Sunday, September 08, 2019

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 8, 2019): Looking Sideways

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 8, 2019): Looking Sideways:
Q: Name a popular TV personality. Write the name in all capital letters. Rotate the last letter 90° and move it forward one spot — that is, move it in front of the preceding letter. The result will name a famous movie. What is it?
I've been staring at lists of TV personalities and famous movies for so long, I can't focus.

Edit: In other words, I'm experiencing double vision (007).
A: DR. OZ --> DR. NO

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.

2. Getting this puzzle is easier than another movie that comes to mind.

Bonus Puzzle (it is a rare honor to riff off the Master Riffer):

Name something many people wish they had more of in the summer. Rotate the last letter 90°, and the result will name something many people wish they had more of all the time. What are these sought after things?

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2. I keep forgetting to post that you should hold off on the posting an answer to give other folks a chance ..... I can't blog administer that.

3. I posted an answer to the bonus puzzle, which was perhaps a bit precious for eco. So I will chat about it later.

4. Thanks Ben. It is precious; more importantly we all know most people come to this blog just for the very cool Bonus Puzzles.

And if you believe that I've got a Cabinet position for sale.

5. Are you rotating a CAPITAL LETTER or just any old letter?

6. Yes.

Snark aside, either works.

7. Sigma Σ for M or W?

8. That's Greek to me.

9. C'mon, eco. For uppercase letters, I can only think of N and Z, and possibly also H and I (and that uppercase I would have to have terrific seraphs!) And I think ron's Sigma Σ idea makes much more sense than E rotating 90° into either M or W.

For lowercase letters, I can think of quite a few pairs of letters which rotate 180° into each other (d and p, n and u, maybe b and q and possibly also h and y - the font for those would have to be just right), but what TWO different LOWERCASE letters have one of them rotating 90° into the other?

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11. For uppercase letters, I have also envisioned an uppercase A with vertical sides curving toward each other to meet in a rounded flat top and its middle horizontal bar a bit below center, which then could rotate 90° into an uppercase D with nice looking seraphs.

I've also envisioned a somewhat contrived uppercase C which could rotate 90° into a somewhat contrived uppercase U, but I feel certain that the intended answer for this week's puzzle has NEITHER of those letters as the letter to be rotated!

12. I wonn't argue with certainty, though I admit not all fonts fit the lower case option.

13. But I again ask this: Can you find ANY FONT and ANY TWO DIFFERENT lowercase letters WITHIN THAT FONT such that one of those letters rotates 90° (again, that's 90°, NOT 180°) into the other?

14. I checked earlier, and yes, there are several fonts that meet the criteria.

15. If I have the intended answer, it points to this week's answer in two different ways.

16. One was intentional by me - pure luck since I hadn't woken up when I posted it. The other is unknown to me, so I look forward to your reveal on Thursday. And now we shouldn't post either answer until then.

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1. This clue gave me the answer.

4. Thanksgiving came early this year. I got this right away.

5. Two off-topic cranky complaints: that was Paul Masson's slogan, not Gallo's. Orson Welles was willing to sell his reputation, but he never shilled for Gallo. And "allege" does not mean claim without proof. An alleged criminal may not have been convicted, but that doesn't mean that there is no proof of his or her crimes. Thanks for your indulgence--if I knew the answer to this week's puzzle I'd be giving clues rather than complaints.

1. Not to get fussy, but Merriam Webster defines allege as "to assert without proof or before proving." From lawyer friends allege doesn't mean there's no evidence, but proof only comes from a trial conviction. Or confession, I suppose.

Allege can also be used in a non-criminal context. I could allege that this puzzle will have more solvers than last week's.

1. I actually have four answers and here are THIS WEEK'S CARTOONS!

2. Zeno,
I also was surprised that she got the slogan wrong. I was going to post about it, but you already did.

We still have no idea how many chose the MOUTH answer, nor do we know if WS even looked at any of the submissions.

7. Too easy. Can’t stand the TV personality, or any that surround him/her. Love the movie.

1. Well That narrows it down doesn't it?

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2. I did the same. Truthfully, I'm grateful. Now I don't have to think about it anymore.

3. Me too! Thanks RB!

9. "Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle." Official NPR rule.
Why then report the number of "responses?" I think I know.

Back to back Minnesotan puzzle donors.

If letters are two-dimensional, then two ways of rotating them 90 degrees results in their disappearance.
If three dimensional, then the upper-case result can be vertical or horizontal lines.
Two other ways are also variable: E.g., "E" can become "M" or "W."

