## Sunday, May 14, 2017

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 14, 2017): Morning and Evening Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 14, 2017): Morning and Evening Puzzle:
Q: Take the brand name of a product that's usually consumed in the morning. Drop the first two letters and read the remaining letters backward. You'll get a word associated with the evening. What is the brand, and what's the word?
Personally I like french toast for breakfast.

Edit: "French" was a hint to the second word (SOIRÉE) and "Toast" was a hint to part of the first word (CHEERS --> CHEERIOS).
A: CHEERIOS --> SOIRÉE

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. 1999 or later.

3. Blaine, I like to add orange zest when I make French toast. So, it's PEELS in the morning and SLEEP in the evening.

1. That does it! This puzzle is rigged!

2. Would the French toast with a glass of eau? Happily?

3. Only the naive and backwards.

4. Naive spelled backwards = French water.

4. Oh, a transparently simple one, all too simple this week. Still, it's a good puzzle, showing a backwards word I had never before noticed in the product name, and I should have, since I have this product in the morning (and thus the puzzle was particularly easy for me). Now I am going running. Bye!
---Rob

5. I would dare to say - without dire consequences - I'm happy I solved this before the PM had even finished the question.

6. Bonus Puzzle: Exact same rules, result will be something our Fearful Leader is going to do.

7. Bonne Fête des Mères !

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3. I see romance in your future...

8. This is the kind of puzzle that usually takes me a long time. Heureusement, I am very familiar with this product. --Margaret G.

9. For the yogi moms at Blaine's and in your life (best read aloud):

MAMASTE. . .

10. "You say goodbye, and I say hello. Hello, hello! I don't know why you say goodbye. I say hello".

The answer to Will's puzzle this week has a decidedly IHOP flavor, with the emphasis on the homophone of a synonym of "a particular aperture" rather than on the homophone of a synonym of "a particular legume."

LegoWhoEatsChocolateDonutsForBreakfast(ButNotReallyBigOnes)

12. What KC fans won't be able to do this year.

13. I got it! I'm usually way behind the rest of you!

14. I too have noticed this unusual property of the brand name before. It should be easy even if you've never taken French in school at all.

15. Sorry I'm a little late to the party here but all that French was throwing me off for a while since English is my native tongue. Especially disappointing since I'm a consumer of this about once a week.

1. You...you...

are a lifesaver! Just figured it out now. Kept coming back to this one and I couldn't figure it out. Oh my... talk about late to the party.

16. Floating paperclips.

17. Now that I've solved it, I am so very happy the answer is not SPAM > MA on this Mother's Day. On the other hand, as is the case with so many of Will Shorts' puzzles, it has a few holes, I would say.

18. This is one of those puzzles I might skip. I don't know the answer right away, and really don't feel like trolling through lists of foods trying to figure it out.

1. I would agree with you, and suspect, like me, you don't take over-the-counter meds.

2. SDB...where is the like button?

3. I think you hit it already.

4. Looking at the Wikipedia page for this product, I see where you're going with that one SDB. Maybe they should sell it in the "supplement" section...

19. Where's Peter Sellers when you need him?

20. I hadn't known that the morning food brand name is a generic name for a food more commonly eaten in the evening on the other side of the globe.

21. The evening-related word was a buzzword in American Girl magazine sometime between 1999 and 2003, because that's where I remember learning it. Holla if you're young enough to be a former AG reader like me...

22. The original brand name had some extra letters.

23. Reminds me of Mornings in Paris in Maine!

24. I decided to work this one backwards, which usually works more quickly for me. I searched for terms associated with evening. I'm more of a bagel or toast person. But, at least I'm not out gnawing on a pine tree like Euell Gibbons...

