Sunday, September 11, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sept 11, 2016): Colors of the Rainbow? Days of the Week?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sept 11, 2016): Colors of the Rainbow? Days of the Week?:
Q: Think of a well-known category with exactly seven things in it. Alphabetize the things from their ending letters, and the last letter alphabetically will be "e." In other words, no thing in this category ends in a letter after "e" in the alphabet. It's a category and set of seven things that everyone knows. What is it?
Okay, figured that out and now I can get ready to go to church.

My hint was going to "mass" as in "land mass".
A: The seven continents (Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America)

172 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 days of the week! I think we must look to an answer longer and later. ---Rob

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  3. The seven virtues are close: prudence, justice, temperance, courage, hope, love & faith.

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    1. Or, taken as a collective noun, something not much observed during the present political season.

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  4. I can see where people are going with this, but there is another, more recent, answer.

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    1. My first concern is that the comment box (not reply) is only staying open for about three seconds. I just updated my browser, following changing my internet connection from dial-up!!!
      Any ideas on how to correct this?

      As for the answer mentioned above, it is one on which Word Woman has an advantage for the second time in a month.

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  5. Surprisingly easy this week. I guess it is another census check.

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  6. I have an answer that seems so trivial that I cannot believe it is Mr. Shortz's intended. But it is one he must accept. I believe. When two of the members of this septet are merged, as they sometimes are, all six members end with the same letter.

    LegoAgainEngagedInATrivialPursuit

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    1. Kyrgyzstan
      Afghanistan
      Kazakhstan
      Pakistan
      Tajikistan
      Turkmenistan
      Uzbekistan

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    2. The 7 Archangels:
      Gabriel (Sunday), Michael (Monday), Raphael (Tuesday), Uriel (Wednesday), Raguel (Thursday), Ramiel (Friday) and Sariel (Saturday).

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    3. Interesting. The technical names of the 7 items in the category are NOT the 7 items that most people would normally think about. But the 7 items still nevertheless meet Will's criteria that none ends in letter after "e".

      That may be why WS asked for the "category" or "set" and not the items in that category. The question is "It's a category and set of seven things that everyone knows. What is it?" Not the items in the category or "What are they?"

      Be careful submitting your answer. If you list the items as opposed to the category/set, Wikipedia may disagree with you.

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. I would say the answer should be North America, South America, Africa, Antarctica, Euroasia (same tectonic plate). Don't forget Australia. Don't forget Zealandia (diff. tectonic plate from Australia)

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  7. Experts disagree on how many of these things exist independently. Certain folks say there are anywhere from four to seven of these items, depending on whether one considers them conjoined or separate.

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    1. If we were to get all medieval, the answer would be Septem Peccata Mortalis:

      Accedie (sloth)
      Ira (wrath)
      Gula (gluttony)
      Luxuria (lust)
      Invidia (envy)
      Avaricia (greed)
      Superbia (pride)

      But I don't think that's where Will is heading.

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  8. This poor excuse for a puzzle has me wanting to consult with a urologist.

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    1. Does that mean that people will be pissed when they figure out the answer?

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    2. Once again, the answer is "Depends."

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  9. The seven words you cant say on television?

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    1. Excellent septic septet, Bigboaz.
      Except for one "outlier" (a currently in-vogue word), the last letters 0f six offenders in that "Offensive Seven" lie within a three-letter alphabetical band -- two letters narrower than Will's A-to-E range. The seventh outlier is contained within one of the six "inliers," so can be deemed superfluous.

      LegoWhoCan'tShootPass,TipsPuckWithAMathersPuckerPastAStockTruckerIntoTheNet

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    2. Yes, PC, I pride myself in using blasphemisms, so as not to ruffle the sensibilities of blue nose pit bulls spewing prudery from their bully pulpits.

      LegoWheHearsThatHellIsLikeABlasphemeFurnace

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  10. I'll be satisfied if instead of adding two letters you remove those letters.

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  11. The last letters in the seven colors of the rainbow can be rearranged into a self-descriptive two word phrase.

