Sunday, October 21, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 21, 2018): You Shouldn't Open Beer That Way

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 21, 2018): You Shouldn't Open Beer That Way:
Q: Take the 9 letters of BEER MOUTH. Arrange them in a 3x3 array so that the three lines Across, three lines Down, and both diagonals spell common 3-letter words. Can you do it?
I know I can — can you?

I is a homophone for "eye" which is an example of an ORB. And you is a homophone for "U" which is the letter in the middle.
A:
OHM
RUE
BET

Across: OHM, RUE, BET
Down: ORB, HUE, MET
Diagonal: OUT, BUM

165 comments:

  1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g. via a chain of thought, or an internet search) before the deadline of Thursday at 3pm ET. If you know the answer, click the link and submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here.

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

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ah, Blaine, you speak with coated tongue. . .

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    2. I wrote a short computer program that found what I think is the only answer. There is a second "solution" that doesn't use all nine letters in BEER MOUTH. If you relax the constraint for diagonals, there are about 17 answers.

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  2. This is a tough one to give hints for.  In my answer, you can scramble the corner letters and get a timely word.

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    1. Okay, permutation and combintation time again.
      My grid answer may be the same as Rob's, but I am not certain. In my answer, you can scramble the corner letters and get a word I would descibe as timeless. (The four other, non-corner, exterior letters in my grid can also be scrambled to form a common word.)
      This leads me to wonder if there may be more than one correct answer.
      How many different grids are possible for this puzzle? Well, if we were dealing with 9 different letters the answer would be 9!, or 363,880. But, because we are dealing with 9 letters in which two are the same letter ( two E's) the answer is 9!/2!, or 181,440.
      That still seems like lot of different grids!
      What do others here think? Perhaps multiple correct answers?
      Note: For those of you who enjoy original Cryptic Crossword Puzzles, a wonderful one created by cranberry (Patrick J. Berry) appears on this week's Joseph Young's Puzzleria! (see Blaine's PUZZLE LINKS)

      LegoWhoIsTryingToFactorialInAllPossibilities

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    2. I have two answers which match the clue, but they are, in a sense, actually the same.

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  3. Replies
    1. Whether logical or intuitive or a little of both, choosing to put U in the center certainly helps. The letters at the corners of the "can" surrounding U can be arranged to spell TOMB, and the letters "covering" the sides can form HERE. I've never actually seen a real TOMBstone with an epitaph beginning "HERE LIES" engraved on it.

      Not solving this puzzle would have BUMmed me OUT.

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    2. I have seen some at Boot Hill in Tombstone, Arizona.

      https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&ved=2ahUKEwjSv5qLpaLeAhWE3lQKHTQQD1QQwqsBMAV6BAgDEAc&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DxYix5ENvBac&usg=AOvVaw2lkIxBNnOYaXqhRwdp3Zfc

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    3. So that Lester Moore thing is for real.
      Thanks, sdb, now I can cross that off my bucket list.

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  4. Hey, is there a spelling error here? The word I'm thinking of as fitting between the two goes with Peek, not Peak.

    20. Quarterback Peak

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

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Whew, I removed my comment before getting blog administrated! WW, are you a subversive climber?

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    4. WW, exactly. That goes with Peek, not Peak. So do we all think it should be 20. Quarterback Peek?

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    5. It will take some Peekskill, I suppose.

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    6. In a NYT movie review last week (weak?) A.O. Scott happened to make the peek/peak error. Perhaps in a fit of pique.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/11/movies/beautiful-boy-review-steve-carell.html

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  5. After a number of weeks where the PM used all of the clues, we have a treasure trove of unused clues this week.

    On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words. Think of a word that can follow my first one and precede my second one, in each case to complete a familiar two-word phrase.
    Example: Snail Order --> MAIL (snail mail, mail order)
    4. Passion Power
    6. Pipe Team
    7. Wild Support
    11. Peg Pull
    17. Shell Jock
    18. Sky School
    19. Thin Diver
    20. Quarterback Peak
    22. Amazon Time

    As usual, don't post answers till Thursday so everyone will have a chance to solve.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. In case you think any clues sound weak, some Bonus On Air Puzzles:
      23. Near Mug
      24. Late Scott
      25. Hum Stick

      Bonus Bonus Puzzle: can you think of two well-known songs that also follow this pattern: a word is the second word in one song, and the first word in another song, and that word rhymes with one of the others?

