Sunday, September 25, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sept 25, 2016): Close but no Rhyme

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sept 25, 2016): Close but no Rhyme:
Q: Take the words DOES, TOES and SHOES. They all end in the same three letters, but none of them rhyme. What words starting with F, S and G have the same property? The F and S words are four letters long, and the G word is five letters. They all end in the same three letters.
As a bonus puzzle, can you think of 6-letter words starting with F, S and G that end with the same letters but don't rhyme? (P.S. Two of the words were used in our Christmas Puzzle from 2006)

Edit: The answer to my bonus puzzle was FINGER, SINGER, GINGER.
A: FOUL, SOUL, GHOUL

168 comments:

  1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g. via a chain of thought, or an internet search) before the deadline of Thursday at 3pm ET. If you know the answer, click the link and submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here.

    You may provide indirect hints to the answer to show you know it, but make sure they don't give the answer away. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the Thursday deadline. Thank you.

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  2. With the answer I got, I am surprised that Will didn't wait for a more seasonal opportunity. ---Rob

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    1. I think the puzzle fits the spirit of the season.

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  3. Will could have used NOSE, DOSE, LOSE & LOOSE as an example, or, as everyone knows, there are TEN different pronunciations of the suffix "-ough" + "laugh" counting only the 3-letter ending "-ugh."

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  4. This could be considered a grave puzzle.

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  5. He could have used F, G and B instead of F, S and G.

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    Replies
    1. If you Google the three word answer, you'll find an essay on this subject by a noted linguist. The title contains all 6 words (F, G, S, and G, B, F).

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. This puzzle is really eating at me.

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  8. The 2 four letter words are an apt description of the five letter word.

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    Replies
    1. Definitely food for thought...

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    2. Being a dancer I think of M,F, and J

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    3. Being a dancer I think of M,F, and J

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  9. Blaine doesn't think it's too early for bonus puzzles, so:

    3 words, 4 letters each, last 3 letters same, no rhymes:
    starting with d, g, and l.
    starting with d, m, and r.
    starting with b, c, and t.

    3 words, 5 letters each, last 4 letters same, no rhymes:
    starting with b, c, and r.
    starting with h, s, and t.

    3 words, 6 letters each, last 5 letters same, no rhymes:
    starting with b, m, and w.
    starting with b, f, and g.

    3 words, 7 letters each, last 6 letters same, no rhymes, starting with f, r, and s.

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    Replies
    1. I have them all, but I doubt one or two of them is your intended answer. Will post Thursday.

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    2. I was surprised you didn't do any 3-letter words ending in the same two letters, but all pronounced differently: WAS, GAS (ASS), HAS, , etc.

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    3. I thought about it, but then I would have also added bas (as in bas-relief); was sure that would be met with scorn.

      I'll add:

      3 words, 5 letters, last 4 the same, starting with h, r, and s.
      3 words, 5 letters, last 4 the same, starting with l, s, and w, though the L-word is used more in the UK.

      or my favorite: 4 words, 5 letters, last 4 the same, starting with b, g, l, and v. Though the L-word may not be accepted by all.

      Couple others out there, either variants on the other words, one that is too close to the Puzzle answer, and a couple that use legitimate but not always polite words.

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    4. You haven't mentioned: four, hour, tour, or both, doth, moth, or love, move, stove, and others.

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    5. Make that: love, move, cove.

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    6. Add: mere, were, père. Like "bas" which only exists alone in French.

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    7. OK. Make it here, were, sere.

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    8. According to Emma sere rhymes with here.

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    9. OK. I was mispronouncing it as (sĕr). Make it: here, were, lere (lēr)

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    10. Doesn't the bar make it a long e sound, kind of like, say, here?

      Just trying to macron honest....

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    11. Here and lere rhyme to my ear. How about there?

