## Sunday, April 23, 2023

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 23, 2023): Complaint Department

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Apr 23, 2023): Complaint Department
Q: Think of a five-letter word for things a lot of people complain about. Add a letter and rearrange the result to get an example of these things. Then add one more letter and rearrange to get a remedy for these things. Five, six, and seven letters, respectively. What words are these?
Add one more letter and rearrange to name something used for thousands of years.

Edit: Add an H and rearrange to get HAIRPINS.
A: PAINS, SPRAIN, ASPIRIN

Happy Shakespeare's birthday celebration to all!

2. Remove two letters from the five-letter word and rearrange to get another remedy for these things.

3. Rearrange the letters of the seven-letter word to get a place and a word in the language that is spoken there. (These no-brainer puzzles are getting hard to bear.)

4. Another poorly-worded puzzle. The six-letter word is not "an example of" the five letter word.

1. In my answer it is.

2. In my answer, the six-letter word is a source of, but not an example of, the five-letter word

5. Add a letter to the remedy, rearrange, and you get what you would be doing about the remedy once it works.

1. Those eight letters also can be rearranged to describe submitting a puzzle answer, or a foreign city and an item of jewelry.

2. Add that same letter to the end of the remedy, and you already have what everyone here is doing.

3. @Rudolfo's hint got me there. This just wasn't a complaint I considered (nor did it show up in any lists I found).

6. Over 400 entries last week. Will acknowledged "Peruvian".

1. I took the "over" on 500 or fewer so no victory dance for me this week. Props to WayWordy for the accurate prediction. (I'm going to get out of the prediction business with a .333 average over the last three weeks. Maybe that's good enough to get me into the baseball hall of fame. :)

2. That was fun. Predicting under 300 this week. Anyone want to take the over?

3. I'll guess over 600.

4. > 2,000. This one is trivial. The on-air acknowledgment of the alternate answer was a good thing, but it was not mentioned on the website. Still, half a loaf.

7. Not really a bear of a puzzle.

8. It didn't take long to chase down the answer.

9. Divine guidance helps.

10. Interesting side note--I searched for the number of 5 letter words, because I was going to joke about starting at the top of the list, this many to go, etc. The first screen has answers ranging from 8,996 - 158,390. For such a simple question, it is odd to get answers that differ by a factor of over 17.

11. Usually people complain about a singular thing, but I have the answer...

1. Depends on your age, lol.

2. That's why I thought of the five letter word!

3. PS Almost instantly!

12. I found the answer on my commonly used electronic device.

13. The Roman numerals in a synonym of the 7-letter word sum to my prediction for the number of correct entries this week.

14. Blaine,
Yes, goals are important.

15. Some of the 5-letter word might be located in the first syllable of the 7-letter word.

1. May burn even though the sun don't shine there.

16. Took a while, but I've got it now. At first, I had a trivial and incorrect answer, one that didn't require much rearranging, so I knew it wasn't right. No clue here. Off to see Rowan Oak.

17. Will owes us a better puzzle.

1. As a rule, I don't like to complain, but I had to this time.

2. Jan,
In re: The remedy I was complaining about last week is a hell of a lot more expensive than the one in this week's puzzle.

3. That's why I said (at the end of last week's blog) that this should be a good week for you.

4. I don't get upset with easy puzzles. Will has to have puzzles that more than the people on this blog can do. BTW, the remedy I was talking about was Eliquis.

5. Yeah, well, that's a lot easier to deal with than rat poison (warfarin/Coumadin), which interacts with practically every other med and all the green veggies you're supposed to eat, and required frequent blood tests and endless dose adjustments. The generic is available in the UK, if you've got friends there.

My wife's doc is considering a med that goes for \$12K for a month's worth of pills.

6. I just found the generic equivalent from Canadian Pharmacy Service for less than 1/6 (including shipping) of the brand name rendition.

Tomorrow, I plan to be in touch with my doc to see if he'll go along with it, because he'd have to willing to

7. jan, nice hint. Word Woman's comment below fits right in.

8. Cap, it's ironic that you started to complain about this before this week's puzzle was revealed, given the relation to the remedy we're seeking.

9. Prescient complaining--that's a new one!

10. Sorry,
It had nothing to do with the remedy in the puzzle. Jan and I had been talking in last week's thread way before the new puzzle came on. It was just a coincidence

11. Jan, one of my favorite hints I’ve seen on this blog.

18. Easy puzzle.

19. A bit of a no brainer. Somehow, this reminds me of a birdcage

20. Musical clue: Johny Cash

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22. There is a five-letter synonym for the answer. Add a letter inside that word to describe a place where some of us experience the thing that we complain about

23. I wasn't able to solve the last two weeks, but today I've come back strong! Yaaaa!

24. Reminded of a Jeopardy! episode from decades ago in which a contestant canonized a new saint on the spot.

1. Hmmm... "New" sounds like "Latter Day", and Ken Jennings is LDS, but while he may be a big shot, I don't think he's been canonized yet. Meanwhile, I found this and this, but otherwise don't have a clue what you're hinting at.

