## Sunday, July 26, 2020

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 26, 2020): Tumbling Tumbleweed

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 26, 2020): Tumbling Tumbleweed
Q: Think of a common two-word phrase for something you experience in a desert. Rearrange the letters to get a single word for something you should do in the desert as a result.
Think of a two-word phrase that means the same thing as the word. Rearrange to get something you can experience in the Arctic.

Edit: The answer to my puzzle was DRINK WATER --> DARK WINTER
A: DRY HEAT --> HYDRATE

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.

1. The date on this puzzle says July 27. It is actually July 26.

2. Whoops! Thanks for catching that.

3. I was beginning to feel like I'd lost a day.

4. I feel like I've gained a day!

6. Does anybody really know what (day) it is?

2. This comment has been removed by the author.

3. I posted on Sun Jul 26, 05:15:00 AM PDT on last week’s thread:
This is another one of those puzzles that some people will solve in two seconds, - and STILL be angry at themselves for NOT having solved it in less than one second!

1. I must be slipping. It took me five seconds.

4. Remove the least common letter from the answer. Rearrange. You get a word that describes the degree of water in the desert.

5. Literary Clue: The Fault In Our Stars

6. Similar Bonus Puzzle: Think of a two word phrase for something you experience in a desert. Add an R and scramble to get another two word phrase for something you should do as a result.

1. hot sun + r = rush not.

7. Easy...yet not easy.

1. Easy...YET HARD (anagram of HYDRATE). Apologies to ron if his comment above was a subtler version of this hint. It seemed to be intended as a simple observation about the easiness of the puzzle.

8. Rearrange again and name a software company.

1. Rearrange again and name a place that people who like milkshakes go

9. It's 9:19 EDT ....where is Jan?

1. He posted at 7:54 EDT at the end of last week's blog.

10. Rearrange and get a place you'd rather be.

1. I was thinking of the same thing with the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl loss.

11. This comment has been removed by the author.

12. A bonus puzzle following up on Blaine's bonus puzzle: Take a three-word phrase (14 letters) for the effect of his two-word phrase, make the one-letter substitution suggested by his second word, and rearrange to get something else you can experience in the Arctic.

1. A little clarification: You'll be changing the letter that originally appears twice to the letter that originally appears once.

2. DRINK WATER has the effect that you THIRST NO LONGER, a phrase with one H and two Os. The word WATER suggests it should be two Hs and one O. Make that substitution and you can spell NORTHERN LIGHTS, something else you can experience in the Arctic.

13. More than 2100 correct responses last week.

1. Not surprising. It was easy. I expect this week will have a high number too.

14. I got it, but not as quickly as some of you showoffs. The one word asked for is something my wife and I like to do every late afternoon

1. My wife and I do it all day ;-)

2. Something nonsexual

15. Did everyone think the on air puzzle was extremely easy. Most of the words sounded so similar to the country names. Even Panda the only word which needed the first letter to be switched.

1. I haven't listened yet. Apparently you got Rwanda, which didn't occur to me. I had Panama. Now I'll try to head on over to the NPR website to find out what the third one was.

16. Nice hint Blaine!

17. Reminds me of TV commercials during the sixties and seventies, touting a personal product and its "active" ingredient.

1. Not "Certs with retsyn!?"

2. No, but similar to Certs, it did allow people to get closer.

3. If you're talking about a certain antiperspirant whose ads touted an ingredient containing aluminum, way back in the sixties my mother responded to that ad telling us to never purchase or use that product, as apparently it's not good to let aluminum enter your body - not even through the pores of your skin.
Of course, I later discovered that Bisquick, a product with which she'd been baking as long as I could remember, includes sodium-aluminum-phosphate among its ingredients; - which means that some aluminum actually gets ingested!

4. Not to mention the fluoride arbitrarily added to so many cities water supplies (mine ncluded). I don't remember ever being asked -Maybe it's the Alzheimer's caused by the fluoride?

5. That was a public health measure, to reduce the burden of tooth decay. You probably don't remember being asked whether you wanted smallpox eradicated, or whether it's OK with you to treat drinking water to kill fecal bacteria.

