## Sunday, October 18, 2020

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 18, 2020): Study Your World Capitals

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 18, 2020): Study Your World Capitals
Q: Name a world capital. Change one letter in it to D-Y. The result will be two words, one after the other. The first word names somebody you like to be around. The second word names somebody you don't like to be around. What city is it?
Normally I'd go back to bed, but today I feel like getting the day started.

Edit: The first thing I like to do in the morning is eat because I'm HUNGARY.
A: BUDAPEST --> BUDDY, PEST

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.

2. I've been to this place. As a world capital, There are three things unique about it.

Congrats to Michael on being published!

3. From the country of the world capital, remove the same letter that was changed and you get a description that you’d rather not apply to you.

4. Good job Clarke/Michael!
But Will, not a good intro.

1. Yes, Michael, good puzzle.

Crito, what was in Will's intro?

2. :) :) :)

I'll tell you Thursday!

3. Crito, I await your thoughts with bated breath or, as the fisherman said, with baited breath.

4. I didn't really think there was anything wrong with the intro. But if there had been, it would have been a
which, of course, is an anagram...

5. Not that difficult. Good one Michael.

6. Thie world capital, and my home town have something in common.

7. Here is a spinoff puzzle:

Name a world capital. Add an I to get 2 words. One is someone you might like to be around and the other is someone you might not want to be around. What is the city and who are the two persons?

1. Nice spinoff, SDB. And (since there's no anagram this week) you can double the third and fourth letters, then rearrange to get a word commonly used to describe that second person.

2. Cain & (Yogi) Berra?

3. Then it must be a Saint & Iago...

4. Yes, but too early to post the answer, ron.

5. Sdb: add i or L?

6. Double the third and fourth letters of SANTIAGO and rearrange to get ANTAGONIST, a word usually used to describe Iago.

8. You get a working but more slangy answer also by simply removing the letter without sticking the DY into it.

1. Hey Rob - I was thinking the same thing so I looked it up and found another interesting (dubious?) definition of that word that I was not familiar with!

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

1. You're quite welcome, Iris Corona.

And, once again, sorry, Blaine. I thought the clue was sufficiently obscure, but I misjudged my audience.

2. Blaine has a tough job in trying to remove posts that give too much away. I would not do as well as he does by a long way. I don't always agree with his decisions either, but I think most of us feel the same way.

3. May be an indication how few of us Blaine bloggers have experienced Wendy's delicacies.

4. Dr.K - My comment below was more clue than commentary, and as it turns out sufficiently obscure.

10. Replace the first three letters with an article and get a word that could describe Michael Schwartz.

1. Very clever puzzle, Clark, and lots of fun to solve. You are a "man of steel" with a mind like a steel trap!

LegoWhoAlsoComplimentsLancekOnAVeryCoolClue

2. Thanks a lot, mon ami!

3. Michael Schwartz, when pronounced, is an ANAPEST. That is not true of his nom de plume, although it is true of nom de plume.

11. Wow....I think I understand Blaine's clue. That doesn't happen very often.

12. I think this city is actually two cities.

1. As Maxwell Smart would say, "Missed it by that much."

2. I think that Wordsmythe's hint gave away the answer--it certainly did for me. It would have been better to say something like "There are two cities with this name."

13. SBD, you were right, I am awake to get my 15 minutes of fame. Andy Warhol was right!
But now I get to go back to bed more quickly than usual on a Sunday.

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

15. This comment has been removed by the author.

1. This comment has been removed by the author.

16. I thought the earlier musical clue was way TMI. At least Blaine won’t be able to blame it on me.

1. Sorry, I didn't catch the connection earlier.

2. Howie Roark, I take it you are an Ayn Rand fan? Are you also an architect?

3. 'Blame It on Me' was the follow up single to George Ezra's earlier #1 hit 'BUDAPEST'.

4. @WW Virologist turned architect who takes serious issue with much of Ayn.

5. As do I. Not a big fan of FLW either.

6. Howie R, let us know sometime about the change from virologist to architect. It's an interesting switch.

7. Isn't that what Donald Trump said to his latest dominatrix? "It's an interesting switch."

17. I hope Clark/Michael meant for Willy to say "two different letters," rather than name them.
Giving the actual letters turned a really good puzzle into another two minute gimme.

18. I hope it's not raining on Halloween.

19. The capital contains three words that name a character and the (sometimes) characteristic of that character's sibling from an old TV show.

