Sunday, May 12, 2024

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 12, 2024): Mother Earth

NPR Sunday Puzzle (May 12, 2024): Mother Earth
Q: Think of a well-known seven-letter geographical name in a single word that has just two consonants and yet is pronounced in five syllables.
I'm seeing a genus of aphids in the anagram.

Edit: First the word "seeing" sounds like the letters CN which are the two consonants. And the word anagrams to ANOECIA, a genus of aphids. Interestingly the reverse, (AICEONA) is also a genus of aphids.
A: OCEANIA

129 comments:

  1. Just 360 correct entries last week.

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    1. That surprised me. How hard is it to search "words that look like they should rhyme but don't"?

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  2. Casablanca isn't close, but it might get you closer.

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  3. The place suffered a downgrade.

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  4. This week I'm afraid to give any clue at all.

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  5. Rearrange the first two and last two letters. You get a word that sounds yummy.

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    1. With my answer, which I'm quite certain is correct, I can't come up with a word.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. It's not KILAUEA, only 4 syllables, but I have the right answer.

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  6. I say "ee-oo-rah-see-uh." Some might disagree,

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    1. If it is in the dictionary that way, then it has always been said that way.

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    2. Alas, the dictionary goes with your Asia.

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    3. The location of which is not in dispute.

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    4. Old joke:
      You are "Russian" into the bathroom.
      You come out American.
      What are you in the bathroom?
      You're - a - peein'

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  7. I think this was created on the third day.

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  8. I don't suppose one of my consonants can be a theta...

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  9. It's such a beautiful day, I'm going on a long distance hiking and rock climbing adventure carrying my premium bottled water so I don't get dehydrated. Missed the Northern Lights over the weekend, but hope to find something just as magical exploring nature today! Wishing everyone infinite wonderfuls from the universe.

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    1. ๐Ÿ’งMy clue was carrying "premium bottled water"->Fiji (Fiji water is a brand of premium water.๐Ÿ’ง) Fiji is in Oceania! Also, I inadvertently gave another clue, according to my son Bobby. I mentioned the Northern Lights, and he said the opposite of this would be the Southern Lights or Aurora Australis--and Australia is in Oceania. ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒŠ

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  10. Great. I'm gonna be on a regional rail train, a subway, and a city bus, and possibly an escalator. I'm gonna be swallowing my own saliva.

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  11. The answer might challenge a unique property of a certain country.

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    1. Australia is usually considered the only country that is also a continent. However, when Australia is considered a part of Oceania, Oceania is the continent.

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  12. I got an answer that is a solid fit, and I'm sticking with it, but I'm floundering with some of the clues here.

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  13. Change the last letter to a synonym of the first part of the word to get an airline.

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    1. This fits with what I came up with!

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    2. Actually, even though your instructions are confus(to vocalise), your clue has (rhymes with a synonym of the last syllable of confus(to vocalise), in plural form).

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  14. I have an answer, and I'm thinking it may be different than what some others have. Mine does not work at all for Rob's clue, unless he's spelling his something yummy in a way that I can't figure out.

    I can get something yummy with letters 1,2,3, and 5 rearranged.

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    1. I think you have the same one. Rob's just *sounds* yummy.
      I'm fairly confident that there aren't any alternative answers this week. I don't get all of the clues, though, so maybe I shouldn't be so confident. Rats.

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    2. Thanks. I'm looking forward to Thursday.

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    3. Yeah, exactly. That works for my answer, too.

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  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  16. To be fair and balanced: think of a seven-letter geographical name that has just one vowel.

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    1. Ah, saints preserve us, and here I was thinking it might be Borscht (Belt).

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    2. Borscht is good ... but it only has 4 letters - lessee if this works: ะ‘ะพั€ั‰ !

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  17. After a vigorous session of exercises and shooting baskets—I’ve still got the j—it came to me in the shower.

    Happy Mother's Day to one and all.

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  18. Although I have the answer, I think this is a tough puzzle. (Geography can be a tough category in general.) I do get Rob's clue, but not many of the others -- including, alas, Blaine's. Don't be misled by my two previous comments; they were related to near-misses, not to the actual answer.

