Thursday, November 5, 2009

NPR Puzzle 11/01/09 -- A THE Too Far?

This week's puzzle was

Take the name "Noah Adams," as in the former host of All Things Considered. Add the phrase "false teeth." You can rearrange all 19 letters to name a famous work of literature. What is it?
An easy enough puzzle to solve, if you do it the cheatful shortcut way that I do.  Have a husband who's written software that solves anagrams, type in the 19 letters, hit enter and Hey, Presto -- you get the answer:  THE DEATH OF A SALESMAN.  Only, is that the right answer?  Of course that is the intended answer, and if that's what you submitted, you're set.  But as Dan & Roxie point out in their comments from Sunday, is the definite article part of the official title.

Well, you tell me.  I can't find it.  I have tried to come up with an anagram for DEATH OF A SALESMAN, which we rather think is the official title, and my best effort (I didn't bust a gut over this, mind you ) is Alas, often ashamed.  Not that we think Will Shortz ever is . . . ashamed, that is.

And here's Will -- staying with us in our room at Mohonk! (As is Cow, but Cow is in the nature of being an official invitee, so to speak.)  Will is here next weekend for a Words event, so there are flyers and other promotional materials in various spots in the lobbies, all with his smiling face.  Will, just a word to the wise -- the breakfast link sausage is to die for (in a good way). 

Pretty, hunh?  We've had a great time here -- lots of walks, lots of reading, I've gotten a modest amount done on my NaNoWriMo novel (I'm up to 8,000 words despite last night being a wash out because of the Internet connection being a bit flaky), and the food -- ah, well, the food is all very good.  It will be hard to leave, but home is nice too. 

Here's home, just to remind me that we're not leaving paradise, just going home.  I'll miss the relaxation that comes from knowing there are no chores waiting to nag at me, but I'll be happy to see our pets again, and to get on with all the things that are easier to do at home.  Oh, and not changing for dinner.  And my TV programs, which are stored up in my DVR.

Remind me, if we come back to Mohonk, to bring the Leki walking poles and the docking station for the iPod.  Thanks.

Okay, on to my value-added puzzle for the week, a variant on the on-air puzzle that Will ran last Sunday:

Every answer is a familiar phrase in the form of ____ and ____. Each clue is a sentence with two blanks. Fill in the blanks with two words that complete the phrase. But here's the twist: The words that complete the sentence are homophones of the words in the answer phrase.
What I'm going to do is similar:  The clue will be a sentence with two blanks.  Fill in the blanks with words that complete the clue.  But one of those answers will be an anagram of half the familiar X and Y phrase.  So for example, if the clue is "You can get that _____ at the Acme Liquor Store in ______, Oklahoma," the answer would be WINE & DINE (= Enid).  One last thing -- the clue filler that gets anagrammed might be more than one word, but those words will always be the anagram to a single word for the X & Y answer.  Okay?  And to help, the fill-in-the-blank answers are in the same order as the familiar X & Y phrase.

We'll need more STRAW if we're to bed ALL the horses. WARTS & ALL

WILLIAM the Conquerer needs more men for his ARMY.  WILLIAM & MARY

I ATE too much and deserve your SYMPATHY because now I feel really sick.  TEA & SYMPATHY

Julianne MOORE is the perfect actress to play JULIET.  ROMEO & JULIET

VENUS Williams is bummed; her sister SAID NO to playing doubles today.  VENUS & ADONIS

We're on the wrong TRAIL, so you must have made an ERROR deciphering that hiking map.  TRIAL & ERROR

I've just started the second CHAPTER; that's going to have to SERVE for the first day of NaNoWriMo!  CHAPTER & VERSE

We WON against the other team, THEN took them out for a drink.  NOW & THEN

Do you think your MATE/TEAM would like some mashed POTATOES?  MEAT & POTATOES

The witness took the STAND and  RELIVED the horror of what the defendant had done to her.  STAND & DELIVER

Russian TSARS had a complicated relationship with the PRIESTS in the Eastern Orthodox Church. STARS & STRIPES

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