Monday, May 03, 2010

Off-Day Puzzle #4: Josh S's Puzzle

Hope all puzzlers had a great weekend. Here's today's puzzle, straight from the mind and words of PCS Season II runner-up Josh:

To solve this puzzle, you will need to use the clues to find the following 22 word pairs. The first word in each pair will be three (Pairs 1-4), four (Pairs 5-14), or five letters (Pairs 15-22) long. The second word in each pair can be formed by adding a pair of letters to the first word. (For example: RED, RAZED) When you have all 22 word pairs solved (plus the freebie to get a total of 23), you will use those added letter pairs from the second word of each pair to uncover a secret clue. The answer to that secret clue is a former Dodger.

Note: You get one freebie in the secret clue because I wrote myself into a corner on one of the word pairs.

Good luck! I will post hints in the comments as I see fit.

  1. Madden’s choice of travel / An unexpected addition
  2. Humbug predecessor / Cookie grouping
  3. Simple bed / Sesame’s vampire
  4. Signal to start / Offensive word
  5. Child’s pillow construction / Tidwell’s service
  6. 5-time Wimbledon champ / Drill’s task
  7. Engine’s energy drink / Potentially hazardous cloud
  8. Beast of burden / Your heart is one
  9. Expires / Current instabilities
  10. Mayweather’s workplace / Fired up
  11. To smudge / Where chads hang
  12. 63,360 inches / Comparative figure of speech
  13. Interjection for Yorick / Eucalyptus eaters
  14. Famous Christian / To perplex
  15. Hefty Giant’s nickname / Top grosser’s setting
  16. Butcher’s tubmate / More depressing
  17. Furious / Thankless one
  18. Person of authority / Effective handler
  19. Jobs’ job / Contest for superiority
  20. Casual affair / What Cronin can’t fight
  21. Zero / Beer on tap
  22. “Community” Spanish teacher / Runner’s irritation

Secret Clue:
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ RW __ __ __ __ __ __

Solution here.

Puzzle Rules: The answer to the puzzle is a former Dodger. Watch the comment thread for possible hints from Josh S. Comment freely in the thread, but if you have the solution, please don't give it away to everyone in the comments section. Instead, do the following:

  • Email us with the first and last name of the Dodger player who is the answer, along with your reasoning (answers arrived at via luck or the wrong reasoning, even if correct, count for participation credit only). And please include your screen name somewhere in the email; and
  • Post a comment simply saying you have emailed your solution attempt. I may not be able to reply to your original email promptly, so please be patient and check back on the comment thread for the latest news; I may confirm correct answers there.

You have until midnight PT tonight to submit your answer. Solution will be posted tomorrow. Good luck!

*New to SoSG's PCS Puzzle Series? Here's how it works. Join the fun, all are welcome!

100 comments:

Josh S. said...

Good luck, everybody!

Steve Dittmore said...

Josh - Are there 22 or 23 word pairs? Directions indicate both. Thanks...

J. Steve said...

Josh - When assembling the secret clue, do the letter pairs go in order? If so, the ones I have so far are completely wrong...

Greg Finley said...

I've got over half of them, but it's so frustrating! It's like a crossword puzzle, but if you don't know either of the pair, you're completely screwed!

Eric Karros said...

Steve D - I think there are 22 pairs you have to solve for, the 23 pairs includes the freebie.

Right, Josh?

ubragg said...

Answer sent! Fun puzzle, Josh!

Josh S. said...

To clarify: There are 23 letter pairs used in the secret clue, but you only have to solve 22 of them. The "23" in the fourth sentence of the first paragraph should say "22". That's a typo on my part. (You solve 22, and add them to the one freebie, making 23.)

And J. Steve: No, the letter pairs do not go in order.

Eric Karros said...

Ubragg is in! Mr Customer's got to be hearing the footsteps...

1. UBragg

Eric Karros said...

Will fix the typo as soon as I'm able...

J. Steve said...

I was afraid we'd have to unscramble pairs...

Josh S. said...

J. Steve: But the pairs do stay together as they appear in the word. Using the example: A and Z stay together as AZ, not ZA, or Z in one place and A in another.

Golem said...

This bigram sorting business is hard! I've found lots of promising words in there, but none of them are fitting together, nor is there any "external" ordering evident.

Greg Finley said...

Giving up! Participation credit.

Steve Sax said...

@EK 8:52a: typo fixed

Dusto_Magnifico said...

I just dont have the time to waste on something like this. Maybe tonight after work?

Why can't I just come into work, watch baseball games, collect a pay check and go home?

Erin said...

Thank goodness I remember it's puzzle day. I have all but two of the answers, but even if (when) I get those, I really think it's going to take a clue to help me put these pairs together.

Mr. Customer said...

So close!

QuadSevens said...

IT crew member checking in. This is a very time consuming puzzle but I'm giving it a shot anyways.

Golem said...

