Sunday, February 11, 2024

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 11, 2024): Types of Movies

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Feb 11, 2024): Types of Movies
Q: Start with the name of a blockbuster movie star. Remove the first letter of the first name and last two letters of the last name to get the types of movies he almost never stars in. Who is this?
I'm glad Will included "almost never".

Edit: Early in his career, he directed and starred in a couple of independent films.
A: VIN DIESEL --> INDIES

165 comments:

  1. Remove just the first letter and rearrange to get a place to watch today’s game.

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  2. Perform the same operation on the answer movies (remove first letter and last two letters). Rearrange. You get a description of the star’s movies’ soundtracks. (OK, I am not a fan.)

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    Replies
    1. Appropriate for blockbusters, though.

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    2. I agree, but shouldn't the operation be performed on just one of the movies?

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  3. Confusion reigns among the sommeliers.

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    Replies
    1. You're right, not a great vintage.

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    2. What pairs well with French fries?

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    3. Used frying oil can be recycled into diesel fuel.

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    4. Wine & fries—not a bad combo.

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  4. Hmmm, re: on air puzzle >>> Albatross and Happy Days don't end in vowels as the puzzle states. There may have been more inaccuracies.

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    Replies
    1. I heard it as only the countries needed to end in a vowel.

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    2. Only the countries had the restriction "don't end in a vowel".

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    3. Ah, I missed that. Not enough coffee. . .

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  5. Got it. Now, what rating should I give this puzzle?

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  6. I thought this was tricky. I don't want to add fuel to the fire though.

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  7. Okay my clue is approximately as indirect as Blaine's clues typically are!
    He isn't in a Harry Potter movie, or Night at the Museum.

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  8. Replies
    1. "You just keep thinkin', Butch; that's what you're good at" -- The Sundance Kid

      The Sundance Film Festival is for independent films.

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  9. Ah, of course. My oversight. Sorry about that.

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  10. "Rambling" north from L.A. to San Fran...

    LegoPostingAVeryObscure(HeHopes)Hint

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  11. Frank OZ doesn't often play in "rank" movies...

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  12. Happy early Valentine's Day, Blainesvillians All!

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  13. I heard that Dwayne Johnson was making a movie about Wayne Johns.

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  14. No worries, Dr. K. Great minds and the sincerest form and all that. : )

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  15. I've seen precisely one of this actor's movies, and it isn't one of his numerous blockbusters

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    Replies
    1. Right. This actor wouldn't appeal to posh taste of most NPR listeners.

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  16. Citizens of a certain country would not want the 2nd in the 1st.

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  17. For clarification - are we looking for "types of movies" to be two different types, or just one type?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I think I have it now. --Margaret G.

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    2. This cannot be clarified without giving away information. Figure out for yourself why the question would be phrased so oddly.

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  18. His voice is as popular the rest of him.

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  19. In one of his movies he opens fire on a pickleball match with Pachelbel 's cannon.

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  20. I solved this puzzle quickly.

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    Replies
    1. I hope that doesn't make anyone upset. It drives me crazy when I'm having a hard time figuring out the puzzle, and others come on here saying it was the first thing they thought of.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. I agree, Jaws. So for those who may still be struggling, here’s an inside track: Kipling and twain.

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    4. Jaws, Sit down and have a glass of red or white...That should help!

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    5. Hello, I'm Bobby's mom! Just saw this and wanted to clarify--that's his clue for the puzzle, unrelated to first thing he thought of or actual time to solve. :)

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    6. Greetings, Bobby’s Mom! My apologies. In typical benighted fashion, I took Bobby’s comment at face value. By now I should have learned very little here can be taken at face value (including my own reply, which had not only an overt hint but also a covert one). Puzzle on, Bobby!

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    7. Hello Dr. K, You are wonderful and no apologies needed. This group is very fortunate to have you. You bring much Good to this world, and I'm happy to know you. I hope one day to meet you and all the Blaine's blog contributors in person as I think such a get together would be very joyful and fun.

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    8. Quickly is fast. Vin Diesel was in the Fast and Furious movies.

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    9. As I noted below, my comment was a well disguised play on being FURIOUS, since Bobby was FAST.

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    10. See my Samuel Johnson quote below.

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  21. First of all, I don’t know where you were last week, Blaine, but you were missed around here. Welcome back. Health and happiness to you and yours. Second, I think this is the worst-clued puzzle we’ve had this year.

