## Sunday, May 15, 2022

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 15, 2022): Merci Beaucoup

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 15, 2022): Merci Beaucoup
Q: Name a famous living movie star. Insert an R in the middle of the first name, and drop the last two letters of the last name. You'll get a familiar French phrase. What is it?
Déjà vu, for the third time

Edit: Variations of the puzzle appeared in April 2014 and November 2015. I also mentioned the actor in another puzzle from February 2022.
A: CATE BLANCHETT --> CARTE BLANCHE

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. Interesting.... Blogger now filters comments like the one I just posted.

3. It's déjà vu all over again

4. Just solved it. This was almost a birthday gift! (My birthday is tomorrow. 😁)

1. It would be good birthday gift.

2. Yes, a very good birthday gift.

3. Happy Birthday

4. Thanks for the birthday wishes! 🥳

5. Happy Birthday and many happy rerurns!

5. According to NPR, there were only 115 (or so) correct answers last week.

6. Easy...solved as soon as I saw it on the website.

7. Déjà vu, déjà vu, déjà vu; ennui, ennui, ennui. Ho hummmmmm.

8. Usually it takes me a day or two to solve, but this one came to me out of the blue already!

9. Take the French phrase. Remove the first letter of each word. Rearrange. You get two activities that go together.

1. Or anagram the entire phase and get the name of a publication and a word meaning to break.

10. I have a borderline tmi clue.

1. I suppose I might have said it was in a "gray area":
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Gray_(film)#:~:text=Charlotte%20Gray%20is%20a%202001,Michael%20Gambon%20and%20Billy%20Crudup.

11. Nice wordplay, but Blaine's comment says it all.

12. Not much labor or reflection needed this week!

1. (a little shout-out to the Mirror of Galadriel)

13. "Co-workers laugh at my jokes at the office, but not on Zoom."

"That's because you're not remotely funny."

That is all.

14. What goes up must come down.

15. Jamais vu for the third, fourth, or fifth time?
Anyway, this person in question has starred in some the best movies ever, but I can't think of a clue without tmi.
I will.

16. We need a new answer. I offer "Je nnrifer la wren," which, loosely translated, means "I nnrifer the small bird."

17. I'm having TMI hint problems, too.

18. Looks like everyone has seen the new Meci Beaucouper flick already.

19. I can't claim much credit for solving this quickly, given the fame of the star and the familiarity of the phrase. The last part of the phrase names a character in a well-known stage play and film with a French connection.

20. Trop facile, n'est-ce pas?

21. I blush when I think of the actor

22. As I said, tough to clue. But at least now I can see my way clear to do other things.

Or, maybe this: Anagram the phrase, and get two words. You might do the one if you lose the other.

23. Mede Alorson ?

24. A bit more challenging one:
A famous statesman, last name 6 letters, contains 3 consecutive letters, replace all 3 with last letter in sequence, rearrange and get name of country of this person

25. A character portrayed by this person certainly had it. . .

26. The famous person was a celebrity guest on The Simpsons. Of course, so were a bazillion others!

1. Did not know… now I do

2. Reminds me of the time Rumsfeld was briefing W on Coalition casualties during the early days of the Iraq War. He concludes by telling Bush that 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed.

"OH NO"" the President exclaims. "That's terrible!"

His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the President sits, head in hands.

Finally, Bush looks up and asks, "Tell me again, how many is a Brazilian?"

27. Avenue des Champs-Elysees

28. Belated happy birthday wishes.

29. I have always understood it to be an indication of stupidity to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. No matter how you may spell poop, it will still smell like merde; and so goes this puzzle.

1. Also. Has anyone else noticed that Blaine recently mentioned this answer?

2. That led me right down the list. Thanks!

3. True, it's a repeat puzzle, but so what. Has anyone on this blog NEVER MADE A MISTAKE? Folks, I'm going to be 84 this summer...life is too f***king short.

4. Well, the second time he used this same puzzle it was only a year and a half since he ran it the first time. From my experience you have a better chance of getting a submitted puzzle accepted if you send this one in again rather than a fresh one.

