Sunday, July 02, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 2, 2017): Girls and Cars

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 2, 2017): Girls and Cars:
Q: Think of a common girl's name. Write it in all capital letters. Rotate one of these letters 90 degrees and another of the letters 180 degrees. The result will name a make of a car. What is it?
And if you take one letter in the make of a car and turn it 90 degrees and another letter is turned 180 degrees the result is a fish.

Edit: A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
A: WANDA --> MAZDA

113 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. Another easy one, with just a bit of magic in the answer. ---Rob

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  3. I used a bit of logic to solve this.
    I wonder how many times this car manufacturer has appeared in the Sunday Puzzle in the last sixteen years or so.
    Just getting my two cents in now while I can still hear myself think.

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    1. I enjoyed deducing, on My oWn, the key letters. That enabled me to discern the manufacturer without having to consult a list, and the rest came together in a very satisfying manner, kind of like a brand new car door latch.

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  4. There are only two CAPITAL letters you can rotate 180° to obtain each other:M to W or W to M.

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    1. _Ulysses_ fans will know that there might be another rotation for this letter: the Greek E which looks like a W with the point facing right. ---Rob

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    2. I think you mean the Greek S, not the Greek E. (I.e. Sigma).

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    3. Hmmmm... Mr. Bloom reminds himself to include "Greek ees" in his clandestine correspondence. Looking at "Greek e" images on Google, I see the W (or M) rotated ninety degrees, and indeed this is the sigma, but it not called that by Mr. Bloom. ---Rob

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    4. "to obtain each other"? I think you added that part. If "dorscie" were a common girl's name, it would pass the test.

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    5. Remember that the girl's name must be written in all capital letters.

      The lowercase d may indeed rotate 180° into either an uppercase OR lowercase p, but not the uppercase D.

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  5. The girl’s name is also the name of a movie.

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    1. I was loadin' up the car for a road trip when the answer came to me.

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  6. This car company gave one it's models a girls name.

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  7. The bar's been set quite low on this puzzle.

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    1. "The bar's been set quite Low(den)on this one." was a reference to "A Fish called WANDA" written, directed, and starring Barbara Loden. (And not a puzzle criticism ;-))

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  8. This week's puzzle is a prescription for easy. It took me 7 or 8 seconds to solve.

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  9. No writing this one down necessary.
    What is with the all the giveaway clues above?
    Not needed and, I thought, not welcome.

    I can remember famous Shakira's name about half the time now.

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    1. I hope my comments weren't 'giveaway clues'. They're almost as annoying as telemarketing calls.

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    2. I tried to obfuscate my clue this week. Hope it's not a "giveaway" to you.

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  10. Another easy puzzle, another bonus puzzle:
    Think of a famous playwright's last name. Write it in all capital letters. Rotate one of these letters 90 degrees and another of the letters 180 degrees. The result will name a former kingdom. What are they?

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  13. Yikes! Not the comment section I was hoping for on my first puzzle submission. I sent in a batch of puzzles quite a while ago (which included this one) with puzzles that were considerably harder than this one. However, even if you thought it was easy, I hope most of you at least found it enjoyable!

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    1. Tyler: I think you've fared well on this critical platform. No one has said "lame", or "stupid", or "anagram" - the standard words of disdain.

      I thought the puzzle was clever, but not very hard, took less than a minute.

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    2. Tyler, welcome!

      Keep in mind that some of our phrasing is clueing the answer so the words may sound harsher than called for. . .

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    3. Yes, I enjoyed it! I hope WS will use some of your other ones.

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    4. Congratulations, Tyler. 'Tis a fine puzzle which I enjoyed also. Will Shortz just seems to have been choosing easier-to-solve puzzles lately. Perhaps it's a "summertime-and-the-solvin'-is-easy" situation. Perhaps also, Will will opt to use some of your tougher puzzle submissions come autumn. (no intentional hints in this post)

      LegoSays"Keep'EmComin'Tyler!"

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  14. The answer came to me at a moment in time.

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  15. Tyler -

    I thought the puzzle was fairly clever. Congratulations and keep up the good work.

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  16. Replies
    1. The verses from Ecclesiastes refer to the ceaseless search for wisdom (which the author suggests is to some extent futile): "Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning." "Ceaseless search" connotes "wanderlust," while Mazda means "wisdom" in the original Avestan.

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  17. A few members of a popular comedy troupe across the pond come to mind.

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  18. Hmmm.... Anyone see Gerald McBoing-Boing, best animated short of 1950, story by Dr. Seuss, produced by my friend's father-in-law, John Hurley?

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    1. jan, I just watched it. Delightful, though I was a little lost. . .

      Maybe rongorongo is rightorighto, after all.

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    2. Make that Hubley, not Hurley. Damned autocorrect!

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  19. This morning, as I answered a call of Nature, I had to walk by the computer and saw the new puzzle was up. I read it and returned back to bed where I immediately solved it. I don't know why the make of car came to mind first, but it did. The rest was very quick and easy to see, and so I then got up and posted the following at the end of last week's blog:


    skydiveboy Sun Jul 02, 05:36:00 AM PDT

    A very, very tired SDB is very happy that, again, we do not have to think hard to solve this one. Back to bed and lots more sleep, I hope.
    End.

