Sunday, July 07, 2019

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 7, 2019): On Vacation

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 7, 2019): On Vacation

I'm unable to post the puzzle this week, but I didn't want to leave you without a place to post comments on the puzzle. Somebody help me out by posting a copy here. Then feel free to add your hints.

Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any outright spoilers 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. Thank you.

148 comments:

  1. A beauty from Joseph!

    Demonym. The word is 'demonym'. Come on, Joseph! Surely you know that word! Sheesh.

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  2. This week's challenge: When you remove the last letter from Germany, Sweden or Somalia, what remains is a native of that country. What country, if you remove its last letter also leaves a native, but only after you rearrange its remaining letters?

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  3. I searched a list of nations and _demonyms_ (a word I learned today) in vain, met with no success, but eventually found the key that makes this a good puzzle. Thanks again, Joseph.

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  4. While it is the official policy of the Society To Rout Anagram Puzzles to be annoyed by such offerings, it is pretty clever. Good job, Lego (aka Puzzlemaster in Waiting).

    Bonus Puzzle (only for very stable geniuses): What country, if you remove its third letter also leaves a native, but only after you rearrange its remaining letters?

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    Replies
    1. My answer is the same one you have...

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    2. The one you posted and removed or your other answer? If the latter then you know more than I do, though I do have a variant that I might post as a Legomu puzzle.

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    3. My answer is not the one I posted & removed. My answer is a country that if you remove either the last letter or the third letter and rearrange the remaining letters yields a native.

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    4. That's what I thought. I have that second answer too, but I don't think it's Legosheepda's intended answer.

      Now I'm curious how you thought my intentionally obfuscating comments led you to believe we had the same answer - unless you are thinking of the Bonus Puzzle, which is not the same and is intentionally snarky towards recent events involving ... guess who? All revealed Thursday.

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    5. Eco, I have an answer to your Bonus Puzzle, but not sure if that is your intended answer. My answer involves removing the third letter IN ADDITION to removing the last letter. If not, I just created a bonus, bonus puzzle...

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    6. Unknown Puzzler: I think you have a different answer, mine only removes the 3rd letter, but you do have to be a stable genius to get it.

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    7. eco, Was Mister Ed a stable genius?

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  5. When I first found what I believe to be the answer to this week’s challenge, I had reservations about it. But the more I look at it, the more I like its clever wordplay. Lego, I salute you.

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  6. Is the answer a native of the country that we’re anagramming or can it be a native of a different country? The wording isn’t specific.

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  7. O.k. I just sent my answer in and I'll tell you, if I'm correct, I don't think it was a very satisfying puzzle. But then again, neither were our relations with that country.

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  8. Replies
    1. The "KY" is not HO(hoho):
      it's no laughing matter.

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  9. I found two plausible answers to this one. Good one, Lego!

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  10. Would you call a man from Denmark "Mr. Dane"?

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  11. I have the answer and it's not ICELAND → EL INCA, a native of Cuzco, PERU.

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  12. I know, Finland:La Finn. Or Al Finn.

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. And we don't have Blaine's administrating power this week. . .

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. How do you know for sure? Why risk it?

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  14. Lego, can you arbitrate this one?

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  15. Rats. Some weeks I can't get the answer and no one helps by posting it. Then weeks I do get the answer it is blurted here.

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    1. Well, Rob, at least we learned "demonym."

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    2. You just have bad timing. Or some would say good! I was checking this page all morning, and I take an hour out to go to the farmer’s market and BAM. Offending post has come and gone! 😀😀😀😀

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    3. Yeah, it leaves you wanting Samoa.

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    4. We just don't need another Turkey.

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    5. I was going to make a joke, but Iran out of ideas.

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    6. Yesterday was the 84th birthday anniversary for the Dalai Lama. He received many well wishers who all brought identical presents. As a result he was greatly incensed.

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    7. Irish you wouldn't make jokes like that.

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  16. Would Maldivians who were really naughty be Maldiviants?

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    1. Would a marker that shows actress Ione where to jump into the water be a Skye Dive Buoy?

