Thursday, September 18, 2008

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 14): Name that Animal

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 14): Name that Animal:
Q: Take the phrases 'move over' and 'local call.' In each case, the last three letters of the first word are the first three letters in the next. Name a familiar animal, in two words, in which the last three letters of the first word are the first three letters of the next. Hints: It's a furry, four-footed animal that can grow up to six feet in length. The first word in its name has five letters, the second word has eight.
We seem to have the question early this week from the RSS feed. My daughter, in kindergarten, knew the answer to this. Her class has been studying animals. If she can get this, so can you! Incidentally, some sources I checked said they could grow to be 8 feet in length... that's large! Zot!

Edit: There were several clues above. In kindergarten you learn your ABCs... that was a hint to think of animals at the beginning of the alphabet. Also, if anyone is familiar with the comic strip B.C., you should know what Zot refers to.


  1. I wonder if it's carnivorous? I'd hate to think of someone in my family being consumed by a large animal...

  2. No doubt an animal that big feeds on other big animals... right? :)

  3. My dad's family is Italian; you can imagine some of my relatives fit into the category of "big animals."

    Several years ago when my dad's family had a reunion in central Pennsylvania the local paper did a two-page spread on it and there were lots of color photographs of the food. Not to mention pics of my, well, kin... You know, the ones who made all that good food...

  4. I have a problem with the word "furry." I think "hairy"
    is a more apt word for this

    Carl's family reminds me of all the
    eating that goes on in THE SOPRANOS.

  5. Geri, I was so fortunate growing up; my dad's parents were both immigrants and met in Pennsylvania. My grandfather, who came alone from Italy (he had family in Pa) when he was seventeen, always had a huge, I mean really big, garden, and a big part of his garden was grapes and he had wooden barrels in his basement.

    We always had gallons of his wine around the house and from the time I was pretty young if we were having some holiday get-together with lots of good food I could have a small taste of grandfather's wine. I really can't exaggerate how good it was.

    But I never saw my relatives putting large objects wrapped in tarps into their trunks, followed by shovels... Pretty normal family, really.

  6. Carl, I was born in Pennsylvania
    and lived there until I was eight.
    My father made beer in our cellar.

  7. Hey Minncognito, Congratulations on your performance. Is there something hidden in your "Wow, I'm really excited..." comment?

  8. The daredevil and the journalist got
    fewer than 300 correct answers. Is
    that a new LOW?

    minncognito, You sounded great! Stay with us.

  9. The lowest count I can recall was for "a piece of sporting equipment", two three-letter words, synonyms of each other! Answer: cue-tip.

    On this new one, this critter would be good to have around at your picnic!

  10. Yeah, but not at the family reunion:)

  11. Just listened to the puzzle. That was fun. Congrats again and you did a great job, minncognito. Mixed feelings about no mention of specifically this blog; don't want this to become so popular/famous the regulars get lost in the crowd...

  12. Carl, Have we lost gregdavid, herblady, Happy Steve, plummew,
    et al?

  13. Has anyone ever had a pet
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ?

  14. I put spaces between the 5-letter
    and the 8-letter words but the
    computer disobeyed my instructions.

  15. I think I got the answer. Although I came up with two answers. Anyone else get more than one answer?

  16. thanks for your comments, everyone. i definitely gave a specific shout-out to this blog, but they must have edited it out. sorry :(

    i guess i shouldn't have phrased it "yoyoyoyoooo - listen up, this be a shout-out to all my muuuuuuuthariddlaz' out there at da blaine puzzzlaz' bloggggggg, dogg!!!!!"

  17. btw, they seem to have inserted some pauses in between the questions and my answers! most of my responses were llllllllightning-fast! :)

  18. Will Shortz really -knows - how to stump us each week with these riddles. Today's been an uphill battle in figuring this one out. I'm crawling with excitement to find out what the answer is next week, though!

  19. minncognito, did you drink a lot of coffee today? You seem kinda, er, um, no... can't use that word... EDGY! Yeah, that'll do.

    Don't let this new puzzle bug you too much.

    I think most of you know that I am, in fact, a carpenter. But I think it might be fun to work on a farm. Gotta admit I'm not sorry I didn't join the army...

    I don't feel too bad about that; it's not like there's a real threat nowadays from the reds...

  20. Yeah, you guys all have it!

    There were 100 correct answers submitted for the cue-tip puzzle.

  21. Hi everyone! Geri, I'm still here, just being quiet and working feverishly to get ready for the cold weather, putting the garden to bed, etc. Minnie, you sounded great! Congrats and I can't wait to see those prizes. :)

  22. "...grow up to eight feet..." Maybe I was hinting at a furry octopus. :)

  23. Hello, guys! This is my first time posting in this blog. I'm confident I have the answer. It took me awhile to figure out, but, after I looked this animal up on Wikipedia, I was 100% sure. My mom and brother figured out the animal shortly afterward. My grandmother is struggling with the puzzle, and I just wonder if she's heard of the answer before.

