Sunday, May 22, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 22, 2022): A Pair of Islands Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 22, 2022): A Pair of Islands Puzzle
Q: Take the name of an island. Move its first letter two spaces later in the alphabet (so A would become C, B would become D, etc.). Reverse the result and you'll have the name of another island. What islands are these?
Regulars to this blog have an advantage. While I submitted this awhile ago and don't remember hearing back, I guess it got added to the queue of puzzles. Well, I can't change yesterday, but we can change tomorrow! I say we "keep calm and carry on".

The day before the puzzle was May 21. On that same date in 1976, I was living on Guam and went through Supertyphoon Pamela that went straight over the island. And in May 23, 1960 a tsunami hit the Hawaiian Islands. The other hint was "keep calm" which was what it was like in the eye of the storm (a really eerie experience if you've never gone through such a storm) and also a callback to another puzzle where I mentioned keep calm and love Maui.
A: GUAM --> MAUI

156 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.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. I had to temporarily unpublish that post, for obvious reasons. 😀

      Delete
    2. Good you had advanced notice.

      Delete
  3. Nice. I have it. Congrats, Blaine!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Take the second island. Change the third letter. You get another island.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In a manner of speaking, perhaps.

      Delete
    2. Mali is a landlocked country, which I can construe as "islandish" ... sort of.

      Delete
    3. Outlandish! (Maybe a better description?)

      Delete
  5. Over 1000 correct entries last week.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congrats, Blaine! You are surely living "No man is an island."

    ReplyDelete
  7. Advance the last letter of the second island three letters in the alphabet, and get a word that means something you would not want to happen to you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The answer was quickly found on a map on my kitchen wall. Good thing I'm here today, unlike last week.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What's the use?
    (Just kidding, Blaine. I enjoyed the puzzle. Congratulations.)

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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

      Delete
    2. Sorry, I didn't mean to reveal anything. Have a good week, everyone! --Margaret G.

      Delete
    3. Margaret, your comment that "My job relates to protecting both" pretty much implied that both islands are American. Do you work on the Aegis BMD / SM-3 system?

      Delete
    4. Some of the places I help protect are not American, but I can see how it can be taken that way. And no.

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello, all! And congrats, Blaine. I enjoyed this puzzle both times around.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I of course wanted Madagascar to work, but Racsagadão, the fake Azorean island I just made up, is likely not an acceptable answer.

    Nice work, Blaine! You're welcome!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Congrats, Blaine! No man produces an island puzzle better that you do.

    LegoWhoAddsThatNoManProducesABlogAboutPuzzlesBetterThanBlaineDoesEither

    ReplyDelete
  16. Though as noted in the prompt it's an easyish puzzle, it nonetheless does relate to a subject of deep interest.

    Riff-off puzzle with a slight twist: Take the name of a different island, located in the US. Rearrange to get a word that is often applied to tourists of island resorts. Then change the fourth letter to form a word that is part of the name of another island in the US.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Shouldn't that be two places FURTHER in the alphabet rather than later?

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Nattahoa, whose Garden is the home of many Skcinm and Sregnat fans.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I tried to make Rhode Island work. Approaching 90 degrees in the Northeast this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  22. One of the islands reminds me of a pet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maui sounds like "meowy". A cat says, "Meow!"

      Delete
  23. Congrats Blaine! And I know it's an easy one, but at least it is also geographical, and even Joe Biden said, "But look, look. Here's the Deal..."

    ReplyDelete
  24. Congrats Blaine! By reverse the result does that mean the answer backwards?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Take ICELAND as an example. Changing the first letter you get KCELAND. Reversing the result you get DNALECK. If that was another island, you'd be done. Anyway, I hope that explains the process.

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

      Delete
    3. TomR, I actually thought of proposing the puzzle that way. And now I'm going to have to delete your comment.

      Delete
    4. Blaine - deletion accepted, as if I had a choice. I made the mirror comment as a joke, because how hard is it to understand 'backwards." (Now I sound mean.) I did not realize it was a giveaway because I hadn't even solved the puzzle yet!

      Delete
  25. Did you hear about the igneous petrologist who received her college degree magma cum laude?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Puns like these pain me to the core.

