Weekly discussion on the NPR puzzler, brain teasers, math problems and more.
Q: Name a famous Greek person from history. Rearrange the letters of the name to get the title of a famous Italian person from history. Who are these two people?"
A: EUCLID and IL DUCE
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.
Easy, but I kinda like it anyway. It may be difficult for those who don't know beans about Italian history though.
Now that I know, I kinda wish I didn't. Thank you so much, sdb.
It's kind of hard to get "Garbonzo" translated into a famous Greek name SDB :)
I guess my choice of words may have been half baked.
Zorba is a famous Greek name, but I don't gno what to do with the remaining letters.
Paul:Maybe you could abZorb them.
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I think this gives too much away!
Oh, dear - really? I did think it was hidden. It is clear you guys are better at picking out clues I think are obscure. My apologies. ---Rob
Well, there is always OEDIPUS which anagrams to OPUS DEI, that old Roman Catholic title for the Pope...
Ron,While I'm sure that your suggestion is NOT the intended answer, I think you found an acceptable alternate! Unless Will Shortz claims that the Greek person you named is most likely fictitious, someone from Greek mythology, how could he not accept submissions of that answer?
OPUS DEI is not a title for the Pope. It is a "secret society" (see Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code) of the Catholic Church. It is not an acceptable answer to the WS challenge.
How many Italian TITLES are there anyway?
I'll leave it to someone more clever than myself to come up with a Greek-sounding anagram of chairman of the board.
ANISTON / ANTONISThere must be some way to make this work.
ron,I don't know for sure how many Italian titles there are, but one of the longer ones is: Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare d'agosto.
I see you were SWEPT AWAY by the number of Italian titles there are.
So if John Travolta is an agnostic can he still play the Pope?
Maybe I will try looking at this again from the left hand side.
RoRo:Only if he believes in the role.
Remove a letter and rearrange to get the title of a Spanish person. Since this was easy, here's an alternate:Name a form of art, change one letter to the next letter in the alphabet, rearrange to get the name of a famous Greek person.
What Blaine is.Chuck
nice clue, Blaine
Don't get hung up on the word "Title" and you'll get it. Can't Yani be considered a famous Greek person from HISTORY? Please!!!
Now you've gone and spoiled my breakfast!
Since this was so easy for you all, you might want to head on over to Lego's http://puzzleria.blogspot.com/. He is featuring another one of my puzzle creations that I think you will enjoy, and it is easy for those with a bit of movie acumen to solve.
Blaine:Did you miss the long, SPAM ad near the end of last week's posts that was posted last night? I thought you would want to remove it.
No, I didn't miss it. I deleted it as soon as I saw it this morning. Thanks for double-checking though.
If I'm not mistaken, the deleted SPAM had something to do with a "spellcaster."
Gene Wilder, Zero Mostel, and Joan Rivers.I never knew!I always assumed the narrator was Rita Moreno.
I found that my ignorance of history, basically limited to what I learned from n high school, really helped with this one.
Can I get a clue as to how many letters are in the Greek name?
The same number that are in the Italian title.
I wouldn't want to give the exact number, but they should all be easily found on a standard keyboard.
Tough puzzle. I'd clue you in, if I could.
Ok that was so helpful?
Asking this group for direct help can only lead to disappointment, with obfuscation the best response, and smarmy comments more typical. The puzzle is not elementary, but a simple web search might lead you there.
I'm still too new. I should've seen it coming.
I thought it was too helpful.
After I finally figured it out, I thought Leo's clue was extremely helpful. But before that, not so much. Most of the clues here are only helpful if you know the answer already! >;} --Margaret G.
Margaret G.And that is exactly how it should be.
Does Cicciolina count as a title?
I can't remember if Will used the same clue the last time he wanted this answer back in '05.
This is a rerun of an old puzzle.
Musical clue: Cher.
I'd have solved this a lot quicker if I had my spelling better squared away. I was trying to anagram Archimedes to yield Medici plus xxxx when I realized Archimedes has two E's and one I, while Medici has two I's and one E.
Foiled again by your arch enemy huh?
Sheesh. I've been stuck trying to anagram Archimedes of Syracuse to Marchese di + xxxxxxxxxx. Back to the drawing board!
SDB - Spelling is at the root of why I became an Engineer. In the technical arena, originality and looking at things from different angles was appreciated. My creative approach to spelling was frowned upon by English teachers.