5. Is anyone having a problem submitting comments on cell phone?
I wish I knew why WS repeats puzzles.

6. I have been unable to submit comments using my iPhone to this or other Blogger blogs for several weeks.

7. I have samsung and cannot submit comments to this blog site. Have not tried others as this is the only one I interact with. Wonder what can be done about this.
Where are the tech people on here?

8. I know nothing about technology, but I am submitting this via my Samsung/Android.

9. Interesting. When I try to comment (or reply to a comment), I see a message that says:

[and below, in a blue box:]

When I tap that box, the screen reloads, and I'm presented with the same prompt.

10. Jan: I have the same experience.

11. Rob: I can only submit on my computer. Interesting that you can submit on cell. I just give up.

12. My computer and my phone work equally well. There must be some settings somewhere that are different from my phone and yours, but it isn't anything I arranged! Someone far more savvy than I will have to solve this.

13. Jan, ditto on my iPhone.

30. The actor has a connection with a few countries, but not France, as far as I can see.

31. I wonder if that was staged.

32. Is there no one working there who could point out when they're repeating a puzzle, and thus prevent this sort of thing from happening? We all know this puzzle has been used twice before! How does this guy from Wisconsin not know this?! I solved it right away(obviously), after easily solving it the first two times. Oh well, third time's the charm!
pjb(Who'sAlsoBeenGuiltyOfDoingThisBefore)MustRemindFutureContributorsToPayAttentionWhenYouCheckTheNPRWebsite,BecauseNoMatterHowCleverYourChallengeIdeaMayBe,ItMayNotBeYourOwn!

33. I can't believe you said that, Natasha!

34. This puzzle is a step up from last week.

1. Last week was Mother's Day. Cate Blanchett was the stepmother in Cinderella.

35. One needs to be careful in accepting at face value. That is why we have a legal system. I went to law school for a while.

36. I wonder if Putin has blood cancer.
I think leukemia is blood cancer, but wonder if all blood cancer is leukemia.
I'm pretty sure "civil war" is an oxymoron.
I wonder why life is so complex.
But I believe life is wonderful.

37. Besides leukemia, cancers of blood-forming tissues include lymphoma and myeloma.

38. For those who have solved this puzzle (again and again, perhaps), here is Puzzleria!s current "Schpuzzle of the Week":
Name a two-word plural term you might hear on a weather forecast, in four and six letters.
Double either the third or the fifth letter in the second word.
Rearrange the eleven letters of either of these results to spell three other words you might hear on a weather forecast.
What are these five weather words?
What two answers are possible for one of the "three other words"?

Post hints if you like. But please post no answers before Noon PDT this Wednesday.
Note: I trust that John Sieger of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (the creator of this puzzle) came up with it independently. It is a wonderful bit of wordplay that he noticed, and sent to Will Shortz. It is the same "sin" (of "omission," not "commission") that I commited a month ago with my "Friar Tuck/Fire Truck" puzzle. The best remedy for repeating NPR puzzles (at least those from 2005-to-the-present) is a simple, easy-to-swallow, fast-acting "pill" dispensed by Dr. Blaine: his "SEARCH THIS BLOG" search engine!

39. Anyway, little need to worry about civil war. Looks like World War III will push all that onto a back burner.

1. When you visit the deep south for a time you realize the U.S. civil war-- never really ended. It became a "Cold war," that heats up from time to time like now.

40. feel slike I'm back in 1987 when the only puzzle I could get were the easy one. zut alors

41. Anyway, did you say blood-forming tissues?

42. One does not preclude the other. Greece is one example.

43. Sure. This time I say, anyone wants to secede, let 'em go.

1. This time, the division lines are not clearly drawn between north and south along the Mason-Dixon line. The shooting this weekend was in Buffalo and the shooter from upstate New York. And next month SCOTUS is likely to issue a decision striking down NYC's ban on carrying firearms. Personally, I am starting the process to obtain EU citizenship as an exit option, if needed.

2. This has nothing to do with Buffalo in particular. This time our civil war will be in each and every state and with no borders. It is all about white supremacy and white people feeling they are losing their god given power.

