Sunday, June 19, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 19, 2022): Who Are These People?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 19, 2022): Who Are These People?
Q: Think of two famous people — one from business and one from entertainment — whose last names are anagrams of each other. Now take their first names, drop the last letter of each of them, and put the result together, without rearranging, and you'll get the full first name of a famous fictional character. Who are these people?
You can also rearrange the last names to get a place that you might have seen one of these people, maybe both.

Edit: Their last names also anagram to STAGE
A: (BIL)L GATES + (BO)B SAGET --> (BILBO) BAGGINS

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  4. Joyeuse Fête des Pères!

    I have it. It took a while, but I am sure of it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ever notice Elon's last name anagrams to Skum?

    ReplyDelete
  6. The fictional character had a bad habit. Hashtag: dropped letters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bilbo enjoyed the bad "habit" (hobbit) of puffin' the tobacki. Hashtag (# pound sign): lb (the dropped letters, respectively).

      Delete
  7. Ok, I got it. The business and entertainment names were actually the first names I considered but then got sidetracked. I guess you could say it was hard. Good puzzle, though.

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

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent clue! As a matter of fact it led me to the answer in a good way, through a little research and reasoning.

      Delete
  9. I have a satisfactory answer that takes a bit of liberty with the concept of "first names"—perhaps I'll keep looking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, I think I might have the same one.

      Delete
    2. Although, the one I have does fit Blaine's clue! I dunno, I don't think this is the intended answer.

      Delete
    3. There is a specific answer that's quite clearly the intended answer. I believe I have it, and I believe you will know when you have it. Open and shut case.

      Delete
    4. Starting to think I have a non-standard answer...mine also fits Blaine's clue, but only with a bit of a stretch...

      Delete
  10. Got this one working backwards.

    Happy Juneteenth! Imagine waiting over 2 years to hear the news of one's freedom...

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congratulations to Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Michigan for serving up this delicious gourmet three-course business-entertainment-literary masterpiece of a puzzle. It deserves inclusion on the Dante-like Honor Roll this Dairy Month.

    LegoWhoIsANativeOfTheDairyStateWhichSharesABorderWithMichigan'sUpper"Pen"AndMarkets"Divine"CheeseProducedNotByMoo-ersOrBy"SomeUdder"MechanicalOrHumanMilkShakersButRatherByBaa-ers!

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

    ReplyDelete
  13. Their middle names, in order, are that of a politician who held the same office of someone in the news this past week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Each week we face more than just one puzzle - the official puzzle, and then trying to understand all the clues left by others who've solved it sooner.
      Now this politician (made up of "Their middle names, in order), is he someone from the past who got fired by someone with the same last name as himself, or was he, in fact, a definitely Non-American politician? And can you give a little more guidance as to how someone holding the same office was in the news this past week?

      Delete
    2. EAWF, The two politicians I am referring to are American, one living and one dead. One held the political office in question for the shortest time to date, not due to termination, but rather resignation.

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

    ReplyDelete
  15. I got it when I puzzled about fictional character names. Funny how I seem to think more clearly when I focus of the last part of a puzzle first. That approach often works better for me.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm surprised it took me this long because I'm very aware of one of the names. Good puzzle this week.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Replies
    1. That should have got me there, but not quite.

      Delete
  18. This is a good puzzle for Father's Day.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Rachri sounds like he could be a character from Celtic mythology. (Ray Kroc, Chris Rock)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I thought of that! And Chrira is kinda almost sorta something in Indic mythology. (Tamil? Sinhala?)

      Delete
    2. But Crito, remember, the business guy's name has to come first!

      Delete
    3. Well, the puzzle doesn't actually say that.

      Delete
  20. Let me try again. Both of them have the same number of children.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Having now shot baskets for an hour and clearing my head, I think the answerI alluded to in my post is not the intended answer. I now think it might be a valid alternate answer, and I suspect it’s the same answer Dr. Awkward expressed reservations about above.

    Back to the drawing board.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've returned from the drawing board with the intended answer. If my previous sense of the puzzzle was that it was hard, now I don't think so.

