Sunday, August 18, 2019

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 18, 2019): New Math?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 18, 2019): New Math?:
Q: If five = four, six = nine, and seven = five, what does twelve equal?
I haven't heard this air yet, and I already have the answer.

Edit: My hint is it's easier to see this puzzle written down than to listen to it. Also, a very similar version of this puzzle aired about ten years ago. The clock was a little bit of a misdirect although you do see clocks with Roman Numerals.
A: Roman Numerals within the spelling of the first number equal the second number.
fIVe = 4
sIX = 9
seVen = 5
tweLVe = 55

207 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. The only mystery about this week's puzzle is how Blaine posted it before it was aired!

    LegoWhoBelieveBlaineMustBeSomeKindOfWizardOrTimeTraveler

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    Replies
    1. I think the answer may disappoint: on the NPR website they posted the puzzle (no audio yet) at 7:55 AM ET. If that were the source it took lazy Blaine 45 minutes to repost!

      Delete
    2. I don't care, eco. Blaine is still my hero!
      To tide you Blainesvillians over until eco inevitably emerges with one of his wonderful Bonus Puzzles, here is a preview of one of the "Riffing Off Shortz and Lipscomb Puzzle Slices" that I shall be offering on Joseph Young's Puzzleria! this coming Friday:
      If five = seven, six = nine, and seven = thirteen, what does twelve equal?

      LegoByTheNumbers

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    3. I bet there are several people that thought the NPR puzzle should be, if five = four, six = three, and seven = five, what does twelve equal?

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    4. Now you're putting pressure on me! So I'll add to the midriff:
      If four = three, seven = two, and eleven (also) = two, what does zero equal?

      EcoWhoWouldNeverEvenImagineStealingFromLego

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    5. For some of us, methinks seven would equal three.

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    6. For Blaine's solution: five = a four letter word, six = a three letter word, seven = a five letter word, so twelve = a six letter word. This is a little too simplistic a solution. I don't think Will Shortz would ever choose such a Sunday Challenge.

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    7. Belated correction: Blaine's having the answer had nothing to do with when NPR posted this puzzle.

      More on Thursday, it's late now and I'm going home.

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    8. I was referring to Blaine's comment above,"I bet there are several people..." I was NOT referring to the actual challenge or its solution. I was trying to suggest that "there would not be several people..." who would think that "six would = three."

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    9. I understood that; I was referring to my and Lego's postulating about Blaine's "I haven't heard this air yet, and I already have the answer."

      My initial theory was that NPR posted it before the puzzle aired out here on the west coast. But now I have arrived at a different aphorism, throwing out the old one.

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  3. As is obvious, you will get no answer from any ordinary math procedure.

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  4. Blaine might not be a wizard, but like Superman (who circled the world at super speed) he is engaged in time travel.

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  5. The puzzle was easy to solve, but a good hint will be harder.

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    Replies
    1. Puzzle Winner Jacob from Seattle. A smart cookie who whipped through those anagrams. I would be a deer in the headlights. Yea KUOW 94.9. Some smart cookies in Seattle it seems.

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    2. After his rise to stardom status, this morning, our mayor has declared Jacob a Ladder Day Saint.

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    3. I listened to first part of interview by Radke with Ocean Vuong. His voice threw as I thought it was a 12 year old boy. Such strong words contrasted with a soothing voice. Good interview on toxic male masculinity.

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    4. The second part if just as informative, but is different from the first part. Thanks for the feedback.

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  6. Gravity, it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

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  7. Hmn? Does this have anything to do with a clock face?

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  8. What is the limit of a divergent sequence?

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  9. Seeing everyone else post, kinda made me want to post also. I have AN answer, but I don't know if it is THE answer.

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    Replies
    1. My hint was "seeing everyone else..." alluding to "When in Rome..."

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    2. When in Rome speak Latin? Deux vitae.

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  10. Try as I might, I can’t think of any numbers that equal zero.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and two would equal zero as well. I have the answer. Try these CARTOONS OF THE WEEK!

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    2. Neither one nor two would equal zero. would equal zero.

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    3. Par for the course for eco, eco, eco. . .

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    4. One = none, two = none, none = zero.

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    5. Some say that one, nine and ten equal zero.

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    6. Since we're talking numbers, remember when Algorithms were part of the national discourse?

