Sunday, January 09, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 9, 2022): A=1, B=2, C=3...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 9, 2022): A=1, B=2, C=3...
Q: Let A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc. Think of a five-letter word whose letters' values add up to 51. Now take this word's last two letters. Add their values. (For example A and C would total 4.) Change these two letters to the single letter of the alphabet that represents their total. (In this case, D.) The result will be a new word that is the opposite of the original. What words are these?
I threw together a chart to help us.

Edit: "Threw" is a homophone for "through". Also the diagram is made up of thick and thin lines around the boxes.
A: THICK and THIN

237 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. TMI I was stumped until I saw this.

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    2. The difference between Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium.

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    3. Sorry, I thought it was obscure.

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    4. Actually, though this is a bad sign, I loved it!

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  3. Rearrange the letters of the two words.  You get something that a lot of people do as a hobby and a term often used by half in that hobby.

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    1. Does it involve a thimble?

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    2. I have partaken in that hobby since I was a kid, and had never heard of the second word used in relation to it, so I learned something new. Thanks, Rob!

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    3. I knew about half of that. --Margaret G.

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  6. A 5 letter word, eh? Who needs WORDLE, we have a LEGOLE!

    Congrats Lego, aka Joe!

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    1. Yeah, the first words I tried were some of my Wordle guesses!

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    2. My first two Wordle guesses are always DEATH IRONS -- get the 10 most common letters out of the way first.

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    3. Jan, good to know. I am on a six game streak and have not missed one yet, my best is a three. Great daily challenge to go with this weekly one.

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  8. It took a while, but I got it. There is a somewhere above a TMI. I had solved it before the TMI. Now for a hint...

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  9. If the challenge had been formulated as "What five-letter and four-letter word that are opposites begin with the same 3 letters?" Then we could use "cheap" & "cher" (expensive in French)...

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  10. I feel a bit foolish at times. Some say that is good but that doesn't say anything...

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  11. I had to ponder this one for a while.

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  12. Good work, Joe. It takes a lot to tickle Will's fancy.

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  13. gases and gasx :-)

    knuth lisp

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  14. Nice puzzle! I am reminded of a certain nursery rhyme.

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  15. I got through this puzzle before having my Wheaties!

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  16. Presidential clue: Ronald Reagan, when he first took office.

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  17. I was thinking of following some paths that came early to mind to solve this interesting challenge.
    Then I found a hint (gone now) that, with just a little math, gave away an answer.
    Should I look for a second one?

    We definitely got a livelier show than usual today.

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  18. Heard these two words in an Echo once.

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  19. The hint that led me down the path to the answer is no longer on this thread, so I guess it Was TMI. There is NEI (not enough information) in my post to give it away. (Thought I'd throw out a new acronym!)

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  20. Put the last letter of the 5-letter word at the end of the 4-letter word. That is a clue.

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    1. I agree with Word Whisker, Bobby. Very nice.

      LegoWhoIsNotGoingToSayAnythingElseBecauseHeDoesNotWantToRiskBeingBlogAdministeredForGivingAGiveawayTMIHintForHisOwnPuzzle!

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  21. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX8tFvInN3Y

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  22. Lego, this is a clever gem of a puzzle. Thank you!

    I've been working on a major writing project this weekend so I paid not enough attention to the directions. I was looking for a 5-letter Scrabble word worth 51 points. Went through pzazz, syzygy, etc until late-morning coffee kicked in with the realization there is no 5-letter Scrabble word worth 51 points; 50 is the max (with no doubles, triples and such).

    Ah!

    Along the way past the Pzazz of this Puzzlerian Puzzle, I noted every vowel correlates with odd numbers: 1, 5, 9, 15, 21 and 25. I was awed by the odd.

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    1. And half of those odd numbers are squares {1, 9, 25}!

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    2. Very interesting observation, Word Woman. Reminds me bit of a past Pi Day puzzle.

      LegOddlyAwedByWordWoman'sGenius

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  23. The letters in "crude" add up to 51. Hmm…
    I take it "crui" means refined, then. 😏

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    1. Well—something like that…

      https://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/CRUI

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  26. This was such a good puzzle, I had to say it twice! The trouble is I have a bad cold, so I'm stay in and watch Help, starring the Fab Four. Actually, there is a giant clue in the lyrics of a certain Beatles song.

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  27. Change 51 to 77. This time, come up with two words that are synonyms.

