Sunday, July 31, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 31, 2022): American TV Personality

NPR Sunday Puzzle (July 31, 2022): American TV Personality
Q: 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?
There's clearly a reason this puzzle was picked. That being said, I can't think of a single show I've seen them on.

Edit: There was cLEARly a reason, since he just celebrated turning 100. He's a famous person for writing and producing numerous television shows, but he's had only a smattering of acting roles. He has appeared on lots of shows as himself however.
A: NORMAN LEAR --> NEAR NORMAL

164 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. As soon as I saw whose puzzle submission this is, I knew it would be yuck, as his always are. So simple! Back to bed now.

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  3. I think the way the answer was paraphrased is a little sloppy. But: Paraphrasing it better would have made the puzzle even easier. More on Thursday.

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  4. Moving the last letter of the first name to the end of the last name may be instructive for a baker.

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  5. Yes. Easy enough... Not many have made it this far...

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  6. Even WS didn't say Monica Seles's (last) name right.

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  7. Hard to weave together a good clue for this super easy puzzle.

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  8. Hi all, I'm this week's contestant Ryan Berry! I'm often a lurker here, but I wanted to take the occasion of my appearance on the puzzle to acknowledge this community and how much I've enjoyed reading your comments, clues, and alternative puzzles over the years. It took me 15 years of submitting answers on and off before I was selected to play! AMA, I suppose?

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    1. Congratulations, Ryan. You were great. BTW, consider yourself lucky: it took me 30 years before I got "the call."

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    2. Congratulations, Ryan! --Margaret G.

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    3. Congrats, Ryan! Wondering why you'd bring up the fabric hair of a camel or goat ;-).

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    4. Well played today, Ryan! Congratulations on getting the call!

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    5. Lurk no more RB...
      You now a star be!

      LegoPennedABitOfDoggerel/ExtollingRB'sBlaine'sInaugural!

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    6. Congrats from a fellow test engineer!

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    7. Glad we we've been able to provide you with good times, RB.

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    8. Congrats, RB! And might I say you're the closest thing to my brother winning this thing, because his name is Bryan Berry! Unfortunately, he's not into this sort of thing. BTW Kudos for actually solving last week's challenge. It stumped me, and then when I found out the answer, it was such a groaner. And I like puns, so I'm really kicking myself for not making the whole AT connection. No clue here for this week's challenge, though one of the clues for the "SELL" puzzle would certainly apply with this one(not saying how or which one, of course!).
      pjbPrefersTheMusicOfBryanAdamsToThatOfRyanAdams(NoOffense)

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    9. Welcome RB. I know how you feel. Now quit lurking, and keep working!

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    10. @cranberry, funny enough, one of my brothers married someone with a Cran- surname!

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    11. Is there such a thing as a common Suriname surname?

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    12. LIN? https://sp-ao.shortpixel.ai/client/to_webp,q_glossy,ret_img,w_963/https://www.netcredit.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/09/06_The-most-common-last-name-in-every-country_SouthAmerica-963x1024.png

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    13. Regrettably the most common surname in this country of late has been Trump.

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    14. "Ain't no man can avoid being born average, but there ain't no man got to be common." -- Satchel Paige

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  9. I just got done listening to the on-air program. Skydiveboy or jan (or anybody), how about a hint for 'outer casing of an airplane engine". (If I wanted to google it, I would have done so.)

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    1. "Aircraft", not "airplane". (If it makes a difference)

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    2. I'd give you a salty hint, but this is a family show.

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    4. That one stumped me during the recording. Thankfully they edited it out. The hint Will gave me (and I figure Will's hints are allowed by principle here) is that it starts with N.

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    5. I have no idea how one would hint at a term almost no one knows.

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    6. Jan did ... but I see your point also.

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    7. Re: my "salty hint" above: How would YOU pronounce "NaCl"?

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    8. @RB, it's interesting that they edit out some of the on-air puzzles, though I guess that shouldn't be so surprising. Some weeks I'm kind of glad that they didn't call me as I know I would have done terribly on-air, the cleanest example being the 9/12/2021 on-air puzzle for which very few of the answers were familiar to me at all.

