Sunday, June 24, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 24, 2018): X Marks the Spot

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 24, 2018): X Marks the Spot:
Q: 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?
I didn't realize how many commercial names contain X. Trix, Timex...

Edit: Perhaps a little too obvious -- a cereal and a watch brand.
A: CHEVROLET --> CHEX, ROLEX

189 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. Paul Simon would approve of this puzzle.

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    5. Answer this week was Chevrolet --> Chex, Rolex.

      Paul Simon the politician, not the singer was known for wearing bowties. The Chevrolet logo is known as a bowtie.

      I have no idea whay Paul thought this was Too Much Information.

      Delete
    6. Mort,
      The short answer is, I didn't.
      I searched in vain for THYME as an ingredient in CHEX MIX, but I found that TAMARIND is vital to Worcestershire sauce, which is essential for Chex Mix, and decided on that as my hint. I don't recall if it was the Paul Simon reference, or something else, that prompted that search.
      I can only speculate about Buck and WW's comments; my best guess is Buck posted a comment that didn't suit him (typo, perhaps), deleted and replaced it, and the replacement comment didn't suit WW, who called the Authority, who dealt with the matter.
      Your 7:01 AM comment, as I recall, was something along the lines of "why is this TMI?" Noticing the matching letter sequences, I couldn't resist. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. If you prefer the shorter version, I can't say I blame you.

      Delete
    7. Paul,
      Ok, No harm, no foul. Couldn't tell what you were up to and the caps spelling TMI made me wonder. I don't know what Buck had posted but I know that WW had suggested that his last post be pulled down by Buck or by the Admin. He had already pulled the offending post himself.

      Be Well! Mort

      Delete
  3. Hot off the AP wire (@AP, these days): this puzzle is rated XXX.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Replace the last three letters from the nine-letter word with one letter and there's another brand name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And one that is somewhat related to the 9 letter one...

      Delete
    2. Actually there are or were two separate companies with the seven letter brand name that are somewhat related to the nine letter brand.

      Delete
    3. Actually three separate companies with 7 letters.

      And if you replace the middle letter in one of the shorter brands (one has to be odd numbered, no giveaway there) you get another brand that has become a standard term for that product - like Kleenex for tissues.

      I suspect not everyone is familiar with that brand, even though you are probably using it right now, or its competitor.

      Delete
    4. Calm down, eco. You seem wired.

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    5. A competitor of the 9-letter word had a logo consisting of two of the 7-letter words.

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    6. ecoarchitect, Had forgotten all about the third seven letter company. Don't know that I have ever seen their product.

      Delete
    7. The answer to the challenge was Chevron. There are at least three companies that have used the Chevron brand

      1. Chevron Corporation - A multinational Energy company.
      2. Chevron Cars Ltd. - A British racing car constructor.
      3. Chevron Engineering Ltd. A New Zealand Kit car manufacturer.

      Number 3 is the one I had heard about but forgot till eco's comment made me go look for it.

      Am not sure if these are the same ones ecoarchitect had in mind or not.

      Delete
    8. I'd never heard of #2 or #3, but Wikipedia knows all.

      I have a hard hat with #1's logo, one of these days I will change the name to Chevwrong.

      Delete
  5. We can rely on Lego for X-L-N puzzles.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Only one unused clue in the on air challenge.

    On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "Just So." Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the initials S-O.

    Ex. Eye, ear, or nose --> SENSORY ORGAN

    5. Chemical compound with the symbol Na2O →

    As usual don't post the answers till everybody has a chance to solve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The answer to this weeks unused on air challenger is Sodium Oxide.

      Delete
  7. Well, this proved easier than it originally sounded.

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  8. I’m not sure how I feel about this puzzle.

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  9. For what it’s worth, Trix and Timex are a dead giveaway.

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  10. Two of the companies got their start in central Europe. The third one only sounds that way.

