Sunday, August 22, 2021

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 22, 2021): Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 22, 2021): Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers
Q: Take the name of a major American city. Move one of its letters three spaces later in the alphabet. Embedded in the resulting string of letters, reading left to right, is a cardinal number. Remove that number, and the remaining letters, reading left to right, spell an ordinal number. What city is it, and what are the numbers?
It's not the first time Will has used this city, nor the second.

Edit: March 2009 and January 2015
A: FORT WORTH --> FOURTH, TWO

227 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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    1. Blaine, your 1st, 2nd, 3rd illustration was a great reminder of my favorite puzzle, the STANDARD puzzle of 3 months ago.

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    1. Evidently even the remotest reference to a certain literary series has been adjudged TMI.

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    2. It's a fairly obvious link... or you could Google it. So, I'm sorry but it is TMI.

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  3. I was just listening to a new album this weekend released by a singer from this city.

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  5. I really value these early Sunday morning puzzles! It always helps to read the question thoroughly. --Margaret G.

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  6. Musical clue: Two more American cities.

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  7. I don't really love this puzzle, but I don't hate it either.

    Congrats to Ben!

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    1. I think it's neat and fun. Ben, do you get a lapel pin for thinking it up?

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  8. Thank you, WW. Today marks my second effort as a member of the "producing" instead of "consuming" class of the puzzlers' league, at least as far as the Weakened Edition goes. No clue here, just a prideful moment.

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    2. I hope you get your wife something nice with the winnings.

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    3. My wife gets half my lapel pin. But she's not only uninterested in this, she's a fellow grammar nerd who scoffs at people who use disinterested when they mean uninterested. It's how we roll.

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    4. You have two pins and she does not get one? Just a half? Well i guess i know what is on her Xmas list. Oh wait she already has half a pin so this completes it?

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    5. Congratulations, Ben. Excellent and clever puzzle. You deserve to be proud.

      LegoWhoNotesHoweverThatTheDistinctionBetween"Uninterested"And"Disinterested"MayBeGoingTheWayOfTheDodo

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    6. Well done, Ben. Not too hard but satisfying.

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    7. I share Ben's wife's reaction to use of "disinterested" instead of "uninterested"; so did Benjamin Siegel, if you believe the movie that they made about him. http://www.cswap.com/1991/Bugsy/cap/en/25fps/a/00_19

      But it is worth noting that it used to be the other way around: http://wordsmith.org/words/disinterested.html.

      Just as authors of that time used "they" (not "he or she") to refer to individuals whose gender had not been pinned down: https://wordsmith.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=4408. Not quite the same reason why "they" and "their" are used these days to refer to non-binary people, but another example that our language is as changeable as everything else, as Heraclitus, Gramsci and a host of others would remind us.

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    8. Italo: the wordsmith reference states either way is fine..disinterested or uninterested... as long as one understands the context of the word.

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    9. Natasha: Ah, the eternal prescriptive vs. descriptive debate. I lean toward the prescriptive side, at least as far as this word is concerned: if the dictionary says that these two words mean different things, I think we lose something by blurring the distinction between them.

      And don't get me started on "lay" vs. "lie" or "with Susie and I." Sure I know what the speaker means but it still makes me wince.

      But I think you can see from my earlier post that I appreciate the other side's position. As Gramsci said, "Nothing is fixed, rigid or definitive. And nothing ever will be. "

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    10. If I may in small measure join this conversation: Many years ago, I sent a note to William Safire when he was writing the “On Language” column for The New York Times. Normally more a prescriptivist, he had instead argued in favor of dissolving the boundary between “uninterested” and “disinterested,” allowing both to signify “not interested.” I disagreed. I thought that it was a distinction with a difference and that something valuable was lost should the change occur. He answered with a polite, pro forma response. With much of what you’ve said, Italo Svevo, I am in complete agreement. Overall, my sense is that, with regard to spoken language, “Let a thousand flowers bloom,” but with regard to the written language a certain gradualism should prevail.

