Sunday, October 09, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 9, 2022): Building Materials

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 9, 2022): Building Materials
Q: Name two things that many houses are built with: "[blank] and [blank]." Drop the first letter of the first thing. Change the last two letters of the second thing to a "Y." And you'll name a popular TV show, "[blank] and [blank]." What show is it?
Is a piano involved?

Edit: A piano has 88 keys. The Delorean in Back to the Future will time travel at 88 mph. Doc and Marty are the inspiration for Rick and Morty.
A: BRICK and MORTAR --> RICK and MORTY

144 comments:

  1. Answer submitted, once again no confirmation email. Why they did away with this instantaneous internet capability is beyond me.

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    1. I haven't received any responses from them since 9/4/2022. How do I know that my answers have even been getting through?

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    2. Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one. I've received no confirmation since September, either. A certain amount of my feeling of ego renewal depends on this puzzle. A small, small amount, mind you, but frankly, I feel dissed. By the way, there was NO "eureka" moment with this puzzle.

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  2. Easy. The first thing that came to me...

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    1. Yeah same here, darn it. 3 to 12 hours is what is ideal for me.

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  3. With the housing materials, there is a connection to tumbleweed.

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  4. Never saw the show but still not much of a challenge...

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  5. Fewer than 150 correct answers to last week's puzzle.

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    1. This week's puzzle, on the other hand, is so easy, I am sure by now already there are 153 correct submissions.

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  6. I keep telling myself the puzzles can't get worse. But they do.

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  7. Fewer than 150 correct answers last week. Will apologized to people in states where beer isn't sold in supermarkets.

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  8. Whoa, Will acknowledged beer is not sold in many grocery stores.

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    1. While beer is sold in many/most supermarkets here in Colorado, I can't say that I've notice Michelob amongst all the craft beers filling the beer cooler.

      And, too be honest, I've been a Goodyear tire fan for so long that I wouldn't know where to get Michelins

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    2. I'm still skeptical that MICHELIN can really be considered a product name, but I seem to be the only one.

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    3. Joshua and Ben, I agree - Michelin is a brand name. And Michelob has several variations, such as Michelob Ultra

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  9. Use the 3 dropped/changed letters to spell another item that may be made from the two things that many houses are built with. --Margaret G.

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    1. The 3 dropped letters also spell something that is related to Will's apology.

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  10. Too easy.

    The on air contestant has never been to Walmart, and does not shop in Target. I have only been to McDonald's a few times, and never liked it.

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  11. I had never heard of the show, but the second word of the answer is related to the subject of a recent and timely Sunday puzzle.

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  12. Never even heard of the show, but not much of a challenge.

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  13. Easy peasy. Even my better half, not much of a puzzle aficionado, got it immediately:

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  14. At least it's not a tricky, random puzzle like last week.

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    1. Apparently the difficulty of the on-air puzzle is tied to the difficulty of that which was solved to win. So...150 entries engenders a devilishly hard response.

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  15. I honestly think this is the fastest solve in my puzzle solving history.

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  16. I guess I'm going to have to wait until Thursday to figure out how "piano" figures in to this.

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    1. If you have the answer google it and piano. I didn't know it either.

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    2. I thought Blaine's clue referred to a brick and mortar music store where musical instruments are sold.

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  17. I'm on a roll—a personal best on the Saturday crossword, and solved this one in about 10 seconds!

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  18. Two "firsts" regarding this week's NPR puzzle: 1.) one historical, 2.) the other personal.
    1.) I'll wager this may be the first week on NPR that Will Shortz played the on-air challenge with a woman, and presented a "next week's challenge" composed by a woman.
    2.) I know that this is the first NPR puzzle ever that I ("The World's Slowest NPR Puzzle Solver") have solved before Will Shortz was done reading it on-air!
    Here is a perhaps more challenging puzzle that appears on this week on Puzzleria! It is our "Schpuzzle of the Week":
    “The sun went down, causing Sioux tents called wigwams to become less warm, which, thanks to five words in this sentence, makes this puzzle worth a dime and three pennies.”
    What are these five words?
    In what way do they make this puzzle worth a dime and three pennies?
    Hint: The five words are not “a dime and three pennies.”


