## Thursday, June 11, 2009

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 7): TV Personality Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 7): TV Personality Puzzle:
Q: Think of a famous TV personality with five letters in the first name and four letters in the last name. Change the first letter of this celebrity's first name to M. Drop the first letter of the last name. Read the result in order, and it will spell something this person is famously known for doing many times. Who is this person?
This may not be much help, but the celebrity has played the role of a step-sister...

Edit: As mentioned in the comments, the celebrity in question has provided the voice of the ugly step-sister in several of the Shrek movies...
A: LARRY KING --> MARRYING

1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any outright spoilers 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. Thank you.

2. This one's not difficult once you figure out the part of speech Will is looking for.

3. I echo Pentachris' comment. The television personality is a real ace at doing what he/she does.

4. Blaine, Gonna have to give you a "B" on your clue this week.

5. WS made a homophonic gaffe during his first (but not the second) posing of the puzzle. A gaffe because the puzzle is too easy to begin with.

6. Dave's Puzzle #8 (I think):

Take a ten letter word that means the opposite of freedom. Remove two letters to get an eight letter word for something that is essentially free.

Hint: The two letters that you are removing are consecutive in the alphabet.

7. If you look really hard, you might see an invisible rabbit...

8. Davejtaylor is back to the Ethelbert thing.

9. Blaine, your clue is ugly; at least nobody can accuse this figure of not being animated...

That movie was a monster, though.

10. Dave (re Puzzle #8): I have two words that seem to fit but to get the 8-letter word I removed the letters "m" and "i", which are not consecutive in the alphabet. I'll keep trying.

11. Lorenzo, at least you're stepping up to the plate to take a crack at it, which, said quickly, sounds like crack addict. Let me know if you'd like another clue.

12. Dave, I thought I was on to something involving removing the letters "o" and "p", but it didn't quite work. Yes, another clue would be good.

13. Dave, actually my "o" and "p" attempt may be correct. Is the second word related to a service provided at the dry cleaners?

14. i was so confused by this puzzle all that i saw was colored spots... but then i got it

15. This one seems too easy so I am wondering if I have the wrong answer.

16. It does seem too easy. At least after the last few weeks.

Just need to suspend your suspicions for now.

-- Other Ben

17. Certainly was a clever puzzle--worked at it all day and finally got it within the last hour.

18. Lorenzo, no the word that I'm thinking about doesn't have an o or a p. Remember that the first word has ten letters.

Here's another hint: You can find a bird in the middle of the ten letter word.

I'll provide another clue tomorrow if you still can't figure this out.

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20. I agree with those of you who say WS's puzzle is very easy this time. Unlike last week, no trouble committing to the answer; I don't need any more pointers.

21. And re. Dave's puzzle #8: I was thinking the same thing as Lorenzo, and ended up with an eight-letter word that is more French than it is English; occasionally that, too, is available for free. Next, if you remove three more letters, you do get an English word denoting something that is "essentially free."

OK, but we know now that's not it...

22. Last week's NPR puzzle resulted in

This week's "celebrity" cannot be
faulted for not being famous.

Is "eight" enough even if one is a
repeat?

23. Dave, I finally got it. The bird was the turning point. Nice puzzle.

24. Blaine, Would it have been more accurate to say "has done the voice of . .." rather than "has played the role of , , ," which is somewhat misleading?

25. Let's not give too much away, shall we?

26. Lorenzo, throw me a clue so I know we're thinking about the same word. I think that I'm going to submit the puzzle to Will.

27. I may have figured out Dave's puzzle #8.

* A ten-letter word that means the opposite of "freedom," that contains no o or p, and in the middle of which you find a bird:
Got a ten-letter word, only that it really means the opposite of "free" (i.e., the adjective), and you have to know about the "bird" in order to find it. The word hasn't enough room for the entire animal.

* Remove two letters that are consecutive in the alphabet, and the resulting eight-letter word will denote something that is essentially free:
The two letters I removed are indeed consecutive in the alphabe--but not in the word. Also, what the word denotes may get extremely costly in some cases.

Dave, am I still on the right track?

28. Dave, actually "turning point" was my coded message to you. I hope this post doesn't cost me.

29. This just in -- Omar Bongo, the former Dictator of Gabon, has died:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/09/world/africa/09bongo.html

I note this only because there are a hundred fun anagram puzzles we can create out of "OMAR BONGO GABON"

Let's get to work! (Too bad NPR doesn't have some global affairs show with a puzzler.)

