Weekly discussion on the NPR puzzler, brain teasers, math problems and more.
Q: Take the word die. Think of two synonyms for this word that are themselves exact opposites of each other. What two words are these? A hint: they have the same number of letters.
A: PASS, FAIL
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.
Nice cartoon, Blaine.
Blaine - I was a Sunday Puzzle contestant in 2008 and posted about my experiences on your blog. I promised to post photos of my schwag, especially my lapel pin. Do you happen to remember if I ever did? I saw that there was something I posted that was later removed and I assume it was a link to my personal site (I promised to post the photos on there).I feel badly that I may have forgotten to post the photos....hmmm
Not sure that Will gets such a high grade for this one. Oh well, maybe next week.
Yes, cute Death.
Reminds me (with a little help from the internet) of Lennie Small.
I almost gave up on this puzzle.
Do self-antonyms count? "Kick off" can mean die, and also can mean start up. ---Rob
This puzzle is drearier than a third class funeral on a rainy day.
The Monty Python "Parrot Sketch" keeps running through my brain.
Natasha, Are you parroting Maggie?
I watched it on youtube again on Sunday. It gets a gold star.
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Yes, Natasha and Maggie, the sketch surely gets a gold star. The puzzle? Not so much.
Solving this puzzle is something to be extremely proud of. Stop and go work, except for the same # of letters.
Yes. My first thought was STOP/GO. When did the generator STOP (DIE)? When did he GO (DIE)?
There is a synonym of die that has 3 words that are opposites that are also synonyms of die.
It is reassuring to have gotten an answer that I initially thought was not so good, and then to come here and see that the hints confirm what I got. It is as if pals were helping out each other. Thanks, pals! ---Rob
Hmmmm Rob,I get what your saying.
I came up with two pairs of words but I don’t know what Will really wants. Both pairs meet the stated criteria and comport with an authoritative online synonym-finder. The pairs are different lengths, BTW. Puzzles like this feel loosey-goosey to me. I much prefer puzzles of the type that when you get the answer you know it. Die has so many synonyms how do you decide which pair to choose and when to quit looking?Chuck
A handful of less loosey-goosey word puzzles appear here. (And, if your go to the blog archives, octopi's handfuls.)(no hints to the NPR puzzle in this post)LegoLucyGucciCuchiCuchi
I think I have an answer that makes the grade, but I have 4 other solutions (2 from acting, 2 from traffic). I will post all 5 solutions I have so far after next Thursday's deadline.
I have 2 4-letter wordsthat makes sense. But I am not sure that they are the words that Will is looking for. I would really like to be selected for the starring role next week on the Sunday Puzzle, but Will seems to urinate on alternative answers he missed.
Yikes. It is worse: there are 2 different 4-letter synonyms of Die that are antonyms of my selected word that is also a synonym of die.
I wonder if it would be easier to solve in a small town or hamlet.
Depends on if you're near a mountain or not. -- Margaret G.
Tube E, or not Tube E.
School days, school days...this puzzle makes me think of my education growing up. On a different subject, tomorrow we're headed to Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., so it's a good thing I solved this one already. We'll be there a week, sort of a spring break vacation.
The following is from my friend Beatles_and_Melanie_fan. I tried posting it last week, but there was neither a reply, nor did anybody both visit his webpage and click the "submit" button. He welcomes comments.Hey Blaine's puzzle bloggers!I asked my friend Enya_and_Weird_Al_fan to post this on Blaine's puzzle blog. I think he has mentioned me a couple of times on a post or two. He has more time for solving the weekly NPR puzzle than I do! He usually solves it quickly, so I don't really spend much time on it. If he can't solve it, then I like working on it myself which includes reading our puzzle blog! I have always enjoyed the posts and banter between all the regular members! I usually would rather create a puzzle then solve it, so, here is a link to a puzzle I made up for you guys to try! Here is the link.My friend Beatles_and_Melanie_fan's puzzle page Sincerely, Beatles_and_Melanie_fan
E_a_W_A_f,Okay, maybe you can ask B_a_M_f to clarify a few things for me:Are the seven words from “all but one of seven words…” from the original list or, as I assume, from the list of “seven FIRST words”?How many items is in the “well-established list of items,” if that is relevant? Do the “all but one of the seven words fit nicely” with one word from this list or six different words. And what does “fits nicely” mean?Am I to understand the “common phrase” to include 12 words, 7 words, or how many words?Or are my questions just something I need to deal with as a part of solving the puzzle?Thank you.
