Sunday, June 02, 2024

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 2, 2024): Name That Writer

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jun 2, 2024): Name That Writer
Q: Think of a famous writer with a three-word name. The first two letters of the last name followed by the first two letters of the middle name followed by the first two letters of the first name, in order, spell an adjective that describes this author today. Who is it?
Take the last two letters of each name, rearrange those six letters to get something you might do while solving this puzzle.

Edit: AR-CE-HS --> SEARCH
A: EDgar RIce BUrroughs --> BURIED

157 comments:

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

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  2. I tried Howells to no avail, but thank goodness it wasn’t Márquez. I hope the latter wasn’t Crito’s spinoff.

    Hint: Rearrange the writer’s first name, and get a word associated with educators.

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    1. Ha!
      No no no. Okay, my clue isn't awesome, but that doesn't really matter, so I'll put my spinoff below.

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    1. So sorry. The last name sounds like homes.

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  4. I was pleased to find how the location for the adjective is fitting for the author.

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  5. Cute clue by Blaine. I was a bit surprised at this puzzle but it was the second person I thought of.

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  7. More than 1200 correct responses this week.

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  9. Think of a famous writer with a three-word name. The first two letters of the last name followed by the first two letters of the middle name followed by the first two letters of the first name, in order, spell a noun that T. S. Eliot might have used in discussing this writer.

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    1. Actually (and somewhat surprisingly), maybe not.

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  10. Take the last two letters of the writer's first, middle, and last names, rearrange, and you get what I did briefly before getting the answer.

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  12. I did cheat to get the answer.

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  14. A sports icon turned Hollywood star comes to mind.

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  15. We seem to have kept Blaine quite busy today.

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  16. Got it. I see I need to be careful with any clue I post, given the number that have been removed already.

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    1. The second letter of the first name, second letter of the last name, and second letter of the middle name, in order, result in something you do not want.

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    2. I also found out I'd better be more careful!

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  17. Is Gerard Manley Hopkins a Ho Mage?

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  19. I read 100 novels last year, and just finished number 33 for this year. I am a little embarrassed to realize I have never heard of this author, nor read any of their books.

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  20. Charles Sanders Peirce ... I can't see how Pesach (Passover) works.
    Edna St. Vincent Millay ... I can't see how Misted works.
    Erle Stanley Gardner ... I don't see how Gaster works.

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    1. Now that (Peirce) would make a great puzzle for next April. One of my favorite philosophers too.

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  21. So far, there’s a one-to-one correlation.

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  22. Reminds me of a joke about a musician.

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    1. Interesting. I named the musician, and got blogadministered.

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    2. Kind of a rotten joke if it's the one I'm thinking of.

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    3. "What is Mozart doing right now?" "Decomposing."

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  23. Replies
    1. Nope. If we were playing the on-air puzzle, I'd say the correct answer starts with a B.

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  24. I was surprised to see who was inspired by the books of this author.

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  25. I think many Americans are more familiar with the legendary film performances inspired by the author's work than they are with the author's actual writings

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    1. That, together with the scope of the legendary film characters' vocabulary, says so much about American literacy, Curtis.

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  26. The author's middle name is the last name of a famous author whose real middle name is a homophone of the middle name of a famous 3-named author whose first name is the same as the first name of the original author.

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    1. Breathtaking. But, then, I’ve always been the geeky sort, too. ;-)

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    2. Yes very nice, Bobby.
      One author referred to in Bobby's convoluted clue shares a first name with another author whose surname is... an adverb! (It has several dictionary entries that are different parts of speech, but surely adverbs are unusual for author names.)

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    3. I noticed that, too, WW, but it was such a valiant effort I didn't want to say anything. It reminded me of ouroboros....

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    4. Indeed. But, I did learn a first name I didn't know before. That's always fun.

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    5. Edgar Rice Burroughs's middle name is Rice, like Anne Rice. She was born Howard Allen O'Brien. Allen sounds like Allan, as in Edgar Allan Poe. He has the same first name as Edgar Rice Burroughs.

