Sunday, July 16, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 16, 2017): A Novel Approach

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 16, 2017): A Novel Approach:
Q: Name a U.S. city and its state — 12 letters altogether.

Change two letters in the state's name. The result will be the two-word title of a classic novel. What is it?
I was thinking the answer was a city in Florida until I pulled the correct answer out of the recesses of my brain.

Edit: The city I was thinking of was St. Petersburg, but I guess it wasn't the one in Florida. The other hint was pull being the opposite of push.
A: EUGENE OREGON --> EUGENE ONEGIN by Alexander Pushkin

350 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, I can tell you it aint in my state: Massachusetts

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  3. The novel might be a noir classic.

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  4. I have an IRON-clad certainty that this week, compared to last, I have a hint that will help no one.   ---Rob

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  5. Hint:

    HAIKU

    Trump
    towers
    over us.

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  6. Change two letters in the author's name to get a holiday treat.

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    1. Or one to get a stationery item.

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    2. ...an item that is something else (beside a city or state) that you might see on a map.

      LegoWhoCongratulatesBothecoAndjanOnTheirPuzzleRiffing

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    3. jan,
      No matter how hard you push the envelop, it will remain stationary.

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    4. Or change all the letters and just say "To hell with it!"

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    5. Thank you Eco for this. The author's name reminds me of a scene from "Kiss of Death"

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  7. Divine Comedy came to mind; it is obviously incorrect, but it is an interesting read particularly with respect to what befalls corrupt politicians in Inferno. Thankfully, I'm an engineer and they don't get a mention. Although I live on a tiny Mediterranean Island I did have the good fortune to meet with Will on the eve of his investiture into the Degree of Doctorate at Wabash College, Indiana, some years ago. Regrettably and although I have been solving the puzzle for many years the NPR system will not accept submissions from my home on Malta due to our having no Area Code.

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    1. Englishman,
      Good fortune indeed. You had a front row seat to puzzling history being made.
      as for your NPR puzzle submission quandary, why not try sending a postcard from Malta?
      (This week's puzzle hint: The city, refreshingly, is not Seattle. Hope that narrows things down a bit.)

      LegoWhoAsksEnglishman:"WhenYouMetWill,JamaicaBigFussOverHisDegreeInEnigmatology?"

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    2. I sense a future classic novel coming: The Maltese Puzzler. Or, perhaps, The Maltese Engineer.

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    3. Although my home is in the Republic of Malta I actually live on the much smaller Maltese Island of Gozo. This Island is steeped in history and legend and has the world's oldest known man made structures in stone, these predate Stonehenge by circa 1,000 years and are no less impressive. Gozo is also reputed to be the island on which Odysseus was held captive by the nymph goddess Calypso on his return from the Trojan Wars. Life on Gozo is much quieter and laid back than the on the main Island of Malta which has a very high population density. The only way to access Gozo is by sea or helicopter, we do not have an airport, and stepping onto Gozo is almost like taking a fifty year trip back in time. Geographically we are located further south than the North African cities of Tunis and Algiers and thus enjoy good weather year round. As for the idea of submitting answers by postcard: mail between here and the USA typically takes two to three weeks. A gozo (Maltese) based navel is in consideration, and it may have some engineering content in its theme.

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    4. Why not use a "filler" area code (e.g. 111) and add a note in your answer about how to actually call you?

      If anyone on this blog gets the call, I hope you can ask the question of how the winner is "randomly" selected. I think it was clotheslover who said they randomly pick a date & time, and the first correct answer received after that is the winner. If true I suspect a lot of the early bird submitters here would rethink their strategy.

      Isn't Göbekli Tepe much older than Ġgantija? And sorry to hear about your fallen arch.