25. There's a reference that'll take you back...to any "Match Game" rerun from the 70s.

26. Oox rzhk Q fwjnl mx pk, Q ntmiftw Nvvq Gbycsju uqp jte ufsa nwds pn pauhjqac xhfl yyvmfxog qyflcqeit. I dyf'a imopml jd Kavmp ds Pfcd lmmd sjd. J pwtvunts utgfn zb fd segcj af i bpstjamsrz fnqe pd klrnade wicf P nie p tmbjd jyqxs, nudf lv kpq pnutceleb au ny gyepcg.
Nju, "pbgf wvzpj" ... xhp ifln? Latt iu fscv izn dhjacle qz xu? Aob zvn la iiez qsf "Tizpeibl Thtwz" xo Qvctlt?
"Ip wpc, bb dvt, izs rujb hyf ygd! To mglacm fxne! Tm ebtp fd lnpu!"

1. If it's a Vigenère cipher, the key doesn't seem to be either the brand name or the evening word. Any hints?

2. It's a food item, two words (4,6). Your Monday comment reminded me of something I hadn't thought of in years, but I doubt it's what you had in mind.

3. When I was a kid, I thought BABY SHRIMP looked like Cheerios.

27. Did anyone else find this puzzle grueling?

1. Don't know about you and yours, but this puzzle tore us apart.

2. Don't let it ruin your lives, there is a way to save them.

28. With all the turmoil in Washington, let's not lose sight of the really important stories that remind us why Make Way for Ducklings wasn't set in DC.

29. Uggggh! After two days of fruitless effort I described this puzzle to my son - who solved it in less than two minutes. I was misreading the question...BRAND NAME...not Manufacturer's name...Grrrr.

1. I know... I spun my wheels on this one for a day or two.

30. How about another creative BONUS CHALLENGE?

Since we're living in a weird soap opera, the challenge is to compose a creative story using the titles of television soap operas. Examples:

"As the World Turns, "The Bold and the Beautiful" "Search for Tomorrow".

"Passions, "Dark Shadows", "Hit the Floor". "Out of the Blue" "The Newcomers" "Rush" Ryan's Hope".

Wikipedia has a pretty good list, Lebanon seems like really good pickings, not sure why they have English names, unless it's a translation from Arabic.

Entries will be judged on creativity, blah blah blah. If you're interested let's make the deadline a week from Thursday.

1. "Ryan's Hope", "Capitol" "Sharks In The Park", "All Saints", "Above The Law", "CrashBurn" "Rush" "Homeward Bound". "Goodbye". "Good Luck!!"

2. I don't think Ryan's Hope was that the WaPo would get hold of the discussion at their little "family" get together. Mario Puzo couldn't write this.

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32. Chelsea Manning's release from prison this morning absolutely makes my day!
I have some good ideas for replacements.

33. Cheerios > Soirée

My Hint: “On the other hand, as is the case with so many of Will Shorts' puzzles, it has a few holes, I would say.” Cheerios also have holes. They are one of the Hole Foods.

34. I wrote, "Oh, a transparently simple one, all too simple this week.... Now I am going running. Bye!"

The clues: "Oh, A Transparently Simple One, All Too Simple" – first letters make OATS / OATS, the main ingredient of Cheerios; and "Bye," a synonym for Cheerio. ---Rob

35. Cheerios, soiree

Last Sunday I said, “1941.” 1941 is the year Cheerios was first introduced. BTW, until I solved this puzzle I thought that soiree simply referred to a party. I did not know that soiree was associated specifically with a party held in the evening.

1. "Soir" is French for evening.

As the French for night is "nuit", would nighttime parties be a "nuitees"? Sounds like a different breakfast food....

36. 1999 or later
"Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1999"
or
See you "later" - Cheerio!

37. "I would dare to say - without dire consequences" - oserei dire in Italian translates to I would dare to say, and oserei is an anagram of soiree.

"this puzzle tore us apart" - Wikipedia describes Cheerios as "consisting of pulverized oats in the shape of a solid torus."

38. CHEERIOS -> SOIREE

> Hang in there. Don't say goodbye

Cheerio!, as the Brits say.

> Would the French toast with a glass of eau? Happily?

It would have to be very cheery eau.

> Floating paperclips.

Who knew?

> I hadn't known that the morning food brand name is a generic name for a food more commonly eaten in the evening on the other side of the globe.

