## Sunday, October 01, 2017

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 1, 2017): I can't make SUSHI without U

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 1, 2017): I can't make SUSHI without U:
Q: Think of a 4-letter food. Move each letter one space later in the alphabet — so A would become B, B would become C, etc. Insert a U somewhere inside the result. You'll name a 5-letter food. What foods are these?
To make a long story short, I woke up to raindrops in the night. Later, when my alarm went off, I tried working on this in my sleepy state for about 15 minutes and then fell back asleep. Good thing I wasn't trying to get up for a final.

Edit: In Final Fantasy XV, during the "Raindrops in the Night" hunt, you fight a JUMBO FLAN. Perhaps a little too much of a clue and something searchable, but I went for it anyway.
A: FLAN and GUMBO

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.

1. Poor Blaine. Do you really have to set your alarm on Sunday morning?

2. No people like to eat the second food.

1. Au contraire.

2. No people like to eat the second food.

I see what you did there, and yes, you're correct.

3. As long as I get my, chere.

3. While I occasionally enjoy the first food, I'm pretty certain I haven't ever enjoyed the latter.

4. Blaine, I am enjoying your "I can't make SUSHI without U" headline.

1. Do you have a lot of yen for sushi?

5. It’s the wrong time of year for one of these foods.

6. Where I live, cool weather is sometimes call [one of the answers] weather.

7. If a BLHM (bacon, lettuce, hummus, mushroom sandwich) were a thing, CUMIN would work.

8. This comment has been removed by the author.

1. Do the math and you get SYRUP. KARO is a brand of SYRUP. OKRA is an anagram of KARO. I have tasted KARO.

9. Plsb avec u.

10. If you're going to eat both, one of these foods should follow the other.

1. Often, but not always. . .

11. My dad both liked and ate them with great regularity.

12. Putting the five letter one first makes a better name for a law firm.

13. I guess you _could_ eat cuffs, but I wouldn't really call them a food.

1. I wouldn't call beer a food either.

2. Sure it is. Watery, fermented bread, basically. But better.

3. It's FOOD & DRINK. Apples are food, cider & Calvados are drink, potatoes (fermented) are food, Vodka is drink. Both food and drink can be more or less nourishing. Oranges are food, orange juice is a drink, etc. So fermented bread and yeast may be food, but beer is a drink.

4. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/food?s=t

5. You don't eat a drink.

6. But you might drink a food: https://muse.jhu.edu/book/7557

BTW, what about good old Campbell's Tomato Soup? Is it a food if you eat it with a spoon and a drink if you sip it from a mug?

7. A couple of years ago I designed a facility for a company that makes packaged food for people with dysphagia. Since they cannot swallow, they take meals with a straw, just like Heywood Floyd on the way to the space station.

Is that a drink or food?

8. One of the technical goofs in 2001 was that food/liquid is seen to drop down in the straw when Dr. Floyd stops sucking on it.

9. I could never figure out how they were able to get a Turkey in the Straw.

10. Though couldn't that be explained by the straw forming a fairly tight seal with its opening, and a somewhat stiff packaging material wanting to return to its original shape? The vacuum created by removing the foodrink would need to be replaced by air, pushing the food back down the straw.

Is that the right physics?

11. ...and I know it's picky, but in that scene, I believe Heywood Floyd is on his way from the space station to Clavius Base, on the Moon.

12. Eco, in that case, I think the straw would be completely cleared, to allow enough air in to replace what was sucked out.

13. I think you're right, he was flying to Clavius. I was only 7 when I saw that movie....

Whether the straw was completely cleared would depend on the elasticity of the encasing material and how much it would return to its original shape, whether there were any air gaps around the straw's opening, as well as how much Dr Floyd had consumed. One could experiment with juice boxes.

I think, but that doesn't mean I am.

14. Every week I've mustered up the courage to submit an answer to the puzzle... Something tells me it will be some time before I get the call. In the meantime, here's one of my favorite puzzles.

With a little creative pronunciation, take a five letter word and make it a four letter food, without removing any of the letters. :D (Resist the urge to GOOGLE it!)

