Sunday, January 16, 2011

NPR Puzzle 1/16/11 - F. A. Badge Fans

Here's this week's puzzle:
Take the first seven letters of the alphabet, A through G, change one of these letters to another letter that is also either A, B, C, D, E, F or G. Rearrange the result to spell a familiar seven-letter word. What word is it?
We did try to solve it the "old-fashioned" way, with letter tiles, over dinner.  Then we got bored and cranked out the answer on TEA.  Truthfully, we were still bored.  We'd expected something a bit more dramatic, something worthy of a drum roll.  This was more of an "Oh."

Still, the right answer could be YOUR chance to shine on air.  So send your answer to NPR here.

Speaking of right answers -- TAPS and SPAT?  Really?  I'm having a hard time conjuring up an image of taps as apparel.  There are TAP PANTS (lingerie paying homage to the satin short shorts worn by tap dancers in the Busby Berkeley era) and TAP SHOES, but TAPS?  Unless someone's dressed as a beer keg for Hallowe'en, I'm not buying it.  (Not that Wikipedia is a dictionary, but still ... the disambiguation page for TAPS has nothing to suggest TAPS by itself is apparel.)

[Confidential to Will Shortz:  Hi.  Great "independent" on air puzzle; we got `em all except for the Plain Dealer.  Okay, pleasantries over.  Will, I realize that the problems of a few loyal fans don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world we live in, but please could you remind Liane to say how many entries they got?  Thanks.  Or suggest that the intern stick it on the website...]

Back to the answer for this week's puzzle.  Of the many words it is not, this one caught our eye (I've left the photo unattributed for the time being; I'll change its status when I announce the correct answer on Thursday):

You can try to guess what it is; it's not the right answer but it is close enough that it might constitute an unfair hint.

And the titular FA (Football Association) Badge:

These are FC United of Manchester supporters.  Analogous to AA baseball, we think...

Here's another thing that isn't the right answer:

A bed cage.  (Actually, a cage bed is a very sad item indeed.  Thanks, J.K. Rowling for getting them outlawed.)

And this isn't even remotely close to be the right answer.  It's just a pretty tree:

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.  The winner gets a puzzle book of our unspecified choosing.

Alas, this week we had to rely on a random number generator ( to get a number from 500 to 2500: 1,221.  Palindromic, even.  Just not OFFICIAL (I'm still annoyed, sorry).  Still, no one won.  We think.

As always, troublemakers risk winning the American Girl puzzle book, so play nice.  :-)

Here are the NEW ranges:

Fewer than 50       
50 - 100
100 - 150
150 - 200
200 - 250
250 - 300
300 - 350
350 - 400
400 - 450
450 - 500

500 - 550
550 - 600
600 - 650
650 - 700
700 - 750
750 - 800
800 - 850
850 - 900
900 - 950
950 - 1,000
1,000 - 1,050         
1,050 - 1,100
1,100 - 1,150
1,150 - 1,200
1,200 - 1,250
1,250 - 1,300
1,300 - 1,350
1,350 - 1,400
1,400 - 1,450
1,450 - 1,500

1,500 - 1,550
1,550 - 1,600
1,600 - 1,650
1,650 - 1,700
1,700 - 1,750
1,750 - 1,800
1,800 - 1,850
1,850 - 1,900
1,900 - 1,950
1,950 - 2,000
2,000 - 2,050
2,050 - 2,100
2,100 - 2,150
2,150 - 2,200
2,200 - 2,250
2,250 - 2,300
2,300 - 2,350
2,350 - 2,400
2,400 - 2,450
2,450 - 2,500

2,500 - 2,750
2,750 - 3,000
3,000 - 3,250
3,250 - 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...

While the word I submitted appears in at least one online dictionary, it does not in several others or it is listed as a two-word phrase. So, how familiar is "familiar"? Oh well, I'll take the 1200-1250 range please.

Tom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

I got the answer pretty quickly and it was in the online dictionary I checked.

I found a couple 7 letter words using only the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, and G (but changing more than one) that I will leave others to post.

I'll take 1950 - 2000.

Dave said...

950 - 1,000, please.

Tom said...

I'll take 1,350 - 1,400 this week please.

Jimel said...

Back from a holiday to a fairly easy puzzle. I'll guess 1100-1150 this week.

Mendo Jim said...

I agree. Taps are only "apparel" when nailed directly to the soles of the feet; attached to shoes, they are accessories. I guess Michael Jackson could have worn one spat.
I think it is possible that Liane's failure to mention the number of entries, correct or not, followed my chiding her last week. Hey, if the Pz master read Ross's blog every week, it is probable his eye wanders over here.
If Affirmed and I are right about this week's answer, only one of the three dictionaries I have around the house has the word at all and it much prefers it as a two word term. Nice going Will!
Let me squeeze in between 1500 and 1510 this week.
I did some browser cleaning yesterday and had to sit through pic downloading twice; I think I OD'ed on tea.
And if you will pardon me, I ask that you all give some thought as to what Marin Luther King, Jr. would have had to say about our government's torture of Bradley Manning.

Dave said...

Um, that's Martin. Marin King lives in California, just outside of San Francisco.

Marie said...

I'll take 1550-1600. I am so disappointed that Liane did not give the number of entries. C'mon Liane!!

Mendo Jim said...

Gee, thanks Dave!
To think that all these years ....

David said...

If no one is going to try my alternate challenge, I got:


Any other?

Crossword Man said...

Some 8s I like are bedaffed (made a fool of) and debagged (deprived of pants/trousers).

David said...

Decaffed (served decaffeinated coffee by mistake), as in "I fell asleep at the meeting because I was decaffed."

Anonymous said...

I will take 2000 to 2050, Grace

Will Shortz said...

For the record, there were just under 1,000 correct entries to last week's challenge. I don't know why Liane didn't mention that. She probably just skipped over the info on her sheet. // BTW, I don't believe I said TAPS/SPAT was a *good* alternative answer to last week's challenge. I just thought it was an interesting, "almost" answer that was worth mentioning. --WS