Guess sent. :P

J. Steve said...

I also think I have 20/22 and have no clue whether I'll be able to sort out the clue... I don't know how Ubragg did it!

drewdez said...

I'm right there with you, Erin and J Steve.

karina said...

I'm utterly lost. I'll wait for a hint

Josh S. said...

Hmmm...I'm not sure what I can offer as far as a hint for the secret clue. It's essentially a jigsaw puzzle, with the letter pairs as pieces. The RW is in its correct position, so building off of that would be my only suggestion.

If you're stuck on the word pairs, I'd say try figuring out the word on the left first. It will only have 3, 4, or 5 letters. Consequently, their partners will have 5, 6, or 7 letters.

If no one has made any progress by 1pm Pacific or so, I'll share how many words are in the secret clue and how many letters in each word.

Eric Karros said...

Golem - what you've sent in so far is correct, but yields the wrong ultimate solution because you need to finish the uncompleted portion.

You're pretty close though

QuadSevens said...

Man I hate crossword puzzles!

Mr. Customer said...

I'm pretty sure I have what comes after the RW, but not before.

Josh S. said...

I don't know if this will help or hinder, but here goes:

If you have all 22 letter pairs, you will notice that among them are the postal abbreviations of six different states. Three of those pairs go somewhere in the first four spaces of the clue.

J. Steve said...

Well, that told me that the ones I have aren't all correct! I have 21 "solved" clues, but only 4 states...

Erin said...

I have twenty solved and four states, which means the two I'm missing must be state abbreviations. That doesn't really help much, since I'm not going to go through the other 46 states and work backwards. But at least it will help to confirm an answer if I stumble upon it. Thanks, Josh. :)

Keven C said...

Hmm. I think I have it... answer sent.

MR. F said...

Answer sent...

Mr. Customer said...

Answer (kinda) sent

MR. F said...

If I solved it correctly, that was a really cool puzzle, Josh S. If I didn't, damn you Josh S.!

Josh S. said...

I'm going to lunch. Back in about 30 or so and I can answer any other questions then.

You know, other than "What's the answer?".

Steve Dittmore said...

Arrrgghhhhh!!!

Participation points, I hope.

Dusto_Magnifico said...

how about a clue for getting some of the answer pairs? I'm terrible at this.

Lauro said...

"how about a clue for getting some of the answer pairs? I'm terrible at this."

Ditto.

Dusty Baker said...

Mondays are the worst day for me to not work at work, so can't take a real look at this until later tonight. So I'll have about 4 hours to work on it before closing time on the puzzle.

Nonetheless, looks veyr cool and I can't wait to work on it, Josh.

Unless I move that call around, and...

Mr. Customer said...

The suspense is killing me. I've still been trying to piece together the remaining parts of the hint to make sure of my answer, but I fear I may have one wrong.

LLCoolL said...

19 of 22, and no clue. Partial credit, here I come.

Josh S. said...

Re: The word pairs. As with most crossword puzzle clues, some are punny plays on words and some are literal definitions. Solving one side will really help you get the other. If you think you have the word on the left, add two letters somewhere to get a word that fits the second clue. If you think you have the word on the right, subtract two letters to get a word that fits the first clue.

MR. F said...

I'm glad I do crossword puzzles fairly often (not that I'm particularly good).

Mr. Customer said...

Deferral of gratification is driving me crazy.

Josh S. said...

If anyone wants to email me your progress, I can let you know if you're on the right track or not. CC the Sons' email, just to keep things on the up and up. Answers sent to me don't count as official entries, of course.

jschippe @ charter.net
or
josh.schippe @ gmail.com
(Charter seems to be down at the moment.)

Golem said...

Well I finally have the bigrams ordered properly, but I'm now failing on the research half!

MR. F said...

Josh S.,
I just sent you my solution because I want to know if I managed to get everything right...

Mr. Customer said...

^me too!

Josh S. said...

Replies sent to Mr. C, Mr. F, and Erin. Mr.F's reply was supposed to be cc'd to the Sons, but I typed their address wrong.

Eric Karros said...

More correct:

1. Ubragg
2. Fanerman
3. Keven C

Mr. Customer said...

Curious. I can't figure out what doesn't fit.

Golem said...

Second guess sent. :P

Steve Sax said...

@Mr C: Is it the glove that doesn't fit?

Because then, you know what you have to do.

Dusto_Magnifico said...

IF I continue to comment do I get more participation points?

Mr. Customer said...

@Sax

If acquit, I won't be able to live with myself.

Golem said...

Mr. C, for what it's worth, I had #19 wrong.

Mr. Customer said...

@golem

I'm pretty sure all the answers are right at this point. I've got the order messed up somehow.

Josh S. said...

Because this just came up in one of the emails:

The letter pairs are always together in the second word (as with red and rAZed).

If we haven't hit 5 correct solvers by 3:30, I will reveal the proper placement of a couple of letter pairs.

