Sunday, May 17, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 17, 2020): Department of (Anagrams)

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 17, 2020): Department of (Anagrams):
Q: Name a Cabinet department — as in "Department of ___." Rearrange the letters of what goes in the blank to get the brand name of a product you might find at a drugstore or supermarket. What is it?
Anagramming "Housing and Urban Development" might take several months.

Edit: My hint was that from conception to labor is about 9 months. It also hinted at Labor Day being a few months off.
A: LABOR --> ORAL-B
or STATE --> TATE'S or DEFENSE --> SENEFED

114 comments:

  1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g. via a chain of thought, or an internet search) before the deadline of Thursday at 3pm ET. If you know the answer, click the link and submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here.

    You may provide indirect hints to the answer to show you know it, but make sure they don't give the answer away. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the Thursday deadline. Thank you.

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  2. Well I assume it's not JUST ICE I would be purchasing at my supermarket...

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    Replies
    1. No. And I wouldn't bother looking for a TIRE IRON either.

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    2. No. I have no TASTE for one of those.

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  3. Over 400 correct responses last week. No mention of alternative answers.

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    Replies
    1. Where on the scale of psychopathology does Willy's antipathy to alternative answers fall?

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    2. I’m telling you! The Kia Forte (pig horse) is quite a popular car!

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    3. About a million sold in the US in the past 10 years.

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  4. Oh no - another anagram. I'll come back to this after I go do my morning ablutions. ==Margaret G.

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  5. Reminds me of a time I played on-air.

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  6. Easy. Didn't require much effort.

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  7. I give this puzzle a medium difficulty rating.

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  8. I could tell you the answer right now – but then there’s Blaine.

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  9. I had wished that the answer were Defense => Depends

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    Replies
    1. There was a lot more RAW food in markets, back when there was a WAR Department, but that's not a brand name.

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  10. Advance the vowels in the answer by one vowel in the alphabet. Rearrange. You get money.

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    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Or advance only two of the consonants and rearrange to obtain a piece of software also found on some computers.

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    3. These clues gave me the answer pretty quickly, especially Blaine's

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    4. My answer matches Rob's and geofan's clues but not Blaine's (before he deleted it). Was there an error in his clue?

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    5. WayWordy, I hope that enough folks didn't catch Blaine's self-deleted clue, so that Blaine will let this reply stand.
      Blaine's clue needed no rearranging. Just make sure that besides the first letter, there is more of that result that is in uppercase.

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    6. OK, now I get it. Thanks Enya__!

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  11. If you anagram Blaine's clue as it is commonly shortened, the answer will be exceedingly obvious.

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. Does the Chancellor of the EXCHEQUER buy QUEER CHEX for breakfast?

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  14. This puzzle has a connection once again to a recent one.

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  15. Interestingly enough, there actually is a generic antihistamine called senefed. It's not a brand name, though. As for last week's alternative answers, I can't believe that Will didn't give a shout out to FORD PINTO --> WORM DINGO. The car is so well-known that some people must have submitted that as the answer.

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    Replies
    1. I submitted ALL TEN of my answers...

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    2. Yes Sadly Will seems to have grown quite "rigid" in his later years. I haven not seen alternatives accepted for some time.I guess it may happen to all of us some day.

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    3. That is the mother of all generalizations!

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  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  17. I can't get into the anagram solver because too many people are using it. Hey "people" who could they be?

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    Replies
    1. Sometimes when too many people are using an anagram server you will get a message saying to try again later as the system is overloaded, but if you keep trying you can usually squeeze your way in.

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    2. The first one of those resources I found was "Wordsmith." It gave me a busy signal this morning.
      I still like it, but it is not best for some of the rearranging asked for here.

      I think there is a flaw in this anagram, though I like the product.

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  18. Change one of the consonants and rearrange to get a place where the company's products are used.

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  19. You don't need a PhD to solve this one.

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  20. Today is my mom's birthday, but this puzzle would be a good puzzle for a day near my birthday.

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    Replies
    1. My birthday is September 3, which is near Labor Day.

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  21. Where has eco been? Hope he is ok?

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    Replies
    1. I assume he will tell us when he is ready, though it is easy to see why that time might not come soon.

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  22. Replies
    1. Well, this is troubling!

      I just tried to get on to https://sharkysoft.com/vigenere/1.0/ and it says the site ISN'T SAFE!!

      It says "Your connection isn't private
      Attackers might be trying to steal your information from sharkysoft.com (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards).
      NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID"

      Any other websites you suggest for cracking Vigenere ciphers?

      Delete
    2. Yes, I got the same message (or something similar, I don't remember exactly) when I went to Sharky to try to encode my comment. It's happened to me a few times over the years; I think it just means Mr. Sharky needs to update his security certification and probably will in a day or so (always has before).
      SO, I went to
      https://cryptii.com/pipes/vigenere-cipher
      instead.
      Sorry, I might have spared you any concerns by noting all that along with my comment. But I'm happy to know someone actually gets some entertainment out of my dips into obfuscation. You may find this one quite challenging; please note any suspicious punctuation, etc..

