Sunday, March 05, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 5, 2017): Playing Games

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 5, 2017): Playing Games:
Q: An easy-ish one this week. Write the name of a game in small letters. Reverse the second and third letters. Turn the fourth letter upside-down. The result will name something else to play. What is it?
You can't convince me to give you an iota of help this week.

Edit: Not one scrap which anagrams to...
A: craps <--> cards

184 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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    1. I took "reverse" to mean "mirror image," which can be done with b, d, and maybe q and p. Nearly drove myself mad with this one.

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  2. Glad To be home. I must admit that I'm pretty pooped after vacation. Why does it always work that way?

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  3. I think I am not the only one here who has made use of a variant of one of these words when hearing the Trump news this past week. ---Rob

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  4. Variants of one use the other.

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  5. Yeah, must be easy if I got it right away. Don't even mind that dismissive clue from Blaine. :>)

    So here's my variant: Write the name of a game in small letters. Reverse the second and third letters. Turn the fourth letter upside-down. The result will name a place where some games may be played.

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  6. @jan
    Thank you for the warning about the quick tanning. I also avoided the local water.
    bromigo zeke

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  7. At least this isn't some obscure video game title! I've heard of both of these, too.

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  8. It could be risky to read it backwards.

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  9. This week's puzzle trumps last week's in terms of easiness. I think zeke Creek's name could be a clue.

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    1. Take it down and think some more, ron.

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    2. When you turn a letter upside-down, it rotates 360° rather than flipping. Example: b-q or n-u

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    4. To be clearer, I would have said "Rotate the 4th letter 180 degrees."

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    5. Are you saying to turn a letter upside down, it rotates 180° and that flipping a letter is NOT to turn it upside down? Rotating a letter 360° would be to keep the same letter or so it appears to me.

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    6. Intentional ambiguity is the definition of "-ish".

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    7. Yeah, Paul, but remember the movie Ishtar?

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    8. Didn't see it; heard it was pretty bad.

      But I do remember my grandparents talking about Ish Kabibble.

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    10. Oops, I meant 180°. And I think Will intended for the letter to be turned 180° on the paper, not flipped.

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    11. When I set out my scrabble tiles and turn letters over, I got a blank.

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  11. Put an "s" before both words and add 2 more letters before one to make two synonyms.

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  12. There are several kinds of pool.

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  13. Blaine -

    Do you mean 180 degrees?

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  14. Doesn't doing a 360 bring you back where you were?
    We have had this discussion before. There are three axes around which a letter can be rotated.
    I think b upside down is p, d is q, m is w, n is u. More?
    An agreement on the possibilities is not too much of a hint.

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    1. That's what I thought too, but it turns out that is wrong! The letters are rotated 180° so p→d, b→q, n→u, w→m,l→t(?), etc.

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    2. Just to be picky, p > b can also be a rotation of 180 degrees. Depends on the axis of rotation.

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  15. Variant: Think of a game in lowercase letters. Swap the second and third letters, remove the fourth, and invert the fifth. The result is something else you play. What are the words?

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    2. TextUpsideDown. Rotating 180° is the correct way to turn a letter upside down, p→d, b→q, n→u, etc. Sorry, I had confused "flipping" and "rotating 180°" to turn a letter upside down.

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    3. 081 ʇı ǝʇɐʇoɹ 'uʍop ǝpısdn ɹǝʇʇǝl ɐ uɹnʇ oʇ

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  18. @MJ
    How about clockwise 180 degrees upon the xy plane on which the letter is written?

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    2. Counter-clockwise rotation gets you there also, zc.

      Again, wallpaper.

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    3. It should be rotated counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere

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    4. LD:
      You are correct in your observation, however I would caution that you apparently have not fig your'd into account the International Date Line, nor Daylight Saving Time, which is about to go into effect. Thank you for raisin this issue in regard to this caper.

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    5. SDB
      I just keep my watch set to GMT. Although this does occasionally present problems when I try to roll into 7-11 and it is closed.

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    6. I keep getting 7-11 confused with 9-11. They are both downers to me.

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  19. I very much was looking forward to a real puzzle this morning, but this is all we get.

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  20. ˙suɐǝɯ uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ʇɐɥʍ uɹɐǝl pᴉp I llǝM :qpS

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    1. So did I, long ago, just look at my photo.

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    3. Cannot make out what the picture is. Can you explain? I think it is a plane.

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    4. I solved the puzzle but then thought I was wrong. I was not sure if I flipped the letter correctly.

