Sunday, October 03, 2021

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 3, 2021): Country and Its Largest City

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 3, 2021): Country and Its Largest City
Q: Write down the name of a country and its largest city, one after the other. Hidden in this string, in consecutive letters, is another country's capital (in six letters)? What is it?
The first country's capital and the second country's largest city share the same two starting letters.

Edit: Islamabad and Istanbul.
A: PakistAN KARAchi --> ANKARA (Turkey)

205 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, couldn't it be considered TMI to imply (as you did) that both countries' capitals aren't their largest cities?

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  2. Blaine's hint may or may not confirm my answer.

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    1. Of course, I can choose to be rather dense, now and then.

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    2. When I searched for "largest city in Turkey"
      Konya
      15,009 mi²
      popped up.
      Had me worried for a few seconds.

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  3. Change a vowel in the capital to another vowel and rearrange. You get an article of clothing.

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    1. Drop a vowel and change a consonant to a different consonant and rearrange to obtain a similar article of clothing...

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  4. Not that easy, but Blaine's hint confirms my answer...

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  5. Replies
    1. C a p, at least you didn't say it was soooo easy.

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  6. I should have got this one sooner. Of course, it didn't help that at first I failed to follow the directions and put the city before the country.

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    1. So much for close reading and explication de texte. When I looked at Lesotho, I wondered if some equally obscure nation had as its capital, Thomas.

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    2. Yes indeed. Don't put the Khartoum before the Honduras!

      LegoWhoNotesHoweverThatIfOneDoesPutTheKhartoumBeforeTheHondurasTheResultWillBeAThreeLetterUnitOfElectricalConductanceEqualToTheReciprocalOfTheOhm

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    3. My mind raced through a variety of Swiftian locales, from Lilliput to Laputa (!). They are all, I suspect, also no-gos (goes?). But unequivocally one of my favorite books and writers. Years ago, on a visit to St. Patrick’s I got to sit in the Dean’s chair. I'm not sure if any of his wit rubbed off.

      Please pardon me: I seem to be in my anecdotage.

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    4. I haven't solved it yet, but I also wondered about "Thomas" when I got to Lesotho.

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    5. Ubi sæva Indignatio
      Ulterius
      Cor lacerare nequit...

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    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    7. Speaking of Ubi and finding places on the map, are there any other fans of the board game Ubi (also known as "The World According to Ubi") here? Great game from the inventors of Trivial Pursuit, unfortunately out of print.

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    8. jan--Ubi seems to be available on Amazon (secondary vendors), eBay, etc.

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    9. Italo Svevo--And in a world of Yahoos, there is always a Captain Don Pedro....

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    10. Dr. K, I too made that pilgrimage to St. Patrick's a few years ago. Very moving. And Ireland certainly had her weather still.

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    11. I did too and have a picture of the epitaph (not taken by me) in my office. I once tried to learn how to deliver it in ASL, only to find out the hard way the difference between mechanically and meaningfully signing.

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

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    1. D'oh! Sorry about that! I guess it's easier to solve the puzzle, than to come up with a comment that isn't TMI!

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  8. Not to draw too much attention to it, but there's a comment somewhere above that I think is TMI.

    In conjunction with Blaine's clue, I've been to the second country's largest city.

    And here's a musical clue: John Lennon.

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  9. I was going to post a comment in the form of "Too bad _____ is only the 25th-largest city in _____," but I figured I'd better wait until I knew the correct answer. I'm glad I did.

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  10. Got it. Reminds me of a song that has been covered by various musical ensembles over many years.

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    1. If I'm thinking of the same song, it's covered by on of my favorites acts, their name being a complete sentence.

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    2. And both of them are former students of mine!

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  11. Didn't find the city, but I found another country...

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    1. Was it Tibet? That's the only one that jumped out at me, but it was 5 letters and not necessarily a country...

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  12. Time to decorate for Halloween. It's Holiday season.

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

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    1. Saying "no clue here" doesn't make it so. Respectfully, I think this may be TMI.

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    2. If only there were a word for that. Oh wait, there is.

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    3. How could saying I'm not a fan of either country possibly be TMI? You have no idea why that is, and I offered no details.

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    4. It didn't help me. It only made me think you must be referring to Canada and U.S.A.

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  14. About 3600 km between the cities.

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  15. It took me forever but I feel accomplished now that I finally got it. :) I was down to the last 3 6-letter capitals on my list before I solved it. Of course, I could have solved it more quickly if I had initially remembered that the capital had to be 6 letters. Derp.

