Sunday, April 17, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (April 17, 2016): Give 'em the old Razzle Dazzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (April 17, 2016): Give 'em the old Razzle Dazzle:
Q: Take the name of a famous musical. Write it in upper- and lowercase letters, as you usually would. Now turn one of the characters upside-down and move it to another place in the title. The result will be the last name of a well-known stage performer. What is the musical, and who is the performer?
Chicago? Nope. Cats? Nope. Hmm... I'm not getting it!

Edit: My hint had question marks, an ellipsis and an exclamation point to point you to thinking about the punctuation.
A: Oliver! --> (Laurence) Oliv¡er

127 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. I guess it's not "Hello, Dolly" or "Oklahoma" either.

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    1. Nor "Grease." Nor "Evita."

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    2. It could be AMADEuS. Change the u to an n and you have Tom AMAnDES... He's not "well-known" enough for you? I didn't think so.

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  3. Of course I was busy trying to find musicals with invertible letters. I was surprised at the answer. Clever. ---Rob

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  4. Super easy, but I do like it. Sorta reminds me of a small town somewhere.

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  5. The puzzle leaves me wanting for more, sigh.

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    1. zeke, I know exactly what you mean, but you can have more. I suggest you see if you can solve my ICON puzzle lego is running this week (now) at Puzzleria! It is one that may be either difficult or easy depending on your world acumen, or tenacity.

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    2. I personally found the puzzle to be grueling.

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  6. I have always found musical theater the perfect cure for insomnia.
    This challenge has already had a similar effect.

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  7. Thought for sure I could make, Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk work, but it seems, all I ever do is follow primrose paths.

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    1. I had high hopes for The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat As Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade, but, alas, it is not a musical. It "is a play with music. This follows much in the path of Bertolt Brecht where the songs comment on themes and issues of the play. Unlike a traditional musical format, the songs do not further the plot or expositional
      development of character in the play. In contrast, they often add an alienation
      effect, interrupting the action of the play and offering historical, social and political commentary."

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    2. Paul:

      That is one of my all time favorite movies; and how about the sexy bathtub scenes?

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    3. Frankly, I didn't see the point of them.

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    4. I think it may have been a device in order to keep the Marat character in one spot on stage.

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  8. This is a solid puzzle. Hint: The vocabulary in the wording of the puzzle is very important.

    LegoHopefullyHelpfulHinter

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  9. I like solving these kinds of puzzles about as much as going to the dentist!

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    1. But, 68, if you go when you should, they'll tag your chart with a star!

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    2. There is tooth in what you say.

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    3. Some folks who jump out of perfectly functioning aircraft need help! (Shufflin' t' th' door, that is.)

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    4. I don't shuffle to the door when I jump, but I do riffle shuffle a deck of playing cards with one hand.

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    5. Geronimo! [Wait! Can one still say that and not run afoul of the PC Polizei?]

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    6. I have never heard anyone say Geronimo when jumping.

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    7. I am fully aware of the expression, and its military roots, but it is never used in skydiving. No one even mentions it. You only hear it from those who have never jumped and are not considering it either. I have jumpmastered many thousands of students and never once heard any trite expressions, other than one that begins with S.

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  11. It's safe to say, to always take good care of your teeth!!

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    1. Have you decorated your '68 Charger?

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    2. I'm afraid I sold my Charger years ago. I wish I had the money to restore one, though! Those '68's were easy to work on.

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  13. Alternate puzzle:
    Take the name of a world renowned musician. Change one letter in this musician's first name to the letter which falls two places later in the alphabet. Then double the first letter in the musician's last name. The result is the name of a famous actor. Who are the musician and the actor?

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    2. Nice puzzle, Nick. I have an early album by the musician hat has a title that shares something wordplayish in common with the title of an album by these guys.

      Legogel:ALittleYabbaDabbleDoYa

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    3. So what was the answer to your puzzle nick?

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  15. A glorious puzzle.

    Ironically, I was bored in church during a sermon on acts of kindness to help those less fortunate. The answer came to me then.

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  16. Were there cats in the cast of cats? And if so, were they castaways caught with castanets? Or just cats miscast?

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    1. I just hoped the reviewers would castrate them.

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    2. Actsually, they were neuteral on the subjact.

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    3. That would be a cat-astrophe.

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  17. This week's puzzle tears apart the rules.

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  18. I'm reminded of the Cleveland Indians' message to fans after reacquiring slugger Jim Thome, who had played for the Tribe from 1991-2002, via trade in 2011: "Consider yourself a Thome fan again!"

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  19. Pretty sneaky, but I finally got it. The wording is slightly misleading.

