Sunday, December 18, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 18, 2022): What Does the Fox Say?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 18, 2022): What Does the Fox Say?
Q: If you change the third letter of WOLF to an O, you get the sound made by a dog — WOOF. Name a six-letter animal and change the second letter to get the sound made by a completely different animal. What is it?
If you take the sound the first animal makes and you change one letter... well, I'm not saying anything more.

Edit: Rabbits are pretty silent.
A: RABBIT, RIBBIT

196 comments:

  1. There’s gold under that toilet seat lid.

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    1. You staying at Trump's place, Doc?

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    2. Ha! No, I'm sure I'd be persona non grata. My comment's actually a hint, best left uncategorized. More Thursday.

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  2. A certain odiferous animal comes to mind.

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  3. If last week's was fourth grade, this week is a first grade puzzle.

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  4. Over 2000 correct entries last week.

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    1. And WS said he thought it was a tough one. Mystifying.

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    2. WS doesn't seem to have a great grasp of what's a hard puzzle or not. I saw one from the past that was very clever, but not hard at all (turkey baster or turkey breast, ski poles or ski slope), and Will thought it was very difficult. Then the next week he had a puzzle that was something like, "Name a city and country that anagrams into another city and country", and he thought that one was easier!

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    3. Interesting. I would have thought after all these years he'd have a pretty good idea. You can usually tell from the comments here how hard a puzzle is -- people either complain it's too easy or on Thursday complain the wording was deficient, the brand name too localized, etc. Ayesha Rascoe typically says she wouldn't have gotten the answer, though I wonder about that given she's often pretty quick with clues when contestants are having trouble.

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    4. His grasp of puzzle difficulty is fine. He's got a good gig and he's just phoning it in now. Either he was told to use incredibly easy ones to increase reach and participation from listeners or there's some sort of cognitive decline going on. No one could have thought that "cash purse" puzzle was anything but third grade stuff (like this week).

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    5. There's going to be 20,000 correct answers, this week. Are you kidding me? This would be easy for a 5th grader.

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  6. Movie clue: Back to the Future III.

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  7. Replies
    1. Chip Naharajan is who framed this puzzle ... and golfers chip onto the green ... sometimes it's not so easy.

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    1. Several months from now would also work.

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    2. March, to be specific, the breeding season of hares.

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  9. Take the last two letters of each animal. Repeat one of the letters. Rearrange. You are entitled to say this.

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  10. The same puzzle works if you start with a 3-letter animal.

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  11. This week's on-air contestant is a marathon competitor, but he would only need to go a somewhat shorter distance to solve this puzzle.

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  12. Listening to Jim Croce will get you close.

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    1. Think of a six letter word, change the first letter and you will have two things the first animal in the puzzle can give you. One, you may want. The other, not so much.

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    2. "croakin' toad"
      Babies/Rabies
      RABBIT/RIBBIT

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  13. Alice knows this answer. There is an interesting alternative answer, too.

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  14. #2 of 10, if you know your "history."

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  15. My girlfriend and I had the obviously-intended answer in about 5 minutes. But it’s interesting to note that the sound made by the second animal does not appear as a word in several well-known dictionaries. Of course, the puzzle does not require that it’s a word, per se.

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  16. It's hard for me, being jealous of all your great clues.

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  17. If I have the right animal, it's one that's not native to my home state of Colorado. The animal that makes the sound is common in most states

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  18. Silly puzzle…..may be better for kids.

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  19. I have two good answers, with both animals (one to avoid) and both sounds around the farm.

    The idea of doing a marathon in a wheelchair boggles my mind.














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    1. Two good answers so far ... possibly not the same as your two ...

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    2. ... Well there's at least a third answer, but the animal is super-obscure.

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  20. Replies
    1. I was thinking of posting the same thing

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    2. I don't see what you are referring to.

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    3. When I saw the film I couldn't see him at all, despite his being six feet tall.

