Sunday, May 18, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 4, 2014): Two Week Challenge: It's Near the Planet Mars

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 4, 2014): Two Week Challenge: It's Near the Planet Mars:
A: Write a clue for a word that also contains the answer in consecutive letters. For example, "It's near the planet Mars," contains the answer "Earth". The answer word must contain six or more letters. The clue should both define or describe the answer and contain the answer in consecutive letters.
Given the parameters of the puzzle, all we can do is save up our best answers for two weeks from now. But if people want to express their creativity, post clues for words with 5 (or fewer) letters.
A: In cold weather most attempt to keep this set low. (thermostat). Other answers can be found here


  1. I already came up with three and while still in bed without pen and paper.

  2. in honor of Blaine,s prologue I wish everyone a happy Star Wars day.

  3. Just repeating my comment from the end of last week's thread, to stay in the game:

    These two-week challenges are never good for me. I am especially shut out by a requirement of "overall elegance"!

    Even if I did come up with some clever answer, I know there will be so many better ones that my only hope would be to be selected by chance; otherwise I could only be an also-ran. Do me a favor and wake me when it's over!

  4. I'm sure I will not be participating.


  5. In the words of John Calvin Coollidge, "I choose not to run." Much too subjective. Almost similar to a middle school detention exercise!

  6. We've all been sent to the big looney bin in the North for 2 weeks!

    1. Come on ron, that's no way to be, chill out a bit. :-)

  7. My life a former cyclone
    I ran a losing race
    All my youthful seal
    Had left me on my face
    People came with just one goal
    To help reach errant souls
    The better way I choose to go
    Spell it out and all shall know

    Zeke's heartbeat

    1. Mercy, Zeke!

      Sigh. A too weak puzzle.

      This funny 5-minute video contains a clue to one of my phrases:


    2. I like it, Paul. Let's go with that.

      Better than "off topic: not Ruth."

    3. I resemble that remark! Besides, tRuth is Word (woman), isn't it? For me, the challenge in this 2-week puzzle is figuring out how to bold. Ctrl+B gets me no wear. Any tips?

    4. So good, Ruth! Truth is Word.

      Bolding: here you go:

    5. Are you using the < and > tags as shown in the link?

      The Bold on, Bold off section is really all you need.

    6. Thanks WW. I get real annoyed when posting comments on places like FB that there are no formatting options.

      What peeves me about these kinds of puzzles is that some kind of damn intern is going to be screening our submissions. Will Shortz isn't going to read them all, is he?

    7. UJ,

      You may be right about intern(s) judging this challenge and the non-participation of Dr. Will Play-Ping-Pong. But I hope you are wrong. The NPR website says, “The person who sends the best clue in the judgment of Will Shortz will appear on the program in two weeks.” But perhaps that’s fiddlesticks.

      I suspect intern(s) will screen the hundreds of answers, send Will a Shortz list of about 30 candidates. And Will will then choose the winner and also-rans (aka “honorable mentions).

      Note well, however. Judging this contest is more like a teacher correcting an essay exam, as opposed to a multiple choice or true-or-false test. Judging will be subjective rather than objective and will therefore take more time.

      So, it is probably better for this challenge to submit your entries sooner rather than later. The NPR site says, “Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you Thursday (May 15) at 3 p.m. EDT.” Any entries submitted just a day or a few hours (and certainly a few minutes) before that deadline will likely not receive full (or any) consideration, no matter how good they are.

      On May 15, when we reveal our consecutive-letter efforts on this blog, we will be able to weigh in on whom we deign worthy of winning/also-running/honorable mentioning. My money is on the NPR “winner” being a Blainesvillian.


  8. What did one hat say to the other hat?

    "I'll stay here, you go on a head."

    1. Yes, and corduroy pillowcases are making headlines all over.

      Heady stuff, huh?

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. I enjoy this change-of-pace fortnightly creative challenge with no “right” answer. The other relatively recent such challenges (if memory serves) were 1. Creating a palindrome about a famous person, and 2. Creating a “What’s the difference between…” riddle in which the answer is a spoonerism. They were fun.

