Sunday, July 09, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 9, 2017): Synonyms and an Antonym

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 9, 2017): Synonyms and an Antonym:
Q: 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?
A: FACTUAL and ACTUAL --> F (False)

131 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. I have three answers, none of which I am terribly confident of...

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    1. And the good news is the answer is one of those words.

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    2. Yes. I have the "intended answer."

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  3. A good puzzle. Take the word for which the removed single letter is an abbreviation. A synonym for that word shares its first and second letters, and is in the news a lot. ---Rob

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    1. Without your hint, I'd surely have spent the next four days on this.

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    2. Oh, dear - I had hoped that my hint might serve as confirmation to someone who already had the answer. It wasn't supposed to be a help to get the answer.

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    3. I still had to work for it. But you did help.

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    4. I was bereft of all clues
      When your phrase "in the news"
      Lit up like a fuse--
      With an answer to use!!!
      Thanks.

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    5. It was not a hint for me on July 9. I solved it today and it confirmed my answer. It is a good hint and I should have thought about it more but gave up on it.

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  4. Not so easy for me this week. Great challenge!!

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  5. I thought of an answer. Hard to tell if it will work for most of us. I will continue thinking about it.

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    Replies
    1. He blocked and locked his soul. B. = He unblocked, unlocked, bared his soul...

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    2. Ron, your answer seems plausible and my brain has attached itself to those words and will not let them go! However, since only hints are allowed prior to Thursdays, I must figure out a way to stay the course and keep thinking.

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  6. I suppose one might try making the argument that if the removed letter is an abbreviation for the synonym of the two words, that the answer is the same.

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  7. One may have to search the net to get the answer by Thursday; web almost always has the solution...

    Bonus Puzzle: take a 7 letter word, change the first 2 letters to 3 further back in the alphabet (e.g. "a" becomes "d") and the new word is the opposite of the first. I'd say it's even money you'll get this.

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  8. I wish the answer was "pallies" and "allies," where P stands for Putin. ;P

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  9. I have to get my passport ID and everything in order for a cruise we'll be taking in a few months. I don't need this.
    Bonus Puzzle: take a 7-letter word, drop the first letter, then take that letter and put it where the sun doesn't shine. Now do the same with the remaining six letters. What 7-letter word is this?

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  10. I hope WS really means "opposite" because
    synonyms Failing, Ailing and F work.

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  12. While it's true that this was a great puzzle, it did take me quite a while to figure out! Anyway, here is a bonus puzzle.

    Bonus: Think of a six letter word. Add one letter to the beginning of the word and the result will be a synonym of the first. Then remove the 5th and 6th letters of that word and rearrange the remaining letters to obtain another synonym of both words.

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  13. If I didn't get the official puzzle, Tyler, I ain't gonna get yours.

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  14. Without an adequate hint, it could be anything. Besides, I have more important things on my mind. We'll find out Thursday, that I know.

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  15. See, I like a puzzle where I know what category I can look up for the answer. If you just tell me "it's a seven-letter word" and nothing else, I've really got nowhere to go. Therefore, I don't care for this puzzle, no offense to Dr. Shortz. And whoever has solved this puzzle when I haven't, I don't particularly care for you either. That's as nice as I can put it without saying this week's challenge sucks.

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  16. If anything, I'd say Mendo Jim's answer was just good enough I can't believe it wasn't removed by the author. He may have given it right away there.

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  17. I'm afraid I'm just not going to get this one. In the immortal words of Jerry Reed, when you're hot you're hot, and when you're not, it's hopeless; or, as some across the pond might say:
    'opeless.

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  18. Are REGRETS cloned EGRETS? What would the antonym be?

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    1. David, I believe the antonym we would be looking for is "Rushcut".

      LegoWhoHasHadNoRegretsNorEgrets...JustEgregiousCats!

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  19. The removed letter is throwing me totally off. I'm just not getting this. None of the words I've come up with make any sense in regards to the abbreviated opposite removed letter.

