Sunday, May 22, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 22, 2016): Another Household Item

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 22, 2016): Another Household Item:
Q: Name a common household item in 6 letters. Change the middle two letters to a P, and you'll get the 5-letter last name of a famous person who professionally used that item. What's the item, and who's the person?
Is pectin a household item used professionally by Chef Jacques Pépin?
A: CAMERA --> CAPRA

138 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. With a "not so common" household item and a "famous person" who had an associate use the item in question, WS has created a real massacre of a puzzle...

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  3. This famous person associated with another person who used the household item in another context. But, I hope I'm not giving anyone a backdoor into the puzzle.

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  4. It was beautiful. My buddy, Jimmy, was in a stew, and this person came through.

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    1. Did the stew have corn in it?

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Has anyone else noticed that this web site now pops up video ads that start playing automatically, with audio? Wonderful!

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    Replies
    1. Let me know where you are seeing that. Which browser? And are you on the web version or the mobile version?

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    2. I have noticed that the "search this blog" search no longer works.

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    3. Earlier this morning, just after the puzzle was posted on last week's blog, I posted the following in reply to Paul's post:

      PaulSun May 22, 05:24:00 AM PDT

      Oh, sdb's gonna love this one.
      Reply
      Replies

      skydiveboySun May 22, 05:56:00 AM PDT

      Who me?

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    4. Blaine, I'm using Chrome on a Windows laptop.

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  6. The answer came rather easily to me; I know others will think this was too easy, but lazy fellow that I am, I think it's a wonderful puzzle. ---Rob

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  7. Not very elegant in my opinion. Having to remove one third of a word and then add something different to solve what I consider a flimsy offering to be honest. That being said, I am happy because I was able to solve it while still in bed, because I am having my other eye operated on tomorrow morning, so I don't have to waste time on it.

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  8. After solving the puzzle, add a trigraph after the "P" to move on to yet another Creature from the original "Another Household Item".

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  9. For those with bladder control issues, take a pee (from the answer, that is), and you'll sort of be left with a related mode of transportation.

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  10. Replies
    1. Honestly, a good amount of needed fiber.

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  11. Well, I didn’t get it as fast as Bob Kerfuffle. I had finished breakfast and was shaving when the answer came to me. But like Bob, I had no hints and no references. And after last week’s stinker – only 100 right answers in the whole country – I agree with Rob: I think it’s a wonderful puzzle, too.

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  12. Remove another letter from the person's name to get the last name of another person famous for using the same (household?) item.

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    Replies
    1. Or you could remove a different letter from the name of the famous person to accurately describe what some of us may consider this puzzle to be.

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    2. With rearrangement, I presume?

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    3. Yes, and I applaud your fine choice of words.

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    4. Interestingly, you've previously expressed disdain for this person's work on this blog, using the same rearranged word, which you (inadvertently?) anagrammed yourself.

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    5. Try entering "king of propaganda" in the search box at the top of the right hand column of this page, and see what you get.

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  13. I assume most are rather bored now you have solved this bit of fluff, so I am suggesting you cruise on over (via Uber?) to Lego's Puzzleria! and try your skill at solving my thespian puzzle Lego is running this week. You can use Blaine's link to get there.

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  14. To be earnest, some of these clues are wonderful.

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  15. Have we seen this puzzle before? The wording of this just seems to ring a bell.

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  16. Dated references and no anagrams -- should make some happier!
    I wouldn't have gotten it without word-enrichment clues here -- thanks! (but I don't submit my answer in those cases)
    I had the "Pectin" answer but it didn't seem right.

    My general observation is that the puzzles oscillate in difficulty, audience, and type -- anybody else think that? For all of our complaints (I've had mine over the years), I think it's pretty interesting to think of the big picture of puzzles: the overall design and delivery of puzzles are not fully independent, as I believe Will creates and curates them in combination to reach a broader audience.

    Last week was an interesting experience, thanks to everyone...
    > 100 responses (and no Harriets!), so I'll take it: I was fearful of fewer! I do now believe the "double T" confusion may have been overly obfuscatory, and wish it weren't so. I hope enough of those people had a "Zing" when they got the answer, and a few more that didn't but thought it was fair enough that they wish they did. In recent memory, I enjoyed getting puzzles like "Pajama/Rebukes" after a bit, and also enjoyed not getting the (in)famous alarm clock puzzle. Cheers!

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    1. I wish there were a word in English for that "zing" that's felt when we figure out a puzzle. It's a different feeling than anything else. Great puzzle, Mike!

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  17. Replies
    1. Clever clue, Marie.

      LegoLovesItWhenWillShortzThrowsSuchPuzzlesAtUs(OneHintInThisSignOff)

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    2. The connection is apocryphal, though.