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    5. I am hanging upside down outside the plane (a Cessna 170) by my feet from the leading edge of the wing over Issaquah, Washington.

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    6. Wow...I hope you were supported by straps or something. That is amazingly scary.

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    7. Give it to DT so he can bail out of the WH.

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    8. He would only land in a bed of roses.

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    9. If you change your mind, let me know when, I'll chip in on some fake roses (concrete ones, preferably)!

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  21. For those that enjoyed the homophone on air game, the online version seems to have several more that I didn't hear Will say this morning. (Unless you are homophonephobic).

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  22. How can you tell an accomplished pirate from a novice?

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    1. Answer:

      An accomplished pirate is able to cutlass in order to achieve the desires results.

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  23. SDB: LOL

    I don't feel like trying to solve the puzzle until I know if Will meant to say "turn backward (rotate on vertical axis)" instead of "upside down (rotate on horizontal axis).
    He has done this in the past without admitting his error.

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  24. Makes me think of the only Kenny Rogers song that I can actually sing along with. Well, that and "Islands in the Stream".

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    1. You're referring, of course, to "The Hoodooin' of Miss Fannie Deberry".
      Don't mind me; I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.

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    2. Hahaha! Girl, get a hold of yourself.

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  25. Funny, I would've thought a discussion of upside-down things would make one think of songs by Diana Ross.

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  26. I do actually cringe when I think of how Legolambda might rip off this puzzle for his own puzzle site this Friday. He does it every week, and it's usually tougher than anything Will does.

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    1. And it seems to me that Will has been playing off Lego's puzzles as well. I wonder how long they can keep the volley going?

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    4. Snipper mentioned in a post above about more of Will's on-air homophone puzzles being available online. In an edition of Puzzleria! last May, I ran a somewhat similar puzzle (see the "Dessert") that featured not consecutine homophones but two-word phrases that are spelled the same as single words.

      Here is a rip-off of this week's challenge that also rips off a puzzle I composed for Puzzleria! last year:
      Write the name of a game in small letters, four of 'em. Reverse the third and fourth letters. Turn the new fourth letter upside-down... any old way you want to. The result will name something else to play as well as a place where one form of the first game can be played. What is it?

      LegoWhoMayNotBeSpongeWorthyButWhoIsUnquestionablyCringeWorthy

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    5. Your original puzzle: If you reverse the second and third letters of the 4-letter game and turn the 4th letter upside down, you have "pool" & "pool."

      If you reverse the third and fourth letters of "polo"→"pool" and turn the fourth letter upside down, you still have "pool."

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    6. In polo don't you have to pool your re-horses?

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    7. Not if it's water (pool) polo.

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    8. Are you telling me you never heard of Sea Horses?

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    9. I guess you separate the men from the boys by the price of their pool toys.

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    10. Pool Polo re-horses can no longer be pooled as sea horses have gone extinct and they are no longer polo resources.

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    11. Sea horses are not extinct, but they have been reined in.

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    12. Like the coral reefs, they have been bleached out.

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  27. I actually appreciate all this discussion about how to turn the letter because it is reminding me it's about time I set my alarm clock right side up after that puzzle a couple of years ago. I keep meaning to, but always am forgetting.

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  28. One might even think of an Elvis tune with this puzzle.

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    1. I wonder if the rules are different for upside down letters and upside down people.

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    2. It's definitely different for ducks and geese. . . ;-)

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    3. Upside down people are batty.
      Upside down cakes are another matter.

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    4. SDB: If your head was turned to your right side before you turned upside down hanging from the plane, which way was it facing afterwards? You might have to go up in a plane to answer this.

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    5. Natasha:

      Turning your body upside down does not change the orientation of left to right. Therefore since I was exiting the right side of the plane turning my head to the left would cause me to see into the plane regardless of my doing this while still right side up or when upside down.

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    6. But turning a letter like p upside down becomes a d not a b.

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    7. The letter rotates 180 degrees not just flips as when you turn upside down. Just saw Blaine's correction so now am satisfied with everything.

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    8. Hanging upside down from an airplane, or anything for that matter, is not turning upside down, but flipping upside down.

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    9. Yes, I agree. But sometimes the terms are used interchangeably.

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    10. turn someone or something upside down
      1. Lit. to invert someone or something. The wrestler turned his opponent upside down and dropped him on his head.
      There are many types of flips and flipping. Gymnasts who turn themselves upside down are doing flips.

