## Sunday, May 01, 2022

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 1, 2022): Take 4 Steps Forward

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 1, 2022): Take 4 Steps Forward
Q: This week's challenge is more challenging than last week's. Write down the name of a number. Move each letter four spots later in the alphabet — so A would become E, B would become F, etc. The result will be a number that's 44 more than your first one. What numbers are these?
More challenging? That's debateable. This is basically a Caesar cipher, except shifting by 4 letters.

Edit: In retrospect, perhaps mentioning a Roman statesman whose eponymous cipher usually involves a shift of three letters was a bit too revealing.
A: THREE --> XLVII (47)

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.

2. Yes, there are logical ways to solve this.

3. Yes, I have it...

4. This is one of the few times I understood Blaine's response, after I solved it. --Margaret G.

1. I too solved it.
:-)

6. Add the two numbers. Advance a letter of the name of this sum eight spots. You get a neato result.

1. Groovy, baby.

2. This comment has been removed by the author.

1. "One, two, five!" "Three, sir." "Three!"

8. That was easy. When I heard it on air, I thought I would build a spreadsheet to help me shift the letters. But I got it before I could even boot the computer.

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

10. Holy moly ...

11. Blaine - To reply to your question on the previous blog, I had never heard of Duotrigordle until reading your post. I played it and also Sedecordle, as Ben mentioned. They're both challenging enough while still being contained (unlike Semantle), so they make for good play and a step up from Wordle, in my opinion as a pedestrian puzzler. Thanks to both of you for the mention. No hint in this. . . unless. . . .

1. https://medium.com/floodgates/the-complete-and-authoritative-list-of-wordle-spinoffs-fb00bfafc448

12. If my answer is correct, this puzzle should be a welcome break from the ordinary for NPR puzzle fans.

13. What if some of us were unfaithful to this blog?

1. What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? - Romans 3:3

14. Found the answer. Haven't found a non-obvious clue, although I could probably find one in something already found.

1. I never did explain this clue, did I? I was referring to state, city, and college seals which often display the year of the institution's founding in Roman numerals.

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

16. For the first time ever I think the hint is too obvious.

1. TMI, me thinks.

2. I didn't understand it; ergo, it was TMI for me.

3. I didn't want to say hint was TMI, because that could be TMI. But since you broke the ice...

4. Like Yogi, I could claim, “I really didn’t say everything I said,” but I won’t, so bear with me. Given our collective concern with illness, viruses, and bacteria, I went on a word hunt yesterday and found streptobacilli again.

5. Reverse the offset and what does TMI get you????

6. With a -4 offset TMI gets you PIE

17. How do you approach this? Max Planck said it best, I think.

18. Gee, there is a comment place here. Thanks WW.

19. I put my hands in front of my face when I read Blaine's intro.

20. 541165353 sort of

21. This comment has been removed by the author.

22. This puzzle has little to do with last week's

1. But quite a bit to do with today's on-air challenge.

2. THREE little pink oinkers

23. The number 44 is much storied in Syracuse University history, having been worn by Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Floyd Little and Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis. The university was assigned the Zip Code 13244.

24. Music Clue: Chords

25. I guessed what the key to solving this was while still in bed, but it still took me a few minutes to solve it. Good puzzle!

27. Solved enroute to Sunday services. I found it a wee bit charming and it elicited a "huh."

No exclamation point, though.

And certainly not an interrobang...

28. This comment has been removed by the author.

29. This is a prime puzzle!

1. 3 and 47 are both prime numbers.

30. Ah, got the answer, now off to enjoy the mild weather!

31. God damn it! Where's Moses when you need him?!?!?

1. You could have just given us the actor's name and spared us the offensive post. Your clues lead us straight to him anyway. Even on this blog, there are holdout "mouth-breathers" like me who believe in God and love Him. Predictable atheist onslaught begins in: "3-2-1-!"

2. Ralph Loizzo,
You have nothing to apologize for. We are supposed to have freedom from religion, but nothing could be further from the truth. I am very spiritual and love profanity and anything else that infuriates those who feel they have the right to force their ridiculous beliefs on the rest of us. My ridiculous beliefs are the only ones that should count.