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    7. Charles: Wouldn't those folks (who say one or ten equals zero) say nine equals one?

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    8. As for one and two = zero, nominally true, but there is a philosophical issue.

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  11. Solving this puzzle is easier if one remembers my mother’s rule about good children being seen but not heard.

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  12. SZ: I M 4 U S I M S I M U A I L B S 1 4 F R.

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  13. When it comes to clues, Iowa might be a good one. From the looks of the proceedings at the State Fair, the vegan Senator is losing momentum.

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  14. I see a good mix of mildly revealing clues above. Those in the hospital industry should do well with this one.

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

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    2. Bummer! How about Madonna then?

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    3. call me crazy but I don't see how the deleted clue is any better or worse than Bee Gees, but then I don't claim to know that artist's works very well

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    4. The answer appeared in a google search before I finished typing.

      Resistance is Futile! But it's so cute that Word Woman keeps trying with her little Duckduckgo thing.

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    5. Hey, eco, belittling DDG may get you down, going afowl of the interwebs.

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    6. I heard it was run by a bunch of quacks.

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    7. A pâténtly unfair statement!

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    8. Eider better, uh, not say, um, more.

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    9. Speak up, we canardly hear you.

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    10. Do pâté makers always deliver?

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    11. Sure. What would you like, perhaps a jar of Skippy peanut pâté?

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    12. Did you see the little vignette about Brian on 60 minutes? It is tough when you lose three younger siblings. He is trying to do a solo tour with a niece, but its tough to do those beautiful harmonies by yourself. "How do you mend a broken heart, how do you keep the rain from fallin down.
      One year they had life five number one singles in a row" So sad.

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    13. Thanks, Plantsmith.

      As we all know, the Bee Gees had a VAST hit with Staying Alive, from Saturday Night Fever.

      I presumed that if someone *already had* the answer of Fifty Five, that they might have heard the commercials from my youth "Stay Alive - Fifty Five" and that this was a sly enough clue to those who got the answer honestly.

      I objected to the clue of Sammy Hagar because his song is called "I Can't Drive 55" and it is the only song he has ever recorded with a number in it, and it comes up in the top few Google results. So Sammy seemed a dead giveaway.

      And I always liked the Bee Gees better.

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    14. This clued me in as to the answer; however the Roman numeral thing was elusive and here I was clueless. Fortunately they did not ask me on the,air I though it had to do with the Fibonnacci sequence (sp?)Sammy also had a song "Spaceship Five."

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  16. I should put these numbers on my Honda car's license plate.

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    Replies
    1. Honda cars in my experience don't work well.

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    2. I own two Hondas and love them.

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    3. I have a HOnda that should have been painted yellow. My DIL refers to it as ,"the car from hell."

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    4. My car is a Honda Civic. The word CIVIC only uses Roman numerals (C=100, I=1, V=5).

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    5. Natasha, I think Hondas are great cars. My garage says they "never come back in," so I think they do work well.

      I was in fact offering a second clue, thinking that Bobby was indeed cluing a CIVIC. (And he was.)

      CIVIC "doesn't work well" because even though it is made entirely of Roman Numerals, they are in the wrong order and CIVIC is meaningless. CCVII = 207. CIVIC = nothing.

      And if he was instead driving a Honda Accord, CCD is still meaningless to the romans.

      Buy a Toyota instead. I have a RAV 4. A great car, which is worth 5 or maybe 5 4 or maybe 9. your mileage may vary.

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  17. Thank God I don't have to fool with the challenge this week. I don't do number puzzles.

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    Replies
    1. So you have Arithmophobia? me too.

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    2. No, I just prefer word puzzles. Any phobias I plan to discuss with my therapist later this week.

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    3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn283OjPb1g

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  18. I was happy to get the email from Mr. Shortz telling me my puzzle was selected this week. The crazy thing is that I submitted this about a year and half ago and I had completely forgotten about it! I hope you guys like it!

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations! Too difficult for me.

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    2. I think this is the best puzzle we've had in a long time now. Even though I solved it while still in bed.

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    3. GREAT PUZZLE! I have submitted puzzles also, but Will has never used one of mine. Congratulations!

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    4. Congratulations Tyler; perhaps if it had been broadcast earlier it could have gotten a better rating.

