Sunday, February 20, 2011

NPR Puzzle 2/20/11 - Body Part + E = Bad Poetry

Here's this week's puzzle:
Spell a part of the human body. Change one of the letters to an E, and rearrange the result to name another part of the human body. What body parts are these? Clue: Both parts of the body are things you can see.
I got it immediately.  Sheer luck.  As I hear the puzzle, I pick a word at random that meets the criterion, manipulate it according to directions, add water & mix.  If the answer I get isn't gibberish -- well, let's just say it usually is gibberish!  Only this time it wasn't.

But once again, can we be sure there's only one answer?  And -- as always, please don't give the game away in the comments.  Send your answer(s) to NPR here.

Okay, so here's a confession.  I draft these posts on Saturday night as soon as the puzzle is posted on the NPR website.  Ross read it out to me, I solved it and went off to find photos.  Ross has since thought of two more sets of body parts, in addition to mine.  So we hypothesized that Will would announce on air the length, but that still wouldn't solve the problem because both of Ross's sets are the same length.  (My answers are a different length, but that could just mean we haven't thought of more in that length.)

Anyway, we're sticking with my answers because they're mine.  And because I don't feel like hunting up more photos.  Maybe on Thursday...

Photos.  Body parts.  Hmm.  Okay, I'm not going to tell you what I'm doing with the photos.  Have fun trying to figure out what's going on.  Details on Thursday.

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.

More than 1,000 people entered the Bucharest puzzle last week, which means that Ross won!  No, he doesn't get a prize.  Only you guys can win a prize -- so let us know what your guess is.

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")


Tom said...

I'll take 1,500-1,550 this week.

David said...

This is one of those puzzles that is easier to solve backwards. Take a body part with an "E", change it to another letter (only 25 choices) and rearrange to get another body part. It took me less than a minute to get my first pair and I figured there may be another answer.

After I read the post, it took me about a minute to get a second pair and another five minutes to get a third pair. I guess these are the pair of pairs that Ross got, since they are of the same length, so my first answer probably matched Magdalen.

There is another pair where half the the answer can be seen on a nude beach. I'm pretty sure that is not Will's intended answer.

There is another pair of body parts that are anagrams, containing an "E", again with half the answer visible at nude beaches, the other half visible to surgeons. Again, not Will's answer.

You want bad poetry? How about a bad haiku?
A lapel pin prize
Reward for being chosen
Maybe me this week

Since it is so easy, I'll take 2000 to 2050.

Mendo Jim said...

Does last week's answer just recognize the fact that between them the Bushes hardly made one President?
It makes one wonder if Will vettes the challenges at all.
When he does make a "clarification," it is something as inane as the capital of a former Soviet republic and a candidate for President; if he had asked for that,it would have widened the field some.
This week is another example.
I'll guess that a new record of over 5000 folks will submit one answer and 2000 will submit two or more.
The online clue says "spell," but the Doctor didn't.

Dave said...

1,700 to 1,750. Another easy puzzle with multiple correct answers. I found two pairs right away and quit there.

Jimel said...

This one is so easy with multiple answers that I'm going to say a lot of folks won't bother answering and go with 1000-1050. (Also it is school vacation week in some parts of the country.) David, I'm curious how only half an answer could be visible on a nude beach. I'm not a beach person, but I would think that all visible body parts are visible on a nude beach. I can muse on it until Thursday.

David said...

Jimel, I meant that one of the two body parts aren't commonly seen in public.

henry.blancowhite said...

I saw (All right, Humpty Dumpty, make that "thought of".) one pair of answers as soon as Will added the extra hint, then stopped looking.

Mendo Jim: IMHO, you should not have put up that comment about the Bushes last week until Thursday. The information that one name was that of two different presidents was far too useful a hint, because there are so few of them, even if it hadn't been pretty obvious which two you were thinking of. And combining two presidents to make one capital implies fairly short presidents, so Johnson is unattractive, which pretty much left us Bush and Adams.

David said...

I'm up to 4 legitimate answers, plus 2 anagrams with an "E", each of which has one of the pair in need of a surgeon (and 1 of which needs a nude beach observer) plus 1 other pair with a 50% nude beach requirement.

Mendo Jim said...

Sorry. It has been so long since there has been a challenge that was tough enough to worry about "spoilers," that I forgot myself.
Waiting for Thursday when everybody who reads this blog knows the "answer" at Sunday breakfast can strain patience.
My intent was not to give anything away, however, but to point out a fatal flaw in the puzzle. I don't believe the way it was stated allows a solution (unless, of course, there is another capital plus an R that names just two Presidents, not three).
I was writing my first comment as David was posting his and inadvertently stepped on his Range guess. Give me 2050-2100 for my backup guess instead.

Marie said...

It was easy, and I came up with two pairs, without much thought. I'll say 1950-2000, keeping my standard guess.

Magdalen said...

Marie -- I've added your range, not to worry. (We draft the Thursday post in the morning and program it to publish after 3:00 p.m., but your pick obviously came in time!)