Sunday, March 06, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 6, 2022): An Awkward Quack

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 6, 2022): An Awkward Quack
Q: Words starting with a "kw-" sound usually start with the letters QU-, as in question, or "KW-," as in Kwanzaa. What common, uncapitalized English word starting with a "kw-" sound contains none of the letters Q, U, K, or W?
I fell down and broke my wrist last week so I'm a little slower typing this morning. You don't have to tell me to be more careful on ladders. As for the puzzle, I have 3 potential answers. Native speakers of a certain language would knock out two of the words leaving only one intended answer with the right sound.

Edit: Telling me to be careful on a ladder would be preaching to the choir. BTW, I learned this week that I do NOT have a fracture in my wrist, just a sprain so that was welcome news.
A: CHOIR with possible alternates of COIF and CROISSSANT. Some might argue that COOPERATE could work if you slur the sounds together.

225 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. You need to add "THE LETTERS" to the statement of the puzzle: ...English word starting with a "kw-" sound contains none of THE LETTERS Q, U, K, or W?

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    2. Thanks, when I first copied the puzzle from the NPR website, the word "letters" wasn't there.

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

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

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    2. "Boo hoo" - me, crying in the onion field.

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    3. Joseph Wambaugh wrote both "The Onion Field" and "The Choirboys."

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  4. Day white savings time is just ahead. It’ll be time to set our cwocks forward

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  7. Dis cwomment has been wemoved by a bwog administwator.

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  9. The quality of the puzzle is becoming questionable.

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  10. Hmph, I thought I had an alternative answer, but now I think it doesn't KWITE work.
    At least I've thought of a non-TMI clue for the intended answer! It's a mathematical clue: 25.

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  11. Put a certain letter in front of it and phonetically you’ll get…..

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  13. This is one of those weeks that a wrong answer could be said to be right.

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  14. I guess I’ll take my stand atop the wall, though a friend suggested a lovely alternate.

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    1. Nehemiah 12:31

      Then I had the leaders of Judah come up on top of the wall, and I appointed two great choirs, the first proceeding to the right on top of the wall toward the Refuse Gate.

      (+ the "lovely alternate" being "coif")

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  15. A kwick kwiz for Sunday morning. I could wax elokwent about my answer, but seeing the number of comments that have been removed thus far, let me kwote the Bard: "[T]he better part of valor is discretion."

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    1. Or, WS channeling Elmer Fudd: "[T]he better part of valor is diskwetion."

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  16. I quickly came up with two answers. Both of them show in my dictionary as having alternate pronunciations, but one of the two meets the criteria of the puzzle. Now that I see Blaine has posted that he has a third, I might spend a little time hunting for the third before I submit.

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    1. To clarify, now that I re-read my comment. Both words meet the criteria of the puzzle. Each has one pronunciation in the dictionary that matches the puzzle criteria, and one that does not.

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    2. Honestly, I think Will would probably have to say that all 3 could work.

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    3. I'm now certain that I had the same two answers you have. I came up with the first all by myself; then Paul posted one of his Vigenere Ciphers, a rare one that I was able to crack myself, which made me reply TMI, but towards a possible alternate answer.
      I now realize that my first answer is ALSO a possible ALTERNATE answer!
      I therefore AGREE WITH YOU, that you should hold off submitting until you've found the intended answer.

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    4. It pays to re-read the puzzle. When I first heard it on the air, I misunderstood a portion of it. Now that I checked, it turns out that the first word I had thought of, and initially rejected, is probably the intended answer. I'm going to submit all three.

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    5. I got the three answers but discarded two. I think Will will explain the "common English" criteria in regards to the intended answer next Sunday.

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    6. Of course, I got the two unintended answers first. When you are looking for something, you always find it in the last place you look.

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    7. Actually, anyone who has found the expected answer can easily come up with two more answers. (All three are quite common). Judging from the comments in this thread, though, there must be two somewhat "uncommon" alternates.

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  18. Blaine, sorry to hear about about your wrist. My husband did the same thing, but on our wedding day, 2 hours before our ceremony. We had to postpone the honeymoon so he could have surgery. Darn ladders.

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    1. As for this puzzle, there are several famous ones I can think of.

