Sunday, June 21, 2009

NPR Puzzle 6/21/09 -- Stick Figures

Before I comment on last week's answer, let's get started on this week's puzzle:
Name a well-known TV personality with five-letter first and last names. Each name contains exactly 14 straight lines and no curves. Who is this?
We know the answer, although it was not a straightforward process, and software was involved. {Basically, take out all the curved capital letters, then build a new alphabet out of the straight line letters, select the dictionary that will give you personal names, and ask for all five-letter names. Go through that list looking for names with the right mix of letters that will add up to 14 lines, and then think of celebrities... Easy-peasy.} It would not be hard at all to give some hints as to this person's identity, but here's the only one I'm going to share: My English husband had to ask me who this was, even after he figured out the name from a process of elimination. So this is not an internationally well-known TV personality.

And now, what about last week's puzzle? How does TENSION/STRESS or TENSION/STRAIN not get alternate answer status, or at least an honorable mention? Particularly as I don't think TEMPEST/STORM is a very good equivalence, as not all storms are tempests. (Blizzard, anyone?) I'm not upset enough to write to NPR's ombudsman, but I am just a bit disappointed with Will this week. (Sorry, Will, but I am.)

Okay, enough kvetching. Let's have some new puzzly stuff to chew on. Will had the on-air contestant building on four-letter words. Here's some five letter words that can all take the same three letters in front:

fumed
spire
cents

drill
fully
grove

rowed
below
longs

dings
evils
rocks

acted
rafts
woods

aging
tress
ester

rices
stone
sized

touch
aways
apace

sling
socks
tings

3 comments:

david said...

Question: Depending on the font you use, "I" could be 1 or 3 lines and "Y" could be 2 or 3 lines. Can you clarify ?

Crossword Man said...

Based on the KEVIN KLINE example, I is definitely one line for the purposes of this puzzle. And we thought it safe to assume Y is three lines, as per the vast majority of printed capitals.

david said...

Thanks ! Should have thought of that - all the letters have now turned over for me !