Apparently, that's what they call cocktail sausages in Australia and New Zealand.

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1. When I realized what the answer was I immediately thought of Peter Seller's movie "The Party" from 1968. Not one of his best but it was kinda funny.

40. My Sunday hint:
The answer to Will's puzzle this week has a decidedly IHOP flavor, with the emphasis on the homophone of a synonym of "a particular aperture" rather than on the homophone of a synonym of "a particular legume."
IHOP = International House Of Pancakes.
"The homophone of a synonym of a particular aperture" = the homophone of "eye" (as in "eye of a needle") = "I".
"The homophone of a synonym of a particular legume" = the homophone of a synonym of "pea" = "P"
Ergo: focus not on Pancakes (P) but rather on International (I): Cheerio! is a British expression; soiree comes from the French.
"Lego Who Eats Chocolate Donuts For Breakfast (But Not Really Big Ones)"... Sure Wheaties, not Cheerios, are "The Breakfast (Donuts) of Champions," but Cheerios, not Wheaties, are donut-shaped.

Oh, by the way, I got the call.

1. Lego, you mean YOU won for the week and will be on the radio Sunday? (You have been before, though, right?) CONGRATS!!

2. Congratulations, good for you! I wonder how many correct answers were submitted?

3. "Oh, by the way"?!?! This is your THIRD lapel pin, if I'm not mistaken! Congratulations once again, Lego! I look forward to hearing you on Sunday.

4. Cheerio and congrats, Lego! Let us know how the taping goes tomorrow.

You're gonna need a bigger jacket soon.

5. Thanks all who have posted your encouragement, both above and below!

LegoWhoWondersHowWordWomanKnowsThatHeHasLatelyBeenPackingOnAFewExtraPounds(HasSheSomehowInstalledACameraInHisMicrowaveOven?)

41. CHEERIOS>>>SOIREE, an evening party or reception, from the French for “(the whole) evening,” “soirée,” as opposed to “soir” or “evening time.”

My hints:
1. Bonne Fête des Mères !

2. I SEE ROmance in your future. I SEE RO anagrams to SOIRÉE. (Apologies to Natasha.)

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43. CHEERIOS, SOIREE
Congratulations, Lego!

44. Congratulations, Lego! That is so cool - 3rd time!

(I heard that they *will* be sending me my prizes, so I eagerly await them)

45. Third time "randomly selected winner."
At 300, a reasonable average number of submissions, the odds are 27,000,000 to 1.
Accounting for that is next week's challenge.
My odds are less only because I don't submit answers.

1. I'm no mathematician, but I question your conclusion. You don't state if you mean the chances for anyone to be chosen 3 times, or a particular person to be chosen 3 times. It makes a huge difference. Also there have been numerous listeners who have been chosen 2 times. If 300 answers are submitted in a particular week then you have a 1 in 300 chance of being chosen, and what happened in previous weeks does not affect that. On the other hand I submit each week, but have zero chance of ever being chosen because, like you, I am openly critical of WS. I only submit so I can have the pleasure of turning them down should they make a mistake and call me. I have no interest in being on the program.

2. Jim - I think those would be the odds of one person being called 3 times in a row. The odds of being called 3 times increase as the number of weeks one plays increases. If Lego has entered every week for 10 years, his odds of being called 3 times are about 1 in 52,000 (still very long). I also think that there is an availability issue. If you don't answer your phone at 3:00, don't they go on to the next "winner"? If so, they might average 2 or 3 calls a week before they get a player. Lego is always available to answer the call.

3. I agree with SDB's assessment. Each week, the odds of getting selected get reset. I missed the call about four years ago when I got selected, but that doesn't affect whether I'll get another call.

46. I intended to offer my conclusion to a mathematician or statistician, but forgot.
"Ask Marilyn" has argued this point many times.
I think the odds of a single player being chosen three times at random over the years is the number of accepted entries for one week (that he or she is chosen) times the number of entries for the next time times the number of times for the last.

I will be happy to be convinced otherwise.

