Sunday, December 04, 2022

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 4, 2022): Getting Straight to the Point

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 4, 2022): Getting Straight to the Point
Q: Name a symbol or punctuation mark on a computer keyboard. Anagram it to get the brand name of a product you might buy at a grocery, in two words. What is it?
A: SEMICOLON --> MOLSON ICE

287 comments:

  1. I'm having fun with this puzzle...Quinoa Tots! Pert Sha'poo!

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    1. I never buy the L containing sugar, I prefer the Diet L.

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  2. Is it just me, or is the phrasing "symbol punctuation mark" weird? There are symbols on the keyboard, and there are punctuation marks on the keyboard. Not all symbols are punctuation marks. Since you can argue that everything on the keyboard is a symbol, does that word really matter?

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    1. Jaws, you are, as usual, correct. On the on-air broadcast, Will Shortz read: "Name a symbol or punctuation mark..." The transcription of the puzzle on the NPR website, alas, omitted the word "or."

      LegoUpThe RiverWithoutAnOr!

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    2. The new Star Wars TV show sounds like a couple of conjunctions that should have a symbol.

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    3. Thanks Lego, that makes more sense.

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    4. Another persisting mistake on the NPR webpage that others on this blog have previously made note of:
      Ever since the August 7-14 two-week creative challenge, under the "Submit Your Answer" heading it reads: "If you know the answer to the two-week challenge, submit it here by Thursday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. ET." The "Thursday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. ET" is the correct deadline, but my puzzle is NOT a two-week challenge!

      LegoWhoAssuresYouThatYouWillNotNeedAFortnightToSolveMyPuzzle

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    5. Maybe someone with a direct email for Will could get that corrected? We've noted it for months.

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  3. Congrats to Joe for getting his puzzle on the air! How many is that now?

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  4. Thanks, Blaine, for adding or to my puzzle text.

    LegoWhoNotesThatIn1968TheUniversityOfMichiganAddedOrr(Johnny)AsItsHeadBasketballCoachAndHeWoundUpWinning209Games

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  5. As I posted early this morning at the end of last week's thread, all I've come up with so far is something I'm not especially fond of, reusued corn.

    Excellent challenge, Lego!

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  6. I haven't seen a lot of posts yet... Does that mean people are struggling to find the answer?

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    1. Ive got a shopping cart of nothing.

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    2. As I indeed struggle, I do acknowledge that lego's puzzle has great potential.

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    3. I haven't seen your clue yet, Blaine... Does that mean you are, too?

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    4. Got a near miss with Star-Kist

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  7. Last time I went to Wegmans, I thought I bought peaches, but I bought damn pears.

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    1. I dozed off and sleepwalked through the market -- all I came home with were nap dreams!

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    2. At least you're back home. I'm still trying to get off the highway. But hey, at some point, a ramp ends.

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    3. If I weren't a vegan, I could be a spam nerd. Instead, I'm an oat shopper.

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  8. Two words I don't much like: "anagram" and "grocery," both used in excess on the Sunday Puzzle.
    In the days of only a few online rearranger solvers, they would sometimes overload on Sunday mornings.
    From the third keyboard term I tried, I got one good answer, one fair one and one funny NSFW one.
    I hesitate to mention the many likely alternate answers for Will to ignore this week.
    It seemed to me that both Will and Ayesha were a little rude to the on-air player.

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    1. Mendo Jim,
      I am not a huge fan of "anagram puzzles" either. But I would guess that about 40% (that's a total guess!) of the NPR puzzles involve anagramming in some form.
      As for "grocery," sometime an anagram leads you to a grocery store, so that's where you gotta go!

      LegoingWithThePuzzleFlow

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    2. Agree, Mendo Jim. First, ENOUGH of the 'Grocery' puzzles, already (IMHO). And yeah, I could do without the anagrams as well.

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    3. No to mention that it's only been a month since the last "punctuation mark on a computer keyboard" puzzle 🙄

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    5. Perhaps the golden age of puzzling is behind us.