3. Wait, that was a clue to an *actor*?
I thought it was a very clever clue, but not to an actor.

4. Crito - you are correct. I was not alluding to an actor.
I truly meant no offense in my post - just a clue in its entirety. The posts above by SDB (thank you for the defense) and myself contain clues to the answer. Unless I'm posting something obvious on someone else's clue - like "great clue!", I'm usually veiling my clues to the puzzle itself. Sometimes these discussions grow into beautiful gardens of thoughts and ideas, and sometimes they just spread like poison ivy.

32. After a string of relatively easy puzzles for several weeks in a row, I thought I’d take Wayne (The Great One) Gretzky’s advice and take a shot at this more aggressive puzzle.

33. I think some regulars might be missing today, perhaps due to the new Blogger format. It threw me off.
Just click to the right of the B at the bottom in what looks like a dead field.
A cursor will appear and you are off.

34. A Caesar cipher? As in Little Caesar’s? I’m thinking more like Jimmy John’s!….upon further review, no coaching needed for this week’s challenge.

35. I grew up in New York, but they didn't have this then.

36. Clever puzzle.

37. Blaine: I like this blog.. I am wondering 1) how do you know the answer in a few seconds or minutes for EVERY Sunday puzzle.. 2) do you have a staff that monitors and immediately removes any answer posted before Thursday?

1. Blaine has a staff of thousands of highly paid, sworn to secrecy members who are funded by Elon Musk and supported by the C.I.A. along with Birds Aren't Real. Please do not pass on this private information. This post will self destruct in due order.

2. Blaine is known to employ three tricks to solve the puzzle within seconds of posting.
First, Blaine is an acknowledged Super Genius with an IQ of -- well, it's classified. But it's certainly well over 100 and may be even higher than that.
Second, he lives in the SF Bay Area, a full three time zones behind the media centers of Washington DC and New York. And although readers of this blog note that Blaine appears to have a loving family featured on this blog every year at Christmas time, surrounded by many baked goods, their patience may not last on many a Sunday morning. And since Blaine has to set his Sunday alarm for 6am, his family may alternately cajole and brow beat Blaine to solve the puzzle instantly and come back to bed immediately. We have all gotten to know this family, remotely. But until you meet them, you have no idea the peril Blaine is in until he solves the puzzle and returns to sleep. It’s terrifying, truly terrifying, and our leader has thus become a reluctant speed solver.
(And please don't come to me with any nonsense about how NPR isn’t DC and NY-based, has opened San Francisco and Los Angeles bureaus, blah blah blah. Here at Blainesville, we all know who really controls the media. They try and distract us with satellite offices and exotic names, like Sylvia Poggioli in Rome, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton in Dakaaaaah, and everyone's dream date, Doualy Xaykaothao. We know better.)
Finally, no less than Tucker Carlson has asked the question on air if Blaine may actually be Will Shortz. At the very least, nobody on this blog has ever seen them both at the same time. I’ll leave this one to SDB and his Birds Aren’t Real brethren. But let’s just say that we need to ask the question.
The defense rests.

3. Or, put in a FOI request down at the Ministry of Truth.

4. Apparently Ben is experiencing one of his Dakaaaaah moments.

5. I am going with Sylvia. Such a hottie.

6. Pass the Canoli Poggioli.

7. Happy Eid al Fatir everyone.

8. Poggioli is a great journalist, but Xaykaothao is a better Scrabble play.

9. She reminds me of a young Claudia Cardinale. Who can forget her performance in "Pink Panther Returns."

1. Are you the one who wrote all of the letters?

2. No, but I purloined one.

3. Well, that guy Paul, one of his letters was to the Romans.

What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? - Romans 3:3

38. How does Blaine monitor this site 24/7?

39. Praise Shiva...I got the answer!

40. Does anyone know what happened to Blogger that's preventing me from posting from my iPhone? It no longer lets me sign in; specifically, I'm prompted to click the button that says SIGN IN WITH GOOGLE, but when I do, I'm just presented with the same prompt, and not allowed to post. Everything works fine when I'm using my Windows PC, but not from the phone. Any suggestions?