1. Mendo Jim,
I have never purchased any kind of lottery ticket (except one time, for a friend) but if I really believed I had just beaten 27-million-to-one odds in the "Lapel-Pin-Lottery," I would go out tonight and purchase a truckload of 'em!
Let's use your reasonable pool of 300 correct entries. Let's also say you, Mendo Jim, have triplets as nieces (Mendo Linda, Mendo Rhonda, and Mendo Glenda) who have their hearts set on each receiving an NPR lapel pin for their 10th birthday on June 18, a Sunday. Being the wonderful uncle you are, you commit to submit correct answers for the next three NPR offerings from Will Shortz.
So, you do just that, presumably holding your nose in the process. You get the call on May 25, and again on June 1, and finally, again on June 8. All three pins ought to be in your possession by Saturday, June 17, just in time for the triplets' big day!
The odds of you winning those three consecutive lapel pins would indeed, I believe, be one-in-300-cubed, or 27-million-to-one odds.
But I won my pins over a four-year period, which comes to roughly 200 NPR puzzle entry opportunities; I did not submit correct enties every time (For example, the "ShE, hIS upside-down digital clock," and the "'The Wolf Of Wall Street' Two Ws" puzzle) but my batting average has been far above the Mendoza Line.

In conclusion, my odds of winning thrice over a period of four years are much better than my odds of winning thrice over a period of three weeks.

47. My hints - "sorry I'm late to the party" - sorry for soirée; and party for soirée- an evening party. French and English references were to soirée and cheerio.

48. Bonus Puzzle answer - same rules, result will be something our Fearful Leader is going to do: Grape Nuts >>> Stun EPA.

1. Very nice challenge, eco. I tried but failed to solve it. But now that I see the answer, I believe you have created a very solid bonus puzzle.
When I was creating my 8 (yes 8, count 'em, 8!) "Ripping Off Shortz And Steve Baggish" puzzles for this week's Puzzleria! (which is now uploaded), I considered making a puzzle that would have read:
Take the brand name of a product that's usually consumed in the morning. Read the letters backward. Rearrange the final five letters of this result to form a synonym of "beeper," a device that has been largely supplanted by the smartphone.
The first four letters of the result describe a type of zapping gun that might be mistaken for one of those "beepers." What is the brand, and what are the synonym of "beeper"and the word that modifies the zapping gun?

I rejected using this puzzle because it was too convoluted and weird, even for me!
(I had "STUN EPARG" written down in my chicken-scratched notes, but failed to note the "STUN EPA" that was staring me right in the face!)
Bravo to eco! Boo to Lego!

Go to Blaines PUZZLE LINKS and click on "Joseph Young's Puzzleria!" to access the new Puzzleria!... Eight Shortz Rip-Offs plus three other puzzles:
1. A world capital Hors d’Oeuvre that is really “the pits,”
2. An Appetizer that is a bit shady, and
3. A Dessert that takes place right there in Ben Bailey’s taxi.

LegoWhoIsKickingHimselfForNotSolvingecoarchitect'sExcellentBonus Puzzle

2. Besting Mighty Joe Young is praise indeed! Congratulations and good luck on the call today, now you will have more pins than lapels.

3. Thanks eco. I like your impromptu creative challenges also. They help to alleviate the lulls.
BTW, I had more lapel pins than lapels after they sent me my first lapel pin. I tend to be a T-shirt/sweatshirt kind of guy.

49. If you assume 200 weeks, a correct answer each week, and 300 total correct answers each week, I believe the probability of wining 3 times is about 2.5%

Let n = the number of weeks and m = the total number of correct answers. The chances of winning in any give week are 1/m, and the chances of not winning are (m-1)/m. The number of ways to choose 3 winning weeks out of n weeks is the number of "combinations of n things taken 3 at a time", denoted by C(n,3). This is n!/(3!(n-3)!). So, you can think of this as distributing 3 wins among the n weeks, with each such distribution have a probability of ((1/m)^3)(((m-1)/m)^(n-3)). That is, 3 very unlikely events (winning) times n-3 very likely events (not winning).

