Sunday, February 25, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 25, 2018): United States of Mammals

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 25, 2018): United States of Mammals:
Q: Name a place in the United States that contains a W. Drop the W, and you can rearrange the remaining letters to name two types of mammals, each in the plural form. What place is it, and what are the mammals?
I was going to provide a crass clue but decided against it.

Edit: Crass Clue is an anagram of Las Cruces (New Mexico) which is where the puzzle submitter is from.
A: NEW MEXICO - W --> MICE, OXEN

165 comments:

  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.

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  2. I didn't see that the website as originally posted included the answer, so I worked on the puzzle and I certify, affirm, and swear that I got it without any outside help. If you take the singular forms of the two words and remove one letter from each, you can rearrange to get another word for a mammal.

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    1. Rob, I like it. I, too, solved it on my own, thanks to a lucky hunch. Hence my clue at the end of last week's blog:

      "Wonder if the (former?) intern will take a pay cut? "

      Aside: It looks like the capital of AZ is "Paxon" not Phoenix, on the map above. . .but it's all a little fuzzy.

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    2. The font and the resolution does make it look like that, but I promise that PHOENIX is still the capital.

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    3. I solved it and solved Rob's. Yippee!

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    4. And that's a weird title on said map above: "Animals, Mammals, and Birds!"

      St Paul, MN, has an "animal" then, I suppose.

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    5. Well, I'm not a vegetable or a mineral!

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    7. Very nice riff-off, Rob. And, is your "(an)other word for a mammal" singular or plural? ;-)

      LegoSaysMyAnswerWouldBe"Yes"

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    8. I won't say;that would give it all away.

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    9. Oh, the humanity! (But, not, you, manatee!)

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  3. Jan, what are you doing?! I'm probably not the only person who comes to Blaine's website instead of the NPR website to find next week's puzzle. So you first posted where to find the answer and now you've posted how to find the answer. You're killin' me, man.

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    1. I let NPR know that their website included the answer, and they fixed it a few minutes later. I then let them know that their site included the additional spoiler info, but they haven't fixed that yet. I removed the spoilers from my postings, but if they keep them in theirs, there's not much I can do. If Blaine thinks that my comments are too revealing, he can delete them.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks for the trip down memory lane; crazy ideas are the norm among insane people.

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    2. Eco - I bet they can give someone a good deal on the sale of brown shirts.
      What's really scary is the thought of not only eight years but possibly sixteen.

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    3. 68C, it will take less than 16 years for the Trumpistas to cause an economic crash and chaos, which will decimate global markets, and as history has taught us with almost Swiss precision will be followed by existential wars in 2020 or 2021.

      So don't worry.

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  5. I didn't see the shoddy NPR work where they posted the answer. Amazing that they had 2 problems in 2 weeks, though last week's came from the upper offices, this from the lower levels.

    Official statement released by the Society To Repudiate Anagram Puzzles: "With 5 anagram puzzles already this year we've seen NPR hit a new low."

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    1. In other words --> anagram:puzzle :: pun:humor 😀

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  6. This week's puzzle is similar to one I submitted to NPR several weeks ago. Mr. Shortz hasn't used it, so I'll post it here: Take a nine letter adjective. Move the first letter to the end. The result can be broken into two animal names. What's the adjective, and what are the animals?

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    1. Excellent, clever puzzle, Curtis. It is NPR-worthy IMHO, and would make a great "Riffing Off Shortz And Stuart" puzzle on this Friday's Puzzleria! Just e-mail me at jrywriter@aol.com if you want me to post it there and give you due credit. Thanks.

      LegoWhoLovesPuzzleVariety

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    2. Thanks, Lego! I'll do that.

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    3. Great, Curtis. Your puzzle will be an elegant edition to Puzzleria!

      LegoWhoBelievesTwoAnimalsAreAlwaysBetterThanOne

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    4. I have the answer, but I won't post it Thursday since you are going to use it on Puzzleria.

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    5. Since Ron got it I felt a need to toss in my 2 bits. I suppose animal name is different than name of an animal.

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  7. I listened to the puzzle on air and think it was a give away. Will reveal more Thursday.

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    1. Strange website not revised.

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    2. They'd have to re-record the audio, too.