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    5. The fallen Azure Arch was a sad loss for Gozo; but we do have another one which is just not as easily accessible and not quite so large. Before relocating to Gozo I did, together with my wife, live for many years in the USA, three different states, and was a long term NPR Puzzle Solver going back to the postcard days. Now I solve for the simple pleasure without feeling the need to submit. As for my life, I have worked in eight different countries on three continents and am a semi retired Chartered Engineer (US equivalent to PE). Göbekli Tepe may indeed be older than Ġgantija, thanks for the info. I plan to check it out. I'm a history freak and enjoy archeology but am also strongly into Astrophysics and Pure Mathematics. As for the filler area code idea; it was something I'd considered but we are six hours ahead time-wise and generally enjoying a cocktail at a sidewalk or waterfront cafe at about the time an NPR call would arrive. Thanks for your contribution to the Blog. As an aside I considering changing my handle to Maltaman, I'm seventy years of age and have spent more years out of England than in it.

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    6. Fallen arches can be a real downer! A podiatrist may be of some help.

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    7. And they don't heel on their own.

      E-man (soon to be reincarnated as M-man): I rarely submit, only for creative puzzles, and am extremely jealous of one who can daily visit a cafe on the Mediterranean.

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    8. How does one become a sole survivor? Do have any clips on this? I'd like to nail it down if possible.

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    9. With DJT (who has no sole) you have to toe the line.

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    10. Yes, he does seem to jam things up.

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    11. It wasn't me that said how thewinner is chosen. It was ViolinTeddy. I have never submitted an answer.

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    14. Dear Englishman, it is very interesting hearing about you, your travels and where you are now. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. A performance based on the novel took place in the city last year.

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    1. ... as I'm sure Dave knows.

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    2. If a certain comic actor with his own TV show was erratic in the title role, the headline in Variety might be ....

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  9. How not to solve this week's puzzle:
    Google "Dave".

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  10. The name rang a bell, but I didn't remember it as the name of a novel.

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    1. Me too, Hugh. This is one that I never read.

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  11. Off subject if I may:
    Months ago, I had to download Google Chrome to post here.
    The download came with a McAfee virus program unwanted and unasked for free for one month.
    I did not pay the demanded renewal at the end of the month and McAfee itself, in its continued demands, has turned into the worst virus I have ever had. (Actually they did the same thing two computers ago.)

    My NPR station lost its signal for this morning's puz.

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  12. Does a poet who works at home go from bed to verse?

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  13. I'm not rushing to submit my answer this week. No credit is given for early birds.

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  14. I am assuming reading the result left to right and not a city followed by a word?

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  15. Many combinations of cities and states adding up to 12 letters exist, such as Topeka, Kansas and Augusta, Maine. But, alas, this puzzle requires more than looking for that bit of math. The novel, at least to 'Mericans, will seem a bit obscure.

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  16. I'll guess Word Woman is having her third martini this morning.

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    1. eco, I've been stuck on that same city in Florida where Blaine was. . .

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    2. Solved this in the PM (thanks, eco!).

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  17. When push comes to shove I will admit to this being an alright puzzle.

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  18. Hint: the novel isn't Catch 22.

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  19. Did anyone notice OHIO could be SHIP?

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    1. Too bad there isn't a town named Watership, Iowa. And that this has 13 letters, not 12.

      SDB: did you see this grim skydiving story?

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    2. eco:

      No, I didn't hear about it. But I have an even better one from long ago.

      I began jumping at the Issaquah Parachute Center, located East of Seattle a few miles. It was one of the oldest skydiving centers. It was also very busy and benefited from being right beside I-90, which was the best advertising there could be.

      There were only a very few skydiving fatalities there during all the decades of jumping, but one stands out as unique.

      Years before I began jumping, and before I-90 was built, one of the experienced skydivers who regularly jumped there went up on a load one weekend and did not activate his main or reserve and died much the same way as the guy in your post. However there was a bit more to it than that. Besides the suicide note he left in his car, he tracked in freefall in order to land in his ex wife's back yard where she was having a barbecue party. I was informed her house was located where the freeway exit is now.

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    3. I don't suppose she had invited him to drop in to the party if he was free?

