How Did You Know Neil Konouchi?

I'm happy to announce a winner to our last How Did You Know? 5-day trivia hunt. Please re-meet Neil Konouchi of Nashville. You may recall that Neil won the pilot HDYK way back in March, 08, when we were only giving away bragging rights and a t-shirt. So congrats Neil, who now has $100 to spend in our store. He blazed through the final puzzle and got all the answers within 8 minutes of the gun!

Dozens of you got all the answers correct, and I'll be sure to post the top 10 in the order we received them over on our Facebook page soon.

Meantime, our random winner this month is Allison Jirsa, who says she forgot all about the final puzzle, and was ready to kill herself at 2am last night when she finally remembered. (And remember she did, taking only 15 minutes to get through the whole thing!) We'll be in touch soon with your spoils.
See everyone back for another HDYK on the 28th of July, when Neil will be looking to defend the title. Meantime, let's meet our winner and review his answers:

[caption id="attachment_28164" align="alignleft" width="512" caption="Neil Konouchi"][/caption]

I live in Nashville, Tennessee where I work in the music business and also as a freelance tuba player (not a joke). I'm a big time trivia/puzzle junkie, can often be found at the local pub trivia games, and always have fun with these HDYK puzzles every time they come around (been trying to repeat since the inaugural game!). I have to give credit to my wife for giving me "The Supremes," as I couldn't get past "The Justice League," clearly my brain trying to squeeze The Human League into the context of the puzzle. I knew it wasn't right, but just couldn't get that idea out of my head.

Appropriately for this edition of HDYK, the picture I've attached is of me with my friend Steven when we did The Price Is Right live in Las Vegas. Unfortunately neither of us were selected to play, but it turns out I would have grossly overbid on the Showcase anyway.

Thanks for the hunt, looking forward to the next one!

Final Answer


Mark David Chapman killed John Lennon that day while carrying a copy of Catcher In The Rye

Day 1

1. A Full Count (aka 3-2 count)
2. Safe!
3. Pitcher
4. Batter
5. Strike (a match)
6. The Lineup
7. Green Monster (at Fenway Park)
8. Double Play (Name of Moby's Album pictured here x2)

Theme Songs:
1. The Price is Right (knew)
2. Card Sharks * (sounded familiar, verified on YouTube)
3. Jeopardy! (knew)
4. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (knew)
5. Hollywood Squares (finally found it after browsing themes on YouTube. Pure luck.)

* Card Sharks theme is the same as Double Dare, but this recording matches the Card Sharks recording.

Day 2

Each letter is assigned a number based on its place in the alphabet A=1, B=2, C=3, etc.
A = 1
D = 4
G = 7
J = 10
M = 13

A G D J G M ?
1 7 4 10 7 13

So the pattern is +6, -3

1 (+6) 7 (-3) 4 (+6) 10 (-3) 7 (+6) 13 (-3) = 10

10 = J

Part 2: Assassins (Victims in Parentheses)

1. Mark David Chapman (Lennon)
2. Leon Czolgosz (McKinley)
3. John Wilkes Booth (Lincoln)
4. Charles Guiteau (Garfield)
5. John Hinckley (Reagan attempt)
6. Yigal Amir (Yitzhak Rabin)
7. Khalid Islambouli (Anwar Sadat)
8. James Earl Ray (MLK Jr.)
9. Jack Ruby (Lee Harvey Oswald)

John Hinckley was the only of those that was unsuccessful in his attempt.

Day 3

"Writers, indeed, need time to write. And critics, who, I presume, are also writers, of a sort, need time to critique. Then again, no one ever erected a statue for a critic." paraphrases Sibelius' famous quote, "Pay no attention to what critics say. No statue has ever been put up to a critic."

Sibelius' Finlandia was used in Die Hard 2
Die means "The" in German ("No, that's German for 'The Bart, The.'")
"die" is feminine
Lothar-Günther Buchheim wrote Das Boot in 1973
"das" is gender-neutral
"der" is the masculine version

Part 2: Cryptographs
(each letter to the next in the alphabet) Each sentence in this puzzle is governed by its own rules, so that every word in the sentence can be deciphered using the same rule.
(back one in the alphabet) Some sentences use the same rule as other sentences.
(back one space on the keyboard) This was only done because the author is lazy.
(back one in the alphabet) When read backwards the final word in the next sentence is your secret code word and final puzzle answer today.
(next in the alphabet) David Israel is nuts!

