Sunday, September 27, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 27, 2020): Come Find Me

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 27, 2020): Come Find Me
Q: This challenge is not too hard. Name a major world city with a population in the millions. Take one letter in its name and move it two spots earlier in the alphabet. Reading backward, you now have the name of a major restaurant chain. What is it?
I'm going there without you.

Edit: The Australian airline Qantas has no U in its name.
A: SYDNEY --> WENDY'S

186 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. Will should have saved this for Mother's Day

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

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    1. Sorry, Blaine. I considered a generic descriptor for the group instead of naming it but didn’t think naming it was TMI. Mea culpa.

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  4. As easy as a square meal can be...

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  5. I don't know about a square meal, but there would be a big problem with my breakfast if my lox was square!

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  6. I am far fonder of the city than the restaurant, but, in a strange way, I find the puzzle appropriate for the day before Yom Kippur.

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  7. Besides Yom Kippur, this week brings my debut as creator instead of consumer (after Will passed on about six previous ideas -- tough cookie!)

    As I am serving, I will not be cluing or guessing around here.

    See you on Thursday. Bon Appetit!

    - Ben

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    1. Wow, nice job Ben!
      I like this one a lot, even though it's on the easyside. (Maybe because it's on the easyside!)

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    2. Good one, Ben. You must be one of the few contributors to this blog to use your own name as an alias!

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    3. I wondered if it was that Ben. Congratulations! And happy holiday. I know it’s a thoughtful one.

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    4. I'm not quite sure where Blaine is going with his hint(s), but I don't think it's Ruby Tuesday.

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    6. Congratulations Ben. It's a really good one

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    7. Good job, Ben! I solved this one rather easily, and I've eaten food from the restaurant, though not recently.

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    8. Great food, BTW. But that's just my opinion.

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    9. Gmar chatima tova to Ben and everyone else! Believe it or not was at this restaurant for a Erev Rosh Hashana meal when our kids were very young! Still enjoy it every once in a while I do have to admit.

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    11. There is a Wendy’s less than a half mile walk from our synagogue. I have eaten there a handful of times.

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    12. Of that I have no doubt, but have you ever eaten at the Wendy's?

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  8. There is a purely coincidental connection between the restaurant and a well known brand of food which does not appear on the restaurant's menu.

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  9. Replies
    1. So has Mac.

      The Beach Boys song got me thinking about the Helen Reddy song, which seemed to fit in with Blaine's hint, so I thought I'd round it out with the Roling Stones song. Little did I know...

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  10. Nah-nah - I have the answer! --Margaret G.

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  11. If you swap out a letter and rearrange you can eat somewhere else.

    Thanks for the easy one Ben - have an easy fast.

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  12. The on-air player is a medevac helicopter pilot in Alaska. He's probably seen some interesting northern fauna.

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  13. Things like apostrophes and accents don't matter, I guess.

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  14. I just qualified for Medicare last week, but I never wanna grow up.

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  15. There’s a famous actor with the same first name as the city, except for the second letter.

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  16. I could walk to the restaurant but not to the city.

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  17. I am slowly working my way through cities with a million.

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  18. I hate calling this a restaurant, but it technically serves food. Definitely a star player in the obesity of America. No clues here.

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  19. I can't find that the city has any of the chain's restaurants in it, but nearby is a restaurant of a chain with the same name!

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  20. I am happy to report to not having ever even been inside one of their joints.

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  21. Not John Fulton, but you're close.

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  22. Where a certain British mathematician and cosmologist probably did not swim.

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  23. The restaurant is associated with a person that has something in common with many people in recent puzzles.

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    1. Wendy Thomas's real name is Melinda, which starts with M. The last two puzzles involved people whose initials were MM (Michael Caine=Maurice Micklewhite, John Wayne=Marion Morrison).

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    2. We seem to be on a roll with people with an M initial. In the last two months, we have had a lot of people with either their first name, last name, or stage name starting with M, some of which had multiple M's.

