Sunday, April 14, 2019

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 14, 2019): Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 14, 2019): Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire:
Q: Think of a word for a deceitful person. Move the middle letter to the end and you'll get another word for a deceitful person. What words are these?
Hint: Many fish

Edit: The Shoshone people identified themselves in sign language by moving a hand in a swimming motion to signify that they lived near the "river with many fish". European Explorers misinterpreted the wiggling motion to mean snake and hence misnamed the neighboring Snake River.
A: SNEAK --> SNAKE

125 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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    1. I did not realize the Shoshone were also on the Snake river along with Nez Perce and Salish. And of course if not for Sacaljawea we would not be her.

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  2. Change one letter in the answer, move the middle letter to the end and get two words that sound alike.

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  3. Change a letter in the first word, and change the same letter in the second word, and you get words prominent in a commercial enterprise.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for confirming my hunger for an answer!

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  4. Interestingly, an Amazon search helped me find the answer. Good puzzle but not the “best of all” puzzles.

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  5. Everything here is so clear.

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  6. But lawyer doesn’t have a middle letter...

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  7. Somehow Avenatti is still involved.

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  8. Whose co-author was Hamilton?

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  9. Deceitful person: The Sunday Puzzle employee who decides the number of submitted answers to report each week.

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  10. Replies
    1. Answer: sneak -> snake. Stilton Cheesewright called Bertie Wooster a "snake in the grass".

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  11. Politician or Republican has the wrong number of letters, but the answer didn't have to rattle around my head too long to get the answer to the puzzle.

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  12. I first came up with an alternate answer.

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

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    1. I think this one is a bit of a giveaway?

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    2. By giveaway, do you mean “gives the exact answer”? 😂😂

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  14. What a creep. He's a real crepe, n'est-ce pas?

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    1. Lexophile: Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

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    2. I think you are giving them a bum wrap.

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  15. Natasha,
    Last night I attended PNB, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Not only was it excellent, but the woman sitting to my right was from a country you may have heard of. She laughed out loud at intermission when I asked her if they have ballet in her birth country. I said, "Then perhaps you have heard of Diaghilev? She laughed again. So, I thought of you.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. SDB: Funny story. What countr/city was she from? Was she a ballerina? Sorry I did not get to see that ballet. I have never seen it before. I doubt I will go to SF Ballet anymore. I was not happy with the Sleeping Beauty revised choreography. Also, my favorite dancers are no longer there. The emotion that goes with dance is not there like it used to be. What seat did you have? Just curious. (Too many spelling errors in previous post.)

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    4. She was from Russia. I sat to her left.

      It was a classic production and filled with emotion and amazing performances.

      Music:

      Felix Mendelssohn (Overture and incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 21 and 61, 1826, 1843; Overtures to Athalie, Op. 74, 1845; and The Fair Melusine, Op. 32, 1833; The First Walpurgis Night, Op. 60; Symphony No. 9 for Strings [first three movements], 1823; Overture to Son and Stranger, Op. 89, 1829

      Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

      Staging: Francia Russell

      Scenic & Costume Design: Martin Pakledinaz

      Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli

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    5. SDB: Thanks. I knew principal dancer from Balanchine's NYC ballet company. Great principal dancer and his protege.

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  16. The second word of the puzzle alerted me to an unfamiliar bit of jargon used by commentators at the Augusta Masters.

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  17. Self-doubt (definition). The feeling when after you have solved the puzzle, the comments on Blaine’s don’t seem to relate to your solution.

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  19. Gosh, hammered again. Anyone at the Boston Marathon?

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  20. Changing the first 2 letters of each word might take you back to a recent Puzzle.

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  21. My Aunt Fruda used to put 49 pennies in her coin rolls.

    More than two thousand, four hundred claimed responses for last week.

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  22. Sometimes they say correct responses. Wonder if the 2400 were just entries or correct entries.

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  23. Blaine:
    You missed to most prominent giveaway post.

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  24. Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is on fire. Does anyone have a hunch when they will get it back under control?

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    1. To many it's not a joking matter.

      But could we get a flying tanker to take a tRump to the building? Would a gaping hole open in the floor and deliver him to the netherworld?

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    2. Hell's bells, how would I know?

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    3. Wonder if construction crew were negligent.

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    4. Wouldn't be a surprise, it's what happened with SF City Hall dome in 1998.

