Sunday, September 18, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 18, 2022): Are You Using a Modern Modem?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 18, 2022): Are You Using a Modern Modem?
Q: If you squish the lowercase letters "r" and "n" together, they look like an "m." Think of a word that ends in the consecutive letters "r-n." Squish them together to get a homophone of a synonym of the first word. What words are these?
Clearly "porn" and "pom" don't work, and I'd never expect to hear that as the answer on NPR either.

Edit: Nor did I expect this pair of words as the answer.
A: DARN --> DAM (DAMN)

144 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. One of the most famous utterances of one of these words was against a red.

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  3. Sufficiently sure of my solution to have submitted it.
    Happy Sunday all!

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  4. Rearrange the first word, and get the name of a renowned, if controversial, writer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reminds me of the recent "Malta" debacle.

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    2. Thank you, Good Doctor. I now know I have the same answer as you.

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    3. It was the first author I thought of when I read your hint. Thank you.

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  5. Cute puzzle! But if they're really synonyms, some folks will owe a lot more money.

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  6. I have it and it's not "burn" "bum"

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  7. Good morning and rise and shine! Interestingly on my on air broadcast, just before the puzzle, was a story with some banter about a very prominent baseball player.

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  8. Very similar to the STERN -> STEM puzzle of 6 years ago.

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    Replies
    1. The antonyms I was referring to earlier...

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

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    Replies
    1. With the possible solution set being small, clearly other pairs are going to seem similar.

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

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  11. I got lucky with this one. While trying to piece together the instructions of the puzzle, I picked a random word ending in "rn" to walk through the puzzle instructions. I happened to pick the correct word!

    I was then reminded of a school trip to Stokes State Forest.

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    Replies
    1. Now that you mention it, it reminds me too of a school trip to Stokes State Forest, where we learned about what didn't happen.

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  12. This puzzle sounds way more complicated than it really is. Anyway, I am reminded of a great landmark. I am also reminded of a Jerry Lee Lewis song.

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  13. I can just imagine all the lonely people calling in to complain about this one.

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  14. NPR will probably be inundated with answers to this one.

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  15. I was disappointed that there was no mention of alternate answers in the broadcast this week. There were clearly some valid alternate answers, as noted in the discussion last week.

    One of my favorite parts of the old GAMES magazine was the Eureka! column, where users could send in alternate solutions. Based on the weekly discussion in this blog, it is clear that many of us also enjoy exploring alternate solutions. I would really like to hear them discussed more during the Sunday broadcast.

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  16. I'm still not getting an acknowledgement from NPR. Anyone else experiencing this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. And I don't mind telling you that I'm feeling a little dissed. I'm serious.

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  17. Filing under "not quite good enough to be an alternate answer," I got stuck for quite a while on rainwater collection, but couldn't get down with it.

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    Replies
    1. I really hoped that one would work. It would have been much more elegant than the intended answer.

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    2. I know! CISTERN -> CISTEM -> SYSTEM

      A septic tank isn't referred to as a cistern (septic system), but that, too, I had tried. Rainwater collection system was just too far off.

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  18. I can't decide whether I object to characterizing the first word and the homophone as 'synonyms'. Hm. Hrn.

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  19. The answer was one of the first three words that popped into my head…

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  20. Replies
    1. There are no "bad words" only reactions to words can be bad or whatever.

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  21. A .....rn is a .....m for getting water.

    My computer has a ....rn ....m.

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  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. Here is a "Crystal-Ballistic" riff-off of today's NPR offering that I composed and posed on Puzzleria! two-and-half years ago!
      It is the Schpuzzle of the Week, titled (curiously) mispelled,” not misspelled, is “misspelled”.

      LegoWhoIsNotSureWhatHeWasThinkingWhenHeWroteThatWeirdAndSeeminglyUnrelatedTitle

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  23. As far as the relationship between the original word and its "synonym." The homophone I couldn't... Well, anyway, the original word is a substitute for the "synonym." Think about it. A substitute that might come in handy, especially if you're trying to cut down on your "synonym" use.

