Sunday, January 08, 2023

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 8, 2023): Elementary!

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 8, 2023): Elementary!
Q: Name a famous living person — first and last names. If you drop the last letter of the first name, you get an element on the periodic table. And if you drop the last letter of the last name, you get the chemical symbol of another element. What celebrity is this?
I found an answer for a non-living celebrity which led directly to the correct answer. Note: If you take the movie or series that the person is best known for, each word starts with a chemical symbol (one letter for the first word, two letters for the rest).

My initial thought was Tiny Tim before switching to Tina Fey.
Note: S(aturday) Ni(ght) Li(ve) = S(ulfer) Ni(ckel) Li(thium)
A: Tina Fey --> Tin, Fe (Iron)

171 comments:

  1. Rearrange the element and the symbol, and get something deceptive.

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    1. Not only that, but the word that's deceptive has a homonym.

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  2. This puzzle has a plain political connection.

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  3. Another school age child puzzle.

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  4. I feel like even sharing the link to the list I used would already be TMI. 😏

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    1. I used a list. Doesn't everyone? There are lists of everything you an possibly imagine these days.

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  5. The same living person was the answer to a previous Sunday puzzle.

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    1. I think this exact puzzle was used before.

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  6. Nearly 2000 correct entries this week.

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  7. What is every cow's favorite Doris Day movie?



    By the Light of the Silvery Moo

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    1. And every politician's favorite would be Please Don't Eat the Dais.

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  9. The on-air puzzle included an item not shown on the website: WEST - Filled with astonishment.

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  10. Take the occupation this person is probably most famous for. Remove the next-to-last letter, and rearrange. You get something you wouldn't want this or any person to be.

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    1. (This might even work when you leave that letter in.)

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  11. I arrived at the answer the same way that Blaine did, but I feared someone might cry TMI.

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  12. Are we supposed to take anything from Ayesha always referring to Will Shortz as the "Puzzle Mmmmmaster"?

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    1. I'm not sure but I find it annoying.

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    2. Agreed, it is quite the mannerism.

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    3. She does have a distinctive way of talking, but I find it a nice or at least interesting break from the usual NPR host-speak.

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    4. It's 2023, so the less I say about Ayesha Rascoe, the better.

      But she once pronounced NATO in a manner that rhymes with "beta," though, and I just had to turn off my radio.

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    5. I interpret that to mean she is looking forward to a delicious puzzle! Of course, with the past few puzzles, they are more like an appetizer, and not very filling.

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    7. As a teacher/ professor, I had to take speech and other education classes in order to learn the techniques of speaking to a group. I found it very valuable training. I wonder if other professions do not have any particular standards. Sometimes it can be refreshing to have variety. I get annoyed when the rules of language are ignored by newscasters etc. Perhaps English grammar is not taught anymore.

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    8. I fully agree. What irritates me the most lately is the hosts on NPR with the thick, low class Aussie accent that omits R's. I turn the radio off when they talk about the Republican Potty. Not that is isn't slightly more accurate though, come to think about it.

      Phil Keoghan had to adopt our accent in order to host The Amazing Race.

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    9. I blame potty politics for the recent spate of transgender bathroom laws.

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    10. I'm with Nodd, I like the change from the usual NPR voice.
      I also like hearing lots of different English accents, rhotic and non-rhotic.

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    11. What bothers me is that her credentials point to her being a smart woman yet so often I hear her say something along the lines of, "I never would have gotten that."

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  13. I think I went through the exact same process as Blaine! I thought it was easy, but then suddenly realized that first famous person had passed. Then I thought of the correct person.

    I predict 1970 correct answers this week. I would prefer if they would announce the number, and not just say, "almost 2000."

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    1. Do they really count all the correct answers? I'd like that job. Seems to me that all they would have to do is find one correct answer, pick that person, then count the total number without opening any more. As for Ayesha she makes me crazy.

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    2. Ayesha sounds like a screech owl caught in a garbage disposal.

