Sunday, November 27, 2016

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 27, 2016): Sporty Actress

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 27, 2016): Sporty Actress:
Q: Take the first name of a famous actress. Drop a letter. Rearrange what's left, and you'll get a word used in a particular sport. This actress's last name, without any changes, is another word used in the same sport. What actress is it?
Sorry to drop the ball, but I've got nothing.

Edit: As others have noted, a similar version of this puzzle was presented in March 2007 - Best S'porting Actress. As for me, I guess I just threw a gutter ball this week. :)
A: KIRSTIE ALLEY --> STRIKE, ALLEY

126 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. Exchange "famous actress" to "famous female fictional character", follow the same instructions, and you'll get two additional words used in this sport.

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    1. An ARCHER shoots at targets on straw BALES. ISABEL ARCHER, The Portrait of a Lady.

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  3. I have two answers and it's not DIAL a HUNT (Linda Hunt).

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    1. No, no, no. You HUNT animals on LAND (Linda Hunt).

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    2. I thought you NAIL animals on a HUNT.

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    3. HEEL 'n' HUNT are two commands you might give to your dog.

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    4. I've got an answer that involves a different hunt, neither Linda nor Helen. But I don't think this is the answer Will intended, another repeat of an old puzzle.

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    5. I was going to post regarding Helen Hunt, but I see Paul already mentioned it. What a savvy fellow. My regards.

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  4. Replies
    1. Oops! I could say that I was dropping a letter to match the puzzle, but it was just a typo.

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  5. I tried and tried; I cannot see anything but dead ends. ---Rob

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Not happy with my first clue--I like this more.

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  8. I was happy to get an honorable mention this week.

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    Replies
    1. Kudos, Curtis!

      The on-air player was excellent today.

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  9. Not to split hairs but this puzzle with slightly different wording was used before.

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  10. One of this actress's better known roles came from a series that started out as a bit of sleeper, but became a hit after a season or two. The actress has also appeared in one of Shatner's shows/films.

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    Replies
    1. Curtis, I think this goes too far. These guys like their hints obscure...

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    2. Well, if our Blog Master deems it too obvious, then he will delete it, and I will gladly accept his decision. I could have made much more obvious clues, as many series have started slowly and built audiences. And, Shatner has worked with possibly hundreds of actresses during his 50+ year career.

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  11. I am seriously bummed that my conundrum wasn't even picked for an honorable mention:

    What's the difference between a lumberjack and a puzzle that confounds the puzzler?"

    "One will short stumps while the other stumps Will Shortz.

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    Replies
    1. Very clever, Unknown. I'll bet Will loved it too, but nixed it only because this usage of the transitive verb "short" is not sufficiently common. My Merriam Webster's 10th Edition, for example, lists only "short-circuit" and "shortchange, cheat" as definitions.

      Also, my hearty congrats to Curtis on his honorable mention.

      Also, my hint to this week's answer: A former governor of the State Badger.

      LegoBelievesThatCurtisWasWorthyButUnknownWasShortzChanged!

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    2. Not sure how to make my name different from unknown. Ah, well, we all love a mystery.

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    3. Speaking of stumps, I still haven't gotten today's puzzle.

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  12. My clue: Neiman Marcus.

    Will Shortz and Mike Reiss, writer/producer for The Simpsons, seem to have a thing for actress puzzles (and name dropping).

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    Replies
    1. Ah yes, good ol' Needless Markups. Used to go to the one in Copley Place back in the 80's, before the bubble burst.

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  13. Another puzzle NOT about actresses:

    Name a scientist whose first name is a 3-syllable word made of two typically female first names (minus an a) and whose last name is a 2-syllable word made of two male names.

    Hint: One of the male names has been in the news of late.

    Happy hinting!

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    Replies
    1. Not sure if I have your intended answer, Word Woman, but here is a hint for what I think it might be:
      Shoulda won a Nobel? Elementary!

      LegoSaysHel..eck!ScientistsLikeThisAre,UnlikeTHatNewNobelWinner,ForeverYoung

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    2. Yes, Lego, you and I are on the same wavelength!

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  14. I am confident I have the intended answer, but again I am not particularly enamored with the puzzle.

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    Replies
    1. Again, as in my being frequently displeased with the puzzle offerings.

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    2. Don't be cross, SDB, it's a perfect puzzle for the start of the Christmas season and all the spirit that brings!

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    3. Ah, the Tsar Chasm was too great this time.

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    4. But I was trying to be Christlike. I seem to remember he was first cross when he encountered money-changers at the temple.

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  15. Certainly there were other puzzles that were on the list that could have been used.

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  16. Is fox hunting considered a sport and would the FOX be considered a GAME animal (Megan Fox)?