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    3. With digital recording it's pretty easy to delete portions; they cut delays in contestants' answers. Unfortunately Blaine can't remove the giveaway.

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    4. I just listened to audio and not revised. Oh well.

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  8. One of the mammal plurals has a schwa according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

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    1. I'd say you have a vocalized nasal there and not a schwa, but, hey, that's just me.

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  9. Scene from the House: a potential assassin aims a weapon at #45 and a secret service agent yells a warning.

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    1. Thanks to Blaine, class cure is another anagram for Las Cruces, the NM is hidden inside manmade.

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    4. Trying again. . .

      Big bad spelling errors in previous post.

      Here, as it is meant to be. . .

      Such fun creating this one. Walt Disney Studios is known as the Mouse House (for mice) and they create scenes there. The secret service agent yells a warning: “Donald, duck!” to name a compatriot of Mickey Mouse (mice) at the Mouse House. No clue for oxen or New Mexico in this one.

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  10. Looking forward to Will and NPR hopefully getting back to their high standards of puzzle presentation. Website ruined this weeks puzzle for me.

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  11. From the on air puzzle I have solved them all except one that did not get used. I can't figure this one out.

    If the tailor runs out of time, he'll have to ______ the pants leg ______.

    (swap the first two letters of the first answer to get the second answer)

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Tried to get a live link at comment above, but it failed. Will try again.

      Answers to the on air puzzle can be found here - when the link opens, scroll to the bottom of the page:

      https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/nprpuzzle/gkx_9MauyuA

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    3. The link still is not “live” – if you wish to use it, copy/paste it into your browser.

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  12. I solved it, but I have to say this puzzle is really dumb.

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  13. Maybe they were just practicing messing up last week so they could really do it for the cameras this.
    I wonder if they didn't ask all the on-air questions or if they edited them. Some would have been pretty tough to come up with quickly.
    Not a very good effort.

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  14. This week's gaffe did prompt me to look up gaffe's word origin, from the Provencale for boat hook or blunder. And April Fools Day in French is Le Poisson d'avril. So something fantastically fishy came out of this puzzle, after all.

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    1. At first I thought this was another red herring from WW (who is often koi), but in France the goal "is to hang a paper fish on the back of the people of which one wants to make fun." I wonder if the fish are in Seine?

      I won't carp on the issue. Waiting for SDB, wondering if eel flounder.

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    2. Abalone! I've haddock with this. I knew when I saw your post I Smelt something fishy.

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    3. Okay, time to scale this back.

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    4. You're such a piker. Okay, as my Jamaican friend says, 'salmon!. Or since this started with the French: fin.

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    5. And what will the net result of that be? Carpe diem!

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    7. Once might have been a fluke.
      Twice indicates the interns are floundering.

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  15. It's gaffes like this that put NPR in a real spot. Maybe it's the result of a bad work ethic. Maybe what they need is a good moral compass. Do they have that? Alas, nope. They're just so quirky that way.

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  16. When WNYC-FM (NPR station in New York City) fired disc jockey Jonathan Schwartz for a minor past peccadillo, that did it for me!

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    1. Our local station, KCFR, had an announcer openly swear at malfunctioning equipment on air for about a minute in the early morning. He didn't realize he had a live microphone. I think this happened about a decade ago. The station had him openly apologize on air. He still works there to this day.

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    2. Homage to the great, no-longer-with-us poet Jonny Baranski:

      the mantis
      devours her mate
      me too!

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  17. Replies
    1. Answering that question would provide too much information, IMO.

      LegoNippingItInTheBud

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    2. The answer are mammals! (Sorry, coudn’t Resist...)

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  18. Maybe it was the HBO cameras throwing off his game!

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    1. Maybe. The written script was sent in in advance. Will's on-air puzzle words were scripted in advance. The puzzle author issue was a simple gaffe involving presentation that could have easily been prevented with prophylactic googling or duckduckgoing.

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    2. I think it more likely WS spontaneously added an ad hominem comment without anticipating the simple on-line search that could readily reveal the answer.

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    3. It's also possible the folks in this group are more intense in scrutinizing the puzzle than most listeners, who might blissfully miss that message.

