Friday, May 8, 2015

Deduction by the dashboard light; A love-hate creationship; CSI: USA


Welcome to Joseph Young’s Puzzleria!

Well, completing one year of Puzzleria! has certainly been enjoyable for us, its purveyors. We hope it has been enjoyable also for you, its consumers and contributors. From our perspective, we like to think we all enjoy a symbiotic relationship. Kum Bah Humbug! Kum Bah Yah Sure!

Thank you all for following us, for making wonderfully astute, clever and witty comments, and for spreading the word about this puzzle blog.

For the record, we have had 29,815 “hits” (followers who have accessed our blog site) over the past year. That’s about 573 a week. The quantity of our comments is fine; but the quality of our comments is off the chart! We would love to have more different people commenting. Not sure how to do that though.

Our second year of serving up original puzzle slices begins with this week’s edition, our 53rd.

Incidentally, 53rd was the number of the police precinct in a sitcom that included two actors who later appeared together in a more popular and well-known sitcom. What are the sitcoms and who are the actors? Hint: the word “Khrushchev” appears in the earlier sitcom’s theme song. The word “ooky” does not appear in the subsequent sitcom’s theme song.

I was blessed with wonderful parents. They are in heaven now, on the St. Francis Wing, tending to tabby cat Noosie and other dear pets they adopted. Whenever Fathers Day or Mothers Day rolls around I get a tad misty-eyed and wistful, missing my parents.

I tried to create a timely Mothers Day puzzle slice this week but came up dry. I did however pen the following irreverent fable/puzzle. It is not meant to offend, only to entertain.

The Princess and the Peeved Prince
(A Fractured Mothers Day Fable)

The princess of “The Princess and thePea” fame married her prince. The regal newlyweds took up residence in the castle with the king and queen, biding their time until they would ascend to the throne.

Not all was untroubled in this palatial paradise, however.

The princess had borne a grudge against her mother-in-law ever since she tested the princess’s royal worthiness with that lame pea-under-multiple-mattress ploy. The princess harbored bitter memories of suffering a fitfully sleepless night, tossing and turning like a fish that has jumped into a longship.

And so, to exact some measure of vengeance, the princess cast a spell on the queen causing her to feel as if an imaginary pea were permanently lodged in the middle of her mattress, prompting the queen too to toss and turn all night.

Alas, the queen’s spellbound predicament also prompted an annoying nocturnal ritual. Several times every night the queen sought relief by summoning her son into her bedchamber, imploring him to flip her mattress on its other side.

Every morning when the king visited the queen in her bedchamber, she invariably groused about her nocturnal tossing-and-turning. Meanwhile, in the princess’s bedchamber, the prince bellyached about having his sleep interrupted by the queen’s nocturnal summoning.

One morning, after a year of this mysterious insomnia and incessant summoning, the king as was his wont entered the queen’s bedchamber, approached her four-poster canopied bed and pulled back her bed covers. He was greeted, alas, not with their customary good-morning smooch, but with an odd conundrum: No queen. No mattress. Just a box spring!
 The king was mystified. The box spring would not be invented until the late 19th Century. Had he somehow stumbled into a time machine and traveled into the future?...

No, no, just kidding, that’s not why the king was mystified. The real mystery was the whereabouts of his wife. So he summoned his son to see if he could shed some light.

The king said to his son, “I come in here this morning and your mother is missing, her mattress is missing. Can you tell me what happened?”

“Well, mother could never decide on which was the comfortable mattress side,” the prince explained. “I could stand it no longer so I decided to mattress-hide.”

“Well, I guess that explains what happened the queen’s mattress,” the king said. “But it does not explain what happened to the queen. So, what did happen to the queen?”

The prince shuffled his feet, fidgeted with his digits, cast his gaze downward, and replied, simply, “_________.”

(Fill in the blank, nine letters.)

The first puzzle slice in our menu (see below) this week is the Darkened Digital Segment Slice (DDSS). It involves my friend Yvette, a volunteer vet at a homeless animal shelter, who recently purchased a white 1988 Corvette.

