Thursday, January 14, 2010

NPR Puzzle 1/10/10 -- You Have Got to Be Half-Joking!

(The title is clearly something John McEnroe never yelled at a Wimbledon umpire...)

Here's this week's puzzle:

Think of a familiar 10-letter hyphenated word that uses all seven letters of the alphabet from "F" to "L" plus three other letters of your choosing. What word is it? It's a word everyone knows, and it's in some dictionaries.
The answer is, of course, HALF-JOKING.

Ross, like commenter Tinyc Tim, wrote a computer program to check for other words that use a long string of consecutive letters.  We came up with two, which we've submitted to Will for possible use in future NPR puzzles.  Don't hold your breath -- you never hear back and it can be months before it gets used.  He used one of mine in the summer of 2006; of course I was in the UK and so didn't hear it.  After I got an email -- people just assumed I knew -- I listened to the podcast . . . and he'd mispronounced my name.  I had to send an email to the NPR Ombudsman to thank them very much, but would they mind awfully getting my name right?  After that, I noticed that the form you fill out to contact them includes a "Please tell us how to pronounce your name" box.  (I'm not saying I had anything to do with that, by the way.)

This weekend, we'll be in Washington D.C. with Henry, seeing the sights and attending a gallery opening for a law school friend of mine.  My post on Sunday may be short, delayed, or both.  But I won't forget, I promise.

1 comment:

Tinyc Tim said...

I enjoyed working on this one. Here's a wrap-up (note the hyphenated word!) of what I learned by doing it.

NPR Sunday puzzle for January 10th, 2010