Sunday, January 26, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 26, 2020): What's My Job

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 26, 2020): What's My Job:
Q: Write down the letter C. Beneath that write ENT. And beneath that write a G. What profession do these letters represent? Here's a hint: It's a two-word phrase — 10 letters in the first word, 5 letters in the second.
I believe the operative word is "write".

Edit: Actually the operative word is "operative" :)
A: Under C, Over a G, ENT --> UNDERCOVER AGENT

P.S. If anyone is interested, an almost identical version of the puzzle was played on-air about 10 years ago.

160 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. The puzzle isn't currently posted on the NPR website, but as soon as it is, I'll update the link to point to the specific puzzle.

      Delete
  2. Anyone who blows this should be held culpable.

    I don't think I can go back to bed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replies
    1. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" - Santayana.

      Or was it Santa Anna?

      Delete
    2. The last time Will used this puzzle, it was part of the on-air play.

      Delete
  4. Don’t let yourself be carried away.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have an answer but it doesn't click. Makes me think of a Johnny Rivers song.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny, I'm thinking of a Toto song myself.

      Delete
    2. Actually, the answer sounds almost like the title of a one-hit wonder from the 70s, but that may be TMI.

      Delete
  6. Take the first three letters of the answer followed by the last three. You get what needs to be done after a minor vehicle accident.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Based on, “...over 1800 correct answers,” last week, and the relative paucity of comments here today, puzzling sure has its ups and downs.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have it "as above, so below."

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey ecoarchitect, I just now got your very subtle and clever clue. I guess it's 'cos I'm slow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, you’re both pretty smart.

      Delete
    2. I love that we can get together on the blog and bond like this over the puzzle.

      Delete
  10. I thought the solution I arrived at might be too convoluted to be correct. Round Room-ish in a shadowy sort of way. But I believe Wordsmythe and Rob authenticated my gray cell agitation on this one.

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  11. After sharing the sum total of my thoughts with my wife, I came up with an answer of which I'm not sure. I'm sending it in to NPR anyway, so that I can start putting my 2019 tax stuff together.

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  12. Replies
    1. The Little Mermaid has the song "Under the Sea", which sounds like "Under the C".

      Delete
  13. Personally, I think this is a groovy puzzle. It's public record that I am a fan of NPR Sundays!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This puzzle was "new to me," and I enjoyed solving it. Clever wordplay. I look forward to writing "riff-offs" of it on Puzzleria!
    Just one quibble: One might argue that the answer should be a profession of 10 and 4 letters instead of 10 and 5 letters.

    Lego:ProfessionPuzzleMaker(ActuallyIt'sAnAvocation)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The way I understand the puzzle is that the wording is quite clever, and doesn't quite match Blaine's picture above. Thus the 5 letters. --Margaret G.

      Delete
    2. Excellent observation, Margaret G. I missed that. Thanks.

      LegoWhoHerebyWithdrawsHisQuibblyObjection

      Delete
    3. Yeah, don't ask me to do all the work for you. :)

      Delete
    4. Blaine, That sounds like a Senate Republican! :)

      LegoWhoTriedToSubpoenaPuzzleDocumentsFromNationalPublicRadioButWasAlasStonewalledAndUltimatelyDeniedAccess!

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

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  15. Anyone notice that CORONAVIRUS anagrams to CARNIVOROUS?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many years ago I had a Chevy Nivorous. Does that count? They were rather rare.

      Delete
  16. Puzzles like this are good for absolutely nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sorry, I never liked Kobe Bryant because the rape testimony of the victim is too real not to be true.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Some of the hints here led me to the answer. When I finally worked out the mechanics of it, I felt kind of stupid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hints about going back to bed, old song references, and allusions to "ups and downs" had me convinced it was UNDERCOVER AGENT, but I couldn't see how it was derived from the given configuration of letters. Then I got smart:
      Under C, over a G, ENT

      Delete
  19. There have been many works of fiction – books, movies, TV – about persons in this profession, some of them downright corny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were talking about one of them here just a few weeks ago.

      Delete
  20. It's stormy out here in the Rockies today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did it leave you beneath a blanket of snow?

      Delete
  21. Clever, if cumbersome, poser.
    Low number of answers, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  22. NPR: "A man in Arizona was pulled over last week for attempting to disguise a fake skeleton as a passenger in his car so he could stealthily drive in the HOV lane."

