Thursday, May 17, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 13, 2012): Capital Profession

Capitol BuildingNPR Sunday Puzzle (May 13, 2012): Capital Profession:
Q: Name a state capital. Change one of the vowels to another vowel and say the result phonetically. You will name a revered profession. What is it?
While I initially was down with a different answer, I realized that Will included the word phonetically for a reason.

Edit: My hint was "While I initially" which means take the initial letters of "While I" (WI) to get the state. The different answer that some came up with is Dover/Diver, but it isn't necessary to pronounce diver phonetically, so that isn't the intended answer.
A: Madison (Wisconsin) --> "Medison" = Medicine


  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. This took me about a minute, but I have the advantage of living in this state. Every mother wants one of their kids to grow up to be part of this state capitol.

  3. The capitol of Michigan - with no change in vowels- might work for a dermatologist who performs this task to zits and boils.

  4. I think I might have an answer, but I don't like it. It'll sting if I'm wrong.

  5. Blaine's right, you have to go a bit deeper on this one. I tried to think of a musical clue but threw it out.

  6. In one of the last posts on last week's thread,
    I posted on Sat May 12 at 11:33:00 PM PDT:

    Demented musical clue: Jonathon Brandmeier

  7. The Duckling Day Parade, an annual Mother's Day tradition in which families retrace the steps of Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings from the classic children's story Make Way for Ducklings, takes place in Boston today. If you're anywhere near the Public Garden around noon, expect to hear lots of quacks.

  8. I came upon Nashville and tried to form "Nosh"-something, but got no response from that approach. Guess I'll have to examine the list of state capitals again.

  9. I believe this week’s puzzle is related to last week’s puzzle in a way...


    1. "So proud to live, so proud to die"?
      Or, are you thinking more in terms of regular business hours?

    2. Or, perchance a reference to the county?

  10. SCUBAs are understandably revered in some circles, but I do not believe that this is the desired answer.

  11. Nominally, one would think otherwise, but the governor that "works" there sure seems to run a lot...

    1. The governor of WI (Walker) sure seems to run a lot because of a recall and pending election that started in the first half of his first term.
      (And "works" in quotes, because of the nation-leading job losses in the state...)

  12. If you have a Boston accent, you don't need to change the letter.

    1. If you have a British accent, you probably have to change the target capitol and profession.

  13. Yet another group of people (strictly speaking, not a profession, yet blessed in Christian scripture) results from another state capital, but again this is not the desired answer.

  14. Last night, right after Blaine started this new week's blog, I posted the following which was post #1, but is now missing:

    skydiveboy Sat May 12, 09:44:00 PM PDT
    I have to say this this is about the lowest Will has sank to so far. He should be ashamed. This one is making me ill. Why can't he do better than these stupid puzzles he has come up with lately? This one is just too dumb for a hint.

    Do you know why my post disappeared?

    1. Sorry SDB, I just wanted to make sure the standard notice was at the top. It was not to censor your post in any way.

      To everyone else, SDB is consistently one of the first to comment when the puzzle appears, even before I have a chance to create a new post for the puzzle. He's also first when it comes to commenting after the deadline.

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

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

    2. Agreed - this hint is less than Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

  16. Wow, I was way off! I feel sick.

  17. Many kids in Connecticut hope to become heart farders someday.

  18. Obviously it's not Delaware's capital!

    1. William Walker is revered by Winchester Cathedral

  19. Jim, I'm a big fan of John Waters, but I don't know what you're hinting at. A hint at your hint?

    1. Well Dave, put a little aerosol in your hair and name a line dance.

    2. Isn't there another funky dance associated with this state?

  20. I feel better about this week's puzzle than last week's.

  21. For a change, I planted my summer vegetables in circles: tomatoes in the outer circle, carrots in the next, beans in the next, herbs in the smallest circle, and in the middle - a knockout rose bush.

  22. Musical Clue: Robert Palmer.
    And I can recycle a clue from two weeks ago: Bugs Bunny.

  23. D'oh! I was getting nowhere, thinking the term "profession" was asking for something much more specific than actually intended. But then, on my drive to Mothers' Day dinner, it struck me. In a world where Port-au-Prince can sound like . . .

    I will anchor the far end of my daisy chain of reasoning on Fred Gwynne.

  24. 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812 comes to mind.

