Sunday, January 08, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 8, 2017): The Cat's Away...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 8, 2017): The Cat's Away...

I'm unable to post the puzzle this week, but I didn't want to leave you without a place to post comments on the puzzle. Somebody help me out by posting a copy here. Then feel free to add your *hints*.

Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any outright spoilers 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. Thank you.

Update:
Q: Think of a two-word phrase you might see on a clothing label. Add two letters to the end of the first word, and one letter to the end of the second word. The result is the name of a famous writer. Who is it?
A: VIRGIN WOOL --> VIRGINIA WOOLF

150 comments:

  1. Next week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from Mike Reiss, who's a writer/producer for The Simpsons. He's had a number of challenges on this program. Think of a two-word phrase you might see on a clothing label. Add two letters to the end of the first word, and one letter to the end of the second word. The result is the name of a famous writer. Who is it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. All I can think of is Margaret Atwood's story of bespoke formal wear, "The Hand Made Tails".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ... or Louisa May Al(l)cott(on).

      Delete
  3. Was that Jan on the show this morning?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it was a 16-year old with the same answer I posted here.

      Delete
    2. . . .And her teacher was on the air as well.

      They noted "100 different word squares" were received. I wonder if they meant 100 entries were received.

      Delete
  4. The answer makes me think of two states, one of which is Florida. ---Rob

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  5. Reminds me of a line from the Gospel of Matthew.

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    Replies
    1. Beautiful hint, jan.
      Reminds me of my first car, a 1954 model with mechanical blinkers.

      LegoWondersWhatAnyoneWouldNeedASemiForWhenTheyCouldInsteadDriveAFuelEfficientNonGasGuzzler

      Delete
  6. A lot of free time last week by not working the challenge; same this week by solving within minutes.
    I have known a "Milan" ("Mikey") for years; family was from Flint, quite close to Sandusky.

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  7. Not the first time the puzzle made me cry until I solved it.

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  8. About a 'nickel back' from Five Below.

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  9. Laundry label: "Remove child before folding" by Lowe Heath.

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    Replies
    1. Error, the author was Noah Heath.

      Delete
  10. Blainesvillians,

    FIRST: thanks to Word Woman for posting this week's puzzle.

    SECOND: This week's NPR puzzle by Mike Reiss is a good one. Mike has a talent for composing Will-worthy puzzles. Thanks to Mike.

    THIRD: Below is a sneak preview of a Ripping Off Shortz puzzle I will be including on this coming Friday’s Puzzleria! blog.
    If you solve it, please do not reveal your answer here, but wait until Wednesday, January 18 at 3 PM EST to post your answer on the Puzzleria! Comments Section.
    But feel free at any time to give hints that do not give the answer away.
    Thank you.

    Ripping Off Shortz And Reiss Slice:
    Two words on a label? Please solve if you’re able!

    Think of a two-word phrase you might see on a clothing label. Only the first letter of the first word is in uppercase. Scrunch together the first two letters of the second word, forming one new letter. Remove a letter from the second word. Scrunch together the first word and the altered second word, eliminating the space between them and forming the last name of a famous writer best known as a poet.
    Who is it?

    LegoWhoIsAlwaysLookingForTheOnionLabel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trying to apply Google Image result for "scrunch" to this.

      Delete
    2. This reminds me of that famous author Don O'Tiron, or that popular TV sitcom Everybody Loves Rayon.

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    3. Meet the Permanent Press? In the Heat of the Nylon? Silk Stalkings is too easy.

      Delete
    4. Paul,
      1668? Yes. 1668!
      Mendo Jim,
      Thanks (I think). I guess I'll have to stop using the word "scrunch" in my puzzles.
      PlannedChaos,
      ...And: Cagney and Lace-y; T'Weeds; Firing Linen; Everbody Lycramond; M*E*S*H; Chino and the Man;
      The name of the coffeeshop in "Friends" was "Central Percale."
      And let us not forget our other televised presidential campaign in which the winner did not win: Al vs. Dubya, or Gore-Tex.

      LegoLame(WhoCouldNotFigureOutHowToPutThatLittleAccentyDoohickeyOverThe"e"ButThat'sProbablyOkayBecause"LegoLame"AlsoMakesPerfectlyFineSenseSansAccent!)