  24. Geri, where in Pa did you live? I lived until I left the area in Center County, for a while even in the town of Center Hall. There was a concrete marker in the area which represented the geographic center of the state. Close to State College (the town that grew up around the main campus of Penn State Univ).

    Bit of trivia for you all: What constitutes the geographic center of a given land mass? Well, if you had a plywood cutout of Texas, uniform thickness everywhere, the g. center is the point where it would balance. So it doesn't matter if the western part of the state has tall mountains and the eastern side of the state is lowlands.

  25. minncognito, If you're still on an
    uphill trek think of animals with
    eight-letter names. The secone one
    I thought of was the answer. I got
    the five-letter word from Wikipedia.

    Carl, I'm glad you asked me where
    I lived in Pennsylvania. I havn't
    thought about it for a long time:
    FRANKLIN, Venango County. I thought
    of it as being between Erie and

  26. Geri, you're not thinking playfully enough I think. It sure seemed to me that minncognito's comment was chock-full of obvious clues...

  27. I just submitted my answer to NPR. I wonder if I'll be chosen?

    minncognito, you were great on the program this morning! Congratulations on getting the opportunity. If you're still having difficulty getting the answer, think of a synonym for "big" for the first word.

  28. carl, Second thoughts. Maybe it
    was Erie and Pittsburg?

  29. carl, I thought about "crawling" but
    I rejected it. I get it now but

  30. Geri, think of different kinds of homes that creatures make for themselves. There are a couple hints like that.

  31. carl, uphill=re the victims.

  32. *uphill* was a clue, not for the direction or difficulty in challenge, but what animals do when colonizing :), or what they collectively form

    indeed, i have the answer, but i needed some clues from this blog. i didn't know that particular animal came in that variety.

  33. This puzzle was worth doing if only because the photos of this animal, when you look him up online, are just delightful.

  34. I wonder if anyone has had one as
    a pet. I have a friend who has a
    pig who lives in his house as a dog

    Ben, I agree. I wanted one when I
    looked at the pictures.

  35. I have enjoyed the comments about PA. Grew up near Scranton - one grandfather was a coal miner, the other delivered coal and ice.

    I thought Will gave the puzzle away on the air. Sheesh

  36. Minnie, I thought "stump" was a clue also; it could have been if it wasn't intended to be...

    I have a friend in Pa. who has pet pygmy goats that hang out in her house. I once, in north Idaho, had a pet wild turkey. This lone hen showed up in the extremely rural neighborhood where I was living and stayed all winter. I think I fed her more than my neighbors and she roosted nearly every single night that winter and into spring in a large white fir tree near the small log cabin in which I was living.

    She would glide down from her roost in the morning and walk up to my door and wait, as if to say, I'm up, what's for breakfast. When I opened the door she would come in the cabin and start looking for something to eat.

    She would follow me around like a puppy, walking so close behind me that I would bump her with my feet just walking.

  37. Lurking? Do you live in Moscow, Idaho? When I lived there I played pool sometimes at John's Alley, a small bar where the regulars called themselves "lurkers."

    The lurkers had an annual rivalry, called the Lurker Bowl, with the employees and patrons of the Garden Lounge, a bigger bar in the Moscow Hotel. It began as a mid-winter football game played in the snow in frequently miserable conditions and involving copious consumption of keg beer. Later a summer volleyball game and some other event (a softball game?) were added .

    The trophy, and this is (I think) the best part, was a hideous stuffed chair. The LOSER had to take the chair home until next year. First time I'd ever heard of an anti-trophy.

  38. what's the answer??!
    i absolutely can not, i say again, cant wait to find out, i'm filled with anticipation.

    i guess i'll just trundle along through the week until i get it.

    ps. i'm just being cluey, i know the answer :)

  39. who should play the Riddler in the next Batman movie, assuming that's the next villain chosen?

    Johnny Depp was rumored to be considered.

    who do you think would be good, AND what type of puzzles, riddles do you think that villain should unleash on Gotham and the Caped Crusader?

  40. follow-up question: would Will Shortz make a good Riddler?

  41. minncognito, Is the "minn" for
    Minneapolis or Minnesota or BOTH?

  42. it was for "Minnesota", but yeah, could be for both.

    btw, i still haven't received my prizes yet, but when i do i'll take some photos of them and post online.

  43. gregdavid where are you?

    Have we lost natasha and nadahlman
    and Bruce?

  44. *throws his voice, muffles it*

    "we're over here. behind this shrub"

    "righty-o, guv'nah! tip-top! present and accounted for, we are!"

    "mmrrrrrrhhmmm....yes....yes..just over here. don't worry."

    sorry, it's really me. i was never good at ventriloquism. and i guess none of those people would be British.