      Delete
    2. jsulbyrne, very glad you are able to crystallize your thoughts.

      Delete
    3. You can take it for granite that people have been stoned for less.

      Delete
    4. I didn't start this; it's not my fault. If you get my drift.

      Delete
    5. Any moraine could come up with a slurry of bad drift.

      Delete
    6. May the quartz with with you!

      Delete
    7. This comment thread is done, so I caldera cab.

      Delete
    8. And was that cab an O'pal of yours? Perhaps even a cryptocrystalline silly ca(b)?

      Delete
    9. There are so many facets to your personalities on here.

      Delete
    10. A facet leak could explain sdb's kitchen island situation.

      Delete
    11. A friend suggested I install casters, but I think that would be counterrevolutionary.

      Delete
    12. My Italian friend say he lava dees puns. They really rock.

      Delete
    13. What did the limestone say to the geologist? Don't take me for granite!

      Delete
    14. Have these jokes hit rock bottom?

      Delete
    15. Not yet, but they are beginning to fissile out.

      Delete
    16. Allegedly making the rounds in Moscow: One of Putin's propagandists on Russian TV said that nuclear war is OK, since all brave Russian soldiers will go to heaven. Heaven heard about it, and immediately applied for NATO membership.

      Delete
  26. Why are islands always surrounded by water, including the island in my kitchen?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wait! What? I finally resolved that Will and Blaine are not the same person, and now this morning I learned Blaine's last name isn't "Blog"?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me.

      Delete
    2. For some reason this reminds me of a scene from Three's Company. They were drinking a toast and Jack said Happy Days, then Janet said Good Times. Chrissy said Little House on the Prairie. Cracked me up! You try to explain that to kids today.....

      Delete
  28. Not many people are aware of the Isle de Lamon, yet it's agreed that no man is an island.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Easter becomes Retsag, a town in Hungary. But not an island. So disappointed.

    ReplyDelete
  30. In the park, I saw someone with a T-shirt with the name of one of these islands. That's not a hint, but if I quoted the popular phrase that was under the name, it would be TMI.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Musical clue - One of the islands reminds me of The Rivingtons.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Unlike Navarone and Anopopei, this is a real island. So is its alphabetically altered and inverted other. It's even mentioned in a Lenny Bruce routine.

    ReplyDelete
  33. STATEN ISLAND the ore mined there is good for lowering my cholesterol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STARBUCK ISLAND is uninhabited for the obvious reason that you need to sleep sometime.

      Delete
  34. This puzzle makes me feel so entrenched that I think I shall erupt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GUAM -> MAUI - Guam is close to the Mariana Trench and Maui is largely a big volcano.

      Delete
  35. Amazing, Blaine! I've oft noted how unfair it is that you host us, yet have never been picked to solve. But this is better!
    Welcome to the "production" side of the house.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Funny - I remembered the puzzle - but I had forgotten the answer. So I got to solve it twice now. :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Recently, in the last couple weeks or so, reports are coming out in the media that Vladimir Putin is extremely ill, and perhaps suffering from Parkinson's Disease, but the evidence is rather shaky at best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So what does that have to do with this week's Puzzle?

      Delete
    2. About as much as your post does.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. Hope all you want, Natasha, but when you begin taking things off the humor/joke table you will soon have nothing left to consume.

      Delete
    5. Skydiveboy: After thinking about it, I think you have solved the Puzzle with your comment. Putin's War.

      Delete
    6. sdb: I removed as none of my business.

      Delete
    7. Blaine's comment about yesterday and today will confirm you have the correct answers. And then there was the spoonerism! Blaine rules!

      Delete
  38. Good thing I solved this one eventually or I would've been quite angry with the blog administrator himself.
    pjbThinksIt'sAPitySometimesThatThe"Removal"BitIsn'tATwo-WayStreet!(ButDon'tWorryBlaine,We'reStillGood!)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Wow! We are all so proud of Blaine this week!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Can I just say a few words about the bogosity of Wordle?

    The rules are clear and simple: After each guess, the color of each letter tile is set to indicate:

    (1) The letter is in the word and in the correct spot,
    (2) The letter is in the word but in the wrong spot, or
    (3) The letter is not in the word in any spot.

