## Sunday, August 07, 2016

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 7, 2016): All that Glitters is not Gold

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 7, 2016): All that Glitters is not Gold:
Q: Name a famous Olympics champion past or present — first and last names. Remove every letter from the name that appears exactly twice. The remaining letters in order will name certain minerals. Who is this Olympics star?
You've probably figured this out already, so you don't need my help this week.

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.

2. I don't know anything about sports, but this was easy for me; I could ask search engines for lists of such names, and this name was prominent. ---Rob

3. Write down that Olympics champion's full name. Then working left to right, go letter by letter until you come to the first letter that appears exactly twice. Find someplace off to the side and as you cross the 2 letters out, write down that letter off to the side. Continuing where you left off, go letter by letter until you find the next letter that appears exactly twice. As you cross out those 2 letters, write it down immediately to the right of the first letter you wrote. Continue on writing each letter you cross out of the name to the right of the last letter you wrote. When you've removed the last letters that appeared exactly twice, then off to the side you will have written a valid word! This word even appears exactly in the name! You might even say it appears twice in the name except the first time it's not all consecutive. There's a letter and a space within the first occurrence.

4. Use your wit on this one.

5. This one is almost to easy for a clue...

6. Name a famous "Jeopardy" host past or present — first and last names. Remove every letter from the name except the first three. The remaining letters in order will name a type of beer. Who is this "Jeopardy" host? No gold medal for this puzzle.

1. I like ARTisinal beer, but I've never seen it abbreviated.

2. Siz,

Great Shortz Rip-off puzzle! But, for me it was easy as pilsner. You see, I actually drink this brand of beer.

LegoNotesThatMrFlemmingDiedOfNaturalCauses(Cancer)AndWasNotSuicidal

3. Speaking of art, you should really check us out in Baltimore. We grow artists right!

7. I had this one before breakfast this morning. No clue, just a fact.

8. (Most) Morning posters: Saying the puzzle is easy over and over isn't really a set of clever clues. . .Give it the old Olympic try!

9. Badminton is an Olympic sport.

1. Sigh, and wrestling isn't. :(

2. Nor squash.

3. Wrestling (I just looked this up) is still in this Olympics, and was just voted (even though now dubbed "non-core" ) to remain in the 2020 Olympics, as well.

4. Another interesting thing about wrestling still being in the Olympics: That, Judo and Tae Kwan Do, with all their respective weight classes, each award ONE gold, ONE silver, and TWO bronze medals! I just happened to discover this fact as I was going through the medal count yesterday and noticed that the number of gold medals awarded so far equals the number of silver medals; but the number of bronze medals exceeded the same number of gold and silver medals by 2 yesterday and it's going to exceed their numbers by more and more each day. You can read more about this by clicking HERE.

10. Don't need help to solve this puzzle. WW: does that make you feel better?

11. eco, some might need more help than others. . .

2. America's most popular science magazine might be of some help here...

3. According to NH public radio "The Watchtower" is the most popular magazine, and many consider that science. Right SDB?

4. The thing I hate most about The Watchtower is that it can be delivered to your door.

5. I don't know, ask Jimi

6. I don't know, ask Jimi

12. We'd never have solved without the assistance of enya (and Blaine). Haha.

Presumably everyone knows the American Olympian whose last name anagrams into what they accomplished.

Gabby DOUGLAS >>> USA GOLD

2. That's right WW. Pretty cool that her name anagrams that way.

13. When referring to a running event this athlete and I have a rough time staying away from this.

14. Here's a puzzle with a European twist:

Name a fruit, most common in Europe, in two words. Reverse the word order and change one word to a homophone of the original word. Then rearrange the letters of the homophone to result in a phrase for a European get-together.

Feel free to leave your clever ;-) hints here before Thursday.

1. Most commonly eaten in Europe, or most commonly grown in Europe (as if I had a clue in hell)?

2. Both, I believe Paul.

The variety was developed in the UK.