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  29. I found it pretty easy to solve while I was still in bed. I first thought of several authors with 3 used names, but then tried working it backwards and got the answer quickly. Oh, and some here may find it interesting that I did not think of James Gould Cozzens until after I had solved it.

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    1. Seems you do some of your best thinking while in bed.

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    2. I think you may be right about that. There are few distractions to interrupt my thoughts.

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  30. Just answered. Nothing else.

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  31. The author’s last name has a couple of homophones, one which has a relation to the 2nd part of the puzzle answer, and one that reflects a geographical name which I (and many others here) can relate to.

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  32. I used to scream for the Brooklyn Dodgers until they left for LA. I liked this puzzle not because it was particularly hard, but because of the nostalgia I felt for the place that I was born and raised in.

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    1. I hear you, Clark. My mother was born there, and my son lived there for many years. They were my favorite team, and I really thought they would eventually come back.

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    2. I have a repro of the original team jacket that came out in honor of the 50th anniversary of Robinson's turning pro. When they left I was totally bereft like most kids my age. When I wear the jacket, I get great comments about it. When I was in my 40's I met Don Newcomb. He allowed me to try on his world series ring. His hand was so huge that the ring was even too large for my thumb!

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    3. How wonderful. Recently, I got an original 1956 Dodger Yearbook that announces the '55 championship on its cover. For many years, I lived across the street from Larry Doby, and one day I saw Newcombe outside Larry's house. He was so tall and had such a distinctive face, you knew it was him.

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    4. When he shook my hand, it was the gentlest handshake that a hand could do without a limp wrist. Since the dodgers left Brooklyn, I gave up my interest in current baseball. I was accustomed to the ball players living in Brooklyn and being socially active members of the community. Alas, I think I've become too old!

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    5. Dr. K, Thanks for allowing me to share. I wasn't aware the a clue would turn into a conversation with you.

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    6. My pleasure, Clark. May that conversation continue. It sounds like Newcombe was a gentle giant. I can tell you that Larry Doby was himself a gentleman, decent and honorable, and he had endured much of the same abuse that Jackie did. But someday, should we ever meet, I will tell you my favorite baseball story (about the '54 World Series, Willie Mays, and Larry himself). which he told me when he and his wife Helen were at my home for brunch. I'd like to think that they were more than just neighbors. I miss them both dearly.

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  33. PS Not a hard puzzle but it give me a laugh.

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  34. Some people don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.

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    1. And the privates kept calling for "morass" "morass". And they soon got it.

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  35. Second name I saw as I was about to consult a list of three-word named authors. Saved me the time and trouble.
    pjbKnowsTheAdjectiveDescribesHisNephewAsWell(ButYou'dHaveToKnowHim)

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  36. We planted tomatoes with basil and thyme today.

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    1. I planted kenaf. Hoping to get seeds.

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    2. TomR, kenaf is new to me. What will you do with the seeds?

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    3. Never heard of kenaf, either. Hibiscus cannabinus, AKA Deccan hemp and Java jute, apparently. Used for making cloth, rope, paper, and, lately, cars. Who kenew?

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  37. Blaine, you're about 35 miles from the big Corral fire, though fortunately upwind, I think. Are you getting any smoke at your place?

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  38. Not a hint, but Will's speech is improving gradually. While you can still detect strain in his voice, his personality seemed to be more evident today (tone changes, etc) than it has so far.

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  39. If Linda Thorson married Jack Nicholson ...

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    1. ... and wrote spy novels, she might use the pen name Tara King Nicholson. Applying this week's algorithm gives us the first name of the fellow who infamously declared "Мы вас похороним!"

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  40. The name rhymes with Bedna St. Vincent Milay; the adjective rhymes with "NISTED".

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  41. I can't believe it took me this long to discover I misunderstood that ophthalmologists tend to live much longer than other physicians, but at least now I understand why I thought that.