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    2. I have a temporary splint and a sling for now. Later this week they'll check it again, but most likely I'll get a short arm cast.

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    3. Ouch. I hope you're right-handed and heal soon.

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    4. Sorry about your wrist, Blaine. Heal kwick!

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  19. Easy if you know certain foreign language...

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  20. Replies
    1. I've now come up with what I think is a better answer than the one hinted above since it doesn't require resort to a foreign language to explain the pronunciation, as noted by others here with regard to my first answer. One hint for the second answer is above, and a numerical hint is: 16.

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  21. Given the plethora of comments that have been removed by the blog administrator, I have been struggling to come up with a clue that will pass the test.

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    1. Remove the K sound at the beginning of the word, and you get something you might find at a nuclear power plant.

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    2. LOL! More info on Thursday.

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  22. If I have the right three words, my pronunciation is different than the intended pronunciation

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    1. But, I guess It’s Not Unusual to have different pronunciations…

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  23. Hard to tell what counts as an English word! Anyhow, I fell and broke my wrist a year ago, it's now held together with a titanium plate and screws ... bionically stronger than ever.

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  24. My partner is from New Jersey. She pronounces "coffee" as "kwafee". That's "kwommon" in New Joysey.

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    1. Hah, I can relate: My mom grew up in Jersey and my Dad grew up in Brooklyn, so “kwawfee” was the first word that popped into my head upon hearing this puzzle.

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

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    1. Wow! Guess I'll try to come up with another post. (shrugging)

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  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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

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    1. Blaine: For a guy with a broken wrist, you seem to be deftly wielding the blog administrator scalpel. Keep up the good work and get well soon.

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  28. One of my potential answers starts with the same string as a bird, which, in turn, shares some similarities with a car

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  29. I used my head to solve the puzzle. I used my mouth to pronounce the words.

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    1. A coif is worn on the head. A choir sings with their mouths.

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  30. I feel like a koala in a quagmire!

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  31. Solved this quickly, will work on alternates slowly.
    I get a kick out of the red-herring Kwanza's being a proper noun.
    Last week, almost as many answerers supposedly got the wrong one as the "right" one.
    I still think that the PM needs therapy around the other solutions thing.

    Blaine was the only one here who said he didn't need a list last week.

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  32. I found one answer (I’m pretty sure it’s the intended one) and quit. No use spending time on these things needlessly. BTW, there was a very popular show on TV while back that rhymes.

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  33. This puzzle reminds me of a Yiddish word, "Kvetch" which means "to complain" which is what we do when we are dissatisfied with Will's choice: too hard too easy. Oy!

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  34. PS I hope the group doesn't get offended.

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  35. Well, that took me longer than it should have. But there are alternatives? We can have our idiosyncratic regional pronunciations, I guess.

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  36. I have kwite stwong feewings abouwt this pwuzzuwe.

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    1. SDB, such babytalk!! or is it Elmer Fudd you're channeling? As in wascally wabbit?

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  37. Replies
    1. Dr. Awk - I learned something interesting by combining your hint with the puzzle's answer in a search. Thanks.

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  38. Found four solutions:
    One that I used weekly,
    One that I used monthly,
    One that I had never heard of,
    One that only works if one speaks jerseysch.

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  40. Bwaine,

    Sorry to hear you fell and quacked your wrist. But you are getting off easier than when I bwoke mine a long time ago. I had always told myself that if I made it to age 30 without a broken bone then I would most likely make it until old age before I broke one. Well when I turned 30 I went on a 3 or 4 day hike on the eastern side of Stevens Pass that led me to a section of the Cascade Crest Trail. I was alone with a 65 pound backpack and, although it was a Labor Day extended weekend, I never saw another person until I was hiking back out the day after the holiday had ended. Shortly after loading up and heading back to my car that was parked over 6 miles away I had to walk across a patch of very slippery mud and suddenly fell to my left side. I put my left arm and hand out to help protect my fall and the instant I hit the ground I heard a loud crack. I realized right away that I had broken both of my left wrist bones and there was a huge tennis ball size lump back from my thumb which I assumed was the bone pushing out. I saw no point in staying on the ground in the mud and thought I should try and stand up while still keeping my heavy pack on or I would not be able to put it back on. I managed to do this and continued hiking out with almost the full distance left to travel. Fairly soon I med a couple hiking in who said :Hi' and asked how I was to be polite. I did not want to inconvenience them and saw no reason to do so, so I replied "Fine" and said nothing about my problem. I made it back to the car and was able to ease the pack into the trunk of my car and speed back home to Seattle. I figured the cops would be relaxing now the holiday traffic was over, and I made it back without getting pulled over.

