Sunday, July 25, 2021

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 25, 2021): Olympic Sports Competitor

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jul 25, 2021): Olympic Sports Competitor
Q: Think of the word for a competitor in a particular Olympic sport. It's a compound word with a hyphen in the middle. Remove the hyphen. What remains are two words from a different Olympic sport. What words are these?
Don't get distracted by the animated pictograms for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Edit: Don't be distracted... keep your eye on the ball.
A: SHOT-PUTTER --> SHOT, PUTTER (Golf)

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. Take the term for the competitor. Remove all repeated letters. Rearrange. You get a phrase meaning “to support.”

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    1. ... And it confirms the bogosity of this puzzle. One of the terms from the other sport applies pretty specifically to it, but the other one is associated with many other sports, and with many non-sports as well. (Oddly, I'm looking at an ad on the Blainesville web page right now that uses the term in an entirely different context.)

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    2. Coincidence, but Jan's parenthetical comment gave it away for me.

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    3. Speaking as a sailor, I like Rob's clue.

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    4. Confirms my solution. Great!

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    5. Meant to say: Rob: Confirms my solution.

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  3. If I have the intended answer, and I believe I do, it was the very first sport I thought of.

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  4. Likewise. Expect a huge number of correct solutions this week.

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

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    1. TMI, I think -- that kind of event eliminates many Olympic sports.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. I'm in a mood swing, please don't push me.

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  6. Remove the first letter of the hyphenated word, as well as the hyphen, and get a term for something that a winning competitor in the "different Olympic sport" almost always has.

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    1. (A golfer who is winning a tournament usually has a "hot putter.")

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  7. I can't believe that CHAMOMILE didn't get a shout out this week.

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    1. As to last week's Amaryllis, I've always heard AM-arillis not AHM-arillis. Anyone else?

      Does pronunciation matter?

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    2. WW--I had always heard it as "AM," but Will said "AHM" on-air. The original puzzle wording on the website said, "The remaining letters, in order, sound like another girl's name." If the first letter was meant to be pronounced as "AH," then the puzzle doesn't work well. (Who says AH-LIS?) Merriam-Webster's online dictionary pronounces it "AM." Will may have just mispronounced it.

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    3. Dr. K, good point. I wonder why Will doesn't take 30 seconds to look up the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word (or have his staff do that)? For someone who is precise about many things, this baffles me.

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    4. I don't think it useful for Sunday Puzzlers to think of the W in WS as standing for well-defined, nor the S for stringent.

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  8. The only issue I have with this week's puzzle is that you have to trust Will and Peter Gordon enough to realize that the answer must have some cleverness to it. There's nothing to rule out the trivial stuff, like center-forward (soccer, basketball). I'm sure there are probably others. Since I doubt such answers will be accepted, I'm hoping Blaine's okay with my post.

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    1. Lancek, meh, I didn't find much cleverness. Ambiguity? Yes, lots of that.

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    2. The clever part is that the components of the compound word take on very different meanings when the hyphen is removed. Adding that condition to the instructions would have eliminated trivial answers.

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    3. Yes, cleverness points for that aspect.

      I did enjoy learning about open, closed, and hyphenated phrases/words and how we move through those aspects.

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  9. Will Shaner, who just won gold in air rifle, could also go by this "competitor" name.

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    1. Didn't know that was an Olympic event. Maybe they could combine it with basketball to make a kind of summer biathlon. Air ball: that's a sport I excel at!

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  10. Got it! Time to celebrate the USWNT's latest win with a big slice of chocolate cake.

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  11. The sports involved are somewhat different.
    Sorry jan, while I often find ambiguity in Will's puzzles, this one is just too easy for me to do so.

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    1. I had no problem with the wording either. I emailed Will a puzzle I came up with yesterday afternoon and soon received a rejection. Lego will be running it in the future, and I promise it is better than this turkey.

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    2. So they actually gave the courtesy of a rejection? I submitted a good one and received crickets.

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    3. DDX, leaping orthopterans, you got crickets ;-)?!

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  12. Horse Vaulting hasn't been part of the equestrian competition since the 1920 Games in Antwerp. However, "horse-vaulter" would kinda sorta work. The pommel horse and vault are used in men's gymnastics. Would not a gymnast who is vaulting be considered a vaulter?

    I find this answer more interesting, if less elegant, than the intended answer.

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    1. I think it would depend on who's at vault.

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    2. I dunno, jsulbyrne -- I can't find mention of any horse winning any Olympic medals, either before or after 1920.

