Sunday, July 25, 2010

NPR Puzzle 7/25/10 - Word Botching

Hi, this is Crossword Man standing in for Magdalen who is in Florida for a conference this week. She chose a fine time to be away, as everything is different today. Please bear with me if I botch my words.

Today's NPR challenge is:
Come up with a riddle that starts off with "What's the difference between" and involves a spoonerism. A spoonerism is when consonant sounds are interchanged. For example, "What's the difference between an ornithologist and a loser in a spelling bee?" The answer: "One is a bird watcher, and the other is a word botcher."
On air, Will also said that he's going to judge entries on the basis of their "originality, cleverness and naturalness of syntax". Note that the deadline is Thursday August 5th and, for once, more than one entry per person is permitted! You can submit entries to NPR here.

Readers are also welcome to email what they entered to Magdalen at who will publish them after the deadline, with our choice of which we think is the best.

Here's an unoriginal example I came up with, and I'll leave you to work out the punchline: what's the difference between an ace detective and a thorough masseuse?

ace detective through masseuse
ace detective thorough masseuse

Time for ...

P I C K   A   R A N G E

This is where we ask you how many entries you think NPR will get for the challenge above.

No one got close to "around 4,000 entries" for last week's challenge, although I was nearest with my guess of 2,500 to 3,000! It's interesting to see NPR got a huge "postbag" for the tiger puzzle, after a run of seemingly easy ones that didn't get a big response.

Liane's wording requires a new competition rule today: if the response is said to be "around N", then we are going to assume that's the same as "just below N". A bit arbitrary, but we can't have two people fighting over our awesome prizes.
Want to win that awesome prize?  Leave a comment with your guess for the range of entries NPR will receive; first come first served, so read existing comments before you guess.  Ross and I guess last, just before we publish the Thursday post, which will be on August 5th for this special two-week competition.  After the Thursday post is up, the entries are closed.

Here are the ranges:

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.


Magdalen said...

Argh -- I can't (or haven't yet) solve/d your riddle. I'll keep my unconscious (or "unc" as Henry's mother would have said) working on it.

Thanks for the great sub, sweetheart!

Jason said...

For the spoonerism puzzle I am going with 2,000 - 2,100...

Mendo Jim said...

First, thanks for my second "Range" prize. I know you probably get the books at less than full price, but the postage seems like a lot for you guys to contribute.
Second, it seems to me that 4000 entries last week is hard to believe. I don't know why they would inflate it, but I suspect they did.
Third, I remember some really grungy old riddles on this week's theme; they are already popping up on the web and Will is going to have to be careful.
If I come up with a good possibility, I may submit it, but for now:
What's the difference between Santa's chapeau and the boss rodent? One is a red hat.

Crossword Man said...

Jim, I think that was the last of those heavy books and we have something lighter in line for the next winner(s). Oh, and there are a few American Girls puzzle books for troublemakers :-)

4000 didn't surprise me, as the puzzle was super-easy and they had those numbers historically. What's more of a surprise is that we don't get around that with all the other super-easy puzzles.

For your suggestion, you could try "Q: Whats the difference between Santa Claus and Dan'l Boone?" "A: one wears a ..." ... you know the rest.

David said...

I think I need to go with More than 5,000 and a New Record, since multiple entries are allowed and we have two weeks.

Here is one I won't submit:
What is the difference between an evergreen and what a urologost tells a patient who is having difficulties in producing a urine sample? One is a pine tree and the other is ...

Natasha said...

I select 1,200-1,300 range for the spoonerisms this week.