Sunday, November 06, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 6, 2022): Punctuation is Important People!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Nov 6, 2022): Punctuation is Important People!
Q: Name a punctuation mark found on a computer keyboard. Somewhere inside this insert a word for what this punctuation mark may be part of or what it may represent. The result will be a 10-letter word associated with painting. What words are these?
From the final word, remove letters that are duplicated leaving only one copy of each letter. Rearrange to get an herb.

Edit: CILANTRO
A: COLON + RATIO = COLORATION

157 comments:

  1. ... or a musician. Nice puzzle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe Dr. K is correct.

      Delete
    2. The 10-letter word can also be associated with music, though.

      Delete
    3. Oddly, misspelling the musician's name still gets you to their Wikipedia page.

      Delete
  2. Over 3000 submissions this week!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replies
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL8P_g9utW0

      Delete
  4. Pay no attention to the deadline posted on the NPR Sunday Puzzle site, which says the answer to the two-week challenge is due by Thursday, Nov. at 10 p.m. ET!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's definitely on your computer! But it's hard to think of a clue that wouldn't be *too* helpful (can't clue something that will be obvious to someone thinking about the punctuation mark).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice puzzle! I both like and dislike Blaine's clue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the fact that I could figure it out, but I don't like the herb.

      Delete
  7. Three thousand entries last week must be some kind of record.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Highest total I have seen was 2/21/2010 - 5,000 entries!

      Delete
  8. Serious question - does the clue truly mean punctuation marks only, or does it encompass the other typographical symbols on the keyboard?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have the same question. Will wait for the answer before I use up any more of my limited brain power.

      Delete
    2. Will isn't that complicated....

      Delete
  9. I have an answer, but it does not work using Blaine's clue...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to read his clue a second time. You leave one of the repeated letters, then omit the rest.

      Delete
    2. Thanks. Now it all works. I had not included repeated letters...

      Delete
  10. I'm pretty sure I've got it, but I'm going to wait a while before submitting.

    ReplyDelete
  11. A rare (for me) time when Blaine's clue helped! Probably happens only once every six months.

    ReplyDelete
  12. To piggyback on Blaine’s hint: Remove all the repeated letters from the final word (that is, no instances of the repeated letters remain), double one of the remaining letters, and anagram, and you’ll get a popular medication.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. okay, this confirms that I have the same answer as you!

      Delete
  13. I worked forward, then backward to solve this. I like Blaine's clue, however my best friend hates it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Rearrange again to get another thing some like and some don't.
    Will had to add his "qualifiers (hints)" of word length and painting, not to help in an already too-easy puzzle, but to avoid alternate answers.
    I would love to see the wheel-of-fortune they use for the number of submissions.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Reminds me of perhaps the funniest SNL "fake commercial" skits of all time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also know the one you mean, but I don't think anything will ever beat out the "Sofa King" ad.

      Delete
  16. I found the answer in testing a large number of words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "In testing a large" is like a large intestine. The colon is the large intestine.

      Delete
  17. Blaine's herb can be rearranged to give something you might see in the sky

    ReplyDelete
  18. A first look at my computer keyboard got me about halfway to the answer. After a pivot of sorts, I got it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm reminded of an old joke about a cemetery.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ayesha Rascoe alluded to the second word during the on-air segment.

    ReplyDelete
  21. We know about Mrs.Dash, but we never hear about Mr. Dash. He must be content staying out of the bright, burning spotlight of the seasonings biz. Doesn't have a taste for it, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Neat puzzle! And as for things the 10-letter word is associated with, I might add certain animals to the list.

    ReplyDelete
  23. That's interesting, that the ten-letter word shows up in so many specialized contexts.
    It's also quite important in linguistics.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have my mind made up, I like this puzzle.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Looks like this is coming easily to folks; a simple, somewhat clever puzzle.
    I wonder if, with more thought, Will would not have used the term "punctuation mark."
    In discussing this with my grandson, we decided we would have found a different one.

    ReplyDelete
  26. The New England Patriots have now won 5 of 9 games, just enough to get above .500 on the season before their bye week. Greater Boston gets a breather.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I got the answer yesterday, just before I had to leave to get to my nephew's birthday party. But, I also got the chance to reminisce with my brother in law about John Madden and Pat Summerall, and their ability to broadcast a football game.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Replies
    1. Is that anything like a compausema?
      pjbChangedHisMind,AndItWorksALotBetterNow

      Delete
    2. Probably more like an hyseparationphen.