-- Other Ben

30. I have a suggestion regarding posting "hints" for the NPR Sunday puzzle: my favorites posts are those where, if you know the answer, someone else's post confirms it for you (perhaps with a little digging), but if you don't know the answer, the post doesn't give it away, but may help you think laterally or suggest some ideas as to other lines of thought you might want to pursue, e.g. romans or the sound of bad weather.
Just my two-penneth...

31. Lorenzo, of course! My mistake.

Wolfgang, I think that you got it, too. How many letters are in the ten letter word before the first letter in the bird word?

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33. Dave, relax, it's four letters before the first letter in the bird word.

By the way, you don't even have to remove two letters to get something "essentially free"; removing just the second of the two alphabetically consecutive letters will give you something that oftentimes you can get for free (with nine letters). At least that's how I see it, having practiced it from a different angle.

34. Dave, after a brute force solution, and not seeing what Lorenzo was getting at, I agree with both of you. A little bird, and not Roget or a dictionary told me the answer. The bird came courtesy of Swanfeldt. Looks like I still have something else to fret over.

35. Wolfgang, we're thinking of two different words. The ten letter word that I'm think of has two letters before the bird word.

Lorenzo, I think that you and I have the same words in mind.

Hugh, I'm not sure if we're thinking of the same word.

36. Dave, Dropping only one of the two letters gets rid of the bird in a particular 9 letter way.

37. Hugh, nice! I thought about incorporating that nine letter word into the puzzle, but didn't. If anyone else is trying to figure out the answer, be open minded and don't bury your head in the sand trying to figure out the nine letter word.

38. The rules are (perhaps intentionally) ambiguously worded. Given a name of the form 12345 6789, must the answer be of the form "m2345 789"? Or are more flexible word breaks allowed of the form "m234 5789" or "m23 457 89"?

39. Wolftone, once you know who the person is, you won't have any second thoughts. (As I indicated earlier, I do know the answer.)

40. Wolftone, the answer to Will's puzzle is a one word answer.

41. Dave, as I said, I had a ten-letter word in mind, meaning the opposite of "free," containing a bird word, and containing a nine-letter and an eight-letter word both standing for things that you can get for free (or at high cost in some cases)--but I understand it's not what you had in mind.

Several of your posts hinted at something other than a migratory bird that is currently in season. That got me thinking of certain "birds" located north of the border, although they are considered "American." On the other hand, your most recent hint suggests the habitat of that bird is a completely different one. In any case, it seems warranted to take some license with the spelling.

I'm confused--too many divergent hints...

42. Dave--am stuck! please post another clue

43. Wolfgang, I think you got it, but are you sure that there are four letters before the first letter in the bird's name?

Cookieface, the first six letters can be someone you would see in a hospital.

44. I almost had a heart attack when I figured out the answer. Thanks reversing my royally incorect assumptions about word breaks.

The earlier hints really sent me down some strange paths. "Cindy Bear -> mind year" ?

45. Dave--Amazing how much time I spent on and off my computer to look at the ording of your puzzle.
Thanks for the hints, the letters of the alphabet is what got me, but I think I got the puzzle.
Thanks for the clues.

46. Great clues to the Larry King puzzle, e.g., alluding to the "colored spots" on his "suspenders." The clue I misinterpreted was Blaine's "step" clue--I thought that referred to his cameo in the 2004 "Stepford Wives" movie (hence the "sister"; I don't know any of the Shrek movies).

Anyway, in case you haven't already noticed, my clues were

(1) my mentions of "pointers" and "indicate" (King's original last name is Zeiger, which is German/Yiddish for something like 'pointer'); and

(2) my allusions to "marrying" ("committing"; "second thoughts"; "I do").

47. Dave, When do we get the answer to
#8, the 10-letter bird word?

48. My clues rtelating to "giving Blaine a "B" for his clue" referred to King's role in the "Bee Movie"

49. Answer to Dave's Puzzle #8:

Take a ten letter word that means the opposite of freedom. Take away two letters and get an eight letter word for something that is essentially free.

Hint: The two letters that you are removing are consecutive in the alphabet.

Answer: INTERNMENT becomes INTERNET. The bird in question is a tern. I mentioned the nine letter transitional word. That word is INTERMENT. My clue was to be open minded and not "bury" your head in the sand.

I'll try to come up with some more puzzles for those weeks when Will's puzzles are so easy.