1. I am having the same problem on my phone.

2. Sounds like a phony problem to me.

3. Call it what you like, SDB!

4. Read my post again, Natasha.

5. I got it right away. Reread mine. Guess not too good a retort.

6. I too am having the same problem - no matter which browser I use on my iphone.

7. I guess they are throwing up a middle finger to iOS and Apple.

8. Yeah, I've been seeing the same thing. I usually view Blaine's blog on my iPhone or iPad, and haven't been able to comment. From my computer, I now see new things, like the Notify Me check-box

41. Anyway, I'm surprised by Blaine's clue, and will only say that this puzzle would've been more appropriate about 8 weeks ago.

42. Didn't we see this answer back in 2013?

1. Hey Jan - I think we are thinking similarly if you get my drift(s) in my post above?

2. I thought the timing of jan's comment was interesting.

43. Still have a problem with Putin having his pie grabbers in Ukraine!!! :~(

1. I hope I am not the only one here who sees the connection between the Putin tyranny and our Supreme Court tyrants. In other words; one step at a time.

44. Sounds like Michael Caine, yes sir!

1. I have shared your chip monk joke with my YMCA senior men's fitness group and they have voted it-joke of the month.
Here another new health club has opened up for religious minorities. It is called Jehovah Fitness.

45. Last night I attended a solo recital for pianist Joyce Yang at Meany Center for the Performing Arts. We were all required to show proof of Covid 19 vaccination in order to enter. Almost everyone was wearing M95 cloth face masks also, as required. Apparently it was a black mask event, but fortunately I was not the only one in attendance who was uninformed and was wearing a white mask. How embarrassing!

1. SDB: I have not seen Joyce Yang. I just viewed her on youtube. Seems wonderful. Glad that you saw that concert. What did she play? I used to play piano.

2. I learned about the history of the name Meany too.

3. Natasha: She played the piano.
Okay, I promise to behave.

J.S. BACH: French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816

S. RACHMANINOFF: Ten Preludes, Op. 23

P.I. TCHAIKOVSKY: Barcarolle in G Minor “June” from The Seasons, Op. 37a

R. SCHUMANN: Carnaval, Op. 9

R. N. DETT: Adagio Cantabile from the Suite Cinnamon Grove

4. Thanks. I found the site and the program. A lot of playing for one person. I watched the youtube on that site. Thank you so much. I wish I could play like that.

46. SDB: I guess you were living up to the name of the concert hall by asking that question. I should have phrased it better. I am not as careful as I should be these days since I am teaching less.

47. I am fully aware no one here wants to hear what I am about to say, but you should listen. What our Supreme Court is poised to do is about to push us over the brink to a second civil war. I know most hearing this will not be able to even conceive of this happening in our country, but regardless of how you may feel about what is happening the reality is that we are tearing ourselves apart and if we do not wake up to this reality and do something about it we are doomed to our destruction.

1. SDB: Solutions?

2. Great question. I wish the answer were so simple. Begin by becoming educated and aware of what is happening in our country. Read relevant books. Demand more from government. Get involved. Stop hoping things will work out by themselves; they won't. Stop blaming government. Good government is a solution; not a problem. Discuss with others.

3. This comment has been removed by the author.

4. Natasha;
Getting back to your question. By coincidence, although I had recognized to the need for me to read this book as soon as I learned of its publication this year, I just now received my copy from the library where I had it on reserve. The book is, How Civil Wars Start and How To Stop Them, by Barbara F, Water. This the ending to chapter one:

Why do some countries safely navigate the road through the anocracy zone, while others become engulfed in cycles of chaos and violence? The story of Iraq again offers a clue. When I asked Noor to describe what changed before civil war erupted in her homeland, she looked at me for a moment. Soft-spoken and reserved, she radiated the quiet confidence of someone who doesn't break easily. Her face, however, was heavy with sadness. "People began asking whether you were Shia or Sunni," she said.
People had never asked her this before, she explained. In Baghdad, there were no Shia or Sunni neighborhoods; she had never been told she couldn't marry someone from a different ethnic or religious group. She had no sense that she was a minority or that religion mattered; she didn't even know which of her friends were Shia or Sunni. "But then people started asking about it publicly. What are you? Where are you from? What is your religion?"
Noor shook her head. "I would say, "I am Iraqi. Why are you asking me this'?"

