Sunday, June 14, 2015

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 14, 2015): Head and Shoulders Above the Rest

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 14, 2015): Head and Shoulders Above the Rest:
Q: Think of an adjective that describes many shampoos. Add the brand name of a shampoo in its basic form. The result, reading the letters in order from left to right, will name a famous musician. Who is it?
For some reason I keep coming back to The Jonas Brothers.

Edit: The initials of TJB have also been used as an abbreviation for Tijuana Brass.
A: HERBAL + PERT = HERB ALPERT

108 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. Jonas Brothers? Too modern for me. My musical clue has to do with a Simon and Garfunkel tune. Oh, and a little shifting makes me think of a famous royal romance. ---Rob

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    1. Is that because live tv pix were available for all the famous British royal weddings?

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    2. A little shifting...

      herbalpert
      ifscbmqfsu
      jgtdcnrgtv
      khuedoshuw
      livfeptivx ==> live tv pix

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  3. I have "The Jonas Brothers" answer and a second "murky" answer.

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  4. Since we're on a string of musical clues, how about singing opera?

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  5. Sorry for my absence. Mamaw Creek and I were fishing down in the Gulf of Mexico. Not a whole lot of cellular towers out there. I'm celebrating being home with an ice cream sundae: lots of hot fudge , whipped cream, and a cherry on top.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry-Uncle Albert
      Mexico-Tijuana
      whipped cream-Herb Alpert album

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  6. This puzzle may be about shampoo, but the puzzle itself is real poo.

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  7. Did this musician ever play at the Waldorf Astoria?

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    Replies
    1. Paul, I believe so, with Rosemary Clooney.

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    2. Did he or she ever play a treble harp?

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    3. Should I have said "that singer?"

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  8. BLANK BLANK BLANK BLANK [MISPRONOUNCED WORD] BLANK

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    Replies
    1. Of course, no one in the band was really from [MISPRONOUNCED WORD].

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Didn't he at one time run a Southeast European country?

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    4. And a sad effort with punctuation marks in one instance. . .

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  9. Ahm a coffee man. Mamaw's more inclined to imbibe the other.

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  11. I have one answer (blowin' a bit in the wind here), but I am not sure most people would say the musician is "famous." I may be Asleep at the Wheel. Thoughts?

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  12. I hope they don't count off for lack of capitalization. In my haste this morning I forgot to capitalize the brand name. Why didn't I just put it in all caps? Oh well, not to blow my own horn, I believe with this puzzle I shall rise to the occasion.

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    Replies
    1. Proof in the proofing, SuperZee? ;-)

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    2. OOPS - This puzzle IS a lot easier if you properly pronounce, and spell, the musician's name. (Consider my earlier error as proving the point.)

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  14. The usual story: I heard the puzzle this morning, then took off for the beach. Today wasn't my turn to drive, so half way there the answer popped into my head. Everything would have been peachy, except that my only internet portal is my desktop iMac, so this is the first chance I have to comment.

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  15. My wife Rose, who I married 44 years ago today, and I just got back from spending the weekend in Portland, Oregon. We had a nice time, but the city was full of hipsters.

    Once I could stop thinking of the wrong shampoo brand, this week's puzzle was easy.

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    1. Not sure I know exactly what a hipster is. Sounds like it comes from the opium days when they said you were "on the hip" which referred to the customary position for smoking opium. When people from Portland move up here I refer to them as Oregon Donors.

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  17. Just got through sending some of my puzzle ideas to NPR. Don't be surprised if you hear any of them used in the next few weeks. Can't promise anything though.

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  18. Coming up with clues for easy puzzles can result in stress related urticaria.

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  19. Peter Paul and Marry digged rock and roll music. Bob Seger did the same for heavy music. As for me, I'm into Heavy Metal Music.

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    Replies
    1. HA&TTB definitely have metal in their ensemble (brass), but no way is their music heavy metal.

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  20. I like the NPR puzzle this week. I have two answers. The one I plan to submit to Will is”
    L’Orealetta Lanolynny… Oh wait, that was last week’s answer. Sorry.

    This NPR puzzle is not difficult. Nevertheless, here are two hints:
    1. You might say the musician is a rolling stone who belies the adage.
    2. Some might describe the musician’s music with a word that in most dictionaries appears very close (and often even adjacent) to a word that appears in the text of the puzzle.

    A presumably more challenging puzzle that is somewhat related to this NPR puzzle appears in this week’s Puzzleria! (See the “Devil’s Workshop Slice, Tea & Nidol.”)

    While you’re visiting P!, check out Paul’s puzzle “piggybacking” the “And Per Se And Slice, Circuitously to television movie.” Paul’s excellent puzzle appears in his June 15 at 12:16 PM comment. (I should take lessons from Paul in creative puzzle writing!)

    LegoLanolinch

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  21. Sunday NYT crossword puzzle alert for 6/14/15. Do not read second paragraph below if you care.

    There is one puzzle clue reading "Dispute between Loretta Lynch and her co-workers?".

    There is another clue reading "Fowl pole?", with the answer "Roost".

