Sunday, August 14, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 14, 2022): Oklahoma, OK!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Aug 14, 2022): Oklahoma, OK!
Q: This is a continuation 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:

  • OREGON --> Roger, go gorge on green eggnog.
  • NEBRASKA --> Sen. Ben Sasse's sneakers reek. [Note: Ben Sasse is a U.S. senator from Nebraska]

  • Entries will be judged on originality, sense, naturalness of syntax, humor, and overall elegance. No more than three sentences per entry, please. Deadline is Wednesday this week.
    Winner:
  • West Virginia: In tennis news, a new era starts as Serena is retiring. - Kate Simpson

  • Honorable mentions:
  • Massachusetts: At the museum, esthetes hate the cute statues that amuse the masses. — H.S. Hughes
  • Rhode Island: Denise hoarded sand and seashells inside her shoreside diner. — Rawson Scheinberg
  • Rhode Island: Dolores had to dine on nine dollars she had hidden in her sandal, so she ordered a side salad and a dinner roll. — Kevin Root
  • Washington: Shania Twain is in town tonight, singing Gaga's hit songs at Santana's San Antonio gig. — Kerry Fowler
  • New Mexico: Native educational wisdom makes eradicating xenophobia its core obligation. — Tamar Stieber
  • Massachusetts: As she teaches math, she must use the state tests that she hates. — Rick Cleary
  • Texas [only 5 letters to work with!]: Texas axes estate taxes. — Charvaka Duvvury
  • 77 comments:

    1. This is a two-week challenge so don't give anything away before the deadline of Wednesday, Aug. 17 at 3pm ET. If you have created a sentence, click the link and submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here.

      You can openly discuss your answer after the Wednesday, Aug. 17 deadline. Thank you.

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    2. You have the wrong post for Aug. 14th. See the correct post HERE. The examples were Oregon & Nebraska.

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      Replies
      1. I set up an auto-post last night using last week's examples and meant to come back and check if it was different. Thanks for the reminder.

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    3. I really wasn't intending to enter anything for this challenge until I sat down with my combination crossword solver/anagram app and realized that certain states have better combinations of letters for creating coherent sentences

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    4. My fellow Blainsvillians:
      Many of you (like Curtis, I assume) have already come up with a trio of worthy contenders for this current two-week NPR challenge.
      So, if you still have a hankerin' for the more conventional style of MPR puzzles, mosey on over to the current edition of Puzzleria! There, you will find a score of puzzles (four of them, created by skydiveboy, that may turn ypur world upside-down!).
      These 20 puzzles appear under headings:
      * “Sacré bleu! J’en ai marre!”
      * Superheros, zoos, & singin’ “The Sucre (Bolivian) Blues”
      * Ailments, aliments & achoos!
      * State-inspired Statements, and
      * Loaves & fishes & sweetoothsome dishes.

      LegoWhoWelcomesAllToOurPuzzleParadise

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    5. I came up with a sentence for Virginia.

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      Replies
      1. Came=arrived. My sentence involved "arriving".

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    6. I sent in my 3 sentences Saturday morning, which I presume was after Will recorded the segment with Felix Contreras, but before the segment aired, so any similarity between one of my entries and one of the examples Will gave today must be purely coincidental.

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    7. Just sent in my second sentence based on TEXAS. The first I sent was based on WASHINGTON.

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      Replies
      1. My understanding is that we're expected to submit a single submission to NPR containing all three of our states and each state's sentence.

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      2. Exactly! Just like all the other crummy 2 week challenges. I went camping on the ocean and just got back, so I have not even been trying and will not submit.

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      3. I just learned something new: Crummy and crumby are both valid words, but they mean different things. Crumby means “full of crumbs.” Crummy means “lousy.” As in, "this crummy Streuselkuchen isn't crumby enough."

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      4. My granddaughter's first joke: "Why did the cookie go to the doctor?" "Because it was feeling crum[m/b]y."

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      5. How much dough did the doctor charge the cookie?