      Delete

  11. Although I solved this one while still in bed imagine the hours of fun others may be in for. No kidding man.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Don’t know about any others here, but I solved this backwards: first the writer, then the two-word phrase.

    Got all the clues above (that I know of) except one. I have said before that sometimes figuring out the clues is harder than figuring out the puzzle.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm certainly not afraid of solving this one. As I remember growing up, Benny Hill noticed the same thing about this writer, whose name was referenced in a movie title. Benny simply satirized the CinemaScope method of putting the opening credits way too close on the screen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would give you a punch bug punch if I could. I think you are giving away too much with your clues.

      Delete
    2. Benny Hill - Good at heaving a heavy body.

      Delete
  14. Lego, I came up with an answer to your poet puzzle, but am not totally sure it's THE right one...but it meets all the criteria. I tried to do a 'reply' right under your post, but the icon refused to let me, so I had to post down here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. VT,
      I'll wager you have the intended answer. Paul's "1668" hint, in his post above, was on the money.
      The writer/poet in my answer had a cousin who was also no literary slouch.

      LegoWhoHopesThatMendoJimWillNotNowTryToApplyTheGooglSearchImageResultFor"Slouch"

      Delete
  15. I wonder what George and Martha Washington would be thinking about the next First Couple?

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  16. Think of a three-word phrase that might be proudly displayed on a clothing label. Remove four letters from inside the phrase to name a fictional character in one word. The letters that were removed, when reversed, name a type of antelope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MADE IN USA. Remove INUS and reverse SUNI, a type of antelope. This leaves MADEA, a fictional character.

      Delete
    2. …or you could just post the answer. I didn't think I had to restate proper etiquette every time.

      Delete
    3. Etiquette? Sounds French; I don't like it. Does it have anything to do with respect, decency, or politeness? I don't like them either. Just give me my damn crown, already!

      Delete
    4. @PC - it's 2017, you have ask yourself WWTD?

      Delete
  17. Is sdb looking forward to Labor Day Weekend? I wonder about this sort of thing.

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  18. Im extremely fearful of this puzzle, anyone else?

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  19. Poor Meryl Streep. All she wants is to be tweeted with respect.

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    Replies
    1. I think she's Prada herself for getting the lifetime achievement award. Reading between the lines of her speech, it sounded like she's not a big Trump supporter. Hard to tell.

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    2. I suspect she will not be invited on Celebrity Apprentice this year.

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    3. Just wondering if the ratings for Celeb. Apprentice will drop even lower tonight? Maybe Trump will then take his name off the credits.

      Delete
  20. Are cremations a match made in Heaven?

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    Replies
    1. They have an ash don't tell policy.

      Delete
    2. Tomorrow I'm attending a free sales pitch at a local pizza joint with a free lunch. The company offering this presentation is a cremation outfit trying to get me to prepay. I suspect they want to keep me from making a grave mistake. I do agree with them that graveside services can be a real letdown. If I decide to go along with their program I expect an environmental discount as I am a nonsmoker.

      Delete
    3. I hate to see my lifelong efforts go up in smoke.

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    4. On the other hand the cemetery, just one block from my house, offers a very down to earth lay away program and they are shovel ready.

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    5. As far as some of those already in heaven, they got there the old fashioned way, they urned it!

      Delete
    6. Seriously though, one drawback to cremation is what to do with the ashes. If you store them in one of those freestanding Columbariums, there is not a good way to leave flowers or things like that. This assumes, of course, that you are not the 'departed'.

      Delete
    7. I am not interested in that BS. I want mine dumped in Puget Sound or up in the mountains. No one brings me flowers now while I am still here, so why would I appreciate them when I won't be able to appreciate them? Now, a bottle of good Scotch, well that's another matter.

      Cremation is popular in my state, but looked down on in some others, although that is changing I understand. It can be a rather heated issue.

      I don't want my family members making any decisions about the disposal of my body after I depart. After all I am the one with skin in the game.

      I have no problem with my death. I certainly would not want to spend the rest of my life here in this debacle.

      Delete
    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    9. Will cremation ever replace the pomp and solemnity of a funeral, particularly one with an open casket? "Remains to be seen," opined the funeral director.