      And speaking of macron, macramé comes to mind (it comes from a 13th Century Arabic weavers’ word “migramah” meaning “Fringe” This refers to the decorative fringes on camels and horses which help, amongst other things, to keep the flies off the animal in the hot desert regions of northern Africa.), I can see a long fringe on the macron. . .And Arabic words all over the blog this week.

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    12. HERE ĭ, as in HIS.

      LERE ē, as in WHEAT.

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    13. HERE î, as in PIT.
      LERE ē, as in BEE.

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    14. Sorry, I can't hear you. I've never said "here" like "his" or "pit". Not even sure I can without tongue injury.

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    15. HERE (hîr), the î, as in PIT.

      LERE (lēr), the ē, as in BEE.

      This should be easy enough to understand. The pronunciations are different.

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    16. Indeed, I agree with eco on this one. Here and lere and hear and ear and sere all rhyme (to my ears).

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    17. Well, îr and ēr are not the same to my ear.

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    18. If you hear a difference in vowel sound between PIER and BEEP, then you hear what I hear.

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    19. Maybe pier and beer would make a better comparison. The following consonant sound can confuse things as well.
      I still can't get a regular comment box to stay open long enough to use.
      I am surprised at the number of comments on this and last week's puzzles. Neither seemed very interesting to me.
      Will could learn something about anagrams and nice people from the way he beat up on yesterday's on-air fan.

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    20. Sorry, Ron, your dictionary link uses "pier (pîr)" and "here (hîr)". Same symbol for both.

      Looks like a big win for the "R's", and confusion reigns across the land. See you in hell.

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    21. Let's have a bîr and forget about it (that's fuhgit to those in Beantown). Somewhere I read that one can't make a long e before the letter R, but it bēts me where I read that, probably in the rîr of a magazine.

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    22. PIER, HERE, BEER all have the same sound: îr, but they do not have the same sound as LERE (lēr), the ē, as in BEE. So my original assertion that HERE, WERE & LERE do not rhyme is correct.

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    23. I listened to that about ten times, and the only difference I can hear is she drags out lere with a slight second syllable, lee-er. Maybe I'm deaf as well as dumb....

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    24. Can you hear the difference between "deer" (dîr) and the second syllable of "raindeer" (dēr)? Or is this too subtle a distinction? Yes, I know "reindeer" ends in dîr... Most people hear a difference in pronunciation between "wolf" & "golf."

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    25. I agree on wolf/golf, but don't see how this applies to deer/reindeer. How much of this has to do with local dialects? And if it varies with dialect, how can we say there's a single definitive answer as to whether two things sound the same?

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    26. Two things sounding the same? We're surely not talking about last night's debate then.

      Everytime DT said he "had property there" I wanted to say to him "This is not a game of Monopoly." It's all about him, his company, his family. . .not about our country.

      Very glad Hillary Clinton is prepared to be our next President!

      What did you all think?



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    27. I watched it and am now confident Trump is almost as qualified as Muammar Gaddafi to be a leader. However I seriously doubt he could manage a two car funeral on a sunny day.

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    28. I had the glorious good fortune to completely miss the debates. However I appreciate the fodder they provide for the comedy shows.

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    29. The first lie I heard is when Hillary said: "Donald, it's good to be with you!"

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    30. Wonderfully disarming, though.

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    31. I listened to a bit at work, and in the car going home, but couldn't take much of his scowl. I wonder if people were watching it for the same reasons they watch NASCAR, they don't want the fine points, they want to see the big crash.

      My biased opinion is Hillary did well, he came off as brutish, uneducated, and narcissistic (everything revolved around him) and I hope "mah fella 'Muricans" can also see that he has a hard time with the truth and an even harder time admitting when he lies, or makes mistakes. And WW is right, HRC's friendly gestures at the front were disarming, something she had to do because unfortunately when women come out strong it's perceived as being something that rhymes with rich. Imagine the news today if she had taken on his persona, or lack thereof?

