## Sunday, December 24, 2023

### NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 24, 2023): Shifting Things Around in the Workplace

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 24, 2023): Shifting Things Around in the Workplace
Q: Think of an area found in many workplaces, in two words. Move the first letter of the first word to the start of the second word. Phonetically you'll name two items that have a similar use — one of which might be used in the workplace. What place is this?
Drop the last two letters in the first word and add an "S". Rearrange to name a type of hat.

Edit: BRE(ak) ROOM + S --> SOMBRERO
A: BREAK ROOM --> RAKE, BROOM

1. Rearrange to get two words, the longer of which might happen if you do the shorter word and your workplace is a chemistry lab.

2. I got it with the first work area I tried. Take the letters in the even positions of the area, rearrange, and you see what I did not do in joy of solving this puzzle so easily.

3. Very easy. First thing I thought of.

4. Never had one of these at work, though I've certainly heard the term. Mostly on TV shows, for some reason. Guess I worked in the wrong places.

5. Like others, it was the first work area I tried. Rearrange the letters to get a color, a game piece, and an extra letter.

1. Between the number of us that got this with the first thing we tried, and the number of people that are taking time off this week, I'm expecting a higher number of correct answers. I'll predict the number of correct answers will be 2023, to celebrate the end of the year.

2. Jaws, I got the color and game piece but no extra letter.

3. I'm with Natasha.

4. Thanks Lancek and skydiveboy (when did you drop SDB?). I cannot solve Blaine's clue yet.

5. Natasha, I don't understand your question???

6. SDB: I thought your name was posted as SDB before.

7. SDB: I checked previous blogs and see that I was in error.

8. Natasha, No problem; all is forgiven. But you must do a dozen Mail Harry's first.

9. Now that I come back to this hours later, I don't have an extra letter either. I guess the coffee hadn't kicked in fully this morning.

10. Maybe a dozen Mail Harry's for you too. :-}

6. Remove two letters, rearrange, and get two animal sounds.

7. I'm surprised this puzzle wasn't posed using a different kind of familiar wordplay that obviously applies. There should be a lot of correct answers to close out 2023.

1. ...as Jaws correctly noted above.

2. The puzzle also works well as a spoonerism.

8. Leaves little to the imagination.

9. It’s Christmas time so Will might be in a charitable mood. And Merry Christmas, all!

10. Puzzle seems more suitable for a Fall Holiday. A Blessed Christmas to all.

11. March 10, 1937

12. Musical Clue: Clyde Stubblefield

1. Not Jabo? Did i miss something? Take me to the bridge?

2. My hint was related to Clyde Stubblefield's world famous "Funky Drummer," from his work with James Brown, which is widely considered the greatest of all "Break Beats."

And I was hinting at Break Room, of course.

3. History of the Funky Drummer:

4. Tks: I also have the C.D. "Soul of the funky drummers" with Clyde and Jabo.

13. Anctum ssanctorum?

14. That was quick had time for coffee and a bagel.

15. Same as many of you, first place I thought of. Made me think of a clue from today's NYT crossword puzzle.

16. At the State Dept, we call it the demilitarized zone, aka "neutral territory"

17. "What are men, Grandpa?"

1. Thanks for this, Iris!

18. I think there could be an adjustment to the puzzle wording.

19. Need to finish my Spring Cleaning for a party tonight before I can focus on the puzzle...Is there a phrase
for Winter Cleaning?