20. Drop the first letter and rearrange to spell things you get on your computer.

21. One of the still-extant clues above offers too much information; it gave me not so much a gentle nudge as a large one.

1. If Wordsmythe's hint was too obvious, I went to the other extreme, with "nudge" referring to Imre Nagy, the Prime Minister of Hungary during its 1956 uprising, whose last name means "large," according to Google Translate.™

2. Hmm... Italo Svevo at Nagy.

22. The capital sounds like a nearby capital.

1. Budapest sounds like Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

23. Well it ain't Coney Island.

24. Nice puzzle. There should be a lot more answers this week.

1. This comment has been removed by the author.

25. I am thinking of a tree.

26. Late Cretaceous

27. The name of the leader of this country has a peculiar feature shared by

-- a famous American composer
-- a famous women's rights activist
-- a famous whistleblower
-- a famous actress whose career spans seven decades
-- a famous lounge singer
-- a current CNN political commentator
-- a current member of Congress from New York

Any others?

28. This comment has been removed by the author.

29. It sounds like Blaine is feeling good! As for me--wait for it--the same!

30. A simple consultation of a list, and I got it!

31. Too easy, again. Maybe WS is just getting senile, perhaps he’s just lazy, or maybe he’s been doing this for so long it just doesn’t’ matter anymore. NPR tends toward an educated audience, and in the last few years these have been simply childish. I wonder if the Will Shortz who graduated in the 1970s as the first degree holder in enigmatology would be proud of what this show has become. I suspect that young Will would have scoffed rigorously. I wonder if he even remembers the joy of solving a puzzle isn’t crowing that you’ve done it but the journey to solve it?

1. Is it really necessary to perform a character assassination? That is an interesting word assassination. You can see how a word gets repeated twice at the beginning. Funny. Somehow it just came to me.

32. And I can’t believe Blaine is even policing the comments this damn puzzle is so easy. If you need a hint consider applying for some sort of disability benefit.

1. "Ouch" on behalf of our Clark a pseudonym.

2. WW, Thanks for the defense. At least Will loves me!

3. Cap, the complaints about your puzzle being too easy are not complaining about you; it is about Will not presenting us with more challenging puzzles for some time now.

4. Buck, to be fair to Clark, The PuzzleMaster seems to have been opting for easier puzzles of late.

He published my SYDNEY/WENDYS puzzle a few weeks ago, but also PASSED on a harder puzzle of mine. So if you want a challenge, here it is. Perhaps it might detain you for a few hours?

Name a famous actor.

The letters in the actor's first name appear, in order, in the actor's last name. If you remove those letters, the letters left over appear, in order, in the words that remain.

Who is the actor?

5. I am still working on it.It has been more than two hours.

6. I spent some time working on this puzzle after Ben first posted it, but I was unable to decipher the second sentence of the instruction. Alphabetical order? Something to do with the letters in THEWORDS? I finally surrendered, hoping for an eventual reveal from Ben.

7. I had a near miss --Mitch Mitchell- famous musician.

8. UMA THURMAN

9. I think Ron may have it.

10. Ron got it. Well done, sir!

11. I think the reason Will didn't publish it wasn't that it was too tough, it's that he didn't know precisely how he might phrase the last 12 words, on the web, in written form.

12. very clever.

13. Ben, can you please explain your puzzle? I don't understand it. The remaining letters are not in order.

14. The last sentence in Ben's puzzle reads:
If you remove those letters, the letters left over appear, in order, in the words that remain.
UMA THURMAN - UMA - UMA = THRN.
"...the words THat RemaiN."

LegoWhoThinksBen'sPuzzleIsQuiteClever

15. I was thinking KRIS KRISTOFFERSON. The letters left over appear in the same order as they do in ThOmas jeFFERSON, who also had a friend named Ben.

16. UMA THURMAN

Remove UMA and you are left with the letters THRN which appear in that order in the words "THat RemaiN"

Wonderful puzzle Ben!

33. Speech Debelle

1. Who is this?

2. Who am I? Or who is Speech Debelle?

3. Speech Debelle?? Is she related to Patty Labelle?

4. Duckduckgo is your friend. . .

5. You are correct that Speech Debelle is female. Beyond that, I've been accused of TMI for giving less than someone's name, so that's all I'm giving.