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    1. I was down to my last 5. In retrospect, would have been a lot quicker with a different approach. But 2 hours doesn't count as forever.

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  16. Add one consonant to the second country to get an old-timey occupation.

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  17. solvable via enumeration~50 6 letter caps half of them are either M B or A. Last syllable of most countries eliminates them immediately. It is just a matter of working through the 195 countries. If you are semi-automating this (excel)you may need up to 3 sets of test 6 letter sequences for each country.

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    1. Well, sure, but what fun is that? You could be writing Excel spreadsheets!

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    2. I'm not interested in actually winning one of these contests (neither are most of the posters here) but in automated puzzle solving Got into a contest from my old GM office mate from 40 years ago .he soon tired of this some of these are routinely solved by search and string manipulation. others not so easily as the search base is not well defined. best automated puzzle was some years ago wher I downloads all the 6 letter words in a data base one of the answers was aloha

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

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    1. Ankara is the capital of Turkey. People eat Turkey for Thanksgiving.

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. With these kinds of puzzles, the key is to recognize when you've got it backwards.

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    2. I guess it was my own train of thought that I had backwards. What I meant was: I thought of the second country pretty much right away, if for the wrong reason.

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    3. Approaching the puzzle backwards: "the KEY IS To"

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  20. Choose the right list and have the day free to watch the Giants win the NL West. Or LA lose it. Or not.

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  21. Remove the capital and rearrange the remaining letters to spell two words that each name a type of dwelling.

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    1. I can't say I have experience inhabiting either.

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    2. Meaning, I haven't lived in a TIPI or a SHACK. (I got it! 😊)

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  22. I'm surprised no one has noted the connection to last week's puzzle.

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    1. A reference to "chi, also romanized as "qi," which is the concept of vital energy in Chinese traditional medicine (and martial arts), which is supposed to bring health when it flows without interruption.

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    2. A reference to "chi, also romanized as "qi," which is the concept of vital energy in Chinese traditional medicine (and martial arts), which is supposed to bring health when it flows without interruption.

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  23. The countries might or might not be in the same continent.

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    1. Pakistan is in Asia. Turkey is in both Europe and Asia.

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  24. I've been to the largest city in the second country (where one can do something unusual that one can also do in Iceland), and to an area on the opposite side of the capital.

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    1. I’ve done that “unusual” thing in the former but, never having visited the latter, was unaware of it there. Interesting.

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    2. I have never been to the former, but used to live in the latter years ago. They didn't have that activity in my day, but there is wonderful scenery there.

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  25. The largest city in area of the first country once had a newsworthy reduction in population.

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  26. Replies
    1. last week falling hare <-> O'Hare
      this week angora rabbit
      also BULly for bugs

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  27. A former President might have a hard time with Blaine's clue.

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    1. A former President might have a hard time locating either country on a world map.

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    2. It is not clear that he can read a map !

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    3. I believe he made it quite clear that he cannot read a map, or a book, or tea leaves.

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    4. But I was referring to a different former President, who could not only read books, but books about leaves (of grass, that is, one of his gifts to Monica) and famously said "It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is." Which leads us back to Blaine's clue, if I'm being too obscure.

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    5. But I was referring to a different former President, who could not only read books, but books about leaves (of grass, that is, one of his gifts to Monica) and famously said "It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is." Which leads us back to Blaine's clue, if I'm being too obscure.

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  28. A former President might have a hard time with Blaine's clue.

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  29. Our due date this week contains a clue to the first country.

    And there is more to Blaine's clue than he has let on.

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    Replies
    1. "O[ur du]e date" -- Urdu is the official language of Pakistan.

      Blaine noted the first two letters of Islamabad and Istanbul are the same. Further, the last five letters of Pakistan and the first five letters of Istanbul are the same.

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  30. In my research I learned that Malabo is not a beach in California, and a Muscat is not a gun. I Ottawa be going now. I'm packing it in. I have a few hours before my Bucs whoop the Pats, but I won't be Dublin my bet.

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  31. My system worked very quickly.

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    1. Once I read the problem correctly a lot later. lol.

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  32. Does "in consecutive letters" mean 6 letters grouped together in order with no intervening letters?

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

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    1. Chuck, I think your comment sort of helped me. I had a hunch, and(I think)it paid off.
      pjbNeverThoughtHe'dEverBenefitFromAnAccidentAtThreeMileIsland,But...

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    2. Missed it. Was it something related to South African currency?

