Thursday, April 18, 2013

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 14, 2013): 90° Letter Rotation

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 14, 2013): 90° Letter Rotation:
Q: Take a common English word. Write it in capital letters. Move the first letter to the end and rotate it 90 degrees. You'll get a new word that is pronounced exactly the same as the first word. What words are these?
I think it is a foregone conclusion that Will intends us to get creative with how we write our letters.

Edit: The two hints were "foregone" and "write" which contain hints to two possible pairs. The picture gives an example of how you might write a W so it looks like an E when rotated. By the way, the picture is of a set of Ambigrammic Letter Tiles created by Eric Harshbarger.
A: WON, ONE or WRY, RYE

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. Lets not be sarcastic!

1. But we're so good at it, Ben Mar.

2. I'll drink to that over a Reuben Sandwich with olive bread!

3. Uh, Blaine, the puzzle asks for the first word to be written in capital letters, which means uppercase. So why does your picture show the letters of the alphabet in lowercase?

Anyway, in one of the last posts on last week's thread I told of a discovery I made regarding the two words asked for in the new puzzle, and I expand on that here:

One of the words sought for in the puzzle actually ROT13's into another common valid English word. The other merely reverses into another valid English word.

1. Oh, I know the puzzle asks for uppercase but I just liked the look of those rotating Scrabble tiles.

2. Were these actually in a Scrabble set, Blaine? Adds a whole new dimension to being able to have up to 3 choices to a tile's letter designation. Looks like more fun than our modern, all caps, 1 meaning per letter game.

Blankly staring,
WW aka MM

3. ,,, aka EE

4. Naw, my daughter used to call my son that. The bro is forever EE.

5. @33,
Keep a good sense of humor.
NWw>| U,qMw>|
That was more trouble than it was worth :-)

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7. Whoops, twist once more. Here's the correct external link:

TWISTED SIFTER CORRECTED

8. Zeke, what did your clue mean? Was the second word an absolute value of something?

4. There are (at least) two good answers...

1. I'll drink to that!

2. Speaking of drinking, Benmar, my wives and I finished building our still in the backyard last week. We don't care for bourbon or corn whiskey, so we went with something a bit more refined. Now we need a name for our special spirits. I think we're gonna go with "Old Overcoat." Whatdyathink?

3. There's supposed to be 2 answers. :-)

4. Go back to the trenches, Showoff. ;-)

5. @zeke -- maybe there are N answers.

6. Jsulbyrne seems to be the sole person with the answer I initially came up with. AbQ, Benmar, Jim, Zeke, Siz have the solution for those with a more warped sense of humor.

7. I reassemble that remake.
Zeke the town crier.=-O

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9. AbqG:

Good name!

5. Now that I have done the puzzle, I am going to have some eggs and toast!

1. Jim ~ OK, so you solved it quickly. Me thinks that others will struggle on into the afternoon, thereby celebrating the solution of this twisted puzzle with a Reuben Sandwich and not eggs. Just sayin'.

2. U fryon 2 b phuny?
Oops, showing my dark side.
Zeke, the twisted

6. Musical clues...Three Dog Night, Metallica, U2

1. Awesome! Love it! I struggled while on my run this afternoon and this helped me get it ever so fastly. I am no longer lonely!

2. Joe, we have a strict 2 exclamation point limit on posts. Kindly remove one of your 3!!

7. Don McLean said it best, "Greece is the word"

8. "Getting creative with how we write our letters?"

Dear Will,

I don't have a clue.

Sincerely,
Word Woman

9. Q: Is the "new word" just series of letters that can be pronounced or an actual word ?

10. Per Curtis, a clump.

11. I missed the on air contestant but I'm hoping to catch her later. And for jim's breakfast above, make sure you use a whisker before cooking those eggs.

1. Snipper, you must have a pretty stiff beard and larger than average hair width.

2. WoWo - those adjectives seem to be describing something else.

3. Welcome to our Wisker. Notice there is no 'h' in it. Please keep it that way.

I know, I know what you were doing. Just giving you a hard time.

12. DaveJ -

Both words are actual words.

Chuck

13. If I were to come up with a good title for book about either Yogi Berra's, Johnny Bench's or Carlton Fisk's experiences inside one of these words, there's a pretty good chance that title would already be taken. I'd give up a juicier clue, but this puzzle is so easy, I'm holden' my cards close to the chest today.

