Sunday, December 03, 2017

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 3, 2017): Get Out Your World Map

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 3, 2017): Get Out Your World Map:
Q: Take the singular and plural forms of a particular noun. Remove the first two letters of the singular form and you'll name a country. Remove one letter from inside the plural form to name another country. What words and countries are these?
Not to be petty, but doesn't this mean yet another lapel pin for LegoLambda?

Edit: Hint: a naval petty officer...
A: YEOMAN --> OMAN, YEOMEN --> YEMEN

112 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. Very interesting puzzle this week. I was lucky that my first gut instinct worked out for me this time. It's interesting how sometimes your initial hunch can work out for you, but other times it can be your own worst enemy!

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  3. I'll bet a Franklin there aren't 1400 correct answers this week.

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    Replies
    1. Combine the singular noun with another unit of currency to identify a sci-fi character.

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  4. Good puzzle, Lego, if one may say so (as a Blainesvillian) sincerely, not sycophantically. Congratulations on the Puzzleria mention.

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  5. Replies
    1. I agree. Let's hope for better times.

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  6. Are we taken to spell it correctly or are we going by sound?

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    Replies
    1. In all cases, the spelling is correct. It's not a phonetic puzzle.

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  7. Ah, October of 1888. Jack the Ripper roamed London, striking fear in the hearts of anyone out at night in the East End. I suppose the theater-goers on the West End worried a bit less...

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  8. Great puzzle, Lego! Here's your first "ripoff:"

    Take the singular and plural forms of a particular noun. Remove the first letter of the singular form of the noun to name a country. Change the first two letters of the plural form of the noun to two different letters to name a different country. What are the words and what are the countries?

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  9. Hey,Lego! A very fine puzzle. I especially liked the fact that there were a couple of different strategies that could lead to the answer.

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  10. Replies
    1. I was a bit surprised to be reminded that Yemen and Oman share a border. I admit my knowledge of the world is limited; it's one of the many things that keeps me humble.
      The Dhofar Governate is on the Oman side of that borderline. In olden days, that region was the main source of frankincense. These days, most of that stuff comes from Somalia.
      I wonder if Truth or Dare Eau de Parfum contains frankincense?

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  11. Congratulations, Lego!!!

    I love this puzzle. It is one of the best WS has offered up. I like this puzzle because of several reasons. I was able to solve it while still in bed without lists or any tools, such as pen and paper. It requires a knowledge of the world. It can be solved with logic. At first I thought I was going to most likely need to use a list to solve it. It is much more satisfying to solve a puzzle without having to use lists.

    I also enjoyed the guest telling how wanting a new dictionary got him into sending in puzzle answers. This is exactly how I got into it too. Also his first name and mine are the same.

    I got hung up at first by taking the country and adding a single letter and coming up with a noun that is much in the news lately, and will be for some time. I then thought of other countries that might be the plural one and quickly got the answer. Good work, Joe.

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  12. Not gonna lie, I have almost always seen the singular form used as an adjective to describe another noun...

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  13. Hey, I got it, thanks to my brother-in-law.

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    Replies
    1. It is an elegant puzzle, Lego, tricky enough without using tricks.

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    2. My Mama would be proud of me for getting this one! Yours, not so much.

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    3. Perhaps, Wordnerd. I do have the ruby slippers, after all. . .

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  14. I'm with Curtis, ready for a bit of Victorian entertainment.

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  15. Replies
    1. No, she played Nurse Chapel and Lwaxana Troi.

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    2. (My Trekkie sister-in-law used to refer to the Ukrainian figure skater as Lwaxana Baiul.)

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    3. Whoops... I sit corrected. Wrong infatuated female character. So much for my sci-fi cred. At least I figured out the answer to the puzzle.

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  16. Congrats, Joe! I guess next Friday you'll be ripping off yourself on Puzzleria!
    Literary hint: The Canterbury Tales

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  17. Lego, Congratulations! Do you get a lapel pin? Clever puzzle.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps Lego gets a "Lapin Pal" for his puzzle. A Bunny Buddy, of sorts? Lego?

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  18. I see some relationship between current events and the puzzle answer(s).

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  19. Weird puzzle for me. Kept bumping into the right answers for the wrong reasons.

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  20. A top notch puzzle even if, as mentioned above, it has a very disturbing side.
    And I have to commend Lulu for setting Willy straight on the the pronunciation of Phenom Penh.

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    Replies
    1. mJ: I was surprised Lulu called him on that pronunciation. Wonder if she will be back next week.

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  21. Always makes me think of George Costanza.

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  22. "Swiper, no swiping!"...well, sort of.

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  23. Took me so long that I was beginning to question being identified as homo sapiens.

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  24. Trump campaign quote concerning Roy Moore: “We need his vote.”

    Translation: “He may be a child molester but he’s _our_ child molester.”

