Sunday, September 15, 2019

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 15, 2019): World Menagerie

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 15, 2019): World Menagerie:
Q: Name a world capital in 12 letters. If you have the right one, you can rearrange its letters to name two animals — one in three letters and the other in nine. What capital is it, and what are the animals?
I guess we have no hope of rehabilitating Will Shortz; he can't pull himself away from the anagram puzzles.

Edit: The country of HAITI can be found consecutively in the work reHAbilItaTIng.
A: PORT-AU-PRINCE --> RAT, PORCUPINE

159 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. You can also rearrange the letters to two types of fruit.

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    Replies
    1. Or an artist and a disease.

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    2. Or two things an artist might have. STRAP is having a meltdown.

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    3. Or a mineral and an article of clothing.

      These extended riffs are the real challenge. How many good ones are there?

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    4. Washington DC → cow + gnats + hind

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    5. Or a 2 word phrase that describes a Trump speech

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    6. Washington DC was the first 12-letter capital I thought of! I got cow, and then...nothing. Luckily, there are not that many 12-letter capitals so I was able to work my way through some others and come upon the answer.

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    7. Other possible three letter animals in Washington, DC are cat, dog, and ant.

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    8. Not to mention hog, git, and the four letter word, sh*t.

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    9. I may have done the above additional anagrams for the world capital differently, so I'll ask: I had the article of clothing being also one of the two things an artist might have. (I had the other thing an artist might have being anagrammatical {the dictionaries did not have anagrammable} into the mineral.)

      So, did everybody else here experience the same, or was there a different solution that I missed?

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    10. It's possible, but we'll likely need to wait until Thursday to confirm.

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    11. So eco: Your two things an artist might have. Is one of those two things an article of clothing? And can you rearrange the other thing into the name of a certain mineral?

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    12. E&WAF: I think you've got it, but I have to type softly; if word got out that I had done anything related to anagrams the rightfully angry members of STRAP would tar & feather me.

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  3. The letter breakdown made this one far too easy.

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    1. Yes, too easy. How many 12-letter world capitals are there? Not that many!

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  4. Brings back memories of a more creative puzzle from several years ago.

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    1. Snipper,
      Perhaps we are thinking of the same puzzle from the past. I searched but could not find the one I was thinking of, but it was one of my favorite NPR Sunday puzzles. It went something like this:
      Rearrange the letters in a 12-letter word to form two plural words. The letter "s" appears nowhere in the 12-letter word.
      What are these three words?


      LegoWhoGivesTheFollowingHint:BothPluralWordsIsThisPuzzleAreLivingThings

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    2. I thought Snipper was referring to a puzzle that was more of a misstep.

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    3. Sorry Lego - not that one. I think Eco is on to the right one!

      SnippetWhoFeelsBadSteeringLegoToDifferentPuzzle

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    4. No apology is necessary, Snipper. Please do not feel even a snippet of remorse. I enjoyed revisiting (and attempting to recall and recreate) this wonderful puzzle from the NPR past. I am always confident and at ease with Snipper behind the wheel.

      LegoWhoObservesThatThereIsNoSuchAnimalAsABumSteerInTheWorldOfPuzzledom

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    5. Twelve-letter word that can be split to spell two plural words that contain no S. Each word represents living things: POLICEPEOPLE.

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    6. Lego -

      I loved your links! Sounds like you found the right puzzle from yesteryear - if so, quite a feat of accomplishment!

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  5. Looks like we're back on the anagram merry-go-round.

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  6. I think this is the earliest hint I've ever seen from skydiveboy.

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  7. Dam*! Will does buck the recent trend of better puzzles! He needs an editor!

    PS: The Society To Repulse Anagram Puzzles (STRAP) will not attempt to put this puzzle in order.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps you can get some celebrities, like Bono, Jay-Z, Rihanna, to give a concert to raise awareness for STRAP?

