Sunday, November 08, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 8, 2020): Paranoia Opener

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 8, 2020): Paranoia Opener
Q: There are several words that consist of the consonants N, P and R and an assortment of vowels — for example, APRON, PIONEER and EUROPEAN. But there is only one common phrase that contains exactly two N's, two P's and two R's with no other consonants. You can add vowels as needed. What phrase is this?
Here you go --> NPR NPR (AEIOUY)*

Edit: NPR could be considered one.
A: PROPER NOUN

203 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.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Someone please find me a second P in "runner up."

    ReplyDelete
  3. OK, now I can discard my first answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My first answer was IRON ON PAPER. You know, like for transferring a DECAL to a T-shirt? DECAL backward is LACED, which is the explanation for my "fit to be tied" comment.

      Delete
  4. Me too, but why is Will so sure that there will only be one common phrase that satisfies the conditions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had the same curiosity about the Highlander nature of the clue. There can be only one?

      Delete
    2. Although my question was sincere (and echoed by others throughout the week), I was also eager to construct a sentence containing Will and will, the former being a proper noun, the latter being not so proper.

      Delete
  5. One summer when I was much younger I worked as a shearer on a Christmas tree farm. Could we say that I was a "pine pruner"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was the first one in my neighborhood to start keeping bees. I'm something of "an apiary pioneer," if I do say so myself.

      Delete
    2. Do you know about the hives on the roof of the NPR offices in DC?

      Delete
    3. I believe Word Woman is also a beekeeper.

      Delete
    4. I wish I were serious about keeping bees, but sadly I was just bending over backwards to set up my own joke ;)

      I do have to thank you for making me google NPR's bees--Not only because the first hit was a thrilling story from 2017 about a daring escape by one of the queens and her swarm, but more importantly because I now know that they nicknamed their hives "Swarming Edition" and "All Stings Considered."

      Delete
    5. Indeed, I have two beehives. Mine are not as punningly named, though -- Hive 1 and Hive 2. It would be fun to meet other beekeepers.

      Delete
  6. The "me too" was supposed to follow skydiveboy's post.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This one will take a couple of days.

    ReplyDelete
  9. So I have an answer but not sure it's right. It's not common.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, hm. And wouldn't it be ruled out for a lot of Shortz puzzles?

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

    ReplyDelete
  11. Reminds me of my daughter's favorite joke, when she was eight years old:

    You are RUSSIAN going into the Bathroom
    You are AMERICAN when you come out
    What are you INSIDE the bathroom?

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

      Delete
    2. I thought it works better if you're FINNISH when you come out.

      Delete
    3. It's better with FINNISH Jan, that's just not how my daughter told it to me.

      Delete
  12. I actually had the phrase before the end of the question. I suppose that, by definition, there will be no "If you anagram the answer, you get..." clues.


    ReplyDelete
  13. Am I the only one that hoped for "poop" being one of the two words? Nonrare poop? Poop runner? Advancing in age has not removed the poop jokes, but rather given a broader vocabulary to choose from in order to generate such jokes.

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

      Delete
    2. My inner child was also delighted by "pee," "porno," and "pin-up"

      Delete
  14. Replies
    1. (If one of several of us died, the answer could be "RIP punner".)

      Delete
    2. Alex was taping Jeopardy up until 10 days ago. I always enjoyed the intelligence of the show and the host.

      Delete
    3. Who is yet another Lord Puzzlemaster?

      Delete
    4. From the sublimated to the predicament:
      RIP Norm Crosby

      Delete
  15. Blaine just reminded us that Y can be used as a vowel. I hope that helps me figure out this one.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Did anyone prepare for this not-so-common answer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let no one prepare one before I pen one a priori...

      Delete
  17. The answer to this puzzle is a special case.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Using Scrabble tiles (to avoid other consonants sneaking in) I got an answer, though "phrase" may not be the best term.
    I know I am getting old when I am not interested in proving that there is not "only one." I do hope someone else does.
    Probably not as big a turnout this week.