1. It's snowing here in MN... won't be able to use my tickets to see Joe Mauer and the boys today. :(

2. Got it. Thanks, GuerillaBoy! I seed you got carried away, as usual. But you should definitely include Moe Berg on your list. Don't be holdin' out on me, now!

3. If I were to write a biography using the alternate answer as a title, my subject could be Pee Wee Reese, Billy Martin, Bobby Doerr, Ozzie Smith...

4. Yes, thank you AbqGuerrillaBoy. I started to make a pun with your clues...and realized 'twas the answer. Always appreciate the corn pone humour you & ZekeNeke bring to the table.

5. Cain't speke fer Zeke, Wurd Wumen, but I deals in quinoa pone humor. It's cerebral pseudocereal for the thinkin' folks that come pokin' 'round this here blog. (Or should that be, "Folks who think too much"? <<< note rare instance of a closing punctuation mark being correctly used OUTSIDE the quotation mark.)

6. Ah, my first time! ;-) ;-).

Keen observation on the quinoa, AbqGuerrilla.

You did make make me smile out loud. No lie.

7. WW: Might we assume that one of today's misery words (sorry, I meant mystery words -- my delete key is broken) might be aptly used to describe your out-loud smile (and a pig's tail, for that matter)?

"BARTENDER! Can I get a Non Sequitur with a water back? Make it a double why don'tcha."

Now, you might call me old-fashioned, but nothin' beats a night out in Manhattan sharing perfectly garnished cocktales with my ex-gurlfren, Jane Russell, from Sazerac Lake.
She could tie cherry stems in knots with her tongue!

8. Yes, AbqGuerrila, happy you understood my smiling out loud.

What what what would you do without parentheses (with question marks in or outside them)?

Perhaps you use them as a little parenthe-tickle phrase to amuse us in a similar way?

9. Brings to mind one of my favorite Mark Twain quotes--uttered upon stepping off a train in Wyoming on his first trip out west. He spied several bowlegged cowboys standing in front of the train station and pondered, "Lo and behold. What kind of men are these, that wear their _ _ _ _ s in parentheses?"

10. That is a very old joke. I first heard it over fifty years ago, but it referred to motorcycle cops with their strange pants. I doubt very much it was ever said by Mark Twain, but if you have any documentation please post it here.

However you are reminding of the movie, The Last Emperor, where all the eunuchs are leaving with their missing parts packaged for them. So sad, and such a noble profession.

11. Lo and behold, AbqGuerilla? Not Mr. Twain, not in Wyoming, not ever.

Go and be bold. And come back with a legitimate quote about cowboys.

Will Rogers has some good ones (..).

12. Should have known this crowd was too erudite to slide that relic by. I am shamed. Sorry Mr. Clements.

RE: SDB comment, "if you have any documentation please post it here."
OMG! Is there no "blogger's license" for hyperbole and the shoe-horning in of classic one-liners? Great geriatrics,SDB! You're slowly becoming the birther of Blaine's Blog. (Will the short form suffice, my good fellow?)

13. While you're apologizing to Mr. Clements (whoever he is???) you might also consider apologizing to Mr. Twain and Mr. Clemens.

As to the birther comment. As I understand it birthers spew nonsense and lies. I only told the truth and it was you who falsely attributed a joke to Mark Twain.

14. Bravo, SDB! Sam he am!

And to us.

15. SDB: There you go again. Showin' off yer fancy book learnin' with a chilly rebuke. How about this one:

"One of the coldest winters I ever spent was a spring on Blaine's Blog."

16. That baseball one did it for me. Wasn't one of these words used in a puzzle in the past?

17. AbqGuerrilla, quite thankfully never the Twain shall meet. And perhaps never the sky shall meet either. ;-)

You are right on with the coldest winter here in CO. It is snowing now and not supposed to stop until Thursday. Spring indeed!

18. AbqG…,

This post is a tad tardy. Still, please consider adding Bob Uecker to your list of horse-hiding masked men. I can pretty much "GuerrillaBoy-Guarantee ya” that Mr. Uecker, and his die-hardiest of fans, would quite breezily-easily arrive at the solution you hint at.

While there may well be two or three solutions to this week’s Will puzzle, here is a similar but even easier puzzle -- one with only one solution (I think):

Q: Take a common English word. Write it in capital letters. Move the first letter so that it becomes the second letter and rotate it 90 degrees. You’ll get a new word that spells out a letter that occurs twice in the original word. What words are these?

(Hint: The original word is associated with "eggs" and is a part of a "toast," as per Jim's Sun Apr 14, 07:42:00 AM PDT post.)

Best regards,
LegoLa...