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    10. I've noticed before that the web article associated with the puzzle will on occasion include puzzle clues that didn't make it to the broadcast. They're probably usually flops that got cut for time considerations.

      Nearly all of our pre-puzzle banter got cut too! On the air, you heard me quickly mention that I create puzzles. When we recorded, I talked in more detail about my puzzle creations, and Ayesha suggested that submit some ideas to Will. I told them that I had submitted ideas before, and that Will should get back to me afterwards to chat. I thought it was solid cheeky banter. It all got reduced to "I create puzzles too". 😀

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  10. Like others, I solved it, in some sense, backwards. Take the phrase meaning "almost typical," remove the last 2 letters of the first word, and replace them with a single, different letter to get a popular, related phrase.

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  11. Not easy to think of a clue that won't get squelched.

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  12. I view my solution as a victory over Sunday Puzzledom.

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  13. If a letter appears in the name more than once, remove all instances of that letter. Rearrange. You get a word with many meanings, including a name of a mammal.

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    Replies
    1. Rob, your comment may need to be removed. It should, at the very least, be looked at.

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    2. Oh, jeepers. I try to be so careful about not giving too much away, and so when I saw your comment, I thought, "Oh, no, I have done it again!" and I tried and tried to see how my hint could lead to the answer. But LOL I got what you meant after a few seconds.

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  14. I will say that I might not be of the right generation to know much about this person. And their last name reminds me of a different era entirely!

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    1. Confession: my parents had to fill me in on Norman Lear! The name rang a bell, so I was able to solve the puzzle, but I couldn't place him. I'm up on my Shakespeare & nonsense poetry, though.

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  15. I know my "eureka moment" theme bores everyone to tears, so I'll talk about another phenomenon I experience sometimes, simply, good ol' deja vu.
    I sometimes run across the answer, particularly if it's a celebrity or a pol, sometimes if it's a phrase or geographic location, the previous week or so before the puzzle. I am aware that many puzzle answers are familiar usage, so that's one thing. Anyway, this puzzle is good because I like the person in question. As a matter of fact, a few nights ago, I saw the movie National Treasure, with Nicolas Cage. The part where he steals the original Declaration of Independence made me laugh, because I immediately thought of our person, who has nothing to do with the movie or its production.

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  16. I've seen an episode Blaine missed.

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  17. Reminds me of another square number.

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  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. The phrase came first. Right away, actually! It was very easy to come up with a name. Never heard of this person. Must be a generational thing.

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  21. No need to feel proud of getting this B48. but it did leave some time to think about all the better ways there are to phrase it.
    Grammatically, I prefer the answer to the clue "Where is Bloomington?" to Wiil's for "almost typical."

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  22. This reminds me of a puzzle in 2020.

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    Replies
    1. There was a normalcy (Norm, Al, Cy) puzzle on July 5, 2020. Normalcy is the condition of being normal. Norm is short for Norman.

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  23. I have to vent for a second: I've submitted several puzzle ideas to NPR. I test them out on a friend who is a 5 time jeopardy champ, so I think he's probably a solid gauge of difficulty (ie a smarty pants). It usually takes him 3-5 days, but he always gets them (except for one, which I didn't then submit to NPR), which makes me think they're challenging but not impossible. So far, radio silence from WS for a single one of my puzzles from NPR. What am I missing? I try to put them in the "style" of the puzzles I hear every week. Most are letter switches, a couple that involve phonetics, etc. I also try to go outside of the box on categories (ie not using food, animals, etc) Any tips or suggestions? Thanks puzzle hive mind! :)

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    1. Also, edit: because I get radio silence back, I can't improve my puzzle-making, which I'd like to be able to do!

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    2. You should have realized by now that WS is rarely interested in running challenging puzzles. Occasionally one gets through, but rarely. Also, as I have posted before, when he has used my puzzles he has dumbed them down without asking.

      I would suggest you submit your puzzles to Lego and see if he will use them on Puzzleria.

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    3. Avoid the "funny bones," to nudge his humeri.

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    4. Your real problem is that you make them challenging. You need to think "3rd grade." Literally.