1. Hibernal housecleaning?

2. The alliteration is catchy.

3. I need my rake and broom for the cleaning.

20. Or, you can replace 2 letters and rearrange to get one word naming something totally irrelevant.

21. Or, to make some puzzler's progress, think of two mammals, 7 letters in all, and rearrange.

22. Let’s have some fun with famous classical composer’s surnames.
Example: What composer might be associated with having a discussion with a stranger over a beer? Answer: Bartok

See if you can name the composers who might be associated with:

1. Decorating castles
2. Likes to be critical of plays
3. Avoids mess
4. Angry at his bicycle
5. Will relax on your lap for \$
6. Enjoys sunshine and even at night tries to make it happen
7. Likes to look at young ladies entering society
8. Unclothed lions

1. I've got 4 of them.

2. That was fast!

3. Well, maybe, but the other 4, not so much.

4. Got two quickly and will revisit this later in the week. Thanks for an interesting challenge!

5. Make that 5. However, given the holiday, I am a bit too Bizet at the moment to continue with this classical FaurÃ©.

6. Well then just Ravel in your achievement so far.

7. After a second look, I now have 1, 2, 4 and 7, which are probably the same four as Dr. K found.

8. I first, unintentionally, came up with #1 and then went looking to see if I could find more. Number one is my favorite.

9. I could not find a way to make CHAI COW SKI come together.

10. Lorenzo, like you, I originally got 1, 2 , 4, and 7, but soon after I added 8. I'm still working on 3, 5, and 6.

11. Got 8 also.

12. You guys are neck & neck. Just thought I'd tell you that all of them cannot be equal. Some are bound to be better than others. For example, my mother's dinners she cooked for us were not all equal. In fact some were even worse than the others, if you can believe that.

13. Non-alcoholic brew?
Venerable scholar fat?
What kind of person sleeps during the day?
Lab animal particles?

And one more that I can't find a way to hint at in the same manner

14. For Pyotr Ilyich, how about "winter sports gear for a bovine introvert?"

15. It should really more be pronounced Chai COUGH SKI.

16. Perhaps: "after snow sport tea to calm oncoming illness?" Too complicated, I suppose.

17. I think I might have another surname clue: "Temporarily takes over noise". I just hope one of your 8 above isn't the same, guy, SDB. I could only get your #s 3, 7 and 8 so far. And found part of #1, but the last half of the potential composer's name doesn't work, as far as I can figure out.

18. Try this one -- use school's head a bit.

19. VT, you are solving the hardest ones first! I suspect #5 is the most difficult and the worst of the lot. I think your #1 suspect is not the intended answer name.

As to trying to make Pyotr Ilyich work, I would go with the advice of my tailor, who always likes to say, "Discretion is the better part of velour."

20. Number 1 is indeed good, but 8 is also fabulous.

21. SDB - I now have plausible answers to 3 and 5 but nothing really close for 6.

22. Paul – I’m pretty sure I have your intended answers to 1, 2 and 4 and a plausible but not compelling answer to 3. Much more enjoyable than this week’s NPR offering. Thanks.

23. VT – I had considered the answer to your surname clue as a possibility for one of the SDB/Paul offerings.

24. Hmm, Lorenzo, wihch one of SDB's offerings?

25. I ma eagerly awaiting all the answers to these composers, especially that #1.

26. I think I just got #5, which still leaves #3 and #6.

27. And maybe #6, too, but it feels like a stretch.

23. Both the "puzzle" and Blaine's hint were easy, but while I hate this awful "puzzle", I enjoyed Blaine's hint. I don't know why, but for some reason it reminds me of the star actor in the old Disney, Davy Crockett series: Fez Parker.

24. Blaine,
Has your Christmas Puzzle tradition now bit the dust? Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

1. It's morphed into an end-of-year/new year's puzzle. It and the video will be out next week.

2. Thanks. I'll check with Ticketmaster.

25. The only thing I can come up with for March 10, 1937 is H.P Lovecraft and a portal to purgatory.

1. No, that's not it. I'll tell you this much. It's a musical hint.

2. Let me add one other date that may help: November 23, 1936.

26. Work from home anymore?

27. Replace the first 2 letters of the first word with a copy of the last letter of the second word. It will sound like something you can do in the place.

1. Meak room sounds like "make room", assuming that the "eak" in "meak" is pronounced the same as the "eak" in "break".

28. Makes me think of Debbie Downer.

1. (subject of an SNL sketch in which there is a great deal of breaking.)

29. Start with the two items and replace the first two letters of the first word with an O, then rearrange (but just a little) to get a popular phrase that I doubt is popular among Blainesvilleans.

