## Sunday, October 08, 2023

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 8, 2023): Mammal, Insect, Bird

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 8, 2023): Mammal, Insect, Bird
Q: Think of a mammal, an insect, and a bird, in that order — six, three, and four letters, respectively. Say them out loud and you'll name something often seen around this time of year. What is it?
You have a couple choices for the bird.
A: JACK-O'-LANTERN from JACKAL, ANT and TERN (or ERNE)

1. Got it and breathed a sigh of relief! Literary clue: sonnets.

1. "Breathed" for Berkeley Breathed, who has a jackalope character; sonnets for their volta, or turn (tern).

2. I have it and the two birds...

3. Tough to clue...

4. Well, I have one bird in my hand.

5. Well, that took about ten seconds to solve.

2. It took me almost a full minute, because I got sidetracked thinking of a different 4-letter bird, that also is part of something commonly seen this time of year.

3. Yes, about a second less then last week's challenge.

4. JACK O LANTERN (JACKAL + ANT + TERN)

I clued ...well, that took about ten seconds to solve because J is the tenth letter of the alphabet and leads both JACK O LANTERN and JACKAL.

6. Rearrange the letters of the thing "often seen this time of year," and get a religious figure, a mammal, and someone on this blog.

1. This comment has been removed by the author.

2. Take the mammal, insect, and bird, and rearrange. You will get that same person on this blog, along with two verbs. One of those verbs might be a remedy for the other gone awry.

7. How could Will have known I go leaf-peeping every fall with my good friend Alpaca B. Swann, Esq.?

8. This is a very cute puzzle. A song from "Fiddler on the Roof" comes to mind.

9. Got it before I even had my coffee. With all of this extra time, maybe I should make a fancy coffee to celebrate.

1. A fancy coffee, like a pumpkin spice latte.

10. I'm reminded of a book club selection of my younger days

1. My younger days were lazier. My normal selection was to just rent the video.

11. Associated with this thing is a character whose last name is a bird.

1. Ah, nice!
And so does another well-known character in another work by the same author. Hm, well, sort of.

2. Change one letter in Rob's character's name and rearrange to get another word associated with the thing in question.

12. Aren't you also having trouble coming up with with a clue when the puzzle is this easy?

1. WW True, but the clue given at the end of the puzzle is all that's necessary. I don't have a problem if the puzzle is easy. Getting it just gives me instant gratification and then I get on with my life.

2. Not me; it makes me feel hollow inside.

3. Cap, yes, and of course, my post is also a clue.

13. Years ago, SNL made a pun out of this word. The opposite of E.D.

14. Cute puzzle! It's easy (as Will predicted), but I like the fact that so many people will enjoy discovering the clever wordplay for themselves. Correct entries should top 2K this week.

15. You need foresight to solve this one.

1. Give it a shot in a day or so.

16. Crane? Crow? Blackbird? Which?

17. Put 2 insects together, it's the recipe for a classic TV character as American as apple pie.

1. May very well be.

2. Well it's not Barney Fife.

18. Musical hint: Irving Berlin.

19. Replace two interior letters of a bird with three letters near the middle of the alphabet to get a word related to the answer.

LegoWhoExclaims"It'sABird!"t'sACrane!It'sLarkAscent!"

1. Don't shout out the answer to this one.

2. Or a dragon?

20. Culture clue: a Goldberg Variation

1. Do you play Bach often, or Offenbach?

2. Or perhaps I should have phrased it like this:

Do you play Bach often, or more Offenbach?

3. Of course you may prefer to Fauré into other arias if you are able to Handel more than idle Bartók.

4. Hello SDB, your musical puns were so clever and creative I didn't have the heart to post that the "clue" was bogus on my part, based on a false assumption or error about a Whoopi Goldberg portrayal. I realized my mistake and tried to delete it about 10 minutes after posting but that didn't take evidently. Oh well all will become clear at 3 pm EST today.

21. This is too easy, even for somebody that likes easy puzzles.

1. A ten second solve without even three seconds of satisfaction.

2. Being too easy for somebody that likes easy puzzles is like being too bad for the Devil. Jack-o-lanterns are based on a man named Jack who was so bad, even the Devil did not want him.