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    5. Tyler - nice puzzle, even without the asterisks.

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    6. Mary had a little plane,
      in which she liked to frisk.
      Now wasn't she a foolish girl,
      her little *?

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    7. Fine work, SDB.
      Stronger than:
      The Astors sailed a little freight
      Upon the ocean brisk
      And no one did anticipate
      John Jacob Astor risk

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    8. Congratulations, Tyler. I agree with the other Blainesvillians here who found your puzzle very enjoyable.
      Great job!

      LegoWhoGuessesThatTylerLipscombIsLikelyNotRelatedToGene"BigDaddy"Lipscomb(EvenThoughTylerIsAnAllProPuzzleMaker!)

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    9. Nice job, Tyler! It was a fun puzzle.

      As a comparative data point, I have actually won once and played on the air with Will. But I've submitted four or five puzzles to him and never gotten one past the front door. Congrats!

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    10. I too had a puzzle that sat in the hopper for over a year before he used it. That was several years ago. Since then, I have sent him a few more which have been rejected. So, congratulations. This was a fun puzzle.

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    11. I just got the answer - glad to have done so before the deadline. Took me only about 1000 minutes! Believe me when I say it has only a little to do with math (even though it is about numbers). --Margaret G.

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    12. Interestingly, my first reply (before I knew the answer) was "Love it", and the word "Love" also has LV/55 in it. My clue above is that it only took ME about 1000 minutes... M = 1000. Or MInutes=1001. Or Margaret=1000.

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

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  20. No clue here but I think this is a very clever puzzle.

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  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. So, if 5 = 4 and 6 = 9 and 7 = 5, 12 must equal x, right? Solve for x.

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

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    2. Jan, I missed your latest sin. Inputting the wrong words?

      Also, at the end of last week you noted my comment "When you throw your Black humor in the Hopper it isn't worth a Nichol, son. was prescient. I gazed into my crystal ball and still don't see it.

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    3. Apparently, though I don't see how my post was any more revealing than TomR's.

      As for my earlier comment, explanation will have to wait for Thursday.

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

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  23. If I were to request a second helping of Scaloppine al limone at my favorite Italian restaurant, would that be too revealing?

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  24. Every week it becomes more difficult to winnow the comments here.
    I have an answer that, at the least, can not be called wrong.
    However, it does not rise to the level of "great!!" "best in a while!!" etc.
    So it is on to Thursday.
    Last week I sent in the observation about dropping the first letter just to make sure Will had it to ignore. He did.

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  25. Yesterday I was watching films & documentaries of 'Woodstock' when I heard Country Joe and the Fish: "...5,6,7, open up the pearly gates...". Did not help.

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  26. Replies
    1. Nice, Blaine.
      And 3.14159...=500-499.

      LegoWhoAlsoEqualsANumberBetweenZeroAndOneHundred

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    2. And thus Blaine confirms my revised theory. The only remaining question is why he was up at 3 am - another tree slamming cars?

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    3. Hmmm, Lego, the ... makes me think not. . .

      WordEllipsisWoman

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. I think Lego's on target.

      EcoWhoKnowsWordWomanIsTenTimesGreaterThanHeIsAndWhoWillNeverTakeACheapShotAtLego

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    6. Ah, I believe I see now. . .
      .
      .
      .

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    7. @eco, I'm testing a new theory and picking a non-popular time to submit my answer. :)

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    8. The theory that they pick a time and the entry submitted closest to that time is the winner? Was that ever confirmed? That should be disclosed by NPR.

      I don't know why entries couldn't be assigned a number, and then a random number generator used to select the winner, that seems more fair.

      I don't care, I never submit; no need for Sedoku books. Except creative challenges, vain attempts to have my ego boosted.

      Delete
    9. NPR is secretive about their selection process. I recall they once stated a date and time are selected at random. It would be great if winners who post on here could tell us when they submitted answer. Some are on here now.

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    10. And anybody notice they no longer have the contestant ask a question for Will? A new conSpicery theory!

      Maybe Will's an automaton, and can't say anything new?

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    11. Eco: I forgot about the question. Wonder why no longer asked. Did they ask SDB when he was on air?

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    12. eco- perhaps someone attempted to ask Will how winners were chosen so they decided to put a permanent block on that segment?