3. Is it some kind of quince?

4. No. It's a quite common fruit; the cultivar is what's different.

5. The common fruit (plural) is 5 letters; does that help?

6. Not a whit.

7. I have it. Will post THURSDAY!

9. I possibly may have solved Word Worman's fun fruit puzzle, but it is equally possible I may not have.
But I offer the following hint to the answer up with which I came:
Marring my discriminating palate for vino has been my overindulgence of this beverage.

LegoWhoShouldaJustStuckWithHis"NaturalGin"AndTonic

10. Hmmmm, not seeing a connection, Lego. Did you work the puzzle backwards?

11. Nope, Word Woman Puzzlemeister. Got what I thought was the fruit. Found a variety. Anagrammed a homophone. And found a European get-together that seemed to fit.

But I did have scant confidence in my answer because, although my annual get-together occurs in Europe this year, in past years (2 of 'em) it was held in not-Europe.

LegoWhoseOl'CollegeTryProvedUnfruitful!

Hieronymus

13. No, but it suggests I have chosen the wrong variety. My answer evokes Lodz and Lech. An alternative answer, using the same variety, evokes Sofia, circa 2012.

I should go back and pick a different variety!

LegoInTheKitchenPeelingACoupleOfFruits

14. Looking forward to Thursday and your fruit cultivar, Lego.

15. I'm lost. As you can see, I'm not very 'cosmopolitan'.

16. Okay, I finally discovered what I believe must be your intended get-together, Word Woman. And, In doing so, I might even have discovered a site for the get-together that uses an alternative same-fruit variety. I had been stymied because of my fruity singular/plural confusion.
But my other (AI) solution still holds water, also, I think.

LegoWhispers:"PSSTDon'tTellASoulWhereWeAreLodgingDuringTheGetTogether

17. Methinks thee doth protest too much, Paul. . .

18. Lego, oooohhh, more fruity goodness. Thursday can't come soon enough!

19. P.s. You may even be the Pa Pyrus!.

20. The Holy Grail shrubber was named Roger. I am the Pa Pyrus, Mel. I pour Maple Syrup over all my cultivated fruits! ...Mixed fruits, mostly.

21. Lego, we can see your maple syrup from the purply mesa ;-).

22. I can see this is not going to end well for me.
But, let's remember, we are all cowpeople.

23. May I quote you on that?

24. Vaccinarily.

25. It's a neologism. What, you don't like it?

26. You did take a shot at it, Paul. I will give you credit for that!

27. Credit is good. I like credit.

28. Alas, so late to the party. But take the original spelling of the fruit (plural without the varietal) and anagram it twice to get a two word phrase describing when the digestif is served.

29. Julia Child would be proud, Tommy Boy!

30. Merci beaucoup!

31. All I can figure is the fruits are some kind of PEARS, and the get-together is an APRES-something-or-other, which means that the homophone is PARES, which seems pretty sneaky, but I'd stop short of calling it dirty pool.

32. Your pair of observations is only partly correct

33. Pair-fect, Tommy Boy.

Paul, the homophone is fair game as is the European get-together.

To restate the puzzle:

Name a fruit, most common in Europe, in two words. Reverse the word order and change one word to a homophone of the original word. Then rearrange the letters of the homophone to result in a phrase for a European get-together.

34. “Après le repas.” was grand, even parfait, Tommy Boy.

Julia Child was a decided pear fan. I once enjoyed a pear dish, created by Julia for us at a Smith College conference in Tucson (not Paris). It was "pear-fait." :-)

15. Badminton is an Olympic sport.

2. Paul, I thought it was bad minton. . .

3. There must be a catch...

4. Watch the birdie!

...but you better hurry (or surry) 'cause it's going fast.