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  24. Not a movie clue - The Enforcer

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  25. Listening to Chuck Mangione play his flugelhorn while contemplating the homonym of its synonym (or is it the synonym of its homonym?).

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  26. Unsure about my answer, but a song performed at Woodstock has been an ear worm all day.

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  27. I feel it my duty to forewarn you…call it overconcern, but if you haven't solved this by now, then you may be stuck trying for a long, long time. You can still avoid getting a sunburn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't mean to hog the blog, but I've been truck stying for years.

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  28. This puzzle kept me busy all morning. I was overthinking again.

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  29. Just a thought here, but since we haven't seen any photos of the late queen, and her coffin is closed, how do we know she hasn't just escaped to Argentina to be with Hitler? And perhaps the pope will retire and join her later. I think it is worth checking into.

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    Replies
    1. New King Charles is a wonderful man,
      Who will always do best as he can.
      His Mum, in his youth,
      Taught him Motherly truth,
      And now he wears the kilt in the clan.

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    2. Old King Chuck couldn't believe his luck,
      When his dear old mum ran outta pluck.
      He quickly dressed in black,
      And gave his staff the sack.
      Then asked himself, who gives a f*ck?

      Delete
  30. My male corgi got me up too early this AM...and there was the answer in my head! Son of a gun, the brain is a great Organ!

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    Replies
    1. I respectfully suggest, Clark a pseudonym, that you may be misplacing the credit you assign to your gray matter in solving of this puzzle...
      I credit your canine, not your cranium!

      LegoSwears"SonOfABeeWord,That'Superman'sBestFriend'IsAGreatCorgi!"

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  31. So, James Bond is no longer on Her Majesty's Secret Service. It's now Chuckie Three's.

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  32. There I sat, snacking on cheese'n'crackers and Fudgsicles in the figurative dark until the freaking light came on.

    ReplyDelete
  33. If you know the answer to the two-week challenge, submit it here by Thursday, September 22nd at 3 p.m. ET. NPR thinks this is a two-week challenge???

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    Replies
    1. Yep, the intern hasn't fixed it yet. It's been a couple weeks now.

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    2. I just now looked and did not see the glitch. It seemed to state the deadline as being Sept. 22, at 3pm EDLT. Am I missing something, or did they just now change it?

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    3. The deadline is correct... but it says two-week challenge which is left over from when it was a two-week challenge.

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    4. Oh, now I see it. I looked for that, but missed seeing it. I guess it shows that we do see what we expect to see. I still did not get an acknowledgment email. I think the NPR attention to detail is getting worse. I wonder what may be going on in the shadows.

      I was also annoyed to again hear WS ask on air questions having to do with the old testament. This time he devoted one third of the on air quiz time to the bible. Am I the only one who thinks this is insulting to listeners who are not either Jewish or Christian, but may be into other religions, or not into religion at all? Why, I am wondering, does WS seem to believe everyone is familiar with the bible? I notice him doing a similar thing with many questions where the answer is an East Coast city or monument or university that may not be very well known by we who reside on the Pacific side. From some of his rejection emails he sends me in response to puzzles I have coined, he gives me the impression that he thinks most of us are aware of what he is aware of, and if something comes up he is unaware of, he believes it won't work. I think he needs to expand his horizons a bit.

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  34. Can someone clarify? Is the word you get after squishing r+n supposed to be a dictionary word or does it just have to sound like a dictionary word that's a synonym for the r+n word? Usually WS will say the word "sounds phonetically like" another word if it's not a dictionary word.

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    Replies
    1. It's a dictionary word that's a homonym of a synonym of the first word.

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    2. So "cistern" (cistem) = "system" does not work, were it the right answer

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    3. ron,
      Did you solve my little puzzle up above, or did you come up with that on your own?

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    4. It was the best non-word that was a homophone that I could come up with...

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  35. This is the second week in a row when I did not get a confirmation e-mail. Has something changed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That comes only with the "Premium Membership" level now. $14.95 month.

