Sunday, June 17, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 17, 2018): Four-letter American Companies

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 17, 2018): Four-letter American Companies:
Q: Think of a familiar hyphenated 7-letter word. The first 4 letters name a prominent American company, and the last 4 letters name a different prominent American company. What word is it?


A: Vis-à-vis (Visa, Avis)

134 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. Not much to say regarding this puzzle

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    1. With regard to this puzzle, I was fortunate to have gotten it in the first 500 seconds (less than 10 minutes).

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  3. Ironic that a 'book' has pretty much done away with this.

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  4. I am expecting many fewer entries this week than last.

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    1. Considering that winning entries no longer need to meet the criteria of the challenges, I expect the number of entries to rise dramatically. :D

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    2. I don't understand the reluctance to using a quick web search to 1) verify answers, 2) check on recently-run repeat puzzles, or 3) anything else. Are Will and his aides Uber-Luddites (irony intended)?

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    3. How did the winning entry not meet the challenge criteria?

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    4. Never mind. I saw one page that referred to it by the same name as the film, but apparently that wasn’t the actual name of the tv show.

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    5. The name of the tv show was “Mama,” not “I remember Mama.”

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  5. The answer is also a television show.

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  6. The answer is also a vehicle.

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  7. My favorite kind of Sunday puzzle: no mistakes and soluble before getting out of bed.

    I haven't looked at the runners-up yet, but I can't believe that there aren't better submissions to be found there, not to mention the other 1300.
    Wee Willy blew another "creative" challenge.

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  8. The downy woodpeckers are dominating our hummingbird feeder this week. I wouldn't mind an ivory-billed, but these guys are annoying.

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    1. She sure is beautiful, though. {Lack of the red spot on the back of her head makes me think the bird is female.} Have you seen her male counterpart?

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    2. That's not my photo. Got lazy and used one from online. I think I've seen both sexes at my feeder. My wife likes them; I just see them as freeloaders and bullies. But they're here just as a lead-in to my clue.

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    3. Ah, I see.

      I like this puzzle.

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    4. To give the devils their due:
      A woodpecker had its nest in our BOQ behind asbestos shingles broken by golf balls. The bird's noise bothered an unpopular officer who managed to have the shingles replaced with clapboards. However, the civilian repair crew left a hole for the bird and the noise continued.

      Compared with recent puzzles: this week's puzzle is most satisfactory.

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    5. hugh, I concur. This puzzle is a delight.

      As to your woodpecker story, wooden you know it?!

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  9. We didn't need two weeks for coming up with qualifying submissions, but Will Shortz apparently needed more time to choose a submission that qualified.

    I recall this overly sentimental program, and it was called, MAMA. The lead-in always ended with, "But most of all, I remember mama." A real tear jerker.

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    1. I forgot to mention that I no longer freequent the Museum Of Modern Art because all the laughter makes it difficult to appreciate the exhibits.

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    2. skydiveboy, I see you are horsing around again.

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    3. But being an accomplished joker will not help this week.

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  10. Pfft... Last week's non-compliance with the rules demonstrates that Will is just phoning it in these days. No offense to the chosen entry, but I did not think it was all that clever. But what do I know. My NYT xword submissions generally "don't excite" Will. I also don't think that Michelle Wolf is very funny.

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  11. Not the intended answer, but CASE-BAY also works.

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    1. I'm not that familiar with Case tractors. Is their overall design somewhat FORD-ISH, perhaps?

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

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  13. Getting back to the creative challenge, we were robbed. BTW my mom's favorite entry was MR. ROGET'S NEIGHBORHOOD.

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  14. Seems like 1300 entries averaging 2.5 offerings each is about 3300.
    Absolute minimum of 15 seconds each works out to about 14 hours of reading.
    How he loves us.
    It is incredible that he only shared the mutated titles and gave the what he said he would judge for for only one.

    He screwed this up even more that I expected.