    Make no bones about the seriousness of this crime. It is only legal along the Ivory Coast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If if were a real skeleton, not a fake, would it count? I.e., how recently must a passenger be living for them to count toward HOV status?

      Delete
    2. Speaking of dead bodies in the trunk, a few weeks ago, "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" ran a Best of the Decade Not My Job special, which included Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster telling this story of Cubs broadcaster, Harry Caray:

      I loved Harry Caray. He was, like, one of the first broadcasters - growing up in a small town outside of Vancouver that we would get Cubs games on WGN. And so I just loved him. The fact that he could talk for an entire inning and it meant nothing about baseball was just, to me, incredible. And he told me a great story one time was he said they were driving to the field together. They were carpooling down, and Harry was doing about 90 on the Edens. He was flying to the field, and he got pulled over. And Pat's like, oh, you're in trouble here. He says, (imitating Harry Caray) hey, pal, I'm a broadcaster for the Cubs.
      I'm never in trouble, all right?

      (Imitating Harry Caray) You watch this. I'll get out of this ticket. No problem. So the police officer shows up, he pulls up to the car. And he, you know, he says, can I get your license and registration? And Harry says, (imitating Harry Caray) you know, Officer, I would give you that but this is a stolen car.
      So he says, sir, you mind getting out of the vehicle? At this point, he kind of starts to sense something's going on. He says is there anything else you want tell me? He's like, (imitating Harry Caray) to be honest with you, I've got a loaded gun in the glove compartment. But he says, all right, sir. He's like, you know, come on out here. He gets him out of the car. And he says, is there anything else?
      I'm going to call my partner in here. Is there anything else you want to tell me? He's like, (imitating Harry Caray) you know, if we're going to get right down to it, officer, I have a dead body in the trunk and I'm on a little bit of a timeline here.

      So now they got Harry and Pat and they're over by the car and the trunk of the car and this cop's going through the car. And then all of a sudden, his partner comes up to him. He says, hey, Mr. Caray, can I talk to you? And he says (imitating Harry Caray) what is it, Officer? He says, well my partner said that you said this was a stolen car.
      It's registered to you. He said you have a loaded gun in the glove compartment. There's nothing in there but insurance papers. And he said you have a dead body in the trunk and all you have in there is golf clubs. And he looks the cop in the eye. He says, (imitating Harry Caray), let me guess, that son of a bitch was going to tell you I was speeding too.

      Delete
    3. Well, jan, if the guy takes his ticket to court and the judge has to make a ruling, I suspect it will be a marrow decision.

      Delete
    4. There was a case here several years ago where a woman was pulled over for driving in the HOV/ carpool lane. She told the cop that she was pregnant, and therefore satisfied the requirements.

      The judge dismissed the case, saying he did not want to be responsible for such monumental determinations.

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    5. Sure, if the government is gonna argue that life begins at conception, you should get a dependent tax write-off for the who nine months of pregnancy, and don't forget the fetus on your 2020 census, but if you want to drive in the HOV lane, they'll probably insist on using a properly installed infant car seat.

      Delete
    6. Just for the record, only the driver was arguing that life began at conception, or at least passenger-ness. Are fetuses considered passengers? Traffic court judge decided it wasn't worth the trouble, probably smart.

      Delete
    7. She said she thought HOV meant Happy Obstetric Vehicles.

      Delete
    8. For some it means Holding Off Vomiting.

      Delete
  23. This is my most frustrating week for puzzling 2020 to date. I solved the puzzle at 1 a.m. Kind of a duh.

    Feeling relieved, I went to sleep. And now I remember only the second word and the rough gist of the puzzle. Ugh.

    Reminder to keep a pad by my bed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, I solved it a second time. And inadvertently offered a clue, too.

      Delete
  24. Replies
    1. Right, and I was going to say you might want to also keep a notepad by the bed too. But I would never stoop to such low humor.

      Delete
    2. And have you caught the 6th and Pike shooter?

      Delete
    3. Plantsmith,
      I must confess to not having enough time to even begin looking.

      Delete
  25. Hmmm, either I had a bad dream of some unfortunate dialog regarding Kobe Bryant, or Blaine summarily removed the entire discussion.

    I hope it's the latter and not another indicator of my mind slipping away, Dave.