Super Zee:You now have me wondering if you misunderstood my post. I was simply using the "Arch" in Archimedes in a humorous way. Perhaps eye wuz rong tu du sew.
SDB - No problem. I simply chose to see another dimension in your comment. (But I am, in fact, a notoriously poor speller.)
"It's a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word. . ."
Too busy grading papers to have time to submit an answer.
For the past 3 weeks I've used Wikipedia as a means of giving evidence that I knew the answer. Now I just site it as being unhelpful!If you search Wikipedia for Greeks, you get 25 mini-photos on the right, but neither of them are the Greek sought for in this week's puzzle.If you search Wikipedia for Italians, you get 30 mini-photos on the right, but neither of them are the Italian sought for in this week's puzzle.I can say this, though: If you enter the Italian title answer in the search box and click the magnifying glass icon, you will be re-directed; - to the title you've given, just shortened a bit!
Try this Wikipedia LIST OF ANCIENT GREEKS.
You're right. That list DOES INCLUDE the Greek sought for in this week's puzzle. Also, this Wikipedia LIST OF ITALIANS includes the Italian sought for in this week's puzzle; although if you then search for the sought after title of this famous Italian person, you find no matches; and if you search for the shortened title, the only matches you find are all in the middles of other words.
Hippocrates anagrams to "Pope, a Christ". No Reformation here.
eco:Thanks for that clarification. I had always thought they were containers for shipping hippopotamuses.
and Socrates are little boxes for a needle pulling thread?Ever notice that "la" got a really lousy stanza, like they put the B team on that?
Well, just as long as you don't have sock-rats.
. . ."La, the USPS code for Louisiana, oh!". . ."La, feminine French article, oh!". . ."La, second half of hula, oh!"La, la, la. . .just tuning up, eco. . .Word "A team" Woman
excellent start WW, how about:LA, a city in Cal-So...eco Von Trapp
La doesn't have to be a trailer. It's a perfect beginning to De Da.
"la, half of a molten flow......." -Oscartect Hammerstein
and WW, if I may convert yours to lyrics:La, the Bayou's postal code.....La, is "the" for Miss Bardot......La, Hu's dance half in Hilo......
Great, eco. I can see how you take a person's ideas and build the plans for the actual beautiful and functional house. . .I can sometimes do that kind of planning but, not very often at 1:49 a.m. MST. ;-)
funny you mention that, I work for individual clients who are usually very engaged, and also for developers who are much less so.I enjoy and build on the dialogue and collaboration with the engaged folks, and usually get a better design. Much harder with the developers who care mostly about the bottom line. When I was younger I thought the opposite, that the freedom developers give would be easier. But they don't challenge, and that's what makes things better. I suppose the pedagogic equivalent would be a seminar vs a lecture.
I solved this one pretty easily. I barely had to look up from the Nebraska football game I'd TiVoed. They won, but it was closer than I expected. I tell you what, I did not see their famous defense giving up 28 points to Southern Miss.
Many were willing to give a lot more to Scarlett O'Hara.
This puzzle left me flat.
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Part of this puzzle reminds me of an old Cheers episode.
I'm really out of my element here, but I think I got it! Proof that my brain just needed a new angle in order to solve it.
This group's best song was The Leader of the Pack. Il Duce translates to the leader.
Anyone here from Cleveland?
No but I think I know what you are trying to espress.
TOPO was not his first name.TOPAL was his title.I know these things, for I am wise and wonderful.
Are you hinting at Plato?
Sometimes I've just got to face it that I'm clueless.
I'm neither wise nor wonderful, of course, and I know very little about classical literature or Italian history. I was just fiddling around with letters and sounds, and Topo Gigio was the first Italian that came to mind.Our guest of dishonor this week, however, apparently read and was influenced by Plato's Republic, but abandoned Socratic dialogue in favor of the castoric method of persuasion. Which seems quite lame.
I found the wording that the PM used the last time around, but quoting it would be blatant hinting.He used "names" instead of name and title, gave the number of letters and the century of the Italian.Maybe he will pronounce the title correctly in this answer.
Or megastrobilus. Or wingnut, whirligig, or spinning jenny.
Name a Roman god. Rearrange these letters to spell a certain group of Spanish men.Hint: there are exactly the same number of letters in each part of the answer ;-).
still working on this, I've got 2 answers for groups of indigenous people, and 1 for silly trendy shoes, but not Spanish men.
