Sunday, June 20, 2010

NPR Puzzle 6/20/10 -- ACE is the Place To Solve This Puzzle

Here's this week's NPR puzzle:
Think of a product for sale at a hardware store. It's a generic two-word name. Replace the first letter of the first word with an S, and replace the first two letters of the second word with an S, and the result will be two new words that are opposites. What are they? 
Not too hard, we thought.  And, for the first time in several weeks, I got it before Ross did.

Just a quick reminder:  If you know the answer to this puzzle, submit your answer here.  That's a link to NPR's own submit your answer form.  We're happy to have you send your answer to us by email, but it won't get you on the radio!

My usual photo essay, courtesy of Creative Commons-licensed material on Flickr, is going to be a bit abstract today.  Everything in a hardware store is made up of something, right?  Consider the following photos to be visual clues (or distractions) to help (or hinder) your efforts to solve the puzzle.  Please note that I am in no way implying any of the items (or stuff) pictured below is a component part or made of the same stuff as the correct answer to the puzzle.  But there is a logical connection, which I'll explain on Thursday.

Well, now -- really.  If that doesn't tell you what the answer is, I am sure I can't help you further.

Congratulations, Ben:  You have submitted the winning (yes, all right, it's also the only) suggestion for our weekly challenge to guess the number of entries NPR will say they got that week for the puzzle.  Ben's winning entry:  Pick a Tranche, which acronyms nicely to PAT.  (Oh, come on -- as Henry once told me, any noun can be verbed.)  Thank you, Ben.  We'll think hard on what reward you should get for that winning name.

We have a winner for the What To Name This Game game, but not for last week's number of entries.  No one picked 2,000 - 2,500.  And I notice that NPR is prepared to tell us a number rounded to the nearest hundred, at least up to 2,500.  You know what that means.  More tranches to pick!  You now get to pick a tranche of 100 up to 2,500 and tranches of 500 above that.

Here, then, is the New & Improved PICK A TRANCHE game:  You're guessing the range that you think includes the number of entries NPR will get for the puzzle above.  Leave a comment with your guess; first come first served, so read existing comments before you guess.  Ross and I guess last, just before we publish the Thursday post.  After the Thursday post is up, the entries are closed.

Here are the divisions (I've spaced them out a bit more clearly, too):

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 - 1,600
1,600 - 1,700
1,700 - 1,800
1,800 - 1,900
1,900 - 2,000

2,000 - 2,100
2,100 - 2,200
2,200 - 2,300
2,300 - 2,400
2,400 - 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.


Mendo Jim said...

Well, the task before us again is to come up with alternate answers. This one is just a little more difficult than some on-air questions.
Just for a lark, I'll predict more than 5000 responses and a new record.
Anyone else notice Will's sneaking in the word "familiar" to describe last week's answers? So much for "any name."
Also for the second time recently Liane sort of referred to the on-air player as superfluous to the procedings; since he got so many right, she said something like: "Boy, I'm glad you were here." I thought that was the point.
I have no objection to "Pick a Tranche," but I have to admit when you first used it several months ago, I had to head for the dictionary to be sure what you meant. I am afraid my old friend Webster's Collegiate doesn't mention it and my Columbia nearly-unabridged says only "French: slice." Usages in the financial sector dominate web listings. I am curious how you two became so comfortable with it.

Dave said...

I have to agree with Mendo Jim. Tranche?

I'll take the 1,900 to 2,000 slot.

Tom said...

I think that I first introduced the tranche term here a couple of months ago, just after I finished reading The Big Short by Michael Lewis. Before reading his descriptioin of the financial meltdown, I hadn't heard the term before either.

I agree that this weeks challenge wasn't much of a challenge. I'll take the 2,500 - 3,000 tranche this week.

BYW, Happy Fathers Day to all of the Dads out there.

Natasha said...

Please put me down for the 1,800-1,900 slot. Puzzle reminds me of a musical.

Ben said...

Mingus Ah Um. I'm in for 2000-2500.

- Ben

Magdalen said...

Ben -- there's no such TRANCHE as 2,000 - 2,500. We split them out into five. Pick one of those five, okay?

I have a fondness for the word "tranche." When I was an associate at a big city law firm one of my favorites among the partnership used to refer to the "next tranche" in divvying up discovery assignments. But I'll admit, I hadn't known the word before that.

Marie said...

I'll take 2200-2300