    Anybody have a comment on Ben Affleck counting cards at Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Casino. Security guards told him, “You are too good.” The story I read said “card counting is not technically illegal but is heavily frowned upon by casinos.” (!)
    “Sure, you’re welcome to play blackjack here unless you are smart enough to regularly beat us!”
    Ben should have cast himself rather than Matt Damon as math genius (Good) Will Hunting.

    Around 2 a.m. this morning I awoke from a pre-REM sleep. I was a mite peckish so got up to make myself a cold turkey sandwich. My purring tabby cat brushed up against my ankles hoping for turkey scraps. In my sleepy stupor, a dollop of Kraft Mayonnaise dropped from my knife onto the floor. My cat briefly sniffed it then returned to her begging. “I’ll clean that up in the morning,” I thought. “Too groggy right now.”

    When I awoke this morning, an odious odor insinuated my nostrils. I entered my kitchen. The stench seemed to emanate from near the faucet where I had washed off the lettuce and sliced the turkey. Then I noticed, with my nose as well as eyes, the stainless steel basin mottled with fetid slimy white paw prints. I put two and two together. My tabby, after stepping in the dollop of dressing, must have sniffed out some stray turkey scraps that landed in the basin and bounded up counterward for a feast.

    I shouted in exasperation, “Sink odor, Mayo!”


      Ban this guy forever!
      Lego has allowed himself to sink to a new low.
      MaYo do it now please, Blaine.

    2. sdb,

      Everyone knows you are a giant in the field of punnery. I am but a puny punner cowering in your shadow. But I have mustard the courage to tell you to pickle on someone your own size punwise. Lettuce not engage in churlish cheesy chastisement!

      I hope olive to see the day when all of Blainesville can gather around a campfire, enjoy a hot turkey sandwich together and sing Kum Ba Yah in glorious fork-part harmony. (and not Kum Bah Humbug!)


    3. ron,

      Thanks for the sinko linko. That looks just like my kitchen sink! I think I even detect vestiges of slimy white paw prints. Oh how I love the smell of rancid mayo in the morning! Sinko De Mayo? Not quite. At my place it is Stinko De Mayo!

      I am refurbishing my aging house. I was going to junk much of my furniture, appliances, etc. But after last night, I think I will keep everything but the kitchen sink.


    4. lego.
      Are you sure the sink is the only place your cat tracked that mayo? I'd be careful where I siete if I were you. (You needn't wait until tomorrow to say oucho.)

      ...should you behold a gato croucho,
      prepare to say oucho.
      Better yet, if called by a gato
      answer noto.

      And now, if you'll excuse me, I have a handbasket to catch.

    5. Oucho!

      Paul, you were right. Had I read your clairvoyant post yesterday I would have been forewarned. But nooo, I obliviously siete.

      Love your quatrain, with its blend of Spanish, pig-latin and cat-latin. But now, I gato go. So does my cat.

      BTW, whenever I commit the crime of first-degree doggerel, as you did, I always catch a handcart to warmer climes. Much roomier.


    6. Throw in some French for a chat room, Legato and Paul.

  11. Lego, mite peckish or a peckish mite? ;-)

    Condiment that much to you. . .

    Doo wop ditty do.

  12. What my theory about how Moses makes his tea (Hebrews it) is destined to become...

  13. I think we all need a little diversion after yesterday's "Sinko de Mayo" celebration. I propose:

    An Ode to the English Plural:

    We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
    But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
    One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
    Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
    You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
    Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

    If the plural of man is always called men,
    Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
    If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
    And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
    If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
    Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

    Then one may be that, and three would be those,
    Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
    And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
    We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
    But though we say mother, we never say methren.
    Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
    But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

    Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
    There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
    Neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
    English muffins weren't invented in England .
    We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
    We find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
    And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

    And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
    Grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
    Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
    If you have a bunch of odds and ends and
    Get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

    If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
    If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

    Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should
    be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

    In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a

    We ship by truck but send cargo by ship...
    We have noses that run and feet that smell.
    We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
    And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
    While a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

    You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
    In which your house can burn up as it burns down,
    In which you fill in a form by filling it out, and
    In which an alarm goes off by going on.

    And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?

    1. Singularly delightful, ron.

      I offer this:

      Strong Views on seeing rats and mice: Ver Minion.