If my answer is correct, the men aren't necessarily from Spain.
SuperZee, I believe you have my intended answer.ecoarchitect, "silly, trendy shoes?" What platform are you running on? ;-)
okay, maybe not silly, but certainly trendy. And they advertise too much!
Interesting. I don't think I've ever seen an ad for these shoes. And, I wear them all summer.
You can tell a lot about a person by their footwear.
If these Spanish gentlemen were to visit Paris, might they call on someone with a certain sobriquet?
Oui. Although, I don't know, they could be roughmen. . .So, briquets are great for the outdoor barbecue grill, oui, Paul?
I don't understand Blaine's clue. The puzzle clearly states it is looking for the names (the Greek person of history and the Italian who was known by the title that is the anagram of the Greek person). The latter does contain an N. Did his clue somehow go over my head?
Here is a late hint for anyone having not solved this puzzle yet.Maggie Smith
you're such a tease
But, eco, I didn't say it was an easy hint! :-)
Musical Clue:Well I'm not braggin' babe so don't put me downBut I've got the fastest set of wheels in townWhen something comes up to me he don't even tryCause if I had a set of wings man I know she could fly
A little too easily googled, bromigo.
Ouch. Now I feel old. That song was released the summer between my Junior and Senior years in High school, fifty two years ago, making it my longest lasting earworm. (Second place belonging to the Girl from Ipanema.)
I didn't intend the song to be difficult to Google. I just wondered if anyone would catch the fact that Little Deuce Coupe contains the letters Il Duce in order, albeit, not consecutively.
Just found these lyrics elsewhere. Had a hunch even though I wasn't familiar with the song, a little before my time. Good one, Curtis.
EUCLID > IL DUCE (a.k.a. Benito Mussolini)My Hints:“Easy, but I kinda like it anyway. It may be difficult for those who don't know beans about Italian history though.”Benito Mussolini and his wife could be seen hanging out at the bean market on occasion.“Maggie Smith”She was the star in the film adaptation of the novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark. As Jean Brodie, Maggie Smith was a teacher at a Scottish girl’s school and admired Il Duce and Franco. Great movie.
I took your Maggie Smith as referring to Tea with Mussolini; that's why I said you were such a tea(se).
eco,Actually I had forgotten about that film. I saw it, but I remember the earlier movie much better. Good hint, eco. I am glad you explained it too.
Rachele didn't hang out at the gas station with him, though.
Thanks, Paul, I had forgotten he was killed, not with his wife but, with his sweetie.
EUCLID –>> IL DUCEMy comment, and the ensuing back and forth about my being a poor speller, included the terms squared, root, angle and dimension, all of which are terms in Euclidean geometry.Word Woman's add-on puzzle, rearranging the name of a Roman god to spell a certain group of Spanish men, appears to be looking at JANUS and JUANS. Ecoarchitect's, “silly trendy shoes,” would similarly seem to be TEVAS, created from the name VESTA – although as a goddess, she technically doesn't meet WW's criteria.
my other alternates for indigenous people were Uranus to Naurus, and Ceres to Crees, though Ceres was also a goddess. Am I to blame for Word Woman's sexism?In the funny (extraterrestrial) world of coincidences, Vesta will be visible in the night sky for the next 2 weeks, and exciting reports were released about the dwarf planet Ceres today. I planned that, of course.
The Ceres news is great. Can't even joke and ask "Are you Ceres?"
My hint that I got the answer has been removed as revealing too much. I don’t have the text anymore, but it went something like this. It was a true account of how I had misread the question originally and could not solve the puzzle, but eventually I got that straightened out and quite easily determined the answer after that. I then added some verbiage just to keep the hint camouflaged. Do you see it? The hint was in Quite Easily Determined, or QED, which Euclid used after the final line of his proofs, “_quod erat demonstrandum_,” or, “which is what was to be proved,” a statement of finality and accomplishment.I guess the point is arguable, but I still don’t see that anyone reading my sentences without knowing the answer beforehand could have thought, “Oh! Euclid!” If anyone did, I apologize again for not being obscure enough. ---Rob
Rob, I did not find your hint too revealing. For the record, here is what you wrote:"The ancient Greek is really a famous one, but wasn’t one of the first I thought of. I made the mistake of looking for an Italian, rather than an Italian title. Once I corrected that, I quite easily determined the answer, but the process leading to it took longer than it should have. ---Rob"
Wow! Someone saved my less-than-memorable words. Thanks! ---Rob
I didn't find your hint too revealing either.