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    4. What bizarre stories! Probably not the same circumstances, but this morning, not too far from here, a P-51D Mustang crashed killing the pilot and I assume, a paying passenger. It will be interesting if they find the cause, if they ever can as there was hardly anything left of it. 

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    5. They didn't even bother to throw another shrimp on the barbie. The leftovers were put into a bodybag.

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    6. It's what happens when you fall for a woman.

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    7. He was a man for all seasonings.

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    8. Many like their spices (and spouses) freshly ground.

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    9. Hard to believe that was once a P-51. One picture showed a mangled propeller

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    10. I never met the fellow, but I heard he was a down to earth kind of guy.

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    11. Do you think he soiled himself? Did Trump Jr get any dirt on him? We need to bury the topic.

      68C: I remember seeing the debris from a military cargo plane along the the Appalachian Trail (I think Virginia, might have been West Virginia). Surprising to see both how pulverized the pieces were and how far they were spread, it was at least a half mile long.

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    12. He and his ex wife were having a bit of a turf battle and he was apparently trying to dig up dirt on her.

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    13. In the end his plot didn't turn out so well.

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    14. He was given a warm reception, as his ex tossed him on the charcoal. She felt he urned a well done send off.

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    15. I guess the police didn't get a chance to grill him. Of course Trump would have said "You're fired!"

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    16. Right, he felt he had already made his statement. In the end he had a good smoke and left.

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    17. Not sure he made a statement, but he certainly left his mark.

      As Mormons don't curse, what do they yell in a free fall?

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    18. Most people do not yell anything during a skydive. But, as to your Mormons. Are they jumping over Mountain Meadows?

      I don't really know what they yell, but perhaps they are worried about where they left their bicycle.

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    19. They yell "Chute!" I didn't say it was funny.

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    20. That's similar to what Judge Spicer said after the Mountain Meadows Massacre trial ended, except he said, "Shoot!"

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  20. I got it quickly, even if the novel's hero isn't such a cool dude. . .

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  22. Not too many state names can become other words by changing two letters. I wonder if there's an Our, Iowa. It might be a good thing to stick with Iowa on this one.

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    1. Utah→Star,Stab,Stag,Stay; Maine→Spine,Brine,Pains, etc. I started with Utah, Iowa, & Maine. Got it immediately when I thought about city names. It sounds as if you didn't hear the 12 letters altogether part either.

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    2. Novel titles don't have to be common English words.

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    3. I read the whole thing on the website. Of course I know it's 12 letters in all. Clearly I wasn't going to go with "Our Town" as an actual answer! Whatever novel it is, I haven't heard of it, and I resent the fact anyone else solved it so damn fast!

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    4. Our Town is a 1938 metatheatrical three-act play by American playwright Thornton Wilder, not a novel.

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  23. Printed below is a very premature sneak peek of one of the "Ripping Off Shortz And Dave" puzzles we will be running in Puzzleria! this coming Friday. (Access Puzzleria! by going to Blaine's PUZZLE LINKS and clicking "Joseph Young's Puzzleria!")
    Please refrain from giving the answer here. You can post it in a comment over on Puzzleria! after 3PM EDT Wednesday, July 26. That means you have about 10 days to work on it!
    I am posting the puzzle here in order to give Blainesvilians who are unfamiliar with Puzzleria! a sample of what we do.
    Here is our rip-off puzzle:
    Name a U.S. city and its state – 13 letters altogether. Change the first letter of the city’s name and move it between the city’s fouth and fifth letters. The result will be the two-word title of a classic American novel. What is it?
    Hint: The city’s population is roughly 20,000.
    Hint: The name of the U.S. city would be an excellent choice as a name for a possible merger between two particular adjacent midwestern cities.

    LegoShillHe?ShallHe?Sure!

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    1. I have the answer and I was going to indicate what the town's first letter becomes, but perhaps that gives too much away.

