## Sunday, October 20, 2019

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 20, 2019): Are You Ready for Some Football?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 20, 2019): Are You Ready for Some Football?:
Q: Think of a 7-letter past tense verb for something good you might have done in a football game. Move each letter one space later in the alphabet (so A becomes B, B becomes C, etc.), and rearrange the result. You'll get a past tense verb for something bad you might have done in football. What words are these?
Sometimes the first leads to the second.

Edit: Charles pointed out that once a player is tackled, the ball is dead. So I guess it would be more accurate that the second may happen while in the process of the first event.
A: TACKLED, FUMBLED

#### 188 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.

2. I know almost nothing about football, but the two terms aren’t restricted merely to the sport.  For the bad something, you can change the first letter to another letter and get a synonym.

3. Given the letter movements, it's interesting to compare the last three letters of the two words.

4. That frees up some Sunday time.

I would have said "American football" to be perfectly clear.

5. Go sports!

I won a square in a football pool last week.

6. 1766 correct responses last week.

7. Easy enough. No hint here, though.

8. Now that that’s over, I think I’ll head out and get on with some lawn and garden chores.

9. Start with the bad one and work the opposite.

1. That worked for me! So happy I could submit an answer!

10. Need something to think about? There's always the Bonus Puzzle!

Think of a term for something you might have. Say it in Pig Latin for a place you might put it, at least very small amounts. Hint: that place isn't as commonly found as it used to be. Please withhold answers until Thursday 3 pm EST - capiche Ron?

1. Today's employees would be surprised to learn that that place used to be available at the stockroom where I worked.

2. Pretty ubiquitous where you worked, no? Rather ironic.

3. This was my previous career, not my last one. On the other hand, gotta admit I used the item.

4. Do you know any flight attendants?

5. TRASH -> ASHTRAY

The Bell Labs stockroom used to carry several styles of ashtrays. In those days, you could smoke while walking down the hallways.

> Do you know any flight attendants?

David Sedaris does.

6. Decades ago when I did architectural work in hospitals I noticed a lot if doctors and nurses were heavy smokers.

7. My dingbat theory, back when I was hoping to have been pre-med, was that I'd have more credibility convincing patients to quit if I'd been an ex-smoker, too.

11. A different form of one of the words makes me think of another sport.

12. By rule the good thing can't precede the bad one.

13. This could be associated with an Englishman.

1. Frank Gifford's number was 16. His widow is now a spokesperson for a company called Takl.

14. Out of the box thinking may help on this puzzle.

15. Edgar Allan Poe and New London

1. Edgar Allan Poe was quarterback on the 1889 College Football All-America team. 03257 is the zip code for New London, NH. 1889 x 3257 = 6,152,473. So what?

2. If you move the letters of "tackled" one space forward, then you get "ubdlmfe". 6152473 is the positions of the letters to get "fumbled". If 1234567=ubdlmfe, then 6152473=fumbled.

3. Thank you, Bobby. Nicely stated.

16. The cement began to crumble, so I spackled.
Did anyone else prep at Lawrenceville in the late '70's?
Hotchkiss?

1. My pal Jon Spiegel did. Till '78 I think.

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18. Well, that puzzle took all of 30 seconds off my Sunday morning play-clock

1. My experience ("postcard days") has usually been thirty seconds or right up until deadline. Very few in-betweeners.

19. Ten minutes to solve The Puzzle kind of takes the fun out of it, especially if it is a three week total.

20. The 49er Washington team with no name game is starting soon. It is raining in and around DC. I would bet big time that both things will happen in that game.

1. The image of Washingtonians rolling in mud seems oddly appropriate.

21. Done. I can go fishing now.

22. Since Will Shortz again did not give us a puzzle to solve, here is a geography puzzle I made up and sent him, July 28, 2018, that he rejected saying it required lists. Just how disingenuous is that, I ask?

Please wait until the Thursday deadline to post your answer, should you dare attempt to solve it. Thanks.