    When I arrived back home I tried making an appointment with an noted orthopedic surgeon that had operated on my mother and when I called his office shortly before quitting time for their day I was told he and all of the other orthopedic surgeons in their office were unable to meet with me. I would not give up and persisted and they finally told me to come in and one of the other doctors had agreed to stay and see me. This was a poor decision as it turned out.

    I arrived and waited in their office until he was free to examine my wrist which he immediately assumed was a bone pushing out as I had also assumed, but when the x-rays were ready they showed it was only a huge hematoma lump. He manipulated the two cleanly broken bones to align them better and then applied a plaster cast all the way beyond my elbow. He insisted on giving me a bottle of Demerol pills, but I said I would not take them, but put them in my pocket.

    It was only a short time later after I got back home that I began to feel increasingly strong pain in my wrist area. It got so bad I was profusely sweating and in agony. I phoned their emergency number and had to drive back down to meet again with this surgeon. The pain was due to the hematoma increasing in size and pushing against the plaster cast. He performed a saw incision along the cast in order to relive the pressure and pain which it did right away, but the wrist never healed the way it should. The two bones are just slightly misaligned and it is immediately noticeable to any doctor who happens to look at my left arm.

    The name of this surgeon is Saint Elmo Newton III. Years later on a weekend day while I was training several first jump students for their Tandem skydives that day, I discovered one of them was a young man who told me he was a student in medical school intending on becoming an orthopedic surgeon. He also told me his name is Saint Elmo Newton IV. I never said a word to him about my experience with his father as it would have been unprofessional of me and unethical as well.

    I sincerely hope you have a much better experience and heal quickly.

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    1. Not to make light of your experience, but I assume you fired St. Elmo.

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    2. Italo,
      I enjoyed your comment. There is still another coincidental chapter to this story. Years later an elderly uncle living in a huge downtown subsidized housing apartment overlooking the city proper had developed a relationship with an even older woman on the ninth floor apartment directly above his located several floors below. She was a somewhat annoying personality, but having heard my above story informed me that she had in the past been a frequent babysitter for Saint Elmo Newton III, and one evening he and his wife returned home from a night out that included heavy drinking and he drove her back to her home. What she found disturbing was that he had told her that he had to get up early the next morning for a complicated surgery the following morning. She clearly did not see how he could possibly be fit for that. I hope his patient had better luck than I.

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    3. How about the fact that St. Elmo was driving drunk. He could have killed her.

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    4. ....without even doing any surgery on her!

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    5. VT,
      I agree with you, but she had to be driven back to her home and therefor was put into a compromising situation. I think this kind of thing happens on occasion to most of us. You are probably now thinking of how she might have handled it differently. Yes, she could have demanded he call her a taxi, but that also would come with consequences.

      Coincidentally (see a dentist?!) I was thinking yesterday about a drop-zone owner I worked for in the past and a situation he put me, another person and himself in where we had no control and put us in imminent danger. He had flown me and a packer across Puget Sound to a town on the coast for a Tandem skydiving demonstration at their small airport. On the flight back I sat in the right seat and the packer sat on the floor in the rear with all the gear. The owner/pilot, without prior discussion, decided to barnstorm barely over treetop level back to Puget Sound, including buzzing over his parent's house. As we began flying over the water we were still barely above it and he made some comment about being below radar level to escape detection of his illegal activity. He then actually touched the front tire to the sea water. It was quite a shock and it could have flipped the plane and killed us all. There is more to this story, but my point in mentioning it here is that we were in a helpless situation. Life has its unexpected moments from time to time.

