Sunday, October 30, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 30, 2016): Name in the News

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 30, 2016): Name in the News:
Q: Think of a name in the news that has a doubled letter. It's a person's last name. Change that doubled letter to a different doubled letter, and you'll get the commercial name for a popular food. What is it?
A: (Evan) MCMULLIN --> MCMUFFIN

247 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. Well done, Margaret G! Congrats on the on-air puzzle.

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  3. I have an answer that sort of works, but it makes me squirm a little.

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  4. This is a candidate for Will's annual year-end new names in the news list.

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  5. Congratulations Margaret G, you were faster than a speeding buffet.

    Pretty sure I have Will's intended answer, but I question whether this is a "popular food," even if it is popular.

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  6. Blaine's posting makes me think he didn't have the answer.

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    1. NOT A CLUE: ..So Blaine's hint leads me to (the Easter confectionery) Peeps -- implying the Prez candidates are a couple of...

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  7. Well I hope it's not California's Attorney General, Kamala Harris, and that offal Scottish treat, Haggis.

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    1. Two people in the news (no food product) John Kerry & Megyn Kelly...

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  8. I have an answer related to popular tabloid stories that almost works, but it's a little soft. I'll keep looking...

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    1. Curtis, I think you and I have the same oh-so-close answer.

      Figuring this out in the fog (very odd and spooky for us!).

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    1. Lego, this clue is too obvious. . .

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    2. Rats! Too late. Now I wish I could remember his clue. All I remember is his tagline and that hasn't helped. Still don't know the answer. I suspect very low voter turnout for this puzzle.

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    4. In my opinion the only thing that made it too obvious was when another person decided they had to call attention to it as too obvious. (I echo SDB's sentiment of "when will people learn?")

      When we already know the answer, very often we overestimate how easily the answer can be derived from a hint. This cognitive bias is called "the curse of knowledge"; see the Stanford tapping experiment. In related news, Roger can play a tune on a surface with his hands. Jump back a few seconds to find out what he was playing.

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    5. It should be noted that the news about this person is still breaking rather quickly.

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    6. I predict this name will soon be passing out of memory, quickly fading.

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    7. Hopefully, not before we reveal our answers tomorrow. . .

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  10. Is this all some sort of Hitchcockian plot? ---Rob

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    1. Great and clever hint, Rob.

      LegoWhoseScreenNameIsAlsoAKindOfAHint

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    2. Yep great clue, Rob. I believe I have it now.

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  11. Thank you everyone. I think I got one of the easier puzzles, and for that I am grateful! It sure went quickly!
    --Margaret G.

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    1. I think we can all agree that Margaret Gibbs was in the news on Sunday, playing puzzle on NPR. Change those Bs to Ls to get Gill's Fried Chicken, in San Marcos, TX, a commercial name for a popular food. Lapel pin, please!

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    2. Although I'm not sure I'd eat at a chicken place named after a fish part. . .

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    3. No worse than Buffalo wings.

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    4. Waiter! There's a fly in my Buffalo wings.

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  12. To see some amusing images, search for the person’s first name followed by the food.

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    1. However, if you have no idea of the first name or the food, you're out of luck!

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  13. My hint: And if you change the last three letters of the person's first name to another doubled letter, you'll get another word that commonly precedes the commercial name. I'm surprised this was not included in the actual puzzle, because one most often hears these two words together.

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    1. There are other varieties, though.

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    2. This hint didn't give me the answer... but it did confirm to me that my answer was correct. Thank you PC! Of course, I can't win any more, but it's still fun to ponder the puzzler. --Margaret G.

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  14. As Vincent Price might say, that's 'exactly right'!

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  15. I feel sorry for anyone who eats these things; the very thought makes me ill, but I guess some people just dive right in.

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  16. Those of us who follow the news from the town of North, South Carolina look forward to January 14, 2017, coupled with the really big day on January 17. You must remember this.

