Sunday, May 30, 2010

NPR Puzzle 5/30/10 -- From the UN Collection of Puzzles?

This week's puzzle is:
Take the name of a nationality and write it in lower case letters. Remove the first letter and rotate one of the remaining letters a 180 degrees. The result will be another nationality. What nationalities are these? 
Pretty easy, especially for us.  I'll explain why on Thursday.

But you know what these international puzzles mean, don't you?  Yup, more carefully selected photos from Flickr to illustrate but not reveal the answers! First up, three things with [Nationality #1] in the name.  Please note: these photos may not have been taken in the country in question.

Now, if you recognize any of these items/places, congratulations.  I'm guessing it's still easier just to solve the puzzle.

Nationality #2:

Finally, here is a woman who claims to be [Nationality#1]-[Nationality#2], so if facial features and physiognomy are your thing, maybe you can tell from her what the puzzle answers are:

(And yes, I suspect -- but don't know for sure -- that this is Photoshopped.  But I didn't do it, and when I provide all the attributions on Thursday, you can check out this woman's own explanation for this photo.)

We have a winner!  With just over 1,000 entries, our winner this week is Roxie!  Congratulations, Roxie -- send your email address to either Magdalen or Ross at so we can get this prize to you.

And for the rest of you, what are your guesses for the number of entries NPR will receive for the puzzle this week?  You know the drill:  leave your guess in a comment.  First come, first serve, so read the preceding comments before picking -- or get here earlier!

Here are the divisions:

Fewer than 100
100 - 200
200 - 300
300 - 400
400 - 500
500 - 600
600 - 700
700 - 800
800 - 900
900 - 1,000
1,000 - 1,100
1,100 - 1,200
1,200 - 1,300
1,300 - 1,400
1,400 - 1,500
1,500 - 2,000
2,000 - 2.500
2,500 - 3,000
3,000 - 3,500
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.


Dan said...

This was a very easy one. Did Roxie win this weeks prize? I am taking the 1500-2000 slot for next week's puzzle, unless Roxie won something within the past 30 days ;-)

Tom said...

I'll take the 1,400 - 1,500 bracket this week please.

Dave said...

1200 to 1300. That was me on Will's program this morning. I shocked Will and Liane by blurting out the answer to this week's puzzle as soon as they finished reading it.

Natasha said...

I select the 1000-1100 slot. Thanks!!

Magdalen said...

Wow! Dave Taube -- I thought the name looked familiar. And, what's particularly impressive is that you've already won our contest once. Definitely A Winnah!

So, tell us all about it -- when does the phone call come, what does the person say, how's the phone call for playing the game actually set up, etc. We know that it's taped on Saturday, but what else can you tell us? Like, how nervous were you? That kind of stuff.

For the rest of us, here's the link for Dave's performance, so we can all listen again!

Dave said...

Magdalen, the first call came at 12:10 p.m. (PST) on Thursday. It was from Gemma, the producer of Sunday Edition (or at least the producer of Will and Liane's segment). I spent ten or fifteen minutes on the phone with her, answering questions about my hobbies, interests, etc. She told me that I would be getting a call back from her on Friday at 9:45 a.m. (PST). The call on Friday was actually a few minutes early. I spoke briefly with Gemma, then a sound engineer came on the line to record my voice. There was a lot of dead air and Gemma occasionally came on the line to see if I was still there, then Will and Liane came on the line in mid-conversation. Will had to excuse himself because someone came to cut his grass while we were recording, so he went outside to see if the crew could wait until we finished recording. That was cool because I got to chat with Liane for awhile while Will was gone. Although it sounds like Will and Liane are in the same room, Liane is at NPR headquarters in D.C., while Will is elsewhere. The phone call lasted around twenty minutes.

Yes, I was a little nervous. I think that I took so long to answer some of the clues because I wrote each one down, instead of answering off the top of my head. I froze a couple of times because of nerves, but I didn't need their help on any of the clues. At least I didn't make a fool of myself in front of millions of people.

I've accomplished the rare trifecta of winning your contest, being on Will and Liane's show, and having my puzzle chosen by Will and Liane (Cleo and Cole) in a two month period. Now that's luck!

Mendo Jim said...

Boy, this much enigmatology on a Sunday morning could give a guy a headache.
First, good going to Dave. He went 15 for 15 to put him up there with Halladay and Braden; Liane never got a chance to rescue him.
I do wish that he had asked Will what the heck is especially "solid" about the word Malaysia. Now we'll never know.
Second, I thought I had good case for at least mentioning Spain and rain. Oh well.
Third, for me, today's probable answer came in the top three or four for rapid solution ever.
So to make up for that, I got to wondering if the good Doctor has something up his sleeve.
There are three ways to "rotate" a letter 180 degrees. Give b, for example, a quick spin on the surface and it becomes q, Looking from the top or bottom, that spin makes a d. Looking from the right or left: voila, a p.
Spinning all three ways doesn't do much to disturb the equilibrium of x or o. Several more letters survive one or two ways just fine.
I think penmanship may decide about n and u and m and w.
Unfortunately, all that complication of things hasn't led to another possible answer yet.
Oh. yeah. Is that Cher in the groovy hat? And it seems that no matter what the answer, #1 minus #2 gives a one letter nationality. That's one I don't know.
May I have 1100 to 1200 if it is still open?

Marie said...

This was easy for me and I'm not that good. So I'll take 2500-3000.

Ben said...

2000-2500 for me, please.

- Ben

Dave said...

Putting me up there with Halladay and Braden is some pretty good company, Mendo Jim. Muchas gracias, amigo! I agree that the photo looks like Cher, but I googled her nationality and it doesn't fit with my answer. I don't fully understand Ross' puzzle, but number one minus number 2 does not give a one letter nationality. Number one has the one letter that is removed, plus a second letter that differs from the second nationality because it's rotated. Then you have to subtract the resultant rotated letters, so you'd have something like ab - q, which I don't understand.

Magdalen said...

Wow -- you guys have WAY too much time on your hands. No, the woman in the picture describes herself as a Freedonian-Sylvanian (to use two fictitious Marx Brothers countries), only instead of "Freedonian" she would use the Nationality #1, and instead of Sylvanian, Nationality #2. The punctuation in between the two is a dash, not a minus sign.

Dave -- very exciting account of your puzzle. I'm so glad we're exempt from entering -- it sounds stressful. But way to go on the puzzlicious hat trick!

Mendo Jim said...

In my continuing quest to find at least one additional satisfactory answer, I'm afraid that the best I can do is:
Take "siberian" or "liberian" (lower case, remember) and drop the "s" or "l" to get "iberian."
OK, so Siberian and Iberian are not strictly nationalities, but almost.
Oh, the rotating thing. Depending on the type face, an "i" rotated in the vertical plane is still an "i" and you get two of them this way instead of just the paltry one in the likely right answer.
Don't you roll your eyes at me (so to speak)! ;-)

henry.blancowhite said...

I'll take 1,100-1,200, since nobody else seems to want it.

I am fairly sure Will intended the rotation to be in the plane of the paper. He's not trying to be as devious as we all are.

I didn't find this easy - I'm fairly sure I missed it from both ends, because I misinterpreted the ambiguous "name for a nationality." In the end, I actually had to read down a list of countries. Unless, of course, I was right first time and the entry I've sent in is invalid.