  45. Was the second animal a giant antelope?

  46. I had two pet pot belly pigs: One in L.A., and the other when I moved here. The first was born and raised in the living room of a man who wanted his daughter to observe the birthing process. The little girl held them and nurtured the babies daily after their eyes opened. His name was Luau -- called him Lu. Very gentle, very well trained for personal matters (outside in one hidden spot) -- very clean (no odors -- no sweat glands) - amazingly intelligent - could think things out. Left him in a small farm in Fresno while moving, and they loved him and kept him -- and he is still alive, now cared for by a neighbor of the man who died. The second was a barn pig -- born in a barn and more frisky and yet still pleasant. Had a problem with him when someone would come around he didn't know, he'd pee on the carpet in the house. His name was Luau also, called him LU too. It amazed me how the first pig was so gentle, loving, followed me around marina del rey when we took him to the boat. Others would holler from their boats, wondering if he was aboard. The biggest lesson and joy for me was learning that if you treat an animal with kindness and love, how it will respond. Pigs aren't naturally dirty and wallowing in filth. They are very clean. The bad part was that these pigs came from Viet nam where they weren't given much food and thrived / survived on little food and that's why they stayed little and cute. The fad is over now. Too bad we can't learn more from the nature of animals.

  47. p.s. I asked my friend about his
    pet pig and got the reply posted

  48. More on the pet pig.
    Geri: I really do miss Lu #1. I could relate many sweet incidents that exhibit his inherent talents and thought processes. I took him back to see his mother when he was about a year old -- and she was very offensive to him, which surprised me. He would sit on my lap and look me in the eyes and sigh, and snuggle. He would awaken me at 6:00 each morning with a subtle nudge, then not so subtle if I ignored him. You are welcome to put any of my writing on blogs as you see fit. What is the address of Blaine's Puzzle Blog? Ron

  49. Since this is suddenly the "heartwarming animal stories" blog, I'm submitting this really cool story from late 2001:

    NELSPRUIT - A blind zebra foal struck it lucky when he literally stumbled through the door of an eye specialist, who restored the animal's sight.

    Danie Louw, an eye specialist in Nelspruit, some 350 kilometres east of Johannesburg, was at home over Christmas when the hapless baby zebra walked into his house, which is surrounded by a nature reserve.

    He diagnosed the animal as having cataracts and was able to admit him to hospital last Monday.

    "He walked awkwardly and was bumping into things. When he was outside, he walked in front of cars and was prone to running in the wrong direction when the herd scattered for danger," Louw told AFP.

    "At first, my neighbour told me Angie was just a 'little slow', but then we realised the animal was blind," he said.

    Catching it easily, Louw's family took the animal in and named it Angie, after his daughter. The name stuck, even though the foal was found to be a boy.

    The two-month-old-old Angie was admitted to a local hospital, where the animal underwent a two-hour operation to remove the cataracts from his eyes.

    "We took him back to the reserve, and after the effects of the anaesthetic wore off, he made a couple of noises before running back to the herd to drink from his mom," Louw said. - Nampa-AFP

    And all the materials, equipment use, and labor involved in the surgery were donated! Coolest thing is the amazing good fortune of the zebra's having stumbled into the home of an eye doctor.

  50. Nelspruit is a city of 221,474 people (2000) situated in northeastern South Africa. It is the capital of the Mpumalanga province (formerly Eastern Transvaal). Located on the Crocodile River (known as the Krokodil in Afrikaans), Nelspruit lies about 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of the Mozambique border and 330 kilometres (205 miles) east of Johannesburg. The nearest township is KaNyamazane, a few kilometres east of Nelspruit

  51. I was having a lot of trouble posting messages. Did anyone get called by NPR?

  52. Natasha, Check these comments from
    the beginning and you can read about
    all the great things that happened
    this weel with minncognito and NPR.

  53. geri
    How amazing for this site to have a real celebrity!! Thanks

  54. Hey, what about me? My picture was on the front page of the local news section of the Lewiston, Idaho newspaper once, when I was cutting up a huge fir tree that fell next to a house in a severe windstorm...

    Maybe you saw it...

  55. Carl, glad to hear about that.
    Any puzzles for me...I need my fix

  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

  57. Well, the ODDS are really against finding the answer to the puzzle from Sept 21. What can we do to IMPROVE them?

  58. plummew, Sometimes it depends on
    how lucky one is no matter how
    great the ODDS.

  59. I truly hope people recognized the intended irony of my comparing having my picture in the local news section of the Lewiston paper to minncognito's having been on the air with Will Shortz and Liane Hansen... I didn't even get a lapel pin... Congrats again minnie.

    As for this new puzzle, I solved it by going through the alphabet one letter at a time and trying to think of common four-letter words with a single "o" as the lone vowel that started with each letter. It didn't take all that, er... much time, to come up with the right letter.

  60. I got the answer by looking up opposites.


For NPR puzzle posts, don't post the answer or any hints that could lead to the answer before the deadline (usually Thursday at 3pm ET). If you know the answer, 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 assist with solving. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the deadline. Thank you.