Thursday, July 2, 2015

How Al Green is My Valley's Walgreens?

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a major American company. Drop its first and last letters, and the remaining letters in order will name a famous singer — both first and last names. What company is it?
Ross and I collaborated nicely on this one. I figured out that a two-letter first name (Al or Ed, that sort of thing) while Ross was looking through lists of singers. He solved it, but I helped. WALGREENS = [w] AL GREEN [s]

Which explains why I did my Fourth of July photo array on Sunday. I wanted to see what Flickr would give me for the color GREEN. (I went a bit overboard, but it's my favorite color.)

Green / Verde

Green minimalism

PURE GREEN ROSE - P1310345

Green is Beautiful

Green Lotus Reflection

green waves

Green curls

It's not easy being green

Green Orchid

Time for


Here are this week's picks:
Zero and fewer
    1 - 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250 -- Ross
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400 -- Maggie Strasser
401 - 450 -- Magdalen
451 - 500

501 - 550 -- Joe Kupe
551 - 600
601 - 650 -- Word Woman
651 - 700
701 - 750 -- B Haven
751 - 800 -- Legolambda
801 - 850
851 - 900 -- Jay
901 - 950
951 - 1,000 -- Paul
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry B.W.
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500

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 - 2,050
2,051 - 2,100
2,101 - 2,150
2,151 - 2,200
2,201 - 2,250
2,251 - 2,300
2,301 - 2,350
2,351 - 2,400
2,401 - 2,450
2,451 - 2,500

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

 > 5,000
 > 5,000 + new record
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."), AND two separate people picked the ranges of numbers just before and just after that round number, the prize will be awarded to whichever entrant had not already won a prize, or in the event that both entrants had won a prize already or neither had, then to the earlier of the two entries on the famous judicial principle of "First Come First Serve," (or in technical legal jargon, "You Snooze, You Lose").  As of July 2012, this rule is officially no longer obsolete (and also I still just like having fine print).

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Singer...or Singer Sewing Machine?

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a major American company. Drop its first and last letters, and the remaining letters in order will name a famous singer — both first and last names. What company is it?
Ross and I worked together to solve this one. Sometimes--rarely, but sometimes--two heads are better than one.

You of course barely needed just your one prodigious brain. And you barely even need me to share the NPR Contact Us form. But I will anyway. So there.

Next Saturday is the Fourth of July, so here are some quietly patriotic (or unrelated, I can't tell) Fourth of July photos.

Everything's the Same

just ducky

Heart of the nation.

Child's Play

Fourth of July

Untitled
Time for


This is where we ask you how many entries you think NPR will get for the challenge above. If you want to win, leave a comment with your guess for the range of entries NPR will receive. First come first served, so read existing comments before you guess. Ross and I guess last, just before we publish the Thursday post. After the Thursday post is up, the entries are closed.

The winner gets a choice: they can receive a puzzle book of our choosing or they can ask that a charitable contribution is made in the winner's honor. As of this week, we are providing an alternative to the Red Cross. If the winner wishes, we will make a contribution to his/her NPR station. Send us the call letters and we'll do the rest.

Over 1300 entries for I AM A MONARCH = CHAIRMAN MAO. No winner this week, but what do you think will happen with the corporate singer? Pick a range by conning the S&P 500 or shooting a dart at the chart, your choice.

Here are the ranges:
Zero and fewer
  1 - 50       
51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400
401 - 450
451 - 500

501 - 550
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050         
1,051 - 1,100
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500

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 - 2,050
2,051 - 2,100
2,101 - 2,150
2,151 - 2,200
2,201 - 2,250
2,251 - 2,300
2,301 - 2,350
2,351 - 2,400
2,401 - 2,450
2,451 - 2,500

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

More than 5,000
More than 5,000 and it sets a new record.
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 will be awarded to the entrant who picked the range including that precise number, e.g., 551 - 600 wins if the announced range is "around 600." We retain the discretion to award the prize to an entrant who picked the adjacent range (e.g., 601-650) if that entrant had not already won a prize. In the event that both entrants had won a prize already or neither had, then to the earlier of the two entries on the famous judicial principle of "First Come First Serve," (or in technical legal jargon, "You Snooze, You Lose").  As of January, 2014, this rule is officially even more complicated than it's ever been, but at least it's consistent with what we actually do.