19. Has AbqG... again cloned hisself?

14. Considering the letter rotation and all I guess you could call this a twisted puzzle.

Chuck

15. Is "OOOOO" a common word?

16. aah - now I have a smile on my face...

17. Had a dickens of a time with this puzzle; changing my name to Oliver for this puzzle only. DNA has already been used.

18. Julius Robert Oppenheimer

19. Jvaavcrfnhxrr

20. Hope this gets past Blaine, but it will be of invaluable help to those who haven’t solved the puzzle yet. The rotated letter is not an “O” or an “X.”

Chuck

1. King Blaine will surely say that "WE ARE NOT AMUSED."

2. Peter, have you been under a snow bank for a few weeks? We've missed you. Were you able to see the Aurora Borealis last night? It was supposed to be spectacular in parts of the North Country.

3. Chuck, if you rotate the X 90 degrees you get ><, c'est vrai?

21. This puzzle is is tougher yet last weeks only had only 250 entries

22. That was a twisted one, but my sense of humor hasn't completely dried up.

23. Since only the first word has to be a common English word, there are three pairs that work. Of the 6 words, 1 is archaic and according to MWCD has two pronunciations one of which matches the common word.

1. Bunch of commoners.

Last week's news and this week's puzzle are colliding.

2. Doesn't that make you so angry?

3. Au contraire, it makes me smile.

4. "According to Miriam Webster", really Hugh? Come on. What does she know?

5. Is this going to wind up as a reply or an added comment (like yesterday's attempt?)

"Eli Meyer" made a rather quick reply (as if my comment was not a surprise.)

As for Miriam - What might her accent be? French, Italian, Australian, or like mine?

6. G'day mate. My son leaves tomorrow for six months in Australia. I'll ask him about Miriam and her sister Adelaide.

7. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rathe

24. Mmmmm, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

1. Yeast of Eden. Scripts sure point to this. ;-)

2. One thing I know: Yeast can turn water into wine. Technically, you need to process the water through grapes first. But, water comprises the better part of those grapes.

3. Water comprises the better part of wine, too. Well, not the better part, I guess, but the bigger part. What the yeast works on is the sugar dissolved in the water in those grapes.

4. Based on previous discussions of "art" with certain dogs playing poker (holdin' those cards close to the chest), you might also say that discretion is also the better part of velour.

5. Mmmmm, velveteen art...

6. If you make a welsh rabbit using a Kraft processed cheese food product, is that a velveteen rabbit?

7. Jan, 'tis a rare bit that gets yer going on hares these days. Laura, please chime in now. Somebunny, please.

8. How many people are we gonna split hares among?

9. Jan, please don't end your sentence with a proposition. Especially that one.

10. That is one rule up with which I will not put.

11. WW: Did you mean, preposition?
I suppose a pre-position is just prior to a position and a pro-position is for experts. I'll have to ask some of the ladies who stroll not far from my house.

12. I mean what I say and I say what I mean.

Proposition.

13. Such a meany! :)

14. But, do you carrot all?

15. Lettuce be civil, guys!

16. Avocado cores I care. Now lettuce spray for peas and not chive in to Romaine scallions with their asparagus spears of arugula mastication. May the Lard be with you.

25. Reminds me of a "Seinfeld" plot.
Come to think of it, reminds me of all of them.

1. "The Rye" was an actual Seinfeld episode title. I said "plot" to try to be a little less obvious than "title," but I think most of them were "wry!"

26. 1/1/19 to 1/27/10

1. Ok, is the first a date in the future, Curtis? Or maybe they're not dates?

2. To say more would be to say too much. When the deadline passes, I'll clarify how these numbers relate to the answer.

3. Tis gud u2 got 2c bophum cji.

4. Did you perhaps fall asleep at the keyboard, ZMKM CRWWK?

Then I used the Enya and Weird Al discussion to figure out the second pair, and realized that your
clue covers that as well!

6. I'm glad you got it EKW from my clue. But, I'd love to hear (after the deadline) how you did it. I was hoping to create a completely obfuscated clue that baffle everyone.

7. Actually the first set of numbers says it all.

8. CJI, I got (and enjoyed) your clue after solving (and realized I had enjoyed same clue years ago), and almost wondered if the numbers above were goo tooglable, actually -- but I think/hope it's just obfuscated enough.