6. Thank-you, Jan.

7. Yes, thank you, Jan! I had never heard that fluoride is used to prevent tooth decay. I thought it was just a flavoring in the toothpaste I am already applying three times a day to the actual area where tooth decay occurs.

18. If the temperature is a hundred, the humidity can't be far behind!

19. It's interesting that my phone displays this blog differently - even in Chrome for mobile - than on my computer. On the phone, the puzzle text and Blaine's clue both come up against a white background with only a slight amount of separation. So, I solved for both, thinking that Blaine's clue was part of the puzzle. It wasn't until I listened to the segment that I realized I didn't need to. Fortunately, I hadn't submitted yet, and only submitted the necessary answer.

1. The actual question is always indented. My extra comment follows after that. But I can see how they can look related on mobile. I'll see if I can change the mobile styling more.

2. No worries, Blaine. That was my mistake for not noticing the difference after the indented section

20. Musical clue- Quincy Jones.

21. I lived in Albuquerque for many years. Didn't have to think too long on this one.

22. Gypsum, Mohr's salt, and borax, among others.

1. Arizonans refer to the period of late summer storms as monsoon season. The accompanying high heat and high humidity is the opposite of the puzzle answer.

23. (no intentional hints in the following comment)
Dominick Talvacchio, the creator of this week's NPR puzzle, is an excellent puzzle-maker. Will Shortz has used his puzzles in the past, including the "Cream cheese/schmear" and "joe/OJ" puzzles last year. Dominick's current puzzle may be relatively easy to solve, but it has wonderful wordplay.
For those seeking a perhaps more challenging puzzle, may I suggest the "Schpuzzle of the Week" in the current Puzzleria! It reads:
A saber not sword,
A note not a chord,
A bellow not howl.
Neither fish, though, nor fowl...
Yet both Fillmore and Ford.

In the limerick above, what distinguishes the five words that “belong” from the five that do not “belong”?

As hint, I offer other word-pairs that "belong/do-not-belong," such as "yellow not red," "west but not east," "quail but not duck," etc.

LegoWhoSuggestsThatMakingAnEasilySolvablePuzzleIsOftenMoreDifficultThanMakingOneThatIsDifficultToSolve

1. Please, hints are encouraged, but kindly do not give the answer away; our Puzzleria! reveal day is Wednesday at noon PDT.

2. Good sailors seek such fine wit!

3. Would an "almost, but not quite!" proposed solution be allowed? I had noticed at least two vowels in the words that belong, but only one vowel (NOT counting the sometimes vowel W), in the words that don't belong, - right up until I see that "Ford" belongs!

4. BTW, you're calling your above poem a limerick!?!?

Ok, I'll go to wiktionary right after posting this, but I've always understood that a limerick is a poem always following a certain meter:

5. Not only that, but the 3rd & 4th lines are supposed to be shorter than the other 3 lines: 1,2 &5. Originally the lines also had syllable count restrictions.

6. "Yes indeed!" fan of Enya, Weird Al...
"So true!" diver of skies, "C'est tres mal!"
My limerical verse
Just can't get any worse!
...So why not keep on writing? I shall!"

7. TrÃ¨s Bien!

8. Merci, skydiveboy.
But now, more bad poetry:
I'm no HIGHBROW nor SNOB,
Fan of LOWE but not ROB,
I may CRY but don't SOB,
Wear no WATCH, just a FOB,
Use both DOOR and the KNOB,
Drive both FORD and a SAAB,
I'm no BUM, nor a SLOB,
Use both Q-TIP and SWAB,
Toss the HUSK, eat the COB.

Lego(WhoHasHopeButNotBob)

9. I shan't get a job, skydiveboy. Artists such as I must answer, not to some mere "boss," but to our Muse!
Indeed, I am now writing recycled revisions of my previous doggerel doodoo:
"I agree!" fan of Weird Al and Enya
"Right on!" blueyonderboy, "I amen ya!"
My limerical verse
Just can't get any worse...
The worst ever in many millennia!"