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    Replies
    1. Chuck, I second both your first of all (Welcome back, Blaine!) and your second of all, too.

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  22. 900 last week. I predict 1800 this week

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  23. My cousin's musical playing off-broadway in nyc:
    https://mcctheater.org/tix/the-connector/
    You might like it.

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

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  24. I think this one is a bit rough on the palate.

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  25. There will be an FBI raid in about 20 minutes.

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  26. This puzzle might suggest that the posh, highbrow NPR crowd is not totally without masculinity.

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  27. Too easy. For starters, why give away the actor is a "he"? Solved it in no time at all. Now I think I'd better run to the store to get all the goodies for Super Bowl night! (You know…the commercials!)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, this puzzle is kind of chauvinistic. It reminds me of the riddle back in the seventies where the answer was, the surgeon was a female.

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  28. HAITI ends in a vowel, but it was accepted. HONDURAS might have been the true answer.

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    Replies
    1. 1) COUNTRIES WHOSE NAMES END WITH A VOWEL

      2) BIRDS

      3) DOMICILES

      4) SITCOMS

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    2. My error. I thought it was supposed to not end with a vowel.

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    3. The category "domiciles" was skipped. What was this even supposed to mean? It could be countries, or various other things.

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    4. Cabin or castle, house, apartment, igloo, retirement home or recreation vehicle.

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  29. I'm entering the name in a search and will pick something to watch tonight.

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  30. I have to say I have never completely watched one of these blockbuster movies.

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    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure you haven't missed much

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    2. As I said, the posh, highbrow NPR taste isn't ready for this.

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  31. I'll admit that this actor's canon of work doesn't appeal to me. I'm drawn towards intimate, character driven movies, like 2023's The Holdovers. Older movies that I like include Local Hero, Lost in Translation, and Scotland, PA.

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  32. Sure, we ALL do. Because we're all posh, highbrow and oh so gentile.

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    Replies
    1. Pardonnez moi. That's genteel. Although I certainly am a gentile. As is our blockbuster star, btw.

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    2. May I infer that you have an issue with my taste in movies?

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    3. It is not genteel to speak of one's gentiles.

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  33. so much depends
    upon

    a prolate
    spheroid

    laced with
    PVC

    inside the night
    thickens

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    Replies
    1. Oh bravo, Dr. K.

      I have eaten
      the nachos
      that were on
      the counter

      and which
      you were probably
      saving
      for halftime

      Forgive me
      they were delicious
      so gooey
      and so salty

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    2. Hear, hear, Crito.

      Years ago I wrote the following to my better half:


      This Is Just to Say


      I have drunk
      the old milk
      that was in
      the icebox

      and which
      you made possible
      by buying
      new milk

      Thank you
      it was delicious
      so sweet
      and so cold

      Her reply:

      just
      stop
      it
      (and an emoji I don't know how to replicate)


      Delete
  34. I stopped by the Blainesville blog curious about the reaction to Will's substitute today--a rare phenomenon. After 72 comments, nothing. It's the fourth quarter of a close Superbowl, but you word lovers don't seem like TBI enthusiasts. Greg Pliska's stint struck me as noteworthy. He was introduced with impressive bona-fides that sounded like a logical successor to Will Shortz. I thought Greg did well. He has an eponymous dot-com website.

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    Replies
    1. Indeed, it could be Will is trying out successors! Greg's voice was velvety and genteel.

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    2. I still remember the anagram of his name that occasionally came up in the "Ask Me Another" end credits:
      SPARKLE GIG
      pjbCan'tGetAGoodEnoughAnagramOutOfHisOwnName,Though(TooManyR's)

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    3. I do enjoy listening to The Puzzler Podcast, with AJ Jacobs and Greg Pliska. I did also notice at the start of the puzzle broadcast that "Will couldn't be there," and "Greg is substituting." That leads me to ask if Will is okay. Usually they plan around when he will not be available, by doing things like 2-week challenges. The challenge puzzle comes from AJ Jacobs, not a regular everyday listener. (AJ has been on NPR more, and is a level above the everyday listener.)

      So, does anyone have more info on all of this?

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    4. I also thought the sub did a good job Sunday and wondered if it was a tryout of sorts. If so, Blaine and Lego should get a crack a la Jeopardy! I did notice that at least two hints were embedded in the challenge presentation. WS might or might not have included them. No hint here exactly; just an observation or two.

