Sunday, March 17, 2019

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 17, 2019): A Letter to the Editor

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 17, 2019): A Letter to the Editor:
Q: Take the letters S Y T O Y. Add the same letter of the alphabet six times to complete a familiar phrase. What is it?
I'm not going to strain my brain coming up with a hint; it's not worth it. No doubt you guys will outdo anything I would do anyway.

Edit: My hint avoided using the letter E.
A: SEE EYE TO EYE

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

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  3. I think I like Categories. I hope I get Categories.

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  4. Blaine, I thought your clue was terrific - except for one word of it!

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  5. The answer would make an easy no-letter rebus.

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    Replies
    1. Uh, I count at least 3 letters in that rebus of yours.

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    2. I guess it depends on how many pictures and non-letters you use rather than letters. Details Thursday.

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  6. I predict there will be 104 correct answers this week.

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  7. A very similar phrase is rooted in ancient civilization. Every culture that I know of has this concept.

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  9. Slap my forehead, I should have solved this before I got out of bed. Explanation on Thursday.

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  10. Why has Will started to give out clues upon the slightest hesitation on the part of the on-air player?
    This time he ruined the first tough "category" category ever.

    I'll add Tempo, Hydro, Imago, Nitro and Kiddo.
    Maybe it was just to avoid Negro.

    Nothing to be said about the challenge.

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    Replies
    1. Mendo: WS seemed impatient today!

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    2. This week's exchange seemed shorter than usual - no introductory gab, etc. The puzzle segment has gotten shorter over the years, remember the on-air celebrities announcing the prizes?

      It's hard to know the actual events, winners have reported that the tapes are edited to take out the uncomfortable moments, so in reality the clues might not have been so quickly foisted.

      Delete
  11. It sounds as though Donald J Trump might pooh-pooh this.

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    Replies
    1. For a long time as Hitler was rising to power he was laughed at by most of the German people who thought him a fool and a buffoon. They thought with time it would all work itself out. One of the main tactics Hitler used in his rise to power was promoting hatred of a racial minority that was unable to effectively fight back.

      Trump is also thought to be a fool and a buffoon and is laughed at by most of society as he too uses racial minorities to gain power. Maybe waiting to see how it all turns out will work here too.

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    2. Without animus, providing a hint was my only aim.

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    3. 6 minutes of Must See TV.

      https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2019/03/17/sotu-amb-brown-response.cnn

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    4. "Muslim brothers and sisters", "commend you and what CNN are doing", "Islamophobic attitudes"; he clearly hasn't read the playbook. Though he did play and sycophant and dodge giving straight answers.

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  12. Yesterday a nearby park opened a new section with structures for children to climb and play on. I stopped by to check it out and found myself watching two little boys going up and down repeatedly as if they were robots.

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  13. Whatley had it in about 5 minutes. I've submitted it. It's clear that there will be thousands of answers.

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  14. Now you've solved this one without even getting out of bed, take a trip over to Lego's Puzzleria! (link above in right margin) and take a try at solving my Will Shortz rejected puzzle, although he said it was a good one, but too easy, that Lego is running as the appetizer. Three here have said they solved it already.

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    1. Perhaps one can see a connection between your offering and Lego's Schpuzzle.

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    2. When you submit puzzles to WS, do you include the answer?

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  15. Reminds me of an old joke about a Brat Packer and a foreign defense minister.

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  16. An interesting feature of this week's puzzle is that you can substitute a new wordplay instruction and get a different puzzle that has the same input and output!

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  17. Replies
    1. Well, that date was on a Thursday, if that's any help.

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  18. Not too much to say about this week’s puzzle but I have a question related to last week’s puzzle about turning words, phrases, etc., upside down.

    Think of a clock face. If you started at the center of the clock and wrote a word over to the number, 3, then rotated it like the long hand around to the number, 9, the result would be that the letters would be upside down and in reverse order. On the other hand (no pun intended) , if you started a word at the number, 10, and wrote it over to the number, 2, then grab the top of the clock face at the number, 12, and flipped it down along the horizontal axis (running from 9 to 3) with the top of the clock face ending at the number, 6, the result would be that the letters – now running from 8 to 4 – would be upside down and in the same order as they started in.

    In a given puzzle, how would you know which method to use? Is there a default? And how would you clue using one method or the other?

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    1. Chuck,
      Your explanation is pretty clear and thorough.
      But Will's wording (last week) is succinct and practical. While there was more possibility for ambiguity if being very particular, there's something to be said (although folks may disagree what that 'something' is) for concise statements of puzzles intended for the masses.
      As demonstrated by the IQ scores mentioned below, 'intelligence' can sometimes trip us up from solving, or possibly even enjoying, 'common' problems.

