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In the spirit of the What is a Word™/Phrase™ series started by JLee, a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.


If a phrase conforms to a special rule, I call it a Closely Capital Phrase™. Use the examples below to find the rule.

$$ % set Title text. (spaces around the text ARE important; do not remove.) % increase Pad value only if your entries are longer than the title bar. % \def\Pad{\P{0.0}} \def\Title{\textbf{ Closely Capital }} % \def\S#1#2{\Space{#1}{20px}{#2px}}\def\P#1{\V{#1em}}\ \def\V#1{\S{#1}{9}} \def\T{\Title\textbf{Phrases }^™\Pad}\def\NT{\Pad\textbf{Not}\T\ }\displaystyle \smash{\lower{29px}\bbox[yellow]{\phantom{\rlap{rubio.2017.02.04}\S{6px}{0} \begin{array}{cc}\Pad\T&\NT\\\end{array}}}}\atop\def\V#1{\S{#1}{5}} \begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline\Pad\T&\NT\\\hline % \text{ BEARD COM }&\text{ MUSTACHE DRAMA }\\ \hline \text{ BRAKE LINES }&\text{ TRANSMISSION FLUIDS }\\ \hline \text{ CAPITAL CAB }&\text{ LOWERCASE BUS }\\ \hline \text{ CAPITAL CABS }&\text{ LOWERCASE BUSES }\\ \hline \text{ CAT CALLS }&\text{ DOG WHISTLES }\\ \hline \text{ GOOD BOOK }&\text{ BAD MOVIE }\\ \hline \text{ GOOD NUGGET }&\text{ BAD EGG }\\ \hline \text{ HOBO TANGLER }&\text{ JEEP WRANGLER }\\ \hline \text{ I LIKE }&\text{ FLUFFY PANCAKES }\\ \hline \text{ KINDLE CARB }&\text{ NOOK PROTEIN }\\ \hline \text{ KIT KAT }&\text{ MILKY WAY }\\ \hline \text{ LARGE CAN }&\text{ SMALL BOTTLE }\\ \hline \text{ LARGE JAB }&\text{ SMALL PUNCH }\\ \hline \text{ MID MAID }&\text{ MIDDLE MAIDS }\\ \hline \text{ MOO CAT }&\text{ MEOW COW }\\ \hline \text{ MY WAYS }&\text{ THE HIGHWAYS }\\ \hline \text{ SIT FAT }&\text{ STAND THIN }\\ \hline \text{ SMALL MALL }&\text{ BIG MALL }\\ \hline \text{ UPON THAT }&\text{ UNDERNEATH THIS }\\ \hline \text{ ZORBA HUT }&\text{ PIZZA HUTT }\\ \hline \end{array}$$

CSV version:

Closely Capital Phrases™,Not Closely Capital Phrases™
BEARD COM,MUSTACHE DRAMA
BRAKE LINES,TRANSMISSION FLUIDS
CAPITAL CAB,LOWERCASE BUS
CAPITAL CABS,LOWERCASE BUSES
CAT CALLS,DOG WHISTLES
GOOD BOOK,BAD MOVIE
GOOD NUGGET,BAD EGG
HOBO TANGLER,JEEP WRANGLER
I LIKE,FLUFFY PANCAKES
KINDLE CARB,NOOK PROTEIN
KIT KAT,MILKY WAY
LARGE CAN,SMALL BOTTLE
LARGE JAB,SMALL PUNCH
MID MAID,MIDDLE MAIDS
MOO CAT,MEOW COW
MY WAYS,THE HIGHWAYS
SIT FAT,STAND THIN
SMALL MALL,BIG MALL
UPON THAT,UNDERNEATH THIS
ZORBA HUT,PIZZA HUTT

The puzzle satisfies the series' inbuilt assumption that each phrase can be tested for whether it is a Closely Capital Phrase™ without relying on the other phrases. These are not the only examples of Closely Capital Phrases™; many more exist.

What is the special rule these phrases conform to?