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    2. ron,
      Congrats. I do not think telling what the town's first letter becomes gives away to much. But I think it would be one of those "hints" that merely confirms a correct answer but does not lead the solver to the correct answer.
      I am confident you have solved this rip-off puzzle, of course, because you historically have solved pretty much ALL my puzzles!
      Feel free to hint away in any manner you see fit. Incidentally, speaking of history, as I know you are aware, the history of how the town got its name is also a highly goodstory.

      LegoWhoNotesThatTonyOlivaHasABirthdayLooming

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    3. It is NOT the town's first letter, but the letter the town's first letter is changed to and it is an E. So this means that the novel's 4th letter is E.

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  24. And yes I realize Our Town has less than 12 letters. I'm still struggling with this one.

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  25. Surely Will Shortz has better things to do than pick the puzzle of any idiot who just calls himself Dave and nothing else. Your puzzle sucks so far, Dave.

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    1. I suspect Will held back Dave's full name so people couldn't simply Google (excuse me, DuckDuckgo) his name on line, and thus find his home town and half the answer.

      Any puzzle with the SDB stamp of approval can't be bad.

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    2. Sheesh, give this said Dave person some credit. His puzzle was chosen and it was clever, in my opinion.

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    3. Let me get something straight for the rest of you: If SDB criticizes the puzzle, it was so easy he got the answer right away, thus no real fun for him. If I criticize the puzzle, it is almost certain I don't have the answer and have gone through a fruitless process to reach this end. Should I find the answer, or failing that a good enough clue on this blog, then and only then will I change my mind and most likely take back what I posted earlier. Let me try to get through it however I see fit. Just know I too have sent in puzzle ideas that Dr. Shortz has not used(yet!), so I have a right to be angry if he chooses some idea from a person calling himself simply "Dave". I don't know this guy well enough to even really form an opinion, it's true, but I think first and foremost he could at least go by a last initial, so it's not just "from Dave". Second, once I've solved this one I'll know if it's at all clever. Until then, it's just a stupid puzzle I have yet to solve. And as I said before, there are only a few state names which become different words when two letters are changed. Then you have to think of some novel title with that word as the second word, and a city name(possibly even an ordinary word they named a city after)as the first. And I've searched two-word book titles already and nothing has popped out at me so far. So there.

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    5. She's right and should know; I've recently learned of connections she has with Trump! Factual exposé Thursday!

      And as I noted, my guess is it was WS who chose to only call him Dave. I suppose WS could have added an initial, but it's really not relevant to this otherwise good puzzle.

      PS: I can't speak for SDB or others, but I don't judge a puzzle on how easy or hard it is, only on whether it's clever and/ or makes me think about words or language. And not about upside down alarm clocks.

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    7. You'll find out Thursday, unless the NY Times scoops me....

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    10. Afraid I haven't been up there in more than a decade. Let me know what you think.

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    12. Natasha, I suggest thinking of a more helpful, not-as-trite-sounding clue than "thinking outside the box".

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    13. Natasha:
      STAND YOUR GROUND AND DO NOT GIVE IN TO BULLYING!

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    14. Though I will try to cajole you into revealing WS's "giveaway clue" after the Thursday deadline. I've spent more time looking for that than solving the puzzle.

      I hope you aren't in Florida like Blaine and WW were.

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    15. eco, happy to see a splendid building (yours?) instead of that sad bird as your thumbnail photo.

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    16. Sad bird was from the plastic cup at PEOTS.

      Yes, that was a house I designed, it was built last year. The real estate people made a pretty cool website for it, though the furniture looks like it came from the Salvation Army Staging Company, and I dislike most of the wallpaper, the heavy grain doors and cabinets, and the weird triangular things in the kitchen selected by the first owners. Not my client, I had designed this for a builder as a spec house, and a couple bought it before construction started.

      They sold the house (listed for just 1 day!) and the new owner wants me to do an addition...and remove the wallpaper and triangles.

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    17. Great home! I love the windows and possibility of so much natural light.