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    2. With Premium Membership you also get Will's e mail an 5 free corerspondences from him. More than five you pay extra.

      Delete
  36. Replies
    1. Natasha,
      Only the Special People get the NPR acknowledgment email now. You will know you have arrived if you happen to begin getting them again some day in the future.

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    2. SDB: I assume you have arrived. I really do not want to get the call anyway.

      Delete
    3. I just wrote to NPR management about this issue.

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    4. Natasha,
      No one is getting the email confirmation. The interns are not doing their job properly.

      Delete
    5. SDB: tks. It does not matter to me anyway. I just like to irritate them with my complaints.

      Delete
    6. I don't think most of them really care. I get the impression NPR is an enormous rat race where "hurry, hurry" are the most heard words behind the scenes. I believe the major problem is the funding, or lack of funding by government. Compare NPR with BBC and I think you will see that one is far more professional and well run than the other. This is because this country does not really care about democracy, and never has. Our country is devoted to making money at any cost. That is why we are failing.

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  37. When you submit your entry, you get an immediate "Thank you for your message!" acknowledgement on the screen. Do you really need an email as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jan,
      Not at all. It stopped being sent so abruptly that I was concerned that my entry hadn't been received. But then the left side of my brain kicked in and reminded that it was just puzzle, not my life.

      Delete
    2. jan,
      This is not a trivial issue. One of my neighbors a little over a block from my house was threatening suicide over not receiving a confirmation email and his wife had to call 911 for the police to come out and intervene. Fortunately they, the police, were able to keep him from shooting himself by doing it for him.

      Delete
  38. The late queen was a shrewd old fox,
    In no hurry to hear the Reaper's knocks.
    But her eldest son,
    Now no longer young,
    Is happy they finally put her in a box.

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    Replies
    1. That does not have the right meter to be a limerick.

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    2. No. "The standard form of a limerick is a stanza of five lines, with the first, second and fifth rhyming with one another and having three feet of three syllables each; and the shorter third and fourth lines also rhyming with each other, but having only two feet of three syllables. The third and fourth lines are usually anapestic, or one iamb followed by one anapest. The first, second and fifth are usually either anapests or amphibrachs."

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    3. A decrepit old gas man named Peter,
      While hunting around for the meter,
      Struck a match for a light,
      And rose up out of sight,
      And, as anyone can tell by hearing this, he also destroyed the meter.

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    4. Jan, as you surely know, that is almost a limerick, and it breaks form in the last line to deliver the punch line (and thanks for the laugh!). I guess we can call it a limerick-light, which we can shorten to limelight. :-)

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    5. Yes, jan, thanks for the intended laugh!

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    6. I'm still a little bit pissed off at jan for making guys like me have to consult Wiktionary:
      Noun
      anapest (plural anapests)

      (prosody) In qualitative metre, a metrical foot consisting of three syllables, two unstressed and one stressed (e.g., the word "interrupt").
      (prosody) In quantitative metre, a metrical foot consisting of three syllables, two short and one long (e.g., Latin pariēs: pa-ri-ēs).
      (prosody) A fragment, phrase or line of poetry or verse using this meter. For an example, see References.[2]

      Oh great! Now what the hell does "prosody" mean?
      ...And I STILL have to look up a curious extra meaning for the word "foot"!

      ...And I'll betcha this will be one of those times that I SO DEARLY WISH that we could preview our posts like we used to!

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    7. There is, and has been, much debate on the limerick. I suspect some of you have allowed your poetic license to expire; mine is still valid.

      Don Marquis is reported to have divided limericks into three kinds (sometimes in rising order of price): "Limericks to be told when ladies are present, limericks to be told when ladies are absent but clergymen are present—and LIMERICKS."

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    8. So, you can probably declare something a limerick just by thinking about it, right?

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    9. If you think so, jan. Kinda like you refusing to answer my repeated question to you about why you are so insistent there cannot be reincarnation even though there is so much evidence, but you cannot say one word as to why you are so certain we only live one Earth life.