      Elon Musk
      Martin Sheen
      Marco Polo
      Michael Caine (Maurice Micklewhite)
      John Wayne (Marion Robert Morrison->Marion Michael Morrison)
      Melinda "Wendy" Thomas

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  24. It would be better if you did not ask for takeout at this place.

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    1. A paraphrase of Sydney Carton's final words: "It is a far, far better thing that I do . . . . " With an oblique reference to Wendy's ("takeout").

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  25. Three weeks ago, I posted a picture of hippo crates. What would you pack a city in?

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  26. There's another city--too small for this puzzle--that, read backwards, leads you to another restaurant chain. It may be one of the few cities to survive a calamitous meltdown of arctic ice.

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    1. Not clever enough to be a puzzle: Cork read backwards is Kroc.

      The last sentence hints at a riddle I learned nearly sixty years ago: "What city will survive when the rest of the world drowns?" The answer, of course, was Cork. Back then, of course, the possibility that major cities would be swallowed up by a rising ocean was a subject for riddles, not concern.

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  27. So i got 500 cities, average 8 letters, times 26 letters.
    Workin' 'em into a database with 100+ restaurants.
    Have this puppy nailed by Wed latest.

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

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  29. Due diligence will help with this puzzle.

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  30. I've never been to the city, nor the restaurant chain. I would like to go to this city someday, but could care less about eating at the chain.

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    1. Really! I couldn't care less about the chain. :-)

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    2. Remember, Merriam-Weabster does not set the rules for how language should be used. It simply is a compilation that documents how we both use and misuse the language and words. If we begin calling honey crap long enough then it will be included in the dictionary as being honey. But for me it will be a crappy way of treating our language. What do you think of that, Honey?

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    3. I think languages evolve continually, and that pedantry is pointless, Darling.

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    4. I suppose I agree with you, Crap.

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    5. Merriam webster states both are correct. Couldn't care less has be used longer.

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    6. Actually it has been misstated as could long enough by enough ignorant people to finally be included in the dictionary. That is how dictionaries are updated, to reflect the usage, not how it should be used. That is why so many say Artic instead of Arctic, and get away with it. It spoils the language. I am not saying our language should not change, but I am saying it should change in an intelligent manner that makes sense.

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    7. I learned that in a linguistics class.

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    8. If you stop to think about it you will realize that those of us who mostly use our language properly as intended have very little power influencing how it progresses. It is the most ignorant among us who are the ones who most influence the language. An example is the word, preventive, which is so often incorrectly pronounced, preventative. Nazism is mostly mispronounced in this country as, Nazyism. Same with vigilantism being mispronounced, vigilantyism. And how about breakfasts being trashed as breakfastesis?

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    9. I liked learning about how language changes in my class. Not many people know about what you wrote.

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    10. Ahh, should a dictionary be prescriptive or descriptive? Irregardless, as long as nobody goes for the nucular option.

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    11. I’ve been to both places.

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    12. I guess you like your vitamin B.

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    13. SDB--Are you suggesting that I suffer from bouts of forgetfulness and confusion? Well, duh. I'll just add that it's nice that my youngest daughter lives nearby and comes over to visit a lot. What were we talking about?

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    14. No, I was enjoying your comment.

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    15. You can't blame a single event on global warming.

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    16. sdb: Your thoughts on "vigilantism's being mispronounced..." (and others) instead of the above phrasing?

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  31. Of course I’ve been to this city.

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    1. Naturally Howard Roark, the architect protagonist of The Fountainhead, would have visited Sydney to see the great opera house. So has this one.

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  32. Of course I’ve been to this city.

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    1. Are you from the Department of Redundancy Department???

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    2. Duplicate post happened last week as well. Sorry, technical glitch and haven’t mastered deleting my own posts.

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  33. You wouldn't think a restaurant would advertise a part of an animal most people don't consider eating.

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  34. Ben looked through the bin to find his toy. Alas he was now disappointed.

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  35. So, Trump paid 300 times more in hush money to two of his paramours than he paid in taxes.