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    18. Wonderful light and a great location.I agree about the interior things, especially those triangular things and the wallpaper. The lightness of the building is weighed down by all that. . .

      Thanks for the link, eco (not lego).

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    19. Thanks for the kind words. I also like that they found a positive use for drones, weaponized with only a camera.

      Thanks for the article, Jan. Yes, housing prices are absolutely insane. In Berkeley 2 BR bungalows sell for over $1 million, studio apartments rent for $2500 - $3000. One of my clients is renting bedrooms in an Oakland house I designed last year for $1000 - $1400. Even worse in San Francisco.

      It's crazy, will crash sooner or later, but it keeps me busy, so we're just enjoying the ride....

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    1. No, just need to find the correct letters to swap out!

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    3. I listened to the playback & it's as written in this week's blog. WS said to "change two letters". So I answered it by just substituting two letters.
      I may sound like a broken record from last week but "you'll know it when you see it"! (If you haven't already)

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    4. I listened to it again. I must have been hearing things the first time. I solved it yesterday. WS gave a hint without realizing it. I used that hint to solve. Felt like I was cheating though. He needs to rethink what he said yesterday in stating the puzzle. I will not tell him the faux pas unless he asks me. Very serious error. But I guess I am the only Sherlock on here so not much damage done.

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  27. Spent alot of time in that "city, state". My sister went to school and lived there for several years.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. That's a pretty searchable hint.

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    3. It didn't come up when I Googled it.

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    4. I googled 2 terms from your post, and the answer appeared in the first hit.

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    5. Deletion is the better part of blather.

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    6. Sorry puzzlers. Thanks for refereeing Blaine. Jan, I didn't mean to offend you.

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    7. Not offended at all, clotheslover, just trying to help.

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  28. So the first word of the novel's title is also the name of the city? Or am I assuming too much?

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    1. Nevermind, just got it. ... It's these kinds o' puzzles that MAGA. Amirite?

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    3. I don't think we ought to be providing information like this before Thursday. It was left ambiguous (intentionally, no doubt) as the puzzle was stated.

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  29. This is not Dave's first puzzle. He's played on air too.

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    1. He has also been a participant in this blog, so let's keep it friendly.

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  30. A (derived) namesake of another of the author's works (hinted elsewhere here) is the partner of someone whose name is the handle of one of our fellow bloggers. (If you don't already have the answer, don't expect this to help!)

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  31. How much do you suppose I'm willing to bet that you can't explain this hint?

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  32. I finally got it! What a slog! Probably like what I think the novel might be.

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  33. Musical Clues: David Bowie, Hugo Montenegro

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  34. Clue was given by ws without realizing it, I believe.

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    1. That's good enough for me!

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    2. I wonder if he knows what it was. I will never give it away.

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  36. I have tried this from every angle I can think of, even following Natasha's idea to listen again. Well, not really again since it didn't air here.
    At this point I am going to quit trying and wait until I learn the answer to decide if I need to kick myself or Dr PM.
    It would be a shame to follow last week with a standard Shortz stinker.

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  39. Mendo...you need to go to npr website to see the hint. Read the puzzle very carefully. I would never have solved without that clue that ws did not mean as a clue...inadvertant clue is what I am suggesting. I truly feel like the cat that ate the canary. I almost gave up until i thought carefully and creatively. Do not give up!!

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    1. inadvertent....spelling correction!

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  40. Mendo...There are also inadvertent clues on this site. Read this blog very carefully and think as you read. That is what helped me the most.

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  41. I've read, reread, and reread again every comment on here and I've reread and listened to the puzzle again. I am utterly and completely stumped.

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  42. Frogdogs16: I would never have gotten it without catching the flaw ws made. Keep sleuthing. The lists I went through were no help. I think puzzle too tricky. But I am not good at puzzles like the geniuses on here.

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  43. If you google "novel" then the name of the city - you might get an interesting suggestion.