1. sdb, is the puzzle that we have to intuit your puzzle?

2. WW:
Now that you mention it, that would be a good idea. I still have it cut and ready to paste, which I forgot, and will do it now. Thanks.

Think of a country in 7 letters. Change the last letter to a C, and rearrange the letters to name another country in 7 letters. What are these two countries?

3. SDB: Do you think WS not using it was almost moronic?

4. Also common, I should think.

5. To riff off sdb's fine puzzle, here is a 3P (not 3D) puzzle: Take the 7 letter name of a country, change the last letter to a C, then rearrange to reveal 3 words: a pigment, a peninsula, and a person from a certain country (slang).

6. SDB: Fun puzzle.

7. SDB, thanks for the puzzle. ecoarchitect, thanks for the clue that made sure I land on the right page of the atlas. Big time saver.

23. Special Double Bonus Puzzle:

Think of a semi-slang term in 4 letters for someone who might have done the bad thing - on or off the field. Move each letter 4 spaces later in the alphabet (A → E) to get an oft-used name for someone we know, and for whom the term does not apply.

1. And they made a movie about him?

2. 2 movies, a 3rd may be in the works, and there are several spin-offs.

3. Bonus puzzle. Just heard this driving home from work.
Name a country that has three A,s in its name.
Call 1-888-571-3000
You may win a Disney vacation along with another mystery destination. Offer ends soon.

24. Change the first letter of each answer to a pair of consonants to get a bird and an expression of discontent.

1. In the present tense, I now realize...

2. Grackle & Grumble...

25. I solved it quickly. This one was surprisingly easy!

26. Sometimes its not so bad to have an easy puzzle. There have been impossible weeks that have driven me crazy. No clue, just fact.

1. Sometimes (or occasionally) is the key word. IMHO, too many easy puzzles in a row is just annoying.

2. True WW...last weeks was true. I guess I'll have to settle for 2 non crazy weeks! This is spoken by a retired psychiatrist who used to practice in Denver.

3. I meant, last week's was too (not true). Sorry for the typo.

4. Cap, I understood. For me, it has been three weeks in a row.

What took you away from Denver?

5. For most people it's a vehicle. But he might have walked or ridden a horse. I'm old enough that I came across the country in a covered wagon.

6. eco, mine was uncovered.

7. WW, I'm originally from Brooklyn. Went to school in NYC from kindergarten through med school. My career was in Denver, but given where I was born,. My vacation always involved H2O. Upon retiring, continuing west to the pacific always made sense. My sons are in Boulder and Lafayette respectively.

8. Cap, being close to H20 again makes sense. I try to imagine the Cretaceous sea here.

Hope you've found a smaller community perhaps. Denver metro, as I'm sure you've heard from your sons, is growing sooo quickly.

9. My son just up and left Silicon Valley for Denver. Go East young man! I hear everyone there is angry at all of the Cali folks invading and racing prices up!

10. Mostly our resources and infrastructure are stretched to the max.

And some of the new drivers do not believe in stop signs and other rules of the road. Road rage is becoming, sadly, more dangerous. My friend's daughter and her husband spent weeks in the hospital after an inpatient CA driver passed on a double yellow line and hit them head on.

11. When I had my residency at CU, Boulder had 50,000 people and in Denver it would take me a max of 15 to 20 minutes to get anywhere. I live in a small community in Oregon. I still enjoy big cities, but then love to return to my small town.

12. Jeez, why are you all so critical of California? Where else can you get a lovely opportunity house for just under \$1 million?

They don't even flaunt the custom plywood security windows. I note there are no pictures of the interior, but I like the part where they say "property can only be shown during daylight hours."

13. Cap, I had the same experience with driving times in Denver when I moved here from Mexico via Dallas.

eco, that is a bit disconcerting.