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    1. Over time, some of the SI units have been _______. (Use the American spelling for "meter".)

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  12. In last week's blog, Word Woman posted "Roosevelt, Jefferson, Cleveland". This week, I'll say "Lincoln".

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    1. And only one of these fits that category.

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    2. How sophisticated. It's like sitting in the lapis of lazuli.

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    3. Madison
      Jackson
      Johnson (1 & 2)
      Harding
      Kennedy
      Clinton

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  13. Other groups of seven not yet mentioned include the SI base units, planets (RIP Pluto), seas, deadly sins, heavens, habits of highly effective people, brides for brothers, sisters, samurai, pounds, sorrows of Mary, wonders of the world, sacraments, ages of man, years of itching, years in Tibet, years of bad luck (mirror can't catch a break), current number of Star Wars movies, Harry Potter books, dwarven rings, seeing stones of the palantir, Millenium prize problems, heavens, circles of hell, liberal arts, diatonic scale, hills of Rome, and wise masters.

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    Replies
    1. You forgot to mention the number of decent puzzles WS has given us so far this year.

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    2. Seven planets? Who else got demoted?

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    3. But planets, PC?! 9-1 = 8, oui?

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    4. I hate to be a pain in the neck, but cervical vertebrae.

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    5. WW: whoops, mental boner. Either that or Neil deGrasse Tyson still has a bone to pick with the solar system.

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    6. And, despite Trump's claim to support XII, the articles of the U.S. constitution.

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    7. Nine circles of Hell. So many excellent choices, I think I'd need a multi-tiered unit.

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    8. I wasn't going to mention it, but since PC did -- the 'sisters' all end in 'e', according to my source. [I sure don't want to get into a dispute with WW over this one.]

      I wonder how much trouble I'll get into with 'Dr. Prentice'?

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    9. Seven fact-checkers for a distracted poster. I must have been thinking about that Star Trek: Voyager character with all this seven for nine confusion.

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    10. Paul: I must be looking at a different list than you, because one sister ends in "o" which I thought disqualified it. I had already eliminated several items that I found technically satisfied the puzzle (short of the "well-known" constraint). Just call me the 53rd mis-speaker of the house with all these mental Boehners.

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    11. If I am on the same wavelength as Paul, he is thinking of the Seven Sisters colleges, which all end in 'e,' as in Smith College, Wellesley College, etc.

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    12. Ah, that's fine, then. I already ran across a number of seven-item lists that all ended in the same letter due to all ending with the same word. I consider those trivial.

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    13. Indeed. I was thinking of WW's Sisters. Those other ones did not occur to me, although they should have, because I suspect they're the basis for the collegiate nickname.
      I agree about the triviality; that's why I (almost) didn't mention it.
      I may be getting too old to play these kinds of games.

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    14. Ooh, WW, a pang of nostalgia...I went to Smith for my first semester, but hated it, and transferred out. I feel a bit more, well, kindly now. (Have I mentioned this before? Did you go there also, WW?)

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    15. Yes, both RoRo and I are Smith graduates. Which house? That can make a big difference. Sorry it wasn't for you, though, VT; what was?

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    16. True, I was in a small friendly house, Lawrence, with occasional wild life - squirrel and skunk (only once thank goodness). I finished my senior year in a senior house - Mary Ellen Chase. Surrounded by good people, not drama (although drama was my major for 2 of the 4 years.I am quite sentimental about the "old days"

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    17. True, I was in a small friendly house, Lawrence, with occasional wild life - squirrel and skunk (only once thank goodness). I finished my senior year in a senior house - Mary Ellen Chase. Surrounded by good people, not drama (although drama was my major for 2 of the 4 years.I am quite sentimental about the "old days"

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  14. Replies
    1. Oui, mon amie. Je suis dΓ©solΓ©.

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    2. C'est bon. Je sais que vous ne prévoyez pas de cette façon.

      Actually funnier in English, though: "That's OK. I know you did not plan et that way."