5. The exclamation point above was supposed to link to this. I must have messed up the HTML.

16. Rearrange the answer to name certain computers.

1. Close counts in quoits.

2. Charles,
One of those certain computers is a partial answer at Puzzleria! this week.

LegoClairvoyantlyAndShamefullyPlugging

3. Technically speaking, the answer to this week's question is 'Michael Phelps'.

17. Rearrange the answer to name certain garments. --Margaret G.

1. This comment has been removed by the author.

2. Do I detect a ... ringer?

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19. I realize this "Wish Ortz pule" is timely and all, but the poor NPR interns are gonna be inundated with more than a thousand correct entries (sent in undated emails because of the deadline confusion).

Had the challenge read, "Name a famous athlete past or present..." instead of "Name a famous Olympics champion past or present..." we may not have been faced with a task unsolvable, but our task would have at least been a tad tougher.

(There is one hint in this post)

LegoWhoHasSolvedWillShortz'sPuzzleSoWillNowGoToWorkOnSolvingTheExcellentPuzzlesOverOnPuzzleria!

1. Agreed, Lego. But, this is the week to get the numbers up. . .

2. The NPR Sunday Puzzles seem to cycle from hard to easy to hard. (Cycle is a well-polished clue to the puzzle).

"Only 400 entries this week" means Will presents an "Over 2000 entries" puzzle the next. I think Lego's guess is conservative.

20. It was the first one I saw and I still ran down most of the list. Hope I'm not in hot water. Such a thing might give me a stroke! Oh well, I'll take a dive.

21. Place helps him.

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23. Now we've all solved it, I want to confess to breaking into TRUMP CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS yesterday, where I discovered the words to a song they either were going to use against their opponent or are still planning on using it. Please don't think I am making this up. Would I do such a thing?

"CAN'T TAKE MY LIES OF OF YOU"

You're just too bad to be through
can't keep my lies off of you
you'd feel like heaven to smutch
I wanna scold you so much
at long last hate has survived
and I thank fraud I arrived
you're just too bad to be through
can't take my lies off of you

Pardon the way that I sneer
there's no one else to smear
the sight of you makes me puke
there are no words left to rebuke
but if you feel like I spiel
please let me know that it's zeal
you're just too bad to be through
can't take my lies off of you

I hate you lady, and if it's quite a fight
I need you lady, to perform my lowly slights
I hate you lady, trust in me when I say
oh shitty lady, don't bring me down, this way
oh shitty lady, now that I've ground you, stay
and let me hate you, lady, let me hate you...

You're just too bad to be through
can't keep my lies off of you
you'd feel like venom to clutch
I wanna scold you so much
at long last hate has survived
and I thank fraud I arrived
you're just too bad to be through
can't take my lies off of you

I hate you lady, and if it's quite a fight
I need you lady to reform my lowly slights
I hate you lady, trust in me when I say
oh shitty lady, don't bring me down, this way
oh shitty lady, now that I've found you, stay
and let me hate you, lady, let me hate you...

1. I don't see your point in putting up this hate-filled, name-calling post.

2. I guess you don't understand it then.

It is meant to expose the hate Trump has for his opponent. It is a parody of a song I am sure you know well. I am surprised no one here seems to get it yet. I have shown a written copy to numerous people since I made it up Saturday and all of them think it is hilarious and say I should post it where it might go viral. All of them are Clinton supporters too. It is not a reflection on Clinton, but a reflection on Trump.

3. SDB: You might want to correct spelling in title.

4. Thanks Natasha. I did not see that. I went to change it in MS Word, where I wrote and saved it, and it is correct there and I cut and pasted to here, so I am surprised to see the error. I suspect people will see that it is a mistake if they read further though. I hope.

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6. I've got mixed feelings on the song, conceptually good, but wish you could have avoided the naughty naughty words.

Speaking of The Dumpster, anybody notice this week's answer also anagrams into a terrific title (2 words) for his autobiography, assuming he could actually tell the truth?

And SDB, do you ever watch this old show? At 40 seconds or so you'll know why I ask.

