Transcript from a conversation that couldn't happen today:

J: Hey D, let's play the game.

D: Again? There are only so many times we can do this without repeating ourselves, but OK. You start.

J: Be tan, Theta Bro

D: Too easy, that's '76

J: Fine, your turn.

D: Creaky boa chaw

J: 77! Pa's seen chunkier okra

D: 77 again. Anything harder?

J: Ok, how about Two ton gator upwind?

D: Hmm... I don't know that one. Are you sure it's right?

J: Oh, right, you wouldn't. Sorry about that. What about End a sweat in a bed?

D: 78. I think you used that one last time we played.

J: Yeah, it's a popular one. Your turn.

D: Umm... Hand pie? Sorry, running out of original ideas here.

J: Another 77. Maybe we should quit for now.

D: You're probably right. Did we ever come up with a name for this game?

J: It's definitely either Oarsmen or Note Masher.


  • Who might J and D be?
  • What strange game is this?
  • Two ton gator upwind is a valid challenge. Why doesn't D know that?
  • If J challenged with "Am I mod Doorknob or celery ruler?", what is the correct response?

Post-solution question: If you've figured out or seen the solution, the question below is more about puzzle building and/or difficulty.

I originally had Zip kit gobbler as one of the clues (answer 76). I removed it because it seemed too obvious a giveaway (when combined with the others). Once the mechanics of the puzzle are figured out, the rest is just tracking down answers (in my mind). I was worried that the mechanic would be more obvious from that clue than the others, as well as leading to a very obvious solution. Do you think it would have been fine, or was I right to take it out?

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ "Am I mod Doorknob or celery ruler?"—what's the difference? :P $\endgroup$
    – Doorknob
    Aug 4, 2015 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Doorknob You don't need to find a difference, no math is involved ;) $\endgroup$
    – Set Big O
    Aug 4, 2015 at 18:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Doorknob Whither goest thou, O prince of smallage? $\endgroup$ Aug 4, 2015 at 19:31
  • $\begingroup$ "a conversation that couldn't happen today" - why not? $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2015 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor Dead men tell no tales, nor play silly games. $\endgroup$
    – Set Big O
    Aug 5, 2015 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


Who might J and D be?

Either Joey or Johnny Ramone, and Dee Dee Ramone, of the band The Ramones

What strange game is this?

They are anagramming the titles of Ramones songs, and they need to solve the anagram, and respond with the year the song was recorded.

Two ton gator upwind is a valid challenge. Why doesn't D know that?

It anagrams to I Don't Want to Grow Up, recorded in 1995, after Dee Dee left the band.

If J challenged with "Am I mod Doorknob or celery ruler?", what is the correct response?

This anagrams to Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?, which was recorded in 1979, so the correct response is "79".

Solutions to the other questions:

Be tan, Theta Bro

Beat on the Brat, recorded in 1976.

Creaky boa chaw

Rockaway Beach, recorded in 1977.

Pa's seen chunkier okra

Sheena is a Punk Rocker, recorded in 1977.

End a sweat in a bed

I Wanna Be Sedated, recorded in 1978.

Hand pie

Pinhead, recorded in 1977.



Note Masher

The Ramones

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Beautiful answer, and thanks for the correction. Should have copy/pasted instead of retyping each :) $\endgroup$
    – Set Big O
    Aug 5, 2015 at 3:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Google was definitely my friend on this one. I am by no means a music aficionado, and had in fact never heard of any of these songs before. $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2015 at 3:39
  • $\begingroup$ I actually thought it would be the grateful dead and songs that have similar meaning and their year of production, the anagrams was a beast catch. What set you on anagrams? $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2015 at 14:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Goinghamateur The somewhat-randomly-stuck-together nature of the phrases made me think first of palindromes, which often make only about as much sense as these phrases do. When it immediately became obvious that they were not palindromes, I tried to think of what else would require very specific words that didn't really go together. I loaded up an online anagram solver, and entered Be tan, Theta Bro, and it came up with Beat on the Brat. After looking that up, the rest was easy. $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2015 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ Nice, strategy noted for future use (in puzzle solving and creation (muahahha)) $\endgroup$ Aug 5, 2015 at 16:07

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