IL DUCE and EUCLID
IL DUCE Mussolini and EUCLIDTea with Mussolini was a 1999 film directed by Franco Zeffirelli starring Cher
Euclid, Il Duce (Mussolini)Last Sunday I said, “what Blaine is” - the leader of Blainesville.Chuck
Remove a letter and rearrange to get the title of a Spanish person of course yields El Cid.Alternate puzzle, art form, change letter to next and rearrange for famous Greek was opera to Aesop. Though I have a lingering memory this was also a puzzle, either WS or in this group.
EUCLID, IL DUCE> You can burn most any organic matter.Corns, leaves, spices...> This puzzle left me flat.As in Euclidian plane geometry.
EUCLID >>> IL DUCE* "Acorn" >>> "Gee, I'm a tree." (Geometry)* "Tucson" >>> EUCLID Ave (Also Cleveland, as noted by libertarianmathprofessor, and a boatload (planeload?) of cities as a nod by surveyors to their main man, EUCLID.*Roman god >>> group of Spanish (Hispanic would have been a better word choice) men puzzle answer is JANUS >>> JUANS.Sorry to be late to the party today--I am tutoring students in Algebra I and EUCLIDian geometry at a local high school.Co-sined,Word/Number Woman
It's a damn fine mind that can think of only one way to draw a parallel, then turn around and think there's no way to draw a parallel, and then turn around and realize that if you draw two, you've gotta keep drawing them forever. I'd like to have a damn fine mind, someday.
If someone sines under your co-sine, it makes a co-tangent.
I've been hiking in Utah all week. I'm a tan gent.
Well, as they say in Jamaica: Tell me Mormon.
Yes, tell us more, tan gent.Our math tutoring group needs a name. East High has the Angels; maybe we can be the George Angles. In repose. Or not. (With apologies to Wallace Stegner).
If you forget the reciprocal of a cosine, seek and you will find it.
WW: were it my group I'd choose the Friedrich Engels (how does a socialist have a first name like that???), or:Apexthe Hyperbolic GenerationLove Parabolasthe Parabolas of Jesus (hayzoos, not geezus)
You were talking about mildly silly, eco? ;-)We are thinking about Math MOJO: MOtivating JOy in Math. But, speaking of Spanish pronunciations, the MOJO is not to be confused with the MOHO discontinuity, she said crustily.
We'll granite you that one.
As the Friedrich Engels you can promise the students they will get good Marx.....
eco,You are reminding me of a gaucho friend of mine from Argentina who also had a pair 'o bolas.
Today I worked with a young man, Junior, converting word problems into algebraic equations. He hates math but loves science. I am hoping he might grow to love, or at least like, the language of math. Next week, I am bringing my function box as their math teacher says the kids have a hard time with the whole idea of functions.I take almost nothing for granite, SuperZee, except, of course, granite. ;-)
You should introduce Junior to Earth Science. After all, igneous is bliss.
Except when it's the Bliss Sandstone in the Franklin Mountains of TX. . .
This is interesting because I have long wondered, but never before asked, this geological question. Are spelunkers incontinent?
anti-spelunkers are concave.
And true spelunkers prefer the term cavers.
Next you'll be telling us false spelunkers can't stand the light of day.
Play gneiss. The pumicement for overburdening this blog with rocky puns is being dismantled and stoned.
Now, SuperZee and Blainesvilleans All, you know I would give you the chert off my back.
WW: getting off the rocky road and back to math class, I think one of the problems in teaching math is most kids get bored by the abstraction of numbers. I think math teachers could get students more engaged if they approached math as a means to an end, not an end in itself. Present a problem they would be interested in, and show how math is a tool to solve that problem. Maybe you already do that, they certainly didn't when I was in school.
We need to talc, before any removal of topaz we want to maintain Blaine's PG rating.
eco, my approach to joyful learning, no matter what age. . .
thanks for the link WW, it nauseates me to see how much absolute structure is being instilled, especially with the little kids. Our minds have so little time to roam freely, why stifle it more?I've worked with some Waldorf Schools both here and back east, and while I can't agree with all their pedagogy I do like the mix of structure and play, their insistence on staying away from TV, and not introducing computers until much later. I used to find their notion of not pushing reading and writing until much later odd, but a friend told me their emphasis is on learning to love the story, reading is just a means to that. He would join your list of bad spellers.
eco:Just a quick question here. Back when you worked with the Waldorf Schools; was that in your salad days?
no stopping you 'til you hit the ground, eh?