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  15. I should have solved this one earlier.

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  16. Isn't the Saudi Arabian leadership just a bit sheikhy these days?

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  17. It looks like WS was his most scintillating self this week. I wonder if he has ever chuckled or laughed at anything. Or even commentated on something. He sounds like a board talking to itself. How in the world has he ever made it in radio!!
    This creative challenge should have drawn a lot more commentary from him. .

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Dowager Empress:
      The answer to your question is YES. You can listen for yourself where he laughed at my quip last year.


      Sunday Puzzle: Math Is Necessary To Solve This One, But Don't Get Fancy

      May 28, 2017 • Lulu Garcia-Navarro and Will Shortz play the Sunday Puzzle with winner Mark Scott of Seattle, Wash.

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  18. Joseph Young's Puzzleria! (see Blaine's "PUZZLE LINKS" to access it) has a new-and-improved and less cluttered look. We believe it to be "cleaner, snappier" and more accessible. Please visit us to see if you agree.
    We still offer a generous menu of puzzles each Friday, but are now featuring one "special of the week," which we call the "Schpuzzle of the Week"... ("If you have time for only one schpuzzle, bite into this one!").

    Since Puzzleria! began in May of 2014 I have stubbornly ignored repeated well-meaning and constructive suggestions by people with visual and artistic sense superior to mine. Their concensus was that I make the appearance of Puzzleria! more "clean" and user-friendly.
    On Blaine's blog, for example, people like ecoarchitect (an actual architect who knows a thing or two about visual attractiveness) have taken their time to post concrete ideas that would make my blog more inviting.

    Others have also offered honest and helpful suggestions, including Word Woman, who launched her own very attractive, accessible, successful, informative and entertaining Partial Ellipsis Of The Sun (PEOTS) blog late in 2013.
    Word Woman (who helped me get my Puzzleria! blog up-and-running) has also greatly encouraged and assisted me in this visual updating of my blog. My thanks to her and to all who have given me advice during the past four years.

    LegoNewAndImproved(WellAtLeastHisBlogIs)AndWhoFondlyRemembersHisMamaButDoesNotRememberThisMama

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    1. Go, lego! It looks great.

      {And thanks for the PEOTS plug. . .}

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Thanks, Word Woman. One thing I learned is that while the heavenly firmament would be diminished sans seraphs, a "heavenly font" is not at all diminished sans serifs.

      LegoWhoNotOnlyDoesNotRememberMama(AsPortrayedByPeggyWood)ButAlsoDoesNotRememberHowToSpellConsensusOrSans!

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  19. You can use a product form the first company to procure a product from the other.

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    1. . . . on the birdwatchers’ world tour.

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  20. Not many comments this week - is everyone taking a pass or just not trying? Is WW the only one to endorse this puzzle?

    Maybe you're desperate for a Bonus Puzzle? Not great, the best I can do at the moment:
    Bonus Puzzle #1: Name a very large American Company, remove one letter and the result will be something you find in buildings, usually large commercial buildings or hotels. Hint: the company makes something I hope no one here uses. And the name of one of its divisions is probably better known than the parent.

    Pretty lame, visit Lego land for better puzzles in a new easy to read format.

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    1. Don't blame me. I've been hinting with such frequency that it hurts.

      Yeah, this is a pretty good puzzle.

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    2. Hugh liked it, too. Who? Hugh, Hugh's on first. . .

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    3. I think this is the best puzzle in a long time here. It is elegant, well presented and clever. That being said, I did not enjoy solving it. I found it tedious, and I do not enjoy tedium. Part of my not enjoying the solving is that I never use this word. I am very familiar with it, but it never comes to mind, so I had to work hard to solve it. Once I did solve it I liked it, but that did not change my not enjoying the solving process.

      I could say more about it, but do not want to give anything away until after the deadline tomorrow.

      I, too, noticed a lack of posting this week. I imagine there will be few submissions.

