Thursday, April 05, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 1, 2012): Take Me Out to the Ball Game

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 1, 2012): Take Me Out to the Ball Game:
Q: Name some things seen at a baseball game. This is a two-word phrase, four letters in each word. Change one letter in each word to a new letter to get a new two-word phrase that names a popular music group of the past. Name the group.
For some reason, I'm thinking of tulips.

Edit: "of tulips" anagrams to foul tips
A: FOUL TIPS -> FOUR TOPS
(alternatively, some have suggested "foul pops" as the baseball phrase.)

1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g. via Google or Bing) 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.

2. > For some reason, I'm thinking of tulips.

Not me. When I think of baseball (which isn't much), I think of stupor. I've heard that in an average, several hours long game, there are only about 12 minutes of actual playing time. Boring.

4. This puzzle was an easy out. It took three, maybe four minutes to come up with the answer.

5. Take the musical group and change one letter in each word. If you were the catcher in said ball game, the new two word phrase tells you what you would need to keep on (in more ways than one).

7. I heard Mother Goose is replacing Martha Stewart!!!

April fools.

8. Interestingly, the music group's second word has a strong tie-in to baseball, phonetically.

9. Interestingly, the music group's second word has a tie-in to baseball, phonetically.

10. I don’t think this puzzle is fair but I’m supremely confident I’ve got Will’s number this time.

Chuck

11. There are actually two variations of baseball plays that work here.

1. Snipper,

Didn't realize it before you said it, but you're right -- and they're both equally good answers! Good work.

Suggestion: Maybe someone from Boston would find it easier to get one of the solutions.

Phil J.

2. Suggestion = Tip
Boston is a reference to the Boston Pops

12. got the group right away and the baseball term eventually came into my head - didn't have to reach too far on this one

13. Wish I still had my 1955 set of baseball cards.

14. It shows up in my email every day.

15. Got the answer in about 30 seconds. Girlfriend and I usually solve together. The 1st two words in order to figure out the answer were an easy out!

16. I disagree with the puzzle phrasing referring to the group as "of the the past." One of the original members continues to tour under this band's name with some newer recruits.

17. Anyone else find a dead chicken in their bugle?

18. ok, so I got rid of the bugle and had a large glass of wine instead to go with the chicken.

19. I thought it was odd that the pickup truck I rented today was a quart low on engine oil and I had to add a quart.

20. After getting stuck, I realized that I required some other peoples' assistance on this puzzle.

21. It's All in the Game.

22. Did Shakespeare drink Coke?

23. @Leo, ok, meet me here on Thurs at 3:46 cuz that one is way over my head.(unlike the answer)

24. There are those that may argue Shakespeare was "on something". But I say, forsooth, that he was a man ahead of his time.

25. Did anybody else come up with a different baseball term using the same music group?

26. Here again, are the two posts which I made near the end of last week's thread:

on Mar 31, 2012 at 09:43 PM I said:
"The new puzzle is up, and the answer I've submitted I feel is lacking an '-UP'."

And then on Mar 31, 2012 at 09:56 PM I said:
"Musical clue: D.J. B. S."

27. Ever since a nautical homophone occurred to me, a ditty I knew keeps running through my head. It must have been a mixture of two, "The Mermaid" and "The Walloping Window Blind", but the chorus was slightly different. So what's the homophone?

28. Indeed, there are two possible answers for the second word of the baseball phrase. Not sure which one the NPR computer will be searching for. So, I could also ask, "Did Shakespeare eat out?"

1. The puzzle does not ask for the baseball phrase. It only asks us to name the group.

2. Good point. Whichever phrase you use gets you to the right answer, which leads me to believe that the puzzle maker knew there were 2 possible phrases. This makes my head spin.

29. Leo, you have me stumped, ouch I just hit my toe. So was the restaurant more than 3 stars?

1. Yes, and the wait staff was treated very well.

30. 'Tis Wednesday all you persistently perspicacious puzzlers. Ready for a new challenge?

We are here, we are here, we are here...

31. FOUR TOPS is the answer I came up with, but I'm not happy with it because I have never heard of FOUL TIPS or FOUL TOPS. This is not surprising since I hate baseball and know very little about it. But I did find FOUL TIP listed on a site with baseball terms, so it is a valid answer in my opinion. Anyway I don't really care since I did not like this puzzle.

