Sunday, May 08, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 8, 2022): Name that Sitcom

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 8, 2022): Name that Sitcom
Q: 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?
I'm not going to lie but I thought there might be a link to Mother's Day... there is, but I'm not happy with it.

Edit: LIE -> LYE -> SOAP and also the memorable quote from the movie, "I have had it with these motherloving snakes on this motherloving plane!" (slightly altered from the original).
A: Snakes on a Plane (2006) --> SOAP (1977-1981)

153 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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  2. Well, I also found a link to Mother's Day that I'm not happy with. I'll wait a few days to see what else pops into my head.

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  3. Take all the letters in the movie title that appear only once in the title. Rearrange. Pronounce twice. You get a noise an animal makes in movement.

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    Replies
    1. I think I have the same answer as you, since the above works with my answer.

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  4. As I posted at the end of last week's blog, I thought I had the answer, but it involved a somewhat flexible interpretation of the puzzle's wording, so I second-guessed myself for a while, The more I considered it, however, the more I became convinced it was right. Now to come up with a hint...

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  5. I don’t see a link to Mother’s Day but I’m sure there’s some method to will’s madness.

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  6. Anagram both the movie title and the sitcom title, and get a sports term, a child star, and a timely reference.

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    1. Nicely done, Dr. K.
      ...or, anagram the combined letters of the movie title and the sitcom title to get a synonym of "uropygium," a female first name and a U.S. state.
      ...or, anagram the combined letters of the movie title and the sitcom title to get a pastry, a church part and a different U.S. state.

      Legopygium

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    2. Thanks, Lego, though I must admit that many hours later I was still second-guessing myself (and some of the others' comments raised a serious specter of doubt in my mind), so I tried an hour of shooting baskets outside to clear my head and now will give it another, but different kind of, shot. I suppose it would be easier if I had some better familiarity with recent movies and older sitcoms.

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    3. Lego, both of your anagram clues are great. I completely overlooked the state names in the movie title letters till I saw your post. I especially liked the synonym for uropygium, as I hadn't heard of either the synonym or the word itself. That particular clue would have been even better a few Sundays ago! Thanks for a most enjoyable way of checking my answer.

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    4. You are welcome, Nodd. And, thank you!

      FoghornLegohorn Shakin'ATailFeather!

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    5. And I forgot to mention that one of the state names even features a connection to the movie title.

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  7. I have an uncommon answer. It works, but I doubt it is the intended answer...

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    1. Yeah, I'm starting to wonder how much this puzzle hinges on the definition of "popular movie."

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    2. And a few minutes later, I come across an answer that works. Now to come up with a hint.

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  8. There is a perfectly good answer that seems rather boring and involves little puzzlecraft. I'm at a loss as to whether I should continue.

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    1. I think I have your answer, Ben. It fits some of the comments in the blog (including Blaine's), but not the ones I would like it to fit. The anagrammers seem to be playing with other letters.

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    2. I have now thought of the other answer to which most of the blog comments refer, and I can more enthusiastically compliment Al on his puzzle. Moreover, the sitcom in my original answer might have a technically disqualifying feature.

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  9. Hey friends, It's me, the creator of todays puzzle! I'm so thrilled to have one of mine selected again. I didn't intend it to have a Mothers Day reference but I think I know what Blain is referring to.

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    Replies
    1. Congrats, Al!

      LegoWhoAppreciatesTryingToSolveAnotherGloriousAlGoriPuzzle

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    2. Great puzzle! Really difficult as I couldn't find it on the many lists of films I looked at. Perhaps if I tried it monday through friday instead of sunday it would've been easier.

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    3. Thank you Al! We appreciate talented puzzle makers.

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    4. Surprisingly, I could never find the movie title in all the lists I checked. Finally, it took looking up the sitcom title in a different list to find the(expletive deleted)film. Thanks, Al.
      pjbBeingSubtle,ButHopefullyNotTMI!

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  10. If the movie were "Gone with the Wind" would the "initial letters" be "GWTW" or something like "gonewit"

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    1. It's the initial letter of each word (GWTW)

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    2. Thanks for that clarification.. I was totally thinking that the first letters in the movie title were the title of the sitcom.