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    3. For quite a few years, they have announced the number of correct answers, at least as "over 200," or "almost 2000." If you really want that job, contact NPR, and see if you can apply. They would probably prefer a volunteer, over a paid intern.

      And SDB, I've never heard a screech owl in a garbage disposal, so I cannot say whether your assessment is accurate or not. However, based on the screech owls I have heard (outside of garbage disposals), she doesn't sound anything like the tremolo or whinny sounds they normally make.

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    4. It's the garbage disposal that makes all the difference. It's not subtle. Do not try this at home.

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  14. The famous person pretends to be sick.

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    1. Tina Fey was in the movie Mean Girls, which is an anagram of "malingers", which means "pretends to be sick".

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  15. I'd post a silicone pun, but it just wouldn't feel the same.

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  16. Barbra Streisand is certainly a giant in her field.

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  17. My first thought for a clue was Winston Churchill, but Kevin Costner is much more handsome.

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  18. The puzzle could have continued, "Drop the last letter from an important item in the person's biography and get an item directly related to another item in this puzzle."

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  19. A two word song title with a chemical element in the first word and a chemical symbol in the second comes to mind.

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  20. I always enjoyed the performances of Kate Hudson's mother, Goldy Hon.

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  21. This week’s answer rhymes with a previous week’s answer.

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  22. I remember when the wrong answer appeared with on the Tonight Show.

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  23. Add two letters to another name this person has been known by, place the element name in front of it, and you'll get a car.

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  24. This morning, I’m put in mind of an award-winning children’s book.

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  25. The 2nd consecutive week of odd coincidences: This person’s father worked at my alma mater while I was there.

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    1. Donald Fey, Tina's father, worked at the University of Pennsylvania in various capacities—development writer, news officer, etc.—from 1968 to 1981.

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  26. Not sure about Blaine's note. Is there a new element I haven't heard of?

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    1. I had the same thought...and I'm a chemist!

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    2. I'm a lapsed chemist. Now a lamp salesman.

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    3. No, you're thinking of the wrong series or movie.

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    4. TomR - the symbol you are looking for has been replaced by a new one and so doesn't appear on the lists.

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    5. Oops, I had a bad reference that gave me a discontinued chemical symbol. 😳 For the first word, use a single letter element instead. 😊

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    6. Blaine, we all make mistakes. Just ask Jan.

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    7. That's right, TomR. In fact jan hasn't even set aside a trust fund for his next incarnation!

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    8. For Blaine's non-living celebrity, you can indeed take the movie or series that the person is best known for, and each word starts with a 2-letter chemical symbol (using the most common version of the title). Take that movie/show's biggest star, remove the last two letters of the first name, and it's another spelled-out chemical element.

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    9. Fascinating. I never knew there were discontinued symbols, let alone that many!

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    10. Following up on my earlier observation about the non-living celebrity, Tiny Tim was best known on Laugh-In = La(nthanum)-In(dium). The biggest star on Laugh-In was Gold(ie) Hawn.

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  27. Now everyone has solved this lousy puzzle, here is one I coined and Will rejected recently. I think you will enjoy the answer and wonder why it was rejected.

    Name the star of a popular 1950’s TV series and Spoonerize his name to phonetically indicate what an owner might enjoy with a specific breed of dog he owns.

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    1. Nice puzzle, though it might be easier for those like me who saw the show first-run. I could almost solve it with my eyes closed!

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    2. WOW! You sure solved it quickly. I am impressed.

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    3. Great show! I think we got it live in LA.

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    4. Spoonerize another show -- late 1940's to early 1960's -- to get a phrase describing an unfashionable upper body garment.

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    5. (In written form, not phonetically.)

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    6. Seahawks squeak into the playoffs!!

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    7. If I have the right answer, I associate him more with voicing a cartoon dog. I have never seen the 1950's TV show. Also solved Nodd's puzzle.

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    8. Congrats, Tortitude; I suspect you may be an NFL follower.

      And, clever puzzle, sdb. (Tortitude's comment solved it for me.)