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  28. Nice one, Lego. Took just the right amount of my Sunday, for Puzzling.

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  29. I'll try again and see if this one passes mustard (sic).

    Philippe Petit

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  30. After thinking it through, I decided that brute force would be the most efficient approach this week.

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  31. SDB: I missed your first deleted post. This one needs catsup.

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  32. Lego, I would like to know how you come up with elegant puzzles like this. Letter values for the last two letters of a word transforming into the letter value of their sum? Please let us know either today or on Thursday.

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  34. WW: I forgot to add up those numbers before submitting. Luckily,my answer works on all levels. GLAD i read your post.

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    1. Natasha, I'm glad. I got a bit too hung up on the numbers but it's a good confirmation of the right answer.

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    2. WW: I did add the 5 letter word numbers. But forgot to do the second set of numbers until after submitted and read your post.

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    3. I've tried to answer this puzzle by looking for 5 letter words that start with the same 3 letters as their antonyms to no avail.

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    4. I did that too and found the answer quickly.

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    5. Came to me easier than even I would've imagined.
      pjbNoClueHere,JustMyBrag

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    6. Cap, reading your post makes me think that you might have made the same error as I did in interpreting the instructions. See my post below.

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  35. I have definitely experienced these two words during covid times.

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  36. Well, have a good week anyway, Folks. Places to go (Hah), people to see (HAHA), etc.

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    1. C a p, we're here for you. I echo your wishes for a good week!

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  38. A few here may find this rather amusing. A couple of days ago I stopped by my local library branch to pick up a DVD of The Truffle Hunters, along with a book I had requested. As I was about to check out I happened to notice a DVD whose title reminded me of seeing this British gem back in 1966 when it was released. You may also recall it. It is a comedy staring, among others, Sir Ralph Richardson in The Wrong Box. I picked it up to see what I might think of it all these years later. I began watching it half an hour ago and as this famous actor's two cousins approached him in his study in order to convince him to join them on a train trip to London, Sir Ralph, in one of his character's annoying habits, informed them that if one were to assign a number to each letter of the English alphabet, i.e. A=1, B=2 and ending with Z=26, and you were to add up the letters spelling London, you would come up with a total of 74 which he said was his age. These odd coincidences always astound me, and I do not believe them to be random.

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  39. Yesterday, a nostalgia TV channel ran episodes that featured Betty White. On "The Love Boat", Carol Channing and Betty White sang together.

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  40. Stupidly, I wasted a day trying to change BOTH of the last two letters to the single letter that would yield the same sum (e.g., DRIES and DRILL would both sum to 55). This is a much harder challenge, and I believe I can now safely say that that no pair of 5-letter antonyms that sum to 51 can be found. Once I rethought the instruction, all was well. Nice puzzle, Lego!

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  41. I just saw a headline "Comedian Bob Saget dead at age 65." Frankly, I couldn't stand him. His act was the most foul-mouthed routine I have ever heard or seen. Really. You wouldn't know it because he had such a prime-time image. I'll spare you his foul-mouthed details.

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  43. Am I misreading the instructions? It seems the 5-letter word must end in either AC, BB, or CA, if their total must come to 4. And the 4-letter word has to end in D, correct? I am truly baffled by this one.

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    1. Will was only citing A and C as an example. It could be any two letters, so long as their total doesn't exceed 26.

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    2. But he said "in this case, D."

      Oh good grief, I get it now. He meant in the case of A and C. Thanks for the help.

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    3. You're welcome. My pleasure.

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  44. I am surprised no one so far has noticed, or mentioned, that you do not need the chart or math to quickly and easily solve this puzzle. I like the puzzle, but it is so simple and easy. To put it another way; I solved and did not add to see if the second word equaled 51. Logic is all that is required.

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    1. If the first word totals 51, and the second word is derived by adding the values of the last two letters of the first word, and using the resulting value to get the letter, then the second word must total 51, unless I am completely misunderstanding the puzzle.

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    2. Exactly, but I think it would be better this fact were left until Thursday, thereby giving others time to discover it for themselves.

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    3. sdb: Have you forgotten that you posted a TMI hint based on your "logic" before other west coast members had awakened?

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    4. Deleted since may have been TMI. I think the instructions spell it all out and I did not go further than that. Oh well. Whatever.

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    5. I was also not implying it is TMI, but I just think it would be more fun for people to discover this for themselves as I said.