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    1. I understand Blaine's clue. Now I know I have the answer!

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  19. Three consecutive letters phonetically spell the given name of a famous author.

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  20. The AI sites are amusing on this puzzle.

    ChatGPT says:

    "Amazon" fits your criteria. It's a well-known geographical name, has just two consonants ('m' and 'z'), and is pronounced in five syllables.

    Gemini says:

    The word you're looking for is Mississippi.
    It has seven letters.
    It only has two consonants (s and p).
    It's pronounced in five syllables (Miss-is-sip-pi).

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  21. The weather outside is beautiful and sunny. Since I can't get this puzzle, sunshine calls me. Have a good week all.

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  22. Chat got answer with some clues. I think wording could have been better in the puzzle.

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  23. Replies
    1. That should say: James A. Michener, but I cannot type on my cell phone accurately. My fingers keep hitting adjacent letters and other problems, so I use the voice feature, and this nonsense is what I get.

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  24. ... or a genus of hydrozoan.

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  25. Remove letters 6 and 7, rearrange, and get a form of conveyance you might think of in the context of the geographical name.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Ah, thank you Dr. K. I know I have submitted the correct response now.

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    3. You’re welcome, Vandal in Seattle.

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    4. You've helped me out a number of times. You've helped a lot of people....wish I could return the aid sometime.

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  26. Speaking of rhymes (from last week), one of the words within the challenge itself rhymes with a word that describes what the answer is.

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  27. I'm reminded of a sign one might see on the street.

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  28. This week's puzzle is a riff off the on-air puzzle, which asked for 6-letter, 4-syllable words with just 2 consonants. One of the definitions given was "keen eyesight", the answer being "acuity". A 7-letter, 5 syllable, 2-consonant word with the same meaning is "oxyopia", which, alas, isn't also a geographical name.

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    1. I usually read the on-air puzzles on the website before listening to the show. "Acuity" was the only one I didn't get. The first word that came to mind for me was "myopia". Despite being obviously wrong, it took up residence in my brain and blocked further thinking.
      How could I be so obtuse!?

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    2. "Acuity" is a better match for "keenness in general", which Will went with after the player blanked on "keen eyesight", which is not a good definition for "acuity". "Keenness of eyesight" would have been better. I'd never heard of "oxyopia" until I started looking for 7-letter, 2-consonant words.

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    3. Paul,
      I usually read them first too, but I was camping in Oregon and listened on my car radio. My experience was the opposite of yours. I got "acuity" right away, but I think it was the ONLY one I got. The guest did really well this week.

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  29. Just saw Tommy Emmanuel in Gettysburg Friday night. That guy can play guitar. It was a PBS benefit show.

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    1. I know the clue and it's a good one
      So, how do you like Tommy compared to Leo Kottke, or Tuck Andress?

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    2. Never saw Leo or Tuck live. Tommy did 2+ hours solo. It was a great show.

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  30. Finally got this in a couple minutes based on a couple of hints above.

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  31. I know I never posted before today, but truthfully, the second thing that came to mind worked for me. Maybe the whole thing took me all of two minutes. (I hate it when I have to give a Sunday Puzzle more time!)

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    1. It took me about ten or 15 minutes. The trouble is, by Thursday I have to remind myself what the puzzle was!

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  33. What’s in a Name?

    My daughter sent this to me. I don’t know where she got it.

    Without skipping letters or changing letter order, the name, Frederick, contains 8 additional common names within:

    Fred
    Red
    Ed
    Deric
    Derick
    Eric
    Erick
    Rick

    Can anyone think of a name with more internals?

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    1. My name computer says:

      11: Evangelina
      Angel
      Angelina
      El
      Eli
      Ev
      Eva
      Evan
      Ina
      Lin
      Lina
      Van

      11: Fredericka
      Derick
      Ed
      Eric
      Erick
      Ericka
      Fred
      Frederic
      Frederick
      Red
      Ric
      Rick

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    2. Chuck,
      Did Ric get missed? And too bad about Dick.

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  34. My Brooklyn cousin says he wants some more like this puzzle.