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  19. I've been hearing all day there may have been three more armed police officers at the Florida school shooting, and they did nothing. It got me thinking. What would I have done in their situation? I like to think I would have done as I had been trained, but that is just my hubris. I have no way of knowing the answer. Then I thought about combat soldiers who do respond so many times. Many studies have found they do this because of the bonding they have with their comrades in arms. The law enforcement officers at a school really do not have that. The teachers do, and Trump would certainly use this as a selling point for his doing nothing to stop this senseless violence in our schools, but he is wrong. In almost all cases the armed teachers would be shot and killed. Assault weapons are designed for, guess what?, assault. Handguns are a weak and pathetic defense in such cases. So, just what is the answer, and I am a gun owner, expert shot, and not against the Second Amendment? There is no realistic argument for citizens having assault weapons. Ban them now!

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    1. Your scenario describing the likely inaction of "trained" teachers is actually fairly low on my list of concerns. Though I do agree the spontaneous heroism in Trump's pea brain is more the stuff of bad action movies. Secret service agents have to go through incredibly rigorous training (brainwashing?) to eliminate their instincts of self-preservation to throw themselves into harm's way.

      Supposing a teacher did take action, how effective is it likely to be? There were armed guards (trained, one assumes) at the Paris night club, and that didn't stop the bloodshed. How many innocent people would be caught in the likely wild and inaccurate cross fire from some deluded Clint Eastwood imitator?

      But even that's not my biggest worry. I remember in 9th grade a student and teacher got into a fight. The student, padlock in hand, broke the teacher's jaw with a punch. Would an armed teacher, either the victim or a colleague, be tempted to use all available force in this situation? "Highly" trained police have done so more times than I can recount.

      Schools, like bars and nightclubs, are at times highly charged places where emotions regularly get out of hand. If police officers, whose primary job is law enforcement, misinterpret critical situations - either accidentally or willfully - do we expect teachers with at best light training, to respond appropriately?

      My jaw-breaking schoolmate was certainly not an innocent bystander. He got a lengthy suspension; I don't know if criminal charges were filed. But he didn't deserve to be shot. And it doesn't require tremendous creativity to imagine hundreds of scenarios where the day to day conflicts in a school could readily escalate into deadly violence.

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    2. It is hard to be sure and it is a difficult subject, but I think that not making photographs available of the shooting scenes, children's bodies and all, only works for the interests of the NRA and its bought and paid for politicians.
      Last night 60 Minutes had no compunction about showing dead Syrians.
      I think the parents of the Sandy Hook victims made clear that they would bear the additional pain and wanted the carnage shown as a way to keep gun makers from hiding what their products are designed to do.
      Teachers should teach and law enforcement law makers should protect.
      Even when deputies' bone spurs flare up.

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  20. Replies
    1. I really only remember one of his songs and pretty much answered it for me. But that’s just my thought process and limitation.

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    2. I think you'd really have to be in a New Mexico state of mind to begin with to get any help from this clue.

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  21. I initially misread the clue and thought the place name had to begin with W. But that brought me to a new puzzle: take a one-word US city that starts with W, drop the W, and the remaining letters anagram to two types of animal, both plural.

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  22. Got it. I can barely focus on the Puzzle with Trump and the Dreamers and all of this nonsense.

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  23. I just moved from this place to South Central Pennsylvania. I don't remember ever meeting this Chris Stuart fella, but the place was large and small at the same time.

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  24. I just don’t understand why Will would even add that phrase, in it’s “mistake” for or the current corrected. In either form it’s a dead giveaway.

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  25. Trump is a hero!

    I just this very minute heard on NPR that Trump said if he had been at the school shooting he would have run right in to help even if he was not armed. WOW!

    Gotta go and clean my radio. I don't know how it happened, but the sound is now muffled and it seems to me covered with a layer of bullshit.

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    Replies
    1. Geez!!

      Please pass the Kool-Aid...

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    2. Of course Beloved Leader would have done that! Trevor Noah was right, Trump is completely Presidential.

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    3. Amazing how Beloved Leader mirrored Idi A.(very creepy)

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    4. Ninja Trump would have killed the shooter with his bone spur shuriken!!!!!

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    5. I think he could have disarmed him with words alone. Remember, he has the best words.

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  26. Musical clue: Styx
    Literary clue: Willa Cather

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    1. Did you know that there's a Cuthbert Amphitheater in Eugene, Oregon?

