Sunday, December 20, 2015

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 20, 2015): Four Six-Letter Words Ending with the Same Five Letters

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 20, 2015): Four Six-Letter Words Ending with the Same Five Letters:
Q: Think of four common six-letter words that all end in the same five letters, in the same order. And the first letters of these four words are consecutive consonants in the alphabet (like B, C, D, F). No other common six-letter words end with these five letters. What are the words?
And the five letters (without the starting consonant) sound like another word that would have fit in the sequence.

Edit: Without the starting consonant, the remaining letters sound like OCEAN which would have fit into the sequence at O.
A: LOTION, MOTION, NOTION and POTION (alternate BROWNS, CROWNS, DROWNS and FROWNS but Will was less enamored by the use of plurals.)

124 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 Wednesday 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 Wednesday deadline. Thank you.

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    1. Why did you leave out R and not drop X?

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    2. The only six-letter words beginning with X are:
      xrayed
      xenium
      xenomi
      xeriff
      xxviii
      xylate
      xylene
      xylite
      xyloid
      xylose
      xyster
      xystus

      Did you think one of them might be part of the solution?

      trayed,vrayed, wrayed, xrayed ???

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    3. ron, your phone might be hit with some big Roman charges for "xxvii."

      Happy Christmas Eve, to all xxvii+ of you here at Blaine's puzzle blog!

      Written wearing my New Merrells ;-).

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    4. WW, I put "xxviii" to see if anyone would notice. Merry Christmas to you and all other Blainesvillians.

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    5. ron,
      re: xxviii
      I noticed, but I couldn't think of a pun. Or perhaps your post got me too X-cited.

      Delete
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    1. Siz, what were your 3 posts above? Curiosity is killing me. . .

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  4. Sly Blaine! There are traps for the overeager that also made me smile.

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    1. On second thought, Maybe Blaine fell into one.

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  5. Since Blaine's hint doesn't fit the answer I got, I wonder if I am just wrong, or if there are two answers. Well, I won't spend time looking for another. A musical hint for what I got: sing a perpetual canon. ---Rob

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    1. Rob - Our answers may agree. I'm not looking for another.

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    2. Rob and Hugh - Looking forward to reading your answer on Thursday. Mine fits with Blaine's clue.

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  6. Well there is always:
    KICKED
    LICKED
    MICKED
    LICKED
    PICKED
    but there are other words that end in “icked” like, TICKED, WICKED...

    Latter, matter, natter, patter...oops, there's also batter.

    render, sender, tender, vender...oops, there's also fender.

    rowing (rowers), sowing (sowers), towing (towers), vowing (vowers)...oops there's also mowing(mowers).

    liners, miners, niners, piners...oops there's also diners.

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    Replies
    1. Make that Nicked for the second "Licked."

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  7. Baring, caring, daring, faring... but then there's paring. Dang.

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    1. Thought this might be Blaine's solution including a word without the starting consonant:

      Baring, caring, daring, earing, faring.

      That's not a misspelled earring, but its not really common either.

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    2. Not "earing," but AIRING...oops there's also PARING.

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    3. or "erring" It doesn't have to be the exact letters, but only SOUND LIKE "aring."

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  9. My answer fits with Blaine's clue also. Here are a few more faux answers:

    divers, fivers, givers, hivers...oops, there's also rivers.
    dilled(adj.), filled, gilled(adj.), hilled...oops there's also killed.
    crill, drill, frill, grill...oops, it's Krill, not crill.

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  11. There seem to be at least 2 answers, not surprising considering the vast number of letter combinations - I thought about using spell check to make it easier for what I think is the intended answer.

    For the other answer, E&WAF makes a great observation at the end of last week's blog. I can only add "In [city], the awarding of the ___ ___ ___ ___" is not an entirely bad sentence.

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  12. I posted on Sun Dec 20, at 06:25:00 AM PST, near the end of last week's thread:

    Believe it or not, I've thought of five common five-letter words that all end in the same four letters, in the same order. And the first letters of these five words are consecutive consonants in the alphabet (like B, C, D, F, G). No other common five-letter words end with these four letters. But now here's where this gets weird! I can simply put an S at the end of the first four words and I still have valid words, but if I put an S at the end of the fifth word IT will NOT be a valid word, so I could submit the first four six-letter words for the answer! I'd have done so already, but for the nature of these words as I have explained, which leads me to conclude that Will has some other solution in mind. Of course I'll ADD this when I think of that.