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  11. I'm glad I got this one. I'm already struggling with a few of this week's Puzzleria! puzzles as it is.

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  12. This week’s puzzle balances out some of the weaker ones recently. I’m glad I was able to chafe down the answer.

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  13. *chase (so much for auto correct).

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  14. What an anxious business traveler frequently does.

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  15. Replies
    1. SDB,
      Covers two of the three brands.

      Delete
    2. SDB,
      Only if you take the third brand as a diminutive for a longer word.

      Delete
    3. We'll allow it. Although, as a devotee of that which ties the brands together, I have never heard that particular diminutive used for the longer word.

      Delete
  16. There is one clue here with a Cleverness Quotient (CQ) that is off the charts. More on Thursday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok WW which one did you find particularly clever???

      Delete
    2. Lorenzo's "Checks Rolex." See my post at 3 p.m. EST today (below).

      Delete
  17. Replies
    1. Snipper, that's an ingenious use of anti-autocorrect.

      Delete
  18. Snipper, This site does not spel check. That is why I am always deleting my posts. Glad my computer did not crash today so I could submit answer.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This week: A nice, clean, unambiguous puzzle of average or above difficulty. A lot of fun.
    Note: Sent to the Puzzlemaster by Joseph Young.

    Last week: A nice, clean, unambiguous puzzle slightly easier (for me.) A lot of fun.
    Note: Sent to The Puzzlemaster by Mike Reiss.

    Two weeks combined previous: A 'creative challenge" with an incorrect answer, applying a different scoring system than specified and a claim of reading all the the correct ones (before rejecting), which will never see the light of day.
    Note: Conceived and spoiled by the Puzzlemaster himself.

    I must have missed his apology.

    ReplyDelete
  20. You know that feeling on your birthday or the winter holidays when you've unwrapped all your presents and have a bunch of leftover bows you don't know what to do with? Well, try Xbowsinet. Xbowsinet will turn your old bows into attractive napkins, wall art, wigs...you name it! Mention this ad and get 10% off your first order. Visit xbowsinet.net for more details. Offer not valid in Tennessee.

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  21. I'm an old dinosaur...not to be confused with Dinah Shore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Thanks! Now I have an earworm.

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    2. In a Dyna-Soar, you could've seen the USA in about 10 minutes.

      Delete
    3. Dinah Shore sang: "See the USA in your Chevrolet. America is asking you to call."

      Delete
  22. TWITTERET (Commercial Name for Trump Twitter Posts) → TWIX + TEREX.

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  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. DD:
      Lego probably wanted to use that for one of his spin off puzzles.

      Delete
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    3. SDB,
      I can be a bit slow on the uptake sometimes. I tumbled to your spin off allusion about 10 minutes after I deleted the bonus challenge. Color me embarrassed.

      Delete
    4. LOL
      You should repost with your answer.

      Delete
    5. The challenge was take one of the two shorter brands and insert two letters to get yet another brand.

      The answer is to take Rolex and insert OD to get Rolodex. That is why SDB alluded to a "spin off" puzzle, as most Rolodexes are spun to get to a given card.

      Delete
  24. I composed this puzzle in mid-May while bicycling to a medical appointment.
    Thank you to all who have expressed kind words about my puzzle this week. Those comments are quite gratifying and greatly appreciated.
    If a future NPR puzzle of mine "lays an egg," however, I will understand if your words are less than kind. Your constructive criticism will help me to improve my puzzle-making skills.

    LegoPotentialEggLayerAndWannabePuzzlemaster

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Lego, I enjoyed this puzzle.

      That said, I vote for a geography- or science-based puzzle next. The focus on consumerism two weeks in a row has left me thirsting for other types of puzzles, not involving consumer goods or services.

      What do you think, WPM?

      Delete
    2. Lego, you have done a truly great puzzle. I enjoyed every minute of it! I wonder how your brain works to come up with these things.

      Delete
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  25. I always enjoy an existential puzzle.

