Sunday, June 26, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 26, 2022): The Lord is a Shoving Leopard

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 26, 2022): The Lord is a Shoving Leopard
Q: How old was Reverend Spooner when he found happiness?
I started counting cobblestones and got the answer.

Edit: The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) by Simon and Garfunkel mentions cobblestones.
A: FIFTY NINE --> NIFTY, FINE

152 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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    1. Blaine, it seems we’re on the same track.

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  2. More than 500 correct responses last week.

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  3. A cryptic little puzzle! I do have an answer, though it may not quite pass muster.

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    1. "Not quite pass" was a gesture at 59, which is just short of a passing grade.

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  4. I have an answer with which I am not fully satisfied. Musical clue: “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”

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    1. No, Rob, that is not the answer, no matter how satisfying you may find it (or not).

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  5. Spooner may have found happiness at that age but I am not too happy about the answer.

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  6. Congrats eco/Greg!

    I did not know that Reverend Spooner was albino. "He was not afraid of conversation."

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  7. Ohhhh, I think I understand the clues! Neat.

    Congrats, EcoArchitect!

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    1. Oh, I didn't understand the clues. But now I do :)

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  8. The same year I started in Junior High School?

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  9. I have an answer, but it must not be the intended answer. I don't see a connection to the clues posted here.

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    Replies
    1. At second glance, I see one post above that suggests I might have the same answer as that post's author.

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  10. Greetings from Brooklyn. (We’re traveling.) I also have an answer, but I don’t think it’s the answer.

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    1. Would you think it was the answer if you were in Queens?

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    2. From today’s posts, it looks as though there are others who have the same answer, others not. In any case, it would be bizarre if the answer were location-dependent. 0n the other hand, there’s always my old home state, New Jersey, whose residents often claim to have all the answers.

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    3. Oh, no, I just meant you might *think* you had the answer if you were in Queens.

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    4. Yes, I see. As I wrote to Blaine, it seems we’re on the same track.

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  11. The comments published so far confirm my answer, so I'll stop looking for something better. Looking at Blaine's picture of the Rev, though, is anyone else reminded of a man who might fall off his bicycle?

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  12. I have what I believe is the answer, and it works with at least one clue above. The answer is not 105, but there is a connection to that number.

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    1. To cover my bases, I just submitted all four of the possible answers I could come up with. One is what I believe is the intended answer. Two of them are very weak, and I'm sure are not the correct answer. The last one works, but only if you pronounce the number as individual digits.

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

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    3. Cheaters unite, JABS! Down with Blaine's tyranny!!

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    4. I have no idea what was said last night, and if it was removed that quickly, I don't want to know until Thursday, after the deadline.

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  13. Replies
    1. WW, if your clue means what I think it does, I went into my back yard with a tape measure.

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    2. C a p, hmmm. Maybe there's SP * 3?

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    3. No idea what your hint means, but as long as we're being cryptic, how about: CPS?

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  14. Expecting 50 good answers from Mumbai.

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    1. The NIFTY 50 is a benchmark Indian stock market index that represents the weighted average of 50 of the largest Indian companies listed on the National Stock Exchange.

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  15. Very easy this week, and it's not a Prime Number. MEOW!

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  16. Blaine, I went right past the intended answer until I thought more about your clue. Paris-Roubaix, right? I was about to put 9-1 (whine none) to bed and be done with it.

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  17. I got up too early to solve this one, now I'm ready to sleep.

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  18. I think one of the answers here is misleading.

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  19. All right, I think I have the intended answer. Swell, neat.

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  20. Was Tootsie giving us the answer all along?

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    Replies
    1. 59 in Roman numerals is LIX (licks). Tootsie Pop commercial, "How many licks...?" Apparently, the actual number is 2,500. Didn't know till now that Paul Winchell was Mr. Owl.

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  21. While walking my dogs, I was wondering when their next dose of flea medication was due, and I came up with a number that works as an answer to the puzzle. I even could find a relationship to cobblestones. But I still don't feel sure.