I work with kindergartners doing hands-on science on Fridays; these kids play A LOT. This week, we made molecule models with marshmallows (atoms) and toothpicks (bonds). One kid who has been mostly disengaged all year spoke up to tell me he had a brother named Adam (pretty good connection to atom) and he then constructed a chain molecule model by himself. It was a great morning. I wish parents could see that all the focus on reading scores, blah, blah, blah is nothing compared to what they learn from playing together (cooperation, kindness, trust, measuring, constructing, building, planning, and so much more).
eco:We like to think of it as gently touching down. We never say hit the ground.
SDB: for you I think it's hitting bottom; you seem to do it regularly. We'll tell you when to stop.WW: congratulations, and good for you. No small child is interested in the formulas and books. Your activities impart stronger memories, and more importantly instill a love and interest in science, math, biology, etc. The "common core" should be put in the rubbish heap.I hope you use vegetarian marshmallows (you don't want to think too much about what they're really made of).
eco:"Hitting bottom" you say. Who informed you I used to be a headmaster at a strict boy's school? These leaks must stop now!
EUCLID, IL DUCEAn episode of Cheers had Carla's family wanting her to rename one of her children after Benito Mussolini. Surprisingly, the phrase "il Duce" was never used.
The should have used it as a lead in. Don't supermarkets call their loss leaders, Il Duce?
EUCLID, IL DUCESometimes I just have to "face it..."Mussolini the "facist.""Love" is nil in tennisDeuce is also a temnis score and sounds like the mispronunciation of duce.Funicello the mouskateer.Benito the "rat-faced murdering facist" mouskalini.
"Are you kidding?" Was reference to Euclid. Reference to Yogi was for the Yankees famous ace pitcher Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez.
Unable to post earlier...EUCLIDIL DUCE, “the leader” = MUSSOLINIBlaine's clue: “include” - N anagrams to EUCLID.Eco's challenges: Remove the U from EUCLID and rearrange to yield the Spanish hero, EL CID. Change the R in the art form, OPERA, to the next letter of the alphabet, an S, and rearrange to yield the Greek AESOP. Leo's clue: “I'd clue...” anagrams to EUCLID.WW's Roman God = JANUS anagrams to JUANS, “a group of Spanish men.”
EUCLIDIL DUCEMy hint was scattered with math jargon pointing to Euclidean mathematics: " I'm really out of my ELEMENT here, but I think I got it! PROOF that my brain just needed a new ANGLE in ORDER to SOLVE it."
Poor Il Duce. He didn't get the hang of it until the very end.
Puzzleria! is uploaded. Three names-in-the-news challenges plus one pretty tough math puzzle this week. Even Euclid might have trouble solving it… and Il Duce definitely would!(I apologize to Blaine and Blainesvillians for that bad link. I am working to fix it so it will not happen again.)LegoIlDuceWasPrettyGoodAtRisk,Though
I was shocked!
Here is what is truly shocking: GVA
Blaine (or LegoL) Could you please remove LegoLambda's post above, and have him replace it with a message with a less risque link? Thanks!--Margaret G.
Unknown - Thank you for pointing this out.
LOL! How did that happen? I would not have clicked on it had you not pointed this out. Now I am all corrupted. ---Rob
Next week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Dave Shukan of Los Angeles. Think of a two-word term for someone who might be working at a nightclub. The second letter of the first word is a consonant. Move that letter so it's the second letter of the second word, and phonetically you'll get a made-up, two-word term for someone else who might work at a nightclub. What persons are these?
And, despite what it says on the NPR Sunday Puzzle web page, Rachel said on air that the deadline this week is Wednesday, not Thursday.
Yes, I wonder what's up with that? Not that they'll ever call. . .As more of a morning person than a night owl, I'm a bit perplexed by the puzzle so far. Are there dayclubs (Are those nine-irons?)?
Got it. It helps if you see the puzzle in 3-D. ;-)
Cheers to Will on this throwaway puzzle.
At last I finally got it. Fun puzzle.