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    5. Thank you all! That is really helpful. I kept thinking I wasn't making them tricky enough :P It usually takes me a couple days to get the puzzles. Ah well. I appreciate the help! I will work on easing it up a bit.

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  24. I had a weird dream last night. There was a war going on outside Orlando, and an American president, a jazz pianist, and I were hiding out underground wearing chic purple uniforms. Crazy, right?

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  25. Replies
    1. ... who played for the Boston Celtics, which Will Shortz and everyone else pronounce "SELL-tics", but is otherwise pronounced "KELL-tic". He got an honorary degree at my son's college graduation.

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    2. Only one of two people to win (1) two college basketball national championships, (2) an Olympic gold medal, (3) an NBA championship as a player, and (4) an NBA championship as a coach. The other was KC Jones, Russ's teammate for 1 through 3.

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    3. A great ballplayer, almost certainly the greatest of his day (and then some). And I loved his laugh. R. I. P.

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  26. Replies
    1. Wow, I hadn't heard about her death. Too bad! And, it's Nichelle, not nacelle, I guess.

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    2. Nichols had a tremendous impact in attracting women and minorities to the space program. Per Wikipedia, among those she helped recruit were Dr. Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut, and Air Force Colonel Guion Bluford, the first African-American astronaut, as well as Dr. Judith Resnik and Dr. Ronald McNair, who both flew Shuttle missions before their deaths in the Challenger disaster. Astronaut Mae Jemison cited Nichols' role as Lt. Uhuru as having influenced her career.

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    3. Truly, Nichelle Nichols deserved accolades for her work, and for being a genuinely decent person

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  27. Blaine,
    This is a long shot, but I just have to ask. Yesterday I finished reading, AS GOOD AS DEAD, by Stephen L. Moore. "The heroic story of eleven American POWs who defied certain death in World War II, As Good as Dead is an unforgettable account of the Palawan Massacre survivors and their daring escape." One of the eleven survivors is Army Corporal Elmo "Mo" Deal. Deal is an uncommon last name and he resided after the war in Oakland, CA and Sacramento. His wife, Alta, and he raised three daughters—Janet, Sharon and Denise. If you happen to be a distant relation you really should read this amazing story. As I said, it's a long shot.

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    1. I'm not aware of any related ancestry, but I'll check it out.

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  28. A few other famous names that can be similarly changed to form two ordinary English words:
    BOB WELCH(ex-Fleetwood Mac member)
    Switch the last letter of the first name with the first letter of the last to get BOW, BELCH.
    DON PARDO(longtime SNL announcer)
    Put the last letter of the first name on the end of the last name to get DO, PARDON.
    Sadly, both men are no longer with us.
    pjbAdmitsOneOfHisFavoriteFleetwoodMacTunesIsWelch's"Hypnotized"(1973)

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  29. How can you tell if a particular tree will have wood suitable for making a musical instrument, such as a violin?

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    1. Look for a tree with perfect pitch. There you are.

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    2. While there is a ring of truth to what you guys are saying, I will go out on a limb and say you are barking up the wrong tree. Let's leave well enough alone.

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    3. Tonewoods, in life it was mute, in death it sings.

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    4. ... and forever new, at heart ...

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  30. Well, the phrase answering this week's puzzle definitely doesn't describe me. I'm nowhere close to being "almost typical."

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  31. When Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attends a dinner in his honor as the leader of Turkey, does he enjoy dressing for the occasion?

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  32. Yes, but he gobbles everything up.

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    1. Wattle they think of next? Enough of this stuffin' nonsense!
      pjbKnowsTomFooleryWhenHeReadsIt

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    2. But if he over indulges, he won't be able to do The Mashed Potato.

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    3. Then I guess this spud's for you.
      pjbShould'veTakenThatLastPunToHisGravy

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  33. Just to confirm I understand the puzzle, the name of the famous person would be "ABCDEF GHIJ" and the phrase would be "FHIJ ABCDEG"

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    1. Gee you're right, but I used different letters!