    2. ron,
      How about the numbers four, fourteen, forty and forty-four?

    3. If our third daughter gives birth, since she already has three sons, how many children will she have?

      SDB, you do the others....

    4. ron,
      Did you forget to mention how many daughters she also has?

    5. ron,
      Daughters or not, I would say she will have too many. :-)

    6. The answer is four, (four letter word), not fourth (six letter words we are to avoid). She will have 4 children and yes, it will be her fourth child.

    7. ron,
      I thought you might have a trick answer. Obviously the answer was four. So, is this one of those rare times when we are encouraged to use four letter words?

    8. And ron,
      Along those lines of thought. Monika Lewinski may have been chased, but she certainly wasn't chaste.

  14. Battin' in the pitcher's spot,


    Symphony completed by Beethoven in the year 1824.

    Take your pick.

  15. Well I can take a paws to wish all of you Happy Sync cat n' mayo. You make me tingle alL OVEr
    Even when I swagger like a BULL Yet am scared inside
    Each of you is a KEY PERson in my life. HAHA! This vege fishe humanitarian is hungry so I will c u later after I sink all my teeth into a finger sandwich

    1. RoRo, wishing you a SEISmic May day today also. It's not my fault, though.


  16. With RoRo and Ludwig In the general vacinity I must say that they are people I admire doing the scales.

    1. It's all in the fingers. WW no time to soB, LAMEnt for what mayo have been

  17. With Will gone next Sunday for a reason, we should keeP INGenious posts going and keep uP ON Great discussions.

    1. Yes, David, I think we ought to keep a TAB LEft open in case Will decides to continue play in TENN, I See.

    2. On that note, we are having a tornado and hail today. First time I have heard the hail described by local media as ping-pong-ball-sized (40.00 mm) vs golf-ball-sized (42.67 mm). Checking carefully. . .

    3. I suspect this was a shout out to Will Shortz by the news reader.

    4. You read my mind, skydiveboy!

      Size matters...But, why not just say 40-43 mm in diameter (or 1.5-1.7 inches, if you must) ?

  18. Of course by volume, golf-ball-sized is over 21% larger than ping-pong-ball sized.

    1. Yea, David, they are pretty loud ;-).

    2. I believe Dr. Shortz would prefer that we refer to it as table tennis ball-sized hail. Ping pong? That’s just so wrong! (BTW, King Kong ball-sized hail could kill a fellah.)

      Golf-ball-sized hail is marginally larger, but also has dimples. Table tennis ball-sized hail is virtually dimpleless, as is Dr. Shortz when he hears TT referred to as PP!

      Hail, hail, Rock ’n’ Paper ’n’ Scissors!


    3. Dr. Shortz has no room to complain when it comes to linguistic indiscretions.

    4. How do you know of Will's dimpleness, Lego? Pretty cheeky if you ask me!

      If Will beats someone in this latest tourney as he starts to scratch, perhaps he'd say "Ping pong, the wicked itch is dead..."

    5. I hope you're not implying that Will has crabs.

    6. Getting way off topic again. Tsk. Grave error.

    7. Is that a reference to Vera Cruz? Or perhaps Vera Lynn?

    8. Finish the joke:
      Euclid, Riemann, and Lobachevsky walk into a bar ...

    9. The bartender asked, "Is this hyperbole or what?"

    10. Euclid has one drink, Riemann has none. They have to carry Lobachevsky home.

    11. Euclid, Riemann, and Lobachevsky walk into a bar. . .ouch, that hurts.

      Yours is better, Paul, plane and simple.

    12. Blainesvillians,

      This is a serious post (except for the Luigi part). I have good news.

      Today I am launching my first blog, a puzzle blog called Puzzleria!. It is similar to Blaine’s wonderful blog in that it is weekly and puzzle-based. And I hope it will, like Blaine’s, be blogger-friendly and will spark free-wheeling discussion.

      (I have turned operations of Lego’s Crossroads Diner over to my brother Luigi so I can devote my full attention to this new “puzzle parlor” project.)

      Puzzleria! will upload new puzzles every Friday. I am timing it to fill the “down time” we sometimes experience in Blainesville between the Thursday “answer posting flurry” and the revelation of the new NPR puzzle on Sunday.