The new-to-Yvette Vette has a dashboard with digital readouts displaying numerals made up of between two and seven segments. (1 consists of two segments; 2, of six; 3, of five, etc.; see illustration)

 The problem is, some of the segments in Yvettes Vette no longer light up, thereby making some numerals difficult to decipher. For example, some segments in the miles-per-hour readout are missing. This could be a real issue on roads where the speed limit is 55 mph and you can’t be sure if you’re cruising along in the low fifties or high sixties.

But Yvette, who as a veterinarian has a solid mathematics background, tells me she can tell exactly how fast she is going, no matter the speed.

Now, I realize the sight of these segmented digits may provoke in some Puzzlerians! pangs of dread and unpleasant flashbacks of upside-down digital clocks!

Yes, it is true that there is a digital clock on the dashboard of Yvette’s Vette, but it should remain upside-up unless Yvette somehow manages to overturn her new vehicle. And Corvettes are not that easy to roll over.

So, let us begin year #2, shall we, with these two new puzzle slices:


Darkened Digital Segments Slice:
Deduction by the dashboard light

The dashboard of Yvette’s 1988 Corvette features seven-segment digital displays that display the digits from 0 to 9 with illuminated segments. Alas, some of the segments no longer function and have gone dark in her miles-per-hour speed readout.

In order for Yvette to infer her exact speed without ambiguity, what is the minimum number of segments that must be functional, and where must they be positioned?
(Note: the two segments that make up the numeral 1 appear on the “east” side of the seven-segment display, not the “west” side)

A love-hate creationship

Name a small object, in one word. In describing the object one might use the perfect number six. Remove the objects middle letter along with the space created by that removal. 

From this string of letters remove a number of consecutive letters that spell out the name of one of Gods creatures. Push together the remaining letters to form the name of another of Gods creatures.

These two creatures have a predatory relationship but sometimes have a symbiotic relationship also.

What is the object and what are the creatures?

Ever The Twain Shall Meet Slice:


At the intersection of four states – Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico – lies the Four Corners Monument, where one can stand on a spot and exclaim, “I am standing in four states simultaneously!” This “four-corner” distinction is unique in the U.S., but there are numerous spots where one can stand on a spot and be in three states simultaneously, and of course, every time on stands on a border she/he is in two states simultaneously.

Let us assign a number to each state. We shall call it the CSI (Corner Standing Index). It represents the sum of all states one can stand in by traversing the perimeter of a given state. (In calculating a state’s CSI, some states may be counted more than once, including, necessarily, the state for which the CSI is being calculated. For the purposes of this puzzle, let us pretend the the rivers that form the borders between states are miraculously somehow waterless, Red-Sea-parting-style, and that we could therefore stand in them without drowning!)

For example, to figure Arizona’s CSI one might begin at the four corners monument (4 states) and head west and stand on the junction of UT, NV and AZ (3), go south and hit the NV-CA-AZ junction (3), and complete this counterclockwise trek by traversing thr CA-AZ junction (2) and the AZ-NM junction (2). Arizona’s CSI is the sum of those junctions, 4 + 3 + 3 + 2 + 2 = 14. Not bad.

Other examples: North Dakota’s CSI is 10 (2 + 3 + 3 + 2); Idaho’s is 19 (3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 3); Texas’s is 13 (2 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 2); Hawaii’s and Alaska’s CSIs are both 0. (Only junctions of states are considered in computing a state’s CSI, not bordering countries or bodies of water. By the way, I’m not sure how Michigan’s Upper Peninsula affects the CSIs of Michigan and Wisconsin.)

What state has the greatest CSI? What is it? What state has the smallest CSI? What is it?

Every Friday at Joseph Young’s Puzzle -ria! we publish a new menu of fresh word puzzles, number puzzles, logic puzzles, puzzles of all varieties and flavors. We cater to cravers of scrumptious puzzles!

