Sunday, November 18, 2018

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 18, 2018): Taking the Next Logical Step

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 18, 2018): Taking the Next Logical Step:
Q: In my trip to Europe two weeks ago I visited a friend in Amsterdam who literally has a puzzle on his doormat. Before you walk into his apartment, there's an original puzzle for you to solve. I was able to do it. See if you can. What number comes next in this series: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 23, 28?
April 2nd, '07?

Edit: In the OEIS (Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences), this is sequence A004207
38 (Add the sum of the digits in the prior number, e.g. 16 + 1 + 6 = 23, 23 + 2 + 3 = 28, etc.)

120 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
    Replies
    1. I'm surprised that the deadline is still Thursday. Did someone forget it's Thanksgiving? I'd aim for Wednesday at the latest, just to be sure.

      Delete
    2. Not sure if took me longer to get the answer - a few minutes, or how the clue relates to the answer - a few more minutes once I had the answer!

      Delete
  2. Old English IS another way to go.

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  3. No unused clues from the On Air Challenge this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mort Canard,
      I thought the on-air challenge this week was quite challenging.
      I shall now riff-off Will Shortz (and ecoarchitect) by giving you two words. Change one letter in the first word to name a category of things. And change one letter in the second word to name something in that category.
      Ex. FEATHER, SHOWY --> WEATHER, SNOWY

      1. PLANES, CARS
      2. BIND, CHOW
      3. TOE, TOW
      4. INJECT, HOUSE
      5. FOOL, TRENCH
      6. SPINE, FINGER
      7. COLON, BLOWN
      8. REASON, STRING
      9. LITTER, ALOHA
      10. MONTY, LARCH

      LegoWhoWouldNotRecognizeALarchTreeIfItcameUpAndBitHimInTheButt!

      Delete
    2. Lego,
      A bit sneaky on #9 there ;)

      Delete
    3. If you ask me, #3 is the sneakiest one. Took me a little longer than the others.

      Delete
    4. PLANET, MARS
      BIRD, CROW
      TOY, TOP
      INSECT, LOUSE
      TOOL, WRENCH
      SPICE, GINGER
      COLOR, BROWN
      SEASON, SPRING
      LETTER, ALPHA
      MONTH, MARCH

      Delete
    5. I had TIE, BOW for #3. Now that I think about it, maybe that doesn't really work so well.

      Delete
    6. Thanks for solving these, MC, cranberry, ron and Paul.
      (I think "TIE, BOW" is a splendid alternative answer for #3, Paul. Works fine... and echoes the names of a fine former quarterback and an exercise regimen, to boot!)

      LegoWhoMuses"WhichOneOfTheSpiceGirlsWasGingerAgain...?"

      Delete
  4. This puzzle has an important parallel.

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  5. My students from Viet Nam and China were enthralled with O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.” We followed up with another O. Henry story “The Green Door.” They found it much harder to understand than the relatively clear theme of his most famous short story. One student said “This story is really, really hard on my brain. I think I’ll do some calculus.”

    This comment seems apropos to this week’s puzzle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just make them read Henry James's brilliant work. "The Jolly Corner" is my favorite. I read it as a Junior in High School and it took me a whole semester to be able to compare him to O.Henry.

      Delete
    2. sophizgood, thanks for the idea.

      Delete
    3. You're welcome. I have been tutoring students who are reading DeMaupassant, O.Henry, Henry James, Shirley Jackson, and Flannery O'Connor for a survey course. I envy them their private prep school education.

      Delete
    4. sophizgood,

      The short story, Love, by Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant, is one of my all time favorites.

      Delete
  6. I've been tutoring HSPT quantitative skills so long that I've got a fighting chance here.

    ReplyDelete
  7. There are multiple answers; just add one more number...

    ReplyDelete
  8. What is the next number in this series?

    1914, 1959, 1963, 1992

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nyet, ron. 1999 is not next in the series I am referencing.

      Delete
    2. 15, 24, 19, 21, 28(1999), n'est-ce pas?

      Delete
    3. Mais, non. That is a series but it is not my series. I am series-ous.

