## Sunday, February 12, 2023

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 12, 2023): Under Pressure

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 12, 2023): Under Pressure
Q: Name a popular rock band — one that everyone knows. Add a "B" sound at the end, and phonetically you'll name a place where you might hear this band play. What band is it?
I believe they've been touring since the '50s.

Edit: Clearly the band hasn't been around that long, but U-2 spy planes have been flying since the 1950s and require a special pressurized suit.

1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g. via a chain of thought, or an internet search) before the deadline of Thursday at 3pm ET. If you know the answer, click the link and submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here.

You may provide indirect hints to the answer to show you know it, but make sure they don't give the answer away. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the Thursday deadline. Thank you.

2. For some reason, I'm reminded of Shakespeare.

3. Surprisingly, the band’s name has come up in recent news stories..

4. It will probably take you longer to think of a clue than it will for you to solve this no-brainer puzzle.

1. Wow, the answer is right there without being TMI! Clever.

2. Thanks, WayWordy. I thought it was risky but decided to give it a shot.

5. The on-air player is misidentified on the NPR puzzle page..

6. Not surprisingly, Will did not acknowledge an alternate answer to last week's puzzle.

7. Of all the creative puzzles that get submitted, THIS is the puzzle that gets picked?

8. A clue lies in one of the on-air answers.

1. People who notice the clue in the on-air answer will have an advantage.

9. Add a different character to the band and get a different kind of headliner.

10. Easy enough...

11. I have an answer consistent with a comment here but cannot be reconciled with Blaine’s hint

1. Blaine's clue has a devious elegance.

2. Quite timely.

3. Blaine's clue is also reflected in a listener comment posted above, and is related to a character in a series of comedy films.

4. I'm not sure I get Blaine's clue. If he said touring since 1960, I'd get that!

5. Oh, yeah, his clue IS extremely clever!

6. Blaine gave us a powerful hint.

12. Ayesha can (and probably will) skip the number of correct submissions again next week. It will be on the high side.

13. Someone else's music helped me understand Blaine's clue.

1. I think I know what you are talking about but let's check after Thursday

14. There was a story on Weekend Edition this morning about a USAID team helping with rescue efforts in southern Turkey. There's a powerful connection to the puzzle.

15. I have an alt-answer. And it's an alt band! Except it doesn't really fit because it isn't a band everyone has heard of.

16. How Ridiculous. Will there be more than 1,976 correct entries? We may never know, since they don't announce that anymore. I wish they would. It's a great way to evaluate the difficulty of the puzzle.

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1. that was my guess but I don't think you're supposed to give away big hints like that, even if this is an extremely obvious quiz this week

2. Why is it that posting blatant answers here always seems to happen with easy puzzles I have already solved, and never happens when I am stumped?

3. The answer is on my favorite bumper sticker:

SO MANY IDIOTS; SO FEW COMETS

4. Lol, I was thinking really hard how your bumper sticker was a clue to "the answer".
Then it hit me.
I mean, not a comet! Your intention.

18. I realize NPR tries to maximize audience participation, but if the Sunday Puzzle gets much simpler than this we’ll end up with something like, “What is the next highest whole number greater than 20?”

1. Chuck, I sure do hope you will post the answer come Thursday. LOL

19. The band’s timely induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is of note.

20. Is anyone else annoyed that they no longer say how many people got it right? Several weeks in a row now they aren't saying.

1. Yes, see my comment above. I also noted in my response that I would prefer that they resume announcing the total.

2. Those numbers were a great barometer of puzzle difficulty.

3. There are probably five people who know why the number is announced or not.
The fact that it varies suggests a rule.

4. Perhaps with the kinds of puzzles we've been getting lately, whatever system they use to tabulate correct answers has become too overloaded to function anymore.