9. ObFuSCATion: where facts are hidden. Literally.

27. I found two perfect word pairs – all common words – and submitted one of them. I didn’t find the archaic word that Hugh found. Perhaps I just didn’t recognize it or perhaps my word list didn’t include it. I don’t think that big bunches of folks are going to get this one right. Anyway, Will tends to go for the plain vanilla – the meat and potatoes – answer.

Chuck

1. Ground round and mashed to be more precise...

2. Just in case Will only chooses from his favorite answer I entered the one and my wife entered the other.
Zeke the fortunate.

28. Do you suppose they'll only pick from those submissions which gave both solutions?

It IS TRUE that there are two valid solutions. BTW, the clue I gave before in my earlier post only applies to ONE of the two solutions. Neither of the words of the other solution either reverse, nor ROT13 into any other common valid English word.

But the two solutions rotate the same letter AND have the same number of letters!

1. After I became the victor in the wrestling match my coach told me not to gloat over a single victory.

29. Went to the Dakotas down round Faygo. Met up with the James Gang and the Outlaws at the Dry Gulch for a few root beers. That wasn't jest any sasparilla..it was rockin.

30. I started out on sarsaparilla, Zeke. It was the gateway to my presnet life of debauchery. Take it from me, sarsaparilla is the root of all evil..

1. But I love it :'(
Can't I jest have a single mug, lug?

31. I have what may be a pretty stupid question, but I'd hate to assume what Will meant and get a wrong answer: Do you simply rotate the moved letter 90 degrees, or the whole, newly formed word?

32. Just the letter, Danny. Good luck!

33. Also: what if the new word is the same word as the original one? They're obviously pronounced the same, but it seems as though Will meant to imply that they'd be different words.

34. They are different words: homophones, or more acurately heterographs. Hope that helps.

35. Thank you, Word Woman.

36. So is that clockwise or counterclockwise?

1. From my understanding, 90 degrees would be counterclockwise, -90 degrees would be clockwise. Now, that was an eon ago and I've forgotten all the rules. All the snow has clouded my ability to think straight.

2. I'm voting clockwise. Of course in this contest there can only be a single victor; though I could have that backwards.

3. Loop is correct about the mathematical convention for rotations. And Uncle John is correct about the
direction of rotation for this puzzle.
It is -90 degrees, which is clockwise.

4. So, if I understand puzzle rules, the only correct answer would be one where the final letter is rotated counterclockwise 90 degrees. Now I have to get back to my snow shoveling.

5. WON>>>>>>>>>ONE "single victor" backwards

37. Wall clockwise, brother. :-)
Enjoy today. What a beautiful morning that's been afforded us.

38. IS CURSIV TAUGHT IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS ANYMORE?

1. Cursive is taught in some school systems, Ruth. When my daughter was in 3rd grade she worked toward getting her "Cursive License." It looked similar in size and lamination to a Driver's License.

She was more excited about getting her Cursive License than her Driver's License. She kept it until she went off to college.

I checked with her teacher and she still awards Cursive Licenses in 2013.

2. My cursive license was revoked. It looked like I was writing under the influence. Now I have to print in block letters -- it was a capital offense.

3. Most of the women my age (50 and up) have beautiful cursive. I'm thinking it's going to become a lost art.

4. It already is a lost art. Back in 1994, when I went down to Arizona to manage a skydiving business, I needed to hire a couple of high school kids to work the desk on weekends, but none of them could even print their names on the line of the application form. I realize this is probably a worse case scenario, but this is very difficult for me to understand in this country.

39. Yes, Ruth, cursive is still taught in some schools. But as SkyDiveBoy might caustically add, "Spelling, however, is obviously not."

1. I use my cur sieve to filter out the riff-raff.

2. Your logic is filled with holes.

3. Silty, silty, silty, sdb.

4. Listy, slity, stily, silty, but I do so prefer lusty! Not to mention the anagram of same.

5. You say mesa; I say table. And I'll get to supper before you. So there!

6. That fell a little flat, sdb.

7. Flat and stable. That's me, Skydiveboy.

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41. It's a shame. Kids' fingers fly over the keyboard and they're fast at texting and able to print a a short and probably misspelled note if need be, but writing and penmanship are apparently not important.

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42. What Blaine describes as "creativity" I would call poor penmanship or bad eyesight.

43. As Click and Clack frequently ask, doesn't anybody screen these calls? ;>))

44. The two solutions:

WON ==> ONE   &   WRY ==> RYE

I posted on Sun Apr 14, at 06:36:00 AM PDT:

...One of the words sought for in the puzzle actually ROT13's into another common valid English word. The other merely reverses into another valid English word.