6. Corynne Elliot (born 1983 in London, England), better known as Speech Debelle, is a British rapper signed to the Big Dada record label. She was the winner of the 2009 Mercury Prize for her debut album 'Speech Therapy'. She released her second album, 'Freedom of Speech' in 2012 and her third album, 'tantil before i breathe' in 2017.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speech_Debelle

A song from her first album is called "Buddy Love" (not about the Nutty Professor, rather about falling for a friend.)

34. I make a loaf of bread almost every week, and my preferred flour is made by a local company that uses the name of this capital city's country in its brand name.

1. You are still in Green bay?

2. I’ve never actually visited Green Bay

3. My bad.Who is Green bay???

4. I looked this up and found it. Learnt something new about baking in different environmental conditions.

35. Or maybe you have just gotten smarter over time.

36. This comment has been removed by the author.

37. Think of a famous living actor. Change the first letter of his last name to the next letter in the alphabet. Now say his last name to get a homophone of something you might use to make soup. Who is it?

1. Ron Ely. I might use a FLY to make soup!

2. If you don't like flies in your soup, try Malcolm Barrett. You may prefer a CARROT in your soup...

38. Nice.
And one more. Think of a world capitol. Replace last two letters with DY to get something you really don't want to have.

1. MALABO, Equatorial Guinea → MALADY, which no one wants.

2. You are too quick Ron. Yes who can forget those nights in Malabo beneath the coconut palms, sipping a Banana Daiquiri.. I have actually never been there.

3. Next time just raise your hand when you get it and wait till Thursday to tell.

39. Think of one of the most famous actors of the last century who was frequently referred to simply by his last name. Take the first initial of that surname name and replace it with the letter that alphabetically precedes it. Now say this name out loud and it will be a homophone of how watching him perform will affect you. Who is it?

John Gielgud >>> feel good

40. The "eyes" have it.

41. Blaine thank you for all your work. Perhaps this is the perfect time to alter the rules to delete caustic comments that have nothing to do with puzzles. Especially when directed to the man who has created decades of weekly puzzles for us. Hopefully that too-common nastiness will soon be gone from the WH as well.

42. This week we can build historic bridges between puzzlers. By Thursday. ðŸ˜Š

1. Nice sentiments, PA Puzzler.
It is true that occasionally (but very infrequently) the heat on this wonderful forum has exceeded its light. But Blaine, to his great credit, has routinely doused these mini-flares with the healing waters of his "blog-administration."
Genuine animosity among bloggers here is rare. It is true, however, that Will Shortz has in recent years taken it on the chin from more than a few Blainesvillians for how "easy" his puzzles are.
Much of this, of course, is "puzzle-solvers' bravado." But, as I commented here recently, I believe Mr. Shortz is well aware that he is purveying puzzles to a broad (albeit admittedly bright) audience, and he does his darnedest to strike a happy balance between "challenging and accessible." But I am pretty sure he realizes it is the "aha!" of solving a clever puzzle that gives us the high we all crave.
This great blog is not simply a "mere puzzle blog" run by a Renaissance man who just-so-happens to like puzzles. It is a true forum of ideas, opinions, wit and occasional brilliance... as well as nonsense. And, the non-puzzle-related threads spun by the participants on this blog (political rants and one-upping punfests) are an entertaining bonus.
Is there snark? Yeah, sometimes, but it is largely not malevolent snark. It is more-often-than-not just a part of the fun.

LegoWhoIsTickledPinkThatHeWillBeOfferingAHandulOf"RiffingOffShortzAndSchwartz"PuzzleSlicesOnThisFriday'sPuzzleria!

2. Hear, hear.

I wonder why you didn't bother to make a comment about my post above. It was not snarky or aggressive, but to the point. Nor did it give anything away. It would have added a little time and brain work leading to "aha."
I think Will Shortz does need to think about this endeavor of his and this blog can help him.

4. Mendo Jim,
I agree that your Sun Oct 18, 08:30:00 AM PDT was neither "snarky" nor aggressive (although calling Mr. Shortz "Willy" is just a tad snarky). You were just singing a common refrain that a chorus of us have made a part of the standard repertoire here on Blainesville: "We want tougher puzzles!"
I suspect WS may monitor this blog from time-to-time. He is passionate about puzzles and realizes that we are also. He likely appreciates our comments, respects our collective opinion and may even "learn" from us. But he also likely realizes that his much broader NPR audience that consumes the NPR broadcast along with their Sunday morning breakfast is perhaps not quite as (should we say) "serious" about puzzles as are we!