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    2. Don't get frustrated when you can't get it and other people complain about how easy the puzzle is. I wouldn't have gotten it without the clues sent in that I saw before they were deleted. I wish folks wouldn't get so annoyed...puzzles should be fun.

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    3. To those who've read Cap's reply above and are thinking "WHAT deleted clues? I can't find a SINGLE instance of 'This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.'!"

      ALL those deleted clues were from last week's thread.

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  34. Oddly, I had the correct person on my first guess but misread the instructions. I'll be attentive next week and save time. I consider myself lucky to know this person's work.

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  35. RB,
    Which part of Seattle do you live in. In other words, what homeless campground are you closest to?

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  36. jan,
    Somewhat surprised you have yet to comment on the co-pilot who jumped/fell/was pushed out of the CASA C-212 Aviocar they were flying, which is a twin-engine cargo plane made in Spain. Anyway we do know his life ended when he was grounded. Perhaps he was just ground down.

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    1. Not much to say. I think we can eliminate fell and pushed right off the bat. The plane had made a very hard landing at a dirt strip previously, hard enough to break a wheel off. It's a high-wing, fixed-gear plane, so that would have been obvious from the cockpit. No word on who had been flying that landing attempt, but if it had been the co-pilot, a 23-year old CFI, just starting a career in aviation, hoping to move up to the airlines, busting a plane like that might have seemed career-ending to him. He had lots of hours of flying under his belt, so an important question is, why that first landing was blown so badly. The determination will depend on the pilot's debriefing, and the co-pilot's toxicology report, I think.

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    2. That makes the most sense of all I've heard so far. I was unaware of the cause of wheel falling off. It does make sense that he would have felt his life was over if he screwed up badly. I felt my life was over when WS rejected one of my puzzle suggestions once.

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    3. There's always more than meets the eye - or the media, Guys.

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  37. The question: "Fell, jumped or pushed" arises again.
    Amazing!

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  38. I very seldom join the Thursday follies, but I wanted to ask that folks who post today to address the grammar in the puzzle.

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  39. NORMAN LEAR, NEAR NORMAL

    "Hard to weave together a good clue for this super easy puzzle." Norman Lear graduated from Weaver High School in Hartford, CT. My dad had a side-gig coaching basketball at Weaver HS in the 60's.

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  40. We bring you a feature fresh and new on this week's edition of Puzzleria!
    It is the debut of “Tortie’s Slow But Sure Puzzles,” compliments of Tortitude, who has lately been posting astute comments on Blaine's Blog as well as on Puzzleria!
    "Tortie," whose name is Laura, is making history as the first female to share her puzzles on P! as a "regular guest-puzzle-maker."
    "A Tale of Three Chefs" is the title of Tortitude's excellent debut puzzle. It describes the different, and sometimes unconventional, methods that chefs Al, Bob and Clive employ to prepare Eggs Benedict.
    We upload Puzzleria! in the wee Friday morning hours, just after Midnight PDT.
    Also on this week's Menu:
    * a Schpuzzle of the Week involving two odd numbers that are both evenly divisible by 29... but that may also share a more interesting property,
    * a puzzle slice that involves “impressive successes” and “unwelcome visitors,”
    * a puzzle-slice-quatrain about getting "back-on-track" and "rising from a “weatherbed” mattress;
    * a Dessert Puzzle about "Dodging bullets in Dodge City," and finally,
    * 16 riff-offs of this week's "Al(most) in the (Near Normal) Family" NPR puzzle, subtitled, "Let not this puzzling snnafu* mystify you."
    That's 20 great reasons to drop by and visit Puzzleria!

    LegoWhoAddsHoweverThatTheGreatestReasonToDropByAndVisitPuzzleria!IsAlwaysToEnjoyTheAmazingCreativityOfAllOurIngeniousGuestPuzzleMakersIncluding:BobbyJacobsChuckEcoarchitectGBGeofanMathewHuffmanJeffZarkinPatrickJ.BerryPaulPlantsmithRudolfoSkydiveboyAndNowTortitude!