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  17. Happy Halloween everybody!
    Not only do I have the answer, but according to the rules of the establishment serving this product, I could have had it earlier for supper this evening instead of what I did order.

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    1. And thanks to you pjb for once again having the uncanny ability to present us unfailingly with a clue that not only proves you have solved the puzzle, but has also given it away to everyone else. Will you never learn?

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    2. Hey, I could be wrong you know. Good thing some bloggers on other puzzle blogs have got my back. I only just happened to eat food from a particular establishment, and then the answer had something to do with that same establishment. I didn't even realize I was being that subtle. Now, to say anything further about the place would probably give it away. It all depends on how carefully you word these things. BTW I had lunch from a totally different establishment, and I'm not saying where, especially since it has nothing to do with the puzzle.

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  19. Being a news person, Rachel Maddow is certainly in the news. Marrow is popular with many soup cooks.

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    1. Or replace the two Bs in Scooter Libby's last name with another two Bs...

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    2. And, speaking of marrow, for a real marrow treat tomarrow :-), try roasted marrow bones.

      We savored roasted bison bones at The Fort restaurant in Morrison, CO, based on the recommendation of my friend's anthropologist daughter. Yum!

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    3. We've used marrow bones to make Vietnamese soup. The real stuff, not faux pho.

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    5. Yesterday I was thinking of a post replacing the Rs with Ls to get Marshmallow.

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    6. WW:
      If buffalo parents were to find the child they raised was a bison, would they likely be upset?

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    7. Speaking of eating bull, Richard Burr is a US Senator from NC, running for re-election, so he must be in local news, at least.

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    10. sdb, not upset, but maybe just sad, upon taking leave, to say "Bye, son!"

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    11. Banished from the heard? For being a humpback?

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    12. Never herd ;-) of such a thing. . .

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    13. Pardon me for horning in, but when you visit your boyfriend's vineyard, are you looking at your beau's vines?

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    14. SuperZee:
      We don't really object to you whining, but couldn't you at least wait until dinner time?

      WW:
      Perhaps he didn't get a fair hearing. Things can get rather eary on Halloween.

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    15. SDB-Here on the East Coast, Wine Time had begun...

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    16. SuperZee, is that candy corn wine?

      Enjoyed beau's vine, btw.

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    17. SuperZee:
      I realized that may be the case just as soon as I hit the Publish button. I guess I was just jealous since I ran out at breakfast this morning.

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    18. Actually, some of my home made Malbec. It's still a little harsh, but maturing nicely.

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    19. Nice when one's wine can mature along with the wine-maker ;-).

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  20. Busy holiday, Halloween. I have at least two celebrations to attend tonight. Maybe even one more.

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    1. Last day of Oktoberfest, too. I'll raise a stein to that!

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  21. As long as we're changing some of the letters in the last names of some well known persons without their permission, I think we should do the same favor for one of the presidential candidates by replacing the vowel with an A.

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  22. After changing the SS's to LL's, I thought the answer might be 'Tootsie Ross', heiress to the Betsy Ross Foundation, who died last Thursday next to her sewing machine at the flag factory. Moments before her untimely death, the EMT's asked her what was wrong and all she said was "I see stars".

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    1. The image of a patriotic figure dying at a sewing machine reminds me of just one thing.

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    2. My understanding is that she had no musical ability at all yet she always worked with Singers.

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    3. This is true, but she had a great sense of humor and kept us in stitches although her emotional state being tenuous was held together by a thread.

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    4. Rumor has it that she had to pull some strings to get that job!

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    5. Not really. She just kept needling the owner.

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    6. She may have been suffering from seam stress associated with being rechristened a "sewer."

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    7. Those are so bad but that means they're great!

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    8. My only hope is that the Betsy Ross posts don't get flagged for deletion. They are simply fabrications.

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    9. Does anyone know if the Threadbear is still on the endangered species list?

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    10. I'm sure that if the BR police are called, we can get things ironed out.

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    11. I'm sure that if the BR police are called, we can get things ironed out.