Our master chef, Grecian gourmet puzzle-creator Lego Lambda, blends and bakes up mysterious (and sometimes questionable) toppings and spices (such as alphabet soup, Mobius bacon strips, diced snake eyes, cubed radishes, “hominym” grits, anagraham crackers, rhyme thyme and sage sprinklings.)

Please post your comments below. Feel free also to post clever and subtle hints that do not give the puzzle answers away. Please wait until after 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesdays to post your answers and explain your hints about the puzzles. We serve up at least one fresh puzzle every Friday.

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Here is how the ten digits, from zero through nine, would appear on Yvette's Corvette dashboard if the two segments forming the southeast corner stopped functioning. (See the Darkened Digital Segments Slice, above.) Note that each of the ten readouts remains unique.


  1. That fill in the blank is soooooo bad, Lego! Really, really awful. . .

    Best wishes for year 2 at Puzzleria! !

    1. Word Woman,
      Cannot say that we disagree with your take on our fractured fable. Truly awful! Here in limbo where the bar is as low as it can go, the pun is the highest and most noble form of humor.

      Thank you greatly for your best wishes (no wishy-washiness intended).


  2. Oooh! Oooh! You tricked me!

    1. Not buyin' it, Paul. Don't think you found it too dyfficult.

  3. I think you should wait until next week to give the answer to the actors/sitcoms puzzle. And I agree with Word Woman on the badness of the fable.

    1. David,
      We shall wait. And we agree with Word Woman on the badness of the fable also. (We did sort of like the box spring part, though.)

      Nice to see your comment. We missed you here.


    2. My (weak) excuse for being gone was it was busy at work, so for puzzling I had to be idle awhile, holed up in my office.

    3. David,
      Whenever I tell my friend Mary about a clever comment a Puzzlerian! has posted on this blog, or on Blaine’s or AESAP, she rolls her eyes and says, “You people need to get a life!

      Mary is correct in my case. At this point in my life, alas, Puzzleria! pretty much is my life. It occupies a majority of my waking hours, and a plurality of my dreaming ones too.

      But I suspect that you, and not I, are representative of most commenters and followers of Puzzleria! and similar blogs. You have a family, friends, a career, commitments, and other creative and recreational outlets. Your life is full and balanced.

      So, David, no apologies nor excuses are necessary. Nothing is wrong with being holed up in an office. That’s what we call responsibility. It’s just that we have always valued your excellent contributions, and were a little worried we had offended you.


  4. Replies
    1. Sounds to me as if we're about to crack open the really good stuff, just in time for Mothers Day. Nothing but the best vintage for Mom.


  5. Since you mentioned a "four-poster canopied bed," I thought I would post this here for everyone's edification. (Part 1)
    Since you referenced a "four-poster canopied bed," I thought I would post this here for everyone's edification.

    Did You Know?


    Us older people need to learn something new every day...

    Just to keep the grey matter tuned up.

    Where did "Piss Poor" come from? Interesting history.

    They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot.

    And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery...

    If you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor".
    But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot...

    They "didn't have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low.

    The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature Isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

    Here are some facts about the 1500's

    Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May,

    And they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell, Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

    Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

    Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.

    The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, Then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children.
    Last of all the babies.

    By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.
    Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!"

    Houses had thatched roofs of thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath.

    It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.

    When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.
    Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs." There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.

    This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings

    Could mess up your nice clean bed.

    Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.

    That's how canopy beds came into existence.

  6. (Part 2)
    The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.

    Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing..

    As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.
    Hence: a thresh hold.

    (Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

    In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.

    Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers In the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.

    Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.

    Hence the rhyme:

    �Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

    Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.

    When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.

    It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon."

    They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

    Those with money had plates made of pewter.

    Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.
    This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

    Bread was divided according to status..

    Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle,

    And guests got the top, or the upper crust.

    Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days..
    Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.

    They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather
    around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.
    Hence the custom of
    �holding a wake."

    England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.

    So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.

    When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.

    Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be,
    �saved by the bell" or was "considered a dead ringer."

    And that's the truth.

    Now, whoever said history was boring!!!

    So get out there and educate someone!
    Share these facts with a friend.
    Inside every older person is a younger person wondering,
    "What the heck happened?"
    Smile, it gives your face something to do!

    1. Thank you, ron. We can always count on you for entertainment that educates.

      As I read your posts, I thought to myself, “I always thought I was pretty well versed on etymology and folk etymology, but I have never heard of any of these. Could ron (who is very creative) have just made this stuff up out of whole cloth?” (Okay wise guy, what’s the origin of that one?!)

      And I’m still scratching my head (see last week’s UTCS). I may never know, ron, If you mined these golden etymological nuggets from Mt. Wikipedia or Mt. Encarta (remember Encarta?) or if, like some ore-bored alchemist, you contrived them yourself out of whole clo…, wait, that doesn’t work unless we’re talkin’ gold lame (sic) Elvis jackets. (I do not intend any diacritical mark above the e. I wrote lame and I mean lame!)


  7. There may be a bit of embroidered lamé involved with these tales.

  8. A loose end from last week:
    On May 5 we posted:
    “Here is a quick follow-up inter-slice pop quiz based on the POCTSS and the UTCS:
    What is the connection between The Andy Griffith Show and Bernard Sanders' nickname of choice?

    (The answer is search-engineable, but I would be very impressed if anyone out there just happens to know what the connection is. As usual, we're on the honor system.)”

    The answer is Bernie Fife


  9. Fill in the blank is not very nice for today!
    I think I have the answer to Yvette, but it's not as elegant as I'd wish - pretty much did it by brute force.
    Still thinking about the last one -- Margaret G.

    1. Margaret G.
      You are correct about the fill-in-the-blank. I am sorry.
      I agree with you about the "brute force" nature regarding Yvette's DDSS puzzle. But brute force is often required to solve logic puzzles. Glad you got it.


  10. Quick pop quizzle:
    A judge on a popular game/quiz show from the far past had a monogram that spells out something spring cleaners might use. Who is this judge?

    (We believe we just coined a nifty word, “quizzle” = a quick puzzle. The word is out there, but it seems to be associated only with credit scores and reports.)

    Speaking of musty (but must-see) quiz shows, if you have a few or 30 minutes, check out this “What’s my Line?” from Dec. 1, 1963, nine days after JFK was assassinated. (The Nov. 24 show was pre-empted, the day Ruby shot Oswald… non-stop news coverage.)

    Interesting to me:
    • No mention of JFK’s demise; seemed like frivolity as usual. (But YouTube posters commented that this episode was pre-recorded, so that explains the non-mention.)
    • Wolf whistles when a “babe” signs in, and John Daly’s inevitable question, “Is that Miss or Mrs.?”
    • Harlan Sanders, pre-celebrity.
    • The precise use of the English language, and the civility. In a way, this was the subsequent generation’s version of the Algonquin Round Table.

    I wish I were younger, but I am thankful I lived through this era.


  11. I just got WALTS, even though it was no Mickey Mouse puzzle. Speaking of which,...

    ... when working on financial statements, some items are described as "de minimis", which in that context means having minimal financial effect. In another context, I always wondered if de minimis was married to de mikimis.

  12. Replies
    1. And F = 6 (its alphabetical rank!). And 2 = ? - .


  13. Mother's Day Special Puzzle:
    “The prince... replied, simply,” MATRICIDE [MATRESS-CIDE].

    An IMPLANT is a small object, removing the middle letter, L, leaves two of God's creatures, an IMP & an ANT!

    A military COMMAND can be quite small and limited, removing the middle letter, M, leaves two of God's creatures a MAN & a COD!

    A PEDOMETER is a small object, removing the M leaves two of God's creatures, a DOE & PETER.

    1. ron,

      We must admit, you are shore up to snuff on your “God’s creatures.” Peters and does and men, and cod and imps and ants, oh my!