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    6. Jaws: I must have still been asleep when I wrote that post. Thanks.

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    7. Blaine confirmed jjjjk=jjju

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    8. "skydiveboy Mon Jan 10, 01:02:00 PM PST
      I was also not implying it is TMI, but I just think it would be more fun for people to discover this for themselves as I said."
      That is why Blaine made the rules.
      Your post gave it away to at least one person.

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    9. Mendo Jim:
      Thank you for taking the time to express how you feel about me. Sometime, if I should abandon self control, I might let you know what I think of you.

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    10. I thought you changed your name to Giselle?

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    11. sdb: My post was about what I think about what you did, not about what I think of you.

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    12. Mendo Jim:

      I have no doubt whatsoever that you actually believe that too. It is the first post of yours that has ever made me laugh.

      Anosognosia, also called "lack of insight," is a symptom of severe mental illness experienced by some that impairs a person's ability to understand and perceive his or her illness. It is the single largest reason why people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder refuse medications or do not seek treatment.

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    13. Did you learn that word in therapy? Interesting word. And its value in scrabble is?

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  46. Another puzzle that should be limited to little kids ... maybe 3rd Grade or younger. Isn't 2nd Grade when they start adding double digits?

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  47. https://www.dcode.fr/word-value

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  48. As Lil Jon and Petey Pablo observed, 24 34 46.

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  49. This is one of those puzzles that is easy, once you think of the right word. I'm somewhat amazed that it took me a couple of days to actually get the correct words to come to mind.

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    2. This led me to the right answer. Thanks Jaws!

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    3. Me, too. Thanks JAWS. But it ain't FLUTE and FLUX! hehe

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    4. Apparently my clue was too obvious, so I have pulled it.

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  50. I can attest from personal experience that simple addition will get you from one word to the other.

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    1. I think you would enjoyed the first puzzle this week on Puzzeleria.here it is "Name a bird with a hooked beak. Spell it backwards to get another bird with a hooked beak."
      No peaking. Probably take you about 5 seconds.

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    2. Thanks, Plantsmith. But you inadvertently left out the instruction after "spell it backwards."
      The puzzle should read:
      Name a bird with a hooked bill.
      Spell it backwards.
      Move the first half of the result to the end to spell another bird with a hooked bill.
      What are these birds?

      (The answer works no matter which of the two birds you begin with.)

      LegoWhoHopesThisPuzzleManyBeABitMoreOfAChallengeForBlainesvilliansThanTheCurrentNPRPuzzle

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    3. She flew the coop. And there is a cool pict today of a Snowy Owl atop the Union train Station in Seattle.

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    4. Incidentally, Plantsmith has created three delightfully excellent puzzles of his own that appear on his regular "Garden of Puzzley Delights" feature in the current edition of Puzzleria!

      LegoWhoNotesThatTomorrow'sPuzzleria!WillFeatureAnIncrediblyCreativeCrypticCrosswordPuzzleCourtesyOfcranberry

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    5. sorry wrong number. was supposed to be the product of each letter's value of the two words. turns out this is hard than solving the original . I used Knuth's list of 5700+ five letter words. but a list of 660 words which I found later would have sufficed.

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    1. Sorry. It seems my self-TMI check was no better than my puzzle solving.

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  53. I have been reading a lot about the word game Wordle. There has even been a _New Yorker_ cartoon about it. Does everyone here play?

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    1. Rob, I play it off and on, and my son plays it every day.

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    2. I love it! I learned about roughly a week ago, when I came across a New York Times article about it.

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    3. I have fun playing Wordle, and now I find myself noting all five-letter words that I read, write, hear, say, and wake up thinking about! I am hungry for five-letter words now. A useful distraction from current events... :>

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    4. It's perverse that "Wordle" a six-letter word.

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    5. Letter frequencies in dictionary root words differ from letter frequencies in English texts (because some words appear more often than others). So, I may change my initial guesses from DEATH IRONS to something like STAIR CLONE. Will keep you posted.

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    6. Jan, great point that I had not considered. If you come up with a frequency table for five-letter words, I'm all ears!

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    7. Word frequency is irrelevant here. Wordle doesn't use more common words first (or more often). Letter frequency can guide strategy, but the question is whether to use the frequency of letter in English texts, or in dictionary root words. I'm arguing that the latter makes more sense.

