Sunday, March 28, 2010

NPR Puzzle 3/28/10 -- You Only Think This is Easy

Here's this week's puzzle:
This week's challenge comes from listener Mike Reiss who's a former writer and producer for The Simpsons, and who co-created The Critic. What 6 letter word beginning with the letter "S" would be the same if it started with "TH?"
Got it?  If not, I have precisely one significant hint and you're already looking at it.

Now, we did not get a winner in the "what number of entries will Liane announce" challenge.  The correct guess would have been 1,000 to 1,500, and no one picked that.  But we now officially have prizes!  A copy of a puzzle book, which I'll tell you about on Thursday (because I'm not sure where Crossword Man put them, and he's off being Chainsaw Man and felling a tree so I can't ask).  Not a Will Shortz Deck of Riddles and Challenges; sorry.  This is a bit more generic (i.e., cheap).  But it's a prize and you can win it!!

Here's how this challenge works:

Every week, on the radio (and thus the podcast), Liane says, "We had more than / less than _____ entries, and the randomly selected correct entry is . . . " and that introduces the player/winner for that week.  We're inviting readers to guess -- based on as many or as few factors as you like -- what the number will be that she announces.  Generally, it's given in the form of a round number.  Currently, we're doing this in pretty big chunks because not too many people are playing so far, but we reserve the right to carve out some tighter parameters.  (For example, Liane announced it today as over 1,100 entries, which is the 1,000 - 1,500 range for us.  But we might make it 1,000 - 1,100, 1,100 - 1,200, etc. in the future.)

Here are the divisions for right now:

Fewer than 100
Fewer than 200
Fewer than 300
Fewer than 400
More than 400 (but less than 500)
More than 500
More than 1,000
More than 1,500
More than 2,000
More than 2,500
More than 3,000
More than 4,000
More than 5,000
More than 5,000 and it sets a new record.

So leave us a comment with your guess as to what the number Liane will announce next week, and if yours is the correct guess, we'll send you this lovely (cheap) puzzle book.

And here, just because I feel like it, is another picture of New Zealand:

And about these photos. They're all from Flickr, and my use of them is governed by the Creative Commons license, which photographers can select when they post to Flickr. If you want more information about any of the photographs in my posts, just click on the photo itself. The attribution at the bottom takes you to the photographer's page at Flickr.


henry.blancowhite said...

Last week's puzzle got a very low entry because a lot of people did not know "eland." I don't think that will happen this week, so I'll go for "over 5,000 but not a record."

It took me an hour before I realized I'd misunderstood the question and saw the answer - the annoying thing is, I still have the "deja vu" feeling that the question I *thought* WS was asking is one I've met before and know the answer to.

Roxie said...

Although it took me a while (I mean quite some time) to figure this one out, I got lucky and actually dreamt the answer. The dream took me back some time and was quite entertaining. Yet that's beside the point.

Henry: I don't think I've ever heard of much more than 3000 entries and the last time I heard those numbers was around Santa's Bagpipe time.

I am not sure if some folks saw the answer immediately, but I had to resort to reading a Thesaurus... In any event, I think the number of correct submissions is going to be more likely in the 1500 - 2000 range.

PS: If anyone's curious, the last answer I dreamt of was Cat's Cast - that was a pretty good dream too :-)

Dan said...

Roxie is officially the Puzzle Queen. I have been so distracted by school work that I am 7 weeks/points behind her on solving the Puzzle.

Howard B said...

I'd say more than 2000. Compared to the last one, could be less complex, or a bit trickier. Depends on your perspective.

Tom said...

I will take the 2,501 - 3,000 tranche. I suspect that there will be a lot of groaning on Sunday when Will announces the answer to this weeks puzzle

Mendo Jim said...

Whichever of you thought Will would not give Louisa May credit for the challenge was right; maybe he had an earlier source than 1871.
The next week's challenge often is posted on Saturday afternoon and the written version for this one for some reason had me stumped. When I heard it on air the next morning, the "trick" was not quite so tricky and I had it in minutes.
One shortcoming to it is that the wording has to be exact for it to work. I found that in sharing it with a few friends as did Jerry on Richard Renner's Report. We both had to make clarifications. The hints on Blaine's site got a little bold, so I'll leave mine with the above.
This one is tough to predict, but it looks like 1001 to 1500 is open.
NZ is indeed beautiful. My father took his old Rollei and new Hasselbladt there in the 1950's; the Hasselbladt had a light leak and all the rolls he mailed back for processing were blank.
The others were superb.

Ben said...

I'll take the 3000-3999 tranche. (I'll then carve it up and resell it as AAA guaranteed mortgage bonds.)

- Ben

Magdalen said...

Hey, Ben: Send us an email -- Ross (at) Crosswordman dot com should do it -- with your snail mail address so we can send you last week's prize. (It's the honor system; if you say you sent it in, we believe you.)

Amie Devero said...

For the puzzle this week -- since it is medium hard, I guess 2000-2500 correct entries.