Sunday, March 27, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 27, 2022): State with All the Vowels

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 27, 2022): State with All the Vowels
Q: Name a state that contains all five vowels — A, E, I, O, and U — once each.
I went from thinking this would be easy, to impossible and finally...

Edit: ...I was very happy! By the way, this puzzle was very reminiscent of another "state" puzzle for April Fool's week in 2020. Coincidence?
A: A state of EUPHORIA (Other accepted answers included Mozambique, the Republic of Chad, and different states of being — such as anxiousness, exhaustion, pandemonium, and perturbation.)

282 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. Mexico has a lot of States. Anyhow, I just got it and I am ecstatic !

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    2. Brazil and Mexico are both united states of America, but they at least had the common sense to also name their country.

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  2. From the end of last week's blog ~~~

    "Oh, geez, Will, really?!"

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  4. What did Delaware? Idaho, but Alaska.

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    1. Welcome to the Perry Como Hour.

      LegoImposingPunnishment

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    2. I'd ask, but I don't have Wiscon's contact info anymore. That was one Connect I cut.

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  5. I have an answer. Now I'm wondering if there are alternates.

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    1. And now I have an alternate. I will be submitting at least two answers this week.

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    4. Don't give Scrabble values please; it's too limiting and revealing.

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    5. Duly noted for future reference. I was thinking the total values are high enough to not be helpful, unless you already know the answer.

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    6. I now believe I have the same 3 answers Ron has. BTW, JAWS, verifying the Scrabble count of your, uh, larger Scrabble count total answer, was not a trivial matter.

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  6. Maybe we focus less on the puzzle this week and instead think about the ways Americans have come to disrespect the Supreme Court? More relevant.

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    1. I lost a lot of my respect for the Court early on, while taking "Constitutional Law," which I ultimately concluded is -- at least in the Supreme Court -- kind of like the Holy Roman Empire, i.e., not constitutional and not law. Instead, the Constitution seems to mean what five judges say it does on a given day, and their usually brilliant law clerks (Ted Cruz, seriously?) are easily capable of thinking up reasons why a given outcome is well-supported by established authority even though it's totally irreconcilable with prior decisions and is only explainable by the fact that the court's makeup has changed in the interim.

      Add to that the fact that one judge can lapse into an out-of-control vituperative diatribe during the confirmation hearing and still get confirmed, while another from the same court can't even get a hearing in almost a year.

      Thanks for the chance to rant!

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    2. Ex Parte McCardle turned me off to con law.w/in the year i dropped out to to make art and bicycle

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    3. The Supreme Court is indeed on the decline, and how could it be otherwise in a country that is not only also on the decline, but doing pretty much all it can in order to accelerate the process? Wake up people.

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    4. sdb -- Exactly so; the Court merely reflects what is going on with the country at large. So predictably, its approval rating, while still not as low as that of Congress, is rapidly heading in that direction and seems destined to continue unless something radically changes.

      bird -- the best professor I had in law school once told our first-year class, "You people have to get over the idea that jurisprudence is b___s___." I found his statement to be true in the sense that a lawyer can't effectively argue a position without at least convincing him or herself that the soundness of the underlying legal theory matters to the court in deciding the case. Sadly, that doesn't necessarily make it true.

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  10. First thought was "too easy", then "there is no answer", then "Will, you left out something", then I got an answer by supplying that something. But it seems too "Cutesy".

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  11. For my answer, two of the consecutive syllables, when repeated, represent a work by an artist featured in a previous puzzle.

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    1. I have 3 different answers involving 2 different meanings of "state."

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  13. Ron, I don't think so, but then again, I'm really not sure of my answer. As I said above, I think it's too cutesy to be right.

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  14. After consulting a couple of Wikipedia lists, I gave up on this puzzle. While driving back from Trader Joes later, the answer happily just popped into my brain.

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  15. PS, if my answer is correct, I'll probably join the ranks of those of you who complain about the puzzles Will chooses.

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  16. An alternate answer has the A,E,I,O,U each exactly once, and in *consecutive order*.

    But it is an *oxidation state*.

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    1. Now I just want to know what that is. The issue I see is "negative" has two 'e's and "positive" has two 'i's. I suppose you could use "plus" or "minus". But that wouldn't work either as all elements end in -ium, and you can only have one 'u'. So neither way of formatting the oxidation state works as a solution to the problem as far as I can tell.

