Sunday, December 10, 2023

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 10, 2023): Winter Season Approaches

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 10, 2023): Winter Season Approaches
Q: Take the phrase WINTER SEASON. Add a letter of your choosing. Then rearrange all 13 letters to spell three related words. What are they?
Christmas is coming...

Edit: WINTER SEASON has no "L" (Noel)
A: WINTER SEASON + L = RAIN, SNOW, SLEET

149 comments:

  1. Can you use a letter more than once? It does not say

    ReplyDelete
  2. The question is whether to try anagram solvers or pencil and paper. I managed with the latter. Good puzzle.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Solved quickly, after I grabbed the Bananagrams tiles to more easily move letters around.

    I am reminded of a Dr. Seuss story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will explain on Thursday.

      Delete
    2. I was reminded of Bartholomew and the Oobleck, where the king complains about The Things That Come Down From the Sky, two of which are snow and rain.

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was actually rethinking that one myself.

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. This implies that I have the answer. All true...

      Delete
  6. 8th Avenue and 33rd Street

    LegoNotesThatTwoOuttaThreeAintBad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Dr. K
      Unbelievably Amazing quick response... One minute!

      LegoMaybeI'mAmazed

      Delete
    3. Thanks, lego. Just a good day when the synapses seem to be firing. I had a moment of early insight (related to Lancek’s later comment removed by Blaine) that led to the answer. I even did Wordle in 2. (Don’t ask about other days, though.)

      And certainly not a good day or week for Liz Magill, former president of my alma mater. In June 2022 I walked past her new office just before she became the university’s president. How are the mighty fallen….

      Delete
    4. TMI in my particular case.

      Delete
    5. There is an oblique connection between this puzzle and the University of Pennsylvania.

      Delete
    6. Aren't thing rather blique there too right now?

      Delete
    7. They’re stuffed to the gills with problems.

      Delete
    8. Despite Penn’s problems, the founder would insist my comments be PG.

      Delete
    9. My father went to school at U. of Penn. Lots of family went there.

      Delete
    10. Oh, very nice clue. This one or Leo's might very easily have given me the answer, but in fact I got it before the clues helped me.
      Hey, the Polar Express is very seasonal, right?

      Delete
  7. Can we still mail in responses via postcard? I know it will get there.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Easy puzzle. Think of a term that describes a process that happens when solutions of BaCl2 and H2SO4 are mixed.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Adorn in sweets! Isn't that what Gingerbread houses are for?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jolly good puzzle, I’d say. And I agree with whoever it was that said above they just used their own noggin, not an online tool.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I realized that there were way too many anagrams possible for a brute force approach. Fortunately, the solution just came to me while I was out for a walk.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Loose, ambiguous phrasing. Does "related" mean "related to WINTER SEASON" or merely "related to each other"? There are lots of words that can be made from WINTER SEASON that one could argue are related.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the ambiguity is intentional, and part of the puzzle. It probably allows for alternate answers, but when you hit the intended answer, you will of course have the answer to your question.

      Delete
    2. There are three words that unambiguously related.

      Delete
    3. @JAWS and @Buck Bard, thanks. I think I've got it.

      Delete
  13. As a Jewish Atheist who is bracing himself until January 2nd and is just tolerating having Christianity forced upon him once more, I am inwardly cringing a little bit here. Blaine, might not your hint be TMI itself and worthy of removal by a blog administrator? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I (for a change) get Blaine's hint, and I think it is excellent. It is not TMI.

      Delete
    2. The three words I have are not associated with Christmas, at least not in the southern hemisphere.

      Delete
    3. Having done some grocery shopping recently, I can see Bing Cherry's point.

      Delete
    4. I had come up with adding "M": WISEMEN, STAR, NO (as in North). However, it turns out it wasn't the NOrth Star the Magi supposedly followed. And I didn't want a religious answer, either.

      Delete
  14. How apropos, at least where I live.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow, Shortz stiffed us on the car parts solutions. OK ... this week needs a challenge already: WINTER SEASON with no addition can be rearranged into 2 other 6-letter words that name a building complex in Warsaw or a superwoman (thanks, Internet).