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    2. I am certain they would all enjoy their PARTS to play in that concert.

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    3. Bono won't do it. He's a Noob.

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    4. Hmmm,... Do I suppose that Enya might be willing to perform at that concert?

      Hmmm,... Naye!

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    5. Only if she were Stranded there!

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  8. Lulu said 433 correct answers this time but I thought she said 466 answers two hours ago. I wonder why the difference and why it was important to change it? Doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me. . .

    Holly, you are missing this drama by not listening ;-).

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  9. I posted something last week that could also be used as a hint to this week's lousy puzzle.

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  10. This puzzle is so easy there will be a gazillion submissions and correct answers.

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  11. The answer does not appear to be GATORS/GENIES or MOONING/TOADS... Darn'it, I'm stuck.

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    Replies
    1. Answer not watchdog/sin. I did not submit JASE/JAWS last week as thought not acceptable. Surprised when I heard WS accepted the answer!
      Used special site to help me solve today.

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    2. No. two N's in Washington DC. See above.

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  12. Ni Holly, You did great and sounded great! We don't listen live either, Your cheery voice and responses made our day.

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! I'm glad it sounded OK. There is nothing quite as nerve-wracking as trying so solve an anagram while Will Shortz waits for you.

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  13. Buddhism is Buddhism and Judaism is Judaism and never the twain shall meet?

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    Replies
    1. Mark Twain wrote The Prince and the Pauper. Removing PAUPER from PORT-AU-PRINCE leaves CITRON. Different types of citrons are used in Buddhist and Jewish rituals.

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  14. I guess it is too late to suggest not using your computer to solve this.
    It never crossed my mind; I decided immediately on the two sites I would use to figure this damnagram out.
    I did learn a new capital and found an arterial band.

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  15. Sort of related Riffing Bonus Puzzle: (which also recalls Lego's puzzle from last week)

    Name a location in the United States, rotate the first letter, and the result can be split into 2 words, an animal in 5 letters + an American music genre (number of letters not given to make it a little tougher, since everyone solved the main puzzle so quickly).

    What is the location, animal, and genre? Please hold off on answers until Thursday, clever hints to this not very clever puzzle welcome.

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  16. Replies
    1. Would a "real" American pronounce genre like that?

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    2. Well, Trebek is Canadian.

      To answer your question: over and over. ^^^That's the link I meant to post originally.

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    3. Name another five-letter animal and rotate the first letter to get a different American (broadly speaking) style of music.

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    4. Sorry to hear that. And sorry to hear Cokie Roberts died. I know she was looking forward to covering 2020 election.


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  17. I was one of the 433 (or 466) correct answers last week (in the Jase-Jaws category, which made me wonder if Blaine’s visual clue of Bruce was tmi). Several months ago I was one of the 130 or so Len Cariou-Alice Munro correct answers (my best odds recently). Over the past 30 years, I’ve been submitting pretty much week in and week out—and mostly correct answers—which means, if I’ve done the math right, I’ve submitted about 1,500 times. Hope does indeed spring eternal. But I have enjoyed the Blainiacs’ oblique clues and posts. Please do keep up the good work. Some day...

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    1. I thought Blaine had a picture of Jaws posted and so decided not to submit Jaws. Blaine does not post the answer as a picture that I can recall.

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    2. Dr. K. -- As they say, "you win some, you lose some." Or maybe you lose them all?

      All I can say is I did the basic math -- if you enter every week, you might offer 50 correct entries per year.

      And if puzzles have about 500 correct entries per week, depending on your luck, you could play for ten years to have "even odds" of getting the call.

      Me? I played for ten years and then I got the call. It was a "bucket list" item to play on the air. I then took a year sabbatical, and now I play again.

      So keep at it. And keep posting here with your insights (or your lack thereof). And, as every false prophet has noted, "the journey is the reward."

      (The actual reward is a lapel pin, but I can't find mine, so I better enter again.)