      Delete
  29. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Last week to this is like apples to oranges.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I was just watching "Mary Poppins" with my granddaughter. Does anyone else think Ken Jennings is the spittin' image of Michael Banks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. [crickets]

      OK, then, is anyone else struck by the parallels between "Mary Poppins" and the imploded cryptocurrency exchange FTX? Both involve (essentially) banks, one run (in part) by George Banks, the other by Sam Bankman-Fried. Both banks suffer a loss of confidence on the part of key investors, which leads to runs on the banks and collapse. Can't wait for the musical!

      Delete
    2. Ken Jennings is, indeed, the spitting image of Michael Banks.

      Speaking of which, anyone else watching the T of C on Jeopardy?? Who are you cheering for? My favorite, Matt Amodio, newly Cambridgized, got knocked out of it last night.

      Delete
    3. Amy.
      Mattea is amazing for her age, but can be off-putting.
      Looking forward to it.


      Delete
    4. Mattea was eliminated on Friday. Amy's the only seeded player in the Finals.

      I have not run into Matt in Cambridge, but hope springs eternal. He's a postdoc at Broad.

      Delete
    5. But, as an old guy, I guess I've gotta root for Sam.

      Delete
    6. Sam is quite affable. . .and has the Steve Martin look-alike thing going for him (speaking of spitting images). I'll root for him next week. It should be an exciting 3-5 games; I like the new, longer format.

      Delete
    7. And jan, let us know if you do cross paths with Matt!

      Delete
    8. The Finals could run to 7 games. First player to take 3 wins.

      Delete
    9. Let's hope it's 7! I'll root for that, too...

      Delete
    10. I hope for 7 game World Series, too.
      A possible 433 A's and Q's! I am afraid the three might need hospitalization if it goes all the way.

      One article I read about this series used the word "themself." Maybe gone too far?

      Delete
    11. I go with nouns whenever possible. Does this make me "pro-noun?" ;-)

      Delete
  32. Here's a question subtly related to this week's puzzle that I've actually been wondering about for some time. Just as "the and sign" is more properly called an ampersand, is there a more proper name for that which we call "the at sign"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beats me. My favorite alternative name for the number/pound/hashtag sign (#), from my Bell Labs days, is "octothorpe".

      I, too, am a Weird Al fan, but I think his new movie is a dog.

      Delete
    2. AMPERSAT


      ampersat: meaning, synonyms - WordSense Dictionary
      https://www.wordsense.eu › Search
      at-sign: …who think that they possess an e-mail address containing neither an at-sign (@ often known as an "ampersat") nor a domain name.

      Delete
    3. Logic would point more toward AMPERSAT because the difference between the two symbols is only the last two and three letters of each word, and these coda letters define the symbol in everyday terms.
      ampesAND & and ampersAT @

      Delete
    4. Mary had a little plane,
      In which she liked to frisk.
      Now wasn't she a silly girl,
      Her little *?

      Delete
    5. I think it should be called an ‘apersat’.
      ‘Ampersand’ is a corruption (or regional pronunciation maybe) of ‘and per se and’, meaning the ‘and’ that stands for itself. (The symbol arose as a ligature of the letters ‘e’ and ‘t’ in the Latin ‘et’.)
      On the theory that ‘@’ arose as a twisting of a ‘d’ around an ‘a’, it’s “at per se at”. Then drop the first ‘t’ because it’s almost impossible to pronounce, just as the ‘n’ became an ‘m’ because it’s so difficult to say “ampersand”.
      I also like 'asperans'; it looks like it should mean "something sprinkled about".

      Delete
    6. In Israel, it's called a Strudel.

      Delete
  33. 75 degrees F here in PA on Nov 7. If anything positive is going to come out of COP27, it will have a lot of negative impact on global economies, so it's safe to say, nothing is going to happen. Money comes before everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Speaking of Pennsylvania, let's watch this evening and hope it will be The Wither Of Oz.

      Delete
    2. Write a pronoun in reverse. Somewhere within that string of letters, place another pronoun.

      Delete
    3. A fitting name for an extreme narcissist.

      Delete
  34. I am with you! BTW, for once Blaine's "hint" immediately told me I'd found the correct answer.

    ReplyDelete
  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Someone took a photo of Kermit voting today and then posted it on social media. The reaction was swift with Republicans calling it a blatant example of voter frog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry SDB, the Christian nationalists have co-opted all frogs. Kermit has been canceled.