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

    ReplyDelete
  24. Got the answer. Giving a clue that fits The Rules Of Blaine is trickier. It might be even trickier for people in New Jersey.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I’ve searched the entire blog, and this puzzle you cannot liken to any other. It’s unique, so to every puzzle aficionado, every glad fan of the Puzzle Master Will Shortz and puzzle-creator Peter Collins, go mull over this puzzle and see if you can arrive at a solution.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I agree with everyone that this is a great puzzle. I even found an alternate answer that involves a businessman named Tony Shank, whom you can Google.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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

      Delete
    3. So if TONTO is the first name of the fictional character, what then is his family name or surname?

      Delete
    4. How about Ron Crosby (businessman & football player) and Uncle Bing Crosby yielding ROBIN Hood?

      Delete
  27. I had heard of "fire alarm", but not "fire bell" or "fire code". So that one stumped me when I first read it on the NPR website. All the others made sense. Also, as others had suggested earlier here, the first good anagram I came across was KROC and ROCK, but I figured out neither CHRIRA or RACHRI meant anything. Luckily when I came back to the first businessperson I had thought of, the rest of it fell into place. Good puzzle, Peter!
    pjbAlwaysSaysIt'sAGoodPuzzleWhenOneCanSolveIt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, PJB, you can stick with your first anagram and go with Pamela Anderson's ex. You'll get an obscure fictional character using either order (too obscure to get me in trouble with Blaine, I think).

      Delete
    2. I'll drink a RAKI to that!

      Delete
    3. ..while kicking back and enjoying some reruns of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine!

      Delete
  28. Ah, just got the intended answer! Very clever puzzle. My previous solving method got me stranded in a bit of a cul-de-sac, but fresh eyes after a catnap did the trick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Bag End," where Bilbo lived, is a literal translation of "cul-de-sac"—Tolkien's little joke, no doubt!

      Delete
  29. I agree with Dr.K that this puzzle is unique. List most all these NPR puzzles a database is basically all you need to solve it, but, at least to my mentality, it's actually harder to reverse engineer this puzzle because, if you were to start with the first names of entertainers, it is just too vast and vague and nebulous. Just like this post.
    So you have to start by guessing the last names. I don't how you can do it any other way. Oh, well...I'm still thinking about the struts on Lindbergh's airplane, what do I know?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also agree with Dr. K! And I'm impressed that the good Dr. got a clue in of a kind I'd thought about. I was thinking about a mysterious priest and especially his young charge.
      Oh, and I understand what led Ron to his question about Tonto, above, but the answer is: he didn't have any other names!
      One (more?) clue: drop a letter from the name of a beloved leader and rearrange to get the name of a friend and visitor of the fictional character.

      Delete
    2. To quote Melville (on Emerson), "I love all men who dive."

      Delete
  30. Take the letters making up both names of the two famous people plus both names of the fictional character. Rearrange those letters, just one of each, and add one more different letter at the end, to get the name of a phase we have all gone through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your directions are confusing me. What are you going for here? What do you mean by "rearrange those letters, just one of each? Are we removing duplicate letters, or just shifting a single letter per name?

      Delete
  31. This is a somewhat aristocratic puzzle in my opinion,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would put both gentlemen in that category, for different reasons.

      Delete
  32. If I ever write a play, the protagonist's first name is gonna be Harlanursul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In that case, Paul, perhaps it would be best if you stick to puzzle solving and let others write plays.

      Delete
  33. Im reminded of a Halloween activity by this puzzle.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I believe both of these people have come under attack for questionable behaviors.

    ReplyDelete
  35. At last I got it! Of the three names involved, two weren't really familiar to me. It's the one that was that probably deserves partial credit for my ability to finally solve the puzzle. 😁

    ReplyDelete
  36. And now...time to pack, and head back home from a long weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Imagine if one of them killed the other?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the likelihood of that happening is rather limited.