I would suggest reading, How Civil Wars Start and How To Stop Them, by Barbara F. Walter. This short, easy read page turner was published this year. The author is a professor who is deeply involved in studying the causes of civil wars and how they may be stopped before they begin. I was reading the next to last chapter yesterday afternoon and stopped to listen to All Things Considered on my local NPR station. I found myself listening to a 7 minute interview with another professor who I at first thought might be this author because I missed the introduction. She was saying the same things I was reading in the above mentioned book. You can easily locate this short interview by its title:

A history professor weighs in on the Buffalo attack and white supremacy

While I have been aware for a long time now that we are on the verge of another civil war in this country, this book explained why in a way that made it far more understandable to me than what I already understood. I recommenced it to everyone here.

3. sdb--See also Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American, May 15, 2022, for some American historical context.

44. Our looming civil war is not about succession. It is primarily about ethnic cleansing.

45. I meant secession, not succession.

46. Movie star's name anagrams to a two-word phrase a teacher might use to describe an eager class. Otherwise, I can say that I have only seen this "movie star" in two films, and in neither case was it in a leading role.

47. Fortunately for me, I have no memory of the last two times. That's the upside of getting older for some of us. Every day is Sunday! ;-)

48. I got this one pretty fast and think it's a good one because I'm a fan of the mystery person.
If I may digress on the subject of actors in general. It seems like, in the world of actors, there are always opposites, or maybe a better term would be complementary opposites. For instance Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino. They're not alike, but they kind of are. Another pair would be Ryan O'Neal and Warren Beatty. Remember Madonna and Cyndi Lauper? Let's go back a bit, Ali McGraw and Katherine Ross. How about Darren McGavin and Jason Robards? This mystery person in many ways is incomparable, but I think also has a complementary opposite. I know it's no clue, but I like to muse. By the way, this person was in a fantastic movie along with this person's complementary opposite. Oh well, I'm musing. Certainly not amusing.

49. I wonder if Johnny Cash would think this is funny. I think he probably would. Do you?

https://news.yahoo.com/johnny-cash-mural-leaking-crude-211135756.html

50. Perhaps my concept of civility could stand refining.

51. Paul, I don't think you are the only one.

52. sdb, do you think you might be one of the other ones?

53. Paul, For many years now I have been attempting to warn people to pay attention to what is happening in our country. Also to get people involved politically because a democracy cannot exist without participation of its citizens. I feel I have failed at my efforts. I also do not know if I understand what you mean by my being one of the other ones. We are in deep trouble my friend, and we had better become informed and get involved or it will be too late, if it isn't already.

54. Maybe I'm trying to zero in on "apolitical civility". What do you think; is that more or less of an oxymoron than "civil war"?

55. Paul,
I wish we could speak in person verbally. I fully agree with you that civil war is an oxymoron, and I have been saying this for many years as I imagine you have too. I would have to think about apolitical civility for a bit before I comment. I never heard that term before. It could mean inane conversation that avoids anything important to our lives. I say this because in reality everything is political. Most people do not want to recognize this though. I used to ride my bike around Green Lake every day a few years ago. It was a 3 mile ride, plus down and back. One saturday as I was about half way around I came upon some people who had placed a large number of white flags in the soil to mark the deaths of our soldiers killed in Iraq. They had a display and tables where I stopped to make an anti war political statement that was critical of the current administration. The woman then said to me that this was to be a non-political statement. I politely informed her she was out of her mind if she did not understand that all wars are political. I then rode on thinking about how doomed we are when the liberals don't even realize how blind to reality they are.

1. I guess maybe my point was that true civility (or true anything for that matter) grows from within and cannot be externally imposed.

2. I meant to include this reference in my comment, above: https://thechosenone.info/slider/the-most-excellent-jihad-is-the-conquest-of-ones-self/
And I only intended the word "anything" to be italicized.
And I want my old comment form back.

3. Yes, but civility can sure be undermined from without.

I do not like this new comment form either. I have been having numerous problems with it.

56. A review of _The Puzzler_ by A. J. Jacobs:
https://richmond.com/entertainment/books/book-review-nonfiction-the-puzzler-by-a-j-jacobs/article_002bdf01-973f-52bb-8731-768f62e357fa.html

1. Rob: Thanks for book reference.

57. Ah, yes famous New Orleans-born movie star Madi Grassy!

58. SDB, I used to work at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ, where one day someone painted computer scientist Peter Weinberger's face on a water tower. I sent a friend your link, remarking that what happened to the Man in Black never befell PJW. He replied, "Having been in the presence of Johnny Cash when he burst into a big belly laugh back stage in Philly, I can only feel that he'd find this hilarious."

