Friday, August 6, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle -- You Don't Have a What?

For almost two weeks, this has been the NPR Puzzle you all are not solving:
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."
Well, we didn't solve it either.  Ross knew of a Spoonerized riddle, which he told me two days ago and I've already forgotten -- don't worry, I'll yell over to his office and he'll tell me again --  but I was unimpressed.  I did try to think of one on my own, but my head just doesn't think this way.  And (here's the shocker) he doesn't have a rhyming dictionary.

Say what? Crossword Man -- who has every dictionary and reference book I could have thought to ask for two weeks ago -- does NOT have a rhyming dictionary?!  I'm outraged . . . and he'd better know what he's getting for his birthday present.  {insert sly grin}

Okay.  Spoonerisms.  I have nothing.  Ross's is an oldie but goodie from the UK:  What's the difference between an ace detective and a masseuse?  One leaves no stone unturned and the other leaves no stern untoned.  He thinks maybe it only works in British English where, for example, WAR rhymes with RAW.  (Seriously -- that was an official answer by no less an authority than Phillip Howard of the London Times.  I rest my case.)

Let's see what you guys have?  Two versions for the same spoonerism:  What is the difference between Santa Claus and Dan'l Boone?  One wears a red hat and the other wears a head rat.  (Alternatively: What's the difference between Santa's chapeau and the boss rodent?)  And then there's this one:  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 tryin' to pee.  Fun!

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.  We have some X Factors in this one, such as we all had two weeks, and could submit multiple entries.  In fact we had to make a ruling on the question of whether an "entry" is the form that the entrant filled out -- only with as many Spoonerism riddles as the entrant likes?  Or is each Spoonerism riddle counted separately?  We have decided -- because it's our blog -- that if we're given a choice between number of entrants and number of Spoonerism riddles, we're awarding the prize based on the number of riddles.  That's actually good news for you guys, as most of you picked large numbers.

Here are the ranges:

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

500 - 600
600 - 700
700 - 800
800 - 900
900 - 1,000

1,000 - 1,100
1,100 - 1,200
1,200 - 1,300 -- Natasha
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 -- Jason
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. -- Dave

1 comment:

Mendo Jim said...

I think Will is as uncertain about Spoonerisms as he is about the meaning of analogy.
My wonderfully poetic great aunt Moy (nearly a contemporary of the Reverend) would routinely include a Spoonerism in her letters to me when I was away at school or army. I developed an appreciation of them as sort of privately funny and always subtle (I may not have even recognized them all).
I think the riddles Will wants should be described as word tricks with a spooneristic (small "s") slant. It is interesting that this genre of riddles has had a strong history of, shall we say, adult themes.
I still have a hunch that last week's claimed number of entries was inflated for some reason.
What will probably be a shame is that the at least hundreds of riddles submitted this week will be winnowed to only a few and the rest will sink into oblivion for lack of a place to post them.
Finally, I guess Will should have been proud to have been invited to the Bohemian Grove. I would have been prouder of him if he had turned them down.