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    3. I have a sadder story. I also have been submitting answers almost always every week and usually correct every since they began taking on-line answers. I always need to know where I will be Thursday afternoon so I can give my cell phone number if I'm out and my home number if I'm in. One week I gave my home number. But I think they called my cell. When I picked up my cell phone later there were two missed calls at 3:00 and 3:05 from a Washington DC number. Trying to call the number back, I got one of those 'if you know your party's extension enter it now'.

      Might have been them.

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    4. Probably was. Or it could have been Trump looking to offer you a Cabinet Position. Perhaps National Security Advisor.

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    5. Dr. K: one other issue seems to be timing your submission.

      In the postcard days one imagines they put all the cards in a bin, and pulled one out at random. The leading theory is now NPR chooses a random TIME between the puzzle start and the puzzle finish, and the person who submitted closest to that time (and has the correct answer, of course) is the winner. A different form of random selection.

      That alters the strategy: submitting it right away, especially if it's an easy puzzle, reduces your odds if there are a lot of correct answers with a Sunday morning time stamp.

      Choosing a time with fewer submissions would increase your odds; this is why I asked this week's winner when she submitted - it was some time Monday. [PS Holly, I'm very jealous of your living in Oak Park, home of Frank Lloyd Wright's early work. Except in January. The interior of Unity Temple is almost perfect space, too bad they now charge admission, 30 years ago you could just walk in.]

      Blaine recently confessed to arising in the middle of the night to submit an answer, trying to beat the odds. I don't think he's ever won, but he certainly gets the answer almost every week. I haven't submitted since postcard days, no need for dictionaries, no interest in Sedoku books, no lapels for pins.

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    6. When you said: "Except in January," I thought you were referring to the way so many of Wright's buildings leak.
      Maybe January isn't as wet there as here.
      And I agree about Unity Temple. It is hard to contemplate water damage there,

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    7. Really? Our beloved leader Blaine has never won? That's criminal. If I win a second time, I'm telling them my real name is Blaine and I'll try to get him on the air.

      It's a shanda.

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    8. Oak Park is beautiful any time of year—but if you're planning on doing the Frank Lloyd Wright walking tour, better just skip November thru March altogether. Maybe July and August too.

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  18. eco:
    Imagine for a moment you are heading out on a camping trip. Where would be the most stupid place you might pitch your tent?

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    1. Someplace a bit more clever than that.

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    2. While I will have to agree with you that that would certainly be eco friendly, it is not at all what I had in mind.

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    3. I thought we were always eco friendly here. . .

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    4. Yes, but it does depend on the environment.

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    5. Where tents shun?
      On a bear patch of land?
      In a lyin' den?
      In a place of intensity?

      One thing certain about SDB, everyone has groan from his one-liners.

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    6. Will history treat that joke with the respect it deserves, or will it actually be liked?

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  19. Take the 3-letter animal and add the first letter of the 9-letter animal. Then, add the name of an animal that is similar to the 3-letter animal. You can rearrange the letters to get a word in the name of a famous play.

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    1. Add the 3-letter animal to a surgical term and rearrange to get a word in the name of another famous play.

      Delete
    2. RAT+P+MOUSE > MOUSETRAP
      RAT+RESECT > STREETCAR

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    3. Rat+p+mouse->mousetrap, as in The Mousetrap. This puzzle was on Agatha Christie's birthday.

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  20. THIS WEEK'S CARTOONS: Trump considers Dorian & the Taliban...

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    1. In about a month we will surpass Day 1000 of the Moron in Chief. After 2 years, 238 days, 8 hours, 30 minutes and 6 seconds is anyone else growing weary of this travesty?

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    2. eco: Surprisingly not as many I would have predicted.