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  9. I have a question unrelated to this week's puzzle but I can't find the answer anywhere else: When did the NPR Sun puzzle first begin taking online submissions?

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    1. It was shortly after 9/11/01 when suspicious substances were added to various pieces of U. S. mail.

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    2. Note: There was an overlap of online and mail options before 9/11/01 but exclusively online submissions began shortly thereafter.

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    3. Are you suggesting that one of us would be sending Will Shortz suspicious substances is that were still an option?

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    4. Jan, I suspect no one here. But cutting down the amount of physical mail flowing through NPR offices was the main reason for the change. Remember all the mail scanning around then?

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    5. My Covid-addled brain can't remember back that far. I do remember hitting all our mail, groceries, grandchildren, etc, with Lysol at the beginning of the most recent pandemic. (Three years ago, almost!)

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    6. Yeah, but if either or both of Russia/Ukraine and/or (there it is again!) China/Taiwan gets (more) out of hand, it'll make Covid look like a common cold. Or, maybe the last 3 years of jury-rigging will toughen us up to face it better? Truly weird, though, in any case.

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    8. How many people, when planning for retirement, figure on both global pandemic and World War III?

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  10. HERE are the keyboard symbols, but I have nothing yet...

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    1. Ecphoneme, Eroteme, Ecphoneme, Eroteme !?!?

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    2. I usually call the grave accent a backquote, so I wouldn't consider this to be definitive. (full stop)

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    3. How about DIERESIS (not on the list) & IRIS SEED, a superb brand?

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    4. Have you been buying surplus keyboards from The New Yorker?

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  11. I have an answer, but I'm not sure it's the one intended. If we (I guess including Will and Joseph) were in another country, I would be confident my answer was the intended one.
    I really want to come up with a clue that will be clear to anyone who has my answer but useless to anyone who hasn't!

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  12. I have an answer that appears to technically fit the criteria of the puzzle. However, the company's website does not indicate the product is sold in stores. It appears it is available through the company website only. Still looking.

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  13. Do you suppose the proprietors at Mos Eisley ever trademarked their spacebar?

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  14. When at a loss, we can always resort to doing puns.

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    1. Gotta try to keep a lid on it, sometimes, though. My granddaughters take lessons at the Goldfish Swim School in town, and if I ask one more time why goldfish need to take swimming lessons, they're gonna disown me.

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    2. Maybe they do it just for the hake of it.

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    3. I will not rise to your bait!

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    4. jan, maybe they are just being koi with you.

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    5. At least they didn't say your puns smelt.

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    6. They probably just don't have anything betta to do.

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    7. Well, at least they didn't choose the name Convicts Swim School. ;-)

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    8. Which way to the punitentiary.?

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  15. The answer can't be Boar's Head because Will and NPR would never let that be Spoonerised.

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  16. I like a puzzle that I can solve within a hour or two at most. I have to work and have other things to do. This puzzle is unfortunately going unsolved this week.

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    1. Yes, but at least it is refreshing not having the usual complaints about the puzzle being too easy this week. We must thank Lego for that.

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    2. This one has been stumped hook, line and sinker!

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    3. I have made no net progress so far either.

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  17. I have found quite a few amusing, fictional answers, the best of which are unsuitable for NPR, but I dare not reference them until I know the correct solution. Punctuation marks are an unusually fertile ground for anagrams.

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  18. My answer reminds me of a book I read in my childhood, and which I suspect readers of this blog are more likely than average to have read in childhood.

    But I'm getting even less confident that it's the intended answer -- I don't think this product is available in US grocery stores. Darn.

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  19. I have come up with anagrams that include words such as Sprite and Sharpie, and Gin but making a legit two-word brand name has me stumped. Maybe this thing isn't sold at my local stores.

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  20. Okay, I have what I'm quite sure is the intended answer now. It's a good one, Joseph!

    Hmm, how can I clue it without giving anything away?

    This product first appeared in grocery stores (or as Will says, groceries) about 30 years ago.