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  17. Ron, I believe you posted the intended answer. Lego didn't say a native of a different country, as in the alternate answer I think you came up with.
    Thank you for deleting it.

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  18. I think Latvia and Haiti both slip nicely into the loophole.

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Something fishy is going on here. This comment pointed me in the right direction immediately.

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    2. Agreed.

      Cran, if the blog administrator were here he would remove your comment. Best if you do so voluntarily.

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    3. I thought so too, but didn't want to post and clue people in, but now I might as well.

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    4. Blaine really should give someone else the keys when he goes on vacation.

      Every week I watch posters give the answer away, as if that somehow makes them brainy.

      Pro Tip: It's a real challenge to post a hint that shows you know the answer without spoilers.

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    5. I agree. The puzzle reminds me of a book I read last month. Maybe you read it too.

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    6. Berf, agreed on both counts.

      It's a greater testament to puzzling prowess here to obfuscate at least one degree of separation. Two, three, or four? Now you're talking.

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    7. I often spend more time crafting a post, than I do working the puzzle. The challenge to demonstrate, to those who have already solved that I also have, without offering substantive assistance to those who haven’t, is one I enjoy.

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    8. Part 1: Finding the answer, in part to avoid posting something revealing - usually not much time.
      Part 2: Creating an obscure clue, usually about 10-15 minutes.
      Part 3: Trying to understand the other clues offered here, which usually takes the whole #$@&%*! week!

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  20. I think that Lego and Wee Willy could have worked around the flaw in the phrasing of this puzzle.
    I haven't so far, but it isn't mine.

    I also would like to hear objections to the answer "FX" to last week's challenge that Shortz chose to ignore.
    His phobia in this regard has come close to ruining this endeavor tor years.

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  21. I was hoping to hear from anyone who felt the two recent quakes. What was it like when they occurred? Could you tell the difference between the two? Pretty amazing to see those waves in people's swimming pools!

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    1. Simply put it's not our fault.

      I think most of the Californians here are in the Bay Area; the fault line that moved is very separate from the San Andreas and other Bay Area faults.

      It looks like Ridgecrest is on the southern edge of a series of faults that run through the Owens Valley, a beautiful but sparsely populated area east of the Sierra Mountains and west of the Panamint and White Mountains, more or less along State Route 395.

      Our geologist in residence can say more, but I think this is an area very interesting to people with rocks in their heads. Also has hot springs, part of the territory.

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    2. The quote "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars" is from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar during his salad days. It tells me Los Angeles is no more at fault than the Bay Area. Just buy no fault insurance and relax.

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    3. Thanks Eco! I kind of figured most of the regulars here are from further north but was still curious if they could feel it. I have a niece who just moved to L.A. and she has had a friend visiting the last few days. When the first tremors hit, the friend hid out in the empty bath tub! I think the friend was new to the coast, too!

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    4. These were very weird faults. {That's a technical term we geologists use.}

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    5. The perpendicular nature of the faults is unusual. It's not a typical strike-slip motion.

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    6. Thanks WW, that was an interesting article. There's so much to take in!

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    7. I know it's miniscule but I think it's fascinating how earthquakes can affect the time of day and distance on the earth! (Much less being able to measure it)
      I don't know if it happened this past week, though!!

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    8. Interesting article. I found it very hopeful: " you are far more likely to die by gun violence- murder -in L.A. than by earthquake." Very uplifting, if you get my drift.

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    9. As Mark Twain explained, the most dangerous place you could be is in bed, since most people die there. http://www.online-literature.com/twain/3261/

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  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. My wife's aunt, Patty in Berkeley, barely missed her demise when the freeways pancaked on top of each other in Oakland in 1980?? She was about 5 minutes ahead..

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    2. Yup, 1989. As far as geologic disasters in the US, Mt. St. Helens erupting was atop the headlines in 1980.

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    3. Now, if you could connect those dots, WW, you'd have something!

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    4. Right, but that was just a blow up.

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    5. Indeed, jan, though it'd be a tough connection, 9 years apart.

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    6. C'mon: plate tectonics, the Ring Of Fire. Wave your arms around a little. It's be worth an Ignobel Prize, at least.