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    3. Eco - I think you have a more "Eco" friendly car situation, but this afternoon I filled both my cars up with gas before the expected price increases. I don't trust DJT or Pompeo regarding the truth about the cause of
      those Saudi oil fires. Plus, I am afraid their rhetoric may ignite another war, a war that may get out of control. Trump's bluster could easily push any number of countries "over the edge".

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. I run on biodiesel, which is usually much more expensive than regular gasoline or diesel - I think it was $4.76/ gallon yesterday when I bought some for the first time in about a month.

      Why would you think a Republican President would get us into a senseless drawn-out war? Or cause an economic crisis?

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    6. What Washington DC really needs is a Watchdog's Inn.

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  21. When Saint Paul the Apostle died did he have Paulbearers?

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  22. So once again Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's future swings in the balance. He seems to have been a swinging member in good standing even long before being appointed to the Supreme Courtship.

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    Replies
    1. As well as a swigging member.

      I'm willing to bet no other Supreme Court nominee has said "beer" TEN TIMES in less than 30 seconds of testimony - start counting at second 14.

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    2. I guess he likes to brag about his six-pack. Now it's really having a ripple effect.

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    3. As a judge he never saw a case he didn't want to try.

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    4. Perhaps Brett Kavanaugh may survive this latest observation of his endowment and go on to become our 3rd President Johnson.

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    5. Yes, these are the times that try men's poles (I mean souls).

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    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    7. His defense will most likely be that he was just a glanshander.

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    8. Should we as a people be concerned that 22.222222222222% of our Supreme Court justices are sexual predators?

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    9. Or 40% of the Presidents in the last 30 years?

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  23. Who hates this puzzle? And the ayes have it!

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    1. I enjoy geography puzzles because they tend to be somewhat didactic and intelligent, rather than simply trivial and juvenile. This puzzle, however, is a major exception because it was dumbed down by Will Shortz informing us of the word lengths. He does this frequently while at the same time he rejects more thoughtful and intelligent and didactic puzzles, which shows his ignorance of the listening audience.

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    2. Last week I gave up quickly when I could not make "Hannity" into "Hannibal". I did solve this weeks' puzzle, I think. But I agree that there are too many clues.

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    3. Exactly. It would have been an actual challenge without those lengths. I always ask, “Why?”

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  24. This took all of 10 seconds to get- I didn't even have to write down the city and start moving letters around. Contrast this with the total nonsense that was the "mouth" puzzle and it makes me wonder if Will is just bored with the segment at this point.

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  25. I hope I score a few points with my answer!

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  26. Blainesville is always flooded by all your super dedicated, eager, overzealous, avid crossword people. Puzzle addicts and such persons who aim to decipher each other's sentence constructions -- they are likely reacting with ideas that seem way too complicated, instead of deducing through examination.

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    1. Yea, I think I will stick with my tried and true methodology.

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    2. I submitted PORT-AU-PRINCE -> PORCUPINE, RAT

      I offered a meaningless ramble, just above. (My wife says I offer them even more often than weekly!)

      If you read the first letter of each word, skipping every other word, it spells out:

      B-A-B-Y-D-O-C
      P-A-P-A-D-O-C
      A-R-I-S-T-I-D-E

      Babydoc
      is the nickname of Jean-Claude Duvalier, Haiti's corrupt militarist leader, who ruled with an iron fist from 1971 until he was overthrown by rebellion in 1986.

      Papadoc is the nickname of Francois Duvalier, Babydoc's father. He was elected to serve Haiti in 1957, but declared himself "President for Life" and became a totalitarian leader. He was succeeded by his son.

      Jean Bertrand Aristide was the "people's leader," a former Reverend who took over after the fall of Babydoc and to great fanfare. Although he was first hailed as a savior, honest and supportive of the nation's poor, Aristide eventually succumbed to corruption as well and was run out of office.

      It's a sad history.

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    3. The sadder part of Haiti's history is the initial reason they have been so impoverished. After declaring independence from France in 1804, the French government, in collaboration with other Western powers, threatened the small nation with war.