      I *do* have my own solution for the state, though. Trying to let you know what I'm thinking without getting my comment removed is the trick

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    2. Distension is the better part of velour. I think I got that right. I sure hope I did. Oh my.

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  17. I knew pretty much right away finding the answer would hinge on the meaning/understanding of "state." With a look at certain current events, an answer eventually came to mind. I don't think it's the same as Blaine's answer, though, or that of some of the others on this blog. There may be several valid answers.

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  18. It seems to me there are a number of states that meet the vowel criteria. Either that, or I have a considerably different understanding of what “state” means than the author does.

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  19. I foresee controversy this week. Once you get outside the box, there are too many boxes. It will be interesting to see how many of them Will deems to be admissible!

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    1. Well put, Lancek. I’m in that chaotic stage of puzzle-solving where I can no longer find a word that ISN’T a state, given sufficient equivocation!

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  20. Seems there is a State and a state.

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  21. If I have the correct answer, an awful lot of people currently reside there.

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    1. I think that's my answer.
      But like others, I'm not very happy with this puzzle because... the way I went it's just too easy. So I'm wondering if there's a better interpretation -- that is, an interpretation that makes it a better puzzle.

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    1. Oh dear, my first-ever administrative removal! I am confused but apologetic. I'll just say that I have two answers, and both are somewhat difficult to get to.

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  23. Very clever! I'm so happy to have solved it, at least I think I did.

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  24. I rue the day I discovered this website.

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    1. Julia Child would roux the day.

      Australians would 'roo the day.

      But, for me, it has been t(rue) the day ;-).

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  26. I have an answer but it's really outside the box. Which is sometimes what is required...

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  27. Hint: I visit this state as often as possible.

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  28. Replies
    1. You have one of my answers.

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    2. Yep, you have one of mine as well!

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    3. And mine. Seems to me Will did a similar puzzle a while back.

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    4. Mine too. Will keep looking for another, but am happy to get at least one answer! --Margaret G.

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    5. I am satisfied with my original answer, hinted at above. However, I do know of at least one other quite good answer, probably the one alluded to on this thread (and elsewhere as well). Because Will was ambiguous—deliberately, I’m sure—and because I am not a mind reader, I’ll be happy only if I do something I’ve never done before, that is, send in both answers.

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  29. Uh, name a city that contains four of the five vowels — A, E, I, O, and U — once each.

    LegoWhoNotesThatYouGotta'PreciateTheTerseWordingOfThisWeek'sNPRPuzzle(FewerLettersThanThereAreCardsInAStandardDeck!TalkAboutYour"RadioFriendly!")

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    1. There's at least one state, as in a state of the union. And a few with three, of course.

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    2. At least we know it is not Oconomowoc, WI.

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    3. There are actually FOUR States of the Union, containing 4 of the 5 vowels once each.

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    4. nO, nOt OcOnOmOwOc, geO.
      Spell OCONOMOWOC backward and, with a bit of anagramming, you'll get a COW jumping over the MOON as dules of doves COO their approval.

      LegoWhoObservesThatPeacefulDulesOfDovesDon'tDuel

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  30. Under one reasonable interpretation, I find exactly 2 answers ...

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  31. This puzzle has everything that today's Wordle does not.

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    1. Oooh nice.
      I'm glad I did the Wordle before seeing this, though!

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  32. Two historic names of a State also qualify - and both even include Y to boot.

    Along with two current States, and several other states as well.

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    1. Yes, I have over a dozen of what you may be referring to as "other states" ... that end in the same 4 letters ...

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  33. Countries are states.
    California is a state of xxxx...
    Otherwise, this is a pretty plain puzzle.

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  34. To make up for having submitted no correct answer last week, I submitted two this week. (The two words have only one consonant in common.)

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  35. I thought I had it and submitted my answer, but if I'm right there's two comments here that should have been deleted :/

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  36. I have 3 good answers. The first I got while still in bed. The second two after I arose.

    As I expected, after learning the answer to last week's puzzle, there were fewer than 300 correct entries.

    Like last week's puzzle, this one is poorly worded in my humble (and you all know how humble I can be) opinion.

