Sunday, May 08, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 8, 2016): Household item

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 8, 2016): Household item:
Q: Name something in 11 letters that's a common household item. You can rearrange the first six letters to form a synonym of a word spelled by the middle three letters. What is the item, and what are the words?
For some reason this was the first thing I thought of today. By the way, if you rearrange the last 6 letters, you can name something else that is a common household item, and something that definitely is NOT.

Edit: Given that Sunday was Mother's Day, Mom was the first thing I thought of. The last 6 letters of the answer can be anagrammed to REMOTE or METEOR.
A: THERMOMETER --> MOTHER and MOM

105 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. Wow - I lucked out and my wife used this item this morning, and so I got the answer quickly. ---Rob

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  3. Happy Mother's Day! The answer is not "screwdriver."

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    1. I can verify this. I tried it, too.

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    2. There are a lot of things it's not. It's not conditioner, moisturizer or coffeemaker. What I suspect it's also not is one word.

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    3. Isn't the actual meaning of WDR, with due respect, "screwd" ?

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    4. It's also not kitchenware. While finding HEN in the middle was heartwarming, attempting to anagram KITCHE left me cold.

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    5. Superzee,
      Okay with you if I take your excellent "kernel" of a potential puzzle and "make it pop" over on my May 13 Puzzleria! blog?

      LegoMuses"WeCouldCallItARippingOffSuperZeeSlice"

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    6. Lego - Go for it. I think I know where you are going with this, and I'm not afraid.

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    7. Thanks, SuperZee. I shall do my best to do it justice.

      LegoNotCountingHisSynonymsBeforeTheirFridaHatchDate

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    8. @11thplace. It is (one word). Don't get too hot under the collar about it, though - it's certainly not the first thing I thought of (though I'm pleased Lego saw a connection between pins and hippos!). --Margaret G.

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    11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    12. BREAKING NEWS!

      Harriet is now using the men's restroom.

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    13. That household item, a clothing bag, is a PORTMANTEAU and that central MAN is MR. PAT O. or the actor, Pat O'Brien.

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    14. I hope I haven't pulled a Harriet with the above!

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    15. I must say I have long been a port man. Vintage Port is best by far, but a good LBV can also suffice in a stiff wind. But then again, "any port in a storm" which could, of course, always work for being caught at sea in a storm as well I suppose. I am still hoping to win a LOTTO and keep my promise of then purchasing a bottle of vintage Port, produced in my birth year, which was one of the finest of all years. That year is, or perhaps was, 1945, and will cost a great sum of lucre, but I intend to keep my promise, the only problem being that I don't purchase LOTTO tickets.

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  4. The last five letters are a homophone of what we might do with first six letters.

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    1. I'll go on record as saying this is a very clever Puzzle. Not all of them are. I would go so far as to venture that even Ol' Saddam, had he not deservedly come to the end of his rope, would have necessarily concluded that this Puzzle is the most singularly clever of invention.

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    2. I agree with GB... 'Tis a clever puzzle, but one Will may have been sitting on for a spell.

      LegoThat'sSpellAsInWhatIsCastWhenYou"Entrance"InsteadOf"Exit"

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  5. I'll be kind to everyone here in Blainesville and refrain from posting a giveaway hint.

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    1. Be kind to your web-footed friends, for a duck may be somebody's mother.

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  6. I am reminded of a basic rule for picnics.

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    Replies
    1. Don't invite your father's sisters?

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  8. Don't overthink this one! This was a good puzzle. The new intern at NPR is getting better!!

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  9. I have to say I just listened to the podcast, and I was surprised they almost forgot to include the guy's question! Very apropos challenge for this weekend, if I may say so without giving anything away. I'll say this for the household item: You may have to use it in the end.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Patjberry! I'm so happy that Rob knows how to use this one. As for Blaine, it is always the one thing I remember before I go to bed!

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    2. riene, I see you are effluent in Spanish.

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  10. I got excited when I thought of a shopping bag, but pin is not even remotely a synonym of hippos. Back to the drawing board. --Margaret G.