30. To all those who celebrate, Merry Christmas!

1. And to all who don't as well. (Why not?)

2. Why not, indeed?

31. TV clue: think Phil Donahue's late father+in-law

1. Took a few ticks to bridge your familial answer to your intended clue but not so much as to declare finding your solution a lost cause.

2. Try again: artificial uterus.

3. Phil Donahue's late father-in-law (Marlo's father), Danny Thomas had a TV show called "MAKE ROOM for Daddy"

32. After playing since the early 90s, I'm torn between wanting to finally win and not wanting to demonstrate on-air just how much of 2023 I've ignored or forgotten for Will's annual news quiz.

33. Help! I need some clarification here. Back when Archie Bunker slid the wedding ring onto Edith’s finger, was that a marry Archie band?

1. What military action would occur if certain insects would not perform their natural functions?

2. A no fly zone?

3. I like that, but what I was thinking was a drone strike.

4. Good one, but to be picky, there are only 3 types of military actions. I think operations is the proper term. Military operations are categorized as peacetime, conflict, and war.

5. Interesting. What are the three types of military actions?

6. Peacetime, conflict, and war. I mistyped when I said operations is the proper term. Anyway, it's all great fun when you get paid to kill people and get paid for it. Don't you think?

7. I haven't had to. I suppose I would, if it were kill or be killed, but the mindset I would have to get myself in to do it scares the hell out of me.

8. Sounds like you would not make a good cop. So many of them really want to shoot someone.

9. Sadly true. I used to defend them sometimes in civil rights cases. One guy killed five people. Finally they moved him to an administrative position.

10. Murderers make really good administrators. He probably got a nice big raise too. And still got to wear a badge and carry too.

11. He wasn't technically a murderer because the DA never elected to bring any charges, but the city got nicked but good a few times in civil wrongful death cases based on his conduct.

12. And yet he still kept his job. Complicity is not a suburb.

13. Check this out that I just now found posted:

https://news.yahoo.com/attorney-says-video-disputes-charges-203339220.html

14. What a bizarre confluence of events. A total lack of communication and a person on the brink of heart failure. I don't know quite what to think.

15. After my very first thought as I began watching was my second thought, and that was that the boy may have thought the cops were attempting to rape him. He was wearing shorts and they seemed to be dropping and they said they were patting him down there. Perhaps a bit more than patting. If he had been pale with blond hair do you think any of this would have happened? It was totally racist.

16. I wouldn't doubt racism played some role, but I have to question whether someone who apparently had been living and working in the US wouldn't realize that when you're stopped by the police it's not a good idea to fight with them and try to get away.

17. We are not exactly seeing the same movie here. It was 100% racism. Why else was he even approached? How do you know how long he has been living here? He obviously was having difficulty comprehendying. Spanish is not even his language. It is some obscure indigenous language. All he was doing was talking on a cell phone. He knew he had no reason for the cops to stop him and was confused as to what was going on. Where he is from cops are not to be trusted at all. He is small and was wearing shorts, and suddenly this cop is turning him around and patting his ass. What do you think was going through his mind? Now he will be too embarrassed to say that though. Let's not blame the victim. And just because it is a problem when someone runs from the cops or resists, that does not make it acceptable and exonerate rogue cops. He was not understanding what was going on and broke no law. BTW, I looked at the obituary photo of the cop who died and his photo showed him in uniform with sergeant stripes. I looked again at the video and I saw no stripes at all. Was he demoted prior to this?

18. Obviously, I don't know what the guy thought was happening when they stopped him. Why was he stopped? They said he was trespassing but there weren't any details given so I can't say if that was just bogus. I'm not advocating exonerating the cops; they obviously handled to whole thing abysmally.

19. He was standing on the street sidewalk in front of a Motel 8 while being not white and was talking on a cell phone. No one had called in a complaint. They just happened to be driving by and stopped because he was brown. Simple as that. It is called racial profiling.