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    12. Let's not get all hot under the collar and steamed up over this.

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    13. I won't press it, I'm not going to lose my shirt over this!

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    14. Why aren't you "word nerds" bobbin' for apples like the other children?

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  23. Top 'O the evening to you. Happy to have the answer this Halloween night.

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  24. Well, the Trick or Treaters are done and we have too much candy left over and, I've got to figure out how to get rid of it!!

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    1. Are you asking for my mailing address?

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    2. Ha! No, I need to find a greedy dentist to leave it with!

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    3. My kids' orthodontist used to pay them for the candy, by the pound. He'd then ship it to troops overseas. I always found it odd that the troops, who likely have less ready access to dental care, would get the candy he didn't want the kids to eat.

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    4. Maybe it was an attempt to sugarcoat the war.

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    5. Airheads in Washington State, Lifesavers in California: this seems fairly accurate ;-).

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    6. I'm afraid twizzlers for Kansas, a little bit too accurate :(

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    7. 68Charger, at least you Kansans are unique!

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    8. It's kind of frustrating trying to figure out how much candy to buy. We are the only house on our side of the street who give out candy. So, naturally, most of the kids stay on the other side of the street where there's more bang for the buck!
      Tonight, it looked like Times Square across the street.
      Oh well, at least I didn't spend too much on candy.

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    9. WW - Yes, I didn't even pay attention to that! I hope it's not because we are so much of a red state, ha, ha!
      That is an interesting picture!

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    10. As Tom Magliozzi might say: BOOOOOGUS! I don't know anyone in NJ who'd say Sour Patch Kids are best. I'll take Butterfingers, thanks.

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    11. WW-By your logic, Mounds for Colorado, PayDay for Vegas, Candy Corn for Iowa, Rum Balls for Puerto Rico, and Goobers for Mayberry?

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    12. SuperZee, I had to look up Mounds and pot, as I was thinking Indian burial mounds.

      It's not my logic, it's the logic of the people, yes the people. (Ya, not scientific.)

      Sour Patch Kids in NJ and ND: sour grapes, too? JK

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    13. WW - If I was referering to pot, I'd have mentioned Mary Jane bars. The other option for Colorado was Rock Candy. Either way, I was risking getting stoned.

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    14. And the blonde wave is stuck between Whoppers, Sweet Tarts, and Bit O' Honey. What he really wants is a Tootsie Roll, but he'll sneak Kisses when he can.

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    15. eco, are you trying to say that DT is "I candy?"

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    16. He is definitely nuts. We all had some Snickers and Chuckles when he first announced he was running. He claimed to be a PowerHouse who could shoot someone on 5th Avenue.

      He has since denied that he raped a 13 year old Chiclet and that he had a Pixie Stix (ewwww).

      Let's hope this Rocky Road doesn't end in an Atomic Fireball.

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    17. I tend to think Mr. Goodbar, with his Jelly Belly, is a bit of a Milk Dud who likes it when Sugar Daddy can entice Baby Ruth with his Wax Lips in order to get her to Blow Pops.

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    18. In other words the Big Hunk is really just a Cry Baby who is no Groovy Pops but more of a Swedish Fish.

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  25. Well, I knew eventually I would solve the puzzle. And the answer is not Snipper.

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    1. If I have the intended answer, I have never tried the food, and the person has only been extremely peripherally "in the news."
      I kind of hope that Willy the Short has a better answer for us.

      Some post-solution discussion resembles the poker game I mentioned before, the island of boys also referenced and more recently a famous campfire comes to mind.

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  26. I still have no idea what the answer is. Unfortunately, searching for Names in the News, or anything similar just gets a bunch of celebrity hooey.

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    1. Curtis, try the following thought: if I were you going back to a very old Tweet might put you in the right state of mind.

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  28. T minus 7 days (appr.) and counting, no more political commercials on TV and no more robocalls either!