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    4. Hmm... I was thinking of Mel Blanc, who voiced Bugs Bunny, not Harvey.

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    5. Darn, I thought I understood your hint for once!

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  21. Still no response to my complaints regarding the 12/4/2022 puzzle and other recent ones. Instead, they sent me an email -- ostensibly from Ayesha -- asking me to donate to support the Sunday Puzzle. I responded by repeating my message and complaints. We'll see if that gets any attention, but I'm not optimistic.

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    1. Maybe you should offer to donate if they'll (1) respond to your complaints and (2) "pledge" to strive to do better going forward.

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    2. Happy holidays! I doubt 'complaints' are responded to. Perhaps an error or a typo might get notice tho. They are inunated with missives hence a complaining one prob gets put on the back burner-- esp during the holiday season.. I was in the media in my past working life and worked for newspapers..

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. @yesyesnan, yeah, I suppose you're probably right. They have tended to respond to questions I've asked, but beyond that I haven't seen much. For example, I never got a response to my pointing out that the instruction at https://www.npr.org/2022/11/27/1139275402/sunday-puzzle-jokes-on-you to submit an answer by "Wednesday, Dec. 1[, 2022] at 3 p.m. ET" was nonsensical, nor was that ever corrected.

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  22. This puzzle would be more appropriate on another day (5-16).

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    1. 5 weeks from the day of this puzzle is January 22, which is Chinese New Year of the Rabbit. 16 weeks from the day of this puzzle is April 9, which is Easter like the Easter Bunny.

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  23. "Some Day My Prince Will Come. Someday, I'll find the one...."

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  24. I think the answer this week is pretty obvious, so no hints or vague proof of solution are useful.
    My alternative answer is just as good, especially since the PM did not include caveats such as "common" or "well known."
    Does that make it against the rules of Blainesville to hint at it or provide it outright?
    The only times I send in solutions are when there is a serious flaw in the puzzle or there is a good alternative. I figure if Will is going to ignore it or shoot it down, he has to see it first.
    Of course, he has insulated himself from these inputs by claiming the staff at NPR never shares them with him. Who besides him the authority to make that rule has never been made clear.
    So my question to those here, and especially Blaine, is if I post my alternative answer, send it in and encourage others that agree it is viable to do the same, might it help bring it to the PM's attention?

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    1. Save disclosing the alternate for Thursday but feel free to hint about it and definitely submit it.

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    2. That doesn't address the purpose of having several folks post the answer and perhaps getting past the wall Will has erected.
      We can't expect the guy here with the hot line to use it without knowing it himself.

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    3. I do not believe we are focusing on the more serious NPR issues that the public should be aware of. I bring this to your attention because it has only in the last couple of weeks come to mine that there is something nefarious going on with our treasury.

      Our local NPR station in its never ending pursuit of truth in scrounging for our dollars has perhaps revealed unintentionally that our government is now printing tiny dollar bills. No, I did not hear this incorrectly. They have now begun running a slew of prerecorded pleas for us to donate that were recorded by the station's finance manager, or some similar title. In it he states they are getting "very little government dollars" for their service.

      Now, I ask you, have you ever seen one of these minuscule bills? I have not. He provides us with no information as to their physical dimensions, but his having used the term, very little, to describe them tells me they are significantly smaller than the bills we used to use before plastic became so much easier. But I ask you, did you also know of this? Have any of you received one or more of these in change yet? Do they get lost in your wallet, or purse, or perhaps cling to the old, out of date dollar bills? Is our government doing this in hopes the smaller bills will slip through our fingers more easily, which may increase their coffers in some undefined way? We must demand an explanation! (Not an exclamation mark.)

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    4. It seems that our Treasury Dept. has been altering the dimensions of our currency for some time, and not just in the case of the downsizing you have noted. Many times I have heard complaints about those with "big bucks" influencing politics. And then there are the "inflated dollars" we hear about, presumably created during times of economic "expansion."