I guess not specifying first, last or first and last names is just part of the challenge.

Will did come up with a way to avoid disagreement on what he means by forward vs backward.

Maybe I can work on solving now.

10. I expected this week's puzzle would be super easy after the 2 week (or too weak) puzzle, but not this easy. I don't watch TV and have never seen the celeb, but I still got the answer without getting out of bed and quickly.

11. That goes for the allegation and the alligator.

12. One path will get you there. The other won't.

13. Unlike Blaine, I had no trouble focusing. I wonder if Blaine should get a new prescription.

14. Easier to work this one bass ackards, as they say.

15. This is related to a recent puzzle.

1. The answer to the July 28 puzzle was "wizard". Dr. Oz is like the Wizard of Oz.

16. I know so little about TV and its personalities. I do know something about movies, and I was able to get this one working backward, but I had to look up the personality to be sure. Take the two answers, remove half the letters, rearrange the remaining ones, and you get a word important to a recent Sunday Puzzle.

17. A rather meh puzzle after the more challenging two weeker we just puzzled over. Definitely see a connection to another puzzle this year.

18. Bonus puzzle: Think of a brand of booze and perform the reverse operation on it (i.e. rotate the penultimate letter 90 degrees and move it to the end) to name another famous movie.

19. Am I the only one who did a double take when Lulu said "more than 599 correct answers last week?"

If there were 600, then why not say 600?

If there were 601 or more, then why not say "more than 600"?

1. She actually said "more than 599 responses," and given how many here were stumped I find it unlikely there were that many correct responses.

But yes, it was an odd phrasing that sounds like the used car lot of puzzles.

BTW: do you see why I asked you to delete your answer to the Bonus Puzzle? What's more fun than torturing Ron and E&WAF?

3. Hah, I thought that phrasing was weird too. Reminded me of an old Monty Python sketch in which Eric Idle played a birdwatcher who had, in his career, seen "nearly one" bird

20. Yes, Eco, I deleted my answer to the side puzzle. Anyway, I found this week's puzzle to be too, too easy for me.

1. If I may address a possibility which I feel needs to be formally ruled out: As I've been examining various fonts with still no two different lowercase letters in which one of them rotates 90° into the other, it occurs to me that I've seen many cases of o, x, and occasionally even t rotating 90° onto itself! Could it be that eco's solution involves one of those and so the two words for something desired in the summer and something desired year-round are the same?

2. Ben, and others who cut through this week's puzzle like a hot knife through room-temperature butter:
I thought my puzzle might be tougher for y'all to solve. It seems I underestimated the puzzle-solving prowess of my fellow and "femellow" Blainesvillians.
And so, if you still have a fever, and the only prescription is more puzzles, go to Blaine's PUZZLE LINKS, open Joseph Young's Puzzleria!, and bang and clang away at your heart's content on this week's Ten puzzles!

LegoWhoDisclaims:ActuallyYouShouldProbablyBangAwayOnJustSevenOfTheTenPuzzlesBecauseThreeOfThemAreRiffOffsOfThePrevious"SixDoorCircularRoom"Puzzle...AndThatFeverHasLikelySubsided

3. Lego: I thought your NPR puzzle was both cute and good. I got lucky on my approach and solved it almost barely before WS finished the instructions for making a submission. I was surprised WS didn't mention Puzzleria! on air; I'll try to stagger over there.

E&WAF: Assuming you are looking for a ruling on this week's Bonus Puzzle (and not Lego's Puzzle), rotating does change the letter. And I apologize for an earlier typo, I meant "I won't argue with certainty."

4. Is it too much of a giveaway to note that the Bonus Puzzle is timely?

5. Lego, it's a fine puzzle. Consider the idea that I doth protest too much?

6. Thanks for those kind comments, Ben and eco. It is true that I do aspire to create puzzles that provide a sufficiently "chewy" challenge for the solvers who bite into them. But I also realize that the level of solving ability among those who comment, both at Blainesville and at Puzzleria!, is quite high.

LegoWhoIsResignedToTheNotionThatOftentimesYouSolversAreSimplyToSmartForMyRoom

7. Paul, since I don't understand your "timely" reference I can't consider it too much of a giveaway. But many days I'm not so Sharpie.

8. eco, Better to be a Sharpie than a Nosy Parker.