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    2. As to wording: if/when my 4-yr-old son,of unknown IQ draws me a picture, he'll be able to tell me if I'm looking at it or hanging it upside down. He'll clearly tell me if I flipped the page over. And he'd be able to tell me if I did both.

      Noting that Will mentioned to 'write the word,'
      I think "turn it upside down" is sufficient. For other alternatives, I might suggest, "Write a word on a page in a notebook. Turn the page and read from the other side" to give other succinct possibilities.

      Delete
  19. Maybe I'm just stupid, but I don't think so. My IQ has been measured numerous times, and the lowest I've scored was 165, and the highest was 182. But I don't really understand the puzzle. Must I use only the letters SYTOY 6 times each, or may I use other letters as well as SYTOY 6 times each? Will never said. I've written down a lot of words containing these letters (and yes, even multiple times in each word), and I don't really see any link to a common phrase. Maybe I'm just not familiar with this particular phrase. Can anyone explain it to me?

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    1. Your problem is that you are reading the puzzle incorrectly. I would suggest reading it a few more times stressing a different point of view.

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    2. Find a single letter of the alphabet which, when repeated 6 times and added to S-Y-T-O-Y, makes a familiar phrase. E.g., if "Zsyz tzoz zyz" were a familiar phrase, you'd never see this post here.

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    3. Unknown,
      Those are indeed impressive I.Q. scores. Not sure how you explain the wide gap, but I just wanted to say publicly how grateful I am to my parents for having the resources to hire a surrogate to take by I.Q. tests for me.

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    4. And your last name is Loghlin? LOL

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  20. Hell, when I was a kid, my mother would say "I would never want my son to be a genius". One of the few times I didn't let her down!

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    Replies
    1. How can you be so sure you didn't fall through the cracks?

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    2. All I can say is that I haven't as yet figured out this puzzle.

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  21. Wasn't this Sunday quiz shown in a past program many months ago? It looks familiar to this contributor.

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  22. Helen of Troy may have had the face that launched a thousand ships, but Dick Dale of Southern California had the guitar lick that launched a million surfboards.

    RIP.

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  23. Musical selection. The" who" at Woodstock 1969.

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  24. I don't know if I can come up with a clue we'll all agree is appropriate...

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    Replies
    1. There’s only you and me, and we just disagree.

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    2. You know what they say about people who live in glass houses...

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    3. People who live in glass houses have nowhere to do their business in private. Maybe not in general, either.

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    4. Their is a colonel of truth to what you say and that is why it's been a major problem.

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  25. I'm pretty sure the added letter must be a Q...
    Also staring at power lines helped me figure this one out.

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  26. This puzzle answer was difficult for me.

    - Spud Webb

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  27. Do the letters remain in order?

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  28. I've Been Working on the Railroad.

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  29. I was finally able to solve this by reflecting on old Olympus

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  30. Allen Ginsberg once said that the Beatles were yogis, citing "We Can Work It Out" as proof.

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    Replies
    1. If the Beatles can be cited, so can Dave Mason.

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    2. Shyra,
      I believe Dave Mason (a founding member of Traffic) could be properly cited only if the letters in the puzzle were S Y T O K N.

      LegoWhoLovesBothHenry'sSongAndTheOneToWhichShyraAlludes

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    3. WS has cited this site has been in his sight in the past, does that mean we are now ex cited?

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  31. If you are about to embark on a month long vacation traveling around Greece in a rental car, and you know you will be almost forced to eating cheese, which you do not really enjoy, would that qualify as a feta compli?

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    1. And the server, if female, would be a femme feta..

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    2. I rest my Käse. That would be a feta Würste'n Edith.

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    3. The puns are killing. I shall curl up in a feta lposition and wait for the call from Will's minions.

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    4. If you do get the call you will be Feta'd.

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    5. ...and if you don't get the call, you might want to take an amfetamine.

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    6. Is a tRump tweet storm a feta pique?

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    7. From a guy with little feta and tiny hands.

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  32. Maybe 10,000 correct answers this week. That’s not a clue, just homage to how stupid easy and NOT a challenge this one was.

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  33. SEE EYE TO EYE

    My hints:

    “Yesterday a nearby park opened a new section with structures for children to climb and play on. I stopped by to check it out and found myself watching two little boys going up and down repeatedly as if they were robots.” They were not climbing, but sitting on a teeter-totter and looking each other in the eye.

    “I've Been Working on the Railroad.”

    "The Eyes of Texas" is the school spirit song of the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas at El Paso. It is set to the tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad."

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  34. See eye to eye

    It sounds as though Donald J Trump might pooh-pooh this. pooh-pooh → poo-poo → #2 → (second president) John Adams → Johnny Adams, who sang "We Don't See Eye To Eye". Also, like Blaine, I avoided using the letter "e" in the clue, and in my response to SDB.