      To the more important topic: the difference between "wolf" and "golf" is very clear to my ears, but I don't think that's comparable to "deer" and "reindeer". As I mentioned before I could hear a slight difference between "lere" and "here", but that had less to do with the vowel sound (rhyming) and more to do with the extra 1/2 syllable the speaker put in. As WW offered, here, were and there may a better non-rhyming triplet, but that involves mixing 4 and 5 letter words.

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    32. It's no way to start a debate when the first words out of your mouth is a lie.

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    33. Knowing her own debating skills and DT's propensity for taking the bait on a variety of topics, Hillary Clinton could have genuinely thought "It's good to be with you; here's my chance!"

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    34. Jill Stein was excluded from the debates, but Amy Goodman, in her Democracy Now daily broadcast, put the same questions as were put to Trump & Clinton. To hear her responses, click HERE.

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    35. Jill was far better than both of them, but that bar is pretty low.

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    36. PART II of the debate that includes Jill Stein.

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    37. ron,
      You really surprise me. At first when I read your initial post that criticized Clinton for saying she was happy to be there with DT, I thought you were joking, but when you again posted the same complaint a second time I could not understand this coming from you of all people. Look, I am not a fan of Clinton, and wanted Sanders, but I didn't get the Xmas gift I wanted, and now I have to deal with what I did get. Admittedly it is not going to be the best Xmas ever for me, but it could be the worst Xmas ever for all of us should the wrong person prevail, and it won't be a third party candidate, no matter what. I am a liberal, and proud to be one too, but I never get my first choice to vote for, so I have to vote for the candidate who will most be willing to protect what it is I am concerned about, and has any chance of winning. You know who that is this time around, and you don't like her politics, and neither do I, but it may be a very close election and if those of us such as yourself and me vote for anyone other than Clinton we are really voting for Trump. Are you really willing to take that chance?

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    38. Thanks for posting the links, ron. They were interesting here and there, and everywhere in between.

      Why did no one ask a linguistics question last night, anyhow? ;-)

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    39. Because Noam Chomsky was not in attendance.

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    40. Everyone needs to watch the EXPANDED DEBATES with Jill Stein included. It becomes obvious that Trump is completely unfit to be president and that Hillary has a terrible track record. Once again you owe it to yourself to watch the EXPANDED DEBATES with Jill Stein PART I & PART II.

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    41. No, ron, we don't. It is a red herring now. We MUST be rational and practical and do everything we can to keep Trump from becoming the next despot and perhaps destroy the world in the process.

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    42. I agree with sdb on this point and am canvassing and calling to get Hillary Clinton elected. The stakes are too high in 2016.

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    43. Sitcare? Sit care? What's that? Did I hear it wrong? I'd really like to know.

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  10. I can confirm this puzzle has only one answer. I can also confirm that Blaine's bonus puzzle has only one answer. The only problem with Blaine's is that the F and S words can rhyme if the S word is highly enunciated.

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    1. I disagree about Blaine's: to my ear the F word can rhyme with either the S or the G word, depending on which pronunciation you choose.

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    2. Oh, you're right about the G and S words; I hadn't thought of the alternate definition for the S word. Those are pronounced exactly the same! But I can't get the F and G words to sound the same; I would never pronounce the F word like that.

      (Commence jokes about "the F word".)

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    3. I think we've got different F/S/G words. Your S word has two meanings, and pronunciations, but doesn't each rhyme with either the F or the G word?

      In mine, the F and G words have 2 meanings/ pronunciations, but they either rhyme with each other or the S word.

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    4. If one allows a proper name (kind of rare spelling, but there is a famous one), there is a second answer...

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  11. Easy one again this week. I am just happy I solved it while still in bed and before I got up and read all the giveaway posts.

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  12. What happens when a transsexual gets into a car accident?

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    1. It might cause comments indicating the person should have taken the Trans-Canada Railroad instead.

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    2. Assess vital signs, take spinal precautions, ...?

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    3. He has a transgenderfusion.

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    4. A gender fender bender can be caused by a botched lane transition. Hormone therapy can help with the road rage.

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  13. This puzzle is seasonal: Election season.

