Sunday, February 27, 2011

NPR Puzzle 2/27/11 - The Name Game

Here's this week's puzzle:
Take a common girl's name that's six letters long. Change the fourth letter to the next letter in the alphabet to get another common girl's name. What names are these?
Pretty easy.  Enjoy!

Okay, for last week's body parts puzzle the correct intended answer was NECK/KNEE.  I'd thought of ARM/EAR, Ross also thought of HAND/HEAD, and regular reader David thought of CALF/FACE.  Will allowed all four of the body part pairs we'd come up with.  (If I may be so presumptuous as to treat our merry band of solvers as "we" -- after all, Ross and I between us only came up with three of the four.) 

For this week's puzzle, I'm confident I've thought of the obvious answer.  Can "we" think of any non-obvious answers?  If you think it's a legal answer, send it in to NPR here.  If you think it's a silly or uncommon name or names, post it in the comments.  (We've got one pair of plausible but clearly wrong answers.  I'll post a comment in a few days if no one else thinks of the two "wrong" names we came up with.  Alas, they're not very funny.  Surely you guys can think of funnier names...)

Ah, it would be so easy to find some pictures of pets with the selected common names, or people with those names, or the like.  But I have to be quirky, so here is a rogues gallery of "Stuff You Can Find On Flickr If You Type In Either Name":

Some days I just love this job...  (As usual, I'll come back on Thursday and provide proper attributions and sources for the photos.)

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.

There were more than 2400 answers last week -- 600 of each pair? -- and although I got close, I didn't win.  More prizes for all of you!

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...

Here are a couple very uncommon pairs that work.

Nailah and Naimah
Fredda and Freeda

And for fun, Hassie and Hattie are both women's names for which BOTH the third and fourth letters of the first are increased by one letter to give the second.

David said...

I think I know the intended answer and can come up with a second pair, but using an alternate (less common) spelling for both (but I, with Google, can find famous people with their name spelled that way). I'm surprised Ross didn't come up with the second pair. I am not going to post them until Thursday because I think Will would take them as correct answers.

Both pairs have the same pair of fourth letters.

I actually thought of an alternate spelling of my presumed correct answer first, when talking with my daughter over breakfast. She mentioned a word associated with her work that had the same first syllable as my answer. Since I was in puzzle solving mode, that word lead to a name.

I like being part of "we". That is why I am here every week- that and the possibility of a prize. I'd like the 1600 to 1650 range, please.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I forgot to sign my earlier anonymous post. I'll do that at the end of this one. I think I may have also found the pair David mentioned. Indeed, I came up with two pairs of names that seemed common enough to be arguable although not as common as the answer I'm going with.

And I thought I'd add Keisha and Keitha to the list of names that work but certainly aren't on Will's mind. And I'll take the 1300 to 1350 range.


henry.blancowhite said...

After working through the whole of the list of names in the back of Chambers, I have exactly one apparently valid solution, and a strong feeling that we have had this question before. I predict a fairly high entry, but since I am not seriously trying to win a prize (I'm still less than half way through the last one.) I will take my usual 1050-1100, please.

jimel said...

I came up with two answers. Given the current fad of giving girls names which seem to be spelled with random letters draw from alphabet soup, there are probably many alternatives that Will will disallow. Last week there were four answers and 2400 entries. This week there seem to be two answers; so I'll choose the 1,200-1,250 range.

Mendo Jim said...

Whenever the Sunday Puzzle or other challenge wants a first name or names, I have always gone to the list of men's and women's in my old Webster's Collegiate. I like the fact that they are adult names, not boys and girls or, even worse, "baby" names.
What that 50 plus year-old dictionary is getting best at is showing how things are changing, not how they necessarly are.
One of the names Will pretty certainly wants this week is not on the list with that spelling.
However, it was the spelling used on a very funny record made by a very funny man that I met a few times and I think it must have been contemporaneous with my tattered old book.
The Doctor was more forthcoming than usual about accepting unintended answers (though I don't suppose he had much choice).
And the on-air guy was seriously quick with Will's usual anagram posers.
How's about 900-950 for a pessimistic Range?
The floral chimp is a hoot.

Anonymous said...

Weird ones...

Meggan Meghan

Anonymous said...

Another weird one...


Pablo said...

I'm afraid I went off on a tangent; completely forgetting which letter was to be adjusted, and winding up with the elegant, though, on this particular occasion, ultimately incorrect allusion: Tosca ex maquina.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

It is now your sad responsibility to determine not only the names involved in my delusion, but also the letter to be "nudged".

BTW, I think Meggan and Meghan are both fine names; not common, perhaps, but not weird, IMHO.

Paul said...

In retrospect, the "responsibility" business in my previous post was presumptuous. "T'ask" might have been more appropriate.
Lower case would have been just as effective and more polite for btw and imho; pure clumsiness on my part.
I used the pseudonym "Pablo" for the same reason I didn't use the word "machina".
Answer(stop here if you'd rather not know):

Floria(Tosca)/Gloria(Estefan); change at the first rather than the fourth

I like to celebrate Easter before Ash Wednesday.