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  26. SO, I kept waiting for Significant Other.

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  27. This puzzle is driving me crazy, spending too much time trying to come up with the correct answer.

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  28. The NPR Sunday Puzzle site currently has this amusing error for last week's answer:

    Challenge answer: Visa-à-vis (Visa, Avis)

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    Replies
    1. Those interns sure are a hoot!

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    2. WW: I noticed where Jerry pointed out that error.
      I was very surprised to find no discussion of the unforgivable two-week answer.

      Delete
    3. MJ, Jerry?

      Not as surprised here.

      Delete
    4. Jerry Miller, Google Groups. Assumed you attended.

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    5. No, I just head over to Blaine's. . .

      Delete
  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. I meant to say I recall a clue from 1953......

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  31. Well, I pretty much backed into this one. I was playing around with a crossword/anagram app on my phone, trying to see if it would recognize brand names as words. Once I typed in the first brand name that came to mind, it hit me. The answer had accidentally poured out of my brain and into my phone.

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  32. Replies
    1. Watch me comport myself while my spouse deports others illegally!

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    2. Laissez-les manger du gâteau.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. Speaking of ports, the NYTimes crossword on 6/28/17, included this gem:

      “How I wish Natalie Portman dated Jacques Cousteau, so I could call them 'Portmanteau'.”

      Delete
    5. Laissez-les manger du taco

      OR

      Laissez-les manger du taco to go!

      Delete
    6. Not original, but should be easy to find "I'M WITH STUPID ->"

      Delete
    7. I believe she'd say, "Naj jedo torto."

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    8. To bi počistilo bazo fundacije

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    9. "You think you have problems? Imagine being married to the guy."

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  33. You'd think that as a retiree I'd have plenty of time to work on this puzzle, but right now, I can't afford to spend any more time on it.

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    1. No, I simply decided to spend my time visiting an exhibition of Alexander Calder's early works.

      Delete
    2. You are okay with your summer being Calder?

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    3. As long as it's warm enough to ride our motorcycles, we're fine with it.

      Delete
  34. I have heard rumors that Giuliani has been trying to get his foot in the door for a nomination to the Supreme Court... oh boy!

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    1. That wouldn't bother me so much, he's 74 years old and won't be around so long. Gorsuch is only 50.

      Right now the only hope is Corker/ McCain grow spines, and/ or Susan Collins grows a brain, and the Democrats stay together and vote down all his nominations.

      Meanwhile I'm waiting for the tooth fairy to leave a winning lottery ticket under my pillow.

      Delete
    2. I see nothing good coming out of this.
      There may even be another opening in the court, in the not no distant future, seeing how old they are getting.
      This is what happens when people don't go out & vote!

      I don't think it will happen, but some people are even throwing around Michael Cohen's name, too.

      Delete
    3. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the Democrats to cave. By the way, does France still make guillotines, and are tariffs involved?

      Delete
    4. Does it matter what the Dems do? It's another nail in the ark that builds the Christian Caliphate.

      After the economy crashes (my best guess is 6-12 months) we'll go to war again, most likely in 2020. That's based on hundreds of years of hindsight, and I'm in an optimistic mood right now.

      Delete
    5. The flattening yield curve seems to confirm your crash prediction, eco. But whom do you see us going to war with? Kim and Vlad and Xi are all our friends now. Canada, maybe?

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    6. The flattening yield curve is an indicator, and the ineptness of this administration combined with their general loathing to help economic interests outside of their sphere will bring us all the joy of Herbert Hoover. Only worse.

      He'll have to offer some distraction from the economy, especially if his morons finally figure out where the fault lies.

      His mood swings happen faster than a 3 year old, and with greater consequences. Do you really think this cretin will stay friends with any of them once they do something that displeases him?

      Delete
    7. It occurred to me as I was trying to fall asleep on November 8, 2016, that maybe we needed Herbert Hoover to get FDR. But at what cost!