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  44. Jan actually gave me the hint I needed (sorry Jan - I know you didn't mean to). I would never have gotten it otherwise, having never heard of the novel (though I had heard of the author). --Margaret G, the uncultured

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  45. I am chagrined that it took me this long to solve this one. (That's my hint....I usually never have hints!

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  46. I forgot to thank Clotheslover for hers!!

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    1. Shoot. I didn't even realize that my comment would have lead a searcher to an answer. Inadvertent seems to be the word of the day.

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    2. The past tense of lead is led. I know it sounds like Pb, but it isn't.

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    3. I just forgot to delete the word "have". I type this all on my phone and am obviously not an English major.

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    4. Please forgive Peeve; he's a little excitable sometimes.

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    5. Please believe me, Clotheslover, I didn't directly find the answer in a search.....rather I applied some logic, and when BINGO, I realized what the city was, I felt like an idiot for reasons I will have to wait to explain, and then I knew immediately what the novel was.

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  47. Funny how absolutely none of these comments are helping. It's interesting how this blog exists most of the time solely for those who solved it already to gloat, and not provide assistance to those who really need it. Special place in hell for the bloggers here indeed.

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    1. You really should have figured out by now that this blog is NOT about "provide(ing) assistance". It is about other things.

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    2. You really should have figured out I said there's a special place in HELL for the bloggers here. Take that hint, SDB.

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    3. "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,
      [is that gloating?] 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."

      We exist through Blaine's mercy and largess(e).

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  48. I thought Legolambda was going to post something to help me out. This sucks!

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  49. You know, there once was a hermit named Dave. He never amounted to anything either.

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    1. Dear cranberry, your frustration is duly noted. I wish I could send you a private message with a usable clue, but it is the one cardinal rule here not to. Posting a response to show I have solved it is much more challenging than not posting anything. Again with the word "inadvertent". I find many of the random and obscure responses, (not to mention the political diatribes and excessive pun waterfalls) here totally pretentious and obnoxious, even though my own posts probably come across that way. The tone of this blog can be very intimidating, but then I have to remind myself why I participate. Because ultimately I enjoy the challenge. I don't think it would be very fun if it was too easy, or took too much time. Keep with it! Try solving it backwards this time. It may come to you if you concentrate on the classic novel title, rather than the city and state. Blaine, you can put me in time out if I have revealled too much here.

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    2. And sometimes, like last week for me, the answer doesn't come through by Thursday. I shrug it off (no Atlas involved).

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    4. Correction for Paul: Oh, snap!

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    5. I didn't notice any difference at first glance - must be a comma chameleon.

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    6. Bahahaha! Comma chameleon? That's hilarious.

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  50. NY Times reports Senators Lee of Utah and Moran of Kansas have abandoned TrumpCare(less). Thanks 68Charger for putting pressure on Moran, who, unlike Lee, is voting no for the right reasons. At least sort of.

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    1. Thanks Lego! Just heard about this a little while ago! Maybe there is hope!!
      We've got to keep after our elected leaders or things will never change. Moran is one of the few Republicans who still hold town hall meetings. I've really been impressed with that.
      I still need to keep writing Pat Roberts, our other Senator, to let him know his smug attitude needs to change.
      I am very pleased with Moran, he is showing that he has two legs and is willing to stand on his own. 

      I used to think one voice makes no difference but if enough people speak up, we can change things for the better.

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    2. I'll speak up that I'm Eco, not Lego.

      Last year Ralph Nader wrote Breaking Through Power: It's Easier Than We Think about how a relatively small number of organized citizens can enact change. If Nader's banned in Kansas, maybe they can send it in a plain Brown(back) paper wrapper.

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    3. Ecoarchitect - Doh!!I knew I was going to do that sooner or later!! I just have too many things going on tonight.
      I have disagreed with Nader at times but he is sure good at mobilizing the masses.
      You know, Brownback has really taken a big political hit over his insistence on eliminating basic taxes in hopes it would raise the tide. Well, it sure hasn't worked in Kansas or many other locales for that matter.