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    13. Blaine - if I was your teacher, I would almost flunk you for that one.

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    14. TomR: "If I WERE your teacher..." Sorry, it's part of my menagerie of pet peeves.

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    15. Jiminy, eco, worrying about grammar in the blogosphere will make your head explode.

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    16. I think my ear is under my file cabinet. I only corrected TomR because he was calling Blaine a flunky. Otherwise I'd let him pass.

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  27. Decided to look at the puzzle that Blaine posted and bingo! Clever puzzle. I was completely on the wrong track before today!

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  28. When I was selected last year, the preliminary interviewer asked if I had a question I’d like to ask Will. I said yes. During the follow up call, I was invited to ask my question. My question and his answer were both aired that Sunday.

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    Replies
    1. Do you remember what day/ time you submitted your entry? Blaine is too young to get irregular for no reason....

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    2. Sorry, but I don’t recall.

      Delete
  29. Replies
    1. Or 5,454, if I calculated correctly.

      LegoWhoWheneverHeCalulatesIncorrectlyWhilstTwiddlingBeadsOnHisSorobanGetsFrustratedAndAbacusses!
      Reply

      Delete
    2. Want to confuse an American clerk? Go to a store and purchase, say, $8.17 worth of stuff. Hand them a $10 bill, and then, after they've punched that into the machine, give them a quarter. The Japanese kids would have that figured out before you finished pulling out the quarter, convulsive confusion here. Though older clerks can still figure this out. GROUSE, GROUSE, GROUSE. Lego, why haven't you posted answers on Puzzleria!?

      Speaking of puzzles, I can readily understand about half the time slots in Blaine's clock, anyone know them all?

      Delete
    3. You don't to work that hard to confuse a clerk. Order a fifth of a pound of something where they use a digital scale and watch the reaction. Most of them have no idea and will pretend they didn't hear you.

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    4. A little learning is a dangerous thing.

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  30. Explanation of the clock expressions:
    1. From Euler's Identity, e^πi = -1. Then multiplying that by cos π (which is -1) we get 1.
    2. Since 100 = 10², log₁₀(100) = 2
    3. 2 * ∫x dx = 2 * [x²/2] from 1 to 2 = 2 * (4/2 - 1/2) = 2 * 3/2 = 3
    4. Since sin(π/2) = 1, this is just 2² = 4
    5. ∛(5³) = 5
    6. 3! = 3 * 2 * 1 = 6
    7. 0111 base 2 = 0*8 + 1*4 + 1*2 + 1*1 = 7
    8. Product of 2*0+2 and 2*1+2 = 2 * 4 = 8
    9. √(9²) = 9
    10. Since 1024 = 2¹⁰, log₂(1024) = 10
    11. B base 16 (hexadecimal) with symbols ...9, A, B, C, ... = 11
    12. Sum of 3*1-2 + 3*2-2 + 3*3-2 = 1 + 4 + 7 = 12

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Blaine, Euler slipped my mind, don't use radians, and have long vanquished calculus from my brain.

      This puzzle has triggered some old memories.

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    2. I had to reject another "math" clock I saw that had this expression --> (π - .14)² for 9. There's a reason that 3.14 is called a rational approximation of pi and anyone that knows what irrational means would know it can't be 3.14 or 3.14159 or 22/7 or...

      Delete
    3. Word Woman will note I post this Kate Bush link every March 14, though she (Kate, not WW) takes some liberties with the numbers, somewhere around place 50 or so, and skips 20 or so digits altogether.

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  31. I have no idea what this week's answer is and can't wait to hear it!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Natasha!! Probably too late though.

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    2. I meant to say that once Thursday gets here, to me, it's not worth trying to solve. Oh well, maybe next week!!

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    3. 68 It is really easy. Follow my instructions. Took me awhile. I was on the right track but reading the puzzle carefully.

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

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  33. Yeah! Hickenlooper is running for the Senator from Colorado!

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  34. Hope he wins!
    Just saw this article about the "Cardboard Cory Tour"!!

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  35. Clever puzzle! Some of you guys have no clue how to give good hints.

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    Replies
    1. jsrichter,

      Welcome.

