Thursday, October 14, 2010

NPR Puzzle 10/10/10 -- Rhymin' Simon Says

Here's this week's puzzle:
What are the two longest rhyming words that have no letters in common? For example, "pie" and "guy" rhyme and do not share any letters. The answer words cannot start with an unaccented syllable, such as "today." The source for acceptable words is Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary.
I'll admit it -- we just didn't care enough about this puzzle to work very hard at it.  Well, I never work hard at these puzzles.  Ross did code a search program that looked through a pronunciation rhyming dictionary, the Carnegie Mellon University Pronouncing Dictionary but he only searched for single syllable rhymes.  I'll let him justify that decision, but I will say that Will Shortz's limitation on unaccented first syllables is perhaps a bit unhelpful.

One of the comments on our Sunday post asked if etouffée and caraway would be acceptable.  I think so, but I'm not the arbiter of such things, so we left the comment up because who knows if 15 letters total is the winning number?  And Anonymous -- if you're the winner, please come back and tell us so!  We love when regular readers get on the radio!

Here are some pictures of those and other things that might have worked:

Crawfish etouffée:


Caraway:


View through:


Sleigh Way:


Chablis Deportee:

(Completely unfair, of course -- this is, I'm told by Flickr, Matthieu Mangenot, the winemaker at Domaine Long-Depaquit in Chablis, and thus unlikely to be a deportee of any sort.)

Time for ...


P I C K   A   R A N G E

Here are this week's picks for the ranges:

Fewer than 100 -- Dave
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 -- Mendo Jim
1,200 - 1,300 -- Ross
1,300 - 1,400
1,400 - 1,500 -- Magdalen

1,500 - 1,600 -- Henry
1,600 - 1,700
1,700 - 1,800 -- David
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

2 comments:

henry.blancowhite said...

Alackaday! Wellaway! Those fairly express my feelings, but: the first both begins with an unstressed syllable and is too obscure for M-W online (I don't have the 11th Collegiate); the second would be apparently legal but needs an E, which I couldn't spare.
Counterweigh is also not in M-W online, though overweigh is, but, drat it, both overweigh and wellaway need the W as well as the E. In the end, I was flooded with crises on Thursday afternoon and missed the deadline, so I'm not sure what I'd have sent in.

Mendo Jim said...

The only accurate answer to the question "What are the longest two ....? is "It is impossible to know for sure."
However, hugh at Blaine's place has a blockbuster pair that should earn him a shot at the show, but I think he said he does the same thing I do: send an anwser but not a phone number.
Will should mention that submission and then go on to the next best one, along with some honorable mentions. I'll bet he dosen't.