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    11. If you turn a card upside down, you still see the face of the card, but if you flip the card upside down you see the back of the card, so there are two ways to turn a card upside down, just as there are two ways to turn a letter upside down, p→d, or p→b.

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    12. How does one turn a cake upside down? And when is an upside down cake right side up? And is it right or wrong for an upside down cake to not be upside down? My head hurts.

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  30. OK, solved the puzzle.

    Shortz wants the upside down and backward rotation instead of just upside down.
    I wonder if that is consistent with the other times he has used it.

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  31. I got the right answer and I’ll flatten anyone who says different.

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  34. I didn't give this one any real thought or effort. I let it roll around my head until the afternoon when the answer landed gently before my eyes.

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  35. A question regarding the second and third letters.
    Are they: 1. switching places, eg. video --> vdieo
    OR 2.rotating each letter (around each letter's y axis), eg. abpe --> adqe
    ?

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    1. Forrest Gump said, "Axis as ax does."

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    3. Ax me no questions, I'll send you no alternative fax.

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    4. A Maule? I thought you said it was a Cessna 170?

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    5. Nice photo. I'm surprised it doesn't have larger tires.

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  36. As I get older ( 74 now ) , I have less and less confidence in my "brain", but I think I finally got an answer through dumb luck !!!...not sure that it's correct, but I took a chance and sent it in ...we shall soon see...Big Ron

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    1. BR: the answer is obviously correct once you get it.

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    2. cards...> craps : "dumb luck" = big factor in games of chance ; "took a chance" = gambled

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  37. We just had severe weather in our metro area and while my city is in the clear, some cities east of me have had radar indicated tornadoes. I stepped outside to have a look and I could hear the sound of a train off in the distance. The storms are going away from us so it was safe to go outside.

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  38. It hailed here in Berkeley, CA yesterday and today. Quite exciting for me as I am from the East and miss the weather changes.

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    1. It is both scary and exciting when these things come through. I just wish they'd come through during the daylight hours.

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    2. If there is a tornado nearby, I'm usually ready with a camera!

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    3. This year have had more power outages than usual. Always have flashlights handy. More rain, thunder and lightning than usual this year. Scary more than exciting.

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    4. I was getting ready to get to the basement, too! Are you talking about back east or in Berkeley? CA seems like they've had really bad weather this winter.

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  39. "Kim Jong-Un gave the order for the drill to start, the North's official Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

    "Feasting his eyes on the trails of ballistic rockets", he praised the Hwasong artillery unit that carried it out, it said.

    "The four ballistic rockets launched simultaneously are so accurate that they look like acrobatic flying corps in formation, he said," the agency added, referring to Kim.

    The military units involved are "tasked to strike the bases of the US imperialist aggressor forces in Japan in contingency", KCNA said.

    The Korean version of the KCNA report said the North's missile launch demonstrated its readiness to "wipe out" enemy forces with a "merciless nuclear strike".

    A series of photographs published by the North's Rodong Sinmun newspaper showed Kim watching the missiles rise into the air and another of him smiling gleefully, clapping with other officials.

    Seoul and Washington last week began annual joint military exercises that always infuriate Pyongyang.

    It regularly issues threats against its enemies, and carried out two atomic tests and a series of missile launches last year, but Monday was only the second time its devices have come down in Japan's EEZ.

    The launches came ahead of a trip by new US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to the region.

    Choi Kang, an analyst at the Seoul-based Asan Institute for Policy Studies, said the launch was a warning to Tokyo.

    "North Korea is demonstrating that its target is not just limited to the Korean peninsula anymore but can extend to Japan at anytime and even the US," he said.

    Trump has described North Korea as a "big, big problem" and vowed to deal with the issue "very strongly".

    White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday the administration was taking steps to "enhance our ability to defend against North Korea's ballistic missiles".

    The New York Times reported at the weekend that under former president Barack Obama the US stepped up cyber attacks against North Korea to try to sabotage its missiles before launch or just as they lift off."
    ****************************
    "But Bernie Sanders was taken advantage of. Now, whether that was Russia, whether that was China, whether it was another country, we don't know, because the truth is, under President Obama we've lost control of things that we used to have control over. We came in with an internet, we came up with the internet.

    And I think Secretary Clinton and myself would agree very much, when you look at what ISIS is doing with the internet, they're beating us at our own game. ISIS. So we have to get very, very tough on cyber and cyber warfare. It is a, it is a huge problem. I have a son.