  25. I used to live in this state, but I moved to its next door neighbor, with a holy capital.

  26. I am going to whine all I want about this puzzle...but I need something to accompany it.

  27. Do you think Arizonans revere the Hooked on Phonics staff?

  28. Replies
    1. Don't get any Marylanders Raven mad over this. I am very FOND of my state

  29. The key is "phonetic". That means it's not the actual word.

    I could give several hints, but they'd be too obvious--i.e., number of letters, one word or more than one word, etc. let's just say it's not too difficult.

  30. Matt Frewer comes to mind with this puzzle...

  31. Cinematic clue is Daryl Hannah.

    -- Other Ben

  32. It'll take a few more early puzzles to make up for last week's very late puzzle. Oh, well. Here they are.

    Double puzzles

  33. The state's motto has recently been co-opted.

    (Just so that my William Walker comment won't be taken as a clue.)

  34. Geezer Quiz

    This was recently sent to me by a cousin back east. Everyone over 50 should have a pretty easy time with this. If you’re under 50 you can claim a handicap! Answers will follow in a separate post.

    1. In the 1940s, where were automobile headlight dimmer switches located?
    a. On the floor shift knob.
    b. On the floor board, to the left of the clutch.
    c. Next to the horn.

    2. The bottle top of a Royal Crown Cola bottle had holes in it. For what was it used?
    a. Capture lightning bugs.
    b. To sprinkle clothes before ironing.
    c. Large salt shaker.

    3. Why was having milk delivered a problem in northern winters?
    a. Cows got cold and wouldn't produce milk.
    b. Ice on highways forced delivery by dog sled.
    c. Milkmen left deliveries outside of front doors and milk would freeze, expanding and pushing up the cardboard bottle top.

    4. What was the popular chewing gum named for a game of chance?
    a. Blackjack
    b. Gin
    c. Craps

    5. What method did women use to look as if they were wearing stockings when none were available due to rationing during WWII?
    a. Suntan
    b. Leg painting
    c. Wearing slacks

    6. What postwar car turned automotive design on its ear when you couldn't tell whether it was coming or going?
    a. Studebaker
    b. Nash Metro
    c. Tucker

    7. Which was a popular candy when you were a kid?
    a. Strips of dried peanut butter.
    b. Chocolate licorice bars.
    c. Wax coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside.

    8. How was Butch wax used?
    a. To stiffen a flat-top haircut so it stood up.
    b. To make floors shiny and prevent scuffing.
    c. On the wheels of roller skates to prevent rust.

    9. Before inline skates, how did you keep your roller skates attached to your shoes?
    a. With clamps, tightened by a skate key.
    b. Woven straps that crossed the foot.
    c. Long pieces of twine.

    10. As a kid, what was considered the best way to reach a decision?
    a. Consider all the facts.
    b. Ask Mom.
    c. Eeny-meeny-miney-mo.

    11. What was the most dreaded disease in the 1940s and 1950s?
    a. Smallpox
    b. AIDS
    c. Polio

    12. 'I'll be down to get you in a ________, Honey'
    a. SUV
    b. Taxi
    c. Streetcar

    13. What was the name of Caroline Kennedy's pony?
    a. Old Blue
    b. Paint
    c. Macaroni

    14. What was a Duck-and-Cover Drill?
    a. Part of the game of hide and seek.
    b. What you did when your Mom called you in to do chores.
    c. Hiding under your desk, and covering your head with your arms in an A-bomb drill.

    15. What was the name of the Indian Princess on the Howdy Doody show?
    a. Princess Summerfallwinterspring
    b. Princess Sacajawea
    c. Princess Moonshadow

    16. What did all the really savvy students do when mimeographed tests were handed out in school?
    a. Immediately sniffed the purple ink, as this was believed to get you high.
    b. Made paper airplanes to see who could sail theirs out the window.
    c. Wrote another pupil's name on the top, to avoid their failure.

    17. Why did your Mom shop in stores that gave Green Stamps with purchases?
    a. To keep you out of mischief by licking the backs, which tasted like bubble gum.
    b. They could be put in special books and redeemed for various household items.
    c. They were given to the kids to be used as stick-on tattoos.