    Let's say the target word contains a single E in the first position, and the guessed word is LEVER. In that case, the first E will turn the color that indicates it is in the word but in the wrong spot, while the second E will turn the color that indicates it is not in the word in any spot.

    What makes the left E "righter" than the right E? Where in the rules is this explained? The color of the second E is the one that's supposed to show there is no E anywhere in the word, which is clearly wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How about words such as:
      emcee
      épées
      geese
      levee
      mêlée
      peeve
      pewee
      reeve
      tepee
      that I find annoying?

      I gave up being concerned with not solving in 2 or 3 guesses because it frequently comes down to which suitable solution word I guess is the one.

      Delete
    2. Jan, I do not find it bogus. In the example you give, I would know that the E is not in either position, and the second E being black tells me that there is only one E. As for what makes the first E "righter," I have always read it from left to right. Technically, the scoring will first go through your guess, and determine which letters are green--correct letter in the correct position. Then it goes left to right checking the remaining letters.

      So, if you guessed LEVER, and the target word was BAKED, you should get a green box in position 4 to indicate that letter is in the correct position, and all others would be black.

      Delete
    3. How about EERIE? See which E is green...

      Delete
  41. I have an answer that would work if you moved the first letter up, rather than down, two spots in the alphabet (so C would become A, D would become B, etc.).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or start with the "resulting" island instead, and move the last (not the first) letter down two spots in the alphabet.

      Delete
    2. Oh, and soon after finding that answer, I found one that meets this puzzle's terms and conditions (move the first letter two spots down etc.). Not sure it is the intended answer, though; the islands both seem pretty obscure to me.

      I will wait until after the intended answer is revealed to decide whether I reveal my "reverse-approach" pair of islands—or submit it as a separate Sunday Puzzle suggestion, inspired by Blaine's puzzle. In any case: Way to go, Blaine! 👍

      Delete
    3. Hm, okay. I had Pola Island and Alor Island. Obviously that wasn't the intended answer, and with "Island" really being part of both islands' names…. Same issue with one of the "reverse-approach" islands I had come across, so…never mind.

      Delete
  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  43. All of a sudden, after weeks of blah, an interesting puzzle and situation.
    I don't remember the interim (now disappeared) poser that Blaine offered before, so it it didn't help help me with this one.
    This one needed only brain power without internet or even pencil and paper.
    I wonder if the alphabet movement part (or even which letter to change) was necessary. Were they Will's additions?
    I assume Blaine was surprised to see his work used without a call or note from the PM, who wondered what Blaine would think about it.
    It is hard to understand why Shorz did not mention that last week's challenge had been used, not once, but twice before.
    I also wonder why so many hints are offered so soon in the On-air portion.
    Ayesha Rascoe is providing some needed energy to the show, which is about the same age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The wording seems unchanged from my original submission. I suppose it could have been less specific with the risk of multiple answers.

      Delete
    2. Blaine,
      Didn't Will email you the game plan on either Wednesday or Thursday morning prior to the deadline? He always does that when he uses one of mine, and even once I caught an error he made which he corrected in time and was very happy about that.

      Delete
    3. Well what do you know!? I just checked my SPAM folder and there was a message from an AOL address. I didn't know anyone still had one of those. I wonder if I've had other messages from Will Shortz over the years that I never got as a result.

      Delete
    4. LOL
      Yeah he is not the only friend of mine who still uses AOL to my amazement. I check my spam folder at least once a day. In fact I discovered about 10 from your blog in my spam folder several minutes ago. That was a surprise.

      Delete
  44. There is a structure type known to both islands that might easily be confused with a menu item.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hi Folks!
    There are over 670,000 islands in the world. I have a second correct solution, and I bet there are probably many more. Will Shortz seems to accept only correct entries that meet his expectations, so let's try to submit as many different solutions as possible. My name is Kitty and I am a cat! MEOW!

    ReplyDelete
  46. KC, I also included a second island pairing along with the intended answer. Remember that you are asked to submit only one entry.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'm going to submit just one entry, but I will suggest alternate island pairs that are also correct, in addition to the obvious answer Will Shortz is looking for. Sometimes he mentions the alternate answers over the air.