5. Maybe no one at NPR can count that high.

6. NPR may not count the numbers anymore. Not cost effective to hire all those interns.

7. There is no need to hire anyone additional to count the number of correct entries. Regardless of the method they use to determine the correct answer (but I assume it involves someone reading the emails, but could be using an electronic search for the correct answer terms), the "correct" entrants info must be collected somewhere, from which a potential winner is drawn, and then called. A database is the most cost effective way to do that. an extremely simple query of that database will yield the correct number of entries. It is likely they already capture that information, in order to conduct the random draw. For example if there are 1,976 correct entries, you can use a random number generator, do a little math to make it an integer from 1-1976 inclusive, and then pull up that contestant's info.

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11. JAWS, if the selection is random, how come so many winners are retired Boomers? Wait, never mind.

21. Add an M sound in front of the band name and it will sound like something very powerful.

1. Take something that is not very powerful. Add another consonant whose sound often sounds like the sound of the middle letter. Anagram. You'll get a two-word phrase describing Disney World or the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios.

2. Speaking of powerful things, I noticed Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre when she spoke Monday stressed there was “no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity” connected with the objects shot down by the US in recent days.

3. Mewtwo is a powerful Pokemon.

4. "she sPOKE MONday ..."

22. STRATUM! STRATUM! STRATUM!

1. :) I knew I heard something and figured it was you.

2. Paul, my neighbors were surely wondering how things were rocking on this morning.

23. As often happens, the puzzle answer came to me while I was preparing for something else.

24. I'm not as much of a fan of this band as many of my contemporaries. I did see them in concert many decades ago, but not at the place in this puzzle's answer.

25. Were y'all also able to brute force this one in less than three seconds?

26. Very first band I thought of. I have never considered the "place" mentioned, a "place" before.

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1. Almost as easy as the Little Rock/Boulder puzzle from several weeks ago.

2. I noticed that it is yet another Steve Baggish puzzle. It feels like WS just automatically uses any and all of his puzzles.

3. Ain't that the truth! Hours ago this morning when I began reading the puzzle prior to its first airing, I saw it was another Steve Baggish disappointment and I groaned out loud before actually getting to the text of the puzzle itself. All his puzzles are awful.

28. There's a blatant clue above. If I didn't already have the answer, this would point me right there.

29. My first inclination was to narrow it down by place. The first that came to mind was the Cavern Club, which led nowhere

1. I started along the same lines, but then used a different approach.

30. For the first time since we got Covid, my wife and I have tested negative, so we’re heading out for some celebratory pizza and NY-style bagels and lox. If there’s a hint here, it’s completely unconscious.

1. Wonderful news! Thanks for the update. BTW, if you anagram a food that is related to bagels you get a country that may have a connection with the subject of Blaine's clue and others.

2. It might be hard to name a country without such a connection.

3. Might be; I don't know how many countries the touring covered.

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32. California gold rush.

33. This might have been a better puzzle for next month.

1. Or last month.

2. Nothing changed last month.

3. I'd avoid next month, to be brutally honest.
.

4. I'd have saved it for Halloween.

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6. Yes, Halloween, or any time that month.

34. Ah, I just got two of the clues in comments. Nice!

35. Having a large number of submissions each week is one measure of the popularity of the Sunday Puzzle segment.

36. Have the Rolling Stonesb killed

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38. Have you heard of the new band, CLU?

1. No, but there's a band that plays at my local pub; they stink.

39. I thought that train would have left the station by now, but so far no one has posted a clue about the colorful connection between the band and Berlin (think 21 years ago).

1. How about a connection between the band and someone with your first name and the surname of a famous military man?

2. Good one! Never knew about him. Learned something new today!

40. I met someone last week who never heard of the band. I love Will but I think it's a cavalier statement to make about any rock band except the Beatles.

1. This was my reaction as well.

41. Now what do I do all week with my spare time?

1. Go bowling! :-)

2. Or, you could take the skinheads bowling!

Lego&Beethoven

42. I thought of a real neighborly clue involving the very handle by which I go here, but I'm sure Blaine would zap this post if I tried to use it.

43. I may be still fairly new at solving these things, but I can say that the answer is not Van Halen.

In other news, there is a dog named Nugget in the Puppy Bowl. He made me think of last week's puzzle.