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    1. Yeah, I noticed that. When I was an on-air contestant, I asked Will about "Easter eggs" in his crosswords referring to the NPR puzzles, but he denied an intentional connection. Humans are very good at perceiving patterns where none really exist.

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    2. And they are also good at forgetting where they placed an Easter egg or two. . .

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    3. Jan, I remember you asking will that question. Since that time, I have been trying to keep track of the relation to the NPR puzzle to both the NYT Sunday puzzle and the Merl Reagle (Wills old pal, who is also a creator of some NPR puzzles). If there is a relationship between the NPR and NYT more often than between the NPR and Reagle, it may be that there is at least some subconscious "Easter Egging" going on. Unfortunately, I haven't kept a running total.

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  22. There is an interesting(?) relationship between the musician's last name and another musician, both known for playing the same instrument.

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  23. If it is the kind of connection that certain poets might find helpful, I would say it is an interesting connection, David.

    LegoMyEasterEggo

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  24. I know he's wasn't a musician, but I keep wanting to find Suds Terkel in there somewhere.

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    Replies
    1. Ward, I had a similar thought about Dan Lather, Rinse Lombardi, and RePete Seeger.

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    2. Ha! (And you can find their recordings on iTunes, I bet.)

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  25. I have a feeling Spanish-speaking listeners may have a great alternate answer.

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    1. Yeah, I had Gerardo in my head for quite a wile. Damn you VH1!

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  26. Wow. This was harder than last week's, but I blew through it!

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  27. Just got it. If you ask me, Will is getting brassy.

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  28. Leo, I think you're blowing your own horn ;-)

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  29. Just got it too!! Very clever puzzle. I thought of the shampoo last Sunday but could not get the adjective or musician until now. Pretty relieved.

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  30. Replies
    1. Not in love with this clue, though.

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    2. I think it's alot of bull. Am I alone here?

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    3. Mamaw advised me to stick that clue on the back rack.

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    4. Hey, some folks got to submit the answer just in time thanks to this guy's clue. ;-)

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    5. "This guy's in love" takes one right to Herb Alpert in a search engine query. So TMI for me, libertarianmathprofessor.

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  31. HERBAL & PERT = HERB ALPERT

    My hints:

    “BLANK BLANK BLANK BLANK [MISPRONOUNCED WORD] BLANK”

    This should read: HERB ALPERT AND THE TIJUANA BRASS.

    TIJUANA. It is properly pronounced: Tee wana.

    “Didn't he at one time run a Southeast European country?”

    His nickname is Tito. It probably should not be confused with Josip Broz, nicknamed Tito, (May 25, 1892 – May 4, 1980) who was the leader of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, from 1945 until his death.

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  32. HERBAL + PERT -> HERB ALPERT

    > Continuing last week's elemental theme, I can't say this puzzle is an unalloyed success.

    Copper + tin = (Tijuana) brass

    > Did he or she ever play a treble harp?

    Anagrams to the answer.

    > Of course, no one in the band was really from [MISPRONOUNCED WORD].

    Per Alpert, "Four lasagnas, two bagels, and an American cheese."

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  33. HERBAL + PERT = HERB ALPERT

    "Since we're on a string of musical clues, how about singing opera?" referred to Herb Alpert's daughter, Aria Alpert.

    Rosemary Clooney connection was to HERB Alpert.

    "And a sad effort with punctuation marks in one instance. . ." pointed toward !!Going Places!! which didn't quite get the leading exclamation points upside down.

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    1. HERB ?
      1) http://letras.com/rosemary-clooney/406354/
      2) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herb_Roe

      And I thought the opera reference was to this guy.

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    2. Oh, Glenn Alpert is a great opera clue as well, Paul!

      My dad loved the whipped cream album and played it over and over. . .The cover was really risque in the day ;-). At our house, for sure.

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    3. Alpert would tell audiences, "Sorry, we can't play the cover for you!" She was three months pregnant at the time, which may have caused some augmentation.

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    4. Which does not diminish my appreciation of the album or its cover.

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    5. Or the fact that most of the whipped cream was shaving cream.

      A nearby high school did an entire Bert Alpert and The Jonas Brothers concert.

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  34. My marker: "Everything would have been peachy," references Peaches and Herb. Different Herb, but same name.

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  35. Okay, what I want to know is: What the heck does either the adjective "herbal", or the shampoo "Pert", or the musician Herb Alpert have anything to do with The Jonas Brothers?

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  36. I don't know about the Jonas, either, but I wrote, "My musical clue has to do with a Simon and Garfunkel tune." That's "Scarborough Fair," with its herbal chorus. And I wrote, "Oh, and a little shifting makes me think of a famous royal romance." That's Victoria's love for "her Albert." ---Rob

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    1. Rob, did you see my question and answer reply to your post - the first post to this blog after the "standard reminder" post?

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    2. I got the 'Albert' part, but didn't see the entire 'her Albert' picture. I count that as one hole in my reasoning. So, now I know, after all these years.

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    3. Oh! I didn't see it until just now. Golly! And no live tv pix for V & A. ---Rob

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  37. So I lied (although my uncle always said, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story”) a little bit above when I wrote “My wife Rose, who I married 44 years ago today, and I just got back from spending the weekend in Portland, Oregon. We had a nice time, but the city was full of hipsters.”