    No hint. It doesn't need one, although I had been thinking of one similar to Blaine's, but later saw his, and therefore I will leave it at that, and be happy I believe I have solved my car problem, except to say that while I am very familiar with the girl's name, I don't agree that it is common.


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  20. I had a friend who had that name.

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    1. My friend has disappeared from my list of current friends. I cannot seem to find her anymore. She was psychic and lived in a haunted house.

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    3. One of my coworkers had a long-distance relationship with a woman of this name, whom he visited regularly. Which called for revision of the dictionaries in our workplace to substitute this new, much more a propos word for the loan word that was found there before.

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    4. I cannot recall ever having known or encountered anyone with this name, and I meet a lot of people. Just because we may all be aware of this name, and perhaps even knowing someone with it, does not make it a "common" name.

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    5. How do we know we are not all talking about the very same woman?

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    6. I do not think it is that common a name. My friend's name suited her now that I think of it. Never occurred to me before. I think I will look for her.

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    7. SDB: She could be the same person!

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    8. I worked with a woman who had this name. She and I share a surname; we aren't related, though, because our surname is pretty common.

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    9. My coworker was seeing Wanda, who lived a thousand miles from here. So we xeroxed a page out of Webster's, removed the definition for "wanderlust" and substituted one for "wandalust," the ceaseless desire to travel to see Wanda.

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  21. Take a synonym of mosaicist, then name a homophone of that synonym. Now take the plural form of a human body part and a fowl critter's body part, leaving no space between.
    The result is the name of an excellent puzzle-making puzzlemaster.

    LegoHintsThatTheCritter'sBodyPartBearsSomeResemblanceToAWattleDewlapOrSnood

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  22. This holiday, decorating criss-cross our back alley with my friend Olive and her old Christmas lights.

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    1. Criss-cross our back alley, Diagonalley, the hidden street in Harry Potter’s world where magical supplies could be purchased. Olive and her, Ollivander’s, where Harry Potter purchased his magic WAND. MAZDA was also an old (pre-1945) brand of Christmas lights.

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  23. I think the first person I knew of who had this name was a well-tempered French-Polish performer whose fame puts Shikara's to shame.

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  24. Where's Zeke Creek these days? Maybe I should try and fill in for him just this once.

    On the subject of "common" and what constitutes a name being common: Let's put it all in more understandable terms. Let us consider all the various varieties of potatoes and their distinctive names. Would you all agree that the Russet is most likely the most commentator?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I knew Ida before she became a ho.

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    3. Natasha,
      If I were you I would be careful when around potatoes. They have eyes, you know. I don't mean to be tuber-acratic, but it could be offPutin.

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    5. Don't be a sucka Tash, and fall into a veggie pun-fest with SDB. We've bean down that path, nothing will a peas him. You don't know what will turnip, lettuce pray he won't beet you.

      Shallot it ever end?

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    6. I want to squash this corny nonsense right now before we get into another rhubarb!

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  25. I say don't be a yarrow-minded chickweed. Unless I miss my cress, veggie puns are in a leek of their own. Sure, it sounds ridicchio, but you must beetroot to yourself. Look at me. I yam what I yam. And I know SDB may know his onions when it comes to veggie puns, but his bok choy may be worse than his bite. At least they don't pay him a celery to do this. Besides, Natasha, what would a chickpea doing using veggie puns anyway? Most women don't even carrot all. A fine tomato like you shouldn't anyway. You might end up in the looney bean! If I were you, I'd squash this Whole Foods thing. Peas be with you.

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    1. Cranberry, I will be a mashed potato if my colleagues dig up this dirt about me.

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  26. Excuse my little veggie pun tangent. I figured it wouldn't kale me to join the conversation. You may think it's small potatoes, or that I'm a lentil case. It just seems to me there's two sides to every corn. It's the chicory or the eggplant. In the endive been proven right.

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    1. Lentil case?? That's hilarious!

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    2. Catholic kids can't wait for the day Lentil be over. Especially since the advent of the Easter candy hunt.

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    3. Jesus never found his Easter eggs, and was cross all day.

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    4. While I have never watched the Simpsons, I thought I knew enough about the show to have the opinion that Bart did not attend a parochial school.

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  27. I may not be able to post the answer at noon today as I will be attending a Rotary lunch with my uncle.

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    1. WANDA, MAZDA

      "Keep in mind that some of our phrasing is clueing the answer so the words may sound harsher than CALLED for. . ." as in "A Fish CALLED WANDA.

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    2. SDB: Rotary Club had me worried about you.

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    3. Natasha:
      Actually I have attended several Rotary Club lunches as a guest of my 93 year old uncle who lives 2,000 miles East of me. For him Rotary was his religion, until he finally quit due to age. I found them very interesting, sorta like watching mold grow on cheese. I hated having to stand for the Pledge (furniture wax?) of Allegiance in order not to embarrass my uncle though.