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  29. Wow, I finally got it! All of your "clues" so far helped point me in the right direction, but none were a real give-away. I kept wanting the popular food to be other one this company has. With a very similar name, and also containing a doubled-letter. A lot of your hints made sense for this other food, but PC's clue from Sunday did not. Then it finally hit me....

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  30. p.s. I've never heard of this person before.

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  31. Replies
    1. Gaack! Sorry about the uncommanded triple posting. One tau is enough, you know.

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  34. T minus 6 days (appr.) and counting, no more political commercials on TV and no more robo-calls either!
    (Do not interpret this as a robo-countdown)

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  35. 5-25, so sorry to pipe up so late. Excellent job, Maggie. Why is Peggy a nickname for Margaret?

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    1. I didn't know Margaret went by Maggie. . .

      Dental cleaning today; smiling with my pearly whites.

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    2. zeke,
      Because it is softer than Butch.

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    3. Everything's coming full circle yet again!

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    4. I think you Pegged it this time, jan.

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    5. And back to Pearl, again. It's a Möbius strip of endless looping.

      {RIP, Vine.}

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  36. Ah, you guys are always joking around.

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  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I'd be willing to bet Ben's comment made more sense than many on this page; but that may just be "the blessing of ignorance" speaking.

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    2. Ben Rz, does this mean the answer smacked you between your ocular orbs as soon as you posted?

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    3. Ben: Not sure why you removed your post. The person in question is very obscure and not really in the news.
      This late in the week is not worth going insane: look for a Trump opponent.

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    4. Mendo Jim:

      The simple rules apply to you too. Please respect them. Thanks.

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    5. Me, too. Especially since Ben Rz removed his post.

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    6. Gee, do those all mean what I think they mean?

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    7. If you think they mean you should delete your Wed 5:09 pm post, then yes.

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    8. Mendo Jim,
      I have no idea what you think, or if you really do think, but what I do know is that if you cannot control yourself enough to follow Blaine's simple rule then you are not welcome here.

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    9. sdb: I am reminded of a claim you made around the time you huffed off from Magdalen's blog.

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  38. @Paul, we're not prone to making sense since this blog should never lead anyone to the answer. Our mission is to be vague and somewhat humorous.

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    1. Well, later on today I hope to be cursed with the knowledge of the underlying meaning of the thread that began with 5-25, as well as the specific contents of Ben's comment.

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    2. Blessings and curses have limits. Grace is transcendent.

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    3. Blessings and curses have limits. Grace is transcendent.

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    4. McMULLIN and McMUFFIN

      After discarding JELLO and JEKKO, the clown, and MULLing it over, I got to the intended answer.

      "Top 'O the evening to you. Happy to have the answer this Halloween night." refers to MUFFIN TOPS and HAPPY MEALS.

      "Go west, young man!" to Curtis refers to our mutual western neighbor, Utah, where David Evan McMULLIN is making a concerted run for the U.S. Presidency.

      "tau" was another nod to Utah, even though the pronunciation is different.

      "Pearly Whites" refers to Pearl White, an actress in the 1914 "The Perils of Pauline," who was an early user of the MacGUFFIN plot device, which she named "weenies." Oh, how things circle back, eh?

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    5. And of course my calling you a ham referred to the original ingredient in the Egg McMuffin, before bacon found it's own place in the food pyramid.

      You rightly responded to the round shape of the entire weird creation.

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    6. eco, I was also alluding to the name Margaret deriving from "Pearl."

      Since I have a Maizie (from Margaret) pup and she is a gem, I knew about the word origin. One of her best doggie friends was Daisy (linking to Marguerite!)

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    7. All this and Maizie too, is Margaret the Genghis Khan of female names?

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  39. Evan McMullin > Egg McMuffin

    My hint:
    “I feel sorry for anyone who eats these things; the very thought makes me ill, but I guess some people just dive right in.” A bit of a double entendre so I won’t elaborate.

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    1. I find the concept appetizing. I can't speak to the store's actual rendition, however.