      The puzzles that Puzzleria! offers will all be original, to the best of my knowledge. (About four years ago I created a simple word puzzle, put it in my file of original and unique puzzles, and told no one about it. About a year later, Will Shortz used essentially the same puzzle as his weekly NPR challenge. Suddenly my original and unique puzzle became an original but ununique puzzle!)

      Puzzleria! will serve up at least one fresh puzzle every Friday. As a puzzle creator/blogger I have two main challenges/goals: 1. To create puzzles with the “just right” (Goldie Locks and the Three Bears) degree of difficulty, and 2. To create “fair” puzzles.

      I will depend on your feedback to help me achieve these goals. I also, of course, welcome you to post your own puzzles, or create puzzles that “riff” or “piggyback” off my Puzzleria! puzzles.

      I ask that Puzzleria! patrons not post their Puzzleria! puzzle answers or explanations of hints until Tuesday at 3 p.m. Eastern Time (just as Blaine asks that we do not reveal our NPR puzzle answers and explanations of our hints until Thursday at 3 p.m.).

      I welcome your comments, constructive criticisms and suggestions for making Puzzleria! a better blog. I consider Blainesvillians very intelligent puzzle experts. I respect and value your opinions.

      Indeed one of our own, Word Woman, gave me invaluable assistance and encouragement in the launching of Puzzleria! Late last year, when I asked on this blog if anyone could give me advice about getting a blog started, WW, who had just launched her own excellent PEOTS blog, reached out and guided me through the bloggery process.

      If you like my Puzzleria! blog, please follow, participate in, and tell others about it. Thank you all for everything.

      LegoRia! (aka Logorrhea)

  19. In the on-air segment, the celebrity guest-player gave an entry which they aired: "When listening to Will Shortz while driving, it's better to do this than swerve off the road."

  20. I still cannot come up with an "elegant" entry in this fortnightly challenge. But what have other Blainesvillians thrown into the pot? Wow! Eek! So many to choose from!

  21. Bob –

    I found one definition of elegant on that might be useful: cleverly simple. In other words I don’t think obscure words, non-standard spelling or tortured syntax will score many points. I believe simple, straightforward and easy to understand will carry the day. Original and unexpected would be pluses.

    My two cents...


    1. Chuck, tortured syntax about sums it up for one of my entries.

      Happy about the other two, though.

    2. I only submitted one entry, with syntax so tortured that it makes waterboarding seem tame. As I said at the other blog, I'm hoping for Horrible Mention.

    3. David, I will take your tortured syntax, place it in a syncline, and waterboard you up one limb of the fold for HM honors.

  22. Happy bonmot here for her today! (I know, 6 letter word)

  23. How do you supposed Will et al handle a subjective contest like this at 3pm on Thursday? Did they already pick out their 2-week favorite days ago, and are now just waiting in case something better turns up at the last minute?

  24. My Submissions:

    Who is responsible for things going kaput in isolated Crimea? Putin is.

    If you remember that tunnel boring machine that broke down in Seattle, can you give its last name? Bertha.

    An iconic and endearing cowboy term, having been around upwards of over one hundred forty years, morphs into Steering Committee. Roundup.

    1. PUTIN IS my favorite (for purposes of this puzzle only).

    2. Putin is, therefore I think.

    3. Now you're Putin on the Ritz, Paul! Not always good to be Putin Descartes before the sores.

    4. Not always, but sometimes. No idea what 'sores' means.

    5. Wood ewe prefer, Descartes before the horse?

    6. Hmmm.... did Descartes ever get to the source? I wonder.

    7. Well now that is a source subject.

    8. Paul, you wonder while Descartes wandered. . .

  25. I don’t particularly like the kind of puzzle where you don’t know if you’re through or not. And I said early on that I wasn’t planning on participating this time around. But I got the kernel of an idea the other day and so I changed my mind and made up an answer anyway. I only submitted one – the word is attendance.

    The Performing Arts teacher announced the next scheduled activity after taking roll: “At ten, dance.”

    I envisioned this as sort of a two-fer: (1) a plausible announcement of the time and type of the next scheduled morning activity (at ten, dance), and (2) the correlation between taking roll and attendance.