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    3. Helmer Mörner - Equestrian Legend | Antwerp 1920 Olympics.

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. Many of the Soviet and East German Olympians were biologically more horse than human.

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  13. I have an alternative answer. There's one feature of it that's not great, but it does fit and it's good in other ways.
    I guess I don't have to be too careful with clues for mine, since it doesn't lead to the intended answer, so: one of the sports was very different back in my day from the modern version.

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  14. Spoonerize the competitor (without the hyphen), and the result would be two things you might find near a window.

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  15. I had to make sure that the sport that uses each of the words is actually an Olympic sport....and it is. It's nice to know at my age that everything isn't in my knowledge base and that learning is still possible.

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  16. Many Olympic competitors become "also-rans."

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  17. I just got back from playing a sport that is also part of the Olympics (not related to the puzzle answer in any way that I can see) and came up with what may be an alternate answer. The competitor is normally not hyphenated but sometimes is, and the two words that result from the removal of the hyphen are terms associated with two other Olympic sports. But based on the hints above, it's not the intended answer.

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    1. I came up with the same answer but realized it’s not the intended one based on the clues left here.

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  18. It took awhile, but I am warming up to this puzzle.

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  19. There is a 2-word town in Virginia where the first word has the same first 3 letters as the first word of the phrase in this puzzle, and the second word has the same first 2 letters as the second word of the phrase in this puzzle.

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    1. The town is an anagram of a prez plus an ingredient in a certain alcoholic beverage.

      LegoWhoDisclaimsThatTheViewsExpressedInThisCommentAreInNoWayIntendedToEndorseAnyPoliticalCandidateOrConsumptionOfAlcoholicSpiritsNorDoTheyInAnyWayReflectTheViewsOfThePosterNorDoTheyNecessarilyReflectTheOfficialPolicyOrPositionOfAnyOtherAgencyOrganizationEmployerCompanyOrOtherEntity

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    2. Bobby, your hint drove me directly to the answer. First such town that came to mind.

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    3. Confirms my answer. Thanks.

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    4. Interestingly, this does not work for the answer I got. Do we have two solutions here?

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    5. Jaws: Are you referring to Joseph Young's clue? If your answer fits other clues on this site, you may just need to think out of the box for joseph's clue.

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    6. Very good hint. I had to go get some gas before arriving.

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    7. I was referring to Bobby's Virginia 2-word town. I'm not finding a town in VA that fits. I'll wait until Thursday.

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    8. It took me a while to locate it too. I had never heard of it before either.

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    9. Bobby's Virginia town is easy to find once you have solved the puzzle. I was trying to work backwards but did not work out.

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    10. Oh really? I looked on several atlases and online in several ways before I found one that includes it in their lists.

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    11. It sounds like a junior high school boy's locker room taunt rather than the name of a town. But then again it is in Virginia. (No, that was not meant to be a double entendre.)

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    12. SHORT PUMP Spent a semester commuting between Charlottesville and Williamsburg and knew this town to be the halfway point.

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  20. Too easy a puzzle, which is par for the course with Will

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    1. BB, why post it if you know it is TMI? If others point it out, it just puts flashing lights on that TMI.

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  21. TV clue: Tonight Show [debunked]

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  22. I struggled with this puzzle because "hyphen in the middle" suggests that both halves are of equal lengths.

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  23. I enjoyed Lancek’s clue though proverbially this puzzle is not my cup of tea.

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  24. This puzzle was a pain in the you-know-what for me. However, when I eventually solved it, I scanned a list of medal-winners in the sport and found a name that made me smile.























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    1. It was a pain in the neck. According to Wikipedia, "the athlete must rest the shot close to the neck, and keep it tight to the neck throughout the motion."
      Liane Schmuhl has won gold medals for shot-putting, but not in the Olympics, apparently. Nevertheless, she is ranked among the top competitors in the sport. I smiled when I read the name "Liane" because I still remember NPR puzzle host Liane Hansen.

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  25. yawn, a double sawbuck says take a job at the CBOE

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  26. I thought about the puzzle some on Sunday morning, but was weighted-down by some probably-fatal health issues in my wife’s family. I couldn’t concentrate on the puzzle and quit thinking about it. After breakfast Monday morning, I was cleaning up and not thinking about anything in particular. The weight was lifted and the answer just appeared in my head. Go figure.

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    1. Chuck, here's hoping the dire outcome does not materialize in your wife's family.

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    2. WW,

      I read the above and I thought it time to tell you that you're a good lady.