      Delete
  37. I am not getting much agreement that the magic beginning word is not a punctuation mark but a mathematical symbol.
    But I agree that the result word has many more important meanings.
    Will Shortz is probably the best known professional puzzler.
    Why then, if he is paid for it, isn't the Sunday Puzzle more often seem a professional product?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course it's a punctuation mark.
      And obviously your comment is TMI.

      Delete
    2. I look forward to your explaining those tomorrow.

      Delete
    3. Does everyone know that Will went to Indiana U and got his degree in 'puzzling' (I can't remember what they call it; Will created the curriculum for his major)

      Delete
    4. I think his degree was in enigmatology.

      Delete
    5. Yes, enigmatology! I've heard him say that.

      Surely it's TMI to reveal that the punctuation mark can be used as a mathematical symbol. Am I missing something?

      Delete
  38. I got a late start on the Puzzle. Crazy weekend, just sat down today, solved it, and I like the puzzle. Elegant.

    To me, Mendo, this is indeed punctuation. And it works nicely.

    Musical Clue: Television

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm... Anatomical clue: Television!

      Delete
    2. Oh nice.
      Geographical clue: Televisión

      Delete
    3. Television…as in 4:3 vs. 16:9 aspect ratio?

      Delete
    4. Television, because of their song Friction. Friction is close to FRACTION, which is close to Ratios and Colons.

      Delete
  39. Thanks Blaine. I found your clue VERY Helpful (as well as another poster's comment).

    ReplyDelete
  40. COLON, RATIO >>> COLORATION

    Blaine's hint, featuring the most hated/liked herb of CILANTRO got me right to the answer.

    ReplyDelete
  41. COLON + RATIO = COLOratioN

    My Hint: "Hamlet"
    This might cause you to think of Hamlet discussing with Horatio how he had known poor Yorick. Of course one might also wonder why a parent would name a child, Horatio, which might make one think of a ho ratio. Or perhaps another pronunciation.

    ReplyDelete
  42. COLON, RATIO, COLORATION

    I actually looked at the word COLON for a while, recognizing that it could work with COLOR, but I just couldn't think of coloration at first. Then I put together Blaine's clue, and Lancek and others liking and disliking (or love/hate), and suddenly cilantro popped into my mind. The answer came quickly after that.

    The Madden/Summerall reference was because for a long time, they talked about the "turnover ratio," when they really meant turnover margin.

    ReplyDelete
  43. COLON + RATIOCOLORATION

    The colon is used in mathematics, cartography, model building, and other fields—in this context it denotes a ratio or a scale, as in 3:1 (pronounced “three to one.”)

    Blaine's herb: CILANTRO.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ron.
      Yes, the colon symbol that Will told us is on our keyboards has two separate functions, one in grammar and one in mathematics.
      Coming up with colon+ ratio = coloration took me about five minutes (without a keyboard).
      It took a little longer to realize that Will's "word for what this punctuation mark may be part of or what it may represent" is wrong.
      The concept of "ratio" is not grammatical (punctuation), but mathematical.
      I sent this in to NPR, so the PM can deal with it or not.
      Coloration, of course, has nothing to do with either one.

      Delete
    2. A colon is a punctuation mark. When it designates the ratio function, it's not being used for punctuation. That's okay, you can use punctuation marks for things other than punctuation, just as you can use a pasta fork for things other than forking pasta, and snow shovel for things other than shoveling snow.

      Delete
    3. It looks like you are getting closer to understanding my reservations about the wording of this challenge.
      Everyone seems to think that M-W should be the final arbiter on things Sunday Puzzle. Look for its definitions of colon, differentiating between ": a punctuation mark" and ": the sign."

      BTW: is it Critto, Cryto or Creeto?

      Delete
    4. I see -- but I don't really know what that's supposed to mean in Merriam-Webster. The different sub-entries, I mean. (For the record, there's only one entry in the OED for the ":", although obviously there are several for the string of letters "colon".)

      Are you saying that there are two different senses of the word "colon", one for the punctuation mark and one for the ratio symbol? That seems very implausible off hand, but I will have to remember what the tests are for sameness of sense! Hmm.

      Not sure how you are symbolizing pronunciation, but in English, the first syllable of my name, stressed, is homophonous with the word "cry". In Ancient Greek it's Κρίτων.

      Delete
  44. Colon + Ratio >> Coloration

    An old joke asks, "Why are cemeteries so busy?"
    Answer, "Because people are, “dyeing”, to get in."