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    3. It had to do with a certain first name.
      pjbWon'tRepeatIt,ButWillSayItWasSharedByAPope,ASaint,AndAnEx-MemberOfAPopular60sRockGroup(WhoMayOrMayNotStillBeWithUs)

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    4. Chuck’s comment, before Blaine removed it, was hinting at Paul Anka. And here’s a true story: Anka, who’s Canadian by birth, became a naturalized American citizen in 1990. During his naturalization ceremony in Las Vegas, his car was towed because he had illegally parked in a spot reserved for the U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

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    5. Hilarious. Actually i thought the clue was for Rand Paul. -somehow?? Welcome to Amerika.

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  34. I didn't solve it this morning, but my husband (Zephyrus Corona, I guess) said "You'll figure it out, right after your nap." He was right.

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  35. Don't have a clue to leave just now. I have days worth of laundry to do. Nice puzzle though.

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  36. Replies
    1. Unusual anagram for ARLO GUTHRIE: I HURT AL GORE.
      pjbKnewBetterThanToLeaveChadHangingBackIn2000

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  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  38. I self deleted my original comment because it have been a bit too direct.
    The "six letter" hint threw me but I'm certain of the answer I came up with. So, here's my clue, re-stated: outside the realm (musically) of diatonic major or minor.

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  39. I was going to post a clue consisting of just the common names of three familiar domesticated mammals, but found that if you Google them together, you're led straight to the answer!

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

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    1. Blaine already deleted a post just like that. TMI.

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    2. Hmm. I don’t think it leads anyone right to the answer…

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  41. Replies
    1. I think i saw you overhead last night. Heading south.

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    2. Pakistan-Karachi. Via from from Dances with wolves- Tatanka- Buffalo- / Anka-ra.

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  42. Replies
    1. "Squash Racquets" by Hashim Khan, no relation to Imran Khan though

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  43. measure preserving transformation

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    1. Ergodic Theory is the study of measure preserving transformations. Erdogan is head cheese of Turkey

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  44. bird: I'm afraid your transmissions are breaking up.

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    1. wandering back and forth across the lne that
      TMI lke a drunken alor < but at leat the e's are back>
      search for books in amazon for those 2 deliberately truncated clues

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    2. I thought you had flown the coop.

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    3. ducking and running from that pun
      I guess it all depends on what clinton said

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    4. it depends on what your definition of is is

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  45. We are now more than a year and a half into this pandemic, and the outcome is far from certain. It now is October, and I am wondering if we will be witness to young children dressing up as goblins, or if it will just be another day.

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  46. The ancient name of one of the places we're looking for can be used as a humorous retort, if said with the right emphasis.

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  47. I wonder what Eminem thinks of the first country.

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  48. Embedded are some letters that can be rearranged to sound like something a certain Trump apologist might mention.

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  49. Here’s what I never know: how much of an answer is not enough or too much when I enter my response? In this case, should I only put in the 6-letter capital city or should I put the country and its largest city as well?

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    1. Too late for this week, but when in doubt, put too much in your answer. I had sent in all of the pieces, PAKISTAN, KARACHI, and ANKARA.

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  50. Would it be okay with everyone here if I SCREAM!!! the next time I hear someone say MINDFULNESS?

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    1. It sounds like you need to relax. Maybe try some meditation?

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    2. I'll try and be mindful of that advise.

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  51. SDB: I recall one of the most important suggestions I got in nursing school was to focus and not be distracted. I found that very important advice as I was easily distracted by others. Mindfulness is more like meditation I think, but also implies focusing. I guess you can scream though if it bothers you. Just warn me first so I can turn off the volume on here, plz.

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  52. Natasha,
    I see nothing wrong with that advice and you seemed to comprehend it without the use of a made up word that really does not work if everyone does not understand that it simply means to be aware and in the moment. UGH! (not a scream)

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    1. Zombies fill up on brains, so I guess they practice mindfulness.

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    2. First it was Zombies; then it was Killer Bees; and now it is Murder-bees. Why can't we just bee hear now?

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  53. Okay, try this on for size:
    Mindlessness. Huh, how 'bout it?
    It has a nice ring.

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    1. We should all mind our P's and Q's.

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    2. One of the 20th century’s most significant works of fiction was originally and tentatively titled Mindless Pleasures.

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  54. PAKISTAN, KARACHI, ANKARA

    "Overlaps" The largest city in Turkey, ISTANbul, has five-in-a-row overlapping letters with PakISTAN. Of course, "STAN" means "land of," so that's not a big surprise.

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  55. PAKISTAN-KARACHI & ANKARA

    My Hint:
    “We are now more than a year and a half into this pandemic, and the outcome is far from certain. It now is October, and I am wondering if we will be witness to young children dressing up as goblins, or if it will just be another day.”

