Sunday, January 12, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 12, 2020): Three Word Phrases

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 12, 2020): Three Word Phrases:
Q: Think of a familiar three-word phrase that has the following property: The first word is a number. Let X be that number. Then the last X letters of the second word form, in order, a common abbreviation for the third word.
I might have heard my wife utter this in the last couple weeks.

Dancing on New Year's Eve?
A: TWO LEFT FEET --> FT., FEET

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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still trying to get used to writing 2020 on my posts. :)

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    2. You'll do better next year with 2020 hindsight.

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    3. Next year we will have 2021 hindsight?

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  2. Is a three word ordinance a legal brief?

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  3. Easy. No one should stumble on this one...

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  4. I have an answer I believe works quite well, but I'll bet a sawbuck it's not the intended answer, and that's just grand, in my opinion.

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    1. ONE LAST TIME may not be a "common" phrase, but I've used it on occasion, it has a lot in common with eco's ONE MORE GO, and it's the title of at least two songs, one from Hamilton, and another by Ariana Grande.
      The intended answer did not occur to me immediately as a result of Lorenzo's corollary, but after reading Snipper's enthusiastic reply, I saw that TW was for TWEET. It took me a while to get beyond TWO WAY STREET, however. I finally gave up seeking a word ending in ST to substitute for WAY.
      I thought about making some comment about jan sneaking a lot of information in "under the fence", but decided against it.

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  5. Strike out every letter in the answer that repeats. The remaining letters rearrange into a bird’s name.

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

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    2. I feel awkward calling you out, are you new around here? But maybe TMI Mr. Buck?

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    3. Considering the vast majority of abbreviations all share that “x” I don’t think so. Rob’s clue was one of those that made sense after I got the answer, but did not lead me to it in any meaningful way. I consider this an “ indirect hints to the answer to show you know it,”

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    5. Buck, I was not noting Rob's clue but rather your reply. I agree that Rob's clue confirmed my choice once I guessed the answer but was not a giveaway.

      But Rob noted that the remaining letters spelled a bird and you said "that was wise" and too clearly pointed to an owl, in my estimation. To each his own.

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    1. Thanks for clarification. I was in a more nostalgic mood.

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  7. I noticed Blaine’s picturesque example would imply the third word is O’Hare Airport (instead of “phrases). But I realize it’s just likely honoring the accomplishment of the three GOATs on Jeopardy.

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  8. A couple of the hints here lead me right to the answer...

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  9. I noticed the submission process takes more than one click. Did anyone else notice that?

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    Replies
    1. I just saw that it is corrected now.

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    2. More missteps by the NPR web team I'm afraid.

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    3. Ben: Too much eggNOG over holidays, I suspect!

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    4. Or maybe non-alcoholic NOG?

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    5. We now have a two-faced editor.

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  10. I wrote down the puzzle for my wife. She is brilliant, but has no patience for puzzles. By the time I returned from walking our pair of corgis, she had solved the puzzle. It was frustrating because I had just performed an example of this phrase while walking the dogs.

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  11. Tricky, but not so very tricky.

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

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  13. Could give it "one more go", where go is a synonym for energy, at least in theory.

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  14. If chicken thieves hit more than one hen house, could that be a "two coop operation"?

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  15. Getting nowhere with this. Thinking the phrase should be "two-time loser"...

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  16. A number of chemical answers come to mind:
    1. Two tone neon (lamps that use two different Ne spectral lines)
    2. Two phase selenium (a mix of the black and gray allotropes of Se)
    3. Two half-life iron (mix of two radioactive isotopes of Fe, e.g. 55-Fe and 60-Fe)
    4. Two stage germanium (a 2-stage amplifier using Ge transistors)
    5.Two fifth thorium (an alloy containing 40 % Th)
    There are probably others.

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  17. I briefly considered a phrase that references an act rendered nearly impossible by the actual answer. Both phrases share the same first word/number.