      Delete
    3. Kyy hpicd hf bft fts khp dcirpdh rndxsi ad uvv vthweecf yvy?

      Delete
    4. Ben: Fqai vadls aq cod dmby; iqk chxmwrnv nr j pgnpdci zeborhmces vuch igq krpmp.

      Plantsmith: Damned if I know!

      Delete
    5. This is the covid code, Plantsmith: Rzzivg tmqhprn, ekchzdht mjc gq, RJ VRV wirheh wthcqc qqvc twxtgzti, gjzz, iqf vvb tsvarp. Oil yqhz Jows dv Qqjzuegf.

      Delete
    6. The key for my original comment was BRUSH. Tricky hints are made by fools like me, but only Dios can make un árbol.
      I don't know what happened with my response to Ben; I was trying to encode it with ORALB as the key, but I must have done something backwards or doubled up on something, so it turns out the key is MJAPZ, which means nothing at all.
      I voted Green in the last election; I don't think I'll be making that mistake this time.

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  23. I'm giving up on this puzzle and try not to fill in my empty space with Covid worries. Time to go into my pottery studio tomorrow, turn on the local classical music station, make something pretty and say F***K the world.

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    Replies
    1. Really easy puzzle. Do not give up. Can even use computer...which I found out later.

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

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    1. Ben – I tried to disguise it, but I suspect you are right.

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    2. I liked it too. But I also thought it perhaps served a bit too forward.

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    3. Just say that I've been to the zoo.

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    4. Ben and Paul - thanks for the positive comments.

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    5. This is the type of crowd that might enjoy a little bit of Beckett.

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  25. Think of a common brand name of salt.Take out the middle letter and you have what may a good moniker for certain current cabinets.
    Then take away all the consonants and you will have unintelligble word.

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  26. I think I worked a little too hard trying to make various anagrams work. When I stopped thinking about it, the answer just popped right into my head.

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    Replies
    1. This is a great clue. I wish i would have gotten it earlier. What is the Donna Summer song?, " She works hard for the money." Probably TMI.

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  27. I actually have a product with this brand name. I'm sure many others may, too.

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    Replies
    1. Me, too. And I still have the Toyota I had last week (though not the two I previously owned). I'm a little surprised Blaine let me post last week at all....

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  28. I don't do Sudokus, but watching this master go at this special one was fun:

    https://slate.com/human-interest/2020/05/the-miracle-sudoku-is-an-absolutely-riveting-video.html

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  29. Just got this last night. Took a lot of work.

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  30. Department of LABOR & Oral-B

    My Hint:

    "Sometimes when too many people are using an anagram server you will get a message saying to try again later as the system is overloaded, but if you keep trying you can usually squeeze your way in."

    Even more difficult is trying to squeeze toothpaste back into the tube.

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    Replies
    1. Did you watch pnb swan lake just now? Great. I am taking peter boals online classes.

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    2. Sdb: above message meant for you.

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    3. Natasha:
      Yes. And I watched it live Friday, February 9, 2018 too. Those were the days.

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    4. The video was a dress rehearsal. I like Peter's classes. I take classes from companies all over the world. So much fun. Pnb has great orchestra.

      Delete
  31. LABOR -> ORAL-B

    > Reminds me of a time I played on-air.

    On November 2, 2014. The puzzle was: "I'm going to name a famous person. Change either the first or last letter of the last name to a new letter and rearrange the result to name a country. For example, if I said Pearl S. Buck, you would say Cuba because out of Buck you would change the K, in this case, to an A and rearrange the letters to get Cuba. So it's always the first or last letter of the last name that you change." My third challenge was "Robert Reich." My reflexive response was, "My favorite LABOR secretary!" Rachel Martin said, "Doesn't everyone have one, really?" (The answer was "Chile".)

    (Last week, I watched Reich discuss his new book, "The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It", with Harvard's Michael Sandel. I miss walking down the block to hear these talks in person.)

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  32. Department of Labor>>> Oral-B

    Change the “B” to an “M” and rearrange to get molar, a place where Oral-B products are used.

    ReplyDelete
  33. THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABORORAL-B

    It was pretty easy with THIS LIST. There are only 15 different Departments.

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  34. Labor, Oral-B

    Last Sunday I said, “I could tell you the answer right now – but then there’s Blaine.” Tell as in oral, B as in Blaine.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I submitted ORAL-B. And as a fan of modern abstract theater, I liked Lorenzo's Albee thread and also Courtney's comment about the answer "popping right into my head."

    My clue was You don't need a PhD to solve this one, a reference to the ORALS that anyone needs to pass to get a PhD.