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    10. I've seen no such evidence.

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    11. jan,
      You are still avoiding my question to you. And of course you have seen no such evidence, and you never will as long as you refuse to be objective. Why are you so afraid to look for the evidence that is so readily available. But, in the meantime, I still want you to answer my question to you; Why are you so certain we only live once when there is no evidence at all for this theory? I really do want you to answer this question. Then I may decide to get back to the far more serious debate about what constitutes a limerick.

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    12. Not avoiding anything. Dead is dead. That which you believe could be reincarnated is a manifestation of our fat-and-saltwater brains and ceases to exist when they die.

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    13. Yes you are avoiding answering my honest and very fair question, jan. And now you are making another arrogant and specious statement you cannot back up with any facts or reason why you know this nonsense. Please answer my question to you: Why do you believe this?

      Delete
  39. So what is the general consensus here? If I didn't get the automated response, should I resubmit? I don't want to be disqualified for stuffing the ballot box.

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    Replies
    1. It seems that NPR has stopped sending email responses, so I'd say no, don't re-submit.

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    2. Thanks, I submitted a puzzle suggestion this week as well and did not get a response to that either.

      Delete
  40. HI,
    You have one hour to solve this puzzle.
    P _ _ L

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PHIL (Prince of Insufficient Light and Supreme Ruler of Heck)

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  41. DARN, DAM>>>homophone of DAMN

    "Who?" refers to Hoover DAM.

    "B. S., B. A., D.D.S" >>> Best Store By A Damn Dam Site. There's one in Loveland, CO, and likely other places as well.

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  42. My answer: Darn ==> Damn, homophone of Dam (Darn! Damn!)

    Possible alternate answer: Cistern ==> System, homophone of Cistem

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    Replies
    1. I'm aware of the term Cistem to be a system that privileges cisgender people, and marginalizes transgender folks, but I'm not aware of it also being a synonym of cistern.

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  43. DARN—>DAM (DAMN)

    Hint: “Rearrange the first word, and get the name of a renowned, if controversial, writer.” DARN —> RAND

    Hint: “Abbott and Costello.” In Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” the name of the shortstop was “I don’t care” or “I don’t give a DARN,” but Costello did on occasion say, “I don’t give a DAMN.”

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  44. Darn/Dam (Damn).

    I had, “High Hopes,” that my answer was correct. But, I was afraid that using that phrase, recalling the lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s song High Hopes, (Once there was a silly old ram, thought he’d punch a hole in a dam…) was too revealing, so I merely expressed confidence in it.

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  45. DARN! → (DAM) DAMN!

    ( º﹃º )

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  46. DARN — DAM (homophone of "damn")

    My clue:
    If you haven't solved this by now, then you may be stuck trying for a long, long time.
    As in: condemned, or damned, to keep looking.

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  47. DARN, DAM, DAMN

    Stokes State Forest is a large state forest in northwest NJ. During a class trip to there, one of the many things that was pointed out was a beaver in a pond. Beavers, of course, build dams.

    I resisted the urge to say something about a hole in a sock, which could be darned, because that felt too close to TMI. The Stokes State Forest reference was so obscure, it wouldn't surprise me if no one got the reference.

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    Replies
    1. I too had a Stokes State Forest connection involving a class trip to which I alluded above. We learned on that trip about the proposed Tocks Island Dam and the ensuing controversy that resulted in its not being built. Hence my remark about what didn't happen. (By the way, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area exists because that dam wasn't built. See Tocks Island Dam controversy - Wikipedia, if you're really interested.)