9. If Lego thinks we are all too resourceful 'round here, in order to achieve proper puzzling, then maybe we should have a gathering and sniff some glue, or Sharpies? The trouble is where?

10. I think the puzzle was quite reasonable on the newly coined "M'ohs! scale" of hardness (Homer Simpson solves puzzles). For me it was a stroke of luck that I got it quickly. My doctor doesn't think my strokes are so lucky.

11. And SDB, do me a Faber: let's not Bicker or I will get Cross.

12. Quill you dry up!?

21. 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.

1. Wow! Top o' the mornin' skydiveboy.

LegoWhoBelievesskydiveboyAndecoarchitectAndOtherBlainesvilliansWhoPostBonusPuzzlesAreAllMasterRiffers

22. Pardon a little nit-pick but,...

When you speak of "the" vowel in the middle word, I feel obligated to point out that the very following letter, is considered a sometimes-vowel. (Y is not the only one!)

23. Rotate 90° around the z axis. If any letter is rotated around the x or y axis, you get a line segment.

24. I assume the puzzle is referring to one word answers.

1. Natasha, see this.

2. Eco,
I cannot open that site for some reason. try again?? Thanks.

3. Sorry, I did something wrong in creating my link, here's the URL:

4. Eco, Is it the video on assume?

5. Yes indeed. I remember seeing that episode as a kid, and that scene has stayed with me since. Maybe because he said a naughty word....

6. eco, for future use, here is how you could've made that link:

7. Thanks, as others will note I've made a gazillion linked (mostly inane) linked references here. I don't know what happened with that video link, usually I give it a Preview test before publishing, but I was in a rush - the same rush that made it quicker to just give the straight URL.

I also usually add a in front because they don't show well with the color scheme Blaine uses.

And SDB, many years ago I think you wanted to do that linking and gave up, E&WAF's method is correct except the "" if you want bold, and you have to end the bold with a
, again uncapitalized.

8. Interesting, there was supposed to be a "B" surrounded by <> in the above, I thought capitalizing it would not make it work, guess not. Anyway, the letter b surrounded by <> will make bold text, and /b surrounded by <> will make it go back to normal.

9. Eco: The second link you gave me worked great.

10. I have had problems on Android devices, trying to link videos, using that html coding, for the last few months. No problems linking images when using it. When doing previews, I get a grey box with an sad face inside.

25. Short of shimple, I think!

26. I have two answers that "work," although I never heard of either celebrity and and can't imagine anyone getting them easily.
Movies are well known, but if these are the ones our boys Lego and Will want, then they stubbed their toes.

1. There are a couple of clues, up top, that are quite slick. Once you get the answer, read the Sunday funnies up top and you will know you have it. If you don't think your movie or celebrity are mainstream enough, then keep searching.

2. I immediately thought, for example, of the famous 1953 western SHANE, and I could find a character on some show named SHAWN. But SHAWN is not a "TV personality" and the intended answer isn't such a stretch.

3. By the rules SHANE would come from SHAEZ, who has a TV presence.

4. Pray tell oh gentle soothesayer.I suppose Honey boo boo might be too many words?

27. I routinely find myself thinking this movie title when listening to some of the things said by the personality on their show.

1. Yes, this. The few times I have seen this personality, that was also my reaction.

28. Am I correct in assuming this is a current TV personality? My frame of reference is such that I still think of Judy Carne as a popular TV personality, so I'm at a definite disadvantage

1. And, like that, I came up with the answer.

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30. Today the first of ten palindromic dates: 9-10-19...

1. Or the only date this year if you include the four digit year:
9-10-2019

31. Special Double Bonus Puzzle (very, very loosely related to the first Bonus Puzzle):

Think of an 8 letter word that might describe our democracy. Add the letters "ar" in the middle and the result is another word that might describe our democracy. What are the 2 words?

Ron, Ben, and others please hold off until Thursday's deadline, clever hints are always appreciated, often they improve things.

1. Golly, um, er. Okay.

2. Okay, I'll just sit over here in the corner. Apologies.

3. Don't just sit there, Ben. Turn around and face the wall for gods' sake.

4. No punismeant, but you gotta admit the discussion was more interesting with an unknown answer.

32. DR. OZ >>> DR. NO

"One path will get you there. The other won't." The furniture clue did not lead to Dr. No using duckduckgo.com. It went straight there in google.com. Another reason I don't like google >>>too much of a pop culture bent.

