Thursday, July 2, 2009

NPR Puzzle -- 6/28/09 Sock It To Us

This was the puzzle to be solved:
Take "tire" and "exhaust." They're both things a car has. But as verbs, in a non-car sense, they're synonyms. The challenge is to name two articles of apparel, things to wear, each with 4 letters, and as verbs, in a non-apparel sense, the two words are synonyms. What words are they?
The answer, I'm fairly certain, is SOCK and BELT, as in to hit. Although the immensely clever xwd_fiend suggested on Ross's Facebook page CAPS and TOPS, both meaning "exceeds." This probably doesn't work, as Will has specified that they should be two articles of apparel, which strongly indicates that each is an individual piece of clothing.

I got "sock" immediately, but had to look for a synonym for "hit" to see that the other piece of clothing was "belt." Ross also got "sock" immediately, but didn't think of "belt" until I told him that he was wearing one . . . and even then I had to get him to raise his shirt and look at his waist! My excuse is that I never ever wear belts. His excuse is that he is brain dead after all the work he does on the NY Times crossword puzzles.

Another suggestion on Ross's Facebook page was "sock" and "sack," also from xwd_fiend. Now, his explanation about "sack" is that Chambers will allow it on its own as meaning a sack dress. But, really, any woman reading this knows that the expression, "she'd look good in anything -- even a burlap sack" is figurative. A sack dress is a sack dress; a sack is a sack. Chambers don't do fashion!

And finally, a puzzle within the puzzle, from Kea (the nom des mots croisé of a regular setter of the Listener crossword -- and the winner of the Ascot Gold Cup for best Listener crossword for 2008). According to him, he used "Sock or belt? (7)" as a clue in a Times (of London, in this context) championship puzzle. The seven letter answer, Kea explained oh so helpfully, means both hitting and clothing. I have not tried to look it up (finally, I'm being good), but I also haven't thought of what it might be. Have at it, faithful readers!

Which gets us to our value-added puzzles: In order to solve a series of three-word phrases in the form of X and Y, I provided two words. The first rhymes with the X of "X and Y," the second rhymes with Y. So if the clue is Plough Men, the answer could be Now and Then.

Poor Taft
FORE & AFT

Shut Eyed
CUT & DRIED

Bossed `Round
LOST & FOUND

Fix Batch
MIX & MATCH

Quick Scan
SPICK & SPAN

These Hues
Ps & Qs (as in "Mind your Ps and Qs," supposedly from the days when type was set by hand, and lower-case Ps and Qs looked remarkably similar as individual pieces)

Blue Sky
HUE & CRY

Guy Barge
BY & LARGE

Dover Trout
OVER & OUT

Date Free
WAIT & SEE

Cross Burn
TOSS & TURN

God's Friends
ODDS & ENDS

Go Refold
LO & BEHOLD

Been Chronic
GIN & TONIC

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