      Under this threat Haiti agreed to provide compensation of 150 million francs, which was later reduced to 90 million, $21 billion in today's dollars.

      The reason for the compensation? To repay wealthy French plantation owners for the value of the slaves, freed under independence, and who lead the uprising and independence.

      In addition to the onerous burden, the compensation was financed by Citibank and French banks, and while the direct compensation was paid off in 1890, it wasn't until 1947 that the interest was paid off. So for over a century Haiti was under extreme economic constraints as a penalty for ending slavery. 3 score years before the United States did.

      It's a very sad history.

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  27. Last week I asked:

    Think of an old movie that won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 5 words. Change the vowel in the middle word to a different vowel and rotate the following letter 180 degrees to describe our current Administration.

    I neglected to post the answer:

    The Greatest Sham On Earth

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  28. I say, eco, isn't the word "Scattered" redundant?

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

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Are you 24 hours early? Can this be deleted until then?

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    2. AAAAGH! I thought it was Thursday. That's how frazzled my brain has been lately. So sorry!!

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    3. OK. I just wish you would perform this service for the ones that have me stumped.

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    4. I know, I was thinking this was probably one where everyone already has the answer anyway!

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  30. Since everyone has this puzzle, here's a very late Bonus Puzzle Unfortunately it's an anAAAAGHram, the shame, the shame:

    Name a world capital in 11 letters, rearrange the letters to get a 2 word phrase (6, 5 letters) for something Congress should start, even though it hasn't been in the news much lately. Hint: reverse the two words and the result is the thing DJT did that started this.

    Hold your pronouncements until Thursday, please.

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    Replies
    1. At a minimum, I am impressed. Misoverextrapolating results of other investigations also come to mind.

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    2. STORMY PROBE / PROBE STORMY
      Hints were to you-know-who's use of the Sharpie to modify the map generated from Hurricane Hunters (misoverestimating, "other investigations"). Also, "at a minimum … impressed" => minimum eye pressure.

      Delete
  31. PORT-AU-PRINCE >>> PORCUPINE, RAT

    APRON and CUPRITE are additional anagrams.

    ReplyDelete
  32. PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti → RAT + PORCUPINE, also PRUNE + APRICOT!

    Eco's bonus puzzle: NEBRASKA → ZEBRA + SKA.

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  33. Port-au-Prince → Rat, Porcupine It also anagrams to an artist's Apron, Picture

    "STRAP might tar and feather me." Tar is rat backwards, of course. Glad I didn't get BA'd.

    Dam*! Will does buck the recent trend... from Wikipedia: Male rats are called bucks; unmated females, does, pregnant or parent females, dams

    He needs an editor ... PS: STRAP will not attempt to put this puzzle in order Both Rats and Porcupines are members of the Order Rodentia, which anagrams to "an editor". PS + RAT anagrams to STRAP. We are very ashamed.

    So much mischief! A group of rats is called a mischief; I didn't know this until now, did you? I always thought the term was Rat Pack.

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    Replies
    1. Ah, names of collectives of animals; such as an exultation of larks, a murder of crows, or a parliament of owls. I just looked it up and the following does not appear to be true - but I think that's a darn shame!

      Consider the bird called a cardinal. Doesn't it make sense to you that its collective should be called a conclave? And I wouldn't mind if the collective of bees while all in the hive was called that!

      Delete
  34. Sort of related Riffing Bonus Answer: Nebraska → Zebra, Ska Before you angrily post that Ska is from Jamaica, the island is tied to the American continent. Just as Alex Trebek is "American" even though he talks funny, thanks WW for the reinforcing lead.

    very late Bonus Answer: Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) → Stormy Probe Which of course started when the filth in the White House decided to "Probe" Stormy Daniels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How about SAINT PIERRE → IRAN RESPITE (Congress, give it a rest) & Trump's RE-"SPITE" IRAN?