1. I like it, not what I was thinking. This puzzle might be a bit rough, written for both men and women. It has rocked the fashion of a nation.... I'll just say, "Hooked on Phonics" doesn't work for everyone! :D

15. The anagram results of the two words are something I'm occasionally hesitant about?

1. I'm thinking of something nobler.

16. These are two delicious foods, associated with different parts of the world and different courses.

17. Don't look for either of these foods on the menu at Mar-a-Lago.

1. No, but if you change the first letter in one of the foods you'll find something at Mar-a-Lago. If you change the first letter in the other food you'll find something lacking at Mar-a-Lago.

2. The latter changed word is within something geological.

3. Yes, and S’mores the pity.

4. Sounds like a lot of mumbo jumbo to me.

18. Another Bonus Puzzle: what is unusual in the following sentences?

Farm hand solves drought here, picked garden mallet, catches saddled horse. Those gallop north faster, can hear hard raspy, panting breath. Sorry lord has raffle, cash forms mounds, later gilds that lily.

1. Well, they're sadly lacking in conjunctions and articles, for one thing.

2. Don't pander.

3. Given your profile pic, eco, something with George W. Bush (who we now miss. . .)

But, I must agree with Paul, that it is sadly lacking in conjunctions and articles.

4. I don't mean to carp, but darn, having fasted for the holy season at its greatest height, I can say that dear garbled "W" gives part of the battle; but you must ponder to find more bombs for your barren and fallow carts. Or golf.

There's a raft of clues; note I chose not to use any old line.

19. It seems like there's always at least one hint that's a bit too ... magnanimous.

1. Magnanimous is a synonym of generous, which might make you think of Ellen DeGeneres, who had a role in Coneheads, which might make you think of Harry Connick Jr., who's from New Orleans.

20. eco -- all the initial letters in the words can be changed to W. Makes about as much sense...

1. Keep at it, there's more to it.

2. Changing the first letter to a W changes the pronunciation of a subsequent vowel in every word? (In the case of picked/wicked, the E sound is changed to 'short' from 'none', thereby adding another syllable.)

3. You win the Kewpie Doll. In my mind I had phrased it although the words are identical except the first letter, they do not rhyme.

English is a quirky mongrel language, and virtually identical words can be pronounced in many ways - some of my favorites:
done, gone, lone;
dove, move, rove;
dose, lose, nose;
bomb, comb, tomb;
four, hour, tour; (extending Gilligan's trip?)
ballet, mallet, wallet;
bather, father, gather;
bough, cough, rough;

None of these triplets rhyme. And there are many pairs (Lord Roman --> Word Woman) that don't rhyme.

The letter "w" seems to change the pronunciation of the letters that follow quite frequently. It even affects current news events:

"Does Corker break that low cad Don mould?"

4. If you considered a crazily-pronounced six-letter word for that last triplet set: "SLOUGH". Of course, I guess 'through' also qualifies (albeit even longer.)

5. You are correct, I can't think of a word ending with more pronunciations than "ough". But I was limiting it to words of the same length. As they point out, that's just a little hiccough.

Another fun thing to figure out is all the different ways words can be spelled ending with a long "u" sound. I have 19:

flu, blue, new, ewe, view, too, to, two, you, shoe, through, coup, queue, lieu, Hugh, doux, ragout, Sioux, debut, ...

Whew! Enough to test your IQ. Glad I don't have to learn this stupid language.

6. That's really fun, eco! ALthough, having taken years of French, I'd have to object to 'lieu' being pronounced as you intend....it's really a fast 'lee' followed by ..geez, I don't know how to spell it....an open 'ugh/er' sound.

7. Did you forget, tutu?

8. Amurricans don't want no stinkin' frogs tellin' us how to pronounce things. The French don't even have a word for entrepeneur! (okay, Bush didn't really say that).

Meanwhile, back in the sane world, this might help.