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  36. Wait, Trump is now registered in Florida: If he's convicted of tax fraud, is Mike Bloomberg gonna pay his fines?

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    1. Only after completing his sentence in the appropriate prison!

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  37. I'd been incorrectly reading this weeks puzzle and suddenly realized I was just moving a letter two spaces to the left. Take one letter in its name and move it two spots earlier in the alphabet. Once I read the question again, the answer came easily!

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  38. Trump has his own plan to “defund” the police. Just don’t pay taxes.

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  39. "The vaccine should be tested on politicians first. If they survive, the vaccine is safe. If they don't, then the country is safe". -Monika Wisniewska

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  40. It would be quicker to use that flotation test that was popular in olden times. We could begin with Mitch.

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  41. I'm a bit slow. I just got it at 11:54 PM, Monday, September 28.

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  42. If that’s the result of spending $70,000 on hair styling, I’m glad I’m bald!

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    1. But he didn't want to keep Comey on the payroll.

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    2. He gave Comey the, "Brush off."

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    3. Yes, I think it's fair to say they parted ways.

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    4. My wish is that Dearly Reparted will soon become Cheerly Departed.

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

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  44. 'Tis a quite clever puzzle, Ben, indeed adorable. Congrats! I'll be riffing it off on Friday's Puzzleria!

    LegoWhoNotesThatTheSecondCityHeThoughtOfWasNotTorontoOrChicagoButWasBen'sIntendedWorldCity

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  45. Kol haKvod, Ben! By the way, I thought it a challenge.

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  46. I just returned minutes ago from my bike ride where I came across a homeless guy dragging another guy out of a ditch along the bike trail who was comatose due to a heroin overdose. Another bike rider who had his cell phone called 911 and they managed to revive the guy with Narcan. It was impressive.

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    1. Narcan (naloxone) is life-saving, and is available without a prescription. You just squirt a pre-measured mist into the victim's nostrils. Two things to keep in mind: the victim may be pissed off/combative when he wakes up, and since it's not long-acting, multiple doses may be needed.

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    2. Yeah, they had to shoot him after they saved him.

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  47. I have a food runner association with this restaurant. I hate delivering crappy food to elderly people.

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    1. Well then maybe you shouldn't do it. It seems to me that this country is populated with workers who do not agree with the ethics of what they are told to do, but they will not do anything about it. We need a revolution in this country if it is going to change. It can happen, but it won't if we all take the easy way out, rationalizing why we cannot do anything about it. And to answer your anticipated question, yes, I have done this all my life in the workplace. And, no, it is not always productive. And why is that? Because others will not step up. But just ask us to go to war against a country that has not attacked us and kill their citizens, and watch them line up to volunteer.

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  48. Replies
    1. I just started watching Sons of Anarchy (again). Jax's pregnant, junkie, ex-wife's name? Wendy.

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  49. skydiveboy: I asked you a question on Tuesday.
    If you didn't see it, I'll repeat it.
    If you didn't understand it, I'll explain it.

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  50. Does anyone here happen to have a recipe for homemade poodle soup?

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  51. SYDNEY, WENDY'S

    "DUe diligence will help with this puzzle." >>> pointed to Down Under in Australia

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

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  52. SYDNEY —> WENDY’S

    My clue (which was “removed by a blog administrator,” presumably as TMI): “Take a song by Cream, advance one of the letters by two, read in order, and get a clue to the answer.”

    The song is “N. S. U.” —> N. S. W. = New South Wales —> Sydney

    I liked the similarity to Ben’s puzzle, but in retrospect I would have been better advised to replace “Cream” with “a popular rock group.”

    Addendum: “N. S. U.” is an abbreviation for “non-specific urethritis,” an illness Eric Clapton reportedly suffered from at the time.

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    1. My clue was going to be that of course I’ve been to the city but not to spend a day at the races, but thought that would likely be TMI.

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  53. Sydney, Australia >>> Wendey's

    My Hint:

    “Not John Fulton, but you're close.”