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    4. agreed... in which case the sitcom "Alf" works with plenty movies...

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    5. I was thinking it had to be ALF or perhaps, if I'm cheeky, "Marvel's Age of Ultron, Director's Edition"

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  12. Got it, and none too soon! Now on to cleaning the house, before my mother comes over for Mother's Day dinner.

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  13. Got it. Now I can go back to bed.

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  15. Replies
    1. Palate cleanser (kinda the same idea as jan's, below).

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  16. It is easy to find online lists of the movies.
    My question is why there are so many I have never heard of. Anyhow, I gave up.
    I am assuming that I will have at least heard of the sitcom on Thursday or when somebody gives it away.

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

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  18. Near miss with a Mother's day connection:

    There is a film from this century entitled Memories of Murder and a sitcom, also from this century, entitled Mom.

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  19. I definitely have Blaine's answer. In fact, to be honest, I didn't read his clue until just now... and I'd been mulling over using a similar clue.
    I get Rob's anagram clue, although I would have done something other than that in-motion sound with the remaining letters! But the other anagram clue is just too fricken long for me.
    And I don't have a clue of my own I'm afraid. Oh, except: both the show and the movie really are well-known!

    And thanks, Al! Fun puzzle!

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  20. For all those who see a Mother's Day connection in the movie, my mother would have a remedy involving the sitcom.

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    1. My mother used that same "remedy". I do not recommend it. --M.G.

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    2. Me, neither, Margaret. Never did any damned good, anyway.

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  21. Here's a spinoff puzzle. Please follow the same Blainesville rules, and don't give away the answer.

    Start with a movie that was released in the 20th century. The initial letters in the title spell the name of a television show that ran in both the 20th and 21st centuries.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Too bad that "Easy Rider" is a 20th century film...

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    2. Still it could be "ETERNO RETORNO" but I don't think so...

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    3. Why is that too bad? You may want to re-read my spinoff puzzle.

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    4. "Too bad" because if "Easy Rider" were a 21st century movie, it would be an answer to this week's puzzle.

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    5. ER was a sitcom? (asks the guy who has never owned a TV). Yeah, I get it...

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  22. Have there been eleven movies with The Avengers? If so, I may have an answer, but otherwise I am stumped!

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  23. Interesting thing if you enter the title of the sitcom in the IMDb search box.

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    1. Thank you, but be careful.

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    2. Go to IMDb and search for "Soap"; you'll see "Soap", then "Soapdish", then "Snakes on a Plane." You had to have the right answer to discover this.

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  24. Despite Blaine's clarification, it looks like I'm going with my initial answer, if only because the movie soundtrack I have in mind has a couple of my favorite songs. One of which, incidentally, reminds me of a couple of other sitcoms from the previous century. Man, I'm getting old.

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  25. One of these titles can truly be called popular – the other, not so much.

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  26. Finally got it! The sitcom was not on my radar. The movie makes me think of calendars and agriculture.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! You confirmed my answer.

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    2. My clue was a bit misleading! I had been recalling the infamous TV edit as "these melon-farming snakes on this Monday-to-Friday plane." However, the line is actually "monkey-fighting snakes"—a vast improvement, I'd say :). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4t6zNZ-b0A

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    3. (Also, I've never in my life heard of Soap—it aired before I was born, I think.)

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    4. Dr. A--"aired before you were born"? I'm suddenly feeling very old.

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    5. Dr. K—it's all relative! My soccer teammates probably see me as an Aged Crone tbh.

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    6. "Soap" ran from September 13, 1977, until April 20, 1981.

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  27. Oscar Wilde once said something like the plain and simple truth is neither plain nor simple. My earlier answer, to put it plain and simple, was wrong. Please disregard any comments I made in association with it. (According to a comment since removed by the author, I may have had the same answer as Howie Roark.) Despite not being particularly knowledgeable about 21st-century films but maybe a bit more about 20th-century sitcoms, I finally got the right answer this morning as I took a morning walk in the garden. Kudos to those who solved this so quickly.