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    2. Here's a few more for those who are really bored:

      TOOTH TALES
      EASTER HOP
      HAMBURGER CAKE
      PRETTY LOAFER
      TOP METAL
      BLIND CAT
      POT DANCE
      COTTON CANE
      OFFICE DRESS
      SECOND LINE
      BABY WHIP
      BROWN TRAIN
      BODY BANG
      FAB DOOR
      TENT JACK
      LAST LAP
      BUSH BOTTLE

      And, yes #20 should be PEEK, IMHO.

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    3. This on-air puzzle sure has piqued great interest.

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. More on-air versions (that do have rhynes):

      Pitch Jack
      Slim Beam
      Honey Knees
      Fine Glass
      Ski Set
      Dead Shop
      Base Book
      Get Deal

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    6. One more, too good to omit:

      Creature Presentation

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    7. Berf: Are you sure about your puzzles? In the on air puzzle one pair of words rhymes.... So if the first one is TOOTH FAIRY TALES that doesn't work. And I have answers to most of your others that similarly don't rhyme, though one does and is quite good.

      Kudos if I've misread and you have rhyming solutions.

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    8. Hi eco, I missed the rhyming part. Good catch

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  6. I guess I'm sorry for all the energy I wasted not playing Grand Theft Auto.

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  7. Please pick me to play on air Will

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  8. Got it! BTW, I'm pretty sure they used #6. Now I can go back to bed a happy man.

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  9. Was this BEER MOUTH puzzle a continuation of last week's steinem, or has WS forged a political path, from advocate of beauty pageants to feminist to taking a swipe at the latest SCOTUS hearing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since we clearly need a topic or two to discuss this week (and since eco's STRAP was mentioned) >>>

      From the end of last week's posts:

      Word Woman Sun Oct 21, 08:46:00 AM PDT

      I thought it odd that Will thought it was cool that Steinem's name could be anagrammed to feminist. Well, yeah, IF you add IF and remove E. Not the most elegant anagram, I must say.

      Mendo Jim Sun Oct 21, 09:21:00 AM PDT

      WW, you beat me to it and I guess this is a better place than the new thread.
      I think it explains a lot about Willy's attitude toward anagrams when he thinks it makes a "cool" one when 42% of the letters are non-native, so to speak.

      That statement should have a place in STRAP's mission statement.

      Delete
    2. We do find it continually frustrating that someone whose job (and presumably, passion) requires so much care and precision can so often be so seemingly thoughtless and imprecise during the on-air banter (and often in the wording of the puzzle itself). But we've certainly gotten used to it by now, and the observance of these moments has become part of the ongoing texture of our NPR Puzzle Appreciation.

      Also was rather struck by how quickly and unconvincingly Lulu agreed with him that the not-even-that-close-to-an-anagram was 'cool.'

      Seems like everyone was 'phoning it in' this week (including the contestant, who seemed not to understand that the the rhyming word had a relationship to both given words).

      Delete
    3. Q: Take the name of a puzzle constructor. Remove a Z, add an IS. What do have?

      A: WHOSIS TRILL

      How cool is that? /s



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    4. hodiau016 is correct. I was so nervous, my brain only processed part of the instructions. Plus the taping started 30 minutes late so I felt like I needed to go as fast as possible. Thankfully they edited out some of the stumbles.

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    5. I thought you warmed up to the puzzle quickly enough, Pandamonium, and did just fine overall. You actually got a handful of them very quickly. In my opinion, it was one of Will's better on-air challenges (as evidenced by our copious riffing of it here), and it was pretty tricky. I would have found it difficult because you never knew which of the two words would be the one to rhyme with the "linking word."

      LegoWhoHasTaHandAGrandstandHandTaPanda...