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      6. It had insurance, so it didn't knead any.

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      7. That's good. At least we won't have to use Go Fund Me for raisin donations.

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      8. This cookie wouldn't happen to be of the gingerbread variety, would it?

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      9. "An arm and a leg" came to mind.

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    8. For the on-air section, Will should read some of the sentences he got and ask for the state.

      I broke down and sent in the most humorous, syntactical, original and elegant sentence in history. A shoo-in winner.
      It needed one little extra letter, however.
      Do you think he'll notice?

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      Replies
      1. Excellent suggestion, MJ.

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      2. Paul is right, as usual, Mendo Jim. Will Shortz ought to hire you as his "Sunday Puzzle Consultant..."

        ...LegoAfterThinkingItOverAndUnderAdds"WellPerhapsThisMightHappenInSome(Puzzle)AlternativeUniverse!"

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    9. It is no longer necessary to point out to strangers that you are not a person of high, or even average, intelligence. All is needed is to say you live in Wyoming.

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    10. Yesterday two men from the Netherlands who are on a 5 week vacation traveling around our country again pulled in their rental Ford Mustang convertible, which they had to accept due to a larger vehicle being unavailable although they had reserved one, to a camp spot in the Olympic National Park close to where I was camped. I would guess one was about 30 and he other perhaps 40. We had a wonderful conversation which eventually focused on their opinions of our country. They said they had now been to all 50 states and apparently love much of our natural wilderness. When they could see I am not happy with this country they opened up with their perceptions that seemed to mirror my own. They mentioned meeting so many citizens who not only do not have passports, but also seem proud they have never been beyond the borders of whatever county they happen to live in. Lack of medical care and the refusal of our country to take care of its citizens was of paramount importance to their perceptions, and they could not understand how such a rich country cared so little for the people. I just thought you might want to know what people from foreign countries really think of ours.

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    11. I trust you demonstrated that not everyone is a jingoist troglodyte by going dutch with them.

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    12. Hmm.... it's 12 minutes past the deadline, and very quiet here. Anyway, here are my entries:

      1. Massachusetts' summah heat tests us: museums shut, cheese mushes, the sea teases; seems the state matches Utah! [MA]

      2. New Hampshire Sen. Hassan's swinish enemies harass her; Maine newspapers praise her sharpness. [NH]

      3. NY eyes New Jersey, sneers. [NJ]

      (I live in Cambridge, MA, and volunteer with the NH and ME Dems. I used to live in NJ, and grew up in NY.)

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      Replies
      1. Re: entry #1: my brother-in-law just sent me the following:

        Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found over 200 dead crows near greater Boston recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu.

        A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts. However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying colors of paints appeared on the bird’s beaks and claws.

        By analyzing these paint residues, it was determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were killed by an impact with a car.

        MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills versus car kills.

        He very quickly concluded the cause: When crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger.
        They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout “Cah”, not a single one could shout “Truck.”

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      2. That really is a shame. Perhaps someone at MIT could devise a way to teach the crows how to say, lorry. It might be semi-effective.

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      3. jan, so fah to go for that one. Worth it, methinks.

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      4. Jan! I'm in Somerville! :) We're neighbors. Here's what I sent in (all 3 for Massachusetts) -
        1. A math test teaches me that math's a sham, a sum's a scan, as chums that cheat must see a scheme.
        2. The matcha tea sachet steams as mama heats the meat, sautes the ham, tastes the heme that Sam the cat eats.
        3. Something about a cat's tuchus and hummus - I can't actually remember it now, lol. I threw out my original scratch paper.

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      5. Another neighbor is Steve Baggish, of Arlington, who doesn't seem to blog here, but who has submitted many puzzles that Will has used, including the NEAR NORMAL / NORMAN LEAR one a couple of weeks ago. Margaret G is also local, as is jsulbyrne. Any other Beantown-adjacent Blainesvillagers?

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    13. CALIFORNIA → An ironic Lincoln clan all fail in a local African financial loan affair.