      On its face I agree with your post, but you are new here, and we don't know you, so it could have opposing meanings. It could mean you think some of the "clues" are too revealing (which I agree with) or you could mean the "clues" are not helping to solve the puzzle. Our posts here are not supposed to help anyone solve the puzzles, but to show, come Thursday, we have solved it, or perhaps for some who have also solved it to maybe comprehend a "clue."

      I think my "clue" is obscure, but to the careful observer who has already solved the puzzle this week. In about an hour I will explain my "clue."

      Anyway, welcome to the blog.

      Delete
    2. SDB: I understood your clue after I solved the puzzle. I wish I would have read your clue more carefully as it did not seem like a clue at first and that was fine for the rules on here....long sentence...I know...

      Delete
    3. SDB,

      Thank you! I am new to the puzzle hussle and figure doing one every Sunday would get the cogs in the brain running again. I submitted a numerical answer....I'm 0-1 now

      Looking forward to posting here from now on.

      Delete
    4. I am also relatively new. There are a wide range in given clues- some harder than the puzzle itself. As far as a clue allowing verification of the answer-: well many times I don't have an answer until several clues come in. I have my own personal favorites on the blog as far as clues and I think you will also. Perhaps it has to do with learning styles -I don't know? I was about 1 for 4 before,but now am doing better.

      Delete
  36. Each of the words contains a Roman Numeral. fIVe = 4; sIX = 9; seVenN = 5; tweLVe = 55

    My Hint:
    "
    The puzzle was easy to soLVe, but a good hint will be harder." SOLVE also contains the answer Roman Numeral 55.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I wrote, “As is obvious, you will get no answer from any ordinary math procedure.” The hint is fROM ANy.”

    ReplyDelete
  38. tweLVe = 55

    Every word describing a number contains a Roman Numeral, i.e., fIVe = 4, sIX = 9, and seVen = 5.

    "I always took a diM VIew of that rule." 

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  39. Each number contains a Roman Numeral:

    FIVE = FOUR (IV)

    SIX = NINE (IX)

    SEVEN = FIVE (V)

    TWELVE = FIFTY FIVE (LV)

    My hint: EIGHT = ONE (I)

    ZERO in Latin = NULLA

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  40. 55 (fIVe = 4, sIX = 9, seV = 5, tweLVe = 55)

    >> When you throw your Black humor in the Hopper it isn't worth a Nichol, son.
    > Prescient, eco!

    ecoarchitect's comment was posted a day before the puzzle was. A "nickel" is slang for "5"; back when the nationwide 55 mph speed limit was imposed, truckers would refer to 55 as "double nickels" on their CBs.

    >> So, if 5 = 4 and 6 = 9 and 7 = 5, 12 must equal x, right? Solve for x.
    > How would you write that in elven runes? [deleted]

    I don't see how the second comment is more revealing than the first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jan, thanks for noting my sagacity; I am the chosen one!

      On your administered clue did you write the "lv" in bold font? It kind of looks like that here, but I can't quite tell. Doing that would certainly merit administration, otherwise I agree your sins were minor.

      Delete
    2. No, my deleted comment did not have the "lv" in bold. Nor did TomR's undeleted comment. I bolded them in my reveal for explanatory clarity.

      Delete
    3. I felt "solve" wasn't calling attention to itself, unlike "elven".

      Delete
  41. My hint: 2050 <=> MML <=> roMan nuMeraLs

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hidden Roman Numerals: fIVe = four, sIX = nine, and seVen = five → tweLVe

    SPOILER ALERT: this is a repeat puzzle from April 26, 2009. Blaine figured this out right away (23,041=500 is also a repeat), it took me until Monday. Sorry, Tyler, summer is the rerun season.

    ...like Superman (who circled the world at super speed not following the 55 mph speed limit) he is engaged in time to Roman Times? travel. In the 1950's TV series, Clark Kent (played by George Reeves) is engaged by Perry White (John Hamilton) who often exclaimed "Great Caesar's Ghost!"

    Neither one nor two would equal zero. " " would equal zero. There is no zero in the Roman Numeral System. The second sentence was supposed to have several blank spaces, indicating "nothing" equals zero, but "Alas, I was spaced out" by the Blogger algorithm.

    Blaine's having the answer had nothing to do with when NPR posted this puzzle. Blaine remembered a very similar puzzle in 2009. "I'm Going Home" honors the band Ten years After, last week was fifty years after they performed that song at Woodstock, "featured in both the subsequent film and soundtrack album and catapulted them to star status" - from Wikipedia.