22. His name is Lewis.

23. No guts, no gory. I mean glory.

24. Nodd,
Did you see my reply to your very good alternate answer to my puzzle on last week's blog?

1. Yes, thank you. Still trying to get the intended answer as per your hint, but it's taking me a while, so go ahead and post the answer if you wish.

2. The answer is a brand everyone will recognize. The city is on the East Coast.

3. Of course! I worded it the way I did, instead of indicating you are looking for a brand name, because I cannot see Will or NPR using this in a puzzle. Not that I agree with that narrow kind of thinking. I think it is a clever puzzle that is suitable for NPR. The X is the hook.

4. Hmm. I'm not sure he wouldn't have, since he was willing to use butt-cheek. Boisex, for sure not.

5. LOL You may be right, I was thinking of mentioning that too. Anyway here is another one I coined that he surely would not use:

Take the 2 syllable name of a major U.S. city and spell it in reverse to get a 2 word answer that will make you smile if you say it out loud. What city is it?

6. Boston would seem to satisfy the smile part, but I don't know why he wouldn't use it, so it must be something else.

7. This comment has been removed by the author.

8. This comment has been removed by the author.

9. You're right, pretty lusty for NPR.

25. "You didn't need no help." I cannot understand why NPR would with that put up. And from the host!

1. I've stopped listening to Sunday Ediction now. It don't give me no pleasure no more.

2. I tune in for the Puzzle only, not just because of the host but because so many of their online stories are so inane. I still read the stories I'm interested in, but even there some of the writing is so godawful that it's hard to take.

3. But, Nodd, they have been running scores of long segments touting Rap "music". What more could you want?

4. I know that many of us complain about Will, sometimes justifiably. But imagine who will replace him? It will probably be someone who has puzzles about TikTok celebrities and influencers.

5. Speaking of NPR. About an hour ago I got a BREAKING NEWS email re: the Gaza war. The headlines included Benjamin Nuttyyahoo informing his citizens that the attackers are not human, but animals. Of course humans are animals, but I think everyone gets the point of what he is doing. He is dehumanizing his enemy and this is so common with stupid leaders. In fact this is exactly what he has been doing for decades now, and why would anyone be surprised when those who are treated inhumanly rise up and fight back violently when they see no other solution? I am not saying I agree with what is happening, but I find it disturbing that just 5 minutes ago NPR updated the situation, but did not mention what BN said. I think their reporting needs to be more balanced and not a rush to demonize one side over the other. Calling them terrorists is not a well thought out use of terms either.

6. A faction of a discriminated people that are being dominated and abused by a right wing faction of another discriminated people is attacking their oppressors. Our country is quick to offer our full support to the people who are being attacked because they are white and most resemble us. We never officially object to how they mistreat those who are now attacking them. One side vilifies the other, but the stronger side keeps on increasing their dominance, and yet they are appalled and taken by surprise when they are attacked by those who they constantly dehumanize.

In another part of the world an aggressive dictator is invading a peaceful democracy in order to expand his attempt at world dominance. We halfheartedly are supporting the unjustly invaded country that is being attacked, when we should be doing everything within our power to stop this Hitler reminiscent repeat of aggressive history, but due to our hypocritical, partisan politics are rushing to attack the one group that is only attempting to live as equals, while those in our government are attempting to stop the aid that is necessary to defeat a maniac who is determined to dominate the entire world. And we think we are the chosen people who have all the answers and moral compass on our side.

7. I would think there are plenty of puzzlers who would do an exponentially better job that Shortz in giving the audience challenging puzzles. Just look to Joe Young. Night and day improvement. These shitty puzzles is a large reason I stopped giving to NPR.

26. I love the cozy, folksy style of the host. I am not a fuddy duddy about different styles of American spoken word! Out here in Central California we have quite a hodge podge of languages including Assyrian, Latino, Mong, dustbowl drawl, salty swear words and newbies like my family from New Haven!!

27. This comment has been removed by the author.

28. There's a spy mammal with the same name

1. PS I meant a terrorist mammal, not a spy.

2. I guess that makes Thursday . . . ?

29. Once I had the right mammal, the answer came to me instantly. Piece of pie! Hope everyone is enjoying a nice long holiday weekend.

30. There are lots of complaints so far today disparaging this travesty of a puzzle due to its lack of any challenge at all, but what gets me is that no one so far has complained about the pronunciation problem. No one I know of pronounces the mammal this way. This particularly bothers me because just yesterday morning Will Shortz rejected a puzzle I emailed him a few hours previously, by saying he liked it, but the pronunciation was too loose. It isn't, by the way. I may post it here later.

