Wednesday, November 24, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 21, 2010): Mixed-up Serial Number

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 21, 2010): Mixed-up Serial Number:
Q: What two world capitals can be found by rearranging the letters in the phrase 'serial number.'
Since the NPR puzzle is rather easy, here's related puzzle for you. Take the oxymoronic phrase "A kinetic zen". Rearrange the letters to form the title of a well-known movie. Now figure out how it is related to this week's puzzle.

Edit: The answer to my puzzle was the movie "Citizen Kane" where it is revealed that "Rosebud" was the name of a sled. Sled written backwards is DELS which contains the Internet country codes for Germany(DE) and Lesotho(LS) respectively.
A: BERLIN (Germany) and MASERU (Lesotho)


  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.

    P.S. There's a possibility the puzzle deadline is not Thursday at 3pm ET given the Thanksgiving holiday. I'll post the updated deadline if it changes.

  2. Liane stated on the air that the deadline this week is Wednesday at 3pm ET.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Ednette, please don't give away the answer to my puzzle either. Yes, you had the right movie, but I had a different way it was related to the answers. Keep thinking.

    I'll reveal the details after the Wednesday deadline.

  5. Blaine, I agree this was an easy puzzle. I would wager many of your followers thought so too.

  6. Yes, this is an easier puzzle than last week, with only 300 submissions. One of these capitals is fairly obvious, the other more obscure. Musical clue: Lou Reed.

  7. Hugh, if you get a chance, please post your answer to last week's puzzle. I'm quite curious what you came up with.

    Blaine, I've come up with two parallels, the first may best be drawn by Sir Isaac Newton.

    The second, by my daughter (or son).

    Well established entities' thirst for power may bring about a situation "popularized" on the radio.

    Both relate to the first half of the solution. Still working on the second.

  8. Blaine, well that didn't take long. The second half parallel may best be drawn by Paul Simon.

  9. Blaine, Thanks for the edit. My first post and I got carried away. E

  10. Blaine,
    I'm thinking the relationship between your puzzle and the NPR puzzle has something to do with the NPR puzzle from two years ago.

    Regarding last week's puzzle: Why was "NINETEEN NINETY TO NINETEEN NINETY-NINE" (34 letters) recognized as a good answer, but my answer "NINETEEN NINETY-ONE TO NINETEEN NINETY-NINE" (37 letters) was not? I protest!

  11. One capital was fast, the other took a longer time. I did once find myself there looking for a hotel so I got it.

    -- Other Ben

  12. Ben, were you there for the Miles Davis concert? I am sure the solo was terrific.

  13. Happy Turkey Day all.

    Cooking for 20 starting tomorrow.

    Here's the puzzle a day early.

    Tom's Weekly Puzzle

  14. You didn't hear, TommyBoy? They had to cancel the Miles concert. Some ho stole his trumpet!

    (This being a well of word enthusiasts, I wanted to say "some strumpet stole his trumpet," but I couldn't.)

    -- Other Ben

  15. Ben, I did some research and found out that Miles later confessed there was no trumpet thieving h o. He lost it.

    Quite the amuser!

  16. Blaine, Is your puzzle a reference to B. Ross?

  17. O, come on, Tommy, how could he lose it?

    He tools away for hours to customize each instrument. He does this so they can play those lo notes with the tone that sets so many women's hearts ablaze.

    -- Other Ben

  18. Oh, so let's see. The story was a ruse, maybe?

  19. hugh, not B. Ross. I'll explain later today.

  20. Blaine

    Sir Isaac Newton – “What goes up, must come down.” - Hitler’s Germany & Charles Kane

    I don’t have a daughter but I needed the ‘or’. daughter [or son. Well es]tablished entities' thirst for power...

    “War of the Worlds”… wolrd wars… you get the picture.

    Charles Foster Kane ends up hardened and isolated. Lethoso is a mountainous enclave entirely within South Africa’s borders.

    Paul Simon – “I am a Rock. I am an Island.”

  21. The answer to my puzzle was the movie "Citizen Kane" where it is revealed that "Rosebud" was the name of a sled. Sled written backwards is DELS which contains the Internet country codes for Germany(DE) and Lesotho(LS) respectively.

  22. Blaine, I wonder if you were aware of this connection.


    Films About Welles

    RKO281 was a TV-movie dealing with the filming of Citizen Kane - the title was the SERIAL NUMBER of the RKO film. All three of these films are of a very high standard.

    and from:

    RKO 281 is a 1999 dramatic film directed by B(ENJAMIN) ROSS and starring Liev Schreiber, James Cromwell, Melanie Griffith, John Malkovich, and Roy Scheider. It depicts the making of Citizen Kane; its title is the original production number of Kane.

  23. If anyone is still reading and not on the roads, I'll note my battle royale with Tommy Boy trying to anagram and allude to Lesotho.

    Anagrams included:

    B >> I did once find myself there looking for a HOTEL SO I got it.

    TB >> THE SOLO was terrific

    B >> Some HO STOLE his trumpet!

    TB >> O. HE LOST it.

    B >> HE TOOLS away for hours...

    TB >> OH, SO LET's see...

    There are more in there pointing towards that southern African state, but it's too late and I'm going to bed.

    -- Other Ben

  24. Ben, don't forget THOSE LO notes.

    Also, Maseru was included in most of my posts.

    I AM SURE the solo was terrific.

    Quite the AMUSER!

    The story was a RUSE MAybe?

    I spent the entire time thinking the country was Lethoso. Good thing this was an anagram battle!

  25. Brilliant! I didn't see all of these postings until just now, but I don't know if I would have gotten all of your clues, even though I got and submitted the answer on Sunday.

  26. The new puzzle is online. No clues needed.


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.