Sunday, November 22, 2009

NPR Puzzle 11/22/09 -- Oh, I Get It (Slow on the Uptake Here at the Crucicave)

Sorry this is such a late post.  There are many reasons -- lack of sleep and my attention divided among my multiple interests being just two -- but the real, honest answer is that Ross only just solved this week's puzzle, which is
Think of a word containing the consecutive letters O-K. Remove the O-K, and you'll get a new word that's a synonym of the first word. What words are these?
This is not an easy puzzle, and for technical reason, (which I won't elaborate on lest I say too much), Ross's software did not solve this as easily as it should have.  I suppose I don't *have* to know the (alleged) right answer before I post, but it seems dishonest to pretend we'd solved it when we hadn't.  And now we have.  Big sigh of relief in the Crucicave (which, now that I think about it, is tortured Latin for Beware of Crosswords! and of course we don't mean that; just playing around with the CrosswordMan mythos), as I can now write this post and go take a nap.

We were out last night at a local community orchestra and Gilbert & Sullivan group's Gala.  Ross isn't (yet?) a G&S fan, but my parents were and as such it's happy music for me.  I had not appreciated how operatic a lot of G&S is; we think of the patter songs but there's a lot for classically trained singers to wrap their vocal chords around, so to speak.  Anyway, we had a lovely time particularly as we got a chance to talk with our friends Harry & Mary (and congratulate her on almost have enough International Match Points to be a Diamond Life Master!) and the brilliant Steven Dell'Aversano, who produced the gala (and made my wedding gown; talk about your basic Renaissance Man).

Meanwhile, what the heck am I supposed to do with Will Shortz's Blobs game?  I've never been to Turkey, so anything I write would be all Blobs unless I accidentally managed to say something accurate.  (Hey, a new game:  "Blips" -- listen to a completely made-up story about foreign lands and say "Blip" each time something happens to be correct despite the fact the storyteller doesn't know a thing about that country!) (Hmm.  I foresee a problem.  Who's keeping score?)

But I have a better game (sorry, Will, but I think it's better...) to suggest.  I happened to be doing some etymological research yesterday and discovered that the phase "Lame Duck" had a very specific meaning the England from 1760 to 1870; no one today would use that phrase to mean this.  I'll reveal the correct answer on Wednesday, but why not try either to guess the right answer (or look it up; I'm all for cheating) or make up a plausible but fake answer.  Post your guess/answer in the comments.

Here are a couple rules for this game. 
  • "Lame Duck" in the context refers to a type of person, or a person identified by his/her actions/activities/choices/profession/etc. (The capitalization is deliberate to confuse and permit all interpretations.)
  • The sense of a political office-holder between losing the election and actually leaving his/her office is NOT the right answer.  (Just to save you the trouble of guessing that.)
  • When you post your answer, please state that it is the correct answer, thus masking who looked it up and who made it up.
  • If you find someone has already posted your answer, make up a new one.
 Don't forget: answers on Wednesday this week (both submissions to NPR and here).

2 comments:

Roxie said...

Dan and I are still arguing about the correct answer on this one - I have have submitted my answer for lack of a better one (I am quite certain I am right, since I kinda know the author of the puzzle). Dan however had a very clever solution - but more to be said on that after Wednesday :-)

henry.blancowhite said...

"Lame duck," short for "Gold lame' duck" meant a person (or thing) that put up a fancy appearance with no substance behind it. Joking apart, it meant a drunkard or alcoholic. The origin is obscure: the most popular explanation is that it is a corruption of "le Medoc," alluding to the most famous product of that region of France, but I think that is "folk etymology."