      PENNSYLVANIA → Navy Seals ease any pain seen in aliens in Spain.

      VERMONT → To move or not to move over...

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      Replies
      1. I will be driving through VT tomorrow, and will be thinking of your third entry whenever the guy behind me flashes his brights.

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    14. My entries are:
      Virginia: Arriving in an aging grain van.
      New Hampshire: When maps reshape, I ship anew.
      California: Can an acorn fall on a roof in Africa?

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    15. I submitted 3 answers, but this is the one I liked the most and had the most fun with, especially since it’s based on the state in which I currently reside. (Blaine, you were right. I came to think of that state as the gift that kept on giving.)

      "Aroint, sirrah, thou art a lout, an arrant rascal!"

      (“Aroint” is an interjection Shakespeare used in Macbeth meaning “Begone.”)

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    16. Virginia

      Arriving in a van again, I ran in vain.

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    17. I chose to write in verse.

      Harold rode a rhino on a dare
      and landed on his derriere.

      Aaron rode a rodeo horse,
      a senseless deed no one endorsed,
      on an idle dare,
      landed on his derriere,
      and learned
      his lesson, one hard-earned.

      Texas’ asset taxes ate
      Testate Etta Tate’s estate.

      ReplyDelete
    18. I chose to work with only one state, West Virgina:

      1. Waiters wearing giant earrings serve vintage wines in Nigerian taverns
      2. Wes eats vegan stew in Vegas
      3. Vinters save wine vinegars in vats

      ReplyDelete
    19. Some of my attempts:
      MICHIGAN:
      I'M AGING, I'M ACHING.
      SOUTH DAKOTA:
      UH, OK, THAT'S SO SAD.
      WEST VIRGINIA:
      WE GET IT, A VIRGIN'S GIVEN IN.
      NEW HAMPSHIRE:
      WHEN I WAS A WEE SHRIMP, I WAS A MERE WIMP.
      PAPA WHIMPERS WHEN HE HAS A SHARP PAIN IN HIS SPINE.
      WE HEAR A SPANISH MARINER HAS A WARSHIP IN ASIA.
      MINNESOTA:
      I ESTIMATE MOST SENATE NOMINEES SEEM INSANE.
      "TO SMITE ONE'S ENEMIES" SEEMS A NATION'S MOST ASININE MISSION STATEMENT.
      SOMEONE SENT ME A TOMATO, NO NAME ON IT.
      AT A MAN'S MOST INTIMATE MOMENTS, ISN'T IT INANE TO MAINTAIN ONE'S INTENSEST EMOTIONS?
      RHODE ISLAND:
      I HEARD A NOISE, A LONDONER IN A LOO.
      SOUTH CAROLINA:
      IT'S UNUSUAL TO CATCH THAT RASCAL IN CHURCH.
      pjbStillLikes"IPiss,IMiss!",Actually

      ReplyDelete
    20. And now, a few variations on a WASHINGTON theme I only just thought of that would've been great to send in:
      SHANIA TWAIN'S NOT AGAINST SINGING WITH STING.
      STING WISHES TO SING WITH SHANIA.
      SHANIA WANTS TO SING WITH STING.
      STING SANG WITH SHANIA TWAIN? WHAT? WAS THAT SHOW TONIGHT? IN TOWN? OH NO! AW!
      (That last "one" has more than one sentence, which probably wouldn't count just because of that. I did use Sting's name in an earlier WASHINGTON sentence, but I didn't even think of using Shania Twain until just now.)
      pjbSays,"It'sNotWhatIGotNowThatWas!"

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    21. My three for this week:

      SOUTH CAROLINA

      Sal on occasion strains chili oil onto his torso, roars, un-shirts, sits on a stool and—in a nasal shout—calls out to his sis Anna-Lisa to assist in his trials: “Rush to our t-shirt cannon and launch an au courant all-cotton shirt.”

      PENNSYLVANIA

      As a van passes Sleepy Ave, sassy Sylvia spins insanely in Penny Layne’s valise.