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have two possible solutions, one of which fits Blaine’s clue. I need to decide whether to pick one, or to submit both.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Puzzle answered. Now to steel myself for the Winter Season...

    ReplyDelete
  18. I don't get it. Are we supposed to add our own letter, and make three thirteen letter words, or make three smaller words out of the thirteen?

    ReplyDelete
  19. From some of the above comments I suspect there will be numerous submissions of an unintended answer.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Add a letter and make three smaller words.

    ReplyDelete
  21. If be pretty impressed if you could get even one 13 letter word that way, let alone three. 😉

    ReplyDelete
  22. Okay, I just solved it, or at least I have an answer using the three smaller word solution method. The three I came up with are related to Winter, not Christmas, so Bing Cherry doesn't have to compromise his Atheist-Jewish principles. By the way, the Christmas Season ends with the Feast of the Presentation which is February 2nd. It also includes Epiphany, traditionally January 6th, which celebrates the visit of the Magi (pronounced MAY-ji, rhymes with "cage my," That is, the Feast of the Three Kings). I'm sure the Jewish-Atheist doesn't care, but at least he will be informed that the Christmas Season extends past December 25th, and past January 2nd. I am sure that if anyone made an error regarding a Jewish holiday, that S/he would be corrected as well. I submit this in a spirit of clarity and understanding.

    ReplyDelete
  23. The words remind me of 3 related terms in Pokemon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The types of Pokemon include water (like rain), ice (like snow), and steel (an anagram of sleet).

      Delete
  24. User some of the letters of WINTER SEASON to name something the three words of the puzzle’s answer have in common.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Well, I tried anagramming using the phrase with each vowel in turn. I think I have three words that work, but I ain't sure. I don't have the patience to do the same with the 22 consonants that remain. Happy Chanukah to those who don't celebrate Christmas but Merry Christmas to the remainder. Not being repetitive, just all in inclusive. And of course, atheists. OK, I'm done. In any case be well all of you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL
      I wonder if Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and so many others feel included?

      Delete
    2. Come on SDB, everybody knows there are only two true religions, plus atheism. Agnostics and Wiccans don't count.

      Delete
    3. Power & greed are the 2 that come my mind.

      Delete
  26. I knew I wasn,t mentioning the rest, but I was too ignorant to know what what else in celebrated at this time of year. BTY, SDB, I didn't think the puzzle as easy as you did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I solved it just by looking at the phrase, which is how I believe the puzzle was coined.
      I knew you meant everyone, but had to respond anyway.

      Delete
  27. I'm not sure whether or not you celebrate anything this time of year. The solstice is enlightening for some folks.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Once I realized the three related words were not going to be Taylor Swift boyfriends names, I turned my attention to the Ravens game. They are going to lose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly, while I can't remember her boyfriends' names (think the latest one is Travis), I remember that her cats are named Meredith, Olivia, and Benjamin.

      Delete
    2. That is rather hilarious, Tortie!

      Delete
  29. Solved it (good puzzle!), but I also came up with a not-as-satisfying alt answer.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm also happy to say I didn't need to look up anything OR put pen(cil)to paper to get it either. Hopefully it's not TMI to say that, around here, I've only really seen one of the three things more often than the other two over these many years.
    pjbHasSomeoneComingOverTomorrowMorningToRedoHisBathroom,SoHe'sHadToCleanItAsWellAsHisMother's(WillHaveToGetBackToThatAfterThisPost,Unfortunately)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Replies
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBC0QxgGl4c&t=151s

      The :) I posted in response to "grapple" seems to have melted away.

      Delete
  32. This is more a creative puzzle than anything! I have one answer that I'm pretty sure is the intended one, given Blaine's clue and my interest in poetry. But I also have another answer that I like better (poetic clue: Charles Wright).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How is it a "creative puzzle?" A person created it and we are to solve it with his intended answer. What is creative about that?

      Delete
    2. Ah, I just mean that adding different letters and re-arranging might well result in a wide variety of answers that do indeed "spell three related words"—so a solver can be creative in her responses. I do agree, however, that there's probably one intended answer. To be clear, I was not criticizing the puzzle—I find the flexibility interesting!