20. There's certainly nothing in the video or writeup that's inconsistent with your conclusion.

34. RIP Tommy Smothers. Mom always liked you better.

1. Rest in Peace, Yo Yo Man.

2. I know I need to get over it, but even to this day, that CBS move in 1969 still makes me mad!

35. BREAK ROOM; RAKE, BROOM

Mehhhh.

36. BREAK ROOM → RAKE + BROOM

Blaine's “type of hat” → SOMBRERO

37. BREAK ROOM >>> RAKE & BROOM

1. I did not hint, but love Blaine's SOMBRERO hint.

2. Sdb, may we post our answers to your classical composers quiz? I'm pretty sure I've got 6 of them (#1, #2, #4, #5, #7, and #8, though my answer for #6 seems a stretch, and I'm simply stumped by #3.

3. YES, absolutely. When I see some answer posts I will post the answers, and thanks for playing.

4. SDB – Here’s what I came up with. (My favorite was 8.)
1. Mozart (moats art)
2. Chopin (show pan)
3. Liszt? (A list might be helpful in avoiding a mess.)
4. Gershwin
5. ???
6. ???
7. Debussy
8. Berlioz (bare Leos)

For 5, having a small dog (“poochini”) on my lap might be helpful if I were seeking a handout. And for 6, I got no closer that Saint-Saens, which is a bilingual mashup of French (sans) and English (sun).

Paul –
1. G. Verdi? (I was surprised to learn that Gi Ver tea was a thing.)
2. Beethoven (Bede hoven)
3. Haydn is a near (or not so near) miss. A person in “hidin(g)” might sleep during the day and venture out only at night.
4. Maazel (mice cell)
It was particularly satisfying solving 2 (with a little help from Google) and 4 (no help needed).

5. Very impressive, Lorenzo, but I was doing something entirely different:
8. Non-alcoholic brew => sober ale => BARE LEOS
7. Venerable scholar fat => Bede suet => DEBUT SEE
2. What kind of person sleeps during the day => who naps => SHOW PAN
1. Lab animal particles => rat atoms => MOATS ART

I skipped 4. GRR SCHWINN because there was only one vowel and an indeterminate number of R's

6. 3. GOUNOD (GOO--NO!)
7. DEBUSSY
8 BERLIOZ (I really liked this one!)

7. ANd, of course, PALESTRINA was what I was trying to go for on #1, but the 'trina' part didn't work.

8. Very clever, Paul!

38. BREAK ROOM —> RAKE, BROOM

Since “ACULTY FLOUNGE” didn’t work, I knew pretty much right away that the second word was “ROOM” and that the first letter of the first word was therefore “B.” The rest followed. As others noted, it was an easy puzzle and should generate many correct submissions.

Hint: “Remove two letters, rearrange, and get two animal sounds.”
BREAK ROOM —> BAK ROOM —> BARK, MOO

Hints: November 23, 1936, and March 10, 1937
The dates, respectively, of the recording and the release—though there is some dispute about the release date; some sources say it was in April, not March—of the great Delta blues guitarist Robert Johnson’s “I Believe I’ll Dust My BROOM.”

Hint: “Or, to make some puzzler’s progress, think of two mammals, seven letters in all, and rearrange.” (Only one letter needs to be moved.)
HOG + HART —> HOGARTH, the 18th-century British artist who did the series of satirical paintings entitled RAKE’s Progress

Curiously, there is an actual, unique product called the “Rake Broom,” which is a broom with rake-shaped bristles. Who knew?

39. BREAK ROOM -> RAKE, BROOM

> And there's a connection to last week's puzzle here.

Blaine titled last week's blog post "Nay, Recess *is* Necessary", which goes nicely with BREAK ROOM.

>> TV clue: think Phil Donahue's late father+in-law
> Try again: artificial uterus.

I think Black swan was going for "Make Room" (For Daddy) as a rhyme for BREAK ROOM. Similarly, I went with "take two", and "fake womb".