      Meanwhile, since we still have four days, here's an NPR reject of mine for anyone interested:

      Think of two brand name consumer products that rhyme. One is a food item and the other is made by the world's largest producer of a particular vehicle component. What are they?

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    9. Not a football fan at all! Is the connection with the show the two-word phrase whose initials make up a movie rating?

      Your new puzzle is a stumper to me so far. But I have to admit I'm surprised Will turned it down. Normally, he loves pronunciation and brand name puzzles.

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    10. You definitely have the right show. The NFL connection is between a team name and the show host.

      A hint for the new puzzle: the vehicle component connection is a bit tricky because the company involved is not one that most people would associate with that component.

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    11. Answer: Eggo, Lego. Lego is the world's largest tire producer, per Guiness.

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    12. Really interesting! And I probably never would have gotten the answer.

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    13. Thanks. I thought it was interesting too, but I guess NPR didn't.

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    14. You never know where in a thread a reply will appear.
      I've just been thinking about Wally Cox's next TV adventure, thoroughly entertaining, but not very successful. Also harder or easier to Spoonerize.

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    15. Do you know what is unusual with Wally Cox's cremains? Not a joke.

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  28. Did anyone else notice that Chesapeake Bay is now a US State Capital? The interns have the website screwed up again! (As of 4:42pm EST on Sunday, they have the previous puzzle answer listed for the answer to last week's puzzle.)

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    1. As of a few minutes ago, the answer to the previous puzzle has been fixed! I did send a message to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me to note that NPR had declared a new state capital, so maybe that did the trick?

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    2. Why did Will Shortz leave NPR to become the chaplain at a kennel?

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    3. Because he wanted to be a dog god?

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    4. Good guess, but my thought was that he got tired of being a Puzzle Master and wanted to try being a Muzzle Pastor.

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  30. Couldn't understand Blaine's clue at first, as my initial thought was that the first word of the title I know this person best from obviously does *not* start with a chemical symbol.

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    1. Yes, I do it every day. I got today's in 3 and I think I got yesterday's in 2, but I do not know how to go back to look.

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  32. Oddly enough, I didn't even need to consult the periodic table to find the answer(although I was about to). Popped into my head just like that!
    pjbRemembersTheFirstTimeTheMysteryPerson'sNameWasAnAnswerInAChallenge...NotThatLongAgo,ButNotThatRecentlyEither

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  33. This wouldn't work with the person's real name.

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    1. If you took a common nickname for the person's real first name and dropped the last letter, you'd get a chemical symbol of an element.

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    2. Interesting how that nickname figured into the person's career, eventually.

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  34. As often happens, there's a connection to last week's puzzle.

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  35. Replies
    1. I can't even imagine what your tortie would enter!

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  36. So many possible movie clues that aren't usable here - and the person in the puzzle doesn't even appear in the ones I'm thinking about.

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  37. I couldn't find one that featured this person.

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    1. My answer was Tina Liu TIN and LITHIUM. Tina Liu is CEO of Ally Theraputics, and has done a Ted Talk. Wonder if Will might mention her on Sunday. Geez, I can't believe I missed Tina Fey.

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  38. Found a Google talk-but not a Ted.

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  39. TINA FEY (TIN, Fe=IRON)

    > TV clue: "The Trouble With Tribbles"

    Not only dictators, but also iron gets tin-plated. (Delusions of godhood sold separately.)

    > As often happens, there's a connection to last week's puzzle.

    Smaller than a cobble, a 30 (mm) Rock is a pebble, an even Littler Rock than a Boulder.

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  40. TINA FEYTIN + FE (Iron)

    Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn (from Latin: stannum) and atomic number 50. Tin is a silvery-coloured metal.

    Iron (/ˈaɪən/) is a chemical element with symbol Fe (from Latin: ferrum) and atomic number 26.

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  41. TINA FEY

    Hint #1: “Rearrange the element and the symbol, and get something deceptive.”

    tin + fe —> feint

    As Clark pointed out, “feint” also has a homophone, i.e., “faint.”

