out a few days ago, just short of my therapist appointment this coming Wednesday. I haven't had much sleep for the past two days.

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    Replies
    1. patjberry,
      I don't mean to cause you any undue embarrassment, but you seem to have spelled xanaX backwards.

      Delete
  23. BTW Eco, I got both your piggyback puzzles. Good ones. Spell one of them with the A and you get my sister-in-law's name. Technically it's her middle name. They go by middle names mostly in her family.

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  24. I may be solo in suggesting this, but does anyone else think it would be tres cool if this blog had sound effects?

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    Replies
    1. Ruth,
      You are so very alone, but I do love your hint.

      Delete
  25. While Blaine reminds us every week to not post direct links to the answer, it's especially important this week that we keep our silence until 3 PM Eastern on Thursday.

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  26. That will be a serious challenge for several of our bloggers.

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  27. To quote George Carlin..."I don't have to tell you it goes without saying there are some things better left unsaid. I think that speaks for itself. The less said about it the better.”

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  28. This person was at once at CSM, I believe.

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    Replies
    1. Calcutta School of Music? College of San Mateo? Canadian Society of Medievalists? Colorado School of Mi..... ohhhh, I get it.

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    2. Yes, great engineers go here.

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  29. Yesterday, the answer was staring me in the face but I just couldn’t “see” it. It always bothers me when I don’t get the answer on the first day. It actually kept me up for 1 1/2 hours last night – couldn’t quit thinking about it. Finally took a sleeping pill.

    So this morning, I was taking a shower and the answer just popped into my head. What’s the moral of this story? Take more showers...

    No hints here except to say that the city and person have a couple of things in common.

    Chuck

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  30. OK, I'm trying to feel my way out of this box.

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  31. The person reminds me of a Bob Seger Song.

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  32. I heard that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel are not on speaking terms. But that would be crazy after all these years.

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  33. I heard that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel are not on speaking terms. But that would be crazy after all these years.

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  34. Did I just hear the sounds of silence or was it just the response to your joke?

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  35. BTW the way I spell Xanax is just one palindromist's opinion. You'd have to ask my mom. Ma is as selfless as I am.

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    Replies
    1. To be truly selfless, you would refer to yourself as"i". Improves the palindrome a bit, too.

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    2. It's enough that someone thinks I misspelled Xanax. Don't start correcting my use of palindromes. After all, a Toyota's a Toyota.

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    3. In Spain they say, "A rose is just arroz." And Jesus arose from the dead.

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  36. Last week 2800 correct answers submitted including Jaime Ray Newman: This week at least 2800 correct.

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  37. BTW my therapist appointment has been moved up two weeks, probably due to upcoming weather conditions. Still I managed to get more Xanax today. Slept like a baby last night. You couldn't hear a peep out of me.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure we're all xanaXful for that thought.

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  38. If you say the name of the city, followed by the first and last names of the person, it sounds like you're conjugating a verb, sort of. Though Word Woman might take me to task on this.

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    Replies
    1. Uncle John, sort of. Say, I thought you were using Blogger not Blotter to post here.

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    2. Blotter? Haven't seen any good blotter since some Sandoz I came across in 1977. Blotto is de riguer these days.

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  39. The four unique syllables that make up the name of the city and the person are all homophones of common 3-letter English words.

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    Replies
    1. So, jan, a couple of 2-letter and 4-letter also. . .Kinda two and for (fro). . .

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    2. jan,
      I have homophones in every room in the house, but none of them are ringers. How do you answer that?

      Delete
  40. Ten Things That Will disappear In Our Lifetime. Part 2.

    8.
    The "Things" That You Own
    Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in "the cloud." Today your computer has a hard drive, and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest "cloud services." That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet.

    If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider. In this virtual world you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That's the good news. But will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?" Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

    9.
    Joined Handwriting (Cursive Writing)
    Already gone in some schools that no longer teach "joined handwriting" because nearly everything is done now on computers or keyboards of some type (pun not intended).

    10.
    Privacy
    If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That's gone. It's been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, "they" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits. "They" will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again and again.

    All we will have left that can't be changed...are our "Memories."




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  41. Ten Things That Will disappear In Our Lifetime. Part 1.



    This is USA-oriented, but Canada and the rest will not be far behind. Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part on how we adapt to them. But, ready or not, here they come.

    1.
    The Post Office
    Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.

    2.
    The Check
    Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with the check by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This plays right into the death of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business.

    3.
    The Newspaper
    The younger generation simply doesn't read the newspaper. It certainly doesn't subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cellphone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.

    4.
    The Book
    You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages? I said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing is happening with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can't wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you're holding a gadget instead of a book.

    5.
    The Land Line Telephone
    Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don't need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they've always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes.


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  42. Ten Things That Will disappear In Our Lifetime. Part 1½

    6.
    Music
    This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It's the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalogue items," meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, "Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before the Music Dies."

    7.
    Television Revenues
    To the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they're playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing, and commercials run about every four minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It's time for the cable companies to be put out of their misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry. These are out of order.

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    2. ron,
      Will we still need parachutes?

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    3. No. All you will have is the memory of parachutes.

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    4. ron,
      Good, because that's all I have now.

      Delete
  43. I suppose this all depends on whose lifetime you're talking about. Some of us are on our last legs already.