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    6. Yes, you did well, Pandamonium. Did you take a cue from male pandas who often relax by doing handstands against trees? Would that/Did that help answer those on-air puzzle rhymes?

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  10. Do each of the diagonals have to form words in both directions or just starting from the top and going toward the bottom corner?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Upper left to lower right and lower left to upper right?

      Upper right to lower left and lower right to upper left?

      Or, as Unknown wants to know, both ways?

      Is there convention for this? Ought it to have been specified, perhaps?

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    2. In my answer, both diagonals are words going left to right. But not the reverse. Hopefully that answer matches with your expectations and doesn't disappoint you.

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    3. This answer square can be rotated along a diagonal, so the horizontal words become vertical and vice versa. In one of these, my diagonal words run respectively downwards left to right and upwards left to right. In the other, they run respectively downwards left to right and downwards right to left.

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    4. Right. Not to be confused with Downs Syndrome.

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    5. I instead took the 9 letters of BEET HUMOR, and arranged those in a 3x3 array etc. ...
      I got the same answer I got when I used BEER MOUTH!

      Seriously, though, my diagonals read from right to left, as do Blaine's, and from top to bottom if rotated, as Rob noted.

      LegOEmberThouArtGlowingOlderGrowingGray...

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    6. Lego, Blaine said his read from left to right. . .

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    7. Ooooops! Thanks, Word Woman. I meant to write LEFT TO RIGHT.

      tfeLoTthgiRmorFgnitirWogeL

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    8. In my answer, the diagonals go down from left-right, and up from left to right as well.

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  11. Both of my diagonals go from top to bottom.

    On another note, I didn't submit last week. Didn't really try to hard to solve it. Instead I spent my energy driving to WVA and drinking moonshine with hillbillies (learned why it's called "moonshine"), then to KY to spend a day in fields of hemp, then to Keeneland for an awesome day meeting Justify (they would not let me ride him, imagine) and a day at the races where I hardly wagered, mostly just taking in the flavor of the place. It was a great trip. No regrets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had it your way too initially, but it felt wrong to read the second diagonal right to left going down. Simple solution – flip it along the primary diagonal and you get both going left to right.

      Example 159 & 357 (top to bottom)
      123
      456
      789

      Become 159 & 357 (left to right)
      147
      258
      369

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    2. Yeah Blaine, I see what you are saying and it works. Is it more correct? Probably, but who am I to judge. Some languages read right to left, others top to bottom. I wonder if it matters to being selected. And plz pardon my to - too typo. I blame the moonshine.

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    3. it feels a lot like doing homework. The tedious kind with no learning involved. Let's hope the professor accepts either orientation.

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  12. You can construct the puzzle answer in two ways which will make the diagonals go either left to right or top to bottom, but it is the same answer both ways.

    I found it easy to solve, but I think that is because I first thought about it logically.

    Here is my hint: The puzzle has a geographical element.

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  13. Not too difficult once you get a list of possible 3 letter words to work with.

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  14. Left-to-right diagonals. I used Scrabble™ tiles, with little resistance and no regrets, I'd wager.

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    1. A bit too obvious of a clue, perhaps?

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    2. I was led astray by the negatives in your post, Shyra, so I wrote an awk script to solve the puzzle, and found I got the same answer as you.

      Delete
  15. Tic. Tac. Toe. Fee. Fie. Foe. No clue here.

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  16. Curiously enough, the diagonals form a common two-word phrase. And speaking of two-word phrases, kudos to Blaine for actually finding an image to represent "beer mouth."

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  17. Happy to sell the answer to any interested buyers :).

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

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    2. Hmmmm, while it doesn't seem to be a violation of the rules, this surely doesn't feel like the spirit of Blaine's World. But they're his rules.

      And dang it, why didn't I think of monetizing this forum?

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    3. Hey, if anyone wants to pay real money to win nothing I’m gonna stop ‘em. Knock yourself out!

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  18. If you listen to Musetta's Waltz over and over and over again, are you in a Boheme rut?

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  19. Was Professor Edgar Isler ever at Hogwarts London shop in Diagon Alley?