1. I guess this is what is meant by "streaming now."

2. Jan thanks for book suggestions.

59. The actor should be familiar to all puzzle players and the phrase is not necessarily used in reference to anything French or France.

60. I could have any puzzle I want and this is the one they give me?

61. I was away for the weekend, and could not pull in NPR on the radio on Sunday morning. So, I'm catching up today. Didn't take long to solve this. Based on the comments, it appears many of you have no interest in this puzzle.

62. Regarding civil war, we need us some alien race to come down and we give them complete control. How could things be worse?

1. They are coming here now, but not to control us. Rather, they are concerned about our destructive behavior and want to help us avoid self destruction.

2. Glad to hear it, SDB, but what about the Prime Directive? Isn't helping us avoid self-destruction verboten? Ask them next time they get in touch.

3. Well, jan, this may be a big surprise for you, but I have yet to see or hear from aliens from other planets. Sorry to disappoint, but nada. I have met a very few who have though. Just this Saturday I attended a lecture by a woman who mentioned briefly that she has. I am laughing at my self right now for even telling you this because I know you do not have an open mind about things you know nothing about. I also know that my being open about some of the things I talk about makes me appear to be a nut case, but I feel an obligation to take that risk now that it cannot interfere with my income. More and more are doing the same, but until a person has had some type of experience outside of the norm it is not at all easy to be convinced. I do not expect you to be either. All I can hope for is that you might open your mind to things you don't understand or believe can be, and perhaps even do a little research. What do you have to lose or fear? Gotta end this now; they are here at my door to burn me at the stake.

63. The day the blog site stood still.

1. I find it odd that most humans do not believe we are being visited and observed by beings from other planets even though we are beginning to do the exact same thing with our crude technology.

2. SDB: What can we do about it?

3. I think it's likely there are other beings in other star systems who are observing us the same way we're observing exoplanets from a great distance. But visits from light years away require getting around some pretty daunting challenges.

4. Perhaps the government is not revealing all that is known about the ETs.

5. For some fun sci-fi on dealing with those daunting challenges, try Andy Weir's Project Hail Mary.

6. I liked the Martian movie. Thanks.

7. His book, The Martian was much better than the movie.

8. Jan: My cousin was a scientist at Bell Labs.

9. Who, when, where, what group?

10. Not sure. Will ask him. First name Ron. From Harvard.

11. jan,
Those are some very good points and exactly the questions we should be asking. We tend to try to answer such questions from the false belief that we know more than we actually do. We should be looking for answers like a child, with wonder and being open to anything. A long time ago I was shown a puzzle where a professor takes a sheet of paper and pencils a dot near one end and another dot near the other end. He then asked what is the shortest distance between the two dots. We have all been taught it is a straight line, but he then takes the paper and folds it over to where the two dots may be reached by pushing a pin from one to the other. Obviously we are not being visited by other life forms who are on our level of evolution. We have much to learn, but it is hard to learn with a closed mind.

12. jan,
I love coincidences. I just took a look at the Yahoo news site and at the top is this headline:

Military takes UFOs seriously at congressional hearing: 'We want to know what's out there'

This 90 minute hearing was held this morning. Then they had more behind closed doors. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall in that room. Anyway as I am typing this NPR is reporting on this! Check it out.

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14. Knows? As others have said, it ain’t so much men’s ignorance that does the harm as their knowing so many things that ain’t so.

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16. This comment has been removed by the author.

17. jan, I haven't heard that said before, but don't you see how that may apply to you? There are none so blind as those who will not see. How do you "know" you "know" someone else's experiences are not valid?

18. I know that my own experiences can't be trusted! Haven't you ever seen a magic show, when you didn't know how the trick was done? My experience was that magic happened. But I know that's wrong. The evidence available to me -- as opposed to my experience, my senses -- is that there was just sleight of hand.

19. I perform magic tricks. My grandfather was a professional magician who knew Houdini. I worked part time in a magic shop after I retired. I see no connection. Why do you believe you are the authority with all the answers to other people's experiences? From where do you obtain your superior knowledge about us? Why can't you just accept that you don't know about what you don't know?

20. I am no authority. I don't know almost everything. I just know that other people's experiences are likely to be just as unreliable as my own.

21. Perhaps you would be willing to share one or two of your experiences? But please do not play apples vs. oranges.

22. Sure. I've watched TV. I saw a white dot moving across the screen, rapidly from left to right, slowly from top to bottom, growing brighter and dimmer. That's all, just a single dot. But my experience was of seeing images moving around on the screen. Can't trust those eyes!

23. You win, jan! Obviously because you saw a dot on a TV screen that proves no one has had experiences from higher dimensions. I'm so impressed.

24. I never said that no one has had experiences from higher dimensions. Only that there's no reliable evidence of that. And that experiences are not to be trusted.

25. Well, jan, that is not exactly correct. You have not questioned the experiences of others, but ridiculed them for talking about them.

26. SDB: I grew up watching my father perform magic tricks. I am interested in your grandfather knowing Houdini.

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28. My grandfather was born in England and became a very accomplished magician and ventriloquist. He and my grandmother also would do a mind reading act with the audience. I never saw him perform even one trick. He died 3 days before I turned eleven at my age now. His funeral was on my birthday anniversary. He had stopped performing long before I was born because it was more difficult to make a good living in that profession in our country than England. So he quit eventually and did other things. He performed under the professional name of Bertram Yaw. I have several photos of him performing in full white tie with his dummy, Joey. I have the dummy in my basement still. No, Natasha, I do not make whisky in my basement.

29. It is a nice gesture to Blaine that this sub-thread has been kept sort-of separate.
When I have begun to understand a tenth of one percent of the biological magic that occurs in a cubic foot of my yard or in an ounce of my blood, then I will start looking for the supernatural.
I don't have the time in what is left to me or the use for it now..

30. In thinking over UFO and Psychic experiences, I think scientific or verifiable evidence is important. I trust my own experiences.

31. Without space exploration we would never have discovered Tang.

32. Tang came out in 1957, so it preceded space exploration. Just as the Tang dynasty preceded the Song dynasty, during which the Chinese developed fireworks, which led to space exploration. But I don't remember any song from any Tang ads.

33. Oops, spoke too soon. Found a Tang Song.

(Did Han drink Tang in a Solo cup?)

34. jan, You are right about that, but did you also notice that Tang spelled in reverse is GNAT? I always thought I didn't drink Tang because it tastes like lemur piss, but perhaps subliminally I had concerns about where it comes from.

64. Anyone else watching the NBA playoffs? My favorite member of the Warriors is Draymond Green, who should be a puzzle clue, simply for the name "Draymond."

65. I am watching some of it. Draymond Green--so many anagrams, so little time.

66. I don't remember seeing this puzzle before, but I do have a vague recollection of seeing the movie star's name. So I believe it's deja vu.

67. Did you hear about the governor who was so opposed to capital punishment he couldn't bring himself to execute an order to abolish it?

1. Capital punishment.........Isn't that when the government takes 1/3 in taxes if you win the lottery?

2. I really don't know. I'm still waiting to find out.

3. I keep buying tickets in spite of the odds. Lightening will strike me first.

4. I never buy tickets. However, I have a friend who gives me a ticket on my birthday anniversary. What a waste!

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69. The name's Art, Art Nouveau. Pleased to meet ya.

70. I wonder how many forgot to submit their answer to NPR this week because they already had twice before.

71. I think it is déjà vu for the second time not third.

1. You are correct.

2. SDB: Thanks so much.

72. CATE BLANCHETT & CARTE BLANCHE >>> May 4, 2014 and November 29, 2015 it was also used.

This new comment form sucks! It caused me to unintentionally publish the answer a few minutes ago as I was setting up and attempted to copy and cut, but it posted instead. UGH!

73. CATE BLANCHETT & CARTE BLANCHE

Major ho hum encore.