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    5. That is actually an entirely different topic. The point of my post is the NPR station here in Seattle allowing such an outrageous misuse of language and behaving as if language does not matter. "...we receive little dollars from the government." I have not heard it so far today, so perhaps finally they have acted responsibly and removed it, but I doubt it. Anyway I do hope they will save a FEW of those LITTLE dollars.

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    6. Sorry, I thought the topic was government alteration of currency sizes. But if you want to talk about language not mattering, I'm continually appalled at things like the misplaced modifiers in NPR's print stories and the hosts' frequent misuse of "beg the question" to mean "raise the question."

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    7. Are these the same as bit coins?

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  25. “Washington became the first state in the nation to legalize human composting in 2019, followed by Colorado and Oregon in 2021.”

    Recently, when Uncle Herbert finally went to meet his maker, it was his close relatives who were left to determine the disposal of his remains. Some of us had heard of human composting and it was decided we should look into it. In the end (his, not ours) we decided on this new procedure as our solution. We felt it was about as mulch as we could do. Now we’re waiting to see if he will turnip later.

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    1. You could always start an Herb garden.

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    2. Of course. We're waiting till Spring to till and plant. Perhaps you would like an invitation to attend this solemn ground breaking event. In the meantime: Hoe, Hoe, Hoe.

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    3. That does sound like a grave undertaking.

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    4. After you till for a while, it becomes pretty auto-mattock anyway.

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  26. Argentina won the World Cup in a Messi ending.

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  27. That’s because Lionel did a lot of training.

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    1. HO, HO! (I know, wrong scale. )

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    2. No, I think you're on the right track.

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    3. Speaking of engineers, who is the most nervous before the game or performance? Is it the football coach or the symphony conductor? And why?

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    4. I'd say the conductor. His performers are always in treble, and only perform with strings attached, but if a football game doesn't go well, the coach can always pass.

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    5. Sorry, his or her performers.

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    6. No, the coach is the most nervous. The conductor already knows the score.

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    7. Clefer. But soloists sometimes improvise cadenzas in a concerto. (I had a nice cadenza at work, but it got scratched up from my too big office chair rubbing against it.)

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    8. The cadenza changes nothing as far as the score is concerned. Both the orchestra and the conductor become ear-elephant for that short period.

      "... a fanciful solo passage in the manner of an improvisation that, toward the end, interrupts the movement; in the solo concerto, the cadenza has a dramatic effect: the orchestra falls silent and soloist launches into a free play of fantasy on one or more themes of the movement."

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    9. Point taken. But a soloist does introduce uncertainty. I'm not a musician but it seems to be the general view that when both the soloist and the orchestra are playing, the orchestra should follow the soloist and not the conductor. Admittedly, that doesn't change the score. Though I've heard of football games where the score, allegedly, is known in advance.

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    10. It's a joke, Nodd. Most of the time orchestras do not perform concerti anyway. Also the conductor does conduct, otherwise would be even be there? You should get out more.

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

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  29. I got it after 12 AM PST, when I couldn't sleep. Then I understood the Jim Croce reference from Siz.

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  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. Remove three letters from an animal name to get the sound another animal makes.

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  32. Solved this one so fast that I nearly forgot to post here.
    Happy Holiday's all!

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  33. This is around the time Will usually does his "New Names in the News" quiz to close out the year. Any predictions on the new names for 2022? Brittney Griner, maybe Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Rishi Sunak, maybe someone from the 2022 election cycle (Mary Peltola?) Who else...

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  34. If you take the name of the animal in French and change the second letter, you get a french word that describes a different animal.

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  35. Musical Clue: Tiptoe Through the Tulips

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

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    1. Are you sure you have the intended answer?

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    2. Why would you have thought I didn't have the intended answer? The Frog is on the See 'n Say, the toy Blaine used in his image, as I said. I was very surprised to see that image used, as it was a direct giveaway.