"Yes, this. The few times I have seen this personality, that was also my reaction." >>> Yes, as in the opposite of NO.

33. Dr. Oz & Dr. No

1. Dr. OZDr. NO (1962) The intended answer.
2. (Dr.) OZ → NO (2012)
3. JASE → JAWS (1975)
4. (Cameron, et al.) DIAZ → DINA (2017)

35. Dr. Oz → Dr. No

Getting this puzzle is easier than another movie that comes to mind. Getting to Oz was definitely not easy; "comes to mind" is a reference to [SPOILER ALERT] Oz being entirely in Dorothy's mind.

I got lucky on my approach and solved it almost barely Though not as famous as the golf game in Goldfinger, there is a scene in Dr No where Sylvia Trench, wearing not much is putting a golf ball in Bond's apartment.

36. I wrote, “Take the two answers, remove half the letters, rearrange the remaining ones, and you get a word important to a recent Sunday Puzzle.” If you remove half the letters (the right ones) in DROZDRNO, and rearrange, you get DOOR (as in the puzzle of the week before).

37. As your token Deplorable, I went JASE & JAWS.

1. I'm glad I'm not the only big fan of Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography.

2. Yes. Also Elian- Eliza. Everyone remembers Elian right?

3. Yes fellow deplorable and I did not even know who Jase was. 466 replies. You are a winner!!! I put those for Word woman as I know she loves them.

38. Bonus Answer: Many people wish they had more AC in the summer, rotating 90° yields AU, the symbol for gold. Congrats Ben on getting it right away. I liked his "precious" allusion, I added "very cool" as a lame hint.

Per eighdreeuhn, I intended the connection between gold and Oz, perhaps the other connection was to Goldfinger?

I wonn't [sic] argue with certainty E&WAF was ceretain the C wasn't rotated to make a U. I wasn't going to argue, though I knew he was wrong. I gave it a second try when I corrected by "nn" typo. Several non-serif fonts do not have the vertical line for a lower case u.

Special Double Bonus Answer: Democracy is precious → precarious

1. It was the other way around, Eco. I thought of Goldfinger immediately and only then did I consider the yellow brick road.

39. I believe Bach's "Crab Canon" is written in the key of C minor. "Crab Key" is the location of Dr. No's lair.

Perhaps "timely" was not the best word I could have chosen, but I thought it "fortuitous" that a Bonus Puzzle involved C,U in September. And I didn't solve it on my own; I read Ben's spoiler before he deleted it.

1. Paul, thanks for that fun link.

Although, CU in September has a diff(football)erent meaning here in Buff Colorado.

40. I actually came up early on with Jase and Jaws, confirmed by Blaine's graphic.
That was a good place to stop, as I can't remember a challenge I was less interested in solving.

41. The real puzzler: Who can crush a Narragansett Beer can more effectively - Dr. No or Captain Quint.

1. Congratulations fellow deplorable- Jaws also accepted. Only 466 entries.

42. Dr. Oz, Dr. No

The final answer on Jeopardy yesterday was The Wizard of Oz. They also had a question about James Bond. Dr. Oz was on Wheel of Fortune the week of the wizard puzzle. Those were big coincidences!

43. What was the furniture change that was pointed out?

1. Alan Ladd was about 5'6", one of the shorter movie stars.
The reference, I think, was to his role in "Shane," where the set may or may not have been manipulated.
There are a few "Shaez's" around whose names can be run through the puzzle rules to make Shane.

2. Mendo: Thanks. I thought it referred to the answer.

"Trivia: All of the sets and furniture were slightly smaller than they would be in reality, so that the main character would look larger."

In my google search, Dr. No was the first result.

4. I'll be darned.

5. Knitting your brows again, MJ?

Yeah, I was surprised, too.

6. WW: What did you write in the search box? I could not find it cause used wrong words I think.

7. I entered RB's hint exactly, including the "Triva:" at the beginning.

Note that it worked in google only (not DDG).

44. I submitted DR. NO and DR. OZ.

I loved Piccolina's clue up top that "Thanksgiving came early this year" -- once I saw that, I knew I had solved it.

Finally, I was not trying to cause any offense to Eco or Lego when I wrote that "I found this week's puzzle to be too, too easy." Rather I was using "too, too" to hint at TOTO, our canine companion on the journey to OZ.

And, yes, I posted AC AU as the bonus puzzle answer and then pulled it, when chastised. That's why I left my comment about my answer being too precious.