      Delete
  9. My musical clue might be an especially easy one to figure out, so I won’t give it (even though I just did).
    Very jealous of today’s on air 1st time submitter/winner. Not so jealous of his on air game playing skills.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Did the challenge answer appear and disappear at 0830 this. Morning?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did not see it, but that is what some folks said. Of course knowing the next number won't tell you the means of arriving at the next number.

      Delete
    2. The NPR site included not only the next number, but also the formula for the sequence. Of course, you can easily find it elsewhere on the web.

      Delete
    3. After I solved the problem, I saw a solution on a site but could not understand it. I like my way better.

      Delete
  11. Eureka! I know a possible backstory for this week. It's a turkey of a puzzle for Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is the new April Fool's Day?!

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    Replies
    1. You cannot autotune a turkey but you ought to tune a fish.

      LegoServingUpThanksgivingDayFishWithAllTheFixin's

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    2. That squeaky, freaky chicken �� is more annoying than novel. Hell-a-loo-yah!

      Delete
  12. This week's puzzle seems sort of techie compared to other Sunday Puzzles. I’ll bet you there aren’t _that_ many folks who would understand and could explain the answer even if you handed it to them.

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  13. "...even if you handed it to them." And hand it to them they did.

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  14. I'm sure most people will give the same answer that I did, for which the 5th number further in the series is 91. I now realize, though, that another EQUALLY VALID answer exists also, for which the 5th number further in the series is only 55.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And the 6th number further in the series is 101, and the 6th number further in the other "equally valid" series is 56...

      Delete
    2. To show that you know the answer, I would much prefer that you reveal another 5 steps ahead, not just the very next step. What if Blaine, who was fine with my post, looks at your reply and then decides to delete BOTH of our posts as too revealing?

      Delete
  15. Just speaking of numbers, during the past election season we we're sure bombarded by political phone calls. We'd never answer them but reverse internet lookups gave a good clue as to their origins.
    This past week showed several incoming calls using our number as a caller ID. Once we blocked it, no more calls!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Couple of questions – how, where:
    – How did WS find the answer?
    – Where did his friend find the sequence?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Well, here's one. Very unfair. What's next in this sequence,
    2,5,8,11,13,15,30,34,40,46,52,56,60,63

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. jan, I know what your clue means but it reminded me of fun times playing Mille Bornes in French class. Any other Mille Bornes fans here?

      Delete
    2. Charley, are you from Philadelphia?

      Numbered stops on the Market-Frankford rapid transit (SEPTA) railway line in Philadelphia, PA USA. 2, 5, 8, 11, 13, 15, 30, 34, 40, 46, 52, 56, 60, 63, 69

      Yes, I am a Mille Bornes fan...

      Delete
    3. When I hear Charley and subways, I think Boston.

      Delete
    4. ron, coupe-fourré!

      jan, I agree about the MTA.

      Delete
    5. Anyway, Millbourne is the next station on that line, while 69 is the next number. So, everybody has won, and all shall have prizes.

      Delete
  18. I haven't done number progressions since my SATS...and that was 62 years ago!

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is a fairly well known poser.
    If I recall, there are two easily found solutions and one quite arcane.
    If I can remember that third one, I'll send it in to test the PM's aversion to such.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, MJ, the series is documented in mathematical literature since at least the early 1900’s.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, the answer to this one is readily available on the electric interwebs.

      Delete
  20. Trombones? Too many, though.

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  21. Bonus Science Word Quiz: Think of an 8 letter term associated with food poisoning. The first 2 letters have 3 letters between them in the alphabet; replace those 2 letters with the 1 letter that is mid-way between (2 after the first letter, 2 before the second) and the result will be a new form of food poisoning.

    Technically the link between poisoning and the first word has been disproven, though the term remains in popular culture. And most people don't associate the second word with poison. Hence you can answer earlier, lives may be at stake!

    ReplyDelete
  22. PTOMAINE - ROMAINE lettuce
    P qrs TOMAINE

    Good one! Wouldn't you know we just bought some of this source this morning :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spot on, 68C.