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    3. Back at you, sir, substituting gentleman, of course! We're all just human, muddling our way through, supporting each other.

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    4. I, as I am sure all here at Blaine's blog do, echo both of Word Woman's sincere and perfectly composed sentiments: the first regarding Chuck and his family, and the second regarding Cap and our human muddlingness.
      And Cap spoke wisely, as usual, in his post praising Word Woman.

      LegoMuddlerSupreme

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  27. The problem I have with this puzzle is that when I search the web for definitions of the hyphenated term, some dictionaries show it as hyphenated, and some do not. That threw me off for a while. Now I feel like I need to come up with a better Olympic-themed puzzle for next week.

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  28. I think I have the answer, but like some others, I am not used to seeing a hyphen in the original word.

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  29. I’m late to the party. Just took a stab at this and got it.

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  30. Ok, I got it. But I'd love to send in my alternate answer.

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    1. I did, as an addendum to the intended answer. Not being the connoisseur of alternative answers that Ron is, I don't think I've ever done that before.

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  31. The link Blaine put at the top shows some clever animation.
    I did not see the competitor there, however. I only watched once.
    The opening ceremony had the animated figures here done by a live performer (s) and was eye-popping. Hope thee is a You tube soon.
    My fifty year old big dictionary has the hyphen.

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    1. Those pictograms show the Olympic sports. Each sport comprises several different events. The answer competitor competes in an event in one of the pictured sports.

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    2. Nice lecture, jan.
      You can tell us which one tomorrow.

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  32. SHOT-PUTTERSHOT (a GOLF SHOT + PUTTER (a GOLF Club)


    The only one-word, always hyphenated, sports competitors in general are ALSO-RAN & RUNNER-UP, both of which I have already posted...

    A competitor of a particular Olympic Sport is a SHOT-PUTTER, (the sport itself is NOT hyphenated, only the competitor). Remove the hyphen and SHOT & PUTTER suggest the Olympic Sport of GOLF: a GOLF SHOT & a GOLF PUTTER.

    SHOT PUT comes under Olympic ATHLETICS events (the first of Blaine's pictograms), not the TRACK or ROAD events but the FIELD events, which are either “jumping” or “throwing” competitions.

    SHOT can refer to several Olympic sports: basketball shot, tennis shot, marksmanship (rifle) shot, golf shot, volleyball shot, etc.

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  33. Replies
    1. I am still having trouble finding a shot-putter in Blaine's link to the animated pictographs video.
      Help?

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    2. As Ron noted, shot put is included in the category ``Athletics,'' which is the first pictogram. The 24 events in Athletics are:

      100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres, 800 metres, 1500 metres, 5000 metres, 10,000 metres, Marathon, 110 metres hurdles, 400 metres hurdles, 3000 metres steeplechase, 4 × 100 metres relay, 4 × 400 metres relay, 20 kilometres race walk, 50 kilometres race walk, High jump, Pole vault, Long jump, Triple jump, Shot put, Discus throw, Hammer throw, Javelin throw, Decathlon

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  34. SHOT-PUTTER —> SHOT + PUTTER

    Interestingly, anagramming “shot-putter” yields “poets” and “truth” (or “truth” and “pesto”!).

    Alternate answer: HOLE-SET —> HOLE + SET

    A “hole-set” (sometimes, but not always, hyphenated) is the center-forward in water polo, an Olympic sport, and the two words that result from the removal of the hyphen, ”hole” and “set,” are associated with two different Olympic sports, golf and tennis.

    I did send this alternate answer in as an addendum to the intended answer. I understood that its one possible weakness was that the 2 words were from two different Olympic sports, not one sport. But the puzzle’s wording stipulated, somewhat ambiguously, “a different…sport,” and each of the two words was in fact from “a different…sport” (different from shotput as well as from each other), so it is possible that “hole-set” may turn out to be a valid alternate answer. Come Sunday, we shall see.

    Will?

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  35. shot-putter; shot, putter

    Last Monday I said, “I thought about the puzzle some on Sunday morning, but was weighted-down by some probably-fatal health issues in my wife’s family. I couldn’t concentrate on the puzzle and quit thinking about it. After breakfast Monday morning, I was cleaning up and not thinking about anything in particular. The weight was lifted and the answer just appeared in my head. Go figure.” The weight of a shot is 16 pounds and it feels so good when it’s – to quote the 5th Dimension – Up, Up and Away.

    Still no word on my wife’s family’s health issues.