LegoWhoMustNowSignOffBecauseHeIsLateForHisPoetastersAnonymousMeeting

10. BRILLIANT, if you ask me. And fun. Thanks.

24. Since we all found this puzzle to be way too easy I might suggest you trundle on over to lego's Puzzleria! (link in right column) and see if you can solve my most recent Will Shortz rejection. It is neither an anagram nor will you be able to solve it by searching lists.

Then if you take a look at all the posts at the end of last week's Blaine's that arrrr pirate doubletalk I came up with whilst not sleeping last night you might get a laugh or two.

1. Is she from Seattle? Does she wear sandals with socks?

2. Perhaps, but this conversation should now be taking place over @ P!.

25. Today's on-air guest/winner also won back in the parchment days that required a postcard submission.

26. The last 3 letters of the 2-word phrase and the last 3 letters of the word spell related words. When you do this thing, you should also do the word.

1. Reminds me of the narcissist who was always dating himself.

2. The last 3 letters of dry heat are "eat". The last 3 letters of hydrate are "ate". When you eat, you should hydrate.

27. This is well within the recent very easy trend.
The answer is not incorrect, but bends the science and could lead to a dangerous outcome

With 2200 responses, the second-time player beat some odds.
Thought of that way, if you rally want to rearrange letters on-the-air, send in just the tough solutions.

28. R.I.P. Olivia de Havilland (104)

1. I was unaware that she was still alive, that her sister was Joan Fontaine, and that her cousin founded the de Havilland aircraft company. Many surprises!

29. Thinking of my friends in Arizona during this difficult time.

1. Except for the two c's in "raccoon".

2. Oh, details. Ccorona?

3. RACOON, a variant of raccoon.

4. What do you call a raccoon with one leg and one c?

5. Or a candidate for help from the Raccoons With Disabilities Act.

6. Just as it's COCOON and not COCCOON, RACOON is certainly acceptable variant of RACCOON...

30. Math clue: 41.76 -104.82 = ?

31. Here in these southern climes near Hotlanta they are always talking about the dewpoint which i had never paid much attention to. I understand the closer the dew point to the temp the higher the humidity. it is hot today at 91.

32. And the dew point is 69.

33. Does anyone know exactly how they determine the winner? How do they randomly chose an email? Naturally, they vet them first to get all the right ones, but how do they determibe the winner?

1. It would be interesting to see a geographical distribution of random selectees over the past few years.

2. I inquired about that to npr a few years ago. I was told they randomly select a date and time for a submission.

34. dry heat, hydrate

Last Sunday I said, “Rearrange again and name a software company.” That’d be Red Hat.

35. DRY HEAT >>> HYDRATE

My Hint:
"Today's on-air guest/winner also won back in the parchment days that required a postcard submission."
Hinting at being parched in the heat.

36. DRY HEATHYDRATE

In a desert one can experience DRY HEAT, so one should therefore HYDRATE.

37. Because of the desert’s DRYHEAT, one must be careful to HYDRATE.

I thoroughly enjoyed Blaine’s variant, DRINK WATER...DARK WINTER.

38. DRY HEAT —> HYDRATE

My clue: “Rearrange and get a place you'd rather be.” Each of the answers can be anagrammed into “the yard.”

39. DRY HEAT, HYDRATE

40. DRY HEAT, HYDRATE

My "Literary" Clue was the hit Young Adult novel "The Fault in Our Stars."

Novels for teen readers are called YA in the industry, for Young Adult. And novels about teens facing mortality are (actually!) called YA DEATH as a category.

41. dry heat, hydrate

42. I wrote, “Remove the least common letter from the answer. Rearrange. You get a word that describes the degree of water in the desert.” That’s “dearth.”

43. DRY HEAT, HYDRATE

> John Jacob Astor had a large one.

Because of his fur trade monopoly, he could set his hide rate high.

44. Blaine deleted my reference to Sojourner Truth two weeks ago, but at least she made it to this week's New Yorker cover.