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  18. Everything in moderation - traditionally, of course. It's a lost quality these days.

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  19. This one came a little too easily for me; I've used this household item professionally as well. And, I keep a few antique examples in our office at home. My wife likes antique phones, and I like antiques of the aforementioned item.

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  20. Add an 'i' to the common household item and rearrange to get the name of the place where the famous person lived.

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  21. It is a wonderful puzzle this week, but to get the person's name, don't drag me into this.

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  22. I do have to smile thinking of the answer, though.

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  23. Oddly enough, you can take it with you...even to Washington!

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. I got last weeks by focusing on fly, then trying to figure tuber as a word, then saw uber. Answered this weeks, with something too obscure for my gen. But yalls comments really throw me off. Im not sure if you have the right answer or are being silly.

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    Replies
    1. Could be the thin air causing confusion if one happens to be at some remote high-altitude location.

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  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. I have the answer. It's just my hints that are silly.

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  28. I'm rather clueless, so just leave me out of this puzzle.

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  29. After working on this by just thinking of familiar last names in the pattern "blank, blank, p, blank, blank," it came pretty easily. Posts here confirmed it.

    How in the world the PM thought that "household item" was a good way to describe the thing that brought the subject person fame is beyond me.

    Chef Jacques Pépin is a better answer.

    100 correct responses last week? Permit me to doubt.

    Then the poor on-air guy catches a Shortz anagram barrage.

    The new lawyerish poster last week made a great takedown of the "a T" phrasing. Will had a reason to forego a legal carreer.

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  30. I question the term "household" for the item.

    I think Walter Reppe, who certainly must have had a recipe for the catalytic dehydration of formamide to prussic acid, is a better answer.

    Bonus Puzzle (hoping Lego hasn't thought of this rip-off already): Name another common household item in 6 letters, remove the middle 2 letters and replace with a "b" to get something that most people have in their homes.

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    Replies
    1. Thanx EA. After trying to come up with a six letter word to morph into table (tangle just didnt seem appropriate) I finally saw the light.

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    2. I never have gotten it. Have I missed much?

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    3. I have the answer, but tried bible, then album, which yielded alarum, and finally a light came on...

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    4. PJB: Did you ever answer your actor/ hospital department puzzle from last week?

      I could almost blurt it out but fear what I would get as a reward.

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  31. ecoarchitect,

    Nice Rip-Off/Riff-Off. I had not thought of your excellent puzzle, but I have thought of two or three other "piggybacking-Rip-off-Shortz" puzzles.

    LegoWhoShallNowReturnToWatchingTheIdiotBox

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. The famous person and I worked for the same company, sort of, at different times.

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  34. I think it's fairly weak to call this a "household" object and this person "famous, "so I'll wait to turn it in, but this one made me rather grouchy.

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    1. I could agree with you re: the object, but the person is VERY famous.

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    2. Agreed on the person, though her/his popularity has everything to do with timing.

      Speaking of which, Thursday I will post a link to show that he/she was way ahead on something of great importance today.

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    3. Isn't that true of every famous person?

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    4. Kim Kardashian is timeless, a person for the ages.....

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    5. I hear about her all the time, but I am very unaware why this is, because I do not watch TV, other than 60 Minutes, and so I miss out on a lot of the crap I don't really want to know about, such as the Kardashians. It sometimes makes it a bit difficult for me to solve these puzzles though.

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    6. You referring to global warming, ecoarchitect?

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    7. SDB: I only know of KK by name and curious reputation; I don't think I've ever seen her. But I'm fascinated by the idea of an untalented and otherwise useless person gaining fame and celebrity status for no apparent reason. Fortunately we would never imagine such a person could gain a position of real power....

      Jan: yes, global warming.

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    8. eco,
      When you say, "useless person," are you referring to those in Hollywood, or Washington, D. C.?

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    9. I'm guessing if I took a poll, you'd say my answer is wrong.

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    10. SDB: and all the places in between. And Delaware. And New England. And especially NEW YORK!!! Fantastic.

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  35. 60 Minutes this week had an O'Donnell person interviewer that set a new low for the program.

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  36. GOT IT!

    I should've had this easily because I admire most of the person's achievements. I felt super lost for most of this, but at least, as I usually do, I had some classic girl group music to inspire me.

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  37. Well Rome wasn't built in a day--but it took a week to bring down the walls of Jericho.

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    1. If Rome wasn't built in a day, was it built at night?

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    2. As for me and my house ...

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    3. In case anyone doesn't get the hint, this was a veiled reference to "It Happened One Night," Capra's greatest movie, which featured a running gag about the walls of Jericho.

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  38. No, it's just when they were finished, they called it a day.