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  20. Finally got the answer! I worked on it off and on, thinking quite often, "the heck with it!!"
    I spent too much time thinking the diagonals were something else.
    No clues intended.

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  21. Solved - I’d share what my corner letters spell but I don’t know what it spells, so to speak. (Of course I do).

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  22. Got it. My Bananagram tiles were fun to use for this one. (That isn't a clue, just my truth)

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  23. The following, shamelessly cribbed from CarTalk, has a distant linkage to this week’s NPR challenge. Enjoy.

    A girl and her mother are out shopping. They overhear a conversation between a customer and a salesperson in the next aisle.

    The customer asks, "How much does one cost?"

    The salesperson answers, "One costs 99 cents."

    "OK, how about 12?"

    "Oh, that'll be $1.98."

    "Okay, in that case, I'll take 128."

    The cashier rings up the purchase, and it comes to $2.97.

    Here's the question: what kind of store are they in, and what is this person buying?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I deal with this all the time, at least indirectly. Answer now or answer later?

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

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    3. I suggest we follow Blaine’s protocol.

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    4. I thought 68C's comment was a marginal giveaway on this secondary puzzle, but didn't seem related to the NPR Sunday Puzzle.

      Am I missing a connection or do the non-disclosure rules extend to additional puzzles; similar to no PEEKing for WW? The Car Talk puzzle is currently active on their website, is that the criterion?

      Separate peeking into 2 words to get a nickname for a certain cretin in the news.....

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    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    6. WW: many women have gotten a Peeking goose.

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    7. One difference between the Car Talk Puzzler and this one is that only some of Will's are repeats.

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    8. Clever. I love Car talk puzzles.

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    9. I've worn the Sistine Wrench t-shirt I won from Car Talk's puzzle a lot more than my Weekend Edition lapel pin.

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    10. Jan, If I had those prizes I would wear at same time. Congratulations!

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    11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  24. On The Simpsons, it often appears as though HOMER spends a lot of time watching the TUBE.

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  25. Shopping at the Farmer's Market, one might take a TUBER or two HOME.

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  26. Do MOE and HUBERT know each other?

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  27. At first I couldn't figure out the answer, even with my long list of three-letter words from BEER MOUTH, but then I meditated.

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    Replies
    1. If I really meditated, I would have been saying "OM," a homonym for perhaps the least common of the eight three-letter words.

      Delete
  28. Alas, cranberry, as I watched Game 7 of the NLCS yesterday on the TUBE, doze Dodger Bums slammed HOMER after HOMER to douse my Brewers' World Series dreams!

    Remember to check out cranberry's Cryptic Crossword Puzzle in the current edition of Puzzleria! In this coming Friday's edition "Mathew Huffman's Condundrum Set" feature will resume.
    I have been working on riff-offs of Will Shortz's current NPR challenge, and have posted below a two-puzzle sampling of the kind of stuff I've cooked up:
    TWO SNEAK PEEKS OF AUGUST 26 SHORTZ RIFF-OFFS:
    In Puzzleria!s Riffing Off Shortz Slices this week, the solver is challenged to fill in each entree’s 3x3 grid with six words – 3 across and 3 down (don't worry about diagonal words) – and then arrange those nine letters to form either a two-word phrase or single word.
    Clues, in no particular order, will be provided for the six 3-letter words. A seventh clue will be given for the 9-letter word or two-word phrase formed from all letters in the grid:
    SAMPLE ENTREE #1
    1. Hoppy beer order, for short
    2. Bear lair
    3. Play "monkey see, monkey do"
    4. lead-in to Juan or Jose
    5. Ducked down, or tucked away
    6. Eats almost all the hash
    7. Migrane headaches, for example (2 words)

    SAMPLE ENTREE #2
    1. Ms. Pelosi or Mr. Ryan (abbr.)
    2. Kind of code
    3. to Lessen cargo weights of incoming oil tankers in Areas offshore gulf coasts, thereby lowering the risk of spills, these Patrolling procedures are in place (abbr.)
    4. Most common dementia cause, for short
    5. Israeli weapon named after the Gal who invented it
    6. Golden prefix
    7. A place to go for none of the best words... but all of the best puzzles!