14. And there must be some good drivers in CA, right?

15. I keep hoping.

27. One of the words sounds like a basic Pokemon move.

1. Tackle is a move that a lot of Pokemon learn.

28. I was involved in the most famous play in the history of US college athletics, but neither of these things occurred.

1. Were you one of those who got the proverbial axe for being involved?

2. Didn't get the Axe. But the Axe was indeed gotten. Some say ill-gotten.

3. Were you the trombone player?

4. I play bass. But I know Gary.

5. It never gets old. Here is U Cal Berkeley with a last second upset over Stanford University, "Big Game," fall 1982.

https://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2018/11/30/stanford-band-cal-gary-tyrrell

The Trombone Player who finally made the tackle is Gary Tyrell. Gary's now a venture capitalist in California. (Because isn't everyone?)

https://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2018/11/30/stanford-band-cal-gary-tyrrell

29. Bonus Puzzle: Change all seven letters of either word to seven other letters, rearrange, and you have the name of an autumn vegetable.

1. Why would you have to rearrange?

2. STRAP strikes again.

3. Puzzle not clear to me, Ben.

4. Ben's just being funny Natasha. Or at least, trying to be.

5. *Trying*....and also honoring the general contempt for anagram puzzles on this page.

30. Of those looking for a slightly harder puzzle, try to think of a nine letter word for a day of the week. That’s it.

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32. If you say the first syllable of the second word backwards, you get a synonym for one of the words.

1. Van Gogh painted "The Starry Night" in 1889.
1889 x 3257 = 6,152,473. So what?

33. Quid pro quo should be acceptable Scrabble words.

1. Wouldn't that be something for nothing?

2. Since we all need some junior high school humor: think of another 3 word expression that has a similar meaning quid pro quo. Add a certain letter in the 2nd position of 2 of the words, and the result is an expression that might describe ... you know who.

Did I say this was junior high humor?

3. And you recently made a negative comment on my sense of humor!

4. If you remember the '60's you weren't there.

34. The measure of an easy puzzle is the increase in political comments...by the way, with which I usually agree. I don't know what my wife and I would do if we had to suffer through 4 more years of the orange one. I try to think about other things but he seems to be all over the place. Just like our new Corgi who's a lot cuter and has no comb over but is not house broken yet. As I think about it, I'd rather clean up after my dog who is also all over the place.

1. An untrained pooch is not a bad analogy; I've likened it to having a rambunctious and malevolent 3 year old who knows how to use matches.

I spend way too much time checking for the latest outrage - just came back from a short meeting to find CNN has 8 impeachment updates since this morning!

2. Trump may leave the White Housebroken.

35. Back from vacation. This week's challenge is way too easy and SDB's geography challenge is also pretty easy (there are only 8 countries that contain a C).

Here are THIS WEEK'S CARTOONS.

1. 8 SEVEN-LETTER countries that contain a C.

36. Who do we see about a refund?
Will Shortz offers another anagram challenge, this time about football during the World Series.
Joe Buck announces it again.
PG&E commits its second act of domestic terrorism in as many weeks.
Donald Trump is still President.
This is what is called O for 4.

37. Power off again at 3 PM for estimated two days.
Isn't that what always got reported for Baghdad and such?

1. Mendo: Sorry to hear about your power. I hope mine stays on. On Monday PGE tried to dig up my yard and demolish my brick wall to change my copper pipes to plastic. I told them my insurance said to take pictures and stood there taking pics. In about 20 minutes someone came to my front door and said they were not going to do the work and probably would have a better method in a couple of years. I was very stressed. Anyone know about plastic gas pipes?

2. That sequencing sounds off, Natasha. You ought to have known ahead of time, unless it was an emergency. Shame on PG&E.

From DDG:

Polyethylene piping is the only approved plastic piping under NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code, and is commonly used in the piping of liquefied petroleum gases (vapor LP-Gas).

3. The winds started whipping up overnight in my usually serene neighborhood, doubtless it's worse in the hills. Natasha, have you been disempowered?