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    1. Dr K., when Blaine let my original comment stand (which I later removed), I was pretty sure that my original answer was not the intended one. So much for 'the most romantic song ever'.

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    2. Naturally your post also brought this one to mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS-TAYQiSkM

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  28. If my answer is the correct one - I had trouble originally because I was thinking locally instead of on a more grander scale

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  29. I don't have the answer yet, but I was trying to work with "Mission To Mars". MTM was Mary Tyler Moore's production company, but her sitcom was named "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (TMTMS). So that doesn't work. The other problem is Mission to Mars is from the year 2000, which technically is the last century. Sooo, I may wait till Thursday like some others on this blog.

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  30. FWIW, I don't think I have seen a movie this century (or at least not a new one).
    And I don't think I watched more than five or six TV sitcoms on a regular basis in the last one.
    I'll provide a list on request, but but be aware the first one was Mr. Peepers.

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    1. Both the sitcom and film were so popular I doubt you could have avoided hearing about either one in their day.

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    2. I don't think I ever heard of the sitcom in its day. But, the acronym became very familiar.

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  31. "It was my understanding there would be no math."

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  32. The closest I came up with was "Europa Report" (ER), which I'm sure is incorrect. I kept thinking it might be a Star Wars sequel for S.W.A.T.... but no.....

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  33. I FINALLY just got it, and now I'm absolutely dying from y'all's clues. AMAZING! :P

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    1. Like, I literally signed up for a handle just so I could tell you all how much I loved your clues on this one. :) I had been fixated on Alf and Alfie wayyyy too long.

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    2. It's quite a handle. But Blogger says you've had it since November, 2015.

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    3. Yes did not Mel Gibson star in " A love forgotten?"

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    4. Lies! :P I've only been Percy's mom for 2 years, so... [Percy's my dog] LOL.

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    5. Sorry. It seems that you can change your handle, and Blogger still remembers how long you've been around.

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    6. I haven't been around Peg since she squared up and dropped out.

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    7. No worries! That's so funny. I don't remember ever blogging before, but, ya know, too much wine in my twenties maybe... :P

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    8. It's no wonder bred well boys will loaf on sand which they like to toast.

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  34. I actually love the connection to Mother's Day. Then again, my own mother used to refer to me that way.

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  35. I encounter one thing every day and another almost never.

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    1. K, but which one's which, lol... I'd be concerned if it's the counterintuitive one.

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  36. Should we be concerned that we haven't yet heard this week from Word Woman and skydiveboy?

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    1. Perhaps they are catching up on movies.

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    2. I decided not to work on trying to solve this week's puzzle. I did not want to look at long lists, especially since some here said they could not locate the movie. So I gave up, but it did cross my mind occasionally. I just returned from a walk around the cemetery and for some unknown reason, as I was sitting a tombstone, the movie title came to me out of the blue as I was looking at a maintenance shed.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. I can't help wondering how many, like myself, first thought the movie in question might be: "The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade." But then realized 1967 was in the last century.

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  37. I saw Places in the Heart, but I didn't find it PITHY.

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  38. I predict a low submission rate this week because most people are not interested in highly intellectual movies.

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  39. Finally got the answer just in time. But out of respect for NPR's cultural diversity, I think Will should accept the popular Malaysian movie Abang Long Fadil (Alf) as an alternate answer. It was so popular, they made a sequel Abang Long Fadil 2.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abang_Long_Fadil

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    1. Given what I believe to be a loose application of the word 'popular' in the intended answer, I find A Last Farewell (2018) equally valid.

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    2. Except it is The Last Farewell.

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    3. Except that I've read enough IKEA catalogues to confirm that "Ett Sista Farval" definitely translates as "A Last Farewell"

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  40. Snakes on a Plane >>> SOAP

    My Hint:
    "...I just returned from a walk around the cemetery and for some unknown reason, as I was sitting on a tombstone, the movie title came to me out of the blue as I was looking at a maintenance shed."
    This narrative is all true, except for me looking at a maintenance shed. I put that in because snakes shed their skin.