LegoWhoInvitesThoseWhoSeekMoreChallengingPuzzlesToTackleANewYorkTimesSaturdayCrossword

5. I think the criticisms of the lack of quality and difficulty in most of the NPR puzzles is entirely relevant and justified. Not in the manner of one long time blogger here that are nothing more than a childish rant most seventh graders would not approve of. But constructive criticism should be welcomed and not ridiculed by the anti freedom of speech police who should be defunded immediately.

That being said, we are now in a pandemic that is having major life changing consequences to our lives. Many of us are stuck in a rut we cannot seem to extract ourselves from where we have nothing much to live for. We cannot do most of what made our lives interesting and gave us something to look forward to. Not having something to look forward to in life makes life boring. I have more than ever lately been finding the approach of sunday morning perhaps the most important happening in my lockdown life. Time for many of us in this situation is nothing more than a waking drag that must be gotten through, so we can continue the very same the next day, and the next, and the next... When that moment arrives and we solve the puzzle almost immediately it is just another letdown sending us back to our cell. If we were presented with puzzles that are more challenging and sophisticated and might require time and effort to solve it would help make these doldrum days pass a bit more pleasantly.

Our libraries have been closed for 7 months now and are slowly beginning to provide a tiny bit of service, but not enough to make a significant improvement in my life yet. I have not been able to obtain DVDs and books with rare exception, and only during the last month. I did manage to borrow a copy of RAGE by Bob Woodward that I am now three quarters through, and last night I read this short passage quoting Dr. Robert Redfield, the current Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

In private he told others of his deepest fears. “It’s not to stop the spread,” Redfield said. “We were now in a race. I think we all understood now we were in a race. We’re in a marathon. We’re in a two-year, three-year race. Not a one-year, not a six-month race. The race is to slow and contain this virus as much as humanly possible, with all our efforts, till we can get a highly efficacious vaccine deployed for all the American people and then beyond that to the rest of the world.”

“This virus will stop when it basically infects more than 70 percent of the world, or 80 percent of the world.”

Anything, however small, would help us get through this. I don’t think our asking for puzzles that more accurately represent the intelligence level of the NPR audience is uncalled for.

43. Well said. Is it Psbs? Puzzled solvers bravado syndrome?PSBS

44. Although, I agree with most of SDB's post, I've had some thoughts about this group's unhappiness that have been voiced over the quality of the puzzles. First, I'm totally aware that my puzzle wasn't that difficult, but I was surprised and happy that it was chosen. I must admit it felt great.

However, I don't see it as Will Shortz's job to pick a puzzle only for this very high level group. He has to pick a puzzle specifically for the total NPR audience. He only has one day on which to do it. If you want to see his attempt reach all, then you should try doing 7 days of the NYT crossword puzzle. Mondays are easy, but it gets more and more difficult as the week proceeds. I think its a great attempt to reach all levels. For instance, I've never gotten beyond Wednesdays. I understand the "Aha" phenomenon of solving the puzzle. But at the risk of calling you all down on my head but even with covid there is the need for other things in life, for example: WW's interest in geology, SDB and his jumping out of a perfectly good airplane (I wouldn't do that), and my interest in ceramics. I wish you all well and that you stay well in these terrible times. I can only hope that we vote to save our democracy.

1. Clark,
I enjoyed reading your above post, but I do want to point out that I did NOT say anything about Will picking a puzzle for Blaine's NPR Puzzle Blog. I said the NPR audience.

2. SDB,
I stand corrected. You know,as I think about, I wish the rest of the country could handle things in a nondivisive way. I must say, "Hats off to us all in that department

45. This comment has been removed by the author.

46. SDB and Clark have both spoken wisely. Let’s face it, our presence on this blog, the number of us who have been on the air with Will and/or who have had our creations selected as on-air challenges, places us in the top tier of puzzlers. We need to recognize, without being boastful, that we are not typical of the broader NPR audience.

As a NYT crossword puzzle regular, who started doing the crosswords in pencil 50 years ago, and who has a a 96% solve rate since going electronic some 8 years ago, I’d like to suggest a middle ground.

The NYTimes crossword, as Clark points out, varies in difficulty as the week progresses. Monday easy, Tuesday a little tougher and Saturday most challenging. (The Sunday puzzle, though the largest grid, is typically at a Thursday level of difficulty.)