    LegoShamelesslyShillingAgain

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    1. Lego: AUGUST 26 SHORTZ RIFF-OFFS? Coastal snobs like to think the Midwest is behind the times, are you trying to prove it?

      Excellent little samples, though your intent is clear!

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    2. Lego is merely touting his august puzzle, oui?

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    3. "clear" has additional meaning. Kudos if you can figure it out.

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    4. Thanks, eco, for your cleverly gentle correction; and merci, Word Woman, for putting a good face on my goof. I shall strive to gain eco's kudos by cracking the significance of his (as yet unclear to me) "clear" comment.

      LegoWhoLivesInHisOwnLittleWorldWhereLeftIsRightAndOctoberIsAugust

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  29. This puzzle makes me want to go to a baseball game. I love the garlic fries and the colorful commentary!

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  30. I just bought two Mega Millions tickets and if I don't win, it will reinforce my idea that lotteries are "the work of the devil".
    Now if I do win, however, lotteries are "gifts from heaven"!

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  31. I have the 2 rotatable answers to this week's challenge. I have been away from my computer until today and unable to post. But here is what most of you want to see: THIS WEEK'S CARTOONS.

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  32. More Bonus Puzzles:
    A magic square puzzle is similar to a regular word square, except the words are the same horizontally and vertically. For example:
    M I N D
    I D E A
    N E A T
    D A T A

    Here are some bonus magic word squares; in addition to the symmetry the diagonals also spell a word. All words are common English.

    1) 3x3, realty contains all the letters.

    2) 3x3, parody contains all the letters, AND the diagonals work in all directions.

    3) 4x4, Antwerp contains all the letters (though one diagonal is a variant spelling).

    4) 4x4, STRAP (+E) contains all the letters, AND the diagonals work in all directions, though one diagonal is a variant spelling and the other two are informal, but all diagonals are very timely.

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    1. Very magic, eco! I have answers for all four... though I am not confident that my answer for #4 is your intended one.
      My variant spelling diagonal word in #3 pops up again in my #4, and it seems timely. One of my informal diagonal words in #4 is also timely, but the other one is not timely unless there in a rain delay in a World Series game.
      Am I close?

      LegoWhoMayHaveToGoBackToTheDrawingBoardOn#4

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    2. Sounds like you have a different #4, which is not too surprising given the commonality of those letters. My diagonals relate to events from a few weeks ago, and possibly this weeks WS puzzle, not WS game.

      I'll be curious to see your answer Thursday.

      Delete
  33. Replies
    1. Not sure how it came to be, but George Takei unofficially owns the catchphrase "OH My!"

      Delete
  34. Dodge City, Kansas (population 27,000+, 60% Latino) has moved the one (!) voting location outside of the city limits, and more than 1 mile from public transit.

    Are they reflecting the World Series, trying to "dodge" their voters?

    I guess they don't have public schools, libraries, park buildings, and government offices to use as polling places. Or shopping malls (if I managed one I'd welcome the additional traffic!) and churches - I vote in one a whopping 3 blocks from my house.

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    Replies
    1. Pretty sad, isn't it... It won't get any better if Kobach gets elected.

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  35. Geez >>>

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/24/us/politics/trump-phone-security.html

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  36. There are 9-letter words that lead to solutions like Will's, some of which appear in the following sentence.

    The predatory dentist used a temporary administration of barbitone to remove the secretary's foretooth.

    ReplyDelete
  37. OHM
    RUE
    BET

    My Hint:

    “The puzzle has a geographical element.” Hue, Viet Nam is a major city.

    BTW: A few posters said the grid square can be ROTATED to also work, but then the diagonal words will go in a different direction. This is incorrect. You cannot do this by rotating the grid. You must construct it the alternate way, but rotating will not work. OUT must begin at the upper left corner with both methods. It is the key word, and rotating the grid moves it, which will not work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whenever my wife buys Hue brand stockings, I always pronounce it like the old provincial capital.

