Thursday, July 01, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 27, 2010): English Composer and American Writer

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 27, 2010): English Composer and American Writer:
Q: Name a famous English composer with two vowels in his last name. Interchange the vowels and you'll get the last name of a famous American writer. Who are these two people?
I made a large mistake in assuming the first names had to be the same. I made the puzzle harder than it had to be which I guess is the story of my life.

Edit: One hint was "large" which is an angram of the answers. The other hint was an indirect reference to life stories (e.g. rags to riches story).
A: Edward ELGAR --> Horatio ALGER, Jr.


  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. Well, yet another soooo, so easy one to conclude. Composers? Writers? Right off, Folks, ya’ already know that this utterly eliminates any of the 53 percent of the INfamous (read that as: of the UNknown and, most assuredly, of the UNsung / UNheralded) artisans who are … and who always were … these two respective countries’ human female ones.

    Hardly with élan, our addled, vulgar elders (at, to the South of and to the North of the 0º0’0” Equator –– from where I myself, an American, have just returned … as well as from Englishman Charlie Darwin’s Playground: the Archipiélago de Galápagos, and from hiking in the Andean Mountain clouds surrounding the Equator’s volcanic glaciers) ––– and forever so, so many, pompous others …actually seem eager to have always thought ––– and, most horribly, abominably, and inexcusably, still now think, that we human females so cannot edit and ward their algebraic ratios.

    Let alone, that we hos can .ever. musically compose or, even, circumstantially author.

  3. In his time, this composer came up with some regal tunes but ironically the writer apparently never got rich from his writing.

  4. A rather weak enigma this week, or perhaps 'tis but my fantasy.

  5. What if, I say, what if you prefer the type with velcro closures?

  6. I'm sure if I work hard at this one, I'll get it eventually.

    -- Other Ben

  7. Hoo-ray, show me the way to the winners circle. By dint of my determination and hard work, I have achieved the answer. . . Blaine, I got a little worried about you this morning. You usually have the blog up before I even hear the puzzle. Glad to see all is well.

  8. Grats, you recent grads. May you rise to riches, everyone.

  9. French and English composers often wrote music for their kings.

    The author may have inspired a hit song of 1953.

  10. I had the answer last night, but circumstances beyond my control precluded me from posting.

  11. Why do I keep thinking of McCarthyism as I mull over this puzzle...


  12. I made a puzzle last week where the answer was a "human female". You are very welcome.

  13. Anyone watch Jeopardy today? The English composer was mentioned as being the composer to one of the clues mentioned above.

  14. Phredp - I saw Jeopardy, too, and thought that might be the answer.

  15. Hugh, I can't figure out the 1953 hit but I do know that his song was a big hit with my parents in 1968 when my high school orchestra played it. I hated my hor-rible dress. It made me look like a little boy and did not glorify my poor hopeless shapelessness

  16. RoRo, It's hard to believe that the singer is still going strong - a 20 Aug performance is booked not too far away.

    Mark Twain keeps popping up. You mentioned fence painting a few weeks ago. I was going to mention Injun Joe, but Inigo Jones won out. Another Twain novel would be an appropriate hint for this week's puzzle.

    I still think that WS's favorite of Ingemar Johansson was a stretch to favor senationalism over fact. That he was generally known by his middle name doesn't alter the fact that his first name was Jens.

    C'mon - I thought Twiggy was a sensation in 1968. Actually your whole post is a bit suspect.

  17. Thanks Hugh but that is more how I felt than I really looked although I was not a big fan or Twiggy or Barbie doll at the time because of that. Now , of course, I am glad to be on the thin side. Shout out, "read all about it" and tell my critics they can "shine my shoes".

  18. Comparatively, what number of (English) composers or (American) writers who are women have historically even been consistently (read that: routinely) … thought about? Let alone, routinely lauded? Let alone, routinely listened to, orchestrally played and / or, actually, … read. 53 percent? –– as is the number breathing inside the World’s population?

    Flip / reverse the genders; then study this query’s answer.

    a lot of e – and a – or a – and e – vowels’ words.

    vulgar = _ _ l – gar, as in El – gar

    pompous & circumstantially = the Pomp & Circumstance composition

    eager = a_ – ger, as in Al – ger

    ed – it, ward = Edward

    hor – ribly, algebraic ratios, hos = Alge – _ r ___ and Hor – atio or Ho – ratio

  19. My Shakespeare references:

    OTHELLO, Act III, Scene 3
    Othello says,
    "...the royal banner, and all quality,
    Pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war!"

    HAMLET, Act V, Scene 1
    Hamlet says,
    "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio

    The first is a hint to Edward Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance". The second is a hint to Horatio Alger, Jr.

    And yes, the quote is correct. For some reason many people think the Hamlet quote is "Alas, Poor Yorick! I knew him well."

  20. I see DaveJ decided to provide an anagram with regal. I settled on large though I was looking at regal, lager and glare.

  21. You are all so very smart coming up with those anagrams and Shakepearean verse. I was born on Shakespeare's birthday and I just went with simple sounds as a hint: Hoo Ray Show... get it??? Let's hope the next puzzle is equally divine.

  22. FYI: The puzzle for tomorrow has already posted as of 10:15 PM MDT Saturday.


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.