    Hint #2: “This morning, I’m put in mind of an award-winning children’s book.”

    The book is Sarah, Plain and Tall. The first 2 words of the title can be easily and only slightly rearranged to get “Sarah Palin”—one of Tina Fey’s most memorable impressions—and “This morning” is the English translation from the Italian of Fey’s full middle name, “Stamatina.”

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  42. Tina Fey — Tin, Fe (symbol for iron)

    I feel like even sharing the link to the list I used would already be TMI.
    That would be this list:
    https://today.yougov.com/ratings/entertainment/fame/people/all.
    Browsing this list is so easy, it doesn't make you click "Next" (or "Back") but just keeps adding on to itself. I found that to be very conducive to an "inevitable discovery."

    Take the occupation this person is probably most famous for. Remove the next-to-last letter, and rearrange. You get something you wouldn't want this or any person to be.
    That would be "comedian"; remove the a, and it anagrams to "demonic."

    (This might even work when you leave that letter in.)
    "Daemonic" is a widely accepted alternate spelling of "demonic."

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  43. I hit both elements with my clue: "My first thought for a clue was Winston Churchill, but Kevin Costner is much more handsome." Although Churchill didn't originally coin the phrase 'Iron curtain', he did apply it to the Cold War in a March 1946 speech. Kevin Costner starred in the movie "Tin Cup".

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  44. TINA FEY. My hint: This puzzle has a plain political connection. Plain anagrams to Palin.

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  45. TINA FEY; TIN, FE

    "Magnesium" The chemical symbol for magnesium is Mg; those two letters are the start of Mean Girls, written by TINA FEY.

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  46. On Sunday's puzzle: "Drop the last letter from an important item in the person's biography (SNL) and get an item (SN, the chemical symbol for tin) directly related to another item (tin, the metal mentioned in the puzzle) in this puzzle."

    For sdb's puzzle: "I could almost solve it with my eyes closed!" For Mr. Peepers (eyes), the role played by Wally Cox, to be Spoonerized to Collie Walks (I will leave it to the Regional Dialect Committee to comment on pronunciation!)

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  47. I had commented that I predicted 1970 correct answers. Tina Fey was born in 1970.

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  48. This week's Puzzleria! features an ingenious (and timely) Martin Luther King, Jr. puzzle by our friend Bobby Jacobs. It is titled "I have a dream." You can see it, and try to solve it, early Friday morning just after midnight Pacific Standad Time.
    Also on this week's menus are:
    * a Schpuzzle of the Week titled "Pablo, Pound and the North Pole,"
    * an Outdoorsy Slice Puzzle in which you must “Get the lead out in the cold,”
    * a Dessert Puzzle that asks that you "Look up to, or down upon," and
    * eleven "ironic" Tina and the Tinman riffs of this week's NPR puzzle.
    You can find Puzzleria! on Blaine's PUZZLE LINKS, in the right margin of his great blog.

    LegoWhoInvitesAllPuzzleLoversToVisitPuzzleria!

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  49. As I assume was the case with Blaine, the non-living celebrity who came to mind was Tiny Tim (Tin/Titanium). Tiny Tim first appeared with Johnnie Carson in 1968, qnd married Miss Vicky, on the Carson Show in 1969, before Tina Fey (Tin/Iron) was born.
    Sad to say, I remember watching both of these events...

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  50. Tina Fey/ Tin/Fe=Iron. 1220° is the melting point of aluminum foil, which many refer to as tin foil

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  51. Tina Fey --> Tin Iron

    Last Sunday I said, “This week’s answer rhymes with a previous week’s answer.” Chesapeake Bay --> Tina Fey.

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  52. I met Tiny Tim many years ago – before he became a celebrity. I (and my band) and he (solo with his ukulele) met in the men’s room at a nightclub in NYC. Both of us were auditioning and had to change into our stage clothes in the men’s room because the club had no real dressing room. I assure you Tiny Tim sounded just as strange before he was famous as he did afterwards. Seemed nice, but a little unusual.