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  40. I wrote, "Is this all some sort of Hitchcockian plot?" This was a pun on "McGuffin," the key to the plot (often insignificant in itself, like the uranium ore in _Notorious_) on which Hitchcock said he would pin the action and the characters' involvements within his films. ---Rob

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    1. SDB, you do realize that if you run for office in the future, The Seattle Times will find this hint of yours and Trump your campaign with it.

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    2. GB:
      My running for office days are over and done with although I was always successful when I ran for Precinct Officer. As for the Seattle Times, they have printed many of my letters over the years, but I no longer send them to that paper since they cut back on publishing our letters. I long for the days when we had two daily papers before the Times spoiled it for us all.

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    3. All that is probably true, but there is one virtue of the Seattle Times to which I can attest. It runs Gil Thorp on the comic pages. I have been an avid Gil fan since my youth. The local paper here doesn't publish it. But, the Seattle Times posts the daily strip even before it is on the official website. Those were the days, SDB. Gil Thorp, Chip Hilton, and all those REAL, if not quite real, heroes.

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  41. I used the word 'nerds' in my first comment. That, together with the Halloween candy map linked to by WW, constituted a hint. I don't know if it was intentional on her part or not. It wasn't on mine.

    Over in Legoland, I alluded to Tobias [to bias] Jesso, Jr., a reasonable solution, I think, because he was chosen as one of Rolling Stone's top 20 breakout artists of 2015. Over there, I also hinted at Sully [defile] Suddenberger, a ludicrous answer, which I felt led too directly to the intended solution.
    Deciding what information leads too directly to the solution, what is a reasonable hint or marker, and what is mere extraneous jibberish, is sometimes not a simple matter. PC's citations are illuminating in this regard. Last week I did flagrantly violate one of Blaine's special rules, which was actually simpler than his longstanding general rules. I apologized for that, but not profusely. I tried not to get defensive.
    Am I free to go?

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    1. Paul, as to the map, it was intentional, though I tried to deflect to WA and CA.

      As to your last longish paragraph, I am lost.

      As to Ben Rz's comment here it is as he doesn't seem to have returned yet:

      "I have been listening to the puzzle for years now, and I don't know this for the life of me. The western states is the only real hint that is prominent in mind. I am going to go insane!"

      zeke creek, what was 5-25 all about?

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  42. (Evan) MCMULLIN -> McMUFFIN

    > This is a candidate for Will's annual year-end new names in the news list.

    "This is a candidate" was a hint.

    > Blaine's posting makes me think he didn't have the answer.

    I don't think he'd have chosen pictures of the two major party candidates if he had.

    > Last day of Oktoberfest, too. I'll raise a stein to that!

    Jill Stein is another third-party candidate for President this year. (Third? With Clinton, Trump, Stein, McMullin, and Gary Johnson, we're up to five thirds, at least. Even Click and Clack had only three halves of their show.)

    > As Tom Magliozzi might say: BOOOOOGUS!

    I couldn't get away with saying, "What a Kroc, Ray!"

    > I predict this name will soon be passing out of memory, quickly fading.

    It'll be Evanescent.

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    1. And I thought Blaine's clue was the picture of the candidates. Blaine?

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    2. WW, if my interpretation is correct, I think Jan's point is that if Blaine had known the answer before posting he might have considered the image caption to have a spoiler effect—much like the effect of an Evan McMullin candidacy.

      FiveThirtyEight now projects Hillary has less than a two-thirds chance of winning, and it keeps dropping. Can someone turn on a light? It's getting dark in here.

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    3. Or, PC, Blaine may have thought McMULLIN was far enough off most people's radar to consider it a veiled hint. I guess we'll wait to hear straight from Blaine.

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    4. Way back on Sunday, I thought maybe jan meant that Blaine had posted early, i.e., before having his McMuffin.

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    5. Ah, lots of 'splaining to do. . .

