Thursday, August 26, 2010

NPR Puzzle 8/26/10 -- Happy Birthday, Will Shortz!

First things first.  We went out and rented a complete family -- even the dog -- and posed them just so to create the perfect photo for Will Shortz's birthday.

(Sorry about the Tennessee basketball jersey, Will -- they were out of Indiana at the shop.)

Here's this week's puzzle:
Take a country whose name contains a symbol for a chemical element, and change it to a different chemical element to get another country. For example, if Aruba were an independent country, you could take the "AR," which is the chemical symbol for argon, and change it to "C," which is the chemical symbol for carbon, to come up with Cuba. There are two answers to this puzzle, and both must be found.
I thought four answers would suffice: ICELAND, IRELAND, MALI and MALTA but it turns out we needed six: ALGERIA and NIGERIA work as well.  Here are six country pictures, then, in alphabetical order:




(If you look closely, there's a cross on the top of that mountain -- the highest peak in Ireland, or so Flickr says.)




The correct order of the four photos I posted was 4, 2, 3, 1 -- no one was fooled by which was Mali and which was Malta, but I did trick some people by the photo of Iceland, which looked a bit more like Ireland for some of you.  Look at it again -- what looks like clouds behind the hills is actually a glacier!

Sorry about missing Algeria & Nigeria -- I could have had some fun confusing you with those extra African nations!

Time for ...

P I C K   A   R A N G E

Here are this week's picks for the ranges:

Fewer than 100
100 - 200
200 - 300
300 - 400
400 - 500

500 - 600
600 - 700 -- Dave
700 - 800 -- Tom
800 - 900 -- Ben
900 - 1,000 -- Natasha

1,000 - 1,100 -- Mendo Jim
1,100 - 1,200 -- Jimel
1,200 - 1,300 -- Henry
1,300 - 1,400 -- Marie
1,400 - 1,500 -- Ross

1,500 - 1,600 -- Magdalen
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.

And if anyone is still paying attention, Mendo Jim owes a predictably convoluted explanation about Iran, and Henry needs to explain what throwing a wobbly is.  (I know, but his definition will be more uh, definitive.)


Mendo Jim said...

There are three pairs of countries that fit the puzzle, therefore three possible "right" answer orders for the alphabetical picture challenge. Glad there wasn't a Jag riding on THAT one!
Gotta admit I didn't see that pesky glacier.
My Columbia Encyclopedia, Random House nearly- unabridged Dictionary and my old Webster's Collegiate all are quite happy with the alternate spelling "Irak." The German Wikipedia entry for that country is under Irak.
Iran (nitrogen) and Irak (potassium) are valid I think.
Potassium is found in many foods, most famously bananas, and is vital for several areas of good health.
I love playing with online translation programs; since I wanted to use Irak, I thought to look for Henry's threat to throw a wobbly: "Einen Wutanfall bekommen." Going back to English produces: "Go into a murderous rage," perhaps a little stronger than he intended.

henry.blancowhite said...

Correct. "Throw a wobbly" is analogous to, but much less drastic than, "go postal." Usually it does not go beyond verbal violence. That is partly because our government forbids, rather than encouraging, everybody to have a loaded assault rifle. The preferred weapon in the UK is a samurai sword, which is a lot less destructive, and even those are difficult to get these days.