Sunday, March 7, 2010

NPR Puzzle -- 3/7/10 On the Receiving Line

Here's this week's puzzle:
Take the phrase "Receiving Line".  Rearrange these 13 letters to name a common profession.
Hey, guess what? We got it without using the computer. In fact, I got it first.  Aren't I special?  (No, not really.)

And no one won the "prize" this week in our hastily contrived contest, inspired by Mendo Jim.  The task was to guess (or surmise) (or calculate using a supercomputer) what nice round number Liane would use when she announced that they'd received more than X entries.

Mendo Jim thought -- perhaps because last week's puzzle seemed so easy, or perhaps because of his theory about Will Shortz needing to bring ever easier puzzles with ever larger numbers of entrants -- that Liane would announce they had a record number of answers.  Ross thought between 2,500 and 3,000, and I thought between 2,000 and 2,500.

Well, Liane said they had over 1,500 entries, so we all lost.   But we all get to play again.  Here are the rules:

When you post your comment, pick a tranche from the list below as your best guess what is the magic number Liane (or Audie Cornish, as it will be next week) uses when she says "we received more than [X] entries, and the entry picked at random is..."

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.

Ross and I will wait until the end of the week to make our guesses so that you guys get all the best choices.  The prize is Honorable Mention in the following Sunday's blog.  (No one won this week, alas, so no honorable mention.)

Ross and I are off to England this week, so next Sunday's post will either be delayed or in two parts (as the challenge and the audio are available online at different times).  But it'll be posted on Sunday, so not to worry.


Anonymous said...

I still prefer "ceiling veiner," meaning a person who can apply a fake marble pattern to a downward-facing surface.

I will take more than 1,500 but not more than 2,000.

Are there really rias in Cornwall? I thought that side of the country was rising, not sinking.

Mendo Jim said...

I wish I'd found this blog when Will was putting out a more challenging product.
This week's offering was another one where actually writing down the clue and potential answers was unnecessary.
One possibility from an online anagram site that probably won't pass muster is who you call when eight is not enough and ten is too many: the NINE LICE GIVER.
I am afraid that just ease of solution is not a predictor of the response level, but I'll try the biggee again and go for 5000 and a new record. I'll give you an address to send my prize to if I win.

Magdalen said...

Henry -- Not sure about rising or sinking, but it's definitely eroding. We went down to Carne Beach at sunset today and the cliff path has been rerouted around the back of the hotel. (Ross's cousin, Phillip, pointed out the closed cliff walk in Sidmouth.) Tomorrow we'll try the "flatter" cliff walk and the more up & down one on Friday, weather permitting.

Mendo Jim. Not sure what you imagine we'll be mailing you, but yes, if you win we'll think of something. Not quite Karl Cassel's voice on your answering machine, but something.