1. I agree that the pronunciation of the mammal is a bit inexact. At least it doesn't stop anyone from solving it, unlike some past puzzles. I'm still kind of salty about "clarinet."

Of course, you can save the puzzle for Lego. At least you get personal rejections from Will. Since my acceptance rate is exactly 0, I still have to go through the Pony Express (i.e., NPR submission form) where the vast majority of puzzle ideas go to die.

2. That is right, but he just ran 7 of mine last week, and who sees them there other than a few users here? I think I will post it below. Please tell me what you think.

3. I do not join in disparaging the puzzle, but it does have a second phonetic problem. Close enough for English, though.

4. I would be surprised if Lego's site didn't get similar traffic to here. Maybe he can share his traffic stats for a given week, and Blaine as well.

31. I was starting to write a hint/riff off about a famous character but decided not to. It was just TMI.

32. Say the name of this famous film actor out loud and the result will phonetically describe what tourists to Arizona would not find particularly enjoyable. Who is it?

1. Depends on how much of Phoenix they plan to Joaq.

2. Joaquin Phoenix (walk in Phoenix).

I think his name is pronounced more like walk-een, but that's no further off in pronunciation than this week's puzzle. I like the puzzle and it was certainly more challenging than the NPR one. I probably would have specified "during the summer of 2023" as I'm sure the walks are more pleasant in October.

3. You are right about there being a pronunciation difference, but my puzzle does not claim otherwise. It just says it will reveal something. As to walking in Phoenix. I ran a skydiving operation 30 miles West of Phoenix on I-10 back in the mid nineties. Even in winter you could drive on the streets of downtown Phoenix and not see anyone for blocks, and then it would probably be one person. It really is a horrible city. It has no parks. Golf courses are abundant, but no parks. Google it and they will tell you there are something like 184 parks, but that is BS. They are talking about hiking outside the city. The primary recreation there is shopping in Scottsdale.

33. Cute puzzle! For maybe the first time ever I understand Blaine's clue.

34. I wonder if it matters which bird one submits.

1. The instructions only ask for the thing seen at this time of year.

2. Thanks, Tortitude!

3. In my submission I gave one bird and then in parentheses the other.

4. I submitted one answer, then entered a second one, flipping the bird to WS. (It felt good.)

5. This comment has been removed by the author.

6. I submitted twice.

35. I solved this one quickly (for a change). I'm happier than a seagull with a French fry!

1. ...or as Grandma used to say "happier than a dead pig in the sunshine!"

36. A 4.3 magnitude earthquake hit the western Washington area Sunday night just before 7:30 p.m. local time, according to the United States Geological Survey.

It was actually at about 7:21pm. I was in the living room watching my one and only TV program, 60 Minutes, which was 90 minutes last night. Anyway it was during the first commercial break and I had muted the TV. I suddenly felt a slight shake to my left that only was one second long. I realized it had to be an earthquake, but as it did not continue, I forgot about it. It did give me a brief scare however, because I feared it may have shaken my martini which I insist only be stirred. Thankfully we both survived intact.

1. Enya, Thank you for bringing this important topic to our attention. It deserves to be more fully understood. Actually I first must confess that I was not drinking anything at all, and I very rarely drink a martini. I am a manhattan and negroni devotee. But getting back to James Bond, his insisting on his martini being shaken, not stirred, is sexy and fits perfectly with all the other absurdities Bond films are infused with, but shaking these three cocktails is a sure way to spoil them. It waters down the drink, and clouds the two I most enjoy. These libations should be stirred at least 30 seconds before they are strained into a chilled cocktail glass. And Bond also defends his demand by saying it bruises the liquor. RIDICULOUS! Shaking would damage far more than stirring, as if you can bruise gin anyway. Opaque liquids are to be shaken; otherwise they will not mix properly. An exception to this rule of thumb is a stinger, which must be shaken in order for it to work, even though it is made with clear liquids.