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  23. Perhaps Dr. Spooner would have been lured in to an exercise class that promised to leave no stern untoned.

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  24. Replies
    1. Not sure he would since people tend to forget about him.

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  25. Eco thank you for the delightful puzzle.

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  26. Dr. Spooner, dermatologist, found 41 to be warty fun.

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    Replies
    1. Being English, he was likely a teaspooner, though by 95, he was a fine tea knive as well.

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  27. Thankyou Eco. As soon as i get your one on Puzzeleria worked i will return. Second one this year? Third?

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  28. Anagram the answer, and get a phrase signifying an instrument with a displeasing sound.

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  29. I just now realized a tie-in last week's puzzle. Two last names. One has read a lot.

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  30. I submitted, but I’m feelin’ it’s not really a strong answer.

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  31. This puzzle works for me. Thanks, Eco!

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  32. What goes up, but doesn't come back down?

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    Replies
    1. My granddaughter tried that one on me. I figured it out.

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  33. No clue here, just an opinion. This is not a good puzzle. Everyone seems so uncertain of the answer. There was no "eureka" moment, as with last week's puzzle. Just a kind of underwhelming semi-certainty.

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    1. Au contraire. I did have an "aha" moment which made me smile.

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    2. Likewise, only one answer made sense to me, and it seems perfectly reasonable. Not that it help me understand many of the clues here, as usual....

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  34. So, I have an answer that is so-so but it seems to fit with a lot of the clues. But I'll keep looking...

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  35. Knowing what I assume all here know about Rev. Spooner and his claim to fame, I've found only one age that may fit the criteria of this riddle, and even then I have my doubts. If I may be so bold as to "quote" the good Reverend, I dare say this suzzle pucks. Tig bime.
    pjbMeansNoOffenseToEcoarchitect,ButThisOne'sALoadOfCrullBap,InHyMumbleOpinion

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    1. I phrase it as a "eureka" moment. Of which this luzzle is packing. But a few, like Wordwoman and Jan seem to like it. So....

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    2. LusingMink, must your "eureka" moment be accompanied by naked running through the streets?

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    3. That is supposed to be my secret, Wood Worman. Maybe a few others know about it too....but...well...How did you find out!? I assure you, reports of my greaking are straightly exaggerated. Eureka!

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    4. FIFTY-NINE, NIFTY, FINE
      Really. This is indeed the intended answer? I still doubt it, but then there aren't too many other options if it must be a spoonerism. Kudos to everyone else who actually came up with more inventive ideas, though. This one definitely needed it, IMHO.
      pjbIsFineWithThisPuzzleBeingNot-So-Nifty

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  36. 25 is and is not the answer.

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  37. Such negative comments.
    It is an unusual feeling for me to not have gotten the answer, but to be confident that I will like it when I do.
    Thanks, eco.

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  38. I finally "got" some of the clues listed above and I feel the answer I submitted is (probably) correct.

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  39. There have been at least a few folks here who say they have submitted answers that they don't like or don't think are correct.
    Why submit your one and only allowable entry on Sunday when you have until Thursday?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. because this lot is cool with submitting multiple answers using multiple email addresses I guess

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    2. I believe it's perfectly OK to make your one and only allowable submission be an offering of multiple possible answers.

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  40. Replies
    1. I'm going to submit this and Will is gonna be like "we received 500 correct answers but this puzzle is bullshit and Corky's answer is better" and then I will spend like 10 minutes telling Ayesha how cruel you all are

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    2. If it's really 59 that's just embarrassing for everyone involved. Still stand by my answer being more clever

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    3. I agree with you. This is a horrible puzzle. I first came up with 107, but kept looking because, while seven/heaven works, the sun'd red part does not fit all that well. Your answer is the only clever one. I had little time for it on Sunday as I was going camping in Eastern Oregon. Got back home today.

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

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    1. The point of this blog is to NOT cheat or give away the answer to the NPR Sunday Puzzle when it is still an ongoing contest, not do I condone sending people to search for other places to find the answer. As a result, I'm going to have to delete your comment.

