Sunday, November 03, 2019

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 3, 2019): Tiptoe Through the Seedy Ivy

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 3, 2019): Tiptoe Through the Seedy Ivy:
Q: The letters C + D together sound like the word "seedy." And the letters I + V together sound like "ivy." Take the 18 letters in the phrase END BACKSTAGE TV QUIZ. Rearrange them into pairs, using each letter exactly once, to make nine common, uncapitalized words phonetically. Can you do it?
I like most of my words but one is a bit of a stinker.

The one word that wasn't my favorite was 'ew' (also spelled with additional letters like eww) to express disgust, often at something gross and smelly. Merriam-Webster does have it as two syllables (ˈē-ü)
A: beady (BD), cagey (KG), cutie (QT), easy (EZ), eighty (AT), envy (NV), essay (SA), ew (EU) and icy (IC)


Update: Will's intended answer was u-ey (UE)

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.

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  2. There's an alternate combination, but I don't like the look of it.

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  3. Two of my words use Will's examples: IV = ivy & CD = seedy

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    Replies
    1. Can you do it without those?

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    2. DI = die
      VI = vie
      CV= curriculum vitae or CV
      CD = compact disc of CD

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    4. Using abbreviations like CD or CV is simply BS.

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    5. I have a list that does not use abbreviations, nor does it use Will's examples.

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    6. Do you really think DI and VI have 1 syllable? They should be pronounced dee-aye and vee-aye.

      I suspect your "common" U-word does the same; every dictionary I can find considers it 1 syllable. The "stinker" has, at least, the option to be pronounced as 2 syllables, according to Merriam-Webster.

      Either S A DVS NTT.

      Delete
  4. The remaining two letters make questionable words either way, and one depends on what part of the country you're from. But they don't work any other way, it seems.

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  5. My problem was the correct spelling of "stinker"

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  6. Years of Shortz puzzles leave me...cold to your complaint.

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. "Can you do it?"

    My answer is YES.

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  9. I seem to have arrived at the same stinker, and there is no turning back.

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  10. I had a strange turn of events while doing this and I'm not sure if I'm right

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    Replies
    1. Maybe switch that combo around and you’ll see the “stinker” everyone’s referring to?

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  11. I had a stinker, but I looked around and found what I think Eco has.

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    Replies
    1. Unknown, I think I right away came up with what I'm sure is Blaine's answer, which includes "the stinker", but since I've found 2 possible ways to swap the stinker with one of the other words to thereby allow two other possible solutions each avoiding the stinker. Is that the case with you as well?

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    2. Yes, I believe that is the case. I didn't like the stinker solution so I kept swapping until I came up with one that wasn't so suspicious. Sorry I didn't mean to go incognito! --Margaret G.

      Delete
  12. NPR's submit puzzle link seems to be broken.
    Is NE one else having this problem?
    (Sun 11:45AM CST)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never submit without a fight!

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    2. sdb: Too bad you are missing La Bayadere today at Zellerbach...Mariinsky Ballet.

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    3. Yes, but at least you're keeping me on my toes.

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    4. I found the problem. Apparently the latest Firefox update (v 70.0.1 64bit) triggered some new security doodad that kept the page from rendering properly. Fixed now.
      btw, I, too have a "stinky," but probably legal and certainly not uncommon couplet among my answers. And another that could be a tougher sell in Canada, eh?

      Delete
  13. Is my strange turn of events the real stinker we're talking about?

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  14. I don't see this as being at all difficult. I got the answer very quickly and without using Will's 2 words. I also do not get the stinker hint.

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  15. This is so simple that not a bit less than 4/5 of the people that look at this puzzle as I look at it will get the answer.

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    Replies
    1. This is so easy (EZ) that not any (NE) less than 80% (AT) of the people that view (VU) this puzzle as I see (IC) it will get the answer.

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  16. I have eight common words and one Scrabble word. How about you?

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  17. Replies
    1. I also have nine common words, all common. But one is pronounced "Southern".

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  18. The longer one has been editing the New York Times crossword puzzle (more than a quarter-century!) the broader one's definition of "common" probably becomes.

    LegoPlayingA"FanfareForTheCommonWord"OnHisGramogramophone

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    Replies
    1. All 9 of my words are very common.

      Delete
    2. sdb: One of mine is not common. I never heard of it before. Glad you are so clever and smart.