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    6. Not in any way comparable to that horror story, but when I was in college I gave another student a ride back home, several hundred miles away, during Christmas break. A few minutes into our drive he said, "You're a Libra, aren't you?" I said yes and asked him how he knew. He replied "It's the way you turn around to talk to me while you're driving." I kept my eyes on the road for the rest of the trip.

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  41. I have an answer, but I wouldn't exactly call the word common...it's not obscure, either, but not one that comes up in daily speech. I can't help but think I haven't found the intended answer yet.

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    1. I suspect you have not. I wonder if you have fallen down the same mistaken rabbit hole I did. I commented above about re-reading the puzzle. Of course, I will provide the full story on Thursday.

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    2. OMG. I have to thank you for encouraging to question the validity of my answer and to keep thinking about this. I just thought of a word that is WAY more common and fits the puzzle much better and I am kicking myself for not thinking of this word sooner!

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  42. Having lived the first (foist) 21 years of my life in New York (Yawk) City, with a mother born in London, England, and a father from
    De Bronx…. I am disadvantaged regarding any puzzle which relies on pronunciation. Add to that having lived the last 28 years in, “The South,” I think I’ll sit dis won out.

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    1. I am not aware of any pronunciation of the intended answer to not fit the requirements of the puzzle, including among New Yorkers and Londoners.

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  43. I suspect Blaine is making the best of his situation by using his left hand to cast out many of our posts today.

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  44. I hear two sleeping congressional aides solved this puzzle.

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

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  46. Musical clue: The late great Bill Staines. Get better kwick, Blaine!

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  47. No clue here, but I think of a Three Stooges punch line where Curly says,
    "Ain't that quaint?" Moe slaps him and says, "Don't say 'ain't!' Say 'isn't!'" Then Curly says, "Oh, isn't that quisn't!"

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  48. This may be the last clue for all three answers, (which hopefully Blaine will accept).

    The three answers:

    all have the same first letter, but...

    all different second letters!

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  49. I have 7 answer words that are all in my hardbound Merriam-Webster's ninth new collegiate edition.

    I also have a clue I can't get out of my head that might be TMI, so I won't post it until the deadline.

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    1. I have to back off on a couple of those answer words because I forgot to check and see if any of the forbidden 4 letters might be in a syllable further ahead than the first.

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    2. I thought about asking that.
      Let us know when the final number comes up.

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    3. I want to say more, but I should wait until the deadline. I will say that I know for sure what the intended answer is, and it is not the one I thought it would be.

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  50. Blaine.

    I add my wishes for a speedy recovery for you and commend your work so far today. You've clearly been kept busy.

    I am, however AMAZED to see two particular posts here STILL SHOWING!

    They've both been here for over an hour and a half.

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  51. At first I thought I had a frog in my throat, but then I realized that I was only repeating someone else's words.

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  52. I was still in my bathrobe when I came up with the answer.

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    1. Wife of Bathrobe is my new band name.

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    2. And where is son of Bathrobe these days?

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    3. Walking past a neighborhood vegan restaurant the other day, I noticed a sign for their watermelon poke bowl. Wait, doesn't poke have fish?, I asked my wife. They make the fish out of watermelon, she said. Fish Out Of Watermelon would be a good band name, too.

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    4. Fish Out of Watermelon and Wife of Bathrobe will tour together.

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  53. Perfect day to solve puzzles like this.

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  54. Replies
    1. Simon, I get; Garfunkel, not so much.
      However, I do enjoy Garfunkel and Oates.

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    2. I’m a fan of both duos, and to continue the word ladder, why not through Hall & Oates into the mix as well?

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  55. As I've previously mentioned, I struggle to solve NPR puzzles. But I solved this one while still lying, skydiveboylike, supine in my bedclothes! And I soon thereafter found two "alternative" answers Will may accept.
    Thus I suspect you brainy Blainesvillians are clamoring for another puzzle. And so, here it is:
    Puzzleria!s Schpuzzle of the Week:
    “Hey! Knock off all the noise!”
    Anagram a four-syllable word associated with loud noises to get a three-syllable word associated with loud noises. What are these two words?

    Give hints but no answers please. We reveal all our answers over on Puzzleria! at Noon PST every Wednesday (beginning March 16 it will be Noon PDT).

