Sunday, January 23, 2011

NPR Puzzle 1/23/11 - Strangely Not American

Here's this week's puzzle:
Name a nationality. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth and 10th letters in order name a country. Also the fourth, fifth, seventh, ninth and 12th letters in order also name a country. Neither country is related to the nationality. What nationality is this?
We have a few things to say about this puzzle, but (alas) we have to wait for Thursday to say them.  And you may be thinking the same things, but as a courtesy to others, we'd ask that you too wait until Thursday to write them in the comments.

Also, if you know the answer, you'll want to send that in to NPR directly; you can find the form here.

Photos!  As you might imagine, if I found photos of persons identifiable by the target nationality, that might be WAY too much of a hint.  Instead, here are some things that presumably belong to persons of that nationality (note, the gentleman in the fourth photo is, by birth, a Canadian -- the pink thing, however, undoubtedly belongs to a person of the correct nationality):

(That last one is a restaurant -- in London, so not the target nation, I'll admit -- that serves food of the target nationality.  Ross thinks he *may* have eaten here, as it's in his sister's neighborhood.)

There's precious little gossip this week.  Ross got his US passport on Thursday, so we're thinking about a quick trip someplace warm out of the country to test-drive it.  Maybe he'll take his British passport along as back-up in case the US one doesn't work...  Oh, and here's evidence that I married a crossword maven for richer and for poorer: our household budget has a (not insignificant) line item for "Crosswords."  (Mine for Fabric and Yarn is twice as large, so I'm not complaining.)

Lucky that we don't rely on revenue from this blog to fund those line items.  Ross has added a Merch Booth to the sidebar at right -- and I've teased him about his poor entrepreneurial timing presenting crossword-related merchandise AFTER all his NY Times crossword readers have left.  (Oh, and after Christmas too.)  

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.

Last week, we had more than 1,200 entries.  DAPF is our winner.  A prize will go out in the mail soon.  (And Jason?  We were kidding about being greedy -- d'you want a prize too?  We can afford it.)
As always, troublemakers risk winning the American Girl puzzle book, so play nice.  :-)

Here are the 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")


Anonymous said...

I am almost certain that I agree with your "few things to say" about this puzzle. Now comes the more difficult part. Knowing the answer, can I figure out all your clues? Generally, the answer is no. Finally, if an anonymous poster can pick a range, I'll pick 950-1000, the "few things" notwithstanding.


henry.blancowhite said...

Yet again, I have an answer that I would have unhesitatingly accepted as correct, if I had not looked it up in a dictionary. It isn't in the dictionary.
However, since it seems to be the approved answer (By working back from the answer, I was able to match up one of the photographs.) I will take 1050-1100, as usual, please.

Natasha said...

The nationality is in the dictionary.

Magdalen said...

Henry -- come back on Thursday to discuss that point. But you see that Natasha did not have any trouble, so we'll say FOR NOW that it's just your stupid dictionary.

(Thanks, Natasha. Come back on Thursday to discuss -- and and pick a range, okay?)

Mendo Jim said...

I guess time is marching on.
Last week I said that two of my three print dictionaries did not have the word "feedbag" and my big Random House only reluctantly allowed it as an alternative to the correct "feed bag."
AS everyone is discovering, this week's answer is only to be found in newer sources. Wikipedia has a pretty good reason.
It was actually kind of fun to solve this one, with the intended "nationality" and the countries soon becoming obvious. It took a while for the "hmm, wait a minute" realization.
I hope this doesn't tread on Magdalen's Thursday plans, but I don't see much of a spoiler in it.
The on-air player today was awesomely quick with the anagrams; Will only got to use two of his prepared hints and maybe they weren't needed.
Looks like there are only about 1150 to 1200 listeners left.
Did Will really call the taps/spat answer an "almost" one on air?

Dave said...

The coveted 1,450 to 1,500 slot, please. I think I'm going to agree with your discussion about the answer, Magdalen.

David said...

I'm a-guessin' that yall gonna be hatin' the official answer. How 'bout 1300 to 1350 for me.

Marie said...

I will take 1000-1050

DAPF said...

Wow, I finally got it! This one is not in ANY of the dictionaries I own or looked up online. As several others, I had to go backwards from the 5-letter country names. In a way, I wish that I had not spent as much time as I did on this puzzle. Somehow, I felt little satisfaction when I solved it; just relief that the search was over...

Grace said...

I was sure the only answer I could think of was wrong until reading Magdalen had things to say. I do like the hint pictures. I like to see if I can specifically identify each one in relation to the puzzle. This week I choose 1200 - 1250.

Tom said...

Like Natasha, I did not find this nationality in my dictionary. However I did confirm it online. I'll take 1,250-1,300 this week please.

Ben said...

I'm in for 1,100-1,150, please.

- Ben