Monday, January 18, 2010

NPR Puzzle - 1/17/10 Haven't the Foggiest

Here's this week's puzzle (I'm including the source in case that helps):
This comes from Mike Reiss, producer of The Simpsons and co-creator of The Critic. Will Shortz is looking for the full names of well-known female TV stars — one actress and one comedian. The first four letters of the actress' first name are the last four letters of the comedian's last name, and the first four letters of the comedian's first name are the last four letters of the actress' last name. Who are these well-known entertainers?

We don't know the answer.  Nope.  TEA doesn't solve it, Word Botcher (a software program currently undergoing alpha testing, which is to say only Ross can use it) doesn't solve it, and I haven't thought of it yet.  All that remains is brute force, which will take time, which we don't have.  I have less than two hours to blog here, post on my blog, change clothes and have lunch.  And this is even a day late.  (As Ross explained yesterday, Henry got sick while we were in Washington D.C., so yesterday was a hurried affair and there was no time at the beginning or the end of it for me to blog.)

So this is a placeholder post, like Ross uses, until I can come back and state definitively that the team at CrosswordManBlog.com has come through for you.

6 comments:

Roxie said...

Wait! Stop! Deep Breath! Now slowly... It took me almost an hour to solve this one (Roxie 1 : 0 Dan), since (for a change) it is not an anagramming challenge.
So, for starters - I do not appreciate the orthography of comedian. That's just wrong.

In any event, my hint is to not overthink the puzzle. Only so many surnames lend themselves to given names. The actress: I knew; the comedienne: I had to look up to be sure. (This is coming from an Autrichienne whith limited knowledge of American pop culture.)

Roxie said...

post scriptum: I moved to the US early this millenium - I missed the comedienne's limelight by a couple of seasons.

Magdalen said...

Yay! We finally solved it. Inspiration (on my part) got interrupted by sleep at the critical actress's name. (I was running through the actresses on her show, got to her, couldn't think of her last name and the rest was lost in sleep...)

Perspiration (on Ross's part) was successful: he found where the comedian had been seen on TV by going through a list of people seen there as well.

Tom said...

I've given up on this weeks puzzle. This will be the first time since last summer that I haven't submitted an answer, but I'm at a loss. I suspect the fact that I haven't owned a television for the past several years has contributed to my malaise with this weeks puzzle.

Magdalen said...

Tom -- I would say that, yes, not owning a television is a serious handicap in solving this puzzle. In my case, being old was a handicap (I thought of the actress but then couldn't think of her last name). Ross persevered, going through list after list of various TV shows before finding the answer.

Hey, there's always next Sunday...

Dave said...

Tom, as I told you on the other website, just go to the Wikipedia list of comedians. Focus on the last four letters of the last names.