Sunday, August 16, 2009

NPR Puzzle -- Sign of the Times?

This week's puzzle is a joke, but I can't reveal the punchline until Thursday. Here's the puzzle:
Think of a common street sign with three words. Four letters in the first word, four letters in the second word and three letters in the last. Drop the last letter of the first word in the sign and you'll get a new word that is a synonym of the last word in the sign. What is the sign?
Ross got it first, and asked me to point out that for Brits such as himself this locution is puzzling in its own right, as it employs a euphemism not understood in the UK.

Now, for the value-added puzzle. I was going to use some other set of two letters, but I've checked and there are still a few OM combos for you all to meditate on. So, the rules are the same: two-word phrases taking the form O----- M------. I'll make the clues just a bit harder.

Papa's companion for The Sea?

Controls eye movement

Some contents of an art museum, perhaps

Device used by paramedics

Winner of the 1969 U.S. Open (golf)

Place for a swap meet, in good weather

Relationship for swingers, perhaps

What the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts have

Computer accessory

Baltimore suburb (and home to Maryland Public Television shows like Wall $treet Week and MotorWeek)

Where captains eat

Planets and electrons both exhibit this

Washington range

11 comments:

Molly Meker said...

Papa's companion for The Sea? Old Man

Dan said...

The not "not being understood in England," clue did not help me at all, and I do not get it, based on the answers etymology. Tough puzzle... I only got it b/c I know all the 3- & 4-letter Scrabble words.

Roxie said...

I'm with Dan... I think the answer is a specifically British dysphemism.

henry.blancowhite said...

Where is there a euphemism? The reason this sign isn't common in England is that we usually use a different spelling in one of the two meanings, so the pun doesn't work very well. (I looked at the one on the front of my house: it does use the spelling needed for the puzzle, but is four words, 6,4,4,3. Sorry, you can't quite read it on the "Google streets" photograph. I will try to find my camera and provide a readable image ... after 3 pm Thursday.

Dan said...

I think your post gives 2 hints that are too much. But I cannot find any trace of an alternate spelling that you are referring to.

Dan said...

I got everything but, "Where captains eat." Is it On Mainland?

David said...

old masters, old money, outdoor market, ocular muscle

Julia said...

After HOURS I have finally gotten this! Hooray! I usually don't spend quite this much time on the puzzle, I have to admit. I either get it right away or forget all about it after half an hour. But Henry, I also have found no alternate spelling. And Magdalen, I have one more for the O-M list: recollection of a scent. But I am also baffled by "where captains eat"

Dude Can't Draw said...

Where captains eat = Officer's Mess

DaveJ said...

And the punchline ?
Inquiring minds want to know...!

Magdalen said...

DaveJ -- You have to go to the post from yesterday to see the punchline photo. (Although, as with so many jokes, it's iffy that you'll even find it funny.)

You can click on the link in the right hand column: Curb Your Enthusiastic Dog!