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    Replies
    1. That's what I sent in to NPR, along with the original answer.

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    2. I noticed that one too, but game is not a fox hunting term. Apparently the Brits just don't enjoy eating fox, but prefer kidney pie instead.

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    3. I considered hunting to be the sport. Some hunters hunt game animals or birds, some hunt fox.

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    4. Yes, fox hunting is a sport, but since they do not eat the prey it's not considered game. In other words, it is not a game animal. You will not find game listed on a glossary of fox hunting terms.

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    5. One of my terms can be used for another game that is not the intended answer.

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  17. Bonus Puzzle: Name a famous actress, change one letter in her name, and the result is something a happy fan of a sport might do.

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    Replies
    1. Nice bristlecone pine image, eco. Were you among them over the holiday?

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    2. Excellent sussing, WW. I took that pic several years ago at Great Basin NP, in balmy August. I suspect the bristlecone groves in Nevada, Utah and California are pretty chilly, and may be inaccessible this time of year.

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    3. My first trip among bristelcones was to Inyo National Forest, CA, with a dendrochronology class from U of AZ over a Thanksgiving. We were in the presence of Methuselah, now 4848 years old. The sky was that blue on the day we met.

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    4. Yes, those high altitude skies are an amazing blue.
      Did they point out which one was Methuselah? I've been told the rangers know but don't disclose lest someone vandalize. Sadly Great Basin had Prometheus, that was even older, but was cut down years ago to count the rings, or something. I think there's one in Inyo that's now known to be even older, >5000 years.

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    5. Yes, our professor showed us Methuselah. No sign on it in order to protect it. Very unassuming, "unimpressive" tree, except we could all feel the ancient one's resilience and perseverance.

      Indeed, they have found an even older one. . .We took cores (about the diameter of a pencil) when we were there. Generally coring can be used for dating without hurting the tree. Too bad about Prometheus, though.

      There is a wonderful bristlecone grove at the end of Hell's Hole Trail on the backside of Grey Wolf Mountain, CO. I've not seen evidence of coring there, as yet.

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  18. In wargaming, your ally (add an S) is by your side on the field of battle.

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    Replies
    1. This person is one of my answers, but the sport is different.

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  19. Diane Lane is an actress. Swimmers swim in lanes. A niad (alternative spelling of "naiad") is a mythical swimmer.

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  20. In curling, you've got to ame (add m) your stone carefully. (Sorry!)

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  21. I hope this Chrome stuff is not hexavalent and will do more than get me here.

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    Replies
    1. Don't drink the water, Mendo Jim.

      Glad you got here all right, though.

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  22. Replies
    1. I was referring to Blaine's picture of Lucille Ball. Lucy was a celebrity panelist, along with Dick Martin, when Kirstie Alley was a contestant on Password Plus. Look it up on YouTube; I don't have the link handy at the moment.

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  23. So it's safe to say everybody knows her name? I suddenly have a strange craving for fettuccini for some reason. Good to get honorable mention, BTW. Good to get any mention, actually.

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    1. Congrats on your double honorable mentions, patjberry. The ever-prescient Lego did indeed predict that you would either win, place (runners-up), or show (honorable mentions). And what you did was again show that you are a star at these two-week creative challenges.

      LegoWhoBelievesThat"HonorableMention"SoundsMoreMajesticTHan"RunnerUp"(asIn"AlsoRan")

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    2. Let's hope for our sakes the honorable mentions weren't listed in order of honor.

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    3. I do hate to mention it, but my entries were at the very bottom of the list!

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  24. My gut feeling is that there will be quite a few correct entries. It's interesting that the first word can pertain to more than one sport as can the second. And I like Will's seasonal touch (presumably unintended).

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  25. Finally got it! I was actually in her house once.

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    1. Did you get away before the cops arrived?

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    2. HA. No, a friend of mine in L.A. worked for some high end dishware and ceramic company, and we were delivering items to her home in Encino that were meant for a second home she was building. The bullish assistant named Rebecca and a huge mastiff or something similar came out to greet us among her famous flower garden. She wasn't going to allow us inside, so I said I needed to use the bathroom, and she let me into Parker Stevenson's small bathroom near the front foyer. I snuck a peak around and saw the various Emmys from Cheers and photos. Long time ago!

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  26. One actress, same two words and two different sports.

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    Replies
    1. Lorenzo, thanks for pointing that out.

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  27. aw man! This is really hard!

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  28. I have an answer that that works but makes the whole thing kind of disappointing: one of those where I hope the Willster has a better one.

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    1. Yeah, MJ, Will set the bar pretty low on this one.

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    2. Not sure why, but when I got the answer the first thing I thought was, "I wonder if, while reading the puzzle on the air, Will used air quotes when he said the word actress".

