Sunday, April 05, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 5, 2020): State Your Business

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 5, 2020): State Your Business:
Q: Think of a well-known U.S. city. Its population is over a quarter of a million. Phonetically, the first syllable of the city's name plus the first syllable of the name of its state will sound like a well-known brand name. What is it?
Part of this brand was owned by **** *** at one time.

Edit: The company was Sara Lee
A: PLANO, TEXAS --> PLAYTEX

201 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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    Replies
    1. Blaine, I think you clue violates your rule about leading to the answer via internet search.

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    2. I think it was Johnny Carson who made a joke about the purchase at the time.

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    3. Nobody doesn't make mistakes.

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  2. End times must be near, Blaine's hint is tmi.

    Meanwhile, to repeat, this puzzle may or may not be your cup of tea.

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    Replies
    1. I slept like a baby. I swear! I woke up crying and screaming every two hours.

      As Blaine noted last week, this is an appropriate time to post this puzzle - in more ways than one.

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    2. Yes. Will i ever touch my face again?

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  3. Over 1400 correct responses last week.

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    Replies
    1. Jan, does your former career, recent relocation, and current need make Bosma well-known?

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    2. Never heard of them. But I used to live just down the road from Morristown, NJ, the home of the Seeing Eye (not that weird thing over the pyramid on the dollar bill), founded by Morris (no relation) Frank, shown here with his Buddy, as sculpted by NJ's Seward Johnson (of the Johnson & Johnson Johnsons), who died last month before Covid-19 could get him.

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    3. I grew up in MENDHAM, just 7 miles from Morristown...we went there all the time, and I once had a tour of the Seeing Eye (for some reason, they were offering them.)

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  4. Easy puzzles give instant gratification.

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  5. 2,000 answers this coming week, easily, maybe 3,000. Doesn't take a ton of acumen to engage this puzzle.

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  6. Whatever your methods to solve this, I trust you will not have to resort to your fifteenth scheme.

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  7. After last week’s dreaded “This comment has been removed by a blog administrator,” I’m going to restrain myself from offering a clue. I think it might prove embarrassing.

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  8. Ugh. I was really hoping to get through the morning without questionable syllabification.

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  9. City & brand, same number of letters...

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    Replies
    1. My answer doesn't match this clue...

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    2. It's just one of my 6 answers...

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    3. I considered that answer, but there might be disagreement about the syllable division on the state there.

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    4. I wondered about syllable division on the first one I actually noticed and thought, "This might be it, but maybe not." In all I have found three possibilities that would work, but I'm absolutely positive about only one of them. The second-best choice of the three makes a brand name that, sadly, some folks out there may have no choice but to eventually use these days. I've used it before, was not a fan. Is it OK to add that I think Dayton, Ohio sounds like a place Harry Belafonte might like to visit? Not really giving away an answer here, just an observation. If this post gets removed later because of it, I'll understand.

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    5. One of our two answers matches the brand name length equals city name length. The wording of the puzzle has me concerned as syllables can be different by dictionary and when he says phonetically it removes the city/brand answer as that is spelled the same as the brand and is this stronger than phonetically. Our other answer simply gives us agita and we may end up going with that one as it better fits the question phonetically.

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

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  11. Having found four solutions, think I’ll stop.
    Time to head to the basement and get on my exercise bike.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, but no. I’ve assembled my home gym primary from Craigslist castoffs (weights, recumbent bicycle, and treadmill) that had morphed from good intentions to clothes racks. I did, however, recently purchase a new universal gym when my old one suffered a non-repairable mechanical failure.

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    2. Oh, and I now have five solutions.

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    3. Those are heavy-universal gymns. You must have messed up your back moving that thing down the stairs. Have not see one for a while.
      I have a Life Fitness recumbent.

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    4. The purchase price of my new Life Fitness G2, included delivery, assembly, and removal of my old gym. Otherwise, you would have been right on...

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  12. This puzzle might work well for one of the brand’s products if it combined the first syllable of a major US city with the first syllable of a Canadian province.

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    Replies
    1. Nice clue.
      The first syllable of the state which the city you are referring to is from would be appropriate to use for any brand names in this product category.