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    3. SDB: The ballet was great although my ballet friends thought the French ballet had better choreography. I could have done without the first two acts..slow and tedious.

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    4. ECO: If I may ask: What is TDS? I deplore abbreviations anymore.

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    5. Natasha: I have read (from a trusted source) it describes the first two acts of La Bayadère.

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    6. ECO: TDS means trusted......Source? What does D mean? What are you saying? Not clear. Apparently this company did not use the original choreographer's work from many many years ago. Did you read the reviews in SF Chron.?

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    7. "I could have done without the first two acts..slow and TDS."

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    8. ECO: Got it. TKS. https://www.dailycal.org/2019/11/02/mariinsky-ballet-orchestras-immaculate-interpretation-of-la-bayadere-comes-to-zellerbach-hall/

      Delete
  19. What appear to be the leftover pair possibilities show up in x-words from time to time. So they must be Shortz-worthy words.

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  20. I'm not proud of my U word. We have a word in Bostonian that would work better in its place.

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  21. Not sure my u word is acceptable. Will see Thursday.

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  22. Eco: Are you going to the Ballet today?

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    Replies
    1. Afraid not, I'm dancing with deadlines right now, no time to plié.

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    2. Eco: Too bad you missed it. Spectacular performance. So glad I could go.Orchestra was amazing too.

      Delete
  23. I have eight that I like, and one that frankly turns my stomach, but it appears I’m in good company.

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  24. I found this easy to solve by taking care of the rarer letters first. I also have eight good words, and one more often seen in crosswords.

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  25. I, too, am not really satisfied with the U answer.  When I was hunting, I paired it with its letter I eventually used in my answer but overlooked it because the combination meant something else.  But I do find the U word in at least some dictionary lists, and so I am done.

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  26. I finished yet lukewarm on one word. The Q is the problem.

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    Replies
    1. The Q is no problem for me. I am in the problematic U group.

      Delete
    2. So the word I submitted but have never in my life typed out was UEY. It's in slang dictionaries, but -- it isn't a word. Sorry, Will.

      But I didn't know we were "cluing" aggressively in Blainesville. So I said "the Q was a problem" because it is the Q that requires a U.

      QT
      UE
      EZ
      KG
      AT
      CD
      NV
      IC

      And I forget the others. That's from memory.

      Delete
    3. "END BACKSTAGE TV QUIZ" has ONLY ONE C, but your proposed solution USES C TWICE!

      Delete
  27. I am surprised WS didn't use the term grammagram, an accepted one for the topic.
    I also think he will have to deal with his bane: Alternate correct answers.
    The on-air player did a great job.

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  28. I, too, am not thrilled with my U word but seeing everyone's comments makes me think that we've arrived at the same one.
    The other 8 were not as clunky.
    But, I've got Godspell on the brain right about now...

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  29. I also have 9 COMMON words and I do not see the problem with the U-word; it is quite common and no "stinker."

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  30. Notes:
    All these "stinker" clues mean nothing to me. They suggest PU, but there's no P.
    I can only think of one A-word that satisfies my strict pronunciation standards, so, if I ever find the other A-word, I'm afraid it's going to be ... unsatisfying.

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    Replies
    1. Poor Paul. I feel your pain, and I could write on and on about it if it were not my bed time now.

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    2. I, too, was looking for words related to odor, until I realized that everyone just meant that they didn't think one of letter pairs sounded like a legitimate word.

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    3. I don't know if you check out Bobby's clue above. I was never that great in math. On another note, I have always thought the eyes of the Penguin character on Gotham to be especially sinister. Truly frightening.

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    4. Well, now I'm just incensed (by my own stupidity).

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    5. Assuming there was a "P", would "PU" = pew be considered a valid answer?

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    6. That would be your "stinker" PU = pee-ew.

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    7. Sure, but I'm asking if people think that a one syllable word could be part of the solution...

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    8. My favorite answer says "yes" to that question, although I know all the alternate solutions. I say this because some people will pronounce some words as having more or fewer syllables than is commonly accepted, and, more to the point, Will Shortz frequently gets his pronunciations wrong. I realize my answer will probably not be his intended answer, but I have very little respect for his puzzle making abilities. I suspect he is very good at making crossword puzzles, but I never do them, so I cannot say for sure.

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    9. PU cannot be the "stinker" as the original phrase has no P. I cite my comment above.

