Thursday, September 30, 2010

NPR Puzzle 9/26/10 -- Stationary Stationery

Here's this week's puzzle:
Take the phrase "patron saint," remove a letter, then rearrange the letters to create a new, familiar two-word phrase that names something important in life. Hint: The first word has three letters, the second word has seven.
The answer is NPR STATION.  And from the reactions of some of our readers/commenters, I wouldn't advise that anyone use the puzzle as a fundraising ploy.  However, I thought it was cute.  It succeeded in forcing us to solve it the old fashioned way: with letter tiles from the Bananagrams bag.  And we worked as a team: I saw STATION, and ROSS figured out the NPR part (because I was too flipping blind to see the obvious).

For my photo array, I wanted NPR stations.  Here's the one I found that was safe to show:

That is Carver Center Public Radio, which means it's probably KUAF in Fayetteville, Arkansas and not WFSS, in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  While I like the photo, though, it just didn't seem all that puzzling.

So Ross went through the list of NPR stations, and came up with call letters that spell out words.

WILL in Urbana, Illinois

WEFT in Champaign, Illinois.  (Which Wikipedia led us to believe was an NPR Station, only now we're not so sure.  Sorry, everyone, if we misled you.)

And the really buzz-worthy challenge:

WABE in Atlanta, Georgia.  (The photo is of "Wabe mit pollen und nektar"; wabe is the German word for honeycomb.)

Time for ...

P I C K   A   R A N G E

Here are this week's picks for the ranges:

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

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

1,000 - 1,100 -- Jordan
1,100 - 1,200 -- Tom
1,200 - 1,300 -- Dave
1,300 - 1,400 -- Ben
1,400 - 1,500

1,500 - 1,600 -- David
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


Anonymous said...

That's not 2 words though...the 2nd one is a word, but the first part is 3 letters.
Secondly...that's not what I would classify as "important" in life....this was a stretch on Will Shortz's part..

Crossword Man said...

Well I saw the funny side of it ... one of the best NPR puzzles in a while IMHO!

Mendo Jim said...

I know that it doesn't pay to take this stuff too seriously. Either the Puzzlemaster is unaware that NPR is not a "word" or thinks we might be.
Just for fun, I'll offer up "NRA Station" where those challenged by the meaning of the Second Amendment can listen to Wayne LaPierre and Chuck Heston.
Or the folks along the North Dakota/Minnesota border who might have a Northern Plains Railroad (NPR) Station in town.
But for a real first word, we need "Rap Station," for listening to Eminem and LL Cool J.
Don't forget my Nepalese Rupees (NPRs).

henry.blancowhite said...

If that's a wabe, where's the slithy tove....?

Mendo Jim said...

I don't see any either, Henry, but I've heard they can get pretty mimsy in the face of an iffy challenge.

Crossword Man said...

To answer your question after the Sunday post, MJ: yes, abbreviations & acronyms are treated as words in crosswords. Crossword constructors and editors will happily pluralize them as in WMDs, turn them into agent nouns as in BMXer.

This is no more than happens everyday in the newspapers in which these crosswords appear - a reasonable (if not universally loved) justification for this cavalier approach to our language.