Thursday, January 6, 2011

NPR Puzzle 1/2/11 - A(h) Yes, The Ayes Have It

Here's this week's puzzle:
Take a plural noun that ends with the letter S. Insert a space somewhere in this word, retaining the order of the letters. The result will be a two-word phrase that has the same meaning as the original word, except in the singular. What word is this?
I believe the correct answer is AYES which splits into A YES.  But Henry's suggestion is technically correct although clearly not what Will Shortz meant: DAYBREAKS which splits into DAY BREAKS.  You know this isn't right because it's a singular noun and its attendant verb form, but if you read the puzzle, that's legal.  I would argue.  But we'll see if Will acknowledges alternatives on Sunday.

(Hey, did you know that Will Shortz trained as a lawyer?  I believe he never took a bar exam, preferring a life of puzzling people to . . . [insert favored characterization of what lawyers do] people.)

While I'm thinking about it, did anyone pick up on my repeated HINT about the puzzle's answer?  The title of Sunday's post was "Easy Puzzle?  Or Is It?"  Assuming I'm allowed "puzzle" as an anagram indicator, AYES -- the answer -- is an anagram of EASY.  The temptation to ask for a show of hands was considerable, but I resisted it.

Is there an echo in here?  It seems I'm left holding the puzzling there are no posts at all now about the New York Times crossword puzzle.  I've suggested that we redesign the banner on the site to more accurately reflect the narrowing of focus onto the NPR puzzle, but we'll leave the URL the same so no one has to change their favorite way of getting here.

Speaking of puzzles, Ross and I did an Araucaria cryptic crossword recently that ... well, read about it here.  If you like reading novels, or even just reading about novels, you might enjoy this.  (Find that someone in your life who reads romance novels to get the jokes that follow.  Trust me, you know someone who reads romance novels...)

Photos -- I'm going to try something new, namely a smaller array of photos for the Thursday post so you can click on them individually and go see what they're of, who took them, etc. over at Flickr without having to look at them all big & beefy like they appear on Sunday.

In order to get places names out of the least place-namey puzzle in a while, I twisted the logic a lot -- figuring that "ayes" is phonetically the plural of the letter I, my selections are all of places with two I's in their names.  (Geddit?  The I's have it!)

First up, Dr. Shortz's home state of Indiana:



And last but perhaps most recognizable, Indonesia:

Here is a photo I clearly could not have used on Sunday because it would have been like a neon sign screaming the answer to everyone:

Time for ...

P I C K   A   R A N G E

Here are this week's picks for the ranges:

Fewer than 100
100 - 200
200 - 300
300 - 400 -- Ross
400 - 500 -- Dave (Dave, you picked the same range as Grace, so I kicked you down a couple notches.  If you win, you're welcome.)

500 - 600 -- phredp
600 - 700 -- Grace
700 - 800 -- DAPF
800 - 900 -- Mendo Jim
900 - 1,000 -- Ben

1,000 - 1,100 -- Henry
1,100 - 1,200 -- Marie
1,200 - 1,300 -- Magdalen
1,300 - 1,400 -- David
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 


Mendo Jim said...

I think "ayes - a yes" is a good answer and wish I'd thought of it.
I sent in "sunsets - sun sets" along with the concomitant "sunrises - sun rises. moonsets etc".
Great minds, Henry.
I also kind of like "waterfalls - water falls."
I have to say, Magdalen, that after reading the first paragraph of today's blog four times, I can only say "huh?".
And the second link in ¶5 doesn't go where I expected.
It seems like there are really four editions a week: the Sunday one with the number of comments at the bottom, then the one where you actually see the comments. Ditto, Thursday.
I also have to click "Post Comment" two or three times for the blog monster to be convinced and give me the secret code.

Magdalen said...

Thanks, Jim for pointing out the dumb link, which I've fixed. My bad! Not sure what the problem is with the first paragraph, but you can email me with your erudite explanation of my error and I'll fix that too!

Anonymous said...

I sent in earthquakes - earth quakes.
Because the first word was split without adding extra letters I started thinking of compound words
Ayes never occurred to me.

DAPF said...

Wow, fewer than 200 entries! My best chance ever to get a call from Will, but it did not happen... 8^( "Unfortunately" (probabilistically speaking), this week's puzzle is much easier.