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    2. Understood. I'm recovering from a stroke and use puzzles as part of my therapy. Typically the NPR puzzle is an easy challenge for me, so when I can't solve it it tends to increase my anxiety and depression. I will look for a more inclusive and supportive community going forward. Enjoy your circle jerk here.

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    3. On a good week, this is the place where the jerks come full circle.
      pjbWouldAlsoLikeToPointOutThat,ByComparison,TheKuKluxKlanHas"AMoreInclusiveAndSupportiveCommunity"

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    4. Cranberry please don't be cruel. I'm not a KKK person, just a 20-something with severe long Covid symptoms trying to get by, one sunday at a time. I don't feel like asking for a nudge in the right direction is cheating. Submitting four different answers is absolutely 100% cheating, yet that behaviour is tolerated here?

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    5. I am so sorry to hear about your stroke and long COVID symptoms! Glad that puzzle solving is something that can help. I think if you keep with this group you will find it is a really fun community of fellow puzzle-solvers.

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    6. As I stated in a comment above, I believe it's perfectly OK to make your one and only allowable submission be an offering of multiple possible answers.

      Blaine, would it be allowable to post "I'm thinking of...<some number>...of potential answers:
      Clue to possible answer #1:
      <clue>
      Clue to possible answer #2:
      <clue>
      Clue to possible answer #3
      <clue>
      etc."

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    7. DAMN!!! I SOOOOOO MISS being able to preview your post before publishing!

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    8. If you can do it without giving away an answer... but you may just want to wait until after the Thursday deadline.

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    9. Corky, please don't think I'm "being cruel" to you in any way with my comment. It was clearly directed at the blog. I've never been 100% tolerant of the rules of this blog "community", and they definitely know that. If you're unable to solve that week's challenge, and you're honestly looking for any sort of legitimate assistance by the very definition of the word, just know that you're not exactly going to get that here. If you do have the answer for that week, you may then post whatever obscure reference you can think of that tells the rest you've got it, without saying anything too obvious that can easily lead others who have yet to solve it to "the" website which definitely has the answer. No dead giveaways, no TMI. Just opaque non sequiturs which are otherwise apropos of nothing, and thus no real "assistance". Now if you actually do find anyone else on social media who would actually be quite helpful with the challenge week in and week out, kindly let me know. I'd love to have some other refuge to turn to when it seems like all is lost for the week. I'm sure Blaine and Co. would be happy some(maybe most) weeks if I had somewhere else to go, too.
      pjbOccasionallyConsidersLegolambdaHisOnlyRealFriendInAllThis,ForObviousReasons(Hopefully,Corky,YouAndICanAlsoBeFriendsHere,Too;SorryIfYouFeltInsultedByAnythingI'veSaidEarlier,It'sJustDifficultDealingWithAQuestionable,SeeminglyUnsolvablePuzzleSomeWeeksAndNoOneHereNecessarilySeemsToCare.)

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  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. What is your definition of this practice- Circle J? Does it have to be done in a circle? Do you have to be a metro-sexual? Is it harmful and lead to acne? Is this where the term- circle the wagons comes from? I would really like to know.

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  43. I thought that the obvious, yet not charming, answer was anachronistic, but the seemingly modern word (to me) was actually in print 35 years before Prof. Spooner's birthday of "happiness."
    Details Thursday.

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    1. Wait a minute, here. I think I agree with Mork from Ork or Maureen Stapleton or whatever his name is. It is wrong to send in several answers at a time. You simply have to choose one that is most likely the clue. What is the difference between sending in multiple answers and sending in, say, four different answers four different times? Come on, ONE per customer, please.

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  44. Following Yogi Berra's advice, when I came to a fork in the road Sunday Morning, I took it.
    It is looking like it was the wrong choice, but I think the answer is probably between 20 and 87, not inclusive.
    I do have only one age in that range that does not scream WRONG.