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    1. As I noted a few weeks ago, I think the plan is:
      1) Rig the polls to make sure the molester is elected.
      2) After he takes his seat the Senate can vote him out by 2/3 majority, Repug's all vote yes, pressuring Dem's.
      3) Alabama governor selects replacement, and Trump pushes Sessions back to his old seat.
      4) Trump selects new Attorney General, who can then kibosh the Mueller investigation.

      Swamp is fully drained.

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    2. Would they have to rig the polls? Have you been to AL?

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    3. Normally they wouldn't, but these are hardly normal times, and this creep must be making them nervous.

      I heard David Cay Johnston say that a law in Michigan permits all votes in a precinct to be invalidated if the vote count doesn't equal the voter count. Sloppy paperwork = disenfranchisement. Guess where this happened most often? (Hint: one city is also a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, the other means "strait" in French). Pains me to harp on last year's election, but "what's past is prologue", and we are certainly in a Tempest.

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  25. Just wanted to say, nice puzzle Lego!
    I like it for the reasons already mentioned (logical and elegant), but also how it obviously could have been easier (too easy) yet your brain kept going and you made it harder/more obscure. Thanks!

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  26. I got this answer in eleven seconds. 11, dude.

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    Replies
    1. It took me far longer. I'm happy about that.

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    2. As one who also needed some extra time, I will only say that the joy of completing a 5K, far exceeds that of finishing a sprint.

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  27. Replies
    1. https://giphy.com/gifs/monty-python-john-cleese-and-the-holy-grail-7cAGURf0zN2Bq

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    2. "Commercial advertising and public signs must be in French and if another language is added, French must be “markedly predominant,” at least twice as large as other languages."
      So the solution is simple (a word in both languages), the shopkeeper says "Bonjour", and then can say "hi" only half as loudly.

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    3. I didn't realize Canada's problems were of such a serious nature. We should feel grateful we live in a calmer nation.

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    4. Courriel me about this important matter.

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    5. At the risk of steering the conversation, a siege requires you remain heifer a long time; Arthur and his k--niggets lactose means.

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    6. I'll believe that when pigs fly.

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    7. So do I.

      LegoSaysYouGottaWaitForTheFinalLyricOfThisSong

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  28. Replies
    1. jan:
      I think I may have posted something about a Santa Demo Jump on this blog way in the past, but am not sure. My first jump instructor and the DZ owner told the story of, I think it was him, jumping as Santa on a demo and broke his leg on landing. Back in the round canopy days. There is also at least one story of a Santa jump fatality I know of.

      I never did a Santa jump, but I did land in a tree once. It sounds like a stupid thing to let happen, but in this case it was my only realistic option. I may have posted the full story here long ago too, but am not sure.

      Incidentally, the Santa I mentioned above is one of those guys who fits right in with all the news stories of late. I have been thinking of it much more than I usually do these days. Since I worked so closely with him for years I am sure some will think I knew all about what he was doing, but I didn't. I still don't know the answers to all the rumors I have heard since I moved on. Some of these predators can be extremely secretive in their endeavors. Of course working with physicians, you would never meet any of these guys.

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  29. Sadly, in AL(my home state), many voters have a choice between an alleged child molester and a Liberal. That's about how they put it, anyway. I just thank God I'm apolitical. Seriously, I'm tired of hearing about it myself. After seeing another one become leader of the free world, it comes as no surprise he should endorse ours. Creeps gotta stick together, I guess.

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  30. YEOMAN - YE = OMAN; YEOMEN - O = YEMEN


    "Hey, I got it, thanks to my brother-in-law." as in YO! (Hey!) and my brother-in-law with the last name YEO.

    "Perhaps, Wordnerd. I do have the ruby slippers, after all. . ." refers to the word OMAN being part of my screen name, i.e., it was there all along as in the Wizard of Oz.

    "One trick-pony" refers to the preponderance of Love Boat, Gopher, ocean, navy clues this week pointing to YEOMAN Purser.

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    Replies
    1. I wonder what Fred Grandy is doing these days.

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    2. My Clue @Word Woman, was My Mama not Yo Mama!

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  31. Singular: YEOMAN (-YE) = OMAN

    Plural: YEOMEN (-O) = YEMEN

    My “ripoff” hint/clue:

    If you solve my “ripoff” you will see the relevance to this puzzle. See tomorrow's Puzzleria for this “ripoff” which Lego will post...

    Sci-fi Character: Yeoman Rand (Rand: South African Currency)

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  32. yeoman --> Oman; yeomen --> Yemen

    Last Sunday I said, “This is a heartbreaker.” As in Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. As in Petty Officer. As in yeoman.

    Lego – I forgot to say earlier how much I enjoyed this puzzle. No looking through long lists. Just thinking :)

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  33. I began my comment with “Hey, Lego” because the removed letters spelled OYE.

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  34. I wrote, "Good puzzle, Lego, if one may say so (as a Blainesvillian) sincerely, not sycophantically." Two hints: "one may" anagrams to "yeoman;" and a sycophant is a yes-man, which is close to three words of the answer.