40. Our multi-talented Shakepearean thespian and old friend Mathew Huffman (who is actually quite a young man) takes the Puzzleria! stage this week, striking a pose with a trio of puzzling posers. These "UnConunDrumBeatable Appetizers" appear in his "Mathew Huffman's Conundrum Set" feature.
We'll upload Puzzleria! later this evening around Midnight PST, but likely earlier.
Also on our waning-MMXXIII menu are:
* a Schpuzzle of the Week that involves "Fidgeting with double digits,"
* a Horns Of A Moral Dilemma Hors d’Oeuvre titled "Left with a right or wrong choice,"
* a Fictitious Puzzle Slice titled "Moji, Dapo, Jane, Marcel & 13 A’s,"
* a Minding Your P’s & Q’s Dessert titled "Edward Bear, George Geef, Sidney..." and
* Ten riffs of this week's NPR Puzzle, titled "Rakes & brooms in the break room"...
Among these ten riff-offs are three really “terriffic” riffs:
>>Two created and contributed by our valued friend Ecoarchitect, author of "Econfusions," and
>One created and contributed by another valued friend of ours who is a Packer&Panther&Puzzleria! Fan.
Drop by... Be Conundrumbeaten, Ecoconfused, and Triple-Peed!

LegoRingingInTwentyTwentyFourWithPlentyPlentyMorePuzzlesGalore!

41. break room --> rake, broom

Last Sunday I said, “It’s Christmas time so Will might be in a charitable mood.” He might be giving us a break.

42. BREAK ROOM, RAKE, BROOM.

I had said, " Rearrange the letters to get a color, a game piece, and an extra letter." As many of you pointed out, I had rather foolishly scribble down the letters while anagramming, and wrote one of the letters twice, and then did not catch my mistake. There is no extra letter, the answer just anagrams to AMBER, ROOK.

My apologies for any stress caused.

43. break room->rake, broom

44. Here are my answers to skydiveboy's classical composers quiz (I'm unsure of #6 and am simply stumped by #3):

1. MOZART
2. CHOPIN
3. ?
4. GERSHWIN
5. HORWOOD (!)
6. SOLIVA (?)
7. DEBUSSY
8. BERLIOZ

Thanks, sdb. It was a real challenge.

1. This comment has been removed by the author.

45. This comment has been removed by the author.

46. Let’s have some fun with famous classical composer’s surnames.
Example: What composer might be associated with having a discussion with a stranger over a beer? Answer: Bartok
See if you can name the composers who might be associated with:

1. Decorating castles
2. Likes to be critical of plays
3. Avoids mess
4. Angry at his bicycle
5. Will relax on your lap for \$
6. Enjoys sunshine and even at night tries to make it happen
7. Likes to look at young ladies entering society
8. Unclothed lions

1. Mozart >>> moats art
2. Chopin >>> pans shows
3. Gounod >>> No goo
4. Gershwin>>> grrr Schwinn bike
5. Purcell >>> cat willing to sell a purr session on your lap
6. FaurÃ©>>> faux ray of sunlight
7. Debussy >>> debutant you see
8. Berlioz >>> naked lions

1. I did get Gounod! At least...plus 7 and 8.

47. BREAK ROOM; RAKE, BROOM. My hint: Rearrange to get two words, the longer of which might happen if you do the shorter word and your workplace is a chemistry lab. (ERR, KABOOM!)

My riff on sdb’s composer puzzle: "Use school's head a bit" – borrow dean – BORODIN. (I suspect VT’s riff, “Temporarily takes over noise," may also refer to Borodin.)

1. Yes, Nodd, I intended Borodin. But hadn't figured out that yours was also.

48. My clue (Ding dong) was a reference to the wicked witch on the Wizard of Oz riding her broom (Ding dong the wicked witch is dead!) As a side note, I've read that the flying monkeys are chanting: All we know, we owe her.....

1. Wasn't it the castle guards chanting? I don't think the monkeys talked.

2. Oh what a world....what a world! I'm melting. You've destroyed my beautiful wickedness. You are correct! It was the castle guards.