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  9. I have a sort-of-puzzle, sort-of-interesting-fact that spins off this puzzle but there's no way I can use it until Thursday.
    Till then: it's not Denver, but there's a Denver connection!

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  10. There's an ordinal number nearby attached to a tourist attraction.

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    1. I found a cardinal number attraction.

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    2. I only went there once to see the architecture. Had a ball of a time.

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  11. Glad I have a map on the kitchen wall. I found it on the 13th try.

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  12. The cardinal numbers and the ordinal numbers: How to remember which are which? The names are the same except for the beginnings, CARDINAL and ORDINAL. Remember that the cardinal numbers are those that are used in a calculator.

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    1. Cardinal = Counting (1, 2, 3)
      Ordinal = Order (1st, 2nd, 3rd)

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    2. And here I thought a cardinal number was the Vatican anesthesiologist.

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    3. I thought it was the Cardinal keeping score of all the boys... (you know)

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  13. I really like it, Ben -- I couldn't believe there could be such a major city without my having noticed the embedded ordinal embraced by the cardinal, and it was a nice 'aha!' moment when I saw it.

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    1. That's the tricky part. It's a major city, yet in a remote and backwards part of the nation, thus it goes unnoticed.

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    2. And yet, Blaine alluded to a previous NPR Sunday puzzle which included part of this puzzle. It's been noticed; your puzzle takes it a clever step further.

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  14. I got it a while ago, but I've been struggling to come up with a hint that's not TMI. How about this: Yakety Yak.

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  15. Think of a common 4 word phrase. Remove the letters that begin a typical Jeopardy response. And there you have it.

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    1. I had to double-check, but it sounds like BS to me.

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    2. BTW, Tommy Boy, that's a clue--not an insult--but I can't say what kind.

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  16. Congrats, Ben. I just had my second time at bat a couple of weeks ago. Given the competition, you feel happy and humbled at the same time. And everyone should remember that sometimes the clue masks the answer

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  17. sdb has almost certainly solved it by now.

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    1. Yes, he got it quickly, but he is not understanding your hint.

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    2. sdb has almost certainly discussed himself in the third person by now.

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  18. Take the even letters of the city and rearrange. You get a sound.

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  19. There is an analogy with Mainz and Wiesbaden, both cities in Germany.

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    1. Perhaps Dubai, Sharjah, and Ajman are UAE is more appropriate…

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  20. I know the answer to the puzzle.

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    1. The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything is 42. That is like 4th and 2.

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  21. Interesting wording. Threw off for a bit. Clever.

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  23. stimating the number of letters in th city th cardinal is probably between three and fiv and the ordinal is betwen five and sevn so th length of th city is prob between 8 and 11. it is likely that ther is more than one word in the city's nam but that is not yet provable an old computer program lang could solve it.

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    1. Mendo Jim, the answer is not Brno.

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    2. while mostly a "how to solve it" there was clue here in the last sentence. FORTH an old programming language

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  24. There are a lot of students and faculty in quarantine in this city.

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  25. Blaine, Please list the dates after Thursday.

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    1. On the desktop version of this webpage, you can search for the city. But I'll note the dates on Thursday.

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    2. Blaine, I did that search but did not find the number you might have found. Thanks.

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  26. There are a couple of interesting morsels in this comment section!

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  27. Replies
    1. jokes on me, I misheard the lyrics

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    2. actual lyrics to grateful dead's "truckin'" are
      "Dallas- got a soft machine"
      Ft Worth, part of the DFW metroplex
      I hav no ida what a soft machin is but it might hav gottn th clu pulld

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    3. Two possible sopurces: William Burroughs' 1961 "cut-up" novel, The Soft Machine, and also the mid-60s English rock group of the same name. The name is a reference to the human body.