48. Well, this has been my week to be stupid. I'm waiting until 12 noon for you folks to tell me the answer.

1. Oh no! Keep trying. It is really not difficult. Think logically.

2. I strongly feel that when the answer IS revealed - just a little over an hour from now, MANY will be those who think "AAAARRRRGGGHHH!!!! I feel like I never even TRIED!!!

(I only just now noticed that it seems we no longer have the option to preview our post before we publish. Bummer!)

3. Come on, Cap! You can do it! Did you ever see Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?

49. THREEXLVII< (47), so 3 + 44 = 47.

1. Yes! This type of puzzle has been given before.

50. THREE = XLVII which is 44 in Roman Numerals (3 + 44 = 47) (III + XLIV = XLVII)

51. This comment has been removed by the author.

52. This comment has been removed by the author.

53. THREE —> XLVII

First hint:
“Pythagoras” was removed by Blaine. Mea culpa. Since both Haris H. and Ben thought it was TMI even before Blaine exercised his prerogative, I considered replying to Blaine, “Sorry, Blaine et al.,” but I reconsidered. After all, I didn’t want to be the first to have an apology removed by Blaine as TMI, so I reduced it to the simpler “Sorry, Blaine.” Discretion was the better part of valor; no coals to Newcastle for me.

Second hint:
“Yogi…bear” —> the 1960 novelty song “Yogi”—about the Hanna-Barbara animated animal character Yogi Bear—was performed by the group the Ivy THREE

and

the phrase “streptobacilli again” contains in sequence “li” and “ag,” the periodic table abbreviations for lithium—Li—and silver—Ag—elements #3 and #47.

Nice puzzle.

54. THREE, which becomes XLVII, which is 47 in Roman numerals.
"But I got it before I could even boot the computer." A reference to Italy, shaped like a boot.
"Did you ever see Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?" - There is a scene in a library, where Indy and others a searching for the Roman numeral 10, which marks the location of a knight's tomb. (Turns out they were standing on it.)

55. THREE and XLVII.

ALTERNATE ANSWER: 100 and 144, from C and G or, alternatively, CN and GR. C = 100 in Roman numerals; G is an abbreviation for “gross,” as in GDP. Or, CN is phonetically “cien,” 100 in Spanish, and GR is another abbreviation for gross.

56. "Puzzle Fun by Bobby Jacobs" will be our featured puzzle on this week's Puzzleria!
Our friend Bobby has created a gem of a puzzle for us titled “A Chain between Companies.”
We upload Puzzleria! just after Midnight Friday morning PDT.
Also on our menu this week is "Caesar Ciphers and Roman numerals," eight riff-offs (that's one shy of three-times-III) of Will Shortz's clever NPR puzzle.

LegoWhoWhenHeThinks"Bobby"AlsoThinks"PuzzleFun!"

57. I wrote, “Add the two numbers. Advance a letter of the name of this sum eight spots. You get a neato result.” That’s FIFTY / NIFTY

58. THREE -> XLVII (47)

> This puzzle would've been more appropriate about 8 weeks ago.

On the Ides of March.

> Didn't we see this answer back in 2013?

Super Bowl XLVII

> Sounds like Michael Caine, yes sir!

"Ex-Alfie aye-aye" -> XLVII

1. Jan,

it would have been appropriate for April 1

2. Painful, jan, but clever!

59. Despite a clue given me by a friend of the blog, I still didn't get it...DUH!

60. THREE->XLVII

3+44=47

61. A month or two ago, I made the mistake of starting at the wrong end of a series (list) and wasted hours. I was lucky enough to start at the best end this time.
This is far from the first (or third) puzzle with this trick. I hope it doesn't reach 47.