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    1. TWO TO TANGO doesn't fit the criteria. Also, those with two left feet should avoid attempting the tango.

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  18. Sounds like what I fear may be the result of the Democratic primary process.

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  19. To solve this puzzle, follow each direction and each step.

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    Replies
    1. Left is a direction. You step with your feet.

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  20. Hmmm, maybe a side trip through WV's Country Roads is in order for our summer roadtrip...

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  21. Replies
    1. Two left feet.
      Chevy Chase as President Ford tripping around the place in SNL

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  22. Bonus Puzzle: Name a phrase in 4 words. Switch the second and fourth words and, phonetically, you'll have a phrase that a director might use to describe who stars in a Broadway show.

    Reveal on Thursday, please. Obscure hints welcome.

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    Replies
    1. Would a hippie director castigate the cast when they "let their Hair down?"

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    2. eco, perhaps ;-). It brings new meaning to the phrase "The Nude Deal."

      Rapunzel also springs to mind.

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    3. Instead of wasting my youth discovering planets that we'll never visit, I spent time viewing high culture, like:

      this

      and this

      and this

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  23. Musical clue: a song that charted as a Top 40 hit in the 50s, 60s and 70s by three different artists, once as the #5 song.

    In an unrelated issue, I constructed a puzzle that Will politely rejected but I think is a good one anyway. How can I get this to Lego?

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    Replies
    1. Chuck, polite rejection is the best, isn't it?

      You might mosey on over to Lego's blog and leave Word there:

      https://puzzleria.blogspot.com/2020/01/why-not-halve-appetizer-jumble-aya.html

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    2. Thanks, Chuck and Word Woman.
      Chuck did indeed contact me and, as a result, his EXCELLENT puzzle will be featured on this week's Puzzleria!... which will be available very early in the morning on Friday, January 17.

      LegoWhoLovesItWhenAnyoneMoseysOnOverToPuzzleria!

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  25. Mark Twain wouldn't touch this puzzle with a ten-foot pole.

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  26. That foreign guy who plays for the Celtics?

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  27. But seriously, if a trio of Navy Four-Stripers rented a residence, could it be a "Three Capt Apartment"?

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  28. jan, I have a solution to your "jan" search problem in January. Change your name to Ene (short for Enero, January in Spanish).

    VoilĂ ! Search problem solved (unless, of course you abbreviate east-northeast a lot.)

    What do you think?

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    1. Why not change my name to "January"? I've been called that before.

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    2. Seems like that would only compound your January search problem, though.

      I teach a Tuesday born on a Saturday, an August born in January, and a June born in March. So, sure, January works, especially if you are not born this month ;-).

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  29. Here is another musical clue:
    The Masochism Tango by Tom Lehrer.

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  30. Replies
    1. Reminds me of a wise saying related to avoiding discussion of religion in Blainesville. (Will wait until Thursday to avoid administrative deletion.)

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  32. I have an objection to the puzzle -- I'm sure I have the intended answer, but it doesn't actually meet the conditions as stated.
    But I think I had better wait until Thursday to say which condition it fails. (Anyone else notice this, by the way?)

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    1. Crito - based on the NIST Style Manual and standard metrological practice, I would tend to agree.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Crito: I agree with you. The answer that I have and what WS is planning to accept is not technically correct. There is no right answer for this puzzle and that is that!

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    4. I disagree. The abbreviation in question is in common use and nearly universally understood in the U.S.

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    5. jan: Please show me documentation as I cannot find it. (Thursday) Thanks

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    6. Look up the abbreviated word on Wikipedia, e.g.

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    7. jan: It has a different meaning in the category I am thinking of. I already looked in Wikipedia.

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    8. It is definitely the abbreviation for the word, barely used, but it is the abbreviation.

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    9. Hmm,the answer I got is a common abbreviation that everyone should know. Unless I'm getting tripped up on something, it should be right.

