Sunday, May 06, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 6, 2018): Criminal Country

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 6, 2018): Criminal Country:
Q: Name a certain kind of criminal. Drop the first two letters and the last letter of the word, and you'll name a country. What is it?
I'm not writing a misleading clue today.
A: I'll be interested to see whether PYROMANIAC or VAGABOND was Will's intended answer.

214 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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    1. Blaine, did your "misleading" wording refer to a wandering vagabond?

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    2. Why do you ask, Word Woman, are you just wondering?

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    3. I wondered as I wandered onward.

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  2. I have a bit of a problem with these being "criminals." Also, there is a synonym with the same first three letters that has more of a criminal connotation.

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    1. Libelizer and Liberal?
      (I kid, I kid...)

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    2. That's a barnburner of a clue.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. But, that's not the intended answer.

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    3. Are you sure? Did you come up with a better answer?

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    4. I think there's a better answer as alluded to by Jan.

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  4. The Wikipedia entry for this says it is distinct from a crime.

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  5. MISPAINT is certainly "a kind of criminal" activity.

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  6. Only three unused clues this week.

    On-air challenge: The theme of this week's puzzle is Indiana. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word ends -IN and the second word starts D-.
    Example: Appliance at a laundromat —> COIN DRYER

    10. British prime minister of the 1860s and '70s.
    15. It might result in beriberi or rickets.
    16. Czech who composed the "New World Symphony".

    Please don't post the answers till Thurs so everybody have the chance to solve.

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    1. I had this one* before he finished saying the composer's name.
      *I'll link to a different rendition on Thursday.

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    2. Knew the last name but for the life of me I could not come up with the composers first name till I looked it up.

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    3. 15. "Lack of" it might result in beriberi or rickets, eh?

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    4. WW My answer is two words not a word and a letter.

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    5. But both are equally valid and similar in their meaning. Right?

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    6. I'd hate to think WW would ever troll.

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    7. Beriberi and Rickets don't have exactly the same cause.

      Will wait till Thur to see if my guess of WW's answer is what I think it is.

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    8. No, but, as Will might say, move one letter 2 positions later in the alphabet to change beriberi to rickets.

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    9. Ah, yes, two words is better. My other answer works for one but not the other.

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    10. Bonus On-air challenge: familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word ends -IN and the second word starts D-

      17. So quiet you can hear a __ __
      18. Annoyance for singer B. J. Thomas
      19. Entry for remote house (or for a room on a ship)
      20. Jello, for example.
      21. TV program about a famous physicist
      22. East Asian water bird species
      23. Toy musical instrument that was the title of a Günter Grass novel turned into a movie
      24. French term relating to the end of the century, especially 19th Century (3 words)

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    12. Bonus Challenge

      WW said: 15. "Lack of" it might result in beriberi or rickets, eh?

      Jan said: "As Will might say, move one letter 2 positions later in the alphabet to change beriberi to rickets."

      Give this approach to the problem, what is the answer to the puzzle that lies half way between Beriberi and Rickets? What is it's associated disease?

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    13. It's how the British got their nickname.

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    14. 10. Benjamin Disraeli.
      15. Vitamin deficiency. beriberi: vitamin B1 deficiency, rickets: vitamin D deficiency.
      16. Antonin Dvorak.

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    15. Answer to bonus challenge.


      Give this approach to the problem, what is the answer to the puzzle that lies half way between Beriberi and Rickets? What is it's associated disease?

      Beriberi is a deficiency of Vitamin B1 and Rickets is a deficiency of Vitamin D. Split the difference and you have Vitamin C whose deficiency is Scurvy. The Brits ran into this on sailing vessels in days of yore and solved by loading up the ships with supplies of limes, giving them the nickname Limeys.

      As WW put it "It's Curvy" or Scurvy.

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  7. Replies
    1. Sometimes politicians can be the type of person in the answer to the puzzle...

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  8. Replies
    1. I similarly wanted it to be "libelizer", but it's not.