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    4. SDB: Wah wah wah!
      - Corey

      I thought the puzzle was fine, I was just trying to work in some additional hints.

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    5. Thanks for the plug, eco.
      I haven't solved your Bonus Puzzle #1 yet. But I have removed one letter and one HYPHEN (only one) from a large German company resulting in something Calderesque that you might find in large commercial buildings or hotels... or chiming in the breeze on back porches and decks.

      LegoChimingIn...

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  21. I posted my approval of this week's puzzle early Sunday.

    The more I think about the previous "creative" two week challenge, the more it becomes clear that it may surpass the impossible one of years ago as the worst one ever.

    The way Will Shortz uses the next broadcast to account and apologize for the mistakes, hyperbole and insults to his millions of listeners might determine the future of the Sunday Puzzle.

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  22. Apropos of nothing, it took me this long to solve it. But, I’ve been pretty involved with learning new stuff at a new job.

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  23. I found the answer Sunday night and thought this was a very clever puzzle! Besides, the answer to this week's puzzle is tough to clue in! 
    I was not impressed by the just concluded puzzle. For me, it just kinda took the fun and challenge out of the Sunday puzzle. Let's face it, the last puzzle did not merit a flag hugging moment!

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    1. 68C:
      Is that Trump's audition photo for Dancing With The Stars?

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    2. Betsy Ross must be turning over in her grave!!

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    3. 68C:
      Actually that is a shrouded mystery.

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    4. WW:
      Are you saying this is a vexnation?

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    5. WW - I didnt know all that! Thanks for the info!

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    6. Can we still say Betsy Ross earned her stripes?

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    7. sdb, yes, assuredly, since 1/20/17, a mere 19 months ago, to the day.

      Unflagging support, indeed. /i (irony).

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    8. 68C, no problem. Flag on the (word)play, eh?

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    9. WW:
      I guess you are demonstrating 20/20 vision.

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    10. Trump should know that STAR anagrams to RATS.

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    11. sdb, no stars in my eyes. Betsy Ross may have had stars in her eyes, though, as she likely changed the points on the stars from 6 to 5.

      What was your point again?

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    12. Nope, different time frame.

      It was just easier to sew.

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    13. I guess I forgot she was an old sew and sew with stars in her eyes.

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    14. At times, she seamed stressed ;-).

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    15. I wouldn't want to ban her.

      Here's a link to my well-worn protest sign, I'm now inspired to call it New Glory.

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  24. I hate to be the one to say this, but if you check this week's Puzzleria!, Legolambda has used this week's answer somewhere in the text. I was just there revealing my answers for the week, and there it was!

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    1. You are correct,cranberry. I am truly clairvoyant!

      LegoLamvoyant

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  25. I will go out on a limb here to say this is the best NPR Sunday puzzle in several years.

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    1. I'll tell you what I liked best about it tomorrow.

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    2. Paul, looking forward to it. I liked what was not stated.

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    3. So, we started this week ragging on Will for phoning it in with his pick of last week's contest, and now we're saying he's trying harder?

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    4. jan, indeed, although there are those here who will not budge in their assessment of the PM.

      In general, Will seems to stumble most on the creative challenges.

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    5. I especially enjoyed being surprised by two hyphens. I'd call it a "clean" trick.

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  26. Glad to hear that Donald Trump has announced the creation of the. "Space Force" the other day. I feel much safer now.

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    1. I bet he finds your lack of faith disturbing.

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    2. Can anyone come up with a cool logo for the Space Soldiers?

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    3. I like your idea there, but how about this one!

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    4. Sigh. Yet another distraction from November 2018.

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  27. There is an old saying about "the fox guarding the hen house." It just this moment occurred to me that we have a new reality of FOX guarding the White House.

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  28. Isn't this also a brand of markers?

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    1. Bailey D., yes, indeed. I used Vis-a-Vis markers daily to annotate aerial photographs in stereo to make geologic maps for ten years. In retrospect, maybe that's why the answer came relatively quickly. . .