45. Dr. Oz and Dr. No was my answer, although I didn't leave a clue this week!

46. How about LENO >> LEON? I know rotating "O" is a bit of cheating, but it still works...

47. eco:
What is the most absurd thing a person can sleep on?

1. On second thought I'm changing my answer to this.

It's a ham-mock.

2. Nope. It's a bunk bed.

3. I don't cot-ton to that.

4. Well they do have their ups and downs.

5. Does a bed of nails require an increased Sleep Number?

6. Did you gin that up, Eli?

7. I think Brad likes a bed of nails.

8. If it's a London Dry, and you have Noilly Prat vermouth on hand, I'll be right over. In the mean time chill the glasses.

9. Maybe that's why I find his acting the Pits.

10. Okay, SDB: when did Beethoven stop writing symphonies?

11. Verdi go from there?

Maybe when he felt he'd paid what he Ode to Joy.

Or when he began to unRavel and went into Haydn to Lalo in his Lehár, although he's Offenbach.

At least he never became a Schumann and a Soler.

But, I doubt you really want a Liszt? Not that I'm trying to Telemann anything.

12. Some people have an insatieable appetite for puns, it seems.

13. I'm just glad I kept him Bizet for the morning.

48. Does anyone remember an NPR question from decades ago that included “Dr. No” as part of the three part answer?

1. Anyway, I don't remember the question exactly but it was something like, "take the name of a river in Europe, change the first letter to get the name of a city in Europe, change the first letter again to get the name of a well-known movie." Arno, Brno and Dr. No.

I'm guessing this was the puzzle sometime in the early '90s.

2. I do remember a puzzle from long ago, something like name a river in Europe, change the first letter to get a city in Europe. I don't remember the Dr. No part, but it might have been in there.

49. When I went to my physician the last time, we had this exchange:

Me: Do you think vaping is safer than smoking tobacco?

Dr.: No

50. DR. OZ, DR. NO

51. “Rather meh puzzle “ was reference to Mehmet Oz. Recent related puzzle was the “wizard” puzzle.

52. Hi. I'm a Blainesville lurker. I just took the on-air puzzle, and when Lulu asked me my weekly puzzle routine, I told her I usually just look it up on a blog. Then she and Will reprimanded me for not listening live. OOPS!

1. Welcome Holly Hunter, er, Lurker:

Congratulations on getting the call, I hope the on-air puzzle was fun. I also hope they weren't too serious in their reprimands. This is, of course, the BEST place for the Sunday Puzzle.

Some of us have been curious about the selection procedure, do you remember the date/ time that you submitted?

And did anyone understand Blaine's enigmatic clue at the beginning?

2. You can be the judge of how harsh they were. I, as per routine, won't be listening.

I submitted my answer on Monday afternoon. And no, Blaine's clue still doesn't make sense to me.

3. I thought I figured out Blaine's hint this time, but am not certain. I rarely do get his hints.

I thought "focus" was hinting at some eye charts that sometimes have OZ near the top.

4. Okay, the hint is exBlained above. Still don't quite get it, unless he's referring to this obscure article? Though my Bond-fondness waned during Pierce Brosnan's time.

5. Double vision should be looked at by a doctor. And the word double also hints at 007 (double-oh-seven).

6. Fair enough, I'll give it a 7.5; I can't see the other judge's scorecards.

I trust the temps are brutal in the real Blainesville? I have a meeting there tomorrow, I'm not sweating it now, but will be. My clients don't have a lot of AU, but they do have AC.

7. Congrats, Holly! Just lurking here myself this week, as I'm traveling on vacation, besides not getting that "Dr" is part of a name.

8. Congrats, Holly. Maybe you will stick around? Lots of charm here. . .

I listen most weeks as it is early (6:40 a.m.) here.

I enjoy the magic of listening when it is first broadcast.

9. Sure, I'll stick around!

53. Hi Holly and congratulations!

Now, would you like to make Will and Lulu extra mad by tipping us off early as to what next Sunday's puzzle is? ;-)

54. Congrats, Holly. I'll wager that you will be the only on-air player in NPR Puzzle history to intentionally not listen to the broadcast on which they appear!
I wonder if they will edit out your awkward "OOPS! moment" and their subsequent wrist-slap.

1. Thank you for the fun puzzle! I did end up listening, mostly to confirm that the long pauses between question and answer were only in my head (they weren't).

55. This week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Joe Becker of Palo Alto, Calif. 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?