    We have only two and half months more of Trump. It would be nice if he decides he has already caused enough grief
    and goes out as if he were a man of honor.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Replies
    1. Word Woman: I still do not know meaning of your comment "MOCA."

      Delete
    2. I know you're not new here. Obfuscation in a clue after solving the puzzle is the point of my text. You shall know on Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern time.

      Delete
    3. Word woman, I’ll wait with baited breath because I’m so discombobulated by the puzzle.

      Delete
    4. Maybe you are using the wrong bait.

      Delete
  20. You can rearrange the answer to this week's puzzle to get a two word phrase for somebody who is not very good at word play.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Just got it. I spent way too long trying to convince myself that "pour rain upon" was a common phrase. Aside from finding usage of those words in the Bible, I wasn't seeing any evidence of it being an oft-used phrase. When I finally let go of that idea I found what I believe is the intended answer, WAY more common than my initial flimsy attempt at a phrase!

    ReplyDelete
  23. How long do I need to wait until the PRESIDENT is in a PRISON PEN?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The less we hear from this lame duck citizen-to-be, the better!

      Delete
    2. I agree with that in theory. However, This fascist, tyrant, racist, bigot, sociopath thrives on exposure and he is not going away. In fact he is attempting to incite a violent revolution. Unfortunately the venal Republican power base is allowing this to happen, and it is destroying our country. And BTW, Biden, if he does eventually take office, will not go along with prosecuting Trump. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.

      Delete
    3. Biden will be the next president but whether he will govern against a Mitch McConnell senate is another matter.

      Delete
    4. Really puts the "lame" in "lame duck", doesn't he?

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

    ReplyDelete
  25. If I have the intended answer(and I believe I do), it would be fair to say Courtney, Ben, and jan are perfect examples of the answer.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Having found the (probable) intended solution, I'm disappointed it isn't calling Will and Lulu,"An NPR Pair."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am submitting as an alternative answer: OUR NPR PIN.

      Delete
    2. No, I rejected that because the Y is not a vowel in this case. Not to mention that I sold my NPR pin for $100.

      Delete
    3. SDB, if we agree that Blainesville is for Elite Puzzle snoots (don't we?) and if we each won OUR NPR PIN through pinnacle puzzling, then how could OUR NPR PIN be a COMMON phrase?

      Delete
    4. Ben, Don't think I didn't also consider that point. However, I was not intending to imply the OUR only refers to Blaine's winners. I believe there are at least 1,600 of these cheap pins out there.

      Delete
    5. To paraphrase Gwendolen from "The Importance of Being Earnest," NPR pins are as common here as people are elsewhere. (says the commenter with no pin or claim to one)

      Delete
    6. The lapel pins are four dollars from NPR store.

      Delete
    7. I just took a look, and those are not the same pin,

      Delete
  28. I've often been "penury prone." But the answer reminds me of an oft-quoted line in Romeo and Juliet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does stepping in a dried plum result in a prone prune?

      Delete
    2. You are getting dangerously close to prone porn, and we certainly do not want to go there.

      Delete
    3. Nor prune porn, which can make one prone to poop.

      Delete
  29. It looks like folks are struggling to keep the clues kosher this week

    ReplyDelete
  30. A note of disagreement, Cranberry -- a perfect example could include Jen and Courtney but would NOT include me.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Some more must reading:

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/us-elections-2020-trump-not-aberration-he-ugliness-us

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very informative. The short term problem is that Trump managed to make any progressive change in U.S. foreign policy look bad by his methods and his motives: falling for love notes from Kim, cozying up to killers such as Duterte, Bolsonaro, and MBS, and demanding change from NATO allies in a way calculated to insult them (particularly if they were women). He made the pre-Trump status quo look normal, and worth returning to, if only to reduce the amount of motion sickness his policy swings induced.

      Delete
    2. What is going on is what I have been warning about. We are self destructing.

      Delete
    3. SDB: At least there is a new President. Better than the alternative.