9. And did you know there is no such word: gullible?

10. SDB: tutu, with a single u, falls under the flu file. But you gnu that.

A flea and a fly in a flue
Were imprisoned, so what could they do?
Said the fly, "let us flee!"
"Let us fly!" said the flea.
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

12. That would be a pretty good poem were it not for its flaw.

13. And, speaking of juice boxes, #21 juice. . .

14. SacrÃ© bleu! Good sleu-thing WW for legitimate long u's, but I was looking for words that end with the long u.

What would Lucy Liu do?

21. Buck Brannaman, the original horse whisperer, knows how to handle them.

1. The reference to Buck's handling of horses referred to the series of columns advertising a Buchhandlung service that Myles na gCopaleen ran in The Irish Times 75 or so years ago. Myles was the alias for Flann O'Brien, which was the pen name for Brian O'Nolan (or Brian Ã“ NuallÃ¡in if you insist). So that's my coded reference to Flan.

I know that this is all ridiculously obscure, but let me put in a plug for the great Flann O'Brien and for the columns he wrote as Myles. The ones on his book handling service provided to rich people too stupid to read the books in their libraries (and the companion ventriloquist service for those too stupid to carry on an intelligent conversation in public) are priceless; go invest in a copy of The Best of Myles and thank me later.

22. Musical Clue: Dire Straits

23. I am proud to say I have solved this week's puzzle a few short hours from my nephew's funeral this afternoon(see previous post). I guess it just took having other more important things on my mind to clear my head about this.

1. Hope you're doing OK and sorry for your loss.

2. Patrick, I hope you saw my expression of sympathy on Puzzleria. I feel so bad for your entire family.

3. Patrick, Wishing you strength during this time of loss. I am so sorry.

24. I found it easier to start with a 5 letter food with a U in it and work backwards.

1. Me too. Much easier!

2. Yes, similar logic to last week’s. I figured with that clue the second word was “teacher” (duh), which gave me “her,” the analog of “his,” and then just filling in the last part of the first word. This puzzle was similar for me.

25. I hate to address the elephant in the room but, so sad for the people killed or injured in Las Vegas. I don't have any answers but still in shock that it happened. It will be very interesting to learn the facts.

26. Hey Ron - a twinkling of an idea is a hint.

27. RIP Tom Petty (and so many other people) today.

1. Uh, yeah. It appears the rumors of his death are greatly exaggerated. Let's hope he pulls through.

2. I suppose everyone is entitled to petty errors.

28. People are horrified and then nothing happens to change things.

1. Sadly so. If Congress couldn't get their act together while Obama was president, there is NO hope now, with we know who, and the Repubs in control. (Bought and paid for by the NRA.)

2. I wonder, are they really horrified? I would suggest “no.”

3. I bet the sale of guns & ammo will only increase after this.

4. I found Trump's words today, especially when he quoted scripture, so moving a laxative was unnecessary.

5. SDB - That's great! You could tell he didn't write that speech!!

6. No shit! LOL

7. I just watched the speech. It sounded forced and unnatural for the Trumpster. I guess that was his best effort at sounding "Presidential."

29. Neither of these foods appeals to me. But, then, they don't appear on the menus of many restaurants in the Mountain West. I'm sure you could find them, but you'd need to dig a little...

1. This comment has been removed by the author.

2. Never heard of one of the foods.

3. Natasha:
Those of us who manage to read your posts prior to you deleting them cannot understand why you keep deleting what is interesting in favor of what is not. Please have more confidence in your writings.

30. SDB: I spelled Martha Stewart's name incorrectly. I was going to correct it but had to delete it and did not save a copy to paste and correct. All I said was I did not believe the second word was even a food when I found the first one. I said I would need to watch more Martha Stewart cooking shows, I guess. Did not mean to play games etc. Glad to read your thoughts, though. Thanks.

1. Natasha:
Stew Art; Stuart, or Stewart, who really cares? My suggestion would be either to copy and past again and then make the change with your correction and then delete the former post, or simply post beneath the name correction. People really want to read what you post, and you frequently post interesting remarks, only to quickly delete them. You do yourself no favor by doing this.