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    2. I wanted "conman" and "Oman," but no.

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  9. To state this puzzle is both loose and not a bit loose at the same time is obvious.

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    1. Lefty loosey, righty tighty. I recently ruined an oil pan momentarily forgetting that

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    1. Do you mean will or "Will"??

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    2. I will. However, my answer is incorrect, misread puzzle.

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    3. Natasha: Keep at it, it was a crime that it took me so long to figure this one out!

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    4. I give up. I do not like thinking about crime.

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    5. Problematic wording on this puzzle, Natasha.

      On this one, I would not say Crimea River.

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    6. Don't give up Natasha, the answer is out there. Try starting with country names - hoping that's not giving anything away.

      Though based on some comments I wonder if there are 2 solutions....

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    8. I must confess, this puzzle gave me a tough time. It took a lot of conviction to come up with an answer!
      It does sound like there are two answers at play.
      Bar none, this was a challenging puzzle.

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  11. This one may have me scratching my head all day. And then again, it may not.

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  12. I think I have the answer. Reminds me of a song we used to listen to on road trips in our VW Microbus.

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  13. I won’t point out an obvious clue here.

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  14. Looking up the kind of criminal with ".com" ... if I wanted to join, it would be $40 a year. --Margaret G.

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    1. Website is not what the name would suggest.

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  15. Replies
    1. Well Peggy, the lack of anti-aircraft fire from our hall monitors indicates they are not on that track.
      I kind of like it though, with a close shadow in both parts.

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  16. Bonus Puzzle: Name a current politician, not in the U.S. Change one letter and reverse the result, and you'll get the name of a country. Hint: the politician's first name is something usually not associated with this country.

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  17. Although I've sent my solution in, I'm not 100% comfortable with it - which makes crafting an appropriate clue/comment harder than usual. Think I'll just post a musical clue - Elvis.

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  19. I read some positive nature-related news concerning the country.

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  21. There are definitely 2 reasonably legitimate answers, 4 if our Fear Leader makes it illegal to be Assyrian or outlaws Somalis.

    Though technically neither of my answers starts with a "criminal".

    I originally had the country that comes first alphabetically, and I think Rob, Word Woman, and iriscorona have the same.

    Ron, 11th place, cranberry, Margaret G, Mort Canard, and SuperZee seem to have the other, as is likely with Nick Missios. SDB leans slightly this way, but could go the other. I now think this is Will's intended answer.

    Jan and Blaine's comments seem to apply to both answers. Though the lack of deletion of one comment leads me to believe Blaine has the first alphabetic answer.

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    1. eco, you are correct, I prefer the country that is first alphabetically. In the other answer, I believe the crime is actually called something else.

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    2. That was weird; only half of my comment published.

      Continuing from above:

      As others have mentioned, I am not thrilled with the "criminal" tag in my answer, but I can live with it more easily than the other answer.

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    3. And my first comment should read "crime/criminal."

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    4. eco, you are correct. My solution is the one with the country which comes later in the alphabet. As to the, "kind of criminal," I'm refraining from further comment until 3:00 PM Thursday.

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    5. Actually by Sunday afternoon I had both answers and prefer the first alphabetically, though neither is inherently criminal.

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  22. Actually I know SDB. SDB is a friend of mine. I think I can Safely speak for SDB. SDB prefers the earlier one in the alphabet over the latter one.

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  23. After checking another list of foreign countries, I have now found the "alphabetically first" answer. Though the definition of the "criminal" does not actually suggest this person is committing a crime per se, I have nevertheless sent both answers in(first one on Sunday, second one just now). In case this other answer is the intended one, I will know suggest the following TV clue:
    The Andy Griffith Show

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  24. Is it possible for a "certain kind of criminal" be an adjective rather than a noun?

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    1. The answer I found certainly can be used as an adjective. Musicians have used it as both a noun and adjective in lyrics, song titles, and album titles

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  25. I never associated the answer to this puzzle directly with crime, although Wikipedia redirects from that word to a page about an associated crime with a similar etymology.