    Only two Americans, Sidney Franklin and John Fulton, received the alternativa (the ceremony in which a novice becomes a full matador) in Spain and became recognized as matadores de toros.

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  54. SYDNEY, WENDY'S

    > Where's there to fly to?

    Where's the beef?

    > The on-air player is a medevac helicopter pilot in Alaska. He's probably seen some interesting northern fauna.

    As opposed to Botany (Bay), south of Sydney.

    > Three weeks ago, I posted a picture of hippo crates. What would you pack a city in?

    A Sydney Carton? (It's not the best of puns, it's not the worst of puns.)

    > You wouldn't think a restaurant would advertise a part of an animal most people don't consider eating.

    There aren't really pig tails in their burgers, are there?

    > I think languages evolve continually, and that pedantry is pointless, Darling.

    Thanks for the segue to this clue, skydiveboy. I was wondering how to get to the origin of the popularity of Wendy's name, the character in Barrie's Peter Pan.

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  55. SYDNEY, Australia (2020 pop. 4,925,987) → WENDY'S.

    My hint: Wendy's serves a “square meal.” All their hamburger patties are square-shaped.

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    1. This one clinched it for me. But i prefer the Dave's double.

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    2. Now THIS is a real clue. All these others are so far fetched that its beyond helpful. It actually makes it harder.

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    3. The point is not too post a hint to the puzzle that will help others solve it. The point is to give a clever clue that shows you know the answer *without* giving away the answer. In retrospect, I probably should have deleted ron's "square meal" comment for being too revealing

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  56. I wrote: “Where a certain British mathematician and cosmologist probably did not swim.” The person is Hermann Bondi who, despite the coincidence of the names, probably did not swim at the iconic Bondi Beach in Sydney.

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  58. Sydney>>>>>Wendy’s.

    I found this puzzle being published on the day before Yom Kippur appropriate based on Wendy’s serving fast food all day, and Yom Kippur being an all day fast.

    The coincidental connection between the restaurant and a food brand was based on the character Wendy from Pewter Pan and Peter Pan Peanut butter – which you won’t find at Wendy’s.

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  59. Another great Cryptic Crossword Puzzle by cranberry (Patrick J. Berry) is featured on tomorrow's Puzzleria!
    Drop by. You'll love it.
    Also on our menu:
    * a Schpuzzle of the Week about punctuation,
    * a puzzle about this past Tuesday's presidential debate,
    * a quirky Dessert, and
    * eight riff-offs of Ben's fine NPR puzzle.
    Speaking of Ben's puzzle, there were two hints to its answer in my Wednesday comment:
    * I called Ben's puzzle "adorable," which is a synonym of "darling." Wendy Darling was a character created by J.M. Barrie.
    * In my sign-off I wrote that " The Second City I Thought Of Was Not Toronto Or Chicago But Was Ben's Intended World City." Sydney may soon become Australia's so-called "Second City" when Melbourn inevitably passes it in population. Also, comedian Dave Thomas was a member of the Toronto-and-Chicago-based Second City Television (SCTV) troupe. A different guy named Dave Thomas is the founder of Wendy's.

    LegoWhoNotesThatDaveThomasIsTheNeatGuySportingThe"A"SweaterInTheVideoLink

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    1. SYDNEY, WENDY'S
      Thanks, Lego, for mentioning Dave Thomas on SCTV, not to be confused with the founder of Wendy's Dave Thomas. I had SCTV as a TV clue earlier, and Lego saved me the trouble of explaining it today. I did at first think my clue would give it away, but they never removed my post, so as much as I would've liked to explain it, I'm glad Lego did it for me. Hope y'all enjoy my latest cryptic, BTW!

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  60. I was able to slip in a subtle clue in my observation about our colleague Ben, the author of this puzzle: "You must be one of the few contributors to this blog to use your own name as an alias!" The TV show "Alias" was an early J.J. Abrams production that introduced the world to Jennifer Garner as the fabulous Sydney Bristow.