      Though technically you're more likely to die from a bullet. 30 murders yesterday, including 11 victims in mass shootings in 5 different cities just yesterday. NRA uses green to enable a different kind of killing.

      Delete
    2. And so surprising and sad to us in Denver. Our murder rate (so far in 2018) has doubled since 2014.

      Delete
    3. Who can forget the immortal words of Allan Sherman?

      I went hiking with Joe Spivey.
      He developed poison ivy.
      You remember Leonard Skinner.
      He got ptomaine poisoning last night after dinner.

      Delete
    4. Funny, 68C, this is the ad that appeared on the Blainsville page with your posting just now.

      Delete
    5. Jan, OMG, that is funny!! I wonder if you order that by size or by "doneness”. I'll take mine 'medium well'.

      Delete
    6. I was escarole-ing through this thread and saw the romaine post. Kale, Caesar!

      Delete
    7. Friends, romaines, lend me your spears. . .

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    8. Endive mustard to turnip greens. After they're collard it's best to spinach to dry, then they're chard on the grill. Can't beet it.

      Delete
  23. In some happier news, the Air Quality Index in San Francisco is down to 112, 120 in Oakland. First time it's been out of the "Unhealthy" range all week, now just "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" (Californians).

    Still Unhealthy farther inland and near the fire site, but it's falling almost as fast as the stock market. Yay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eco- Has it started to rain yet? I don't know if that is a good thing or not, at this point.

      Delete
    2. I'm waiting for a PSA with Trumpy Bear holding a rake instead of a shovel, talking about preventing forest fires.

      Delete
    3. Jan - That would make a good political ad or for a spot on a late night talk show!

      Delete
    4. Rake America Great Again?

      No rain yet, the forecast is for it to start in the wee hours of the morning. While that relieves our bad air, and helps suppress the fires, it makes the recovery efforts much harder.

      Cadaver dogs can't find bodies that are badly burned, and the temperatures inside a house can exceed 2000° F (according to the fire marshal who visited my clients' house last year, glass and some steel melted). That's cremation temperature, and bones shatter, and the rain will wash away those smaller particles. Some people may be lost forever. Grim.

      A friend related a cool Finnish tradition: he left Helsinki one Friday when it was knee deep in snow, and when he came back Sunday it was all gone. At some point in the spring (which might be June) the people get together and shovel all the snow that's accumulated into the various harbors. That was 55 years ago, I don't think they do that any more.

      Delete
  24. Replies
    1. I get the point, but I much prefer military related humor when it is done by someone who was actually in the military, which this guy obviously wasn't.

      In the very first drawing the enlisted man calls the sergeant "Sir." He also salutes the sergeant. Both of these are NEVER DONE! And why would the sergeant be wearing a helmet, but not the EM?

      Delete
  25. I really don't want to cook and clean today, so I solved this. What to do now?

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  26. Hey, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope it's a nice one.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Blainesvillagers might appreciate this clue for one of the 15-letter theme answers to today's New York Times crossword:

    I
    K
    I
    N
    I

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. iikini works better visually, eh?

      Or maybe the answer is here at Cornell!

      Delete
    2. Solving the puzzle this morning did bring back memories.

      Delete
    3. I was hoping those clues related to a Holiday theme.

      Delete
    4. The next number is 38. Each number in the sequence is the sum of the digit or digits in the previous number plus that number

      “Old English IS another way to go.” >>> OEIS >>>

      Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences

      Blaine’s hint referred to the Sequence Number, A004207. Margaret’s hint referred to the former Sequence Number, M1115.

      "What is the next number in this series?

      1914, 1959, 1963, 1992" >>>

      1995. The numbers refer to dates listed, in order, as references for the sequence in the OEIS. The OEIS lists the first reference as 1914; that "original" doormat must be very old.

      Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Thursday!