    ReplyDelete
  36. My (deleted) clue:
    Complete the following test question: “Was it Beckett, Stoppard __ _____?”

    My other clue (not posted because it was clearly too revealing):
    Full frontal.

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  37. First, rob's clue:

    Rob posted on Sun May 17, at 07:18:00 AM PDT:

    Advance the vowels in the answer by one vowel in the alphabet. Rearrange. You get money.

    lAbOr ==> lEbUr ==> ruble (the money of Russia).

    Then Blaine replied with, if I remember correctly, as he later deleted it:

    Or, advance the consonants in the answer by one in the alphabet, and you get something that many computers might have.

    LaBoR ==> MaCoS (and with NO rearranging, but only selective uppercasing) ==> MacOS

    And finally for completeness, geofan replied:

    geofan replied on Sun May 17, at 10:42:00 AM PDT:

    Or advance only two of the consonants and rearrange to obtain a piece of software also found on some computers.

    LaBor ==> MaCor ==> macro

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  38. L-abor? La-bor? Lab-or? Labo-r?
    I can't decide.
    maybe its -Labor or Labor-.

    I like Oral-B teeth (I do all of them) brushes and they make great gifts.

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  39. LABOR—>Oral-B

    My clue: “effort” involves work, synonymous with labor.

    Even though my hint did not receive the dreaded “This comment has been removed by a blog administrator,” I did wonder if it violated Blaine’s prohibition of “any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g, via a chain of thought…).”

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  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  41. Whoops! Hit publish too early. I'll try again:

    Labor - Oral B


    I referenced working too hard to figure it out at first, i.e. "labor," and the answer popping into my head, i.e. "oral/orifice."

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  42. My clues:

    “Medium rating” referred to the medium bristles on the toothbrush.

    The connection to a recent puzzle was “earlobe” as the central letters can be rearranged to spell oralB.

    My self deleted post said that “I had to dash “ but thought that was too revealing.

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  43. LABOR, ORAL-B
    On to Ft. Walton Beach!

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  44. Replies
    1. Blaine may have been hinting that the longest possible name was certainly not the answer but a much shorter word.
      Just a guess.

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    2. I believe the “several months” was a reference to Labor Day.

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    3. An excellent cryptic crossword puzzle created by cranberry will appear on tomorrow's Puzzleria!
      Drop by and try filling in some squares.

      LegoHastensToAddThatWeAlsoOfferEightAdditionalPuzzlesOnFriday'sMenu

      Delete
  45. A heads-up to my friends on Blainesville:
    I just posted the following "Entertainment alert" on my Puzzleria! blog. II believe it is well worth sharing with all of you. (Many of you may remember Mathew Huffman also as "PlannedChaos," a screen name he formerly used.)

    Here is what I posted on Puzzleria:
    Entertainment Alert!
    Our friend Mathew Huffman will be appearing (as Feste the Jester) in an online production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, this evening, May 23, on the Facebook site of Majestic Theatre (in Corvallis, Oregon). The live stream begins at 7:30 PM Pacific time. If you can't watch the performance live, the full video will be available afterwords on the Majestic Theatre's Facebook page and Youtube channel.
    They call these productions "Majesticpiece Theatre." Because of the Corona Virus, cast members perform via online video hook-ups from their homes.
    Mathew is an amazingly talented young man who has contributed literally hundreds of wonderful puzzles to Puzzleria! (including "Mathew Huffman's Conundrum Set"). But his skills as a thespian are equally amazing. Miss this performance at your own peril!
    I just happened, almost by accident, to catch Mathew in a similar performance of "A midsummer Night's Dream" a month or so ago. He stole the show IMHO!
    Mathew is also a genuinely nice guy. In November of 2016, when I missed posting a week of Puzzleria! puzzles because my external hard drive died, he worked tirelessly and selflessly with me to try to retrieve the contents of the drive.
    Here is the Facebook link to the Majestic Theatre facebook page.

    LegoAwaitingTheAppearanceOfOurThespian'sFeste

    ReplyDelete
  46. This week's challenge: Think of a well-known European city in seven letters. If you remove the third letter, you'll get a two-word phrase describing what you must do to win a race. If instead you remove the fourth letter, you'll get a two-word phrase describing what you can't do to win a race. What's the city?

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    Replies
    1. That sure didn't take me long to solve.

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    2. Congratulations. Any libraries open yet in Seattle? Some are opening up here in GA and i am "dying" to go.

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  47. And -- wonder of wonders! -- Will lists two alternate answers this week: Labor --> Oral-B or Defense --> Senefed or State --> Tate's

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  48. I had the solution before I finished reading the puzzle. Coming up with a clue that will pass Blaine’s muster, on the other hand, is a titanic challenge.

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  49. My Hint: It reminds me of something that didn't happen this year.

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    Replies
    1. The thing that didn't happen this year, NEVER HAPPENED in the answer city either. The name of it is the only connection.

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