7. Yes, I understood it and no, I don't find it "hilarious."

I prefer to spend my time volunteering for Hillary Clinton's campaign, listening to and convincing millenials to vote for her in our swing state. IMHO, there's just not a lot of time for such nonsense when there's plenty of productive work to be done.

8. eco,
I never saw that or him before. I could not find another way to do it without the naughty, naughty words, and I actually think they are perfect for the parody anyway. Do you realize they anagram to THIS HITS?

WW,
I do the same, and this is just one of the ways, but you do not seem to understand how it might open the eyes of some Trump supporter. The others are totally beyond help. There is more than one way to skin an elephant.

9. SDB: That is strange it did not paste correctly. You could delete and paste again with the correction.

10. WW, Might you find it "riotous" instead ofhilarious? Just kidding, I agree with your critique of SDB's song.

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12. Natasha,
I would do that but for it then being at the bottom of this pile. I don't understand the cause of the error either. I think it would be the final straw for Trump if he actually used my lyrics in a campaign song. The part I like best is his telling the truth in some of the lyrics about how nasty he is.

For anyone confused about the title error, it should be:

"CAN'T TAKE MY LIES OFF OF YOU"

13. Thanks, TomR. I see you are still doing those RIO(tous) answers ;-).

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15. I see it more as a DJT confessional put to verse. He is expressing his innermost thoughts in song form. Not that he doesn't express and reveal many of those thoughts anyway.

In his "financial speech" this morning he said nothing at all about how he was going to accomplish all the stupid things he said he would do, but instead spent his time going on and on trashing Hillary Clinton. He gets away with it too with the idiots he speaks to in his audiences. He simply cannot help himself. The song parody is simply pointing it out in an absurd and humorous way. When I show it to someone in person it almost always gets them talking about how every word out of his mouth is a lie. He seems to be almost invulnerable to consequences for what comes out of his mouth whereas any other candidate would be gone right away. Perhaps this would make it more clear to those who cannot see the forest for the trees.

I tried sending it to The Capitol Steps, but their web site says they do not accept songs. Too bad because I think it would be perfect for their shows.

16. Are there any criteria for being President?

17. Absolutely! You must be at least 35 years of age.

18. "SkyDiveBoy, totally overrated. First of all, I've never heard of him, no one has heard of him. SDB is telling lies about me because he's desperate for attention, a real third-rate loser. No one heard of this clown until I made him famous. He used me for publicity and now I'm going to sue him for a lot of money, okay? Like, I mean, a LOT. Everyone I know tells me he deserves a lot worse. It's amazing, I don't even ask them, people just keep coming up to me to tell me what a loser he is! Not that I need the money, I'm very successful, I'm probably the most successful person you'll ever meet. I'll just enjoy watching his ugly face when I take him for everything he has. He's been very mean to me and I haven't done anything to deserve it. I hope his rip cord fails and he lands in a cow pie."
–@realDonaldTrump, maybe

19. Laughing Out Loud here big time!

I figured I would get responses when I made this up, but not that clever. See you in court, but only after you are sworn in. I don't want to be held in contempt caused by an uncontrollable outburst of laughter at seeing you swear to tell the truth.

20. "Thx to the REAL HEROES that keep telling me what a loser this NoseDiveBoy person is that no one has heard of and that I also made famous."
—@realDonaldTrump, plausibly

21. When you say "real heroes" I imagine you are referring to your late friend Roy Cohn.*

*For those unfamiliar, I believe he was the original Cohn Head.

22. "As I've stated under oath, my net worth fluctuates with my feelings. As your President I will harness this superpower to eliminate the national debt and crush our enemies. Message to the haters: every time you insult me, I feel like my net worth grows by an extra \$10 million. Keep it up, dummies! For my first act as President I'm going to build a wall around my ego so the insults can't get in, and I'm going to make the Haters pay for it."
—Not really @realDonaldTrump, but based on a mash-up of real things he's really said

23. Well I just have this to say. I think you have walled yourself in, so to speak, and speaking of walls, as one of the owners of the White House, I have decided not to allow your fat ass to reside within those walls. And your running for office is taxing my patience to its limits.