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    4. Nothing wrong actually with rotary. My brother was a member.

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  28. MAZDA > WANDA (one of the most “common” names in our history)

    My Hint: “I may not be able to post the answer at noon today as I will be attending a Rotary lunch with my uncle.” Rotary lunches are not exactly my thing, but it makes for a nice hint (which jan got quickly) as Mazda was known for their rotary engines.

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    1. I thought you were also hinting with "uncle" <-> "Wankel".

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    3. jan, Good point. I had forgotten about the Wankel engines. What goes around; sometimes doesn't.

      How about Uncle Vanya? Anyway we can Chekhov that one from our list.

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    4. From the mid 1920's to the mid 1960's Wanda was a relatively popular name, peaking in the top 50 in the late 1930's.

      Much more popular than, say, Mark, is today.

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    6. Lettuce move on from the "fresh" vegetable talk. We get no celery for all the entertainment we provide

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    8. eco:
      I just looked, and Mark is now listed as #14 on most popular U.S. male names.

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    9. Hmm, the website I was looking at had a lower number. But I'm glad you are proud of being so common.

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    10. I'm glad we have something in common.

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  29. WANDA, MAZDA

    The girl’s name is also the name of a movie, Wanda. And there is also another movie named A Fish Called Wanda.

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    1. Regarding my comment about "loadin' up my car," loadin' is a homophone of Loden, as in Barbara Loden, the woman who wrote, directed, and starred in the film Wanda.

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  30. WANDA, MAZDA

    > This must be Will's favorite car make. It's appeared in puzzles at least three times before.

    On-air on January 25, 2009, and on March 29, 2009, and March 16, 2014.

    > Hmmm.... Anyone see Gerald McBoing-Boing, best animated short of 1950, story by Dr. Seuss, produced by my friend's father-in-law, John Hubley?

    "Hmmm" and "Boing" were key elements of Mazda's early ad campaign.

    >> I had a friend who had that name.

    > Nemo? Dory?

    Or a fish named Wanda?

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  31. Bonus Puzzle, same rules, famous playwright to former kingdom:

    George Bernard SHAW becomes SIAM. Of course you have to use the right font for that to work.

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  32. My hint involved the word prescription, also commonly known as an Rx, and the numbers 7 & 8, alluding to the Mazda RX7 & RX8.

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  33. MAZDA->WANDA. Mazda also made the "Carol", which looks like a rather fun car to drive.

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  34. WANDA, MAZDA
    I too referenced "A Fish Called Wanda". It stars John Cleese and Michael Palin, two members of Monty Python. Funny there was no reference to comedienne Wanda Sykes.

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  35. My friend Wanda has both M and Z in her last name. She was quite magical, psychic etc that goes with the Wand in her first name. She is a nurse and saw ghosts in her Victorian home in Berkeley.

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  36. WANDA. (Not a common name, currently ranked #979 in U.S. Births).

    Rotate the “W” 180° to “M” and rotate the “N” 90° to “Z.” This yields MAZDA.

    Clotheslover: The Mazda CAROL.

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  37. This week's car puzzle answer pales to one of the more iconic car brands out there!

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  38. Girl: WANDA; car: MAZDA.

    My clue, about taking part of the girl’s name and part of a body part and rearranging to get something the car make was famous for, refers to the WANKEL (WANda/anKLE) engine, used in a number of Mazdas.

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  39. A worthwhile side effect of the Puzzle this week:
    I am listening as I post to an LP I bought around 1960 with 20 sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti played on the harpsichord by Wanda Landowska.
    I made mention earlier to her as a well-tempered Polish-French performer.
    I learned some things about her interesting and varied life this week that I am not sure was very available back when I first heard of her.

    Is it noteworthy that it doesn't make any difference whether you rotate N left or right to make Z?

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  40. Puzzleria! is now uploaded. We feature this week a very clever puzzle created by cranberry (aka Patrick). We also offer a handful of Shortz-Rip/Riff-Offs and a puzzle about carpenters, blacksmiths and members of another profession.

    Here is the answer to the bonus puzzle I posted Monday:
    Take a synonym of mosaicist, then name a homophone of that synonym. Now take the plural form of a human body part and a fowl critter's body part, leaving no space between.
    The result is the name of an excellent puzzle-making puzzlemaster.
    Answer: Tyler (tiler = mosaicist) Lipscomb, the puzzlemaster who is the creator of the WANDA/MAZDA puzzle.

    LegoNotesThatTylerSharesHisSurnameWithOneOfTheTwoNationalFootballLeaguePlayersWithTheBestAllTimeNicknames

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  41. This week's challenge comes from Martin Eiger of Montville, NJ. He's a member of the National Puzzlers' League, which is holding its 178th convention in Boston this weekend. Take a certain 7-letter word. Remove the first letter and you get a 6-letter synonym of that word. And the letter you removed is an abbreviation for the opposite of both words. What words are these?

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