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    8. This tariff thing is going to come back to bite Trump. Across town, it was announced a few weeks ago that the Harley Davidson plant would close. Now, Harley is going to move some of their operations overseas because of the tariffs. DJT is bound to start losing his base if this starts to spread.

      Delete
    9. The real funny thing is Harley Davidson used their tax break money not only to reward shareholders with a stock buyback, it's believed the extra cash allowed them to restructure, closing the KC plant and expand their plant in Thailand. Make America Grovel Again!.

      But you're in good company with Lego and St. Cloud MN.

      Delete
    10. That really sucks, but then H. Ross Perot warned us we would be hearing a giant sucking sound.

      Delete
  35. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. We'll tell you if you agree to delete your question.

      Delete
    2. Garry, now that our overseer has deleted your tmi, yes, you're on the right track.

      Delete
    3. Thanks, now that I know, I think someone at the top has a much bigger clue, imo.

      Delete
    4. I agree, there are a few clues I'd delete, but I'm only part of the gang in this Romper Room.

      It's a hard and thankless job deciding which clues are appropriate. But let's thank Blaine anyway.

      Delete
    5. I'm guilty of a possible giveaway clue too. It's always hard to figure out if a hint is too obvious or not.

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    6. At the end of the day, I hope someone will explain how my question was a dead giveaway clue. Just don’t see it.

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    7. Garry Rust, if you duckduckgo "Don McClean, commercial product, song" up come the lyrics to American Pie,  including taking that Chevy to the levee. . .

      Delete
    8. There are many, many lyrics to that song, and chevy is not a give away for the answer, any more than trix, timex! Not trying to be a hard a$$, but a lot of double standards here.

      Delete
    9. You can also argue that Don McLean was not a one hit wonder (Vincent), but American Pie is his best known, and the only commercial product mentioned is Chevy. If it makes you feel better this isn't the first deletion of a McLean reference.

      I agree Blaine's Trix/ Timex was too revealing, but in expectation of new laws, I would never openly criticize the Leader and only offer sincere, heartfelt praise to His magnificence!

      I thought Dinah Shore reference was also too much, though it's hard to know whether a clue is too obvious if you know the answer .

      Delete
    10. OK, I’ll call uncle, but most Einsteins here already have the answer. This isn’t new ground between you and I on this subject. Lol.

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    11. Garry Rust, I agree; Trix, Timex was too revealing for me as well.

      eco, I agree, it was the only commercial product in American Pie. If you click the link in my post above, it goes straight to the Chevy lyric and “This page is a list of all the songs that mention brand name products in them. Nothing more annoying than getting a commercial pitch in the middle of a song.” That’s just a click away. . .



      Delete
    12. Garry Rust, not trying to beat a dead horse here. We posted at about the same time, before I heard your uncle.

      Delete
    13. No problem, Blaine’s Timex clue gave it to me when I got Rolex. I wonder if anyone got the answer from my Don McLean reference. Just asking if we are drawing conclusions from clues.

      Delete
    14. When in doubt follow Word Woman's example of giving clues from her childhood or college days, or Denver area businesses we've never heard of.

      I wonder if those are her secret shills to boost sales for her upcoming autobiography?

      Delete
    15. eco, indeed, my AUTObiography has this working title: Tales from a Subaru-driving, Dog-loving, Word-wielding, Tobacco-sewing, Barite-hunting Colorado Geologist

      Available at The Tattered Cover Bookstore ;-)

      Delete
    16. Blainesvilleans, what are your AUTObiography titles?!

      Which local bookstore will be selling your tome of time?

      Delete
    17. MAMA NEVER TOLD ME THERE WOULD BE SO MANY UPS AND DOWNS

      Delete
    18. Seattle Elevated? ;-)

      Elliott Bay Book Company? Hugo House?

      Delete
    19. In Seattle we tend to be on the level.