24. "To this SkyDumbBell, everyone knows my truths are the best truths. I'm not physically capable of telling a lie. But you go ahead and say what you want, it doesn't bother me at all, you're a nobody. I will be tweeting about a dozen more times on this subject just as soon as I think of more clever insult puns, SkyDiveBrat. That's how much I don't care, ScumDiveBoy. Meanwhile as usual the LameStreamMedia is missing the big story: why haven't we heard anything from Ms. SOB? I'm not saying anything, it just seems like maybe probably they don't let his wife talk where he comes from. Think about it: Seattle is a coffee town, they're all hopped up on beans, and still no chatter? Or maybe he's not interested in the ladies, hey I'm not here to judge, I am in favor of traditional marriage though. I'm just saying it would make sense for a two-bit low life to also swing the other way. I'm just asking questions. And Roy Cohn was a great hero, all those black people deserved to be evicted. They weren't the good ones like my African-American friend over there. Biased media is now reporting he's not voting for me, but he's totally my friend."
—@realDonaldTrump, dear god please shut up

25. Careful you don't reveal too much more about your lousy self, remember your very close friend, Roy Cohn, who you admitted to phoning five or more times a day was gay and died of AIDS. Now I'm not say you two were..... But then it does beg the question, did you two have a prenuptial agreement?

26. "Lyin' SDB insults my impeccable taste. Roy Cohn and I were friends, but he was like a 2 at best, would not bang."
—@realDonaldTrump, the fire hose must stop

27. Well that's a mouthful! Oh, but then you most likely had your mouth full when you were with dear old Roy.

28. …aaaand, scene. Good work, everyone.

Well that took a turn! Being raised by a narcissist with Borderline Personality Disorder has given me insight into the corrosive inner workings of the Trumps of the world. If I didn't laugh I would cry, so thanks SDB for this opportunity to improv with you.

And now if you'll excuse me I must cleanse my soul. We now return to your regularly scheduled puzzle-based discussion, already in progress.

29. Do you mean there isn't time for me to post my comment about you're upcoming movie about you're defeat at the polls, titled: Towering Inferno?

Thanks for the ride.

30. PC: that was an oscar-winning performance, expect your fishy prize soon.

If the exalted one is chosen will you change your moniker to "ElectedChaos"?

31. Eco: if elected as your next fake president, I will fake serve. It was all part of the planned chaos. Thanks for the award. Trump always wanted a Purple Heart without the sacrifice, and now at least his parodist has earned some internet points. I'll forward them to the campaign, along with that fishy smell.

24. I feel that, in a backwards sense, the champion in question and I have a connection.

1. hmm, situation does have interesting twists and turns

2. hmm, situation does have interesting twists and turns

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26. For the past year or so, Puzzleria! has run at least one "Ripping-Off-Shortz" puzzle every Friday as a part of our "menu" of puzzles. I try to word them as closely to Will Shortz's Sunday challenge as I can. Alas, these "rip-offs" often end up being "stretches," "reaches" and "far-fetches."

Will's puzzle this week is especially easy to "rip off," however. Consequently I have just composed my best "Shortz rip-off" so far. My wording is identical to Will's except for the penultimate sentence, in which I replace his "certain minerals" with a quantity of precious metal appropriate to the puzzle's Olympiad theme.

I'll reveal my "rip-off" on this Friday's Puzzleria! (In the meantime, there are seven fresh puzzles now being served on P!... well, semi-fresh, 2 days old, but not beyond their expiration date.

LegoLobbyingForHisRipperarianRights

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29. BONUS PUZZLE:

Think of the surname of a famous writer from the past. One letter in this surname occurs three times. Remove two instances of this letter (leaving one) and rearrange the letters to form the name of a United States state capital. Who is the author and what is the city?