This issue goes way back to the 1800's. Victor Hugo, like me, loved a manhattan, but he always insisted it be stirred and never shaken. He also said:

“I'd like a drink. I desire to forget life. Life is a hideous invention by somebody I don't know. It doesn't last, and it's good for nothing. You break your neck simply living.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

2. I also love Manhattans.
Here's my experience with the shaking and stirring. First, shaking is the same as stirring for a long time (maybe a minute).
Second, longer stirring does two main things: it makes the drink colder, and it dilutes it. (In other words, it melts the ice -- I am very skeptical that it does anything else, like 'bruising'.)
In the case of Martinis, I'm actually with Bond -- I go for a little more dilution and chill. I think it depends on whether you like the herbal overtones, or prefer the drink to be stronger and taste more of alcohol. (I'm in the first camp.)

3. Sacrilege!
Shaking will not make the drink colder than well stirred with plenty of ice, nor is it the same. All it does is weaken the drink and make it cloudy, and add tiny bits of ice to the concoction that spoil the taste. I suggest you do a little googling research and see what the pros say on the subject.

4. Right, shaking won’t make it colder than stirring for a long time! What makes the drink colder is: ice melting. Which weakens the drink.
I wonder how long tiny bits of ice last. The drink could easily be below 0 Celsius, so maybe they do last. (But they’ll mix with alcohol and then melt very quickly, so I dunno.)

I admit I haven’t noticed the cloudiness – I’m not terribly concerned with that, but yeah, I’d rather it be clear.
Almost every site I found when I googled shaking and stirring Martinis looked like bullshit – I did find America’s Test Kitchen doing an experiment with different durations of stirring, which seemed serious and well done, but they didn’t say anything about cloudiness. I’d be more than happy to be shown a site with actual experiments (best if done by chemists!) on the topic.

5. Well I just got back from honoring my dear friend Robert "Ramon" Amon, who passed September 3. He was a forest activist who got a lot of ink back in the day. Earth First, um, maybe, who's asking?
But I digress, he was a martini aficionado, as am I.
A few years back, it had to be gin. Vodka martini? That's not a thing. Vermouth? Yes, you need some. A dry martini is just gin in a fancy glass. A proper martini starts with a frozen glass mixer, and iced glasses. Eight ice cubes in the mixer, add vermouth carefully measured up to the mistletoe line on the holiday jigger glass, two full jiggers of gin (usually Tanqueray), and deliver 100 shakes. Set aside for a moment.
Let the well shaken mix sit while you get the olives on skewers, well rinsed (not "dirty"). Make sure you line up the olives so that the pimentos or whatever else stuffing that presented are all organized, not slipshod. Pour carefully and with an artistic twist, and say "Cheers."
That's how it used to be, then he switched to negronis. And then, god forbid, to vodka martinis!!
And then he died.

Cheers Ramon, I will surely miss you.

6. I swear this is true. It is coincidental to our conversation. I was thinking of mentioning Murray Stenson who recently died here in Seattle. I just now looked at my daily NY Times daily email and saw this under Obituaries:

Murray Stenson, Unassuming Leader of a Cocktail Renaissance, Dies at 74
By Clay Risen

A staple of the Seattle bar scene, he was both a throwback to an earlier era and an inspiration for a new generation of bartenders. He was world recognized and once awarded the best bartender in the country. He was known for his remarkable memory of recalling patrons who may have only been to his bar one time a year previously and yet remembering where they sat and what they ordered and with what stipulations. He was remarkable.

His favorite cocktail was a Manhattan, and it had to be properly made.

I learned of his passing some time back, but was surprised it was not mentioned in the NY Times, and now it is. Such a coincidence, like so many others in my life.

When you encounter a bartender who is truly a professional it is an experience you will never forget. Sadly it does not happen often nowadays. Murray Stetson was the pinnacle.

7. I remember writing down the recipe for a vesper martini as penned by Ian Fleming. Here's how James Bond requested his drink:
Three measures Gordon's gin
One measure vodka
1/2 measure Kina Lillet
Lemon peel for garnish
Then James Bond saud "shake it very well until it's ice cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?" He also specified it be served in a deep champagne goblet.
:-)

8. Casino Royale, right?
Funny -- I don't know what Kina Lillet is, and to be honest I don't know what a 'deep champagne goblet' is... but I really want one.

9. The champagne goblet suddenly reminded me of one of my favorite poems, by Walt Whitman.

No use to argue temperance, abstinence only,
Till now a heavy bottle of good champagne wine in my thirst,
Cold and tart-sweet drink’d from a big white mug half fill’d with ice,
It is started me in stomach and in head,
As I slowly drink, thanking my friend,
Feeling the day, and in myself, freedom and joy.