    LegoLousySolverButThisTimeLucky

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    1. Lego, wasn't there a previous Puzzleria! offering that incorporated the exact same bit of wordplay(and answers)in this week's challenge? BTW I don't watch the show either, but I have heard of it. Was part of a question on "Generation Gap", and one of the older contestants had a hilarious answer upon seeing a still from said program. Won't go into any further detail after that.
      pjbWondersIfThereAreBuildingMaterialsNamedSmorkAndMinder?HeCertainlyNeverHeardOfRaytheon(FromTheOn-AirPuzzle)!

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    2. Thanks, cranberry. I can't recall if we ever ran a Puzzleria! puzzle that used the wordplay the current NPR puzzle uses... but, then again, we have run a multitude of puzzles on our blog, and they all get jumbled together in my tattered gray matter. And, unlike Blaine, who provides a nifty search engine here on his blog, I provide no such convenience. Puzzleria! is, alas, pretty much unsearchable. What's more, I keep lousy archives.
      Note: Regarding my "Dime and Three Pennies" puzzle, above, you may post hints to the answer, but please do not post your answer here until after Noon PDT on Wednesday. Thank you."

      LegoWhoSuspectscranberry'sMemoryIsMuchSuperiorToHis

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    3. There wasn't much satisfaction to be had from solving the NPR challenge this week (I knew what the show had to be without having heard of it), but thanks to Lego for a clever and satisfying schpuzzle to fill the void!

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    4. Thanks, Lancek. You have made my day. And, congrats on solving my little "three-coins-In-the-puzzle."

      LegoWhoNotesThatNatureAbhorsAVacuumAndThatBlainesvillianHumanNatureAbhorsAPuzzleVoid!

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    5. Cute puzzle for Indigenous Peoples' Day, Lego! But you have an unfair advantage this week!

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    6. Beautiful hint, jan!

      LegoLambDoubloonsOnASpoon!

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    7. Spoonerisms:

      sun went <-> one cent
      Sioux tents <-> two cents
      sentence <-> ten cents

      Delete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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

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    1. Hmm - I didn't realize I crossed a line...

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  21. It takes a certain amount of experience and skill to use the materials with precision. I know – I’ve tried and the result certainly lacked precision.

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  22. I don't think NPR is sending out confirmation emails anymore. I've not received one for the last few entries I've submitted

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    1. Me too. I don't know how we are supposed to know that their servers are working or that we have been heard. #WeakenedEdition

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    2. Ben,
      Have you considered the expense of having an intern sitting there 24/4 in order to monitor the automated response equipment, not to mention the health care insurance and vacation costs? And don't forget the Xmas party.

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    3. I haven't received any responses from them since 9/4/2022, and (as they have yet to call me) I can only hope that my answers are getting through.

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    4. That mail server was probably identified as an unnecessary security risk in an audit, and the service shutdown. If there's no form error when you submit you can be pretty confident your submission was recorded.

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    5. SDB, "an intern sitting there"? I build marketing delivery systems for a living. It takes little work to make a verification and auto reply system and nobody needs to watch it. They just need to care.

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    6. Ben,
      Did you really think I was being serious?

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  23. I never heard of the show. Had to look it up on a list. Guess I'm out of touch.

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

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  25. It was the first thing I thought of, and although I have never seen the show, I have certainly heard of it.

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

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  27. My first guess was 'lathe and plaster' but that didn't work. I actually don't think of these two things as material for houses so much as for buildings in general.

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    1. Along with lathe and plaster, my house is made out of these two things. Very common at the time and place it was built.

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  28. My first thought was of wood frame houses, so Joist and Girder, maybe. The difference, of course: Joist wrote Ulysses, while Girder wrote Faust.

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    1. Construing "things that many houses are built with" a bit differently, you could say that Hammer wrote "The Homecoming," while Saw wrote "Pygmalion."

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    2. Thanks; it's not original.

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  29. Change the first letter of the first word of the show to two letters to get the 1-word name of a famous movie. The last word in the show is the name of a character in that movie.

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    1. I know the movie and I'm a big fan of the star. Especially his most recent stuff.

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    2. The movie is Click. Morty was in the movie Click.

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  30. This puzzle has nothing to do with E commerce

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  31. The second word (in the first pair of words) might be considered an auto-antonym.

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  32. I got this one in my head before the program ended. Along with hundreds of others. I may be wrong, but I think one part of the answer was eluded to by the host, Ayesha.