2. OK I will try. Thanks.

31. I agree the replacement post was very generic and worthy of deletion.

32. R.I.P. Tom Petty (confirmed now)

1. One of the true luminaries of music. I will miss him. I like this quote from Tom Petty: Do something you really like, and hopefully it pays the rent. As far as I'm concerned, that's success.

33. I actually once had to prepare one of the two foods in school, but if I were to say which class it would probably give it away.

1. So, we can assume it wasn't Home Economics...

34. This comment has been removed by the author.

35. I don't understand why the news media can't seem to get the story straight. When Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said "Trump is a f**king moron," it was not in any way a disparaging remark. He was simply standing up for the President and correcting the person who had said "Trump was a f**king idiot."

1. Exclusive video from the last cabinet meeting.

2. LOL eco, that took me back.

3. Ha! I just feel sorry for all the morons and idiots of the world that have now been brought down to Trump's level.

4. Yes, and if all the idiots and morons in this country got together and formed a political lobby, it would be larger than all the other lobbies plus Congress put together, and don't forget Trump and his delightful phamily.

5. That's what I thought of the voting majority, at least per the electoral college, last November...

6. The Electoral College is an oxymoron. by that I mean they are uneducated.

7. Remember in the Cold War when the news media and intelligence agencies would try to understand the cryptic statements of the dangerous dictators that were the enemies of America?

Well, now we have "the calm before the storm".

8. When I first heard this I had a bad feeling about what he said. Listening to the White House press conference a little while ago, I thought of two things.
One, Trump is pulling his usual ruse of getting the press worked up about a news byte to deflect attention from something more pressing. In this case it could be either about Tillerson, Puerto Rico, Korea, Iran or maybe even the Robert Mueller investigation.
Two, the White House press conferences remind me of the old Wendy's commercial from long ago. These news conferences give you no choices, or information.

9. You may be right, it could be deflection, or it could be another instance of his lack of self control and seemingly unlimited need for attention. CNN wrote about how he treats this as a reality show. His actions today do not inspire confidence.

This is "fine" when it's about something inconsequential, like his advisors or press secretary or health care or the economy. But no doubt the folks in Iran, North Korea, Russia, etc. are trying to discern and react to his mad lib remarks. And I worry mostly that Kim will do something equally impetuous, like launching a missile or exploding a nuke in the ocean.

10. It's like having a ten year old in office.

11. That's just like what Melania Trump said about her home life—"Living with an eleven year old isn't easy, and let's not forget about Barron."

12. Like that 10-11 year old boy, it seems like he can't restrain himself from blurting out some secret information that he has.

I suspect he knew the Russians had hacked Hillary's emails, and it was no coincidence that he "asked" for that at a debate. Same thing, in May, with his revealing top secret info about the Israeli spy placed in ISIS.

He simply has to "show off" that he's a "superior". And so it makes me wonder if there is a real storm brewing. Fine if it's internal, like the extinction of Rex T., but otherwise....

36. Hey, that's all small potatoes (or however Dan from Indianapolis spells it), the Panthers now have Archie Bunker at starting QB. The NFL is in a tizzy.

37. FLAN & GUMBO

38. FLAN, GUMBO

> When I Googled the two foods, I got a link to a restaurant just a few miles from Steve Baggish's home.

Tasca, in Brighton, MA," serves both gumbo and flan. (Of course, Google knew I was just a few miles from Steve Baggish's home myself, at the time.)

39. flan, gumbo

Last Sunday I said, “It’s the wrong time of year for one of these foods.” Gumbo is frequently associated with Mardi Gras.

40. FLAN, GUMBO

"Bridge" referred to two things:

(1) the Flannery conventon of bidding in bridge and

(2) Beau (bo as in Gumbo) Bridges

"Ok, then." was a reference to OKRA.

"Often, but not always." refers to a savory FLAN, served as an appetizer.

eco's puzzle: Mar-A-Lago has a Jumbo TV, but not Ã©lan, part of the geologic mÃ©langerie.

2. I thought eco was thinking of dumbo and Ã©lan.

3. I was thinking Dumbo and elan as well.

4. I was thinking of dumbo and Ã©lan, and almost made reference to the Klan.

I also responded to clotheslover's anagram about "something nobler". Nobler anagrams to LeBron (James) who tweeted about the "bum on flag", which anagrams to flan-gumbo.