44. I have yet to receive NPR's email acknowledgment of my answer submission. Anyone else not get theirs?

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3. I have yet to receive an NPR acknowledgment also. I guess we will not know if the submission went through or not.

4. I received mine right away. 🤷‍♂️

45. Solved the puzzle and sent it in. I didn't get an auto-reply either.

Also -- I LOVE Blaine's clue.

Also -- Musical Clue -- American Top 40

46. Literary clue: Julius Caesar.

1. Good one! (That's a hint, too.)

2. Hamlet, also.

3. Yes, elegant hint, Dr. Awkward.
LegoWhoNotesThatHintsLikeThisRootUsOnToVictoriousSolving!

4. thanks, all!

47. Since I was able to find the group's name in just one list(Thank God!), I can honestly say there exists a song title of theirs that I would certainly not be saying after my having searched for the group, unless it were far more difficult than it was. "And that's all I gotta say about that."

48. BTW Interesting that the on-air puzzle included my first name(Patrick), as well as my main allergen(cat hair).
pjbHopesJalenHurtsDoesWellInTheGameTonight(FormerAlabamaPlayer,YouKnow)

49. I get Blaine's clue! Clever!

50. BREAKING NEWS

A giant Mexican piñata has just been spotted flying Eastward over Arizona at approximately 2700 feet altitude.

1. Nothing to shake a stick at.

2. Right, but our government is trying to discover how it aroz.

3. I'm sure they'll give it their best shot.

4. With a Corona chaser.

5. That would be a crowning achievement.

6. Only if it makes to Canada.

8. Are you Poutine me on?

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52. If you have solved this week's NPR puzzle, here is just one-of-twenty of this week's Puzzleria! puzzles that may be a smidge more chalenging:
Schpuzzle of the Week:
3 pop-quiz geography que?tions:

#1 Colombia, Kenya and Kiribati all share a multisyllabic word in common. The word begins with a vowel. What is this word? (And no, the word is not “alliteration.”)
#2 A country is an anagram of a mid-18th-century European treaty. What is that country’s capital?
#3 What punctuation mark can you spell by anagramming the combined letters of the multisyllabic word in #1 and the capital in #2?

1. The answer to Puzzleria!s "Pop-Quiz Schpuzzle of the Week" that I posted above is:
1. Equator (The Equator passes through Colombia, Kenya and Kiribati.)
2. Minsk (Minsk is the capital of Belarus, an anagram of Breslau; The Treaty of Breslau was in 1742)
3. Question mark (which is an anagram of Equator+Minsk)

LegoWhoAppreciatesThatBlaineAllowsHimToPlugPuzzleria!OnHisWonderfulBlog

53. Anyone got a birthday this week?

1. Afraid so. Hope this puzzle wasn't supposed to be my present.

2. No; just wanted to say happy birthday . . .

3. How nice! (Your post wasn't one of your famous veiled hints?)

4. Happy Birthday, Nodd, and many happy returns!

5. Sure it was.

6. LOL, at least I figured that much out ....

7. Is there a linc somewhere in the hint?

54. It's 4AM and I just finished taking care of the dogs. Two hours ago, I awoke with what I refer to as a middle of the night aha phenomenon in re: this puzzle. If I stop thinking about the puzzle because I've gotten into a rut, my brain continues on its own. Stuff like that never ceases to amaze me. Does that happen to you also? Therefore, I disagree with those of you who consider with those of you who consider this as lame.

1. Some of my best solving happens by listening to the puzzle on air, thinking about it for about 5-10 minutes, and then doing something else if I don't get it quickly. Then the answer tends to pop in my head a while later.

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56. So, a couple of sheep walk into a bar. . . .

1. Ewe, that's a good one. Were they on the lamb? Did they wolf their drinks down and get the flock outta there? Did the bartender fleece them?