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    2. Thanks - glad to bring a smile to your face during this unprecedented period In our history.

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  13. Hm.
    Well I *think* I have the intended answer, but (i) I don't think it fits Blaine's clue, and (ii) it doesn't work with my pronunciation.
    Anyway I'm glad we don't have another of those anagram farces.

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    Replies
    1. Oooooh, never mind -- mine was wrong, a near miss!
      There should be a lot of right answers this week, and my prediction is that it will take on average 3/4 of a day to get it.

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    2. @Crito, I think I had the same near miss. Who knew you could spy a cowboy in a town with slightly fewer than 250,000 people? And then the result isn't even a brand name! It would have been timely even while being absolutely, completely wrong.

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    3. So, Crito, was your near miss "Laredo, Texas" and "latex"? Latex turns out to be a word for natural rubber from 1832 that comes from the Latin for "liquid". It never was a brand name. And Laredo has a population of 235,809--too low for the puzzle. Latex has been synthesized now and is in demand for gloves these COVID days. It seems like a timely answer, but it's just Plano wrong.

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

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  15. I've got the answer. Now that it's still before 8 AM on a Sunday morning, I hope i can go back to sleep.

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  16. I wonder how many people will solve this.

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  17. Lots of not-quite-right answers before I got this one.

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  18. It’s nice to have an uplifting puzzle in these dark days.

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  19. I have answer that fits all the criteria, but doesn’t work with any of the hints given. My month is not off to a great start!

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  20. Anyone else notice an interesting connection between this week's answer and last week's?

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  21. I have FIVE answers. They all work perfectly!

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  22. I wonder if they are the same five I came up with. We’ll just have to wait until Thursday to find out.

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  23. Remember "phonetically" means some of the letters of the 1st syllables of the city & state are NOT the same letters of the brand.

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    Replies
    1. All five of my answers fit this criterion.

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    2. I have a 6th answer where there are no letter changes.

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  24. I'm glad I read all the posts before posting my hint. We don't need more than one of the same. However, it does remind me of Boulder, Colorado for some reason.

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  25. Wow, folks, most obvious clues ever this week.

    Mine? Range.

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    Replies
    1. Could that also relate to the Shawnee trail?

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    2. Playtex- Plano Texas is close to the Shawnee trail out west.

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  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. I feel so left out! Everyone else has gotten it except me :(

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  28. I found 3 cities all in the same state.

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    Replies
    1. I found four in that state.

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    2. I found five in that state.

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    3. Did all 4 or 5 have over a quarter million population?

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    4. Yes. All five have over ¼ million...

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    5. Lzz czi ckocot wfgb xyta kplbrz?

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    6. Ron, I rechecked and was able to find a total of 4, with a 5th that doesn't have the required numbers in the population

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    7. I stand corrected. Five In one state, plus one in another.

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    8. Hmm... I was thinking the state with all the possible answers had to be the same as the one with the likely intended answer... which was, of course, illogical.

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  29. Damn this virus shutdown! The sun is shining outside and I will have nothing better to do than stay inside and make Apple Pancovid.

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    Replies
    1. I trust you are also watching "Inside bill's brain" on Netflix. You know Bill who? After watching it i would predict that Warren Buffet will have a stroke within one year.

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    2. I have posted here many, many times that I do not watch TV. I do not have cable. I have no idea what you are talking about. I sometimes watch 60 Minutes, and if there is something special on PBS I might watch it, but rarely. I do not watch TV news either, and I have no idea what any of the programs are, or about.

      Delete
    3. Well since you missed it. On e of his current projects is building his new nuclear reactor design which uses spend fuel rods from other reactors and doe not need a super complicated cooling method. Used liquid metal to cool- somehow. China was all set to build the prototypes, until guess what. This new energy form will save the world from fossil toxins. A little hubris? I don't know.

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    4. Who, Warren Buffet? Or someone named Bill, that I have no idea of?

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    5. Bill Gates. Your neighbor on the lake.

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    6. Oh, that Bill. I haven't seen him in years.

      Delete
  30. If you say the first syllable of the city followed by the first syllable of a state capital, then it will sound like another famous brand.