      Delete
  31. jan and others too,

    I just now finished reading The Doomsday Machine, by Daniel Ellsberg, which you put me on to recently. Noam Chomsky has been warning us for some time now about this threat, but Ellsberg here in 350 pages of text explains it in so thorough and compelling a manner that anyone should be able to comprehend, but sadly, while our library has several copies available, most are not checked out. Why has he not been interviewed on NPR about this book? This will not be one of my favorite books, but perhaps it will be the most important one. Thank you, jan.

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    1. Thanks, SDB. I will admit that I found the explanation for Ellsberg's dearth of documentation (lost in a landfill!) comically weak, and, of course, Permissive Action Link technology has improved since his time in the Pentagon. Reductions in the number of weapons, numbers of warheads per weapon (reducing the urge to launch on warning), and relaxed alert status since the end of the Cold War have made us somewhat safer, though continued proliferation has move us the other way. I have no way of knowing whether the problem of pre-delegation of authority remains as bad. Certainly, we have been very, very lucky.

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    2. jan,
      You say, "Certainly, we have been very, very lucky." I strongly disagree with that statement. I would say we certainly have not been lucky at all, but protected from self destruction from those who observe us from a higher plane. I realize you will think this to be ridiculous thinking, but I know from personal experience that I am right. If my insignificant life has undeniably been saved twice by intervention from "above" then it is certainly not unreasonable to assume the same would be done to protect all of our civilization. I tend to think of us as living in one of those old ant farms that were the fad when I was growing up. I always suspected the ants were completely unaware they were being observed and in some cases helped by us.

      Go ahead an laugh now if you like, but I would strongly suggest keeping an open mind to possibilities you do not understand because you have yet to have such an experience.

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    3. You don't call having observers on a higher plane protecting you from self-destruction lucky?

      I am sorry to admit there were very unlucky ants in my youth who were completely unaware they were being observed until it was too late.

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    4. No, I most certainly do not consider it to be lucky, although I can understand others may come to that conclusion.

      Delete
  32. There is this thing called denial. And true prophets have been largely ignored through history. You probably won't see him on GMA either. But the Doomsday clock is now what 2 minutes to midnight.

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  33. Can you post a book report? I know it is an important book and my chances of reading it are.Well. But did you see that Mcmillan is restricting e-books for new releases to libraries , to one copy, per the first three months?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS,
      I am not going to look for a book report. It would not be all that helpful anyway in my opinion. I would suggest at least reading the two chapters on the Cuban missile crisis.

      Delete
  34. I was able to download the E book through KCLS last night. Really a landfill to hide the manuscript- in the intro. I can think of better places- like under the bed.
    I have a 100 page rule for new books and as a consequence don't always finish the race.

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    Replies
    1. It builds as it goes. Page 199 is where I think it really begins to explode with revelations.

      Delete
  35. Observers on a higher plane? You mean the Overlords?

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    Replies
    1. Gary Powers always said, "My plane is higher than yours." I mean there are other dimensions. Many believe this to be true. I along with many others do not believe it is true; we know it is true because we can not deny our experiences. Most, myself included, kept it secret so as not to be ridiculed and lose jobs, but I eventually broke free of all that and that is how I met others who also had had similar experiences, but never divulged. I wish more people would come out with their experiences so we can all benefit. I think it is slowly beginning to happen.

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    2. Didn't Gary Powers' plane get shot down? Or was that the other one, that ran out of fuel and crashed, killing him?

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    3. Don't pick on our local religious zealot. Even the Romans would lionize the early Christians; though SDB seems more Hindu.

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    4. I am not at all religious and I am not a zealot. I am just telling what I have learned from experiences. On the other hand it seems to me that when people cling to common beliefs that have absolutely no evidence to back them up they are more zealot like. Some examples of this are insisting we only live once; watching the sun go down; believing cold causes colds and denial of climate change.

      Delete
    5. Do you remember Bishop Hunthausen? Sometime in the 80's I went on a protest he led to Bangor to protest the Poseidon? first strike capability subs. Well as you can that did a lot of good. Like 82 or something. Bishop Raymond Hunthausen.
      Chernobyl should have taught us something.

