Sunday, October 24, 2010

NPR Puzzle 10/24/10 - Get Out Your Atlas: Will's On The Road Again!

Here's this week's puzzle:
Name the capital of a country. Rearrange the letters to spell a word that sounds the same as the name of another country. To approach the puzzle backward, name a country that has a homophone that is an anagram of a different country's capital. What country and what capital city are they?
I have an answer, but what I lack (other than Ross, who comes home today) is any confidence that it's the only answer.  But unless I'm misunderstanding the puzzle, this is so obviously a correct answer, I'm going with it.

You know I love the country puzzles, because we get PHOTOS.  (Note to Mendo Jim -- go make that coffee now, while these load...)

Let's start with the country whose capital is in play.  For whatever reason, I love the architecture in this place.  And, well, the landscape photos at Flickr seemed boring.:

And now for the country that has the necessary homophone:

Of course, I could be wrong about my answers.  If you can tell from these photos that they are very much NOT the answers you got, email me (Magdalen {at} with your answers, and I'll post more photos.

I love the country puzzles!

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.  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.

No one picked 1,300-1,400 last week.  So again, no one won this week's prize -- Les Foeldessy's cool book, Gryptics -- so he gets another week of free advertising and a copy of his book is still available.  Yes, you can still win this wonderful puzzle book.  What's your guess? 

[As always, 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.

Our tie-break rule: 
In the event that a single round number is announced, AND two separate people picked the ranges leading up to and leading up from that round number, the prize will be awarded to whichever entrant had not already won a prize, or in the event that both entrants had won a prize already or neither had, then to the earlier of the two entries on the famous judicial principle of "First Come First Serve," (or in technical legal jargon, "You Snooze, You Lose")


Mendo Jim said...

Nice pics!
Lima-Mali almost works, but probably not quite close enough.
Can we use Palau this time?
Actually, today's funny paper has the answer and it is easy enough for me to pick 1900-2000.
I am still waiting for an explanation of why only single syllable words were acceptable two weeks ago.

phredp said...

I don't think near as many will guess correctly as last week. My guess is abot 1050 (1000 - 1100.

BTW, your bus image in the last image was the giveaway for me.

David said...

I was about 11 miles into my run before I got the an answer.

Online I found another. Check my email, Magdalen.

I couldn't justify Riga / Iraq or Tel Aviv / Latvia.

1700 - 1800 for me.

henry.blancowhite said...

Well, I can only find one answer, but a lot depends on what you count as a homophone, and WS in the on-air puzzles frequently uses "homophones" that sound clearly different to me, even when he says both words. (I counted seven countries for which I could see homophones that I thought acceptable.)

May I have 1,500-1,600, please.

Anonymous said...

You may want to edit the County #5 picture.
There's an item in the picture that identifies the county!

Anonymous said...

country. country.

Magdalen said...

Okay, so here are a few points of interest.

1) I don't personally care that some people either immediately know the country from that last photo, or can Google the bus line and deduce the country. With that one country, the puzzle is easier but not a gimme.

2) My answer is likely wrong. It might be accepted as an also-ran but it might not. So, if you're counting on my photo array to solve the puzzle for you, be warned. My answer is not the one Will is looking for.

3) I will discuss all this in more detail on Thursday.

Tom said...

I'll take 1,100-1,200 this week please.

Dave said...

Although there are several country/capital combos that work, some are anagrams and I think Will wants homophones, not anagrams. I found three pairs that work and one that is half right.

I'm going with the 1,100 to 1,200 slot, assuming Will is accepting only one answer as the correct one.

Magdalen said...

Dave -- pick again, Tom got that slot before you did. (Blame Blogger for not seeing Tom's pick soon enough.)

Dave said...

I'll take the coveted 1,200 to 1,300 slot. Pretty lame of me not to notice Tom's pick right ahead of mine. Sorry about that.

DAPF said...

Hi, I am new here. Since I am yet another David, I'll go with my initials DAPF (yes, in the country I come from, we have two middle names: mine are the first names of my two grandfathers).

The answer I submitted to NPR is different from Magdalen's but apparently the same as Ross'.

I am partial to the 900-1000 range.


Mendo Jim said...

Innumerable times over the years I have had the Sunday experience of thinking either I have the answer Will Shortz intends and it it pretty darn lame or he has fooled me.
I can't think of a time it has not been the former and, alas, I am afraid that this week will not plow new ground.
Of course I saw the name on the bus and thought "No need for that." Even though it was discouraged, I Googled it and got a surprise; I can't make it fit, however.
Does anyone else wish the PM had said: "Anagram the the capital and you will get a word that sort of sounds like one of the many pronunciations of a country?"
I can't bring myself to consistently say the country like the word (it makes me think of LBJ)and the other way around makes me laugh out loud.
I hope it is not a giveaway that for my answer the two choices in my dictionaries give at least one long vowel.

David said...

Mendo Jim-
Are you nit-picking the pronunciation?

Magdalen said...

You guys are too damned funny!

David-aka-DAPF: I'm guessing England (or the UK) simply because I know that can happen there. Henry -- help me out. Don't I have a former sister-in-law with two middle names?

Now I want to guess the AP of DAPF: Andrew & Peter? Angus & Paul? Alistair & Pavel?

DAPF said...


You are pretty darn close, both geographically and "initialistically." Andrew and Peter are one or just a few letters away from the correct answer, respectively. So, if I gave you the country, you could essentially infer the names. Let me just say that I am not a native English speaker...

Jimel said...

I must not have clicked on "Post Comment" when I wrote one on Sunday or Monday. Since the range I picked at that time is taken, I'll go with 800-900. Judging from the comments others seem to have gotten something different from my Seoul, louse, Laos answer which may be wrong depending on how you pronounce the name of the country.