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  33. I found this puzzle half as interesting as some of the weapons used in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

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  34. In bird culture, puzzles this easy are considered a dick move

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  35. Replies
    1. I was considering another artist as my own music clue but thought it might be TMI per se. (You can probably guess who.) Adding it to your music clue would definitely be. Two points make a straight line.

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    2. A very timely one too, in view of the upcoming midterms.

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  36. I haven't seen Proud Parent of Cats around lately, but I know an insane one that loves this sort of thing.

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  37. Sometimes the obscure answer is too obvious. Sometimes the generic is too specific. I learned a
    lot from Atlas and from Charlize Theron.

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  38. I learned a lot from Charlize Theron and from the Atlas

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  39. Was still listening at home on app when wife texted from car before she left work. She'd figured it out immediately, as did I once streaming caught up to radio.

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  40. I'd already solved the puzzle when we and our dogs walked over to the Skeleton House. One skeleton wore a name tag with a punny name that was very close to the show name.

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    1. Was the third letter of the skeleton's first name four letters later in the alphabet than the third letter in the show name?

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    2. No, it was closer than that to the show name. I don't want to give too much away. I'll add the name on Thursday. The Skeleton House displays skeletons with pun names and situations.

      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Skeleton-House-St-Charles-Ave-New-Orleans/1423085067740968

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    3. Is the Skeleton-House a bare bones operation?

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    4. I was thinking something like "Rigor Morty" for the skeleton.

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    5. You're on the right track, but he is named "Rick A. Mortis", so even closer to "Rick and Morty".

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  41. Would you believe that after shaving I sawdust and lumbered on just as bored?

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  42. Putin apparently was a little miffed by his expensive bridge being blown up. So he had the brilliant idea of sending a few missiles into Kyiv last night to get even. Great idea, don't ya think? Oh, wait. Didn't Hitler do something similar against London that didn't pay off?

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    1. sdb, my thus far favorite quote about Vlad the Impaler:“Vladimir Putin has gotten himself into an increasingly ridiculous situation, holding a gun to his head and saying, ‘Meet my demands or the idiot gets it.’”

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    2. In chess isn't that called the Cleavon Little Defense?

      I suspect a little bullet could lead to Putin' the Kremlin in its place.

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    3. And we'd live happier ever rafter.

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  43. Think of a classic attired pose from a well orchestrated photo of Putin - 9 letters. Remove the 4th letter (an R) and you get an adjective describing the type of leader and human being Putin is.

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  44. Never heard of the show. All too familiar with the materials.

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  45. I wonder if Amazon sells the building materials?

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  46. R.I.P. Angela Lansbury, she had "Something for Everyone."

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  47. The exact answer to this puzzle turned up in a podcast episode in the not-too-distant past. Ain't gonna say which podcast or when it aired.

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  48. Many of us, myself included, are probably wondering why, and hoping, someone close to Putin will take him out. I keep thinking of all the attempts on the life of Hitler though. I have always suspected he was protected by higher dimension beings. I know this makes no sense to most of us, myself included, but I still believe it is the case. Look at the statistics:

    This is an incomplete list of documented attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler.[1]

    All attempts occurred in the German Reich, except where noted. All attempts involved citizens of the German Reich, except where noted. No fewer than 42 plots have been uncovered by historians.[2] However, the true number cannot be accurately determined due to an unknown number of undocumented cases.

    The above reference is from: List of assassination attempts on Adolf Hitler via Wikipedia. Apparently there were others as well that are not included.

    I do not pretend to understand why Hitler was being protected, as I believe others, such as Patton and MacArthur,were too. I believe we were meant to have to deal with this outrage for whatever reason I do not understand, but it must be true. The same is true for others as well. Consider Ronald Reagan not dying after he was shot. Why is Trump happening?
    I am raising this question because most likely you and I are both hoping Putin will be taken down, and wondering why it has yet to happen. Do you now see the parallel? I wish I understood what exactly it is we are supposed to learn from what is now happening. I also think it is important we understand that we must confront and defeat Putin now, and not put it off as we did with Hitler. The similarities are amazing.

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  49. Can't believe so many people are saying this puzzle was easy. It took me forever to remember that my parents' old house was built out of scagney and lacers. Solid as a rock, too.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. My parents' old house was made of smork and minder.