    ReplyDelete
  45. COLON — RATIO — COLORATION

    My clues:
    A first look at my computer keyboard got me about halfway to the answer. After a pivot of sorts, I got it.
    "Half"—or "semi," as in "semicolon." Then a "pivot"—or a "shift," since the colon is the same key as the semicolon…only that, to get the colon, you press Shift.

    The New England Patriots have now won 5 of 9 games, just enough to get above .500.
    An oblique allusion to the word "ratio."

    ReplyDelete
  46. COLON; RATIO; COLORATION. My hint said that Ayesha Rascoe alluded to the second word during the on-air segment. She compared the 2,000 submissions for the preceding week to the then- current week’s 3,000.

    ReplyDelete
  47. COLON + RATIO—>COLORATION

    Hint: “To piggyback on Blaine’s hint: Remove all the repeated letters from the final word (that is, no instances of the repeated letters remain), double one of the remaining letters, and anagram, and you’ll get a popular medication.”

    Remove the o’s—3 in all—from coloration, leaving “clratin,” double the letter i, rearrange a bit, and you’ll get “Claritin.”

    ReplyDelete
  48. COLON, RATIO, COLORATION

    > ... or a musician.

    Weird that searching on "coltrain" gets you to John Coltrane's Wikipedia page.

    Anatomical clue: Television!

    FCC Chairman Newton Minow (namesake of Gilligan's boat) called television "a vast wasteland". Like your colon, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I wrote, “For me, it’s 2/5.” I make a colon using the two fifth fingers (2/5, get it? Obscure enough for you?), the left on the shift and the right on the colon/semicolon key.

    ReplyDelete

  50. This week's edition of Puzzleria! features four fantastic conundrums from our friend Chuck, titled:
    Shower & sink... cedar & sycamore?
    Name’s nearly the same,
    “An Officer and an Eponym,” and
    One actor, three prime factors.

    We upload P! early Friday at Midnight PST.
    Also on this week's menu:
    * a Schpuzzle of the Week about Fishy platefuls and paintings,
    * a “Linen Latin Lupe Lu!” puzzle slice
    * a "What’s this tool of the trade?" dessert
    * and ten riffs of this week's NPR puzzle.
    Drop on by.

    LegoLambda

    ReplyDelete
  51. CILANTRO in the sky -> CONTRAIL

    ReplyDelete
  52. Coloration, colon, ratio. Cilantro was a good hint Blaine. I really feel bad for people who taste soap while eating cilantro.

    ReplyDelete
  53. My original comment about liking and disliking Blaine's clue was quite innocent (great hint, but I dislike cilantro). Then surferwoman replied that she liked the fact that she could figure it out, but disliked the herb. That was such a great setup that I couldn't resist replying "My two points exactly." I'm both proud and surprised that it sat there in plain sight for a week!

    ReplyDelete
  54. My comment "mind made up" is an album from the band A Certain Ratio.

    ReplyDelete
  55. COLON + RATIO = COLORATION

    My clue was about the band Television, because of their song Friction. Friction is close to FRACTION, which is close to Ratios and Colons.

    ReplyDelete
  56. THE KANSAS CITY STAR

    A 39-year-old employee on their ninth day of work at a Caterpillar foundry in Illinois fell into a melting pot of iron “and was immediately incinerated,” authorities said.

    So far there have been no sightings of butterflies at the facility.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh. Caterpillar. Haha. Took me a minute.

      Delete
    2. Don't feel bad, it took me a few minutes to figure out how to make up a joke about this incident, whereas I usually make up death jokes very quickly. Even after I figured out the hook it took me a bit longer to figure out how to word it.

      Delete
    3. I never met a morphosis I didn't like.

      Delete
  57. Speaking of colons, I was intrigued to learn that for about $16, Amazon will sell you a flexible USB fiber endoscope for your smart phone. Eliminate the middle-man. Scope yourself at home. Not recommended! Gallon of HalfLytely not included. Really, really not recommended!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Were it to go badly, would that be a periscope?

      Delete
    2. That Smart phone app might just make your farts moan.

      Delete
    3. I suppose too, that if things went really badly, you might end up with a semi-colon.

      Delete
    4. I like the smart phone / farts moan spoonerism. Made me wonder whether there's an Autotune adapter?

      Delete
    5. I suppose this means Amazon products are trending upward, so to speak.