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    1. Ah. I think you have found the same ones I did, and I submitted the four six-letter words that you describe. ---Rob

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    2. I think I got EaWAf's answer, too. I'm still looking, but if I don't find anything else, I'm going to submit these. --Margaret G.

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  13. I believe I have found two sets of four words each which both meet the puzzle requirements precisely – the set that Blaine obviously has in mind and a different one. More Wednesday.

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  14. I have an answer that not only fits the clue, but shows a major hint in the wording of the clue.

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  15. Aargh, y'all coulda beat me like a redhead stepchild.

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  16. I have two legitimate answers, like Chuck does, Blaine's answer & E&WAF's answer.

    Another faux answer:

    LULLED, MULLED, NULLED, PULLED...oops there's also DULLED.

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  17. A company that makes a product for bikers uses all four words together in their marketing.

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  18. Will loves to phrase an essential part of a puzzle as if it were a hint.
    There are many words that meet the initial criteria, but, oh yeah, there can't be any others.
    I consider this misleading.

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  19. I finally got my answer. See you Wednesday!

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  20. Busy day today, so I didn't have much time to think about the puzzle. But sure enough, after reading all of the above comments, I, too, got an answer. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be the same as Blaine's. So maybe I'm all wrong anyway.

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    Replies
    1. We might have the same answer. Mine also doesn't fit Blaine's hint.

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  21. If you're a football fan, you might get it more easily. Unless I'm just wrong.

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  22. Alright I finally figured it out. As a semi-professional slight of hand magician I am going to keep the answer hidden from view by palming it.

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  23. I wonder if, for purposes of this puzzle, Will Shortz is permitting use of Puzzleria!’s unpatented Closed-Loop Circular Seamless Alphabet (see the “Double Clutch Dessert: Automotive transmission” puzzle). If so, and if Will were asking for three-letter rather than six-letter words, you could answer with: ZOO, BOO, COO, DOO, FOO, GOO…

    LegoExclaims”HooBoy,That’sOneDoozyOfAStringOfWords!Woo!(And,FightTheFoo!)

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  24. Replies
    1. 'Browns' are 'hues'.
      A 1974 Hues Corporation hit repeats the word 'notion' several times.
      Eventually, I noticed that the removal of some letters from 'corporation' results in a giveaway.
      Apparently I didn't tip the boat over, however.

      Delete
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  26. Simply draw upon your skills as a polymath.

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  27. ...and figure it out your own self.

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  28. I show my ignorance, the real answer is .214

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  29. Musical clues for one of the answers, in order, The Coasters, The Swallows, The Charms & The Clovers!

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  30. Fun puzzle this week! To me, it screamed for a computer program to assure ALL the answers! I wrote one and got 3 answers that fit all the puzzle's technical criteria! Two answers were all common
    words, but the third one was not. In it, all the words do have meanings, and were in at least one web dictionary. I can post all three answers later if no one else does! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

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    1. After chatting (and arguing) with my friend ratoig, he's let me know his 3rd solution, which of its four words, in my opinion only one of them could be considered even remotely common. One clue I give: They all either are exclusively adjectives or at least can be adjectives (and for the 4th word, the dictionary you need is Wordnik), and all their definitions start with the words "of or relating to" (or in some cases "belonging to" or "pertaining to").

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  32. Musical clue: Redbone(one song, not the other)

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  33. Having finally gotten the answer, I will take advantage of the unseasonably mild weather, gas up my motorcycle and take a ride tomorrow. Carpe diem!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Carpe diem!

      Doesn't that mean catch of the day on menus in Italian restaurants?

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    3. It is, unless you want the low fat version, Carpe diet. There is also the platter to share, Carpe duet

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    4. Reminds me of my mother's awful cooking. We always looked forward to Crap Diem.

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  34. Pretty sure I've got a plum answer. And I'd post a hint, but the lower peninsula is calling my name. I'll see you folks in a week.