    One change that I expect, which hasn't really even started yet, is privately owned cars. Once self-driving cars are more or less perfected, I'd say in 10 years or so, there will be an inexorable movement toward using cars on demand, summoned from the cloud the way you can now call Uber. Without the need for everyone to own a car (or more -- a minivan for the family, a compact for commuting, a pickup for occasionally picking stuff up), demands for parking space, highway lanes (carpooling is less inconvenient when the routing is optimized anyway), fuel, steel, etc, will all be greatly reduced.

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    Replies
    1. MARSEILLE >>> MARCEL MARCEAU

      "Sigh. I thought Will was giving up this type of puzzle for these forty days." pointed to the si-lent MM.

      [Btw, more sounds of silence here at Blainesville than a Simon and Garfunkel concert.]

      "This person was at once at CSM, I believe." referred to Colorado School of Mines, er, Mimes. ;-).

      "Uncle John, sort of. Say, I thought you were using Blogger not Blotter to post here." referred to blot or mar.

      Delete
  44. Marseille, France & Marcel Marceau

    My Hints:

    I made several hints indicating silence, such as speechless. Most, if not all, of these should be self explanatory. I also left one completely blank post which I have been wondering if anyone understood is a mime post. Hey, maybe I’ve created a first here. So what?

    “So he won hands down?” This is hinting at mimes using their white gloved hands.

    “I suppose the judge considered it somewhat a black and white issue.” Another mime hint because mimes tend to wear black and white.

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    Replies
    1. "Now my eyes still see. . ." referred to silence is golden and your blank mime post. Mostly I wondered how you left it blank as I always get the "comment should not be empty" message when I've tried to leave a blank comment.

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    2. The SPACE BAR does the trick.

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    3. SDB I caught saw the silent reply you posted. Was waiting for someone to comment on it. I remained silent.

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. Thanks for the space bar tip, sdb. Looking forward to leaving an empty, silent comment soon. Yeah, yeah, I know you all are ;-).

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    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    8. Natasha,
      If you look at all, or some, of your posts you will see the delete key. You will not see this delete key below other's posts. They are miming.

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    9. SDB, My brain was in a mime state when asked the question, I think.

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  45. Marseille, (Marcel) Marceau

    Last Sunday I said, “the city and person have a couple of things in common.” They both start with “Mar” and they’re both French.

    Chuck

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  46. My comment last Sunday included, " that would spoil my victory!", cluing the MAR (spoil) part of the answer.

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  47. Marseille, (Marcel) Marceau, sounds kind of like a verb conjugation. I mentioned the classic mime routine of feeling the inside of a box, and even resorted to using a French term: de riguer.

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  48. My post referring to a city in New Mexico and a fake Santa pointed to the
    French word "faux".

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  49. MARSEILLE, second largest city in France.
    Marcel MARCEAU, the famous French mime, Bip the Clown.

    “Taipei (type A) must have been a typeau (typO).” TaipEI & typEAU are hints to the spellings of the long A and the long O sounds.

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  50. MARSEILLES, MARCEL MARCEAU "It goes without saying I had to think outside the box on this one." First of all, mimes go without saying anything. Second, "the box" is a common mime bit. Also saying "Couldn't hear a peep out of me" was a clue. Finally, if you've ever seen Mel Brooks's "Silent Movie", which was filmed as though it were a silent movie, at one point Mr. Marceau is asked if he'd like to be in the film, and he responds by saying the only word heard in the entire film: "No!"

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  51. Also the Bob Sever reference had to be "Against the Wind". "Walking against the wind" is another mime bit.

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  52. Excuse me, Bob Seger, not Sever. Stupid autocorrect!

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  53. "You can watch these clowns all day but that won't necessarily help you see the answer" - as others have noted mimes are often like clowns. SDB also likes to clown around, so I couldn't resist.

    "first name ending with a long a sound, change it to a long o sound and you get a car company": Rene - Renault

    "first name ending with a long e sound, change that to a long o sound and you get the last name of a well known former national leader": Trudy - Trudeau

    "Wasn't this person used in a previous Will Shortz puzzle? Long gone, some golden answer?" I recall something changing the last letter of the first name to 2 new letters.... Anyway, Marce(l, as in long) removed = Marce(au), with AU being the chemical abbreviation for gold. Bonus to WW and SDB that they got the double meaning of silence is golden.

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  54. Dare I say let us speak no more of this particular puzzle.

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    Replies
    1. I concur as this puzzle is indeed unspeakable.

      Delete
  55. Does anyone remember that great silent film musical, Auntie Mime?

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  56. Yeh, I thought Marseilles had an "S", that's what I submitted.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. That's why I said in my original comment that I wasn't sure how to spell the answers!

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    2. MARSEILLE, in France, is NOT spelled with a final S, but MARSEILLES, in English, is acceptable.

      Delete
  57. My clue - "a decent puzzle to start the new month" - referred to March, which in French is Mars - the starting letters of Marseille.

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  58. Next week's challenge: Take a familiar phrase in the form "[blank] and [blank]." Put the second word in front of the first, and you'll name a common part of a large company. What is it?

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  59. our old friend from Provo knows all about this

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  60. Amazing how, once one has the answer, it can seem that Blaine's Standard Rule is being violated!

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    Replies
    1. If the concern only arises after you have the answer, I'd rule no violation.

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  61. I used to work in R & D, in a large company that, as is common, had a medical department run by a Dr.

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  62. Musical clue for the new one: From the 1940s.

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  63. I got the answer after thinking about a popular British sitcom.

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  64. Replies
    1. Put the second word in front of the first, and you'll name a statue violation.

      Delete