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  42. What? It’s not Usama Mohammed Fayyed?

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  43. Folks, I'm off to for post op visit today with the anesthesiologist and then inpatient open heart surgery tomorrow. Will be out of commission for a week before returning home. They're honing the special Kryptonite instruments as I write this. Keep me in your hearts and minds. Thanks, Clark

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    1. Best of luck, Cap! (I'm guessing it's a pre-op visit today, unless you're having a really interesting week.)

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    2. All the best, Clark. I’ll be thinking of you.

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    3. Sorry for the typo, Jan. Thanks, Dr. K. I am a bit worried. My mitral and aortic valves are about to be replaced.

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    4. Mike, you know I don't believe in luck, but that does not mean I do not wish you the best outcome, and you will be in my thoughts. Please keep us up to date. Also, I heard long ago that after heart surgery it is common for the patient to feel depressed, so you might just want to be aware of this and be prepared. I suspect it will be a success.

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    5. No need to apologize for a typo, Cap. When checking myself into a hospital, I once misspelled my own name.

      My father-in-law got a new aortic valve at age 79, and had many good years after that. Before, he had a murmur you could hear without a stethoscope. You getting a pig or a cow valve? (Or one of each?)

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    6. Cap, may your surgeon's hands be steady and your new valves strong. We'll be thinking of you as you heal.

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    7. Cap, Thinking of you and praying for a great outcome.

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    8. You (and the medical professional who will treat you) are in my prayers, Clark.

      LegoWishingClarkASuperSuccessfulSurgery

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    9. Wishing you all the best, CAP. I guess the surgery has already happened? But sending healing vibes to you, digitally.

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  44. Good luck, Clark. We want to hear how it goes, so let us know ASAP.

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    1. Today's WORDLE is thinking of you too.

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    2. Thanks everyone. Just stepping into the car to go for meeting with the "gas passing doctor"!

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    3. Good luck and smooth sailing, Clark/CaP/Mike!

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    4. Cap – I wish you all the best. As you know, procedures related to the heart can be frightening and depressing. Given your professional background, I suspect you are well equipped to handle these emotions. I hope it helps to know that you have a strong support community here in Blainesville. We are expecting nothing less than a successful outcome and a speedy recovery and will miss you during your brief absence.

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    5. Thanks jan. Your hint helped me solve it in 2 words. I always find the answer, but rarely on the second word, but last week I got two 2's in a row. I almost began today with what I thought your hint word would be, but used my beginning word and got 2 letters out of order. I doubt Cap is doing WORDLE today. He's in good health and condition for his age and should do well.

      Anyway, so far no one has responded with anything to my post above a bit that is actually a riddle.

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    6. Okay, so why do ophthalmologists live longer than other docs?

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    7. Well actually they don't, but I had always believed they did because everyone says they dilate.

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  45. No puzzle here. Pretty soon you'll be looking back at this whole thing from the other side of the operation. It'll be better.

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  46. EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS; BURIED

    "Lizard" >>> Calumma tarzan is a Madagascan chameleon. Of course, EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS is the author of the Tarzan books.

    "I was surprised to see who was inspired by the books of this author." Jane Goodall was inspired by the Tarzan books and thought she'd be a better Jane wife to Tarzan.

    "How about Princess?" refers to Princess Eugenie which sounds like eugenics, a topic linked to ERB.

    We planted tomatoes with basil and thyme today. Basil and thyme are herbs, pronounced ERBs, like ERB's initials.