    He's 10 years old. He has computers. He is so good with these computers, it's unbelievable. The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe it's hardly do-able. But I will say, we are not doing the job we should be doing, but that's true throughout our whole governmental society. We have so many things that we have to do better, Lester and certainly cyber is one of them."

    ****************
    Barron v. Un:
    Bring it!
    *****************

    [Quotes are from undisclosed sources.]

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    1. Is there a law forbidding a ten year old from heading the C.I.A. or becoming the Secretary of De Fence?

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    2. The individual states have child labor laws. Not sure if these particular jobs be exempt. What are you proposing?

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    3. This particular ten year old, DT's brat, will be living in Washington D.C., so states laws will not apply. He is obviously an ubermenschen.

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  40. Replies
    1. Schnikes = Crap
      Kenny = Kenny Rogers (you gotta know when to hold em...)

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  42. What the heck is going on with Steve Bannon and the National Security Meetings?

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  43. craps > cards

    My Hint:

    "I very much was looking forward to a real puzzle this morning, but this is all we get."

    "I very" sounds similar to IVORY. Dice are frequently called ivories.

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  44. craps -> cards

    > Variants of one use the other.

    Card-based variations of craps.

    > It could be risky to read it backwards.

    The Scalable Processor Architecture (SPARC) is a reduced instruction set computing (RISC) instruction set architecture originally developed by Sun Microsystems.

    > Put an "s" before both words and add 2 more letters before one to make two synonyms.

    SCRAPS, DISCARDS.

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  45. cards >>> craps

    "Wallpaper" = symmetry and axes of rotation, addressing the flipping versus rotating issue. Our mineralogy/crystallography exam included surprise samples of wallpaper. We had to describe the symmetry and axes of rotation. It was very memorable and the most I ever learned TAKING an exam. (Though, it caused minor freaking out among all of us at the time.)

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  46. craps, cards

    Last Sunday I said, “I got the right answer and I’ll flatten anyone who says different.” Flatten as in deck - deck as is cards.

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  47. When you turn a letter upside down, it rotates 180° to the right or left (b→q, d→p, n→u, etc.) So “flipping a letter”(what I call “flipping,” i.e., rotating 180° only around a horizontal axis through the middle of the letter,)
    is another way to turn it upside down (b→p, d→q, etc.).

    So the answer is the casino dice game: “craps.” Reverse the “ra” and rotate the “p” 180° to the right or left to a “d” to yield “cards” “something else to play.”

    Indirect hint: flipping or turning a CARD upside down.

    Jan's puzzle: “scraps”>>>“discards”

    The Missios puzzle: The game: croquet>>>cornet, “something else you play.”

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  48. Cards/Craps

    Lame hint: "The Gambler" by, Kenny Rogers. "If you're gonna play the game, boy you gotta learn to play it right"

    Come on people, you've gotta know when hold 'em when you're playing cards.

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  49. cards and craps
    My Elvis reference was "Viva Las Vegas", my Rolling Stones reference was "Tumbling Dice", and I think I also referred to Diana Ross's "Upside Down".

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  50. The game is: craps, you can also play: cards.

    My Abbott and Costello comment, relates to the scene in Buck Privates, where Bud teaches Lou to shoot craps.

    You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIYTQ8vkKaI

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    1. SZ:
      I appreciate (as opposed to a depreciation, you understand) your post with the clarification as to which word should come first. I was going to post re: this, but decided it was a waste (or should that be waist?) of time. Cards is not a game, but craps is. I am certain WS will accept both versions, but I do appreciate the fine point.

      Oh crap! my cat just knocked my cards on the floor! I guess in this case the cards did come first. I will beat the crap outta him after I post this, you can be sure.

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    2. SDB:
      Agreed. It's a minor point, but I've never heard of anyone, playing craps. You play cards, you shoot craps.

      At the same time, I was expecting more comments on the Bud and Lou reference. While not as well known as "Who's on First," it is a classic.

      Did anyone here look for it?

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  51. My clue - This week's puzzle trumps last week's in terms of easiness. I think zeke Creek's name could be a clue - included reference to trump for his casinos and to zeke Creek's relative aka Craps Creek (the one without a paddle)

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  52. Bonus Puzzle (with a nod to René Magritte):

    Name something you play, reverse the second and third letters and

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  53. Hey all, Just want to let you all know that if you want a real deal on cut rate eye shadow, well I'm your man. Just let me know, but please let's keep it on the QT, OK?