    ReplyDelete
  48. This probably took me longer than most, but I finally got the right answer.

    I came up with a similar puzzle riffing on Blaine's:

    Take the name of an island. Move its LAST letter two spaces later in the alphabet (so A would become C, B would become D, etc.). Reverse the result and you'll have the name of another island. What islands are these? (Hint: folks in my region of the country -- the southeast US -- might be more familiar with one of these islands.)

    ReplyDelete
  49. Blaine wrote above about the use of his puzzle:
    "The wording seems unchanged from my original submission. I suppose it could have been less specific with the risk of multiple answers."
    When I first started following the Sunday Puzzle online the only group I found to discuss it was Richard Renner's. Then I found and enjoyed Magdalen Braden's "Englishman's etc"). And then this one. I'm not sure Blog was even a word at the start.
    I have always been bothered when Will Shortz ignored or denied what I thought were legitimate alternates to the one he wanted.
    I thought that as an enigmatologist he would be delighted at unexpected answers and especially that his listeners looked for, found, and then submitted them.
    That, to me, has always been a key to sharing and enjoying puzzling (which I have been doing longer than the PM, BTW).
    I have to admit that when he claimed an answer to be "unique," i.e. the only one, I looked harder to find exceptions. They were frequently found, by me and others.
    Still his refusal, to the extent I called it pathological.
    Once, recently, he claimed it was because his staff at NPR never showed him the submissions.
    All this verbiage is to the point that Blaine made above: that multiple answers are a "risk."
    That concept never occurred to me.
    I have, unsurprisingly, more to say on the subject if it gets some discussion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've noticed that even when WS says they "accepted" alternative answers, the on-air contestant is always someone who submitted the "intended" answer. This makes me wonder whether or not you can win with an alternative answer if that is the only answer you submitted, because you failed to come up with the intended answer. Maybe the issue has never arisen, because the great majority of responders submit the intended answer, or submit both the intended answer and an alternative, rather than an alternative by itself.

      Delete
    2. Will is "Shortz" indeed at only 5 feet 7 inches tall (according to his biography). Maybe his temperament is due to a Napoleon Complex. Come on Will, give credit when credit is due. Nobody is absolutely perfect.

      Delete
  50. I would like to ask WS which is correct: A half dozen or 3!. What do you think he would say or even accept as the correct answer?

    ReplyDelete
  51. I am very thankful that the Puzzle Master and Blaine create fun for us. The mean comments here make me wonder why the regular whiners invest their time in sharing their negative point of view every week. I appreciate the plain old fun of puzzles. Thank you Blaine and WS.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Let's wait and see how WS answers the Puzzle on Sunday. There will be more than one correct answer for this one, unlike a crossword puzzle word with a unique solution.

    ReplyDelete
  53. This is a funny one. The Wag Islands are an uninhabited Canadian arctic islands group in Kivalliq Region, Nunavut, Canada. The other island could be a vacation spot for Anderson and Don in the Canadian arctic islands in Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut. Don't Worry - Be Happy! MEOW!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Replies
    1. I don't know what you're talking about, but I live right in the middle between them.

      Delete
    2. I thought you might be a college professor.

      Delete
    3. Retired physician associate.

      Delete
    4. I knew you were a smart person. MEOW!

      Delete
  55. I thought you might be a college professor.

    ReplyDelete
  56. GUAM -> MAUI

    I had noted, "Good thing I'm here today..." That was a reference to the t-shirt, and other things, that say "Here today, gone to Maui."

    ReplyDelete
  57. GUAM & MAUI

    Recently Will Shortz used back to back puzzles from the same creator for the first time. However, this is the first time a puzzle has been featured by the same creator twice.

    ReplyDelete
  58. GUAM, MAUI

    “Advance the last letter of the second island three letters in the alphabet, and get a word that means something you would not want to happen to you.”

    MAUI —> MAUL

    ReplyDelete
  59. GUAM, MAUI

    > Population!

    Nearly identical: both islands have about 160,000 people. (And each was annexed by the U.S. in 1898.)

    > And yet again!