      Delete
    3. By that logic then I assume you also find Wordle to be creative, rather than simply a scavenger hunt. I cannot buy into that.

      Delete
    4. Okay! :) Wordle doesn't seem to me to invite the same kind of creativity, unless I'm playing it wrong! All I'm saying is that I have some fairly cute alternative answers that fit the rules, and I'm curious to see whether others do too :).

      Delete
    5. I have two additional answers, although neither is as satisfying as the intended one. One of my answers would be slightly better if you could add two letters to WINTER SEASON instead of just one.

      Delete
    6. Dr. Awkward,
      Okay, if you want to be creative:
      What is the difference between a homeowner and a home moaner?
      I have no answer; be creative and post all you want.

      Delete
    7. Or:
      ...a ho moaner? If you prefer.

      Delete
    8. I now have an answer that works, but will wait and see what you come up with.

      Delete
    9. A homeowner wants their house to look the way they like. A home moaner forms an HOA, so they can tell everyone else to make their houses look the way the home moaner likes! :-)

      Delete
    10. I like it. I'll post my answer later.

      Delete
    11. How about this?:
      The difference is in the time it took for each to realize they had been hosed.

      Delete
    12. One has a cat, the other has a communication.

      Delete
    13. Dr. A—To return to your initial comment, clever by half.

      Delete
    14. "Winter is icumen in, / Lhude sing Goddamm, / Raineth drop and staineth slop, / And how the wind doth ramm! / Sing: Goddamm."

      Delete
    15. My variant solutions included "snow, tree, saint"; "snow, tea, singer"; "snow, rain: beset!"

      Delete
  33. True that I must wait longer than January 2, alas. This reminds me of when, as a little boy, my neighbor invited me to their house to put up their Christmas tree with them. I asked them what the twelve days of Christmas were, very sincerely wondering if that was how long it took to clean up? They never invited me over again.

    ReplyDelete
  34. December prediction : When Ayesha' announces the number of correct answers on Sunday, YULE be surprised, you all

    ReplyDelete
  35. Not a tough puzzle to grapple with this week unless you get stuck on interpretations.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Robots are eating my lunch: I asked Bing AI: "We can chain any two 6-letter English words if the last 3 letters of the first word are the same as the first 3 letters of the next word. Can you make a list of 6-letter English words where each word is chained to the one before it (if any) AND the one after it (if any)?" It came back with: "Sure, here are some examples of 6-letter English words that can be chained together in the way you described: beggar - garden - dental - talent - entail - ailing - ingest - stable - bleach - aching". I don't know which is more remarkable: the fact that it did this - and on request supplied me with a Python program to do it - or the fact that "ingest - stable" is wrong. Well, we all make mistakes ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...INGEST - ESTRUS - RUSSET - SETTEE - TEETHE -THESIS - SISTER - TERSER -SERENE- ENERGY!

      LegoWhoJustRanOutOfEnergy

      Delete
    2. united - tedious - ouster - terminator - torrent - enticed - cedar - daredevil - village - ageless - essential

      Delete
    3. Hmm, speaking of INGEST, I found an old program that will string together 3-letter clumps such that each successive pair will make a word, e.g.:
      ABA CUS TOM CAT SUP PER MIT TEN DER AIL ING LES SEN ORA TOR QUE ASY LUM BAR BED PAN TRY OUT LAW MEN TOR RID DEN TAL ENT REE FER RET ARD ENT ICE BOX CAR BON BON NET HER BAL LON GER MAN GOS PEL VIC TIM BER LIN EAR FUL FIL MED USA BLE ACH ING EST
      This sort of thing is very dependent on what you accept at each level, e.g. the above 3-letter clumps need not be words. Still, slightly interesting.

      Delete
  37. WINTER SEASON + L = SNOW, RAIN, SLEET

    "●Done" included a SNOWball shape.

    "I'm not sure whether or not you celebrate anything this time of year. The solstice is enlightening for some folks." Note the WEATHER embedded there.

    ReplyDelete
  38. WINTER SEASON + L → RAIN, SNOW, SLEET.