      Delete
  38. I just took a look at today's news. Don't worry, Blaine, I'm not making that mistake again.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Replies
    1. r = tmi [Blaine's Law]
      v = ir [Ohm's Law] -1 [definition]
      i² = =1
      thus v = -tm

      Late Sunday or early Monday I posted "R" (the idea being "eaRth"). The comment soon disappeared. In retrospect, "R" could also represent the rating of the joke skydiveboy alluded to (which is what led me to the answer).
      And I wasn't thinking about Blaine's hint when I decided to speculate about becoming a playwright rather than a novelist.

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

      Delete
    3. r = tmi [Blaine's Law]
      v = ir [Ohm's Law]
      i² = -1 [definition]
      thus v = -tm

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  42. ?? Could you hum a bar or two of it?

    ReplyDelete
  43. The first name I thought of was Trump, but I couldn't think of anyone from the world of business who fit.

    ReplyDelete
  44. BILL GATES, BOB SAGET; BILBO BAGGINS

    I was quite sure Bill Gates was right; Bilbo Baggins flowed from there. Bob Saget was the last piece of the puzzle to drop.

    "P. S." >>> Peter Scolari was the actor who portrayed Michael in "Newhart." At one point, Michael was a grocery store bagger, akin to Bilbo's last name of Baggins.

    ReplyDelete
  45. BILL GATES & BOB SAGET + BILBO BAGGINS

    My Hints:

    "This is a somewhat aristocratic puzzle in my opinion."

    Bob Saget was one of the performers in "The Aristocrats" documentary that was up for numerous Peebody's.

    "I just took a look at today's news. Don't worry, Blaine, I'm not making that mistake again."

    Recently, when the puzzle answer was Bangladesh, Blaine removed a comment I made about the coincidence in that day's news about a fire in Bangladesh. Well, Bob Saget was back in the news again for police incompetence by police in his death investigation. Imagine that! Police incompetence. Who would have thought?

    ReplyDelete
  46. BILL GATES, BOB SAGET, BILBO BAGGINS

    My first answer was RAY KROC, KID ROCK, KIRA ARGOUNOVA (the protagonist of Ayn Rand’s first novel, We the Living). This may be a valid alternate answer, but there are several possible objections: The answer requires reversing the order of the first names of the businessman and the entertainer to derive the fictional character’s first name, it stretches the meaning of “first name” in the case of “Kid” (was this what Dr. Awkward was referring to?), and I’m not certain I would call Rand’s protagonist “famous.”

    So at first, I said the puzzle was “hard.” —> (KID) ROCK

    But once I solved it correctly, I said it wasn’t.—> SOFT —> MICROSOFT

    About my lengthy post: in it there are a number of covert anagrams from The Hobbit: “liken to” —> TOLKIEN; “glad fan” —> GANDALF; and “go mull” —> GOLLUM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I spotted those! That's why I added,
      "Oh, and I understand what led Ron to his question about Tonto, above..."
      LED RON anagrams to ELROND, a half-elf friend of Bilbo's. And:
      "One (more?) clue: drop a letter from the name of a beloved leader and rearrange to get the name of a friend and visitor of the fictional character."

      BLAINE is the beloved leader, and BALIN is a dwarf who visited Bilbo after the action was over.

      Delete
    2. Dr. K, that's exactly the initial answer I had! And indeed, I wasn't satisfied with "Kid" as a first name. See above for my Tolkien clue...

      Delete
  47. BILL GATES, BOB SAGET, BILBO (Baggins)

    > Put one letter between the two first names to get the first two names of someone whose last name is composed of two common words.

    Billy Bob Thornton.

    > This one GETS A thumbs up.

    Anagrams to GATES and SAGET

    >> I believe both of these people have come under attack for questionable behaviors.
    > ... and the other was accused of theft.

    "Thief, thief, thief! Baggins! We hates it, we hates it, we hates it forever!"

    ReplyDelete
  48. (Bill) GATES — (Bob) SAGET — Bil(l), Bo(b) — BILBO (Baggins)

    My clue:
    And now...time to pack, and head back home….
    "Pack," as in: "pack your bags" (an oblique reference to "Baggins").