    LegoWhoNotesThatTheCurrentPuzzleriaOffersThirteenAdditionalPuzzlesIncludingTwoGemsFromBobbyJacobs

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  56. So you might say its another SDB week for you? How many syllables are in champagne? Strange bedfellows doth these puzzlemasters make.

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  58. Ha! I posted from Crestone, CO, early Sunday morning, but it showed up today, more than once. That's Crestone for you. . .

    San Luis Valley: land of Wind, Sandhill Cranes Migrating, Geodesic Dome Energy, Great Sand Dunes and Surprise Stupa.

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  59. And, wowsers, do I have a Salida cucumber story for you!

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    1. I’ve spent days in Salida photographing the area between there, St Elmo, & Buena Vista. I can’t say I’ve seen a Salida cucumber

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    2. Curtis, gorgeous area to photograph! Lucky you.

      Coda to my Salida hint: Boathouse.

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    3. I hope you are proud of yourself now WW.Stealing Seattle's number one gun. I blame it on Ciara.But who could refuse Ciara.

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  60. My son introduced me to a game that will humble the mightiest puzzlers on this site--if that's possible--called semantic, found at https://semantle.novalis.org. It gives you unlimited guesses to narrow the field of more or less common English words and phrases (and some foreign words and phrases that have entered the lexicon) of any length, giving you a numerical measure of how close your word is to the target.

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    1. I saw your post a short while ago and gave Semantle a whirl. I got the word in 45 tries. I don't know how that rates, and I'm not completely sure of the calculations and approach. I'm going to give it a fair chance and another try tomorrow. Will need to block out more time than Wordle. Thanks for the reference.

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    2. I took a look and that game seems tedious to me. I discovered I am still able to access WORDLE archives another way and solved WORDLE ARCHIVE 102 this morning in 2. Also I solved 2 or 3 other last week in 2 guesses.

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    3. I'll grant you that it can be tedious--but when I played it with my son we responded with groans to every word below 20 and with cheers every time we got near the answer. Like tennis, more fun when two play it.

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    4. I tried again today. Got a 47. I did narrow down the general area quicker, but it took some head scratching to zero in on the solution. I took about a half hour all told. It lets you come back to the page for 24 hours, so you don't have to stay with it. I'm not sure if this will be an every day thing for me, but it is worth a crack. The Semantle day starts at 2400 Zulu so that probably makes for differing possible start times. We'll see.

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  61. Damn spell check: semantle, just like it says in the Internet address.

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  62. No clue for me. Except for my clue.

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  63. Wordle Archive was up and running this morning, but now it isn't. A message comes up saying The NYT has asked them to take it down. Anyway I managed to get the first 94.

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  64. It will be interesting to see what Will does with alternate answers. Meanwhile, here are some companion puzzles to the one I submitted.

    Q-less

    Words pronounced with a “kw” sound, such as “question” or “kumquat” but which do not contain the letter “q"

    1. A popular form of martial arts.

    2. A style of cooking. (e.g. ethnic or of a particular locale.)

    3. Lacking grace or smoothness. (Like a clumsy person.)

    4. The last name of two former governors of New York.

    5. A South American country.

    6. A promenade of intricate dance steps. (Or a task easily performed.)

    7. A place to keep writing fluid. (For your pen.)

    8. A well-known brand for door locks.

    9. Unsophisticated - or relating to remote forested lands.

    10 A Spanish word you might see on a warning sign. (Like for a slippery floor.)

    11. A landscaped thoroughfare.

    12. The capital of Malaysia.

    13. A plant known to attract monarch butterflies.

    14.(and just for fun) A derogatory name that Tony Soprano might call someone. (Sorry for the bad language, but there are several possible answers.)

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    1. I am going to assume you mean cuidado and not resbaloso? I hope you post these answers on Jueves.Thankyou

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    2. Slippery is a good reason for caution. Watch your step!

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    3. Funny you should mention that.

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  66. I believe I have the intended answer. According to Merriam-Webster, no controversy about the /kw/ sound.

    Given the answer I got, I thought of an alternate answer pretty quickly. If I got my answers right (intended vs. alternate), then I also got the "certain language" Blaine had in mind. According to the site HowToPronounce, the /kw/ sound is still the same in English and in that language for that word.