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  35. As for Dick, there's no skipping letters allowed. The other thing is, what's "common"? I couldn't find a Ric. and several others.

    Well, fun for those who like a puzzle in between the official puzzles :)

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    1. That is why I said, "too bad about Dick." I Googled "Ric" and it came up as a common name in numerous hits.

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  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  38. Replies
    1. Ben,
      It did, and it didn't. My PC keeps crashing. I keep getting a red notice that I have no Internet connection on my Yahoo Mail page. It usually goes away, but not this time. I am picking up a new (to me) computer in an hour from now. I got a notification from AVC anti virus yesterday that they are no longer supporting Firefox. So now I have to upgrade my 13 1/2 year old Gateway that is no longer supported either, like my Windows 7. What a wasteful way we are living!

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  39. OCEANIA

    "Landlocked" refers to the IA in OCEANIA which points to landlocked Iowa. It was a purposeful misdirection away from OCEAN.

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  40. Oceania

    Last Sunday I said, “Three consecutive letters phonetically spell the given name of a famous author.” “Ean,” pronounced “Ian,” is short for Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond books.

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  41. 1. OCEANIA, (ล′shฤ“-ฤƒn′ฤ“-ษ™, -ฤ′nฤ“-ษ™, -รค′nฤ“-ษ™)

    2. CAUCAIA, Brazilian Municipality

    3. AURELIA, Crater on Venus.

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  42. Oceania

    My Hint: "James A. Michener"
    He won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1948 for "Tales of the South Pacific." Later it was made into a musical and also a film version. So, it is also a musical clue.

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  43. OCEANIA

    Hint: “the shower”—where I actually did solve it —> water —> ocean —> Oceania

    Hint: “Remove letters 6 and 7, rearrange, and get a form of conveyance you might think of in the context of the geographical name.”
    Oceania (-ia) —> ocean —> canoe
    (Any allusion or reference to "ocean" almost certainly would have been TMI.)

    I suspect that Dr. Awkward had a distinct advantage.

    And I was surprised there weren’t more Orwellian allusions like Howie Roark’s.

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    1. There were!
      E.g., Scarlett's "By George", and my "Rats", and my “This week I'm afraid to give any clue at all.” (As you would be, if you lived in Winston Smith's Oceania.)

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    2. Excellent! I missed those.

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    3. Thanks Crito for getting my clue. Also Iris Corona wrote "Forty years ago".

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    4. My hint, that it took two minutes to get the answer, also referred to 1984, as in the Two Minutes Hate.

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    5. I certainly felt I should have gotten it more quickly!

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    6. Fret not, Dr. Awkward. You did, after all, get it.

      However, in my comment above I meant Iris Corona’s hint, not Howie Roark’s. But of even greater consternation is my having missed Scarlett’s, Crito’s, and Nodd’s Orwellian hints. Mortification doesn't quite cover it. I guess the synapses just weren’t firing.

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    7. Dr. K, I feel your pain. Admittedly, I didn't get Crito's or Nodd's hints. Now that they've been pointed out, I see them clearly.

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  44. I wrote, “Rearrange the first two and last two letters. You get a word that sounds yummy.” That’s CIAO which sounds like
    CHOW.

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  45. This week's Puzzleria! features our friend Nodd. His "Nodd ready for prime time" puzzle package (“A Nodd Is As Shrewd As A Sphinx” Appetizer) contains puzzles titled "Politics A to Z, Best S[up]porting Actors, Common Usage, Anagrammatic Actresses, Fab Four Frivolities, Poetry Corner by Anna Graham."
    We upload P! later today, certainly before Midnight PDT.
    Also on our menus this week:
    * a Schpuzzle of the Week titled Punishment for the “punnish?”
    * a Tutti Frutti Hors d’Oeuvre titled "Be fruitful and 'Air Supply!'”
    * an Idiomatic Slice titled “Wholly Troubling Trinity”
    * a “Goes ‘Round A’buttin’” Dessert titled “This is your song...” and
    * ten riffs of this week's NPR challenge titled "Sippin’ Schweppes in Oceania" (including one by a friend of Puzzleria! and SIX by Nodd!)
    That means you get treated to a dozen Nodd puzzles!