      Delete
  21. I am more than a little bit concerned about confirmation hearings on the Trump cabinet nominees when they have not yet been vetted. I mean, come on, all my house pets were vetted!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “Donald Trump may be running for president. He said he's sick and tired of the rest of the world laughing at the United States. Well, President Trump will certainly put an end to that!”― David Letterman

      Delete
    2. I wish I were in charge of vetting the Trump "rat pack" cabinet. If I were I would immediately have them all put down. Far, far too late for rabies shots to help.

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    3. No offense meant to the dogs.

      Delete
  22. I'm turning 74 in ten days, and I've noticed worsening memory problems over the last few years...friends say everyone gets this, but as an old doc, of course I worry it's early dementia !...it took a while, but I think I finally did get the answer ( even though I never read anything by this author ) ....I am NOT WILLING to give up just yet !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I'm pushing 72, and when I think I may be on the cusp of experiencing memory decline, well I just forget about it.

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    2. Big Ron, Would Lobotomy put you in a position to feel better about your solution? I'm older and clearly demented.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. As I get ready to turn 69, my comment is that loss of memory is the second sign of advancing age. My problem is that I can't remember what the first one was.

      Delete

      Delete
    5. Can you try to remember where you last put it?

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    6. No.
      I also spend more time thinking about the hereafter. As in, after walking into the kitchen, I frequently ask myself, "What did I come here after?"

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    7. At least you remember where the kitchen is.

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    8. Anyone tired of being asked to count down from 100 by sevens? I find it easier to subtract 10 and add 3, and to wind up with a triumphant smirk.

      Delete
    9. " ....I worry..." = i'm afraid

      Delete
  23. Why do most waiters like customers with leprosy?







    Because they always leave tips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey SDB, I just thought of this. You might get a kick out of it:
      Anagram of SEAN HANNITY: A NINNY HATES

      Delete
    2. Funny, but I do not watch TV and have never seen him. He is not funny though; his type are destroying our country.

      Delete

  24. While the country has a state of Texas, the rest of us live in a state of Text Us.

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  25. DISGUSTINGLY
    OBNOXIOUS
    NITWIT;
    APATHETIC
    LEADER'S
    DOPEY
    TWITTER
    RANTS
    UNDERMINE
    MORON'S
    PRESIDENCY!

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  26. KEEPS
    EXPLAINING
    LOONEY
    LEADER,
    YES?
    ALWAYS
    NAUSEATINGLY
    NEEDLESS
    EXPLANATIONS,
    COVERING
    OBNOXIOUS
    NONSENSE
    WITH
    ALIBIS---
    YECCH!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't there already enough acronymy in the public forum?

      Delete
    2. Paul, didn't you mean, matrimony?

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    3. OK, but I don't want to elbow my way in.

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    4. I tried and failed to locate a clip of Al Gore doing the Macarena.
      Guess I need to tweak my algorithm.

      Delete
  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. Still haven't gotten this one. I'm trying to figure out how to get 100% Polyester to work with a name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep at it; the answer does sound like it was tailor-made.

      Delete
    2. My friend Polly Esther can't get it to work either.

      Delete
    3. jan,
      I remember your friend. I threw her out; she was disgusting.

      Delete
    4. Hmmm... what would you call your net income on sales of synthetic fibers like that?

      Delete
    5. NOT A CLUE: Was H. Andrew Ashe a famous writer?

      Delete
  29. Droning on and on with the space needle, eh sdb?

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    Replies
    1. Fortunately no damage was done. The Space Needle was reinforced when it was put back in place after it was blown over in the great windstorm of 1969. But to only have fallen once in over half a century is not bad.

      Delete
  30. Odd coincidence: I just saw a patient with a condition I diagnosed a few years ago, which is named for 3 doctors: one with just about the same name as this week's writer, one named the same as another well-known eponymous condition, and the third pretty well-known in a political context.

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    Replies
    1. I'm about 67% convinced I've found the condition.

      Delete
    2. And there is an obscure connection between the disease and the original author, but you have to go down a path that leads to either trouble or success.

