Sunday, December 13, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 13, 2020): Ride On, Ride On!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 13, 2020): Ride On, Ride On!
Q: Using only the letters in the phrase RIDE ON — repeating them as often as necessary — you can spell 1) the one-word proper name of a famous fictional animal, and 2) a word for what kind of animal it is. What's the name of the animal, and what's the word?
This may start a debate on spelling. Anyone going to argue for the original Dutch?

Edit: In the earliest known printing of A Visit from St. Nicholas, the given names of Santa's seventh and eighth reindeer were, in fact, Dunder and Blixem from the original Dutch for thunder and lightning. Later printings had this as Donder and Blitzen. It was the song that made Donner the popular spelling.
A: REINDEER, DONDER (or DONNER).

275 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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  3. I can go from breakfast to the solution in five steps.

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    1. A humanitarian could get there faster.

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    2. Perhaps, but half the fun is in the voyage.

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  4. Over 1200 correct responses last week.

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  5. If you accept slang, I have a (wrong) four-letter name and four-letter animal type, and the words are the same. I think I have the real answer, but the named animal not the most famous of all such animals.

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    3. I also thought of a 4 letter answer where the words are the same, and pretty sure it's not the intended answer, but I don't think it's slang and technically I don't think it could be considered wrong either.

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  7. Blaine, I saw your deletions at the end of last week's thread and accordingly deleted my comment above.

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  11. You can get a related answer in 26 letters if you start with RIDE ON + H.

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  12. This is easy; don't take a pass on it

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  13. Replies
    1. (You can’t just make willy-nilly additions.)

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  14. I'm reminded of an old joke, but there isn't any way to refer or even allude to it any further without giving everything away.

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  15. I'll use Elton again: Madman Across The Water.

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  16. Once again, the puzzle has lost its appeal to me by not being challenging enough.

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  17. Replies
    1. If I remember correctly, I got mine from Amazon.

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    2. Wonder if mom and pop shops, like Hugh Verdant, carry this also?

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    3. That was just Soylent, Paul. Different ingredients.

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    4. Oh, that's right, ingredient χ was banned by the government, for some reason.

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    5. A "chi" sometimes appears as an "ex", and sometimes it just disappears. I've even found it masquerading as two lumps of coal (��). That's fine, because with a little imagination you can string a few of them together like so:
      ����������
      and you've got a coal train.

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  18. Solved!! Throwing a party to celebrate!!

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    1. I’ll probably take a pass on the party, but what’s on the menu?

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    2. I think Timothy will be there, but only briefly.

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    3. Packer snackers all around!!!

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    4. Gyros are a variation on the Turkish doener kebab.

      I thought about alluding to the Donner Pass Rest Stop on I-80 just west of Truckee, California on the way to Tahoe, but decided that this was both in bad taste (no pun intended) and, worse, too much of a giveaway. Same for wisecracks about "finger food."

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  19. Musical clue: Sam Cooke, or Leos Janacek.

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    Replies
    1. Oh snap! I thought of another sweet musical clue while cleaning the bathroom.

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  20. My granddaughter questions "fictional"

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    Replies
    1. Does her name begin with V? --Margaret G.

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    2. Great hint, Pickledill, and great follow-up comment Margaret G.!

      LegoWhoBelievesSuchClevernessAsThisIsAdmirable

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  21. I really wanted the answer to be DINO the DINOSAUR from the Flintstones, but I think I was just being bad.

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  24. The local bus system here is called Ride On. This entity and the fictional animal have a similar raison d'être, and it is not a dried grape.

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  25. I hope I can give a hint that does not reveal the answer.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, quite clever clue, Bobby. I agree with Word Woman and Dr. K.

      LegoWhoIsEnviousOfCleverClueGivers

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    2. "Reveal the answer" is like the deer, veal->revealed puzzle 2 weeks ago. A reindeer is a type of deer.

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  26. This may be the youngest on air participant I've heard. Nice to see the puzzle has a following among youngsters.

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  27. Replies
    1. “... argue for the original Dutch?“

      That’s what she said!

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  28. Raining in Berkeley today. But no thunder or lightning.

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  29. jan,

    Yesterday I attended my first Zoom event. I wasn't expecting much, but it was outstanding. I kept thinking of you, and what you might get from watching it, and decided I would provide a link that will work for a few days. It is free and the main speaker is Yvonne Kason, a Canadian M.D. NATASHA, you should watch it too as it has an answer to your question.

    https://www.facebook.com/Spiritual-Awakenings-International-108897750891232

    When you open it, click on the video picture of Kimberly Sharp Clark near the top of the page and it will begin.

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    1. Thanks, watching Yvonne Kason now. Is that the one I should watch?

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    2. It was about NDEs. Not what I have had. I forgot to tell you that II now recall I hear voices calling my name like they are in the room but no one there. Similar to your experience in a way. I tried finding you on google but nothing I culd send you a message. I used to go to a hypnotherapist. I was more psychic than she was. But she did have some psychic energy.

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    3. Natasha,
      Yes, that is the one. Watch the whole thing and near the end in the question and answer part it will have some advice for you.

      You are overthinking how to obtain my email address.

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    4. SDB: I will check again near the end. I have suspicion that they are phonies. She laughs a lot about her experience. I find my experiences very serious and spiritual.

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    5. Natasha,
      I suggest you watch the entire thing from the beginning. She is not a phony.

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    6. SDB: I watched her from the beginning. I like Dr. Kerr and his use of reverence. That is the very word to describe how I feel about my experiences. Thanks so much! Made my day. Will follow them.

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    7. Natasha,
      I believe you watched the wrong video. The Dr. Kerr video is NOT the one. Watch the one above that begins with Kimberly Sharp Clark, as I posted above.

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  30. Again I solved this one while still in bed, and quickly too. At first I was overthink it and trying to make Orion work, but then it came to me. Too easy!

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  31. Again, reminds me of a scene from National Lampoon's Christmas vacation.

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  32. Winner, winner, chicken dinner

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  33. If I have the right answer, then Robin Williams made a joke in one of his movies (Mrs. Doubtfire?) using this proper name though in a different context.

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    1. Hey, Doc K, you strike me as something of a pop-culture maven. Long live pop-culture and it's Mavens!

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    2. Wordsmythe: And so, here's a pop culture clue: "Tequila."

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  34. I hate it when I'm not getting the answer and so many of you say how easy the puzzle is.

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    1. C a p, when that happens to me I put the puzzle aside for awhile and take a walk. The answer often appears although sometimes it takes a longer percolation period (per per?)

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    2. Clark, sage advice from WW. I used to advise my students similarly: do something else, then revisit. You'll have a fresh pair of eyes. And I feel your pain: I had the same problem with last week's puzzle, solving it only, so to speak, at the eleventh hour.

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    3. C a p ...he is not the Star , someone else has the spotlight.

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  35. Despite the apparently easy appeal of the fictional name, it may help instead to concentrate on the kind of animal first.

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    1. Agreed. I got what I think is the correct answer by figuring out the animal first; otherwise I'm not sure I would have come up with the name on its own.

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    2. I used a list of fictional animals. Was easier.

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  36. This puzzle was all-consuming—and I mean all.

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  37. This puzzle was all-consuming—and I mean all.

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  38. This puzzle was all-consuming—and I mean all.

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  39. That comment was worth being on here three times?

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  40. Hope I'm not giving anything away here by saying it's an appropriate time of year for this puzzle.

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    1. Cranberry, during your brainstorming last week, did you come across a song title that literally gives the answer away?

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    2. I have no idea what you're referring to, Howie. Just contributing to the conversation. So sue me.
      pjbIDon'tLikePinaColadasEitherIfThatHelps

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    3. Reference was to "Donner Pour Donner" (Give to Give), a duet by Elton John and France Gall.

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  41. Abe Lincoln would likely not have gotten this puzzle.

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    1. I believe there are four acceptable "intended" answers to this week's NPR puzzle, two which also work if the the phrase RIDE ON were replaced by the word DRONE.

      LegoWhoObservesThatAnAuthorneOnceWrote"TheHouseOfClarkMarkDanJuneJenniferJeremyAndJohnAllen"

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    2. lego: Welcome to the alternative answer brigade.
      I am not sure what you mean by '"intended".'
      It was pretty straightforward figuring out what the PM seems to want (confirmed by the flood of hints), but you say you believe that he has three other answers he will accept. There is even an included sub-set.
      To be honest, I can't come up with all three.
      Blaine's hint may account for one of them (leaving out your sub-set), however.
      I look forward to discovering how all this works.

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  43. I'm not Smiley today. RIP John le Carré / David Cornwell.

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  44. Replies
    1. No. He was British and one of the world's premier mountaineers. Look him up.

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  45. In the annals of extinction stories, few birds have achieved the fame of Martha, the last passenger pigeon. Much less known is the equally tragic saga of Irene, the last dodo. Ride on, girl!

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    1. Wrong, but too close. Please delete.

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  47. There is a connection to my home city here in Western New York State!

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    1. Is the connection via a company that shares a name with a famous actress?

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    2. It is not, it is related to one of our local sports teams.

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  48. I think I finally got it as I backed off and got on with my life. The thing that confused me at first was my assumption that I had to use all the letters for both the proper name and the animal.

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  50. In the middle of the night, I came up with a better answer. At 1 AM, I sent it in.Animal was the same, but the proper name was much better.

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  51. This puzzle reminds me of Raphael’s painting of Saint George and the Dragon.

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    1. That is for you to figure out, or wait 2 more days.

      You never said if you watched the video I suggested. Not the one you mentioned with the doctor you like.

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    2. SDB: I think I did watch Yvonne Kason. Will look again. Busy with semester grades now. I think I know the Raphael connection. I looked up the history of that painting. very interesting. TKS.

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    4. jan - are these like the fantasized ballots??

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    5. jan:no stack of papers. All work sent on email or on canvas due to zoom classes. Never met students in person.

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  52. Shouldn't have accepted those cookies, eh?

    Went down a rabbit hole researching why we call them computer cookies. Learned about magic cookies, zombie cookies, session cookies, Lou Montulli, Netscape and more but I'mstill not satisfied where the term "cookies" came from. I know what they are, but why "cookies?" Blainesville programmers, any ideas?

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    1. It always seemed like a natural term to me. A little something left behind, like for Santa Claus, or a lagniappe. Do British programmers call them "biscuits"? And like the real things, too many aren't good for you.

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    2. British programmers "aren't good for you" or did you mean cookies are not good for us?

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    3. Too many cookies aren't good for you. British programmers are OK. Alan Turing started it all.

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    4. Yes, and I heard Alan may have had just one apple too many.

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    5. jan, well that makes sense.

      I might have gone with mints instead. If you mints (sic) words, is that pillow talk?

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    6. Vladimir Putin sometimes will Minsk his words.

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    7. I always assumed it came from 'fortune cookie' somehow. A little message hidden away, kinda thing.
      But I think that's just an assumption or impression, not based on any real information about the history of the term.

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  53. Randall Munroe points out that there were
    more Trump voters in California than Texas,
    more Biden voters in Texas than New York,
    more Trump voters in New York than Ohio,
    more Biden voters in Ohio than Massachusetts,
    more Trump voters in Massachusetts than Mississippi, and
    more Biden voters in Mississippi than Vermont.

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    1. Not all, just 2-to-1 (235,595 to 114,902).

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    2. Can anyone explain why it is that such a large percentage of the citizens of a remote and isolated state as North Dakota can be so intelligent, informed, intellectual and savvy? NOT!

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  54. Replies
    1. Still coming down; expecting 13 inches in Boston by the time it stops this afternoon.

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    2. The National Weather Service is reporting freezing fog here currently. Never saw that before. Hope it's not like this next week; I don't know how the traffic would get through.

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    3. My ex wife did too, but all she ever got was 9.

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    4. Freezing fog sounds quite ominous. Hope it clears soon.

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    5. Minimal snow in the DC area - but some patches of ice remains on secondary roads. It all should melt in an hour or so.

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    6. Seven or eight inches here in Rochester, NY! They grow us tough and hardy!

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    7. My mom near Hartford, CT, reports 15".

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    8. Here in Philly, we got various amounts. South Philly got 3", various other parts got around 5". A rainstorm followed and caused some havoc but otherwise it's pretty under control. Nowhere near the massive amounts in other parts of the state.

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    9. About a foot in Rhode Island. Really nice, powdery snow! This weekend I'll break out the skis.

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  55. In the Birmingham/Jasper area, our forecast calls for snow flurries overnight with frigid temperatures.

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  56. Donner is a Reindeer

    My Hint:

    “This puzzle reminds me of Raphael’s painting of Saint George and the Dragon.”

    One is slaying a dragon and the other is a draggin’ a sleigh.

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  57. DONNER, REINDEER

    > I pass.

    As in the DONNER Pass.

    >> I can go from breakfast to the solution in five steps.
    > A humanitarian could get there faster.

    A vegetarian eats vegetables. A humanitarian....

    My sister-in-law once dated a guy who was a descendant of a Donner party survivor. I was grateful he didn't share any old family recipes.

    > Soylent Green

    ... is people! Yet another DONNER Party reference.

    >> There is a connection to my home city here in Western New York State!
    > Is the connection via a company that shares a name with a famous actress?

    The de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo is the turboprop version of the DHC-4 Caribou, i.e., REINDEER.

    > The National Weather Service is reporting freezing fog here currently. Never saw that before. Hope it's not like this next week; I don't know how the traffic would get through.

    Santa would need a REINDEER with a really bright nose to guide his sleigh through this.

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  58. DONNER (Donder) → One of Santa's REINDEER.

    CHEERS
    !

    A great Christmas gift.

    Possible animals using the letters of RIDE ON:
    DEER, REINDEER, DOE, DODO, ERNE, NENE...

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  59. REINDEER, DONNER


    "Antipasto" often includes olives, as in OLIVE, the other REINDEER.

    "C. Everett KOOP" -- An older man named HardKOOP rode with the ill-fated DONNER party.

    "Abe Lincoln would likely not have gotten this puzzle." since the original name of DONNER was Dunder. Dunder (meaning thunder in Dutch) was changed sometime in the early 20th century.

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  60. REINDEER + DONNER

    I got this fairly quickly, mostly because when I looked at “rideon” and considered animal types, I almost immediately thought of “reindeer.” Once I realized it was possible not to use all of the letters, the other answer followed easily enough. And the inevitable puns on “party” and “pass” made me realize that allusions to cannibalism could not be far behind.

    The old joke I referred to (available in a number of “set-ups”) was the one that culminates in the punch line, “Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear.”

    My “pop culture” clue: “Tequila”: The 1958 #1 Champs’ song “Tequila”—originally just a jam session B-side of the record—was released on the Challenge label, owned at the time by Gene Autry, “The Singing Cowboy,” whose biggest hit was “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

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  61. I wrote, “If you accept slang, I have a (wrong) four-letter name and four-letter animal type, and the words are the same.” That’s Dino the dino in the Flintstones, an answer others here made explicit.

    I wrote, “I think I have the real answer, but the named animal not the most famous of all such animals.” This harks to lyrics of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, “But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?”

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  62. Ride On buses and "Donner (or Donder) the Reindeer are both involved in transportation.

    4 solutions:
    DONNER + REINDEER
    DONDER + DEER
    DONNER + REINDEER
    DONDER + DEER

    DONDER and DONNER mean "thunder" in Dutch and German, respectively. The Sinterklaas legend originated in New Netherland (NY/NJ) and is also continued as the Weihnachtsmann in (mostly northern/Protestant) Germany.

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    Replies
    1. correction:
      DONNER + REINDEER
      DONDER + REINDEER
      DONNER + DEER
      DONDER + DEER

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    2. geofan and I were obviously on the same wavelenghth regarding this puzzle.
      On Sunday I commented: "I believe there are four acceptable 'intended' answers to this week's NPR puzzle, two which also work if the the phrase RIDE ON were replaced by the word DRONE."
      They are:
      Donder, reindeer (Ride on)
      Donner, reindeer (Ride on)
      Donder, deer (Drone)
      Donner, deer (Drone)
      That, to answer Mendo Jim's comment, is what I meant by "four acceptable 'intended' answers."
      But now, for something completely different...
      Puzzleria! this week features four puzzles wrapped in a "Conundrum Set" by our friend Mathew Hufman. We call them:
      "Yuletide yen for planes, tomes & automobiles."
      Also on our menu:
      * a Schpuzzle of the Week about a "Cape Cod catch," "still-life subject" and "plea at sea,"
      * a puzzle about photograpic etiquette,
      * seven "Donderful" riff-offs,
      * and, for dessert, a "Hanukkah Haiku."


      LegoWhoIsADasheringThroughTheSnowInAnEightDeerOpenSleigh

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  63. Donner, Reindeer

    My five steps:
    For breakfast, I had Wheaties.
    Wheaties is The Breakfast of Champions.
    Champion was the name of Gene Autry’s horse.
    Gene Autry sang Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
    Donner was one of Santa’s Reindeer.

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  64. There was a family in the Donner Party with the same last name as my family. Don't know if we were related (probably not) but I have a clipping of a reunion that my mother sent me. 'Donner party Decendents plan picnic.' My mother wrote on it, Why weren't we invited?

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps there wasn't enough food to go around.

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    2. Those folks were likely quite chew-sy.

      And not a single reference to "Why don't cannibals eat clowns?" >>>

      They taste funny.

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  65. Donner,Reindeer
    Carex Buchanii- a favorite reindeer snack food.

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    Replies
    1. Huh? Carex buchanii is endemic to New Zealand, while reindeer are only in the northern hemisphere.

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    2. That was my conundrum as well.

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    3. I thought Care Oshimensis would have been too obvious.

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  66. Replies
    1. Yes, but "Daumer, party of 50" was too close to the actual line from "Patch Adams", which was "Donner, party of 50!"

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    2. . . .As Robin Williams held up a skeleton.

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    3. Dahmer bit off more than he could chew.

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  67. Donner, reindeer

    Last Sunday I said “Winner, winner, chicken dinner,” winner and dinner half-rhyming with Donner.

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  68. A brand new Randy Rainbow parody song has just been released and is a must see:

    https://www.randyrainbow.com/

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