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  29. I still like my first answer - the one I am now certain isn't Will's, better.

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  30. Yes, this puzzle was used before. Just found the site.

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    1. I once pondered this actress's name and its possible use in a cryptic crossword clue, using the same sport and about the same anagram idea. Actually I may have thought of using her first name as the answer, with her last name in the clue.

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  31. This puzzle reminds me of an old Proverb:
    "Man who fall in vat of molten glass make spectacle of himself."

                           Bo Ling
                           710  AD

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    Replies
    1. Your post reminds me of lots of those old jokes, but it also reminds me of a news story I heard July 8, 2009 on NPR while I was at work. I only heard it once, but it stuck and it caused me to make up a joke immediately after hearing the story. It was about a 29 year old temp worker at a New Jersey chocolate factory who fell into a vat of chocolate and died. I thought it rather strange for a candy company to make a candy bar that large with only two nuts.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. That's good and what a way to go! I wonder if it happened on Pay-Day! Wait, that wouldn't work. I wonder if his name was Hank and when they couldn't find him they all shouted "Oh Henry!".

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    4. Jan, that was good too! I still remember when CBS canceled their show, that sure made me mad!

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  32. "In boxing and kickboxing, the timekeeper shall STRIKE the BELL to signify the beginning and ending of each round". Kristen Bell

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  33. Reading through the comments, I see Jan has already pointed out that this puzzle is a repeat. I thought it sounded familiar, so I googled NPR Puzzle [actress name]. Sure enough, this puzzle was used several years ago with different wording.

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    1. Based on hints from others, I'm pretty sure I have the answer. However, that google thing you mention doesn't work for me. We'll have to wait til Thurs to see your answer.

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    2. It worked for me, though it wasn't the top Google answer, it was #3.

      Forgive us WW our Google ways, we have been assimilated.

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    3. Ah, eco, I suppose I can still stand beside you Assimilated Googlers, although Duckduckgo.com gets there as the top DDG answer.

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    4. I did a search with the actress's name on this blog site and it came up right away.

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  34. Do you suppose that since my answer does not appear on either search engine that I might have a different one?

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    Replies
    1. KIRSTIE (- I = STRIKE) ALLEY

      "My clue: Neiman Marcus." referred to LeRoy Neiman who painted "Lucky Strike," likely the most famous bowling painting. Also, a STRIKE is your mark on the bowling tab sheet.

      "Lorenzo, thanks for pointing that out." refers to a STRIKE out (in baseball).

      "Yeah, MJ, Will set the BAR pretty low on this one." >>> as in the tv show "Cheers."

      "Ah, eco, I suppose I can still stand beside you Assimilated Googlers, although Duckduckgo.com gets there as the top DDG answer. " >>> "Stand beside" refers to an ALLY.


      *********************************************



      My non-actress puzzle:

      Name a scientist whose first name is a 3-syllable word made of two typically female first names (minus an a) and whose last name is a 2-syllable word made of two male names.

      Hint: One of the male names has been in the news of late.

      ROSALIND FRANKLIN , the chemist who took the first extraordinary images of the double helix structure of DNA (Do Not Ask, ;-) per Lorenzo).

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  35. Replies
    1. I wrote, "I tried and tried; I cannot see anything but dead ends." I was hinting at a "blind [I cannot see] alley." ---Rob

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    2. Famous actress!? Never even heard of her.

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  36. Courtney Love > Tourney & Love

    My hint: “I am confident I have the intended answer, but again I am not particularly enamored with the puzzle.” Enamored is a synonym for love.

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    Replies
    1. I was wondering if someone would mistake my "I've got nothing" clue as a hint to Courtney Love.

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    2. Yeah, I did, but only after I found my answer. Having never even heard the name of the other actress before, I would never have solved it if that is the intended answer. I don't even watch the BS Academy Awards.

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    3. Yes, I did also. Not terribly important, but I think Will should accept both answers.

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  37. My first answer was Courtney Love. Delete the “C” from her first name and rearrange the remaining letters to get Tourney. Love is the term for zero in a Tennis Tourney.

    Will's intended answer is probably Kirstie Alley. Delete an “i” from her first name and rearrange the remaining letters to get strike. Strike and alley being bowling terms.

    The fictional character fitting the same clue is Lois Lane. Delete an “L” from her first name and rearrange the remaining letters to get oil. The lane in a bowling alley is coated with oil.

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  38. Other clues that would have been kiboshed:

    Cheers!

    Science and Culture (referring to the cult of Scientology)

    Courtney Love seems like a reasonable answer, though I think of her more as a musician than an actress.

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    Replies
    1. That makes me wonder if l'chaim would have been acceptable...