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    3. I almost answered this question on Monday, but thought it best for me to wait.

      When I read your post I scrolled up and took a second look at Blaine's picture, but did not see a rabbit or a toad. I later googled See 'n Say and then understood your post. I had not heard of that toy before then. Way back when I was growing up it didn't exist and we had to devise most of our own toys along with playing with actual weapons, such as old military rifles. Those were the free range kid days and today you don't see kids going around with lethal weapons like bows and arrows anymore. In fact you rarely see kids playing outside now.

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  37. I just noticed the name Tortitude above. I have a tortie who is full of it! Her coat is divided into color quadrants, by lines down the back and across the shoulders.

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    1. Torties are certainly entertaining, but also frustrating at times. I got more than I bargained for when I got mine.

      Your tortie sounds very pretty.

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  38. The thread above about my alternative answer seems to have gotten sidetracked.
    There is an animal that I have encountered too many times on my small ranch. It has two spellings (pronounced slightly differently), with the one I use fitting the puzzle guidelines by changing into the second one by changing the second letter giving a common sound made by another, quite different, creature.
    This, of course, makes a different, much more elegant puzzle: "What animal's name is the sound of another's?"
    I will provide a hint tomorrow.
    Maybe I will even submit to NPR, it so that the staff can hide it from Will, making this exercise futile.

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    1. Hi Mendo Jim, I think I found this ... actually the animal I have is one letter from the name of a kind of puzzle ...

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    2. I have an answer for this, but I get the feeling it's not the one you intended.

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  39. Could someone with Will Shortz's contact info please let him know that moonrise is NOT an evening occurrence. It's just as likely to occur at midnight, dawn, or noon, or at any other time of day. Sheesh!

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    1. jan,
      Speaking of riders in the sky. Are cowboys protected from acquiring bone spurs due to herd immunity?

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    2. Why of course I've heard of immunity! Don't you know I'm an epidemiotologist?

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  40. Now I'm worried. There seemed to be less daylight today than usual.

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  41. My search led me to creating this similar puzzle: Name a six-letter animal and change the FOURTH letter to get the sound made by a completely different animal. What is it? (HINT: it's not a well known animal)

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  42. Anyone else working on the NY Times Puzzle Mania Meta Puzzle?

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    1. There won't be as many entries this year.

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    2. Are you working on it, 68Charger? I finished the Mega Crossword and the 7 mini puzzles, got the answers from them, figured out the trick to sorting and matching them, but don't yet know the timely meta answer that's supposed to be there.

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    3. You're doing pretty good! I've done the crossword and figured out the hidden pattern, but am stuck on the "Castle" mini. That is a type of puzzle that I'm not too good at. I was hoping I could see a pattern on the final answer and maybe not even need it. But no luck yet!!
      Btw, I'm a little disappointed with the wording of the Mini Puzzle's clues. They seem too ambiguous.

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    4. I must be wrong on my final answer for the "Fruit Squeeze" mini. I'm still trying though!

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    5. EUREKA! I think I finally have the answer!!

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    6. Still stuck. Do you apply Step 3 (149D) to just the 7 highlighted Mega crossword answers, or also to the 7 minipuzzle answers, or to something else?

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    7. No, just to the Mega highlighted words and then apply (194 D) to the Mini list.

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    8. How did I miss Step 4??? Got it now. Thanks!

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    9. I'd like to comment more but too bad we have to wait until 1/7/2023.

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  43. RABBITRIBBIT (FROG), the sound made by the Pacific tree frog.

    The Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla) produces the onomatopoeic "ribbit" often heard in films.

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  44. RABBIT, RIBBIT (FROG)

    Hint: “There’s gold under that toilet seat lid.”

    Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane was so indifferent—or antipathetic—to her gold record for “White Rabbit” that she stored it under her toilet seat lid.

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  45. RABBIT -> RIBBIT

    > Another beer-related puzzle!