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  37. Look on the bright side: at least the answer is not expressible as a series of atomic names/atomic numbers (at least if my answer is correct).

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    1. We should take bets on how long this post lasts.

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    2. In honor of the NCAA Tournament, how about an over/under?

      Go, Peacocks!

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    3. I'm betting less than 6 hours! :-)

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  40. I'm not being abstemious -- maybe I caught an adenovirus -- but even if not ambidextrous, I don't have to be an authorized businesswoman with coinsurance to communicate a conceptualism. Not ready for a crematorium, but let's dialogue: I'm discouraged by how many words containing all five vowels once could be considered "states". Sure, it's a smaller in duodecimal, but a little education on equations leads to unequivocal exhaustion. Maybe I'm grandiloquent, but my gregarious hallucinogen-popping housemaid told me at our housewarming that it would be importunate and insupportable to journalize otherwise. Even a malnourished milquetoast with neuropsychiatry issues knows the numeration could outdistance the limits of this blog. The permutations could be popularized without precaution or refutation. Without regulation, my reputation for speculation would be subordinate to a superdominant superpatriot. Ever tenacious, my goal unaccomplished, I remain unorganized, unprofitable, unreasoning, but not unsociable. 'Nuff said.

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    1. I don't think Gilbert and Sullivan could have said it better.

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    2. Reminds me of the old riddle, "Is there a word containing ALL the vowels?" Answer: "Unquestionably!"

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    3. jan, that exhumation produced a body in a state of putrefaction, creating a gelatinous, mouthwatering dialogue of persuasion & pandemonium...

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    4. Bravo, jan! A magnum opus of orthographic art!

      LegoWhoIsJealousOfjan

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    5. Huzzah, jan! It would appear you've had quite a vowel movement today ~~~

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    6. The shortest words that use the vowels A E I O U?

      There are two 7-letter words, what are they?

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    7. Eunoia, at six letters long, is the shortest word in the English language that contains all five main vowels. Seven letter words with this property include adoulie, douleia, eucosia, eulogia, eunomia, eutopia, miaoued, moineau, sequoia, and suoidea.

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    8. Anyone still working of this would be glad to see one or more of the posts in this thread.

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  41. My answer starts with a couple of state postal codes.
    Jan - that was a very entertaining post!

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    1. That's weird! I'm up to FOUR answers so far and NONE OF THEM start with two consecutive U.S. Postal abbreviation codes.

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    3. One of mine does too, but only with overlapping.

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    4. Mine do not comply with postal codes. I thought I had the sought after answer and still do!

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    5. Snipper, if I'm thinking of the same answer you are, one of the posts above needs to be removed.

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  42. I looked across the pond and found the answer.

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  43. I have two answers. I like one of them better.

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    1. Because you normally try to avoid the other? If you have the same two I do, both are sometimes desirable, and I have no idea which is more likely to be the intended answer.

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    2. Same here. I have a feeling the one we both probably like better is the intended answer.

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  44. There are numerous answers that seem to qualify, but my favorite, and I think is the intended answer, ends with a question.

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    1. Ahh, I finally just found the answer you’re referring to. I’d agree that it’s most likely the intended answer… but my personal favorite answer follows a more tumultuous train of thought.

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    2. I’m with SDB on this one!

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    3. My God, a following; I have a following!

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    1. However, the precedent of "Ocho Rios" makes me wonder whether "Anzoátegui" is acceptable.

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    2. Hamid, No, because it has 2 A's.

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  47. http://clipart-library.com/images/8iGbMM7yT.gif

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  48. Take the name of the actor most associated with a production named by the answer to this puzzle. Drop the last letter of the name, divide it in half. When I Google the result, I get a definition that pretty well describes the answer. Karma!

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    1. Not quite TMI, but maybe about 2/3 there.

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  49. Brunch, a nice way to start my day.

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  50. There is no 'E' in an autocratic. NO EASE!

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  51. Soon, hopefully a state of Putin Loses All.

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  52. The answer that I came up with reminds me of something that many people seem to be obsessed with lately… I have yet to find out why.

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  53. Went to a different list and found another answer that depends on definitions.