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    Replies
    1. Works with two state capitals, if my answer is right.

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    2. The first syllable of Dover, Delaware sounds like "doh". The brand is Play-Doh.

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    3. I was thinking of Boise and Playboy.

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  31. Puzzle too easy? Bored at home? Before you head over to Lego Land, take time for some Bonus Puzzles (in these times of shelter at home, they are all about movement):

    National movements
    1) Name two countries. In each country, move the last letter to the 3rd position, and the result will be something you might have wanted 1000 years ago, but don't want today.

    You can be famous without vowel movements
    2) Name a well-known celebrity, first and last name. Of the 14 letters in that name, 6 are the same vowel, and there are no other vowels in that name. Not so useful hint: The celebrity's middle name has 3 letters, 2 are the same vowel,

    3) Name a well-known writer, first and last name. Of the 15 letters in that name, 5 are the same vowel, and there are no other vowels in that name.

    And a movement to solve problems
    4) Name something in 10 letters that people, including folks on this blog, use to solve a problem. Move the 5th letter 9 places in the alphabet (or 17, depending on which direction you're moving) to get another thing people use to solve a problem.

    As always, hints welcome, but make no revealing moves until Thursday 3pm EDT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for these "moving" Bonus Puzzles, ecoarchitect. I haven't solved any yet, yet I like the cut of their jibber-jabber. (I came close-but-cigarless with "Jerry Lee Lewis" for 2).
      And "DICTIONARY-->DICTRIONARY or DICTZIONARY" did not work for 4)!
      Thanks also for the link to my puzzle blog. We do feature a few "imposing posers" over there this week.

      LegoWhoDoesNotEvenKnowHowToSolveAProblemLikeMaria!

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    2. Glad you tried dictionary, I purposely included the number of letters in the hope that someone would take that bait.

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  32. I've had steaks that were tougher than this puzzle.

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    Replies
    1. The best steak i ever had was in Chicago. At Ormonds- i believe.

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  33. I am very much looking forward to everyone explaining their clues on Thursday.

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  34. If you're like me and you listen religiously to the syndicated radio program "TimeWarp With Bill St. James" every Sunday evening(like I am right now over LA 105 out of West Monroe, LA), you probably know the first hour of this week's show is all about "work". I can't tell if they're just trying to cheer up listeners who cannot work under the current circumstances, or if they're sort of rubbing it in. Seems quite ironic at this point. I know last week they began with a salute to 1980 and included the opening to the old sitcom "Bosom Buddies", which of course starred legendary actor/future Coronavirus "casualty" Tom Hanks. Immediately after the clip, they played the Police hit "Don't Stand So Close To Me". I kid you not. It's either very clever or very mean(or most likely only coincidental), depending where your head is at right now.

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  35. OMG! I just heard our Fearless Leader suggest, during his daily press briefing, using erythromycin (an antibiotic) to "kill certain things you don't want living in our bodies" in the same breath of having ample medicines to fight the Covid-19 virus... WOW!!!

    Plus, he recommends using certain unproven OTC drugs before symptoms develop, because, "what do you have to lose?"

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    Replies
    1. I think it was probably azithromycin (e.g., Zithromax, or Z-pack), a similar macrolide antibiotic. To quote the CDC site, "One small study reported that hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with azithromycin reduced detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in upper respiratory tract specimens compared with a non-randomized control group but did not assess clinical benefit [7]. Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin are associated with QT prolongation and caution is advised when considering these drugs in patients with chronic medical conditions (e.g. renal failure, hepatic disease) or who are receiving medications that might interact to cause arrythmias."

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    2. I replayed that several times and I think you are right, but it seems he was mispronouncing it. It sounded like he was saying azrithomycin several times, which sure sounded at first like erythromycin. He kept repeating that he wasn't a doctor as he talked about these remedies. My thought, as he kept this up, was "if he wasn't a doctor, be quiet and let someone, who is, do the talking".

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    3. I noticed the same mispronounciations exactly. I was so disappointed in his lack of preparation.

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    4. My son is going to be on that project.

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  36. We can only wait for Trump to endorse Pat Robertson's theory of the origin of the Covid virus. It's a beaut.