    I had written a response before being interrupted by visitors in my office, the main gist was I hope we will maintain the mature level of conversation that has made this blog enjoyable, even when we disagree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn’t agree more with your comment on the level of conversation on this blog. I was taught that a key test of maturity is whether one has learned how to disagree, without being disagreeable.

      Blainsvillians demonstrate this skill every week.

      Delete
  26. Hey,

    I just figured out another possible answer. Is it Kosher to tell me whether or not the second word is an abbreviation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The puzzle stated that there are 2 words, not abbreviations. My solution has no abbreviations, and seems consistent with others' solutions.

      Delete
  27. Thanks ECO.I guess it's a week with no answer for me.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Fred Kaplan has come out with a new book with an in depth look at our nuclear war plans from the beginning through today. It matches perfectly with the Daniel Ellsberg book I recommended recently here. He is interviewed on the Terri Gross program this evening, but she is away today and there is another host. It is not to be missed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fresh Air is the actual program name.
      New Book Presents A 'Secret History' Of Nuclear War Planning In America

      Interviewed by Dave Davies

      Delete
    2. Actually, the title is "The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War". FYI, Fred Caplan is married to Brook Gladstone, co-host of "On The Media".

      Delete
    3. I have to finish "Triggered " first.

      Delete
  29. Thanks for the tip. It sounds like Corona may get us first. I did switch to Modelo, however. Hate to be so dark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dos Equis after a long April day of geologic field work in the Sonoran Desert in Mexico--nothing like it!

      Delete
  30. There's always something out there that's going to get us. Don't pay attention to the Elites behind the curtain with all those maps, geography, and spelling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wanted to protect myself from Corona Virus, so I picked up a paper face mask today from the lobby at a nearby Planned Parenthood and cut a hole in the center to make it easier to breath. I suspect it works just as effectively as it would without my modification.

      Delete
  31. I'd say a hint, but my tongue has been cut in two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you need assistance in getting rid of some wool?

      Delete
    2. Undercover agent. My comment was a reference to the Rolling Stones song Undercover of the Night

      Delete
  32. Replies
    1. SDB: do you remember the old army marching chant:

      "If I had a low IQ,
      I would be a Jar Head too!"

      Delete
    2. No. I don't think I have heard it. It sounds like something that was used though.

      Delete
  33. Airborne Ranger.
    Nuthin' Stranger.

    (and that one called out by a leg Looie)

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  34. Note to SDB: Thought you might be interested in the recent developments in the ballet career of my 16-year old granddaughter Lexie. After spending last summer studying with PNB and this year at the Colburn Dance Academy in LA, she has just been accepted into the summer program at the School of American Ballet at the NYC Ballet. Her dream is to be a principal with the NYCB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lorenzo, That is indeed wonderful and impressive news. You must be floating on air. She has to be extremely passionate in her pursuit in order for her to get to where she is now. I suspect she will succeed. I would even go so far as to say she already is succeeding because the journey is just as rewarding as to reach the goal. Have a Negroni on me and send me he bill.

      Delete
  35. As for this week’s puzzle, I agree with those who feel that it is moderately clever but clumsy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, Lorenzo, "moderately clever but clumsy?" Surely that describes some folks in this motley crew of puzzlers.

      Delete
    2. I'll respectfully disagree - though not about our collective clumsiness. I thought the puzzle was well worded, especially in its play on certain preconceptions.

      Anyone else remember similar puzzles in books from their youth? I can't remember specific puzzles - I suppose they fall under the category of Rebus. None quite as complicated as this.

      Delete
    3. I remember Uncle Rebus. (I'll probably go to hell for this.)

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    4. I would say this puzzle is like so many in that it has its ups and downs.

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

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  36. Alan Dershowitz anagrams to Older Satan Whiz.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very fitting. Another awesome Harvard protegee along with the Unibomber,

      Delete
  37. Just solved it this morning! Will Will call?

    ReplyDelete
  38. UNDERCOVER AGENT (under C, over a G: ENT)

    > :-)

    John Le Carré's George SMILEY is my favorite UNDERCOVER AGENT.

    > The last time Will used this puzzle, it was part of the on-air play

    On May 9, 2010.

    >> There have been many works of fiction – books, movies, TV – about persons in this profession, some of them downright corny.
    > We were talking about one of them here just a few weeks ago.

    Buck Henry, co-creator of Get Smart died on January 8. I was going to write I hope Blaine doesn't 86 my comment, but if I had, I think he would've.

