Sunday, September 5, 2010

NPR Puzzle 9/5/10 - Pet Peeve: Deb & Peg Egged Teepee

Here's this week's puzzle:
What is the longest common word in which all the letters rhyme with E?
As you can tell from the title of this post, we just generated a list of all the words spelled with the letters B, C, D, E, G, P, T, V, Z (you lose the Z in England, where it's pronounced zed, but it hardly matters -- although "zed" itself is an allowable word over here).  So we think we know what the answer is, but can we be sure?  We'll find out next week.

Have an answer?  Don't tell us about it -- submit it here so that you too can be on the radio.

Okay, next question -- who's up for a road trip to see Will Shortz's Temple to the Treasures of Table Tennis when it opens in the fall?  We fully expect there to be interactive exhibits, display cases of all his trophies and memorabilia, signed paddles, and photos of him as a precocious youth, inserted -- a la Forrest Gump -- between Richard Nixon & Chairman Mao in the official pictures taken for "ping pong diplomacy."

Let's see what photos I can come up with for this post, given that I'm limited to the "dolphin letters" (meaning letters sounding like a dolphin could have said them*).

*Ross insists there was a movie where a dolphin was able to make a noise sounding like "Papa" -- not an "eeeee" noise at all.  Well, if he wants to post an addendum featuring that YouTube clip, he's welcome to.

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 bookman challenge above.  Henry won last week, which is convenient because he's traveling with us now and can collect his prize in person (no postage!).  If you want to win, 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.  After the Thursday post is up, the entries are closed.
We'll have a new prize.  Remember, troublemakers risk winning the American Girl puzzle book, so play nice.  :-)

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.


Crossword Man said...

I was thinking of the dolphin in The Day of the Dolphin, who can say "Pa" and a bunch of other stuff. Plus understand English ... see e.g. the final scene.

Mendo Jim said...

Ah, I do love finding room for concern in the Challenge.
None of the wording of what is asked for that I have seen in four different places call for using letters that CAN rhyme with "e", but for words in which the letters (do) rhyme with "e."
So I have to say that the "p" and "t" in "pet" do not rhyme with "e," where the "p" e's" and "v" in "peeve" do.
"Teepee" yes, "egged" no.
Is there a reason why "i" ("graffiti," e.g.) and "y" ("hardly," e.g.) didn't make the list?
Should we just suppose that Dr. Shortz meant "the longest common word using the letters that ordinarily are considered to rhyme with E?"

Magdalen said...

Mendo Jim -- Well, we'll find out, but here's my reasoning. In any word with a 'P' in it, the sound that letter makes is "puh" -- at least on Sesame Street! 'B' makes the "buh" sound, and so forth. In "egret," the first E meets your criterion, but the second one does not.

But we know that single letters can rhyme with the long E sound, which is why CEE, ZEE, and DEE are all allowed on the Scrabble board as words in their own right. And I think that's the only coherent interpretation of the challenge that remains inarguable. If you spell the word out, letter by letter, will all the letters rhyme with 'E'?

Magdalen said...

Ross -- For shame. You know that dolphin was "dubbed." (As opposed to having a voice coach, a la Meryl Streep.)

Natasha said...

I,too, am confused about the puzzle. I wondered about the letter y in hardly and did not think of the letter i in graffiti.

Marie said...

I can't believe I'm the first to pick a range--but it sure looks like it. I'll take 1500-1600

Natasha said...

I found an 8 letter word that fits.

Anonymous said...

While I agree that the intent is to include only those letters that rhyme with when pronounced separately, it is not spelled out so I'll go with a range of 900 - 1000. Jimel

David said...

I also found an 8 letter word, if you don't allow debeegeed (or even better, deBeeGee'ed), as in "I debeegeed my record collection by selling 'Saturday Night Fever'".

David said...

I'll go with 1300 to 1400.

For an alternate quiz, how about the longest word spelled only with E and letters with the short e sound (F, L, M, N, S, X). I easily came up with a 12 letter word. Can anyone do any better?

Ben said...

I'm in for 1,000-1,100. And I've got an eight-letter word that works.

-- Ben

Ben said...

Also, David, remember that Barry was not the only Gibb in town. I think there were three of them.

So if you sell Saturday Night Fever, you are unfortunately deBeeGeesing your record collection, which doesn't count due to the plural.

- Ben

Tom said...

David, I've come up with a 13 letter word that meets your criteria. I'll take the 1,200 - 1,300 range this week.

Dave said...

I think that I've found the correct answer, and it's eight letters long. Since so many people appear to be confused by this puzzle, I'm going with the 700-800 range.

Natasha said...

Ross and Magdalen, I received my prize today!! It is so perfect for me. I am not sure I can reveal what it is. I think I will start with the last puzzle and go backwards. Thank you so much!

David said...

Ben, I disagree about debeegeed: lice is to delouse as BeeGees is to debeegeed.

Tom, I also have a 13. I will comment on Magdalen's post later today.