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  20. I’m so bad with popular culture I’m not sure I’d recognize the answers if they were staring me in the face. So you’re just going to have to hold down the fort without me this week. Regards to all.

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  21. To rephrase the wording of the puzzle, and quote RUN DMC, "It's tricky."

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  22. Thanks word woman. I'm glad we could benefit from all of her clues.

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  23. I had to take a minute or two to get this one.

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    1. Lorenzo,

      Now you have it you really should check out my Icon puzzle over at lego's Puzzlearia blog. I have a feeling you might easily solve this one.

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  26. Odd to see such an idol thrust into the limelight. . . but better late than never, I suppose.

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  27. Replies
    1. My comment was a reference to Carol Reed, who directed Odd Man Out, The Fallen Idol and The Third Man (featuring Orson Welles as Harry Lime) back in the 1940s, but got the Oscar™ for Oliver!, a much less worthy candidate, years later. I heartily recommend Odd Man Out, starring James Mason, which is available on youtube if you look for it, and The Fallen Idol.

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  28. Perform all the (poorly stated) actions and all you get is something that looks really dumb.

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  29. The actor portrayed many characters. Also, I'm sure that the musical is not A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. And if it was Sweeney Todd, that would be very odd as well.

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  30. REMINDER

    Lego's Puzzleria! is now divulging answers to its puzzles one day later, on Wednesdays. This will give you one more day to be the person to finally solve my ICON puzzle Lego is running this week. No one has posted to having solved it yet. I should be very easy for some. Good luck.

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    1. SDB: Cannot solve your puzzleria! Also,see ?? reply last week.

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    2. I just saw it.

      You can solve it if you approach it differently than whatever you've done so far.

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  31. How does Trump tell his supporters to deal with protestors?

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    1. Would that be the art of the deal?

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    2. I like your answer, ecoarchitect, but I was thinking of something else.

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  32. Interesting year. Some people are seeking change, while others want to leave things the way they are.

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    1. And some folks can't get excited at all.

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  33. ¿Me pregunto si este rompecabezas podría funcionar tan bien en español?

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  34. Both replies to Curtis's soon-to-be eliminated question show the silliness of this puzzle.
    Makes me think of "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues."

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  35. I think there have been some good hints and clues regarding the answer! With a little detective work using some of these posts, I think someone should be able to solve this rather tricky puzzle. (No clue used in this post)

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    1. The clues here led me to the correct answer, but it took me a really long time to figure out why it was right. I tried to find a character from the musical that could be turned upside down - think Auntie Em from the Wizard of Oz. I could invert the "Em" to get a "W" (and, no, that isn't it). Finally Will's wording hit home and I know I've solved it. Quite a clever twist I would say.

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    2. I liked this weeks puzzle, kind of challenging!

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  37. What does Anderson Cooper's mom eat?

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  38. This actor never played Sweeney Todd, but it's safe to say that he did play one character who no doubt enjoyed some shoptalk with Mr. Todd.

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  39. Although not a fan of his, it's still a shock hearing about Prince. Didn't know he was 57 years old, either.

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  41. I just heard about the death of Prince. He will be missed.

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  42. Too bad this is what it takes to end the 24/7 election coverage on the TV 'news' channels...

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  44. Oliver!---Olivier
    I characterized this puzzle as cute, because I was afraid that if I called it twisted, Blaine would tag me out. Based on other comments, that survived Blaine's scrutiny, I could have gotten away with it.

    Oh well. Time to go pick some pockets.

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  45. OLIVER! Flip the exclamation point and you have an I in lower case. > Sir Lawrence Olivier. Oliver! is a musical adaptation of Oliver Twist by Samuel Clemens, or was it Sam Shakespeare, or maybe Chuck Dickens?

    My Hint:

    “Super easy, but I do like it. Sorta reminds me of a small town somewhere.”
    A hamlet is a small town. Sir Lawrence Olivier was renowned for his portrayal of Hamlet, the great play by Mark Twain, or was it Agatha Christie?

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  46. Oliver!, Olivier

    > I am not stirred by this puzzle.

    After "shaken v. stirred", the big question for martini drinkers is "Oliver Twist?"

    > (subtle clue)

    "Bang" is how the exclamation mark is usually pronounced.

    > Have you decorated your '68 Charger?

    ... making it an Artful Dodge?

    > How does Trump tell his supporters to deal with protestors?

    "You've got to pock a picket or two!"

    > What does Anderson Cooper's mom eat?

    Food. Gloria's food.

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    1. When I saw that you were 'not stirred' by this puzzle I could see you were on to something. It took me three times to finally realize Oliver! had that exclamation point!!

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    2. When I saw that you were 'not stirred' by this puzzle I could see you were on to something. It took me three times to finally realize Oliver! had that exclamation point!!