    ReplyDelete
  39. WINTER SEASON + L —> RAIN, SNOW, SLEET

    Hint: “Herodotus.”
    In Herodotus’s Histories there occurs a passage from which the USPS derives its informal motto, “Neither rain nor snow,” etc., which, as Lego astutely hinted, appears on the entablature of the building at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street, New York City’s James A. Farley Building, formerly a U. S. Post Office.

    The repeated references to my alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, and to its former President, Liz Magill, were of course all (sadly) true, but the triple allusion to 1) the “oblique connection” between Penn and the puzzle; 2) the school’s “founder” (Benjamin Franklin); and 3) “PG” had to do with the fact that Franklin was the nation’s first Postmaster General.

    I considered “Karl Malone” as a hint but thought better of it.

    ReplyDelete
  40. +L -> RAIN, SLEET, SNOW

    > Fortunately, the solution just came to me while I was out for a walk.

    As opposed to the precipitation.

    Feed me!

    RSS could stand for RAIN, SLEET, SNOW

    ReplyDelete
  41. Ready for some "Puzzle Fun"?
    Our good friend Bobby Jacobs – the featured puzzle-maker on Puzzleria! this week – has composed a pair of appetizingly entertaining yet cannily, cunnungly “DiscomBobbylating” puzzles titled “Clothes and Countries.”
    We upload Puzzleria! tonight around Midnight PST (but most likely sooner).
    Our menu also features:
    * a Schpuzzle of the Week titled "A tale of 2 nations, 1 landmark, 3 letters,"
    * a Ready-To-Wear Hors d’Oeuvre titled “You gotta be putting me on!,
    * an Authoritarian Puzzle Slice titled "Three-course four-letter-each lunch,"
    * an After The Deluge Dessert titled "Dove extends an olive branch..." and
    * ten Riffing Off Shortz And Baggish Slices titled “Neither snow nor rain nor sleet...”
    Come join us for some “Ingenious ‘Jacobian’ Ingenuity.”

    LegoWhoNotesThatBobbyAndAllOthersWhoCreate AndContributePuzzlesAreTheLifebloodOfPuzzleria!

    ReplyDelete
  42. WINTER SEASON + L >>>> SNOW, SLEET, RAIN

    Several comments on this week's puzzle, mine included, used the word, whether.


    ReplyDelete
  43. WINTER SEASON + L -> RAIN, SLEET, SNOW
    Alt 1: WINTER SEASON + T -> SNOW, TREE, SAINT (as in SAINT NICHOLAS)
    Alt 2: WINTER SEASON + L -> SNOW, TINSEL, ERA (as in New Year; adding LY gives a better answer -> SNOW, TINSEL, YEAR)

    ReplyDelete
  44. I wrote, “The question is whether to try anagram solvers or pencil and paper.” The clue is whether / weather.



    Incidentally, I used a method that Will mentioned years ago, and probably everyone knows. Take your letters and make them into a pyramid, with one letter in the top row, two letters in the second row, and so on. This encourages seeing links.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. interesting.
      I placed Scrabble tiles on the control panel of my exercise bicycle. As I was pumping on the pedals, my brain kicked into gear ...

      Delete
  45. Snow, sleet, rain
    (From “winter season” + L)

    My clue:
    Time to go.
    A reference to a song by U2, A Sort of Homecoming.
    The song opens with the verses:
    And you know it’s time to go
    Through the sleet and driving snow
    .
    Toward the end, there are these verses:
    And your heart beats so slow
    Through the rain and fallen snow…
    .

    It was between this clue and mentioning U2 by name. People might have googled “U2 snow,” and all results would have pointed to a much more recent song, White as Snow, which contains no references to sleet or rain. On the other hand, googling “U2 snow sleet” would immediately show the song A Sort of Homecoming. Therefore, I thought it better not to mention U2 by name.

    ReplyDelete
  46. snow, rain, sleet

    Add an L to "winter season" to get snow, rain, and sleet.

    ReplyDelete
  47. When mixed, solutions of barium chloride (BaCl2) and sulfuric acid (H2SO4) yield a white precipitate of barium sulfate (BaSO4). So the process is precipitation.

    ReplyDelete
  48. SNOW, SLEET, RAIN.