2. jan, I think you're barking up the wrong tree.

3. I found a record of the episode in the J! Archive and will post a link after the Thursday deadline.

4. Now, if one of our own were canonized, instead of their city....

5. jsulbyrne, we're so curious as we await your sainted Jeopardy! link.

6. 3/25/88. I think.

7. jan, thanks for St. Bayer.

8. Correct. March 25, 1988. The category was Saints. The clue: The patron saint who stands against atheistic communism & for children's aspirin. A contestant responded, "Who is Saint Bayer?" The correct response was Saint Joseph. Bayer's miracles have yet to be verified. https://j-archive.com/showgame.php?game_id=5142

9. I suspect they would Bayerly qualify to meet the strict rules devised by corrupt deviates in the Vaticano to determine what our creator apparently is incapable of deciding. Oh well, at least they seem to like children.

10. This was back in the old days, Season 4, when only the winner got any cash. The second place finisher that day won a La-Z-boy recliner & a set of lamps, while third place got a Maytag dishwasher.

25. Blaine' clue does us a good turn, though it may seem like a bit of a curveball at first.

26. A real uplifting set of words.

27. Add a letter to the 7-letter word and rearrange the letters to get a word that has been the answer to a Will Shortz puzzle.

1. Add an A to Aspirin to get Parisian. That was the answer to the Parisian, Pakistan puzzle on November 21, 2021.

28. I think I solved Blaine's clue.

1. Now it's my turn.

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3. I think Bobby should give it a try.

29. Another one so easy to solve while still in bed. Not at al worthy of NPR audiences.

30. Nodd, If you send me an email Swiftly, I will email you back with something I am sure you will enjoy reading, but most likely will not be able to find online.

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2. Nodd,
You are so very way overthinking my hint to my email address above. Nothing to do with code. More literary.

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6. So, did you figure out what my email is?

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31. Blaine should only let valid clues be posted this week.

32. I definitely complain about this thing myself. But I do not partake of the remedy offered in the puzzle.

1. I use the remedy, but not for the complaint.

33. Re: this morning's on-air challenge:
OM is not the correct spelling of AUM, and it is not pronounced the same way, nor is it pronounced the way Will Shortz did.

Did anyone else wonder why OLD MAN was not used as one of the answers? The captain of a naval ship is called:

34. On the Bard’s birthday, a Shakespearean hint: A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

35. Warriors won!

36. Peruvian is not a common word. Will should have known better than to even mention it.

1. It seems fairly common to me.

2. Depends on your perspective. If you're interested in world affairs, you would be readily familiar with the word. For most people in this country nowadays, "shepherd" is not too common either. I'd venture to say most of us don't know any shepherds or use the word with any frequency.

3. What if you aren't interested in world affairs, but are a fan of The Onion Movie ?

(It's a little hard to get the joke if you haven't seen it. Throughout the movie there are ridiculous stereotypes of various nationalities and ethnic groups that the characters all take for granted as common prejudices, and one of them is that Peruvians love to swoop in at the last minute and save the day.)

4. There you go. Obviously it must be common if it was featured in a film a mere 15 years ago.

5. "Peruvian" may be common in the sense that it is well-known, or frequently occurring, but it is a proper noun and not a common noun linguistically.

6. That's true, jan, but the puzzle said "common 8-letter word," not "common 8-letter noun."

37. Anagrams, but at least no mention of 180 degree rotations.

38. Great that folks are figuring out this puzzle. I love that for you to have the day free to enjoy.

39. Interesting that everyone here considers this puzzle so easy while I'm struggling to even get started. (That's not a clue or complaint, just an observation from my perspective.)

1. They love to brag to each other, Joshua. This blog is a pissing contest among the same 5-6 people. Ho hum.

2. Maybe, but I think people here are generally honest -- and reasonably accurate -- in their assessment of difficulty.

3. That's a cheap shot.

4. It's ironic that someone would post a nasty comment disparaging other people and then complain that the blog is a pissing contest.