10. Yes, Casino Royale. Check out this link to learn about Kina Lillet.
https://www.diffordsguide.com/beer-wine-spirits/298/kina-lillet

11. Uh, what the hell ever happened to skydiveboy's reply to my "Wow, how anti-James Bond can you get!?" post above? I remember he had thanked me, but now that's gone!

12. I did not know it had vanished. Here it is again:

Enya, Thank you for bringing this important topic to our attention. It deserves to be more fully understood. Actually I first must confess that I was not drinking anything at all, and I very rarely drink a martini. I am a manhattan and negroni devotee. But getting back to James Bond, his insisting on his martini being shaken, not stirred, is sexy and fits perfectly with all the other absurdities Bond films are infused with, but shaking these three cocktails is a sure way to spoil them. It waters down the drink, and clouds the two I most enjoy. These libations should be stirred at least 30 seconds before they are strained into a chilled cocktail glass. And Bond also defends his demand by saying it bruises the liquor. RIDICULOUS! Shaking would damage far more than stirring, as if you can bruise gin anyway. Opaque liquids are to be shaken; otherwise they will not mix properly. An exception to this rule of thumb is a stinger, which must be shaken in order for it to work, even though it is made with clear liquids.

This issue goes way back to the 1800's. Victor Hugo, like me, loved a manhattan, but he always insisted it be stirred and never shaken. He also said:

“I'd like a drink. I desire to forget life. Life is a hideous invention by somebody I don't know. It doesn't last, and it's good for nothing. You break your neck simply living.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

13. I just reposted it for you, but it has vanished again. Must be an evil goblin in our midst.

14. For some reason the automatic anti-spam filter decided to hide the comment (length?keywords?) I don't have any control over the AI other than to occasionally review what it has censored. In any case, the post has been manually resurrected.

37. Try: insect + bird = mammal (phonetically)

1. ... well, shorten that a little bit ...

2. bee + gull = beagle

3. (and, to my surprise, apparently no other common word solution)

4. Rudy--Please see recent Puzzeleria post.

38. Take the name of one of our states and add an L. Rearrange the letters to name a car and a popular social networking site. What state is it, and what are they?

1. Texas, Tesla, and X.

2. Closely related!

3. Yes, all 3 are intimately related which in my opinion makes this an interesting puzzle, but WS said the wordplay did not wow him enough.

4. SDB, I think there's something there. Perhaps you could still send it to Lego for Puzzleria! I do have a suggestion for tweaking the directions slightly, though. See what you think:
Think of two brand names associated with Elon Musk. Put them together, and remove an L, then rearrange the rest to get the name of a state. What are these?
Send it back to WS like that, or to Lego, or don't use it at all. Whatever, it doesn't matter. Just saying it does show promise as a puzzle.
pjbStillThinksIt'sFunnyHisNameIsSuchThatTheyWereAbleToPullOffTheELONMUSK/MUSKMELONPuzzleFromAWhileBack

5. I personally really liked this puzzle, although I didn't solve it because I saw the solution at the same time as the puzzle. I was wondering if it was a WS rejection. I do prefer cranberry's wording slightly, although I may have used "the same person" instead of "Elon Musk" to make it slightly harder to solve.

6. Tortitude:
Yes, I posted above that he rejected it. Here is what he emailed right after I emailed it to him:
"Hi Mark,
Thanks for this one -- whose wordplay, I'm afraid, doesn't wow me quite enough.
Very sorry!
--Will"
It makes me wonder what he saw in the wordplay of this week's puzzle, which I am not at all "wowed" about.
I think cranberry's rewording spoils it by making it far too easy.

7. SDB, I was referring to my reaction when I saw it the first time. Yes, I saw your follow up that it was a rejection. Using "Elon Musk" does make the puzzle too easy, although I think the puzzle could have stated that there's an additional connection somewhere.

I also saw that there's a Tesla model called X, which could work with the puzzle as well. Elon sure likes X!

I suspect that the thing that WS didn't like was that the X was only a single letter. In a way, while that makes the anagramming much easier, it's kind of a harder puzzle because I think most solvers would be expecting a longer company name, and therefore a longer state name.

I still don't know why some puzzles are selected while other puzzles are rejected.