The plastic pipe does not seem to have any safety issues, at least so far. I wonder if there are any long term concerns as the plastic degrades over time, though underground is relatively stable for plastic. Ultimately we need to stop using natural gas; Berkeley has banned it in new construction. Heat pumps are much more efficient, and it's really hard to burn yourself with an induction cooktop.

4. ...or to have a pressure valve fail and the escaped gas detonate and devastate entire neighborhoods - as happened in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover Massachusetts last year....

38. I agree that this puzzle is easy, and I acknowledge that these alphabet-shifting coincidences are statistically inevitable, but one still has to marvel at the serendipity involved in discovering them. Did Sandy Kutin of Princeton, NJ, discover this relationship by staring at a cryptogram and noticing the anagram? Is Sandy in this blogosphere and willing to comment without blowing her alias? Just curious.

1. It was actually much simpler than that. Sandy was alone in the wilderness when suddenly she heard a male voice emanating from a burning bush and.....

2. Sorry to disappoint you all, but Sandy's a he.

3. jan, do you know Sandy? You were neighbors or neighbor-adjacent perhaps?

4. Of course, but it didn't seem all that much of a stretch that you might have known him.

I'd never seen Sandy as short for Samuel before.

5. Sorry, no, never met him. Princeton's not really near anything, sort of halfway between NY and Philadelphia, though I guess there was some cross-pollination with Bell Labs people.

6. jan, Thanks for that clarification. There is so much we don't know about our planet. I recently learned that Love is what makes a Subaru a Subaru.

39. Some of the responses here are so obvious that Blaine should have removed them.

40. They told me last week but I did not know detaiks rhey said it was mandatory. Some construction place was going to do the work. Then they changed their story. Said could replace through center of street ..main pipes. Not sure what meant. Was Windy here but have power. Tks eco and ww!

1. Natasha:
Are you sure it really happened, and it wasn't just a pipe dream?

41. SDB: HAHAHAHAHA

42. TACKLE, FUMBLE

"Out of the box thinking may help on this puzzle." As in out of the fishing TACKLE box.

sdb puzzle: Comoros >>> Morocco

riff off puzzle >>> Armenia >>> Carmine, Crimean, Merican

1. Oops, TACKLED, FUMBLED

43. TACKLED & FUMBLED

44. TACKLED -> FUMBLED

> Another giant waste of time.

Fee, Fi, Fo, FUMBLED

45. Last Sunday I said, “This could be associated with an Englishman.”
Fee-fi-fo-fum
I smell the blood of an Englishman
Fum as in fumble

46. tackled-->fumbled

47. TACKLED
↓ ↓ ↓↓ ↓↓↓
UBDLMFE → FUMBLED

SDB's Geography puzzle:
COMOROS, changing the S to a C and rearranging yields: MOROCCO.

Here are the 8 seven-letter countries that each contain a C:
Comoros, Croatia, Ecuador, Iceland, Jamaica, Morocco, St Lucia, Vatican.

1. What about Czechia? And America, which is not a country, but we pretend it is and get away with it?

48. tackled → ubdlmfe → fumbled too easy to clue.

Bonus Answer 1: term for something you might have; in Pig Latin for a place you might put it Trash → Ashtray

Bonus Answer 2: semi-slang term in 4 letters for someone who might have done the bad thing; move each letter 4 spaces later in the alphabet to get an oft-used name for someone we know hack → lego(lamda), who is certainly not a puzzle hack.

1. eco,
TRASH/ASHTRAY is a beautiful riff-off.
I was aware of the HACK/LEGO letter-shift. Thanks for saying I am not a "puzzle hack."
On the more positive side, "Hack" Wilson was a Hall of Famer who drove home 191 runs in one year! The only things I have ever driven home are my Aunt Monica and Aunt Retty (Loretta), neither who possessed driver's licenses or automobiles. At times I felt like a cabbie!