    >> Anyone who blows this should be held culpable.
    > Medical hint: nanophthalmos.

    I Spy with my little eye....

    > Keep trying, Clark. Don't cry uncle!

    When I was 14, my summer camp counselor was a dead ringer for Illya Kuryakin.

    >> It's stormy out here in the Rockies today.
    > Did it leave you beneath a blanket of snow?

    Under cover?

    ReplyDelete
  39. C
    aGENT

    undercover agent

    Last Monday I said, “There have been many works of fiction made – books, movies, TV – about persons in this profession, some of them downright corny.” John le Carré’s real name is David John Moore Cornwell.

    ReplyDelete
  40. UNDERCOVER AGENT

    "4/5" = Undercover Agent is a 1939 film. It was released on 4/5/1939. 1939 was a big movie year; Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz were released the same year.

    "Stormy" refers, of course, to Stormy Daniels, another kind of UNDERCOVER AGENT.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Undercover Agent

    My, “Don’t let yourself be carried away,” comment was in homage to Jean le Carré, master of the spy novel genre.

    I’m still not sure whether there was supposed to be an, “A,” with the, “G,” below the, “ENT,” or if we were intended to see, “a Gent,” there. Actually, the ambiguity added to my enjoyment of this puzzle.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I wrote, “Take the first three letters of the answer followed by the last three. You get what needs to be done after a minor vehicle accident.” That is, undent.

    ReplyDelete
  43. UNDERCOVER AGENT

    under C: (or) C over: a G (+) ENT

    “As above, so below” → “over and under”

    ReplyDelete
  44. I submitted undercover agent.

    And I actually did solve it at night, went to bed, and when I woke, I had forgotten everything before AGENT.

    And when I posted that lapse, I noted I went to bed, accidentally cluing that I was an agent "under covers," in a sense.

    Ben

    ReplyDelete
  45. Here's a partial transcript from the May 9, 2010 NPR show, the On Air Challenge. The original source for this week's puzzle. It just seemed confusing and the contestant, Joan Suits, seemed to be at a real loss. This puzzle is a good example of why I don't usually submit answers.

    SHORTZ: Heres your last one. Write down the letters C. Underneath it write E-N-T-S, and underneath that write G. And your clue is spies. It's a two-word phrase, 10 letters in the first word, six letters in the last - 10-6. Spies.

    Ms. SUITS: G under, under...
    SHORTZ:: Yeah, not...
    Ms. SUITS: Covert.
    SHORTZ:: Not.
    Ms. SUITS: Oh.
    SHORTZ:: There is an over involved but it's not covert.
    HANSEN:a: Okay.
    SHORTZ:: What two-word word phrase would mean spies which has cover in it?
    Ms. SUITS: Cover agents.
    SHORTZ:: Yeah, agents is right. There's your six letter word. Something cover agents.
    Ms. SUITS: Undercover agents.
    HANSEN: Undercover agents.
    SHORTZ:: There you go. Under C over a G, E-N-T-S. Undercover agents. Nice job.

    ReplyDelete
  46. under C over AG: ENT → undercover agent

    From last week's thread: now onto obscure clues or back to bed. An agent might follow obscure clues, and back to bed could be under cover, a gent. I later decided "gent" doesn't apply.

    Anyone who blows this should be held culpable. A little tribute to the 1960's TV show I Spy; main character Kelly Robinson was disguised as a tennis player. Was actor Robert Culp able to portray that well? The "blows this" recalls The Big Bang (Theory): Sheldon Leonard was the executive producer of I Spy, and the 2 main characters in the current TV show are named for him.

    Thanks Jan for removing your "'cos" (I Spy co-star Bill Cosby), one reference was enough.

    I enjoyed how the puzzle played with an assumption that "a" would be an indefinite article, and not "AG" as part of the diagram. Blaine's illustration showed this, but

    C
    ENT
    AG


    would be a more accurate. And easier to solve, which is why the wording was so good. Then again, I liked the infamous MOUTH puzzle, so perhaps my opinion is irrelevant.

    ReplyDelete
  47. H.L. Mencken had it right in 1920! "The White House will (eventually) be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron..."

    ReplyDelete
  48. Undercover agent (under C, over a G, ENT)

    ReplyDelete
  49. The player of the on-air puzzle 10 years ago had the best comment after this quite visual puzzle was given in an auditory way:

    "Ms. SUITS: I'm just happy there's air conditioning in here."