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  41. SNAKES ON A PLANE —> SOAP

    Once I got it right, I hinted with “plain” and “garden.” (The misquotation of Oscar Wilde, who actually said “pure and simple truth,” not “plain and simple,” was of course deliberate.) And then I kept my fingers crossed that Blaine would not remove the comment. Miraculously, he didn’t.

    Knowing a bit more about old sitcoms than new movies (but not much more), I initially worked backwards from the sitcoms I remembered with short names, as I suspect others did, and thought right away of ALF and Soap. My first, incorrect answer—using a “somewhat flexible interpretation of the puzzle’s wording”—was Almost Famous and ALF, involving two letters from the first word and one from the second, so I stopped considering Soap, at least for a while. When I finally accepted that Almost Famous and ALF were probably incorrect, I began to focus on Soap, and what struck me was that the second word of the movie title was likely “of” or “on” and the third word was possibly “a.” The answer came after that.

    In case anyone besides Lego is interested, the anagrammatic answers to my first, misguided hint based on Almost Famous and ALF—“Anagram both the movie title and the sitcom title, and get a sports term, a child star, and a timely reference”—were OUTS, ALFALFA, and MOMS.

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    1. I also thought ALF and Almost Famous for like 3 days straight!

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    2. Dr. K, Thanks. I am interested. I was, of course, unsuccessful in my quest to come up with a “a sports term, a child star, and a timely reference” using the letters of SNAKES ON A PLANE + SOAP... but, then again, there are many sports terms, child stars, and timely references I have never heard of! So, I went with it.
      Congrats to you on quickly "reeling in" Al Gori's intended answer after tossing that "red herring" back into the puzzle pond!

      LegoAlmostFalfa

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  42. I wrote, “Take all the letters in the movie title that appear only once in the title. Rearrange. Pronounce twice. You get a noise an animal makes in movement.” That’s klop-klop.

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  43. 1. EARLY RELEASE (2017) → E/R (CBS sitcom, 1984).

    2. FOOL MOON (2016) → FM (NBC sitcom, 1989).

    3. FAMILY MATTERS (2019) → FM (NBC sitcom, 1989).

    After these, I have searched for NO other alternative answers...

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  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  45. SNAKES ON A PLANE, SOAP

    > For all those who see a Mother's Day connection in the movie, my mother would have a remedy involving the sitcom.

    She would wash your monkey-fighting mouth out with soap.

    > Crate

    A krait is a snake.

    Also:

    Crate -> box -> soap box -> Soap Box Derby -> Derby Day -> last weekend.

    > I don't think I ever heard of the sitcom in its day. But, the acronym became very familiar.

    I got lots of practice writing SOAP (Subjective-Objective-Assessment-Plan) notes in PA school and for years afterwards.

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  46. Cripes! It's Cryptic Crossword time again on Puzzleria! this week, courtesy of our friend and our master of crypticology" Patrick J. Berry (screen name, "cranberry"). Patrick has peppered his clues with a "Beethoven classic," "police using grass," "A poet lost in North Dakota," a "witch doctor" among other savory images. Patrick's cryptic crosswords are always, challenging, entertaining and educational.
    Also on this week's menus are:
    * a "Schpuzzle of the Week" about overcast or "shadows-cast" weather forecasts,
    * a puzzle-slice about "unidentified flying keyboards" & "extraterrestrial typewriting,"
    * a Dessert puzzle in search of a major league “Sioneer” and a “Puperstar,” and
    * Eight riff-offs (titled “Soap Flakes on a Plane!”) of Al Gori's NPR puzzle.
    C'mon by for some cryptic fun!
    Note: The answers to my two Sunday hints:
    Anagram the combined letters of the movie title and the sitcom title to get a synonym of "uropygium," a female first name and a U.S. state.
    ...or, anagram the combined letters of the movie title and the sitcom title to get a pastry, a church part and a different U.S. state.
    SNAKES ON A PLANE + SOAP=
    POPE'S NOSE + ANN (or NAN) + ALASKA
    or
    NAPOLEON + APSE + KANSAS

    LegoWithJusifiablyKindWordsAboutcranberry'sJustifiablyEnjoyableCrosswords

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    1. SNAKES ON A PLANE, SOAP
      The "(expletive deleted)" part of my earlier post was in reference to Samuel L. Jackson's colorful language in the film. BTW Lego, don't give away too much about my latest puzzle! You've practically revealed one of the clues verbatim(almost)! Let 'em find out the details for themselves!
      pjbBelievesOneCanTease,ButDon'tHarass!

