Thursday, April 14, 2011

NPR Puzzle - Angstroms' Angst

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a unit of length in the plural form. Rearrange the letters to spell two units of weight, also in the plural form. What units are these?
I thought this was a lovely puzzle, but maybe it's just the chance to use the fancy HTML letters: ångströms = gråms + töns.

Okay, so for the photos, I looked for names of places that could be spelled by the letters in ANGSTROMS:

First up: MontGras, a vineyard.  (I could have included a photo of the wine bottle, but that might have given the game away.)


Monstar next. I have no idea where this is - literally all the Flickr page says is "Monstar."


The letter pattern for this next photo is Mont-ras, north-east Spain:


This is also Mont-ras, but here's the full caption:  Vistas de la Costa Brava entre Platja d'Aro, Torroella de Montgrí y Mont-ras


Morsang-sur-Seine:


And this is Morsang sur Orge:


Time for  ...
P I C K   A   R A N G E

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 -- Grace   
1,050 - 1,100
1,100 - 1,150 -- Ross 
1,150 - 1,200
1,200 - 1,250 -- Mendo Jim
1,250 - 1,300
1,300 - 1,350 -- Jimel
1,350 - 1,400
1,400 - 1,450 -- Dave
1,450 - 1,500 -- Magdalen

1,500 - 1,550 -- David
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 -- Marie
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")

3 comments:

Mendo Jim said...

The beautiful old bridge was at Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina and sadly was destroyed in the war in 1993
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stari_Most


Will called the anagrams of angstrom both units of weight, Blaine called them both units of mass.
From my days as a physics major, I have thought for 50 years that a gram is a unit of mass (an absolute value) and a ton is a unit of weight (based on the acceleration of gravity on Earth).
Looking for a reference to prove this, I went to Wikipedia, which uses the terms weight and mass interchangeably. Phooey!
It looks like Liane has about 7 more shows before she retires. I think it is likely that Dr. Shortz will probably not continue with her replacement. Anybody else?

henry.blancowhite said...

The pound (from which the ton is derived) is a unit of force (weight), being the force of gravity (32 feet per square second) acting on a mass of one slug. The FPS system is unusual in defining the force, rather than the mass, as the primary unit.

By Sunday evening, hints on this blog had told me that I was looking for one unit of weight and one of mass, and that at least one of the three units was metric rather than Imperial. It was still Wednesday before the pennyweight dropped. I got hung up on kiloparsecs. Kilos (short for kilogrammes) was easy, but although the grain, the barleycorn, and the peppercorn are all common units, I could not justify the caper as a unit of mass or weight. At least for this puzzle you don't need to know that the plural of rotl is artal, or to know how heavy an apothecary's scruple is (20 grains = 1/350 lb avdp).

Shouldn't we have had a picture of Angstrom's birthplace? :-)

David said...

I was thinking a picture of a rabbit would have been a good clue.

As to Mendo Jim's question on the future of the Sunday Puzzler, I have a couple thoughts:

1. Will Shortz doesn't need the publicity that he gets (if he ever did).

2. He seems to enjoy working with at least some of the substitute hosts.

3. Listener participation seems to be down.

4. They don't have special guest prize readers anymore.

I would guess that they continue the Puzzler for a while, at least through the end of the year.

Has the new host been announced yet? I haven;t been able to find anything online.