    LegoAnOceaniac

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  46. OCEANIA

    I posted Musical Clue: Rules hinting at the ubiquitous phrase from my teen years: Led Zep Rules.

    But I didn't dare post Led Zeppelin in plaintext, since The Ocean is such a great song.

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  47. My clue was "By George! I think I've got it!" Oceania was one of the superstates in George Orwell's 1984.

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  48. If theta can be one of the consonants, then Ethiopia.

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    1. That's what I was going to submit, that or Nigeria, or Illyria. Nothing seemed to fit perfectly, but place names in Africa or overseas seemed ripe. Congratulations on the ones that solved it. But it's not a familiar term in my vocabulary, outside of high school literature classes in Or rwell. I's Oceania in the UN? Do people from Australia, Hawaii, the Philippines, Marshall Islands, Indonesia or any other Asian or Pacific Islander,etc ever refer to themselves generically or jocularly as"Oceanian?". It seems a term dripping with colonialism and occidental supremacy.

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    2. Relax, it's just a term of convenience. You want to really ignite a civil war, try pinning down the exact border of North and South Jersey, the precise point where pork roll gives way to Taylor ham.

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    3. Yeah, it's not a nation, it doesn't have official borders, etc. But 'oceania' is definitely the name of a place!
      Jan, I once lived in Central NJ, in the borderlands...

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    4. Ah, pork roll! The perfect combination of salt, fat, and meat!

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    5. You can start the same civil war if you ask whether such a thing as Central Jersey even exists.

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    6. Sure. But the question is: pork roll or Taylor Ham? Gotta choose sides.

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  49. TomR's reference to Tommy Emmanuel was a timely nod to Australia, where TE is from, and, which is also considered to be in Oceania, the answer to the puzzle. My inquiry about Leo and Tuck was purely out of interest.

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  50. Chatgpt solved Blaine's clue in 2 seconds. Answer: Anoecia.

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  51. OCEANIA

    My clues:

    Replying to a comment by Lancek:
    If it [Eurasia] is in the dictionary that way, then it has always been said that way.
    Alluding to the notion that, in George Orwell’s “1984,” if Oceania is at war with Eurasia, then it has always been at war with Eurasia.
    The location of which is not in dispute.
    Alluding to the fact that the real-world Oceania and Orwell’s fictional Oceania encompass completely different territories.

    Similarly, replying to a comment by Iris Corona:
    But different!
    Again, real-world vs. fictional Oceania.

    Maybe the whole thing took me all of two minutes. (I hate it when I have to give a Sunday Puzzle more time!)
    A reference to the “two-minute hate,” a recurring propaganda tool in Orwell’s “1984.” (Also, in the sentence before that, I said “truthfully.” I was thinking about the Ministry of Truth there.)

    I also thought about posting:
    Literary reference: Huxley? Bradbury? Or…? Well, never mind.
    But that would probably have been TMI.

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  52. Oceania

    Sorry to be late. Just got home.

    Re my, “Casablanca,” comment. Australia is the biggest country in Oceania, and Sydney its largest city. Sydney Greenstreet, at over 350 pounds, was the largest actor/costsr in Casablanca.

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  53. "I can get something yummy with letters 1,2,3, and 5 rearranged." That, of course, is CONE, as in ice cream cone!

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  54. No one mentioned Ualapue on Molokai. It's quite prominent when you scroll over the Hawaiian Islands on Google Earth (which I did when I got stuck). Admittedly, the population is only 393, so "well known" would be a stretch.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CA%BBUalapu%CA%BBe,_Hawaii

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  55. This week's challenge comes from the noted crossword constructor and editor Peter Gordon. Think of a famous film with a three-word title (six letters in the first word, three letters in the second, and four letters in the last), in which the first and last words are rhymes for consecutive numbers. What movie is it?

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  56. Actually, two films, 35 years apart.

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  57. I was surprised to find a website that provides the answer directly.

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  58. 870 correct entries last week.

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  59. 870 correct entries for the Oceania puzzle.

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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.