legolambda,First, you assume correctly. The seven words from "All but one of these seven words..." refers to the list of seven FIRST words supplied by you (or whoever is the visitor to my friends' site). I BEGGED him to ask "NOW, think of a CATEGORY into which as many as possible, perhaps up to 6 of the 7 words provided by you, the user, could fit." Second, as to how many items are IN the category (or "list" as B_a_M_f prefers), all you need to know about that is that that number is well more than the 6 required by his request.Third, my friend is changing that wording to read: "All but one of the seven words that you add will belong in a category (or well known list)."Fourth, the "common phrase", as noted above, refers to a 2-word phrase; one such phrase for EACH of HIS initial 7 words. Fifth, as a consequence of what I've just said above, NOT ANY MORE!
I figured out the list... but my 7th "odd-one-out" is nowhere close to being on the list. Is it supposed to be close? Or can it be really out there?I'll answer on your friend's site too. --Margaret G
I'm glad I waited for my brain to take its usual course and work out Will's puzzle. I read all of your helpful hints yesterday, but nothing rang my bell. Then just before I got out of bed this morning, it came to me: how a word meaning "a device for cutting or molding metal into a particular shape" and "a small cube with each side having a different number of spots on it, ranging from one to six" can have synonyms which are antonyms. So now I am posting my victory while it is so early that I can barely teip.
Time to get to class!
Greetings from beautiful Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.! It's 4:30 right now, and I'm listening to some tunes on the TV. We started out at about eight this morning, and finally arrived at about three this afternoon. As far as I'm concerned, school's out and it's time for spring break! The rest of my family hasn't arrived yet, though.
I know Ken Osha really well. He's the father of Kenny from South Park.
"Die" has two meanings: it can be a verb meaning the process of joining the dear departed, or it can be a stamping device used to make an impression. Death can certainly make an impression. And I guess someone can be stamped out. Which is he looking for?
Ah! There's the rub, er roll. . .
Also, die is the singular of dice. Also can mean a process for conking out (for example, my cellphone battery is starting to die) without necessarily joining the dear departed.
Not to mention the Latin for "day", as in sine die, and the German definite article, as in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
My family and I are enjoying it here in Ft. Walton. We've been to the beach and a pool and a hot tub, and my niece Maddy and I had an argument over a game of Mastermind. She also messed up my stylus that goes with my Kindle, so it's a little difficult typing with less of an eraser on this thing. This may go on her permanent record.
Took me 3 days but I finally came up with the solution tonight while I was at P.F. Chang's.
If you'd been wearing a certain brand of New Balance sneakers, you might have gotten there faster.
Jan, I liked the part about brands. My Keds helped me to run higher and jump faster.
mold/wiltMy clue: a "giveaway," i.e detailed explanation of dies, etc.
PASS & FAILOne of the above applies to this puzzle. I won't say which one, but it is not the first one. DOA
PASS, FAIL> Of course, you get no credit for answering a puzzle this easy.Refers to taking courses PASS/FAIL or PASS/No Credit.>> Took me 3 days but I finally came up with the solution tonight while I was at P.F. Chang's.> If you'd been wearing a certain brand of New Balance sneakers, you might have gotten there faster.PF Flyers (motto: "Run Faster, Jump Higher") was bought by New Balance in 2001.
This is what I submitted:I have two possible answers:1) KICK & PASS - Both synonyms of "die", put as football plays, both exact opposites of each other2) DEPART & FINISH - Both synonyms of "die", but DEPART suggests *beginning* a journey from this world's existence, while FINISH suggests *concluding* such a journey.
Depart finish Pass stop
Definitely not a good week for me, although I got the PASS/FAIL answer. My comment was completely true, but really botched.Exerpts:"... waited for my brain to take its usual course ..." "... nothing rang my bell." (Two school references.)"... now I am posting my victory while it is so early that I can barely teip." (This one is harder to explain. The answer did come to me as I was getting out of bed, and it had occurred to me that there is some Irish expression or organization name that includes the Irish word "faille." So I thought I would look up that word in Google Translate and use the English meaning in my comment. (I can say now that it means "opportunistic.") But in my groggy state, I wound up getting the Irish word for "fail", which is "teip," and I put that in, having totally lost my bearings. Since no one screamed at me to take it down, I left it up.