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  28. Nothin' like a Sunday mornin' of slingin' hash and solvin' puzzles.

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  29. I am not sure if a plan to solve this is necessary, but mine helped me.

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    1. You are correct. In retrospect, there was no need for the heavy artillery. This puzzle can be solved via enumeration without the need to limit the search space by categorizing by length of city names.

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  30. Take the name of a city in the same state, delete one or more letters and rearrange the rest to name a hidden animal. Try for a city among the 20 largest in the state, and 7 letters in the animal's name.

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    1. I have it. The animal is an ostrich and the city has 13 letters...

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    2. Take that city and drop any repeated letters, then repeat some of the remaining letters and rearrange to name a different animal.

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    3. Wow: same city with slightly different fiddling gives yet another animal(?!) Anyhow, my intended city name is shorter ... I'm trying not to say too much for folks still working on the original.

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    4. You got it! City is the 7th largest in that state.

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  31. Any Henri updates from where you are amidst landfall?

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    1. Just a little rain and wind, so far, in Cambridge. Closer to the water in Boston, the MBTA installed temporary barriers around the entrance to the Aquarium T station, to keep it from becoming more aquarium-like. Further south, the New Bedford Hurricane Barrier doors were closed for the first time in 9 years. My mother is on Long Island; I've been keeping track of the power situation there -- no big outages so far.

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    2. Hope the temporary barriers and special doors work and that your mom retains power. I've been watching central CT and MA. My son is supposed to fly out of Logan today. Looks like the airport remains open.

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    3. My son's flight out of the nearby PVD was canceled. But in Rhode Island the weather is quite calm -- we got fierce but far from hurricane winds earlier and there are a lot of power outages. I have a really cool system of solar cells and a battery, so not suffering from the outage in my area yet!

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    4. At the moment, our son and d-i-l are on a Royal Caribbean ship in Bayonne (NJ) harbor awaiting a 6-day experimental RC cruise. (They have friends in high places. Or is it high friends in places?) The ship will have only 800 passengers (normal capacity is in the thousands), all fully vaccinated, and all have had a negative Covid test within the last 72 hours. Except for certain shipboard activities, mask and social distancing protocols are going to be enforced. After visiting us earlier this week, they flew from Greenville (SC) to Newark yesterday (no storm problems) and went briefly back home to Brooklyn. The ship was to depart today, but Henri may delay that a day. After the cruise, they return to us to pick up the grandpuppy and drive back to Brooklyn. Needless to say, my wife and I will be holding our breath until they're back safe and sound.

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    5. Crito, glad to hear it's not so bad so far. The T.F. Green Airport was a favorite of my son who went to Brown U.

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    6. My nephew's encore wedding ceremony outdoors in Wells, ME, went off without a hitch--pun intended--before the rain started. Overcast and breezy in Medford, MA, but dry at the moment.

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    7. Yes, my son's roommate's wedding in VT also happened without the same hitch. Sounds like the storm was less ominous for New England/NY than predicted.

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    8. Dr. K - do you live in Greenville??

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    9. Kat--No, but we live nearby, in Landrum.

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    10. Well, hello neighbor(ish)! I'm in Greenville -- I haven't been to Landrum but it sounds lovely!

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    11. The eye of the storm went right over our house on Block Island, RI. As it passed the wind died down and a bunch of dragonflies appeared - very odd.

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    12. The dragonflies appearing is very odd. I wonder why.

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    13. Kat--And hello to you, too, neighbor! Greenville is a fun city. I think my favorite Greenville spot is The Pita House, which helps me maintain my ethnic bona fides. Yes, Landrum is lovely, with all of about 2,500 residents, and about midway between Greenville and Asheville. Imagine two of us Blainesvillians so close by....

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    14. I drove right by Wells on Saturday -- returning from the Cranberry Islands.
      Acadia National Park was utterly jammed -- 30% more visitors than usual! I guess I can understand it: you want a real summer vacation, but maybe you don't feel comfortable flying and you want to spend as much as possible outdoors.