74. CATE BLANCHETT -> CARTE BLANCHE

> Used twice within the past decade.

On May 4, 2014, and on December 6, 2015.

>

A blank card, as I clued in 2014. (And now, automatically and silently deleted by Blogger.)

> AND, there's a connection to Roman numerals!

She named son number II after convicted child sex offender Roman Polanski.

1. Those dates are not the dates of the puzzles; they are the dates of when the puzzle-solutions are first published. The actual dates of the puzzles is a week earlier for each of those puzzle-solution dates...

75. CATE BLANCHETT - CARTE BLANCHE

"it appears many of you have no interest in this puzzle" - The Carte Blanche (now Diner's Club) charge card does not charge and interest rate.

1. Interest and finance charge are not synonyms. Unfortunately those in the financial business should know better than to constantly misuse them. You earn interest, but are charged a finance charge, not interest.

2. Well, SDB, you should call up all of the major card providers. Every statement I looked at has a line for Fees Charged, and a line for Interest Charged.

Furthermore, mortgage statements talk about interest, and that's what the borrower is charged, not what they earn.

Webster's dictionary defines interest (among many definitions) as, "a charge for borrowed money generally a percentage of the amount borrowed"

Of course, I would prefer to earn interest, than to be charged interest, but clearly, it works both ways, and that makes sense. One party pays the interest, and the other receives it.

3. JAWS, please do not think I was complaining about you using the term incorrectly, as I posted I was referring to the financial institutions that misuse it, as you are posting examples of. Also, dictionaries only post the usage, they do not make the rules. I am aware of this because over fifty years ago, when I was being trained by Sears to become of credit manager, it was drilled into me at the beginning that interest was not finance charge. Because of this I always have since then noticed how those who should know better, don't.

4. In later posts you deal with vocabulary (council), prepositions and the perfect use of words (decimation and percentile).
The preposition part is in the first sentence above, as is "... please do not think I was complaining about you using the term incorrectly..."
What common mistake is prominent there?

76. CARTE BLANCHE (from Cate Blanchett)

Here were my hints (on occasion, my baroque attempts to avoid Blaine’s hammer):

“I can see my way clear to do other things” —> or, a kind of CARTE BLANCHE

“Anagram the phrase, and get two words. You might do the one if you lose the other.” —> You might RETCH if you lose your BALANCE.

Easy puzzle. I was unaware it had been offered twice before. I suppose I should learn how to search archives. Most likely, there will be many correct answers.

77. CATE BLANCHETT → CARTE BLANCHE

This puzzle has been used TWICE before on Nov. 29, 2015, and on Apr. 27, 2014, each in a slightly different formulation.

78. CATE BLANCHETT, CARTE BLANCHE

I liked this puzzle a lot. Clever.

I clued about my love for Golden State Warrior Dramond Green, because (1) Everyone Loves Draymond and (2) Draymond seems to get ejected from NBA games a lot.

In the NBA, you are ejected for 2 Technical Fouls, but in Soccer, you get a RED CARD. Which was my hint towards a WHITE CARD, not quite a Carte Blanche, but close.

And, yes, I know that a CARTE in French is actually a MENU. Je ne suis pas un bete sauvage.

79. I wrote, “Take the French phrase. Remove the first letter of each word. Rearrange. You get two activities that go together.” That’s TEACH / LEARN.

80. CATE BLANCHETT, CARTE BLANCHE.
My hints:
1. (Posted in reply to a post by Rob) Anagram the French phrase and get the name of a publication and a word meaning to break. [Lancet, breach]
2. I can't claim much credit for solving this quickly. [Referring to the Carte Blanche credit card]
3. The last part of the French phrase names a character in a well-known stage play and film with a French connection. [Blanche DuBois from "A Streetcar Named Desire," which is set in the French Quarter of New Orleans]

81. Cate Blanchett, carte blanche

82. Yep, I got the same answer as everyone else. However, I do not remember hearing this before, but all the talk of deja vu led me to the answer within 5 minutes. What's the big deal with repeated puzzles anyhow?

83. Glad my alien suggestion inspired a lot of interesting discussion. When I said "Regarding civil war, we need us some alien race to come down and we give them complete control" of course "complete control" ..... an unnecessary hint I suppose.