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  14. The answer does have to do with a particular holiday coming up. Be afraid, be very afraid.

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  15. Jan, Paul, WW, and Bob K: you're very quiet!?!

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    Replies
    1. I see no point in copying examples from that essay I pointed to above.

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    2. I posted a comment at the end of last week's thread. No hints here, just the facts: I'm on vacation in Spain, just using my iPad, which I haven't completely mastered, so I'm not sure if I am doing things right.

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    3. You're doing fine, my comment was regarding your (and the other members of the Gang of Four) comments early Sunday.

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    4. Well, why didn't you say so? ��

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    5. If I may be so bold, you two are quite the characters. . .

      ? ?, Paul?

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  16. eco, interrobangbang? A Western punctuation mark?

    Bas humbug!

    Been canning peaches and making scones because hell hath no fury like a woman sconed. . .

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    1. Everybody must get sconed!

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    2. At least you haven't been battered.

      Now, as to the puzzle: two of the words in Will's answer have a connection (strong in one case, accidental in the other) to Arabic. And once you've identified those two connections, they hint at an Oscar™-winning movie from a few years ago. I once threw a dinner party based on a famous quotation from that film; my guests did not get it (in either sense of the phrase).

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    3. Had I dug as deeply as Word Woman I might have found that "soul" has an Arabic connection as well; my googling led me to a proto-Germanic root *saiwalo. But "ghoul" definitely comes from the Arabic and "foul" (rhymes with "fool") is an alternative spelling for "ful," a dish made out of fava beans popular throughout the Middle East and surrounding countries. Which gets us to "The Silence of the Lambs": I served a meal of lamb, fava beans and chianti to some dinner guests, but they didn't get the reference.

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    4. Henry Willis, perhaps you ought to invite a Blainesville contingent over for dinner. Do us a fava ;-). We'd get it. In fact, I guessed your "Silence of the Lambs" dinner based on "ful."

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    5. Sounds like fun. We missed the opportunity earlier this year to repeat that meal I served my sister on Leap Year's Day in 1996 (Frogs' Legs, Spring Rolls and Liebfraumilch), but truth be told it wasn't really worth repeating. Anyone have any suggestions for a similar menu à clef?

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  17. This puzzle is for the birds.

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. Solved Will's puzzle quickly. Working on Blaine's. Are the last 5 letters of each of the 3 words the same?

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  21. In the answer, the last thing IS the first thing but HAS NO second thing.

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  22. GHOUL, SOUL, FOUL

    "Arabic" refers to the origin of both GHOUL AND SOUL.

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    Replies
    1. GHOUL was the only one I investigated. "The oldest surviving literature that mention ghouls is likely One Thousand and One Nights."(Wikipedia)
      1001 in Roman Numerals is MI, and MI is the third note in the scale.

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  23. foul, ghoul, soul

    Last Sunday I said, “This could be considered a grave puzzle,” as in something that could be robbed by ghouls.

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  24. FOUL (foul)
    SOUL (sōl)
    GHOUL (go͞ol)
    Pronunciation Key.

    Blaine's Bonus Puzzle:
    FINGER (fĭng′gər) (hard g)
    SINGER (sĭng′ər) (soft g)
    GINGER (jĭn′jər)

    Charles F, G, B puzzle:
    FOWL (foul)
    GOWL (ɡaʊl)
    BOWL (bōl)
    or A FOUL GHOUL SOUL LOVES GOOD BLOOD FOOD.

    ECO's Bonus Puzzles:
    -DONE, GONE, LONE.
    -DEAD (dĕd) , MEAD (miːd), READ (rēd).
    -BOMB, COMB, TOMB.

    -BOUGH, COUGH, ROUGH.
    -HEWED (hyo͞od), SEWED, TEWED (tjuːd)
    -BALLOW (ˈbælaʊ), MALLOW (măl′ō), WALLOW (wŏl′ō).
    -BATHER, FATHER, GATHER.
    -FEVERED (fē′vərd), REVERED (rĭ-vîr′d), SEVERED (sĕv′ərd)
    -HEWED, REWED, SEWED.
    -LORRY, SORRY, WORRY.