    18. Praise the Lord, and pass the _________?
    a. Meatballs
    b. Dames
    c. Ammunition

    19. What was the name of the singing group that made the song 'Cabdriver' a hit?
    a. The Ink Spots
    b. The Supremes
    c. The Esquires

    20. Who left his heart in San Francisco?
    a. Tony Bennett
    b. Xavier Cugat
    c. George Gershwin


    1. Being a child of the 50's and a teen of the 60's, I think I can correctly answer 15 out of 20. I did not drink Royal Crown but I am trying to imagine pulling out the cork material from the top to expose holes seems a little dicey but I guess that was their gimmick.

    2. I believe there's an error in 16: it should say "ditto" rather than "mimeograph". Ditto spirit duplicators produced purple copy; mimeo was usually black (though other color inks could be used).

    3. Definitely a geezer, 18/20. For extra credit, what does the "S&H" in "S&H Green Stamps" stand for?

    4. ok, so who gave out the plaid stamps and what did hose letters stand for?

    5. Well I just would like to know who is the idiot in a kilt who decided plad should be spelled plaid? There are important things to consider in life, and I think we can all agree this must be one of them.

    6. Paul is correct. A&P issued Plaid Stamps.

    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. Plain Stamps - given out by the once-mighty
      A & P

      Top Value Stamps - Krogers

      Also, remember cigarette coupons, similar to trading stamps? Raleigh and BelAir had them--one coupon per pack, 4 extra for each carton.

      Lastly, several trading stamp companies were Minnesota based. Now they process mail-in rebates. That's the reason so many mail-in rebates are sent to Young America, MN.

    9. S & H - Sperry and Hutchinson

    10. How about giving us the answers?

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. This is my first time to see/read this blog. I am not know if this blog helps or hurts. I think I know the city, but am not coming up with the answer. I find 2-3 cities hinted at in the replies here. I solved last week's puzzle before the segment ended.

  37. "Fields of action, thought, influence, etc."; they can be very tricky.

    1. Dictionary definition of DOMAINS, which anagrams to MADISON.

  38. Revered profession: silversmithing

  39. In addition to Click and clack's weekly challenge on Car Talk, another good NPR puzzle is the weekly "Scuttlebutton" challenge in Ken Rudin's weekly "Political Junkie" column.


    Instructions (paraphrased):

    Take one word (or concept) from the political buttons pictured (in the order they are pictured) from which you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression.

    It usually comes out every Monday or Tuesday. You can subscribe to it as an email message as well (I do).

    They're really a lot of fun, and they are just as challenging as Will's puzzles are. They usually require word manipulations and/or phonetic spellings as well.

  40. Geezer Answers

    1. (b) On the floor, to the left of the clutch. Hand controls, popular in Europe, took till the late '60's to catch on.

    2. (b) To sprinkle clothes before ironing. Who had a steam iron?

    3. (c) Cold weather caused the milk to freeze and expand, popping the bottle top.

    4. (a) Blackjack Gum.

    5. (b) Special makeup was applied, followed by drawing a seam down the back of the leg with eyebrow pencil.

    6. (a) 1946 Studebaker.

    7. (c) Wax coke bottles containing super-sweet colored water.

    8. (a) Wax for your flat top (butch) haircut.

    9. (a) With clamps, tightened by a skate key, which you wore on a shoestring around your neck.

    10. (c) Eeny-meeny-miney-mo.

    11. (c) Polio. In beginning of August, swimming pools were closed, movies and other public gathering places were closed to try to prevent spread of the disease.

    12. (b) Taxi, Better be ready by half-past eight!

    13. (c) Macaroni.

    14. (c) Hiding under your desk, and covering your head with your arms in an A-bomb drill.

    15. (a) Princess Summerfallwinterspring. She was another puppet.

    16. (a) Immediately sniffed the purple ink to get a high.

    17. (b) Put in a special stamp book, they could be traded for household items at the Green Stamp store.

    18. (c) Ammunition, and we'll all be free.

    19. (a) The widely famous 50's group: The Inkspots.

    20. (a) Tony Bennett, and he sounds just as good today.

    Geezer Scoring

    17 - 20 correct: You are older than dirt, and obviously gifted with mental abilities. Now if you could only find your glasses. Definitely someone who should share his wisdom!

    12 - 16 correct: Not quite dirt yet, but you're getting there.

    0 - 11 correct: You are not old enough to share the wisdom of your experiences.