      Delete
  58. COLON, RATIO, COLORATION
    BTW I didn't even have to examine a computer keyboard. COLON was the first punctuation mark(or "symbol", now, I guess)that came to mind. COLORATION was the next thing, but having two O's on either side of "RATI" confused me at first. I thought, "ORATI? That's not a word!" Luckily, I didn't give up right there.
    pjbDidUseAComputerKeyboardToTellY'AllThis(WhichGoesWithoutSaying,ExceptItMustBeTypedToDoSo)

    ReplyDelete
  59. Viral video captures moment 5-year-old is slapped out of his chair by classmate's father in China.

    According to police, the classmate’s 33-year-old father, identified only as Lu, went to the boy’s home to demand an apology after hearing that the boy had hit his son at school earlier in the day.

    Later in the conversation, however, Lu slapped the boy in the face, sending him flying off his stool and onto the floor.

    The violent moment shook the boy’s 64-year-old grandfather, identified only as Zu, who tried to defend the boy. The senior raised the chair he was sitting on in an alleged attempt to hit Lu.

    In response, Lu shoved Zu to the floor. The impact broke the senior’s leg, which then required medical treatment.

    That is the gist of the story. I would say it is nothing more than another Zu Lu uprising!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may not like the last sentence, which I made up, but the story is true. I did not make it up.

      Delete
    2. MJ,
      What time was what?
      The story is being reported now. I got it off Yahoo News. There are other sources too. Google it. And I did not make up the two names.

      Delete
    3. Here is a link:

      https://news.yahoo.com/viral-video-captures-moment-5-175738424.html

      Delete
    4. Darn it, I watched the video, but can't read Chinese, so I still don't know what time was.
      I can only guess it may have been about noon (12:00), which would made it 20:00 Zulu. Maybe.

      Delete
    5. I had forgotten that 24 hour time is called Zulu Time.

      Delete
    6. Actually it is Universal Time, aka Greenwich Mean.
      Did the Zu's (or was it the Lu's) just happen to have the camera rolling?

      Delete
    7. That's an interesting question. I wondered that too.

      Delete
    8. MJ:

      Have you yet read?:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guard_of_Honor
      It won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for literature.

      Eric Sevareid touted it as the definitive WWII novel. I find it to be the finest novel I have ever read. I never re-read a book, but I have read this one 3 times so far and want to continue. Some read it each and every year according to reviews I have read. You should read this book. You will be amazed.

      Delete
    9. I read the book years ago and tried re-reading it after one of your earlier recommendations to do so.

      Delete
  60. jan,
    Did you catch this:
    https://news.yahoo.com/two-planes-crash-other-during-213506247.html
    It was as if it had been choreographed. No time for anyone to get out. What the hell was that idiot thinking? Not more than 6 B-17 bombers left now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. I did see that, and, watching two of the cellphone videos of the collision, I can't understand how an accident could happen like that. The planes weren't performing aerobatics, they were just doing a low pass over the field. The pilots involved were aware of the presence of the other plane. The were flying from southeast to northwest around mid-day, so the sun wasn't in their eyes, with clear skies. The P-63 came from above and behind and a bit to the left of the B-17, so the big bomber should have been hard not to see. It hit the B-17 just behind the wing and tore it in half. Couldn't have rammed it more effectively if he was trying.

      Delete
    3. BTW, there are 45 remaining B-17s, 9 of which are airworthy, with 6 being restored. Only 4 flyable P-63s left.

      Delete
    4. Unless they turn up a suicide note or an interesting toxicology report, I'll guarantee that the NTSB will spend an awful lot of time and money to conclude that the probable cause was "failure to see and avoid".

      Delete
    5. I'd heard possible medical issue (e.g. heart attack)

      Delete
    6. I guess it is a consolation that not one of the occupants or either plane knew what happened.
      From hit to fireball was under five seconds. And the
      P-63 simply disintegrated.

      Delete
  61. This week's challenge was sent independently by two listeners — Steve Baggish and Neville Fogarty — credit to them both. Think of two well-known companies with two-syllable names starting with J and D, respectively and whose names rhyme. One of these companies was founded in the last 10 years. What companies are these?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who gives a sh*t? I hate puzzles by Steve Baggish and Neville Fogarty. How can the answer to this be interesting?

      Delete
    2. The answer I have so far—not the intended answer, I am sure—"exceeds" the puzzle in one way but doesn't quite satisfy in another way.

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

    ReplyDelete