    There are many synonyms for the intended answer that don't imply criminality. Such is the nebulousness of language.

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    1. Well said, Curtis. Put me in the "Later-In-The-Alphabet" (LITA) camp. There is a chance that WS may mention the "Sooner-In-The-Alphabet" (SITA) answer on-air as an interesting alternative, but I do not believe he will deem it acceptable. I do believe that LITA is his intended answer.
      Sometimes, it seems, we overthink, super-analyze and second-guess these Sunday puzzles a tad to much.
      This puzzle was clever and enjoyable. Not being able to see these weekly fun-filled "forests" for the pedantries would be a crime.

      LegoSwingingAwayInLumberjackCountry

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    2. Okay, I didn't see the LITA answer until now. I was disregarding the longer country names because they tend not to fit into other words as neatly.

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    3. Lego, I agree that the LITA-country answer is probably the intended one and is also more elegant than the other.

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    4. Lorenzo, elegance is in the eye of the beholder, yes?

      However, here's hoping (Caenorhabditis) elegans is not in the eye of the beholder. . .

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    5. Thanks WW, eyeworms sound worse than earworms, glad C. elegans is neither. A good topic for the PEOTS blog, they are the source for 3 Nobels in a decade. Their death fluorescence leads to a not so bright future, and a great name for my next punk rock band, should I ever choose to play a loud instrument. Or not.

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  26. Tuesday and still no answer. I’ll return back to my thinking that I’m overthinking by a lot.

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  27. I'm so glad I'm not the only one having trouble with this one. My wife shot down my possible answer by telling me it was racist.

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  28. I prefer the answer with the SITA criminal and LITA country over the answer with the LITA criminal and SITA country.

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  29. Don't have this one yet and still sore that LED wash wasn't a viable answer for last week. But May 15 is National Pun Day, so I'll just look forward to that!

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  30. There is an etymological connection in the LITA country, which makes me believe that is the originally intended answer. This group seems divided; maybe we can have a tug of word.

    Both answers seem criminally flawed. I hope we don't have another "pika and ants" incident, but just in case the Alternative Facts Division of STRAP is developing a response strategy as well as a new letterhead.

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    1. The Society To Respect Ants & Pikas is pleased to announce our new slogan: BE BEAST

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  31. I doubt Will knew that there were two answers that meet the exact spelling requirements. I think each of them has its good and bad points. That being the case, I hope – whichever one Will picks – he at least gives an honorable mention to the other.

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  32. Replies
    1. Does UM name a country? That would definitely name a criminal!!!

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  33. After going through a list of countries for the third time, I finally figured out a second answer, and I like it better than the first. It is a "SITA" type. Tough to clue in either answer though, without giving things away.

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  34. Replies
    1. Lee W, style points for Peru.

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    2. Thanks, WW. But it's not a criminal and I still haven't solved this one. :-(

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    3. Lee ^^^ and Dave >>>, I found my answers in country lists, not criminal lists. Perhaps that will help in your quests.

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    4. I've been checking country lists.

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    5. I agree with WW that starting with the country is better, but even that isn't exact as most people would say the result isn't really a criminal.

      Years ago I was the one associated with the SITA country, though not its etymological cousin.

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  36. Is the kind of criminal one word or two words?

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    1. Dave, one word each, for both legitimate answers.

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    2. Thanks, WW. This should be a very easy puzzle, but I'm stumped.

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  39. I got nuthin'. Been on vacation and my brain cannot get past 'kind/type of criminal'-stupid, dumb, unlucky, or guilty or innocent.

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  40. A certain large feline without its auditory faculty would've figured this out more quickly than I did.

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  41. Finally cracked it. Geeeez. And to think that part of my ancestry is from there. And I once saw a patient who was this type of criminal. Now that that's over, I can finish my work, prepare for a commercial audition I have tomorrow, have a cig, and the return to my fun FB chain of puns leading up to National Pun Day on the 15th!

