Sunday, July 10, 2011

NPR Puzzle 7/10/11 -- Is "Classic Television" an Oxymoron?

Here's this week's NPR puzzle:
Name a classic television show in two words with eight letters. Remove one letter from each word. The remaining six letters, in order, will spell the last name of a well-known writer. Who is it?
Ross got this one immediately, again.  His being Crossword Man helped.  (Another unhelpful hint from us.  You're welcome.)

When you get it, send your answer in to NPR.

My apologies to Mendo Jim, who was either the only one who noticed I'd gone walkabout last week, or was the only one bold enough to comment on it.  I had meant to come back and fix the placeholder post, but my "day job" got in the way.  It's all very encouraging in my day job, though, so these are the sorts of problems I want to have, but not at your expense.

Photos!  This post's title suggests that television can't have classics, and obviously that's crazy thinking.  I've picked six photos that I got by typing into Flickr the names of six (arguably) classic TV shows.  Feel free to comment below on how many you were able to figure out.  Obviously, if you want to check to see if your guesses are right, just type the titles in yourself and see if the photos pop up.

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 800 entries last week, so no winner.  (I came closest but this ain't horseshoes we're playing!)

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...

Did anybody else submit Peter Ustinov (used + neuf, which French for new)? I think it's an equally valid answer.

Dave said...

I meant "is French for new."

Crossword Man said...

No Dave, we didn't think of Ustinov (who directed three movies according to wiki). It's so ingenious it merits winning more than the "obvious" answer.

By the way, how is it - etymologically speaking - that neuf can come to mean both "nine" and "new". Very strange.

Natasha said...

I pick the 800-850 range this week. I am on cloud nine having solved the puzzle.

skydiveboy said...

I agree, there have been a few classic TV shows, mostly on PBS. So, how about better examples, such as Television News, or Balanced Reporting? I won't say anything about British Cuisine.
I pick 1200 - 1250.

woozy said...

Man, I was gonna pick 1200 to 1250.

Okay, I'll do the 1300 to 1350.

This was easy. It took me a long time but that was only because I heard it while half asleep and I though he said the letters *backwards* in order spelled an author *who wrote for the show*. Obviously he said no such thing so.

>> Obviously, if you want to check to see if your guesses are right, just type the titles in yourself and see if the photos pop up.

Well, I *could* but as each guess I made yield more than seven pages of thumbnails, I won't.

The snowmen could be "All in the Family" but probably isn't. The one with the skulls is not "Bones" (which still airing can't be classic) and the with the sailboats is not "Twilight" which if it ever was/will be a show will *never* be classic. But is the one with the wheels "Wagon Train"?

Or am I not supposed to post guesses?

Anonymous said...

I've got the show and the writer, and Skydiveboy's comment makes me wonder what the show would have been like if this writer had been one of the show's writers. Also, I want to note my extreme gratitude that "Love Boat" was not the show (in part because it has "The" in the title and in larger part because it would seriously call into question the issue of classic television).

I'll take 1250-1300.

Dave, I love your answer.

Crossword Man/Ross, according to Wiktionary, "neuf" comes from both "novem" (nine) and "novus" (new), both Latin.


Dave said...

Ross and Phil, thanks very much! I'll send it to Will by personal e-mail and see what he thinks. I'm out of town and unable to access my old e-mails. I'll let you know if Will responds.

Clever puzzle this week. I'll snag the 650 to 700 bracket, s'il vous plait.

Mendo Jim said...

I could solve this challenge with one brain tied behind my back.
Actually that is the way I started, having not seen the "last" name part of the clue Saturday evening.
Made it much tougher.

Thinkin' 1400-1450.

And wonderin' if "s'il" and "li'l" are related.

Peter Ustinov did an album called "The Grand Prix of Gibralter" that is too funny.
He also advertised Gallo wine when they were breaking the farm workers' union. Not so funny.

skydiveboy said...

Peter Ustinov is someone I tend to admire, but when he prostituted himself to the Scumbag Gallo Brothers I was amazed. What would it have taken for him to endorse horse urine? And perhaps that is exactly what he was doing. "We will sell no piss before it's time." "What time do you have Julie?"

Mendo Jim said...

I know Ross noticed, so Gibraltar.

Marie said...

Hope it isn't too tacky to take 700-750.

David said...

I'll go with 1000 to 1050.