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    10. Natasha almost certainly has the same objection that I have, and I assume Sky Dive Boy and geofan do too. I think it would be a mistake to say more before Thursday, but I'll be very curious to see exactly what Jan means. Like Natasha, I've checked Wikipedia's entry for the abbreviation and it pretty clearly agrees with us! So I'm wondering what Jan saw there to suggest otherwise.

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    11. Crita: Glad to read your post. Perhaps I have a different answer than the others. Maybe there is more than one answer.

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    12. Okay so, as I guess might be obvious (but maybe not??), my problem is: "ft" isn't the abbreviation for the plural of the body part.
      Now, dictionaries (the ones I checked) do have the body part meaning of 'foot' in the same entry as the measurement meaning, so they consider them to be two *senses* of one *word*. But the distinction between different words and different senses is vague and a matter of degree.
      So I think for the present purpose, there isn't a word whose abbreviation is the final two letters of "left" in the expression "two left feet".
      Obviously, it didn't get in the way of solving the puzzle, so NBD, but still.

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  33. Lifeguards are reporting a re-nude interest in skinny dipping.

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  34. I was dancing with joy when I got the answer.

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  35. Replies
    1. She was. We were celebrating FDR's Nude Deal.

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    2. Rick Steves recommends travelers to India should visit a nude deli.

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    3. Actual anagram of BIRTHDAY SUIT: I'D BUY A T-SHIRT

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    4. Too much Ganja for Rick these days? He still has an office up there in Edmonds? I still get his mailings.
      Funny i thought your deal was a spoonerism- Epian;thae- anz00.... No workin for me.

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    5. Rick Steves is great! Just this week he presented, on PBS, a documentary he put together on Fascism. He has always been for legalizing pot, as have I, but we differ in that I have never used it.

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    6. And I have used it maybe too much, but no longer. It is kind of refreshing to be here without a weed store on every block as in my so. seattle neighborhood. You can catch the drift outside- aroma of J. So you are skiing now on Denny Avenue?

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    7. Also SDB with Iraq about 6 months away from a weapon -your book seems especially relevant. U used to think i would not live to see a regional nuclear war, but now not so sure. Lets not forget Pakistan.

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    8. I have never skied. Snowshoeing, technical climbing, hiking, bicycling. There is no snow here now. I do enjoy Scotch and fine wine.

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    9. There will not be a regional nuclear war. If one happens, it will envelop the planet and destroy us.

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  36. Is a naked Aleutian a Polar Bare?

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    1. Not sure. Do you know how to bearable?

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    2. To attend a naked lunch without expectations of seeing limp noodles would be naive.

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  37. Regardless, that would be one cool customer.

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  38. TWO LEFT FEET

    My Hint: "Aphthae epizooticae" a.k.a. Hoof and Mouth Disease.

    Ft. is an abbreviation for the measurement, not the body part.

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  39. TWO LEFT FEET

    > Sounds like what I fear may be the result of the Democratic primary process.

    I hope it doesn't result in a too Left fĂȘte to win in November.

    > Mark Twain wouldn't touch this puzzle with a ten-foot pole.

    Twain fathoms minus ten foot equals two feet left.

    > Reminds me of a wise saying related to avoiding discussion of religion in Blainesville.

    "A closed mouth gathers no foot."

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  40. TWO LEFT FEET

    FT (the last two letters of the second word) is the abbreviation of FEET.

    Most abbreviations are TWO letters, e.g. kg. lb. ft. oz.


    My hint: “to stumble” to have TWO LEFT FEET.

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  41. TWO LEFT FEET

    My clues: "tripped up" and "now I'm sure I've got it right"-->left

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  42. OK, guys, after about 30 years of submissions, somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 answers, I just got the call.

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    1. Congratulations! It will be fun to hear you.

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    2. Congrats! I used to work for a Dr. K., but I doubt it was you.

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    3. Congratulations Dr. K. Can you tell what time and day you submitted answer?

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    4. I submitted on Tuesday, about 7 a.m., EST. I had solved it Sunday morning but, unusually, decided to wait before submitting. I just had a feeling....