Later, I posted on Sun Apr 14, at 07:47:00 PM PDT:

Do you suppose they'll only pick from those submissions which gave both solutions?

It IS TRUE that there are two valid solutions. BTW, the clue I gave before in my earlier post only applies to ONE of the two solutions. Neither of the words of the other solution either reverse, nor ROT13 into any other common valid English word.

But the two solutions rotate the same letter AND have the same number of letters!

WON & WRY both rotate their W's into E's, and all words have 3 letters.

ONE rot13s into BAR, while WON merely reverses into NOW.

Neither WRY, nor RYE either rot13 or reverse into any valid word.

45. WRY > RYE

My hints:

“Julius Robert Oppenheimer”
He headed the Manhattan Project during WWII at Los Alamos, NM. Originally a Manhattan cocktail was made with rye whiskey. NOTE: My mother had much in common with J. Robert Oppenheimer, but she had a maraschino cherry in her Manhattan project.

“However you are reminding me of the movie, The Last Emperor, where all the eunuchs are leaving with their missing parts packaged for them. So sad, and such a noble profession.”
This is an example of my wry humor, as well as being dry, and I am wondering how many who read it got the joke. This kind of humor is frequently unnoticed in this country. My observation is that in general people here tend to compartmentalize humor and may not appreciate it unless it is expected. Mores the pity. In my experience business tends to be far more playful in other countries.

46. WRY-->>>RYE

I referred to twists as in rye twists, DNA which contains the letters in rye, and yer which is an anagram of rye.

Also, like many others, I referred to a wry sense of humour. References to smiling and smiling out loud pointed to this wryness. ;-)

47. > I seed you got carried away, as usual.

You usually find caraway seeds on RYE bread.

> But you should definitely include Moe Berg on your list.

See "The Catcher Was a Spy". Moe also liked his pastrami on RYE.

> Don't be holdin' out on me, now!

As in Caulfield, he said WRYly.

And, of course, WON and ONE also work.

48. "Doesn't anybody screen these calls?" --

Since in my simplemindedness I stopped once I had gotten the WON - ONE answer, I was quite surprised that the word "ONE" was used about twenty times in the comments. As with "anybody" vs. "anyone", I would think that could easily have been avoided. The excuse of "hiding in plain sight" isn't likely to be accepted in other situations!

1. And did you notice that in my 2nd post here I had "ONE" bolded AND in italics!

And the kicker, I honestly did not NOTICE that until my reposting of it in my solution post above!

49. Blaine, are my eyes playing tricks on me or did you keep changing "foregone" to "forgone" at various times since Sunday?

1. I noticed that also, Ruth, and it made me smile too!

2. WW, I hope your smile was as wry as mine.

3. Probably just the spell checker trying to correct it.

50. Surprising no one posted Richard Nixon as a clue, referring to his 1968 slogan: "Nixon's The One!"

51. I got the call!

-- Other Ben

1. Yes. Don't reenlist!

2. Congrats, Ben! Love to know how it goes. Maybe you can work in Blaine's Blog into your wry script.

3. Oh goodie, now we get to find out if Ben is your real name...not that anyone on this blog would be so disingenuous as to use a sudo-nim.

4. Congratulations! You'll have a leg up on the rest of us with the puzzle question for next week unless you choose to reveal it before Sunday.

5. Cool. Enjoy!

52. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the species of yeast used in bread making and brewing (the first step in creating alcohol before distilling into whiskey). Hence it has a role in rye bread and rye whiskey.

1/1/19 to 1/27/10 are the birth and death dates of J.D. Salinger, author of Catcher in the Rye.

1. Just Delightful!

~~Pitcher in the Corn~~

2. My favorite microorganism. Now, if someone could explain why most people with Crohn's disease have antibodies to Saccharomyces cerevisiae in their blood?

3. Wow, Jan, never knew anyone with a favorite microorganism. As to your question about the antibodies, perhaps their humour, unlike many on this blog, is all wet.

4. If you know of a bug with a better trick than making bread & beer, I'd like to meet him.

5. Penicillin and other antibiotics?

Although I have been chagrined to read of antibiotics, including tetracycline, being sprayed on both organic and non-organic apples and pears. Combatting fire blight with antibiotics seems quite problematic.

I will agree that beer and bread are more pleasurable. As is yogurt.

53. Blaine:
I thought your use of the word: how, might also have been a clue as reversed it looks like won (woh).

1. Sdb, you think too much. ;-)

54. Just got off the phone with Will and Rachel!

My actual legal name is "Word Woman," just so you won't be surprised.

