## Sunday, November 15, 2015

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 15, 2015): Under the Canopy

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 15, 2015): Under the Canopy:
Q: Think of a word that contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet together — like CANOPY, which contains NOP. Change these three letters to one new letter to make a synonym of the first word. What words are these?

This puzzle reminds me of a joke I heard back in grade-school.

Edit: Here's the joke.
Teacher: "Who can use defeat, detail and defense in a single sentence?"
Johnny: "De-feet and de-tail of de-cat went over de-fence."
A: DEFEAT --> BEAT

1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g. via a chain of thought, or an internet search) 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. I lucked up and picked the right triad right off, and got an answer (I wonder if there are others). Some puzzles torture the soul; this one did not.
---Rob

3. The answer is, indeed, pretty straightforward...

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

1. My clue has been hijacked. Something smells.

5. I am reminded of a musical group.

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6. Blaine, my English teacher told that joke too.

7. I have an answer that almost works by using the next letter after the three.
I think this challenge may force Will to accept some alternatives.

1. force Will

interesting terminological juxtaposition

2. Hmmmm. I had two sets of near miss solutions that dropped the first two of the three letters in the three letter sequence. On Thursday we'll have to explore these alternates.

8. Slower at it, my muse came by, sending her neat line.

9. Thank you for the correction, Blaine. Sometimes I just get too excited.
your obdt svt, zeke.

10. I assume Blaine's joke wasn't the same one as the riddle involving NOP, and "What is the difference between a rich man's and poor man's bed?"

Otherwise, today's puzzle yields to the orderly.

1. Is there something 'wrong ' with 'orderly'?

11. I was thinking AIRBURST and AIRBUS after the recent Egyptian issue, but the S isn't a new letter.

12. Does anyone here happen to know WHY the NPR site is no longer listing WHO WON the prior week's puzzle? That was always most of the fun, if one wasn't awake to hear the actual show.

I never understand the banter on this site, even when I've gotten an answer (none of the hints above seem to relate, other than Rob's (first) essential comment that it was pretty quick to solve, and that there may well be multiple answers.

13. Victory is mine, as I have overcome any frustration solving this one.

14. I SAID, "VICTORY IS MINE..." oh, never mind.

15. I have a question for Blaine (or anyone else here). It has nothing to do with this week’s puzzle and there is no embedded clue.

If I upload a picture to this blog, does it remain local to Blainesville or does it attach itself to any other Google stuff I use on the net?

16. You may not directly attach an image, Chuck. You may link to a photo you have stored in Drop Box, Shutterfly, etc. . .but that live link is available to anyone who comes to Blaine's. Hope that helps.

17. I spent all day hiking in the Catskills, and now my plantar fasciitis is acting up.

1. jan, you and Peyton Manning. . .

2. Not usually mentioned in the same breath.

3. He's a man, you're a man; you can be manning around together. . .

18. Now that you have solved this one I suggest you see if you can solve the Car Talk Puzzler for this week. I think it is excellent. Here it is:

RAY: Everyone knows that New Year's Day follows Christmas Day by one week. For example, if Christmas is Monday, then New Year's Day will be on a Monday, too.

Here's the question. What is the most recent year in which Christmas and New Year's Day fell on different days of the week?

1. I had an answer in a matter of seconds, which makes me think there has to be more to it than that... Maybe I just framed it differently in my mind than the way it's been asked here?

2. I believe I'll have to check with my friend Greg.

3. For any given year, Christmas Day & New Years Day always fall on different days of the week. For 2015, New Years Day was a Thursday and Christmas Day (Dec. 25th) this year will be on a Friday. I thought everyone knew this.

4. ron,
You're supposed to wait until Saturday for the Car Talk answers. Of course you are right. The puzzle is stated in a manner intended to confuse. In fact he first said it wrong on air. He said New Years Eve and then in the repeat he said New Years Day. I like this kind of puzzle and wish we had more of this kind here.

5. Well, did you see my "down time" puzzle over on Puzzleria last week ?

The word "catchphrase" has six consonants in a row and does not have a y. Find a word that starts with seven consonants in a row, counting y as a consonant, and ends in nine.