    When Lego wrote 8th Avenue and 33rd Street, I replied that this was TMI in my specific case.

    And this is because I grew up on 8th Avenue and the General Post Office of New York City was my local PO.

    My Zip Code was 10001 -- 10 for Manhattan Island and 001 for the big house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But, Ben, did you know the answer before you read my post? If not, I apologize for ruining this fine puzzle for you by posting a TMI hint.

      LegoSuspecting(AndHoping)ThatBenHadAlreadyFiguredOutTheAnswer

      Delete
  49. Bonus puzzle solution: WINTER SEASON with no addition can be rearranged into 2 other 6-letter words that name a building complex in Warsaw or a superwoman
    => SIENNA TOWERS

    ReplyDelete
  50. Add an L for rain, sleet and snow. Oh, I wish the weather outside here was frightful. It's nice enough out at my house to do more yard work in a tee shirt. Bring on the snow!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I really liked Lego's clue. Since the Farley building is now the home of Moynihan Train Hall, I mentioned the Polar Express.

    ReplyDelete
  52. WINTER SEASON + L = RAIN, SNOW, SLEET

    Last Sunday I said, “Jolly good puzzle, I’d say. And I agree with whoever it was that said above they just used their own noggin, not an online tool.” Jolly because it has an unnecessary L to lend. After that, just think about things that frequently accompany the winter season, especially the weather.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Add "L" to get SNOW, RAIN, SLEET. My hint was "February 2016," the month in which Super Bowl L was played.

    ReplyDelete
  54. My mind was in a particular place this week after a co-worker brought in homemade Italian holiday cookies...

    +e, snow, tree, anise

    ReplyDelete
  55. My clue (42nd Street): The musical which featured the tune "Shuffle Off to Buffalo". Buffalo, NY's snowy weather often makes news headlines.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I submitted RAIN, S(L)EET, SNOW. In fact, SNOW was perhaps the first word I saw in the letters, but I was trying to go other directions from it like TREE, REIN, and SANTA. It was only when I considered generic weather that I saw everything else.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I completely whiffed on Blaine's clue this week, thinking it was just some redundant reference to snow. In reality, it was a brilliant reference to the letter that must be added. Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  58. What living room furniture may be used in order to determine when the planet will no longer be able to support human life?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! I have no doubt that if you were to consult your end-tables you would be able to calculate the end-times.

      Delete
  59. Ok, I "whiffed" too, and I am turning as red as Rudolph's nose. I thought the answer was to add a "T" and spell "snow," "tree," and "Saint"...all references to Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Great way to end the week!!!!

    https://www.cnn.com/2023/12/15/politics/rudy-giuliani-verdict-pay-defamed-election-workers?cid=ios_app

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rudy who?
      Good enough for him. I don't think he has learned anything from this and he shows no remorse!

      Delete
  61. Why did the Spanish guitarist use the last name of a famous composer to name his dog?

    ReplyDelete
  62. WINTER SEASON+L=SLEET, SNOW, and RAIN
    Should've referenced Journey as a "musical clue", but it's obviously too late. SLEET and RAIN are mentioned in the lyrics to "Wheel in the Sky"(1978).
    pjbAlsoDoesn'tKnowWhereHe'llBeTomorrow(ParaphraseOfTheSong'sChorus),ButOnlyInTheSenseThatTheyMayOrMayNotBeMakingARunToWinn-DixieSometimeTomorrowAfternoon

    ReplyDelete
  63. My clue - not a tough puzzle to grapple with - was a phonetic reference to graupel which is another form of precipitation, similar to hail (and one I’d never heard of before!).

    ReplyDelete
  64. This week's challenge comes from listener Samantha Robison, of Eugene, Ore. Think of a word that means "required." Rearrange its letters to name two school subjects, one of which is often required, and one of which often isn't. What are they?

    ReplyDelete
  65. Pretty easy. Waiting for Blaine...

    ReplyDelete
  66. Not the intended answer, but one synonym for "required" anagrams to a school subject and the day of the week I had it, or the subject and something I might have muttered under my breath.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I don't think either subject is required. I went through H.S. without taking either class back in the early 70s.

    ReplyDelete

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.