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    3. How does Trump tell his supporters to deal with protestors?

      My beat the Dickens out of them is obvious, though that dickens originated much earlier than Charles.

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    4. I also wrote "This week's puzzle tears apart the rules." = Law rents.

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  48. Of all his famous work, I will always remember him for the evil dentist in the movie 'Marathon Man'. It was so awful watching Dustin Hoffman in the dentist chair being asked by Laurence Olivier "if it was safe?".

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    1. A memorable role indeed. That was what I was hinting at when I posted that Dr. Szell (the character's name) and Sweeney Todd (the demon barber of Fleet Street) could share a lot of memories discussing shoptalk. I obliquely hinted at this as well when I posted "It's safe to say..."

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    3. I thought that's what you were getting at! That razor in his arm sleeve was sure creepy!!
      I wasn't sure what to reply with without giving things away.

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  49. In response to Charles's comment, which dropped the exclamation points from Oklahoma! and Hello, Dolly!, I wrote the following:

    Nor "Grease." Nor "Evita."

    I'm still not sure I punctuated it correctly.
    Grease starred Olivia Newton-John, and there's an old joke about what her name would be if she'd had a certain marriage history. Evita is the third person singular present indicative of evitar. I wonder how artfully Will will dodge the 'character' issue.

    In another comment, I blurted out the word point. It's surprising I wasn't straight-jacketed for that one.

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  50. No matter how you write them, an "i" is not an upside down "!".
    Especially if you look at the original advertising.
    I think Sandy Weiss got Will in trouble again.

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  51. As a side note, how do you prevent a posting from being posted twice, on this blog? I thought maybe it was from doing the preview feature but that's not it.

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  52. Oliver! Olivier

    "Happy I got there." was meant to be understated!(!)


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  53. My clue was my reference to Word Woman and "all of her" ("oliver") clues.

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  54. ! upside down is ¡ so Oliver! becomes Oliv¡er, not a great answer...

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  55. You people arguing that ¡ and I flipped aren't exactly the same should lead the new Pedant's Revolt.

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  56. Ryan Meyers: I am one of those people but I don't have time right now to read that book.
    Could you summarize the reasoning please?

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  57. There are roughly 36 hours before Will Shortz unveils his next Sunday morning mind-bending masterpiece. That is plenty of time for y'all to visit us at "Puzzler!ai".

    We offer eight (count 'em, eight) puzzles this week, including three Shortz rip-offs/riff-offs involving character inversion -- or character "development," as I prefer to call it.

    The other five involve:
    1. A Heisman-worthy reversal of field;
    2. Steller cosmology... and cosmetology;
    3.The Department (Store) of Defense;
    4. Draftsman Dodging... Artfully, Oliver; and
    5. Salameandering.

    Slither on over!

    LegoWhoA!msToCross!ngH!sTeaseAndDott!ngH!sLowercaseInterrobangsi

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  58. Ah, Laurence, is that an upside down exclamation point in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

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  59. Thanks to :
    Nick Missios Sun Apr 17, 11:47:00 AM PDT: "grueling."
    ConmanWed Apr 20, 02:44:00 PM PDT: "twist"
    ecoarchitect Mon Apr 18, 09:35:00 PM PDT: "dickens"

    I'm not sure mine would have been in the pool of correct entries without your non-indirect clues.

    And, of course, thanks to Blaine (!) for the blog and your attempt to herd cats.

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  60. Next week's Name a famous singer — first and last names. The last four letters of the first name spelled backward plus the first four letters of the last name spelled forward ... read together, in order, name a section of products in a drugstore. What is it?

    Too Easy

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    1. I solved it in less than 10 seconds; it was the first possibility I thought of.

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  61. Not an area of the drug store where I spend a lot of time, or money.

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  63. My clues related to two different answers, the expected one and an alternate.

    For those who are seeking change, the answer was Oliver! (the ! changes to an i).

    For those who wish to keep things the way they are (e.g., the show and the performer share the same name) and can't get excited (there is no !) the answer is Fosse.

    For Fosse, rotate one of the S's upside down -- it will remain an S. Then move it to the other side of the other S to (again) get Fosse -- a famous stage performer, dancer, choreographer, etc.

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  64. My clues related to two different answers, the expected one and an alternate.

    For those who are seeking change, the answer was Oliver! (the ! changes to an i).

    For those who wish to keep things the way they are (e.g., the show and the performer share the same name) and can't get excited (there is no !) the answer is Fosse.

    For Fosse, rotate one of the S's upside down -- it will remain an S. Then move it to the other side of the other S to (again) get Fosse -- a famous stage performer, dancer, choreographer, etc.

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