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    1. Blaine doesn't know the answer so just give it away! 😆

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    3. alternately, would anyone who has never lived in the upper midwest recognize this particular grocery item?

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  21. It's gotta be weird for lego to start the day like "hee hee no one can guess my puzzle" and then watch everyone be like "lol this sucks and I don't care anymore, see you all next week"

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    1. What makes you think I can't delete obvious clues?

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    2. Because you're an honorable chap and there's clearly something perfidious about this puzzle

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    1. As I mentioned above, I have an answer that technically fits the puzzle. However, I have not submitted it, because I don't think it's the intended answer. The product I found is a two word brand name. But, the company website implies they sell only direct to consumer, and not through brick and mortar stores. No weird pronunciation, though.

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  24. I do not have the intended answer. But he may have done it again.

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  25. Well, I thought I'd given up, but when I awoke this AM, I thought of possibly using a nine letter symbol. I actually came up with what sounded like product names. Alas they didn't exist!

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  26. I may have it. The keyboard term exists, if uncommonly, and it does indeed anagram into a two-word brand name that does seem to be sold in stores (based on a web search). I'm still not absolutely certain, but so far it's the best I've come up with. No hints here. Good luck to all.

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    1. Just returned from the supermarket looking for inspiration. My cart still empty. Can I assume that the keyboard term is a single word?

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  27. I think this challenge should be called "Son of Colon," since apparently the colon puzzle of a few weeks ago sent Lego on a symbol/anagram spree.
    As someone pointed out, it is a fertile field, with thousands of two-word possibilities.
    Then, for items at a "grocery" (minus "store" which bugs me badly), one can try Kroger on-line which has 80,000 of them.
    I have also spent enough time chasing that particular piece of useless cotton candy.
    I have to admit that the solution I thought i found and reported was wrong, though it seemed to jibe with Blaine's choice of a title for this week's blog.

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  28. I want the answer to be hidden in plain sight... "Mrs Dash"

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    1. It is in plain sight. You just have to spell the symbol as an asttrisk! :-)

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    2. I would say it could be in plain sight, but that most people would walk right past and never notice.

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  29. The answer is related to something I did to this puzzle. It is also related to another Joseph Young puzzle.

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  30. Would a Greek letter be considered a symbol?

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    1. I consulted some of my old linguistics textbooks, and most of them use “character” or “sign” when defining “letter.” On the other hand, Wikipedia’s opening sentence in its entry for “Letter” is this: “A letter is a segmental symbol of a phonemic writing system.”

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    2. Yes, but a Linkletter is Art.

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    3. Well I found this on Wikipedia: "All forms of the Greek alphabet were originally based on the shared inventory of the 22 symbols of the Phoenician alphabet..." So I have a really good answer but it may not be the intended one. It does align perfectly with the challenge. If it's not maybe I get an honorable mention and hopefully not a failing grade!

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  31. Hmmm....I have an answer. However, I'm not getting a warm fuzzy feeling that it is the intended one, but more like a cold shoulder.

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  32. Earlier this week I gave up and yet the puzzle keeps returning to haunt me.But now I really do admit defeat!

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  33. I have (what I think is) a good answer, and it doesn’t depend on counting letters as symbols (which I admit they are, but it’s plainly not what Joseph and Will meant).
    Nor does it involve an obscure term for a punctuation mark or (other) symbol.
    Commenters have given a couple of clues that could be clues to the same answer I have, but I'm not at all sure.

    I’m really surprised this one is so hard for the Blaine crew! I bet Joseph is too.

    Oh, and to clarify my earlier postings: I first came up with an answer that I thought might be right, but I discovered that it isn’t merely less common in the US but isn’t sold at all here (and I doubt most Blainesvillains have even heard of it). But then I found my current, ‘good’ answer, which I’m pretty sure is the intended one.

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    1. Crito, I am gobsmacked that this puzzle has been such a stickler. I apologize to all who consider their puzzle-solving efforts this week to be a waste of their time.

