Sunday, March 21, 2010

NPR Puzzle 3/21/10 -- In Country, Hunting Animals

Here's this week's puzzle:
Take the plural name of one animal and the singular name of another animal. Say the two words out loud one after the other and you'll name a country. What are the animals, and what is the country?
I have assumed for some time that when Will Shortz gives us a puzzle without attribution (you know: "This is from our old friend Merl Reagle..."), it's one of his own.  I figure his brain is pretty much programmed to think about things in their various component parts.  Anagrams, phonetics, mashups -- all grist for Will's mill.  (Oh, yeah -- and rhymes too!)

This one is pretty good.  We got it by a combination of logic, trial-and-error, and just a teeny smidge of marital discord.  Hey, what can I say -- it spices things up sometimes, and must boost synaptic response times.  (Or something...)  Ross has already picked out a nice YouTube clip for me to use on Thursday, and I know I'll have a plethora of photos to pick from to illustrate which country it is.

In fact, here's a mystery photo of the very country (taken from the sky, so pretty much all this will tell you is it's a country with some mountains; whoo -- big clue there!).  I promise to provide the proper attribution on Thursday!


Now, alas, no one got the right answer (4,500 - 5,000) in our "We Got Over" challenge this week.  So, just a reminder of how this works:  All you have to do is mention in the comments which tranche you think Liane will mention next week in her usual "We got over ___ entries this week," announcement.  Tranches are by 100s up to 500, then by 500 after that, with two possibilities at the top range: 5,000+ but it's not a record, or 5,000+ and it is a record.

There's a wonderful prize (which we're still shopping for, but it's going to be GREAT, we promise) if you win.


Roxie said...

Geez, that puzzle was nothing like the past few. I was actually thinking that the big WS may have gotten lazy - but not this week!
I like the photo :-) but that's not much of a hint. It may as well be off the cost of Russia somewhere.

Natasha said...

I did not know about one of those animals before today.

Mendo Jim said...

Well, my first post arttempt got eaten by the ether, so I'll try again.
I am glad you folks started the "responses" contest, giving at least one challenge in the mix. This was another in a series, now at 6 or 7, that only takes a few minutes of thought before getting out of bed. I remember some of Will's posers that would consume hours of effort and a few that never would be solved.
This one is kind of clever, if not difficult. There is talk over on Blaine's blog (I still would like advice as to how to post there) that there may be two answers; I'll keep working on a second.
More interesting there is the discovery of this question and answer in a 1871 book by a famous author. When you have the answer (no spoiler here), Google it in quotes to find the reference.
I'll take the 2001 to 2500 bracket for this week.

Magdalen said...

Hey, Roxie & Natasha -- enter the contest. There really is a prize.

Mendo Jim -- Very interesting about the 1871 book; I wonder if Will knows about it? Let's see if he mentions it on Sunday (I'm guessing not).

Don't know about a second answer; let us know if you figure it out!

Ben said...

I'm in for 1000-1500.

- Ben

DaveJ said...

Great photos !

Put me down for 500-1000

I bet most people have never heard of an eland (but then most people don't listen to NPR on Sunday).