      Delete
    20. When you ask for an auto biography, do you mean something like:

      "The Nova is not going to LA" LA libreria books
      "Listen to the Audi" Musei Vaticani Shop
      "The Citroën is little more than a lemon" Un ë-livre de Paris

      Delete
  36. Suggested reading:

    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-coming-collapse/

    ReplyDelete
  37. I agree with every concern about tariffs and the Supreme Court. How could any thoughtful person not fear what the "Red One" is doing to our country...and it's future. But one of the things good about my doing puzzles is that it's a place with the absence of politics. where the only frustration is difficulty with solving the puzzle of the week (which has been fun this week). But every place you look is,sigh, marred by the presence of the comb overed one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On the other hand while doing these puzzles I feel like I'm enjoying a cocktail on a cruise ship, looking out the portal and saying "My, what a giant drink you'd need for that ice cube!"

      Delete
  38. CHEVROLET > CHEX & ROLEX

    My Hint:

    “Think race relations.”

    On November 3, 1911, Swiss race car driver and automotive engineer Louis Chevrolet co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Company in Detroit with William C. Durant and investment partners William Little (maker of the Little automobile), former Buick owner James H. Whiting, Dr. Edwin R. Campbell…..

    Rolex also was very involved with car racing, and the winning flag is checkered, black and white. It is important to have chex and balances.

    ReplyDelete
  39. CHEVROLET >>> CHEX, ROLEX

    “Two weeks in a row with "ads" here in Blainesville” refers to a serial (cereal) puzzle, i.e., CHEX.

    “Hot off the AP wire (@AP, these days): this puzzle is rated XXX.”refers to American Pie (AP) and Don McClean’s song about taking his CHEVY to the levee.

    “There is one clue here with a Cleverness Quotient (CQ) that is off the charts. More on Thursday.” >>> Lorenzo's clue wins clue of the year (so far). I didn't want to draw attention to it, fearing TMI, but it was FABULOUS!

    Snipper's AUTO-correct clue garners honorable mention.

    "UT-Austin" Dept of Slavic and Eurasian Studies sponsors a weekly CZECHS MIX mixer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks WW! What an honor! (While posting it, I also worried about TMI.)

      Delete
    2. Lorenzo, you are welcome. It was too good not to post so I'm glad you did.

      Delete
    3. Yes.

      As Lorenzo posted below:

      *****
      “What an anxious business traveler frequently does: Checks Rolex.”

      Delete
    4. Thanks for the honorable mention! I’ll accept that!

      Delete
  40. Interesting that there is a discussion here of too-explicit clues. My hint was: "Replace the last three letters from the nine-letter word with one letter and there's another brand name." It did show to anyone else who had the answer that I had solved the puzzle too, and it gave no hint at how to get the answer, both of which are good. But it wasn't much fun. I had originally thought to say, "Got it! Now it's time for breakfast!" which is more fun, but I couldn't help thinking that maybe someone would clue in on "time" and "breakfast" and use the hint to get to a solution. I really do try (though I am not always successful) to avoid giving too much information. What do you think? Would "Now it's time for breakfast!" have been TMI?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rob,
      I didn't think that was too much information. There were some this week complaining about fairly esoteric clues and some very obvious clues that went unchallenged. Go figure!

      Delete
    2. Rob, your "time for breakfast clue," given at a natural breakfast hour, would have flowed well with other clues here. No way to duckduckgo "Rob's breakfast time" and come up with the answer ;-). If you were very concerned about a revelation a "Next up--breakfast!" would be a bit more obscure.

      Delete
    3. Blaine's TRIX/TIMEX hint surprised me. It wasn't in his original post. Maybe he hadn't solved it yet at that point.

      Delete
  41. What an anxious business traveler frequently does: Checks Rolex.

    ReplyDelete
  42. CHEVROLET -> CHEX, ROLEX

    > Two of the companies got their start in central Europe. The third one only sounds that way.

    Do Czechs like Chex?