      LegoCongratulatingCritoOnHisSolve

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    2. @legolambda, I'm still struggling with this one, but I'm sure it's a fair puzzle. Things that might be making it difficult:
      1) There are LOTS of punctuation marks, etc., and multiple ways to name them.
      2) Words like APOSTROPHE have LOTS of words that come out of them. Are any of them right? I have no idea, but there isn't an obvious way to eliminate possibilities.
      3) Grocery item is kind of vague, and people see different things in their grocery stores.
      4) The two-word brand product name doesn't appear to exist as a Wikipedia entry. That makes it hard to automatically search for.

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    3. Lego, I just sent in my answer. I'm pretty sure it's correct, but I'll have to wait a few days before I find out for sure. Thank you for the challenging puzzle!

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    4. @legolambda, I'll add one more comment. In comparison to some other puzzles, this one does actually require work. One can start with possible punctuation, try to make words out of some letters, and then attempt to anagram the rest. A lot of effort can be put into this, but without hitting on the correct punctuation and a correct extraction this will lead absolutely nowhere. Arbitrary amounts of time can be wasted without making any progress toward the solution.

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    5. well said, Joshua. I'm curious to see how @legolambda might re-phrase the question in light of your points

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    6. Thanks Corky, but nothing I've written should be taken as a reason to rephrase the puzzle. Some seem to have solved it, and assuming that it's fair difficulty isn't inherently a negative.

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  35. I don't have any more time for this. Maybe the brand isn't common in my neck of the woods, or it is something I don't usually go for. Have a good week, folks!

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  36. I surrender too. I'll take consolation in the fact that this week I learned a wonderful anagram of Mexico plantation.

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  37. Disappointing as it is to learn that there is no brand called Fattiness Helper, I do finally have an answer that meets the puzzle criteria. Not sure if it's the intended solution, though! My clue: both words in the brand name sound like verbs.

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  38. This puzzle came too late to prevent the tragedy on the set of the Alec Baldwin movie, Rust.

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    1. Is that a cryptic clue, or are you just saying you're drawing a blank, like he should've?

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    2. Well it is a very cryptic clue that I am very fond of and will explain Thursday.

      But I would like to know what you mean by, "like he should've?" I hope you are not inferring that Baldwin was in any way responsible for this tragedy?

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    3. No, just that if he (or, I suppose, the set armorer) had drawn a blank instead of a live round, that tragedy would've been averted. But, as I'm still drawing a blank on this puzzle, I now have to waste time trying to figure out your clue as well.

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    4. jan, I was hoping that would be your reply. There is no way Baldwin could have checked. I know a lot about guns and am an expert shot with both rifle and pistol, but I would not have been able to tell if I had looked. It annoys me no end, these know nothings who are blaming Baldwin. He did exactly what he should have, and I believe him when he insists he did not pull the trigger. I suspect he thumbed back the hammer as he was drawing and not being proficient his thumb slipped and the hammer fell back and fired that round. It is a single action pistol.

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    5. I think that, being an expert, you would be able to tell a live pistol round from a blank round by looking at it. And I think that, being an expert, if someone handed you a loaded gun, you would have inspected each round before pointing the gun at someone you didn't want to shoot.

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    6. Now, as an actor, maybe Baldwin didn't have to be that meticulous. But being the director means he assumed a greater level of responsibility.

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    7. Sorry, producer, not director.

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    8. jan, I understand your thinking, but it is all based on ignorance. This ignorance is understandable because you would need to know things about ammo, including, blanks and dummys. The rounds that should have been in that pistol were designed to look exactly like they were real if seen from the rear. You would need to remove a round, or all of them, in order to really tell what they were. Then you would have to know what to look for, and very few would know what to look for. It has been stated that they were instructed not to remove rounds on the set. If you were the armorer on a set would want others messing with what you had set up? I would like to know where the armorer was, and why the gun was handed to Baldwin by another person. How did he know the gun was cleared or not? The actors and producers have no responsibility unless Baldwin ordered the armorer out of the building, and that apparently is not the case.