5. The topic is complaints this week. Fits right in I guess.

6. That's a contest I think I could walk away with quite easily. Unfortunately, some weeks I seem like I have "urinary retention".
pjbSaysThat'sAFairlyAccurateAnalogyConsideringSomeFolksHereDoClaimTheyGetUp,DoThePuzzle,AndThenGoBackToBed(SoundLikeAnyoneHereWeKnow?)

7. PAINS, SPRAIN, ASPIRIN

40. The bananas are now all counted.
R.I.P. Harry Belefonte

1. Hate to spoil your moment, but his surname is spelled "BELAFONTE". Otherwise, very fitting, touching way of putting it.

2. ... and before that, it was spelled "Bellanfanti".

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41. Musical hint: Kim Carnes

42. Add a common 4 four-letter suffix to a rearrangement of the seven-letter word to name something that often helps puzzlers find solutions.

1. A muse works as an INSPIRATION.

2. 90% perspiration and 10% muse.

43. PAINS, SPRAIN, ASPIRIN

"Solved this one readily." A sprain may appear red.

"jan, I think you're barking up the wrong tree." The willow tree bark contains salicin, the same compound found in aspirin. (I missed jan's referral to it earlier; his clue was so cleverly hidden in "Will owes.:).

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1. Our friend Chuck, "Thor-like, from Mt. Olympus," is throwing down three "thunderbolts of profundication" on this week's Puzzleria! They are titled "Coconuts & Cukes?" "Rho-Rho-Rhome?" and "1-2-3? do-re-mi?" and are featured in his always-challenging "Conundrumbstruck by Chuck" puzzle-package.
We upload Puzzleria! every early Friday, down-around Midnight Pacific Daylight Time.
Our menus this week also include:
* our Schpuzzle of the Week, titled "Historical struggles, surnames & synonyms,"
* a Recommended Novel-List Hors d’Oeuvre titled "Some places, Some spaces,"
* an "In The Beginning" Slice that asks,“Is Genesis Dennis’s biblical book?”
* “An If, An And, And An Abut” Dessert titled "Playbills and bedrooms" that alludes to a 1970 performance by The Band in Pennsylvania, and
* 13 riff-offs of this past Sunday's NPR puzzle titled "Remedy for pains... in the aspirin," including a trio of "guest riffs" composed by:
~ “A Fan of Puzzleria!”
~ Ecoarchitect, and
~ ViolinTeddy.
That, my friends, is a score of puzzles!

LegoMythologically

45. PAINS >> SPRAIN >> ASPIRIN

46. PAINS, SPRAIN, ASPIRIN

> Should be a good week for CAP!

Clark a pseudonym was just complaining about the cost of proprietary meds. Can't get much cheaper than generic ASPIRIN.

> Remove two letters from the five-letter word and rearrange to get another remedy for these things.

Some people seek relief from PAINS at a SPA.

> Another poorly-worded puzzle. The six-letter word is not "an example of" the five letter word.

PAINS are among the signs and symptoms of a SPRAIN, along with swelling, bruising, joint instability, etc. A SPRAIN can be the cause of PAINS, but isn't an example of them.

> Will owes us a better puzzle.

Willows (genus Salix) are a source of salicylic acid, the basis of ASPIRIN.

> As a rule, I don't like to complain, but I had to this time.

"ASA" is the usual medical abbreviation for acetylsalicylic acid -- ASPIRIN.

> Cap, it's ironic that you started to complain about this before this week's puzzle was revealed, given the relation to the remedy we're seeking.

While ASPIRIN is an antiplatelet agent, not an anticoagulant like Eliquis, both have been used to prevent strokes caused by atrial fibrillation (A-fib).

>> I think I solved Blaine's clue.
> I think Bobby should give it a try.

A bobby pin is a kind of hairpin. (At least, I think that's where Blaine was going.)

> I use the remedy, but not for the complaint.

It's been recommended for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer, though recent evidence suggests the increased risk of bleeding outweighs the benefits.

> Now, if one of our own were canonized, instead of their city....

Say, Joseph Young, of St. Cloud, MN, for example.

1. I have never had a sprain that has not involved pain. It sure sounds like an example of something that causes pain to me.

2. But have you ever had a sprain in the rain in Spain?

3. I have had them mainly on the plain.

47. PAINS, SPRAIN, ASPIRIN

Hint: “On the Bard’s birthday, a Shakespearean hint: A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Bottom to the actors: “Take pains. Be perfect” (I.ii.97).

48. PAINS → SPRAIN → ASPIRIN

People usually complain about singular things, but the first plurals that came to me were “ACHES & PAINS.”
ACHES went nowhere, but PAINS produced the example of a SPRAIN.

An example of pain = a SPRAIN.

A remedy for pains = ASPIRIN.