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    7. Well, sure. And 9 years is nothing in geologic time. Still, I think I'll leave it up to Waverly Person (retired or not).

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    8. Do foreshocks lead to risky behavior??

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    9. It's weird (there's that word again). You can't know it's a foreshock until after the main quake happens. Similar to how you can't bracket a generation until after the end of it...Or classify a recession until after it happens.

      But, maybe you were just being funny. ;-)

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    10. I actually witnessed the Mt. St. Helens' blast from my brothers house in Portland. Unforgettable. The plume kept rising and rising and went up to almost 50 thousand feet if I remember correctly.

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    11. Plantsmith, did you collect some MSH ash? I still have mine from various distances away from MSH.

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    12. Good to know. I checked ebay and you can buy some MSH ash for up to $15 for a tiny bottle of the stuff.

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    13. You get a little Harry R. Truman in every urn?

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    14. Regarding pyroclastic flow: the muck stops here?

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    15. Harry urned his fame. And all he really did was risk his ash.

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    16. jan, you've made me rethink "muck." I always think of it as more liquidy (unlike nuée ardente) but it can be any mixture of dirt and trash and waste.

      sdb, yup, he stayed with the mountain as did David Johnston. I don't fully understand it but they seemed content to stay.

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    17. Well, you don't hear them complaining do you?

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    18. It just seems a weird word. Why did they not use pre-shocks as they have aftershocks??
      My boy scout troop used to camp at Spirit lake where the rocks would float you threw in the lake. I think Harry is there too.I had forgotten about him.

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  23. It was Video taped by friends (with their Pools Sloshing) up here in Sacramento CA. I find that interesting, as we are pretty much living on "Rock". I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, and went through the 1971 Quake and others through 1992, when I finally moved to Folsom. Have only felt minor tremors since then.

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    1. That is amazing, especially at that distance!

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  24. A Plus on a very clever puzzle. After careful consideration, and consulting instant replay, a grudging A Minus on the wording.

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  25. I was originally at sea with this puzzle but then I was able to solve it (with the last syllable).

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  26. "I love Africa in general South Africa and West Africa, they are both great countries" -Paris Hilton

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  27. I knew what the answer was from SuperZee’s early post, but I just couldn’t make the letters work. Until I was watching sports this weekend.

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  28. Is the answer a native of the country that we’re anagramming or can it be a native of a different country? The wording isn’t specific.

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    1. That is for you to figure out.

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    2. Well then...what I submitted....The distance between the country and the native is 9,993 miles.

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    3. I'm sorry to say I think your submission is not the intended answer, we'll have to see on Thursday.

      But checking your answer was fun, brought back junior high school memories and gave me a hankering for French Fries (no longer Freedom Fries because they have bigly military parades!).

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  29. Does anybody else feel like its easier to solve these puzzles while relaxing with a caffeinated beverage? I seems to me that I'm very naive without my morning tea.

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    1. Unknown, I thought of that but decided to go with, er, cough-ee after all.

      Delete
  30. It sounds like we're in the middle of Pakistan--I got ants in my pants and I need to dance!

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  31. I got this almost immediately. Clever little puzzle!

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Natasha,
      You seem to be reverting back to your old habit of posting and then quickly deleting. Why?

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    2. I actually liked her idea of trying to reverse engineer the puzzle, trying to determine what the question was by the comments and clues given here before actually reading the puzzle.

      Seems like an impossible task, I don't understand many of the postings even when I have the puzzle answer.

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    3. SDB and ECO: Deleted because thought not worth posting as after thought. Glad you read it and liked the idea, Eco. I find that I get stressed if cannot get the answer right away if read puzzle first and this method was fun to do.

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  33. Vietnam –M = native

    My Hint:
    “I agree. The puzzle reminds me of a book I read last month. Maybe you read it too.”

    The hot new first novel of poet Ocean Vuong, “On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous” was published exactly one month ago today. I first heard it reviewed on NPR and then The New Yorker. The author was born in Vietnam and grew up here. This book is so popular that the Seattle Public Library purchased 368 copies, all of which are checked out with over one thousand holds. I managed to get a copy when it first arrived and highly recommend it.