      I am also curious how many posters knew of David Evan McMullin before the puzzle.

      Maybe we should take a poll. . .

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    6. I'd heard a little of him, then read how we could have a President McMullin. Big step from Mayor McCheese.

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    7. Yes, I read that article also. Quite a wild, but not impossible, scenario!

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    8. I had read about his candidacy before Sunday, but I just looked at his picture again in light of the various 'egghead' comments on this page, and realized SDB's 'Butch' comment was not entirely adolescent wisecracking.

      Another thought occurs to me. Is Will Shortz guilty of election tampering with this 'October surprise' of his? Seriously.

      Still waiting for zeke to 'splain 5-25.

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    9. I knew about McMullin. He had been mentioned numerous times, including interviews, on NPR, but I did not pay attention to his name, and had to look it up to solve the puzzle. I am not sure which is creepier, him or the food item.

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    10. Also, ecoarchitect's change of profile picture is a fairly obvious hint because Thomas' is a popular brand of English Muffin. [We still love ya', Tommy Boy!]

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  43. I wrote: "try the following thought: if I were you going back to a very old Tweet might put you in the right state"

    The original Tweety Bird often said "I tawt I taw a puddy tat". Swapping "I" for "you" changes "I taw" to "You taw" a homophone for Utah, McMullin's home state and only viable election chance.

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  44. Anyone else willing to admit they never heard of the dude, "in the news" or otherwise?
    BTW, he is not just a Trump opponent as my flagrant giveaway suggested.

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  45. I was thinking (Brad) Pitt and (Mr.) Pibb soda, but it's not exactly popular in many areas.

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  46. A of people had some good clues here. I responded to PC's comment, regarding the first name of the food having double letters. By saying Vincent Price would have agreed exactly, I was alluding to V Price's role as 'Egg Head' on 'Batman'. He was always replacing the 'ex' sound on different words with the 'egg...' sound. I didn't want to be too obvious though.

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  48. The hint I removed, if I remember correctly, said that this person has at least two things in common with Mitt Romney.
    I was thinking that they are both Mormons and are both Republicans (until McMullin became an Independent Party candidate this year). I guess they both also ran for president.

    LegoWhoApologizesForHisBeanSpilling(ThereIsEggMcMuffinOnHisFace!)

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  49. I sure wasted time trying to make a Halloween candy connection out of this.

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  50. The first McDonald's-approved Egg McMuffin was served in Belleville, NJ, but Jerseyans were eating pork roll, egg, and American cheese sandwiches for breakfast long before that. A long-running North-vs-South civil war in the state concerns the nomenclature of "pork roll" versus "Taylor ham". I forget which side I'm supposed to be on.

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  51. @jan - I hate the stuff myself, but here in Bergen County (sorry, I forget where you are) it is definitely "Taylor ham."

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    1. Is this stuff anything like 'Spam'? I hope not.

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    2. 68Charger,
      Them's fightin' words! I live in Minnesota, the source of Spam. It is a staple gun of out diet... along with venison and bear meat.

      LegoSays"TryIt!It'sSpamalicious!"

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    3. Treet is cheaper and tastes better, in my opinion.

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    4. Lego, do you Minnesotans like Spam a lot? ;-)

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    5. Lego - I Remember the day I left a can of Spam on the front seat of my car while I went to the hardware store. When I came back out I found the car had been broken into. Someone pried their way in and left another can of Spam next to it!

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    6. Lego - I Remember the day I left a can of Spam on the front seat of my car while I went to the hardware store. When I came back out I found the car had been broken into. Someone pried their way in and left another can of Spam next to it!

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    7. A reworking of the old accordion joke.

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    8. Squeeze play: Not just for the World Series anymore.

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    9. How do you know when your bagpipes need tuning? [A reworking of the old sour cream joke.]

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  53. (Evan)McMULLIN, (egg)McMUFFIN
    My thanks to Legolambda. Great clue!

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  54. My clue "exactly" pronounced eggactly.

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