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  48. Our good friend SuperZee will be our featured puzzle-maker on this week's Puzzleria! His latest "Jeff Zarkin Puzzle Riffs" puzzle-package boasts a trio of masterfully crafted conundrums titled "Emergency, Pilfery & Governmental Garments."
    We upload Puzzleria! every early Friday, just after Midnight PDT. See Blaine's helpful PUZZLE LINKS (in the right-hand margin of this page) to access Puzzleria!
    Also this week, our Menus include:
    * a Schpuzzle of the Week about Flora’s flowery family relationships,
    * an In-Flight Puzzle Slice titled “Boxcars on a plane!”
    * a "Spoon-feeding-You-A-Spoonerism" Dessert titled "She 'skis the grids,' ” and
    * a dozen darned, damnable Riffing Off Shortz And Regan Entrees titled “Splish-splash! Squish-squash!”
    That's 18 puzzles, including three "SuperZeePleeZingAndWordTeaZing Perplexities!"

    LegoSplishingSplashingSquishingSquashing

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    Replies
    1. I'm not certain my efforts quality as masterful; I'll be satisfied if people find them entertaining. But, considering current headlines, I an enjoying the fact my puzzles concern pilfering and government assets.

      Now l have to try to come up with a puzzle involving national security or fraud.

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  49. I wrote, “One of the most famous utterances of one of these words was against a red.” Rhett Butler says, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” to Scarlett O’Hara in _Gone with the Wind_.

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  50. darn, dam, damn

    This puzzle seemed inappropriate for NPR.

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  51. DARN -> DAM ("DAMN")

    Raise your hand if you thought "YARN YAM" was too revealing.

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    Replies
    1. If you look closely you will see my hand is raised.

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  52. Darn, dam. I said NPR would probably be "inundated" with responses.

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  53. I submitted DARN, DAM, DAMN.

    Thanks to Dr. K for the Ayn Rand hint, which was objectively helpful.

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    Replies
    1. Brandin' yourself a libertarian?

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    2. Hardly. I assume, as I am among my puzzling brothers and sisters, that we are a group of largely rational people. So I also assume that we would largely scoff at libertarians. Or at least, if someone starts with the idea that we all have free will to do anything we wish and should not be constrained by any social compact, then I would immediately relieve myself on their lawn. Because who wants to be constrained by sewers?

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    3. I was referring to Nathaniel Branden, in jest. I don't endorse strict libertarianism either. I only read one Rand novel, The Fountainhead. I thought it was thought-provoking and well-written, though not strictly applicable to real life. The theme of how much control a person should have over the products of his or her intellect does sometimes come up in real life controversies over the colorizing of movies or art purchasers who want to change some aspect of the work of art after they own it.

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  54. Darn, Dam and Damn. Blaine, your clue made great confirmation when I got the answer.

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  55. darn, dam, damn
    pjbKnowsBetterThanToPutTheseAnswersInAllCaps(TheTrickToThePuzzleWouldn'tWork!)

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  56. Country Joe and The Fish performed the "Vietnam Song" at Woodstock. In the lyrics, they use Vietnam as a rhyming word with dam. Darn/Dam.

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  57. I said: "I can just imagine all the lonely people calling in to complain about this one."

    I was thinking of Father Mackenzie, darning his socks in the night when there's nobody there.

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  58. If it was the middle of the night, he was probably damning them...when no one would hear him.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Take a 2-word name for a fictional alloy. Move the fifth letter of the first word to the end of the word, then reverse the order of the words to get something shiny you can sink your teeth into.

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  60. This week's challenge comes from listener Adam Cohen, of Brooklyn. Take the name of a large financial corporation in 10 letters. Drop the fourth and fifth letters. Move the sixth and seventh letters fo the front. You'll name a person associated with financial misdeeds. What is the company, and who is the person?

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  61. Let's say the financial corporation is DOLLARSRUS. Dropping the 4th and 5th, I get DOLRSRUS. Now what do I move to the front? R&S (the 6th and 7th of the original 10-letter string)? Or R&U (the 6th and 7th of the remainder)? In either case, when I move it, does the R become the first letter in the person's name? Or could it be the S (or the U)?
    ??????

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    Replies
    1. Move the original 6th and 7th letters to the front. In your example, that woud be the "r" and the "s," and the first letter of the person's name would be "r." I hope this helps.

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