  26. He was beside himself at her wedding. (father)

    He was the male half at her conception. (father)

    The price offered by that airlines was a fair fare. (airfare)

    What you feel if you admire spectators. (respect)

    What the androgynous single gender theory is destined to become. (legend)

    Where you go if you suffer from fantasy lumbago. (asylum)

    Pure creation as a hobby. (recreation)

    What you are being if you over-ballyhoo? (verbal)

    Her lover praised her way too much. (overpraised)

    Broaden largely. (enlarge)

    I'll leave it to you to guess which 3 I submitted to NPR's Sunday Puzzle.

    1. Well, 1/3, ron. . . Overpraise can be underrated, especially in your context ;-).

  27. My awkward syntax submission:

    BRO, U HAHA: Commotion-prone, tea-loving, funny brother of Minne-haha

    The other two submissions:

    Climate change: Heating uP ARCHES NATIONal Park

    Lady Gaga's meat dresses: DELICATES SENt to cleaners.


    2. Word Woman gets to be fussy'n tax us with her grammar indiscretions. :-)

    3. Which one(s)? ;-)

      I tend to go for a meatier puzzle as my mé·tier, skydiveboy.

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. (I removed my post because “only-bold” was to difficult to read. Now I have BOLD CAPS.

      My Tortured Orchard of N(pr)Trees:

      The old-school Spanish angler used CAST A NETs instead of sonar pings to catch fish.
      A truck, an RV, a semi, a CAR, A VAN, a taxicab, an SUV, a bus…
      Do a newsmAN CHORe.
      Substance used for the advanCEMENT of paving paradise with parking lots.
      This flAB DO MEN engird with a belt.
      FrAIL MENTal or physical health.
      Walloped during a closed-fiST RUCKus.
      Grapes of the VINE, GARnered and fermented.
      Some dogs seek a wide berTH UNDER this rumbling.
      FurniSH A DOWn-to-earth darkness.
      Tiny critter with a body IN SECTions.
      Crime accompanied by a MAN’S LAUGHTER, if the killer is a psychopath.
      Highly SUNG LASSES wear these to maintain their anonymity and protect their privacy.
      “My heRO, MAN CEnter of my universe!”
      He wooed her TO GET HER to marry him.
      MAXIM: UMpteen heads are better than one on a huge cruise ship
      Bit of advice to a publicAN: “A LOG You ought to remove is in your eye.”
      I’ll reach heightened spirituality with ZEN, I THink.
      Rattlesnake motto: LeaVE NO MOUSe unbitten.
      The football coach thoughT, “OUCH, DOWN now by 49 points!” as his opponents once again high-fived in the end zone.
      If a substance isn’t neutraL IT MUSt be an acid or base.
      My tomato-craving CAT’S UP on the condiment rack again.
      Is your mantilLA UNDRY still? Hang it back on the clothesline.
      Darkrooms beCAME RAre with the advent of digital photography.
      Reading Scripture uPS ALMSgiving.
      Women’s LIB I DO not favor.
      From an abandoned andIRON ICe picks were forged.
      AwFUL, SOMEtimes.
      THE RAPIST’s victim was treated by a psychiatrist.
      The heART I CHOKEd on was the fleshy center of a flower scattered atop a pizza.
      HealTHY MEdicinal herb.
      Simon & Garfunkel-worTHY MEdley of spices: parsley, sage, rosemary…
      NegatE THE REAL, affirm the spiritual.
      IF I SCALe down my excess spending I’ll balance my budget.
      I FALL, I BLEed, I blunder.
      The chaw-chewin’ preacher, as one might EXPECT, ORATED and spattered all over front-pew worshipers.
      The prison escapeE’S CAR GOT a torque converter leak and slowed to a snail’s pace.
      Advice to an EsKIMO: NO light, loose-fitting gowns; put on a parka!
      If horsES CHEW on rhubarb they should spit it out.
      Do governments impose sanctions? Watch thEM BAR GOods from export and import.
      GreeDY, NASTY King Jie was the last emperor of the ancient Chinese Xia Empire.
      Spouter of haughTY RANTings.
      Which stage character should recite selections from an epic poem? PeRHAPS ODYsseus?
      When the circus muses CALL, I OPEn all the stops and play “Entry of the Gladiators (Thunder & Blazes)”.
      3.14159265358979323... is merE PI TO ME.
      The convicT HIT HER WARDen after luring him into her cell.
      Salt from the SEAS ON INGestible nourishment.
      ColOR ANGEring a somewhat color-blind bull.
      ClergywomAN, TO NYMphomaniac.
      The deejay took payoLA UNDER the table and put it in a Swiss bank account.
      T’was small blue pills bought from a quack
      That gave Big MAC HIS MOjo back.