      Delete
  32. The world's most difficult literary puzzle:

    https://lithub.com/a-comedian-has-just-solved-the-worlds-most-difficult-literary-puzzle/

    ReplyDelete
  33. Brain surgeons and fighter pilots both wanted this when they got home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When Otis Redding ("OR" = "brain surgeons") wrote "Respect," later made famous by Aretha Franklin ("AF" = "fighter pilots"), he said he wanted his "propers" when he got home.

      Delete
  34. The name Nupur only uses N, P, R as consonants.

    ReplyDelete
  35. A few of the recent puzzles led me to my answer. On a side note, I’m looking forward to Biden’s inauguration.

    ReplyDelete
  36. For anyone who has had to deal with bad scans, you'll understand why I would propose "paper rnoon," that song from the 30s and that quirky movie starring Ryan O'Neal and his daughter Tatum. Yes, your eyes do deceive you. No clue here.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Didn't solve this one until Monday morning. If I get the call, I wonder if I can talk about winning one game on "Jeopardy!" and about Alex Trebek.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Jeopardy!" is a PROPER NOUN, as is "Alex Trebek".

      Delete
  38. Cajuns call our godfathers "Parrain", so maybe it's "Nope, Parrain."

    My Parrain's first name was George; he had a French surname.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or, in French, one might offer one's godfather bread: "Pain, Parrain?"

      Delete
    2. "George" is a PROPER NOUN, as is my late Parrain's French surname.

      Delete
  39. If you go out for street food in India, is that a PANI PURI RUN?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last time I did that, I got a sweet deal on flatbread. It was about a RUPEE PER NAAN.

      Delete
  40. To ensure the luggage holders are properly installed on your bike, hire a PANNIER PRO.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I learned a new term: copypasta. Have you seen it before?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Since we seem to be looking for an answer to refute Will's claim of singularity, I wonder if the one word answer we all found may also be unique.
    From Wikipedia, FWIW:
    "In grammatical analysis, particularly in theories of syntax, a phrase is any group of words, or sometimes a single word, which plays a particular role within the grammatical structure of a sentence."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have two answers, neither are one-word answers which don't exist...

      Delete
  43. Not these:
    new power weaponry
    piano wire paranoia

    nun owe - pay prayer
    warn puny opera away

    I think I have an answer that uses neither W nor Y, the google gives it 320,000 hits as a quoted phrase

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you'll want to keep looking; when you have the answer, you'll likely know it's right before you google it.

      Don't lose sleep over it though, or soon enough you'll need AN APNEA REPAIR.

      Delete
    2. I was thinking a ONE-EYE-OPEN PRAYER

      Delete
    3. I think you may not understand that Y (and occasionally W) may be considered to be used as vowels, but NOT always. The Y in prayer is a consonant, as is the W in power. Not to mention all the others listed above.

      Delete
    4. Noah, many thanks for your comment! As I was going to bed last night, my subconscious submitted a phrase that is either the intended solution or ought to be. Why bother thinking when your dang brain is going to solve the puzzle on its own?!

      Delete

  44. google "an in pro per" for lots of hits.

    Who is flying a flag tomorrow?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure that post will last, but for laughs, check out loser.com.

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

      Delete
    3. I awoke this morning intending to display the flag outside, but I have looked all over and cannot locate where I put my upside down flag. I'm not ready to fly a white hanky yet, but it's getting close.

      Delete
  45. Transition Update:

    https://news.yahoo.com/white-house-attorney-dispatched-to-agency-blocking-biden-transition-173301811.html

    ReplyDelete
  46. Here is another:

    https://news.yahoo.com/trump-really-stage-coup-experts-011835905.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And this from the Biden camp:

      “As we said on July 19th, the American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”

      Delete
  47. If your grill is out of gas, you may need to make a PROPANE RUN

    ReplyDelete
  48. And keep in mind the new gourmet cat food flavor: PURINA PRAWN.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry - but praWn doesn't fit the challenge.

      Delete
    2. Actually W as part of AW is a vowel...

      Delete
    3. Perhaps, phonetically, but on that basis, silent K’s, as in KNAP, would be permitted, I doubt either matches the puzzle creator’s intent.