Were Will Shortz to do something similar, the first Sunday of the month could have an easy puzzle, the second Sunday a bit more difficult, and with the most challenging puzzles being reserved for the last Sunday of the months with 5 Sundays.

Will, if you’re lurking out there, your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

47. This comment has been removed by the author.

1. I think he did.

2. SuperZee, I like your increasing difficulty idea for the NPR puzzle. Would enjoy hearing what Will and others here think about it.

3. I don't think it needs to go to another extreme. Just provide us with more challenging puzzles.

Will rejected one of my puzzles because he said he knew the answer as he read the question, but later he rejected one because he said he didn't know the answer.

48. Speaking as someone who is still relatively new to the puzzle and this blog, and who does not solve the puzzle as easily as others here every week, I'd say the last thing we need would be a change in the already varying degree of difficulty in the puzzle every week. Growing up we had cryptograms in the Sunday Birmingham News, four of them each week, and if I was unable to solve them all, I didn't take it very well. Now, with no more cryptograms OR Birmingham News, the NPR Sunday Puzzle is one of the few puzzles I at least have some chance of solving during the week. Never mind that I always have to ask for hints on Puzzleria!, which usually give me a 50-50 shot at getting anything out of those puzzles altogether. But back to this puzzle. If it provides something I know I can look up on a specific website, such as this week's world capital, say, then I'm in luck. I can simply consult a list of them until(hopefully)something looks like the intended answer. If it's very vague, however(merely saying "Think of a word...", for example), then it seems hardly worth it. "A word" is way too general. Where does one go to find THE list that's going to solve that one? Then one checks this blog, hoping someone will have dropped the ball and revealed something that will give away where to find the answer, but alas, most here have to be as vague as "a word", if not more, so you end up reading how your so-called "friends" solved it so quickly and then often "went back to bed" immediately afterward. Now these people are complaining how the puzzles are usually way too easy?! Not for everybody, folks! I'm living proof of that! Just remember how I joined this blog: I was ticked-off about how everyone seemed to be gloating about having solved that week's toughie(IMHO)! I, for one, am happy if it doesn't take too long for me to solve it. Keeps me from constantly dwelling on it all day, when I should be paying attention to the radio shows I listen to later that evening. The way I see it, if it takes a real long time solving one of these things, it's hardly worth it, and what are the odds you'll be the one they call Thursday anyway? I've only been chosen once, and I'd like to think I'm due for another chance, but it hasn't come yet(and who knows, it might never come!). So if you're not really challenged by the puzzle every week, I suggest you find something else that may be more challenging for you to do during the day, because not everybody in the NPR audience is like the people on Blaine's Blog!

49. Hello all. Interesting discussion on the NPR weekly puzzle.

I like SuperZee's idea for Will Shortz to "increment" the difficulty of the weekly NPR puzzles. The only problem with this proposal is that not-so-skilled NPR puzzle solvers would be "out in the cold" for weeks, not just days, as with the NYT daily crosswords. On the other hand, skilled solvers would have to wait for a full month (or longer, for a 5th Sunday) to experience a suitable "aha" experience.

Lego's Puzzleria! has a great advantage over the NPR puzzle in this regard, as Lego is able to (and has the "space" to) assemble a large set of puzzles of varying difficulty each week. I appreciate his skill in grinding out such a set each week. But it is not suited to the time-restricted NPR broadcast format.

My main beef with a many of the NPR and Puzzleria! puzzles is that they frequently focus on actors, films, Oscars, TV sitcoms, rock bands, and the like. This predilection may derive from Will Shortz' personal interests and its spillover to the present blog's contributors. But for those of us who could care less about these categories, it is a bummer.

It is also annoying that the NPR host always knows the answer in advance and tends to hint the interviewee very rapidly. But this is understandable, as the clock rules all in broadcasting (unless you are the President).

Personally, I now rarely listen to NPR and usually read the NPR weekly puzzle on this blog (with the occasionally overly-blatant hint, prior to Blaine's censoring). I have no interest in "appearing" on-air (a telephone interview would be problematic anyway, due to hearing impairment), nor in receiving the vaunted lapel pin. But I could aspire to have a puzzle used on NPR.