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    3. I already did that one. Maybe you mean rozzie and harriell.
      pjbHadHisChildhoodHomeBuiltWithShardcastleAndMccormicin,AsWellAsALittleCholmesAndYoyax

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  50. On a separate note: If you could listen to Vladimir Puten's prayers what is it you'd never hear?
    Answer: A CRIMEA CULPA

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  51. What seems like luck in survival is actually a major reason for the success of tyrants.
    Putin grew up in a perfect environment to learn from Stalin and Hitler.
    It is still to be seen if he might be the best of all at removing obstacles to his power.

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    1. "Donald Trump said reading "Mein Kampf" in college had a profound effect on him and he has tremendous respect for Adolf Hitler as a leader."

      MJ: I hope you did not intentionally leave out this great leader in your above post.

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  52. BRICK & MORTAR, RICK & MORTY

    It was the first pair of words I tried and was one of my fastest solves, even though I've never watched the show.

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  53. BRICK and MORTARRICK and MORTY

    My clues:

    No confirmation email. Why they did away with this instantaneous internet capability is beyond me.
    That’s the internet…as opposed to a brick-and-mortar setting.

    Not Robin Williams.
    “Rick and Morty” sounds a little like “Mork and Mindy,” which starred Robin Williams.

    Fewer than 150 correct answers to last week’s puzzle. This week’s puzzle, on the other hand, is so easy, I am sure by now already there are 153 correct submissions.
    When you take all the letters in the [blank] words like this: BRICKMORTARY, and add them up by their numbers in the alphabet (A=1, B=2, etc.), the sum is 153.

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    1. "Mork and Mindy" didn't occur to me, but I did think of an old show called "Spin and Marty".

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  54. BRICK & MORTAR >>> RICK & MORTY

    My Hints:
    "...in order to monitor the automated response equipment..." You can use a mortar monitor to check failing brickwork.
    "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" The main character's name is BRICK.

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  55. Brick and mortar --> Rick and Morty

    Last Sunday I said, “It takes a certain amount of experience and skill to use these materials with precision. I know – I’ve tried and the result certainly lacked precision.” You should see the brick wall I repaired :)

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  56. RICK AND MORTY (<—BRICK AND MORTAR)

    As I’m sure many others experienced as well, “brick and mortar” was the first thing I thought of, but I had never seen or even heard of the show. When I showed the puzzle to my wife (who is not especially a fan of puzzles and who neither likes tv nor watches it very much), her immediate response was, “Is there a show called ‘Rick and Morty’?” Pretty easy. Likely to be many correct submissions.

    The music hint I was considering was Elton John ( —> “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”), but when I saw Leo’s Jethro Tull clue, I thought better of it.

    Maybe I missed them, but were there any (necessarily oblique) The Wizard of Oz/Yellow Brick Road hints?

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    1. In reply to your clue, I said your musical reference was very timely "in view of the upcoming midterms," referring to the PA race involving "Dr. Oz."

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    2. I also thought Blaine's "piano" clue referred to Elton John and "Yellow Brick Road," but it turns out it didn't.

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    3. I thought that the other musical act was the Commodores, with "Brick House."

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  57. I wrote, “With the housing materials, there is a connection to tumbleweed.” This refers to the Elton John album, “Tumbleweed Connection,” whose track “Son of Your Father” includes the lyrics, “With blood and water bricks and mortar / He built for you a home.”

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  58. BRICK AND MORTAR -> RICK AND MORTY

    > I was about to put a comment here remarking on your size and morality, but Blaine would never allow it.

    Big Bad Wolfgang knows about building houses with bricks!

    > At least it's not a tricky, random puzzle like last week.

    Anagrams to RICK AND MORTY.

    > The second word (in the first pair of words) might be considered an auto-antonym.

    Mortar is a word for something that can be used to build a house or reduce it to rubble.

    > I haven't seen Proud Parent of Cats around lately, but I know an insane one that loves this sort of thing.

    Lil Ainjil!

    > I wonder if Amazon sells the building materials?

    Oh, the irony!

    > Cute puzzle for Indigenous Peoples' Day, Lego! But you have an unfair advantage this week!

    Lego knows bricks!

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    1. The word for an auto-antonym is contronym.

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    2. Nice anagrams, Jan! I missed that one.

