## Sunday, July 24, 2022

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 24, 2022): 1989 and 1992

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 24, 2022): 1989 and 1992
Q: This week's challenge will require a little research. The 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 1992 Olympic gold medal in giant slalom both suggest, phonetically, a certain square number. What is it?
Research and read carefully. You can't say this about Where I'm Calling From or Luxembourg.

Edit: They didn't get second place...
A: Anne Tyler (A.T.) and Alberto Tomba (A.T.) won --> "A.T. won" --> 81

1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g. via a chain of thought, or an internet search) before the deadline of Thursday at 3pm ET. If you know the answer, click the link and submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here.

You may provide indirect hints to the answer to show you know it, but make sure they don't give the answer away. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the Thursday deadline. Thank you.

2. Before it's even played on the air, I've submitted the answer for this week's puzzle. First time I've ever done that!

1. But were you still in bed?

2. And what about the lady in Bellingham-bit by a dog who brushed the dog with her water bottle and is now being charged with assault??

3. Stories can always develop, but it sounds like assault to me.

https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/crime/article263714408.html

Why do you mention it?

3. In Jersey, the leaves that are green turn to brown, twice.

4. More than 100 responses last week.

1. That's so low and it was an easy puzzle! I wonder if there's meaningful correlation between the low answer submissions lately and the weak puzzle submissions?

2. I think the low puzzle submissions is a normal midsummer thing. With more people away, less get around to submitting an answer. I had the correct answer a couple of weeks ago, because I knew I would be out of cell range on Thursday afternoon.

3. Exactly JAWS, that's what I'm getting at. Summer, plus all the people who became puzzle fanatics during Covid have moved on. ðŸ˜•

5. Don't forget the 1948 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

1. There's another I'm surprised Will didn't include. More on Thursday.

2. This is from Natasha my friend. She fractured her hip and in hospital. Her cell will not take comments. She is so happy you asked about her. She loves you all so much. Has been suffering a lot and trying to manage her care as a nurse that she is. I will post more comments later. Thanks.

6. This comment has been removed by the author.

7. Cyber Clue: Hell's Angels

1. This had occurred to me also.

8. The answer can be rearranged to something a famous Wisconsinite did.

9. Floral Clue: Astral Rose

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

1. Second thought:I must have the correct answer if my comment was removed...

11. I think I have what they're going for, but I don't like it. I can think of two "correct" answers based on the puzzle wording, and I don't really like either of them. I'm not getting that Aha! feeling.

1. I know exactly. This one's a dud.

2. Hm.
I wonder which of these is true:
(1) JAWS hasn't thought of the one I have;
(2) JAWS has thought of another answer that's just about as good as the one I have.

My clue: Typecasting.

3. I'm up to three answers that I feel meet the criteria of "suggest, phonetically, a certain square number." One of them I'm sure is the intended answer, but the other two are certainly "suggested" by the people described.

4. Correction, four answers. All will be explained on Thursday.

12. Actually, the answer is a square root number, then the same number reiterated.

1. No, it's a square number.

2. A certain square number, as suggested.

13. I agree with jan. It's cute. But I can't say much more.

14. I'm not sure I understand the puzzle. Is it about the actual winner of the awards that year, or just the awards themselves?

1. That's part of the puzzle to figure out. You'll get it.

2. Ok, I get numbers now, but the wording of the puzzle is weird. Did they mean round number instead?

3. Nevermind. I get it.

15. In the spirit of "a little research", "the Olympics" and "phonetics" (homophones, in this case), what was happening simultaneously on February 3, 2018? No square numbers involved.

16. Cute! And true also of a certain Laureateship.

1. (that is, Poet Laureate Alfred Tennyson, another AT)

17. This comment has been removed by the author.

1. I've listened three times. Will never cited an author (or collaborator,) so I assume he has sole responsibility for this faux-netic puzzle.

The book had competition that I preferred. Even fits!

Two ways to figure out the creator of this puz.
Solved by a family of savants on the way to church.

19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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

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

1. S+Q+U+A+R+E=19+17+21+1+18+5=81. Alex Trebek, who has the initials A. T., turned 82 on July 22. Why was this deleted?

2. I believe you wrote, "The number is square. It is 1 away from being an appropriate number this week." I thought that was too close to saying A.T. *plus* 1 = 80+1

3. Sorry, Bobby, but neither Alex Trebek nor Tony Dow is getting any older.

Meanwhile, Jeopardy! contestant Alexa Jakob caused Amazon Echos around the country to go crazy on Tuesday.