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  54. I have an answer that I think some other commenters are hinting at, but to call it a state would be a bit of a stretch—It’s more a description of a state than a state in itself. The state I’d associate with this word would drop a syllable, including one of the necessary vowels. But this puzzle has already nearly cost me my sanity, so I may submit it anyway.

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    1. I’ve got another option that I like a lot more, and one which I’ve hinted at elsewhere. But while I think it’s a superior answer, I also think it’s less likely to be what Will had in mind: too many words, and a bit too technical (though I think most would at least have heard the phrase before, even if not everyone knows exactly what it means).

      Plus, googling all my options along with “state” or “state of,” my technical option has the most hits. That could just mean it’s the least terrible of my bad guesses, but I choose to spin it as a good sign.

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  55. The NY Times article on Biden's gaffe included the headline: "Nine Unscripted Words Reverberate".

    "Keep my wife's name out of your f*****g mouth!", maybe?

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    1. Good thing it was Will Smith and not Alec Baldwin?

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    2. True. The words (without the slap) would have been just as, perhaps more, effective. . .and less jarring to us onlookers.

      I do understand Mr. Smith's rage at Mr. Rock's words. It was yet another verbal jab by Mr. Rock at his wife's alopecia. Meeting it with a verbal jab only would have gotten his valid point across.

      And since we've been talking about boxes and boxing this week, verbal pugilism is the only type of pugilism that interests me. It's at the heart of many comedians' jabs; but medical conditions ought to be off limits there.

      Referee, what say you?

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    3. Dunno what The Ref will rule, WW, but the polls here are running slightly in favor of "Publicity Stunt". The "slap" was pretty puny. The replays have gotten more watchership and Tweets than the the show itself and probably the movies

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    4. I was taught that when speaking at a retirement dinner or similar ceremony, and intending to make a joke about someone, you clear the joke with them so as to insure you don't give offense.

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    5. WordWoman, from my perspective, Chris Rock’s joke was mild compared to what I’ve experienced personally. As a short man, I’ve encountered much harsher jokes than that from classmates and from complete strangers. And, as someone with ADHD who grew up in the 60s and 70s, I endured much worse comments from teachers. Will Smith needs to grow up and learn to respond like an adult

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    6. I did not watch the Academy Awards last night. I forgot it was even on, not that I would have watched anyway. I also do not know the details of the kerfuffle, but these folks are big boys and girls, and not someone retiring with a crappy watch. It might be a good idea to check first, as SuperZee states, but it would not work in the Big Top. Humor comes from surprise, and no one in Hollywood can keep a secret. Besides that, how would a host ask, and get feedback, from all those he made jokes about? If you can't stand in the kitchen; get outta the heat. (And, "SuperZee states" is neither a hint nor the answer.)

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    7. Kerfuffle it is.
      Men have suffered bald jokes for a long time.
      Will Smith's hair cut would have been a better foil.
      IMHO, he was very much out of line and could easily be charged.
      The set design was kind of a joke, too.

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    8. Hair for many people, but especially for black women, is a HUGE deal. Chris Rock knows this as he produced a documentary called "Good Hair" as a response to his daughter's question about why she didn't have "good hair." So, Mr. Rock was quite aware that a joke about a black woman's very short hair (due to the medical condition of alopecia) could well be highly offensive. He knew so. . .and did it anyway.

      The look of hurt and disgust on Jada's face could make any partner livid. I understand Mr. Smith's rage, as apparently Mr. Rock has made similar jokes at her expense before. Mr. Rock knew there was a line and he knowingly crossed it. . .

      Had Mr. Smith used only words (and perhaps left out the expletive), he could have showed Mr. Rock (and all of us) how protective he felt of his wife. But, in a moment where one feels that rage, it's not an easy thing to do ~~~

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    9. Violence cannot be justified. He needs to grow up if he cannot control his atavistic impulses.

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    10. I do not justify the violence as I explained in my first post; but I do understand the hurt and the rage.

      "A kerfuffle is some kind of commotion, controversy, or fuss. If you read about a scandal in a newspaper, it could be described as a kerfuffle. Kerfuffle is a humorous-sounding word for a mostly non-humorous situation: some kind of disturbance, scandal or mess. However, a kerfuffle usually isn't 100% serious."