      We knew a gymnast who had (six-sided) dice IMPLANTed into all his joints so he would be a better tumbler.

      We believe that most people obey about six of the Ten COMMANDments.

      When we exercise using our PEDOMETER, we usually sit down and take a break after about six steps.


  14. For DDSS, I got the "unnecessary" segments as lower right and bottom.


    1. David,
      You seem to have made pretty short work of the puzzle slices on this week’s menu, and they both had tough crusts. Hope you don’t get enigmadigestion.


  15. I think SNOWFLAKE must be correct, what with the "6" and all. And I've recently witnessed (in graphic detail) that hawks and frogs have a predator / prey relationship, so i can believe the same of owls and snakes. I'm really interested in seeing their symbiotic relationship. Oh, wait (duh!) there's Google!

    1. Aha! So Leptotyphlops dulcis eat the ANTS that spoil the owls' nests -- those little IMPS!

    2. They also both prey on mice.

  16. This week’s official puzzle answers, for the record:

    Darkened Digital Segments Slice:
    Deduction by the dashboard light
    The dashboard of Yvette’s 1988 Corvette features seven-segment digital displays that display the digits from 0 to 9 with illuminated segments. Alas, some of the segments no longer function and have gone dark in her miles-per-hour speed readout.
    In order for Yvette to infer her exact speed without ambiguity, what is the minimum number of segments that must be functional, and where must they be positioned?
    (Note: the two segments that make up the numeral 1 appear on the “east” side of the seven-segment display, not the “west” side)

    The minimum number of segments that must be functional is five. All but the two segments that form the “southeast” corner of the display must be working. In such a case the number 8 would appear as an uppercase P, for example, the 6 as an uppercase F, the 5 like a floating lowercase c, and the 2 as a ? without its point.

    Wolf And Lamb Together Slice:
    A love-hate creationship
    Name a small object, in one word. In describing the object one might use the perfect number six. Remove the object’s middle letter along with the space created by that removal.
    From this string of letters remove a number of consecutive letters that spell out the name of one of God’s creatures. Push together the remaining letters to form the name of another of God’s creatures.
    These two creatures have a predatory relationship but sometimes have a symbiotic relationship also.
    What is the object and what are the creatures?



  17. Puzzlerians!
    We have just updated this week's blog to show how the ten digits, from zero through nine, would appear on Yvette's Corvette dashboard if the two segments forming the southeast corner stopped functioning. See the Darkened Digital Segments Slice. The illustration appears above the beginning of the Comments Section.


  18. We just now added a bonus slice to the menu of this week's Puzzleria!

    It is a an "Ever The Twain Shall Meet Slice" called CSI: USA.


  19. Puzzlerians!
    Are any of you keen to spill the beans about the answer to the below pseudopuzzle that we posted at the top of this week's blog?

    "Incidentally, 53rd was the number of the police precinct in a sitcom which included two actors who later appeared together in a more popular and well-known sitcom. What are the sitcoms and who are the actors?
    Hint: the word “Khrushchev” appears in the earlier sitcom’s theme song. The word “ooky” does not appear in the subsequent sitcom’s theme song."


  20. Sure - I'll spill the beans - The sitcoms are "Car 54 Where Are You" (which I'd never heard of before!), and "The Munsters" - the actors are Al Lewis (Grandpa on The Munsters) and Fred Gwynne (Herman on The Munsters). --Margaret G

    1. Fine work, Margaret G. You are too young, I am sure, to have seen “Car 54…” I am afraid I lived through it.

      The theme song lyric that includes Khruschev is “Khruschev’s due at Idlewild.” The airport was renamed a month after JFK was assassinated, similar to how Cape Canaveral was renamed Cape Kennedy (temporarily for ten years, it turned out).

      Fred Gwynn, who portrayed Francis Muldoon in “Car 54, Where Are You?” portrayed the Frankenstein-like Herman Munster in “The Munsters.” Al Lewis (Leo Schnauser, a cop in “Car 54…”) portrayed Grandpa in “The Munsters.” I understand that he was a college/NBA basketball genius who scouted college players for pro teams.