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    1. NORMAN LEAR, NEAR NORMAL
      Tortie's real name is Laura? I'm sure hers is a face in the misty light, footsteps that you hear down the hall, the laugh that floats on a summer night, that you can never quite recall...
      pjbThinksSpikeJonesDidItMuchBetter,Actually

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  41. NORMAN LEARNEAR NORMAL = “almost typical”

    He sell-ebrated his 100th birthday on July 27, 2022.

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  42. NEAR NORMAL (<— NORMAN LEAR)

    Hint #1: “Take the phrase meaning ‘almost typical’, remove the last 2 letters of the first word, and replace them with a single, different letter to get a popular, related phrase.”
    near normal —> new normal

    Hint #2: “Maybe we should just keep it in the fold.” —> i.e., keep it All in the Family, the popular tv program co-produced and -developed by Lear. But from reading some of the other comments on the blog, I think familiarity with All in the Family and Norman Lear may be a generational thing.

    Finally, in reply to Dr. Awkward, who said “the last name reminds her of a different era entirely”—though I may have misinterpreted her comment—“Lear” calls to my mind two other eras and Lears, both British: Shakespeare’s tragic King (Elizabethan-Jacobean) and 19th-century British writer Edward (Victorian).

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  43. Norman Lear — Normal near — NEAR NORMAL

    As I hinted Sunday morning, I didn’t quite agree with the paraphrasing of the answer. “Near” is an adjective; “almost” is an adverb. Based on “almost,” the answer should be “nearly normal”—which wouldn’t fit the puzzle.

    I would have paraphrased it as “close to typical,” an accurate grammatical reflection of “near normal.” Although, as I also hinted, “close to” would have all but given away “near.”

    The puzzle was certainly easy enough. I knew I was looking for a six-letter synonym (of sorts) for “typical,” so “normal” came to mind pretty much right away. I also knew I only had to change the last letter to get the person’s first name, so that gave me the name of Norman. I googled “American TV Norman,” and voilà—the top 10 results were all about Norman Lear. Solved. (And to think I wouldn’t have been able to name him…!)

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  44. NORMAN LEAR. My hint: "Moving the last letter of the first name to the end of the last name may be instructive for a baker." (“Norma Learn” could perhaps describe the result of an instructive experience for Norma Jean Baker.)

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  45. NORMAN LEAR, NEAR NORMAL

    I commented, simply, "Wichita." The Lear Jet corporation was founded in Wichita, KS

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  46. Norman Lear. My reference to National Treasure ( a 2004 movie) was to draw attention to the fact that Norman Lear owns an authentic 1776 copy of the Declaration of Independence for which he paid 8.14 million, in 2000. He took this on a roadshow to display and familiarize everybody with this great relic. So all Nicolas Cage had to do was ask Norman Lear! Lear is also proud of his service in WWII. My dad was also a WWII vet. Not a bad puzzle.

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  47. NORMAN LEAR -> NEAR NORMAL

    > The famous person just had a big celebration. [Deleted]

    NORMAN LEAR turned 100 last Wednesday.

    > Score more than namesake.

    Shakespeare's Lear was divvying up his kingdom because he was old, at 80. Norman's 20 years older.

    > Oops. Gotta hunker down!

    Rhymes with Bunker.

    > I'd give you a salty hint, but this is a family show.

    The "outer casing of an aircraft engine" is a "nacelle", which sounds like how you might pronounce "NaCl". And it's All In The Family.

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  48. Wolfgang has it right.
    The grammatically correct phrase for "almost typical" is "nearly normal," not "near normal."
    Do you think Wiil will point that out?
    I suggested the better clue "Where is Bloomington?"
    Bloomington, Illinois is so NEAR NORMAL, Illinois, that they share an airport.
    (Huntsville is actually too close.)

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    1. Yes, I agree. The only people I ever hear saying " near normal" are weathermen. This has actually irked me for years. Which is one reason I never listen to weathermen.

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    2. You can't tell weathermen know whether or not.

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    3. Wolfgang, Mendo Jim, Musinglink. etc. ...
      I believe that Merriam-Webster is the Puzzlemaster's Bible (see Definition #2, under "adverb").

      LegoLearlyNormal

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    4. If your Craigslist posting says: Please buy my old car! Is BUY an ad verb?