    Brimmed->rimmed->B?

    Bloomed->loomed->B?

    Stumble->tumble->S?

    Grumble->rumble->G?

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  20. When I am stuck on one of these (or something important), the middle-of-the-night wakefulness I often experience is a good time to ruminate.
    I didn't get the answer last night, but I did get an approach that worked this morning.

    Even though it pains this curmudgeon to say it,
    this is a tough but fair puzzle.

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  21. I now have 5 answers including the "intended answer." I suggest using THIS SITE to check possible meanings of abbreviations.

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    1. 5 that have 2 synonymous words, like crumple and rumple? And clotheslover's list above?

      Or do you have 5 that work with an antonymous first letter abbreviation too? That would be truly impressive.

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    2. 5 with an antonymous first letter. I will not be able to post until late on Thursday.

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    3. I hope you're using a computer, otherwise you have way too much time on your hands.

      Are you counting names? For example Melissa and Elissa would not be M's.

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    4. I hike with a group on Thursdays and we are usually out of cell phone range.

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    5. I meant too much time if you've figured out 5 answers without using a computer program.

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  22. Looking like for me, that I'll be waiting for the Thursday deadline...

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  23. Speaking of "counting" (as eco was in his Mon Jul 10, 03:11:00 PM PDT comment), here is another bonus puzzle:
    Take a certain 6-letter word for something that counts. Remove the first letter and you get the 5-letter surname of a person Will Shortz can apparently count on to create a challenging puzzle. And the letter you removed is an abbreviation for the probable language of origin of the surname. What words are these?

    I believe ron is on the right track in his solving of this puzzle; there must be multiple acceptable answers. I'm not sure if I've hit on Will's intended answer yet, but I do have a few "probably good-enoughs."
    In the puzzle's sentence "And the letter you removed is an abbreviation for the opposite of both words," I find the word "abbreviation" interesting. The text might have instead read:
    "And the letter you removed is the initial letter in a word for the opposite of both words." The pool of single-letter abbreviations, IMHO, is a bit murky.
    I also find the use of "opposite" rather than "antonym" curious.

    LegoWhoThinksThatAbbreviationIsTheSoulOfEpitome

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    Replies
    1. Check single-letter abbreviations HERE.

      Check antonyms HERE.

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  24. It's kind of fun to see the foo on Lego's shoot this week.
    Wee Willy's phrasing needs no mods for the answer I would send in if I did such things.

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    1. Yes, Mendo Jim, if the foo fits on my shoot I shall gladly wear it. But, as Cinderella learned the hard way, "People who walk in glass slippers shouldn't stow thrones"... even it it was a prince who fitted them onto her tootsies.
      "People who walk in glass slippers should also probably walk softly and carry a big stick of glass glue around with them..." for then, if the shoe breaks to bits they can repair it.

      LegoSayConfuciusWasTooConfusingButThisGoodnu'sWiseManMadeSomeSense

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  25. This puzzle is almost impossible to research. English contains too many words that can be opposites. I don't know of a good way to narrow it down.

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    1. I think it's easier to start with 1 letter abbreviations - there aren't that many that have antonyms. And WS doesn't go for obscure words.

      Once I had a good guess as to what the letter/ word might be, I typed the word's antonym as a clue and the letter with 6 blanks on a crossword puzzle site. Came right up. Rob's clue from Sunday is probably more helpful than mine.

      I hope I don't incur SDB's/ Blaine's wrath; but this is just how to approach the problem, as you did a couple of weeks ago.

      Delete
  26. It's not so Elementary my dear Watsons

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  27. Worked on this for hours on Sunday. Created a list of all 3800+ 7-letter words that formed 6-letter words when you dropped the first letter. Even though the answer was in there, I had zip-a-dee-doo-dah after combing through the list several times. My wife the psychologist told me to leave it, stop thinking about it, and the answer would come. I sat down with the list again tonight, but before I started combing through it yet again, the answer popped into my head. I hate when she's right like that!