      NEW HAMPSHIRE

      Asher immerses his ripe pears in a wine rinse.

      ReplyDelete
    22. My three:

      RHODE ISLAND
      Land, Air, and Sea: Daniel and Lisa Ann Nelson reside in Lorain, Ohio, and ride on railroads near Erie, on Shire horses, on airliners, in his and her old, red, doodad adorned Honda sedans on Ohioan roads, and sail near shores as he and she see herons and sea lions.

      MINNESOTA
      Tom Simmons, a sometimes insane mnemonist, names Senate’s Sinema as: “Someone in nation eats mint, Amen”

      MAINE
      In a mania, I mime “I Me Mine.”

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. There are some terrific compositions on this board; but, if your RI one isn't at the top of the heap, T, WS is missing the train, plane and boat, in my opinion.

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      2. I honestly thought no one was going to have a good one using MAINE(or any other state with as few or fewer letters), but that one's worthy of honorable mention at least, if not being the winner! Great work, Tortie!
        pjbIsSurprisedTwoEntries ActuallyReferencedTheBeatles(AlthoughTheEarlierOneIsMisspelled)

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      3. GB and pjb, thank you for your kind comments. I'm hoping to have at least one of my entries mentioned on air.

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    23. These are great, maybe the best results of a WS two-weeker yet.
      I hope those here who seem to have his ear will encourage him to share way more of them than he has in the past.

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      1. I agree with Mendo Jim. There have been some sparkling Creative-Challenge gems posted here on Blaine's Blog. The creativity of Blaine's crew of loyal posters is impressive indeed.
        Now, for our weekly Puzzleria! Preview:
        This week's Puzzleria! is proud to present four perfectly puzzling posers composed by our good friend GB. Be prepared to be "moved, musically as well as automotively."
        GB's quartet is titled:
        1. "Third notes"
        2. "Brand begets brand"
        3. "Place setting," and
        4. “From 'Mail Truck' to 'Mali'? Calling Cliff Clavin!”
        You'll find them in his "GB's Bafflers" feature, beginning just after Midnight PDT early Friday morning, which is when we upload Puzzleria! each week.
        Our menus will also include:
        * a puzzle-slice about things you see at stadiums, stores, amusement parks and airports,
        * a second puzzle-slice titled “All God’s creatures got a place in the choir...loft!”
        * a Literary Dessert titled "Novels, and Oval Office rivals,"
        * a California Dream Dessert titled “Mentor of the victors,” and
        * six riff-offs of NPR's two-week creative challenge titled "How do you solve a puzzle like Will Shortz’s... and what do you call it?"
        We "creatively challenge" you to drop by and be Baffled by GB and buffaloed by Lego...

        LegoWhoInsistsThat"SolvingAPuzzleLikeWillShortz's"IsMuchTougherThan"SolvingAPuzzleLIkeMaria!"

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    24. Because we were told that Will "needs an extra day to judge our creative answers", I inferred that although the deadline was yesterday, the call wouldn't come until 24 hours later. So I waited till today before revealing my submission.

      In my submission, I first quoted the puzzle as my own entry's first state's sentence refers to it.

      So here it is, including the quoted puzzle itself:

      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.*
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      My answers: Starting with my own home state, I give my reaction to seeing your own wonderful example.

      WASHINGTON --> Aw, I SAW what was shown; - I got NOTHIN'!
      CALIFORNIA --> If I can, I'll rain corn on all!
      FLORIDA --> Lord, I fall afraid!

      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      ReplyDelete
    25. NEWHAMPSHIRE
      When NPR airs, I am awash in sheer happiness

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      Replies
      1. Pandering, Dee, but absolutely wonderful. If that entry doesn't get mentioned, I'll be stunned.

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      2. Brevity is the soul of wit.

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      3. Pam is a wimp when spam appears. (N.H.)

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    26. Sam eat cheese sauce. Sam ate ham. A chasm ate. Sam. That's a shame!