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  35. SEE EYE TO EYE <=> ci2i <=> 39b9 <=> 6q6Ɛ
    I'm surprised Blaine didn't delete my hint. Maybe he figured it wasn't worth the troublƐ.

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  36. SYTOY + EEEEEE → SEE EYE TO EYE.

    As easy as P+EYE...

    This is much easier than SDB's "What English word has a silent CH?"

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  37. SEE EYE TO EYE

    > Reminds me of an old joke about a Brat Packer and a foreign defense minister.

    Something about Sammy Davis Jr. and Moshe Dayan.

    > 12/1/94

    If you were to see Eye-to-Eye with Connie Chung on that date (the segment titled “Haywire”), you’d see me demonstrating radio-frequency interference with medical devices.

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    Replies
    1. Rat Pack: Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop.

      Brat Pack: Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy.

      Delete
  38. I wrote, “The answer would make an easy no-letter rebus.” Sure, you can use letters as in CI2I. But using
    pictures, it could be: (picture of) sea, (picture of) eye, 2, (picture of) eye

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  39. SEE EYE TO EYE

    “Maizie” has eye (i) and eye (i) right in her name.

    “Inciteful (sic)?” >>> riffing off all the sight gags.

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    Replies
    1. Z and 2 are similarly shaped, making it i 2 i. At least that's where I thought you were going.

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    2. eco, sure, that works. When I named her it was more of an i ‘n’ i Bob Marley thing but I like the i 2 i.

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    3. And I thought her name was because she was a little corny.

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  40. In my Tuesday Mar 19, 04:37:00 PM PDT reply to Shyra's hint/allusion to Dave Mason's "We Just Disagree," I implied that Mason could be properly cited as a hint "only if the letters in the puzzle were S Y T O K N" instead of S Y T O Y.
    Add six E's to S Y T O K N to get SEE EYE TO KNEE.

    Lego(Singing)There'sOnlyYouAndEyeAndKneeAndWeJustDisagree

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  41. SEE EYE TO EYE
    C I 2 I would make a good vanity license plate.
    I have heard or read somewhere that people who live in glass houses SEE EYE TO EYE with everyone.

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  42. My clue was about staring at power lines. "Powerline" was the rock star character in A Goofy Movie, who sings the final song Eye to Eye (stylized I2I).

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  43. I am an ophthalmic technician, I live and breathe eyes, optics, vision, diseases, optical illusions, whatever. I took the letters and then added vowels, starting with 'A'. Then 'E' and here we are. C-ya next week!

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    Replies
    1. Would you say, "better here" or "better there?"

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  44. Like I said: Dave Mason, "We Just Disagree"

    So let's leave it alone 'cause we can't see eye to eye
    There ain't no good guy, there ain't no bad guy
    There's only you and me and we just disagree

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8_FOQ7-P30

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    Replies
    1. I gravitated toward The Living Years, but couldn't think of a way to bring it up.

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  45. Now that the Mueller Report has finally been released, I will post my reaction just as soon as I finish reading my copy.

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    1. William Barr released the public version already, it reads (in its entirety:

      "Trump good, me retire now."

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    2. Did he say where? Goodyear, Firestone, Les Schwab?

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    3. This was just leaked from the report:

      "There is no evidence Trump stood in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot somebody."

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  46. I was totally overthinking this one, now that I see the answer.
    I was trying all sorts of permutations with spelling out/pronouncing the letter to insert (like "ai/ay" "you" and so on....)
    Oh well.

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    Replies
    1. Glad I wasn't the only one who fell into that rabbit hole.

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  47. I don't think anything could be more obvious. If the corrupt attorney general releases the full Mueller report and if it contains nothing to implicate the Trumps in corrupt and illegal activities, then we will know for sure that is the case. However if the report is not released to the public in its entirety then we will know for sure that it does implicate the Trumps.

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  48. I am hoping for some really block-busting revelations after all this time and effort.
    I want my money back, if not.

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    1. My bet is the Mueller found a lot of criminality - but that it did't fall within his charter so it isn't in his report to the AG.

      However, he would have forwarded that information to the Federal Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York - which is where the Trump (and Kushner) businesses are based. SDNY is neither constrained by Mueller's specific charter, nor is it required to merely submit a report to the AG where it can be bottled up.

      SDNY is also where Michael Cohen, plead guilty, and where he has been talking ... for months.

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  49. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Mass. Think of a well-known brand name in 8 letters starting with H. Change the H to an M and drop the last letter. You'll get another well-known brand name in 7 letters. What commercial names are these?

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  50. I'd rather wear it around my neck. --Margaret G.

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  51. Over 1000 entries last week.

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  52. Stupid puzzles like this really tire me out.

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  53. Some puzzles grow old, some start out that way.

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