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  35. Change one letter to get something falling out of favor.

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  36. RIP former NPR Morning Edition host Bob Edwards.

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    Replies
    1. Talk about velvety and genteel. RIP Bob.

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    2. My earliest NPR coffee mug is a "Morning Edition with Bob Edwards" mug.

      A close friend of mine worked at NPR for many years. Evidently, NPR wanted to go to a two-person format like the other news shows. He didn't. They also wanted him to stop smoking and running outside for a few puffs during breaks. He didn't. I don't know if he quit or they fired him. Either way, he was an early, familiar voice on the network.

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    3. It is interesting to me that every time in the past that Will Shortz has been away it is stated clearly why and where he was going. This time nothing at all was said by either the host or fill in puzzle master. The takeaway is that there must be something happening that WS, and perhaps NPR, do not want us to know.

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  37. I’ll plant the idea that the guy is a giant movie star.

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  38. I wonder if actor ever goes full commando…

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    Replies
    1. Is that like a comic strip, no pun intended, retaining only its writers?

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    2. Full commando is without undies, which sounds like indies.

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    3. Comic strip retained only its writers and . . . dropped its drawers?

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  39. I can think of an unflattering word that rhymes with this actor’s name….by the way, my reference to Professor Plum was an indirect “clue” to the Kitchen (room) which is also a part of the Pickleball court.

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  40. Pronounce the first name as in French. Switch the order of the names. Phonetically, you get a common sight.

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  41. CarTalk has posted a new puzzler today that you might enjoy. It is called: The Last Move. It is a chess puzzle.

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    Replies
    1. I like it!
      I found it fairly easy, but here's a hint if someone has trouble: there's a very good chance you set it up wrong, even if you read the instructions very carefully and tried to follow them exactly.

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    2. I think the less said the better. I too found it easy though.

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    3. OK, I've got the answer. I wouldn't say that I set the board up wrong, exactly, but that something it not as it seems.

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    4. Cute. Thank you, Jan, for the link and the illustration.

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    5. When's the deadline for this here?

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    6. And the answer is . . . ?

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    7. jan,
      Ray has not been posting in a fully predictable manner for a long time now. He probably will post the answer Saturday, but you just have to keep checking. Do you want me to actually post the answer? I thought you had already solved it.

      Delete
    8. Do you think Ray is still involved with the website? (Tom sure isn't.). This is an old puzzler from decades ago, though I must say they do a good job purging their archives to keep you from searching for the answer. Anyway, I have *AN* answer, and look forward to arguing about it.

      Delete
    9. What the Hell. The answer is:
      White pawn to H8 capturing most likely the Black knight and becoming promoted to a White rook and putting the Black king in double check.

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    10. Yes, I have no doubt Ray is in charge, but Tom is perhaps on to another incarnation, or still studying his latest one. You are right about them all being old ones, or at least most are, but I never saw this one until this week.

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    11. The White pawn was on G7 obviously.

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    12. Yeah, that's what I thought. The trick is seeing the bottom row as black's home, not white's.

      I found a reference to this puzzler in a blog from the early 2000s, but not on the Car Talk site.

      Delete
    13. In an actual game White would promote to a Queen, but that would ruin the puzzle. Also, this endgame would never happen in an actual game, but that is perfectly acceptable in chess puzzles. I remember some years ago I solved a typical White checkmates in two moves puzzle where a pawn was going to reach the 8th row and promoting to a Queen would not have worked, so it promoted to a knight I believe it was. There is no way Tom or Ray created this puzzle. Most of the ones they claim credit for are automotive, and usually not very good either, but a few are.

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    14. Jan -- the board in the picture you linked is, of course, *not* correct because the ranks and files are labeled wrong! (The square the rook is on is h8, not a1.)

      Delete
    15. Yes. I created that before I figured out the puzzle. To correct it would have given too much away.

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  42. As usual, I’m having more fun with silly wrong answers than actually finding the real one. Personally I’d love to see Jason Biggs in a sequel to Honey I Shrunk the Kids

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  43. Now that most of us are past the puzzle mania, I thought I would bring to everyone's attention an interesting programme I heard about that explores a little known legal loophole, in the state of Wisconsin, that would have allowed Jefey Dahmer to sue the families of two of his victims. Since this was never pursued, Joe Josafin, an attorney specializing in countersuits, has put together a programmer called Justice in its Fullest: Dahmer's Countersuit. It will be broadcast sometime later this week on public radio stations WHO, out of Xenith, Ohio.