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    1. If you are not understanding my above post, I would suggest you are not getting all the relevant news.

      "Los Angeles police are looking for the the thieves behind a multi-million-dollar makeup heist. The LAPD said Thursday that it's investigating after $4.5 million worth of eye shadow was stolen …"

      For the thieves I guess this will be the highlight of their lives.

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    2. Not to gloss over the story, but if the thieves wore disguises was it a mascaraid party?

      Years ago I asked my colleagues how many disposable products they used each morning in getting ready for work. Disposable meaning they are only for that one time use, so a toothbrush or razor wouldn't count. All of us use some - toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc. The office champion was a woman who counted 35 different products. No relevance, just something to think about.

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    3. I wonder who wore all that eye shadow?

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    4. I can't really say, but I am certain whoever it is is now only a shadow of his former self.

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    5. Will they blush if they're caught?

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    6. No one will notice if they happen to be at Le Moulin Rouge. Or perhaps some other foundation.

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    7. If they were to turn themselves in they might just get the brush off.

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    8. On the other hand, there is always the risk of getting forty lashes.

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    9. I think they would stand out in a line-up. In any case they should be easy to finger print.

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    10. Do you have a foundation for your pore opinions?

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    11. I warn you: I have thin skin.

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    12. Sometimes eyebrows used book stores.

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    13. You might find a first edition of The Scarlet Pimple.

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    14. Sorry, I don't pander to that kind of thing. Also eyelash out when falsely accused.

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    15. Y'all make-up some skin-deep puns.

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    16. Don't give me any lip;stick to the puzzle topic.

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    17. Since when does that ever happen?

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  54. NOTES:

    Hey, hey, hey. [1:13]

    Ishtar received more pans than raves; it featured lots of sand; something that's easy is a snap; and SNAP is sometimes substituted for another 4-letter word starting with S (as in Oh, SNAP!). Or not.
    Turning the letters of 'kitty litter' upside down is an exercise in futility, no matter how you go about it.
    Oh, yeah, SNAP is also a card game! http://www.bicyclecards.com/how-to-play/snap/

    "Scoundrel" is a game played with both cards and dice.
    http://www.rinkworks.com/pips/rules/scoundrel.shtml

    To convince is to persuade (which contains 'p' and 'd'); SCRAP is a synonym of "iota" and an anagram of CRAPS; "speck" is another synonym of "iota", which, with some finagling, becomes DECKS (as in decks of CARDS)

    It seems puzzles like this bring out the best NatureS of some people and the worst of others.

    I loved this puzzle. I bet Marlon Brando would have dug it, too.

    I suppose one might play 'hoops' (basketball), and then play 'hoods' (gangsters). And, speaking of March Madness, don't forget to rotate the hour hand of your clock 30 degrees clockwise this weekend (or rotate the minute hand 360 degrees clockwise, whichever suits you better). Don't get me started on St. Patty's Day! [Doing my best to be equinoxious.]

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  55. Afterthought clue:

    Jane Seymour

    [played Solitaire in Live and Let Die]

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  56. Reading for a rainy, snowy, or sunny SATurday: Conodonts and Cono-dos: Reely Wild Microfossils.

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  57. This is ostensibly a puzzle blog. So, speaking of a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, March 12 is the 65th anniversary of the appointment of Hastings Ismay (a wonderful name regardless of what it means in Pig Latin) as the first Secretary General of NATO, an organization whose purpose he first described as being to keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down.

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    1. Indeed. It is also the 69th anniversary of singer/songwriter James Taylor's birth. I hope he got my card.

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    2. I thought NATO stood for, Not Another Trump Outburst!

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  58. I am confused. I was going to reset my alarm clock to 2:01am, in order to be in compliance with setting our clocks ahead one hour, but I got to thinking that I will sleep right through because there is no 2:01 am tomorrow. I'm glad I caught my goof so as not to be in trouble with the authorities who know about such things. I guess I will just have to stay up and watch (no pun intended) reruns of Happy Days until the proper time to reset my clocks. This is so inconvenient! Thank god we have night watchmen.

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  59. Next week's challenge from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich.: Name a well-known city in the U.S. Two words. The second word rhymes with a word meaning "certain stories" — and the first word rhymes with something found in those stories. What city is it?

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    1. It may be well-known, but it's not one of the 300 largest cities by population.

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    2. Just a hint as to where not to look for the answer. I guess. I lived there for a few months many years ago. Over 600 correct entries this week, BTW.

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    3. Add zero and subtract one.

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