1. See my reply below: Dante ALIGHIERI. Remove 2 Is and rearrange to yield RALEIGH, N.C.

30. I was disappointed, but not surprised, that no one here at Blainesville, aka Randle McMurphys’s Poker Game, commented on the cartoon I linked to on Saturday.
Roz Chast’s keen and funny take on my favorite bugaboo is worth copying and pasting the addy to open.

I got a kick out of the triple postal code connection to part of this week’s solution.

1. I did like that Roz Chast cartoon. My wife wants this one for her tombstone.

2. MJ
Great cartoon!

3. MJ, is Anagraman your alter ego?

4. Maybe Archenemy, though that's a little strong.

5. MJ do you live near there or just know that?

6. MJ do you live near there or just know that?

7. I am afraid I don't know where "there" is.

8. Thank you for mentioning it! I missed it when you originally shared it. I sent your link to my sweetheart, who is fierce at anagrams and does them on the fly.

9. RoRo: I'm atill stumped as to the "there" you refer to.

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32. Does the Rifleman TV show offer a helpful hint? Let me know if it does. Thanks.

1. Digging for Gold, are you? get back to me on Thursday with this one.

2. MICAS, for those old like me, who watched the Rifleman, when I got this answer, I immediately thought of the sheriff on the show, Micah.

33. Automotive clue: is in the shop.

34. I got my Weekend Edition Lapel Pin in the mail today. I am accepting bids. I am confident it is not pure gold. At the risk of offending NPR, the pins should not be made in China, eh?

Lotherio, jeesh. I also missed impresario, but they edited that out. All in all it was fun, and I look forward to selling the scrabble deluxe and NY Times XWord book on Ebay. (just kidding)

1. Wow! That was fast! Congrats on your RIO puzzle. You sounded great and missing Lothario was NBD.

2. I feel all the politicians with their flags have sullied term "lapel pin". As much as I hate wearing neckties, I will honor the Puzzlemaster's oft-repeated spoonerism and use mine as a tie pin only.

35. Here's a puzzle for all of you:
Think of a hit pop song from the early 70s, three words in its title. The man who sang it has four letters in his first name, seven in his last. The song was covered in the late 80s by a group with a two-word name, also four letters, seven letters. The singer's first name begins with a letter that ends the first word in the group's name. And if you insert this same letter in the first word in the song title, and remove the space between both first words in the title(disregarding the last word), you get the name of a Middle Eastern country. What's the name of the song, who sang it, what group covered it, and what's the name of the country?(It goes without saying if you name both musical acts, you'll name the letter.)

36. WW: Frankly I think your "twisted" puzzle is capital!

1. Laruchka, congrats on solving the fruit puzzle (above)!

2. Thank you for sharing it, WordWoman! It was fun, and now I have replies and keyboard working correctly as well--what a time to be alive.

37. The only hint I can give is: The first version of the song was number one the week my younger brother Bryan was born. He shares a birthday with a famous rock star from the second greatest British band, one day before that of a past SNL cast member whose mother was also a singer.

38. In one word, 'Lily.'

39. Why exactly 2 times? What if you removed letters that appeared 1.92 times. Or maybe 2.16 times.

40. TomR -

I never noticed until you brought it up, but my lapel pin (from about 10 years ago) says CHINA on it, too. Not that I really care. It's the idea of the thing - not the physicality of the thing - that gives it value.

41. I won't be here at 3:00 EDT. I'm leaving home now and have 3 stops to make. I'll catch up with you later this afternoon...

42. MICHAEL PHELPS > MICAS

My hint: 4

This was hinting at FORMICA.

I thought the puzzle was somewhat misleading due to the wording that I found ambiguous. At first I could not tell if we were to remove all the repeated letters or just the second occurrences. I seem to recall WS did a puzzle in the past where we were to remove only the second occurrences. I tried working it that way at first and then tried the other way and got the answer, but that had a problem for me because I did not find the plural, micas, on any mineral list.

43. MICHAEL PHELPS -> MICAS

Not much to say. Name an Olympics champion. I'd guess there will be over a thousand correct entries this week.