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  35. Steve Harvey might get this one.

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  36. Steve Harvey and Drew Carey get one of my answers,
    Nicki and Kylie get the other set.

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  37. I definitely have a different answer than some folks. Three of my words are nouns, depending on usage, and all four are verbs.

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  38. It doesn't look like I'll figure out the answer by tomorrow, but I wanted to submit my predictions for the New Names in the News - 2015 edition. If you are the lucky one to get the call this week, may it help you prepare.

    Walter Palmer
    Kim Davis
    El Chapo
    Rachel Dolezal
    Jim McNally or possibly Left Shark
    Ahmed Mohamed
    Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

    Any others?

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    Replies
    1. Martin Shkreli
      Bowe Bergdahl
      Joseph Young

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    2. I suggested Bowe Bergdahl last year, so he's not exactly new in the news this year. I've found that Will tends to avoid names that are famous for notoriety.

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    3. I got: BROWNS, CROWNS, DROWNS, FROWNS. I wrote: "A musical hint for what I got: sing a perpetual canon." The most famous perpetual canon, or round, is "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," which I cited because of all those rows in the answer I got. ---Rob

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  39. lotion motion notion potion
    browns crowns drowns frowns

    Last Sunday I said, “I believe I have found two sets of four words each which both meet the puzzle requirements precisely – the set that Blaine obviously has in mind and a different one.” Does anyone see a problem with either solution?

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  40. LOTION MOTION NOTION POTION

    All four without their initial consonants are oceans without seas.)

    My hints:

    “As a semi-professional slight of hand magician I am going to keep the answer hidden from view by palming it.”

    Hinting at palm lotion, and motions are integral to slight of hand, and notions are the impetus for creating magic tricks, and potions are used in black magic.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting. I used your 4 consecutive consonants in palming and a list of 5000 most common words in alphabetic order to find lotion, ...

      Motion and notion were the only two words on the list.

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  41. LOTION, MOTION, NOTION, POTION

    > Actually, I have the answer, but I have no idea how to clue it without giving it away.

    No notion at all.

    > A company that makes a product for bikers uses all four words together in their marketing.

    Ruby's Lube: "The Motion Lotion Potion". "A Motion Potion for Every Notion".

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  42. " . . . after reading all of the above comments, I, too, got an answer. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be the same as Blaine's. So maybe I'm all wrong anyway."

    I lied. Actually, I simply got the answer BROWNS, etc., after seeing @Reyemile's post immediately above mine, with the frowny-face emoticon.

    As I believe several others did, I hinted at BROWNS = UPS = Delivery Service by saying "I got it." Then clinched it with "maybe I'm all wrong" standing in for "all wet," a reference to DROWNS.

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  43. Probably the intended answer:
    LOTION
    MOTION
    NOTION
    POTION

    Blaine's clue: “otion” sounds like OCEAN which goes between “notion” & “potion,” as O goes between N & P.

    Second answer, (E&WAF's answer):
    BROWN(S)
    CROWN(S)
    DROWN(S)
    FROWN(S)
    GROWN (5 letters, cannot add an S.)

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  44. Browns, etc., was my submission. But I wondered why Will would choose 6-letter words (all with S), when he could have gone for the root words (5 letters each), or gone for longer versions--either -ed or -ing endings--without changing anything. That consideration makes me think that the "lotion" solution is the one he had in mind, and he'll announce "browns" as an alternative that he had not been aware of.

    Incidentally, you can almost make it with the word PUZZLE--i.e., MUZZLE, NUZZLE, PUZZLE. But then we'd have to nominate either LUZZLE or QUZZLE as new common words. (I'd pick QUZZLE, just because it would be an awesome Scrabble word.)

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  45. Ah--I see that Ron's comment, published as mine was being written, explains why the root-word version of "browns" fails. I missed that.

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  46. BROWNS, CROWNS, DROWNS, FROWNS

    and

    LOTION MOTION NOTION POTION


    "Simply draw upon your skills as a polymath." was a combined clue toward BROWNian MOTION, a nod toward Project Polymath and Einstein's 1905 "Annus Mirabilis:" See BROWNIAN MOTION.