I vote for "pass/ fail" which I understood the anagram in Rob's post "as if pals" were helping out each other.I replied "Hmmmm Rob,I get what your saying."
Bingo! Nice to know this was caught. ---Rob
PASS FAIL "Ken OSHA." Kenosha PASS in Colorado as well as OSHA FAILing some companies for health and safety issues. Enjoyed Curtis's clue about Kenosha Pass as the gateway to South Park, CO."Yes, Natasha and Maggie, the sketch surely gets a gold star. The puzzle? Not so much." As in it gets a FAIL only grade. (Well, maybe a PASS--but no gold star for sure).
PASS/FAIL = DIEPASS: And this too shall pass (die). Your anger will pass (die). To pass (away) (die).FAIL: Stop operating = die.When did the engine fail (die)? After his heart failed (died).My hint, probably a little too obvious: STOP/GO. “When did the generator STOP/FAIL/DIE?” “When did he GO/PASS/DIE?”
Answer: Both pass/stop and depart/finish appear to meet the stated criteria.I came up with two pairs of words but I don’t know what Will really wants. Both pairs meet the stated criteria and comport with an authoritative online synonym-finder. The pairs are different lengths, BTW. Puzzles like this feel loosey-goosey to me. I much prefer puzzles of the type that when you get the answer you know it. Die has so many synonyms how do you decide which pair to choose and when to quit looking?Chuck
Cryptic crossword solvers will recognize p(ass) and f(ail) as the "extremes" for "proud of".I threw in "Stop and go"; it was a "pass" route we used in football. It's also a deceitful version of a "post" route, which seems entirely appropriate here. Sadly my pro football career "failed" because of extreme lack of talent.
PASS/FAIL Florida has been fun this week.
"School's out" and "permanent record" were my clues.
Before concluding that pass/fail must be Will’s intended answer, all I had was goes/ends and pass/kick, neither which I believe WS will accept.Goes/ends are acceptable synonyms of “dies” but not “die.” Besides while goes and stops are fine antonyms, goes and ends are antonyms no-so-much, even though ends and stops are fine synonyms. Our crazy tongue!As for pass/kick, both are great synonyms of die.], but I don’t think WS will deem them sufficiently antonymous. (Reminded me of a great Johnny Carson Carnac routine, though: Answer: El Paso. Question: What other options does a Mexican quarterback have besides el runno and el punto? Can’t find a clip of it on YouTube.)He suspense this Sunday will be if WS accepts alternative answers and, if so, how many? (We, of course, encourage and appreciate such alternative answers over on Puzzleria! The alternatives are often better than my intendeds!)ElLego
This week's challenge comes from listener Henry Hook. And it's a little tricky. Given a standard calculator with room for 10 digits, what is the largest whole number you can register on it?
We may need to keep in mind that April 1st is this week.
If only there were a search engine to find the answers to such puzzles
Not terribly perplexing if one thinks the puzzle through.
No alternate answers for this past week's puzzle given on the web page and only one accepted alternate answer on the radio broadcast, PASS/STOP. Very disappointing.
Although confident of my solution, I was chastised a few weeks ago for a too revealing clue. So, I decided to delete my initial comment. After I see what others have to say, I'll have as better perspective on this.
I too am confident of the answer but can not find any way to comment without revealing too much. Even this post may go too far.
Hah! Will accepted my pass/stop answer after all :)Chuck
The deadline was Thursday at 3pm Eastern to submit your answer to NPR. Last Sunday, I came up with 5 different answers --5 pairs of 4-letter words (4-letter each)--that are opposites and all synonyms of DIE):PASS (as in When did your Mom die/pass?) v. FAIL (as in, why did my Internet connection die/fail?). I believe Pass/Fail was Will's intended answer. Ironically, Will gave what he thought was a PASS/FAIL or binary choice with at least 5 different answers!PASS v. STOP (as in Why did my computer have to stop/die?) (Don't stop her; let her pass). PASS v. HALT (as in Why did the Net connection halt/die?) Why did you let her pass? Why did you halt her?). PASS v. CAST (n. like mold) is also a synonym of die (for tools) (as in "We pass on Jason Alexander; he is too typecast. We instead cast Mathew Rhys for the role.)CAST (n. like mold) is also a synonym of die (for tools) v. DROP (as in, my cellphone signal is about to drop/die). "We cast Jack Haley as the Tin Man, after we had to drop Buddy Ebsen."