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    1. From your pic I'm guessing you got the LITA answer. I hope that's not a racist comment.

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    2. Although I do see Lee has the ability to chat on. . .

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  42. I can neither confirm nor deny since I don't know what the SITA answer is, but I feel assured that my answer is the one Will is after. And I didn't indicate what percentage of ancestry, so I suppose anything is possible. Except WS not using endless amounts of anagrams. Maybe there's a crime in there somewhere. Play-giarism?

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  43. Finally got it. Lots of clues that fell upon deaf ears, but I'm glad that I stuck with them.

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  44. The energizer bunny went to jail. He was charged with battery.

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    1. Take that with a grain assault ...

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    2. I was going to make a pun about Morse Code but decided to leave that to the pundits.

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    3. How does America refer to a shaved Secretariat? A horse with no mane.

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    4. Good one.

      Or Secretariat with lettuce leaves? A horse with romaine.

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    5. Wasn't Lot's wife charged with assault?

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    6. Naw, Lot's wife was just assaulted! ...and then I think pilloried.

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    7. Arson is a yellow dwarf.

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    8. ^^^ jan's late-in-the-game clue that inflames ;-). I may have read it on Match.com.

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    9. Punning like this basically exploits ambiguous meanings of similar-sounding words. Sometimes, this isn't so innocent. (This was the scariest article I've read in a long time. If you have a smart speaker, you might as well leave your front door unlocked at all times, and keep your checkbook, credit cards and jewelry on the lawn, along with that Post-it with all your passwords on it.)

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    10. jan, very scary. I would not want one in my home. Although, maybe we can order pizza py, romaine, & yak.

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    11. jan, Can we get this new technology to force Trump's device to tweet: I confess, I am a Russian paid spy and hate fundamentalist idiots who think I am on their side.?

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  45. Unfortunately, I have a dental appointment at the witching hour today (Thursday) so I won’t be joining you then. FYI, I submitted the SITA criminal / LITA country answer albeit with some hesitation. Anyway, I’ll catch up with you guys later.

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    1. Chuck,
      It really shouldn't matter if you are at the dentist at posting time; I'm sure your dentist knows the drill.

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    2. There'll be enough of us here to fill the cavity your absence will create.

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    3. SZ, I think you may got to the root of it.

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  47. Given the image Blaine chose this week, I am looking forward to your off-the-cuff remarks.

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  48. Thanks to Erbium's nice hint and sdb's useful validation, I was finally able to come up with what I believe is the intended answer during a period of wakefulness last night.
    I wish more posters had emphasized the fact that the answer does NOT involve criminality, but mental illness.

    I suppose the alternative (gasp) answer might not have that fatal failing, but I won't know until noon PDT.

    I will make one of my rare submissions to be sure that the PM knows of this flaw (if he is told, of course).

    If any of you did not make the point in your first submission, there is still time to send an addendum. I assume the the ability to do so ends at the deadline.

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    1. Mendo Jim,

      Thanks for posting this. After I saw it I got an answer
      immediately. I actually thought of it on Sunday, and ruled it
      out because I did not think it was necessarily criminal....

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  49. Speaking as a psychotherapist, I don't see why mental illness and criminality need be mutually exclusive. I once had to call the cops on a psychotic patient who signed me up for a subscription to Columbia House and sent me 11 death metal cds. We now have it on record. Besides, money launderers are filthy rich and counterfeiters never make any real money.

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    Replies
    1. Bravo!
      You had me there for a second. The last sentence gave it away.

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    2. When we do a kitchen renovation we take it for granite that the counterfeiters are stoned.

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    3. eco,
      Once again you have managed to sink to another low level. I feel drained.

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    4. When you do a kitchen renovation, do you remain at their disposal?

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  50. SDB, I actually AM a therapist and that is a true story.

