Thursday, May 20, 2010

NPR Puzzle 5/20/10 -- Rabbit Season at the Opera:

Here's this week's puzzle:
Rearrange the letters in the phrase "rabbit season" into two related words. What are the words? 
Very easy. Or so we thought until people started to bandy around the notion that there are alternate answers.

The clearly "intended right" answer is BASS + BARITONE.  Other possibilities include BOATERS + BASIN and SOBER + ABSTAIN.

Here's why those other choices aren't right.  SOBER is a modifier for someone who ABSTAINs; there's a logical relationship but not the aesthetic parallel you get with BASS and BARITONE (both nouns, both referring to singers, etc., etc. -- with the added sparkle that they can be hyphenated to make a sensible phrase: BASS-BARITONE, namely a singer with a voice lower than a baritone but higher than a bass).  With BOATERS and BASIN, you can see a connection (boaters need boats, which may be docked in an area referred to as a basin) but this relationship is even more attenuated than with SOBER and ABSTAIN.

Did you guys have any more?  Let's hear them!

Okay, here's the big reveal of why I got a rabbit photo when I typed in "baritone" at Flickr:

"Bertrum B.Bunny was a custom order for a music lover. He keeps the bunnies entertained at The Warren with his deep, rich bunny voice, singing songs of love for carrots."  (Bunny and photo by The Bunny Maker)  You can see why I cropped out the music stand out on Sunday's post!

And I also promised you some version of "Rabbit Duck Season," the Bugs Bunny cartoon:

Now, this is not the full cartoon, or even the best rendition of this Saturday Night Live spoof (sound quality's a bit squiffy), but it was the only one I could embed.  There are other versions, some of which are NSFW.  You can check them all out here.

Here are this week's guesses in the GTNoE game:

Fewer than 100
100 - 200
200 - 300
300 - 400
400 - 500
500 - 600
600 - 700
700 - 800
800 - 900
900 - 1,000 -- Magdalen
1,000 - 1,100 -- Jordan
1,100 - 1,200 -- Dave
1,200 - 1,300 -- Natasha
1,300 - 1,400 -- Ben
1,400 - 1,500 -- Tom
1,500 - 2,000 -- Dan
2,000 - 2,500 -- Mendo Jim
2,500 - 3,000 -- Marie
3,000 - 3,500 -- Ross
3,500 - 4,000
4,000 - 4,500
4,500 - 5,000
More than 5,000
More than 5,000 and it sets a new record.


DaveJ said...

I agree with your reasoning Magdalen. SOBER/ABSTAIN are related, but only in one direction, It is possible to abstain but not be sober (depending on what you abstain from).
The musical words are both fach classifications.
Too late for me to enter but I'd go for 3500-4000 (anagram sites made this one too easy and I doubt NPR will read each entry to see if correct)
And I got my prize for guessing a previous number of entries - not cheezy at all - Thanks !

Mendo Jim said...

I'd also say that bass and Bass both can taste pretty good.