49. I wrote, “Add a letter to the remedy, rearrange, and you get what you would be doing about the remedy once it works.” Add a G to ASPIRIN, which you would be PRAISING.

1. ... and if you add that same letter to the end of the remedy, and *don't* rearrange, you already have what everyone here is doing: ASPIRING

50. My comment was "I wasn't able to solve the last two weeks, but today I've come back strong!" I was alluding to the old TV commercial for the pain relieving BC powder: Get a glass of water and it won't be long/ You take a BC powder and you come back strong!

51. The Roman numerals in ACETYL SALICYLIC ACID add up to 1053, which is my estimate for the number of correct submissions this week. We'll see how that goes.

52. PAINS, SPRAIN, ASPIRIN.

Heal quickly, Julius Randle!

1. "Pains, Sprains & 'Aspirinmobiles' "

LegoWhoSellsShowerCurtainRingsOnTheSide

53. pains, sprain, aspirin

54. PAINS + R, rearranged yields SPRAIN;
SPRAIN+ I, rearranged yields ASPIRIN.

My comment that it didn’t take long to chase down the answer was based on chase anagramming to aches as in aches and pains.

55. Pains, sprain, aspirin. My hint: "Rearrange the letters of the seven-letter word to get a place and a word in the language that is spoken there. (These no-brainer puzzles are getting hard to bear.)" SPAIN, IR; hard to "BAYER."

1. Blaine's clue: HAIRPINS. My hint: Blaine's clue does us a good turn, though it may seem like a bit of a curveball at first.

56. The first thing that came to my mind was taxes. The only remedy for taxes is death, and that just didn't anagram well.

1. Another remedy is just don't report the income. That seems to have worked well for certain politicians and judges.

2. Skydivers too.

3. Are you saying skydivers don't report income? Most people who delay paying taxes get in trouble, but I guess skydivers who delay too long avoid taxes permanently.

4. Presidents too.

5. We can only hope!

6. I too went for TAXES at first, but rethought my approach at the misspelled EXTASY as an example.

57. My clue was:
"Blaine should only let valid clues be posted this week."

ONLY LET anagrams to TYLENOL, and VALID anagrams to ADVIL.

1. Good one. I wondered what you meant.

58. Is it butter to not live in a margarinealized society?

59. I was tempted to write here that one could find the remedy in I Kings 15-16, but then I thought it might be TMI. This refers to the common medical abbreviation ASA for AcetylSalicylic Acid, that is, aspirin (jan also refers to that above).

60. My musical hint of Kim Carnes was in reference to her being on top of the charts in 1981 and 81 mg being a low dose of aspirin

61. My hint referred to Johny Cash's cover of Hurt.

62. Being a rather wealthy man, and now retired, I decided I was finished with housecleaning and cooking. So I now have someone come in each Wednesday to clean the house. Five days a week I have a professional cook come in to prepare my dinner. I am happy with the person doing the cleaning, but not so much with the chef. He keeps making the same errors over and over, and I hate to say anything, but he tends to over-season his otherwise tasty preparations, and he does this thyme and thyme again.

1. Try giving him some sage advice. That may keep the problem at bay.

2. I had to let him go, but where has Tarragon?

3. He's probably cumin to other people's houses and cooking for them. Or maybe just chilin' out.

4. I know,Nodd, but what do you do when your banana leaves?

5. Your banana split? That's not anise thing to do!

6. I think you should've tried to curry favor with him.

7. You could a peel to him to come back.

8. It can stink and mace paprika lot.

9. I'm gonna sumac for being a scallion.

10. I was going to spice up this conversation. Orange you glad I didn't?

11. You should renegotiate your dill with him.

12. Then I'd really be in a pickle.

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64. This week's challenge: A tough one from listener Joe Becker, of Palo Alto, Calif. The "zh" sound can be spelled in many different ways in English — like the "s" in MEASURE; like the "g" in BEIGE; like the "z" in AZURE; like the "j" in MAHARAJAH; and like the "x" in LUXURY as some people pronounce it. The "zh" sound can also be spelled as a "t" in one instance. We know of only one common word this is true of, not counting its derivatives. What word is it?

65. Got it. Waiting for Blaine...

66. I've solved it. Pretty good!
I have a clue in mind that I'll save for this week's thread when Blaine posts it.

67. I've got an answer but I don't know whether it's unique, nor how to clue it.

68. This wasn't the first time something turned out easier to solve than I first thought.

For NPR puzzle posts, don't post the answer or any hints that could lead to the answer before the deadline (usually Thursday at 3pm ET). If you know the answer, 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 assist with solving. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the deadline. Thank you.