Weekly discussion on the NPR puzzler, brain teasers, math problems and more.
Q: Name a major American company. Drop its first and last letters, and the remaining letters in order will name a famous singer — both first and last names. What company is it?
A: WALGREENS --> AL GREEN
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.
"Group think" will help us solve this one.
Not very hard. ---Rob(Yes; there's a hint up there.)
So there I was standing in the bathroom flossing my teeth and generally thinking about where I might find a useful list of major U.S. companies to look through. And all of a sudden the answer to the puzzle leapt into my head. When you’re hot you’re hot.Chuck
Puzzles at Puzzleria! this week involve:1. A cardboard box2. An ode to my radio3. Combs and “spoons”4. Not a singer but an album, either on vinyl or cassette/eight-trackThere is also a mnemonic device for remembering trig functions.Also, there is a “piggyback” puzzle to this week’s NPR puzzle, one that also may serve as a hint to Will’s actual intended answer.LegoOseanComberInc.
Nice graphic this week, Blaine.The "piggyback" puzzle at Puzzleria! is in the "Comments" section in my above post on June 28 at 9:59 AM. If you solve it, a can almost guarantee you can solve the NPR puzzle.LegoSingerSingsRobRobRobinComesBobBobBobbin...
lego,Thanks for your porcine puzzle. I quickly stopped working on the NPR puzzle today, figuring I would not know who this "famous" singer is. I was right too. I have never heard of this person. I quickly discovered the answer to your puzzle, however, and know who it is. Your puzzle is much better than the NPR puzzle in my totally unbiased opinion.
Thank you for the kind words compliment on my piggyback puzzle at Puzzleria!, skydiveboy, but I am concerned that people will begin suspecting we are the same person blogging under two screen names.LegoThinkAboutIt…HaveYouEverSeenLegoAndskydiveboyTogetherInOnePlace?
Aren't you? Well, you two and AbqGuerilla? Where is he anyway?!
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But why is "S" like a sewing machine? (This is not, I'm sorry to say, a clue to this week's answer.)
Thank for the riddle, Henry. All I have is a guess:Because it sigsags?LegoEveryTimeHenryWillisSigs,ItSeams,WeSag
No, but thanks for asking.Because it makes needles needless. (Courtesy of the book "1001 Riddles" that I read back in third grade too many years ago to count. I can tell you, on the other hand, that it had more than 1001 riddles.)
If Ed Troni or Tar Buck are singers, are there multiple possible answers?The intended singer survived a very gritty performance. Recording history ran in phases. The letters in the first and last names spell 2 other words (than the one Blaine suggested). But if you are truly stuck, call me. I will post my cellphone number later.
NOT A CLUE: I will follow on by mentioning the musical stylings of the Russian singer Olga Tepalmoliv, the native flautist Elmo Ntefood, and the blues sensation Old Man Sach.
Perhaps I was a bit ruthless in my quest for the 'first hint'.
Consider yourself no longer Ruthless, as I have surfaced after a hiatus. While I like the company's spokesperson (mainly because of this individual's prior gigs), I dislike the company. Plenty of competitors to choose from, fortunately.
With a little grit, we can all find the answer to the puzzle
I think I am allergic to puzzles.
If you want to summon a particular musician's smooth singing voice, say "oral majesty" into a mirror three times. Then, to summon another popular singer/songwriter that appeals to a different generation, shift the previous musician's last name into first position and add a new last name. (Note: it is important to perform this last step in haste, or it won't work.)
I grew up in an unincorporated region of Oregon, somewhat near Astoria. Most of my time was spent wanting to live anywhere else – and now I do. Question: can you find where a musician came from?
Not only do I have the answer to this one, but I also have brought up the same coincidence regarding the company's name as we were driving by one time last year while staying at our condo in Ft. Walton Beach, FL. I should have submitted it then, but Florida's Wi-fi isn't as reliable. I probably would have had trouble with it. I know it's rather faulty when I'm trying to listen to my favorite radio shows. Anyway, I have the answer, and I'm sure President Obama knows the answer too. Everybody have a healthy and happy Fourth of July!
I didn't get it right away, but with the aid of the above I found I was in the correct area. And the same to you!
Rather than going for that the low hanging fruit it becomes necessary at times to beat the branches for the answer.