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  15. Musical hint: Toto and Men At Work battling for the top of the pop chart, 1982

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    1. I started to impulsively add to this comment, but I will let the moment pass.

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  16. I believe we were recently talking about the diamond, Moh or less?

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    1. If less, you'd be at risk of rubying someone the wrong way.

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    2. Yes, but diamonds are a girl's best friend.

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    3. O, pals, smaller, less obvious carats are welcome here at Blaine's.

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    4. You've opened agate here; I'm too jaded to gypsum retorts in as I'm sure I'd be feldspar-ing with you.

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    5. Perhaps you could Moh-sey over to a nearby Cal cite to whet your Apatite for a few Quartz of Orthoclase Beer.

      Peace Out (To Paz) and Talc to you later!

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    6. When I Google 'Orthoclase Beer' I get a bunch of frosted steins, and then I look at the picture to the left of Word Woman ... and suddenly it all makes sense.

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    7. What's even funnier, Paul, is that I just made up Orthoclase Beer (for 6 on Moh's Hardness Scale) because I thought it sounded cool, frosty even.

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  17. Didn't take me long to figure this one out, although it wasn't the first category that came to mind. However, the answer shares a factual characteristic with another category of seven items in the same broader category....as well as one of an interpretive nature.

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    1. broader category -- 15 letters!
      interpretive nature -- 18
      but,
      interpret nature -- 15!

      got your ears on, pjb?

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    2. The names of six of the seven continents end in the same letter (A), save for Europe.

      My other category with the same characteristic is the Seven Seas, all of which end in "C" save for "Indian". Both are in the broader category of geography.

      The interpretive characteristic they share is they're both difficult to alphabetize. Do you alphabetize on the first letter or work backwards from the last letter?

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  18. Think of a well-known category of seven items. Alphabetize the items from their ending letters, and the first letter alphabetically will be "h." It's a category and set of seven items that everyone knows. In fact, we encounter this category every day. What is it? Hint: the first shall be the last.

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    1. The category is months with 31 days: March, December, October, August, May, July, and January. The first shall be the last refers to January, the first month of the year, but last alphabetically if you alphabetize on last letters, then next to last letters, etc.

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  19. People, I can almost assure you that the answer I have found is the right one. Particularly after perusing the list PC rattled off earlier, I noticed the category I chose was NOT mentioned! Make of it what you will, it is after all a free country(and more than likely a smaller part of something much bigger, no?).

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    1. Well, most likely the answer you have is the one most of the rest of us have. Doesn't mean it's right, though.

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  20. Replies
    1. Still can only get "reply" comment box.
      I was going to drip out some (7) clues anyway.
      #1: People

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  21. Musical clues: Two and a half bands share names with these things (you'll get the half when you get it). And an awesome 80s track from a bitchin' band as well.

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    1. You may be closer to my answer, Cuthbert(if that is your real name).

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  22. Clue #2 to alternate answer:
    Eating

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  23. Yep.
    That mnemonic has stuck in my head since about 1962. Even used it a few times.
    Any argument that it fills the bill?

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    Replies
    1. It's a category and set of seven things that everyone knows???

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    2. I can see those people put their olive pits down Oscar's pants pocket. My vehicle's empty, mister; just super unleaded, not premium.

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    3. Not in my wheelhouse heretofore.

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    5. Well, jan's lucrative hierarchy just got funnier.

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    6. Taxonomy, time units of the Paleozoic, and planets (- premium)? Hmmneumonic . . .lucrative, huh?

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    7. "Premium" has been reclassified as a dwarf octane rating.

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    8. "Well, jan's lucrative hierarchy just got funnier." => WJLHJGF => Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant, Franklin => $1, $2, $5, $10, $$20, $50, $100

      Referring to jan's "banknotes" link, above.
      Yes, it has nothing to do with science, and yes, "lucrative hierarchy" is extremely lame. "When in doubt, utter nonsense."

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  24. They are the (seven) epochs of the Cenozoic Era, (the category).
    They all end in "e" with Pleistocene the last alphabetically.
    They are not terribly well known, but it is not their fault.
    Terms such as "well known," "common," "popular," and "famous" are famously well known as relative in Wee Willyville.
    I might even submit it.