1. Of the phrases FOUL TIPS and FOUL POPS, I preferred the first. Wikipedia has an article on foul tips but not on foul pops... plus I've heard them called foul pop-ups.

In any case, the puzzle only asked for the group, so it really doesn't matter which phrase you used to get to the Four Tops.

2. Exactly!
I did not submit the baseball terms, only the answer they asked for as I posted above to Leo.
I found this puzzle frustrating because I came up with the answer Saturday evening but it seemed obscure to me and not in keeping with most of these puzzles. I still have no idea what FOUL TIPS are, and I do not want to know. I used to think it was something you might be served in a sub-standard diner.

32. ... and "of stupor" anagrams to "Four Tops".

33. As someone not very interested in baseball, I was satisfied when "foul pops" proved to be an actual phrase, though now that you mention it, "foul tips" does sound like something I once heard.

Anyway, "This puzzle makes me feel bad, Daddy." (My mood is FOUL, POPS.) "Please buy me a banana split." (My favorite FOUR TOPpingS are crushed pineapple, strawberry, chopped nuts and chocolate syrup.)

34. Definition of POP FOUL

: a pop fly hit into foul territory in baseball

and FOUL POPS appears to be the accepted plural

35. I forgot to explain my hint.

"I thought it was odd that the pickup truck I rented today was a quart low on engine oil and I had to add a quart."

Most engines require 5 quarts, so if an engine is a quart low it still has FOUR quarts of oil. Adding a quart of oil is frequently referred to as TOPPING OFF.

36. "base hints" = foul tips

37. Last Sunday I said: “I don’t think this puzzle is fair but I’m supremely confident I’ve got Will’s number this time.”

“I don’t think this puzzle is fair” because it’s a FOUL tip. “Supremely” because the FOUR TOPS recorded several Top 40 hit songs with the Supremes. “Number” because of the number 4.

Chuck

38. @Leo, where four art thou with your explanation? Thanks for the first reply.
My hints involved a chicken being a fowl and bugle for taps but then I found tips to be more accepted so I changed to wine and became tips-y which led me to play around with Leo's opposite of over my head - foul tip usually low and right into catcher's mit - and for sooth for the number four. Hit my toe was for stub - Levi Stubbs being the group's lead singer for most of the years.

39. The posts I made earlier:

"The new puzzle is up, and the answer I've submitted I feel is lacking an '-UP'."

and

"Musical clue: D.J. B. S."

I had submitted "FOUL POPS", and as Blaine noted, they're often refered to as "FOUL POP-UPS".

Anyone searching for "D.J. B. S." in The Demented Music Database among artists will find 4 lines containg "eBay I Need Your Loving (Four Tops Vs. Weird Al) - D.J. B. S."

40. From above:

Take the musical group and change one letter in each word. If you were the catcher in said ball game, the new two word phrase tells you what you would need to keep on (in more ways than one).

A catcher spends his time squatting,
His torso held up by his toes.
He needs to be quick and alert
Lest a foul tip smashes his nose!

41. TB, YE(A)! represented approval of your puzzle using the two new letters.

42. Nicely played.

43. Perhaps not as popular as the Four Tops, but according to Rolling Stone, "the world's most famous unknown band" - Long Island's GOOD RATS [WOOD BATS].

44. I'm still surprised that I got the correct answer as I have never heard of the term: FOUL TIPS, and when I searched through several lists of baseball terms I only found FOUL TIP on one site, and it said it was incorrect, or something to that effect. So I thought it was a bit too obscure for Will to have chosen it as an answer to an NPR puzzle. I expected it might be something having to do with chewing gum or tobacco or spitting same, or perhaps the requisite virility adjustment anytime a player is aware of a TV camera pointed in his direction, not to mention the toy found in a Cracker Jack box.

45. New puzzle just came up and it could not be easier.

46. Even though this is a mindless puzzle I will bet that it will take some ten years or more to figure it out.

47. I have to admit I consulted a list of all the Nations to help myself out with the puzzle. When I did so, I found out the answer very quickly!