Near the end of last week's thread, I replied to my own posting of the new puzzle. I posted on Sun Jun 28, at 05:59:00 AM PDT:Look up the famous singer in Wikipedia, and scroll down to that person's Discography. Take the second item listed. Remove the last letter. What remains, including spaces, is a statement involving two colors which is incorrect.
Scholars of folk music are likely acquainted with Old Man Sach, who is known in academic circles as the "step-grandfather of Appalachian music." However, given the scarcity of his recordings, I doubt that he qualifies as a possible alternate answer.
The singer's "anticipated obituary" claims he died tomorrow!!!
It's the same date for everyone on that site...
Of course. Everyone will die tomorrow...
My vote for the most profound statement made on this blog (or any other blog, for that matter):ron: "Everyone will die tomorrow..."LegoReflective
VICETY Repair, an American Company...
Ron,Perhaps you are unaware that the British have been known to engage in vice at tea for over a hundred years at last count.
Enya and Weird Al fan, just checked his discography. Have to admit I had to laugh when I saw it. Cute. BTW I too am a Weird Al fan. Enya, not so much.
patjberry,Some of us are Enya_fans. Some of us are Weird_Al_fans. But ALL of us are Enya_and_Weird_Al_fan fans!Lego_Enigma_and_Wired_Eel_fin
After hearing the challenge, I did as I always do and walk outside the front door onto the sidewalk, turn the corner towards the street, then bring in our Sunday paper. The solution came to me at that point.
Some of us will get the answer working alone while others will want to work together with others to arrive at a solution.
Good thing I obtained the solution quickly, for I have lots of shopping to do in anticipation of Independence Day. Want to make sure I avoid any chance of illness and so as to keep my good spirits intact for the Fourth.
Wish I could have avoided illness. Just yesterday I caught my mom's cold she's had for about a week now. Then she comes back from FL sounding worse than before. If you knew what either of us normally sound like talking, you wouldn't recognize either of us right now.
Even so, I doubt any of us would recognize either of you right now, cold or no cold.
Suggestion to Blaine: After the solution has been revealed by 3 PM Thursday, the comments that were deleted earlier as being too explicit or revealing be added back so as to see how they were related to the answer.
Blaine did not remove/delete anyone's comment/post this week so far. they were all deleted by their posters.
That's not always the case. I have not removed any of my posts that have been removed. While I take care to not make them obvious direct links, occasionally, I slip. We all do at some point or another..
READ MY POST! I said this week! None of your posts have been removed this week.
As a blog owner, the logistics of simply adding back deleted posts are not practical. IMHO, it's up to the individual poster to describe their deleted post if they wish, whether Blaine or the poster deleted it.
Thanks for your clarifications and explanations regarding how posts are removed. I know that none of mine have been removed, but there have been occasions in the past when this was done. Mea Culpa. It's been a teachable moment for me (and probably a few others as well).
Happy to help, libertarianmathprofessor. If you wish to keep track of deleted posts yourself, check the "Notify me" box to the lower right of the Comment Box. You need to recheck it each week.
Got this from working with company names alone. Lorenzo's Sunday post more or less confirmed that result. Had to double check on Google today.
Interestingly (to me, anyway), the letters dropped are, in order, the initials of a famous person also known for their singing, although that's not the person's main gig. Probably a good thing...
vingio74,Interestingly (to me, anyway), the letters dropped are, in order, the initials of a famous person also known for their [word that rhymes with sing] and [word that rhymes with song], although that's not the person's main gig. Probably a good thing...LegoNo,It’sNotFayWrayOrFrances(Rappaport)Horwich
Did Sandy have an Aunt Mabel?
I meant none have been removed THIS WEEK. My apology for this ommission.That's it for now.
Here's another riddle that does include a clue: how is our "famous singer" different from Marvin Gaye, but both the same as and different than Dionne Warwick? I promise you that the answer will not help you one bit or whit.
I'll need to consult my PF on this one.
AG: A&MMG: D&MDW: A&Flast I checked, anyway.