    Hinting at Thanksgiving where people have been known to gobble down turkey dressing.

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    Replies
    1. I knew there was a clue somewhere.

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    2. Reminds me of a kid's joke I forgot to post a couple of weeks ago:

      Why is the radish red(dish)?

      Because it saw the salad dressing.

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  56. ANKARA <—PAKISTAN, KARACHI

    My hint: John Lennon —> “Cold Turkey”

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  57. ANKARA (PAKISTAN, KARACHI)

    > I've been to the largest city in the second country (where one can do something unusual that one can also do in Iceland), and to an area on the opposite side of the capital.

    In Istanbul (as in Iceland), you can cross a bridge between two continents. Cappadocia has carved cave dwellings and hoodoos.

    > I was going to post a clue consisting of just the common names of three familiar domesticated mammals, but found that if you Google them together, you're led straight to the answer!

    Cat, goat, rabbit. "Angora" is cognate with "Ankara".

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  58. Ankara

    Last Sunday I said, “Drop a few letters and the answer reminds me of a famous Paul.” Drop the last 2 letters in Ankara and Paul Anka had 32 charted Top 40 hits in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

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  59. Pakistan Karachi — Ankara

    About my comment, "I thought of the second country pretty much right away, if for the wrong reason":

    My mind went to countries ending in -istan right away; therefore, I "wanted" the city to be Istanbul, which is Turkey's largest city. Obviously, Turkey + Istanbul didn't add up, but I still browsed countries ending in -istan. Once I got to Pakistan + Karachi, with the notion of Turkey still being fresh in my mind, I saw the answer instantly. 🙂

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  60. I wrote, “Change a vowel in the capital to another vowel and rearrange. You get an article of clothing.” That’s an ANORAK.

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  61. PAKISTAN KARACHI, the largest city in Pakistan → ANKARA, capital of Turkey.

    Blaine's cities: Islamabad, Istanbul.

    ANKARA, change A to O and rearrange to yield ANORAK.

    ANKARA, drop an A and change N to a P and rearrange to yield PARKA.

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  62. This week's Puzzleria! will feature another amazing cryptic crossword puzzle created by our friend Patrick J. Berry (cranberry). Why? Because...
    ’Tis time for a “Crypticktocktoberfestive Crossword!”
    Also on the menu are 13 other puzzles, ten of them riff-offs of the NPR PakistANKARAchi puzzle
    Stop by for some delicious and festive cryptic fun.

    LegoCryptically

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    1. I dare you. Actually only three people have been able to solve a P.J. Berry puzzle in in it's entirety. Myself not withstanding.

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    2. Any way for hoi pollois to submit puzzles to Puzzleria! that aren't really suitable for Blaine's World?

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    3. Rudolfo,
      You can email me at jryjoroyo7@gmail.com
      Thanks for your interest.

      LegoWhoNotesThatHawaiianMassesAreCalled"PoiPolloi"

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  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  64. Typo, It should be PAKISTAN+KARACHI>>>>ANKARA

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  65. Pakistan, Karachi->Ankara, Turkey

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  66. Embedded in PAKISTANKARACHI are the letters KNKARA which can be arranged to get KRAKAN which sounds like KRAKEN, which Trump apologist Sidney Powell has threatened to release.

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  67. Pakistan, Karachi -> Ankara, Turkey

    I clued that I have days worth of laundry to do because a Daniel Day Lewis movie I love is My Beautiful Laundrette, about the integration of the Pakistani community into 1980s London.

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    Replies
    1. The FBI has also had days of Laundrie work to do.

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  68. In my comment that contained some pretty bad puns of 6-letter capitals, I included the phrase "I'm 'packing' it in". That was my "Pakistan" clue. I know....my stuff needs more work. I'm in the company of some comic geniuses here.

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  69. I had made a long, rambling comment about solving the puzzle, heading out to brew beer, and then noting that I was hoping to have a chance to put my feet up on the ottoman on Sunday afternoon. It was ruled TMI. Oh well.

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    Replies
    1. That's too bad. I was just reading about the differences between ottoman, hassock, and footstool. So if you had said hassock, you may have gotten away with it. But footstool describes both. So footstool might've been TMI. I know this is TMI, but I love looking up uninteresting factoids and sharing. :)

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    2. I always thought a footstool was a 12" long turd.

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    3. Fascinating stuff! I'm reading with my futon my hassock.

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    4. Sofa, so good.

      Remind me not to lend you my ruler, SDB.

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    5. Should I take that as a measure of our friendship, jan?