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  29. For an unrelated reason I just went back and re-read the description for last week's challenge:

    The object is to pitch a TV show idea to one of the networks, either broadcast or cable, in which your TV show's title is just one letter different from an existing show's title, past or present. Name your TV show and summarize it in 15 words or less.

    I don't know why I didn't notice this before, but how can a defunct show be "existing"? I have no existing grandparents simply because they all decided it was time for them to die, I guess. I do, however, still have an existing brother.

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    1. As long as there are reruns, syndication, and in home video, TV shows are forever!

      Aren't you the guy who is certain about our past lives? Does that not mean your grandparents are still extant, just in a different form? I'm certain my reincarnation will be as a sewage ejector pump (with integral grinder). In fact that may be my existence now.

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  30. Good for Melania, for going down to the border to check the immigrant facilities in Texas!!
    My concern, is that I hope the door locks to the White House have not been re-keyed in her absence.

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  31. This puzzle reminds me of a trip to the airport.

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  32. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/06/20/dhs_sec_kirstjen_nielsen_driven_out_of_mexican_restaurant_by_democratic_socialists_of_america_shame.html

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    1. Bet she'll pick a more private diner's club next time.

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    2. I thought she made a rather attractive piñata, sitting there with her date who probably didn't manage to score that night.

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  33. Vis-à-vis >>> Visa, Avis

    "Horsing around" refers to the origin of vis-à-vis as in 'a small two-seater carriage, in which the passengers sat face-to-face' and were pulled by a horse or horses.

    "I will go out on a limb here to say this is the best NPR Sunday puzzle in several years." »»» If you go out on a limb/frond, especially in the tropics, you might end up in a facePALM. I suspect many performed a facepalm when this answer came to them.

    "jan, indeed, although there are those here who will not budge in their assessment of the PM.
    In general, Will seems to stumble most on the creative challenges." riffed off jan's AVIS trying harder clue to two other rent-a-car companies, Budget and General.

    Paul, I especially liked that the double hyphen was not stated in the puzzle, but was not not-stated.

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  34. VIS-A-VIS: VISA, AVIS

    > It's all Latin to me.

    All three terms are from Latin (in one case, via French).

    > I AM EXpecting many fewer entries this week than last.

    > The downy woodpeckers are dominating our hummingbird feeder this week. I wouldn't mind an ivory-billed, but these guys are annoying.

    An ivory-billed woodpecker is a rara AVIS indeed.

    > But being an accomplished joker will not help this week.

    Being a MASTER CARD won't do it.

    > Don't blame me. I've been hinting with such frequency that it hurts.

    HERTZ.

    > So, we started this week ragging on Will for phoning it in with his pick of last week's contest, and now we're saying he's TRYING HARDER?

    > I say, give 'em back to Mexico. (Remember the ALAMO?)

    > Bet she'll pick a more private DINERS CLUB next time.

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  35. After stumbling onto the answer while perusing a list of prominent companies, I couldn't help but think of Edgar Rubin's famouse vase (although I'd never heard of Edgar Rubin before). Free association led to Jerry Rubin, who apparently authored a book entitled DO IT!: Scenarios of the Revolution. When jan posted his Latin hint, which struck me as a bit TMI, I decided to sow a bit of confusion. Just do it is, of course, the slogan of a 4-letter company named for a Greek goddess.

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  36. Vis-a-vis ---> visa, avis

    As others have pointed out vis-a-vis is used for many things, including a Spanish TV show.

    Rob noted it's also a vehicle, a buggy used by the Amish, almost amiss.

    is everyone taking a pass or just not trying? Is WW the only one to endorse this puzzle?: a visa allows you to pass into another country, and trying refers to Avis' "We Try Harder" campaign. Also, a visa is technically an endorsement on your passport.

    Bonus Answer #1: Altria (parent company to Philip Morris and Reynolds Tobacco), remove the "l" for atria.