I wish you all could see my recent submission to NPR for a possible Sunday Puzzle idea. I don't know if it'll ever get picked, but I have to say it's pretty creative!
patjberry,I hope we will all have an opportunity to see and solve it on some near-future Sunday morn.Lego"Yes,ThankYou,Rachel,ThisWeek'sPuzzleWasSentToUsBypatrickjberry...AndItIsPrettyDarnCreative...:
lego, how do you know it's patrickjberry? I think it's patriciajberry.
ron.You are correct. I typed “patrick…” by mistake. After I posted and saw my error. I had qualms and considered deleting, revising and reposting. But I decided against it because I didn’t want to clutter Blaine’s blog landscape with another “comment deleted,” and contribute to using up our allotted 200-per-week comments with a wasted double-post.Our assumptions about the genders of commentors is interesting to me. Many of us perhaps, including me, assume that the majority of commenters on this blog are male… but we really don’t know that, I don’t think. Scores of us who specify our gender as male (or female) may be lying. But I would guess that as much as 85 percent of Blainesville posters are male. I guess also that I must have assumed pjb is male. I, and at least one other poster (I believe it was sdb) assumed ViolinTeddy was a male, until she set us straight in an exchange over on Puzzleria!And so, patjberry, I apologize for calling you “patrick”… if indeed you are “patricia” or “patsy” (no, not the holy grail patsy with the horsehoof coconuts!) LegoGenderBlenderBlunderMender
Don't apologize, Lego(or is it Lega?). You were right the first time. Actually I just checked back in on Blaine's and, by the lengthy comment you just left Wednesday, you clearly hadn't read my last Tuesday posts. I am male, my name is Patrick. Sorry, Ron, if it's a disappointment for you.
For all I know, maybe Ron is short for Veronica. Whatever floats your boat.
Not only am I male, I'm also heterosexual, which these days might put me in the minority. BTW "Caitlin" Jenner does nothing for me. Bruce certainly wasn't handsome to begin with.
I won't even ask your opinion of Bruce LaBruce.
BTW all I'll say about my puzzle is it involves a children's story and antonyms, as well as one word I certainly wouldn't want associated with children, it's just the word is part of the answer.
I happen to have a Canadian pal with the same surname (no relation), and I'd like to wish him (& other Canadians) a Happy Canada Day!
WALGREEN'S > AL GREEN
I wish John Corbett (Walgreen's spokesperson) had remained Northern Exposure's "Chris in the Morning" -- oh, and Ruth had an awesome General Store that would put Walgreen's to shame today.
I used to watch NE, but I failed to glean anything about Chris or the general store from your previous comment. (I was probably too fixated on Maggie.) Very nice, Ruth; while you are entitled to an occasional hiatus, I entreat you never to leave us for very long.
Aw, thanks Paul. My husband likewise fixated on Maggie. I think it was her flying expertise. ;)
Yep! That's what it was!
Ruth, I second Paul's entreaty. NE was a delightful, quirky show.
So it was.
I said above, "Not very hard." And the hint was Not Very, or NV, or Envy, as in Green with envy. OK, who got the call? ---Rob
I posted here on Sun Jun 28, at 04:26:00 PM PDT:Near the end of last week's thread, I replied to my own posting of the new puzzle. I posted on Sun Jun 28, at 05:59:00 AM PDT:Look up the famous singer in Wikipedia, and scroll down to that person's Discography. Take the second item listed. Remove the last letter. What remains, including spaces, is a statement involving two colors which is incorrect.When I copied my previous post from last week's thread to this week's, I had successfully manually redone the bold and italics tags, but had forgotten the reference link. If you click on Wikipedia NOW,, you'll find yourself on Al Green's Wikipedia page, where you'll find the second item listed in his Discography to be "Green is Blues".
Walgreens, Al GreenLast Sunday I said, “So there I was standing in the bathroom flossing my teeth and generally thinking about where I might find a useful list of major U.S. companies to look through. And all of a sudden the answer to the puzzle leapt into my head. When you’re hot you’re hot.” Al Green anagrams to general.Chuck
WALGREENS –> AL GREENI make my own beer and wine, however, my comment about seeing if my, “latest home brews,” were ready for bottling was a clue. “Latest home brews,” are, “NEW LAGERS,” which is an anagram of WALGREENS.