      However, in this situation, the underlying issue is a big deal that Chris Rock was personally and deeply aware of. His choice to "go there" at Jada's expense was completely uncalled for. And it wasn't funny ~ ~ ~

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    11. And, Curtis, I am sorry you were made fun of by others for just being yourself.


      Josh Blue, a comedian based right here in Denver, starts his act with verbal jabs at his own physical self (He was born with cerebral palsy). He gets it out of the way and moves on. It is quite effective and he is very funny.

      I hope we can all realize that everyone is going through something. Let's just be open to meeting everyone where they are.

      ~ ~ ~

      And where I am is on the way to the endodontist for the 2nd time in 2 weeks. What a way to start a Monday!

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    12. As I posted, I am unaware of the details of what was said and happened, but it is not about the word, kerfuffle. It is about "hurt and the rage" as you point out, but we all have to deal with hurt and the rage in our lives, and violence is not the answer. Violence is an unacceptable breakdown of society, and to condone it is to accept that the physically stronger is in the right.

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    13. SDB: Academy is opening a formal review. It will be interesting to see the result. I agree with your post.

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    14. As one who suffers a, “follicle defective,” i have decided to accept what i don’t have, and often joke about it. But I am a 74 year old male, and it’s been my decision.

      While Will Smith probably over-reacted, he was defending someone he perceived as being attacked. While, with 20/20 hindsight, we may think we would have reacted differently, it’s important to remember who threw the first (verbal) punch.

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    15. A verbal punch isn't a punch. It's a joke. What Smith did is wrong and illegal.

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    16. SZ, That is a complete misreading of what happened. I just watched it again and Will Smith was laughing out loud at the joke. I would say he was trying to protect himself from his wife's wrath when he noticed she was not amused. The joke was not particularly offensive in my opinion, but typical of Academy Award or roast humor. Regardless, violence is reprehensible. I hope charges will be filed. To defend this type of behavior and to let Smith get away with this is telling young people, especially, it is okay to resort to violence. It isn't.

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    17. I wondered why Smith was laughing a lot at first. You may be correct. Sdb.

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    18. He was laughing because he thought the joke was funny. He reacted otherwise when he saw his wive was going to give him hell later for laughing. She didn't seem all that upset at the joke to me though.

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    19. SDB: I wonder if C. Rock will sue the Academy.

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    20. No. If he isn't going to press charges then he won't do that either. The Academy should be ashamed of themselves for not expelling Smith on the spot. And then he should have been disqualified from the competition. But then, isn't that what Hollywood always does; behave badly?

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    21. No security intervened. Did check Chris Rock to see ifvwas ok. They should be held accountable whether charges pressed or not against WS.

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    22. Correction: Did not check Chris Rock.

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    23. Chris Rock may demand compensation from TAA privately, behind the scenes (pun?) for not handling it properly, and thereby avoiding a lawsuit. However, I do not believe CR wants the publicity a lawsuit would bring. He is riding high now and it might work against him were he to Sioux.

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    24. In the Big Picture these are unimportant people engaged in an unimportant activity of patting each other on the back. The sad part is that Hollywood has an influence - particularly on the young and impressionable. Will official Hollywood okay public violence? Listening to some of the pundits spin away, I wouldn't bet against it. Then again, with some it's all pretend. Hey, I didn't know this fist was loaded; it went off all by itself.

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    25. GB,
      I fully agree with everything you say except for the last sentence. I suspect you are referring to the shooting on the Rust set involving Alec Baldwin. He said he did not pull the trigger. He did not say it went off all by itself. Both are true. He was instructed to use his thumb on drawing to cock the single action revolver by pulling back the hammer. This can be difficult at first for someone unfamiliar with this procedure, which was the only way to fire this weapon. In the old days prior to double-action revolvers the trigger would not cock the weapon. This is what Baldwin was instructed to do by the woman who was shot. As he was pulling the hammer back his thumb slipped and that fired the pistol by it slamming the hammer back down. With a single action pistol that may hold up to six or more rounds the hammer must be pulled back for each round. In movies sometimes you may see the cowboy actor pulling the hammer back repeatedly as fast as he can using the side of his hand while he is holding the trigger back. This looks great in movies, but in actual practice is useless as it makes the aiming impossible and erratic, but who ever said Hollywood cared anything about reality? Had Baldwin drawn the pistol and simply pulled the trigger nothing would have happened because that alone would not have moved the hammer.