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    5. Just heard it mentioned as a possibility on the news. As soon as I heard there was construction going on, I wondered about the connection.

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    6. Construction was the first thing that came to my mind too. There are plenty of potential flame sources - welding steel, soldering pipe, even grinding will send sparks flying.

      An old attic space has years (centuries?) of collected dust and debris that can burn quickly, as will sawdust from newer construction. Keeping a site clean, especially when there are flame sources, requires constant vigilance.

      And French folks smoke a lot too. But that's all speculation.

      15 years ago part of a strawbale building I designed for the city of Berkeley burned during construction - I think it was one of the workers carelessly flicking ashes near loose straw. Fortunately they put the fire out before the building was completely gutted, though there was some damage.

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  25. Is there a place where people give away the answer before Thursday, in case some impatient immigrants who never know the answer can find it?

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    1. It would be unfair to those that have figured it out on their own to do that. Either figure it out yourself or just patiently wait until the deadline for submissions has passed.

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    2. Ah, didn't think about that because none of us submit answers. We just talk about it during our Monday get-togethers, but none of us is a native speaker so anything with language or pop culture tends to escape us. (We love geography.)
      Thanks.

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    3. Hi Haris H.,
      I too love geography and frequently submit puzzles I make up to Will Shortz to use, but he always turns them down with weak excuses. I sent him another geography puzzle this weekend which he already has turned down, but fear not, Lego will be running it on his Puzzleria! blog either this Friday or perhaps the next. Blaine has provided a link to his site above in the right side margin.

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  26. Bonus (riffing) Puzzles: In each sentence, the middle letter of the first blank is moved to the end to get the word that fills in the second blank. First one is easy, I hope the others aren't. And I hope Lego doesn't outdo me later this week.

    1. The restaurant served all items a la ___ to ___ to their customer's wishes.
    2. Having run out of ___, the chef ___ out on making pesto.
    3. Their cheese platter with selected ___ made quite a ___.
    4. The French restaurant ceased serving ___ out of fear of ___.
    5. I don't like root vegetables, and am now ___ with ___.
    6. The drunk ordered a ___ ___.
    7. A dentist who hits a ___ ___ has repeat customers.
    8. Making ___ is something a careful person really ___.
    9. President ___ saw his country ___ in 1993.
    10. After being forced to ___ ties, the politician vowed to never ___ Trump again.
    11. Because he was fat they always gave the ___ seat to Roger ___.
    12. Despite the revolutionary's popular myth, ___ never played on a major league ___.
    13. When earth ___ its top layer to the wind it creates ____.
    14. The geologist considered the folded ___ to be an unusual feature in the ___.
    15. While discussing the ___, particle physicists are ___ to never get to the point.
    16. Ted Turner was quite the ___ to the other ___.

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    1. Per geogfan's comment below (and some fact checking), #9 should be worded, "As he feared his country would ___, in 1992 President ___ resigned, only to later become President of a new country."

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    2. eco, your bonus riffs are, as usual, great. Thanks for the Puzzleria! shout-out, but I really struggled with riffing off Will Shortz's challenge this week. I am always envious of your facility with composing these riff-offs.
      Incidentally, skydiveboy's geography puzzle WILL INDEED appear this Friday on Puzzleria! I struggled to solve it also but, when I finally did, the answer was satisfying.

      LegoThinkseco's#13IsEspeciallyGood

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    3. Lego,
      Unlike you I have no implied or actual requirement to create puzzles on a regular basis, makes life much easier.

      #13 was fine, but I liked #9, #12, #15 (pun in the last word), and #16 (for its use of a rare longer word).

      Note that I considered 3 letter answers too easy, otherwise my first would have been "We waited an ___ for the latest album by Brian ___. And I couldn't think of a quip involving bar that wouldn't have gotten me in trouble with the women folk.

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    4. eco, Here's how dismal my puzzle-life is at present. I mentioned #13 because I solved #13. I did not solve #9, #12, #15 and #16!
      What is worse, I resorted to using 3-letter answers for two of my handful of Puzzleria! riff-offs this Friday, neither one as good as your unpublished "latest album by Brian" effort!
      Not only that, I am using waaay too many excla!mat!on marks (and aaa's) in my comments!
      Thanks, though, for you encouraging and supportive words.

      LegoInTheThroesOfAPuzzlingDrySpell

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    5. 17. The pastry chef didn't like being called a mere ___ ___.

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  27. Hey SDB is the new tunnel open yet? Have you gone through it?