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  67. The Times thinks it's a big deal that some Russian troops in Ukraine have MREs that expired in 2002.

    I'm sure I've got stuff in my fridge older than that.

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  68. Musical hint: Unauthorized use.

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  69. Blaine - hope you’re on the mend. If I remember, you’re based in California. If so, there’s a town there that would be a hint to this puzzle.

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  70. If you want to understand what is happening in our country now, this article from The Washington Post today is a must read:

    https://news.yahoo.com/expert-civil-wars-discusses-where-170852345.html

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  71. Jan posted about this puzzle late last week "AL West"
    To which I add NL West.

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  72. Finally got the answer. As usual, no thanks to anybody here(I mean that in the nicest way).
    pjbDoesWishBlaineWillGetWellSoon,Though

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    1. CHOIR
      pjbSaysThisChallengeWasNoEasyChore(HowHeGotTheAnswerInvolvedThatLastWord)

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  73. I sometimes think a terrific on air puzzle with Will would be where he gives a prior puzzle answer....reads a short good clue selected from this very site (good being the operative word) ...then asks the listener what the connection is between the two.

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    1. It's a clever and wonderful idea, but he would never consider it as it would be even more difficult to solve than the questions he offers now, and then almost provides the answer to the guest, and then compliments him on his acumen.

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    2. Vandal: Great idea. I sometimes work backwards. I do not read the puzzle but look at the blogs to see if I can figure out what the puzzle is. I am doing that this week.

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    3. I think the clues shared would have to come from the library of posts removed by Blaine for that week's puzzle. Like when the answer was CHARMIN maybe someone wrote 'Don't squeeze this clue, Mr. Whipple.'

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    4. EaWAF's clue wasn't that blatant. It was a single line that said "Please don't..."

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    5. I had not seen the EaWAF clue before it was removed by Blaine. I'm curious, if it had been phrased a little differently, would it have been allowed to stay? What if it said:

      Please don't post the obvious line that comes to mind when you remember an ad for this product. Just please don't.

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  75. Replies
    1. Why stop there Jan? I give you Lucky's monologue from "Waiting For Godot": "Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown but time will tell and suffers like the divine Miranda with those who for reasons unknown but time will tell are plunged in torment plunged in fire whose fire flames if that continues and who can doubt it ..." (He goes on for another page before he stops.)

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  76. The Philippines are about to elect a new president in April, and the son of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., nicknamed 'Bongbong', is poised to be the winner according to news sources. The question is, will he be a shoe in?

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  77. CROISSANT >>> COIF >>> CROIX de GUERRE >>> and CHOIR

    CHOIR is the intended answer, but I believe CROISSANT to be the most elegant.

    COIFFURE >>> COIFFURED >>> COIFFUSE also work if you can ignore the letter U in the second syllable of each word.

    All of the above words are in my hardbound Merriam-Webster's Collegiate dictionary. This is the dictionary Will Shortz references. Oddly, the online edition does not provide the same pronunciation as the print edition does. The online Cambridge edition shows this:

    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/croissant

    croissant
    noun [ C ]
    us /kwɑːˈsɑ̃ː/
    uk /ˈkwæs.ɒ̃/

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  78. 1. COIF (kwäf), to arrange or dress someone's hair → Her hair was perfectly COIFFED.(kwɑːft).

    2. CHOIR (kwaɪər), CHOIRBOY, CHOIRGIRL, CHOIRMASTER, etc.

    Some of these words have alternate regional pronunciations: COFFEE (kwaf′ē).

    “OI” in French is always pronounced “WA” so just begin with a “C” or a hard “CH” (CHOIR) (kwīr).

    3. Unfortunately CUISINE (kwĭ-zēn′) employs a U.

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  79. CHOIR

    Typical on-air question: How did you figure it out?
    I am in a choir, and just on Monday, the director sent an email about gradually resuming in-person ensemble singing. Otherwise, I might not have figured it out, but from that email, the word "choir" resonated with me in terms of the puzzle. I looked it up just to be sure: According to Merriam-Webster, there are two standard pronunciations, and both start with the /kw/ sound.