SuperZee,Puh-leeeze do not serve any of your home-brewed wine to Al Martino at Walmart. I suspect he may be a wino!My two hints this week:My piggyback puzzle (and likely clue) to Will’s Walgreens/Al Green offering, which I posted on Puzzleria!, was:Name a major American company. Drop its first letter and add three letters to the end, and the result in order will name a late American singer/crooner who also did some acting — both first and last names.The letter you dropped and the three you added at the end, in order, spell out a person with a particular addiction. What company is it?Answer:WalmartWalmart – W + ino = Al Martino, who portrayed Johnny Fontane in the bookends of the “Godfather” film trilogy. A “Wino” is addicted to wine.In my “homage” to vingio74’s comment, I wrote:“Interestingly (to me, anyway), the letters dropped are, in order, the initials of a famous person also known for their [word that rhymes with sing] and [word that rhymes with song], although that's not the person's main gig. Probably a good thing...”Walgreens – (W + S) = Al Green. Will Shortz is known for his “ping & pong,” although his main gig is puzzlemaster supreme. “Probably a good thing…” because if Dr. Shortz pursued his "true-love-ping-pong-avocation" full-time, what would we do without our good doctor's weekly dose of enigmatic medicine?!LegoMaybeWeCouldWinALapelPinIfWeRiggedThePingPongBallsInWill’sWeeklyLottery
If Will Shortz quits, I am sure Harriet will entertain us.
I wouldn't bring my home brews to Walmart. But if any Blainiacs are going to be in Northern Virginia, we might arrange something of a social nature - with appropriate beverages.
I'm hopelessly obtuse sometimes; I was briefly convinced you meant Werner Schlager, but that made no sense because table tennis really was his main gig. Of course you must have figured out who my W.S. was. Wait, who was I thinking of... My mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it.
WALGREEN'S >>> AL GREEN "Footware" referred to the holding company Walgreen's BOOTS Alliance which is a bit of a WAREhouse for the pharmaceutical company.
Mercy, Word Woman. I daresay your screenshots are great publicity for you PEOTS blog. This screen shot, in particular... them man with the rainbow nose!LegOlfactoryCranksOutWorkBootsForWalgreens
Word Woman’s use of “holding company” and Paul’s clip have clairvoyantly anticipated the “packaging” of one of my Puzzleria! puzzles tomorrow early-morning.WordWoman&PaulBlinedMeWithPrescience!
I credit it all to my PF, Nostrildamus.
So good, Paul. Great clips, L and P.Holding company is nice especially if they smell lemony.
I am just now preparing to upload Puzzleria!, and have decided to postpone my "holding company" puzzle so that I can execute a pseudo-patriotic theme.But that does not obviate the fact that Word Woman is prescienterrific, and Paul is Nostildamunant!LegoPromiseBreaker
WALGREEN'S AL GREEN I know for a fact there is a Walgreen's in Ft. Walton Beach, FL.(But then you know how I know already.)
WALGREENSSoul Singer AL GREEN. His “ANTICIPATED OBITUARY” claims he died tomorrow.“Al Green” anagrams to GENERAL, something you might see in the military.
It's just too bad Blaine already mentioned the AL GREEN/GENERAL anagram at the beginning. When I said President Obama would know this one(there is a clip of him singing Green's "Let's Stay Together" somewhere) I couldn't use the phrase "general assembly". Any cryptic crossword aficionado will tell you the word "assembly" makes a perfect anagram clue.
My clue "...suits me to a t" was referring to green tea. My response to Lorenzo "makes a lot of sense" was referring to "cents" in a dollar (for "Dollar General ".
Shout out to Legolambda about his latest Puzzleria! puzzles! Got every one but the last. Can't wait to find out the answer Tuesday.
Thank you, patjberry. I love your enthusiasm, and truly value your contributions on Puzzleria! and here at Blainesville, too.LegoWillWillFallShortzIfHeFailsToUseApatjberryPuzzleOnNPR
I'm still not convinced Will has never published any of pjb's work.
Just got back in town. Traveling as long as my health permits. Lake Erie was wonderful....beating the branches - gleaner.Anagrams to Al Green.
Next week's challenge: The seven words in the following sentence have something very unusual in common — something that almost no other words in the English language share. What is it?"Ira saw three emigrants restock large wands."Happy belated 4th, everyone
Homemade ice cream is the best.
Rats, I thought I had the answer.
Haha. I got it while fishing off a reef on the ocean.