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    1. And yet...

      LegoPinTheNPRLogoONMargaretG.'sLapel!

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    2. And yet...

      LegoPinTheNPRLogoONMargaretG.'sLapel!

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  11. I was away yesterday, and in the dark today, until now. Must have been the transit of Mercury.

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  12. Guy in front of me at Starbucks ordered his latte to be 135°. I then realized my eyes can roll 135° up into my eye sockets.

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    1. jsulbyrne, your clue took me straight to the answer (though not as obvious as just writing the answer, a la James Wright/Wrong).

      I suspect Bob K got there on a similar path, yes?

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    2. @WW - Yes. Not so much a path as looking at a pushpin on a Google map.

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  13. Now that the answer has been revealed, I must say I am in awe of all of you who got it so quickly, or, for that matter, got it at all.

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  14. I saw that a mountaineer in Monterey was watching the transit of Mercury today and, was attacked by either a bobcat or cougar. It ruined his sable coat.

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  15. And miles to go before I sleep. . .

    Yes, it's clever.

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    Replies
    1. That's cold. In fact, downright FROSTy...

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  16. Doesn't matter if the glass is half full or half empty. Either way, you're in trouble.

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  17. Is it hot in here or is it just me? Maybe I'd better check.

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  18. ...that scrambled word game...

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    Replies
    1. The Jumble® cartoon for May 10, 2016 depicted a mother holding a thermometer.

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  19. Finally got it, albeit a couple of days later than I should have! Apparently I'm not alone.

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  20. Someone standing on his head got this quickly.

    Brute force shortens the list of possibilities from 6000+ to 1000+. Insight shortens the possibilities to less than 10.

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  21. Finally solved it over some grilled sirloin with mushroom sauce and a white bean/vegetable soup.

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  22. In response to the RM post I gravitate towards a healthy coverage of onions.

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  23. The Onion is a hoot, but it still leaves me feeling like a mushroom.
    zekey owl

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  24. Replies
    1. Not sure I understand your question, MJ. Are you referring to my comment yesterday re: Harriet? If so, perhaps you missed the two deleted posts. Or are you referring to my cataract surgery day before yesterday?

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  25. Saw the deleted posts, didn't really figure Harriet out, but didn't care.
    Your own.

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    1. Harriet made her mark here over a year ago when she posted the answer to the puzzle and some of us refer to her stupidity when someone else is obnoxious and stupid enough to do the same.

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  26. Well I am glad your own went how it went.
    I had an idea I shouldn't ask.

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    1. Mine went very well, so far. It takes a couple of weeks to know for sure and I have to take drops and precautions for a few days or so. Then the other eye.

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    2. You're used to drops and precautions, right, sdb?
      Seriously ... all the best!

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    3. SDB: For what it's worth several friends have had cataract surgery recently, and they've all said they wished they had done it sooner.

      It's just unnerving when you hear the doctor say "pull the rip cord...."

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    4. Thanks Eco, I actually wanted to have it done the moment I was told, years ago, I had cataracts, during an eye exam. I asked why not do it now? and was told it was not bad enough. BS! I wish I could have had it done long ago. Now, I still have to get the other two eyes done. (Sorry, but I understand the concept of the third eye) and can't wait. So far the first eye is seeing almost 20/15.

      You're end comment is causing me to tell you this skydiving story from several years ago. I was taking several first time jumpers on Tandem skydives one day when I had a second time jumper who was most likely thinking of getting into the sport. I trained him and we completed the skydive and he did well, including pulling the ripcord which activated the main canopy. Everything felt just perfect as usual, but when I looked up to check the canopy I saw that it looked like a giant cat's eye in the center, from front to rear, because the opening shock had split both the top and bottom skins apart. This was a total splitting apart of the canopy, top and bottom, except for the nylon taping at the nose and the tail which were just holding the two left and right side halves together. Of course there was no way to tell if things would stay that way or fail further, which would be catastrophic. The person in the student position in front is not able to easily see the canopy, so he was most likely shocked when I said to him that we were now going to go for another bit of freefall. I then instantly cutaway the main and pulled the ripcord on the reserve. All went well and we landed fine, but after the reserve opened and I informed him all was well he said he was a bit surprised because it all felt normal to him. I then told him it did to me too until I looked up to check the canopy and saw it split apart. This was a great, although not intended, opportunity to teach the importance of always checking your canopy immediately upon opening shock.