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  39. Or maybe it's like "a T" in Butterfly. "A day" can be an indeterminate number of days. Whew! This philosophical stuff can be mind boggling. Where can one find one of those mountain-top, Utopian gurus when one needs one?

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    Replies
    1. Well, don't bother looking in the Appalachian Mountains.

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    2. SDB, they's some revenoors who went looking around in some counties up there, an' they wuz not seen since. 'Course they probably called the mountains Appa-lay-shuns like those Yankees on the teevee do.

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  40. For life's true meaning, try watching 'Sleeper' on TCM tonight, now that's a classic for higher meaning. No clues here, sorry!!

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  41. We need to change 'Whiskey' to 'Watusi'.
    Seriously.

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  42. Breaking news!

    Just two minutes ago on NPR I heard that Internet is no longer going to be capitalized.

    This has me concerned because I may forget and I do not want to be accused of a capital offense.

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    Replies
    1. So, all those venture capitalists are gonna move from Silicon Valley to the Rust Belt?

      And just last month, the National Weather Service announced they will no longer distribute forecasts in all caps. I guess 75-year old Bob Dylan will need his reading glasses to know which way the wind blows.

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    2. fUNNY yOU sHOULD mENTION tHAT, jAN. i sREAR bOB wAS iN tHE nEXT cUE fOR cATARACT sURGERY mONDAY.

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  43. Not only were there no giveaway clues this week (so far), I can't even see any connections between the answer I finally got otherwise, and any posts here. No clues here. GO CAVS!

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  44. Such a cavalier attitude. Apparently you're not getting the picture, which in this puzzle possesses two different meanings. Take me back, Clarence!

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  45. By the way, when will the NBA playoffs be over?

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  46. CAMERA – ME + P = CAPRA (Frank Capra)

    My hints:

    “Who me?” Me = the middle letters to be removed.

    “…a flimsy offering to be honest.” Or to be FRANK.

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  47. CAMERA, (Frank) CAPRA

    > What do people think of these coconut hot dogs?

    I've never had a Copra Frank.

    > Remove another letter from the person's name to get the last name of another person famous for using the same (household?) item.

    Robert Capa.

    > The famous person and I worked for the same company, sort of, at different times.

    When I was in grade school, I loved The Bell Labs Science Series that Capra produced.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, and my "Wonderful!" comment about the pop-up video ads was a reference to his movie, of course.

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  48. I wrote two hints to show I got it: "The answer CAME RAther easily to me"

    and

    "I know others will think this was too easy, but lazy fellow that I am, I think it's a wonderful puzzle," as a reminder of the director's most famous film, _It's a Wonderful Life_. ---Rob

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  49. My marker from last week: "Honestly . . ." To be FRANK, as in FRANK Capra.

    My add-on puzzle: " . . . Change three interior letters to a P, and you'll get the 4-letter last name in the nom de plume [sorta] of a famous person who professionally used that item. . . . " for Robert CAPA, also a very famous photog, but "nom de plume [sorta]" because his birth name was Endre Friedmann, and I wasn't sure if a photog has a "pen name."

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  50. camera, (Frank) Capra

    Last Sunday I said, “I think it’s a wonderful puzzle, too” Sort of reminiscent of the movie title, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

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  51. Camera--->Capra
    On last week's blog I commented, “The younger generation of Blainiacs may have a hard time coming up with this person’s name.” Frank Capra’s first sound movie was the 1929 film, “The Younger Generation.”

    And, for any who haven’t yet seen the light, the answer to ecoarchitect’s bonus puzzle was Candle--->Cable.

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  52. My puzzle could have been tangle--->table, but not really.

    And as Jan noted, later in his life Frank Capra produced Bell Science Series films, shown in virtually every elementary school in the country from the late 1950's through the mid 1970's, more or less.

    Among those films were "Hemo the Magnificent" (lots of blood, not so much gore) and "The Unchained Goddess". This short clip from the film shows a pretty accurate description of the effects of climate change. Note this was in 1958, a full 30 years before James Hansen's testimony before Congress, and almost 20 years before Exxon was accused of covering up their climate change research.

    The idea was there, only it was being shown to 10 year olds. Full movie at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqClSPWVnNE, as I recall Bugs Bunny had a starring role.

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  53. Camera and Capra.

    I said, "I felt super lost for most of this, but at least, as I usually do, I had some classic girl group music to inspire me."

    One of the best classic girl groups are the Shangri-Las. Shangri-La is in Capra's "Lost Horizon."

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  54. CAMERA, (Frank)CAPRA
    I referenced "It's A Wonderful Life" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", as well as an old Canon AE1(I think that's what the line is from)tagline, and of course you smile when someone takes your picture.
    CANDLE, CABLE("Wicked" was my clue)

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  55. CAMERA (“a common household item” ?)>>>Frank CAPRA.