LegoWhoObservesThatAnotherNameFor"Cabbie"Is"Hack"

2. Hack Wilson has a pretty sad story. From highest paid NL player to penniless death at age 48.

In odd trivia he played for the losing side the last time a Washington D.C. baseball team won the World Series, 95 years ago. If the orange muffin goes to game 5 I hope the D.C. fans will give him an appropriate welcome.

3. What a story. His son would not accept his body for burial. Should be a movie.He was a victim of fetal alcohol syndrome- un beknownst at the time.

49. Good - TACKLED
Bad - FUMBLED

After solving this on Sunday, I had plenty of time to TACKLE my chores...

50. Tackled, fumbled

51. WW,
Have they started the wall in Colorado? If so on which side will my Boulder sons be?

1. jan, you beat me to posting the map.

Cap, PR of Boulder will be on the north of the wall, of course.

2. Note well that Oklahoma also now shares a border, albeit short, with our neighbors to the South. And it is my assumption that some Okies from Muskogee, where they "still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse," ain't gonna cotton to that so much. What's worse, I guess we now need to unsew one of the stars from our spangled banner, Betsy!

LegoWhoNotesThatGerrymanderingLikelyContributedToDonaldTrump'sElectionVictoryButThisIsTakingGerryManderingJustABitTooFar

3. Donniemandering sucks on every level.

4. This is no laughing matter. We must do everything we can in order to keep illegal New Mexicans from invading our country with their crime and lawlessness. My god; as if the Old Mexicans are not enough of a problem. Thankfully we have a president who is on top of problems like this. Obama did nothing to stop it.

52. Electricity came back on after almost exactly 24 hours.
Shades of the Stockholm Syndrome, people actually seem grateful to PG&E that it was not the 60 plus hours of last time.
These events are extremely unsettling and stressful, especially in rural areas where they also entail lack of water and other services.
They are also not the result of necessity, but of decades of the company's pocketing profits instead of investing in safe, reliable service.

1. Yes, but the wildfires continue. It could get worse before it gets better.

2. And they now think this fire was caused by PG&E equipment - they didn't cut everything....

Fortunately this is a relatively low population area, even Geyserville is < 1000 people. I designed a house about 4 miles west of the fire, should be okay, but tomorrow's supposed to be windy again....

3. Hope y'all weather the winds and fires safely.

4. I can't imagine this. Horrible. I was without power for 12 hours once in rural Wash.state and that was about my limit.

5. The best map I've seen can be found here. Over 97% of Marin County customers are without power, expected to reach 99%. The fire itself was about the size of San Francisco yesterday, I haven't seen updates.

53. TACKLED, FUMBLED

54. Natasha: I fear you are going to get outed again this weekend. See https://psps.ss.pge.com/, it actually seems to work this time. I typed the address of one of my clients, near the Claremont, and they're apparently going to be delighted.

1. Eco: I have checked before and will check again. I am very scared about all this. I hope the Claremont has power. I can go there.Thanks.

2. Eco: I just checked and it says MAY lose power.
Guess you are keeping your power. Where can I get laterns? I have one that someone gave me.

3. We flatlanders are at much less risk. I have a lantern kind of like this one, no flames, no batteries, you just get cranky. I also have a hand crank radio, useful when the power went out here a few weekends ago.

I also have a couple of LED headlamps, they do use batteries but they seem to last. But I haven't used them that much.

4. Natasha,
I have 2 old Coleman lanterns. One is c. 1975 and the other is just shy of 100 years old, but you don't need to use lanterns this month. I would suggest hollowing out pumpkins and inserting candles and..... Spooky, huh?

5. SDB: Busy following your suggestion. \$5 per pumpkin. Have electric stove so even a hotplate will not work to roast the pumpkin seeds. Thanks. Now to get candles for pumpkins and hope my calico cat Cali does not cause a fire.

6. Natasha:
Must I remind you not to allow your cat to play with matches when unsupervised?

I have two Coleman camp stoves you may borrow.