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    5. And your story reminds me of my own story: when I was 17 I jumped out of a plane, a small Cessna, about 3000' above sea level. And I suddenly realized I had no parachute....




      Fortunately the ground was at about 2997'.

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    6. I intentionally did a skydive at exactly one thousand feet AGL, but I cheated and used my chute. Maybe it's time for you to give it a try at about 12,000', but please do use a chute this time. You never know; you might want to do it again.

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  28. Glad you are doing OK! Do they put in the same kind of lenses or do they make it so one eye sees up close and the other for far away? Just curious, my family has a history of these things.

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    1. You have several choices in that regard. I chose the standard of long distance lenses in both eyes. You can, of course, also choose to have up close lenses in both eyes. Or you may be rich and choose one of the very expensive choices of high-tech bifocal.

      Years ago I tried one hard contact lens for long distance and the other for reading, but I hated it, so I would advise testing the waters first with contacts if you are thinking of that route. All I need to do now is keep a pair of reading glasses at all of the better restaurants here in Seattle to be well set. Of course I have already done that long ago when I realized I needed reading glasses.

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    2. Thanks and have a quick recovery!

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  29. THERMOMETER > MOM > MOTHER

    My Hint:

    "The last five letters are a homophone of what we might do with the first six letters."

    METER is a homophone of MEET HER, which is what many did last Sunday, which was Mother's Day.

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  30. THERMOMETER >>> MOTHER, MOM

    "And miles to go before I sleep." hinted at both distance (a mile is many meters) and temperature ("Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening").

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  31. thermometer, thermo, mother, mom

    Last Sunday I said, “I am reminded of the first rule of picnics.” To keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold you may need a thermometer :)

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  32. THERMOMETER, MOTHER, MOM

    > I was away yesterday, and in the dark today, until now. Must have been the transit of Mercury.

    Pretty cool. (And, pretty hot.) No mercury thermometers any more.

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  33. Thermometer--->Mom--->Thermo--->Mother
    On last week's blog I asked how long Will had saved this puzzle as a reference to its appearing on Mother’s Day.

    I later described my attempt to find the solution based on kitchenware as initially heartwarming and later, when it failed, as leaving me cold.

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    1. Fear not, SuperZee, thou shalt not fail t'all, but indeed shall meet with the greatest success on Friday'a (tomorrow's) latest edition of Puzzleria!

      LegoWhoOnceAttemptedToUseAHandwarmerToWarmHisHeartButTheBatteriesAlasShortedOut

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  34. THERMOMETER

    MOM = THERMO (rearranged) = MOTHER

    HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
    I was surprised that Blaine did not zap my “giveaway” hint.

    The last 6 letters rearranged name another household item: OMETER (rearranged) = REMOTE, not METEOR.

    Personally, I liked “PORTMANTEAU.”

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  35. While "Finally solved it over some grilled sirloin with mushroom sauce and a white bean/vegetable soup" is true, soup is hot and meat thermometers are a thing, so there's that.

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  36. THERMOMETER, MOTHER, MOM
    I suggested the rectal kind and then the oral kind. Not in the same post, of course.

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  37. My clue references the fact that I should have solved it a couple of days earlier (Mother's Day) and said "aPPARENTly".

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  38. My first answer (obviously a stretch) was:

    MATTRESS PAD ===> RES ===> MATTER

    Larry B.