45. I was hoping that our resident, recently retired medical adviser jan would mention that maintaining adequate hydration is just as, or more, important in high humidity conditions (wet heat) than in low.

1. You're forgetting the "retired" part. I recently saw someone with a sweatshirt I want: gray, with a big red cross, a la lifeguards, reading "Retired - Save Yourself". Anyway, 8 glasses a day is a myth. Yeah, you sweat as much in humid heat as in dry, but it won't do you any good, since it won't evaporate. Invest in some air conditioning.

2. OK, now think of another term used in the medical professions which is an anagram of HYDRATE.

46. Dry heat-hydrate. Quincy Jones did music score for 69 film classic "In the heat of the night."

47. You are in for a real treat on tomorrow's edition of Puzzleria!... It is a new cryptic crossword puzzle created by Patrick J. Berry (screen name, cranberry). Patrick is a master of this "cryptic art."
Also on the menu are five riff-offs of this week's Dry Heat/Hydrate NPR puzzle, a new Schpuzzle of the Week about a bookstore, a puzzle titled “Where’d My Car Go?” and a Dessert about ping-po... oops, I mean table tennis that features a picture of Will Shortz returning a wicked smash of a serve!
Also, in a comment late this morning on this fine blog, GB wrote, "It would be interesting to see a geographical distribution of random selectees (who got the call to play the NPR puzzle) over the past few years."
I didn't have time yet to go back before the current year, but I did make a crude map showing the distibution of lapel pin winners in 2020. I uploaded the map onto the current edition of Puzzleria! It appears immediately beneath the Schpuzzle of the Week.

LegoAmateurStatistician

1. While GB would find it interesting to see a geographical distribution of random selectees (who got the call to play the NPR puzzle) over the past few years, I would find it interesting to see a distribution of the days of the week and times of the submissions of these random selectees. As a selectee myself, I once asked about the selection process and was told that they search among correct entries after having randomly picked a time within the interval.

2. That very well could be. How would one randomly select an email? Randomly select the time as you suggest, or print them all out and throw them on the stairs?

3. It would be easy to assign each incoming email a sequential number, and then randomly generate a number between one and the total number of entries received.

4. Like the guy on the bus said, "I feel a Draft." If the real question is whether or not there is an optimum time to submit, there probably isn't one.

5. Lego, I'm flattered, but alas, I'm also embarrassed I couldn't get the answer this week, and it was quite easy. Must've been too busy in FL this past week. My brother's 48th birthday was this Sunday. Oh well. Live and learn.

6. That "current edition of Puzzleria!" of course, ceases to be current at 3 AM EDT Friday morning, when the new edition of Puzzleria! uploads.

LegoUplambda

48. Don't forget my favorite summertime joke, certainly applicable in these politically fraught times:

"It's not the heat it's the stupidity...."

49. Things in this country seem to get worse day by day now. I believe this is largely to do with our being run by Tweetle-D and Tweedle Dumb.

1. I thought he was Tweeter Dumb.

50. In response to Dr K’s anagramatical offering, I wrote:

I was thinking of the same thing with the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl loss

I was referring to “the yard” that they couldn’t get against New England when they lost the super bowl at the end.

51. Thanks for bringing that up.

52. This week's challenge comes from listener Alan Hochbaum, of Duluth, Ga. Think of a famous living American whose first and last names have a total of eight letters — all different. Five of these letters are consecutive in the alphabet. The remaining three can be rearranged to spell a woman's nickname. What famous American is this?

53. I originally misread the puzzle, thinking the name had five alphabetically consecutive letters. Once I got over that error, I solved the puzzle.

Musical clue - Johnny Cash.

1. Spot on. I got hung up the same way.

2. I made the same mistake, initially. Timely puzzle.

54. Over 2500 correct responses last week.

55. I see Blaine’s not posted yet. Wasn’t this also the answer to another WS puzzle a while back? Musical clue: Dion.

For NPR puzzle posts, don't post the answer or any hints that could lead to the answer before the deadline (usually Thursday at 3pm ET). If you know the answer, 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 assist with solving. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the deadline. Thank you.