1. Thanks for the Puzzleria! shout-out, geofan. As a regular contributor of very clever puzzles to P! (in your recurring "Worldplay by Ken Pratt" feature), you know our blog very well. Indeed, we take pride in offering puzzles created by a variety of names familiar to Blainesvillians, including:
Mathew Huffman, cranberry, Paul, ViolinTeddy, ecoarchitect, Chuck, SuperZee, Bobby and Plantsmith. Others who have contributed wonderful puzzles to P! are skydiveboy, David and Enya_and_Weird_Al_fan (who in our early years shared with us some amazingly intricate number-square puzzles. (I am probably missing some contributing puzzle-makers; I apologize if so.)
These talented creators are the backbone of our blog.

LegoWhoIsTheLeftPinkyFingerOfOurBlog

2. I completely agree with geofan regarding the types of NPR puzzles being irrelevant and obnoxious trivia. Many of my puzzle submissions that were rejected are geographical. I prefer a puzzle that is somewhat didactic.

As to getting one of your creations used by Will, I would suggest submitting a childish one because the only one he has used so far is probably my easiest one to solve, and then he dumbed it down, making it much easier.

I also agree with your comments on the worthless pin and appearing as a guest on air. Not to mention how they feed the answers to the guests. I had to repeatedly ask for my pin to be sent. I wanted it because someone offered me \$100 for it. I never received the other swag. Lego and others have also never received their swag.

50. SuperZee et al., Will Shortz already does typically increment the difficulty of the weekly NPR challenges. But the host's hints (see above comment) often wreck this intended gradation.

51. It is interesting to see the suggestions folks here would like to make to Will Shortz to improve his product.
I wonder how much additional time he would be willing to invest.
How much time do you suppose he spends now? Don't include reading submissions, because he has said he never sees them. I have a guess.
Would he want more money? How much do we pay him now?
Does his segment have a producer or manager? Would he/she/they have input about any plan?

52. Will's puzzles are not too hot and not too cold as far as I am concerned. Helps me feel control in a world I have no control over these days.Thanks WS!

1. Natasha,

I know how you feel. Not about the puzzles, but about how things are going in our world. I want to give you a different perspective with this analogy I came up with.

Suppose you went down to the beach and walked on the sand to the point where you could put your finger in the ocean and come up with a drop of water and shake it into the palm of your other hand. Now suppose a bit further and imagine having a conversation with this little drop of water. Hey, who knows? It could happen.

Hi, who are you?

I'm a little drop of water.

Really! I think you are the ocean.

What are you smokin' dude? I'm just a powerless drop of water; not the all powerful ocean.

I could go on, but I suspect you see where I am going with this analogy. The little drop of water does not understand the power he has because he only sees his reality from a narrow perspective. We are each like a little drop of ocean water. We usually don't comprehend the power we have when we unite with the whole. You are not powerless if you do your little bit.

2. Sdb: Thanks for taking my comment to another level. Well, I did submit my drop of water to the ocean two weeks ago.

3. Yeah, my vote was counted today.

But there is more you can still do. You can talk to people, well maybe you can—wear a mask. You can do little things, such as making your opinions heard, even when people don't want to hear anything political. The little drop of water can keep returning to the mass of ocean and come back in again and again to batter the shore.

4. So poetic!

5. I stand looking out from the shore
And although I can see no farther
I seem to come to feel I now know more
Than I thought I did before.

6. I'd publish that.

7. I guess I just did.

8. So you did!

53. Good point Natasha. Thinking back to SBD's comments,I wonder if there were no Covid. how much time we'd be spending on Will Shortz and his puzzles?

1. Clark: True. Seems that there is over reaction possibly related to the toxic environment. I feel I can escape into blainesville for respite for a brief second.

54. Little levity:Was at doctor's office today and heard the receptionist say to someone on phone,"Hello Mrs. Robinson!" Now can't get Simon and Garfunkel song out of my head!

1. Were you seduced?

2. I was in WAITING ROOM.

3. Some people wait all their lives to be seduced.

4. "Mrs. Robinson" is not a bad ear worm. After clamming last Saturday Night, we needed some ice for the cooler. I then I dropped "Ice, Ice, Baby" on the cashier, that was cruel.