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    8. Ah, but you may be asking for letter frequencies taken from a corpus consisting of just (fairly) common 5-letter English words. Maybe I'll work on that. Meanwhile, chew on this: The Two Best Ways to Win at Wordle

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  54. Due to COVID, the NHL won't participate in the Olympics, but USA Hockey plans to participate by removing the NHLers from their lineup.

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  55. By now most here have probably heard that a pig heart was successfully transplanted into a man's chest. His physician says his patient is in the pink of health.

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    1. I imagine the surgeon let a resident sow the patient up. Closing is such a boar!

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    2. Yes, but you have to agree that it is better than allowing things go hog wild.

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    3. Now the patient has an unkosher heart!!BTW, any Rabbi, even an orthodox one, will tell you it's OK to save a life. The issue once came up in reference to heart valves being replaced by pig valves in an orthodox Jew.

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    4. Now this raises the question you all have probably had, but were afraid to ask, is it okay for a Jewish cannibal to consume a kosher rabbi?

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    5. I wasn't going to mention it, but I was informed that the doctor who performed the operation was said to be lacking in a sense of humor and those who worked with him in the operating room found him to be a bit of a boar.

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    6. Maybe we should take this as a swine.
      pjbIsRemindedOfTheMusical"PorkyAndBess"

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    7. Other songs brought to mind:
      Oinkers Aweigh!
      A-Grunting We Will Go
      Frankenswine
      Bacon Care Of Business
      Sweet Ham Alabama
      The First Time Ever I Sausaged Your Face
      You're The Chop
      Pork, Pork, Pitiful Me
      pjbWon'tEvenBotherToBringUp"Pigs(ThreeDifferentOnes)"

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  56. I really like Bacon Care of Business. Did Weird Al do that one? Sausaged your face sounds a little risque- or a lot.
    I really wanted a Steinhausen for Xmas. What did i get? Some pistachios from Harry and David from Ashland ,Oregon.

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  57. Im fixin to get me some Vitamin B. As they say in the south.

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  58. What about the poor. He lost his heart, and it wasn't even for love!

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  59. PS I even inadvertently left "pig" out of the above. It makes my point; what about the poor animal?

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  60. "I Lost my Heart in San Francisco". I'm really hamming this up. Back to sleep.

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  61. Pig heart valves have been transplanted into human hearts for decades. Pig pancreases have been the source of insulin for a very long time. Now, the whole heart. Kidneys, too. Reminds me of the old joke whose punch line is, "A pig like that you don't eat all at once."

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  62. The longest word with a score of 51 is damageable. Second is backdated.

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  63. Reminds me of an Indigo Girls song, eh Leo?

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  64. Guess where I found this?

    Breakthrough Procedure Allows Surgeons To Transplant Pig Rib Directly Into Human Mouth

    BALTIMORE — Hailing the new treatment as a breakthrough in medical techniques, surgeons at the University of Baltimore announced Wednesday that they had successfully developed a new procedure to transplant a pig rib into a human mouth. “The way the procedure works is we remove the rib from a pig, brush it with a specially formulated vinegar or mustard-based sauce that significantly increases the chance of success, and finally install it in the host mouth,” said Dr. Jeffrey Clements, adding that his team had observed relatively few cases in which the rib was rejected, especially if the donation was rubbed in a blend of smoked paprika, garlic powder, coffee grounds, brown sugar, and a little cayenne for kick. “Of course, there are some side effects, such as sleepiness and slight bloating in patients. We also observed procedures in which the rib transplant actually worked too well and recipients immediately demanded another one. Overall, though, this is a huge advance that’s going to help millions struggling with chronic hunger.” Clements added that his team was only getting started and hoped to have a pork loin transplanted into a human mouth by the end of 2022.

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    1. Jan, that sounds like it would go with onions!

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    2. Gives new meaning to putting a foot in your mouth.
      I suppose also one of the greatest transplants was when they put an ear( human not porcine) onto someone's stomach to keep it viable before final transplantation. I remember the pict?

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    3. It sounds like National Lampoon. Or the NY Post.

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  65. Be My Baby - one of the best R&R songs ever recorded. Too bad her producer and one-time husband, Phil Spector, proved to be such a homicidal jerk.

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  66. I played Wordle today for first time! Got the word in three tries. Has anyone played the game?