Last word backwards: STUN

Day 4

1. Nickelback (back side of a nickel)
2. Phish (school of fish)
3. Led Zeppelin (it's a zeppelin)
4. Queen (she's the Queen)
5. The Supremes (Supreme Court Justices)
6. Nine Inch Nails (maybe not quite nine inches, but very long nails)

Phish was formed at the University of Vermont in 1983.

Part 2:

Any letter in the "secret word" AIR gives me the same answer for number of vowels.

A: OAk (2) AIr (2)
I: dIE (2) AIr (2)
R: AIr (2)

For all other words:

D: dIE (2) cOd (1)
I: dIE (2) AIr (2)
E: dIE (2) cUE (2)

C: cOd (1) cUE (2)
O: cOd (1) OAk (2)
D: dIE (2) cOd (1)

O: cOd (1) OAk (2)
A: OAk (2) AIr (2)
K: OAk (1)

C: cOd (1) cUE (2)
U: cUE (2)
E: dIE (2) cUE (2)

The clue is that "if we were to tell you any one letter of the secret word, you'd be able to tell how many vowels are in the word." So you tell me A, I tell you 2 (I presume the word is AIR or OAK). You tell me I, I tell you 2 again (DIE or AIR). You tell me R, I tell you 2 (AIR is the only answer for that one). I'll be honest, though, this seems too easy to be the correct solution. I'm not sure I'm totally understanding this puzzle.

Day 5

Searching on CastTV for Jacob plays Money Game in hopes of winning a car! turns up episode 4635
Lat Min.Sec: 46.35

John Hinckley Jr. Tried to assassinate Reagan, President #40
Lat Degrees: 40

Backwards word was STUN
Re-reverse it: NUTS, add P = PNUTS = "Peanuts" by Charles M. Schulz
He moved the family to Sebastabol in 1958 (via Wikipedia)
Long Min: 58

The ZRS-4, USS Akron crashed April 1933, killing 73 (via Wikipedia)
Long Degrees: -73
Long Sec: 33

Zooming in puts me at Central Park West and W. 72nd, where the Dakota is

John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived in The Dakota
Mark David Chapman killed John Lennon that day while carrying a copy of Catcher In The Rye by...

These Sparrows Have Been Singing the Same Songs for 1500 Years

Swamp sparrows are creatures of habit—so much so that they’ve been chirping out the same few tunes for more than 1500 years, Science magazine reports.

These findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, resulted from an analysis of the songs of 615 adult male swamp sparrows found in six different areas of the northeastern U.S. Researchers learned that young swamp sparrows pick up these songs from the adults around them and are able to mimic the notes with astounding accuracy.

Here’s what one of their songs sounds like:

“We were able to show that swamp sparrows very rarely make mistakes when they learn their songs, and they don't just learn songs at random; they pick up commoner songs rather than rarer songs,” Robert Lachlan, a biologist at London’s Queen Mary University and the study’s lead author, tells National Geographic.

Put differently, the birds don’t mimic every song their elders crank out. Instead, they memorize the ones they hear most often, and scientists say this form of “conformist bias” was previously thought to be a uniquely human behavior.

Using acoustic analysis software, researchers broke down each individual note of the sparrows’ songs—160 different syllables in total—and discovered that only 2 percent of sparrows deviated from the norm. They then used a statistical method to determine how the songs would have evolved over time. With recordings from 2009 and the 1970s, they were able to estimate that the oldest swamp sparrow songs date back 1537 years on average.

The swamp sparrow’s dedication to accuracy sets the species apart from other songbirds, according to researchers. “Among songbirds, it is clear that some species of birds learn precisely, such as swamp sparrows, while others rarely learn all parts of a demonstrator’s song precisely,” they write.

According to the Audubon Guide to North American Birds, swamp sparrows are similar to other sparrows, like the Lincoln’s sparrow, song sparrow, and chipping sparrow. They’re frequently found in marshes throughout the Northeast and Midwest, as well as much of Canada. They’re known for their piercing call notes and may respond to birders who make loud squeaking sounds in their habitat.

[h/t Science magazine]

18 Smart Products To Help You Kick Off Summer

Whether you’re trying to spiff up your backyard barbeque or cultivate your green thumb, these summertime gadgets will help you celebrate the season from solstice to the dog days.


Rosé Wine Glass

Why It’s Cool: Wine not? When the temperature rises and beer isn’t your thing, reach for the rosé. Riedel’s machine-blown SST (see, smell, taste) wine glasses will give the sparkly stuff ample room to breathe, making every refreshing sip worthwhile.