84. Plantsmith is our featured puzzle-artist on this week's Puzzleria!
He has created a quartet of puzzles that "riff-off" (1) Ben Austin, (2) LegoLambda, (3) Bobby Jacobs, and (4) Al Gori. (A “Riff-off” is a kind of “creative homage” to the original maker of the puzzle – one that often takes the original puzzle to a new level... as is the case in these four excellent “riffs” composed by Plantsmith.)
Also on this week's Puzzleria! menu are:
* a Schpuzzle of the Week involving Dog-eat-dog “suits” and dogfighters,
* a Jeopardy! slice piled with “Potent potables for 400, please, Alex,”
* a Dessert reeking of Garage bands & garbage disposals, and
* a wretched mess of NPR puzzle riffs that put the carte before Blanche, the white horse.

85. Cate Blanchett, carte blanche

86. Pour le troisieme temp, CATE BLANCHETT<<<<<CARTE BLANCHE

87. sdb - You appear to be an observer and guardian of language and its usage. Since Edwin Newman and Richard Creed have passed, I put to you this item for your consideration and comment if you like: That is the use of "so" by many speakers as a prelude to, well, speaking. This habit, if that's what it is, has reached into all quarters: commentators, game show participants, interviewers and interviewees, and on and on. Recently I heard an interview that went: "So, question, question, question." "So, response, response, response." and then back and forth with almost every statement preceded by "So". I begin to notice the construction as much as the content sometimes. It's a small matter, perhaps; but, a widespread phenomenon, it would appear. Fire away, anybody.

1. GB - So, what can I say? Well, not that obviously. If I am a "guardian of language," I am sure doing a lousy job. I hadn't thought about the So transgression before. I am guilty of that one. What is gnawing at me lately is, you know, it is, you know. I listen to some of these expert interviewees on NPR, some of which cannot stop firing off you knows like a gatling gun on steroids. You know? And, you know, the Brits don't seem to do it, you know. I can understand the occasional you know, but when they just go on and on, you know, like I do sometimes, well, you know, it drives me bonkers.

2. Well. . . In the grand scope of things, I suppose "so" is no worse than "well" and is probably a cut above "you know". Right? (New White House Press Lady couldn't do without that one.) English is being decimated. Luckily that means only reduced by 10%, ya know. Right?

3. So, right, like, I know, okay?

4. I think if teachers would council their students to speak a bit slower it might help those who rattle on a mile a minute, but say less than if they slowed down a bit. I have posted previously here on the "decimated" problem, that annoys me no end. NazYism and vigilantYism are others that make me wonder why people do not look at the spelling of the words they use. But I doubt the pendJulum will ever swing in my direction. (Makes me want to move to the Artic, you know.)

5. Not all students can be on the council.

6. If they'd just step up to the plate, take it to the next level, give it 110%, stop using cliches . . . but, that would be axing to much, ya know.

7. Probably because they're too busy proofreading.

8. I just literally laughed my head off, right.

9. We need to take more preventUHtive measures to keep this from repeating again.

10. Absolutely! The proof should appear on the label so it can be clearly read under any condition. This calls for a oversight look-see. No wonder they call an ace in the hole an idiom.

11. Many years ago at the end of a long day teaching a class of first time static line jumpers in my six hour class, and then finally getting them all jumped, two of them hung around to compliment me on my teaching. They were two upper middle aged men who said they were teachers and would attend courses taught by college professors each year that were designed to improve their teaching abilities. They told me I was a far better teacher than these professors and that my teaching put me in the top 99 percentile. I restrained myself from correcting their unintended slight. Soon after I received a follow up letter from them stating it again with the same error. I couldn't decide if I should frame it for display or throw it away. True story.

12. All those "you knows" drive me crazy, as well. But even more so, it is like nails on a blackboard when EVERYBODY uses the double "is"...even President Obama used to do that. They start a sentence with 'is' as the last word, take a quick break, then repeat "is", and do this over and over. I want to smash the TV.

13. At the risk of hitting a serious note, one reason theyuh is a failyuh to communicate these days is that too many "teachers" don't know the language to begin with or are afraid to teach it to the students. Imagine the surprise of the young soldier who had been told his opponent had been 90% decimated only to discover it was still 91% intact. We need more language proponents who will put the cur back in curmudgeon!