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    1. Lee W,
      Yes I was well aware you are a therapist, but, (and how should I couch this?) were you there a pissed therapist or perhaps a therapissed? That part I had no trouble believing, that he sent in a subscription in your name, but did you actually call the cops? If so, what did they do? If he didn't have a cell phone or Walkman in his hand they couldn't shoot him. Maybe they just put him in a choke hold and let it go at that. I thin the record should be made public. I also am now wondering how Freud would have made a sexual connection.

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  51. I just has another "We are Blaine" bumper sticker on the car behind me. I think it was a sign!

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    1. Since you have now seen two of them maybe it is a co-sign.

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    2. Are you on a tangent? Of course they don't have those in cloudy Seattle.

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    3. True, but I am feeling a bit rusty today.

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    4. VAGABOND >>> GABON

      and

      PYROMANIAC >>> ROMANIA

      "Coupon" refers to the 1964 Gabon coup.

      "Although I do see Lee has the ability to chat on. . ." >>> or that he has the gift of GAB ON.

      I prefer answer one over two as PYROMANIAC is a person with the mental illness; ARSONIST is the criminal. All pyromaniacs are not arsonists.

      While being a VAGABOND can indeed be considered a lifestyle, in some municipalities it is, indeed, considered a crime.

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  52. Sigmund never had cds. I'm told he often phoned it in. He had violated parole and sent it to the agency under Lee Wibitchman, so we called the cops. The first two wouldn't take it seriously, so I called Columbia House myself and they told me it was under that patient's name, so now we had grounds to notify the police. When I started suggesting "hate crime," they took me seriously. The chief of police came himself and said, "well, this is kinda like a high school prank." I said, "Well, we have actual psychotic patients here and this one was court-mandated for beating up his parole officer." Then he wrote it up and as I escorted him out the waiting area, he said, "I guess you see a lot of crazies" and I said, "We prefer to call them whack-a-doodles." Now I need to switch to pizza puns for this commercial audition...

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    1. It makes more sense now. It reminds me of the old advertising trick of record companies getting us to pay a penny for the first record and then so much a month. I thought it to be centsless.

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    2. Oh, and speaking of CDs. Doesn't cross dressing go all the way back to Roman times?

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  53. Proving yet again that crime doesn't pay.

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    1. Then just how do you explain Trump's fortune?

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  54. Not sure, but I do know that a honeymoon salad has lettuce alone without dressing.

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  55. I think I best leaf that to the Christians.

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    1. Maybe so, but do you really want to abort the conversation?

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  56. PYROMANIAC, ROMANIA

    > The Wikipedia entry for this says it is distinct from a crime.

    PYROMANIA is an impulse control disorder, not the same as arson.

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  57. Criminal: Pyromaniac. Country: Romania.

    I’m still not 100% comfortable with this, as the definition of a pyromaniac is an individual with an uncontrollable desire to set things on fire. As long as the desire is satisfied by burning things like candles, firewood, campfires, and bonfires (with proper authorization) there is no crime. Setting fire to someone else’s property (without authorization) would be criminal.

    As to my, “Elvis,” comment. Elvis’s last top 10 hit (on the U. S. charts) was his 1972 recording of Burning Love. Someone who loves burning just might be a pyromaniac.

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  58. 1. ROMANIAPYROMANIAC, “a kind of criminal.” (a future arsonist?)

    2. GABONVAGABOND, an idle wandering beggar or thief.

    The Wikipedia entry says: The term vagabond is derived from Latin vagabundus. In Middle English, vagabond originally denoted a criminal. I believe this is the better (intended) answer.

    My clue: “barnburner” → pyromaniac.

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  59. VAGABOND > GAGON is may favorite answer as it used to be a criminal offense to be a vagabond.

    PYROMANIAC > ROMANIA is acceptable, but only if you believe a pyromaniac is necessarily an arsonist. Pyromania being a mental illness, whereas arsonists are criminals.

    My Hint:

    "This one may have me scratching my head all day. And then again, it may not."
    ...scratching my head... or wondering.