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    2. I did not know that. I just checked it out online and it looks like an excellent venue. The Bananamore Family will soon plan a trip to Eugene, OR, to visit my namesake theater. Thank you for informing us. We look forward to seeing you on Leo Harris Pkwy.

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    3. It's a great venue. The Cuthbert hosts around 15 concerts every summer. Everything from classic rock to hip. We bring dinner and sit on the lawn for the shows.

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  27. Beautiful day and a bit of fresh air at Jackson Labs

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    1. a bit of fresh air = oxygen (minus yg = oxen). Jackson Labs, in Ellsworth, Maine is famous for breeding laboratory mice and shipping them all over the world

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  28. Can you staple pleats in petals on the palest pastel plates?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. P-star prats, traps with tarps and strap parts, rapts sprat.

      Or, E.dispar aspired despair; SDB praised diapers.

      It is very low.

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  29. Now that Jared Kushner has lost his top secret clearance, I wonder if he will have to give up his top secret car??

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    1. Why does it take just that one picture to bring to mind the theme songs for both Supercar and Fireball XL5?

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    2. I don't recall the Fireball one, but I will always remember that Supercar one, so awful!

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    3. Jan - Thanks for the link! I don't think I ever watched that show. I would bet my older sisters declared a safe zone on the TV after watching "Supercar"! I think I liked Supercar's theme song better, though!!

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    4. Jan - Thanks for the link! I don't think I ever watched that show. I would bet my older sisters declared a safe zone on the TV after watching "Supercar"! I think I liked Supercar's theme song better, though!!

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  30. I am more likely to die of dysentery than solve an anagram puzzle in most cases. However this was not most cases. There are so many musical hints but I will start with Mick Harvey.

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  31. Where I grew up provides the answer to this week's puzzle as well as an almost answer to a recent not-used puzzle.

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    1. "almost answer to a recent not-used puzzle" >>> This phrase amused me, An Old Myope.

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  32. I'm still stumped. Are we looking for a city, state, or something else? Thanks!

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    1. Dave, you'll just have to figure it out from the way the puzzle was stated. . .

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    2. Okay, I'll try to think outside the box. Thanks very much!

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

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    4. Aha! Now I know in what direction to go. THANKS!!!!

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    5. Bingo! Thank you, WW. I appreciate your hint.

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    6. Wow, WW was whupped while willfully wielding wrong words! We wonder whether what was written warranted withdrawal ... wait wait.

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    7. Well, was waste worthy writing went woefully wrong. We won't worry why; will welcome warning wipe with wink.

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    8. eco, I didn't actually give the answer like Will's intern. . .but I did perhaps point a little too pointedly in a certain general direction.

      I've been blog administrated twice now.

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    9. By Blaine's action and Dave's reaction I guess it was too pointed. Do tell tomorrow.

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    10. I shall. In keeping with the 'W' theme, they were definitely Wednesday words.

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  33. Remove the W from this affluent West Coast U.S. city and rearrange the remaining letters to reveal a large mammal (singular or plural) and a single large bird.

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    1. ron,
      Nope, but that's not a baaad try. Hint: Both are common names.

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    2. I never progressed past stool pigeon. Want a sample?

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  34. Now the White House has lost all Hope.

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    1. She lasted 3-4 months longer than I thought she would.
      You know, I never did hear her voice, not even once.

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    2. I'm sure it had nothing at all to do with her grilling for nine hours yesterday. Anyway I am certain she got affair treatment by our heroic leader.

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    3. She lasted that long because she was hot. Dumb finally caught up to her.

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    4. But perhaps smart enough to stop being Dumbo's Bimbo.

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    5. I have no doubt that her appearance got her into the inner circle, but it is wrong to simply assume she is a dumb bimbo.

      We should treat her fairly; it's entirely plausible - and even likely - she is a crass greedy criminal traitor just like the rest of that craven gang. She might be slightly smarter (or morally conscious? - HA!) in trying to get out now. But the non-culpability train left the station years ago.

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    6. One tends to be known by the company one keeps.

      Please let me know if you happen to see Hope Hicks having dinner with Noam Chomsky.

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  35. She lasted 3-4 months longer than I thought she would.
    You know, I never did hear her voice, not even once.

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  36. I have to admit I put lots of places with Ws in them through an anagram app before I got it.