    My hint: MASSACRE contains CAMERA + SS, Nazi group who did massacre people...

    Remove the R from CAPRA and you have Robert CAPA, the celebrated war photographer, who did use a camera professionally.

    CAMERA + I = AMERICA

    The ECO challenge: CANDLE replace ND with B to yield CABLE, something I do not have in my home.

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  56. I think an item commonly found in the home may have been less misleading. Or not, not sure.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed, RoRo. And welcome back!

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    2. I don't have a 35mm movie camera in my home. You?

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    3. Thanks for the Welcome. Life is so serious lately. I need some serious beach days. I also need to know why my comments are published twice. LOL

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    4. Thanks for the Welcome. Life is so serious lately. I need some serious beach days. I also need to know why my comments are published twice. LOL

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    5. We just can't get enough of you, RoRo!

      LegoWhoPrefersFrivolousBeachDays

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    6. I have more pectin than cameras in my home now. . .'Twas a reasonable answer, IMHO.

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  57. I think an item commonly found in the home may have been less misleading. Or not, not sure.

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  58. The clue in the sign-off to my comment complimenting Marie’s clever May 22 (“I love Bert and Ernie”) clue:
    “LegoLovesItWhenWillShortzThrowsSuchPuzzlesAtUs(OneHintInThisSignOff)”
    also alluded to Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
    The letters in “…PuzzlesAtUs” can be rearranged to form “ZuZu’s petals,” which figures into the movie’s scene in which George Bailey relizes he is not nuts after all. (Sorry, Mendo Jim!)

    Marie’s hint, of course, referred to the names of the cop and cabbie in FC’s “IAWL.” jan noted the “apocryphal” connection between those names and the famous Muppet duo. As usual, jan is correct. Indeed, Jim Henson and other Muppets and Sesame Street writers claim(ed) the choice of names was purely coincidental -- that the two Muppet characters “just looked like an Ernie and a Bert.”

    LegoPooPooZettlesAtTheBottomOfTanksAtTheSewageAndWasteWaterTreatmentPlants

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  59. Camera-me+p=Capra
    ... Just leave ME out of this weeks puzzle

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  60. This week's Puzzleria! has just been uploaded.

    Our "main puzzle event" is a clever and tricky offering from ron, a prolific poster on Blainesville and at Puzzleria! It is a number sequence conundrum in which one must find the missing number.

    There are eight other puzzles too, including three "riff-offs" of Will Shortz's NPR puzzle from this past Sunday.

    Please visit us. Just click on "Joseph Young's Puzzleria!" beneath Blaine's PUZZLE LINKS.

    LegoInvitesYouToStopOnByForASpell...AndYouNeedNotBeeAScrippsChampion!

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  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  62. Didn't Peter Piper use a "picker" to pick all of his pickled peppers?

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  63. Picker/Piper and pectin/Pépin, two perfectly good alternative answers that will pretty certainly never hit the Sunday airwaves.

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    1. DBC and Mendo Jim,

      You may be interested in solving one of the three "Riffing/Ripping Off Shortz" puzzles on the May 27 Puzzleria!, uploaded yesterday morning.

      LegoPleaseFileUnder"Great(OrPerhapsDeranged)MindsThinkAlike"

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  64. BLAINE, Someone just posted a long, incomprehensible SPAM POST on last week's blog. I thought you'd want to know and delete it.

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    1. That was pretty goofy, I hope this doesn't happen again!!

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  65. Rats, now it's gone and I was just finishing anagraming it into a chapter from the famous detective story "The Moonstone."

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  66. BREAKING NEWS:

    Next week's challenge from listener Harry Hillson of Avon-by-the-Sea, N.J.: What is the most consecutive points a tennis player can lose and still win a best-of-five-sets match? There's no trick. It's a straightforward question. The modern tennis tiebreaker rule does not come into play.

    It's all yours, Lorenzo!

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    1. Paul,
      Although I have more experience in losing consecutive points than winning 5-set matches, I think I have the answer.

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    2. All I knew was you're a tennis aficionado and I'm not. Congratulations!

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  67. Just to clarify -- for the purpose of this puzzle, if a tennis player loses, say, the first service, have they lost one point or 15 points?

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    Replies
    1. Don't you just love ambiguity?

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    2. I think each extended volley must be counted as a single point. Otherwise, how does the score change when a game is won, (as in when it goes from 40 - 15 to some unknown number)?

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  68. No hints here: I'm glad there are some who are knowledgeable on this score. This is definitely a bye week for me!

    Kinda reminds me of those baseball questions along the lines of "How can a pitcher be credited with a win if he was never in the game?" (I may exaggerate slightly.)

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  69. I have an answer. Not too hard, actually.

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