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    1. I don't know if my answer was right, but its not between 28 and 87.

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  45. I was not ambitious enough to try to solve this one without my morning caffeine fix.

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  46. FIFTY-NINE, NIFTY-FINE

    "SP * 2" >>> 59 is a Simple Prime number and was also Satchel Paige's uniform number.

    C a p's reading of my clue is a third solution perhaps.

    "Just had to post. . ." >>> 59 comments were showing at that moment so my post removed the "59th" clue, moving to comment 60.

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Our friend Bobby Jacobs has cooked up three difficult (yet simply wonderful!) "Jacobian Puzzle Appetizers" for this week's Puzzleria!, entitled “Cars and Coronavirus.” They appear in his ever-popular "Puzzle Fun by Bobby Jacobs" feature.
      We upload Puzzleria! every early Friday morn, just after Midnight Pacific Daylight Time.
      Our menus also include:
      * a Schpuzzle of the Week titled "The ABCs of serving rotisserie food,"
      * a Patriotic Puzzle Slice filled with "Literary allusion sans inclusion,"
      * a Star-Spangled Dessert Puzzle that investigates our national anthem and its connection to geology,
      * and seven Riff-offs of ecoarchitect's nifty, fine, elegant lovin' spoonful of an NPR puzzle.
      Come join us in our patriotic puzzle party!

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  48. He was “fifty nine” when he finally felt “nifty & fine,” true happiness!

    What goes up, but does not come back down? One's AGE.

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    1. True happiness is inner peace and occurs only in the moment...

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  49. 59 -> NIFTY FINE

    > 25 is and is not the answer.

    Continuing with all the references to the Ed Koch / Queensboro / 59th Street Bridge, the bridge carries New York Route 25 across the East River (actually not a river, but a strait) and Roosevelt Island.

    > CPS

    Further west from the apparently popular bridge, 59th Street is known as Central Park South. Why should the east end of the street get all the love?

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    1. Jan,
      While then 59th Street goes OVER Roosevelt Island its Eastern Terminus is in the Long Island City section of Queens. The only way to get to Roosevelt Island from Manhattan is by tram.
      '

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    2. "The only way to get to Roosevelt Island from Manhattan is by tram."

      Not so!
      The NYC Ferry system has a stop at Roosevelt Island Landing! And I've actually done that -- the ferry is a great little ride from the Upper East Side all the way down to Lower Manhattan, with stops at Roosevelt Island and Astoria, Brooklyn Navy Yards, Long Island City, and, um. I forget. All for the price of a subway ride!

      https://www.ferry.nyc/routes-and-schedules/landing/roosevelt-island/

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    3. Fine, but wouldn't it be more fun to skydive in?

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    4. I stand corrected. I'd forgotten the ferry, and the subway stop.

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    5. Thanks Crito. I have always chickened out on the tram -but got as far as the ticket booth.

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  50. FIFTY-NINE —> NIFTY-FINE

    I was at first unsure about this answer, but despite my uncertainty I went ahead with my “bizarre” hint, a reference to a group called Harpers Bizarre that did a popular cover in 1967 of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling’ Groovy).” It was after I posted the hint that it dawned on me that Blaine was of course hinting at the same answer—and song—with “cobblestones,” a word that occurs in the song’s lyrics, hence my reply to him that we seemed to be on the same “track,” or song. (And as others hinted in various ways—Ed Koch, Queens, etc.—the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge that connects Manhattan to Queens is more familiarly known as the 59th Street Bridge.) Whatever my doubts, Blaine erased them: As I said to my son, if Blaine says it’s the answer, it’s the answer.

    “Anagram the answer, and get a phrase signifying an instrument with a displeasing sound.” “FIFTY-NINE” anagrams to “TINNY FIFE.”

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  51. A few commenters here seem convinced they have better answers than the "groovy" one (which is a prime number between 28 and 87), so I'll be very interested in what they reveal.
    I'm convinced my preliminary guess of "just a boy" is too much of a stretch.
    Be careful with those wire forks this weekend.

