Sunday, April 3, 2011

NPR Puzzle 4/3/11 - This Puzzle is Brought to You By Letters AND Numbers

Here's this week's puzzle:
Assign every letter of the alphabet a numerical value: A=1, B=2, C=3 and so forth. Think of a classic work of literature that has eight letters in its title. When the letters are given a numerical value, they add up to 35. What's the title? Clue: The title has two words.
Ross's first guess was Moby Dick -- arguably the most famous work of fiction in two words, eight letters.  Obviously not the right answer, as 13 + 15 + 2 + 25 + 4 + 9 + 3 + 11 = 82 .  (It would be a fun way to identify what you're reading these days.  "I just finished 148."  "Wait, you mean the 11-letters, 2-words 148?  I loved that book!")

Now, if you know the answer to the 11-letter, 2-word, 148 you can leave us a comment because that's our little puzzle.  (No prize though.  Sorry.)  But if you know the answer to Will Shortz's puzzle, send your answer to NPR here and don't leave it in the comments.

Photos -- Well, there are a TON of neat photos I could have used, but they'd all constitute a hint.  Heck, for all I know, there be hints in the ones I've chosen.  I have tried, though, to keep from giving too much away.

If you can immediately tell the name of the book from those photos, you are either very smart or very lucky or both.

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 over 2,500 entries, which no one picked.  Not even close.  But that's okay -- Ross sent Phil a special prize (because he rashly indicated he had some interest in cryptic crosswords) last week, so we're still holding onto a more traditional prize for you guys.  You gotta be in it to win it!  So keep working hard to deduce the correct number of entries 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")


David said...

I don't have an answer (yet, I hope), but in playing around, I thought of a non-US politician, first and last name, eight letters, with a total of 28.

Anonymous said...

I have the answer, but I'm clueless about your pictorial clues, Magdalen. I almost wonder whether we have different books. Could there be two books?

By the way, on the topic of books, I thank you for the English crossword book. It arrived safely.

I'll take 800-850 this week, figuring that not many people have read ... but that would be giving it away.


Lorenzo said...

This answer was easier to get than NPR's. I think the first two photos give more apparent clues than the remainder. I actually haven't read it since my teenage years.

I'll take 1100-1050 for the range. If I could find it in less than 10 minutes, won't be too hard...if you know where to look.

Crossword Man said...

I think I know your politician David. Comes up a lot in crosswords, right?

Some further challenges for you all:

Sound made by someone falling off a cliff in 8?

Sound made by someone asleep in 208?

Dave said...

I'll go with the 1,000-1,050 slot, please. I heard of the book, but never read it.

henry.blancowhite said...

I will take whichever side of 1100 Lorenzo has not taken. I got the answer almost immediately, though I have never read the book and probably never shall read it.

I don't see the politician, though. I probably don't do enough US-style crossword puzzles.

Lorenzo said...

My should have read 1100 - 1150 for the range...don't think we can go backwards..
Consider me disqualified.

I have also never read the book. Not my genre.

Grace said...

I found this one difficult. However, it was a good exercise finding the right search tools. Once discovered, I had a bit of knowledge about the author. I never consider this author one of the "Classics".
Moby Dick Was also my first guest.
This week I will try 900-950

Mendo Jim said...

Interesting that Will added "only" 35 twice to the written challenge. But starting with "the" scoring 33 set the stage for looking early in the alphabet.
At least no one is claiming to have gotten this one before the segment ended.
I got the title about bedtime, but had a tough time remembering the author. What was it with that first name in that century?
I suspect that this is one of the least read most read books
Reading the transcript of the show at the NPR page reinforces the feeling I got listening: this was one unique outing with no explanation of Liane's whereabouts, Will's professed aversion to profanity, tag team contestants (a first?) and what seemed to be David Greene's basic unfamiliarity with the show. Even Will seemed a little taken aback by the pace of things.
I have Ross's and Davis's posers, I think, but don't know if 11/2/148 will follow.
I was hoping for 1134 again, but will try 1314 instead, though I wish I had aome idea why 2 1/2 times as many tried this week than last.

David said...

I'll go with 950 to 1000, please. How I got the answer, I'll never know. I must have heard of the book somewhere.

Ross, I would suspect you got the same politcian as me. As to your two puzzles, would Homer Simpson's response to doughnuts (although he would probably spell it donuts) with a count of 104 be an answer consistent with yours?

henry.blancowhite said...

Mendo Jim: Just to annoy you, I did in fact get the answer before the end of the segment, though not before Will had finished reading out the question for the second time. (-: The real challenge, of course, is to solve the puzzle before Will has finished reading it out for the first time. :-)

Marie said...

I must have read the book, though I don't really remember it, because I got the answer in a very short time. 1950-2000 please.

Crossword Man said...

Yes David, we are clearly thinking along the same lines.

Anonymous said...

Ross and David,

Couldn't Homer's response also be in 120?

Sure, 108 is more common, but I think he 120s quite a bit, too.

Yikes! a mouse--40!


David said...

Phil, the snake got him -- 152.

Anonymous said...

Arrggh. There be sensorship here!!
I sent in an article about the lady who was on the radio show Sunday and had the wierd job of making up drug names, such as viagra.
It came on then it went away.
Was it the viagra part?

Crossword Man said...

Apologies Anon. We've been getting quite a few spam comments lately and I wrongly assumed yours was yet another one. If the connection with the NPR segment had been clearer - and if your comment hadn't been anonymous - that would've helped ...

David said...

I think I know the 11 letter, 2 word, 148 count book. Does it have an interesting connection to a US presidential election?

By the way, my first guess for Will's book was Jane Eyre (83).