5. Where you at for clams? Last time i went it was for razors in Grayland, Wash.

6. Ear worms aren't my worst problem. I've been known to simply have one letter stuck in my head. A, B, D, F, G, H, K, L, S, T, W, X...quite a few of them. I can only wait for them to stop on their own. At this moment I have the letter P stuck. The first letter of my first name. I can hardly think straight. I keep seeing the letter in my head. I have to throw other letters in there to throw it off. I always notice the letter when I see it in print, and when it's not there I notice that, too. I've had this thing off and on for years, and it always seems worse than the last time. My therapist doesn't even know what to say about it. It's just something I've lived with. I don't think it even has a name as a disorder or anything. I've looked it up, but can't find anything about it. Does anyone else on the blog have anything even close to this? I'd hate to be alone.

7. It would also help if someone else here actually recognizes this as a thing and can clarify it for me. Maybe even tell me what I can do about it.

8. I have not heard of it, but I am sure there are others who have it too.

I would suggest trying the opposite of what you have been doing to alleviate it. I am not saying it will work, but what have you got to lose by trying it? So maybe you could try embracing whatever letter it is now and see if it goes away quicker.

9. sdb mentions the most common cure: distract and engage.
Another is chewing gum. Really.
For other approaches look for articles in Scientific American and mentalfloss.
Good luck.

55. I mentioned the song to receptionist as I was standing right there. Almost sang it to her. It just struck me as funny. Not sure she knew the song. Would have made good video...receptionist singing to Mrs. Robinson.

1. Did you advise her to invest in plastics?

56. I am not sure what you mean?

2. Got it. Saw a long time ago. Tks

3. Was a long time ago.

57. I did sing some of the song actually.

58. SDB,

I may be older than you, but at heart, you ARE a dirty old man! We've all had a good and civil conversation this week. I'm proud of us. Hope it increases beyond us after the election.

1. Really? I don't see myself that way at all. I see myself as someone who takes a good, close look and sees things the way they actually are and then is not reluctant to say what that is. And all the while realizing it will not go over well with those who hear what I have to say.

2. It was just a teasing comment...no offense intended.

3. Like John the Baptist. Did not go over that well.

59. James Randi, a magician and illusionist known as “The Amazing Randi” as well as a scientific investigator who debunked paranormal and occult phenomena through his organization the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, has died. He was 92.

The Randi Foundation announced his passing in a tweet, saying he died of “age-related causes” on Tuesday.

https://www.thewrap.com/james-randi-magician-and-paranormal-debunker-dies-at-92/

60. Is Pensacola a city in Florida or a Republican soft drink?

1. Good wordplay SDB, but TRUMPed up. Have a good day.

2. BTW, The drink failed because someone once found a fly in it.

3. Clark. Florence once one of my mom's favorite places and we camped there as kids. She also like the Huneyman dunes area? Beautiful place. Also spent some time at Newport when i went one year to Oregon state- Corvallis.

61. It is like when they say natural causes. We all know what that means.

62. A fun adventure in word time travel.

63. BUDAPEST >>> BUDDY & PEST

64. I had written : It sounds like Blaine is feeling good! As for me--wait for it--the same!

Annotated: It sounds like Blaine is feeling good! [He is UPBEAT. Of course, Blaine can speak for himself if he wants.] As for me [here comes an UPDATE]--wait for it [PAUSE or wait with BATED breath]--the same! Words in all caps are made from letters in BUDAPEST.

65. BUDAPEST —> BUDDY + PEST

Musical clue: Hot night (“removed by a blog administrator”).

Jethro Tull’s 1987 song, “Budapest,” had the repeated lyric “Hot night in Budapest.”

In retrospect, I might have been better advised to offer a more tortuous musical clue like “There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight.”

66. BUDAPEST, Hungary → BUDDY + PEST.

67. BUDAPEST > BUDDY, PEST

68. BUDAPEST -> BUDDY, PEST

"That dreadful Hungarian... that hairy hound from Budapest... Never have I ever known a ruder pest."

> I hope it's not raining on Halloween.

I'll have to wear my [Hungarian] ghoulashes.

69. BUDAPEST -A, +DY = BUDDY, PEST
Like my home town of New York City, formed (in 1898) by the merger Manhattan, Brooklyn and outlying areas, Budapest was formed (in 1873) by the merger of Buda, Obuda, and Pest.

70. We debut this week on Puzzleria! a new puzzle feature package titled "Garden of Puzzley Delights by Plantsmith."
Our friend Plantsmith offers us a tricky trio of engaging puzzles for your solving enjoyment.
* A Schpuzzle of the Week titled “Do ya feel the Bern, Chap?”
* A puzzling Slice for "numberskulls" titled "Number-hunting, can you dig-it?"
* A Hypnotic Dessert titled "Molson dreams by the campfire"
* And six riff-offs of Clark-a-pseudonym's great NPR puzzle from this past Sunday. Our riffs are titled "I’d rather hang with Clark, not Lex!"
That's a dozen puzzles!
Drop by early tomorrow morning. Blaine provides a convenient link to Puzzleria! on his PUZZLE LINKS.