    As for 5-letter words starting with b,g,l,v, I have only these rhyming words:
    broom, groom, Lroom ( the living room) & vroom.

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    Replies
    1. For Eco's #6, I had ballet, mallet, wallet.

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    2. Ron was right that he'd have different answers:
      4 letter d, m, r = DOVE, MOVE, ROVE (I think mead and read rhyme, but don't want to go down that path again!)
      5 letter h, s, t = HALON, SALON, TALON
      5 letter b, m, w = BALLET, MALLET, WALLET

      and the 4 non-rhyming words: BASES, GASES (nouns not verb), LASES (as in using a laser, TASES might also work), and VASES.

      I didn't include:
      FOUR, HOUR, TOUR (I thought that was too close to the actual answer)
      LENSES, MENSES, SENSES
      COUCHED, DOUCHED, TOUCHED
      the latter two seemed a bit much for Sunday morning.

      I'm still not sure about Blaine's, the two possibilities I had were:
      FINGER, GINGER, SINGER (either version of singer rhymes with one of the others)
      FLOWER, GLOWER, SLOWER - flower plant rhymes with glower Trump, flower river and glower non-Trump rhymes with slower.

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    3. eco, you lost me at Trump. . .

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    4. Aren't BASES (bā′sēz′) and VASES (vā′sēz′) the same? I had rejected that solution for this reason.

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    5. I pronounce the plural of BASIS differently than the term for solutions with pH>7.

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    6. To me, bases and vases sound different because I don't pronounce vases the way people these days strangely over-pronounce "houses" as "how-cess". I say them more like "vayzes" and "howzes". There's also another pronunciation for vases, "vahzes", where the "as" is pronounced like the "oz" in "lozenge".

      For Eco's 4-letter d, m, r: "dove" has two meanings pronounced differently, and the non-rhyme only works using the bird definition.

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    7. BASES can be pronounced (at least) two ways, as the plural of base and the plural of basis. . .

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    8. Oh yeah, Paul, I didn't think of the alternate meaning of bases, pronounced "base-ees". But the other way works, too.

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    9. Well, look at all these contemporaneous posts. . .

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    10. So glad I could introduce a hot topic, sorry for the delay, I was submitting drawings for a permit.

      For the proletariat rabble (aka Ron) VASE (vās) rhymes with BASE, but for the landed gentry it's väz. Base-ees wasn't in my thinking, but it's good addition. Does that make 5 ways to pronounce _ases?

      WW: my Trumpian anthology is GLOWER (angry look, scowl) is different than GLOWER (one who shines brightly). Scowling GLOWER rhymes with FLOWER, beaming GLOWER rhymes with SLOWER.

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    11. And just to beat on a dead horse named GINGER: technically FINGER and SINGER don't rhyme, a lot has to do with where you're from (apparently northeasterners do rhyme them). I think more folks stretch out the g in LINGER, which is less rhyming with SINGER, or Mary Ann.

      On the other hand, "I Don't Need Anything But You Lyrics" from the musical "Annie":
      You've wrapped me around
      That cute little finger.
      You've made life a song
      You've made me the singer!


      And yes Ron, I can hear the difference when Warbucks sings it, but I'm not going to take on Martin Charnin.

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    12. Ah, I see, eco. I thought you were doing something with Gennifer Flowers.

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    13. There would have been a row if she sat in the front row.

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    14. Indeed. Ow. English is so weird.

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    15. Not to change the subject, but all of you who are against ANAGRAM PUZZLES, might enjoy these TIDY ANAGRAMS!

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    16. By the way, TIDY ANAGRAMS + X anagrams to SYNTAX DIAGRAM

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    17. From this month's Harper's: "Sweet covering for dirty pictures".

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    18. Sorry Ron, they just seem like anagrams to me.