Find It: Amazon


Nerf SurgeFire

Why It’s Cool: The N-Strike Elite SurgeFire (say that five-times-fast) sports a pump-action rotating drum for maximum foam-based firepower and holds up to 15 Nerf darts in its arsenal.

Find It: Hasbro Toy Shop



Why It’s Cool: You don’t need to have a green thumb to create a brag-worthy garden this summer. Besides producing snackable mid-season berries, these open-growing bushes can be planted immediately for easy set-up to make you look like a botanical pro.

Find It: Amazon


Doughnut float

Why It’s Cool: When the only dunking you’re doing is taking a dip in the pool, a 48-inch inflatable donut is the perfect way to stay afloat.

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American flag spatula

Why It’s Cool: O say can you see by your grill’s charcoal light / Meats so proudly we cooked ... with a star spangled spatula. Depending on the specific model, these all-American grilling tools (designed in New Jersey and made in Chicago) are made of a combination of walnut and stainless steel or nylon. As an added bonus: 5 percent of the proceeds go to the Penn Abramson Cancer Center.

Find It: Amazon


MLB San Diego Padres Hot Dog BBQ Brander

Why It’s Cool: Take your hot dogs, sausages, brats, and more out to the ballgame without ever leaving your grill. These branders from Pangea Brands are dishwasher-safe and made of ceramic-coated cast iron.

Find It: Amazon

7. UNA GRILL; $139

MoMA Shop

Why It’s Cool: This portable charcoal-heated grill is as efficient as it is stylish. The compact size lets you cook at the park, after hitting up MoMA, or anywhere in between.

Find It: MoMa Shop


Why It’s Cool: Made of steel and finished with a non-stick coating, this grilling tool flips four burgers at once and maintains perfect burger proportions to guarantee nobody stays hungry for long.

Find It: Amazon


metal fire pit

Why It’s Cool: The grill isn’t the only place for a roaring fire this summer. This 100 percent solid copper fire pit makes for the perfect gathering spot at your next BBQ, or just to warm up after a cool summer evening.

Find It: Amazon


Bendy Straw Inflatable Pool Float

Why It’s Cool: Inflatable pool floats shouldn’t be boring, and this bendy straw float definitely does not suck. This unique spin on traditional pool noodles is sure to make for some cheesy jokes, but at least you’ll be comfortable floating in the pool or at the beach.

Find It: Amazon


Cuisinart GR-150 Griddler Deluxe

Why It’s Cool: If you’re looking for some serious panini power, this griddler offers up a versatile lineup of six cooking options in one. And with dual-zone functions you can sling burgers while searing filets and sautéeing vegetables all at the same time.

Find It: Amazon


Vintage Snow Cone Maker

Why It’s Cool: With its old-timey design, dual cone shelf, and endless flavor options, this snow cone maker is guaranteed create a cool treat.

Find It: Amazon


Dog Corn Holders

Why It’s Cool: While meat-lovers will inevitably scarf down a lot of hot dogs this summer, vegetarians who happen to love another kind of dog will be smitten with these stainless steel, Dachshund-shaped corn on the cob prongs. They’re a fun spin on a summer grilling favorite.

Find It: Amazon


Ice Cream Sandwich Maker

Why It’s Cool: Four sandwiches are better than one, especially when they're of the ice cream variety. Make four ice cream sandwiches at once with this homemade spin on a classic cold treat.

Find It: Amazon


Bluetooth speaker

Why It’s Cool: Besides delicious food and great company, some memorable tunes are required for the quintessential barbeque. This portable bluetooth speaker offers up some booming sound in a small package, and with a battery power of 10 hours on a single charge you can keep the party going all night.

Find It: Amazon


Rollors Backyard Game

Why It’s Cool: When you’re sick of bocce, hate horseshoes, and you’re over cornhole, you might want to take up “rollors,” a family-friendly game that combines your favorite traditional backyard festivities into one game for people of all ages.

Find It: Amazon

17. HAMMOCK; $174


Why It’s Cool: Rest easy knowing that this 100 percent hand-woven and hand-dyed cotton hammock contributes to artisan job-creation in Thailand.

Find It: Amazon


Emergency Survival Tent Outdoors

Why It’s Cool: Compact, convenient, and durable, the VSSL Shelter can come in handy when things don’t go quite as planned. The device—which features a lightweight emergency shelter all within the handle of a compact, weather-resistant aluminum LED flashlight—is designed to keep you safe under the worst conditions.

Find It: Amazon


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