    It is pretty obvious which of the answers to today's challenge Will will endorse.
    I don't believe I have ever been to the city. Anyone else?

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    Replies
    1. Not closer than about 180 miles.

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    2. I've been close, but not there. WW does overstate with her "Meh" comment, though that's not local opinion.

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  37. What does meh mean? I don't know.

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    Replies
    1. A shoulder shrug. Nothing to write home (or to Blainesvilleans) about.

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    2. Kind of a haughty indifference?

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    3. Indifferent, yes. Haughty, no. The official Merriam-Webster definition:

      "meh interjection
      \ ˈme \
      Definition of meh (Entry 1 of 2)
      —used to express indifference or mild disappointment
      meh adjective
      Definition of meh (Entry 2 of 2)
      1 : not impressive : SO-SO
      a meh documentary
      2 : APATHETIC, INDIFFERENT
      the movie left me feeling meh"

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    4. Thanks. It still sounds haughty to me.

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    5. www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=MEH!!!!
      MEH!!!! a muslim war cry which is used by the Amer clan during the early 16th century which was said in a short burst which roughly translated to "random fun".

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  38. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now hospitalized with COVID-19. My thoughts and prayers are with him, but I am not saying what they may be.

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  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. Paul,
      Did you also notice the barely readable title on the bottom book? Interesting.

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    2. I hadn't even tried to read it before you pointed it out to me; it's the same title, right? Maybe Seth and his wife are having a contest to see who can read the book the fastest.

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    3. I can see several possibilities for it. Maybe he wants to read it twice. Maybe he read it long ago and wanted to read it again, but not in that old, discarded library copy with snot on half the pages. Just thinking here, don't get upset. Kinda odd, isn't it?

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    4. Perhaps he pulled the dust jacket off the bottom book to wrap the box for his inflatable "friend".

      Think outside the box.

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    5. Yes, now that I think about it, it's probably most plausible that the dust jacket from the bottom book is now covering something else. I prefer to think it's just another book - The Art of the Deal, perhaps?

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    6. It could be that, or the inflatable "friend". They both have something in common, in that both should be blown up.

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    7. This is serious. Is it my imagination, or does Seth seem to be sitting just slightly higher in his chair?

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  40. If we're all in the same boat, we probably shouldn't make waves. Being as divided a country as we(and a few others)may be, we do have to realize it took a very, very horrible problem to sort of level the playing field(at least for the moment).

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  41. I've been to the city. I flew there on a no frills, dated aircraft.

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  42. It would seem that Blaine, perhaps following the suggestions by jan and ecoarchitect, has partly self-censored his original clue.

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  43. It took me a day or two to go back and check Blaine's clue.
    It seems well within the bounds, but every time I look at the ownership history of most brands I shudder at the shenanigans of corporations.

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  44. I predict Borexit will take less time than Brexit.

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  45. Yes prayers for Boris and fiancee with child.

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    Replies
    1. I really do not understand that kind of common thinking. Why would we want Boris Johnson to survive his self-inflicted illness, that he, by his atrocious leadership has caused great harm, and even death, to his nation and many of its people? Not to mention Brexit. And why bring his fiance into it? He is similar to Trump, Putin, Bolsanaro, and Xi. We will all be better off when he is gone for good.

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    2. Their quick death would lead to martyrdom from the fold.

      I would rather see their political decimation (Joseph McCarthy offers guidance) followed, as appropriate, by harsh but fair criminal proceedings, seizure of assets to repay those they've wronged, and a long destitute life, either in prison or not, where they can think of what they've done. And their followers can see them for who they truly are.

      But I'm an optimist.

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    3. Yes, but schadenfreude will not make things better. Think how much better things would now be if Ronald Reagan had died after being shot by Hinkley.

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    4. That would have been the ultimate" martyrdom". Just think of all the things that would now be named after him. Instead of Fox News it would be "The Reagan Channel". Washington D.C. would now be referred to as "Reagansville".
      Besides all that, Nancy Reagan would own her own Tarot Card company.

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    5. Besides, on this side of the Pond, a new chain of roadside hotels / restaurants would soon open with the the name "Boris Johnson's".