41. I was thinking "Bridge" referred to the Manhattan Bridge. A hot neighborhood in Brooklyn is Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, or DUMBO, rhymes with gumbo.

42. FLAN

F→G, + U, L→M, A→B, N→O

GUMBO

My hint: OKRA with a U = GUMBO. O→P, K→L, R→S, A→B. OKRA = PLSB avec U.

"Mumbo Jumbo" was not a hint, but simply verification I had solved the puzzle.

43. My clue "occasionally " was referencing o-Cajun-ally for gumbo.

I thought eco was referring to Dumbo and not having a plan.

44. Gumbo \$5 a bowl, with okra \$2.50 a bowl, with extra okra \$1.00..

Flan is a favorite.

45. Now that I think about it I am wondering why I didn't hint: Janet Flanner. I ran into her in the cocktail lounge in the Hotel Continental in Paris in 1965. She was living at the hotel at the time. Ernest Hemingway had already died by then.

46. FLAN and GUMBO
I once had to prepare flan for my Spanish class. Well, my mom actually made it. I never even tried any of it.

47. When I was growing up (no laughter here, please) I always thought Gumbo was a Cajun elephant.

1. That's cute!!!

2. Not so much if you had to clean up after it.

48. Flan is okay, but not my favorite.

In this week of Nobel Prize announcements I'm waiting for my call from the Nobel Committee for my important "Theory on Dessertology (Dessertification?). This Theory postulates that Switzerland is the dessert nexus of the universe, and the quality of desserts lessens the farther a country is from Switzerland. For example, all the countries adjoining Switzerland - France, Italy, Austria, Germany - have fantastic desserts. But as you move to the next ring - Spain, England, former Yugoslavia, Greece, Scandinavia, Czech Republic, etc - the dessert quality diminishes. Don't even think about Russia. One could argue that Belgium should be in the top tier, but we know about Belgians.

Of course as you get really far away from Switzerland, say, Asia, you're stuck eating almond jelly, custard tarts, tapioca pudding and glutinous rice.

49. So, the further from Switzerland you go, desserts become more of a desert?
I think you should get a cash prize for that!

1. eco,
Perhaps then you would be so good as to explain the very existence of Swiss Miss.

2. Switzerland as the nexus doesn't necessarily mean that Switzerland itself has great desserts, just as there is a calm in the eye of a storm. But the Swiss do have some awesome chocolates, Nestle not withstanding.

Quick aside: Swiss Miss is actually from Wisconsin, and is a Conagra brand. Explains a lot.

3. I actually did know that.

50. "Um...blog fan." Is a an anagram of flan+gumbo. I am occasionally a hesitant blog fan.

51. Next week's challenge: Next week's challenge comes from listener Chris Stuart of Las Cruces, N.M. Take the name of a country. Insert an E somewhere inside it. You'll get a phrase that answers the question: What did Henry Ford do?

1. Not a repeat, exactly, but a slight variation on a puzzle from 8 years ago.

2. I think the hint Will gave is way too revealing. --Margaret G.

3. Solved. Took 2 seconds.

Well, at least there's Jeopardy! and Austin Rogers.

4. It's the second appearance for today's on-air player, who also submitted a puzzle used in 2006.

5. Yeah, WW, took me about 2 seconds, too.

52. Jan,

As Tom Hanks would say, “Thanks” for noticing.

BTW, my wife also submitted a puzzle suggestion that Will used in 2000, which coincidently included Flan as part of the answer. Even though I’ve been selected twice to play on the air, neither my wife nor I have been able to get a second puzzle suggestion accepted. But we keep trying…

Regards – Phil J.

1. Congrats on your performance today, Phil!

2. Thanks again...

For NPR puzzle posts, don't post the answer or any hints that could lead to the answer before the deadline (usually Thursday at 3pm ET). If you know the answer, submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here.

You may provide indirect hints to the answer to show you know it, but make sure they don't assist with solving. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the deadline. Thank you.