    1. Ink Spots used to come to my Grandmother's house in Philadelphia and play on her piano. I was a VERY young child at the time I saw them there.(not quite dirt yet)

    2. Maybe to help prevent the freezing milk bottle problem, the dairy delivery companies would provide a (minimally insulated) metal box to hold maybe a half dozen glass quart bottles. One of Donald Westlake's Dortmunder novels included a wonderful scam: He placed a milk box under a bank's night deposit slot, and hung a sign over the slot: "Night Deposit Slot Out Of Order. Use Box Below." Next morning, he'd stroll by to collect his winnings.

  41. If the question were about a famous person representing a certain profession, I would long have submitted Columbus, OH--the profession being explorer (revered enough, isn't it? With even an SUV named for it...).


    My clue:

    "I have to say this this is about the lowest Will has sank to so far. He should be ashamed. This one is making me ill. Why can't he do better than these stupid puzzles he has come up with lately? This one is just too dumb for a hint."

    The hint is: "This one is making me ill." So perhaps medicine would help.

  43. Last Sunday I said, “I believe this week’s puzzle is related to last week’s puzzle in a way.”

    Madison, WI is the county seat of Dane County. “To be, or not to be,” was uttered by Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark.

    I was also going to say that the answer anagrams into things like and – Madison anagrams into domains – but I thought that might be a little too close to the edge so I deleted that sentence from my post.


    1. And, unlike Lorenzo, I didn't know/was too lazy to look up Madison's county.

      The bridges I attempted to build:

      A quote from a Paul Revere and The Raiders song, which leads to Ward's silversmithing clue, and then, if you think about it, to my misinterpretation of Curtis' (Curtis's?) Matt Frewer reference.

      A "9-5" Dolly Parton reference, which connects nicely with benmar's 1812 comment, but fails, happily, in the Dalai Lama/poison plot respect.

      Didn't Lloyd Bridges play a DIVER in some old TV show?

    2. I wouldn't say you misinterpreted my clue; more likely, you reinterpreted in a new and creative way.

  44. My musical clue was Garbage (formed in Madison in '94) so I had to throw it out.

  45. I did figure it out and submitted it. But, did not receive a phone call.

  46. Demented musical clue: Jonathon Brandmeier

    "Hey Der Milwaukee Polka"

    It doesn't mention the capital, but the lyrics do include the state. "Aw, C'mon now, Wisconsin! We hope you'll take a joke."

    1. Another musical clue that would have worked just occurred to me, thanks to the comment posted by Curtis right below:

      Thompson Twins
      (Doctor Doctor)

  47. My clue about Matt Frewer referred to his TV Series of 20+ years ago, "Doctor, Doctor."

    1. O-M-G
      It wasn't Max Headroom / Edison Carter?

    2. It didn't occur to me at the time,but Max Headroom / Edison Carter could have worked as a clue, too.

  48. My clues:

    - "I'll have to examine the list...again." A physician examines (patients, conditions).

    - British accent...change capital and profession: alluded to the common British pronunciation of the profession as med'cine (thus not a homophone for Madison).

  49. I may be wrong but is the chicken dance from Milwaukee area? (not same as dance called funky chicken) A&P stands for Atlantic and Pacific.

    1. I don't know about chicken dances, but Atlantic and Pacific sounds right, and I think there's a "Tea Company" involved in there, somehow, but I could be wrong, too.

  50. My clues: John waters - aerosol in hair - Hairspray - name a line dance = the Madison.

    Enjoy the vid:

    1. I took your clue to be John Waters is from Baltimore. Thus, I was trying to do something with Annapolis.

  51. Here is what I posted at the end of last week's Bronte blog, when this puzzle was first put up:

    "dumpsterdivelad Sat May 12, 09:17:00 PM PDT
    Puzzle is little late, but now up. Not worth much effort. At least Will didn't blame this one on a listener!"

    The clue? Check the initial letters of "Puzzle Is Little Late". Definitely refers to the medical profession, who are well known to prescribe them.

  52. Fred Gywinne played Herman Munster; reminds me of Munster cheese; cheeseheads from Wisconsin; Madison is the capital. But I really did spend a lot of time thinking about more specific professions; what state capital can be mistaken for otolaryngologist? (No, not a serious question!)

    1. Fred Gwynne huh? The word abstruse comes to mind with a hint like that!

  53. New puzzle is up. It's not as tough as it seems.


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.