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    9. Oh, I know that Baldwin would never have been expected to unload the pistol and check each round. I was just saying what YOU, as a pistol expert, would know. I assume Baldwin isn't a pistol expert, but as the producer, he should have known that if someone other than the armorer hands you a pistol, you don't point it at anyone.

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    10. Even the armorer would not be able to tell without removing the rounds because any indication would be on some part of the round that is out of sight. You would have to be trained in how to understand this expertise. As an actor Baldwin would be concentrating on getting his part right and not be thinking of anything else, such as are they giving me a life weapon. It just don't work that way. I do agree that it may have been unusual for him to have been given the gun by the director, or someone other than the armorer, but I am not sure about this as I am not as well known as Brad Pitt yet.

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    11. Why would there need to be any bullets in the gun if it was just a rehearsal and no shot was going to be fired? There were problems with guns on that set before, I believe.

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    12. You are probably right about that, Natasha. It may have been assumed by Baldwin and those who were shot along with others that the pistol was empty. We don't know that yet. There are many questions that have yet to be explained and answered about where the armorer was, and what had she been up to, and why were live rounds on the set. Did she know about live rounds having been on the set? The actors and other workers are doing their jobs and not expected to do more. If you were to take your car to the repair shop to have the brakes changed and when you returned to pick it up and as you drove out the car would not stop when you stepped on the brake peddle and you hit a pedestrian and killed him, and this was caused by the mechanic making a stupid mistake with the master brake cylinder that caused the brakes to fail, would you be expected to have opened the hood and checked that the reservoir had been properly filled?

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    13. SDB: I think the person who handed Baldwin the gun said a word, which I cannot recall, that indicated there were blanks in the gun. I have to look that up. Baldwin knew the gun was loaded but did not think live rounds. I do believe the protocol was followed by Baldwin but it should be changed now. So sad!

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    14. He was told it was a cold gun. This does not indicate whether or not it contained rounds or not, just that it was safe. This appears to be proper protocol.

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    15. A "cold gun" means that it is indeed unloaded. Even a gun loaded with blanks is considered a "hot gun" because even the wads used in blanks can cause great harm or death at very close ranges. Just as the family of Jon-Erik Hexum. If that armorer declared a cold gun it should have been completely empty.

      If these guns were period correct they wouldn't have transfer bars like modern revolvers. These bars prevent most accidental discharges by placing a block between the hammer and the round while "cocking" the hammer. I have a Colt Artillery model single-action and I have to be very careful I don't have my thumb screwing around with the hammer unless I'm going to fire it. People back in those days kept the top chamber empty to avoid this kind of accident.

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    16. To Natasha's point, there is zero reason to have real ammunition on a film set. Zero. These clowns were plinking on their off-time behind the set. That's already been reported - not my speculation. Just for that reason the armorer should be held accountable.

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    17. @jan - I douby Baldwin would know how to remove the rounds from that gun. LOL

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    18. https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/set-prop-gun-supervisor-walks-safety-procedures-industry/story?id=80780487

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    19. Of course there is no reason for live rounds being on set. This has been said over and over, and that is why the armorer has a great deal of explaining to do. Those guns should have been strictly controlled by her, but obviously were not.

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    20. The info in that link contradicts what you wrote.

      "He was told it was a cold gun. This does not indicate whether or not it contained rounds or not, just that it was safe"

      From the article: ""A cold gun would be totally unloaded, nothing in it," said Zanoff. "A hot gun would be one loaded with a blank and ready to do gunfire."

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    21. Someone on the set loaded the gun with one or more live (not blank) rounds.
      Several others failed their responsibility to check it.
      Due to the huge consequences legal and financial, it may be impossible to ever find out who.