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  29. I vote for Mendo Jim's answer: quite an elegant result.

    Alternative puzzle: Take a certain 8-letter word. Write it down in lower case letters. Remove the first letter and change the third letter into another letter that has a similar appearance. The 7-letter word is a result of 8 letter word. And the letter removed is an abbreviation for the opposite of the first word.

    Hint: related to at least one individual on horseback.

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  30. I wonder what answer xfyre is referring to; I don't give hints.

    Lego: I was referring to a different shoe saying.

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    1. How many darn shoe sayings are there anyway?! Darn socks sayings I can see, sure, but shoes are a horse of another color: blacksmithery!
      As I prepare to start my day, Mendo Jim, I always put the bereft shoe on my light foot, and the wright shoe (wrought by a smithy, perhaps Word Woman?) on my rong foot.

      LegoWhoObservesThatTheShoeNeverSeemsToFitWheneverHeTriesToPutTheBewreftShoeOnTheLongFoot

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    2. MJ: I think xfyre was referring to failing/ ailing. I suppose "f" could refer to "fine", at least numismatists use that abbreviation/ term.

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    3. I do not think that will be acceptable. My answer is better.

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    4. You mean my $35 dime is not ailing?

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  31. According to The Free Dictionary, there are about forty shoe sayings.
    You are thinking about the Great Bird God Foo and what to do when he has shown his displeasure with you
    I am thinking about other feet, with my playing Pangloss for a change.

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    1. Dr. Mendo Jimpangloss,
      You have never really struck me as a naive optimist. So you're playing against character, big time. I agree to play-act your jaded and cynical student.
      Other feet! What could they be?
      Metrical feet?
      Yardstickal feet?
      Hills' feet?
      Stools' feet?
      Crow's-feet?

      LegoWhoIsJustAnotherCloyingCandideApplePickingThePanglossianBrainOfMendoJim

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    2. Once you arrive at the answer you know it is correct. I have no doubt about being 100% correct.

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    4. Natasha - I came up with an answer last night that sounds pretty good. I just hope it's right! Maybe after tomorrow's deadline it will be confirmed.

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    5. I am positive my answer is correct. Hope we have the correct answer...you, me or both.

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    6. Regardless of ron's many possible answers, I think Natasha is right - once you find the intended answer, it's veracity jumps out at you. --Margaret G.

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    7. I know you have the answer Margaret! I felt so excited when I realized the answer. Almost gave up. Just came across a word in my searches then I removed the first letter and Viola....I had the answer. Now they need to call me on Thursday so I can get my pin.

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    8. Natasha - I do think you are right and good luck!

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. This puzzle was quite a test. Finally got the answer - during a 1:00 AM attack of insomnia, Maybe now I can get to sleep.

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  34. The "opposite of both words" in one of my Shortz (and Eiger) rip-offs this Friday will be the antonym of the "opposite of both words" in this week's NPR puzzle.

    LegoWhoPredicts"Under70(Correct)EntriesThisWeek"

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Jan. My relative got nominated for emmy today . She is production designer. Won last year. Excited for her.

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    5. Natasha,
      Congrats to your relative. Hope she wins. Keep us informed.

      Lego,DeductionResigner(WhenHeGetsStumpedOnWill'sOrBlainsvillians'PosedPuzzles)

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    6. Thanks lego. She works on an amazin show. Actually two of them. I watch one of ten just for the sets. She is very talented and humble. Did not even prepare speech last year. This is 10th nomination.

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    8. Наташа,
      У нас есть проблемы с нашей установкой в Вашингтоне. Как вы думаете, ваш родственник может нам помочь?

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    9. Я спрошу ее. Отличная идея. Она могла сказать, что она проектирует овальный офис и устанавливает видео, прослушивание телефонных разговоров и рекордеры.

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    10. Ранее ее отец работал кандидатом в президенты.