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    1. Yes, it opened February 4th. I had planned all along to drive it both directions opening day, but we were all snowed in big time and I had to wait 3 days until the 7th. It is 2 miles in length and I had trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel at first, but it was there. It really is wonderful and eventually the viaduct will all have be removed and then many improvements will be made to the downtown waterfront along Elliott Bay. Thanks for asking.

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    2. During the Loma Prieta earthquake I was in an office that had a direct view of the Embarcadero viaduct in San Francisco. It did not collapse, but was damaged and demolished. It was used in many movies (including Bullitt and a surreal composition in Koyaanisqatsi), but the area is better with it gone.

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  28. My wife is from Seattle and says she will never drive on it. But I would like to at least try it when we move back.

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    1. It is much safer than the viaduct was. In fact it has escape doors every few yards, so it would be very easy to exit on foot. It really does not seem like a tunnel as it is large and very well lighted. It is nothing at all like the old Battery Street Tunnel, which was really just a covered ditch. The view of the bay is not quite as good though.

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    2. Yea I guess we missed the great Seattle snow storm of the century..

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. For #9, I get a valid answer if the middle letter is moved to the penultimate place.

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    1. See my response above, shooting blanks isn't much fun.

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  31. Since this is Holy Week, I really wanted it to be 'Judas', particularly since I have been teaching a course all Lent on Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Bach has inserted 'riddles' in this work, such as after he says 'someone will betray me' the chorus asked 11 times (not twelve) 'Is It Me?' Or when even something devious is about to happen he uses the same melismatic structure. What genius!

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  32. Blaine's follow-up puzzle from last week produced two names unfortunately in the news this week.

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    1. Without internet connection in Arkansas until today; it’s a good day to be away from the news cycle. Much more peaceful at Thorncrown Chapel, Crystal Bridges, and Blanchard Springs Caverns. . .

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  33. Replies
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdEEpialxqk

      Boys and girls take warning
      If you go near the lake
      Keep your eyes wide open
      And look for sneaky snake
      Now, maybe you won't see him
      And maybe you won't hear
      But he'll sneak up behind you
      And drink all your root beer

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    2. What do you call a greeting card that sings "Sneaky Snake"?

      A Tom T. Hall-mark

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  34. Word of the week.
    Venezuelan graffiti photo on today's front page: "Un pais normal?"
    Young woman who frightened officials enough to close every school in Denver: Sol Pais.

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    1. That's where I was going with my 08:37 am PDT comment above. And, of course, Paris.

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  35. Does this mean Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris will be cancelling their Easter egg hunt this year?

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  37. The New York Times has a daily puzzle with seven letters, one of which is the key. The challenge is to make as many words as you can, each including the key. Extra points are awarded for pangrams, words that use all seven of the day’s letters.

    Today’s key letter is P, and the six added letters are: C, I, L, M, O and T.

    I find it ironic on the day the Mueller report is being released that the two pangrams I found are IMPOLITIC and COMPLICIT.

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    1. Dear SuperZee, I see this puzzle on Sundays, but not the rest of the week. What section is it in? I get a paper edition that is
      printed in Seattle. Thanks.

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    2. It's online at https://www.nytimes.com/puzzles/spelling-bee. You may need to subscribe.

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    3. EKW - Sorry, but I can't help you. My NYT subscription is electronic.

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  38. Here is an easy geographical puzzle I just made up:

    Think of a country and replace one of its internal consonants with another consonant to describe where you might make your home were you to move there?

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  39. SNEAK > SNAKE

    My alternate answer: SANTA > SATAN

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  40. SNEAK, SNAKE

    > Boo!

    “Hiss!” would have been a giveaway.

    > Whose co-author was Hamilton?

    Kean’s (Anagram).

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  41. Move the middle letter of SNEAK to the end to get SNAKE

    My comment that you can change one letter, move the middle letter to the end to get two words that sound the same refers to STEAK and STAKE.

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  42. SNEAKSNAKE in the grass. See THIS.

    Change the same letter in each word to produce a rhyme: STEAK → STAKE.

    Change the same two letters in each word to produce another rhyme: BREAK → BRAKE.

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  43. I wrote, ‘Change a letter in the first word, and change the same letter in the second word, and you get words prominent in a commercial enterprise.” That’s STEAK and SHAKE.