    Bill Gates' name came to mind pretty much right away, only that anagramming it to "Saget" didn't make a light bulb go off in my head at first, since I wasn't really familiar with Bob Saget. It occurred to me later that I should have been, given that his name has been in the news because of the circumstances surrounding his death. As for Bilbo Baggins, I am not into the Lord of the Rings stories, hence I never knew about Bilbo until after I had matched up Bill Gates and Bob Saget, and googled "Bilbo" from there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and I also hinted Bill Gates "probably deserves partial credit for my ability to finally solve the puzzle."

      Well, with all the IT advancements connected to Microsoft, I guess it was in part thanks to Bill Gates that I was able to browse all those lists I had been googling.

      In fact, it was when I ran into Bilbo Baggins on this list that I was able to piece together the answer.

      Delete
  49. BILL GATES & BOB SAGET → BILBO BAGGINS

    ReplyDelete
  50. BILL GATES, BOB SAGET, BILBO BAGGINS

    "It might be even trickier for people in New Jersey." New Jersey had a law go into effect on May first that most stores may not give customers plastic bags. There are exceptions, but I did not see an exception for Bilbo Baggins. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually had Bill Gates on my list of possibilities and annagrammed it to STAGE, but didn't think of SAGET. Later, I decided to approach the puzzle from the other direction, and googled famous literary characters. Bilbo Baggins was one of the first results. I immediately thought of Bill Gates again, and Bob was the first name I thought of starting with BO. At that point SAGET immediately came to mind.

      Delete
  51. I wrote, “The last names also anagram to something in entertainment.” Blaine quite properly deleted this. I had thought, “No one can take all things in entertainment and try to anagram them into names.” But stupidly, I had not thought that someone could take a list of last names of famous businessmen, and see which one anagrams to something in entertainment. I apologize again.

    I did not know the entertainer. Looking at first names minus last letters of famous businessmen got me “BIL” and I was familiar with _The Hobbit_ and _Lord of the Rings_ from reading them to my sons many years ago. “BO” got me to look at the IMDB for actors with the name Bob, and done.

    ReplyDelete
  52. "Jeff Zarkin Puzzle Riffs" is our main event on this week's Puzzleria!
    We upload Puzzleria! in the wee hours every Friday, just after Midnight PDT.
    Jeff (you many know him by his screen name "SuperZee") has concoted a pair of brilliant posers titled:
    1) "Bird is the Word" (in you must divide a BIRD into four letters that are not B I R and D), and
    2) "Name the Numbers" (which involves four numbers, including the number 3, Hank Aaron's uniform #44, and two other numbers whose difference is 44).
    Also on our menus are:
    * a Schpuzzle of the Week titled "Hanging (from) arts and aircrafts
    * a Puzzle Slice about a "very very very 'big house,' "
    * a Dessert Slice about "Fighting fires with fire... hoses," and
    * eleven riff-offs of this week's "Bilbolicious" NPR puzzle, including one created by ecoarchitect and two inspired by skydiveboy.
    Drop by for some fun with numbers, words, birds and Bilbos!

    LegoWhoAlwaysWasAFanOfNumber44

    ReplyDelete
  53. Bill Gates, Bob Saget, Bilbo. My hint was “Euskara,” which is another name for the Basque language. In the Basque language, the major Basque population center of Bilbao is “Bilbo.”

    ReplyDelete
  54. Guessing the popular fictional character first gave me the answer. I wrote down Frodo Oliver Huck Harry Alice Wilbur Bilbo. I immediately saw Bill and Bob. The anagrammed surnames came last. I'm learning to accept myself as a last clue first puzzler!

    ReplyDelete
  55. BILL GATES, BOB SAGET, BILBO BAGGINS

    I wrote to Dr. Awkward that there is a specific answer that's quite clearly the intended answer. I believe I have it, and I believe you will know when you have it. Open and shut case.
    Clearly, Open, Shut, Case were all implying Windows the scourge that Bill Gates hath wrought upon us all.

    ReplyDelete
  56. My comment was removed: "Anyone up for a hand of poker?" Of course, that was about "Full House". Was kinda surprised it was removed, but I understand rules is rules. I just don't understand the rules.