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    6. You're right; they might have even named a major airport after him. Nah.

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    7. I brought the wife and child to be up as he is going to a father and the kid just might need a parent. You and I - me a few years younger two i think- won't be on the planet much longer. It is time for us to think about the generations coming and do what we can to help- not break down.
      My grandparents hated Reagan and I personally worked for McGovern in one of the worst political defeats of history. But I would never wish his death by assasination. As my senior year of high school was 1068- that was enough gun violence for me. Boris seems to be doing a little better.

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    8. i meant 1968. Year of the gun- King- Bobby Kennedy, etc. Should of been an omen for me, We won't be around much longer- and Covid may still take us out.

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  46. I finally sat down and spent the time to solve this one. On a related note, I’ve been enjoying the podcast Thirteen Minutes to the Moon during my work from home time..,

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  47. Please plop a platter of "Jealous Heart" down onto the Victrola.

    LegoYokoPhonographically

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  48. PLANO, TEXAS, AND PLAYTEX

    "Range" as a parameter was listed on one of the Playtex websites. I didn't go any further than that.

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  49. Plano, Texas >>> Playtex

    My Hints:

    "...However, it does remind me of Boulder, Colorado for some reason." Over Shoulder Bolder Holder."

    "∞" The infinity symbol might represent a brassier.

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  50. Plano, Texas - Playtex

    Last Sunday I said, “I am thinking of astronauts.” Playtex designed and constructed the Apollo spacesuits.

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    Replies
    1. And i thought i might have finally gotten one of your clues- Home on the Range= Texas

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  51. Plano, Texas → Playtex If WS acknowledges Sanka (San+CA) I suspect he will say it's not valid as the "a" in San is pronounced differently. Something similar may appear in a future Bonus Puzzle.

    End times must be near, Blaine's hint is tmi. Playtex makes a diaper genie, which you want to have near at certain end times. A Google search for "brands owned by Sara Lee" had Playtex in result #4.

    this puzzle may or may not be your cup of tea Or two cups? And a T for Texas! Yee-hah!

    I slept like a baby. Playtex makes baby products I swear! Cross your heart I woke up crying and screaming every two hours. No clue intended, just a reminder how wrong that analogy is.

    As Blaine noted last week, this is an appropriate time to post this puzzle - in more ways than one. It's time to (lift and) separate.

    Try thinking outside the box. I still have my >40 year old Plano brand fishing tackle box. Very useful for storing pencils and art supplies.

    3 state capitals. Play-Do(ver, DE), Play-Boi(se, ID), Play-Linc(oln, NE)

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  52. PLANO, TEXAS -> PLAYTEX

    > There are several correct answers this week.

    San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, and Santa Ana, California -> Sanka
    Fresno, California -> Fresca

    [After Blaine posted that the brand was bought by Sara Lee at one point.]

    > I think it was Johnny Carson who made a joke about the purchase at the time.

    He said they could package a girdle in there with every cheesecake. [Hi, kids -- a girdle is sort of a cross between a whalebone corset and Spanx.]

    > Nobody doesn't make mistakes.

    Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee.

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  53. PLANO, TEXAS—> PLAYTEX

    My clue (such as it was): “restrain”

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  54. 1. PLANO, TEXAS (Pop. 284,000)
    PLAYTEX I am guessing that this is the “intended answer.”

    2. SAN DIEGO, CA
    3. SAN FRANCISCO, CA
    4. SAN JOSE, CA
    5. SANTA ANA, CA (Pop. 332, 700)
    SANKA

    6. FRESNO, CA (Pop. 530,000)
    FRESCA (No letter changes) (City & Brand, same number of letters)

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    Replies
    1. Is the first syllable of California CA or CAL? Dictionary.com seems to indicate CAL https://www.dictionary.com/browse/california

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    2. Fresca was my answer, but I wasn't sure if it was a well-known enough brand to be the intended answer!

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    3. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Ed., has

      Cal∙i∙for∙nia \,ka-lə-ˈfȯr-nyə\ state ...

      which seems to have it both ways! (In the above, I have a comma where MW has a short vertical bar that I can't find in the character map I have.)