44. Olympian: Michael Phelps
Minerals: Micas
My comment, “Not too hard. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say about a 2.5,” was a reference to the Mohs hardness scale, on which mica is rated a 2.5, falling between gypsum and calcite.

45. MICHAEL PHELPS >>> MICAS

"pc" refers to the perfect cleavage of MICAS

"Some may need more help than others." refers to the 2 occurrences of help removed (hinted at by several puzzlers here).

"Automotive clue: is in the shop." as in MICAS (My car's) in the shop.

1. I suspect many men, on their pc reading your definition of pc, will have un-pc thoughts. I think of clay plasters with mica (gives them a wonderful sparkle), but that's more cp.

I thought "pc" was to contrast with the anagrammatically correct "i-macs". My (must...stop...now...) suggested anagram was, of course, "I Scam", a perfect autobiography for DJT, and great matching pair for the autobiography of his billionaire buddy Carl "I Con".

2. Honestly, eco, sometimes you can be such a Boob! :)

46. SuperZee's early hint kind of gave it away. I didn't know there was Moh than one kind of mica. I didn't know there was more than one kind of isinglass, either. Really? They put something made from fish bladders into beer? I'm not sure that's fine with me. The only isinglass I knew about was the kind in the curtains on Oscar Hammerstein's surrey. And I didn't know that surry (no 'e') was a word Laura Nyro just made up because it sounded nice. Judging by the choreography, maybe the 5th Dimension didn't, either. And I had always wondered if everybody at that picnic was really under the influence, or if they were all just absolutely soulful. Anyway, Michael Phelps has been arrested a couple of times for DUI, and there's that infamous bong picture.
So, quoits and badminton are two "sports" one might play at a family, or company (or class, I suppose) picnic.

1. Sorry if my hint was too generous.

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3. Just generous enough, from my perspective.

4. It was quite a help-ful clue, SuperZee. Gold, silver and aluminum also crossed my mind.

47. I wrote: "... but this was easy for me; I could ask search engines for lists of such names...," and Me I Could Ask Search has the mineral from the first letters.

48. I was hard to get away from Phelps this week, but I was still amazed at how quickly this image showed up.

1. That sucks! Funny too!

2. I watched a few of the swimming races on TV, especially those with Phelps, and when I saw several of the male swimmers getting ready I was amazed at the strange shape of their upper bodies. I hadn't been watching much of the Olympics the last several years and I Googled Mark Spitz to see if he looked that way too, as I did not think he did. When some of his photos came up it was as I suspected, he looked normal and not like the freaky way the swimmers are looking today. It raises the question of how they are getting such musculature and are they doing it sans drugs. I don't think it is possible without drugs. Any comments?

3. Non-doping explanations include the law of large numbers (as the world's population increases, so do the number of outliers), intensity of competition pushing technological discoveries as to the body types best suited for breaking records, and a better/more intense search to recruit these body types at earlier ages. But I also think doping is probably more prevalent than we know; it seems many coaches/competitors rationalize it as a performance enhancement, similar to using the best available equipment.

4. A possible explanation is the change from Olympians being amateurs, who were not allowed to accept any financial aid, to today's professional athletes. Relieved of the necessity to earn a living, they have more time to train, and can spend more time in the weight room.

5. Lack of lactic acid and biomechanical freak of nature

jan, thanks for the amusing cupping image!

49. See my post above on the "autopost."

1. MICHAEL PHELPS>>>MICAS

HELP are the letters to be removed twice.

See: Michael Phelps before conception!

My hint: America's most popular science magazine, Scientific American or SciAm, anagrams to MICAS.

Rearranging MICAS to CAMIS yields a shortened form of CAMISOLES, a sleeveless undergarment for women.

MICAS also anagrams to iMacs, Charles' computers.

WW's European fruit: CONFERENCE PEAR(PERE)>>>PEER CONFERENCE
I had this long before the “Hieronymus BOSCh” clue. A digestif (pousse-café) is served “après (le) repas.”