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    2. TOGETHER WHEREVER WE GO
      Through thick and through thin, all out or all in
      And whether it's win, place or show
      With you for me and me for you
      We'll muddle through whatever we do
      Together, wherever we go

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  68. THICK, THIN

    "...gem of a puzzle" >>> Geologists look at gems and rocks in THIN section with a petrographic microscope.

    <<< 11th hour clue (See the image of gabbro in THIN section to the left of this post).

    "Lego, I would like to know how you come up with elegant puzzles like this. Letter values for the last two letters of a word transforming into the letter value of their sum? Please let us know either today or on Thursday." >>> I am wondering about his neural pathways and whether they travel down a THICK or a THIN route.

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  69. THICK → 20 + 8 + 9 + 3 + 11 = 51

    C + K = 3 + 11 = 14 = N

    THIN


    We've made it through "thick & thin"...

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  70. THICK, THIN

    “Now for a hint…” was reflexive (or autological). “Hint” is an anagram of “thin.” ;-)

    Siz got the “hint.”

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  71. Mardi Gras may be a bit more that six weeks away... but we at Puzzleria! are parading out a sneaky-peeky celebration of “Fat Friday Fun” with a Cryptic Crossword puzzle created by our friend Patrick J. Berry (screen name "cranberry").
    We upload Puzzleria! in the wee hours of every Friday morning, just after Midnight PST.
    Also on this week's sneaky-peeky menus are:
    * a crazy patchwork-quilty-guilty-pleasurable Schpuzzle of the Week,
    * a great American sod-busting novel Puzzle-Slice of literary life,
    * a 76 trombones, big parade, marching band Dessert
    * a mess of eight riff-offs of this week's "thinking through the thick & thin" NPR puzzle, including two excellent riffs created by our friend Ecoarchitect and one created by our friend GB.
    Please, come join in our Big Parade!
    Also, thanks to all who said kind words about my puzzle on NPR this week. Those who post comments on this wonderful forum can be very generous, supportive and inspiring.

    LegoFloatingAnIdealCollectionOfCrypticDelights

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  72. THICK & THIN

    My Hints:

    "Philippe Petit" He walked a thin line between the two thick World Trade Center towers.

    "Laurel and Hardy" Removed. I thought it was obscure.

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  73. I wrote, "Rearrange the letters of the two words. You get something that a lot of people do as a hobby and a term often used by half in that hobby.” That’s KNIT and (half) HITCH.

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  74. THICK — THIN

    My clue: Presidential clue: Ronald Reagan, when he first took office.

    In 1984, President Reagan shared how Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr. said to him at his inauguration in 1981: “Mr. President, I want you to know I will be with you through thick.” Reagan asked back, “What about thin?” To which Baker replied: “Welcome to Washington.”

    https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/archives/speech/remarks-dinner-honoring-howard-h-baker-jr

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  75. THICK, THIN

    > IBM

    For years, their slogan was "THINK", one letter away from each word.

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    1. Ah, I thought you were referring to the horizontal lines making up their logo.

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  76. I posted that you can get from one word to the other by addition. I have lost 33 lbs during the pandemic by adding up the number of calories I consume every day and stopping at a specific total. It has been a reliable approach for going from being thick to being thin.

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    1. What total are you using? 2200?

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    2. I'm a 5'3" female. Total to lose weight is 1200. Total to maintain is 1500 - 1850.

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  77. THICK, THIN. My hint was, "Due to COVID, the NHL won't participate in the Olympics, but USA Hockey plans to participate by removing the NHLers from their lineup." The reference was to Alan Thicke, who passed away while playing hockey with his son.

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  78. Happy 9-year Blainesville anniversary to me! I am happy to be part of this group.

    "The 9-year anniversary is traditionally celebrated with gifts of pottery, representing hearth and home, and willow, for the symbolism of its strong interlaced branches). Leather is the modern 9-year anniversary for its strength, flexibility, and durability."

    May we all encompass these characteristics this year with a large dose of supportive and inspiring camaraderie.

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  79. Thick and Thin. A reference to Steinhausen for Xmas -one of the thinnest watches made.

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  80. "Laurel and Hardy" gave it to me.
    I figured Blaine's hint alluded to a song from "Gypsy", and, as he hadn't yet removed sdb's tmi, I thought he was allowing a lot of "leeway" this week. "Leeway" transforms "dgvwtasmrc mw siez" into "scratching my head" (not because my head ITCHes, just because I was THINKing).

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