8. I considered some way to indicate there was a connection, but could not find one that did not give away an already easy puzzle, and I then realized that upon solving one would see that right away and it would be a small reward. As to the X. The one letter part of the puzzle is a major pleasure in it. I firmly believe the puzzle should be as it stands.

39. Over/Under 1,500

40. This comment has been removed by the author.

41. Not too direct hint - The Don Callas Family.

42. Here is a question for all you computer programmer folks. I play Windows Freecell game almost every morning. I just played a game and immediately opened another. The new game was the same one I had just solved. It is game #10009. My question is: Is just confirmation that the games are truly random? I have won over 42,000 games now with no losses, so I am not new to the game, but have never had this happen before. BTW, I did not start off years ago winning all the games.

43. Jackal + ant + tern --> Jack-O’-Lantern

Last Sunday I said, “You need foresight to solve this one.” Frederick Forsyth wrote Day of the Jackal.

44. JACK-O-LANTERN; JACKAL, ANT, TERN or ERNE

TERN and ERNE are both oft-used bird names in crossword puzzles.

"AREN'T YOU also having trouble coming up with with a clue when the puzzle is this easy?" >>> This clue is meant to evoke the classic knock knock joke which ends "ORANGE you glad I didn't say banana?"

45. Puzzleria! this week proudly features "Four creatures & a Beer Summit!" — a refreshing four-pack of puzzles brewed up by a brilliant and invaluable contributor to our P! blog. You can sample, savor and solve (perhaps!) all four when we upload Puzzleria! tonight around Midnight Pacific Daylight Time, or thenabouts.
Other "puzzling pilsners" on our menu this week include:
* a Schpuzzle of the Week titled "Portraits and house paintings" that involves Leonardo da Vinci and Paul Klee,
* an Hors d'Oeuvre that involves “mathemultiplimatics,”
* a puzzle slice that only those who are “more shrewd or in-the-know” will be able to crack,
* a Dessert about a fictional character (not named Pinocchio) who is associated with “wooden shavings,” and
* thirteen riff-offs of this week's NPR Puzzle, titled "The Night Of the Jackalanttern," including two by Plantsmith and one by Ecoarchitect.
That's 21 puzzles to keep you occupied for about a week.

LegoWhoUrgesAllToTry"ToClimbOurSummit/AndIfYouPlummet/AtLeastLearnFromIt!"

46. Jack-o-lantern = jackal + ant + tern

My Hint:
"Not me; it makes me feel hollow inside." Like a pumpkin.

1. Another path from there to the answer goes through Sleepy Hollow.

47. JACK-O’-LANTERN (—> JACKAL, ANT, TERN)

Hint: “Rearrange the letters of the thing ‘often seen this time of year’, and get a religious figure, a mammal, and someone on this blog.”
JACK-O’-LANTERN —> CANTOR, ELK, JAN

“Musical hint: Irving Berlin.”
In 1918, Berlin published a song entitled “Down Where the Jack O’Lanterns Grow.”

48. JACKAL + ANT + TERN (or ERNE, the sea eagle) → JACK-O'-LANTERN.

49. JACKAL-ANT-TERN (or ERNE) -> JACK-O'-LANTERN

> I found many images of a certain singer.

Lots of Jacko lanterns have been carved.

>> There's a spy mammal with the same name. PS I meant a terrorist mammal, not a spy.
> I guess that makes Thursday . . . ?

The Day of the Jackal

50. Jackal, Ant, Tern (or Erne) >>>>Jack-O-Lantern.

As soon as I solved this puzzle, all I could think of was Frederick Forsyth's thriller, The Day of The Jackal.
A great book and a great movie, which I rewatched this week.

51. JACK-O'-LANTERN — jackal-ant-tern

My clues:

Once I had the right mammal, the answer came to me instantly. Piece of pie!
"Pie" as in "pumpkin pie"—what you might end up making after carving a pumpkin into a jack-o'-lantern.

Take the mammal, insect, and bird, and rearrange. You will get [someone] on this blog, along with two verbs. One of those verbs might be a remedy for the other gone awry.
(Thanks, Dr. K, for inspiring this post.)
"Jackalanttern" anagrams to "Jan," "talk," and "recant." You may need to recant after you talk too much.

1. Much obliged, Wolfgang. I was going to reply, “We should talk about it, but unfortunately we can’t,” and then thought better of it.