      The word “ooky” does not appear in the wordless Munsters theme music, but it does appear here.


    2. When I was an undergrad at SUNY Stony Brook many years ago, we started a student-run volunteer ambulance squad. (This was right after the anti-Vietnam War disturbances of the Spring of 1970, and the local fire department wouldn't respond to campus without a police escort.) We were based at the infirmary, and there was one Nigerian nurse who would wake us at night when needed by shouting, "AMBOOLANCE!". We were inspired to compose a song based on the Car 54 theme. (The Nosh was a deli in the Student Union building; Tabler and Kelly were residential quads; street lighting was a sometime thing.

      There's a holdup in the Nosh,
      Tabler's broken out in fights,
      There's an accident in Kelly,
      And, of course, there ain't no lights,
      There's a psycho going wild,
      My girlfriend's having a child.
      AMBOOLANCE, where are you?

    3. My "wait until next week to publish sitcom/actors puzzle answer was a reference to (Car)54(th week).

      Also, my absence explanation included "holed up" (There's a hold-up in the Bronx) and "idle awhile" (Khrushchev's due at Idlewild), both referencing the theme song, which I am ashamed to admit I still know.

    4. jan,
      Thanks for sharing your parody of those timeless lyrics. Many would call it a sacrilege to meddle with such sublime and deathless poetry. But, of course, we enjoyed it immensely.
      Now, if only Enya_and_Weird_Al_fan, would weigh in and offer a critique of your parodistic effort! (We understand that Enya is quite adept at writing and singing parodies of those pop tunes that are all the rage these days.)


    5. David,
      I think we are all ashamed to admit we still know, or ever knew, the “Car 54” theme “song.” And, now that we have read jan's 9:37 AM post, I think we are all ashamed to admit we now now his parodied lyrics to the “Car 54” theme song!
      The rest of the cast of the "Car 54" sitcom was interesting, though:
      Speaking of “ashamed,” Joe E. Ross committed this crime!
      Fred Gwynn did his best to overcome his “Herman Munster” stereotyping.
      Al Lewis was a political activist like fellow cast member Ossie Davis (see below), who was also a hoops fanatic.
      Nipsey Russell and Ossie Davis both played Officer Anderson on the short-lived sitcom. Both died in 2005 at age 87.
      Russell was known as “TV’s Poet Laureate” (a title, it seems that commentor jan might have assumed had his career path taken a different direction). Davis was a political activist who was married to the recently deceased Ruby Dee.



      Oops ... wrong blog!

    7. Paul,
      I needed more storage space to organize my stuff, so I went to my local Target. They were having their biannual BINSALE. When I tried to hit on the gorgeous check-out person, she promptly told me she was a LESBIAN. (I am sure she wasn’t pulling my leg… well, pretty sure. I didn’t feel any tugging sensation anyway.) So I went home with my new-bought bins and tail between my legs and checked out BLAINE’S blog so I could hone my butter-knife-dull Sharkey Cipher decrypting skills. (It didn’t work.)

      Thanks to you, Paul, we shall now be vigilant not to conflate (or deflate, if “we” includes Tom Brady) rag nuuts and Zagnuts. In any event, although we suspect sometimes that you have come down with a bad case of the code, you haven’t quite lost US YET.


  21. Considering I get 19 for Idaho rather than 16, and you've already given us the smallest CSI's of 0 for Hawaii and Alaska, I don't think I understand the question. :(
    The way I got 19 for Idaho was: Washington-Idaho; Washington-Idaho-Oregon; Oregon-Idaho-Nevada; Nevada-Utah-Idaho, Utah-Wyoming-Idaho, Idaho-Wyoming-Montana, and Idaho-Montana. Maybe I have to look at this again at a different time with fresh eyes. --Margaret G.