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    11. Мы не говорили, что это развитие было конкретно президентом. Но это очень важно для многих людей. Тайна имеет огромное значение, так как у нас много врагов с ложными новостями!

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    12. Трамп испортил все. Придется его вытащить.

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    13. Бывают времена, когда мы делаем плохие инвестиции. Тем не менее, мы стараемся сделать все возможное с плохой ситуацией.

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    14. Это так, товарищ.

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    15. Jan, I did not know that. Thanks!

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  37. Sorry for deletes. Cell phone makes duplicates of my posts.

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  38. FACTUAL
    ACTUAL
    F > as in FALSE (aka FAKE)

    My alternates, which I came up with earlier:

    AMASSED
    MASSED
    A as indicating alone or only i.e. there was a survivor.

    REVOLVE
    EVOLVE
    R > as on a gearshift lever fro reverse


    A good, but difficult puzzle.

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  39. I wrote, "Take the word for which the removed single letter is an abbreviation. A synonym for that word shares its first and second letters, and is in the news a lot." F stands for "false," with a synonym "fake," as in Fake News.

    When SilentWoman wrote on Sunday, "Without your hint, I'd surely have spent the next four days on this," I was surprised. I considered deleting the post, but I still don't think I made it a giveaway, so I left it. I was again surprised that jutchnbev was able to use the "Fake News" reference. I will have to be more obscure! ---Rob

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  40. Nicely done! This is our first miss in more than three months!

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  41. Seven letter word: FACTUAL; drop the F and get: ACTUAL.

    FACTUAL and ACTUAL are synonyms for True; F is the abbreviation for: False.

    My clue about this puzzle being quite a test was a reference to True/False tests.

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  42. Factual and actual.

    One may have to search the (Drag)net to get the answer by Thursday (i.e. before Joe Friday, who always said "Just the facts, ma'am") ; web almost always (as in Jack Web+b has the solution...

    Bonus Answer: take a 7 letter word, change the first 2 letters to 3 further back in the alphabet (e.g. "a" becomes "d") and the new word is the opposite of the first. I'd say it's even money you'll get this.

    Answer is obverse and reverse. Terms mostly refer to coins, hence the "even money" (heads or tails) reference.

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  43. FACTUAL - F -> ACTUAL

    > ...Created a list of all 3800+ 7-letter words that formed 6-letter words when you dropped the first letter. Even though the answer was in there, I had zip-a-dee-doo-dah after combing through the list several times...

    It's the truth. It's actual. Everything is satisfactual.

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  44. Excellent work fellow puzzlers. I just couldn't quite get it this week, but I did give it a go. My list is a stretch of hilarious imaginings, but nothing really actually factual!

    Smashed->mashed-> S for Sober, Solid, Secure, Stable

    Aroused->roused-> A for Asleep

    Chanuka->Hanuka->C for Christmas, Christ, Christian (I know that's an uncommon spelling, but there are at least 8 different ways to spell Hanukkah. One for each day!)

    Googled->oogled->G for Gee! I wonder? Let me Google that.

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    Replies
    1. Similarly AWAKENS/WAKENS->ASLEEP

      Delete
    2. Yes, good one! I also thought of:
      America->'Merica->A for Anti, or Antithesis

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  45. I think it is:

    OPOSSOM
    POSSUM

    As in "play possum" or "play dead". The removed "O"
    standing for "OBIT" or "OBITUARY" and
    you are officially dead.

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    Replies
    1. Nice thinking-outside-the-cage alternative answer, 68Charger. Opossum/possum/Obit is, on the whole, greater than the sum of its parts.
      Speaking of alternatives involving O's, I was going to use Orotund/rotund/Off-mike as a Puzzleria! rip-off, but rejected it because the synonymity of orotund/rotund was too obscure and Off-mike was a pathetic antonym.
      I would have used your Opossum puzzle, however, had I been clever enough to come up with it.