      Delete
    4. I think the rare occurrence of W as a vowel is limited to words like CWM, a Scrabble favorite.

      Delete
  49. I have an elegant guess (with a couple of variations); a really inelegant guess; and a sort of middling (more common perhaps) guess. Upon advice, I submitted that last one. I'm not crazy (oops, AP sez I can't say that any more) about any of them, and there may be a one and only phrase which is the intended one; but with all the word possibilities, I find it hard to believe WS won't consider some alternatives.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I really wanted the intended answer to be NEON RAPPER

    ReplyDelete
  51. I don't find the current challenge on the NPR Sunday Puzzle page.
    Have you folks just been submitting answers to last week's?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here. Try using Blaine’s link above which worked for me.

      Delete
  52. The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series this year with a proper nine.

    ReplyDelete
  53. The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series this year with a proper nine.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I was able to solve it with some computer programming, which also gave me the opportunity to look for other phrases with more NPR's. Consider this phrase familiar to anyone who has built a bowling alley near a river: PREPARE RIPERIAN NINEPIN

    ReplyDelete
  55. Yes i think i heard the Dalai Lama mention that on his NPR talk today on climate change.

    ReplyDelete
  56. BREAKING NEWS!

    PRAVDA has just declared the election for Vladimir Putin.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I just came across a disturbing story from CNN. The Trump White House, that is, the Trump State Department, will not allow Joe Biden to receive messages from foreign leaders. Highly against the standard operating procedure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not to worry. It's just Fascism at work.

      Delete
    2. Just a temporary "PaiN uP iN a ReaR"?

      Delete
  58. I don't know if I was the only one to give up this week

    ReplyDelete
  59. A PROPER NOUN

    Alternative answers: OUR NPR PIN.

    PRONE PRONE

    PROPER NUN

    A NON RAPPER

    A NUN RAPPER

    NO ONE PROPER

    ReplyDelete
  60. 1. PROPER NOUN

    2. EARN ON PAPER → How much do you earn on paper each month? (earn hypothetically/theoretically each month)

    A zero-sum budget requires you to spend every dollar you earn on paper and "give each dollar a job."

    There is no single word that contains 2Ns, 2Ps, & 2Rs and no other consonants. “NON-RAPPER” → not a word.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ron: you will find nonproper as a synonym for improper in many dictionaries.
      It is not common, of course, but we were charged with looking for the "only" possibility.

      Delete
    2. I cannot find "nonproper" in any of several dictionaries nor in any thesaurus of improper.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, I can find 'unproper' in dictionaries, but not 'nonproper'.
      We were supposed to find the only *common phrase*, so 'not common' phrases don't count. Will claimed there is only one common phrase meeting the criteria.
      Whether this is true depends on how common a phrase has to be to count as common; it seems right that 'proper noun' is much more common than any of the alternatives. (I do like 'earn on paper', though!)

      Delete
    4. Ron: How about you just Google it?
      While you're at it, try non-proper as in "non-proper noun." Also a viable answer.

      Delete
  61. Proper Noun.

    I never did get around to posting a clue this week. I was having far too much fun with alternate solutions. So here’s one more -Will Shortz is AN NPR PRO.

    ReplyDelete
  62. In good conscience, I cannot post the answer as if I had solved it. Earlier this week, I was working on the phrase “in propria persona,” hardly, I realize, a “common phrase” or even one that exactly satisfied the puzzle’s conditions (not 2 n’s, 2 p’s, and 2 r’s but 2 + 3 + 3). It was, however, one that was probably going to lead to the correct answer: “propria” —> “proper.” At that moment, however, I saw the correct answer posted on the blog, which, at the urging of several Blainevillians, including myself, was soon deleted by the author but unfortunately too late for my eyes.

    So, puzzle-meisters,’til we meet again next week…

    ReplyDelete
  63. PROPER NOUN

    "MOCA" refers to the Montreal Cognitive Assessment which led to 45's "Person, woman, man, camera, TV, " a string of common nouns, versus PROPER NOUNS.