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    4. Yes. All you need to do is click on my "ka-lə-ˈfȯr-nyə" above...

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  55. 4/14/65
    On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth in Ford's Theatre, and William Seward was stabbed at his home by Lewis Powell. Lincoln died the next day, but Seward survived and negotiated the Alaska Purchase in 1867. Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska, is #68 on this list, while Lincoln, Nebraska is #70.
    Lincoln was not watching a Noh play, but masks are worn in Noh plays. N95 is a different sort of mask, and N95 reversed is 59N.

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    Replies
    1. Nice historically streamy consciousness, Paul.
      Nome, which is like Noh (when someone like "me" elbows the "h" outta my way!), is 64.5N latitude, which is a bit North of Anchorage (61N) geographically but far South of it populationally (291,538 vs. 3,866).
      If we want Alaskan burgs (not bergs, although Alaska has those also) with a latitude of 59N, we must look to 59.65N Homer (father of Bart and the Odyssey) and 59.25N Haines (a Playtex competitor).

      LegoWhoSuggestsWePlayTexSomeMore!

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  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  57. “Everyone has else not gotten it but me :(“
    —lament from a teen girl waiting for the need to use Playtex products. Emoticon was a hint for punctuation.

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  58. Probable intended answer: Plano, Texas >>> Playtex

    Depending on how one syllabifies California (Ka-li-for-nya or Kal-i-for-nya), the following cities all work:

    San Diego, San Jose, San, Francisco, and Santa Ana,

    Yielding Sanka

    (Other California cities, beginning with San, like San Bernadino and San Clemente) don't have populations over 250,000.)


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  59. I wrote, “Whatever your methods to solve this, I trust you will not have to resort to your fifteenth scheme.” That is: not plan A, not plan B, not plan C... but plan O.

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  60. Playtex made the Apollo space suits, hence my comment about an Apollo podcast

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  61. I believe it is possible that Will Shortz might allow the "San(Diego etc.)Ca(lifornia)=Sanka" alternative answers. Pronunciation is such a gray area.
    But, much as I like the "Fres(no)Ca(lifornia)=Fresca" alternative answer, I don't think Will will allow it because the "s" in Fresno is pronounced as a "z"... and the soft drink is not pronounced "Frezca."
    But... what is most important:
    Tomorrow's Puzzleria!(See Blaine's PUZZLE LINKS) features another fine puzzle by our friend skydiveboy from Seattle. The puzzle involves a pair of explorers.
    Explore it. You may discover the answer!

    My hint for this week's puzzle was:
    "Please plop a platter of "Jealous Heart" down onto the Victrola."
    In other words, Please Play Tex.

    LegoWhoAdds"AndDon'tForgetDessert!

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  62. I wrote "doesn't take a ton of acumen to engage this puzzle," implying it didn't take a lot of TECHNIQUE to PLAY this one.

    Play, Technique, Piano, Texas.

    Also, I lived in California for a decade and never heard ANYONE pronounce the first syllable without the L.

    Just saying.

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    Replies
    1. Joni Mitchell lived (and still lives) in California. She pronounces it both ways.

      I'd rather listen to her.

      Delete
    2. Fair enough, Eco. I'd rather listen to Joni than listen to me as well.

      But the puzzle specifically says "Phonetically, the first syllable of the city's name plus the first syllable of the name of its state will sound like a well-known brand name."

      I've ONLY heard the brand "Sanka" pronounced like the word SANG followed by the word COOK without the hard "K" sound.

      Are you telling me you have ever in your life heard California called "COO-lifornia" with the COO sounding like the vowel sound in COOK? I'm skeptical.

      Delete
    3. Yes. Never heard it. Maybe a West coast thing.
      It seems Will is getting more stingy with allowing Alternates. When was the last time he allowed one?

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    4. Wait wait, I'm lost. Where does cook come in? Are you saying people pronounce Sanka brand like San-koo? I've only heard that pronounced with the second a like a schwa, more or less Sang-kuh. Some might stretch it to a short a, similar to Ca-li-for-nya.