    Good puzzle, Lego!

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  34. VIETNAM - M -> NATIVE

    Nice puzzle, Lego!

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  35. VIET NAM - M = NATIVE

    My "Oh, Lego!" was being slightly exasperated at the cuteness of his puzzle.

    I think the alternate answer of HAITI - I = THAI, espoused by eco, ron, Unknown, and others is absolutely legitimate. 

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    1. I did not espouse Haiti to Thai, bonus answer below.

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    2. eco, mea culpa about the mis-espousing.

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  36. I wrote, “I searched a list of nations and _demonyms_ (a word I learned today) in vain, met with no success...” VAIN and MET are the anagram.

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  37. 1. HAITI (-I, either the 3rd or last letter) → THAI, a native of Thailand.

    2. VIETNAM (-M) → NATIVE.

    3. MAURITANIA (-A) →
    MAURITIAN, a native of the island nation of Mauritius.

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  38. ...policy of the Society To Rout Anagram Puzzles to be annoyed... Navigate is an anagram for "a native + g", and is a synonym for "rout+e". "Annoyed" is a weak attempt at a homonym for Hanoi.

    ...checking your answer was fun, brought back junior high school memories and gave me a hankering for French Fries... Fun with maps: When you measure the distance between Port-au-Prince and Bangkok on Google Maps the path shape is very much like an inverted parabola or a McDonalds® arch (or any other catenary arch, like the one in St Louis. Who knew the shortest path from Haiti to Thailand is over Greenland? FYI - go to the website, hover over Point A, right click and choose Measure Distance, then click over Point B.

    It's that round earth thing, you can track a similar path using a globe (I have an old one complete with Soviet Union territories) but it's fun watching the arch change shape as you move the points in Google Maps.

    Related, a special shout-out to the Muslims (who gave us Al-gebra and Al-gorithms, but not Al Gore), who made great improvements in mathematics (and understanding that the earth is round) in their quest to locate the Qibla, used in mosques to point to Mecca. For those without internet (how are you reading this?) or a globe this week is the special time for determining the direct path to Mecca. On July 15 (or July 16) at 9:27 GMT, 5:27 EST the sun will be directly above the Kaaba, and if you can see the sun at that time that's the direction. Otherwise you need an astrolabe. Click here for a longer explanation. For those on the other side of the hemisphere from Mecca (like most of us), on 12/13 January (21:29 UTC, 17:29 EST) or 28 November (21:09 UTC, 17:09 EST) your shadow points toward Mecca.

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  39. Bonus Question (redux): (only for very stable geniuses): What country, if you remove its third letter also leaves a native, but only after you rearrange its remaining letters?

    Bonus Answer: Whales - s = Welsh. Only very stable geniuses spell that UK nation this way.

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    Replies
    1. But the VSG would have spelled the corresponding native as "welch."

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  40. I'd like to hide a vowel please, Vanna. An " a."

    I think Haiti may be a good answer.

    I am afraid ron has Mauritius and Mauritania mixed up.

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  41. Mauritian = a native of Mauritius, which is a rearrangement of MAURITANIA - that final A.

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  42. When I realized what they key was, and decided VIETNAM was the solution, I had a different wording "issue" than I think the one Mendo had. The Puzzle said rearrangement leaves "a native", so I was thinking first of a country containing two-a's. Hence my "A Minus" posting. This one was clever if a bit difficult to phrase.

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  43. I came up with VIETNAM and HAITI and I submitted VIETNAM. But I agree that the wording was a little off.

    Kinda like a Cryptic Crossword but a little less crafty. Still a fun puzzle.

    I didn't leave a hint, because I couldn't think of one. But here is the same message written in Kreyòl Ayisyen:


    Mwen te vini ak Vyetnam ak HAITI ak mwen soumèt Vyetnam. Men, mwen dakò ke redaksyon an te yon ti kras koupe.

    Kinda tankou yon kwout Kriptik men yon ti kras mwens rize. Toujou yon devinèt amizan.

    Mwen pa t 'kite yon allusion, paske mwen pa t' kapab panse a yon sèl. Men isit la se menm mesaj ki ekri nan kreyòl Ayisyen.