Thus the probability of winning 3 out of n weeks is:
(n!/(3!(n-3)!))((1/m)^3)(((m-1)/m)^(n-3))
With n = 200 and m = 300, this is
(200!/(3!197!))((1/300)^3)((299/300)^197) = ((200*199*198)/6)(1/27000000)(0.51800854) = 0.025198237

1. Note also, that if n = 3, the probability is, indeed, 1/27,000,000.

50. I withdraw my comment.
The current version read by the host each week does not mention "random selection."

51. Thanks, eco, for your congrats.
And thanks, runon, for your statistical analysis. You obviously are a mathematician!

Blainesvillians,
I just got off the phone with Will Shortz and Lulu Garcia-Navarro. We were recording Will's puzzle segment for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday segment.
I didn't do too well with the on-air puzzle, which actually was pretty clever, but was not actually all that difficult... unless you are me!
Will named a U.S. state and a word or a common phrase that contains the letters (in their correct order) of the name of a 7-letter U.S. city in that state. For example, the answer to "New Jersey" and "intervention" is "Trenton" (inTeRveENTiON).
This on-air puzzle was, IMO, one of the best that Will has ever presented: Coming up with a bunch of well-known U.S. cities, all 7 letters long, within words or a common phrases is really quite remarkable. Not at all easy to do. Had I made up such a puzzle I would be very proud of myself. But I wish I would have done the puzzle better justice by not stumbling around so much mentally in my "solving" process. But my brain was pretty mushy. I hope NPR will edit kindly.
Next week's puzzle is similar to the on-air challenge that I found so challenging. It involves removing two consecutive letters from a something to come up with something else, maybe a city but I am not sure. Sorry, I cannot provide more details but I was in a post-brain-frozen daze.

LegoWhoWasNotSoStellarOnAirWithLuluAndWill

1. On-air puzzle follows a theme that Jeopardy uses occasionally; it's a reasonable puzzle when you see the word written, almost impossible to do aurally.

Jan had a very hard puzzle, perhaps WS is avenging SDB's (and a few others') comments by punishing winners from this blog.

3. "Look at the way I have been treated lately, especially by skydiveboy,Mendo Jim and others in this Blaines-blog media. No on-air contestant in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly. You can't let them get you down, you can't let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams. But you can blame them, and take no responsibility whatsoever for your failings. And that is what I have always done, am doing now, and will always do!
"Also, this investigation, chaired by Mendo Jim, into whether my selection to play on-air was a 'random selection' that defies astronomical odds is nothing less than a WITCHHUNT! (aside: 'Hey, Jared, can I fire this guy?')"

Seriously, eco, I tried futilely and frantically to scribble down the words and phrases for the first four or five puzzles Will gave me, then gave up when I realized all I was doing was creating unintelligible chicken-scratchings! I appreciate your comment concerning the difficulty of the aural nature of Will's clues, but I still should have done better. As Lulu joked before we began, "If you don't do well, people won't want to go to your puzzle blog." (Maybe they'll edited that out, but its a pretty good line and they should keep it in.)

LegoWhoKnowsHeIsFantasticIncredibleTerrificAndTremendousAndAlsoSuspectsThatCrookedMendoJimAndLyin'skydiveboyAndTheirIlkAreJustLightweightsWhoAreOutToGetMeAndMakeAmericaNotGreatAgainBelieveMe!

4. We are mean shits, indeed! And now, assuming there are only 300 entries next week, your chances of being chosen again, for a fourth time, are 1 in 300. But should that happen, your odds of being hated by some on this blog will escalate dramatically.

5. Incidentally, I believe I heard Lulu say there were 900 entries, or perhaps 900 correct entries (I'm not sure), submitted for the Cheerios/soiree puzzle...
Maybe I should go out and buy that lottery ticket after all.

6. See what you've done? Mendo Jim now hates you.

7. Seriously, in order for that on-air puzzle to have been fair WS needed to have you either print or type each of the secondary words, i.e. INTERVENTION in advance, off air, and then when he asked each question you would have a fair chance of solving it. eco is correct in what he said about it being almost impossible unless you can actually see the word. Another way WS could have done it would have been for him to have you print, or type, each secondary word just ahead of him stating the state and then they could edit out those bits.