      But I'm not advocating for the Sanka option. Not because of the -ka; rather it is questionable for both the first a, which is slightly longer in the brand (though San cities go both ways, especially San Francisco), and the "n" in the brand is melded with the g sound, definitely not in the cities.

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    5. You mean Cau- like in Cauliflower -the sound a crow makes? Cau-lifornia? Never heard it.

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    6. Wait. I think i did hear that in NYC.

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  63. Wow. Some people here think that those with whom they disagree politically should die. How nice

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  64. Thank God the answer wasn't Anchorage Alaska!

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  65. My clue -

    This puzzle might work well for one of the brand’s products if it combined the first syllable of a major US city with the first syllable of a Canadian province.

    Was referring to Tampa and Ontario = Tampon

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  66. The interesting connection with last week's answer ("being") is that it's synonymous with the middle name ("living") of Playtex bras and Playtex gloves.

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  67. For you Weird (and smart and thoughtful) Al fans: Weird Albert Yankovic (WAY) for a Weird Time.

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  68. Lego is running a puzzle of mine now on Puzzleria (See Blaine's links above on right side.) that I made up earlier this week and sent to Will, who said it was "cute" but he wasn't excited enough to use it on NPR. Take a look and see if you agree. I think it is clever, and also didactic as well.

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  69. Playtex is surely the intended answer and assumes a syllable break based on spelling (Tex-as). However, English phonology, ever inconvenient, requires a consonant(al sound) at the onset of every syllable. Since the letter 'x' represents two sounds in Texas, /k/ followed by /s/, the syllable break is ['tVk.sVs]. (I'm using V to refer to vowel since I can't cut and paste the actual IPA symbols for those two vowel sounds.) That would yield Playtech as the answer and get this...Playtech is a brand name! It's a gambling software development company founded in Estonia and now based on the Isle of Man.


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    1. "However, English phonology, ever inconvenient, requires a consonant(al sound) at the onset of every syllable."

      Ummmm.
      Many words start with a vowel sound. Are you saying those words don't start with syllables? The word "on" isn't a syllable?

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    2. also, effect, idiot, operation, opera, omen, utter....

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    3. Exactly. Air isn't constantly emitting from our mouths, so we have to have a kind of launching pad for the vowel. That launching pad is the glottis. Our glottis engages and then opens, releasing the air needed to articulate the vowel sound. That little blip in the back of the throat is a consonantal sound called a glottal stop.

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    4. Requiring syllables to start with a consonant will not play in Peoria.

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    5. Not to be confused with a pearia, which is when the soprano holds her high note too long.

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    6. Nor peearea, which many guys hold is larger than what women (especially those that clean the toilet) want.

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    7. That's different from manspreading, of course, eco.

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    8. I thought manspreading was what Larry Craig did in the Minneapolis Airport bathroom.

      Remember when things like that were a national scandal? Happy Days.

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    9. Not to be confused with Country Crock(spread).

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    10. Is the mayor of Peoria animated by discussion of syllables not beginning with consonants?

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    11. I think it was St. Paul Airport. I wrote 20 limericks relating to that episode in decorum entitled: Ballad of Idaho Senator Larry Craig. Too lengthy to publish here, but available upon request via email.

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    12. Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport. Kind of like Sea-Tac.

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    13. Can you take a Tac-Sea to Sea-Tac?

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    14. Only if your offered a Lyft for you and your tea sac.

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  70. Willy always throws in "well known" to increase subjectivity.
    Not meeting that criteria, but viable are Fortex and Cortex.
    There are also substantial variations (thank God) in American regional accents and pronunciation. It is just that Mid-westerners (some Indianans e.g.) don't know it.

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  71. This week's challenge: The challenge is to create the shortest possible word ladder connecting LARGE to SMALL, changing one letter at a time, making a common, uncapitalized word each step of the way. Here's the tricky part: Plurals and verbs formed by adding -s are not allowed.

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  72. We are approaching the 200 comment limit. After that, remember to scroll to the bottom of the comments and click on "Load more..."

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  73. Over 700 correct responses this week. No acknowledgment of any alternate answers.

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  74. Helena, Montana = Hellmann except it needs an 's

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