    In the New York Times Crossword on Wednesday:
    43D: Territory ceded by Spain to the U.S. in 1898

    But, of course, Will never does this.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I wrote, “Take the second island. Change the third letter. You get another island.” That’s Mali.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Also Guam and Maui here. Blaine's hints on the International Dateline confirmed them, and cleverly stated "Keep Calm and Carry On", a play on words of "Keep Calm and Love Guam." There are other solutions to the Puzzle. I hope they are mentioned on Sunday. My favorite is Cat Island (Bahamas) and Tae Island (Philippines). Well, what did you expect? My name is Kitty and I am a cat. A very, very special thanks to Blaine for allowing so many differing comments in our discussion. I guess anything goes unless you post a too obvious clue or suggest the answer. Thank you everyone. Now I can go back to my normal life of eating, sleeping, and MEOWING!

    ReplyDelete
  62. I don't think anyone mentioned Bali.

    ReplyDelete
  63. GUAM, MAUI.

    My clue was "Amazing, Blaine!" because when I was a teenager, people would spoke pot from Maui and call it "Maui Wowee!" but I've still never been there.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Puzzleria! this week features an ingenious "skydiverting" puzzle created by our friend skydiveboy. It involves a pair of mammals and a synonym. It appears in his "skydiversions" feature.
    Also on our menus this week:
    * a Schpuzzle of the Week about church people who take a particular vow,
    * an "Idiomaniacal" puzzle about an idiom,
    * a Dessert that asks the question "What’s under the little red riding hood?" and
    * eight "William Somerset Maughuam" riff-offs of Blaine's clever NPR puzzle.
    Why not drop by for some puzzlement?

    LegoWhoWarnsAllToBeAlertHoweverForObjects(OrPeople)ThatMayBeDroppingFromTheSky!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Note: We upload Puzzleria! in the wee hours of Friday morning, just after Midnight PDT

      Lego

      Delete
  65. GUAM and MAUI. My hint said the puzzle related to a "deep" subject, referring to the Mariana Trench and the fact Guam is in the Marianas Islands.

    Answer to my riff-off puzzle (posted Sunday at 7:08 am): Rhode Island, horde, Wild Horse Island.

    ReplyDelete
  66. GUAM, MAUI

    "No man is an island." G transforms into a reverse I-land.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I went to Maui in 1956.
    I had a stopover on Guam on the most welcome flight of my life in 1967.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Guam, Maui

    Last Sunday I said, “Musical clue - One of the islands reminds me of The Rivingtons.” The pronunciation of “Mow” (rhymes with meow) in their 1962 hit “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow” brings Maui to mind.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month to all who celebrate! An appropriate puzzle for May!

    ReplyDelete
  70. I wrote, "Nice work, Blaine! You're welcome!"

    You're Welcome is a song from the Disney animated film Moana, sung by the character Maui.

    Maui was voiced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Scroll up for a nice little pun thread about rock.

    ReplyDelete
  71. GUAM, MAUI
    pjbWouldLikeToCongratulateBlaineOnGettingOneOfHisOwnPuzzlesAcceptedByThePuzzleMaster(IWouldSayWelcomeToTheClub,ButApparentlyTheySayThisIsNotYourFirstTime,WhichMustHaveBeenBeforeIStartedDoingTheSundayPuzzle)

    ReplyDelete
  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  73. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  74. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Joseph Young, a.k.a. legolambda, is now running a puzzle I coined and sent to Will Shortz 2 weeks ago, but he declined to use with no reason given. He emailed:

    Hi Mark,
    Thanks. That's pretty cool wordplay.
    I don't think I can use it on NPR ... but I appreciate the offer.
    --Will

    Use the link to Puzzleria Blaine has provided upper right and see what you think.

    ReplyDelete
  76. IMO, it's worth taking a crack at, Sports Fans. Not too easy or difficult. At least, three facets, to coin a term, and no anagram involved. Also a touch of the exotic. WS is enigmatic; but, methinks this would have been a good one to keep in the hopper and not reject outright. Then again, I'm not in charge.

    ReplyDelete
  77. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Christopher Raymond, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (based on something his seven-year-old son Charlie noticed). Take a abbreviation found in text messages. Reverse the first two letters, and the result sounds like something else often found in text messages. What are these things?

    ReplyDelete
  78. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete