Sunday, December 06, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 6, 2020): A Time to Reflect

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 6, 2020): A Time to Reflect
Q: Think of a common word in six letters. Write it in lowercase. If you hold up a mirror at its side, the reflection will show the same word. What is it?
Oh goody! Mirror writing!

Edit: Goody is a synonym.
A: tidbit ↔ tidbit (assuming you write the t without a tail)

150 comments:

  1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g. via a chain of thought, or an internet search) before the deadline of Thursday at 3pm ET. If you know the answer, click the link and submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here.

    You may provide indirect hints to the answer to show you know it, but make sure they don't give the answer away. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the Thursday deadline. Thank you.

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  2. Over 850 correct responses this week.

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    1. And I wonder how many of those 850 solved it without noticing the little joke, as did the on-air player. I was going to comment last week that most NPR listeners get the challenge aurally, remembering only the salient details, and hence would miss the smile, but I realized that it would be TMI.

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  3. Remove the first and last letter. Rearrange. You will be right where you were before.

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    1. Reminds me of a Bach fugue.

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    2. Or maybe a toe-cata...
      Anyway, the place you're most likely to find "Ibid." is in a footnote.

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  4. Perhaps a bit of misdirection?

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  5. bilotvwxwvtolid. This is definitely better if the font is without any serifs. --Margaret G.

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  6. I'm having trouble coming up with a clue that's not too big a giveaway.

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  8. Near the end of last week's thread I raised the question of whether or not the answer to this week's puzzle might contain l or t - letters which may reflect onto themselves if the font allows it. Blaine's picture at the top shows the lowercase alphabet in a font that not only allows l and t, but also allows for the possibility of p and q reflecting into each other - besides b and d reflecting into each other.
    Even if we allow this font, how many words in the English language have q not followed by u, for which all decent fonts have a downstroke on u's right side, which I'm certain disallows u, thus disallowing p and q.

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    1. Neither Futura nor Calibri have a downstroke on the lower case u.

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  9. Let's try not to gossip this week.

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  10. I have now prepared a submission to the NPR website (which I plan to do later) but it will include a protest.

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  12. Got it!
    Now going for a walk as soon as I can find my heart rate monitor.

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  13. Replies
    1. Wrong song. Think destitute dog.

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    2. Just provided the first 6 letter example that came to mind. Never noticed that he sang it differently. Will have give it another listen after my 2:07 deadline.

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    3. Who knew trying to find the "destitute dog" in an Elton John song would be tougher than this week's challenge?

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    4. Cranberry, were you able to sniff it out?

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    5. Nope, and I feel just like a bullet in the gun of Robert Ford. Damn Daniel! It's like the sun going down on me!

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    6. Cranberry, if you give up on Elton, I would recommend you look at Beck.

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    8. The less I say the more my work gets done.

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    9. ‘Mongrels who ain’t got a penny, sniffing for TIDBITs like you’ from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (specifically at 2:07). Eponymous album cover art by Ian Beck.

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    10. I've always thought he was saying "sniffing for tears just like you". You win again, Lady Mondegreen.

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    11. Brings to mind my favorite Lady Mondegreen: "Excuse me while I kiss this guy"--instead of "the sky"--from Hendrix's "Purple Haze."

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    12. Only, I believe the official lyrics have it as, "tit-bits".

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    13. Yep, you’re absolutely correct. You just can’t trust those folks over at LyricFind!

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  14. This puzzle wouldn't work in the UK.

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  15. The correct answer doesn't work with the NPR Submit Answer font.

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    1. Hey, Chuck I think y'all done gimme th'answer!

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  17. Another easy one. I solved it without getting out of bed and without a mirror or writing it down, and quickly too. Just a little logic should get you to the answer. The real problem is coming up with a hint that won't give too much away.

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  18. It took just a few steps to solve this one. Will should be more selective in choosing his puzzles.

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    1. Tough puzzles are not very good for audience participation. People get discouraged and don't pay attention to the puzzle.

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  19. As I was looking in the fridge for leftovers from supper, the answer popped into my head. to hell with the serif!

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    1. Hey,you're starting to sound like SDB!

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    2. That's interesting, Clark, because last week, for the second time, I watched Serif Bueller's Day Off. I enjoyed it even more this time, but I felt Matthew Broderick was type cast.

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    3. Did you hear about the Sheriff who works as a bartender? He serves just ice.

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    4. Yes, Leo, his nickname is Ice-Shot the Sheriff.

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    5. After he shot him, that town was Sans Sheriff.

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    6. And he won't be able to sue to get his job back since he no longer has a serif to stand on.

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    7. He may date a female guitarist. She riffs!

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  20. Is anyone else having trouble with the blue "Submit" link on the NPR website?

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    1. I had not an ounce of a problem submitting today.

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    2. Oh, Natasha, you always submit.