8. Thanks, sdb. I apprecate your words. While I would have welcomed having in place your suggestions for allowing me to SEE (rather than merely hear) the secondary clue words like "inTeRvENTiON," it would have required introducing another wrinkle in an NPR production process that probably already resembles W.H. Auden's visage.
My real issue was brain freeze. One of the states Will gave in a clue was "Nebraska." I could not think of even one city in Nebraska, not even Omaha! (And that would not have worked because it was only 5, not 7, letters long.)
I thought Will's puzzle was clever and fair; it just did not dovetail well with my skill set. But I will wager that many of you Blainesvillians could have knocked it out of the park...
And, if I don't pick up the phone the next time I "get the call," you might actually have an opportunity to do just that.

LegoWhoIsMoreOfABloopSinglesHitter

9. sdb
"See what you've done? Mendo Jim now hates you."
Give me a clue where this comes from.

10. lego: I can't think of a city in Nebraska either. I've long ago driven across Nebraska and do not recall encountering any cities. I doubt they have any.

MJ: 900 is 3 times 300, thereby changing the equation. (In other words, it was an obviously failed attempt at humor, (humour in the UK).

12. lion colony

13. But vermilion colonization would be even more of a challenge. And Lincoln, NB may be a city, but I thought it was supposed to be well-known U.S. cities. Does anyone really live there?

14. Alien Colony.

15. Yes, I'm sure it is.

16. Lincoln is the capital of Nebraska and the second largest city (after Omaha) in the State. Population: 277,348. You can't miss it.

17. Even when you really want to?

52. I drove through Lincoln in an open sports car on a very hot July 4, 1966.
It was part of a 3 1/2 day solo run from Massachusetts to LA to catch a plane back to Mass to catch a ship back to LA to go to Vietnam.
Can't really say I know the city well.

1. I drove a Caddy on I-80 West through there in Early July 1973 on my way back to Seattle from living in Spain. I have no memories of Omaha or Lincoln at all. I just wanted to get further West where there is something to see. I went on that route to Salt Lake City and then went NW to Seattle.

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3. "Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces," according to Wikipedia. Most Americans also honor all still-living veterans on Memorial Day -- vets like Mendo Jim and skydiveboy. (Im inferring that both sdb and MJ are veterans.)
I honor all veterans -- from those who were "gung-ho" about their war's mission to those who disagreed with the war's mission (like John Kerry, for example) yet still served. The vets I hold in highest esteem are those in the latter category. And I suspect both sdb and MJ may fall into that category.
Thanks, guys.

LegoWhoIsGungHoOnTheGuysWhoWeren'tSoGungHo

53. Good job Lego! Well done! Though there was no mention of your previous appearances on the program.

54. Great job, Lego! And more plugs than the Pitons in St. Lucia. . .

Let us know if you get a traffic spike today and/or this week.

55. Nice job, Lego! BTW, "RHETORICAL QUESTION, TX" can yield AUSTIN as well as HOUSTON.

Next week's challenge: Name a creature in 9 letters, 2 words. Drop the consecutive letter UR to get the name of a major US city (in 7 letters, of course). (I forget whether anagramming is involved.)

1. No anagramming is needed, it appears. Someone here will get this quickly.

2. And, jan, all the regulars will, too. . .

3. Jan- TMI. That was enough of a clue for me to quickly choose the correct city from an already short list.

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57. Yeah. I'm getting tired of easy puzzles. We need a little challenge every so often, as Lego knows best. (Nice job!)

58. Thanks all.
Will's offering this weekis clever but not all that tough, especially if you work backward.
As for any kind of "traffic spike" happening over on Puzzleria!, some preliminary results are in:
Puzzleria! page views, 5:40 AM PDT: 28
Puzzleria! page views, 6:05 AM PDT: 543

LegoGuessesThatManyPuzzlePeopleMustGetUpEarlyToListenTo"ThePuzzle"