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    5. I was on about 10 years ago. You'll have a great time after the butterflies settle in your stomach.

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    6. Way to go, Dr. K. We'll be tuning in.
      "30 years of submissions..." It's about time!

      LegoWhoWishesDr.KWellDuringFriday'sTaping.

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    7. Congratulations, Dr. K! I'll be listening. --Margaret G.

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    8. Congratulations. Looking forward to Sunday morning.

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  43. My clues (in two different posts) were:

    “Right on” to Lorenzo’s post
    and
    “Accomplishment” - a synonym for “feat”

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  44. Two left feet

    The last 2 letters of "left" are "ft", which is feet.

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  45. TWO LEFT FEET

    My reference to WV Country roads:

    Turning left on a country road is probably the most dangerous type of turn you can make.

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    Replies
    1. And your bonus answer? If you put up the question we have to see the answer.

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    2. Here's the puzzle I posted:

      Bonus Puzzle: Name a phrase in 4 words. Switch the second and fourth words and, phonetically, you'll have a phrase that a director might use to describe who stars in a Broadway show.

      Reveal on Thursday, please. Obscure hints welcome.

      Any answers b4 revelation?

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    3. Go ahead and reveal it, WW! We've waited long enough!

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    4. No answers, but if Vanna, and then James, Peter, Peter again, John, John again, John again again, and Jude would flip their letters we might get to the Revelation.

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    5. Bonus Puzzle (revised): Name a phrase in 4 words. Switch the second and fourth words and, phonetically, you'll have a phrase that a director might use to describe who stars in a one-person Broadway show.

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    6. And I thought the torture was supposed to be after Revelations began. Apparently not.

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    7. Sorry, Plantsmith and eco, I tweaked the puzzle a bit and sent it to Will. If he doesn't use it I shall reveal all. It's a rather charming, somewhat clever, thoroughly simple turn of phrase, imho.

      Did not mean to keep you in limbo.

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    8. Funny, I just sent a (completely unrelated) puzzle to Will for the first time this week. Good luck to both of us!

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    9. Good luck Word Woman. Very cool.

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    10. Eco- the 7th scroll is yet unopened. And the angel Gabriel calls.

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  46. Ft is abbreviation for unit foot not anatomical foot. Just F is uded ..ie..rf for right foot...lf for left foot.

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  47. two left feet

    Last Monday I said, “Musical clue: a song that charted as a Top 40 hit in the 50s, 60s and 70s by three different artists, once as the #5 song.” I am referring to “Do You Want to Dance” by Bobby Freeman (May 1958, #5), the Beach Boys (Mar 1965, #12) and Bette Midler (Jan 1973, #17). It’s bad to have two left feet when you want to dance :)

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    1. I agree. Yesterday I phoned the quick information department of the Seattle Public Library and asked if they could provide clarification. First off, the woman said she agreed with me that ft. does not apply as an abbreviation for anatomical feet. She then spent some time researching and said she was unable to find anything to indicate it could be used for an abbreviation for anatomical feet.

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    2. Good billboard chart history there. My "Masochism Tango" clue was to rouse all the math wizards with a sense of humour who undoubtedly know the works of the brilliant Tom Lehrer.

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    3. Sdb: tks for all that sleuthing. Guess ws does not care.

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    4. In medicine, Ft means fallopian tube. Someone could make a gross error in surgery.

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    5. Sorry, I really don't understand all the complaints about "ft." being an appropriate abbreviation. I think you are missing the point of a fairly clever puzzle.

      Of course people don't abbreviate anatomical feet as ft., but it is the same word as the measurement. Side bar: the measurement derived from the anatomical, as the length of the king's foot used to be the basis of measurement.

      And that was the whole point of the puzzle, and what made it clever, at least to me. The creator was using the double definition of the word in the puzzle.

      I almost clued that I use this abbreviation all the time (until we get to that metric system), but feared an administrator deletion.