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  47. I got BROWNS, CROWNS, DROWNS, and FROWNS.

    I said, "Pretty sure I've got a plum answer. And I'd post a hint, but the lower peninsula is calling my name. I'll see you folks in a week."

    The lower peninsula of Michigan is a mitt, and I had a plum answer. Mit Plum is a hall of fame quarterback from the Cleveland Browns.

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  48. As promised, here is the THIRD answer! Yes pretty obscure, but all definitions can be found in internet dictionaries, and were in the exhaustive word list I use for my programs! Here they are!

    Larine , Marine , Narine , Parine

    Larine -- of or relating to gulls especially as distinguished from terns.

    Marine -- of or relating to the sea or the plants and animals that live in the sea.

    Narine -- of or belonging to the nostrils.

    Parine -- of, pertaining to, or having the characters of the subfamily Parinae; related to or resembling titmice.

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    Replies
    1. ratoig, what about farine -- edible meal made from cassava root?

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    2. Hey Word Woman, well done! You just killed this solution! No word list is perfect, or up to date. Mine has 254,099 words in it, but it did not have 'farine'. My mistake was that I trusted in my list. Thanks!

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    3. So how are you farine now ratoig?

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    4. I like my farine "well done" if I can just root some out....

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  49. Neither Milt Plum nor Mit Plum are Hall of Fame quarterbacks.

    Happy Holidays everyone!

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  50. Hmmmm, who is your fact checker, Ryan? Milt, not Mit, Plum has not, as yet, been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. . .

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  51. I wrote "considering the vast (an ocean) number of letter combinations (I almost used options, which anagrams with potion(s), but didn't want to get a Blaineslapped) - I thought (had a notion) about using spell (potion) check to make it easier (I vaguely remember the naughty phrase "lotion for the motion" in junior high) for what I think is the intended answer.

    "In [Cleveland], the awarding of the Browns' crowns drowns frowns" is not an entirely bad sentence.

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    1. If I may be so bold, eco, so much bolded text is not so bold. . .(But, I did enjoy your clue!)

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    2. yeah, I agree, I didn't do a preview and then had to call and be uncivil to my civil engineer....

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    3. Uh-oh. Uncivil on Christmas Eve Eve?

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  52. I totally missed this being a Wednesday deadline week. So a tad late, I report I too had Lotion, Motion, Notion and Potion as an answer. My clue, concerning gassing up my motorcycle was a reference to filling it with MOTION POTION. Carpe Diem (SEIZE THE DAY), the other half of my clue, was a intended as a play on SEAS being a homonym for SEIZE and OCEAN being a (pseudo) homonym for OTION...

    Happy Holidays all...

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  53. Oh no! Missed 2 calls from 202 area code today at 1pm mountain! Was playing with my son and hadn't thought of the early deadline. Oh well...
    This was a good one for a quick Python computer script. (-otion submitted)
    M
    Happy holidays fellow Blainesvillians!

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    Replies
    1. Bummer! Kicking myself for not answering the call.
      Hope to bear the pin sometime, but the ultimate goal is to design a worthy puzzle some day...

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  54. This is exactly what I had submitted (after first quoting the puzzle):

    My answers: 1st, what I'm sure is the answer you're expecting.
    _________________________________________________________________
    Lotion, Motion, Notion, Potion.
    _________________________________________________________________
    And 2nd: An additional answer which I actually found first.
    _________________________________________________________________
    Browns, Crowns, Drowns, Frowns.
    _________________________________________________________________
    I discovered that after having found 5 5-letter-words ending in the same 4 letters.
    _________________________________________________________________
    Brown, Crown, Drown, Frown, Grown.

    And now, the reason why this post of mine is so late. I was interrupted... by a phone call... I GOT PICKED!!!!

    This was actually the 3rd time that I had gotten the phone call, although it will be only the 2nd time that I will have played. The second time I had let the guy know that I had played once before, and minutes later got a call back from him that his boss told him that they'd rather give it to someone who had not played on the air before. I did NOT volunteer that information THIS TIME!

    Anyone who'd like to hear how I played the last time can do so by clicking HERE!