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    2. Built around OUT works, but rotating implies keeping the words and letters in the same order while turning the grid itself.

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    3. Mirror is a better term than rotate.

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    4. I just held it up to a mirror, and believe me it don't work.

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    5. SDB, try this Chris Hedges talk: CORPORATE TOTALITARIANISM: THE END GAME. 1hr 26min, Seattle Town Hall, October 8, 2018.

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    6. If you "rotate" the letters around OUT, you exchange H for R, M for B & E for E.
      HME
      OUT
      RBE

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    7. or
      HOR
      MUB
      ETE

      or
      OHM
      RUE
      BET

      all with the same result...

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    8. Actually, the word you want for interchanging rows and columns is neither rotate nor mirror, but rather transpose.

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    9. I could go along with that, but didn't Trump remove transpose from our language?

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    10. ron:
      Thank you so very much for the Chris Hedges link. I did not know he was in town again or I would have been there as I have been so many time before. But then you have to ask yourself why would anyone listen to a reasonable sounding, highly educated Pulitzer Prize winning 20 year war correspondent for the NY Times as a bureau chief and prefer the rants of a maniac like Trump or Mitch McConnell?

      Delete
    11. My pleasure SDB.

      You do not "rotate" the GRID; you "rotate" LETTERS around a FIXED ROW of letters (OUT). See above.

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  38. OHM
    RUE
    BET


    “Something” refers to “RUE de Something” in the tv show Newhart. The character Joanna tells Stephanie’s suitor she has gone to France staying on ‘“RUE de Something.” “Well, that shouldn’t be too hard to find.”

    "Austin Rogers" refers to Austin's sherbert vs. sherBET response on Jeopardy!

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  39. ORB
    HUE
    MET


    OHM
    RUE
    BET


    Is ohm a “common 3-letter word” ?

    Yes, ohm, like volt or amp (ampere) are common, uncapitalized units of measure like pint, ton, gallon, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  40. O H M
    R U E
    B E T
    or
    O R B
    H U E
    M E T


    I keep thinking of Mike changing places with Jan, and Greg swapping with Cindy, and Peter with Carol, and ewwwwwwww.

    I guess (BET) I'm sorry(RUE) for all the energy I wasted (OHM, electrical resistance can be wasted energy) not playing Grand Theft Auto: The last is a nod to the band Stealers Wheel, which had the hit song Stuck in the Middle With You; sticking the U in the middle was my first step to solving this puzzle. It's also a very weird video done before MTV.

    In case you think any clues sound weak: Joe Egan, cofounder of Stealers Wheel, had his 72nd birthday exactly one week ago. He and cofounder Gerry Rafferty were born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. Rafferty died in 2011, making him an answer to Bonus #24, a Late Great Scot[t].

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  41. OHM
    RUE
    BET


    > Dancing links.

    In 2000, computer algorithm master Donald Knuth published a technique he called Dancing Links, which he used to solve many problems, including finding word squares, among them this week's.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Other Bonus Answers:
    23. Near Beer Mug
    24. Late Great Scott
    25. Hum Drum Stick

    Berf had an excellent riff with Fab Four Door.

    Pitch Black Jack
    Slim Jim Beam
    Honey Bees Knees
    Fine Wine Glass
    Ski Jet Set
    Dead Head Shop
    Base Case Book
    Get Real Deal
    Creature Feature Presentation

    And the long awaited answer to the Bonus Bonus Puzzle: Mellow Yellow and Yellow Submarine. Donovan not only wrote and sang Mellow Yellow, he also contributed to writing Yellow Submarine. Another Great Scot!