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  44. Not a word about the irony of someone named "Post" developing a product for Kellogg's.

    Not five weeks ago, Final Jeopardy!:

    BRAND NAMES

    Originally called Fruit Scones, the name of this food brand introduced in 1964 was influenced by an art movement of that time

    Six years later, a box of Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts came to college with me. One morning, I bit into one too soon, and the sticky filling burned my lip. I wrote a letter to Kellogg's, advising a warning on the package. Weeks later, I got a phone call from them. Thinking I was about to score a bunch of freebies, I described the incident. The caller took me aback when she asked if I was going to be suing them. "No", I said without thinking. End of conversation.

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  45. Well, jan, that sure wasn't very compassionate of you. Maybe you did not want or need the money, but think of the poor lawyers who missed out on a windfall due to your only thinking of yourself.

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  46. VIN DIESEL, INDIES

    "Happy early Valentine's Day, Blainesvillians All!" Valentine's Day and Vin Diesel share initials.

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  47. My first thought: VIN DIESEL → INDIES, Independent films, as opposed to major studio productions,
    (or Artistic works produced by an independent company or group as opposed to major studio movies.)


    Also, Vin Diesel, someone who doesn't often play in “INDIES” movies, either East Indies or West Indies movies...

    ReplyDelete
  48. VIN DIESEL —> INDIES

    My hint about dropping the first letter from the name, rearranging, and getting a term associated with the Big Game was of course “sideline,” which Lancek rightly pointed out had already been posted, in somewhat different form, by Nodd. When I realized what had happened, I was reminded of Samuel Johnson’s reply to a woman who asked how he had managed to misdefine the word “pastern” in his famous dictionary: “Ignorance, Madam, pure ignorance.”

    My oblique comment—“Citizens of a certain country would not want the 2nd in the 1st”—oblique because it didn’t specify that I meant 1st and 2nd names (which might have been TMI), was hinting at France (and French), diesel, and wine (vin). Or, of course, “vice-versa.”

    About the hint “for those who may still be struggling, here’s an inside track: Kipling and twain”: “inside” is an anagram of “indies,” and Kipling’s poem “The Ballad of East and West” contains the famous line, “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,” which might make one think of the East and West Indies...or not.

    And, finally, a sincere “thank you” to Eileen, Bobby’s mother, for her gracious comment. I appreciate the kind words.

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  49. Our friend Jeff Zarkin has composed an excellent sextet of puzzles for this week's edition of Puzzleria!
    They appear in his always-terrific "Jeff Zarkin Puzzle Riffs" package, and are titled:
    1. "Classic description"
    2. "MalaDY & RemeDY"
    3. "Doing in, doing to..."
    4. "Return to sender?"
    5. "The world, a stage; our life, a play," and
    6. "Morning delight... but not noon or night!"
    We upload Puzzleria! late Thursday at around Midnight PST, or likely earlier.
    Also on our menus this week:
    * a Schpuzzle of the Week titled "Better chemistry, through living... color,"
    * a “Your Serve” Hors d’Oeuvre titled “Wanted: Sleuth for con-sequence”
    * a Syllabifiable Puzzle Slice titled "Egoist does as egotist dons?"
    * an Anagrammatical Dessert titled "Creature, trees, feast & Indies," and
    * 11 riff-offs (including a beauty composed by our friend Nodd) of this week's NPR puzzle, titled "Edsel Ford Vin Diesel engine."
    That is a total of 21 puzzles – one for each meal of the week!

    LegoWhoUrgesAllToJoinUsForALollapaloozaOfZarkinesquePuzzleWizardlry!

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  50. I wrote, “Perform the same operation on the answer movies (remove first letter and last two letters). Rearrange. You get a description of the star’s movies’ soundtracks. That’s “din.”

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    Replies
    1. And if you perform the same operation on the famous indie film "Winter's Bone" you get "BTR noise." BTR makes stuff for customizing racing cars.

      Delete
  51. Vin Diesel ---- Indies

    Change the, “i” in Vin to an, “a” to get Van Diesel. Diesel vans are falling out of favor, at least in some areas/applications.

    ReplyDelete
  52. VIN DIESEL, INDIES

    > Hmmm...