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    6. I remember him well. I think he came out to lead an anti war march I was at the head of at the beginning when it started in front of their main church downtown. I am now remembering too that right after it ended and I got back home and turned on the TV to see the late coverage I was surprised to see myself in the clip they ran. I always wondered how he managed to slip through the RCC cracks. No chance of his ever being canonized. Hunthausen made it slightly difficult for me to criticize the church. All the others helped as I recall. One of them was Alexander Joseph Brunett, who I seem to remember as previously being a blond.

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    7. That is cool you led a peace march. I think Pope Ratzenberger stiffled Hunthausen at some point and told him to,"cool it."
      I know you don't enjoy football,but last week at the Seahawk-Falcons game here, the Seattle fans outnumbered the locals 2-1. It is a beautiful Stadium -Mercedez Benz- they relocated here for the cheap labor and- guess what -no-unions.

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  36. Special Bonus Riffing Puzzle #1: (makes your week, don't it?)

    Take the 14 letters in the phrase BIRD NOT PRUDENT. Rearrange them into pairs, using each letter exactly once, to make seven male first names phonetically.

    Special Bonus Riffing Puzzle #2:

    Same as #1, with the phrase NPR, VOX NECK LORN.

    Note that not all names are common, but the uncommon names have well-known persons or fictional characters with that name. Some liberties are taken with pronunciations, but all are legitimate 2 syllable names.

    A version for the girls is coming soon. I hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Special Bonus Riffing Puzzle #3: (where the girls are)

      Take the 19 letters in the phrase LENIN SELLS MARX CELLS. Rearrange them into five triplets and one quadruplet, using each letter exactly once, to make six female first names phonetically.

      Five names are common; one (3 letter) is unusual but there is a well-known writer with that name. Minor liberties are taken with pronunciation.

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

      Delete
    3. eco, your Bonus Riffing Puzzles, as usual, are simply wonderful. I just finished writing eight Riffing Off Shortz puzzles for this Friday's Puzzleria!, and none are anywhere near as elegant as your three.
      And I love LENIN SELLS MARX CELLS.
      My best guess for one on your three riffs:
      Johnson Blake Payne Fleming Fleisher Sanders Wheatstraw
      (Let me know if my guess is TMI and I shall delete it.)

      LegoNVS

      Delete
    4. Lego:

      You are a master solver, and to create 8 riffs is quite a feat. Given how hard these are (I think) and how late I was in posting I think you can keep your names up, though they do give much away. This leads to

      Special Bonus Riffing Puzzle #4: (girls just want to have pun)

      Same Rules: 14 letters in GEM CELL DELVING, rearrange them into pairs, using each letter exactly once, to make seven female first names phonetically.

      This time all names are pretty common, no liberties with pronunciation, IMHO.

      Delete
    5. #4 57% of the female names are adjacent pairs.

      Delete
    6. And one of the boys in puzzle was a t.v. star in the 60's, by the same name.?

      Delete
    7. If you mean puzzle #1 then quite possibly, and there's a further connection to that in puzzle #2. Puzzle #2 also a relation in that.

      Delete
    8. Special Bonus Riffing Puzzle #4: (the boys are back, the boys are back)

      Same rules; this time all triplets, the 12 letters in RUNG MERE GLEN can be made to 4 male names.

      Slight liberties with one vowel, and one name is usually pronounced with 2 syllables by those north of the Mason-Dixon line.

      And at last, Special Bonus Riffing Puzzle #5: (she's just the girl you want)

      Same rules, back to pairs of letters, the phrase DNC DECKS LEFT can be turned into 6 female names.

      2 are uncommon except to those who spent too much time listening to bad 70's and good early 80's music.

      Delete
  37. Just sent my answers in. Not sure, though.

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  38. The goofiest thing I have seen in a long time:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=TE5RdFFgW0w

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  39. QT (cutie)
    EZ(easy)
    IC (icy)
    NV (envy)
    KG (cagey)
    AT (eighty)
    BD (beady)
    SA (essay)
    UE (U-ey, slang for a U-turn)

    ReplyDelete
  40. AT (eighty), BD (beady), EZ (easy), IC (icy), KG (cagey), NV (envy), QT (cutie), SA (essay), UE (uey)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I may have CDO. That's like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order, like they're supposed to be....