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  47. Our Puzzleria! spotlight this week shines upon Plantsmith and his always-bountiful-and-beautiful “Garden of Puzzley Delights.” This week, he has picked for us a “Quizzical-Quintet-of-Conundrums-Bouquet” entitled
    1. “Messy car part ride?”
    2. “Procter & GAMBLE Drugs?”
    3. “The last shall be first, the first shall be last,”
    4. “Last Trip to Vegas: a Nod to Nodd,” and
    5. “A fork (or spoon?) in the road”
    Plantsmith’s fragrant but prickly puzzles will be ripe for picking from our “Puzzleria! Plantation“ on Thursday, sometime soon, between Noon and Midnight PDT.
    Other “tricky pickables” on our garden-fresh menu include:
    * a Schpuzzle of the Week titled “Fifty-Fifty chance, or sure thing?”
    * a Scavenger Hunt Hors d’Oeuvre titled “Prometheus, Poe & Penny Production?”
    * a Consequential Slice titled “Rifles are not to be trifled with”
    * a “netsuA enaJ” Dessert titled “A bit of wordplay about work,” and
    * a dozen riff-off's of Will Shortz's NPR Weekend Edition Sunday Challenge, titled “Me Tarzan, you Edgar Rice...”
    (Apparently, inscrutably baffling botanical beauties are not the only pickables available from Plantsmith’s Garden with its trellis-entwisted Vines... There is also Tarzan!)

    LegoEidelWeissmuller!

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  48. EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS (1875-1950) → He is BURIED in Tarzana, California.

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  49. Edgar Rice Burroughs/Buried

    How fitting that the ashes of Tarzan’s creator are buried in Tarzana, California.

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    1. Fitting, but not coincidental. Tarzana, CA, used to be his estate, which he named after his character.

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  50. EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS - BURIED

    I had said, "The second letter of the first name, second letter of the last name, and second letter of the middle name, in order, result in something you do not want."

    That gives you DUI, which is short for Driving Under the Influence, a charge you do not want on your driving record.

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  51. EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS (BURIED)

    > Reminds me of a joke about Beethoven. [deleted]

    What's he doing now? Decomposing.

    > Kings and Queens

    Two of New York City's Boroughs. (Given their large ethnically Asian population, and all the fine Asian eateries, might they be considered Rice Boroughs?)

    > Some people don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.

    Those are burros and burrows, not Burroughs.

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    1. They might even be misspelled in the Bible like ploughshares, or plowshares.

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  52. EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS —> BURIED

    Hint: “Rearrange the writer’s first name, and get a word associated with educators.”
    EDGAR —> GRADE

    In my compliment to Bobby on his excellent, labyrinthine clue, I used the phrase “geeky sort,” which, rearranged, yields “Greystoke.”

    Good luck, Cap, we’re all thinking of you.

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  53. I wrote, “I was pleased to find how the location for the adjective is fitting for the author.” Burroughs is buried in Tarzana, California.

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  54. Edgar Rice Burroughs, buried

    He is dead and buried.

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  55. Right, but... is 'buried' an adjective?
    Obviously it's a past participle, but those are always verbs and only sometimes also adjectives.
    I was wondering whether Dr. K's "... but oooh.." at the end of last week's thread was expressing the same worry.

    The reason I have doubts, by the way, is that I could think of two tests for adjectives, and I don't think 'buried' passes either. One is that they can be modified by 'very'.

    ? Edgar is very buried.

    But notice that other past participles do indeed appear to be adjectives:

    Crito is very confused.

    (So 'confused' is plainly an adjective.)

    Another test is to see whether you can replace the 'is' by 'seems' or 'looks'.

    Crito seems confused.

    ? Edgar seems buried.

    I don't think the tests are watertight, but they do seem to be evidence.

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    1. I dunno, Crito. "Edgar is very buried"-- it has a lovely lilt to it ;-).

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    2. An adjective modifies a noun. The phrase buried treasure comes to mind as an example of buried as an adjective.

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    3. No, I was simply surprised by the grimness of the answer.

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    4. Superzee: indeed, but other parts of speech also modify nouns. E.g. other nouns!

      That Crito is such a head case!

      WW: I think you *could* use it that way!

      Edgar is sooooooo, buried. He's even more buried than Oscar. He is totally buried.