    Also, the puzzle the next week had to do with oil company folks. I doubt Will would run that puzzle today. At least I hope not. . .

    ReplyDelete
  50. DIFFERENT TOPIC (BATTINESS ABOUNDS TODAY):

    I've been thinking about caves, bats, and the coronavirus in China. The White Nose Syndrome Bat fungus first appeared in NY caves in 2006; and it first appeared in China in 2015. I wonder if an immunocompromised bat with both the White Nose AND the coronavirus bit/scratched a wildlife wrangler as he was gathering bats for "exotic" food.

    The timeline seems reasonable. I don't think it is the eating of the bats that transmits the virus as much as being bitten/scratched by them. And fungus-immunocompromised, virus-carrying bats would be more likely to bite, especially when they are being wrangled for food.

    Thoughts?

    ***********************

    [My Chinese students are so concerned about the coronavirus they want to skip both their senior trip and graduation so they can get home to their families.]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why posit a connection between 2019-nCoV and white-nose syndrome? Is there evidence that the bats involved were immunocompromised? I don't think anyone ever found a link between WNS and the SARS-CoV, which is somewhat similar genetically. Also, the transmission appears to be airborne; I hadn't heard of victims having been bitten or scratched by bats.

      Delete
    2. My understanding is that the transmission mode of 2019-nCoV is not yet definitive:

      https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/01/30/world/who-declares-global-emergency-over-coronavirus-china/

      I know that, as my mom would say, when "there's a fungus among us" animals can often be more susceptible to disease. Positing a connection between the two seems to me like a reasonable avenue for exploration.

      Delete
    3. Not yet definitive, but it certainly looks like, as with SARS and MERS, transmission is via airborne droplets.


      Delete
    4. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

      Delete
    5. So avoid all those batty people.

      Delete
    6. Is this similar with the Ebola theory about the monkey bite for animal to human transmission?

      Delete
    7. Fascinating. Thanks for posting. Bats, living up to 40 or so years, can be virus carriers without contracting the disease. >>>

      "One bat can host many different viruses without getting sick. They are the natural reservoir for the Marburg virus, and Nipah and Hendra viruses, which have caused human disease and outbreaks in Africa, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Australia. They are thought to be the natural reservoir for the Ebola virus."

      Delete
    8. Ah memories. Like the night in college at my coop house when a bat (they nested in the attic) crawled under my door (< 1" gap) at 3 AM and flew around my room, thumping into the walls.

      Being exceedingly brave I hid under the covers, thinking that a bat bumping into walls didn't have good motor control skills. Next morning I got up, looked around, and ran out of my room screaming like a little girl. The woman from animal control said that a bat flying like that probably had rabies.

      Tonight's nightmare is brought to you by Coronavirus, the king of fears.

      Delete
  51. When "undercover agent" popped up in trying different possibilities, I thought that it sort of fits so must be what is wanted.
    I still think that.

    With the corona virus as dangerous as it seems, I just wish (again) that somebody besides Trump and his band of Bozo's was in charge.

    ReplyDelete
  52. UNDERCOVER AGENT(under C, over a G, ENT)
    The "I Spy" comments did it for me.
    The Toto song I referred to was "99"(1979). Surprisingly, this song was not about Barbara Feldon's female counterpart to Don Adams' Maxwell Smart(86)on "Get Smart". The song actually had something to do with George Lucas' movie "THX-1138"(1971). In the film, people were given numbers instead of names. Toto even had a video for the song in which the room was all white and the band members were also dressed in white, as an homage to the sci-fi film.
    The answer to this week's challenge is not to be confused with the song title "Undercover Angel"(1977)by Alan O'Day, which I also referenced earlier.
    I also used the word "bond" in a previous post, as an obvious allusion to the legendary fictional UNDERCOVER AGENT, James Bond. I hope my explanation has left all of you shaken, but not stirred(I can hear y'all groaning right now, and I love it!).
    Berry, Cranberry
    This post will self-destruct in five seconds.(Sorry, I just noticed no one here referenced "Mission: Impossible" this whole time. Couldn't resist.)

