Sunday, April 5, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle 4/5/09 - Shall We Darnce?

This week's NPR Sunday Puzzle is:
Think of a four-letter word with a short A sound, and specifically the A is the second letter. Switch the third and fourth letters and you'll get a new word, also with a short A sound. The two words go together to make a phrase that names something that existed from 1982 to 2000. What is it?
This conundrum caused me a lot of trouble and I reckon it's one of the hardest this year. Magdalen got it quickly, but only with the help of TEA.

One problem I had is that I use a long A for many words where Americans use a short A. For example, I say "dance" with a long A (ie like darnce): this is typical of speech in Southern England; in Northern England, they say "dance" with a short A, just like in North America.

With a lot of prompting, I finally got to the answer, also using TEA (but I went past the answer word I was looking for a few times before realizing why it was right). As usual, I won't give the game away until after the deadline for entries.

This talk of regional pronunciation reminds of one of my favorite songs Let's Call the Whole Thing Off from Shall We Dance.

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