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  44. I traveled to Haiti once and I LOVED Haitian Creole. It sounds like French in many instances, but is written SUPER phonetically.

    So the French would call water "de l'eau," as in "some water," or perhaps "d'eau," as in a "verre d'eau" for a glass of water.

    Haitians write "de l'eau" as "DLO" (not a joke). So "Don't drink the water" is written as "Ne bois pas l'eau" in French but "Pa Bwè Dlo a" in Kreyol. It's fun.

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    1. Ben, I enjoyed the Google Translate version of Haitian Creole:

      "Kinda is like a cryptic crust but a little less crafty. Still a fun puzzle."

      "Cryptic crust" -- I love it.

      Sounds like a beautiful language.

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    2. Perhaps LEGO will put up his family fortune and we can all open up a puzzle and pizza joint. If PUZZLERIA PIZZERIA is not available, then CRYPTIC CRUST would be a perfect name for our restaurant.

      I'm sure we will be wildly successful only serving pizzas to those who can complete a Thursday Crossword or better, and who then complain loudly that Shortz has become less rigorous/vigorous as time passes.

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  45. Thanks to all who commented in any way about my puzzle. I do apologize for the ambiguity of the wording.
    My intended answer is, as you are aware, VIETNAM/NATIVE. Of the nine puzzles of mine that Will Shortz has used, this is my favorite.
    LegoAppreciativeOfBlainsvillians(AndPuzzlerians!)

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    1. Thank you for the fun Puzzle, Lego.

      As for the "road not taken," I submitted a puzzle to Will Shortz about two years ago, but he didn't like it/use it. To wit:

      I'm looking for TWO NATIONS plus a TERRITORY that isn't formally a Nation, but everyone knows of it.

      If you use the DEMONYM version for the inhabitants of those three countries, then you can take the first DEMONYM, drop the first letter, and rearrange to get the second. Then drop the last three letters of the second DEMONYM and rearrange to get the third.

      What are the three countries and the three demonyms?

      Delete
  46. lego:
    I have been hoping all week that your submission to Will Shortz somehow worked around that the anagram asked for was "a native" and the intended answer is "native."
    I thought maybe Shortz said "Don't worry about it Joe, I stopped being vigorous in my puzzles years ago."

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  47. I can't believe i wrote "vigorous" instead of "rigorous."

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  48. I went with HAITI and THAI before I found VIETNAM and NATIVE. I found it in alphabetical order.

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    1. And thanks for deleting your post; I think it would have worked if you had only included either half of "Don't ask me/ I don't give a damn."

      For a certain generation the line is an anthem, instantly recognizable. And Country Joe and the Fish's song pops up immediately in a search engine.

      I saw Country Joe perform it live 25 years or so ago, in a very small venue - either a cafe or somebody's house, perhaps a political fundraiser. That I can't remember is ironic; most people can't remember where they saw his performances from 50 years ago. In fact, they couldn't remember the next day.... Isn't that right SDB?

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    2. That's right. I can't for the life of me remember when I didn't see Country Joe and the Fish perform.

      Delete
  49. My reference to being “at sea” was referring to South East Asia. And I solved it with the last syllable, as in “with ease” for Vietnam”ese”.

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  50. Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu of Israel may be in serious trouble. They discovered there is a mohel in Mossad, their national intelligence agency.

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  51. I came up with USA. Remove the A and you leave “SU” or Sioux.

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  52. Vietnam - m = Native
    Being on vacation, and three time zones from home, I lost track of, “Posting Time.”

    My comment about having reservations was intended to (mis)lead to Native Americans and to searches for countries, which minus a letter would anagram to such demonyms as Sioux, Apache, etc. (I didn’t think that leading to the word native was too much of a hint as the puzzle statement included it.)

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  53. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Eric Berlin. Take an 11-letter word with two D's in it. If you drop both D's, you'll get a world capital followed by a sign of the zodiac. What's the 11-letter word?

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  54. Will also acknowledged FX as an answer to the previous puzzle.

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  55. I have a hint, but I won't post it today.

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    1. Don't wait too long: Thursday will be too late.

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