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  39. My comment about Mercury was inspired by the puzzle and the actual transit of Mercury. I was all set up to try and take some pictures of Mercury the other day, I even had special filters to do it with but, it was cloudy the whole day.
    Anyway, my comment about the transit of Mercury had multiple names of Mercury brand cars. (Even Transit is made by Ford)

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  40. Freddie Mercury was the lead singer for Queen, BTW. But y'all probably already knew that. And then mercury is inside a thermometer, of course.

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  41. Now that it's "down time," here's a great opportunity to express a line of thought we've done before:

    Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?


    DONALD TRUMP: We will build a big wall to keep illegal chickens from crossing the road. We will have a door for legal chickens.

    JOHN KERRY: We will trust the chicken to tell us whether it crossed the road or not.

    CHRIS CHRISTIE: We need to waterboard that chicken to find out why it crossed the road.

    RAND PAUL: It's none of our business why the chicken crossed the road.

    NANCY PELOSI: We will have to wait until the chicken crosses the road to see what it says.

    CARLY FIORINA: Hilary Clinton lied about why the chicken crossed the road.

    BRIAN WILLIAMS: I crossed the road with the chicken.

    BEN CARSON: This isn't brain surgery... It wanted grain.

    SARAH PALIN: The chicken crossed the road because, gosh-darn it, he's a maverick!

    BARACK OBAMA: Let me be perfectly clear, if the chickens like their eggs they can keep their eggs. No chicken will be required to cross the road to surrender her eggs. Period.

    HILLARY CLINTON: What difference does it make why the chicken crossed the road?

    GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either with us or against us. There is no middle ground here.

    BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken.

    BERNIE SANDERS: That little chicken will pay 80% income taxes no matter what side of the road it's on. He's got to help finance free college even for those that just want a four year vacation.

    AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

    AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white?

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    Replies
    1. TED CRUZ: Why are chickens even walking away when I enter the room?

      ROWAN COUNTY CLERK KIM DAVIS: Because that heathen chicken wanted to marry another chicken and I kicked her out.

      NORTH CAROLINE GOVERNOR PAT MCCRORY: Because the chicken wanted restroom privacy.

      ACTUALLY THOUGH: The chicken Crossed the road because it was proselytizing.

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  42. This week’s Puzzleria! is now uploaded. (Click on it on Blaine’s “Puzzle Links.”)

    We feature an elegant “musical instrument” challenge created by Chuck (an astute Blainesville commentor), and a “Ripping Off Shortz” household-item puzzle that was inspired by a comment that SuperZee made on Blainesville this past Sunday – one of four “Ripping/Riffing Off Shortz” puzzles we cobbled together this week.

    There are also: a “mowing-down-a-canon” puzzle; a “page-turner/pager-turn-off” puzzle; a wedding reception challenge; and a subatomic/superatomic puzzle that involves leptons and galaxies.

    That’s nine puzzles – a full menu with which to fill your puzzle plate and please your puzzle-lovin’ palate. Stop on by and dig in.

    LegoLeaptOnTheOpportunityToIncludeOnHisBlogTheCreativityOfChuckAndSuperZee

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  43. The first word in my comment above is Wow. The hint was that inverted that makes mom. ---Rob

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  44. Next week's challenge, from Mike Hinterberg of Loveland, Colo.: Name a creature in nine letters. The name contains a T. Drop the T, and the remaining letters can be rearranged to spell two related modes of transportation. What are they?

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    1. I assume we're looking for two modes of transportation in a total of 8 letters, not two 8-letter modes of transportation.

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    2. Congrats to our own Colorado Blainesvillean, Mike Hinterberg!

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    3. Thanks, I'm *very* excited! And nervous: hope you all like it! Never made it on air to play (missed the call once), but always hoped even more to design a neat puzzle.

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    4. I second Word Woman's congratulations, Mike. 'Tis a fine feather in your hat. I have just now read your puzzle and I like the way it is stated. I look forward to solving it. Great job!

      LegoImpressed

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  45. Bandicoot yields cain and doob which will transport you to the road to nowhere.

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  46. I feel like an idiot for not getting this, for itß the first thing I see in the morning

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