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    1. Yeah, MJ, well-known, hmmm? Plus, hard to get lots of geologists to give up the Quaternary in our hearts ;-).

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    2. Geologists have four-chambered hearts, too?

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    3. Shocking?! πŸ˜‰

      Speaking of the heart, jan, have you ever seen a rhabdomyosarcoma, extremely rare cancer of the heart? I was wondering why we almost never hear of heart cancer. . .

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    4. No. Do you know someone with one? My mother-in-law died from a leiomyosarcoma, also quite rare.

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    6. Mendo Jim,

      The Epoch septet was my second answer. Will likely won’t accept it, but I believe he ought to. Your point about what is characterized as “well known” is well taken.
      I was going to hint to this answer by referring Blainesvillians to the title of the Hors d’Oeuvre puzzle in the September 2nd Puzzleria!

      LegoAcronymicallyYours

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  25. Superbia, avaritia, luxuria, ira, gula, invidia & acedia

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  26. Just figured it out. I can go to the bathroom now.

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  27. And speaking of the EOCENE, Mendo Jim. . .

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  28. So bummed that Rachel Martin is leaving Weekend Edition Sunday. http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/npr-rachel-martin-morning-edition-radio-1201861037/ Born in Idaho, went to school in Tacoma and Columbia before she left for Afghanistan as a freelancer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Martin_(broadcast_journalist) Very un-NPR in that she admits to watching sitcoms and loving football. Puzzle enthusiast. Morning Edition is lucky to snag her.

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    1. I dunno, I kind of like Lulu Garcia-Navarro, who's replacing Rachel in January. Though I do wish they'd find someone who's as into the puzzle segment as Liane was.

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    2. Category (Current) CONTINENTS >>>

      Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America


      "I'll rate this puzzle PG." refers to the supercontinent Pangaea.

      "Mmm. . .IT drink?" refers to the ever quenching Tech Tonic ;-)

      But 7? Naw!

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. I was hoping your PG was Pangaea, of course they are all slipping around.

      Interesting that the plate tectonic theory is only about 100 years old - any kid could see how nicely the continents can cuddle, especially the Americas and Africa.

      Rhode Islanders are proud of their rock formation out of Africa.

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    5. Oh, eco, I ought to let it drift. . . But, technically the hypothesis of continental drift is around hundred years old and is generally credited to Alfred Wegner in 1912 (though it was briefly noted and dismissed in the 16th century.)

      The mechanism of plate tectonics , including sea-floor spreading, was proposed and widely discussed in the 1950's, debated in the 1960's, and widely accepted in the 1970's. Maps of the seafloor were the key to understanding the mechanism of lithospheric plate movement.

      And all for something kindergartners easily see, as you say, with Africa and SA cuddling. . .

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    6. A fair correction, I'll let it slide.

      I remember hearing the debate in the late 1960's (just after kindergarten); and yes, better mapping of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge shows the "continental spooning" (new phrase) even better.

      I guess the polyamorous continents just couldn't last, then as now.

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    7. I hope "continental spooning" takes off, eco. Poly-America-rous, too! ;-)

      Having Tanya Atwater as a role model in the late 1970's was great. Her computer-animated plate tectonics models were ground-breaking (pun intended).


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    8. Do you know Louise Kellogg at UC Davis?

      Not quite the pioneer that Atwater was, her big early research was on the convective mixing of the mantle. And I always thought The Mantle mostly had mixed cocktails.

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    9. eco,
      I'm surprised you are not aware that most of the Kellogg's are flakes.

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    10. I have read her work but don't know her personally.

      I did mostly oil and gas research in the 80's and '90's (geophysics, geochem, Landsat analysis, and paleontology) and not as much tectonic work.

      Convective mixing is a hot (and cold) topic,though!

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    11. SDB: and like the continents, most skydivers have had a big falling out....