    I have arrived (I came) at a different aphorism(= saw, as in story), throwing out (conquered) the old one. Veni, vidi, vici. A ripoff of someone's clue 10 years ago.

    perhaps if it had been broadcast earlier it could have gotten a better rating. A perfect X? MPAA stopped using X ratings in 1991. And this puzzle was broadcast earlier. Am I beating a dead horse?

    Inputting the wrong words? TomR wrote the puzzle as numerals, which missed the point.

    ECoWhoKnowsWordWoManIsTenTimesGreaterThanHeIs C =100, M = 1000.

    Maybe Will's an automaton, and can't say anything new? Have I beaten the horse dead yet?

    This puzzle has triggered some old memories. That horse is surely long gone.

    Bonus Answer: If four = three, seven = two, and eleven (also) = two, what does zero equal? The number of straight line strokes required to write 4, 7, and 11. Hence 0 = ∞, which Kate Bush notes in her song Pi, linked above.

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  43. 55

    The name of the first number contains the Roman numeral of the second number. 5 (five) contains IV, so 5=4. 6 (six) contains IX, so 6=9. 7 (seven) contains V, so 7=5. 12 (twelve) contains LV, so 12=55.

    ReplyDelete
  44. How many people had a sense of deja vu with this puzzle?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought there was something familiar, but it took me a day to check. As I noted with beating poor Trigger above.

      Delete
    2. I came to that sense backwards, remembering that when a Shortz puzzle seems especially tough, think in terms of upside-down clocks or Roman numerals.
      Besides, for internal consistency, shouldn't seven "=" four, not five (fIVe)?

      Alternate below.

      Delete
    3. Rudolfo Kurchan didn't spell out the numbers back in 2009, but he included my hint: 8=1. That's quite a way back to have a sense of déjà vu.

      Delete
    4. Wow, this predates when I started doing the NPR Sunday puzzles. That's crazy how it's almost the exact same puzzle...

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    5. Tyler,
      Don't be apologetic for creating a puzzle that is similar to one someone else also came up with. This is not at all uncommon. You may recall the Rubik's Cube. Well it was also invented by an Asian guy halfway across the world at the same time. But like Thomas Edison beating Tesla to the patent office, Rubik won all the acclaim and big bucks.

      Fire was also discovered in a similar way. Ugg and Zog both came up with the discovery of fire at the same time, but they lived many caves apart and never met in person, nor did they attend the same rock concerts or parties.

      I make up jokes and with topical subjects I frequently expect whatever joke I come up with will also be coined by others. This is not always the case though. My favorite example is when Tiger Woods got caught with his pants down, so to speak, although I would never speak in such a low class manner, I heard a story on NPR that there was a web site devoted specifically to jokes about this scandal. It had already been about a week and a half since the story broke and I do not golf, but the story caused me to think perhaps I should come up with a TW joke of my own. My next thought was that they would all have been done by now. I thought I would try anyway as I was driving and my next thought was the rhetorical question I had been hearing on the radio since the scandal began that was asking: why was he driving an Escalade? The implication was, with all that money why not a Bentley or Lamborghini or something hot like that? My punch line came to me instantly. When a golfer is that successful he can choose whatever Caddy he likes. I knew it was a good joke, but thought many others would also have thought of it first. I searched and searched via Google, but could not find anything similar. I am still surprised at this. I guess it may have something to do with my joke not having anything to do with sex.

      Delete
    6. Tyler,

      It was and is still a good puzzle. Maybe just a step below Leibniz and Newton independently discovering calculus.

      It's unfortunate that the Puzzlemaster and the NPR interns don't do a better job checking past puzzles, easy to do in the internet age.

      Delete
    7. My dentist also discovered calculus. He even has plaques to prove it.

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  45. Tyler - nice puzzle, even without the asterisks.

    Refers to the French comic series and main character Asterix, who is a Gaul villager who struggles against Roman occupation. The series is well known in Europe but is rather unfamiliar in the USA.

