Thursday, April 17, 2014

Is There a Doctor in the White House?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a well-known American company. Insert a W somewhere inside the name, and you'll get two consecutive titles of popular TV shows of the past. What are they?
I solved this one! Here's how I did it:
  1. Think of a company name with a lot of letters. [Westinghouse] 
  2. Insert a W. [WestWingHouse] 
  3. Look sheepish. 
  4. Argue with Ross about whether this works given that the full title was The West Wing
  5. Sigh.

WESTINGHOUSE + W = [THE] WEST WING + HOUSE

And wasn't it technically House, M.D., anyway?

Guess where I am? I'm in Little River, California, which is just a hop (over Little River), skip (over Big River) and a jump (to avoid crazy drivers) from Mendocino! Here are some photos by better photographers than I:













I'm actually staying at the precise place where they filmed Same Time, Next Year. The resort has the movie on continuous loop, so I watched it last night. Best part: the music by Marvin Hamlisch, and in particular the song by Johnny Mathis and Jane Olivor, "The Last Time I Felt Like This." Second best part: the location shots in the movie. You can tell most of it was filmed on a stage set, but every once in a while the characters walk outside into...my view!

Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400
401 - 450 -- Word Woman
451 - 500
 
501 - 550 -- Ross
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700 -- zeke creek
701 - 750 -- KDW
751 - 800  
801 - 850 -- Joe Kupe
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- HenryBW
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250 -- Magdalen
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
1,401 - 1,450 -- Marie
1,451 - 1,500

1,501 - 1,550 -- Mendo Jim
1,551 - 1,600 -- Paul
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, April 13, 2014

Howdy Doody from California

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a well-known American company. Insert a W somewhere inside the name, and you'll get two consecutive titles of popular TV shows of the past. What are they?
Interesting puzzle. We don't have an answer yet, partly because I'm in Pleasanton, California...and Ross is back home. So, while it might be the case that two minds are better than one, ours are 3,000 miles apart, which dulls the synergy just a bit. [Edited to add: Sure enough, as soon as Ross and I started to Skype, the answer came to me.]

We'll get there. And when we do, we'll have joined all of you in knowing the answer, if not in sending it in to the NPR Contact Us form, seen here dressed as an Easter Bunny.

Let's look at some pictures of where I am today:













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. Or skip the comments and send an email with your pick to Magdalen (at) Crosswordman (dot) com. 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 puzzle book of our choosing or a contribution in the winner's honor to the Red Cross.

Hot turkey sandwiches are more popular than I'd realized. NPR got over 1400 correct entries. We, however, did not get a winner. Who knows about this week? If YOU do, you'll win a prize!

Here are the ranges:
Fewer than 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..