    Oh, and you'll need RealPlayer to play it!

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    Replies
    1. Hooray! Congratulations! It will be fun to hear the show. Don't forget to copy down carefully Will's recitation of the puzzle to be broadcast on Sunday, so we can get to work early. Hooray! ---Rob

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    2. Break a leg! Looking forward to your puzzling time.

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    3. Thanks for the link to your last appearance. Seems like the puzzle segment was longer back then. Nostalgic nods to rec.puzzles and the address for postcard entries, too!

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    4. Grays EaWAF
      I'll be listening devices during my morning walk.
      Marcy and the Waffle House gang will be excited that one of "us " is represented.
      Merry Christmas gang.

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    5. Enya_and_Weird_Al_fan,
      Good for you! I look forward to your on-air triumph. Make Rachel say, "Wow, that was amazing! You did a fantastic job!" Perhaps Will will even add a begrudging, "Okay, good work."

      LegoSays"YouGoEnya_and_Weird_Alpel_Pin!"

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    6. EaWAF
      For which answer did you get picked? Surely you didn't make two entries.

      Delete
    7. zeke.

      Within the very post to which you have replied and now I am replying, I quoted exactly my submission after quoting the puzzle itself.

      Everything between the "(after first quoting the puzzle):" and the "And now, the reason why..." is what I submitted.

      Delete
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  56. LOTION, MOTION, NOTION, POTION
    Sorry I didn't post earlier today. First of all, I honestly forgot it was a day early this week. Second, we've been having a really bad weather day today. In fact, there is a tornado watch in effect for Walker County(among other surrounding counties)here in Jasper until 4:00 AM. I only checked the blog just now, a few minutes into midnight. Congratulations to Enya and Weird Al Fan for WINNING this week! Happy to see anyone from our blog win the puzzle! Been there, done that, but I would love to do it again! I will be sure to listen Sunday. Good for you, and happy holidays to all on this blog and Puzzleria!

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  57. BTW my Redbone clue came from "The Witch Queen of New Orleans." The lyric was something about "lotions and potions...guaranteed to blow your mind". I really should have looked up the lyric, as I wasn't sure about it exactly. I just know it mentions lotions and potions.

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  58. Argh you coulda beat me like a redhead stepchild.
    That would be a ROAN GROAN.
    Browns crowns drowns frowns but not growns as I piggy back on Blaines clue

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  59. ...and figure it out youR OWN Self.

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  60. .272727...That's 3/11, but not how percentage is figured out in sports, as I was corrected.
    The Cleveland BROWNS have 3 wins and 11 losses yielding a .214.
    I'm not much of an athletic supporter ; )

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  61. Next week's Puzzle (paraphrased): Name a well-known actress, four letters in the first name, four letters in the last name. Add one letter and rearrange into an animal and the sound that that animal makes.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Enya,
      Easy one to solve, but typically inane and poor quality such as WS keeps on giving us as if we are all morons. Why not something intelligent for a change?

      Delete
    2. Wow! That was easy. In fact, one of the few times I had the answer by the time I finished reading the question. Perhaps this was meant to be a kids' challenge, since it is a holiday week. But it's OK by me; I'll have time to think about other things over breakfast. Haven't solved Matt Gaffney's meta for this week yet!

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  62. Thx Enya,
    Awaiting your return to the SME.
    Caught the tail end of SDB.
    She's not at all vapid :)

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  63. I was surprised how rare actresses with four letters in each name are.

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  64. Next week's challenge (copied from the web page): Name a famous actress who has four letters in her first name and four letters in her last name. Add one letter, and rearrange the result to name an animal and the sound this animal makes. Who is the actress, what is the animal and what is the sound that the animal makes?

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  65. Great performance on the radio this morning! I am so glad someone else got to play the end-of-the-year challenge; it's always hard for me to place those names. You did well, and it was good to hear your voice. ---Rob

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  66. Oh, how they edited it!

    Will actually gave me the names of all twelve people (or trios of people) described.

    -- And on the page they left the s off my last name!

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  67. In reference to Will's plural statement I didn't tuse any of the four words as anything other than action verbs until an American football fan told me of the Browns.

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