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  46. Except for its similarly cavalier use of the nice word "equal," these work:
    "Five equals four" and "seven equals five" establish the rule that odd numbers "equal" smaller numbers with the same number of letters.
    "Six equals nine" establishes the rule that even numbers
    "equal" numbers with one and a half times their value.
    Thus twelve equals eighteen.
    Or "six equals nine" could establish the rule that even numbers equal the number of its letters times three.
    Thus twelve equals thirty-six.

    Elegant, shmelegant, this is the Sunday Puzzle.

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  47. Friends, Romans... I can't believe I did not make the connection to the answer! My efforts were all around the answers but I failed to see it!
    I'm LI VI D"!

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  48. My clue - “I see a good mix of mildly revealing clues above. Those in the hospital industry should do well with this one.”

    The first sentence used words with concentration of Roman numerals. The reference to the hospital industry was for MDs and RNs (as in Roman Numerals)

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    1. I thought of IVs first, when I read your post.

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    2. AS a nurse, I thought of IV's also.

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  49. That’s another good one! And x-ray as well.

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  50. I missed the Roman numerals, but I noticed that in the first pair the first letter matched, etc., So I submitted million as the next number that had l for the 4th letter.
    Duh!

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    1. I think this alternative answer is perfectly VaLID ... maybe even br4951ant.

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    2. Hmmm, although 49 is XLIX, not IL, si?

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    3. You're right, WW. Mea culpa.

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    4. No worries, Paul. That's part of why Roman Numerals are such a pain; the simple IL is so much easier to comprehend. . .

      Well, that and the lack of a 0 as a placeholder is the real clinker (and not the coal byproduct kind either).

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  51. I solved it fairly quickly while still in bed. My first thought was number of letters in the words, which Blaine mentioned most of us would first think of. Six was the odd man out though, so I figured if I could figure out how six could equal nine I would have the key to solving the puzzle. Luckily I then pictured a clock face with Roman Numerals and saw the six at the bottom and made the connection. I then saw that the other numbers also contained Roman Numerals.

    I enjoyed this puzzle.

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  52. Thanks DJT, the Dow is down DXIX points so far today!

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    1. DCLXVI would be a fitting finish, but it's already down >DCC!

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    2. Geez, and it was so avoidable!

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    3. btw: Melania told him that the Dow dropped DCXXIII points today, and he said "welI, where is that on a clock?"

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    4. Getting a jump on Ron's Sunday Cartoon section, don't shoot the messenger.

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  53. I wrote: "Try as I might, I can’t think of any numbers that equal zero." At least in antiquity, there was no Roman numeral for zero.

    A couple of people then pointed out that one or ten could be considered to equal zero -- reminding that me that in the Middle Ages, some scholars used N (for the Latin word "nulla") to represent zero when using Roman numerals.

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  55. Kudos to the Grim Reaper today!

    First it was David Koch, and now I just heard of the very first vaping death! WOW!

    I don't know which one I like best.

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    1. The vaper was probably a stupid young-ish person wanting to look cool and impress their friends, but doing little harm to others.

      David Koch was an evil old man who has been wanting to enrich his friends (and himself) at a painful cost to millions of innocent people and an entire planet..

      I know which one I like better.

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    2. There was no information on who the vaper death belongs to.

      As to Koch, I much prefer Pepsi Generation people.

      Speaking of total assholes, both of the more famous of the Kock brothers were Libertarians and Tea Party. I have always suspected that Libertarians mostly think of themselves as being liberal, and not actually more repulsively conservative than they actually are. I base this on several I have known who tend to be liberal leaning in civil rights issues, but not in other issues. They are usually totally against taxes, yet they cannot reply to my questioning them on how we would build roads, bridges, electrical grids, airports, etc. without taxes.

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    3. The reports were the vaper was between 17 and 38 years old. Most of those years are still young-ish in my book.

      Down here, and probably up there, a surprising number of tech people view themselves as Libertarians. Interesting in that their education is likely from a community system (even private schools are largely subsidized), and their livelihood depends on infrastructure that belongs to the commons. Not to mention that much of the computer system and the internet descends from government/ military endeavors.

      Amy Goodman needs to do a new program, Hypocrisy Now!

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    4. Well at least we have a president who cares for us and looks out for our best interests. And he came close to winning the popular vote too.

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  56. WARNING!

    We are approaching 200 posts and you will need to click on LOAD MORE to view posts after that magic Roman Numeral.

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