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  37. MEXICO > MICE & OXEN

    My Hint:
    "I solved it, but I have to say this puzzle is really dumb." Dumb as an ox.

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    1. What was your puzzle answer, sdb? I went round and round with MOOSE, DEER, ELK, HERON, EMU, OSTRICH. . .

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    2. My puzzle answer:

      Lake Oswego - W (Oregon) > ELK & A GOOSE

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    3. That explains it, I tried elk + w + goose to no avail, but just like in school I never got an A.

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  38. NEW MEXICO - W = MICE, OXEN

    "Wonder if the (former?) intern will take a pay cut?" refers to another anagram of MICE, OXEN >>> EX (former), INCOME (pay cut).


    "Dave, you'll just have to figure it out from the way the puzzle was stated. . . " (I perhaps ought to have left my understated clue, but when it looked like Dave didn't see it, I added the blog administrated clue "Dave, you know that I gave you a clue to your question, right? ")


    {I started with the states bordering Colorado, figured it would be irregular nouns like MICE or deer, and quickly got to NEW MEXICO.}

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  39. NEW MEXICO (-W) → MICE + OXEN

    Chris Stuart had submitted a PREVIOUS PUZZLE, October 15, 2017, so we knew where he came from: Las Cruces, New Mexico.

    My hint: 11W's:
    There are 11 States with a W.
    Delaware
    Hawaii
    Iowa
    New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    New Mexico
    New York
    Washington
    West Virginia
    Wisconsin
    Wyoming

    Mouse + Ox (-u, -x) → Moose

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  40. New Mexico --> mice, oxen

    "I didn't see the shoddy NPR work" - most working oxen (like horses) wear shoes. If their work involves crossing rivers do they wear Oxfords?

    "With 5 anagram puzzles already this year we've seen NPR hit a new low." - slight reference to 3 blind mice, and "low" is the sound oxen make.

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  41. I wrote, "If you take the singular forms of the two words and remove one letter from each, you can rearrange to get another word for a mammal." OX / MOUSE / MOOSE

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  42. No need for a clever reveal this week. NPR already posted the answer last Sunday, and in case you missed it, they posted that the author, whom they previously said was from New Mexico, is from the answer. Sheesh!

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    Replies
    1. That's why I pointed Dave in the direction of a state Wednesday. . .I thought the cat was out of the bag already in so many ways, as you described, jan.

      Had the place not been narrowed to Stuart's hometown, it would have been a decent puzzle.

      I thought to start with states because starting with cities and towns was too daunting. And, I usually start with my neighboring states on puzzles like these.

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  43. New Mexico-w=Oxen and Mice. While working on this puzzle, I found that Charlestown minus w gives you Crane and Sloth.

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  44. I see this morning that still some of our posts here are not sticking. You might want to check after posting to see if it is there, and if not still there, to re-post it.

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  45. NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

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  46. NEW MEXICO, MICE and OXEN
    I hate to admit it, but Blaine's "crass clue" gave it right to me. In my first post I used the same idea with four other places in NM:
    REAL SPOT=PORTALES
    WORK ETHIC=WHITE ROCK
    A GOOD MORAL=ALAMOGORDO
    ALAS NOPE=ESPANOLA
    And then I used the word "quirky", which rhymes with ALBUQUERQUE. My Billy Joel clue refers to a song from his 1973 "Piano Man" album, "Worse Comes To Worst":
    "Today I'm livin' like a rich man's son
    Tomorrow mornin' I could be a bum
    It doesn't matter which direction though
    I know a woman in NEW MEXICO..."

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  47. Rachel Maddow just announced that she is the author (with help) of Friday's _New York Times_ crossword.

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    Replies
    1. Not a bad puzzle, and it had a couple of tricky clues, too!

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  48. Next week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. Name a famous singer — first and last names. Change the last three letters of each name to an E and you'll name a well-known landmark. What is it?

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  49. Got it. Now for some waffles!

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  50. Name a place in the us that has a W. Drop an E and rearrange (gag, hack) the remaining letters to name two different numbers of a certain mammal.
    No telling if anyone will even see this, but let's say just hints for a while. When there are five hints go ahead and post your answer.

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  51. Hint: It is the same place.
    I hope I don't have to supply the necessary four more.

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