Sunday, July 3, 2011

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of a common four-letter adjective. Then take its opposite in French. (It's a French word that everyone knows.) Say the two words out loud, one after the other, and you'll name a famous film director. Who is it?
Ross got this immediately.  I doubt that information can be considered a hint, but if you choose to see it as such, knock yourself out.

And if it tells you the answer, go straight to NPR and submit it for the rare opportunity to play on the air.

Before I get to the puzzle, I want to thank Ross for filling in while I was in New York City with over 2,000 romance writers for the Romance Writers of America's National conference.  I had a great time, meeting up with people I already knew, ones I knew only online, and new people.

I have a completed manuscript, Blackjack & Moonlight, that I pitched to agents, but no one is ever "done" as a writer so I was also taking workshops to improve my craft.  (Yes, we're pretentious -- we use words like "craft.")  Because romance novels are the red-headed stepchild of the literary world, RWA has for over 30 years provided its members with a community for professional and educational support.  And no, they don't pay me to say that.  I volunteer.

Here's a stereotype of the romance reader-turned romance author:  A pleasant grandmotherly type who reads a book and thinks, "I could do that," and then does.

Here's an actual romance author:  A nurse practitioner with a doctorate, an endowed chair at a well-known American university and an appointment at a world-famous health center, who is a cancer researcher by day and romance author by night.  She's from India, and won't let her family in New Delhi throw out her childhood Mills & Boon (the English precursor to Toronto's Harlequin Enterprises) romances.  She's in a committed relationship with a woman, but loves to write paranormal romances with alpha heroes -- she just assures her partner that all the heroes are based on her!

Typical?  Statistically, maybe not, but if the dozens of former lawyers, current professors, and retired scientists don't convince you that it's not just little old ladies writing romances, this woman -- whom I loved the moment I heard her bio: I mean, she's curing cancer and writing romances! -- should serve to prove that whatever you imagine when you think of a romance writer, you're probably wrong.  Hell, I belong to RWA and I'm still a little surprised by the people I meet there.

Okay, blatant plug for my day job over.  Let's get back to our puzzle.  I've selected one of the director's best known films, looked it up on Wikipedia, and picked photos accordingly.  Remember -- any place name in that Wiki page is fair game!

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.

Just over 500 entries last week, which DAVID picked.  David, send an email to Magdalen at CrosswordMan dot com just to confirm which David you are -- our records reflect that we've sent out prizes to four Davids!

And for the rest of you:  See?  We do actually give out prizes and they're not totally stupid prizes, either.  Enter this week's Pick A Range and see if you can win.

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")


Dave said...

Thanks for the hint, Magdalen. I'll go with the 400 to 450 range, please.

DAPF said...

Hi, I am one of the aforementioned Davids (but not last week's winner, as I was on hiatus from the NPR puzzle). This was a relatively easy puzzle for a French guy. I'll pick 450-500 please.

woozy said...

I'll pick 500 to 550. Funny thing is the answer was the firt director I thought of but I didn't successfully fit it into the clue for another hour after that.

skydiveboy said...

I will go with 350 - 400.

Marie said...

I'll take 600-650. Bonne chance!

David said...

I think it was easy enough to get back to the 1000 to 1050 range.

As someone who is bad in foreign (non-English) languages, I could barely think of a French adjective except "petite" and knew of no director whose name was anything like Bigpetite (plus "big" has too few letters.

Mendo Jim said...

I'm sure glad I don't pay anything for using Blogger and Facebook.

This challenge has me stumped for some reason.

The only thing for it is to wait for the answer and think:
"Oh wow. Clever! Nice going Will."

Or not.