    What does a rabbit do that a frog also does? Hops!

    > You staying at Trump's place, Doc?

    About as close as I dared get to "What's up, Doc?"

    >> Roger that. [deleted]
    > ... and me, too.

    JAWS was referring to Roger Rabbit, I think, but Michael Moore's "Roger and Me" featured a sign advertising "Rabbits - Pets or Meat".

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    1. I was referring to Roger Rabbit, who apparently appears in the background in Back to the Future 3. I didn't know that until I searched "rabbit back to the future 3", after seeing Wolfgang's post. I figured it was an obscure enough fact, and "Roger that" is a synonym for yes, so I thought it would be fine. Obviously, Blaine felt otherwise.

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  46. RABBIT, RIBBIT. My hint referred to a “certain odiferous animal,” i.e., Pepe Le Pew, who isn’t a rabbit or frog but has the same first name as a well-known frog.

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  47. RABBIT – "RIBBIT" (the sound made by a frog)

    Movie clue: Back to the Future III.
    There is that scene where Seamus McFly comes home with some freshly shot rabbit for dinner.
    It's too bad I never saw JAWS's comment before it got blog-administrated! 😏

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    1. As noted above, I had replied, "Roger that."

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  48. rabbit, ribbit (sound made by certain frogs and toads)

    Last Sunday I said, “My girlfriend and I had the obviously-intended answer in about 5 minutes. But it’s interesting to note that the sound made by the second animal does not appear as a word in several well-known dictionaries. Of course, the puzzle does not require that it’s a word, per se.” For example Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster online.

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  49. RABBIT, RIBBIT

    Yes, first graders will know this one...

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  50. rabbit, ribbit

    A frog says, "Ribbit!"

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    1. The little "Twelve Days of Christmas" "paroditty" (below) is the brainchild of Greg VanMechelen, aka Ecoarchitect. This holidazzling version of Eco's Econfusions (a dozen of 'em!) titled “The Twelve Daze of Christmas” is our featured Appetizer this Friday on Puzzleria!
      And so, just two days before Christmas, Puzzleria! presents to thee:
      Twelve Econfusions,
      Eleven Will Shortz Riff-offs,
      Ten teas a steepin',
      Nine letters switching,
      (We) Eight Christmas dinners,
      Seven letters prior,
      Six-lettered brand name,
      FIVE FA-MOUS FOLK!,
      Four US burgs,
      Three Yule plants,
      Two Homophones,
      And an old show on the TV...

      We guarantee yule "truly love" all twelve of theese!
      Also on this week's Puzzleria menus are:
      * a Schpuzzle of the Week providin Good cheer you hear this time of year,
      * a numerical puzzle slice regarding “a pair of colors in a pear tree,”
      * a Tinselly Translation Dessert entitled “Clearly, thou must be joking!” and
      * eleven Riff-Offs of this week's NPR puzzle titled “Ribbity-Rabbity-Roo!” (one created by SuperZee (Jeff Zarkin) and three created by Ecoarchitect (Greg VanMechelen).
      Come join us under the "PuzzleTree"... Yule Be Baffled!

      Leggoty-Lamditty-Loo!

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  52. I said, " The on-air contestant is a marathon competitor, but he would only need to go a somewhat shorter distance to solve this puzzle." As in one Angstrom, one one hundred-millionth of a centimeter, as in John Updike's Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom books.

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  53. I wrote, “Take the last two letters of each animal. Repeat one of the letters. Rearrange. You are entitled to say this.” That’s GOT IT.

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  54. A WORBLE is the large larva of several flies, including the botfly, which can unfortunately be found in almost all mammals.
    Chage the "o" to "a" to get the more common alternate spelling of the term: WARBLE, which is the sound made by many species of birds.

    The consensus here seems to be that, while Will Shortz has nothing against alternative answers, he is protected from being made aware of them. So I didn't waste my postcard stamp.