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  36. SHOT-PUTTER >>> SHOT, PUTTER

    "Door Door" refers to a "PUSH" sign on doors. SHOT-PUTTERS push (rather than throw) the shot.

    "Does pronunciation matter?" refers to the difference pronunciations in shot-putter vs. a golfer's putter or a golfer who is a putter near the hole.

    "It took awhile, but I am warming up to this puzzle." >>> Golf was in the 1900 and 1904 Olympics but it took awhile to reappear in 2016 and 2020.

    Bobby, it was fun to learn about Short Pump, VA! Thanks for that chuckle.

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  37. Calling All Cryptic Crossword Cravers!
    You simply must visit Puzzleria! this coming week. (okay, perhaps "simply" is a bit misleading... perhaps instead "bafflingly")
    Our good friend Patrick J, Berry (you may know him as "cranberry") has created for our enjoyment an amazing cryptic crossword puzzle with a beautifully musical theme. You must not miss it! Patrick, as many of you already know, is an extermely talented and accomplished cruciverbalist.
    We upload Puzzleria! every early Friday morning at Midnight Pacific Daylight Time (that's 3 AM in the east and 1 AM or 2 AM in flyover country).
    Also on our menus this week:
    * our Schpuzzle of the Week that involves the search for a book that befell a fate more dire even than being exiled to the discount bin at Borders or Barnes!
    * a puzzling quest to identify a risky business that calls for both balance and talents,
    * a Slice of Dessert for all you hard workers out these (look in your lunchbox), and
    * eight Riffing Off Shortz And Gordon Slices that challenge you to "Shot put, put up, putt out or shut up!" (including one very "econfusing" one shared by our good friend Ecoarchitect).
    Please join us for some "CrypTikTok"... the clock is ticking (or digitally flicking). Puzzleria! is only half -a-day away!

    LegoJestTokin'CrypTik'ly

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    1. "Errataca":
      My third asterisk:
      * a Slice of Dessert for all you hard workers out there (look in your lunchbox)...

      LegoWhoSincerelyApologizesToAllBlainesvilliansWhoValue"CleanCopy"Over"Errataca"

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Lego, for some reason I got a chuckle out of "extermely." Perhaps it had to do with your 45 puzzle term challenge.

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  38. Shot-putter/shot, putter in Golf. Yes, my original reply was too revealing, so Blaine removed it. My 2nd reply, ('I'm in a mood swing, please don't push me) to Jan(after he deemed it TMI), was a nod to golf swing and push, as in pushing the shot put.

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  39. SHOT-PUTTER

    > One of the terms from the other sport applies pretty specifically to it, but the other one is associated with many other sports, and with many non-sports as well. (Oddly, I'm looking at an ad on the Blainesville web page right now that uses the term in an entirely different context.)

    I am not throwing away my shot.

    >> It took awhile, but I am warming up to this puzzle.
    > Not me. I find it, uh, ... repellent.

    I didn't think Blaine would let me say "off-putting".

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  40. My comedy clue was Elaine, because on Seinfeld, Elaine was dating "Puddy"

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  41. I wrote, ‘Take the term for the competitor. Remove all repeated letters. Rearrange. You get a phrase meaning “to support.”’ That’s SHOT-PUTTER / SHOPUER / SHORE UP.

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    1. Which includes the word "shore." An example of the use of "shore up," according to the Internet, is:

      To support or raise a thing by putting a spar or prop under it, as a ship is shored up in dock. "The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth.

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  42. I didn't think of this alternate answer until I watched our silver medalist on TV today, but TRAP-SHOOTER splits into two words that apply to basketball (and, I suppose, to the one who makes a shot in golf). Again, the hyphen is arguable.

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    1. Which begs the question "Hyphenate or Hyphenain't?"

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  43. I also got shot-putter...but I have always seen the event written without a hyphen, so it took me awhile to come to the answer. It also took awhile to think of the athlete as a "shot-putter." As a former track and field athlete (albeit in the track part, not the field part) I don't recall ever referring to the field members as "shot-putters," "javeliners" or "discusers," although we did say "long-jumpers" etc!

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    1. The Cambridge dictionary and other dictionaries define shot-putter the way it is used in this puzzle.

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  44. How about "Point-Guard"? That has the hyphen in the middle. Point-Guard from Basketball, Point of an epee and guard like a face guard or en garde.

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    1. That's an interesting idea, and it ALMOST works, except.....

      I have watched TENS of THOUSANDS of HOURS of Basketball and I've never once seen "point guard" written with a hyphen in it.

      Whereas I didn't believe that "shot-putter" had a hyphen, but I checked, and it does!