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  35. My Google Translate™ version of the old saw about Mexico ("¡Pobre México! ¡Tan leyos de Dios y tan cerca de los Estados Unidos!") applied to one of the answers for this week's puzzle: اليمن المؤسف. بعيدا جدا عن الله، قريبة جدا من المملكة العربية السعودية.

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  36. The "dire" prediction referred to an ill omen. Last week I wrote "the first time - or at least an early time - that I heard this noun it didn't exactly fit". For many Janice Rand from Star Trek springs to mind as a notable Yeoman (Yeowoman?).

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  37. > I'll bet a Franklin there aren't 1400 correct answers this week.

    According to Wikipedia, "Yeoman" is a feudal title between "Franklin" and "Freeman".

    > Combine the singular noun with another unit of currency to identify a sci-fi character.

    Yeoman Rand

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  38. Singular noun yeoman; plural yeomen.
    Countries Oman and Yemen.

    My homo sapiens comment was a pointer to man.

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  39. My comment about October, 1888 referred to the fact that Gilbert & Sullivan's Yeoman of the Guard premiered in London on October 3rd of that year, and is also when Jack the Ripper was active.

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  40. Thank you all, my fellow Blainesvillian,s for your very generous and kind comments regarding my puzzle. I am gratified that it was at least somewhat challenging and enjoyable for many of you, and also thought your hints were clever and subtle. I am curious to see how many correct entries NPR gets. I hope it's less than 1,000.
    Had I posted a hint it would have been:
    "These two counties share something unique in common with Qatar." What they share is not that Yemen, Oman and Qatar are all relatively close to one another. They are, but that is not unique. But they are the only three countries that begin with a letter (Y, O and Q) that no other countries begin with.
    As ron noted above, he has graciously allowed me to use his Sunday morning Rip-off puzzle on tomorrow's Puzzleria! Thanks, ron. There will also be three other "self-rip-offs" as well as three other puzzles.
    I want to thank Will Shortz for mentioning my blog on the air and saying it is "a lot of fun." That has always been my goal.
    Unless my lapel pin got lost in the mail last April (when WS first used one of my puzzles) and it is lost or still in the mail this time, you do not receive a lapel pin for having your puzzle used.
    Finally. there was a nice coincidence this past Sunday regarding the tough on-air challenge ("The Reverse Is Also True," which Mark, the contestant, executed admirably) and a Puzzleria! puzzle from 2015 titled "Reversal Of Forenut Slice: Re-seeding the final four."

    LegoWhoIsExtremelyGratefulToAll

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  41. YEOMAN, OMAN; YEOMEN, YEMEN
    There was a yeoman in The Canterbury Tales, to which I previously referred.

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  42. YEOMAN/OMAN
    YEOMEN/YEMEN

    I finally remembered to post my answer. Even though I'm a bit late: Lego, I really enjoyed working this one out. Not too hard, not too easy. Perfectly and pleasantly puzzled! Keep up the impressive work and creative thinking!

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    Replies
    1. My clue was really dumb. Swiper always says "awwwe, man!". Made me think of OMAN.

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  43. Enya and Weird Al Fan & I were reminded of Gopher, your ship's yeoman purser, on The Love Boat.

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    1. And I remember every episode would start:

      Starring -

      Gavin MacLeod as your Captain
      Bernie Kopell as your ship's Doctor
      Ted Lange as your Bartender
      Lauren Tewes as your Cruise Director
      Fred Grandy as your Yeoman Purser
      .
      .
      .

      I always thought that there outta be at least one episode where some kid and their dad arrive, the kid sees Gopher's official position somewhere on his uniform, asks their dad, "What does a Yeoman Purser do? The dad would reply "A yeoman purser ... purses yeomen!". Then the dad could secretly ask Gopher, "Later, could you tell me just what a yeoman is, and what exactly do you do whenever you "purse" one of them?" -- Leaving Gopher to wonder how to answer that question.

      Wouldn't that have been some good dialogue to happen ONCE on that show at least? -- especially since it was an hour-long SITCOM!

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    2. This is all so informative. I always thought a purser was what they called a guy who grabs an old woman's handbag on the street, and then his cohort gives him a high five and yells, "Yo! Man!"

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    3. And I thought it was what a predator does before he drinks water or gives unwanted kisses.

      I hope you join me in an all day nausea.

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    4. Thanks for spoiling any chance of having a nice day. The first photo is probably practicing for a long prison stay.

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    5. I think it's time for a new resort. Should be enough room for the whole family.

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    6. Good idea. Do they have entertainment staff?

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    7. The only staff I'd like to see is a big one shoved up his fat .... nevermind. But that would be entertaining, maybe the Russians will release the video.

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    8. I suppose that would be a step up from waterboarding.

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  44. Next week's challenge: A playful challenge comes from Carole Highland of Ephrata, Wash. The name of what vehicle, spelled backward, becomes phonetically a four-word phrase identifying another vehicle?

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  45. Over 600 correct answers this week.

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