Sunday, February 6, 2011

NPR Puzzle 2/6/11 - A Puzzle On The Fly

Here's this week's puzzle:
Name two things an airplane does. Each of these is a single word. Put them together, one after the other, to make a compound word that names something it's nice to have as big as possible. What is this thing?
Not hard.  I'm not convinced there's a unique answer, but truthfully I quit with one.  Tell me: did you get more than one answer?

But if you did get more than one answer, don't tell them to me -- send any and all answers to NPR at this site right here!

What's that sound?  The crickets in the background?  Pretty cool, too, in February, hunh?  They're the symbolic sound of my not having any kvetching to do about this week's puzzle.

Enjoy the silence, Dr. Shortz!

Ah, but photos.  Let's go see what we can find at Flickr, shall we?  Airplanes...  Well, actually, I used a different "tag" to search for all six photos.  The last one was "flight" -- but the rest?

(Isn't that nice?  We even get the details of the flight...  That's thoughtful, that's what that is.)

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 1,900 people got the QUEASY + UNEASY puzzle, so alas no one won last week.  Disappointed?  Try again next week.  But if you're a Kindle owner, here are a couple FREE downloads:  Jumble and Word Morph.  But in the interests of consumer satisfaction, if you have suggestions for prizes, by all means let me know.  Small -- in both size and cost -- puzzle books.  Send all suggestions to Magdalen (at)

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")


Charles said...

We got two answers: the obvious one and one that was a slight stretch. Betsy thinks there will be lots of right answers so we guess 3500-4000

Tom said...

The answer to this week's challenge came fairly quickly. I'll take 1,900-1,950 this week please.

Dave said...

Another easy one. I'll go with the 2,100 to 2,150 slot.

Richard said...

2400-2450, please. Karen & I got an answer before coffee.

David said...

I first thought it was that airlines feed you and take care of your bags, so that feedbag was the answer again- don't we all want large feedbags? But then I remembered that the airlines don't do meals or luggage, so I had to think of another answer.

I'll try 1750 to 1800, please.

Mendo Jim said...

I came up with what I assume is the intended answer in a jiffy.
The only trouble is the "two things an airplane does" in that answer are basically the same thing, not two.
There is another answer at least as good.
The range of difficulty of the on-air questions is remarkable. A couple of weeks ago were some really tough anagrams; today was a series of real softballs, although Patty seemed to have a good time.
I think maybe our Range range may overstate the interested listenership. Aside from the aeronautical mistake, there should be at least 3000 (my official guess) correct submissions, but a continutation of Liane's "roll of big weeks" will more likely be under 2000.
I might kind of like the American Girl book. What constitutes "trouble?"
Nice, if slow, pics, as usual.

David said...

Or maybe a plane is and a plane lands, so you want a large island.

"Island" is a compound word. It was first used when "One-Eyed" Sam and his parrot were on lookout duty on dark night. Sam was known to drink while on duty (and is the source of his nickname, but that is another story).

The parrot saw land and squawked "Land".

Sam said, "You're crazy, Parrot, that's a mirage."

The parrot said, "Is land".

Sam, "Mirage".

Parrot, "Is land".


Finally, they ran aground.

Sam said, "Youareright,parrot,itisland," slurring his words. So, it became island, with the pronunciation changing over time to a silent "s".

Marie said...

Heck, I can't predict this crowd, I'll just pick my birth range, 1951-2000.

Grace said...

1800 - 1850

Tobias Duncan said...

I was sure there was such a thing as a TAXISLAND for the super wealthy , but alas google corrected me...

What about OPENLANDS ?? maybe some sort of green party concern?

Anonymous said...