14. I have been wanting lately to ask some of these people if they believe Colonel Custer and his men were decimated at the Battle of Greasy Grass, a.k.a. Custer's Last Stand. I wonder how they would react if I were to inform them that they were not decimated.

15. I would be remiss were I not to mention the sign I see when I shop point me to the MENS ROOM.

16. I'm not going to touch that last one. Howsomever, to your next previous point, I can tell you how they would react. They'd look askance; shake their heads and tsk tsk; and then go on their way, secure in their cloak of uninformed superiority. I'd bet on that, ya know.

17. Oh yes, I dew no. That is xactly waht I wus thinking 2.

18. Would you agree that history is past its time, probably due to a lack of finance charge?

19. Could be it's past due for a simple battery charge. Or maybe that's Will Smith.

20. GB, your description of the interview you heard would be hilarious if it weren't so sad. Another variety of interview frequently encountered these days is the one in which every answer is preceded by "Great question!" and/or "Absolutely." Pretty soon the interview starts to sound hackneyed even if the substance of it isn't.

But the lapse in usage that most distresses me is the one in which the misuse of a word or phrase becomes so prevalent that the lexicographers are obliged to recognize it as an "alternative" meaning to the correct one. The two instances of this that most irritate me are "comprise" and "beg the question." "Comprise" used to mean "encompass" or "include" (e.g., "a full year comprises 12 months"). It has now been misused so much to mean "constitute" or "make up" (e.g., "a full year is comprised of 12 months") that it can have either meaning, making it inherently ambiguous since the two are opposing concepts. This effectively makes the word unusable, at least in documents in which precision is essential, such as legal agreements.

"Beg the question" has fared even worse. It started out as a rhetorical term meaning to support a proposition with an argument that assumes the truth of the proposition to be proven, e.g., "the Bible must be true, because it is the word of God and God would not lie to us." But lately the term has become widely misused to mean "raise the question," e.g., "Biden's record in boosting the economy begs the question why his approval rating is so low." This misuse extends even to organizations that strive for proper usage, such as the BBC and NPR, making it inconceivable that the original meaning will ever recover its proper exclusivity. The result is that what used to be a neat method of undercutting an adversary's logically defective argument can no longer be used without the risk of confusion as to what is actually meant.

Thanks for raising the subject of proper usage and the chance to pontificate.

88. Cate Blanchett --> carte blanche

Last Sunday I said, “What goes up must come down, “ referring to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (winner of 3 Oscars) starring – among others – Cate Blanchett. One character ages normally (upward) and the other gets younger, i.e., ages downward.

89. CATE BLANCHETT, CARTE BLANCHE
See y'all here again when this one comes up for the fourth time.
pjbBelievesGreatMindsThinkAlike,ButAFewOfThemShouldn'tNecessarilySayAnythingWhenTheyDo

90. For GB and SDB

Rules for the English Language Police –

1. Don't use no double negatives.
2. Make each pronoun agree with their antecedent.
3. When dangling, watch your participles.
4. Don't use commas, which aren't necessary.
5. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
7. Try to not ever split infinitives.
8. It is important to use apostrophe's correctly.
9. Always check what you have written to see you any words out.
10. Correct spelling is esential.

Chuck

1. Them's is good to no. Is you a teacher purson?

2. You forgot one:
A preposition is a word one must never end a sentence with.
pjbBelievesThisIsTheSortOfThingUpWithWhichHe SimplyCannotPut

3. Canvass the style manuals and writing references and websites—the answer is near universal. End a sentence with a preposition if you need to. Prepositions are perfectly good words to end sentences with. If you think there’s a rule against ending with a preposition, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

91. Cate Blanchett — carte blanche

My clue, posted on May 15:
This was almost a birthday gift! (My birthday is tomorrow. 😁)
And Cate Blanchett's birthday was "yesterday" (May 14).

92. SDB

No, I was never a teacher per se. However, I did teach a computer language at a 2-year college – for five years - one class per semester. I enjoyed doing it, but it was never my regular gig.

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