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    15. Charles, I couldn't read the whole article due to a paywall. I guess the dragonflies were out in full force!

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    16. Sorry about the paywall. There's a mention in USA Today and on Rhode Island Public Radio.

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    17. Do they talk about why and from where the dragonflies emerged?

      My friends are quite into dragonflies as messengers from their daughter (and others) who passed several years ago.

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  32. This puzzle isn’t half bad. I like it. I also liked Tommy Boys clue - clever! Also this is amongst the most major cities I’ve never been to!

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  33. I had the answer a lot sooner than I realized. I kept noticing something about this city that drew my attention. It took some extra effort to figure out that this city did indeed fit the criteria exactly.

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  34. Do I have to come right out and say it?

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    2. Word Whisker, are you new here?

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    3. I've been reading this blog for a while. And I've been listening to Will Shortz for years. I finally got my courage up to post something.

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    4. Read my first comment about posting. If you are talking about additional puzzles that others are posting, we prefer you also only hint but don't spoil anything until after the Thursday deadline.

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    5. Thank you Word Woman! And thanks Blaine for the posting rules. My comment was not a question, but (what I thought was) a clever nebulous clue. I'll explain Thursday.

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  35. Anybody catch this week's episode of "Pardon My Zinger"?

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  36. This makes up for last week, when the Puzzle was preempted. Got it right away. Not in my home state, never been there.
    pjbIsRemindedOfACertainHoliday,ButThat'sAllHe'llSay

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  37. Finally got the answer -- nice! I feel like I should have solved it sooner given it's not really that difficult, but the elegance of the solution justified the time spent.

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    1. (I.e., the solution was "Worth" the time spent.)

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  39. I really enjoyed this puzzle because it was so elegant in its answer. What a great puzzle entry this Sunday and boy did I miss the NPR Puzzle from last week.

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  40. This one was really frustrating, until it was really satisfying. For what it's worth, I've never been to the city, but I used to live in the state. And I don't recommend it ;-)

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  41. Replies
    1. Old joke: Who was the first person off the Ark? Not Noah; he came forth.

      Yeah, it's not funny--but it's a hint.

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    2. When did his wife, Joan of Arc, exit?

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  42. Got the puzzle this morning but also had a sore throat. Hopefully it isn't too serious.

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  43. Hint: What a team, near this place, faces many times while playing to their fans dismay

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    1. I assume that Unknown was talking about the Cowboys facing fourth and two. Which is not fortuitous.

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  45. Via Facebook, I once made Tom T. Hall laugh:

    On April 20, 2019, I posted on his page:
    "What do you call a greeting card that sings 'Ballad of Forty Dollars'? A Tom T. Hallmark"

    Mr. Hall replied:

    "That actually made me laugh thank you and God bless."

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  46. New computer. What a pain in the rear. I hope I was missed

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  47. I'm back on a new computer. Still confused about this new machine.

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  48. I'll see if I can work out the puzzle.

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  49. It's nice to be back. This old dinosaur is still trying to get the hang of a new infernal machine...will try the puzzsle tomorrow. Good night all!

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    1. This is a solve-in-bed puzzle. so your new computer is not necessary.
      It seems that "Directions" have become a thing of the past.
      New electronic devices are so complex that one word seems to be too many and a million too few to master them.


      F

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  50. Welcome back, Clark a pseudonym. As a neighbor of mine, a man of a certain age himself once joked, “Computers are a young man’s game.” Happy puzzling!

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  51. Taz or Ricky Starks, to start with.

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  52. Duplicate a vowel in the city name and rearrange. You’ll get a verb, along with two directions in which the verb might be performed.

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  53. Well, I've still not gotten an answer, regardless how easy so many of you say I'll just wait for next week and start afresh

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    1. Just look at a list of major U.S. cities. Look at each word and you should discover the culprit.