2. Seems plausible, but probably Legolambda and Wolfgang are more knowledgeable.

3. Yes, but you can always count on sheep to come to your rescue if you are having trouble falling asleep.

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5. Does insomnia keep
You from falling asleep,
A sleep shallow or deep?
Count on sheep who shall leap
O'er the fence and the fescue

LegoLambda

57. Spoonerise the name of a well known American singer, actress, and television personality of the past to phonetically describe the polishing of an entry way.

1. Dinah Shore —> Shine a door.

2. pretty brilliant.

3. Anagram the name to a three-word phrase for a jerk.

4. A horse hind?

5. You win the daily double.

6. Thank you, Nodd. You made my day. Speaking of the day, Happy Valentine's Day to one and all. Time for some early morning exercise.

7. Great to hear you are getting your exercise, after your recent bout with the virus.

8. Yes, good news. I just tested negative again, so no more tests will be necessary. After this morning's routine exercises, can basketball be far beind?

9. I wooden doubt it at all.

10. It’s a-brewin’.

11. You see L.A. at all?

12. If I were good-n-rich...

13. It's not only the kareem of the crop; farmers live there too.

14. Ball, Wilt? No!

15. I remember before the pandemic when I took a day trip by ferry across Puget Sound and on the ferry back I was very hungry, but due to the high prices and poor quality food offered on the ferry I decided to wait until we landed and Dinah Shore.

16. Hilary Clinton refused to eat at the White House because she didn't like the bill affair.

17. If I recall, there was a great Presidents Day sale that year....all pants half off (sorry)

18. LOL. Presumably Hilary could have done what Monica did, but decided not to go down that path.

19. Close, but no cigar?

20. Sometimes a cigar is just ...

58. This puzzle would have been better timed for earlier this year.

59. Does a metally cab count as a "place"?

60. This one gave me no end of trouble until I realized it's not a "B" sound; it's a "bee sound". The answer is "TheBeatlesfeaturingTonySheridanbuzz".

1. Funny it isn't Queenb. Oh, how the mighty have pollen!
pjbRemembersTheirBigHit,"BohemianRhapshoney"

61. Hey EVERYONE, be sure to read the long interview article published today in The New Yorker. I just finished reading it, and it has a surprise for some who hadn't already figured it out for themselves.

The New Yorker Interview

Will Shortz’s Life in Crosswords

The veteran Times puzzle editor discusses his favorite clues, debates in the crossword community, and unexpectedly finding his first serious romance.

February 15, 2023 (TODAY)

1. Very nice interview. No big surprise ending, but a happy one.

2. Thanks for "clueing" us in, sdb! I wasn't too surprised. He seems like a good guy so maybe it's overly harsh to say, but the thing that came out to me the most was how much thought and effort he puts into crosswords and ping-pong (the original name for the game) compared with (apparently) the Sunday Puzzle. Sort of sad.

3. Thanks, sdb. I read and forwarded it to a good friend who's a devoted Times Crossword Puzzle fan.

4. I cannot access the article about WS. I was able to copy and paste some of it before I got a message to subscribe. Anyone have a way to view the article free? Thanks.

5. Natasha, try googling “Will Shortz New Yorker,” and see if that works.

6. It says my subscription has run out. I managed to copy some of the article before that note appeared. Got as far as the computer made questions.

7. You may be able to access it via your local library's online newspapers & magazines portal. If you can't figure it out try phoning them and asking them to help you.

8. Website let me in with no subscription. I found two boring subjects and no surprises.

9. I could not access the article without subscribing. I figured out how to get the whole article to show, however. I right clicked before the subscribe pop up appeared and clicked on print. I could print it out and also read it at the print site. Now I have a trick for other articles.

62. Duangpetch Promthep, one of the 12 boys who was rescued from a Thai cave in 2018, has died in the UK. · The 17-year-old was found unconscious in his room and died of a head injury.

"As often happens, the puzzle answer came to me while I was preparing for something else." I was researching speeches on YOUTUBE to show my speech and debate class this week.