-- Other Ben

1. O. B. One Kenobi,

How was it?

55. My clues referred to: wry (sarcasm); rye (reuben sandwich on olive bread); and rye (drink to that whiskey).

56. My clues:

"...hoping to catch her later." referred to Catcher in Rye

"...use a whisker before cooking..." referred to whiskey

57. So it was fun!

Rachel was very chatty, of course, and Will seemed pretty silent. It was all over seemingly quite quickly, though if you are a puzzle geek, then your adrenaline starts pumping as soon as Will calls and I really have no idea what it sounded like.

Their intended answer (and mine) was WON and ONE, but Will noted that WRY and RYE was a great answer and one he did not foresee.

I fear it is a heavy news week, for the saddest of reasons, so there wasn't as much back and forth about my favorite color and love of long walks on the beach. But I did okay on the puzzle. I'll know on Sunday.

As for next week's puzzle, I'll spill the beans as soon as Blaine sends me a "Blainesville" lapel pin.

I can now die a happy man.

1. Were you sworn to secrecy re-next weeks puzzle???

2. Hey, he just said he'll spill the beans as soon as Blaine sends him a "Blainesville" lapel pin.

BLAINE, SEND THIS GUY A FR@#\$\$%@\$'N LAPEL PIN!!!!!

3. Other Ben, glad it was fun. Yes, this sad news week has been difficult. We would have liked to hear about heliotrope & those long walks on the beach. Thanks for sharing your bucket list item.

4. I was told that the Thursday call is brief and only for the purpose of setting up the real call that takes place the next day. True or false, Ben?

5. Enya, et al:

BLAINE, SEND THIS GUY A FR@#\$\$%@\$'N LAPEL PIN!!!!! Isn't that a joke???

58. Sorry I couldn't post yesterday. I was busy most of the afternoon.

WON, ONE
WRY, RYE

Last Sunday I said, “Considering the letter rotation and all I guess you could call this a twisted puzzle.” I also said, “I found two perfect word pairs – all common words – and submitted one of them.” “Wry” as an intransitive verb means twist or writhe. “One” is one of the answers.

Chuck

P.S. Congrats, Ben!

59. Here is a sneak peak of next week's puzzle for all of my homies.

Normal house rules apply -- don't post the answer here or any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g. via Google or Bing) before the deadline.

If you know the answer, there isn't yet a link to submit it to NPR. Instead, put it in an envelope with \$20 in cash and mail it to the address that you hear on the air this Sunday. Thanks!

60. Think of a location in two words, nine letters.

If you say it out loud, it will sound like the names of four letters. What is it?

Disclaimer: this isn't yet written down anywhere. This is from my soggy memory. But it isn't a complicated puzzle, so I think I got the "ask" basically right. And if you send me that \$20, then I'm certain it's right.

-- Other Ben

1. fex xob wes yxn msj wik.

2. Especially if you've read William Steig's "CDB".

3. Once you have the answer, Google it along with the 4-letter clump to find a cute parody of a Village People song.

4. Now I have that song stuck in my head, Jan. Feeling a little down in the clumps, er, dumps. ;-)

1. Good verification clue, Lorenzo. It only makes sense once one has the answer.

2. Curtis - Glad you used it as it was intended. I would hate to think you had tried all 3,300 or so possibilities!

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62. Lapel pin suggestion:

Circular disk. Small letters, along the upper arc: "I LIVE IN"
Large letters, centered, probably split into 2 lines: "BLAINESVILLE"
Small letters, along the lower arc: "EAT MY SHORTZ"

Alternatively, we get a numismatic artist to sculpt a profile of our Dear Leader, and just have, in small letters along the lower arc: "IN BLAINE WE TRUST".

1. Jan, I especially like your first lapel pin idea.

To note Will's hometown of Pleasantville, NY, might we add "EAT MY SHORTZ: WHERE READERS DIGEST."

Aside: DeWitt Wallace Library at Macalester College owes its name to the Pleasantville resident. He helped change the name from Jesus College to Mac.

63. Sounds like a location to avoid at all \$\$\$.

64. I have an answer that works and I also have another answer that has five (5) names of letters in two words with a total of nine letters.

1. ... and one with 5 letter names in 2 words with 10 letters, and one with 3 letter names in 2 words with 7 letters. Not to mention fictional locations, like the M-R-L C-T, in Oz...

2. If fictionality is the only thing disqualifying M-R-L C-T and the interpretation of 'letters' is far-reaching, then I have an answer.