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  45. In curling, at the Winter Olympics, there is a hammer-thrower. In the Summer Olympics, the hammer throw includes a hammer and a thrower.

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  46. I like the various alternate answers. Had Will specified a different pronunciation between the two parts of the puzzle, that could have nicely narrowed it to shot-putter and shot, putter.

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  47. My alternative was FENCE-JUMPER (which could describe an equine competitor); 'fence' and 'jumper' are both from the Modern Pentathlon.
    I like several of the other alternative answers that others have listed a lot better than mine, though. I would *really* love "Point-guard" except that I've never seen it hyphenated.

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  48. This last weekend I watched 2 long films by Steven Greer the UFO exponent who comes across as being very credible. I had not heard of him before, but one of his films was highlighted on a weekly Kanopy list I get each week via the library. In the second film he explained how we can try to telepathically send thought messages to aliens, asking them to contact us via some visual way they may agree to. He showed several videos of people doing this in small groups. I tried it a couple of times alone with no results.

    Tonight on this 90 degree day I was just a few minutes ago sitting outside in the back yard and was about to go back in when I thought I would try it again. I just mentally asked to see a UFO and that I was friendly to them. I watched the sky which was now dark and showing a few stars and perhaps planets and just as I was about to give up I saw a tiny green flashing light very, very far above moving way faster than anything we have on earth. I thought this was amazing and then asked it to reverse so I would know it was them for certain. Then it did reverse without turning in an arc, but simply reversed direction and continued back very very fast and then reversed again and quickly vanished. No, I had not been drinking.

    I do not expect this will convince anyone else who has not had a similar encounter, but it sure convinced me.

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    1. Flashing lights that move when you look at them can be a sign of retinal trouble. See you ophthalmologist (while you can).

      If I shine a laser at a cloud and jiggle it around, I can make the dot appear to move faster than anything we have on earth. (If I had a good enough laser and aimed it at the moon, I could make it appear to move faster than light.)

      As for sentient beings from other star systems, why would they want to interact with us?

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    2. Why would we want to go to the Moon, Mars and further?

      They are believed to be concerned about our nuclear weapons and that we are about to destroy our planet. We know for certain that they are coming here and they are not our enemies.

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    3. SDB: I would be great if you have videotaped the experience. Maybe next time. I believe you. I still get teased about my experience from my family.

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    4. Natasha,
      It could not have been photographed because it was so very, very far away. It was also as tiny a speck as one can see with the naked eye. Also it all happened in around half a minute.

      If you watch the film: Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind, you will see people in more remote areas seeing large objects much closer. Earlier I had looked at the sky from my yard and thought that if I had such a close up encounter many others would also witness it and it would create a stir. So when I thought about it after, I could easily understand why it would have happened in this discrete way that no one else would have seen. If it is as I described then it was for my eyes only. Apparently we can all do this if we are willing to be a bit persistent. I was not really expecting positive results because I was cutting corners a bit. I would suggest watching the film. It is very well produced.

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    5. SDB: I will try to find the film. I understand why no one believes another person's experiences. Even videos can be doctored as we know.

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    6. Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind: Contact Has Begun. Steven Greer, M.D.

      Even for those of us who have had these kinds of experiences it is not easy to incorporate them into our daily lives because we are all—consumed in our everyday lives here and that is how it is supposed to be. Kind of like an ant in an ant farm who occasionally notices there is something he cannot comprehend going on outside his little world, but he really can't maintain that awareness.

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    7. SDB: Thanks for info. regarding video. The special unexplainable events I experience are enough to keep me happy.

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  49. My clue -

    I enjoyed Lancek’s clue though proverbially this puzzle is not my cup of tea.

    Made reference to a couple of golf terms - cup and tea (tee).

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    1. Snipper's "cup of tea" is an excellent example of a perfect hint to any golf-related answer.

      LegoFromTeaToCupInADozenStrokes(OnAPar4)

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  50. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Chad Graham, of Philadelphia. Think of a common Britishism — a word that the British use that's not common in the U.S. Write it in all capital letters. Turn it upside-down (that is, rotate it 180 degrees). The result is a famous hero of books and movies. Who is it?

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  51. Got it. Now to think of a clever hint.

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  52. Got it. Some things never change.

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  53. Over 400 correct responses this week.

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  54. Thankfully I'm not going to be caught short with this week's puzzler, when I felt like such a twit for not figuring out last week's in time. --Margaret G.

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  55. Should I even attempt a clever hint this week?

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