    And the Bonus Magic Word Squares:

    L E T
    E A R
    T R Y

    P O D
    O A R
    D R Y

    W A N T
    A R E A
    N E A R
    T A R P

    P A S T
    A R E A
    S E E R
    T A R P


    In the last one, prep, perp and teet seemed timely for Justice Beer Mouth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats, eco. You totally skunked me on #4, and I spent more time on it than I should have. My answer for #4 was:
      P A S T
      A R E A
      S E A R
      T A R T
      I suspected the "Mr. ILikeBeer" confirmation hearings fiasco was the timely factor. I knew TEET (which I had also in #3) had to be the palindromic (lower-left-upper-right) diagonal. Because Justice K. is an ass, I became obsessed with "PRAT/TARP" for the other diagonal. Alas, TARP is neither informal nor derogatory. I got close to success when, at one point, my Bananagram tiles read:
      P A S T
      A R E A
      S E A R
      T A R P
      But I just could not pull the trigger on changing my SEAR to SEER, thereby forming PERP and PREP, which are perfect informal words for "Mr. DoYouLikeBeerSenatorKlobuchar?"
      Bravo eco.

      LegoDefeated

      Delete
    2. You got really close Lego; I have all sorts of scrap papers covered with little squares (no computer programs for me), including
      W A F T
      A R E A
      F E A R
      T A R P
      But getting the diagonals to work both ways was hard.
      T A R T
      A R E A
      R E A R
      T A R P
      works the diagonals both ways, but is kind of boring and didn't honor the wonderful people behind STRAP.

      Delete
    3. I don’t thrill to the magic of magic squares like you do, eco and Lego. Pure tedium for me. You two enjoy though!

      Now if you’d like to start talking about onomatopoeia, I’m all in. One of my high school students from China asked me to say the word a half dozen times. He roared in laughter every time. Pure magic. . .

      Delete
    4. eco,
      Re: "The wonderful people behind STRAP":
      Just who are these "wonderful" people anyway? And why exactly are they so damn anti-anagram? Please name names sir! If you are not forthcoming with this information I shall have no recourse but to sic my legal team (Sekulow, Giuliani & Kasowitz) on you!

      StridentPumper

      Delete
    5. WW: did he also want you to name the highest navigable lake in the world?

      Lego: Advanced civilizations have long recognized that the anagram is the lowest form of puzzling, just as puns are the lowest form of humor. The people at STRAP have intentionally stayed anonymous; they rightly fear extreme mob behavior by those less advanced, who sadly make up most of the population.

      Delete
    6. eco, haha. I wish you could hear his hearty laugh. It comes from a place of such unbridled, child-like joy.

      Delete
  43. "No clue HERE" HERE was an anagram of the four edge letters.
    OHM
    RUE
    BET

    ReplyDelete
  44. OHM, RUE, BET or, if you prefer ORB, HUE, MET

    The answer to my shameless Car Talk rip-off, is they were in a hardware store and the customer was buying house numbers, at $0.99 a digit. The (admittedly) distant linkage to this week’s NPR puzzle was the numbers were, “Three in a row.”

    ReplyDelete
  45. Here is the answer to the second of my TWO SNEAK PEEKS OF AUGUST 26 SHORTZ RIFF-OFFS, in which I challenged Blainesvillians to fill in a 3x3 grid with six words – 3 across and 3 down – and then arrange those nine letters to form either a two-word phrase or single word:
    Clues, in no particular order, will be provided for the six 3-letter words. A seventh clue will be given for the 9-letter word or two-word phrase formed from all letters in the grid:
    SAMPLE ENTREE #2
    A U R
    L Z E
    Z I P

    1. Ms. Pelosi or Mr. Ryan (abbr.) REP
    2. Kind of code ZIP
    3. To lessen cargo weights of incoming oil tankers in areas offshore gulf coasts, thereby lowering the risk of spills, these Patrolling procedures are in place (abbr.) LZE ("Lightering Zone Enforcement," the most unfair clue/answer in the history of puzzle-construction!)
    4. Most common dementia cause, for short ALZ
    5. Israeli weapon named after the Gal who invented it UZI
    6. Golden prefix AUR
    7. A place to go for none of the best words... but all of the best puzzles! PUZZLERIA!

    LegoSaysToSeeTomorrow'sPuzzleria!ForMorePuzzlesGalore

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not clear on how to make clear my clear hint about Sample Entree #1 without making the answer clear....which I won't do unless you clear me to do so.