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    2. You got your states mixed up. The anagrams are:
      (I suggest you select, copy, and paste the below to a text file using a fixed-pitch font text editor.)

      Snakes On A Plane & SOAP
      ...... .. . P.... . .... P
      ...... O. . ..... . .... O
      ...... .. . ..... . ...P P
      ....e. .. . ..... . .... E
      S..... .. . ..... . .... S

      .n.... .. . ..... . .... N
      ...... .. . ..... . .O.. O
      ...... .. . ..... . S... S
      ...... .. . ....e . .... E


      ...... .. . ..... . ..A. A
      ...... .n . ..... . .... n
      ...... .. . ...n. . .... n


      ...... .. A ..... . .... A
      ...... .. . .l... . .... l
      ..a... .. . ..... . .... a
      .....s .. . ..... . .... s
      ...k.. .. . ..... . .... k
      ...... .. . ..a.. . .... a





      Snakes On A Plane & SOAP
      ...... .n . ..... . .... N
      ...... .. . ..a.. . .... a
      ...... .. . P.... . .... p
      ...... O. . ..... . .... o
      ...... .. . .l... . .... l
      ...... .. . ....e . .... e
      ...... .. . ..... . .O.. o
      ...... .. . ...n. . .... n


      ...... .. . ..... . ..A. A
      ...... .. . ..... . ...P p
      ...... .. . ..... . S... s
      ....e. .. . ..... . .... e


      ...k.. .. . ..... . .... K
      ..a... .. . ..... . .... a
      .n.... .. . ..... . .... n
      S..... .. . ..... . .... s
      ...... .. A ..... . .... a
      .....s .. . ..... . .... s

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  47. A more direct Mother's Day connection:
    BABY ON BOARD (2009), BOB (1992-93).

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  48. SNAKES ON A PLANE; SOAP
    My clue was, “Say what.” In "Pulp Fiction," Samuel L. Jackson, interrogating at gunpoint a man feigning ignorance, says: “Say ‘what’ again! I dare ya! I double dare you, mother–!”, presaging the Mother's Day connection from "Snakes on a Plane" noted by Blaine and others.

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    1. That's curious. I don't really recall Samuel Jackson being in Pulp Fiction.

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    2. He plays Jules Winnfield, John Travolta's partner in crime, and gives an iconic performance in the final scene in the diner.

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  49. I didn't love this puzzle.

    SNAKES ON A PLANE -> SOAP works, kinda, but I don't really think of SOAP as a "popular sitcom." And the inclusion of Jimmy Baio is a little bit too Joey Travolta for me.

    And now I'm so pleased with myself, as I'm 58 and just successfully used Joey Travolta as an adjective. I can die in peace.

    My preferred answer is the simpler FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS -> FRIENDS, because I find the clueing phrase of "initial letters" to be ambiguous. And the film and TV sitcom are better.

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    1. Ben,
      Soap was hugely popular and very, very funny. It was an outrageous spoof of soap operas.

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    2. My favorite spoof of soap operas was Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

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  50. I'll take snakes on my plane and soap in my eyes over Thursdays at Blainesville.

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  51. Back in September 2006 when Snakes on a Plane was in the news, for whatever reason I never discovered, my younger brother asked me if I wanted to drive a brand new Sprinter van down to L.A. in order to have a lift designed and installed. He worked for a company that sold mobility equipment. I agreed and drove it down and flew back on Southwest (no snakes). I arrived in Los Angeles via the Grapevine on I-5. There were major fires that had closed that route the day before, so I lucked out and was able to use that route. When I arrived with the van at the business location, in a large, modern warehouse type building, the receptionist asked me how the drive down had been, specifically about with the raging fires on the Grapevine, which I could see as I descended. I replied that I had no problems until coming down the Grapevine the snakes got loose in the van. I thought my joke would be easily understood and appreciated since I was now in Hollywood Land, but she did not get the joke and I had to explain it to her.