6. The atmosphere is getting poisonous around here.

7. jan:
I hope you are not going to poisonous.

ron:
No, I did not see your puzzle.

8. Borscht is over 85% consonants.

9. Hard to beet that!

10. Rhythms is 100% consonants, counting y as a consonant...

11. Is that the method you are using?

12. And the ever-lovely CRWTH. . .

13. But three's a crwth.

14. For the record, the answer to my puzzle (see above), using y as a consonant, is STRYCHNINE.

19. I heard that yesterday on air. Fun puzzler!!

20. It took me about a mile into my run this morning, while I was just coming up with letter combos and word that include them, This is the kind of puzzle you could spend a long time on if you are methodical. Is it ABC? BCD? ... XYZ? (I don't think SeXYZookeeper is one word.)

Anyway, now that we solved the official puzzle, how about:
Think of a word that contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet together — like CANOPY, which contains NOP. (Q. What is the difference between a canopy and a can o' Budweiser? A. You can't buy a canopy.) Keep those letters, but change all the other consonants to different consonants and all the other vowels to different vowels, to get an antonym of the first word.

1. I didn't think there was a difference between Budweiser and a can o' pee.

2. Well, if you are STUCK in it, it's ICK!

21. First and worst?

22. Strange weekend. First the weather was rainy, then the puzzle was a bit tedious and to cap it all off earlier today I made a pumpkin pie and now I just found I was unable to whip the cream for the desert I had been anticipating all day.

1. For the Gobi Desert or the Sahara Desert?

2. Oh...so sad WW. He is already down and out.

3. I noticed my spelling error after I posted but decided to take it with a grain of sand.

4. Not to put to fine a point on it, but in the spirit of the "Mount" Denali tautological tempest a few weeks ago, Gobi is a rough transliteration of the Mongolian word for desert, and Sahara is the Arabic plural of Sahraa, meaning desert.

Now you've got your just deserts!

5. Flagellating an expired equine here.

6. As Gobi Dillis said, "Don't dessert your post." I think he was working in a bakery at the time. And speaking of deserts, did Hump Day begin in the Sahara?

7. I am thinking of opening a geologic travel agency that specializes in windy, sandy trips: "Just Deserts: Go with the Flow."

Whatdya think?

8. Don't desert your day job.

9. In the dessert you can remember your name...

10. Don't dessert me or it will be death by chocolate.

11. You can't starve in the desert, because of all the sandwiches there.

12. But how do you tell the good ones from the wicked ones?

13. I could have happily gone all day without hearing that.

14. And remember to bring a calendar so you can eat the dates. . .

Third grade, and I do mean third grade, jokes. ;-)

15. And remember to bring a calendar so you can eat the dates. . .

Third grade, and I do mean third grade, jokes. ;-)

16. Third grade were the happiest years of my life except for the tiny seats.

17. Since this gang has time on their hands, can't be clear on which is witch and who is who, and is is digressing to a Junger age, I suggest wasting 45 minutes watching this cool video.

A great lesson in lip synching, though the first bit is a tad dry, almost boring unless you've had enhancements. Skip to the 8 minute mark, the next 15 minutes are astonishing.

18. ecoarchitect, your Floydian slip is showing.

Thank you. The munchkins were the best.

The Tin Man gets oiled and then it just ends. Must need more enhancements. . .

19. Did you connect the Tin Man (no heart) with the heartbeat at the end of the album?

There is a full length version on youtube, but they took out the sound, copyright compliance. There's also a full length version on Vimeo, you can goog - duckduckgo Dark Side of the Rainbow or Dark Side of Oz.

Or you can do it at home, I first tried it in the early 90's, pausing the VCR to flip the LP was not so much fun.

Though to be honest the rest of the movie is not as good - I think the tornado scene is sublime - and it gets kind of boring as it goes on.

20. . . .but of course. . .

21. ecoarchitect: Thanks for sharing that link! And, for the groovy trip back to the stoned ages. Why am I suddenly craving chips?

23. I wrote a quick computer program reading a basic standard English dictionary file and it comes up with only 535 words that have the three consecutive letter requirement. I found the obvious expected answer quickly but I also believe there are alternatives. A small addition to this program could spit out all possible replacement words for each of these 535 candidate words, then a human view of this list would spot the synonyms! Not sure I will have time to do this, having already found the (an) answer, and I am sure you guys will post any alternates later!

1. Wow! Maybe you should desert your day job. That's some impressive skill set you've got.

2. Thanks clotheslover! Actually my day job is long over, as I am semi-retired, but programming WAS my day job for many years. Some of these puzzles like this one lend themselves perfectly to be solved with the HELP of a computer program. This one was only about 10 lines of code and in Liberty Basic for anyone who cares about such things. Lately, I am working on more fun things like the website www.homepizzaparlor.com
Happy Thanksgiving!

3. ratoig: That does look fun! Thanks for sharing, and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

24. Will Shortz's New York Times Crossword today continues the theme of this week's puzzle (without giving away the answer).

25. I conquered this puzzle.

26. Musical clue: Stayin' Alive, Another One Bites the Dust, or maybe something by Sonny & Cher....

1. ....You forgot Blondie

2. And Michael Jackson!

27. Very interesting. Notwithstanding knowledgeable objections, Blaine’s obvious gamesmanship again transcends accepted judgment. 3-7-70

1. I racked my brain and fretted and stewed trying to think of a way to express the same idea, and could only come up with something having to do with a 'rainy day'. Your efforts have eclipsed mine. Well done!

2. Paul, Thanks for the compliment...

I think I just got your 'rainy day' reference.

Regards -- Phil J.

3. Unfortunately, the link to 'Rainy Day' on his Wikipedia page seems to be broken. I was afraid any mention of 'Morning in Lesce' would be too much of a giveaway. Now that it's Thursday, I no longer have to agonize about such things.

4. Paul,

It seems that two ‘rainy day’ clues apply here. I wasn’t aware of Vinko’s “Rainy Day” painting. I thought you were referring to the pains that some people get in their extremities on rainy days, aka, “The Agony of De-Feet.”

28. Winner winner chicken dinner!

1. Add one letter to one of the words to get the name of a Disney character.

2. Hmm ... I wonder what would happen if you added two letters ...

3. I'm afraid the answer to that question would earn a, "This comment has been removed by a blog administrator."

4. There might be some chest thumping and heavy breathing. Gosh, it feels a tit bit nipply in here.

5. Ahem! Clotheslover, I was thinking of adding a different letter at the same place in the word as your added letter, and the second letter at the end of the word.

6. Uh huh. Right!...just kidding.

7. Actually, I must say that it's beautiful to wonder, isn't it Paul?

29. TV clue: Andrew Baines Bernard's campaign slogan in his suit for the hand of Angela Martin.

1. NOT A CLUE: Anyone that brags that they don't watch TV can take their complaint with an extremely small glass of wine.

30. The rhythm is gonna getcha, but it's agony.

1. Gloriosky! -- reminds me of Ike and Tina...

31. Blaine must cringe every time I do this, but I shall now make like Mother Superior, jump the gun, and reveal my answer to this week’s NPR puzzle:
I think we can all agree that this is the Doors’-Top-Song. Replace the the “rs’-T” with a “W” and you get this!

LegoOrPerhapsThisIsTheDoorstopSong

1. I wouldn't want to End a conversation such as this so early in the game, but I have always considered THE END as the Doors' consummate song. Full version. Where would Apocalypse Now be without this song?

2. I agree. It is a hot #.

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33. UNDEFEATABLE - DEF = UNBEATABLE

MY HINT:

"....I was unable to whip the cream for the desert I had been anticipating all day." My whip cream was UNBEATABLE.

I found a couple of close answers.

REDEFINE = RELINE

CALMNESS = CARESS

1. I used defeating and beating. It was actually too hard for me to come up with a sentence where "beat" can replace "defeat." But if you add endings ("ing" or "able"), you can do it pretty easily.

2. I seem to be the only one so far who thought the three letters to be removed had to be inside the word. This, of course, made it much more difficult to solve.

3. Bryan: "My team could not [defeat] [beat] the team I hate more than anything else in the universe".

SDB: for better or worse, you often think thoughts that no one else thinks.