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    3. Aha, jan! I was wondering why I had an advantage. But of course... I, Lego, are a brickologist!

      LegoJustAnotherBrickInTheWallWhisperingToHimself

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  59. Two months ago Puzzleria! debuted "Tortie's Slow But Sure Puzzles," a new feature by a creative woman named Laura, screen name "Tortitude."
    Well, Tortie Is back! This week's Puzzleria! proudly presents three new Laudable-and-worthy-of-Laurels puzzles by Laura, titled "Double-Billboards/All aboard the Mystery Train!"
    Puzzleria! is uploaded early on Friday, just after Midnight Pacific Daylight Time.
    Our menus this week also include:
    * a Schpuzzle of the Week that involves Mussina, McLaglen, Rose and Doherty,
    * a Puzzle Slice about castng... casting not aspersions, but bread upon the waters,
    * two Desserts titled "Spoonerism River Enigmatology" and "Two fruits of one’s Herculean labors,"
    * and nine riff-offs of this week's NPR Puzzle titled "Brickbats and mortarboards."
    That's Sixteen Sweet puzzles. What not drop by, have a seat, partake in a puzzle-feast?

    LegoAJuniorMemberOfTheLawFirm"MussinaMcLaglenRose&Doherty"

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    1. Yay! I hope you all enjoy the puzzles.

      Delete
    2. BRICK AND MORTAR, RICK AND MORTY
      BTW Tortie, I must apologize for saying on P! that I was looking forward to seeing your DEBUT puzzle this week. I'd already forgotten you had debuted with your previous puzzle. I'm so sorry.
      pjbMustAdmitWhenYouDoAsManyPuzzlesAsSomeOfUsDoEveryWeek,ItCanBeHardToKeepTrackOfEverythingSometimes

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  60. BRICK AND MORTAR; RICK AND MORTY. I said “the second word of the answer is related to the subject of a recent and timely Sunday puzzle.” The answer to the July 3 puzzle submitted by Lego was “Mickey Mouse.” One of Mickey’s nephews is “Morty.” The puzzle was “timely” because some people wear Mickey Mouse watches.

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    1. Not that I am a "mickeymouseologist" or anything, but Walt Disney's original name for his mousey character was "Mortimer Mouse." Walt's wife Lillian convinced her hubby to kill "Mortimer," and Mickey was born.

      Lego&LillianWhoProclaim"MortimerIsDeadLongLIveMickey!"

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    2. Thanks, Lego! Your post sparked my interest and after some research on Disney.fandom.com it seems that Mortimer Mouse later morphed into Mickey's "longtime rival." (It's curious Disney would then choose "Morty" for Mickey's nephew.) And apparently Minnie's "wealthy rancher uncle" was also named Mortimer.

      If Mickey had remained Mortimer it certainly would have made the "Mickey Mouse Club" theme a lot less mellifluous.

      Delete
  61. "I have only been to McDonald's a few times, and never liked it." It was in the news a few years back that McDonalds offered Szechuan sauce again, and they grossly underestimated the demand, leaving many Rick and Morty fans disappointed.

    "I found this puzzle half as interesting as some of the weapons used in the Russia-Ukraine conflict." Half as Interesting is a YouTube channel, and Sam (the host) has started multiple videos talking about bricks, usually as a joke to throw off "government censors" or the algorithms. In Ukraine, of course, mortars are one of the weapons used.

    I had considered making a reference to a pickle, but figured that might be ruled TMI. I also considered joking about a show called Lywood and Dryway, but I didn't want to remove two obvious house-building materials, so instead I opted to wait until now.

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  62. I had never heard of Rick and Morty, but I immediately thought of Brick and Mortar and then had to look up Rick and Morty. I had never heard of the show.

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  63. More than 4300 correct answers last week.

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  64. Next week's puzzle (from memory): Think of two 2-syllable words that are pronounced the same, except that one is accented on the first syllable, the other on the second. The first word is associated with confrontation, while the second with cooperation.

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  65. I have a couple of answers that might work.

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  66. This week's challenge comes from listener David Edelheit of Oyster Bay, N.Y. Think of a pair of two-syllable words that are pronounced the same, except one is accented on the first syllable while the other is accented on the second. The word that's accented on the first syllable is associated with confrontation, while the word that's accented on the second syllable is associated with cooperation. What words are these?

    ReplyDelete