    > A competitor of the 9-letter word had a logo consisting of two of the 7-letter words.

    Citroën has a two-chevron logo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also note that that the Volkswagen logo can be interpreted as two check marks (vis-a-vis one another), with a chevron in between. At least I can interpret it that way; your mileage...oh, never mind, forget I said that...

      Delete
    2. Paul, delightful use of vees-a-vees ;-).

      Delete
  43. Chevrolet, Chex, Rolex

    I so much wanted AmexFedex to work but I just couldn’t find a suitable 9-letter answer. Ah well...

    ReplyDelete
  44. Very good puzzle this week! It was almost as tough trying to find a clue that didn't give things away as it was solving it.

    ReplyDelete
  45. The building industry uses the brand name Romex for non-metallic shielded electrical wiring (Jan's "You seem wired") in buildings. Unless you are in a large/ multistory building which requires metallic shielding, or in a very old house with knob and tube, you have some brand of Romex in your walls. Sadly, Alfa Romeo didn't work.

    Alternate answer: Treelines (family tree company, unsafe website?) --> Trex (plastic decking), Linex (car coatings).

    ReplyDelete
  46. “Commercial Names” !

    CHEVROLET → CHEX + ROLEX.

    My hint: (bike) “TECH LOVER” anagrams to CHEVROLET.

    ReplyDelete
  47. CHEVROLET, CHEX, ROLEX
    "CHEVROLET" was the fifth track on ZZ Top's 1972 album "Rio Grande Mud". It must not have been a hit, since I had never heard of it before and had only discovered it by accident. In the 80s ZZ Top recorded a song called "Velcro Fly". Had they called it "The Velcro Fly", the first two words of the title would be an anagram of CHEVROLET.
    My UHF reference involves the villain of the film, R. J. Fletcher, who runs the TV station competing with Weird Al's station, U-62. In a scene where R. J.'s birthday is being celebrated, he complains because no one got him a ROLEX, which he's always wanted. Later in the film, a homeless person asks him for money and he gives him only one coin. By the end of the film, when R. J. finally gets his comeuppance, the homeless person finds him and tells him it was a rare coin, and after cashing it in, he was able to buy his own ROLEX! As the old song goes, "Rub it in, rub it in!"

    ReplyDelete
  48. Chevrolet  Chex Rolex

    My comment, “I can’t afford to spend any more time on this puzzle…” contained an embedded automotive reference. Jan, saw thru my ruse and commented that I’d, “Dodged a bullet…”

    My reply that I’d gone to an exhibition of the early works of Alexander Calder, was a pointer to, “Old mobiles.”

    Any further comments would have been Rambling and lead to the gNashing of teeth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what my neighbor Sue Barrow said when she saw my Star Wars collectibles. She really liked my toy Yoda.

      Delete
    2. I'd almost forgotten about SDB's mercurial temperament.

      Delete
    3. Blaine may want to add a new link on this blog.

      Delete
  49. It will be interesting to see how an NPR Puzzle blog debuting tomorrow works out.
    It promises unmoderated hints and answers.
    It hopes to quiet the TMI discussions and has as one goal boosting the number of submissions to the show.
    I guess one shouldn't drop in by mistake, so it is up to individuals to find it for themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Next week's challenge: Name a woman's title. Drop the first and last letters and read the result backward to get another woman's title. Both titles are common English-language spellings. What titles are these?

    ReplyDelete
  51. This is a repeat of a puzzle from years ago. I remember the answer and my alternate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have found an answer and will be interested in your alternate.

      Delete
    2. Have found a second answer myself.

      The longer of the two answers is certainly a more elegant solution.

      Delete
    3. Post Script: Can see why Will added the common English-language spellings qualification.

      Delete
  52. I've got something to say about this puzzle, but I won't.

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  53. Got it. Until we meet again. . .

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

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Adding the date gives someone the ability to possibly find the comment and the original puzzle.

      Delete