Sunday, March 27, 2011

NPR Puzzle 3/27/11 - The Weapon of the Witless

Here's this week's puzzle:
Take the word "calm" and flip the letters A and L to get "clam." Take the last name of a film director known for using profanity, and flip two pairs of letters in place to get a word used as a substitute for profanity. Who's the director, and what's the word?
Okay, how cool is this?  I said the name of the director out loud and Ross said the word out loud without either of us really thinking about the letter swaps.

Also cool is that this puzzle is from Francis Heaney.  I wanted to post the YouTube video of him tap dancing with Lorinne Lampert at the ACPT talent show.  But I couldn't find it in time.  Here, instead, is his version of the Japanese animals video:

It's okay, the puzzle is better.  So's his dancing.  I'll post the tap dancing video on Thursday. 

If you know the answer to the puzzle, send it in to NPR here.

Hmm.  Photos.   I'll be honest -- and boy, I hope this isn't a hint -- I don't think I can do photos of the word.  But the director -- yeah, I can do photos that have some connection to the director.  And here they are -- deliberately vague & unhelpful as always.

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.

We have a winner!!  With just over 1,000 entries (thanks, Nameless NPR Intern, for giving us that number in the preferred format!), Phil is our winner.  And I don't think he's won before, so what I need, Phil, is for you to send us your full name and address to Magdalen (at)  Your prize will go out in the mail to you right after that.

For the rest of you, keep working hard to deduce the correct number each week.  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")


Kaleena said...

The pictures are deceiving for sure. I can easily think of three famous directors/authors which match those pictures. My sister and I were leaning toward someone right away with this clue. Even the video from youtube is a nice clue once you know what the answers are.

I am going to say a lot of people will enter this week's challenge 2100-2150.

Kaleena said...

By clue, I mean the clues from the challenge as given by Will Shortz, not by you.

Dave said...

Chalk me up for the 1,450 to 1,500 slot, please.

Anonymous said...

I had the name right away but passed on it since I had in my mind a particular substitute for profanity: the asterisk. So, burdened by that punctuation mark, I had some trouble getting out of neutral. For a moment, there, I even thought about just submitting the answer and complaining that @*&@#&* was really several marks, so the puzzle was wrong. But I thought better and realized that submitting such an answer would be a gamble, and I'd be an * it.

I agree with Kaleena that this puzzle will have more entries. I'll take 1600-1650, even if I'm not eligible. (Actually, I don't know the protocol. Disregard my guess if it's bad form.)


David said...

This was another where I knew the answer before the segment ended. The director was the first I thought of from the clue.

I'll go with 2000 - 2050.

Mendo Jim said...

It is either famous Belgian potty-mouth Leonard Belpe or some play on Scorcese/censored.
Ease of solution (epitomized here) is no guide to number of submissions, so I'll take 1134.

Grace said...

I pick 1000 -1150. I do like Canada Geese.

David said...

Canada geese should stay in Canada. Here in Seattle, what they do best is foul (not fowl) the waterfront parks.

Grace said...

David, I should of said I like a Canada goose best on a plate on a dinning table.

Kaleena said...

So I guess that there were a lot of submissions for this puzzle. 2500+ correct answers :)