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    22. BB, He was told it was a cold gun, I agree. But think about this for a moment. That is jargon that is clearly understood by armorers, but casually understood by others. Also I suspect the term cold gun is not clearly understood by many in that profession. But in the end it really makes no difference at all. Baldwin did as he was supposed to do, but one or more did not. Film people do not go to work each day thinking to themselves that they may be in danger of being shot, even most cops don't think that way. Do you think I drove to work each day thinking I may die in a skydiving or airplane accident? Of course not or I could not have continued for years doing what I did. That being said, there were a very few days I did have those thoughts, but they were due to equipment modifications and I quit and left abruptly an Illinois drop zone because I knew there would soon be a major catastrophe. It happened about a year after in a Beechcraft Model 18 (or "Twin Beech", as it is also known) where all on board died in a fiery crash, and I would have been on that load had I stayed working there.

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    23. Take a close look at the third photo in this link:

      http://www.twinbeech.com/vintage_aircraft.htm

      Did you see what is actually going on in that photo?

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    24. This is the plane crash I referred to above in 1992:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1992/09/08/skydiving-plane-crashes-in-illinois-killing-12/7f45f2db-6cb7-4477-a156-78cb10ed9ae6/

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    25. There's a lot actually going on in that third photo. I feel for the pilot, trying to hold formation with the photo plane, while the clown climbing onto the engine cowling blocks his view of it, all while flying on one engine (at least he was able to feather the left prop, unlike on the accident plane) and dealing with the extra left yaw from all that parasitic drag on the left wing, as well as the unbalanced weight.

      BTW, the plane in the accident noted above began life not as a civilian Beech 18, but as a USAF C-45H, basically the same, and basically the same as the AT-7, the star of your favorite novel.

      Here's the NTSB report of the accident.

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    26. I like the idiot hanging from the lower prop blade and the other idiot grabbing the upper blade.

      Jim Baron, the owner of that drop zone at that time had absolutely no respect for the rules and the law. He was pencil packing reserves and charging for it. The experienced skydivers were aware, but refused to do anything about it. I could write a book about my dealing with this crook. He should have ended up in prison for homicide. You would love hearing some of the stories I could tell about him, his family and his operation.

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  39. "Alec Baldwin was handed what was described as a safe "cold gun" on the set of his movie "Rust," but the prop gun contained live rounds when it was fired." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyEX97siHi0

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    1. That video has the reporter saying Baldwin pulled the trigger. This is not true according to Baldwin. It has not been stated yet if he was even expected to fire or not. It really makes no difference anyway.

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    2. Good point. I did not see the video. Just the written part I posted. So tragic. I have not heard any more updates have you?

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    3. Nothing revealing other than the movie is expected to be completed later with the same cast. I think it probably will be an interesting story.

      I believe most of the finger pointing at Baldwin is politically motivated by MAGAts who do not like it that Baldwin is an outspoken liberal.

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    4. Ironic that the premise of the movie being filmed was that outlaw Harland Rust (Alec Baldwin) rescues his thirteen-year-old grandson, who has been sentenced to hang for murder after an accidental shooting.

      Whether because he is ultimately responsible as producer, or because he was holding the gun, it's hard to see how Baldwin doesn't at least share the blame.

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    5. jan, it may be hard for you to understand, but it is the opposite for me and I cannot understand how any reasonable person could believe Baldwin had any culpability at all. Think logically; not emotionally.

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    6. I wonder why it is not mandatory that the actor should always check the gun before using it in the scene or the person in charge of props should have to show the contents of the gun before handing it over to the actor. I know I would want to verify the prop was safe before holding it even.

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    7. Natasha, That is a very thoughtful question, but what would you be looking at for? You don't know about firearms. That is why they hire an armorer. If you are a race car driver and about to leave the pit stop, do you get out and check to see if they actually tightened the lug-nuts properly? You have to trust people in life. You also must accept that you don't always know what you would like to know in order to protect yourself.