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  37. Trump is asking the Pentagon to prepare to house 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children on military bases. Probably so they can get ready to march in his big Veterans Day parade.

    Meanwhile, Melania goes to tour the detention centers wearing a jacket that says, "I really don't care. Do U?" Her suggestion for feeding those kids likely includes, "Let them eat cake."

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    1. jan, I thought this was surely a joke. . .

      But, it's not.

      And yet it is. A very cruel one.

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    2. I wonder if they're as surprised as we are to discover how much they can get away with?

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    3. She went to a very small center (60 kids) that was established in 2014 for children who arrived unaccompanied - our own Theresienstadt. And she still has that vapid, almost Quayle-like look, and what she said reinforces that impression. At least she's only dumb and ill-informed.

      Maybe the Trumpsters want to use those kids to make Ivanka brand products, avoiding tariffs with China.

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    4. Yeah, beware when Mel says “I’ve got your back!”

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    5. She had a great opportunity to show some compassion and it appears she blew it! Why would she have worn that stupid jacket??

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    6. Her version of a flak (Fliegerabwehrkanone) jacket to deflect any semblance of caring?

      The irony looms large. If one really doesn’t care, one could not possibly want to know the answer to “Do you?”

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    7. Oblivious? Spiteful? Or perhaps both? This article offers one explanation.

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  38. If you want to learn about Trump and what motivates him, this interview tells it all:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8bAHb4yVko

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  39. VIS-A-VIS, VISA, AVIS
    I was so tempted to say something about our "trying harder" on the next creative challenge, but in the end I figured that would be too much of a giveaway to the AVIS part.

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  40. The Time Magazine cover was okay, but since the American Tass Force (Fox, National Review, etc) is up in arms that the girl was not taken away, here's my alternate.

    PS I claim full copyright to the term "American Tass Force" (smiley thing!)

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  41. I have heard DJT's sister, Donaldova may offer to take in a few kids to help out on the farm...  

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    1. I see she has been spayed (spade) to keep her from having children.

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  42. Thousands of Bourbon Barrels Come Crashing Down in Kentucky.

    1. On the same day EU tariffs on American bourbon go into force?

    2. We still have an EPA?

    3. They worry about bourbon in the water?

    4. This reminds me of the Great Boston Molasses Disaster.

    5. Is that where the expression about molasses in January comes from?

    6. Also reminds me of driving on I-95 behind a tanker of nitrous oxide in a Florida thunderstorm, thinking of the possibilities....

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    1. Bizarre.

      "95 percent of the world’s bourbon supply is crafted in Kentucky, where it is an $8.5 billion industry." Number 1 will hit Kentucky hard.

      Number 2 is a sad and valid question.

      Number 3. Good point.

      4. and 5. Got any facts on the molasses industry production? I'll understand if you are s l o w getting back.

      Number 6. Hahaha. Haha. Ha. Hahahaha.

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  43. Next week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from Joseph Young of St. Cloud, Minn., who conducts the weekly blog "Puzzleria." Think of a well-known commercial name in 9 letters. Change both the fourth and ninth letters to X's and you'll get two other familiar commercial names, one after the other. What names are these?

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    1. Congrats, Lego! Good puzzle.

      Two weeks in a row with "ads" here in Blainesville.

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    2. Paul Simon would approve of this puzzle!!

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    3. K tam rjznj mh r fzkqls myov im rjv fhcnu oe aqdmdpev (amb ccsn nqcisgej). Cnsnu is zg?

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    4. Ok, I knew it was a "CRAZY" suggestion, but now I see I even forgot how to count.

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  44. "Roughly 400" correct entries last week.

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    1. Yeah, I thought it was a bit of a tough puzzle. A seven letter word with TWO hyphens probably threw a lot of folks.

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  45. eXcellent puzzle, Joe. Clever clues may come later, not so clever clues certainly will.

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