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  52. I wrote, ‘I have an answer with which I am not fully satisfied. Musical clue: “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”’ That was a song by Simon and Garfunkel, whose other bridge song was "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)." This is for 59, nifty-fine.

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  53. In my single entry that I submitted, my response was, FIFTY-NINE, NIFTY, FINE.

    I also listed the following alternate answers, clearly labeled as alternate answers, in my submission:

    64, which spoonerizes to fixty sore, which sounds like fix the sore. Rev. Spooner was much happier after his sore was fixed. Admittedly weak, but fun.

    85, which spoonerizes to Fatey I've. Reverend Spooner, upon realizing his fate to end up in heaven, according to his beliefs, would be very happy. Again, it's weak.

    58, when pronounced as Five-Eight, spoonerizes to I've Fate, which would bring Rev. Spooner happiness, as noted above under 85.

    If submitting alternate answers within the submission, when clearly labeled as such, is a violation of the "one entry per person" rule, then how should we communicate alternate answers to Will Shortz? I'm thinking of the old Eureka column in GAMES magazine, where alternate solutions were welcome. I would expect WS would appreciate the alternatives (if the intern communicates them).

    Moving on to the clues, I had noted that the answer is not 105, but there is a connection to that number. Ed Koch was the 105th Mayor of New York City. The Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge is more commonly known as the 59th Street Bridge, because it meets 59th St. in Manhattan.

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  54. I had Fifty-One ("Wif-de-fun") I believe Dr. K. agrees with me.

    Dr. K posted on Sun Jun 26, at 12:35:00 PM PDT:
    Anagram the answer, and get a phrase signifying an instrument with a displeasing sound.

    Fifty-One anagrams to Iffy Tone.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, EaWf, but no. See my post above.

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    2. Oh, well, I now wonder what Kitty Cat's answer was.

      Like me, she did not believe the answer to be a prime number.

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    3. I'm also curious to know KC's answer.

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    4. I had fifty three. Thrifty and Free. Keys to happiness 101-Sun Yat Sen.

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  55. Reverend Spooner was feeling Nifty-Fine when he turned Fifty-Nine.

    Cluing a number is always tough so I went with a piece of personal information no one in Blaine's World was likely to know.
    I started Junior High School in 1959.

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  56. Fifty-nine --> Nifty, Fine

    Last Sunday I said, “I sent in an answer but I’m feelin’ it’s not really a strong answer.” Feelin’ as in the full title of the song, “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy).”

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  57. FIFTY-NINE --> NIFTY-FINE. My clue said that I was not "ambitious" enough to try to solve this puzzle without my morning caffeine fix, referring to a lyric describing coffee as a "cup of ambition" in the song "9 to 5," the title of which contains the two digits of tie answer (though not in the correct order like the "59th Street Bridge" song referenced by the BA and others).

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  58. Replies
    1. Where exactly are these cobblestones? Wall street?

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  59. I thought that the word "nifty" must have started in the roaring twenties or so. Wrong! Nifty was in publication in 1868, thirty-five years before Spooner's nifty-fineth birthday. Two sources claim "origin unknown," but I bet it shares roots with mag-nif-icent.

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  60. FIFTY-NINE, NIFTY-FINE.

    My clue was "This puzzle works for me." Because I am, in fact, FIFTY-NINE, NIFTY, and FINE.

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  61. The only correct answer in Rev. Spooner's own words is 80 years old when he announced his retirement in 1924 and quoted the word "happiness". But leave it to Will Shortz who always has his own "answer". Kitty Cat is much smarter than you. Get ready for a July 4 Puzzle on Sunday.

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  62. My answer was: See was heaven, of course.
    Which is a spoonerism of "He was seven, of course."

    As I said, I doubted it was the intended answer, but I was looking for something that would befit him as a clergyman, and my answer at least could go to show he found his calling early, and to his fulfillment (i.e., happiness).