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  55. ''Some day my prince will come" was a reference to "you have to kiss a number of frogs to find a prince"

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  56. I had:
    RABBIT -> RIBBIT (frog)
    WORBLE -> WARBLE (bird) ... or WORBLE -> WORDLE (puzzle/game)
    and:
    COCKLE -> CACKLE (chicken)

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    1. Wow, COCKLE/CACKLE is a really good alternative.

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    2. Submit it? No ... I thought lots of folks would find it ...!

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  57. RABBIT -> RIBBIT

    My musical clue was based on perhaps the greatest Villain in cinematic history, The Rabbit of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcxKIJTb3Hg

    But I couldn't possibly clue Monty Python and the Holy Grail without giving away the Rabbit. So I clued "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" instead, which was sung by Tiny Tim, which recalls Tim the Enchanter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZJZK6rzjns




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    1. Perhaps this would've worked for the Monty Python idea: "What is your favorite color?"

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    2. Or to clue Aaaaaaargh! That, of course, is the castle mentioned in the next scene, but could be read as frustration.

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    3. This is really the ONLY place on Earth I could post the following note: Last week, on Jeopardy, one of the clues was "this movie opened in 1975, and the first 400 patrons at the movie's opening were given complimentary coconuts." And not only did I know the question ("What is Monty Python and the Holy Grail?") but I was one of the 400 recipients. Two of them, if you count my big brother.

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  58. I said: #2 of 10, if you know your "history." I was referring to the 2nd Bible plague in Egypt, frogs.

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  59. I suppose I should have posted David Gulpilil as a hint. He was in the movie, Rabbit-Proof Fence.

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  60. Starting with half the letters, you can get twice the answers:
    COW -- CAW
    BOA -- BAA
    But that's perhaps half as interesting.

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  61. Clue, "India Pale Ale" is a very hoppy beer. Rabbits and Frogs are very hoppy animals. Rabbit -> Ribbit.

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  62. I am so surprised with such a difficult puzzle Will presented us with this week, indicating a very small turnout of correct answers, that I didn't get the call.

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  63. Happy Festivus to all who celebrate!

    (Not that anyone here ever needed a special day for the airing of grievances)

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  64. I had stated that I felt the puzzle should have been given two weeks from now, which would be New Years Day. Many are probably aware that some folks say "rabbit rabbit" on the first of the month for good luck. I figured people would be more likely to focus on New Years Day, and not just the fact that it would be the first of the month. Blaine quickly pulled it.

    I would like to wish all of you a safe and happy holiday season. A large chunk of the country will be dealing with a major storm as we head into the weekend, so here's hoping the power stays on, and everyone can stay warm.

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  65. Blaine seems to be running late on his Christmas puzzle again this year.

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  66. Merry Christmas to all fellow puzzlers here! And stay warm!

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  67. 19-year-old killed in shooting at Nordstrom in Mall of America, police say. Now it is rumored they will make an operetta about this and call it:

    A Mall And The Night Visitor

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    1. You know Amahl had a twin brother, Juan? If you've seen Juan, you've seen Amahl.

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  68. This week's challenge: Name a prominent geographical location in the United States. Change the fifth letter to an S. The resulting string of letters from left to right will name a game, a mountain, and a popular website. What place is it?

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    1. I thought so too, but then I looked it up.

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    2. OK, but it's pretty obscure for a puzzle like this.

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  69. A lump of coal -- just what I wanted!

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  70. A prominent location in Morocco.

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  71. Will acknowledged COCKLE -> CACKLE. Over 2000 entries last week.

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  72. I have it as well. As another frequent poster here often says, waiting for Blaine...

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  73. I have the answer, trying to think of something to say to prove it that doesn't give it away...

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  74. Hmmm,... Of the past ten Blaine's Puzzle Blogs, only two were posted past 6:00am.

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    1. If that happens it usually means I haven't figured out the answer. Today it means I ignored my first alarm. :)

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