Missios Bonus Puzzle:
Dante ALIGHIERI(-I I)>>>RALEIGH, N.C.

2. ron, you are close on the fruit puzzle but there's another step. Think plural to get there.

3. ron, you are close on the fruit puzzle but there's another step. Think plural to get there.

4. WW, your original statement of your puzzle contains no reference to plurals. The plural of pear is "pears" which anagrams to both "après" & "repas" which I have indicated.

5. So it's not the Asia Pacific Requirements Engineering Symposium because, well, duh, that's Asian, so it must be the Action Programme on Responsible and Ethical Sourcing.
BTW, I'm still charged up from the American Peanut Research and Education Society conference in Clearwater. Can't wait for Albuquerque!

6. Oh, Paris Conference, now don't I feel foolish!

7. Yes, indeed, ron.

You got there, Paul!

Three steps in my intended answer:

CONFERENCE PEARS >>>
PAIRS CONFERENCE >>>
PARIS CONFERENCE

But, ron, of course, I like your French interpretation also!

8. My three steps were:

CONFERENCE PEAR (a fruit)
PERE CONFERENCE
PEER CONFERENCE

9. It works as an alternate acceptable answer. In my book, it counts toward the week's grand total of correct answers!

10. PERE is an English word also. Dumas père...

11. Oui, right you are, ron. I don't see a PEER CONFERENCE as being European, necessarily, but I see where the singular/plural issue could be confusing.

I tend to think of fruit as being singular or plural. Perhaps if I left off the 'a' it would be clearer.

Anyway, thanks for solving!

12. If you had said: "Name a fruit...in two words in the collective/plural form."

50. Here is my Mon Aug 08, 12:54:00 AM PDT comment I deletedbecause it was TMI:

"Add an H to the singular form of the minerals to get the first name of a swimmer who missed winning a medal just by a bit in a previous Olympiad, in the same sport that Will Shortz's Olympic star competed.

LegoAndNoTheFirstNameIsNot'Zinch'"

LegoCanNowRevealThatTheSwimmer'sNameWasMicahLawrence

2. Very fun and clever puzzle, Word Woman. Eventually, after grasping the concept of plurals, I arrived at "Paris Conference." But my route was roundabout.
I guessed at pear, because it has at least two homophones. Once I discovered there was a "Conference" Pear variety, I "bought" one of those...but I shoulda bought a crate, so to speak, because I too was stymied by the unplurality of my sole pear!

Still, I plowed forward, using my anagrams for PAIR (PARE should have been productive, but was not!). I discovered this conference in Poland, which led to my hint:
"Marring my discriminating palate for vino has been my overindulgence of this beverage (Hamm's Beer, from the land of sky-blue waters... found in the 10,000-plus lakes and streams of Minnesota).
This hint was meant to lead you to Marvin Minsky:
MARring...+ VINo + MINnesota, home of + SKY-blue waters = MAR/Vin MIN/SKY>.

3. Lego, I sure hope you are planning to donate your brain to science after you go.

Not sure how to address the plural pair o' pears issue. I see where things got confusing. . .

4. Too late, Word Woman. I have already planned to donate my brain to either home economics or shop.

LegoWhoIsLeaningTowardShopBecauseMaybeTheyCouldTinkerWithItAndRepairIt

5. Hoping you'll reconsider, Lego. The door to your brain must be fascinating.

Eight puzzles ths week, including a great debut Puzzleria! puzzle composed by PlannedChaos. It appears under our main MENU and is titled Last Action Heroes Slice: Double “Bill”ing?

Also on this week’s menus are seven other original and fresh puzzles.
Three are Riffing/Riffing Off Shortz puzzles titled, collectively:
"Bronze, silver and… mica?"
The other four puzzles are titled:
"8 Gr8 St8s!"
"Performance histrionics"
"Game-day anagramatical gear"