      Delete
  28. The next number in the series is the last number plus the sum of its DIGITS. So single digit numbers just double. With 2-digit numbers, just add the sum of its two digits to the number. For example, if 16 is the last number, just add the sum of its two digits (1+6) to 16 to yield 23 (16+1+6).
    The next number after 23 is 23+2+3 = 28. The next number after 28 is 28+2+8 = 38, and so on...

    1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 23, 28, 38, 49, 62, 70, 77, 91, 101...

    There are, however, MULTIPLE ANSWERS.

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL !

    ReplyDelete
  29. Happy Thanksgiving to all. My answer is 29.
    I used digital roots though there are other possible valid methods and answers. The digital root of a non-negative number is the (single digit) value obtained by an iterative process of summing digits, on each iteration using the result from the previous iteration to compute a digit sum. The process continues until a single-digit number is reached. For example, the digital root of 65,536 is 7, because 6 + 5 + 5 + 3 + 6 = 25 and 2 + 5 = 7. The formula for finding the puzzle sequence is: a(n+1) = a(n) + the digital root of a(n).
    Start with n = 1 (i.e., the first number in the sequence).
    The second number in the sequence a(n+1) = a(n) which equals 1 plus the digital root of a(n) which equals 1 and 1 + 1 = 2.
    The third number in the sequence a(n+1) = a(n) which equals 2 + the digital root of 2 which equals 2 and 2 + 2 = 4.
    The fourth number in the sequence a(n+1) = a(n) which equals 4 + the digital root of 4 which equals 4 and 4 + 4 = 8.
    The fifth number in the sequence a(n+1) = a(n) which equals 8 + the digital root of 8 which equals 8 and 8 + 8 = 16.
    The sixth number in the sequence a(n+1) = a(n) which equals 16 + the digital root of 16 which equals 7 and 16 + 7 = 23.
    The seventh number in the sequence a(n+1) which equals 23 + the digital root of 23 which equals 5 and 23 + 5 = 28.
    The eighth number in the sequence a(n+1) which equals 28 + the digital root of 28 which equals 1 and 28 + 1 = 29.
    The ninth number in the sequence a(n+1) which equals 29 + the digital root of 29 which = 2 and 29 + 2 = 31.
    The tenth number in the sequence a(n+1) which equals 31 + the digital root of 31 which = 4 and 31 + 4 = 35.
    The eleventh number in the sequence a(n+1) which = 35 + the digital root of 35 which = 8 and 35 + 8 = 43.
    The twelfth number in the sequence a(n+1) which = 43 + the digital root of 43 which = 7 and 43 + 7 = 50.
    The thirteenth number in the sequence a(n+1) which = 50 + the digital root of 50 which = 5 and 50 + 5 = 55.

    And so on. I could probably simplify my explanation if I spent some more time editing. I shouldn’t write these things out at night :)

    1
    2 = 1 + 1
    4 = 2 + 2
    8 = 4 + 4
    16 = 8 + 8
    23 = 16 + 7
    28 = 23 + 5
    29 = 28 + 1
    31 = 29 + 2
    35 = 31 + 4
    43 = 35 + 8
    50 = 43 + 7
    55 = 50 + 5

    ReplyDelete
  30. My clue - “My musical clue might be an especially easy one....” was reference to rock band 38 Special- famous for So caught up in you, Hold on loosely, and much more.

    Happy thanksgiving to all fellow bloggers!

    ReplyDelete
  31. The answer that was posted on the NPR puzzle pages was (verbatim):

    38 (each number in the series is the sum of the digits in the previous number + that number; thus, 2 + 8 + 28 = 38)

    ReplyDelete
  32. I said, “This puzzle has an important parallel.” This refers to the 38th northern parallel, the boundary between North and South Korea.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  33. If you type the given sequence into google, you get the intended answer at/near the top of the list.

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  34. WW-

    Are you a Cornellian? I am, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chuck, I went to Smith College in MA but I know many folks who graduated from Cornell, including some bloggers here.

      Did you like your time at Cornell?

      Delete
    2. I'm sure there's a Cornell of truth in there somewhere.

      Delete
    3. When they raise their glasses in Ithaca many hear a distinct Cornell Klink. Some hear nothing.