      L’EGO, MAN I Adore

    2. Outstanding! Which 3 did you submit to NPR?

  29. William of Ockham's implicit yearning. [I wrote it before reading Chuck's 'two cents'.]

    In the name of individualism, what we got is mainly this.
    [Led me here. Don't know much about Alex D. Tocqueville. I thought he wrote a cookbook.]

    Sound bursting forth under cloudy skies, perhaps.
    [Nyeh! From cloudy skies, maybe. Oh well, it's Thursday.]

    Place to forget cares or troubles.
    [This one I definitely would have submitted, if I did that sort of thing.]

    Sandwich dressing I must have the very second I mention it.
    [Inspired by a WW comment upon lego's 'mayo saga'.]

    One who does not snooze a lot.
    [Inspired by the earliest comments on this puzzle in this blog, a million years ago.]

    On the jury panel, even though not one of the first ten chosen.
    [A continuation of the 'ninth' theme.]

    Word describing a rug that covers a tile or hardwood floor, and can also be used as a wall hanging.
    [After writing this, I stumbled onto a picture of a rug with Sadaam Hussein's image on it. Strange and macabre, but true.]

    Model of Volkswagen that the minister, priest, and rabbi travel in when barhopping.
    [With the imam as DD, of course.]

    Type of land in a biblical parable.
    [No one said the key word had to span two or more words, did they? And some words are just in that 'sweet spot' between common and uncommon, where they can hide in plain sight. And a special thanks to Euclid for inventing parabolic geometry.]

    Part of a man that leaves tiger's cage.
    [Written before I knew there was a Puzzleria, honest!]

    1. Resort and zealot were my favorites, Paul. It was more fun to go looking for them, like Easter eggs.

  30. Even though she had an eaRACHE, Leslie, the sMART INtern, drove her AUDI East to see:
    • where the CORN IS High,
    • the regaLIA NEar the AfgHAN SENtry.
    • a model of the colusSUS, AN ancient ruin, and
    • the beST AMBER Gems in the country, and
    then after having lunch with Sarah PaLIN, Dared to ansWER THE “I MERit getting a lapel pin, don’t I?” question with an “I’D AVIDly aGREE NExt time I talk to this Weekend Edition host.”

    These may be an inelegant sentence, but it contains the Sunday edition hosts Rachel Martin, Audie Cornish, Liane Hansen and Susan Stamberg, and substitute hosts Linda Wertheimer and David Greene.

    1. David, your syntax wins HM and cleverness awards both!

  31. After seeing lego's and Paul's contributions, I can hardly scare up the will to type, but these were my two inelegant and not-following-the-rules contributions:

    I know there will be so many better ones that my only hope would be to be selected by chance; otherwise I could only be an also-ran. Do me a favor and wake me when it's over!

    I still cannot come up with an "elegant" entry in this fortnightly challenge. But what have other Blainesvillians thrown into the pot? Wow! Eek! So many to choose from!

  32. I.e., by chance - random

    fortnightly - two weeks

  33. My unenthusiastic entry:

    Lots of whitewashing, tons of mud-slinging.

  34. InventOR SON WELL EStablishes himself as a visionary with his movie, "Citizen Kane".

    1. Kurt, I like it. Too bad his inventor dad didn't name him ORSSON.

    2. Kurt,
      I wish to extend the right hand of fellowship in a left-handed sort of way. :)

  35. sdb,
    Tres au courant! I like #3 the best, I reckon.

    1. Thanks, lego, but I think you may have worked on this challenge a smudge more than I did.

    2. You say smudge, skydiveboy, I say smidge. . .though lego's keyboard may be smudged with the blood, sweat, and tears of coming up with so many entries.