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    8. SDB: You bring up important points. I have decided from reading your message that I would only handle a wooden gun or something that is not really a gun. That is the only way to be safe in rehearsals. Then during the filming, I would think that a foolproof policy would be in place so there is no risk at all. That is the only way to make sure everyone involved is safe. I feel that the actors and producers and others on the set that day were not being careful or did not consider the dangerous environment. A lot to think about, that is for sure. I hope this never happens again. I still feel this was a preventable disaster. So sad for all.

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    9. Natasha,
      I think it would be good to consider a slightly more realistic approach to everything in life. Nothing is foolproof and life is not safe. Most people seem to believe that everything should be both of these things, but that is not at all the world we live in. It never will be either, and this is because this is not our home, but our school. We are here to learn and grow, and this happens through adversity and things we cannot completely control. I agree with you that it is likely there were things going on on that movie set, but we do not know any details we can hang our hat on. We do not know what Baldwin and the directors, and most of the other principals knew about what may or may not have been going on behind the scenes. Also, this was not a major Hollywood production. It is an independent film with a small budget. Anyone may produce a movie and pretty much do it as he can and desires, funds allowing. Considering all the millions of firearm scenes in films I would say it is extremely safe. Remember that old movie, The Flight of the Phoenix, where the stunt pilot of an airplane was killed? There was no calling for not using planes after. Everything is relative, but allowing emotional thinking to override logic is not a solution to life's problems. There will always be accidents and tragedies.

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  40. So, a short while ago, I was watching a YouTube video, and an ad came on. In the ad, they used another name for one of the keyboard symbols that I did not have on my list. I quickly raced to anagram it, but still don't have an answer that I like. Oh well...

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  41. I had a list of marks/symbols and their variants that ran to about thirty.
    The possibility that I was using a short list adds frustration to an already losing endeavor.

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    1. I would like Lego or Will to explain to us, when the time comes, a better approach to this puzzle than looking through thousands of two-word anagrams for a product of which one may or may not have ever heard.

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    2. Agree, but I'd also like a rimjob (with reacharound) from a unicorn and I fear we're both setting ourselves up for disappointment here

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  42. I'm wondering if a "symbol" on the keyboard could mean something of another language, like a greek symbol for example?

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    1. I see where you're going here but why not just phrase the puzzle "Think of a letter"? They've done that before with non-Roman characters. Why bother with the roundabout step of finding keyboard symbols or punctuation mark?

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    2. I think it would serve us all well to understand that Will Shortz accepts our puzzle submissions and then changes them without consultation. Sometimes he spoils them by making them easier, and other times he makes them harder. Maybe you can figure this out; I can't.

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    3. And maybe will works from a template and forgot to delete the pre-inserted text from November 6. 🙃

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    4. Will works from his home outside of New York City.

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    5. Ah, so he's literally been "phoning it in" recently.

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    6. He is employed by the New York Times. He does not go to work at the NYT. Do you really think he goes to Washington D.C. for a six or seven minute recording on Fridays?

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    7. ??? you brought up his work from home status, I have no idea what that has to do with solving this janky-ass puzzle

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    8. You seem to have a lot of trouble understanding.

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    9. Is there an echo in here, or just a fool?

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    10. maybe? but have you considered the fact that Will works from his home outside of New York City? It's quite the game changer. I like to bring it up for no reason in threads from time to time. (Learned it from the best!)

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  43. This product is common and popular! Tough puzzle though!!

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    1. But is the symbol or punctuation mark common and popular? because so far all signs point to "no"

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  44. lol I've figured it out. Just anagram every word in this list and you'll get it eventually too. Great puzzle, Broseph!