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    6. Is that the same brat who said he saw the kitchen sink?

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    7. I'm probably just a few inches away from getting ousted from this forum, but I gotta ask: SDB, does that mean when you have diarrhea, you're footloose?

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    8. Excellent question. Since I have switched to an Indian diet I have not experienced diarrhea, but have moved on to diorama instead. That being said, I will admit to sometimes having loose tools when working on my car.

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  70. Pakistan/Karachi: Ankara, Turkey

    My clue referenced the song "Istanbul, Not Constantinople"; Istanbul is Turkey's largest city. Covered by multiple musicians, including They Might Be Giants (the band I believe Al was referring to in his comment on my clue). My favorite version is the Chris Potter/Kenny Warner jazz cover.

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  71. I got ANKARA, but it was with SRI LANKA and RATNAPURA, an actual city in Sri Lanka. I submitted it even though I never found out anything about Ratnapura's size.
    pjbDoesBetterAtCrypticCrosswords,Though(CheckMineOutLaterTonightOnPuzzleria!)

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    1. Sri Lanka is all about KANDY and COLOMBO, which are terrific city names for any puzzler.

      Unfortunately, Sri Lanka's ACTUAL capital is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte. And I defy even the greater Blainesville Community to come up with a deft Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte puzzle.

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    2. Just one more thing: Colombo IS the executive and judicial capital of Sri Lanka!

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    3. Sri jay....would be the legislative capital.
      I defy any community to come up with a puzzler for that town in Wales....which has 26 letters or so. Worth a trip just to get it stamped on a passport

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    4. Ben and Afsheen Benab,
      Challege accepted!
      Name a nation whose former name was steeped in tradition.
      Now name the current official administrative capital of this nation (now under its new name).
      Remove three consecutive and four consecutive letters from this capital to name the person responsible for the cartoon characters Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, Peabody and Sherman, and many more.
      Anagram three other consecutive letters in the capital to name what Sophie and Marcie sometimes called Patricia Reichardt.
      Six of the remaining 13 letters can be anagrammed to spell the word with which Linus, Lucy, Charlie, Pigpen, Schroeder or any other member of the "gallery" were tagged... much, as it turns out, to Charles' chagrin!
      The seven letters that remain can be anagrammed to spell what Dawn wanted us to tie a yellow ribbon around.
      What is this administrative capital?
      Who is the person responsible for Rocky, Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, Peabody, Sherman, etc.?
      What did Sophie and Marcie sometimes call Patricia Reichardt?
      With which word were Linus, Lucy, Charlie, Pigpen, Schroeder or any other member of the "gallery" tagged?
      What did Dawn want us to tie a yellow ribbon around?


      LegoAuthorOfScoresOfVeryLengthyNationalPublicRadioUnfriendly(AndThereforeUnusableOnNPR!)Puzzles!

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    5. Lego--Sorry to intrude, but I just solved it. Intricate and clever. I'll say nothing too revealing so that others may also have the pleasure of a solution.

      But...

      Drop the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th letters of the country (its current name), and you'll get the brand name of a beverage associated with the history of the nation.

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    6. Like cranberry, I thought of ANKARA and SRI LANKA right away. I was going to post "Too bad that Ratnapura is only the 25th largest city in Sri Lanka," but I figured I'd better find the correct answer first. I was glad I waited, as Blaine would have given that a quick hook.

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    7. Thanks, Dr. K. No "intrusion" taken.
      Had I been a bit more diligent, I would have tried to connect the "Dawn/yellow ribbon" part of the puzzle with some cartoony characters.

      LegoWhoAddsThatHeAlsoAdmiresDr.K'sPuzzleRiffAInvolvingTheBrandNameOfABeverage

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    8. ...so, in my revised version, replace:
      The seven letters that remain can be anagrammed to spell what Dawn wanted us to tie a yellow ribbon around....
      with the longer and more obscure (but also more cartoony!):
      The seven letters that remain can be anagrammed to spell the two-word home of a cartoon character (appearing on BBC in the 1990s) whose second name was "Doke," and who had an "acorn head," light green skin and distinctive rosy cheeks.

      LegoAll"Cartooned"Out

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  72. This week's challenge comes from listener Kerry Fowler, of Seattle. Name something you might eat for breakfast, in two words. Add a "G" at the end of the first word. Switch the middle two letters of the second word. Then reverse the order of the two words. You'll name an old-fashioned activity. What is it?

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  73. Nice to have a puzzle that didn’t require a list search.
    One of my favorite breakfast foods, often enjoyed while reading the headlines.

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