52. The puzzle would have been more challenging without the letter counts. I zeroed in on the 3-letter insect, and ANT came to mind immediately. I glanced at FLY and BUG, but they didn't appear to be helpful. It's funny I didn't think of BEE. Anyway, I turned next to the 4-letter bird, and WREN was the first one I came up with. Then I remembered the time of year and JACKAL fell into place, but WREN didn't quite sit right, so I thought some more and switched to TERN. Where I'm from, I'm used to hearing some ER/RE confusion occasionally. Sometimes I believe there's actually a change in meaning, as in: "I am practically ignorent (sic) with regard to Taylor Swift's music, but I think Kanye West's behavior at that award show was just plain ignernt (sic)".
Thanks, Blaine, for the acknowledgement (assuming we're talking about the same birds).
Ichabod CRANE was frightened by a PUMPKIN-head; I'm not sure if it was CARVEd or not, but we can now loudly (ff proclaim it was not a PUFFIN.

1. Hmmm ... ERNE ...duh!

53. JACK-O'-LANTERN (JACKAL + ANT + TERN (or ERNE))

I wrote: I was starting to write a hint/riff off about a famous character but decided not to. It was just TMI.

I was inspired by Rob's riff. Name a fictional character whose last name is a bird. Remove the first letter and change the last letter. You'll have another bird who is associated with the fictional character and others like him.

Jack Sparrow -> parrot; I thought an answer containing "Jack" would be TMI for Blaine.

54. I wrote, “Associated with this thing is a character whose last name is a bird.” That’s Ichabod Crane of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” He is pursued by a ghost on horseback, and the ghost flings its head at him. The head is a pumpkin; it is just a pumpkin in the story, but most illustrated versions of the story show a jack-o-lantern.

55. Some posts with the answer came a minute early. Can we please all hold our horses till 3pm ET; thanks.

1. This comment has been removed by the author.

2. nist.time.gov is a handy site for the timepiece-challenged.

3. Mea culpa, Wolfgang. I vow to keep the wolves at bay by holding my horses on future Thursdays (even though my horses are "thursty" and long to take a drink from that bay).

4. If you post at 12:00:01 PM PDT per https://www.time.gov/ the blog puts a timestamp of 11:59:00 PM PDT on your post. The problem isn't people posting early; the problem is that the clock for the blog is a few seconds slow (5 or 6 seconds, I think, but I'm not sure). Phones are usually within a second of NIST time, so are more accurate than the blog's clock.

You will also notice that, per the blog, everyone always posts exactly on the minute; the seconds given are always "00." From a statistical point of view, this seems unlikely. The blog seems to report what by its time should be 11:59:58 as 11:59:00.

56. Jack-o-lantern (jackal, ant, tern or jackal, ant, erne)

57. I erroneously wrote "Cultural clue, Goldberg Variation" thinking Whoopi Goldberg had voiced a jackal in the 1994 animated film "The Lion King."
What was I thinking? Whoopi voiced a HYENA, of course. I tried to delete this bad clue soon after posting it, but it didn't take. So sorry. Now I feel like something between a jackal and a hyena. Live and learn (I hope)

1. That's an easy mistake to make since those two animals are so similar. Don't beat yourself up too much. I would say, just one Hail Larry would do. Or should that be Hail Jerry? See what I mean?

58. JACK O LANTERN (JACKAL + ANT + TERN)

I clued ...well, that took about ten seconds to solve because J is the tenth letter of the alphabet and leads both JACK O LANTERN and JACKAL.

59. My younger dog is kind of jackal-ish; I refer to her as our "House Anubis."

1. Q: What do you need if your bis is worn out?

2. Q: What does a cowaboy ride?

3. Isn't COWBOY an oxymoron? No idea what a cowAboy is.

4. If a cowboy is in the kitchen he could ride the range.

5. A guy who rides a Horus.

6. A: Ra

Q: What does a lisping alcoholic hit when they want more?

60. In many homes in the USA is it a tradition to carve pumpkins and create Jack-o-lanterns. "Tradition" is a son from Fiddler on the Roof.

61. Jackal-ant-tern. "Crane? Crow? Blackbird? Which?" (Ichabod; magPIE; four and twenty blackbirds baked in a PIE; witch.)

