Sunday, April 17, 2011

NPR Puzzle 4/17/11 - We didn't lose the game ...

... we just ran out of time.  ~Vince Lombardi

Here's this week's puzzle:
Think of a nine-letter word naming a venue for certain sports. Three letters in the word are repeated. Remove all the repetitions, and the remaining six letters can be rearranged to name a piece of sports equipment. What are these two words?
Well, it took us a little time, and cheating only kinda sorta helped (I'll explain our methodology -- which makes very small children hunting for Easter eggs look like guided missiles -- on Thursday),  but we got this one eventually.

Please note, in case it wasn't clear on the radio, that you only remove the repetitions of the letters, not every instance of those letters.  (`Coz if you removed all instances of the repeated letters, you would only have a three letter word...)

Anyway, if I haven't made this puzzle even more obscure, go ahead and send your answer to NPR via this link right here.

(And if you're wondering why I'm not ragging on Dr. Shortz -- clearly it's not an honorary degree in science! -- for misstating what Angstroms measure, it's because I may have an idea for a puzzle myself, and I don't want him to hate me.)

Photos.  I gather I completely missed all sorts of tricks last week, like Angstrom's birthplace and the like, so I'm going to try to do better this time.

All of these places have something in common -- not hard to guess what but even if you do, I don't think you'll be able to back door the puzzle.







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 they had just under 800 entries and none of us picked below 1,000.  I think this week's even harder, but it's your guesses that count.  What do you think?

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")

6 comments:

David said...

I'm glad I read your post before I spent too much time trying to solve the wrong puzzle. I thought it was a word with 9 letters, 3 the same and 6 unique, with the six unique letters forming the second word, for example "ballfield", remove the 3 Ls and end up with BAFIED (which I couldn't arrange into a piece of athletic equipment).

I had even come up with the correct 9 letter answer, so when I figured out the real puzzle, the answer came quickly.

I'll try 1000 to 1050 again this week.

Sarah86 said...

1,050 - 1,100
Solved it this week after many years listening but never really taking the time to try it! it wasn't that hard...I suppose it depends on what kind of sports you've been watching lately.

Jimel said...

I'm with David on this. I kept trying to figure out how to play with my "fiabed" in a legitmate sport. I suspect we'll have many companions so I'll go low this week and pick 800-850.

Dave said...

Another easy one. Yawn. Last week was easy, too, and there were only 800 entries, so I'll snag the 950-1,000 slot, please.

Mendo Jim said...

I think it is a safe bet that a good portion of the 800 or so folks who submitted an answer looked in a dictionary to confirm their understanding of "angstrom."
It's too bad Will couldn't be bothered.
This week Will says to remove "all" the repetitions and I'm afraid listeners will think he meant "one each."
This sort of makes two challenges. I'll take under 50 for the first one and 2500-2750 for the second.

Grace said...

I will pick 700-750