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    4. Yeah, I read that the Kansas experiment in trickle down was an utter failure, and the legislature is rethinking that. Now if the message could only get through to the US Congress. And maybe a pretty chart for you know who...

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    5. Eco - I meant to say sorry for the name mix-up, I need to doublecheck better!

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    1. Natasha:
      I think I may safely speak for most of us here, that we do not want to see you go from this blog.

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    6. Natasha:
      I hope you know my earlier post to you was in regard to a tantrum being thrown by a certain poster here who is known for doing this. I wanted to offer you my support.

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    9. I think we're all basically good people here, even if some of us get a bit squirrelly now and then.

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    10. I think he pushes many here over that same edge, but most are reluctant to say anything. My theory is that children do not self-correct their inappropriate behavior, but need parental guidance.

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    11. Natasha - Keep with it, I agree with SDB, we'd like to keep hearing from you!

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  53. Natasha, it's not you. It's me. I was just disappointed because I can't solve this week's puzzle. I tend to get angry sometimes and say things I don't mean. I shouldn't really take it out on anyone on this blog. I'm so sorry. If you've solved it, if anyone here has solved it, then good for you. It's just sometimes the detective work that goes into trying to find the answer can be such an exercise in futility if you've got nothing to show for it. I read some of your last posts, and the typos almost make me think you may have been crying while you were typing. Don't cry, and don't give up on this blog! They need you here! We need you here! If I knew where to look for part of the answer, I could take care of the other part. I just need to know what city and state, and then I could change the state and then just look up the result. That's all! Not an obvious hint, but something I can figure out(hopefully)! Please forgive me! Chew me out about my comments! I deserve it! I don't know why I let it get to me like this sometimes. I'm trying to have fun with it too. It's just no fun when I'm completely stumped! But I know someday I may win again. You'll win someday too. But don't give up on the whole thing because of a few idiotic, poorly thought-out comments from another blogger who's having a bad week of it! I take back every word I said, I'm so sorry! Please forgive me!

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  54. is it me? Or do I hear violins?

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    1. I think most of us here believe in non-violins, mostly. We do think ViolinTedddy is okay, though.

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    2. And what city are you from Dave?

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  55. Just a heads-up: We're approaching the 200-comment limit on this blog site. After that, in order to see new comments, scroll to the bottom and click on "Load more", or something like that.

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  56. Natasha,

    I join others in hoping you stay with us, and am sorry you felt a need to delete all your posts. I enjoy your presence and comments here, and especially appreciate anyone who tolerates and contributes to SDB's and my pun rants (and others too).

    Cranberry: Sunday evening Jan offered a clue to your dilemma; I suggest re-reading that, and perhaps doing an on-line search of the greatest classic novels of all time. You may or may not find the answer, but you should see where one of your basic assumptions is wrong. I hope that isn't too much of a clue, but it would be nice to see some peace restored to this enjoyable site.

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    1. I echo eco in stating my disappointment in Natasha deleting her very valid posts. I hoped she would not do this this time, but was not surprised it happened. I think it is important for others, specifically Blaine, to have an opportunity to see how some are affected by the continuing personal attacks by this poster that are in no way justified. He knows very well his behavior is not acceptable, but persists anyway, and then offers an apology, but later repeats. He needs to understand and accept that no one has any responsibility to provide him with any hints or help in solving these puzzles, and to stop taking his anger at his inability to solve something on others.

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    2. Sdb...thanks to you and eco. I enjoy your blogs so much. I usually delete anyway as you know.

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  57. Clotheslover, your "hint" didn't get me anywhere. One of Jan's replies did. I often do *not* get the answers to these puzzles, yet still enjoy the repartee (as long as it stays friendly). And I would hope that Natasha sticks around, because I very much enjoy her contributions here. Plus of course I look forward to hearing what WS let slip in his puzzle, and wonder if it's similar to what Jan let slip. For I, too, solved the puzzle with logic, rather than knowing lots about poems or literature. --Margaret G.

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