62. I still have no problem when a puzzle is easy. There are still outrages in my life, but I try hard to not get my gut in an uproar. T'ain't worth it.

1. Cap,
When someone presents another person with a difficult puzzle, he is indicating a certain respect for that person. He is expecting this person may be able to solve it. When someone presents another person with a childish puzzle, he is indicating a certain disrespect for that person. He is expecting this person may not be able to solve it. When Will Shortz presents me with a puzzle most of the time on NPR Sundays, I feel disrespected. When I email him clever and frequently didactic puzzles that require some knowledge and logical thinking, and then he rejects them, I feel disrespected and that he is also disrespecting his listeners. What is the point of presenting a puzzle to listeners to try and solve if no trying is required?

2. I understand your point, but I'm in a different spot emotionally. If someone gets an easy puzzle chosen by will, I don't take it as a personal affront. SDB, life is too short to get upset about such stuff. I'm upset about what the hell is going on in the Middle East, not about a puzzle hard or easy.

3. Cap,
I am also just as upset about what is happening in the world as you, and perhaps more even. I say this due to some things you have told me before. The world is in a dire condition lately on numerous levels. I have been paying attention to this escalating situation most of my life, and I hate it. I try to get others to see what is happening too, but I feel like I am banging my head against a wall most of the time. I need to take a break as I go along and the NPR puzzle is one way I like to do that, but there frequently is no break to be had from the NPR puzzles Will Shorts presents us with. It has become just another irritation in my life lately. I still find myself looking forward to the upcoming puzzle each week, but quickly find myself feeling like the insane fool who keeps expecting different results from the same failed expectation. Now you too are telling me to just accept things as they are and pretend all is hunky dory. I will never do that.

63. My very young niece, on a cruise, was supposed to be in Israel the next day.

1. Even if she had got there a day earlier she most likely would not have been near the violence. I assume her ship was rerouted??? I'm glad he is okay.

2. SDB: Rerouted the cruise ship.

3. I knew it would have been rerouted, but to where is my question? Hopefully not North Korea or Florida.

64. jan: Just for you. It just came up in Yahoo News feed.

https://news.yahoo.com/lifestyle/average-body-temperature-no-longer-163811445.html

1. I'm retired. Save yourself.

2. Sitting here at my computer after supper and finishing off my Manhattan stirred coctail, in the background I heard a fragment of an NPR interview where the guest said "...it was pretty ironic." Well either it was ironic or it wasn't! All this reminded me of my childhood experience with irony. I wanted to wear a wrinkled T-shirt, and the Sunbeam steam iron happened to be on in the kitchen as my mother went to answer the phone. I quickly saw my opportunity and grabbed my shirt and sat on a tall stool and began ironing with the shirt spread over my bare bent leg. I guess I held the iron there too long because it was not long before I experienced iron knee.

3. Favorite whiskey/vermouth? I am partial to Woodford Reserve Rye and Dolin (it's quite dry). Traverse City Cherries and Bitterman's bitters.

4. That does sound good, but I tend to go for a bottle of Old Fornicator along with French vermouth, and Noisy Prat being my favorite. If I'm cutting corners on the vermouth then I go for domestic, such as Lesion. And, of course you can't skimp on the bitters. How about Angus Thorough?

65. You must have been Tee,D off.

1. I can't say, but the shirt must have been made out of whole cloth (hole cloth too) because the story was. (The intro is true though.)

66. Too cloudy to get a view of the eclipse today. So, I went with"Plan B"!

67. This week's challenge comes from Mike Reiss, who's been a showrunner, writer, and producer for "The Simpsons" among other things. Name a famous athlete, first and last names. Interchange the initials of those names. Then add an appliance. The result, reading left to right, will name a fruit. What is it?

68. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from Mike Reiss, who's been a showrunner, writer, and producer for "The Simpsons" among other things. Name a famous athlete, first and last names. Interchange the initials of those names. Then add an appliance. The result, reading left to right, will name a fruit. What is it?

69. Not the first time this athlete has been a Sunday Puzzle answer.

1. ... but I'm taking it calmly.

2. (But I can't find the last occurrence online. It might have been before they started archiving them!)

70. JACK-O'-LANTERN(JACKAL+ANT+TERN or ERNE)
pjb'sLastPieceOfThisPuzzleWasThe"Jackal",JustAfterGetting"Ant"And"Tern"

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.