    ReplyDelete
  57. William (Bill) Henry Gates, Robert (Bob) Lane Saget
    Henry Lane was the 13th governor of the state of Indiana, a position previously held by Mike Pence who was much in the news last week with in regard to the January 6th congressional hearings. Mr. Lane occupied the office for two days before resigning.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Yes, yes, Gates, Saget, Bil+ Bo = Bilbo, as in Baggins. As I said, this is a good puzzle, even if Saget was foul mouthed. Anybody have any murder conspiracies? They are around. The most questionable theory is the coroner who said that the wound to Bob Saget's skull was what he would expect from a 30-foot fall. Yet there was no hint of a possible murder. Remember Bob Crane? There was a lot of blood with that one, yet there is hardly any mention of blood in Saget's case. Somebody suggested a rubber bullet fired from the back of his skull. However, there was no bullet found.
    Regardless, Bob Saget was murdered.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Yea- Carole King "Wedding bell blues" -Bill I love you so. Bill and the other guy- Saget.. First clue was removed - " a west coast advantage here."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting because Carole King hated the west coast. She is afraid to fly.

      Delete
    2. And didn't Laura Nyro write WBB?

      Delete
    3. West coast was an allusion to Seattle. Home of BG on Lake Wash.not far from me. Or should i say BGG -Mr.Big, Biggie Gates, Mr.Bill.

      Delete
  60. Q: Take the letters making up both names of the two famous people plus both names of the fictional character. Rearrange those letters, just one of each, and add one more different letter at the end, to get the name of a phase we have all gone through.
    A: BLASTOGENIC, GENOBLASTIC

    ReplyDelete
  61. Bill Gates, Bob Saget->Bilbo Baggins

    ReplyDelete
  62. It completely slipped my mind that I posted a hint on "Sun Jun 19, 09:30:00 AM PDT," which said, in part, that Peter Collins' puzzle "deserves inclusion on the Dante-like Honor Roll this Dairy Month."
    Take: "Dante-like Honor Roll this Dairy Month,"
    Substitute "June" for "this Dairy Month"
    Anagram: "Dante-like Honor Roll June"
    to get:
    "John Ronald Reuel Tolkien," creator of Bilbo Baggins.


    LegoBegoBeboBelboBilbo

    ReplyDelete
  63. The Variety puzzle in this Sunday's New York Times is "Just Saying", by Will Shortz:

    Change one letter in each word to spell a new word. Then arrange the new words to form a familiar proverb or saying. For example, given the words DOES, LIP, LOT and SWEEPING, you could change them to DOGS, LIE, LET and SLEEPING and then arrange them to spell “Let sleeping dogs lie.”

    Seems like a cross-stitch sampler on autocorrect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you correct that link? When I try it, I get "{"status":"ERROR","errors":["Not Found"],"results":[]}".

      Delete
  64. People are now getting all upset over the Supreme Court ruling today. Why not before? A little late now. But we still do have the right to chews. Alberts Fruit Chews is an individually wrapped candy that is great for party favor bags, Halloween trick-or-treaters, and school or church carnivals. Choose your flavor today and let democracy take care of itself. It's the American way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They come in a variety of great flavors: apple, strawberry, orange, lemon and lime. Naturally and artificially flavored. Get some now, either in a convenient size roll or by the bag, always choose Fruit Chews!
      (Albert's Fruit Chews!)

      Delete
    2. Musinglink,
      Thanks so much for getting involved in protecting our right to chews. If we don't protect it now, it will soon be taken away.

      Delete
  65. BILL GATES, BOB SAGET, BILBO BAGGINS
    pjbWishesHeHadMoneyRidingOnWhetherOrNotHe'llBeAbleToSolveNextWeek'sChallenge(There'sUsuallyAFewEasyOnes,ButThenYouNeverKnowWhenTheToughie(s)WillPopUp!)

    ReplyDelete
  66. This week's challenge is a little different from the usual. It's a riddle from Greg Van Mechelen, of Berkeley, Calif. How old was Reverend Spooner when he found happiness?

    ReplyDelete