22. I can't possibly have it, because, if I do, this has got to be one of the lamest Sunday puzzles ever. There were hundreds of equally good clues that could have been substituted for the 1989 Pulitzer and the 1992 Olympic gold medal.

1. There's been so many over the past few weeks that I solved but didn't submit because I thought my answers were way too stupid to be correct. "Nifty-Fine" being amongst the worst. Has Will finally run out of good puzzles?

2. That's called a "no eureka!" moment.

3. No, he has not run out of good puzzles. He refuses to use good puzzles that are submitted to him. That is the real puzzle. Many of these end up being used by Lego, a.k.a. Joseph Young, over on his Puzzleria blog. Link is provided by Blaine above.

4. I would concur. I submitted a very good puzzle to him this week. He replied with a note that he liked it, and it was *almost there* but not quite. Now I respect tremendously all he does as an Editor, and -- in my eyes, he is a tremendously strong editor. I respect his judgment, I love the NYT Crosswords, as well as the ancillary puzzles, and I've enjoyed the introductions of KenKen and Two Not Touch, and more. But it really stings having a very good Sunday NPR Puzzle rejected as *almost there* yet I solved a true "dad joke" groan of a puzzle for NPR Sunday.

5. Ben i know you are a standup guy- but it's really not cheating for you to send one of your "not quite ready for prime time," conundrums over to Puzzleria. And i won't tell anyone either. I don't know if you saw my riff of your "Fort Worth," but that's OK. And like i said i won't tell a soul. I am sure too it was "very good puzzle." It would be fun to see it on the other side.

6. This comment has been removed by the author.

7. Ben,
Plantsmith's wonderful riff of your excellent "ordinal number/cardinal number" puzzle (which was broadcast on NPR on August 22, 2021) is the first of his four "Garden of Puzzley Delights" Appetizer Puzzles in this edition of Puzzleria!.
Eight other riffs of your puzzle appear on this edition of Puzzleria!, the week it was broadcast on NPR.
I hope that the puzzle you recently sent to Will Shortz will eventually be broadcast on NPR. I trust that it it is "NPR-worthy." Your puzzle that Mr. Shortz used nearly a year ago certainly was.
Plantsmith is 100% correct, however. If the Puzzlemaster decides not to broadcast your puzzle over the airwaves, Ben, we would be overjoyed to feature it "over the blogwaves" on Puzzleria!
Thank you.

LegoWhoNotesThatPlantsmith's"GardenOfPuzzleyDelights"OnThisFriday'sPuzzleria!WillFeatureA"PuzzleOfSeusseanProportions!"DoNotMissIt!

8. Hate to nit-pick, but... there were TWO gold medals for giant slalom in 1992, one for a man, and another for an equally deserving woman.
(Olympic rules.)

9. Mister R: Yup. The puzzles that don't specify a gender tend to default to male.

10. Okay, I'll be less of a "standup guy" now that the Puzzle deadline has passed.

I think Will Shortz is an exceptional editor. I truly do. He has given me hours of joy and diversion.
And if he says a puzzle of mine is great, but not yet perfect, I accept his judgement.

Except this week -- when I had a perfectly good puzzle rejected, yet I had to solve this "AT Won" = "81," puzzle, which was to me worse than any groan of a "dad joke" for which my family might berate me for, weekly. Painful.

11. Ben,

I agree with you. Lego is now sitting on several of my quality rejections, along with a few I never even submitted, but he likes to not run our puzzles when he is running another blogger's puzzle(s).

I don't understand why Will Shortz does not seem to understand that his NPR puzzle segment would have far more panache were they to have more quality and difficulty. His on-air bits are more worthy in my opinion.

23. Given today's on-air challenge, this was strange.

1. Thought it was fairly straight forward except for the one about "Telephone Number". Haven't seen that used in years. It's always "Phone Number" these days.

2. What I meant was both the on-air challenge and the sunday puzzle dealt with initials.

24. This puzzle reminds me of something about the CHARTER BUS PUZZLE OF A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO.

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

26. Clue for one of my possible answers: 1960s-era mainframe

1. What! You DOS say?

2. It was late seventies and it wasn't supposed to be a mainframe.

3. I ended up having second thoughts about that hint and submitted something else. We'll see what happens!

27. Interesting wording on the original clue.

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

1. That was quick. Sorry, Blaine.

29. I’m thinking of a 1970s musical.

30. The 1936 winner of the Smith's Prize was paid about \$30. How much do you think Joey Chestnut was paid for his July 4th 2022 efforts?

31. Pierre Gasly at the 2020 Italian Gran Prix.

1. Pierre Gasly drove for the team Alpha Tauri. So when he won the Italian Gran Prix, Alpha Tauri also won. Thus A.T. won. -> 81

32. I sure do wish I could stop overthinking these stupid puzzles. It took way 2 long to get this 1.

33. Worst. Sunday. Puzzle. Challenge. Ever.
pjbSaysIt'sNotTheNumberThat'sSquare,It'sThePuzzle

34. Oh, how I wish that’s gross would be a good answer.

35. Jeopardy-worthy, this puzzle ain't.

1. Sorry, that's "what is Jeopardy-worthy, this puzzle ain't."

2. Sorry, that's "what is Jeopardy-worthy, this puzzle, ain't."

36. I am not sure there has ever been a Sunday Puzzle in this form. Easy but nearly impossible to get completely without the PM's required research.
The party we had this afternoon was not for the desired answer but for my matching coincident birthday.
Thanks, Will.

1. Felice cumpleanos MJ.

2. Happy Birthday (albeit belated), Mendo Jim!
Hope you enjoyed a Gold Medal-winning, Pulitzer Prize-worthy birthday celebration.

37. So Lame. Reminds me of last Thanksgiving, when I declared SQRT(-1/64)

38. Another clue: Star Wars.

1. Another clue: Ringo Starr

2. Is TDN TMI ?

3. You're a few weeks behind on Ringo

4. (I couldn't pass up a nerdy AT-AT clue!)

39. Reminds me of Valentine’s Day, its sweets and gestures of affection.

So if you wanna have some fun…

1. I can definitely attest that's true. There's a record of that!

40. This comment has been removed by the author.

41. R.i.p. Tony Dow.

42. Reminds me of Samuel Clemens and Monty Python.

43. This could be like what happened with Tanya Roberts. First we get her death notice, then we get a notice that the earlier notice was premature, then we get the "She's dead for real now." notice.

44. Tanya is gone??

45. I'd like to make amends if this post gives too much away.

46. According to HuffPost, Dow’s cancer has returned, he’s in hospice, and his son is quoted as saying that he’s “in his last hours.”

47. Yes, my R.I.P. was premature.

48. And it turns out Tony Dow did die for real after all, and even the premature announcement of his death still had Tony Dow's date-of-death right.

49. Why Santa Clause is not denied?

50. "A dingo ate my ballots!" Donald Trump

51. Abe Vigoda is STILL dead!!!

1. And going all the way back to when Saturday Night Live was just starting out, when Chevy Chase was anchoring Weekend Update, Spain's Generalissimo Francisco Franco is STILL dead!!!

2. The first season of Saturday Night Live, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on NBC from October 11, 1975.

Francisco Franco Bahamonde died November 20, 1975 in Madrid.

52. A. T. WON >>> A. T. 1 >>> 81

The initials of the two people noted in the puzzle are A. T. and they both WON an award. Hence, A. T. WON (81).

It's cute...a bit of a stretch, but cute.

53. 81 (A. T. WON) (Anne Tyler / Alberto Tomba won)

> At least, I think it's cute. Skydiveboy will probably say no.

He speaks German. 9 ("nein") is the square root of 81.

> Don't forget the 1948 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Arne Tiselius won.

> Walker

The Imperial Walker of the second and third Star Wars films was formally an "AT-AT" ("All Terrain Armored Transport"). (They lost.)

1. You forgot to mention that NEIN is NO in German. NEUN is NINE. It is pronounced NOYN.

2. I said you'd say "no", which in German is "nein", which sounds like "nine", which is the square root of 81.

3. I understood what you meant, but thought it needed some clarification for others here.

54. 81 (eighty-one) A. T. won

My Hint:
"I sure do wish I could stop overthinking these stupid puzzles. It took way 2 long to get this 1." The number one, here represented as 1, is as close to a hint as I came up with this week. It was unintended, but I noticed it right after I typed it.

55. This comment has been removed by the author.

56. 81 <— A. T. WON

My first hint (removed by Blaine): “worthy of candy and kisses” —> Candy and the Kisses was a ‘60s singing group whose biggest hit was “The 81.”

I later revised the hint to “[r]eminds me of Valentine’s Day, its sweets and gestures of affection,” i.e. candy and kisses.

And I added: “So if you wanna have some fun…” which is a lyric—but not discoverable by a Google search—from Candy and the Kisses’ song “The 81.”

Of interest to this blog’s contributors is that another A. T., Alex Trebek, won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host for Jeopardy! eight times, including a final time posthumously in 2021. I’m surprised Will didn’t somehow incorporate it into the puzzle.

57. The winners: Anne Tyler & Alberto Tomba, both yield A.T. WON81

The blog administrator removed my comment "AT FIRST" suggesting "INITIALLY"

58. I had commented that I had come up with multiple answers. Some of them are admittedly a stretch, but, as the puzzle wording states, they are "suggested" by the two people. Here is a copy of what I submitted:

81, as in both people have the initials AT, and they each won, so in both cases, you could say that "AT won," which phonetically suggests the number 81, which is, of course, 9 squared.

However, there are three alternate answers that are also "suggested" by these two people.

8080, while not a perfect square, is suggested by listing their initials consecutively, as in ATAT. That could, of course, also suggest the number 6400, which is 80x80, and is a perfect square.

Finally, the the names could suggest the perfect square number 4. To get there, start with listing the initials consecutively, as in ATAT. Then, hyphenate halfway through, getting AT-AT. Then, recall that in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, the AT-AT machines of the Empire had four legs!

Given all of that, perhaps four is the answer you should use after all, since the names ultimately suggested four answers! :-)

1. 6400 was the the mainframe clue I posted, but I ended up submitting the right answer. No call from Ayesha today tho ðŸ˜•

59. The 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was awarded to Anne Tyler for "Breathing Lessons".
The 1992 Olympic gold medal in giant slalom went to Alberto Tomba for Italy.
They both have the initials A.T., so in both cases, one could say "A.T. won."
"A.T. won." sounds like Eighty-one (81), which is 9 squared.

60. 81 (“A.T. WON”). My hint was, “In Jersey, the leaves that are green turn to brown, twice.” Jersey no. 81 was worn by NFL players Roy Green, Tim Brown and Eddie Brown. The lyric “leaves that are green ….” is from Simon and Garfunkel.

61. Anne Tyler WON; so did Alberto Tomba -- nine squared

62. This comment has been removed by the author.

63. Of course Will gives short shrift to Pernilla Wiberg, who also won a gold medal in giant slalom in 1992

64. Initials A.T. (for Anne Tyler and Alberto Tomba) — “A.T. won”81.

I was too lazy to think of a clue to post (in fact, I almost sat this one out). I think the puzzle instructions should have specified whether to look for the gold-medal winner in the men’s or women’s giant-slalom event. That’s what complicated things for me a bit—even though Blaine’s clue clearly alluded to the men’s event. Especially after Jan’s 1948 Nobel Prize in Chemistry clue, I wasn’t as quick to eliminate the possibility the phonetics of it could have to do with “Sweden.” ðŸ¤”
Oh well…a red herring of my own making…? ðŸ¤·‍♂️

65. A.T. won. 81. A.T. won. 81.

66. Another possible answer... "A" is the first letter of the alphabet, "T" is the 20th so the two winners are 120 and 120, when multiplied together give one hundred gross...

67. I got 64. A T phonetically is 8 squared is 64

68. It took only one minute of those B48 to realize that the only good candidate for a phonetic answer was A T Won.
I figured Amy Tan was close to the right year, but that the skier would have to wait for my 2005 World Almanac.
More quickly than I could have booted up my Lenovo, it told me she was only a runner-up and Tombo was actually a skier i knew.
I later decided that Will has apparently forgiven me for decades of thorning his side and had given me a nice 81st birthday present.

69. I was fooled, so my hint became a red herring. Why Santa can't be denied... is "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow." FOUR, (for) is the only square number mentioned in the clue. my bad!

70. AT Won. 81. Groan. A truly painful pun.

Floral Clue: Astral Rose

This wasn't a floral clue at all. In New York City, the city of my youth, and the locus around which the entire modern world rotates, the Hayden Planetarium ("Astral") is on 81st St. and includes the Rose Center for Earth and Space, where Neil deGrasse Tyson (Bronx Science Class of 1976) presides.