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  25. FOUL, SOUL, GHOUL

    > If you Google the three word answer, you'll find an essay on this subject by a noted linguist. The title contains all 6 words (F, G, S, and G, B, F).

    "A FOUL GHOUL SOUL LOVES GOOD BLOOD FOOD", by Richard Lederer

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    1. This delightful essay says it all. . .or at least much of it, worth saying.

      Delete
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  27. If you allow a proper name variation, or a French drink for one of the 4 letter words then there IS
    a second answer.

    Fuze
    Suze (Orman, or a French drink)
    Gauze

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  28. FOUL/SOUL/GHOUL

    At the end of my post on last week’s blog about rhymes and regional pronunciations, I included the comment, “It’s so unfair.” As every baseball fan knows, if a ball isn’t fair, it is foul.

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  29. FOUL, SOUL, GHOUL
    Perfect for Halloween, don't you think?

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  30. Six new puzzles are piping-hot and fresh outta the oven over at Puzzleria!

    No gruelly ghoulash for the Hungary. No foul fowl. Just kitchen-superior puzzle slices for the soul.

    Just go to Blaine's PUZZLE LINKS and click on "Joseph Young's Puzzleria!"

    LegoWhoLikesEverytingInHisChickenSoupExceptAnchovies

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  31. For those who prefer acronyms to anagrams, what phrase has the acronym COST?

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    Replies
    1. All I've got is Committee on Science and Technology, but I have a sense that's not what you mean.

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    2. Not even close, though I thought you might think that.

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    3. Continental Offshore Stratigraphic Test?

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    4. Something Something Stop Trump?

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    5. acronymfinder.com has about 60 hits for COST.
      Let us know if what you are looking for is not there.

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    6. Creepy Old Scoundrel Trump

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    7. It's not in acronymfinder.com, but it may be soon. Though I really hope not!

      Those thinking Trump is involved are on the right track....

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    8. Come on stop Trump.

      Come on stomp Trump.

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  32. Trump is not part of the expression, but he's inextricably bound to it.

    BIG HINT, maybe it's more of meme than an acronym, but these things move fast in the internet.....

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    Replies
    1. If it's a meme, you you should just tell us us.

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    2. ^^^ A little kerning on the m e m e would help. . .

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    3. You mean the first read on your Twitter feed wasn't Check Out Sex Tape?

      Another proud moment in Presidential politics; a candidate urges all of America to look for porn on the internet. I wonder if the next debate will have "VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED."

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    4. Ha. So bizarre. I like mine better: Comb Over Some Time.

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    5. I like yours too, another (hair)piece from Don T's Inferno.

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    6. Crook Owes Serious Taxes
      Can't Overlook Stupid Toupee
      Cause Of Some Tweets

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    7. My riff of of your last: Creator Of Sexist Tweets.

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    8. Casino Owner Scams Tradespeople

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    9. Unfortunately, I think many Republicans agree with the Ohio voter who said "I’m voting for the Conservative Party and if Trump’s the jacka** leading that mule train fine by me."

      Calling Out Said Trains?

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    11. I've seen carpenter's aprons with the motto, "Measure Twice, Cut Once". My projects usually went, Cut Once, Swear Twice.

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    12. Cumulonimbi often sound thunderous.

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    13. Cut Out Significant Taxes (for at least ~20 years)

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    14. For a full presentation of con-man Donald Trump, watch Book TV's The Making of Donald Trump. It is well-worth watching the full hour.

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  33. Name an 11-letter occupation starting with H. If you have the right one, you can rearrange the letters to name two things a worker with this occupation uses — one in six letters and one in five. What occupation is it?

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  34. My hat's off to Will for an easy puzzle

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  35. This puzzle was a cut above the rest.

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  36. OK, that's it. I'm getting up and walking out.

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  37. Hmmm. The spelling of one of the words is not the usual one for this word in this form.

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  38. That's why I thought fats, SATs, and goats would fly last week.

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