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    6. Natasha, I'd pay to see a podiatrist and a gynecologist fighting over that surgery in the OR.

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    7. Jan, Perhsps patients had better double check before they hsve surgery that involves those abbreviations.

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    8. jan, I would hope someone would put their ft. down.

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    9. Sdb: i put my heart and sole into objecting to this puzzle!

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    10. Natasha,
      Was that your right or left sole? Anyway, I offer my soulace.

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    11. Sdb: I dare not say anymore for fear of putting my ft long lf in my mouth and get stamped on.

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    12. Well, as Starbucks says: Hold your ground at all costs.

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    13. At other times they say: Give no ground.

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  48. A heads-up:
    Our featured puzzle on tomorrow morning's Puzzleria! is a gem created by our fellow Blainesvillian Chuck.
    Chuck's puzzle is a really "fun solve" which includes something for everyone. I describe it as a wonderful melding of geography, sports and classical music. We have titled it: "Twains meet over flyover country."

    LegoInvitesAll"PuzzleHawks"ToFlyOnOverToPuzzleria!EarlyFridayMorning

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  49. This is the One Last Time I'll ever dance on Two Left Feet! I'll just cut off one of the left ones and hop around the clock all night. D.E.

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  50. TWO LEFT FEET(FT.)
    In the 1981/82 Cars hit "Shake It Up", the late Ric Ocasek sang "Don't you worry 'bout TWO LEFT FEET."

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  51. My movie clue "Best in show" had a character who literally had 2 left feet.

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  52. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED SHORT READING:

    https://u1584542.ct.sendgrid.net/mps2/c/4gA/ni0YAA/t.2yi/MHTBT6LqT2OWhqKNDgYK3A/h4/8HtxoXUPdrEQnOlv5SQseMTWxESzvJCeeOm23-2BD7TsiJPKigGfSbtNkK0qNjYkal-2FN1vCgpW6TdnSgilk3JcYUyX7ylzoOp3RJKLDrFm6kQGUQ4CLyOReoiN31ztM4vV6elNBoBBXsKjTfGKB5hjJ-2FNLHl0-2FdgFE6O-2Fg4Z6U3bFQHsRWxxymSCEVqOe9oT9EOlhfmP4RzUeb-2B4fCHouj9U0iJOavp2f4n-2FJM19IqEPQ-3D/g1lv

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    Replies
    1. Scary, very scary!
      I've considered buying a copy of the book - but I'm afraid it would cause (even worse) nightmares than the ones I already have.

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  53. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Tyler Lipscomb of Hamden, Conn. Name something everyone has, starting with H. Add an E, and rearrange the letters. You'll name two things that every person must do to stay alive.

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    1. Too easy. Those last two words are a clue themselves.

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    2. This is the most stupid puzzle in a long time!

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    3. I don't know, sdb - I love it! :-) Margaret G.

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    4. If no one submits an answer this week it won't be the end of the world.

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  54. Puzzles like this make my head throb.

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  55. Just 100 correct responses this week.

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  56. Replies
    1. Thank you, Jan. It was fun, although with my own two left feet and the pressure of the moment, I did manage to stumble on a couple. Here on the home front, however, there is now a raging debate between my better half and myself about whether I should continue to submit responses to NPR. She thinks I should never enter again so that others are afforded a better opportunity at their first chance to participate. I’m a bit more moderate and am willing to wait, perhaps a year or so, before I begin to submit puzzle answers once again. In the meantime, I would continue to try to solve the puzzle on my own and to post devilishly obscure clues on Blaine’s website. Any thought, fellow puzzle aficionados?

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    2. No need to wait a year; I think they don't allow repeat players within the year, so submit all you want and they will screen you out during that time. I have gotten the call twice (about four years apart), and have no guilt at all about robbing others of that second time I played.

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    3. The NPR assistant that I spoke with suggested to continue submitting answers, there are several that have won twice. I plan to continue and I think you should also, along with obscure clues. Great job this morning.

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