      So it *can* be an adjective; I guess I'm wondering whether it's an adjective more than some tiny percentage of the time.

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    5. Buried can be a verb, or an adjective.
      Ex: The National Enquirer buried stories about DJT and…. (Verb)

      The buried stories would have revealed….(Adjective)

      Similarly nouns can be used as adjectives.

      Ex. Snoopy lives in a dog house.
      Although DOG is usually a noun, in this sentence it answers the question, What kind of house? and grammatically is no different from WHITE in the sentence, I live in a WHITE house.

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    6. 1. That 'buried' is different -- it's the preterite or simple past tense of the verb. But what I was saying was that past participles can also be either verbs or adjectives. (So not really disagreeing!)
      2. Grammatically the nouns that are modifying a head noun are indeed different from adjectives. I gave an example of a differerenc: they can't be modified by 'very'.

      *Snoopy lives in a very dog house.

      Yeah, no.
      Nor can they go in the predicative position:

      *The house Snoopy lives in is dog.

      Anyway, I'm just saying the answer to this question isn't simple.

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  56. I was a bit shocked at the disrespectful tone of this puzzle to its subject (Edgar Rice Burroughs, BuRiEd), then I read that ERB was a believer in eugenics and scientific racism, and I thought, "Good, he is buried with his antiquated ideas."

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    1. getting offended for others by completely misunderstanding what was said seems like your fulltime job, Karen. Don't get the vapors every week, it's bad for your constitution.

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  57. EDgar RIce BUrroughs --> BURIED for me.

    Burroughs gave us Tarzan, of course.

    So for my clue, I wrote Just answered, nothing else.

    Which spells J-A-N-E, which seemed to me the best "unidirectional" clue for Tarzan.

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    1. Even "Plain Jane" gets complicated with you, Ben. Good clue.

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  58. My clue was "My Name is Earl". In a 2008 episode of this comedy series a bookmobile came to town with knock-offs of classic books. One was titled "Trazan the Ape Man," who had a pet cheetah named Monkey. It still cracks me up all these years later.

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  59. EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS, BURIED
    pjbAndHisFamilyWillBeHeadingToFt.WaltonBeachOnSaturdayMorning,AndStayingUntilTuesday

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  60. Edgar Rice Burroughs --> buried

    Last Sunday I said, “So far, there’s a one-to-one correlation” between being born and eventually dying which frequently – though not always – means being buried. Such is the case with Edgar Rice Burroughs.

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  61. Sorry I'm late. I am out of town this week, been quite busy.

    It's EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS — BURIED anyway.

    Not having read Blaine’s clue first, I posted:
    Take the last two letters of the writer’s first, middle, and last names, rearrange, and you get what I did briefly before getting the answer.
    Like Blaine, I was getting at ar-ce-hs — search, of course.

    I also posted:
    A sports icon turned Hollywood star comes to mind.
    That would be Johnny Weissmuller (also spelled Weissmüller). He first became famous in the 1920s as a swimmer, setting world records and winning five Olympic gold medals. He went on to appear in twelve feature films of the 1930s and 1940s as Tarzan—the character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, of course.

    Finally, I almost posted this anagram of the writer’s name:
    “A Borer,” Rico shrugged.
    I didn’t do it because I had qualms about a post consisting of the exact same letters as the answer.

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  62. C a p, how did things go? Thinking of you.

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  63. More than 1400 correct responses last week.

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  64. [From memory] What item containing a silent U is commonly found in kitchen drawers?

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  65. What item found in kitchen drawers contains a silent U?

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  66. Yeah hmmmmmm.
    Will said "it's a little tricky," so I'm assuming neither of the two I thought of immediately aren't the intended answer. (Mine are both edible and I think of them as being in the same food group.)

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    1. I think I've got one of the edibles and two others, none of which I think is the intended answer.

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  67. could it contain a silent U as well as a non-silent U? --Margaret G.

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  68. I have an answer, but I don't like it.

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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.