      WW: Would have been an odd coincidence; we were friends wayyyy back as undergrads, and she scoffed when I told her I was moving to quaky/ flaky California. A few years later I ran into her on the Streets of San Francisco; she was at Cal Tech and happily didn't get Malden the '94 Northridge quake.

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    12. We tend to be down to earth folk.

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    13. That would have been wild, eco.

      I do recall some of Dr. Kellogg's papers on Mid-Oceanic Ridge Basalts and ophiolites. Some of her latest stuff on UC-Davis is collaborating on a teaching tool called AUGMENTED REALITY SANDBOX• I want one!

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  29. Prentice or Prentiss - I've seen it spelled both ways.
    I didn't dare mention Christopher Walken or SNL.
    I suggested that WW would "pan" this puzzle. ������
    I'll bet one of these would fetch a pretty penny these days.

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    Replies
    1. Gaea, you were spot on, Paul. What were your 6 questionable characters?

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    2. They were supposed to be three views of planet Earth, showing most, if not all of the continents. Technology let me down.

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    3. Yeah, those. They showed up in the box when I entered them from my "touch keyboard", but they somehow drifted off on their journey to publication.

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    4. Yeah, copy & paste can create text encoding problems with extended characters. Using HTML entities prevents that.

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    5. The fault is neither in our stars nor in ourselves. It must be in our mediators.

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    6. Retest:
      🌍🌎🌏
      🍏

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  30. CONTINENTS

    > Drifting back to sleep now....

    As in continental drift.

    > In last week's blog, Word Woman posted "Roosevelt, Jefferson, Cleveland". This week, I'll say "Lincoln".

    Lincoln makes the Continental.

    > Drip... drip... drip...

    Holden, John C., Journal of Irreproducible Results, 22(2), July 1976, "Fake Tectonics and Continental Drip".

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Yes ;-).

      I want to develop a new plum variety called Mantle Plums. But, til now, I've kept it under my hat.

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  31. The seven continents

    My Hint:

    “This poor excuse for a puzzle has me wanting to consult with a urologist.”

    This is suggesting a urologist might treat incontinence if the patient is incontinent.

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  32. The seven continents – Europe, Asia, Australia, Antarctica, Africa, South America, North America

    Last Sunday I said, “I used to drive one.” A Lincoln Continental, that is.

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  34. I wrote, "I guess it's not days of the week! I think we must look to an answer longer and later." The "longer" and "later" were a hint to "longitude" and "latitude," and the global reach of the answer. ---Rob

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  35. The last letters in the seven colors of the rainbow can be rearranged into a self-descriptive two word phrase.

    Dew tone

    Over time, some of the SI units have been _______.

    Renamed

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  36. While I agree that the category is continents, I suspect the question was poorly worded and that the answer WS was looking for is Europe.

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  37. THE SEVEN CONTINENTS OF THE WORLD:
    NORTH AMERICA
    SOUTH AMERICA
    AFRICA
    ANTARCTICA
    AUSTRALIA
    ASIA
    EUROPE

    EUROPA is not a continent; it is a moon of Jupiter.

    EURASIA, Lego's two-continent “merger” (Europe + Asia), does make all 6 continents end in the same letter, A.

    OCEANIA: This term is often used more specifically to denote a continent comprising Australia and proximate islands.

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  38. Has anyone else had this happen? If two or more people try and enter their answers at exactly the same moment, Blaine’s computer knocks one of them out. Not just out of the answer queue, but out of Blainesville altogether. You have to start all over by logging in again.

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    1. This happened to me at 12:00 pm.

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    2. Me, too. And when I came back on, Blogger moved my post to the spot where I had started a reply about the change in hosts but later changed my mind. A little annoying. Has that ever happened to you?

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  39. This was my original post at 12:00 pm. I cannot post the EXACT original as it is now blocked, so the following has one change:

    THE SEVEN CONTINENTS OF THE WORLD:
    NORTH AMERICA
    SOUTH AMERICA
    AFRICA
    ANTARCTICA
    AUSTRALIA
    ASIA
    EUROPE

    EUROPA
    is not a continent; it is a moon of Jupiter.