      Delete
  41. EZ easy
    BD beady
    KG cagey
    SA essay
    QT cutie
    IC icy
    NE any
    VU view
    AT eight

    Alternately: NV envy & EU ew (which I do not consider a legitimate word and it is not pronounced with a long E)

    ReplyDelete
  42. KG = cagey
    QT = cutie
    EZ = easy
    IC = icy
    BD = beady (-eyed)
    SA = essay
    AT = eighty
    NE = any
    VU = view (vyo͞o)

    A second acceptable solution is obtained by changing the last two entries above (NE & VU) to:
    NV = envy
    UE = U-ie or U-ey (a U-turn)

    Only two “U words” are possible with the given letters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got your first answer. I call shenanigans on the second because the words have to be uncapitalized.

      Delete
    2. Just click on U-ey to see it uncapitalized.

      Delete
  43. "View" has just one syllable.

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    Replies
    1. Yes view has just one syllable, but I listened to several online dictionary audible pronunciations, and most emphasize the V, although I do not pronounce it that way.

      Also Uey or Uie is not accepted in Merriam-Webster, which is the dictionary Will Shorts accepts for these puzzles. He has stated this several times in the past.

      Delete
    2. Therefore the only acceptable answer would be ENVY and EW, the latter is in Merriam-Webster.

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    3. Go listen to the Merriam-Webster audible version of view. It is with the V accented, but listed as one syllable.

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    4. Glad you agree it is 1 syllable.

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    5. I never said anything about it not being one syllable, and WS said nothing about syllables either. He said "sounds like."

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    6. How do you phonetically pronounce 2 letters as 1 syllable? VU = vee-yoo.

      Delete
  44. No controversy: AT BD EZ IC KG QT SA (eighty, beady, easy, icy, cagey, cutey, essay). Controversy: EU NV (ew, envy) or UE NV vs NE VU (envy, view).

    "I don't think you said too much" was in response to Blaine's "stinker" comment; I tried to be subtle about the U-word.
    "There's an alternate combination, but I don't like the look of it." It's a bad view.

    Merriam-Webster gives "ē-ü\" as a pronunciation for EW, I think that is an acceptable answer. I never submit, so I don't care.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I submitted two possible solutions of nine words, of which the first word of each is questionable.


    First solution starts with: 1, EWE and 2. ENVY.
    Second solution starts with: 1. VIEW and 2. ANY

    The remaining seven words are the same for each solution:

    3. EIGHTY
    4. ICY
    5. BEADY
    6. CAGEY
    7. ESSAY
    8. CUTIE
    9. EASY

    ReplyDelete
  46. I wrote, “I, too, am not really satisfied with the U answer. When I was hunting, I paired it with its letter I eventually used in my answer but overlooked it because the combination meant something else.” This is EU European Union, about which I have never thought “Eeyew!” That one is found in some dictionaries, somewhere....

    ReplyDelete
  47. I don't think two syllables was required, so view makes the grade.
    I am not sure about SDB's eight, though, with eighty right there.
    There was likewise no prohibition on ivy and seedy.
    Poor old decay just gets left off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hard to phonetically pronounce 2 letters as 1 syllable. I think the view (vee-yoo) is outta sight.

      Delete
    2. I thought so too, but looked at several dictionary audible presentations that do pronounce it that way.

      Delete
    3. Citation please. Every dictionary I saw had "vyoo" or "vju" or "ˈvyü" (Merriam-Webster). All as 1 syllable.

      You and Ron are hearing things again.

      Delete
    4. I gave you the citation. Go LISTEN to it. I said AUDIBLE presentation. All the dictionaries list it as one syllable, and I am not disputing this, but most are accentuating the V sound.

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

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    6. What they write is more significant than what you hear. They write it as 1 syllable, not 2. They write EW as both 1 syllable and 2 syllables. QED.

      Delete
  48. MJ:
    Thanks for pointing out that I missed my typing error. I meant EIGHTY.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Same as ron (except did not use the UE variant).

    Possible alternate not listed by others: switch AT (eighty) and NE (any) for:
    AE (hey!)
    TN (tin, with Southern accent).

    ReplyDelete
  50. Didn't hear the usual complaints about how easy this puzzle was this week, nor about it being a re-run, nor an anti-anagram rant. OK, it was unusually hard to come up with hints, but still. Sounds like a rave review.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I guess I am remiss in not expressing my usual gripe about the puzzle being way too EZ. And we didn't even get to use MC emcee.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I submitted Youie which is opposite of selfie and is in urban dictionary.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I’m not really thrilled with any of the U words but at least youie and u-ey are creative.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Bonus Answers!!! (now you can sleep again)

    #1 Males in BIRD NOT PRUDENT: IN ND OD PT RE RT UB - Ian (one pronunciation), Andy, Odie, Petey, Ari, Artie, Eubie. Lego nailed it.