LegoWhoCongratulatesAndPraisesClarkAPseudonymAndPlantsmithOnTheirPuzzlingProwess

71. BUDAPEST, BUDDY, PEST

"Late Cretaceous" refers to the BUDA Limestone which is a geological formation in the High Plains and Trans-Pecos regions of West Texas and in southern New Mexico, whose strata date back to the Late Cretaceous.

"Might" refers to "a mighty fortress" as in the fortress in Buda.

72. Budapest, Hungary->buddy, pest

73. Budapest- buddy, pest. I did not get this till late Tuesday PM. I thought it was an adjective like " Slim Shady". But someone gave me a lesson on baking.

74. BUDAPEST --> BUDDY, PEST.

My note up top implies that it took me three minutes to solve this one, but I'm guessing it took at least 90 seconds to type in my clue.

"I've been to this place. As a world capital, There are three things unique about it."

There are actually THREE CITIES that comprise Budapest. They are BUDA, PEST, and OBUDA. Seriously.

75. Budapest, buddy, pest

Last Sunday I said, “I am thinking of a tree.” A holly tree, Buddy Holly.

1. Or could it be Chuck Berry?

76. BUDAPEST, BUDDY, PEST

77. After my plea for courtesy toward the Puzzle Master and appreciation of the free weekly puzzle broadcast on public radio, I posted the hint about building historic bridges. For a fun diversion, look up the historic bridges that cross the Danube between Buda and Pest.

78. Regarding the new Sacha Baron Cohen movie:

You know Jared and Pencer and Priebus and Nixon
Comey and Stupid and Donney and Mitchen
But do you recall
The most infamous mean-dear of all?

Rudolph the bed-clothed mean-dear,
And if you ever saw it,
You would even say it manifestoes.

Sorry. It is the best I could do.

79. Yup, you've done better. But,what the hell!

80. I'm having a rough day with this damn pandemic. I just returned home from what should have been a quick shopping trip since I only bought half a dozen items. But the self checkout line was very long and I had to stand on these large blue floor stickers that said WAIT on each one. Well I kept moving up, standing on each one along the way, and I finally got to a register, but left without ever finding out how much I weigh.

1. SDB,

Its the sh*ts. But really, if you ever plan to be down this way post pandemic, let me know and we can get together to AND HAVE A CUP OF COFFEE EACH! You're not going to get me again on that sharing a cup of coffee!

2. Cap,

While I do thank you for the invite I feel I should respond truthfully by informing you that those of us who live in Seattle, known as Seattleites, are not prone to driving over 350 miles for a free cup of coffee. Sometimes we have been known to drive as far as 3 1/2 blocks, but that is considered excessive. I should also point out that we here do have some pretty good deals on motel/hotel rates these days, and in fact some are even camping on the sidewalks for free. I am willing to provide the coffee, cups included.

However, having my very own cup may cause me to reconsider.

81. ATTENTION: ATTENTION: ATTENTION:

82. I just had an idea. I keep hearing on NPR about how working people (remember them?) are now lounging around the house, apartment, condominium, wearing anything but office attire, which, let's face it, has not been what it used to be anyway. So, now they are saying these folks are wearing PJs or sweat pants or shorts, or even less while working from home.

Well I don't want to disappoint you but some day this pandemic will be over and some of these people will not only be able to return to the office place, but even want to. So, what does this mean? Oh, thank you for asking.

It means the pendulum will once again swing to the far other side and these slovenly slackers will suddenly desire to appear again in public and not only that, but appear dressed to kill.

What I am saying is that there will suddenly be a resurgence of demand for high end attire. No more cheap shoes with rubber soles and ill fitting suits. People will want to present themselves in a manner to fully represent their new found wealth.

Prepare for it those of you who desire to be rich.

83. I said: "Well it ain't Coney Island." While the etymology is not 100% certain, it's at least possible that Coney Island is named after the Dutch word for "rabbit." Meanwhile, in Budapest, what is now Margaret Island was previously called Insula leporum, or "isle of rabbits."

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.