    EURASIA, Lego's two-continent “merger” (Europe + Asia), does make all 6 continents end in the same letter, A.

    OCEANIA
    : This term is often used more specifically to denote a continent comprising Australia and proximate islands.

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    1. Here was the end of my original post:

      OCEANIA: This term is often used more specifically to denote a continent comprising Australia and proximate islands.

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    2. My Sunday comment, which was not meant as a hint:
      "I have an answer that seems so trivial that I cannot believe it is Mr. Shortz's intended. But it is one he must accept. I believe. When two of the members of this septet are merged, as they sometimes are, all six members end with the same letter."

      I still cannot believe this is Will's intended answer. But I could not find a better one, except perhaps for the "obs-cene" epochs of mammals.

      LegoWondersIfMasterSolverAlCameUpWithSomethingBetter...

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  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  41. The seven continents:
    NORTH AMERICA
    SOUTH AMERICA
    AFRICA
    ANTARCTICA
    AUSTRALIA
    ASIA
    EUROPE
    I, for one, can believe this was Will's intended answer.
    My clue referred to Toto's "Africa" and Men At Work's "Down Under"(about Australia)switching places on the pop charts back in late 1982.

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  42. Bob Kerfuffle - Boxers or Briefs? I responded with "Depends" but then deleted in case it was too much of a giveaway!

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  44. My comment referred to the fact that most continents are contiguous land masses with other continents. Europe and Asia are unquestionably one land mass, divided more by political lines than geographical ones. Africa is less obvious, but it does touch Eurasia. Hence why our ancestors were able to walk out of Africa into Eurasia. North and South America are also a single land mass connected by the small Central American strand of land. But, one could, if so inclined, drive from Alaska to the southern tips of Chile and Argentina. So, by that logic, the four continents would be Afroeurasia, the Americas, Antarctica, and Australia. Since the notion of a continent is mostly political, I usually refer to the continents in more conventional terms, which makes for easier conversations (not that continents come up in conversation that often.

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  45. @Snipper, 7:51 PM - The "boxers or briefs?" comment was the first thing that came into my mind as a hint/marker when I solved the challenge. I thought it was at least a step or two away from the answer. By the time I got online, you had already posted your comment about going to the bathroom, but I went ahead and posted anyway.

    My routine is to check the "Notify me" box on the blog, so that I see every comment as it is posted, and I very rarely look at the blog itself to see that an earlier comment has been deleted.

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  46. Our spotlight challenge on Puzzleria! this week (freshly uploaded) is a real gem composed by PlannedChaos.

    PC's puzzle is a here24 unbroadcast and unpublished "Car Talk Puzzler" that Tom and Ray (and probably also Bob and Ray) would have been proud to purvey.
    Click "Joseph Young's Puzzleria!" in Blaine's PUZZLE LINKS.

    There are four other puzzles on P! this week, plus a quintet of Shortz Riff-offs.

    LegoPurveysPlannedClicketyClackChaos

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  47. Testing:
    πŸŽΆπŸ”πŸ...you want 🍟 with that?

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    1. The fault is neither in our stars nor in ourselves. It must be in our mediators.

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  48. Next week's challenge, from listener Justine Tilley of Vancouver: Think of a familiar three-word phrase in the form "___ and ___." Drop the "and." Then move the last word to the front to form a single word that means the opposite of the original phrase.

    Here's a hint: The ending word has seven letters. What is it?

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  49. I am assuming that "the ending word" is the resultant single word which is the opposite of the phrase, not the ending word of the phrase itself.

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    1. That's the way I interpret it. Which limits you to phrases like "high and dry".

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    2. Yes. Interesting that you phrase is the opposite of my clue, in that submarines tend to be low and wet.

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  50. Where would you find this on a submarine?

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  52. Listeners in Boston might have an advantage this week.

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    1. home of the bean and cod?

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    2. I think that cod reference is just a red herring.

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  53. As to the appearance of the Savior: "He is …"

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