      Delete
  31. Virgin Wool >>> Virginia Woolf

    My Hint:

    “Although I solved this one while still in bed imagine THE HOURS of fun others may be in for. No KIDding MAN.” Nicole Kidman played Virginia Woolf in the 2002 movie, The Hours, that also starred Meryl Streep, who some here may have heard of. Didn’t her baby steel a dingo once?

    ReplyDelete
  32. VIRGIN WOOL -> VIRGINIA WOOLF

    > Reminds me of a line from the Gospel of Matthew.

    Whence the phrase "a woolf in sheeps clothing".

    > Hmmm... what would you call your net income on sales of synthetic fibers like that?

    False profits? (That's what the Bible line was warning against, sort of.)

    > Odd coincidence: I just saw a patient with a condition I diagnosed a few years ago, which is named for 3 doctors: one with just about the same name as this week's writer, one named the same as another well-known eponymous condition, and the third pretty well-known in a political context.

    Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. Paul Dudley White, the founder of preventive cardiology, was Eisenhower's doc after his heart attack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The White connection was the one I was unsure about.
      But two out of three ain't bad.

      Delete
    2. And the obscure (I should have said offbeat!) connection is Wolff-Parkinson-White is caused by an electric signal sent down the "bundle of Kent", and Kent University has a Woolf College.

      Delete
    3. Talk about re-entrant pathways!

      Delete
  33. VIRGIN WOOL ---> VIRGINIA WOOLF.

    My comment about middle names is based on the fact that Virginia Woolf, (nee Stephen) was born Adeline Virginia Stephen. Like Hiram Ulysses Grant, who was in the December 18th puzzle, Ms Woolf is better known her middle name.

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  34. Virginia Woolf (Virgin Wool)

    Don’t know about any others here, but I solved this backwards: first the writer, then the two-word phrase.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I wrote, "The answer makes me think of two states, one of which is Florida." One is Virginia; and the other, Florida, because it has Orlando in it. ---Rob

    ReplyDelete
  36. Several years ago, when I was back in Washington D.C. for an antiwar march and to lobby, several of us went to an Italian restaurant in Virginia for dinner one evening where I wolfed down my meal.

    I thought you'd want to know in the interest of full disclosure.

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    Replies
    1. I was afraid someone would say that...

      Delete
    2. There's no need to raise your voice.

      Delete
  37. Would Lobotomy put you in a position to feel better about your solution?

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  38. Virginia Woolf
    Nickel back from Five Below.
    Three Guineas, written by the authoress.
    The old British monetary unit times three was approximately $4.95.

    ReplyDelete
  39. My hint, 1962 refered to the year the play, Who's afraid of Virginia Wolfe opened with Liz and Richard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which I riffed for my clue to Curtis: "the answer does sound like it was tailor/Taylor-made." Though that was the 1966 movie, and just for posterity's sake it's Woolf, not Wolfe.

      Delete
    2. Years ago I sat down to watch what was billed as a 'great' movie, "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?", and what a disappointment that was. I could only watch about 20 minutes of that depressing and hate filled dialogue. That was 20 minutes I'll never get back, too!
      I just can't believe that '66 film received so many accolades.

      Delete
    3. I have watched the film version two or three times and it is nowhere near as good as the amazing play. The movie is only 2 hours 11 minutes, but the play is just under three hours. What a difference that makes. One of my favorite plays ever. Last time I saw it was in April 2014 at the Seattle Repertory Theater. It was fantastic!

      Delete
    4. The best plays are frequently not about attempting to make up feel good when we exit the theater, but in many cases to feel uncomfortable at what we have just witnessed, in order to hopefully make us thnk.

      I remember back in 1966, just after returning back home to Seattle after my discharge from the Army, and seeing The Hostage, by Brendan Beehan at the Seattle Rep. As I walked out at the end of the play and to my car I was surprised at how angry I was feeling. I was enraged. I then realized just how wonderful it was that a play could have such a strong affect. I have never forgotten that wonderful evening.

      It was a good season that year; see for yourself:

      Mainstage

      The Crucible by Arthur Miller
      The Hostage by Brendan Behan
      Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward
      Tartuffe by Molière
      The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt
      The Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams

      Bonus Program (free to subscribers)

      Moby Dick Rehearsed adapted by Orson Welles
      Three by Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
      One Times One (An Illusion of a Play) - poetry by e.e. cummings

      Summer Tour "Theatre-in-the-Park"

      The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare

      Delete
    5. Just too much antagonism for me! I was surprised to read that the original play had Melinda Dillon as 'Honey'. She's the actress from 'Close Encounters' and 'A Christmas Story'. To her credit, she must have been pretty young for such a big role!