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  61. Unfortunately our apartment is about 200 feet from a Wendy's. I am partial to the Frosties and honey butter chicken biscuits- an acquired tast like chicken and waffles.
    My reference to Ben and bin is the pin-pen merger and apparent Dave's daughter Melinda could not pronounce her L's or R's as a child, and pronounced her name then as Wendy.

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  62. My clue -

    “If you swap out a letter and rearrange you can eat somewhere else.” - you get Denny’s (not much of a better choice!)

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  63. Watching FOX.
    During their coverage of Don, Melania and Hope's co-vid diagnosis they show a simultaneous slideshow of images showing Don and his staff wearing masks.

    LegoWhoNow(ThanksToFoxGraphics)ThinksThatPerhapsMasksDon'tReallyProtectYouFromGettingTheVirus!

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  64. About 35 percent protection rate. Yea- not 100%.

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  65. What’s Blaine’s clue about? The w and the y in “without you”?

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    1. I’m wondering if it might refer to the ending of Peter Pan, when Wendy declines to go back to Neverland and Peter goes back without her.

      Just a theory. Hopefully Blaine will explain.

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    2. He already did. See above.

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  66. Hope Hicks Spoonerizes to Hip Hoax and it also Spoonerizes to Hoax Hips. Both of these are legitimate Spoonerisms, although they do not switch the consonants in the first case, but the vowels, and in the second case the ending sounds. I point this out because Will Shortz always incorrectly informs us that a Spoonerism is switching the beginning consonants of the two words, but, while that may be the most common form, it is not the only one.

    Now maybe our president will soon sty in late.

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  67. After skydiveboy concluded his lecture on Sunday, I thought to use the prerogative of students everywhere and ask a question of the professor.
    I wondered what he thought about his choice of the phrase "Same with vigilantism being mispronounced, vigilantyism."
    I asked, in essence, if "Same with vigilantism's being mispronounced, vigilantyism" was not correct usage.
    I was referring to the rule of English grammar that the possessive is to be used with a gerund.
    A fine point perhaps, but that is sdb's metier.
    Maybe that question and a reminder were hard to find or understand.
    This should be plainer.

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    1. Maybe you're overdue in seeing a gerundtologist.

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    2. I was looking forward to your posting:
      "I am not really an English Professor, I only play one on Blainesville."

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  68. Nice clue Blaine. See U next week.

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  69. skydveboy --you may be interested to know that the Preakness was won this afternoon by a lovely filly named Swiss Skydiver. Maybe you should look he up. she's rich now. D.E.

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  70. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Micah Margolies of Lenexa, Kan. Think of an 8-letter word with three syllables that contains the letter "I" in each syllable — but, strangely, doesn't contain a single "I" sound, either long or short. The answer is not a plural. What word is it?

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    1. What did Hemingway and JFK have in common?

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    4. Deleted, based on Jan’s concern.
      I am reminded, however, of a nutty piece of wordplay based in part on the answer to this week’s puzzle. To be revealed on Thursday.

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    5. We're thinking alike, I believe. See below.

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    6. You took the words right out of my post.
      But we seem to have different introductions leading to the same punch line.

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  71. A physician friend made one from wood.

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  72. Nearly 1300 correct responses this week.

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  73. Got it, but too early for a clue. Maybe later.

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  74. I believe I have the answer, but just to be sure I decided to look up my answer in Wiktionary. Uh, folks, doing that might scare you off. 4 pronunciations are shown, ALL of which show a lowercase i in the last syllable. And can anyone explain to me why, in the pronunciation guide, the letter before the i is displayed upside-down?

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    1. It represents the standard pronunciation of the letter.

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  75. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. For those who were wondering what Berf posted and immediately deleted, his post was 5 listed words, all 8 letters long and containing an i in each syllable, but none of which I’m sure was the intended answer. I saw it in my email, and was about to reply “You think if Blaine deletes your post, that means one of ‘ems gotta be it?” ;-)

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    2. I think Berf just moved them to this week's thread instead. And it wasn't me...

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