      Delete
    2. eco,
      I hereby clear you.

      LegoWhoFearsThatTheStonewallingPeopleAtSTRAPWillSoonBeServedSubpoenasPerRequestOfSekulowGiuliani&Kasowitz

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

      Delete
    4. The letters of your Entree #1 anagram (oh the shame!) to diaphanes (διαφανής), which means transparent or clear. The adjective diaphanous is seen more frequently.

      STRAP is considering hiring Michael Cohen, who has proven as diaphanous as mud.

      Delete
    5. Very nice, eco, O Greek scholar.

      LegoWhoUnderstandsThatStridentPumperIsConsideringHiringRoyCohnWhoHasProvenTobeAsDiaphanousAsAHalloweenGhost

      Delete
    6. Είναι όλα ελληνικά για μένα.

      οικο αρχιτέκτονας

      Delete
    7. I would have thought it would be all Gr-eco to you.
      ΠόδιoΑρνίντα

      Delete
  46. ORB
    HUE
    MET
    My baseball clue referred to the common phrase heard in the stands at many baseball games(and sometimes in other sports besides baseball): "Throw the BUM OUT!" With both words in the puzzle, I just couldn't resist!

    ReplyDelete
  47. My clue - - I’d share what my corner letters spell but I don’t know what it spells, so to speak - was referring to “unknown “ as in the TOMB of the unknown soldier. Very patriotic of course.

    ReplyDelete
  48. My baseball clue referred to the shape of the ball--an ORB--and also the team the New York METs. Plus my comment on "colorful commentary" refers to HUE.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I dare not risk the wrath of the Terrorists at STRAP.

    But I must be the first to note that CESAR SAYOC anagrams to A ACCESSORY?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STRAP does not terrorize a clever anagram.

      This guy has a 27+ year criminal history and Trump bling plastered all over his van. This is clearly the Democrat's greatest coup since they planted that birth announcement in the Honolulu Sunday Advertiser 57 years ago.

      Delete
    2. eco, and weren't you and Lego just having a TARP discussion here?

      Delete
    3. Here's an actual thread from a 4 chan message board. Click at your own risk.

      Now this morning when the alleged 'MAGA Bomber' was captured, I took one look at his name and realized something odd...

      1. Cesar Sayoc
      2. Rasec Coyas
      3. Races Cayos

      If your write his name backwards, you get line 2. and if you rearrange letters for the first name, E and A, and the letters O and A from the last name you get line 3. I find the name a bit odd because prior to the mid-term RACES, there is CHAOS. This guys 'name' is Races Cayos backwards.

      They've also made note of his middle name, (A)ltieri, which is unusual.
      C. A. S are his initials
      I'm still trying to make sense of this part of the story, but (Alt)ieri is weird.

      The story is murky and obviously fake in many ways. From the symbolism on the envelopes to all the evident fakery with the delivery times gives us questions about the narrative. They've supposedly found the guy, which we know is fake news too, because there's no one person to find. It was an operation...

      Am I onto something?


      Various obscenities follow, with the last message blaming (wait for it) the Jews.

      Delete
    4. Pretty frightening, especially seeing the latest headlines from Pittsburg, PA.

      Delete
    5. It’s all part of the plan. First you discredit every institution that people rely upon, and then you can inject anything as fact. of course this is believable because it’s the lying FBI who reported the capture.

      Delete
  50. Surprisingly, Google tells the strapping boy right off what to do to get butted.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Next week's challenge: This challenge comes from Sam Ezersky of Jersey City, N.J. Think of a famous Broadway musical in two words. Change one letter in it to the preceding letter of the alphabet — so B would become A, C would become B, etc. Remove the space so you have a solid word. The result will name something that all of us are part of. What is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What came first, the chicken or the egg?

      Delete
  52. H'ud gzc hs to sn sgd fhkkr vhsg sgdrd otyykdr.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Don’t know about you guys but here in the ROC NPR played the puzzle ten minutes late! Was weird, a few seconds of dead air and then another story and then at 8:50, the puzzle!

    ReplyDelete