    #2 Males in NPR, VOX NECK LORN: EN KC LX ON OP RN RV - Ian (other pronunciation), Casey, Alex, Owen, Opie, Aaron, Harvey.
    I hinted that Ron Howard played Opie, who was Andy Taylor's son on the Andy Griffith Show.

    #3 Females in LENNIN SELLS MARX CELLS: LECA LSN LXS MLE NIS REL - Alicia, Allison, Alexis, Emily, Anais, Ariel

    #4 Females in GEM CELL DELVING: ED GG IV LC LE LN ME - Edie, Gigi, Ivy, Elsie, Ellie, Ellen, Emmy (or Emmie or Emme)
    Word Woman discovered the adjacencies, I could only add that should you be trapped in a round room with the words painted on the wall, GG would also be adjacent.

    #5 Females in DNC DECKS LEFT: CC DD FE KT LS NE - Cece, Deedee, Effie, Katie, Alice, Annie.
    Cece Peniston is the singer behind the greatest movie dance performance of all time. One correction, I assumed this was a bad 70's disco song, it's a bad 90's club song.
    Effie is the first name used in the B'52's song 52 girls.
    Dee dee Myers was Clinton's Press Secretary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eco thanks. I had most of the males. Except BN=Ben, TI- for Ty like Ty Cobb,I had Opie, UE for Huey Lewis and the News, DN-Den short for Denny. ND as Andy?? Is that a southern pronounciation with and A sound.WTH. Thankyou. RT for Artie Shaw-famous big band leader. Hey ,it takes a village. AS Meatloaf would say "Two out of three aint bad."

      Delete
    2. In keeping with STRAP's announced work, I assiduously avoided 1 syllable names. BN is good French.

      Wish I thought of UE, vowels were desperately needed. DN = bad Dean, you could stretch DNE for Denny. ND/Andy is recognized in the Wikipedia list of gramograms.

      Delete
  55. Here are my answers. It will be fun to see (actually to hear) VI which of the sets of possible answers WS picks.

    SA (essay), EZ (easy), IC (icy), NV (envy),
    QT (cutie), BD (beady), KG (cagey), AT (eighty), and UE (uey – slang for a U-Turn)

    ReplyDelete
  56. AT, BD, EZ, IC, KG, NE, QT, SA, VU

    AT=eighty
    BD=beady
    EZ=easy
    IC=icy
    KG=cagey
    NE=any
    QT=cutie
    SA=essay
    VU=view

    ReplyDelete
  57. Duckduckgoing "uey and "Merriman Webster" leads to the definition for u-turn. I imagine "uey" will be in Merriam-Webster Dictionary by the time we have a new President-elect in a year.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I strongly dislke "uey" as a word, but if that's what it takes to get a new President-elect, count me in NE time!

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  59. Somehow, I read AT to myself probably a dozen times without hearing 80. When I clicked on lego's link it hit me right in the face. I also note that EZ and KG are not on that list, but EU is, which seems strange to me.

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    1. Funny, it also took me a bit to get AT = 80.

      Very odd that the list doesn't include EZ, since that is pretty common parlance.

      There were a lot of names missing, I enjoyed realizing ON worked. Some other names that I couldn't make good anagrams (UGH!) included:

      LS (as Ellis)
      YN (a bit obscure)
      LNR - I wanted to use it, but couldn't get an anagram
      LRE (is that a boy's name or a Queen's?),
      MRE (are you board yet?)
      UGN (stretching those syllables)
      GNE (sounds better in Italian)
      LSCO (another Italian)
      LXEF (all hail our Russian Masters)
      NG (ain't it time to say goodbye...)

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    2. I think I've figured it out. When I read AT as letters I tend to stress the T, but in "eighty", it's the first syllable that is accented.

      Delete
  60. QT
    EZ
    NV
    IC
    BD
    SA
    KG
    EU (ew) also ewe, yew and you
    AT

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  61. I'm at someone else's house using someone else's computer so I'm the Unknown above.

    Chuck

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  62. Replies
    1. I suspect you know just what you mean by that post. Just as sure as I am that no one else does.