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  60. VAGABOND >>> GABON

    and

    PYROMANIAC >>> ROMANIA

    "Coupon" refers to the 1964 Gabon coup.

    "Although I do see Lee has the ability to chat on. . ." >>> or that he has the gift of GAB ON.

    I prefer answer one over two as PYROMANIAC is a person with the mental illness; ARSONIST is the criminal. All pyromaniacs are not arsonists.

    While being a VAGABOND can indeed be considered a lifestyle, in some municipalities it is, indeed, considered a crime.

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    1. I thought coupon referred to G(r)rabOn coupons (www.grabon.in), the .in relating back to Will's India(na) on air puzzle.

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    2. And, I forgot, "Crimea River" pointed fairly close to ROMANIA. But, not so close as to be torched by Blaine.

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    4. WW,
      My understanding is that the crime is vagrancy with the criminal being a vagrant. Have never heard of anyone being charged with being a Vagabond. Will be interested to see which answer WS gives on Sunday.

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    5. By Maryland statute (and I am sure there are many others) "Rogue and Vagabond" is a crime.

      There's more description here.

      I don't believe you will find a statute prohibiting pyromania; the law prohibits arson.

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    6. Rogue and Vagabond Car Theft could be described as rogue gain, which would be hair raising to say the least.

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    7. Mort Canard, I agree it will be interesting to see what Will says. Were Will in a court of law, rather than the NPR puzzle venue, the facts would point definitively to VAGABOND in statutes as a crime. There is not, to my understanding, a statute where one is charged with PYROMANIA.

      skydiveboy, thanks for being our hairy court jester!

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    8. Thanks, but are Romanians noted for being Pyromaniacs who commit inside job arson?

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  61. Phew. Relieved to know that it wasn't a dig, WW. I embedded my clue in my lengthy chat...I had a cig. Now I gotta pizza out.

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    1. No dig, Lee. But, given your profession, I was surprised to see you referring to pyromaniacs as criminals. . .

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  62. Replies
    1. Paul, although, "fiddling while Rome burned" is historically inaccurate, eh? No more violins/ence!

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  63. To (2 homophone) state this puzzle is both loose and not a bit loose at the same time is obvious: VA + GA + bond (as glue is not loose) = VaGABONd, someone who may be at a loose end.

    By the definition of "a person who wanders from place to place without a home or job" I would have been a vagabond while travelling in Europe for 6 months.

    pyROMANIAc

    Bonus Answer: Name a current politician, change one letter and reverse for a country: Marine Le Pen --> Nepal, which is not associated with the marine world.

    Bonus On-air answers: familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word ends -IN and the second word starts D-

    17. So quiet you can hear a pin drop
    18. Annoyance for singer B. J. Thomas: rain drop
    19. Entry for remote house (or for a room on a ship): cabin door
    20. Jello, for example. gelatin dessert
    21. TV program about a famous physicist: Einstein Documentary
    22. East Asian water bird species: Mandarin Duck
    23. Toy musical instrument that was the title of a Günter Grass novel turned into a movie: (The) Tin Drum
    24. French term relating to the end of the century, especially 19th Century (3 words): fin de siecle

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  64. I'm not surprised that Will the Short went 0 for 2.
    A vagabond is not a kind of criminal either.
    It should make for an interesting "remind us" segment Sunday.

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  65. I thought if vagabond first but discarded it. Too bad...:) Had answer all along. No call this week.

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  66. Pyromaniac --> Romania

    Last Sunday I said, “I won’t point out an obvious clue here” as in one of the Pointer Sisters’ biggest hits, Fire, which charted #2 nationally in 1978.

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  67. Well, the very first intake I did at that counseling center was a guy who grew up in the foster care system and he would set buildings on fire. I suspect most criminals have mental health issues.

    Just back from my pizza commercial audition. I know it sounds cheezy but the casting director liked my Goodfellas impersonation at the end, "Wanna pizza me? You wanna pizza me?!!"