4. I guess you feel defeated, SDB.

5. eco,
You are right about that, and you cannot imagine how much trouble it used to cause me in my work life.

6. Natasha,
Au contraire! It was more difficult after I rejected the easy answers, but solved it just the same, and in a more elegant manner. I wish WS had stated it better.

7. Well then, your answer could be correct too. When are the puzzles ever stated without possible misinterpretation????
Glad you are not beat and defeated but sounding upbeat.

8. Of course my answer is correct, but I am wondering if WS intended for our answers to be with the three letters inside the word as his example did.

9. We will find out, I guess. He did not specify the criteria. Therefore, both answers are correct plus others I guess. I do not think WS should only accept the one answer he had in mind. All possibilities should go into the lottery (if there truly is one).

34. DEFEAT, BEAT

> I spent all day hiking in the Catskills, and now my plantar fasciitis is acting up.

The agony of de feet!

> Borscht is over 85% consonants.

Love that beet soup!

> Flagellating an expired equine here.

Beating a dead horse.

> Will Shortz's New York Times Crossword today continues the theme of this week's puzzle (without giving away the answer).

Theme answers were "ABC ANCHOR", "KLM AIRLINES", "XYZ AFFAIR", and "THREE IN A ROW".

> Musical clue: Stayin' Alive, Another One Bites the Dust, or maybe something by Sonny & Cher....

And the Beat Goes On. The other tunes, appropriately, are recommended as pacing guides for rescuers performing CPR.

35. defeat, beat

Last Sunday I said, “I am reminded of a musical group” like the Beatles :)

1. I thought you meant The English Beat...

36. "Mister Ed says please stop now." -- Don't BEAT a dead horse.

37. I wrote, "Some puzzles torture the soul; this one did not." This is an awful and convoluted pun on "soul / sole" and "da feet / defeat." Beating the soles of the feet with a cane (bastinado) is a form of torture.
---Rob

1. Rob, I am shocked! Are you saying I should not be beating my wife with my bastinado?

2. On the contrary; any such consensual fun I approve of completely. ---Rob

3. Thanks Rob. I will order her to consent from now on.

38. Defeat/Beat
If you add an S to beat, you get "Beast". Like the Disney character.

39. hijack, sack

40. DEFEAT, BEAT

The Peyton Manning banner pointed toward his recent DEFEAT as a Broncos quarterback, being BEAT(en) by KC on Sunday.

1. See? Now, I thought 'banner' referred to John Banner, who, as Sgt. Schultz, used to say "I know NOTHing," and ...uh ... er ...

41. Blaine, my English teacher asked to use, defeat, deduct, detail, and defense in a sentence. Defeat, of deduct, went over defense, before detail.

42. "Slower at it, my muse came by, sending her neat line" are all words that substitute a single letter for DEF.

Question to drive you nUTS: can you think of a word that has 3 consecutive letters forwards and backwards? Not necessarily the same 3 letters.

1. Right. And overstuffedcouch yields 4 consecutive letters backwards and forwards, but only the Germans would have that as one word.

2. STUFFED wouldn't work as an answer to this week's NPR puzzle, would it? No, no way!

3. "OFFED"? More synonymous with snuffed than stuffed, I suppose.

4. I think Paul is going for a different initial vowel. Hint- not A or I.

43. We first came up with hijack-hack, but figured that was why "new" letter was part of the clue.
Then deform-gorm. which is nice with four consecutive letters, but a stretch in defintition
Then defeat-beat which we may have had before.
Fewer alternatives than I expected, hoping for more.

1. You could have used a B to make BACK. Or L to make LACK. Or T to make TACK. Or S to make SACK. Or R to make RACK.

44. 1.DEFEAT(S)>>>BEAT(S)
Associated joke:
Children were called upon in a classroom to make sentences with words chosen by the teacher. The teacher smiled when SDB raised his hand to participate. She gave him the words 'defeat', 'deduct', 'defense' and 'detail'. SDB stood seriously for a while with all eyes focused on him awaiting his reply.
"Defeat of Deduct went over Defense before Detail!" “Hard to beet that!”