    Unlike a Mazda gas car, a DIESEL engine doesn't go "Hmmm..."

    > Pronounce the first name as in French. Switch the order of the names. Phonetically, you get a common sight.

    There are lots of DIESEL vans on the road.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I submitted an alternate answer:

    (Dwayne Johnson) The Rock --> hero

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  54. My clue was "17 oiq". Automobile VINs consist of 17 characters, and the letters o, i, and q are not used because they can be mistaken for zero, one, and nine.

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  55. My extremely indirect clue: "He isn't in a Harry Potter movie, or Night at the Museum."
    Those movies were directed by Chris Columbus, whose namesake got confused and called the lands he ran into the "Indies".

    ReplyDelete
  56. Replies
    1. I posted:

      I'd better run to the store to get all the goodies for Super Bowl night! (You know…the commercials!)

      "Run" as in "fast (and furious)," and Super Bowl commercials often include the kind of action seen in the Fast and Furious Franchise.

      Delete
  57. I had said, "Got it. Now, what rating should I give this puzzle?" I did not go so far as to suggest the rating XXX, which was a Vin Diesel movie.

    I then commented on Bobby's post (where he mentioned solving it quickly): "I hope that doesn't make anyone upset. It drives me crazy when I'm having a hard time figuring out the puzzle, and others come on here saying it was the first thing they thought of."

    This, of course, was a perhaps too well disguised reference to the Fast and Furious movie franchise. Since Bobby had said it was Fast, I made a comment about being Furious, without actually saying the word. Thanks to the multiple people who expressed concern or sympathy for me.

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  58. "There will be an FBI raid in 20 minutes." That's from Boiler Room, with Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, etc.

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  59. I wrote Got it in no time, my shout out to Fast and the Furious.

    Which was not an INDIE movie.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I said “I feel like I am seventeen … VIN (Vehicle Identification Number is 17 characters)

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  61. My clue was referring to “weasel” which rhymes with diesel. Btw, JAWS initially had me thinking the answer to part 2 may be “r-rated” or “g-rated” or something like that.

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    Replies
    1. As noted above, I was making a vague reference to the XXX movie.

      Delete
  62. Dwayne Johnson's nickname could go the other way - movies he often stars in.

    ReplyDelete
  63. VIN DIESEL, INDIES
    pjbBelievesItIsBetterToBeFastThanToBeFurious

    ReplyDelete
  64. I am a bit embarrassed to say that I didn't figure out the puzzle until Thursday around noon. At least I got it in before the cut off. I don't know if I've ever seen Van Diesel or not. If he was in Night at the Museum, I dd see that. I imagine I wouldn't care for his films. But it is interesting how he was a bouncer and changed his name for the screen. And he's made so many movies and so much money. I suppose that's impressive.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Wednesday should have been a great day for the Kansas City metro area as we celebrated the Chief's Super Bowl win with a giant parade. But, a pall is over the city as a shooting occurred with 22 shooting injuries and one death, at Union Station, the parade endpoint. Details are still sketchy... the two probable gunmen are minors so their identities are being kept secret. Crazy...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What? Are you telling us that guns are allowed in Kansas? I had no idea. I thought this democratic country was intelligent enough to control such deadly instruments. How could I have got that wrong?

      Delete
    2. Remember though, technically it happened in Kansas City, Missouri...

      Delete
    3. I suppose that is a good point, although, to me, all the Midwest is to be avoided at all costs. Perhaps if I paid even scant attention to team sports I would have known this. Shame on moi.

      Delete
    4. Don't worry, Trump made that same mistake.

      https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/feb/02/trump-kansas-city-missouri-super-bowl-tweet

      Delete
  66. This week's challenge: It comes to us from listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco, also known as the singer Kid Beyond. Think of a famous character in American literature. Change each letter in that character's name to its position in the alphabet — A=1, B=2, etc. — to get a famous year in American history. Who is this person and what is the year?

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  67. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  68. Already solved this week's puzzle.

    This week's challenge: It comes to us from listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco, also known as the singer Kid Beyond. Think of a famous character in American literature. Change each letter in that character's name to its position in the alphabet — A=1, B=2, etc. — to get a famous year in American history. Who is this person and what is the year?

    ReplyDelete
  69. The U.S. entered World War II in 1941. Too bad Verdi wasn't American.

    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.