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  54. Replies
    1. Alas, he has no current potential...

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    2. Jan yes he powered down. Thanks for being the adult in the room.

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    3. Not too many drummers who get mentioned in the lyrics of another artist's song lyrics.

      LegoUsingPercussWords

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  55. Replies
    1. Clark a pseudonym do you have any good hints?? I made a bet id figure it out and I've only got today to finish

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    2. Apple Picker has a good clue upthread.

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    3. Lila Z,
      Our hints here on this blog are NOT to help anyone to solve a puzzle, but to show we have solved it. Please read the rules posted at the top.

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    4. Lila,

      SDB already said what the process is. I can tell you is I interned in another city close by. Since you don't know much about me, I doubt this is TMI

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    5. Lila- read Blaine's instruction above. Hints are OK as long as they are not too transparent. Several good ones here as WW has mentioned, but beware of Red Herrings. I had to look that up.Apparently they are real. Welcome to the party.

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  56. Finally got it! I guess there's some value in taking one's time.

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  57. For what it's worth, I finally got my old photo back.

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    1. Eye wuz wondering Y U changed your fotow.

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    2. It took me a while to find it on this new infernal machine

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    3. Is the Microsoft software different than Windows 7?

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    4. actually not so different once I got over feeling overwhelmed

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  58. Hey, Doctor K! I get your clue.
    Is that all there is?

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    1. Wordsmythe--Actually, I posted two hints, and I'm not certain which one you're referring to. Both are from the same, if unspecified, category. More at 3 p.m.

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  59. Why do actors rehearse while they're still alive?

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  60. You don't have dogs. So why up so early?

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  61. I was visiting friends and listened to the puzzle but decided not to solve it this week. This morning when I swung my legs out of bed the answer popped into my head. As a person who has lived much of my life in Philadelphia, I was astonished when I visited the city named in this puzzle and drew back the hotel room curtain to look at the view. I hope that's not TMI.

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  62. FORT WORTH >>> TWO, FOURTH

    "I don't really love this puzzle, but I don't hate it either." I used to fly into LOVE Field in nearby Dallas. It was a quick trip from my apartment rather than driving out to Dallas-FORT WORTH International Airport.

    "Sometimes" refers to the fact that Tommy Boy's clever "For What It's Worth" clue works for Jeopardy contestants, except for current champ Matt Amodio who says "What's?" rather than "What is?"

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  63. FORT WORTH, Texas → Change the first R to a U and remove TWO to yield FOURTH.

    OSTRICH in CORPUS CHRISTI, Tx.

    ANTLION in ARLINGTON, Tx.

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  64. FORTH WORTH -> TWO, FOURTH

    Really sorry about spilling the beans early.

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  65. FORT WORTH —> TWO + FOURTH

    My hint: “Yakety Yak.” The famous sax solo in the Coasters’ 1959 hit was played by the great saxophonist, King Curtis, who was born in Fort Worth.

    Piggybacking on the hint by Tommy Boy, who alluded to “a common 4 word phrase,” my “BS” hint was the initials of Buffalo Springfield, who sang “For What It’s Worth.” The phrase “for what it’s worth” also turned up on a couple of other posts, including that of my new-found neighbor, Kat. And bird, too—still minus the “e”—also got the hint.

    Thanks and congratulations again to Ben!

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  66. Fort Worth --> move the first r to u --> two, fourth

    Last Sunday I said, “Sometimes the clue masks the answer.” Fort Worth is in Texas where masks continue to be one of the biggest news stories.