      Delete
    4. WW-

      I had a wonderful time at Cornell. Played in rock 'n' roll bands all 4 years :)

      Delete
    5. I wonder about the time I had at Cornell, in rocket hole Rand 4+ years.

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

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  36. Here are the answers to my Riff-Off of Will Shortz's on-air puzzle that I posted Sun Nov 18, 01:42:00 PM PST:
    1. PLANES, CARS -- PLANET, MARS
    2. BIND, CHOW -- BIRD, CROW
    3. TOE, TOW -- TOY, TOP
    4. INJECT, HOUSE -- INSECT, LOUSE
    5. FOOL, TRENCH -- TOOL, WRENCH
    6. SPINE, FINGER -- SPICE, GINGER
    7. COLON, BLOWN -- COLOR, BROWN
    8. REASON, STRING -- SEASON, SPRING
    9. LITTER, ALOHA -- LETTER, ALPHA
    10. MONTY, LARCH -- MONTH, MARCH
    On tomorrow's Joseph Young's Puzzleria! (see Blaine's PUZZLE LINKS) I will post a more elaborate "On-Air-style" puzzle titled "ShortZ but not SweeT."
    Also on Puzzleria! this week are a handful of Riff-Offs of this week's NPR Doormat puzzle. I do not believe these Riff-offs are "Googleable" or "DuckDuckGoable."
    The new Puzzleria! has just now been uploaded. Do not miss it.

    LegoWhoRidesPlanesCarsAndLocomotivesWithNealAndDel

    ReplyDelete
  37. This week's challenge: Think of a well-known food brand. Add the letters W-O-W. Then rearrange the result to name another well-known food brand. What is it?

    ReplyDelete
  38. This week's challenge: Think of a well-known food brand. Add the letters W-O-W. Then rearrange the result to name another well-known food brand. What is it?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Good Morning all you wonderful people!
    I do not post alot and I am new to this. But I would like to pay tribute to a woman, very dear to my heart, that has passed, on Thanksgiving. Blaine's puzzle blog brought so much Joy to a woman named Linda. Every week Linda loved to work on these puzzles with all of you. Linda suffered with ALS and I truly believe these puzzles helped Linda through her days. It may not mean much but this blog brought two people together and I will truly miss my puzzle buddy. Thank you Blaine for your blog and thank you to all of you for being Linda's puzzle buddies.
    This one's for you linda. I love you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very nice post, Colie Marie. I am sorry for the loss of your friend Linda. I also lost a friend to ALS; it is a tough one.
      The consensus here is that Blaine have provided us all with a wonderful communal place to commune, commiserate and crack wise. We are thankful for that.
      It does mean a lot, I think, that this blog brings so many people together. We can all be thankful for those people in our lives who have made this life richer. I am sure that Linda was one of those people.

      LegoOneOfLinda'sPuzzleBuddies

      Delete
    2. Colie Marie-
      I lost my sister to ALS. The thought that our wisecracking banter helped someone deal with that horrible disease is especially significant to me.
      May Linda rest in peace and may you and all who loved her be consoled by memories of happier days.

      Delete
    3. Colie Marie, I am sorry to hear of your friend, Linda’s, passing. I am also glad she found joy here at Blaine’s with this fun, puzzling crew. May her memory be a blessing.

      Delete
    4. @Colie Marie, my wife's mother died of ALS. I'm sorry to hear about Linda and her suffering with ALS as well. We'll add an additional donation in her name this year.

      Delete
  40. Lay's WOW Chips were fat-free potato chips produced by Frito-Lay containing Olestra. Remove the W-O-W, and you get Lay's Chips. Not the intended answer, I'm sure, as no one wants to be reminded of "abdominal cramping, diarrhea, fecal incontinence, and other gastrointestinal symptoms".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but thanks for reminding us anyway.

      Delete
    2. Besides, we have romaine lettuce for that now.

      Delete
    3. I hadn't seen your comment when I picked the picture for next week's puzzle, but I had the same thought.

      Delete
  41. Good thing Will mention Imodium on air.

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