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  39. I figured Will's intended answer is Kirstie Alley, but I never submit so I don't really care. I clued:

    "Don't be cross [X marks a strike in bowling], SDB, it's a perfect [strike is perfect] puzzle for the start of the Christmas [X-mas] season and all the spirit [Cheers!] that brings!

    I also had Courtney --->tourney but thought was a bit of a stretch. Besides, Kirstie Alley is a repeat puzzle, so it must be right!

    Bonus puzzle: Name a famous actress, change one letter in her name, and the result is something a happy fan of a sport might do.

    Answer: Win-on-a R(y)ider, as in horse racing.

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  40. While stretching don't forget Megan Fox. Game and Fox, both quarries, are words relating to the sport of hunting. Too much of an un-PC sport for consideration?

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    Replies
    1. Scroll up to see that posed last Sunday around 1:00 pm.

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    2. Not so outlandish, or a stretch, after all. The NRA lives!!

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  41. 1st answer: COURTNEY LOVE

    I am going to a tennis TOURNEY where I intend to TROUNCE my 1st opponent 6-LOVE, 6-LOVE.



    2nd answer: SALLY FIELD

    Roman gladiators
    SLAY professional combatants on a FIELD of battle.

    And 3rd, the Henry Hook (not Mike Reiss) rerun: KRISTIE ALLEY.
    Bowl a STRIKE in a bowling ALLEY:

    Challenge from March 11, 2007: Take a six-letter word used in a certain sport. Add the letter "I." Re-arrange the resulting seven letters to spell the first name of a famous actress.
    This actress's last name, in five letters, identifies the place where the sport is played. Who is the actress and what is the sports term?
    Answer: Kirstie Alley, Strike, Bowling
    Winner: Joseph DeVincentis from Salem, Mass.

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    Replies
    1. Roman Gladiators. Now there was a game. Reminds me of a song:

      Rome! Rome! in its time;
      With that crazy SPQR sign.
      Where seldom is heard an encouraging word;
      And the lions devour Christians all day.

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  42. Now I know why the google thing didn't work. I thought for sure it was Courtney Love. Blaine's "nothing" clue certainly worked for this answer, as well as SDB's "enamored" clue. Sigh....

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for pointing out how well Blaine's "Nothing" comment fit Ms. Love. It seemed perfect confirmation.

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  43. My hint: "A former governor of the State Badger."
    Anthony Earl was a governor of Wisconsin, the Badger State.
    Earl Anthony
    was an excellent pro bowler.
    All my hint really revealed was that bowling is the sport in question. I bet Will will accept Love and Tourney/Courtney Love also, however.

    On tomorrow morning's Puzzleria!, we will be running puzzles galore that Rip Off Shortz's puzzle.

    LegoNotesThatTheKingOfPopSangBillieJean

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  44. The only thing that makes my Courtney Love answer better than the other is that I have heard of her.
    Combine a Will Shortz "famous" identifier with an anagram and you can pretty much count me out.
    Throw in Mike Reiss and you have a strike out, so to speak.

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  45. KIRSTIE ALLEY, STRIKE, ALLEY(bowling)
    My hints referred to the Cheers theme(Where Everybody Knows Your Name), and her love of fettuccini in a past Jenny Craig ad.

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  46. What about when there's a TIE score during a game of POLO (Teri Polo)?

    p.s. Why do I have to keep proving I'm not a robot? Is this a Trump thing?

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    Replies
    1. 11thplace, we haven't had to do that for a long time. Maybe it is DT.

      Teri Polo is as good as the rest of our answers.

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    2. CAPTCHA? As Palin would say, You betcha! Thanks, Obama.

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  47. Sally Field, hunting, slay field.

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  48. Puzzleria! is up and better than ever. Twenty-one puzzles, including 19 really good ones composed by PlannedChaos. Among these 19 are 7 that fans of David Sedaris ought to truly enjoy.

    Just click on "Joseph Young's Puzzleria" in Blaine's PUZZLE LINKS in the upper-right margin of this wonderful blog.

    LegoTalkPrettyShamelesslyOneFriday(AndEveryFriday)

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  49. I went with Kirstie Alley. My clues - gut feeling for gutter; Will's seasonal touch was that in bowling you can get a "turkey" with three strikes in a row.

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  50. Next week's challenge: This challenge may sound impossible, but there's a good answer. Think of a common two-word phrase, in seven letters, that has two R's in the middle. And "in the middle" means exactly in the middle. What phrase is it?

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  51. Best case, this puzzle involves a silly gimmick.

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  52. The best I can figure is that the Puzzle Train has come off the rails! :>)

    (I was disappointed that Will didn't mention Courtney Love.)

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