Added the tag because completely figuring this out will require an external resource for most people. "Most people" is a guess on my part because I find it highly unlikely that a large number of people would just know the related info. Technically we could call that trivia, but the tag here seems specific to pop culture, whereas this has nothing to do with pop culture.

Hint 0 (from the comments):

A Closely Capital Phrase™ must consist of exactly two words.

Hint 1:

Swapping the word order of a Closely Capital Phrase™ will likely make it a Not Closely Capital Phrase™.

Hint 2:

The phrase that Lord Harold Samuel is (perhaps incorrectly) credited with coining is relevant.

Hint 3:

That short-lived NBC TV show that started in October of 2014, what was it called? I'm almost positive it's 1 to 26.

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  • $\begingroup$ Can a Closely Capital Phrase™ consist of more than two words? $\endgroup$ – micsthepick May 12 '17 at 3:18
  • $\begingroup$ @micsthepick, nope. $\endgroup$ – tilper May 12 '17 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ I think it has something to do with isocolon or cola I am not able to connect all the dots though $\endgroup$ – Techidiot May 16 '17 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Techidiot, the phrase that hint #2 refers to is indeed an isocolon, but the word isocolon itself (and cola for that matter) isn't relevant to the puzzle. $\endgroup$ – tilper May 16 '17 at 19:23
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A Closely Capital Phrase™ is a phrase ...

... of two words, whose A-to-Z sums, when taken as latitude and longitude, describe a location close to a national capital. It is not clear whether the latitudes are north or south ot whether the longitudes are east or west, so all four possibilities must be checked.

Evidence section:

BEARD COM — 30, 31 — Cairo, Egypt
BRAKE LINES — 37, 59 — Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
CAPITAL CAB — 62, 6 — Torshavn, Faroe Islands (W)
CAPITAL CABS — 62, 25 — Helsinki, Finland
CAT CALLS — 24, 47 — Riyad, Saudi Arabia
GOOD BOOK — 41, 43 — Tblisi, Georgia or Yerevan, Armenia
GOOD NUGGET — 41, 74 — Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
HOBO TANGLER — 40, 77 — Washington DC, U.S.A. (W)
I LIKE — 9, 37 — Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
KINDLE CARB — 55, 24 — Vilnius, Lithuania
KIT KAT — 40, 32 — Ankara, Turkey
LARGE CAN — 43, 18 — Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
LARGE JAB — 43, 13 — San Marino, San Marino
MID MAID — 26, 27 — Johanesburg, South Africa (S)
MOO CAT — 43, 24 — Sofia, Bulgaria
MY WAYS — 38, 68 — Dushanbe, Tajikistan
SIT FAT — 48, 27 — Chisinau, Moldova
SMALL MALL — 57, 38 — Moscow, Russia
UPON THAT — 66, 49 — Nuuk, Greenland (W)
ZORBA HUT — 62, 49 — (I couldn't find anything here and I'm not sure about Nuuk above)

I haven't checked any of the Non Closely Capital Phrases. I'm lazy.

What do the hints mean?

The NBC TV show is A to Z, which hints at the A to Z sum, i.e. summing the letter values of all letters in a word where A is 1, B is 2, C is 3 and so on. Lord Harold Samuel's phrase is "Location, location, location!", which hints at the use of the sums as latitude and longitude. And, of course, this use means that each phrase must have exactly two words.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nicely done. Thanks for not checking the Not Closely Capital Phrases™ as I'd rather not know if I made a mistake during the tedious process of creating this. :P $\qquad$ For the record, I used this link to build the list and completely ignored N,S,E,W. $\endgroup$ – tilper May 17 '17 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ SPOILER ALERT Oh, and ZORBA HUT was also for Nuuk. Officially my process was "round to the nearest degree and get a word score no more than $2$ off of the rounded value." UPON THAT also satisfies that, barely. There may have been a few that ended up being $3$ off, but I'm almost positive there aren't any $4$ or more. $\endgroup$ – tilper May 17 '17 at 14:10

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