    Tilde, Grave Accent, grave, backtick, back quote, acute, left quote, open quote, push, Exclamation Mark, Ecphoneme, exclamation point, bang, At Sign, at, at symbol, Ampersat, arobase, asperand, Number Sign, Hash, Pound Sign or Octothorpe, Dollar, Percent, Caret, hat, circumflex, exponent symbol, Ampersand, epershand, or and symbol, Asterisk, star, Open Parenthesis, left parenthesis, Close Parenthesis, right parenthesis, Parentheses, Underscore, Minus, Hyphen, en dash, em dash, dash, Plus, Equals, equal sign, Open Brace, Open Bracket, Open Curly Bracket, squiggly brackets, Close Brace, Close Bracket, Close Curly Bracket, squiggly brackets, Braces or Curly Brackets, Open Square Bracket, open bracket, Close Square Bracket, open bracket, Square Brackets, Vertical Pipe, pipe, Back Slash, backward slash, Colon, Semicolon, Quotation Marks, double quotes, inverted commas, Double Quotation Marks, Apostrophe, prime, single quote, Single Quotation Marks, Comma, Less Than, angle bracket, Greater Than, angle bracket, Period, Dot, decimal, full stop, Slash (Forward Slash), Solidus, Virgule, whack, Question Mark, Eroteme

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    1. Thanks Corky. And are you related to Maureen?

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  45. Police Called to Ted Cruz’s Texas Home for Teen With Self-Inflicted Stab Wounds

    If you or a loved one are struggling with Ted Cruz thoughts, please reach out to the National Ted Cruz Prevention Lifeline...

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  47. What famous poet has initials on a keyboard?

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    1. Tennyson? He's not on my Mac keyboard, though.

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  49. I still don't have an answer, but how many people do you think will get this right? I'm going to guess 75. I believe Ayesha mentioned that there were around 500 correct answers last time, and that was a much easier puzzle.

    I suspect there were ways to make this an easier puzzle, but until I know the answer I can't say for sure. It may not even be a food product (cleaning? bakeware? personal hygiene?). It is possible that anything that would make it easier would make it too easy. Then again, how much easier could it get than "apple of my eye"? I'm guessing the answer is between 7-12 characters.

    TortieWhoIsHopingBrandNamesWillNotShowUpInNPRPuzzleAgainAnytimeSoonButNoPronunciationPuzzlesPlease!

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  50. I think there are at least two good answers. There is possibly a third as well, but the "grocery" criterion may be a stumbling block. More on Thursday.

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  52. Here is my current Puzzleria! "Schpuzzle of the Week" for those of you who may feel cheated this week because of my NPR puzzle. I am sorry about that.
    People post their answers to all this week's Puzzleria! puzzles about two-and-three-fourths hours from now, at Noon PST. You can post your answer here (unless Blaine has objections).
    Schpuzzle of the Week:
    Confectioner-in-chief

    Write the two original varieties of one candy brand as plural words (like, for example, Hershey’s Kisses Cherry Cordials and White Chocolate Hugs).
    The singular form of the candy brand appears – in consecutive letters – within the name of a U. S. president with whom both plural words are associated.
    Name this candy brand, plural words and president.

    LegoFeelingThatHeKindOfOwesYouOne(EvenThoughAlasThisIsAdmittedlyAnotherOneOfThoseDreadedDastardly"BrandNamePuzzles!")

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    1. Why do I get the feeling we're in for a replay of that puzzle from a few months back where Will was like "oh hey there was an error in the puzzle that made it impossible to solve but we never bothered to fix. Ooopsie!"

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  53. Blaine has already posted a subtle hint to the answer of this puzzle

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    1. There's conspicuously no hint this week! Pretty sure Blaine hasn't solved it

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    2. That may be a clue, right there. If I'm right, don't over think this one.
      Just afraid of giving TMI.

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    3. I'm interpreting this as "only way to win is not to play"

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  54. Replies
    1. jan, this is wonderful and appreciated. Thanks!

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  55. That was a hard puzzle for once. Bravo to Joe Young. I think the reasons people are struggling many. The brand name doesn't stand out in any way when you're looking at the punctuation name. Moreover, I've lived in different parts of the country and this product is definitely rare or non-existent in some parts (common for Joe). And even though this crowd tends to be older and this product's heyday was probably 20-30 years ago, I don't believe many of you are familiar with it. In retrospect, I wish I didn't buy as much as I did. No real clues here.

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  56. I'm confident that I got it! But now I'm dealing with the worst hangover of my life

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