Thus Astral Rose seemed a perfect clue for 81.

71. Sorry I am late posting thie preview...
Attention, "Green Eggs and Ham" fans! Our friend Plantsmith has cooked up a delectable mess 'o them for breakfast on this week's Puzzleria! Plantsmith's puzzle is an ingenious Green Plate Special Sequel to Dr. Seuss's breakfast nook-book of that title, in which Sam-I-am performs a Dr. Seussian, green-themed remodel of his kitchen with the help of his mysterious friend, Mr. Darling, a salesman at the local Hardware-O-Rama store. Puzzlement ensues!
We upload Puzzleria! in the wee hours of every Friday, just after Midnight Pacific Daylight Time.
Also on this week's menus are:
* a Schpuzzle of the Week titled “...And on this farm he had a gloat!”
* a Puzzle Slice titled "Porcus, porca, porculus, porcula..." that involves two languages, including Pig Latin;
* a Dessert Puzzle titled "Pouring prattle out of a pot," and
* 11 riff-offs of this week's foursquare (or, shall we say, "ninesquare"?) NPR puzzle.
Come join us for some Seussian green eggs, green ham and other colorful fun!

LegoWho"DoNotLikeGreenEggsAndHam(UnlessTheyAreCookedUpByPlantsmith!)

72. 81 (eighty-one=A. T. won)

Anne Tyler and Alberto Tomba both have the initials A. T.

73. I disagree with all of you. Since there were two athletes with the initials AT, I interpreted that as 80 squared or 6400.

1. I suppose that is an alternate answer that meets the instructions of the puzzle ("both suggest...a certain square number").

2. I'm curious: If you had the "wrong" answer, what was your comment that got deleted above? (I'm not gonna lie, my comment remaining up convinced me it wasn't 6400)

3. My deleted comment was, I once knew an orthopedist who's vanity license plate was ISTR810. It surprised me that it was deleted.

74. If actors keep turning up alive after being reported dead, this will be the death of death notices.

75. My hint “green shoots” explained:
81 is the atomic number of the chemical element “Thallium” from the Greek word “thallos”, which means “green shoots”.

76. my post with "make amends" was hinting at Atone

1. That, Al, was a great hint!

77. Where be Natasha these days?

1. I've been wondering the same thing myself.

2. She may be wandering.

3. The reasons for her absences are usually obvious to some of us.
I have not recognized one this time, but I hope she is back soon.

78. The following was just now posted way above where it would not likely be noticed:

Nicolemtb Sat Jul 30, 10:16:00 AM PDT

This is from Natasha my friend. She fractured her hip and in hospital. Her cell will not take comments. She is so happy you asked about her. She loves you all so much. Has been suffering a lot and trying to manage her care as a nurse that she is. I will post more comments later. Thanks.

1. Nicolemtb,
Please tell Natasha I wish her a speedy recovery that's as pain-free as possible.

2. Feel better soon, Natasha!

3. Natasha, heal well!

4. All the best to you, Natasha - I hope you heal quickly! --Margaret G.

79. Nicolemtb,
Thanks for your Natasha update. Please tell her, skydiveboy says she should meditate in order to promote healing, and I hope she is back soon.

1. Thank You. She will and take care.

80. I expect TrumpTransition2016 to start a rumor that Natasha broke her hip to avoid conscription for service in Ukraine.

81. This is from Natasha. Thank you all for kind words. Improving. Have lots of support from my nursing friends etc. Playing wordle phrazle and nerdle every day. Good luck sunday.

1. Nicole,
Please give Natasha my best wishes. I wish her a full and speedy recovery.

82. This week's challenge comes from listener Steve Baggish, of Arlington, Mass. Name a famous person in American television — 6 letters in the first name, 4 letters in the last. Switch the last letter of the first name with the first letter of the last. Then reverse the order of the two modified names. You'll get a phrase meaning "almost typical." What is it?

1. Got it in a few seconds by working backwards. Now for a clue...

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

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

1. Oops. Gotta hunker down!

84. This comment has been removed by the author.

1. Original comment deleted after I saw CAP's post below.

What I will say is: I find part of the paraphrasing a little sloppy. More on Thursday.

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

86. SZ, Wolfgang, Jan,