      Delete
    2. "My intended answer was Stormy Probe, but we also received an alternate answer of Saint Pierre → Iran Respite. A very clever answer, but can Saint Pierre be considered a world capital? It is the capital of a French overseas territory.

      What do you think, Lulu? Or is it Lala?"

      Delete
    3. 68C: do you have a problem with rich men soaking the women and children???

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    4. Hah, hah! It's no "state secret" I hate egos that are bigger than an oversized umbrella!!

      Delete
  35. My clue - “brings back memories of prior puzzle....” was referring to the barefoot thief who had “poor toe prints” which was the Sunday puzzle from several years ago. It’s also why one of my responses to Eco and Lego referenced a “feat” of accomplishment.

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  36. PORT-AU-PRINCE > PORCUPINE & RAT

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  37. Port-au-Prince, Haiti->rat, porcupine

    I saw The Mousetrap on the day of this puzzle and noticed a connection. It was very fun.

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  38. Port-Au-Prince, rat, porcupine

    With so few 12-letter world capitals, and a number of online anagrammers, this puzzle is going to have a gazillion entries.

    ReplyDelete
  39. PORT-AU-PRINCE -> RAT, PORCUPINE

    > Or an artist and a disease.

    Painter, croup.

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  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  41. PORT-AU-PRINCE -> RAT, PORCUPINE

    My post, at the end of last week's blog, "Oh darn, now my arm fell asleep," contained two clues, "Oh darn..." pointing to rats; and, "...arm fell asleep," pointing to ...pins and needles.

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  42. “Perhaps you can get some celebrities, like Bono, Jay-Z, Rihanna, to give a concert to raise awareness for STRAP”

    Those three headlined Hope for Haiti, a massive AID concert to help after the 2010 earthquake that wiped the country out. They performed a song called Stranded. I’m kinda surprised that stayed up.

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    Replies
    1. I'm guessing nobody googled those names, when you do the Hope for Haiti concert with Stranded comes right up. So I guess you got lucky, punk!

      Delete
    2. Lucky...or indifference prevailed. No one needed any help on this one.

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    3. Actually I did. I don't really like math puzzles. This was certainly a math puzzle. We had to find a whirled capital in 12 letters, and then locate a 9 letter word and a 3 letter word. My head was spinning!

      Delete
    4. “Better to be lucky than good”

      Who said that?

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    5. I'd rather be lucky than smart. Lefty Gomez, an all-star pitcher for the New York Yankees in the 1930's, is credited with saying "I'd rather be lucky than good."

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    6. Napoleon Bonaparte is often credited with saying, "I would rather have a general who was lucky than one who was good", but no evidence of this exists. Cardinal Mazarin, chief minister of France, 1642-61, said the question to ask of a general is not, “Est-il habile?” Is he skillful? but “Est-il heureux?” Is he lucky?

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  43. PORT-AU-PRINCE(Haiti), RAT, PORCUPINE
    My "points" comment referred to the porcupine's quills.

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    Replies
    1. That reminds me that I did provide a hint, but seem to have forgotten about it.

      "I posted something last week that could also be used as a hint to this week's lousy puzzle." Last week I posted the word: quill.

      Delete
  44. This week's challenge: A tough challenge this week. It comes from listener Tyler Lipscomb of Augusta, Ga. Think of an adjective in five letters in two syllables. The first syllable phonetically sounds like a synonym of the full, five-letter word. And strangely these two words have no letters in common. What words are these?

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  45. 1193 correct responses last week.

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  46. What you would have after a certain surgical procedure.

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  47. Good one Lorenzo! I was thinking that the second syllable is phonetic for a word that only has one letter in common.

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  48. But must that adjective be in five letters? When I look up the word in my dictionary, I see this puzzle's expected five letter spelling, but then I see the word "or", and then I see a six letter spelling. (Don't worry, the extra letter is still not in the synonym.)

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