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    26. Actually my reference was to the generic excuse of ". . . I didn't know that would happen. . . " not specifically to the Baldwin shooting. The range of excuses for Smith made by pundits is legion. On the other hand, your point is well taken that Baldwin might have been unfamiliar with the particular weapon - or really any weapon. I suspect. There may very well be much more to that story than has met the public eye and ear so far. However, anyone who commits a public assault or picks up a weapon, much less aims it, without checking the chamber and clearing the weapon is looking for trouble. Hollywood and celebrity will likely protect both these individuals. With Baldwin, the solution is simply not to stand downrange of him. The Smith situation is different in that Official Hollywood seems to say that words justify physical retaliation. That's a bad message IMO (as the kids say).

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    27. I probably should have said a bit more on the subject of the Rush shooting. The woman who was shot and killed was intentionally standing downrange and directing Baldwin. As to "anyone who...picks uu a weapon...without checking the chamber", that is not applicable in this situation, that is why they have an armorer to handle this. There is no way Baldwin could have checked himself. I would not have been able to tell if I had been the actor. The dummy rounds are made to look exactly like live rounds. Also, Baldwin was instructed by the armorer not to do inspections. It would make the armorer unsure what might happen that he/she would not notice. Someone is responsible for this tragic accident, and it is most likely the armorer, but it certainly is not Alec Baldwin. He is also a victim.

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  56. I have too many answers for this puzzle - none seem to be the most clear.

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  57. I have an answer, which is clear, simple, and answers the primary criteria. I don't get all the bending and contorting.

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    1. Bending and con-torting are best left to gymnasts and barristers, respectively, anyway.

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    2. WW good luck with the Endo this week.

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    3. What do you call a bear without teeth?
      a gummi bear.

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    4. What do you call a dentist that does not like tea?

      Denis.

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  58. Yeah, agree... too many answers for this one. There are states of mind, states of matter, and the dictionary states that state is, "a nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government", which means most sovereign countries fit the bill. I have several answers.

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  59. I believe this week's NPR Puzzler will have more than 300 correct answers to the 'stated' puzzle

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    1. But how many different correct answers will Will accept?

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    2. Probably as many as last time.

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    3. I can usually distinguish the expected answer from the possible alternates, but not this week. The conventional answer (which he'll have to accept) is not cute, and the cute answers are too numerous.

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  60. During the civil war, UnIOn stAtEs could all be considered correct answers.

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  61. I recall the 1980s promos with Governor Thomas Keane, "New Jersey & you....perfect together," on TV so often The Garden State could've been renamed NJ&U. For this puzzle, how 'bout, "Maine & you."

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    1. Ad campaign had an ampersand, not the word "and."

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    2. I believe an ampersand contains 2 A's. How would this be explained via radio, not visual?

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  62. A question has been rattling around in my brain since the Academy Awards...When will smith strike again? Is that a question asked of someone who is putting a shoe on a horse?

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    Replies
    1. A more farrier question I have yet to know.

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    2. Neigh, I will not be bridled!

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    3. Along Hollywood Boulevard
      The Dolby Theatre stands;
      Will Smith, a mighty man is he,
      With large and sinewy hands,
      The cranial insult to his wife
      Wreaked havoc with his glands.

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    4. I sure hope they take back his Oscar. I also hope Chris Rock reconsiders and presses charges.

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    5. SDB,
      If not bridled, you certainly were saddled with this puzzle at least for a while. I just ran out of puns! (For now)

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    6. Well then I guess that just goes to show I've got you all reined in, pardner. Now it's time for me go meet up with lariat the bunkhouse.

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  63. The plants across the street are harshing my mellow

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  64. As Jan pointed out, there are many states that fit the puzzle. I was delighted to find one that elegantly fits as an answer

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    Replies
    1. Many states that fit the puzzle
      Not a one is fit to muzzle.
      If we choose a single one
      Then our Thursday work is done.

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  65. Soooooooo many options, but I'm in for a pound with my one and only guess.

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  66. Both my careers helped me with this one. I was in a play by this name, if my answer is correct.

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