    My wife and I did celebrate our 44th anniversary on June 14, but her name is Lynne, not Rose and we didn’t go to Portland. My post included the following vague references to herbs:
    Oregon--> oregano
    Rose + married --> rosemary
    A nice --> anise

    “Hipster” was in fact an answer to one of Sunday’s Scrabble Gram anagrams, which I had difficulty getting. In preparation to try to figure out the answer during my Sunday run, I rearranged the letters into P-E-R-T-I-S-H as something easy to remember, which let me to the puzzler answer.

    Changing one sound in (Herb) Alpert leads to Al Hirt, another trumpeter. Their initials are reversed.

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    1. Happy Anniversary to you and Lynne, David.

      May you hear this over and over and over for eternity.

      It's what you deserve for lying to us like that.

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    2. Paul,
      Speaking of truth not getting in the way of a good story, I believe Herb played the song in your link at the first Lollypoplooza.

      David,
      You are one pertish hipster, and have a future as a fiction writer if you want it.

      Here are my two hints + one:

      1. You might say the musician is a rolling stone who belies the adage.
      2. Some might describe the musician’s music with a word that in most dictionaries appears very close (and often even adjacent) to a word that appears in the text of the puzzle.

      1. “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” Alpert did “gather moss” … entrepreneurial partner Jerry Moss when he founded A&M Records.
      2. The word that appears in the text of the puzzle is “shampoo.” In my Merriam Webster’s 10th Edition, immediately following “shampoo” is “shamrock.” Although Herbal Pert’s music was often played on top-40 rock radio, it was more like “easy listening” than “rock.” Ergo, some might have labelled it as “sham” (or, not ‘real’) rock.”

      A hint I gave over on Puzzleria on Tuesday was “An item in today’s news.” Some news outlets actually covered “the Donald’s” presidential run pronouncement. “The Donald’s” last name is Trump. Herbal Pert played the trump-et.

      L’ergoL’armbda

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    3. And here I had my daughter who is in Pertland (sic) (visiting college buddies before Ethiopian PCV service) looking all over for you and "Rose". . .

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    4. Aren't you proud of your daughter for answering the PCV calling? She must be good people.

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    5. Yes, Ruth, I am quite proud and excited for her. She is good people. We have missed you around here. Are you a PCV also? Where did you serve?

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    6. I am not a PCV but did something similar with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) after college, serving in Appalachia. I've been a lurker on this blog of late, but still playing the puzzle. ;)

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    7. I am not a PCV but did something similar with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) after college, serving in Appalachia. I've been a lurker on this blog of late, but still playing the puzzle. ;)

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  38. My clue -"relevant puzzle" referred to PERTinent.

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  39. HERBAL PERT>>> HERB ALPERT and the Tijuana Brass, TJB, The Jonas Brothers.

    Second answer:
    MUDDY (H20) WATERS.
    “Murky” = “Muddy”

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    Replies
    1. My only problem with your second answer is that on Wikipedia I tried looking up H2O, Waters, H2O shampoo, and Waters shampoo. I could NOT find any brands of shampoo among either of them.

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    2. H2O brand shampoo exists.

      This is another one of those creative alternative answer you just pray Will would mention on-air. Nice one, ron.

      LegoOneLaughingHyenaTwoGrumblingOxen?

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  40. At the risk of appearing to be imPERTinent, I was hoping there would be more PERTinent comments today.

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  41. HERBAL+PERT=HERB ALPERT My hints were about "tooting my own horn" and "rise". The latter was the title of his big instrumental hit from 1979. Cool song too, if you've ever heard it.

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  42. WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! SHAMELESS PLUG FOLLOWS

    I made up two puzzles earlier this week which I submitted to Lego. He is now running one of them, a picture puzzle, over at his Puzzleria! blog. Check it out; you might even like it. If you approach it the right way, you may even solve it easily.

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  43. Next week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Ben Bass of Chicago. Take the phrase "I am a monarch." Re-arrange the 11 letters to name a world leader who was not a monarch but who ruled with similar authority. Who is it?

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  44. This coming Thursday at around noon my time, I plan to post something similar to the following:


    ─I────A──M────A────M──O──N──A──R──C──H───
    ═╪════╪══╪════╪════╪══╪══╪══╪══╪══╪══╪═══
    ─┼────┼──┼────┼────┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──*
    ─┼────┼──┼────┼────┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──*
    ─┼────┼──┼────┼────┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──*
    ─┼────┼──┼────┼────┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──*
    ─┼────┼──┼────┼────┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──*
    ─┼────┼──┼────┼────┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──*
    ─┼────┼──┼────┼────┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──*
    ─┼────┼──┼────┼────┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──*
    ─┼────┼──┼────┼────┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──*
    ─┼────┼──┼────┼────┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──*
    ─┼────┼──┼────┼────┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──*
    ─┼────┼──┼────┼────┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──┼──*

    Ok, what I post Thursday won't look quite this good, but it should still look pretty good, nevertheless.

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