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    3. Sdb: Yes, luckily not called in all these decades.

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    4. Sdb: clarification: Submitting my answer to npr. Lol.

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  21. I wonder if we submitted the correct answer in capital letters it would be accepted if correct even though not in lower case letters. We will never know I guess.

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  22. This did not take long to solve, only 10 minutes.

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    1. It only took a short tidbit of time. The number 10 has the digits 1 and 0, which are binary bits.

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  23. Replies
    1. Apparently, David Lynch's nickname for Laura Dern is "tidbit".

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  24. Blaine didn't like my first clue so I'm trying again.

    Character in a very popular 1996 movie.

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  25. Yakity Yakity Yak. People should really stop typing "clues" here unless they have something to say.

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    1. Really more about the price, you say?

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    2. Really more about the price, you say?

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    3. "Yakity yal don't talk back." I love that song. Did you solve mylittle ditty on the imaginary T.V. character? First name repeated in the second,Second begins with a word that might apply to Roger Stone.
      Also a deer hit at fifty miles perhour is like hitting a concrete pillar.
      Back to Fantasy Football.

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  27. Not digging the wording of the clue. Hold the mirror at its side or hold the mirror at the side of the written word?

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    1. The mirror is only a reflection of how serif things used to be.

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    2. Oy you can just the word in half back on itself.

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  28. What is the difference between a church and a dessert shop?

    One is a place of worship and the other is a place of Shur Whip.

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  29. Does anyone else miss Lulu? It seems as though there's more than a smidgen of dead air time.

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  30. I can’t offer even a morsel of a clue this week

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  31. It looks like the Paris Air Show will not get off the ground next year. To air is human!

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  32. Now that Rude Julie Yawney is in the hospital it looks like her Un-Masked Ball is over.

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  33. I keep hoping Will has used up all the "lower case letters" puzzles.
    If it were not for anagrams, they would be my least favorite.
    I'll bet there are alternative answers to this one.

    Chuck Yeager probably knew more about flying than anyone.

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    1. I've been trying to think of alternate answers, but the closest I came was "dollop," which is a right answer to the wrong question.

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    2. The lowercase a does not reflect into itself.

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    3. I thought i could mix up the fonts with upper case A.? Guess not. Oh well.

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    4. Lancek, you moved the mirror!!

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  34. The answer reminds me of a scene from Christmas Vacation.

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  35. I' m quietly observing John Lennon's 40th anniversary. It is awesome to think he did so much in 40 years. Whereas I have done not even a jot or a tittle by comparison.

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  36. Do angels (Seraphs) use fonts with serifs?

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  37. This one took me a couple of days. I was traveling and didn't hear the show till Monday. Also didn't check out Blainesville, so didn't see any of the clues about serif and was missing a very important letter.

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  39. It took me long enough, but I finally got it.

    R. I. P. ?-2002.

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  40. tidbit (with a sans serif lowercase “t”)

    †idbi† → †idbi†

    тidbiт → тidbiт

    My clue: “Make that a sans serif тreaт” = the answer begins and ends with т → т....т; also a little “tidbit” is often a “treat.”

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  41. tidbit
    Ergo, a cute little puzzle.

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  42. tidbit

    This did indeed take me a while to solve. Along the way I had tried some words that were clearly flawed and that other blog commenters later posted: ballad, dollop, etc. But I succeeded when I finally chose, using mostly logic and a bit of luck, the word’s correct letters of all the ones that had an identical mirror image. (And, yes, depending on font, some of the letters were arguable.)

    My clue: “R. I. P. ?-2002.”

    It was in 2002 that Nabisco stopped producing Cheese Tid-Bit Crackers.

    Does anyone know what year Nabisco introduced Tid-Bits (hence, the clue’s “?”)?

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    1. They were replaced by Cheese-its? sp?

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    2. Acc. to Wiki, Cheez-It is a Kellogg product, not Nabisco, introduced in 1921. Cheese Nips maybe? Wiki says it's a Nabisco product, introduced in 1955, still in production. But I can't find anything about the history of Nabisco Cheese Tid-Bits--lots of images of the boxes I remember, though--except for one link that mentions the year production ended.

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  43. I wrote, “Remove the first and last letter. Rearrange. You will be right where you were before.” “Ibid” is an abbreviation for the Latin “ibidem,” which means “in the same place.” You see it often in a reading list or notes referring to the book or article just cited.

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  44. tidbit

    "Pouteria eerwah" refers to wild apple >>> Apple computer products >>> TidBITS newsletter

    " Really more about the price, you say?" >>> MORe about SELling >>> MORSEL >>> tidbit

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  45. TIDBIT tidbit ƚidbiƚ ƚibdiƚ ʇᴉqpᴉʇ

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  47. I solved it very quickly while still in bed. I first thought it might begin and end with B & D. Then I thought they might be in the center positions and the answer then came easily. No mirror required, nor pen and paper.