    1. Margaret G,

      You are correct and I am flat wrong. I am sorry. I miscounted and missed one of the “Threes.”
      Your eyes are fine and fresh; it is my eyes (and brain) that could use some freshening.

      Thank you for your gentle editing. I shall correct the text on the blog.


    2. I got 24 for Tennessee and 4 for Maine (the lowest non-zero, and assuming you count ME/NH twice).

    3. Those are the answers we got also, David. And Missouri ties with Tennessee with 24.

      We didn't realize this when we first got the notion to create this pseudopuzzle, but there seems to be a direct correspondence between the CSI and the number of States that Border a given State (Let's call that a state's SBS number.). That is, at least for most interior states (those with the highest potential CSIs), the formula seems to be: CSI = 3(SBS).

      Possibilities abound for erecting "Three Corner Monuments" across the continental United States!

      The example of Missouri is interesting. If the northern border of Arkansas would extend eastwasd to the Mississippi River, thereby annexing that descending nub of Missouri, the four states (Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky) would be able to build a Four Corners Monument at the present junction of Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky. As it stands now, and if you throw Illinois into the mix, the site of that junction is the center point of a circle (with a radius of roughly 60 miles) that encompasses four potential “Three Corners Monuments.”


    4. I found this puzzle too late to be the first to answer it, but I would gladly SING the whole theme song for anyone who wanted to hear it! Had the entire set of lyrics typed out, but then I noticed that pretty much those had already been reported (ha) above. Still LOVE this theme song!

  22. And I don't know for sure [because he's secretive], but I suspect that Weird Al_and_Enya_Fan MAY be my son!

    1. Nice to hear from you, ViolinTeddy. We are always on the lookout (listenout?) for lilting lyrics, and would LOVE to lend our ears to any you may be willing to lavish on us.

      And, any kin of Enya_and_Weird_Al_fan is a ki…, that is, a friend of ours.


  23. That's very sweet of you, LegoSingSoftly, but as I said, I'm not absolutely sure of my ID effort. I'm still trying to 'sleuth' it out by reading his posts as to whether Enya/ who I think he is!

    And while I've written some pretty funny (or so I think to myself) parodies of other songs in the past, I don't think any of them would work on this site! Plus, re Car 54, my singing would have just been the original lyrics anyway. I go around singing old songs and driving everyone nuts -- ha ha ha.

  24. Just off the cuff, do you recall from Family Affair, the song that little Jody sang called "Any Little Boy Can Be President"???? :

    Any little boy can be president, can be president, can be president
    Of the United States ... United States
    Of America...of America, land of the Freeeeee.

    Any little boy can be Washington, George Washington,
    Thomas Jefferson,
    Or Abe Abraham, Abe Abraham, good ole honest Abe.

    (Embarrassed to not be able to remember what came next, but it ended with):

    "Any little boy can be president
    Any little boy can be president.
    Any little boy can be president,
    Why not meeee? Why not meeee? Why not meee?"

    Of course, in 2015, this is a very sexist song. Which is the end of my political commentary.

  25. And it just occurred to me: to tie your Car 54 puzzle together with what I just posted, can anyone name (without Googling) something that combined "Jody" from Family Affair and someone who was in Car 54? That's my little 'puzzle contribution' to your blog. ; o )

    1. Thanks, ViolinTeddy. I had to use a search engine to solve your puzzle, but at least I did find video evidence of the Jody/Car 54 connection...
      Which is more than I can say about my efforts to dredge up YouTube video evidence of Jody singing the "president" song. Still, fun stuff.


  26. Yeah, I found out when I went to look myself, that there was NO set of lyrics OR video evidence of Jody singing the President song. I was tempted to go to his own site and contact him, to ask if he remembers the lyrics!

  27. And I'm glad you figured out my tiny little comparison to the fancy ones YOU throw on here, of course!

  28. Boy, I am tired! ....typing in bits and pieces for responses: Family Affair's theme song didn't have lyrics....a bunch of jewels were shown on the screen, that is about all I can remember.