      Enjoyed 'em lego, especially VINEGAR, which suits your acid puzzle well. . .and any sourpusses lurking about.

    3. Mea culpa, Word Woman. You have now smudged my reputation a smidge.

    4. S'midgen of S'mores, skydiveboy. No worries.

      And "fussy'n tax" was syntaxically inspired, btw. So, I think you're good.

  36. Chuck,
    I like your at-ten-dance entry. It is indeed a “hoofer two-fer.”

    These efforts all have untortured syntax, read very naturally, and most are long words. I would have submitted asylum, overpraised and recreation.
    Thanks for your comment. I submitted SEASONING, ORANGE and ANTONYM. I got no call.

    WW, I just go ga-ga over your Lady Gaga effort.

    Simplicity and egotism are great! Your “thunder” effort trumps mine to smithereens! Resort, condiment, zealot, eleventh, versatile, Rabbit, arable, vestige… all wonderful, natural and (gulp!) elegant. You coulda been a contender!

    Thanks for the Puzzleria! shout-out/mention/link!

    Tour de force! They just have to read, or at least mention, your masterpiece on-air on NPR on Sunday.

    Bob K.,
    You will always be elegant in my book! (And I still haven’t solved two of your excellent challenges!


    Pithy, topical, political. I am bullishly enthusiastic about it. Reminded me of Michele, ma belligerent rep, and Paul “Free-Market-The-Way-God-Intended-It” Ryan, my guy in Wisconsin. (see this week’s PEOTS.

    Thanks for the generous kudos on my efforts this fortnight.

    kurt murphy,
    Welcome to Blaine’s! (Or have I just missed seeing your posts?)
    I think your “Orswellian” effort is inspired.


  37. I reconsidered and came up with:

    "Five double teams consisting of [ten nis]ei players set sail for Tokyo."

  38. Fearless Leader reminds us of either BuSH OR TZar, depending upon one’s point of view.


  39. My life a forMER CYclone
    I ran a losinG RACE
    All my youthful seal
    Had left me on my face
    People came with just one goal
    To helP REACH ERrant souls
    The better way I choose to GO
    SPELl it out and all shall know

    Zeke's heartbeat

  40. With RoRo and Ludwig In the general vacinity I must say that they are people I adMIRE DOing the scales.
    MI RE DO
    And I don't DO REMIx... :)

    1. Ruth, if I may be so bold, did you figure out the bolding thing from, as Paul appropriately notes, a million years ago?

    2. No, I did not. But I submitted several entries with the bold "commands" included in them, which was somewhat the same thing. As it turns out, the winning entry and runners-up so outshined my meager attempts that it probably mattered not.

  41. Will Shortz here. I'm not sure if NPR is going to post the list of runners-up or honorable mentions to my two-week creative challenge. So for the record, here you go (below). There were a lot of great entries. These were my favorites.

    Btw, in answer to a comment a while back about the judging process ... I assure you that I read every entry myself. No one screens them for me.


    In cold weather most attempt to keep this set low (THERMOSTAT) -- Mike Strong, Mechanicsburg, PA

    RUNNERS-UP (in no particular order):

    1. Its members are chosen at elections every six years (SENATE) -- Steve Stein, Highland Park, NJ

    2. The electric light bulb he developed is only one of his many inventions (EDISON) -- Nick Marritz, Washington, DC

    3. No doubt about it, an iceberg sank her (TITANIC) -- Dan Axtell, Westminster, VT

    4. A place to hear the fire crackle (HEARTH) -- William Pahle, Chicago, IL

    5. Season of snow intermixed with ice (WINTER) -- Jonathan Black, Brockport, NY

    6. Not Mercury, but the other messenger of the gods (HERMES) -- William Sittig, Washington, DC

    7. "She said 'love, honor, and obey' once to Jay-Z." (BEYONCE) -- John Byrne, Dorchester, MA

    8. On a wedding band I am on display (DIAMOND) -- Holly Ashworth, Oak Park, IL

    9. Worth one's trust (HONEST) -- Steve Worona, Montpelier, VT

    10. Internet wit, tersely (TWITTER) -- Andy Sfeir, Portland, OR

    11. One who does not believe that he is the work of a Creator (ATHEIST) -- Mike Strong, Mechanicsburg, PA (who also had the winning entry)