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  48. TIDBIT

    My clue was Yakity Yakity Yak. People should really stop typing "clues" here unless they have something to say.

    These words roughly echo the opening theme song to everyone's favorite TV show, Mr. Ed, which starred a talking horse. Really.

    It's the only show in TV history I can think of where the titular character had a BIT in his mouth for the whole series.

    People yakkity yak and speak and waste your time all day
    But Mister Ed will never speak unless he has something to say.

    A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
    And this one'll talk 'til his voice is hoarse.
    You never heard of a talking horse?

    Well listen to this.

    I am Mister Ed.

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    1. Ben,
      I hope this will not come as too much of a shock during this pandemic crisis, along with what Trump and his gang are doing, but as with the Tooth Fairy not being real, Mr. Ed actually did not speak his lines. Somehow they were able to dub them in. I know; I know, but it is an actual fact.

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    2. Lies Lies Lies, SDB. This show was done around 1960-1961. They did not have Special FX at the time. That's really the horse talking!

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    3. Sort of a horse d'oeuvre for the mind, if you Will (bur) in this Post.

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    4. I thought it was the peanut butter they crammed in his mouth! Hope he didn't have a peanut allergy???

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    5. Sounds like a load of horsetock to me.

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    6. And which end of the horse it talking?
      /

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    7. That was the sequel, Plantsmith

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  49. Our good friend Bobby has cooked up three tantalizingly tasty "Puzzle Fun by Bobby Jacobs" morsels for tomorrow's Puzzleria! They involve “Literature, Music, TV & Movies.”
    And, they really are fun!
    Also on tomorrow's menu:
    * A Schpuzzle of the week about "how to make a buck."
    * A Chronological Slice regarding an idiom whose figurative meaning is usually understood to last longer than its literal meaning.
    * A dozen Riffing Off Shortz And Harvey Slices sprinkled with seasoned Tidbits of “Biliteral” symmetry, and
    * A "Painterly Dessert" where we "ask you to name a brusher with fame."
    That, my friends, is a grand total of 18 Puzzleriapuzzles!

    LegoWhoUrgesYouTo"StopByForTheBobby..."(ButThenToStickAroundForThe"LegoLambdaLeftovers")

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  50. tidbit

    Last Sunday I said, “When you start to think about solving this one, go easy at first. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” When I posted it I was thinking that you shouldn’t take a big bite – just a tidbit will do. However, Blaine took my post down.

    So I posted a second innocuous clue, “Character in a very popular 1996 movie.” The character I was thinking of was the football player in Jerry Maguire, Rod Tidwell. Tidwell gives you at least half of tidbit.

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  51. My clues -

    It took just a few steps to solve this one. Will should be more selective in choosing his puzzles.

    “Few steps “ was referring to a Fitbit that measures steps.

    “More sel”ective was referring to morsel (which another blogger used less discretely.

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    1. Snipper, agreed about using morsel blatantly. I hid it as well. "Morsel" leads directly to tidbit when searching for synonyms of morsel.

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    2. Yours was even more obscure than mine!

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  52. A tidbit would not be enough when it comes to potato latkes. Happy Chanukah!

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  53. Happy Chanukah to you (and others) as well. Enjoy the latkes with your gin and tonic-ah!

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  54. They're better with sour cream or apple sauce or both!

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  55. In the midst of a PUNDEMIC, check out these tidbits...groan...

    Energizer Bunny arrested, charged with battery.

    A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.

    Practice safe eating--always use condiments.

    A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.

    Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.

    He used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.

    A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

    Corduroy pillows are making headlines.

    Is a book on voyeurism a peeping tome?

    Sea captains don't like crew cuts.

    Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

    A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.

    A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.

    Without geometry, life is pointless.

    When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination.

    Reading while sunbathing makes you well-red.

    A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

    Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.

    When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

    A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two-tired.

    What's the definition of a will? (Come on, it's a dead giveaway!)

    In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism, your count votes.

    A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

    If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.

    With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.


    When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

    The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

    You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

    He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

    Every calendar's days are numbered.

    A lot of money is tainted. 'Taint yours and it taint mine.

    A boiled egg is hard to beat.

    He had a photographic memory that was never developed.

    Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.

    Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine .

    When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

    Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.

    Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

    Acupuncture is a jab well done.

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  56. Ron, you've been hunkering down too long! You must be bored as hell! Don't worry, you'll have more to do once this pandemic is over!

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  57. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Steve Baggish, of Arlington, Mass. 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?

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  58. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Steve Baggish, of Arlington, Mass. 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?

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  59. Easy, but then, I’ve been eating my Wheaties.

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    Replies
    1. I consider this is part of the realization in solving, so we probably shouldn't discuss it further.

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    2. To answer your question, I believe you have the intended answer.

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