Sunday, December 26, 2010

NPR Puzzle - Famous Is As Famous Does

Here's this week's puzzle:
Name a famous American from the past who has seven letters in his or her last name. Take the last two letters, plus the first four letters, in that order, and you'll name that person's profession. Who is it?
Not too hard; Ross got it pretty quickly.  Here's the obvious hint - think of the profession first.

When you've got the answer, send it to NPR here.  Please don't reveal it in the comments, thanks.

First of all, Happy Boxing Day.  I understand the origins of Boxing Day: charity to the less fortunate.  Today, it's a shopping day for people like me who want to stock up on Christmas cards and wrapping paper at half price.  (Of course, I say that, but chances are I won't bother this year.  It used to be an annual tradition...then I grew up.  *sigh*  Old age is a bore.)

Second, Gertrude Ederle?  Really, Will?  I'm starting to think you're older than me -- maybe even as old as our dear friend Mendo Jim.  (C'mon, Jim -- you knew that one, didn't you?)  Only one of the two Brits in the room knew of Gertrude Ederle, and that only from American crosswords!  I think that counts as obscure.  (I'd heard of her, but couldn't remember her name.  1926 was a bit before my time; hell, it was a bit before my mother's time, and she's been dead for a while!

Here are some photos of places associated with the answer to the puzzle.  As usual, come back on Thursday for proper attribution for each picture.

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.

Hey, look - I won last week's Pick a Range!  No, I don't get a prize, although Henry suggested, rather sardonically, that I take one of the American Girl puzzle books.  He's verified their existence, so I will say again: 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")


DAPF said...

First profession most listeners will think of, if they are like me. But I'll stick with the 700-800 range please.

Anonymous said...

my guess is 1400 - 1500

Dave said...

Happy holidays, Magdalen and Ross.

Believe it or not, the answer came to me when I looked at the third photo! I had already gone through an alphabetical list of professions, and didn't get the answer, so thanks for the clue.

I'm going with the elusive 1,200 to 1,300 range.

Tom said...

I'm with you Magdalen. I'd NEVER heard of Gertrude Ederle. I had to look her up on Wikipedia just to satisfy my own curiosity. This week I'll take the 1,000-1,100 range please.

Jason said...

A lot of us have some extra time to think about the puzzle this week, so I will go for 1500-1600.

Crossword Man said...

I blogged about Gertrude Ederle for the November 27, 2009 New York Times crossword. Couldn't have come up with her on the basis of GE, but remembered having encountered her in a crossword when the answer was given.

Magdalen said...

Dave - I virtually guarantee that Photo #3 is *not* what you think it is, but Photo #5 isn't Alaska, so make of all that what you will. For people playing at home, Photos 1-3 are of one place, Photo #4 is of another place, and Photos 5 & 6 are of a third place. Not all in the same state, mind you.

Mendo Jim said...

I first thought of Gflorence Echadwick, but came up with Gert just in the nick of time thanks to Liane; this may have been the most helter-skelter on-air program in a while.
I think today's answer has been used before in a challenge, but it was defintely part of the worst on-air program in years just a few months ugh-ho Clyde.
And that other guy there can't play today.
Will has done somewhat better in the past several weeks. The challenges have not been give-away simple (this one is close) and have improved in the ambiguity department. It would be nice to know if this is chance or if he was paying attention here and/or elsewhere.
I hope something positive happened in Keep This Blog Half Alive; I think it may receive more comments than the Other Half.
And I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and now eyes closed my finger points to......November (39). Whoops! To....2100-2200.

Jimel said...

I forgot it was Sunday and was surprised to hear Will & Liane on the radio as I was driving to Cambridge this AM. The answer came pretty quickly but I wonder how many are just as disoriented as me time wise. Let's go with 800-900 this week.

Marie said...

Got it pretty quickly too, so I will say 2200-2300.

David said...

I read the puzzle on line late at night Saturday and couldn't come up with the answer, thoroughly confused about getting the answer backwards (start with the profession, then get the person). I woke up on the train in the top bunk of a sleeper at 6:00 am Sunday and the answer came to me. Of course, shortly thereafter, I saw this person's name in print.

1600 - 1700 for me, please.