3. Did you know that when Dorothy is about to leave in the balloon with the Wizard, the Tin Woodman surreptitiously unties the rope so the balloon takes off without her?

4. Sounds like another baseless conspiracy theory to me.

5. Are you saying I'm a Lahr?

6. No, perhaps just a bit Dotty.

7. Nope, I'm totolly sane.

8. It wouldn't be too difficult to do a straw vote on that.

9. Gee wiz, that's a scary thought.

10. Well, like the scarecrow said, that's me all over.

11. Keep in mind that sometimes things at first appear to be black and white, but then turn out to have more clarity.

12. The scarecrow was a bit full of himself, wasn't he?
As for black and white, see Pia Zadora.

13. Why do the munchkins always get the short end of the shtick and overlooked?

14. Because they are a bunch of ding-dongs?

15. They sure are sweet with all that rich filling.

16. Is it true they filmed the movie in color because in B&W the actors were unable to follow the yellow brick road?

17. ...and the Emerald City would've been hard to identify in b&w!

49. Some more composer riffs:

1. Singe large vessel.
2. Kind of brew.
3. Pea expert's kid.
4. Rebuff buff actor.
5. Frequently a Baroque composer.
6. Oxford, German literature Nobelist.
7. NATO nationality.

1. I know #5, at least!

2. I got 1, 3, 5 and 7 quickly, but then moved on.

3. That's odd!

4. And just now, even 6 came to me.

5. Nodd - Very nicely constructed clues. I think I now have all the answers. I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

6. Thanks, Lorenzo. Here they are:

1. Singe large vessel. Burn stein – BERNSTEIN
2. Kind of brew. Bock – BACH
3. Pea expert's kid. Mendel’s son – MENDELSOHN
4. Rebuff buff actor. Shoo Burt [Reynolds] – SCHUBERT
5. Frequently a Baroque composer. Often Bach – OFFENBACH
6. Oxford, German literature Nobelist. Shoe, [Thomas] Mann – SCHUMANN
7. NATO nationality. Briton – BRITTEN

7. Nice puzzle, Nodd. But I was running on empty after sdb’s, so I passed. The synapses just seemed to be on holiday--it is, after all, the season--so I didn’t even get the first clue after I started thinking, “Burn… burn…hmmm…I wonder who it could be.” I'll bet Lorenzo did just fine.

8. Very understandable, Dr. K. As I'm sure you know from all of the riffs you have posted, it's easier to think up conundrums than to try to solve them.

9. Thanks Nodd. Got them all.

10. Sure, Lorenzo. You obviously know your classical composers.

50. Break Room — Rake, Broom

First area I thought of. I wonder what that says about me. Anyway, enjoy your holidays!

The mention of the holidays was to convey the idea of taking a break. Unfortunately, SuperZee had beaten me to the "coffee and a bagel" association. ;)

51. If several more states refuse to allow DRT to be on the primary ballot perhaps it will cause the traitors on the Supreme Court to back off.

52. NYT crossword hint was something about HUNT? Answer was Witch? So, broom made me think of witch. But, honestly I can barely remember my name some days so these may be off a bit.

53. BREAK ROOM, RAKE and BROOM
I did think BREAK ROOM was all one word at first.

1. Maybe because that does not fit the definition of a Spoonerism.

54. I have it on Godunov authority that SDB has another set of famous name conundrums all ready for a quick cut'n'paste job in case tomorrow we are again presented with a retarded NPR puzzle not worthy of commenting on. Stay tuned.

55. R.I.P.
Tom Wilkinson

56. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from Sandy Weisz, of Chicago. Name a famous movie in 4 letters. Change one letter and anagram the result to name another movie that came out 20 years later. Then change one letter in that and anagram to name a third movie that came out 29 years after the second one. What movies are these?

57. It took a search (is there any other way?), but I've got it. I have no idea how to clue this. Waiting for Blaine...

1. I have it. It took a while pairing years with movies...

58. I have an answer to the movie puzzle. I would have gotten most of the on-air puzzle but not all...need to up my game!

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.