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  44. Sneak → Snake

    Changing the first 2 letters of each word might take you back to a recent Puzzle. A break in your brake might take you back to Meineke.

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  45. 1. The restaurant served all items a la carte to cater to their customer's wishes.
    2. Having run out of basil, the chef bails out on making pesto.
    3. Their cheese platter with selected fetas made quite a feast.
    4. The French restaurant ceased serving poisson out of fear of poisons.
    5. I don't like root vegetables, and am now beset with beets.
    6. The drunk ordered a large lager.
    7. A dentist who hits a nerve never has repeat customers.
    8. Making haste is something a careful person really hates.
    9. As he feared his country would halve, in 1992 President Havel resigned, only to later become President of a new country.
    10. After being forced to sever ties, the politician vowed to never serve Trump again.
    11. Because he was fat they always gave the aisle seat to Roger Ailes.
    12. Despite the revolutionary's popular myth, Fidel never played on a major league field.
    13. When earth loses its top layer to the wind it creates loess.
    14. The geologist considered the folded pleat to be an unusual feature in the plate.
    15. While discussing the preon, particle physicists are prone to never get to the point.
    16. Ted Turner was quite the boaster to the other boaters.
    17. The pastry chef didn't like being called a mere torte toter.
    Footnote: I wanted to use Meade → Medea and Cable → Caleb, but couldn't find a good link. I also avoided spear → spare, shear → share, tread → trade and steal → stale because they were too close to WS' answer.

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  46. #10 (SEVER => SERVE) does not seem to follow the given operation, but rather its inverse. A possible alternate (that does follow the rule) is BREAK => BRAKE.
    But congrats on a good set of puzzles.

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    1. You are right about #10, I hope you can live with the guilt that the entire copy/ edit division of Bonus Puzzle Inc. has now been purged.

      I used break → brake as the answer to a confirming clue. Too close to the weekly challenge to include in the Bonus Puzzle, I didn't want to get blog administered.

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  47. Although I solved the puzzle with the intended answer, I also got CHEAT and CHATE. It even could fit into Blaine's "many fish" clue, as Cheat could anagram into teach, referring to a "school" of fish...

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  48. SNEAK, SNAKE
    My Tom T. Hall clue must have been too obvious. He once recorded a song called "Sneaky Snake".
    On an unrelated topic, there's bad weather in my neck of the woods. We're staying safe.

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  49. In the Mueller Report there are 4 kinds of redactions. The type of redaction is printed over the blackout in a contrasting color. Where redactions are very short they use an abbreviation:

    Grand Jury, GJ (assumed, I haven't seen any short Grand Jury redactions)
    Harm to Ongoing Matter, HOM
    Investigative Technique, IT
    and
    Personal Privacy, can you guess how that is abbreviated?

    It's good to be 5 again!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Not sure, but I suspect it's SH for small hands.

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    3. I was thinking DT for diminutive toadstool.

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    4. Now you're getting all mushy. And the thought of kissing that toad, ugh! I doubt you'd get a prince. Probably a Pence.

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    5. I was thinking of a different definition for stool.

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  50. Breaking News:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47987971

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  51. Today in the mail, I received the official 2019 congressional census in a very important looking envelope. Of course, the real census isn't until 2020.
    The paperwork states that Prez Chump has requested it and I need to send this in as soon as possible. Of course, when sending it back to the republican national committee, I should also enclose a financial contribution.
    Well, I will be sending back an empty envelope back and the questionaire will be making a short trip to my shredder!!

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    1. Don't forget to include your contribution; perhaps something a dog may have left on your lawn.

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    2. Yeah, that's all it's good for!

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    3. It's too bad sending the (toad) stool is illegal, but it's not illegal for you to put in the envelope:

      old leaves from your back yard
      grass clippings
      random bits of paper
      newspaper articles about Trump
      or something else creative! Try to waste their time.

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    4. Good ideas, but... the way the world is these days I probably will just shred the whole thing. People get too edgy over anything.
      A quick search of the internet shows this tactic has been used many times before by the GOP.

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    5. If it came with a prepaid mailer, tape it to a brick.

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  52. This week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Daniel Nathan of Washington, D.C. Think of a common greeting in another country. You can rearrange its letters to get the capital of a country that neighbors the country where this greeting is commonly spoken. What greeting is it?

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    1. Reminds me of a Robin Williams line.

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    2. Place an anagram of a country between two common greetings to get a common greeting in a neighboring country.

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