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    27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    28. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    29. WEST VIRGINIA: STARTING AT TENNESSEE, WAIT AS NINETEEN NEW STATES ENTER.

      (Tennessee was the 16th state admitted to the union, and West Virginia was the 35th, meaning that West Virginia was admitted 19 states after Tennessee.)

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      Replies
      1. Congrats, RB! And you even based it on actual American history, too(probably what got you the win)!
        I certainly hope there are others here on the blog(like yours truly)who get honorable mention later this morning. It was somewhat difficult, especially depending on which state(s) you actually chose to use.
        pjbWillDefinitelyBeAmazedIfAnyoneGotAnythingHalfwayDecentOutOfHisHomeStateOfAlabama!

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      2. Just now found out the winning answer was NOT what RB put a few posts above. What she did win with was certainly a timely one, though. Did well on the air, too. (Sounds British, actually!)Too bad I got nothin' for the next challenge, though.
        pjbWondersWhat"RB"StandsForAsKateSimpson'sScreenName?

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      3. Really British, of course!
        pjbHopesNotToCreateAKerfuffleIfThat'sIncorrect

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      4. I think she sounded more Scottish, cranberry.

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    30. My pin arrived today, three weeks to the day after I got the call!

      https://twitter.com/wryandbeary/status/1560420928344887296?t=VpnNrbI0S-zqUOQleeowAQ&s=19

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      1. I had to fight in order to get my pin, and I still have not received the book I do not want. I was so happy to finally get my pin because I immediately sold it for $100. I also sold the Scrabble game. I had no use for either even though I do have numerous lapels, but they are for pins I am proud of, not simply being the winner of a random drawing.

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      2. I think on-air puzzlers who had been submitting puzzle answers for a long time (which I presume you had, skydiveboy) deserve to credit themselves for more than just being the lucky winner of a random drawing. Our continued perseverance in submitting answers is what made our drawings more probable over time - we played the long game. I, for one, am very happy about and proud of my shiny new pin. :)

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      3. I realize most here do not feel as I do about the ugly pin, but that is okay with me. Whatever floats your megayacht. I just want to express my feelings, which are very different. I see those of us who are chosen for the on air segments as doing NPR and WS a huge favor, because without our participation there would be no NPR puzzle segment. The cheap pins are a buy off, similar to the way military medals are passed around like s'mores at a campfire. BTW, I was in the army for 3 years and refused the medal I earned.

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      4. Congrats, RB! OK, I think I may be a little different on this one. I actually want the prizes more than I want to be on the air. I don't like talking on the phone, especially not about myself. The idea of solving those pressure cooker puzzles is unappealing to me. I do the puzzles online and sometimes don't even listen to the replay of the show, and I certainly don't listen to it on the radio, which might mean I won't ever be selected anyway.

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    31. Vanna says Elvis is alive in Spain!

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    32. For Colorado, an order that might be given to a staff member in a hair salon: Color a 'do.

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      Replies
      1. That would be like for my own home state, cleaning 2,000 pounds: Washing ton.

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      2. I went to Hudson's Bay in Vancouver and lived in Vancouver till I got to Western .Though i was born in Oregon. Then SEattle from 86" where i am now exiled from, in the land of Marjorie Taylor Green.

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    33. Challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Rawson Scheinberg, of Northville, Michigan. Think of an eight-letter noun composed phonetically of two consecutive names traditionally given to girls. Remove the sixth letter and rearrange the result. You'll get an event where you might hear the thing named by the original noun. What words are these?

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      1. Ill give you a call on my next trip back. Well do lunch. My treat. You ever get to Fairhaven?

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      2. Seldom, but I visit there every once-in-a-while.

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    34. I think "New Mexico: Native educational wisdom makes eradicating xenophobia its core obligation" is a clever answer to an entirely different challenge.

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      Replies
      1. Right! Look at the initials. Also "Rhode Island: Dolores had to dine ..." is flawed by an extra "t".

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    35. Will issued a correction for those two on the broadcast. I missed the 't' but the New Mexico one made no sense.

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