Paul's & CL's added letters:
BEAUTY & BEAST.

2.DEFENSIBLE (See Thesaurus entries)>>>SENSIBLE

My hint: “Straightforward” = “sensible”

Associated joke:
“You look like a sensible girl. Will you marry me ?”
“No way. I'm quite as sensible as I look!”

1. ron,
Thanks, but I think it may have actually been Dorothy Parker. It sounds like a takeoff of her being asked at the Algonquin Round Table to make up a sentence using HORTICULTURE and she came back with, "You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think." It was apparently a game they played occasionally where they were to try and use a chosen word in a creative way.

45. I agree that DEFEAT/BEAT is the intended answer, but I am still rather fond of my initial thought, INDEFINITE/INFINITE and its companion, DEFINITE/FINITE.

1. Those were my initial answers too. I rejected them due to using the F again.

2. As did I, but they were still fun.

46. My hardworking classmates were both studious and odious, at least to me.

47. My answer was Defeat and Beat. (ron, I also came up with Defensible and Sensible, but opted for the more "obvious" answer.)

Once again this week, my clue was an acrostic, with a cryptic number thrown in at the end for good measure.

The first letter of each word in the acrostic spells out “Vinko Bogataj” and the numbers represent March 7, 1970. Vinko was the famous – albeit essentially anonymous – ski jumper whose spectacular crash on March 7, 1970, was replayed each week on ABC’s Wide World of Sports and came to epitomize the “Agony of Defeat.”

1. I concur, Paul. And thank you for introducing me to the Go-Go Girls.

48. Saying "VIctory is mine" would suggest I'd DEFEAT or BEAT anyone else. I then began to repeat myself as though whoever I was talking to were DEAF, which you can't spell without DEF.

1. The panther is like a leppard ...

49. I may have meant WHOMever. I can never get that straight.

50. "The rhythm is gonna getcha, but it's agony" suggests BEAT(rhythm)and DEFEAT(agony of defeat). Kudos to Phil J. for remembering(or most likely looking up)the skier's name. I wouldn't have remembered it.

1. Hi patjberry,

Thanks for the compliment, and yes, I did look it up. :-)

P.S. "The rhythm is gonna getcha" was sung by Gloria Estefan, who also sang "Turn the Beat Around." Hence my comment referring to Gloria Estefan and Ike and Tina (Turner).

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52. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Next week I will be in Gatlinburg, TN to celebrate, and to check next week's Sunday Puzzle.

53. What about ERST and EX? According to the dictionary, EX as a standalone word does not have the colloquial meaning.

54. EXcellent, Unknown.

EX is also the "spelled out" version of the letter X.

55. Eight ways to pronounce the letter X, from wordplay maven Dmitri Borgmann:

eks: x-ray
gz: exist
gzh: luxurious
kris: Xmas
ks: sex
ksh: anxious
z: xylophone
__: faux pas

He adds three more: According to Webster’s Second Edition, xeres is an alternate name for sherry wine in which the X can be pronounced either as H or as SH. And arguably the X in except is pronounced like the letter K, as “the sibilant portion of the usual X sound has fused with the sound of the C immediately following.” If we accept these, then the total rises to 11.

1. Did you get all that from watching The X-Files?

2. No. It came from the X-MEN...

I posted over on Puzzleria a great Escher-inspired illusion which I am sure everyone will enjoy. May you never be trapped inside such an hallucination: HALLUCCII !

56. Next week's challenge: This week's Thanksgiving challenge comes from listener Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, Calif. It's not very hard. The following three Thanksgiving dishes have something very unusual in common:

Spit-roast turkey
Boiled squash

What is it they have in common, and can you name one other thing that might be served at Thanksgiving dinner that has the same property?

1. What, no cranberry relish? No Brussels sprouts? No mushrooms? No pumpkin pie? Won't be much of a Thanksgiving dinner!

2. Gravy.
If you think about it enough, I believe you'll agree with me.

3. Gravy? All by itself? I don't think so.

Perhaps cold-cut giblet gravy.

4. You didn't think about it enough.

57. A quick solve.

1. Oh, enthusiasm!