    Rats! I did try spoonerisms of two-digit numbers into the thirties or so. If only I had kept going! I guess the reason I didn't was a subconsciously held notion that you'd have to find your happiness by the time you're in your thirties. Rats again!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I thought of "seven" and "heaven" too. "A hundred seven" kind of works if you imagine a "sundered heaven" that is divided into a basic level for laypeople and a more sublime one for clergy. Surely Spooner would have found happiness at being in the sublime level. Of course he didn't live to 107, but presumably he was in heaven 107 years after his birth.

      In view of all the massaging required for 107, I switched to brute force and spoonerized numbers till I got the "intended" answer. As your post reflects, sometimes doggedness beats creativity.

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  63. Fifty-nine, Nifty-fine. This one actually took me less time than last week's to solve. But I admit, to my shame, that Blaine's cobblestone clue didn't dawn on me until later in the day. That, with Dr.K's Brooklyn comment, and the very clever "Queens" followup by some clever regular all hit me then I sent in my lame clue about two names (Simon and Garfunkel) and how one of them has read a lot. Well, just go to Art Garfunkel's web page, just an ordinary web page, not Facebook or anything, and lo and behold, he lists every book he has ever read, every year, every month, for the last fifty years! Fifty years? Nifty, huh?

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  64. Here's a link to an old, old B/W photo of the Queensboro Bridge (also called the 59th St. Bridge).

    https://www.shorpy.com/node/5553

    The cobblestones seem pretty apparent.

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  65. Well, "nifty fine" was on my list, but what does that have to with "finding happiness"? The original wording of this riddle may have been altered by Will Shortz, as he seems to do, according to puzzle submitters on this blog. However, what defines an age of happiness is up to interpretation. I pondered if all the numbers that can't be spoonerised would lessen Rev. Spooner's frustration. Forty-four, for example, but knew that wasn't likely either.

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    1. Clotheslover: You are so correct! Will Shortz seems to have a mind of his own on the air, and many times he does not give credit for perfectly correct alternative answers. Why not? I think Blaine is the foremost Puzzle Master. Blaine is honest, devoted to this great blog and highly intelligent. Kitty Cat is going to take a summer break now. MEOW!

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    2. In Rev. Spooner's own words:

      "After spending more than three quarters of his life in College, Spooner quietly retired in 1924.
      During a farewell party Spooner remarked:

      For the first quarter of my life I was too young to be a member of college. For the last quarter of my life I have been too old to be anything else but Warden. But for the remaining half of my life I think I may claim that I did what lay in my power to serve the College. And in that I found happiness and my great reward."

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  66. My answer was sixteen >>>ticks seen. he was happy because it was the first age that he could Spoonerize.

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  67. My movie clue was Dustin Hoffman. He starred in The Graduate which featured a Simon and Garfunkel song....which leads to their 59th St Bridge song. Blaine's cobblestone comment actually helped lead me to the answer!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I hadn't even known that "Feelin' Groovy" was actually an alternate title to what I only now know is "The 59th St. Bridge song".

      Does anyone remember a DECADES AGO comedy duo who would periodically have one of them singing "Alouette", while the other at the same time sang the first verse of "Feelin' Groovy"?

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    3. I got the answer right away and thought it was too easy and thus, not correct. I sent it in anyway. No call.

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  68. My clue "...ready for sleep" also refers to the 59th St Bridge Song.

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  69. That was great! Thanks for posting the link. I don't remember ever seeing that before.

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  70. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from Joseph Young, of St. Cloud, Minn., who is a frequent contributor here. Name a well-known fictional character in two words. Remove two letters from the first word in the name. The result is the plural form of the second word. What character is this?

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  72. Congrats, Lego. I've just solved it.

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    1. Congrats, Dr. K!

      LegoWhoWishesHoweverThatDr.KWouldNotHaveSolvedThePuzzleQuiteSoQuickly!

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    2. I solved it almost immediately also.

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  73. Answer submitted, after at furst trying in vain to make jam out of two bonds.

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