Sunday, January 3, 2016

No, THANK YOU!

For old time's sake, here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
This is a variation on the old word ladder puzzle. The object is to change WHOLE to HEART by either adding or subtracting one letter at a time, making a new, common, uncapitalized word at each step.

For example, you can change RED to ROSE in five steps. Starting with RED, you could add a U, making RUED; drop the D, leaving RUE; add an S, making RUSE; add an O, making ROUSE, and then drop the U, leaving ROSE.

Changing or rearranging letters is not allowed, neither are plurals or verbs formed by adding -S. No word in the chain can have fewer than three letters.

How many steps are needed to change WHOLE to HEART? I have my best answer. We'll compare results next week.

And here's the NPR Contact Us form, so you can send your word ladder whizzing through the ether to clatter at the feet of the current Hapless Unpaid Intern.

You wrote such lovely things about this blog and us in your comments to Thursday's announcement that we're stopping. We thank you. No, really, we thank YOU, because it's been so much more fun to feel that there's a community here, and not just a vacuum. Thank you for all the ranges picked, photos requested, hints obscured, and so forth.

My thanks--and sadly I can't do everyone--go as follows. For Mendo Jim, I thank you for being our "curmudgeon." Here's a curmudgeonly photo (and a fascinating rant about invasive species in California):

Flowers_Minnewawa_IGP5176

For David, who would have parked himself at 1001-1050 forever if it hadn't become completely obvious that we rarely see a thousand entries these days, I give you a photo of "consistent."

lightning over the oilfields

For legolambda, here is a "puzzle" (I checked; they didn't have any photos for "puzzleria"):

Ice on the rocks

For Maggie Strasser, here's a photo for "good guess":

Norway Postcard 4 of 6: Morning sunbeams

For Margaret G., I have a photo for "anonymous":

Anonymous / Anónimo

For B. Haven, here's "behaving":

Goldenrod

For Joe Kupe, who seemed always to be the last guess in our Pick a Range game, here's "latecomer":

Temari sakura for latecomers

And for everyone else, a simple...

Thank you

Oh, and the magic number this week was 410. I won the Pick a Range! Whoo-hoo!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Thanks for All the Fish!

Here is this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a famous actress who has four letters in her first name and four letters in her last name. Add one letter, and rearrange the result to name an animal and the sound this animal makes. Who is the actress, what is the animal and what is the sound that the animal makes?
Ross solved this by finding a list on the Internet of animal sounds. The answer is TERI GARR + O = TIGER ROAR. (Easy for all Princeton grads, I would assume.)

And now for the sad news. This will be our penultimate blog post. I can't tell you why I'm stopping any more than I can say why I haven't stopped before now. Something about my disproportionate reaction to the Seth Rogen / Green Hornet puzzle let me know the time had come.

We've loved supporting NPR stations as part of the Pick a Range game, but credit where credit is due: we wouldn't have sent any of it out if you hadn't been such great range pickers! (We donated $140 to eight different NPR stations in 2015 alone, plus sent out a couple of puzzle books.) We may have one more contribution to make--we'll post on Sunday to see if someone wins this week.

If you win this week, or if you've won recently, you can always contact me at Magdalen (at) CrosswordMan (dot) com to tell me which prize you want.

And I've loved the photo sections. I clearly have tastes about what I like to look at (was there a snowy landscape photo I didn't use?), which meant there were scenes you had to look at no matter what.

Let's see what I get from "penultimate."

Penultimate

Untitled

Encrustation

Choir staircase / Escalera del coro

penultimate sunrise of 2013 | crescent beach, anastasia island, florida

NX1000 Fistral Beach Newquay #1

ID Shot

La Dame Liberté

Penultimate Hurrah

Time for:
Here are this week's picks:
  0 - 25
26 - 50
51 - 75
76 - 100
101 - 125
126 - 150
151 - 175
176 - 200
201 - 225
226 - 250

251 - 275 - Ross
276 - 300
301 - 325
326 - 350
351 - 375 - Maggie Strasser
376 - 400
401 - 425 - Magdalen
426 - 450
451 - 475
476 - 500
501 - 550 - Joe Kupe
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750 - Word Woman
751 - 800 - Marie
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950 - B. Haven
951 - 1,000 - glen

1,001 - 1,050 - David
1,051 - 1,100 - Henry BW
1,101 - 1,150 - Margaret G.
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250 - legolambda
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400501 - 550 - Curtis
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500 - Fred
1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600
1,601 - 1,650
1,651 - 1,700
1,701 - 1,750
1,751 - 1,800
1,801 - 1,850
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000

2,001 - 2,250
2,251 - 2,500
2,501 - 2,750
2,751 - 3,000
3,001 - 3,500
3,501 - 4,000
4,001 - 4,500
4,501 - 5,000

More than 5,000
Our tie-break rule:   In the event that a single round number is announced with a qualifier such as "about" or "around" (e.g., "We received around 1,200 entries."), the prize goes to the person who picked the range that includes that specific number.