    Given the answer I got, I thought of an alternate answer pretty quickly.
    Since Blaine hinted at "native speakers of a certain language," and since I happen to speak French, the word "coiffeur" came to mind soon enough.

    According to the site HowToPronounce, the /kw/ sound is still the same in English and in that language for that word.
    Again, I looked it up to be sure: Both Merriam-Webster and HowToPronounce agree on the /kw/ sound for English and French, respectively—although they have most of the other IPA sounds quite differently (hence my phrasing that the /kw/ sound was "still the same").

    Blaine, I hope you are feeling better!

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    1. The pronunciation is fine, but... 'coiffeur' has a 'u' in it, so no good.

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  80. CHOIR

    “Musical clue: Unauthorized use.” During various appearances from 2016 to 2020, Donald Trump made unauthorized use of the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” the album version of which features the London Bach Choir.

    I considered as a first answer “croissant,” which I pronounce “kw” without an “r” sound, and buried in my initial comment was the word “wax,” which alluded to the moon’s phases, including the crescent moon. (In French, “croissant” means “crescent.”) “Croissant” may be one of the two alternate answers several here have referred to (or not), but I think in any case it’s arguably an alternate answer.

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    1. The Trump campaign played that tune when introducing Mike Pence as his Vice-Presidential candidate. Little did we know how consequential that would be; imagine if he had chosen Mike Pompeo instead.

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    2. I think they could both be considered Cold Mikes.

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  81. My post included, “We can have our idiosyncratic regional pronunciations, I guess.” CHOIR is found in the initials of the second through sixth words.

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  82. CHOIR

    > This one's not going to drive me bats.

    Voices in a CHOIR: Bass, Alto, Tenor, Soprano

    > AL West

    According to Merriam-Webster, one definition of CHOIR is "a division of Angels".

    > I hear two sleeping congressional aides solved this puzzle.

    There are two dozin' pages in a quire.

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  83. Heads up, Blainesvillians!
    Puzzleria! this week features a "skyfall" of three out-of-this-world puzzles created by our friend Mark Scott (also known as "skydiveboy'"). They appear in his "Skydiversions" puzzle-package, and are are titled “Arts & Rec & Mussy 'Marceau'.”
    Also on our menus this week are:
    * a Schpuzzle of a Week about ballplayers who may celebrate PI Day on October 1,
    * a puzzle slice about a soloist whose voice is his instrument,
    * a dessert about a topological bake shop, and
    * seven riff-offs of this week's NPR puzzle... for “EnChoiring” minds want to know the puzzle answers!
    Stop by and sing along!

    LegoWhoBelievesTheSkyMayBeFalling!

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  84. CHOIR, COIF, CROISSANT

    I had included in my submission to NPR that COIF and CROISSANT list more than one pronunciation in the dictionary (hey SDB, I also used Webster's 9th Collegiate!). I further noted to NPR that because those pronunciations are listed, those answers should be acceptable. We'll see what they say.

    I later hinted that if you remove the K sound at the beginning of the word, you get something you might find at a nuclear power plant--CHOIR becomes WIRE, at least phonetically. Of course,you can find wire at any power plant, but by saying nuclear, it becomes less obvious.

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  85. COIF, COIFFURE, COIFFEUR

    "Tardigrades" are puffy little creatures that remind me of a puffy, bouffant coiffure.

    Solved this on a trek to a dome house, a stupa, and a thousand+ Sandhill Cranes in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. ~~~ >>>

    Circles, Squares; Wind, Cranes

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  86. My blogs:

    If based in California, there’s a town there that would be a hint to this puzzle = Palo Alto

    Put a certain letter in front of it and phonetically you’ll get…..= a choir = acquire, which means “get”.!

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  87. Choir

    Last Sunday I said, “I found one answer (I’m pretty sure it’s the intended one) and quit. No use spending time on these things needlessly. BTW, there was a very popular show on TV a while back that rhymes.” The TV show I was referring to was The Wire.

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  88. CROISSANT does not work as it begins with the sound kRwa-, not kw-. See: CROISSANT(krwä-säN′, krə-sänt′)

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    1. Au contraire mon frère. You are referring to an inferior dictionary.