      Delete
    2. Then I must be no one; I know exactly what he means and I agree with him.

      The powerful STRAP™ Coalition is joining forces with Letters Equal Many Multiple, Independent, Naturally Given Syllables to take on this cause.

      6S 4FR! 2 NE 1 NT R C28N: U R N ODS NME, XP8 R LMN8. C U N L!

      Delete
  63. WS did not say which dictionary was the only acceptable one to use. He needs to state that each Sunday for these puzzles for the new listeners. My answer is in the urban dictionary and is acceptable as far as I am concerned.

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    1. WS has said several times in the past that the answer to a particular puzzle must be consistent with the Merriam-Webster Collegiate 10 edition. It can't get too much more specific than that.

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    2. In the puzzles which rely on confirmation in a dictionary, I agree that a brief mention of the dictionary used is in order when presenting the puzzle.

      Every time.



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    3. WW: So glad someone agrees with me...lol.

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    4. Barnes and Noble sells M-W 10 for 23 bucks. Buy me one?
      Getting Shortz to make any changes in his format is very unlikely, but reference to an online dictionary resource would be more helpful

      Delete
    5. Merriam-Webster is online and adds 400-800 or more new words every April and September.

      Delete
    6. MJ: That is a great suggestion. Otherwise new listeners will be at a disadvantage. I forgot which dictionary WS insisted on. I like my answer.

      Delete
  64. My Whitey Bulger Dictionary (fifth ed.) has an entry for UEY. The sample sentence is as follows:

    If you miss the packie on Dot St, bang a uey at Broadway by the 7-11 that used to be a Store 24 where Barbara, my friend from St. Monica's -- she's wicked nice by the way -- won a hundred bucks on a scratch ticket and used it to buy a Tom Brady jersey for her husband Timmy for Christmas and the funny thing is he already had a Tom Brady jersey, but it was a home jersey and Barbara got him an away jersey, so Timmy was wicked psyched and was all like "Yah, now I can wear my blue when they're home and my white when they're on the road."

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    1. Wait, that can't be right -- there's no mention of Dunks.

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    2. The person providing the directions moved to the south shore a few years back and is now a Marylou's convert.

      Delete
  65. Well. It's all up to which "U word" Will considers a "common uncapitalized word."

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    Replies
    1. My guess it's going to be "view" despite the fact it's a one syllable word.

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    2. I'm betting on EU, which translates to "eew" (which I call a Scrabble word). When pronounced by someone who has just stepped on a cockroach, it would have two syllables.

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    3. I'm also in the EU club, as is Blaine. It's the only one in Merriam-Webster's that has a 2 syllable pronunciation. And the V in VU is not pronounced "vuh".

      I suspect WS will note the other possibilities, not sure whether he will accept them.

      Delete
    4. I’m in UE camp because I see it often in will’s crosswords. We’ll see which ‘turns’ out to be the intended answer.

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    5. Will likes AT, BD, EZ, IC, KG, NV, QD, SA, UE.

      Delete
    6. QD? That's gotta be a typo.

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    7. jan, do you have the inside scoop?

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    8. Ah, that's the "QD" origin. I C.

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

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  67. Saw another wild turkey blithely crossing Mass Ave in Cambridge today, three weeks before Thanksgiving. Must be more vegetarians here than I thought.

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    1. I've seen several turkeys on major streets in Berkeley, and saw a deer running 1 block from the city center (Shattuck and University). But everyone knows we're cannibalistic vegetables here.

      9 years ago we had a mountain lion wandering just north of city center, about a block from Chez Panisse. Perhaps just testing the Waters.

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    2. Lots of turkeys here in Denver.

      Delete
  68. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from Steve Baggish of Arlington, Mass. Think of two five-letter words that are opposites. One of them begins with E, the other ends with E. Drop both E's. The remaining eight letters can be rearranged to spell a new word that is relevant. What are these three words?

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  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  70. Replies
    1. Will mentioned that on air, and said he didn't accept VU because no dictionaries identify it as a two-syllable word.

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  71. 1104 correct responses last week.

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  72. Too busy to spend time creating a clever clue. Maybe when things calm down.

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  73. Kind of a stinky one -last week. I don't think I have ever seen uturn- slang term written out. My friend Jason also flew a Huey in Nam. The agony of defeat.

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  74. Cripes, an ez puzzle AND an anagram!

    STRAP is taking a vacation.

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