64. Our friend Ken Pratt, also known as "geofan," is Puzzleria's "Resident World Geography Wunderkind" – a prodigy who has accumulated a prodigious amount of knowledge over the years, and who shares it with us in the form of pleasantly provocative puzzles.
This week, Ken offers us seven world-class bewilderments: five involving subtracting letters from U.S. states, and two others, involving “synonymetry” and “penmanshifts.” The appear in his Worldplay feature.
We upload Puzzleria! in Friday morn's wee hours, just after Midnight PST.
Also on our menus this week:
* a Schpuzzle of the Week titled “Sitcom in a can,”
* an Idiomatic Transmission Puzzle Slice titled “Behavior in Bentleys and Buicks,”
* a “Not-A-Hot-Pocket” Dessert Puzzle titled “Converting hot pods into hot rods,” and
* 11 riff-offs of this week's NPR Puzzle titled, alternately, “We’re U2 on YouTu, Brutus on!” and/or “We’re U2 on YouTube, Root us on!”
Note: Our second riff-off entree on tomorrow's Puzzleria! was composed by our friend ViolinTeddy. It is a terrifically ingenious literary riff-off of (Conundrumbstruck by) Chuck's Appetizer #2 that is featured on the current edition of Puzzleria!
That's a total of 21 puzzles. And, that's the fact, Jack, that that's a Blackjack... but even better!

LegoGloballyAceAndFace

65. U2 + B >> You Tube

When I hear the name U2, the first thing that comes to my mind isn’t music, it’s the high-altitude spy plane the U-2, built by Lockheed.

The U-2 was headline news in May 1960 when Francis Gary Powers was shot down in a U-2 while flying a photo reconnaissance mission over the Soviet Union.

66. U2 + B → .YOUTUBE

Blaine's clue refers to the Lockheed U-2 aerial reconnaissance planes (1955) used for surveillance. Gary Powers was shot down over Russia
in 1960.

My Hint:
"California gold rush." Who were called 49ers, and this group began 49 years ago.

Shakespeare —> “To be…” (and there are other Shakespearean resonances)

Blake —> Songs of Innocence and of Experience

> Timely.

Spy aircraft have been in the news lately. U-2s were used to check out the Chinese balloon that was later shot down off the Carolina coast.

> There was a story on Weekend Edition this morning about a USAID team helping with rescue efforts in southern Turkey. There's a powerful connection to the puzzle.

The head of USAID is Samantha Power. Francis Gary Powers was the U-2 pilot shot down over the USSR in 1960. (And, speaking of Samantha, a SAM brought down Gary.)

> How about a connection between the band and someone with your first name and the surname of a famous military man?

The last commander of German submarine U-2, in 1944, was Oberleutnant zur See Wolfgang Schwarzkopf.

>> Literary clue: Julius Caesar.
> Good one! (That's a hint, too.)

I assume Dr. Awkward was going for Et tu -> You, too -> U2. "Bono" is Latin for "good".

> Just wanted to say happy birthday . . .

. . . 2U!

> So, a couple of sheep walk into a bar. . . .

I wondered whether Blaine would allow a two ewe joke?

1. I enjoyed your joke. The bartender says, "You two again." Or similar.

70. I wrote, “Surprisingly, the band’s name has come up in recent news stories.” The U2 spy plane, especially the 1960 incident when the Soviet Union shot one down, has been the subject of background pieces about the recent aerial spy hardware.

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72. U2 →YouTube. My initial hint was: It will probably take you longer to think of a clue than it will for YOU TO solve this no-brainer puzzle.

In response to others’ comments, I referred to Bill Murray and Hamlet. In “Groundhog Day,” Murray’s character awakens every day to “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher BONO. Hamlet’s famous soliloquy begins with, phonetically, “tube be or not tube be.”

Commenting on Blaine’s hint, which referred to the U-2 spy plane, I referred to the Austin Powers film series. Francis Gary Powers was shot down while flying the U-2.

In a later colloquy, I said I'd avoid next month, to be brutally honest, referring to the line from “Julius Caesar” in which a soothsayer tells Caesar to beware the Ides of March, and to Caesar’s statement during his assassination, which phonetically is “et tube, ‘rute?”