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    5. Lego: Are you suggesting WS looked up the usage before posting the puzzle?
      "Near dead:" "Yep, Mister Dillon that there cow is pert near dade, seems."
      Do you prefer "near dead" to "nearly dead?" Think it over.
      I will be interested in how he deals with it on Sunday. Or doesn't.
      I sent it in one of my very rare answers, BTW, just to make sure it was in front of him. Or wasn't.
      I don't think of grammar rules as suggestions, I'm afraid.

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    6. Good question, Mendo Jim.
      I suspect that Will may have already encountered "the use of 'near' as an adjective" in the course of his wordplay workings. M-W is considered a reputable lexicon, last time I checked.
      Do I prefer "near dead" to "nearly dead?" No, I do not. "Nearly dead" sounds "better" to my "proper-usage-indoctrinated-ears." But if M-W says "near dead" is okay, then it is okay with me.
      Had I submitted this puzzle to Will Shortz, I would have linked to the Merriam-Webster definition of "near" in an attempt to lobby for the legitimacy of its usage in the puzzle.

      LegoWhoNotesThatIronicallyWordsThatEndIn"ly"AreNearlyNormallyAdverbs

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    7. I have always understood "near normal" as an elliptical phrase, short for "near that which is normal." That elliptical would be grammatically acceptable.

      Although, now that I come to think of it (again), that would make "near" a preposition (rather than an adjective), per M-W entry 2 of 4 for "near".

      I stand (self-)corrected. (Thank you, Lego!)

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    8. While this is a grammar question I am not bothered by, I must say I lean more towards MJ's post. "But if M-W says "near dead" is okay, then it is okay with me." M-W is not saying it is okay. Dictionaries, M-W included, are not in the business of making up words, nor are they making the rules. They are simply reporting the common usage. If enough ignorant people among us keep misusing a word or a phrase, as they do, then eventually this misuse will be reported in the dictionaries.

      The correct word is: ARCTIC, not ARTIC, but that annoying pronunciation is now accepted by dictionaries because of the constant misuse. Same with: PREVENTIVE, which is more often pronounced PREVENTATIVE, which is redundant and now accepted due to sloppy usage.

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    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    10. Here is the point where I pull out the old "Our language is a 'living organism,' not a relic frozen in time" card.
      The only definition of "awful" in Samuel Johnson's 1747 dictionary, for example, is not either of the first two entries in the current M-W.
      Meanings and usages of words change over time. Dictionaries hold a mirror up to the lexicon, written and spoken, at any one particular point in time. To not include the "negative" meaning of "awful" in a modern dictionary, for one example, would smack of lexical malfeasance. To turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the use of "artic" and "preventative" by the "great unwashed masses" would be equally irresponsible.
      Merriam, Webster, Johnson, Barnhart, Collins, Macmillan, etc. don't write dictionaries... we do!

      LegoWhoseRantsAreBeginningToSoundMoreAndMoreLikeThoseOfThatGuyAtTheCheersBarInBostonWhoSatOnHisArseOnABarsetoolNearNorman!

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    11. Ah yes, and when you think of it "we do" and dog doo are not all that different.

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    12. Dog doo write a dictionary?
      That must be the one by "Harper Collies."

      LegoWhoAdds"OrPerhapsTheOneByBarkhart"

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    13. I thought it was "Harpy Collies."

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    14. "Dictionaries hold a mirror up to the lexicon." And if the mirror doesn't fog, the lexicon is dead.

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    15. Dictionaries are books that ram us with how to pronounce words.

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    16. Dictionaries tell us, among other things, what words mean and how to pronounce them.
      Secondary pronunciations sneak into the language and must be accommodated, no matter how much they grate. Examples are harass, patina and even arctic.
      The rules of grammar are about how to use them.
      The rules about the use of adverbs are the ones that Will Short and Steve Baggish decided in ignore in their excitement of finding a sort of cute phase about a famous person who just turned 100.
      It is obviously not very important, but points out a theme common in Sunday Puzzles: The Master's carelessness.