    ReplyDelete
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  54. For all you puzzle-lovers out there who "Trust in Judo," Tomorrow's Joseph Young's Puzzleria! will feature another nifty puzzle by our friend skydiveboy. It too features a spoonerism, just like his JUSTIN TRUDEAU puzzle that Will Shortz used on NPR a month ago.
    "Drop by" to match wits with our "diveboy."
    Also, later in February, Puzzleria! will present another clever Cryptic Crossword created by our friend cranberry.
    And our friend Mathew Huffman's always challenging and entertaining "Conundrum Set" is a regular feature on Puzzleria! also.
    Others who have contributed ingenious puzzles to P! lately are our friends SuperZee and Chuck.
    Thanks to all!

    LegoWhoIsThankfulForOurFriendsGalore

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  56. When I tune in on the Senate impeachment hearings, they only show the current speaker talking. I wish they would show a split-screen with the current speaker on one side, and on the other, a view of the Senate floor. It would be interesting to see who is throwing paper airplanes and who is playing with their fidget spinners. (assuming they are even in there, and not on an extended bathroom break)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't blame C-Span, Moscow Mitch ordered where the cameras would be placed and what they would show, including that they wouldn't show the Senate floor.

      Are you Chargered up for SB LIV? Big yawn out here among my circle; one friend scheduled an election postcard mailing party for the same time, and only learned about the game yesterday.

      Delete
    2. Actually we are!! It ought to be a good game for a change.
      I was kind of pulling for Green Bay or Minnesota to get to the Super Bowl, just for a classic rematch but it wasn't meant to be.
      The whole metro area is abuzz about the big game, so we'll see what happens!! In fact, there are fans all across the U.S. who are getting excited and showing their support!
      Kinda surprised your circle isn't really excited, should be fun to watch, just wish it was on a little earlier.

      Delete
    3. Two weeks ago, after the Chief's Championship game, we decided to do takeout at a local Vietnamese restaurant. I volunteered to go pick it up and had to wait there a few minutes until it was ready. The interesting part was that the owners had the 49ers playoff game on TV and most of the crew were watching it (it was a slow night). As I walked in I heard a lot of game chatter in Vietnamese and then in perfect english "touchdown!" and then more Vietnamese. It was just kind of funny but also showed how things have changed.

      Delete
    4. I'm not surprised. Most want to learn the language where they live, and sports are a relatively easy starting point.

      Heck, even I understand Spanish language TV football announcers yelling
      íGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLL!

      Delete
    5. I think you are missing an "O" and two "L"s!!

      Delete
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  58. I'm just so proud of our fascist government now that the (Max) Senate has defended and protected our very Ill Duce. Does anyone here happen to know if there is a bean market in D.C.?

    ReplyDelete
  59. STRAP et al, take note:

    CORONAVIRUS anagrams to CARNIVOROUS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ron mentioned that Sunday morning.







      Delete
    2. Ron posted that last Sunday and has been banished by STRAP. You join him now.

      Although technically the mission of STRAP is to repudiate the puzzles, not anagrams in general.

      This snip nips at us, makes our heads spin on pins and needles. We need to take a vacation, maybe to il Vaticano.

      Delete
    3. A Puzzle:
      Take a screen name that appears on Blaine's Blog. Rearrange its letters to form two words:
      1. A plural noun, and
      2. What kind of metrical foot this noun would be classified as if it appeared in a poem.
      Hint: The answers to 1. and 2. are in alphabetical order.

      LegoWhoDinesOnPricklyPearsForDessert

      Delete
  60. Tomorrow’s date will be written as an eight-digit palindrome around the world, the first time this has happened in 900 years.

    The coincidence is rare because countries use differing conventions. February 2, 2020, is a palindrome whether expressed as day/month/year (02/02/2020), month/day/year (02/02/2020), or year/month/day (2020/02/02).

    This happened last on November 11, 1111, and it won’t happen again until March 3, 3030.

    02/01/2020 UPDATE: A number of readers have pointed out that 12/12/2121 works fine too, and it’s barely more than a century away.

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  61. This week's challenge: The actress Michael Learned, who played the mother on The Waltons, has an unusual property in her name. The last three letters of her first name are the same as the first three letters of her last name reversed. The name of what current celebrity has the same property? Here's a hint: The first and last names each have 6 letters.

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  62. Over 400 correct entries last week.

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  63. I listened on air and was not familiar with Michael Learned. Since when is Michael a female’s name?

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  64. I've found one actor, unfortunately not well known, that's 6 and 6 and HIS ENTIRE LAST NAME IS HIS ENTIRE FIRST NAME REVERSED!!

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