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  68. "A pyromaniac is a rare disorder. A study proves that only 2% of all the fire-setting behaviors committed are attributed to pyromania."

    The differences between the two are described by Manny Francis, III:

    “You see, the major difference between you and me,”
    said one friend to another,
    “is I don’t want to set the world on fire.
    I just want to watch it burn.”



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  69. My clue from earlier in the week was "Earless Kitteh? Just fooling".

    The Earless Kitteh is Def Leppard for their album "Pyromania". Foolin' is one of the hit songs from the album.

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    1. Sorry for stealing your clue! I should've made the Earless Kitteh connection.

      Gunter glieben glauten globen, everyone!

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    2. Not a problem. Would have been surprised if I was the only one who made the connection.

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  70. ROMANIA, PYROMANIA or GABON, VAGABOND
    The "Three's Company" reference involved an episode where somehow Ralph Furley was invited to the roommates' apartment to entertain Lana. For some unknown reason, whenever Lana showed she was more interested in Jack, he'd quickly respond by making up some obscure trivia about dating in Romania. "The Andy Griffith Show" featured a much easier episode to explain: Aunt Bee tried to prove to Andy that men are much worse gossips than women. By the end, her point is made thanks to the arrival of a rather depressed traveling shoe salesman. Andy and the other men in town somehow get it in their collective head that the salesman is actually a scout for a major talent show on TV, and go to pretend to see him about buying shoes, all the while auditioning for him as he's trying to do his actual job. One of the auditioners is Barney, who decides to play tunes for him on his harmonica. One of the songs Barney suggests is "I'm Just A Vagabond Lover".
    The only other VAGABOND reference I am familiar with is the title of the Three Stooges short "Vagabond Loafers", which I can only assume plays off the aforementioned song title(unless vagabonds have been known to wear "loafers", which I doubt).
    Spoiler alert: The shoe salesman gains some new-found confidence in the end, thanks to all his customers "serenading" him while they're buying the shoes.
    I understand these references to ROMANIA and VAGABOND
    may not be the best, most perfect uses of the words within their contexts in both shows, but they are the only ones that came to mind at the time. Perhaps the most interesting thing about them is that both feature Don Knotts. Mere coincidence, I assure you.

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  71. Answers to the unused on air challenge clues.

    On-air challenge: The theme of this week's puzzle is Indiana. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word ends -IN and the second word starts D-.
    Example: Appliance at a laundromat —> COIN DRYER

    10. British prime minister of the 1860s and '70s —> Benjamin Disraeli
    15. It might result in beriberi or rickets —> Vitamin Deficiency
    16. Czech who composed the "New World Symphony" —> Antonin Dvorak

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  72. When I realized the intended crime was probably Pyromania, I wondered if the third oldest crime ever, might be the great pyramid scheme perpetrated on the ancient pharaohs??

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  73. Since the answers we seem to agree are Wills' intended ones are both fatally flawed, here are two that do sort of work:
    Peggy offered "ponzi" with nz (NZ for New Zealand) left over. I think that we can invent the noun for guys like ponzi Bernie Madoff.
    There is also "fraud" with au (AU for Australia) left over.
    The noun is already in use fur guys like fraud Donald Trump.
    Related crimes and countries is close proximity.

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    Replies
    1. What do you mean, "We," kemosabe? There are those among us who find the puzzle to be acceptable, if not perfect, as being a vagabond is, and has been, considered criminal behavior at times and places.

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    2. Thank you for reading carefully, skydiveboy.
      I said that we agreed on the intended answers, not their unacceptability.

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    3. You are the one who seems to be having difficulty with reading comprehension.

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  74. On an even happier note there are now more signs of water on Mars!

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  75. Think of a two-word phrase a child might shout when walking in the front door. Rearrange the letters and add an "E" at the end, and you get the next two words the child might shout. These are both common expressions. What are they?

    That took 5 seconds to solve...

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  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

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