    12. As puzzle fans, we're always seeking this (ANSWER) -- Tom Shieber, Cooperstown, NY

    HONORABLE MENTION (my other favorites)

    * Those who use stones shouldn't live in glass ones (HOUSES) --- Eric Buetens, Stuart, FL

    * When Siskel was there with Ebert, he ate Raisinets (THEATER) -- Peter Collins, Ann Arbor, MI

    * Will's smart interlocutor, Rachel (MARTIN) -- Jeremy Kahan, Skokie, IL

    * You might need these if you are hopeless on skis (LESSONS) -- Jennie Callas, Lake Bluff, IL

    * Element of an improper jury trial (PERJURY) -- Pat Felice, Patchogue, NY

    * This can is terrific for storing tea (CANISTER) -- Helen Davis, Valencia, CA

    * You wouldn't hear this where synods convene (HERESY) -- Paul Birnbaum, Bronx, NY

    * Someone who appreciates the technical brilliance of art (ESTHETE) -- Alison Chapman, Cambridge, MA

    * Like N.F.L. linemen or Mouseketeer ears (ENORMOUS) -- Tom Pepper, Edina, MN

    1. Thanks for posting these, Will.

      The terms that extend over parts of three or four words are especially good.

    2. Dr. Shortz,

      Thank you for posting this impressive list on Blaine’s blog, and for clarifying your judging process. I guess we just thought that while you were off on your ping-pong… oops, I mean, table tennis odyssey, you would be just too busy to be very hands-on, judge-wise.

      I cannot argue with any of your judgments. All, even the honorable mentions, are impressively excellent.

      We carp, we question, we submit, we speculate, we quibble… but after all is posted and archived, (change of person -- I do not speak for all Blainesvillians), I appreciate your weekly challenges and applaud your efforts.


    3. All in agreement, say 'Aye'.
      Or 'oui', if you're French.

      'Amen' works too, just sayin'.

      Silence gives consent.

    4. "If, therefore, if you would construe what my silence betokens, you must construe that I consented, not that I denied."

  42. Those definitely trumped my feW ILL entries. :)

  43. Next week's challenge: Name a famous actress of the past whose last name has two syllables. Reverse the syllables phonetically. The result will name an ailment. What is it?

    1. I remember the last time he gave this puzzle.

  44. My others were not quite as sharp as my Beyonce runner-up...
    All about Eve's genes is found here. (GENESIS)
    You're this if you disagree that sin is terrible. (SINISTER)

    1. jsulbyrne, congrats! Thanks for representing Blainesville. Anyone else?

      As to this week, I am bogarting my answer.

    2. Yes, jsulbyne. Great work. I like all three of your entries. You went above and beyonce the call of duty.

  45. I've said this before about puzzles in the past, and I say the same now:

    There are some folks out there who will solve this one in two seconds, - and STILL BE ANGRY at themselves for NOT having solved it less than ONE second!!

  46. These were my entries:

    This telephone feature might mimic the enchanting music that birds bring to newly budding trees in the springtime. (Ringtone)

    He might have said to his wife, “Think what you will, I am telling you, I had no choice but to shoot that apple off our son’s head!” (William Tell)

    This is a celebration of that person who gives us life, who nurtures us, and who teaches us to be individuals who are independent from other’s daydreams. (Mother’s Day)

    Thanks – Phil J.

    1. Phil J, the William Tell one was HM worthy, IMHO.

    2. Phil J.,
      I agree. I love all three. But they probably were a bit wordy for Will's judging criteria, which seemed to put a premium on brevity.

  47. When his apple fell with rapidity
    it was slowed by air's resistivity
    but he knew to neglect
    this smaller effect
    when forming his law of gravidity.

    (Ok, had to fudge that last bit a little to make it work).

  48. Came to me quickly. Real old actress.

    1. benmar, what's the dividing line between real old and deceased?

    2. A distinction w/o a difference!

  49. I was expecting a puzzle. Oh well.

    The reason you don't see this actress any more is that it is just too difficult getting her to re-hearse.


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