      Delete
    6. SDB - You're right about the billing that year, there were some famous titles there!

      Delete
    7. Ah, in my haste I left an O out of Woolf I'm afraid, sorry Virginia.

      Delete
  40. VIRGIN WOOL, VIRGINIA WOOLF
    I too referenced "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?". Benny Hill had it looking like "Who's Afraid Of Virgin Wool?".

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  41. Where does virgin wool come from?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Here is my explanation for my comment to TomR regarding George and Martha Washington. "The play's title, which alludes to the English novelist Virginia Woolf, is also a reference to the song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" from Walt Disney's animated version of The Three Little Pigs. Because the rights to the Disney song are expensive, most stage versions, and the film, have Martha sing to the tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush", a melody that fits the meter fairly well and is in the public domain. In the first few moments of the play, it is revealed that someone sang the song earlier in the evening at a party, although who first sang it (Martha or some other anonymous party guest) remains unclear. Martha repeatedly needles George over whether he found it funny."

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  43. Fortunately I can always count on the Cranberry to post a give away clue. As usual, I had no idea what the answer was until reading the "afraid of" post, but not for the reason you might think. I mean, yes, I made the immediate connection to "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf", but didn't realize that Virginia Woolf was the answer, because she wasn't the author of that play. No, I had to rely on the other give away part of the post, the reference to Benny Hill. Benny Hill was British, he would have made fun of a British author. I googled "famous british authors" and lo and behold - Virginia Woolf, the author! So you're right, TomR, the clue was giving away too much.

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  44. My post referred to "first time" (virgin) and "made me cry" (wolf).

    ReplyDelete
  45. My clue about I'll be home for Christmas regarding the George and Martha mentioned was the play was written by Edward Albee (I'll be)

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  46. Just curious how the weather is affecting everyone? In eastern Kansas we are preparing for a big ice storm, that is supposed to start tomorrow through Sunday.

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  47. I guess I should've just said "Benny Hill" and let everyone else figure it out from there. I was just glad I had such a great reference regarding "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf", and as far as I knew it was only a "CinemaScope" joke, because the camera was so close to the credits it cut off a few letters and sounded like something else entirely. My only other reference to that title was an SCTV sketch in which the entire cast was made up of(sorta)well-known celebrities who just happened to talk very fast, which would not have worked as a clue, I don't think. But by just saying "Benny Hill" or "SCTV", I probably could have helped someone else who has a similar knowledge of pop culture. Just remember I'm still relatively new to providing clever enough hints. If I hadn't solved it, I might have gotten angry and posted something terrible again, and I know nobody wants that. Just be thankful I got the answer too, so I could contribute to the conversation. I'm only trying to fit in here.

    ReplyDelete
  48. My hint:
    "Reminds me of my first car, a 1954 model with mechanical blinkers..."
    A 1954 Volkswagen (VW = Virginia Woolf) has mechanical semaphore blinkers.

    Over on Puzzleria!, we offer eight puzzles this week, including four that Rip Off Shortz. Just uploaded them. Click on "Joseph Young's Puzzleria!" in Blaine's PUZZLE LINKS.

    LegoLinkin'Blinkin'

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  49. Well, this explains why I never got this one. I own few, if any, wool garments. And, I honestly can't say when I last read Virginia Woolf.

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  50. Next week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. Take the first and last names of a famous comedian. The first three letters of the first name and the first letter of the last name, in order, spell the name of a god in mythology. The fourth letter of the first name and the second through fourth letters of the last name, in order, spell the name of another god. Who's the comedian, and what gods are these?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are two different mythologies in there.

      Delete
    2. Solved it already and I haven't even put my shoes on yet.

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    3. Way too easy. Got it while still in bed. Now, back to bed.

      Delete
  51. There were "nearly 500" correct entries last week. There will be more this week. My wife thought about this puzzle for about 5 seconds and came up with the comedian without even figuring out the name of the second god.

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