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  67. * A singer with links to hardball,
    * A brown-eyed girl & blue-eyed guy, and
    * a “Goal-den-throated” diva.
    Our friend Plantsmith has planted and picked these "Crooner-and-other-tune-carrier" blooms for you to enjoy on tomorrow's Puzzleria!... fresh from his "Garden of Puzzley Delights."
    Enjoy them beginning in the wee hours of Friday morn, Midnight PDT.
    Our menus also feature:
    * a Schpuzzle of the Week involving Happy, Buck, Chick, Eddie, Swede, Lefty, Breezy and other mall munchkins,
    * a Puzzle Slice featuring Dweebs nibblin’ on hors d’oeuvres,
    * a Dessert about what duds dudes (or dudettes) sport at sporting events, and
    * an octet of high-octane ordinal/cardinal NPR riff-offs.
    Why not drop by for some unmuzzled puzzle munchin', Edvard-Munchin' munchkins!

    LegoWhoTreasuresPuzzleriaPuzzleMakersLikePlantsmithAndOthersWhoEachProduceBumperCropsOfPricklyPuzzlesInTheirBackFortyWorthyOfStateFairBlueRibbons!

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  68. As a newbie here, I wasn't sure if "For what it's worth" was too direct. I now know that I could have used it. But instead I posted the title of the flip side ("Do I Have to Come Right Out and Say It") of Buffalo Springfield's famous protest song. I also thought about adding "It's not Buffalo or Springfield." Hopefully I'll get the hang of this soon. Are there any other baby boomers out there?

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    1. To quote Gary Lewis and the Playboys (or the Wrecking Crew), "Count me in."

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    2. Stop, hey what's that sound? Be Stills my heart.

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    3. I thought "for what it's worth" would get the axe and was surprised when it didn't. I was unaware of the 45's B-side, and the original album release did not include it in its track listing. The second pressing a few months later, which I was unfamiliar with 'til just now, did.

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    4. To be honest, I didn't know either until I was researching for this blog. But for what it's worth, it's nice to meet you and to be here.

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    5. To be honest, I didn't know either until I was researching for my comment. But for what it's worth, it's nice meet you and to be here.

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  69. Fort Worth->Fout Worth->two, fourth

    Happy Birthday, Will Shortz! Interestingly, Will Shortz's age is now 42 more than my age. 69=27+42, which is like 4th and 2. However, I am almost 28.

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  70. Bobby will celebrate his 28th birthday, September 3, by GIVING US (!) a quartetet of 28-candlepower puzzles on the the September 3rd edition of Puzzleria!
    In other news...
    My best effort to write a puzzle involving this Lone Star city appeared on this edition of Puzzleria!. It is titled: "Triplet Cities Slice: AC/DC elecTriCity":
    Take the first and final words from the title of a hit song by a band contemporary to the Beatles. Add a letter to the end of the first word to form the two-word name of a well known U.S. city. The band’s name consists of two other well known U.S. cities. What is this band and their hit song?

    LegoWhoAdmitsThatHisFortWorthPuzzleIsNotAtAllAsElegantAsBen'sGem

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  71. Apparently the instructions lost me at the beginning so I was never going to solve this. I thought The cardinal number would reveal itself when you changed one letter to later in the alphabet. I was looking for cities that didn't have an obvious number in the name.

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  72. When I visited Dallas-Fort Worth I saw in person how Texan "cities" count all the sprawl around them as part of the city. Just imagine if New York and Philly included all the suburbs as part of the city... hmmm I wonder if this question could be riffed upon for an interesting puzzle. What is a city?

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  73. To the illustrious DoctorK:
    I took the "yakety-yak" to be a reference to Leiber and Stoller.
    There is a Smoky Joe's cafe somewhere in Fort Worth, so I figured that was the reference.
    My "Is That All There Is?" Reference was another Lieber and Stoller hit for Peggy Lee, as you undoubtedly know.
    At first, I fooled around with Detroit as a possibility. Just move the E up to H and you get "third." With "to" remaining as a homophone for "two."
    Luckily, I came to my senses when examined ForT WOrth and sent it in on time.
    Good puzzle.

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  74. Sorry, folks, got to go. Reality intrudes.

    Kabul—“Bad news on the doorstep…”

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