Or you could wrap the seeds in tin foil and place them on top of your car's engine while you escape outta town. They will be ready when you get to wherever you don't really want to go. Unless you have a Prius. Oh well.

I would never pay \$5 for a pumpkin when I can pick one up for free off a neighbor's porch.

7. SDB: I would never pay that much for a pumpkin either. "Fake News".

55. Really sorry for you guys out there. Best wishes. Guess the rest of us can worry about the EMP. You have the PG&E to thank. Good luck.

56. There is a huge fire in Northern Sonoma County that has just resulted to mandatory evacuations of the cities of Healdsburg and Windsor, a total of about 90,000 people.
This is right in the middle of the electricity cutoff scheduled for this afternoon and lasting until Monday.
Those two actions together are much worse than alone.
Just for an example, how do you keep your new generator running to save your frozen food if you are forced to relocate fifty miles away and prevented from returning?
The fire is thought to have been caused by a downed PG&E transmission line.

For emergency light, there is a simple one called d.light. It gives 4 hours of usable light for a day's solar charging.
Some sporting goods and other stores sell them and they are on line. Cheap and last nearly forever.

1. I still prefer crank lights; I tend to put solar powered devices in places without much sun. And the way PG&E is going it means a lot of exercise.

2. But, eco, come on now. Truth be told, wouldn't you like to put a device up PG&E in a place that is without much sun?

3. I have a small crank radio that also takes batteries my son sent me. He is on the emergency team for LA and sent me some stuff. Also, bought something at target this morning that I can plug in a small tamp or soemthing to boil water. SHARP alarm clock with two outlets. Have earphnes with radio built in by radio shack. Maybe can grade my papers in the car. Or go to a bart station nearby and work there. Libraries may be open.

4. lamp; something....corrections.

5. Natasha: The morning after the Loma Prieta earthquake I walked around SF to see the damage. I lived near downtown, and with no electricity that part of the city was eerily quiet, even though it was a Wednesday.

A co-worker and I decided (as professional architects, not ghoulish sightseers) to go the the Marina District. The scene was shocking not just for the damage and the destruction, but to see people standing in long lines to get basic supplies - water, food etc.

I then took a MUNI bus to visit someone on the other side of town. The bus passed through the Haight District, which was crowded with people shopping, sitting at cafes, smoking weed on the sidewalk. It was like a weekend afternoon, little evidence of any tragedy.

A tale of two cities, one with massive destruction and suffering, another with the ease and comforts of the modern world. And 75 cents and 20 minutes transported the former to the latter.

Long way of saying if you are feeling trapped by PG&E simply head west. The downtown library will be open 1-5, and there are dozens of cafes and stores that will be business as usual. Yelp lists "cafes to do work"....

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57. Now I can say I am in the dark.

1. Natasha: Listen to me. Go toward the light. Go toward the light.

58. I just read that elmwood was not spposed to lose power. They made mistake. This is so bad.

1. Gee, you know a lot for someone who is in the dark. Apparently College Ave at the Rockridge BART went dark last night too.

We folk in the poor part of town still have power. At least electricity.

2. I need to get a charger for my external power for cell. Everything i bought does not work!

59. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Mike Strong of Mechanicsburg, Pa. Think of a familiar two-word phrase — 5 letters in each word — that might be something you'd write in a letter. The first and last letters are the same. The 3rd and 8th letters are the same. The 4th and 7th letters are the same. And the middle two letters are consecutive in the alphabet. What phrase is it?

1. The first answer that occurred to me was correct. It took longer to check the letters than to come up with the phrase.

2. Maybe not my first thought, but certainly my 4th or 5th. :) My DH got it immediately - he's my real hero. --Margaret G.

3. Take the name of a famous musician. Change some of the letters and rearrange and ahh, the heck with it!

4. Same experience as jan (above).

5. congratulations!!!

6. Jan’s experience was mine indeed.

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61. 2302 correct entries last week.