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  49. My first clue was "e". The letters switched are L and N; LN is a common way to write the natural logarithm function, i.e., logarithms to the base e = 2.71828...

    My second clue was "Reminds me of another square number." N. L. turned 100 on July 27.

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  50. Math geeks will know that the number e also appears in the equation of the bell curve for the "normal" distribution. I noted that t would be better yet, since the t-distribution is, in fact, "near normal."

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  51. I told Rob. "I don't trust that a bit." IOW I am leery.

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  52. Norman Lear --> near normal

    Last Sunday I said, “I view my solution as a victory over Sunday Puzzledom,” a conquest so to speak. Like the Norman Conquest. Like Norman Lear.

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  53. While Blaine wasn't looking, Norman Lear appeared on television during the airing of a retro-salute to All in the Family a few years ago. The presentation ended with a short live interview. Also, he appeared as the recipient of an award at The Kennedy Center which was televised on Public Television.

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  54. Of course Norman Lear is about as close as a name gets to being a Mormon leer, if there even is such a thing.

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    1. But seriously, while I thought Norman Lear to be an interesting person to hear talk, my take on him has always been that he eagerly helped himself to a double shot of nationalistic Kool-Aid and then asked for another.

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  55. My clue "Aw, sweet mystery of life!" is what Madeline Kahn sang after a rather satisfying encounter with the monster in the movie Young Frankenstein. (He had received an abnormal brain when Igor mistakenly retrieved the brain of "Abby Normal.")

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  56. Has anyone been following the Alex Jones trial? He's been ordered to pay 4.1 million in compensatory damages to one Sandy Hook victim's family. Norman Lear spent twice that on his authentic 1776 copy of the Declaration of Independence! Frankly, I hope they get him for at least 4 million more in punitive damages, which has yet to be decided. Alex Jones followers were harassing this family so much they had to move 10 times! Because their address was constantly being leaked out, and harassment would follow. It's interesting that Donald Trump, it has been stated, will probably be spending the rest of life tangled up in legal proceedings. Finally, something is working.

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    1. I've paid some attention to this story, and I too hope for a much larger punitive amount. Interesting that 2 jurors voted against convicting. I think you are being overly optimistic when you say, "something is working." I see an empire in rapid decline.

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    2. It appears that it may becoming easier for us to keep up with the Joneses.

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  57. A Janesville couple celebrating their 56th wedding anniversary with a trip to the nation's capital were killed Thursday night in a lightning strike at Lafayette Park across from the White House, District of Columbia officials and a family member said Friday. The victims were identified as James Mueller, 76, and Donna Mueller, 75.

    Apparently they were trying to put some spark back into their marriage.

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  58. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/sandy-hook-parents-alex-jones-claims-created-living-hell/2022/08/03/7a89ee6c-131c-11ed-8482-06c1c84ce8f2_story.html

    This is a link to a Washington post article on Alex Jones. I hope it works.
    He originally offered exactly $8.00 in compensation to the family. $1.00 for each of the eight charges brought against him. I guess it is easy to keep up with the Joneses. I never heard of anything in my life as twisted as this. Alex Jones is so bad in a schadenfreude kind of way, that I actually feel better about myself and any rotten things I've ever done.

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  59. This is the start of a two-week creative challenge. The object is to write a sentence using only the letters of any particular U.S. state. You can pick the state and repeat letters as often as necessary. For example:
    NEW YORK --> No one knew we were ornery.
    WASHINGTON --> Sighting a ghost tonight was astonishing.
    Entries will be judged on originality, sense, naturalness of syntax, humor, and overall elegance. *No more than three sentences per entry, please.*

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  60. Challenge:
    This is the start of a two-week creative challenge. The object is to write a sentence using only the letters of any particular U.S. state. You can pick the state and repeat letters as often as necessary. For example:
    NEW YORK --> No one knew we were ornery.
    WASHINGTON --> Sighting a ghost tonight was astonishing.
    Entries will be judged on originality, sense, naturalness of syntax, humor, and overall elegance. *No more than three sentences per entry, please.*

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  61. At least 500 correct responses to the Norman Lear puzzle.

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  62. This comment has been removed by the author.

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