    I thought of clueing "President, Harris, Biden, Canon, Samsung," but, of course, that was too much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have administered MOCA to many students for diagnostic purposes. My third graders excelled at it.

      Delete
  64. PROPER NOUN

    > jan

    For example.

    ReplyDelete
  65. My clues -

    A few of the recent puzzles led me to my answer. - referred time Green Bay, Green Day and Budapest as proper nouns
    On a side note, I’m looking forward to Biden’s inauguration.- it will take place in our nation’s capital

    ReplyDelete
  66. I found a couple of instances of PRIOR OPINION in the scientific literature:
    https://statistics.stanford.edu/research/quantifying-prior-opinion
    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0120981
    And I imagine it might turn up now and then in the legal realm, as well.

    And I really think Italo Svevo's "paper rnoon" deserves some sort of special honor.

    ReplyDelete
  67. If you have never visited us on Puzzleria! (which is, incidentally, a proper noun), tomorrow would be a good day to do so.
    We feature ecoarchitect's Econfusions package this week, in which eco serves up an amazing 26 (!) rebus puzzles, each with a presidential or vice-presidential theme. It puts a fitting exclamation point on our long, strange campaign and election!
    Also on our menus:
    * A puzzle about six basketball players named Elvin, Earvin, Earl, Fred and Phil... and perhaps Abe..
    * A Dessert about Jesus (who walked on water) and an amphibian (that may or may not be a Jesus lizard) that walks under water,
    * A "Call my Bluff" geographical Schpuzzle of the Week, and
    * Six riff-offs of this week's NPR puzzle.
    That's 35 puzzles, a pretty full menu. Some tough to chew, others melt in your mouth. All taste great!
    Some fun for everyone.
    Stop on in.

    LegoWhoWalksOnFrozenWater

    ReplyDelete
  68. Of course, a PROPER NUN would read NO PURE PORN.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I referred to keeping clues kosher, which is another way of describing “proper” things

    ReplyDelete
  70. With measures to avoid "the call," I sent in "AN IN PRO PER",
    which is a common legal term for a person eschewing representation and acting as their own attorney.

    I have to admit that sending in valid alternatives to Will's "only one answer" puzzles in one of my great pleasures.
    I think I (and others) have been successful a dozen times or more, without an acknowledgement that I can remember.

    ReplyDelete
  71. The pope has now congratulated Joe Biden on his presidential win.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Proper Noun; I included one in my earlier post!

    ReplyDelete
  73. Proper Noun. My clue was - It's not common.

    ReplyDelete
  74. PROPER NOUN
    Courtney, Ben, and jan(actually Jan)are examples of proper nouns. They're always capitalized.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I submitted Proper Noun, which is why I wrote to Cranberry -- a perfect example could include Jen and Courtney but would NOT include me.

    ReplyDelete
  76. A friend has advised me that we should no longer refer to the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as the Mango Menace, nor as the Velveeta Voldemort.

    Until January 20th, he shall be referred to as, Lame Duck a l’Orange.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like it, but it doesn't sound very appetizing.

      Delete
    2. It pairs well with, “Trump Whine,” made with sour grapes.

      Delete
    3. I was not sure proper noun was correct until I saw the tmi post.

      Delete
  77. There are subtle differences sometimes. Take for example:

    Donald Trump.con & Joe Biden.calm

    ReplyDelete
  78. 306: New MoCA list: Landslide. Blowout. Historic. Biden. Harris

    ReplyDelete
  79. This week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Bruce Campbell of Kansas City, Mo. Name a title character from books and TV (5, 5). You can rearrange the letters to get two words describing what you can hear and do in church. What character is it?

    ReplyDelete
  80. We're 4 posts away from the 200-post display limit. After that, remember to scroll down to the bottom and click on "Load more".

    ReplyDelete
  81. It's probably not EDWIN DROOD -> ODORED WIND. (He who fart in church sits in his own pew.)

    ReplyDelete
  82. The two words are separate. The first word is something you can hear. The second is something you can do.

    ReplyDelete