62. THREE->XLVII

My clue was contained within my monologue about Blaine.

I noted Blaine had Three Tricks he employed to solve the puzzle instantly, even though he lives Three Time Zones from NPR HQ.

Great puzzle, my compliments to the chef.

63. THREE --> XLVII ( 3 --> 47 )

Last Sunday I said, “After a string of relatively easy puzzles for several weeks in a row, I thought I’d take Wayne (The Great One) Gretzky’s advice and take a shot at this more aggressive puzzle.” Some folks think an AK-47 is aggressive.

64. For those of you who were born after the digital revolution, my earlier comment about putting my hands in front my face was in reference to an analog clock, (or watch,) Some have Arabic numerals. some Roman.
I, but not TMI.

.

1. That was a great clue.

65. My clue was: "I grew up in New York, but they didn't have this then." Because NYC now has an area code 347.

66. My irreverent clue was the "third" commandment - which I broke in giving my clue. Also Mea culpa - latin - and the intial letters are roman numerals.

1. Aha, that's what I thought!

(But I still don't get why Blaine removed the 'Pythagoras' hint.)

67. I complained about Putin's pie grabbers in Ukraine which, in addition to being heartfelt was an allusion to the old joke about Russian Fingers and Roman Hands since the answer is in Roman Numerals.

68. My post - regarding “Jimmy John’s” and “coaching” - were referencing Super Bowl XLVII which pitted sibling coaches - Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh - against one another…..oh brother!

69. Sorry I'm kinda late to the party…

THREE — XLVII (47)

My clue:

How do you approach this? Max Planck said it best, I think.
I was alluding to the Max Planck quote, "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." Meaning, when you change the way you look at letter combinations, they might just turn into Roman numerals.

70. Hey Blainsville! I just got an e-mail from Will Shortz. A puzzle I submitted a few weeks ago will be used this Sunday! This is the 10th time one of my ideas will air. Happy Solving!

1. Congrats, Al!

2. Congratulations, Al! I'm looking forward to hearing your puzzle Sunday.

3. Yay! Good job, Al!

71. To all those who are protesting the upcoming Supreme Court ruling to strike down Roe v. Wade:

"Damn the Alitos, full speed ahead"

72. At the risk of nibbling on the hand that feeds us, I was a little surprised by Blaine's "Caesar cipher" clue, which seemed to point too directly toward Roman numerals. Anyone else?

1. That thought did cross my mind.

2. It was too clever a comment to pass up.
I think Blaine was showing his dismay at Shortz' returning to the worn-out gimmick once again.
It has worn me out, too.

3. Yes. The roamin' numeral schtick trick grows old after awhile. That while was awhile ago. . .

4. It was particularly helpful for people like me who had never heard of a Caesar cipher and could therefore not experience the misdirection. Fortunately, I had solved the puzzle before I saw the clue.

73. It seems Russian navy ships are Nazi worthy.

74. My clue was "Praise Shiva...I got the answer". Shiva, known as the Hindu god with three eyes (or III) was my way of cluing into the initial number 3 as well as the puzzle containing a Roman numeral.

75. Clarence Thomas has made it clear that the bullies on the Supreme Court will not be bullied by the people they represent.

76. The Kentucky Derby got back to normal (normal for them anyway) and the horses were not required to wear face masks. Hurrah!

77. This week's challenge comes from listener Al Gori, of Oak Ridge, N.J. The initial letters in the title of a popular movie from this century spell the name of a popular sitcom from the last century. What titles are these?

78. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Al Gori, of Oak Ridge, N.J. The initial letters in the title of a popular movie from this century spell the name of a popular sitcom from the last century. What titles are these?

79. More than 1400 correct responses this week.

For NPR puzzle posts, don't post the answer or any hints that could lead to the answer before the deadline (usually Thursday at 3pm ET). If you know the answer, 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 assist with solving. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the deadline. Thank you.