      LegOplayingOpossum

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    2. Thanks, Lego, I appreciate it! I guess "Actual & Factual" are the keepers, though. This one had me stumped. I spent way too much time on this one!!

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    3. Just noticed that I misspelled "Opossum", oh well!!

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  46. As I said on Monday, a tough but fair puzzle.
    It was satisfying to solve it, not a frequent enough feeling.
    As big a fan as I am of alternate answers, none yet seem to make it.
    Now we need to wait for ron to return from his hike.

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    1. Mendo Jim – Good job this week. Actually there is a fine alternate answer. It’s the one created by the “collaboration” among you, xfyre and ecoarchitect. Specifically,
      Failing /ailing, where “f” is the numismatic abbreviation for “fine.”

      I hope it gets honorable mention on the air.

      Delete
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  48. I had AWAITED and WAITED where A stands for ADVANCED

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  49. Starting with a list of 12819 seven character words,
    and using only a text editor, this 1156 line list quickly resulted:

    ACHING CACHING
    ACTION FACTION
    ACTORS FACTORS
    ACTUAL FACTUAL
    ACTUAL TACTUAL
    ...
    WINKLE TWINKLE
    WIPING SWIPING
    WISHED SWISHED
    WISHER SWISHER
    WITTED TWITTED

    By luck, two words of interest appeared early:
    FACTUAL (a desired answer) and
    TACTUAL=tactile=tangible (a contrary answer).

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  50. 1. FACTUAL = ACTUAL. F. stands for FALSE , as in Rob's “FAke News,” surely the intended answer.

    2. ARISING = RISING
    A. can stand for ABSENT.

    3. ASHAMED = SHAMED
    A. can stand for APPROVED (see A. above).

    4. AWAKENS = WAKENS
    A. can stand for ABSENT (asleep) (see A. above).

    5. AGAINST = GAINST.
    A. can stand for APPROVED (APPROVAL, see A. above).

    Lego:
    GEIGER counter. Remove the G to obtain Martin EIGER, this week's puzzle constructor. “G” does NOT stand for German, “his probable language of origin;” G can stand for Guatemala, but not German or Germany. GER is the abbreviation for German or Germany.

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    1. How about PRATTLE and RATTLE, both noise making, with "p" the musical abbreviation for piano, meaning to play or sing softly?

      Not great, but at least the abbreviation is legitimate.

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    2. I like it, eco.

      Walk p-ly and carry a big stick?

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    3. Or talk f-ly and carry a big schtick?

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  51. FACTUAL, ACTUAL(meaning TRUE), the F stands for FALSE.

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  52. BTW the answer finally came to me late last night.

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  53. Puzzleria! has just now been uploaded.
    We feature another puzzle this week created by Patrick J. Berry (cranberry) that investigates entertainers in elevators and the zany ups and downs that ensue.
    We also offer three rip-offs of the Will's NPR Factual/actual/False puzzle. One involves a ship that went down; another, two terms that end with "up," and a third that involves a "hot housewife"!
    We also serve up a puzzle that takes you on a 14-city whirlwind world tour, and a puzzle in which a wise king busts his opioid-abusing knight-wannabe.

    You know the drill:
    1. Blaine's PUZZLE LINKS
    2. Joseph Young's Puzzleria!
    3. Enjoy!

    LegoCannotPromiseSatisfactualPuzzlesButDoesStriveForSatisfictionGuaranteed

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  54. Next week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from a listener named Dave, who's from the city and state that's the answer to this puzzle. 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?

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    1. Not a terribly popular novel in the U.S. But I can think of a couple of Blainesvillagers who might have read it.

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    2. "Over 200 entries" this week.

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    3. "Randomly selected winner."

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  55. The author was known for being well versed.

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    1. Now I get your clue after I solved the puzzle.

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  56. "My best work is often almost unconscious and occurs ahead of my ability to understand it."

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    1. Whew! I'm glad my hint didn't give it away!

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  57. I wonder if he was at the meeting?

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