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    2. You are not hearing the French R. See the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: CROISSANT mon frère.

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    3. And you are apparently not reading my noon post where I referred to the hardbound edition of the MW dictionary WS uses for these puzzles. Also, I am indeed not hearing the French R, because it ain't there.

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    4. You probably don't hear the R in CROIRE, the French verb to believe or the R in CROIX, French for cross, but those R's are there...

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    5. NO they are NOT! Look in a good dictionary. There are none so blind as those will not hear; and none who are so deaf as those who will not see.

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    6. You reject the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary??? Look at it again. Of course those R's are there.

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    7. Have you still not read my noon post? I there addressed this issue. The MW online is NOT the one WS uses, and it is only reporting what ignorant Amerikans are saying, obviously.

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    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    9. Ron, you are absolutely right about the *French* pronunciation, but the English pronunciation doesn't have an 'r' sound.

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    10. Crito,
      You have that wrong. The French do not pronounce the R. You can easily listen to several of them pronounce online. And then you can also listen to all the incorrect pronunciations by others.

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    11. :)

      No, they definitely do. They don't pronounce it the way you do -- it's rolled. But it is always pronounced, in French.

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    12. Try this, it's really good:

      https://www.openipa.org/transcription/french

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  89. Only came up with choir.

    But, I do have a couple of croquet sets if anyone needs to borrow a mallet.

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  90. I posted "Belle Schulman". She was the mother of Paul Simon who's song Loves Me Like a Rock contains the lyrics "I'm a singer in a Sunday choir".

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    1. I agree with you. But my son thought that Simon and Garfunkel sings hymns from their first album as if they were in a choir.

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    2. Good catch! On their first album (Wednesday Morning 3am), they did the traditional "Go Tell it on the Mountain" and also "Benedictus".

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  91. I wrote: "At first I thought I had a frog in my throat, but then I realized that I was only repeating someone else's words."

    That picture of a duck made me fixate on quacks, which of course cannot be the answer, but led me to coaxial, which sounds, when spoken by people like me who elide their sounds, like kwaxial. And "coaxial" reminded of the sound the frogs made in Aristophanes' "The Frogs": "Brekekekéx-koáx-koáx."

    But that just convinced me that coaxial wasn't right, so I waited for inspiration, which came in the form of a TMI hint from surferwoman that led me to Bill Staines' wikipedia page, where I found "choir" in the title of one of his songs. Which eventually made me think of "the choir invisible" from Monty Python's dead parrot sketch. And wonder why it took me so long to come up with choir and, even then, only with help. Eventually I thought of coordination too, but that's almost as dubious as coaxial.

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  92. Good catch! On their first album (Wednesday Morning 3am), they did the traditional "Go Tell it on the Mountain" and also "Benedictus".

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  93. Choir. I got it in about 10 seconds.
    I actually sent my answer in before 9 am.

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  94. Like everyone else I found COIF CROISSANT and CHOIR. I decided to submit COIF because I liked the simplicity of it.

    And I clued the word "clue" because it starts with c, and has four letters, and seemed elegant at the time.

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  95. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I might need a lawyer, (or two,) to prove it, but my guess, of "1/4 note" is valid.

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  96. CHOIR or COIF. I thought of "coif" first, so my first clue said that this puzzle would be academic for some, i.e., law students, whose national academic honor society is The Order of the Coif (pronounced "koyf" rather than "quaff," however).

    Later, when I thought of "choir," I posted that I liked that answer better because it did not "require" resort to a foreign language to explain the pronunciation, and gave the numerical hint "16," as in The 16, one of the world's best-known choirs.

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  97. Found four solutions:
    One that I used weekly, CHOIR
    One that I used monthly, COIFFED
    One that I had never heard of, CHOANOCYTE (cells in sponges with flagella)
    One that only works if one speaks jerseysch. CARAFE - pronounce the R as a W.

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    1. I was in a church choir that rehearsed weekly. I got a haircut about once/month. I had never heard of a CHOANOCYTE. CARAFE sounds a bit like QUAFF. One can quaff from a carafe.

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  98. My mathematical clue was: 25. Because that's the number of sheets of paper in a quire.

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