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  52. "Now on to cleaning the house..." was a reference to SOAP, of course!

    For my spinoff puzzle, the answer was indeed Easy Rider, which leads to the TV series ER. I don't have the powers of Blaine, so I couldn't remove the comment that mentioned the answer.

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  53. Aujourd’hui, I enjoyed "Carmen" at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Fabulous!

    Two things:

    We need a more exotic word in English for "today."

    Opting out of this puzzle and tending to geology students, making topographic maps, and discussing students' "pet rocks" was a better use of my aujourd’hui, as well as yesterday and the day before...

    Bonjour!

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    1. But, of course, I did miss you all.

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    2. And I was at a real opera, not a SOAP opera, so maybe that counts for something. . .

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  54. Movie: Die Another Day (US) – Sitcom: Dad (UK)

    Last Sunday I said, “One of these titles can truly be called popular – the other, not so much.” The Bond film is…well, it’s a Bond Film so loads of people go see it.

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    1. I could tell that Die Another Day was floating around from some of the comments. That was my original thought too, and I quickly confirmed that there was a Dad sitcom, so I thought I was done. (It certainly fit Blaine's clue.) But it was not very satisfying, and it didn't fit the other hints, so I kept looking and found the better answer. Later, I checked the sitcom Dad and found it was a BBC show, which will probably disqualify it. I do like Baby on Board and Bob as a worthy alternate.

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  55. I also got "Die Another Day">>>>>>DAD
    I did wonder about "ALPHIE">>>>>ALF

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  56. My hint "Now I can go back to bed" was a reference to an audiobook read by Mr. Jackson, "Go the F**k to Sleep" .

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  57. I'm so glad to have been able to share this puzzle with everyone! I did not expect there to be alternative answers.
    If anyone is curious, visit homespunmerrygoround.net to see my other creation.

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    1. Al, your Homespun Merry-Go-Round looks like loads of fun! Great visuals, great creativity, great interactivity.

      LegoWhoObservesThatAlIsA"PizzazzMaker"AsWellAsAPuzzleMaker

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    2. Thanks Al. Fun puzzle. Is that Riverside park NYC?

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    3. Al: The link to your website and other Google refs don't work very well.

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    4. That was Riverside Park. This weekend it's in Kingston NY at Forsyth Park. Sunday in Teaneck NJ Overpeck Park.

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  58. First, the puzzle statement was ambiguous with the phrase “initial letters”.. I do not like such ambiguity tge challenge should be the puzzle and not its multiple interpretations…
    Second, these titles can be entirely mindless googling and looking up. This is not to detract from the observation skills of the puzzle maker. Marvelous observation.. but hardly tests the intuitive, or deductive or imaginative skills of the listener … in my 3 years of avid following the puzzle, this is indeed the worst in terms of creating excitement. One can see it is solvable by mere cataloging…not in the same class as “standard” and “Wolfgang Puck”

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  59. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener John Sieger, of Wauwatosa, Wis. 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?

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  60. Solved it. Waiting for Blaine...

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  61. Another repeat puzzle, from the past decade.

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    1. Actually, used twice within the past decade.

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    2. Why can't Will or his intern take the same 30 seconds that I just did to search the NPR site to avoid repeats like this???

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    3. Not a bad suggestion, Jan. What do you think, Will?

      In my case, ignorance is bliss.

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    4. MAI OUI! You'd think that Will's menu wouldn't have been so limited.

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    5. AND, there's a connection to Roman numerals!

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  62. Just solved the movie-star puzzle. This was almost a birthday gift! (My birthday is tomorrow. 😁)

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  63. My approach last week was the same as that of the on-air winner, Mark Englehart—I tried to make Alf and MASH work. (I wasn't familiar with Soap.)

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  64. Took me a few min… good feeling after the previous one which was a debacle for me

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