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  53. It was only after reaching middle age that I became a procrastinator. I had wanted to before, but I kept putting it off.

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    1. I know how you feel. I've been meaning to take a time management course but never can find the time.

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    2. I'm still just an amateurcrastinator.

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  54. TINA FEY, TIN, FE(symbol for IRON)
    Too bad she and Amy Poehler didn't come back to host Tuesday night's Golden Globes. Maybe with them, viewers would have been spared the Whitney Houston joke that Jerrod Carmichael told. Now he's worthy of that "special place in Hell" Taylor Swift was talking about!
    pjbStillCan'tBelieveTheFirstWinnerWasTheGuyWhoPlayedShortRoundIn"RaidersOfTheLostArk"AsAKid!

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  55. If you are paying any attention at all to rising prices, then you know the price of eggs has soared beyond belief. What I would like to know is; has anyone cracked this conundrum yet?

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    1. Someday, sdb, you should collect all your witty insights into an albumen.

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    2. And that's no yolk! (Actually I have a MS WORD document of jokes I have made up, although many I didn't remember long enough to enter.)

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    4. You must have dozens of them by now! (I don't eat eggs, but my wife loves them and has had to scramble lately to find a reasonable price.)

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    5. I was at the Kroger store yesterday to buy fresh, bulk coffee beans, and they were again completely out of both brands. That is why I was attempting to stock up a bit early while I still have some.
      Then I went to buy a dozen eggs, but passed on that due to the super high prices now that are accompanied by the Kroger sign saying: LOW PRICE. I use very few eggs and just ran out, but a dozen usually lasts me months. So I will wait for the price to drop. If my neighbors who raise their own had not moved out last year, I could poach some of theirs.

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    6. With the abundance of cheap food in this country we tend to become somewhat coddled.

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    7. Yes, but Nodd, we are talking about cheep food here.

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    8. As usual your skillet punnery beats mine.

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    9. Thanks, and I whisk you well.

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    10. BTW, my wife reports she just bought 10 dozen eggs at Costco. As I say, she relishes them highly so she's willing to shell out whatever price they demand

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    11. That is a lot of eggs! I hope she didn't put them all in one basket. Hopefully they were delivered in layers.

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    12. I don't know, I'll have to chick on that.

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    13. Well, I suggest you get omelette now.

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    14. SDB: re: post a ways up: Did you mean yolks you had made up?

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    15. Natasha, No, that was about my jokes that I have recorded.

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    16. ok. BTW: I saw a cooking program on KQED and was quite annoyed that they showed chickens being slaughtered. Very upsetting to me. I turned it off immediately. I am going to write to them.

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    17. Natasha:
      Why? Do you think how we get our food should be kept secret?

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  56. False answers in my posts:

    By the Light of the SILVERY MOO > Silver, Molybdenum (Mo)

    SILICONE PUN > Silicon, Plutonium (Pu)

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  57. There are so many movies I could have hinted at: Iron Giant, Iron Man (1, 2. 3), Pushing Tin, Tin Men, The Wizard of Oz...

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  58. This week's challenge comes from listener David Rosen, of Bethesda, Md. Name a food dish in 10 letters. The last syllable consists of a consonant and a vowel. Change that syllable to a single consonant sound and you'll name another popular food item, in two words. What foods are these?

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  59. Over 2300 correct entries this week.

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  60. WS needs to work on his Spanish. ("Hhhasta mañana.")

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  61. And by my count, SHARP AS A TACK is 4 words, not 5, as presented in the on-air puzzle.

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  62. in this puzzle, is the letter "Y" considered a vowel?

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    2. Don't you mean "(it isn't on Wheel of Fortune) "? Where on Jeopardy would you have seen that?

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    3. I can't speak for the puzzle, but "y" can be a vowel, (typically, if it's a final letter in a word or syllable and in certain other cases) or a consonant (typically if it's the first letter in a word or syllable).

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    4. Of course, you're right, it is Wheel of Fortune. (Still waking up this Sunday morning.)

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