I know I promised the number of words in the secret clue, but there's a bit of tricky business I need to figure out before I can share that info.

Jason said...

Progress sent. Head hurts.

Keven C said...

Josh, great puzzle.

Extra tip of the cap for "What Cronin can't fight." And how pathetic is it that I knew that answer without having to look it up?

Mr. Customer said...

Good lord, I think it was faulty research. Answer re-sent

Mr. Customer said...

Whew, finally!

Nice work Josh.

Eric Karros said...

2 more:

More correct:

1. Ubragg
2. Fanerman
3. Keven C
4. Golem
5. Mr C

Wow, only 5 solvers so far. My puzzles have apparently been way too easy.

Mr. Customer said...

I think the word count breakdown will help things (if Josh can work out that snag)

Dusty Baker said...

Hold off on clues as long as possible. It's not the worst thing to make us think every once in awhile.

MR. F said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I know what the "snag" is. Dunno how I'd deal with it.

Bryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan said...

I've been stuck on 17/22 for about an hour. and i have to go soon...time to work faster

Josh S. said...

I'm inclined to agree with DB. I'll throw out the letter/word breakdown later tonight, if no one has made any significant progress.

Eric Karros said...

When I responded to each of the 5 solvers' email submissions letting them know they were correct, 2 of them replied by saying "thank god".

Great puzzle, Josh.

Josh S. said...

Heh heh heh.

Mine is an evil laugh.

Josh S. said...

Oh, and thanks for the compliments too.

Mr. Customer said...

Now that I've got that ironed out, I'd like to point out that the reduction in the number of puzzle days means there will sadly be no PCS next Thursday.

In light of this regrettable situation, I am pleased to announce that I'll be releasing surplus puzzle fodder from my personal cache to cover the lapse in schedule.

I will keep my blog-whoring to the absolute minimum, but I'm start up a little side venture. If there is enough interest in the initial run, I'll keep the place stocked with both fun and prizes.

Mr. Customer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Customer said...

And yes, "thank god" would have been me, for one.

MR. F said...

Heh. Great puzzle!

J. Steve said...

Let me add a "Thank God" of my own if the answer I sent in is right...

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

This is some difficult shit.

Eric Karros said...

Add J Steve to the list:

1. Ubragg
2. Fanerman
3. Keven C
4. Golem
5. Mr C
6. J Steve

Josh S. said...

Alright, I'm headed home. I will check in again when I can. Congratulations to the solvers and best of luck to those still working on it.

I had fun making this. I hope you all enjoyed it too.

Jason said...

Answer sent.

Well played, Josh.

Eric Karros said...

Nice work, jason:

1. Ubragg
2. Fanerman
3. Keven C
4. Golem
5. Mr C
6. J Steve
7. Jason

rbnlaw said...

Getting close to closing the clues. Can't say if I'll be able to decipher the message.

midnightdrive said...

I got a few of the clues, but I can't seem to put anything together. Consider this my surrender.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

I give up.

Dusty Baker said...

I'm getting there...but have to drive home now. Do you know how these little letter pairs are going to torture me on the way? Do you?

Josh S. said...

@Dusty: I do, actually.

Dusty Baker said...

Even worse, Josh, I'm still here at work, thus ignoring my family.

I have the secret clue now. Who knew the underlying research would prove just as tedious. *shakes fist at Josh*

Matt said...

Help, I'm stuck in Blythe with a slow internet connection! I'm getting my comment points and going to Sizzler...

Nicholas said...

My choice of activities: 1) Solve SOSG puzzle, or 2) Read "Chiral Lewis acid catalysed asymmetric nucleophilic ring opening of cyclohexene oxide"

Puzzle is still winning, barely

Dusty Baker said...

Jesus christ, Josh. Doing the research is taking me twice as long as solving the clues. Family now loathes you.

DunkHawk said...

I can't get it, and I need to go to sleep. Maddening! Sent my work in, hoping for participation points.

Josh S. said...

Sincerest apologies to Mrs. Dusty.

Dusty Baker said...

Answer sent, I believe.

Dusty Baker said...

Just getting steely glares from Mrs Dusty now. It will be a cold night on the front room sofa. Thanks, Josh! ;-)

Nicholas said...

Answer Sent! I will have to wait until tomorrow to figure out if it is correct. Bed time in the ATL.

Josh S. said...

I'm sure EK will make the official announcement sooner or later, but unofficially, Dusty Baker and Nicholas are in.

Well done!

Dusty Baker said...

Mad props to Josh on the great puzzle today!

Bryan said...

ugh i give up. participation points.

answer sent

Eric Karros said...

Here's final list, I believe:

1. Ubragg
2. Fanerman
3. Keven C
4. Golem
5. Mr C
6. J Steve
7. Jason
8. Dusty Baker
9. Nicholas

Josh S. said...

100. Just 'cause.