Sunday, July 31, 2011

NPR Puzzle 7/31/11 Women Write All Kinds of Things, Dr. Shortz

Here's this week's NPR puzzle:
Name a famous person from America's past who has four letters in his or her first name and five letters in the last. Take a homophone of the last name, move it to the front. The result phonetically would be something a woman might write. What is it?
Is it ironic that I got this way quicker than Ross, or is that just because I'm the distaff side of our partnership?  I'll discuss that more on Thursday.

Of course, women write all kinds of things, as I'm sure Will Shortz knows.  I'll spare him (and you) the lecture!

If you have an answer, send it to NPR using this handy form right here.

Photos relating to our "famous person" are pretty cool, if only because it's clear he/she lived in the northern half of the US.  The bottom two photos are of houses occupied by said famous person for some amount of time.

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 1500 entries last week, so Ross is the winner.  No prize for him -- or, rather, he gets his own prize in the form of the countless crossword puzzle books he buys for himself.

But we have special prizes for you, if you win.  Enter this week's Pick A Range and see what they are.

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...

Got this one before the end of the theme music, so I would have to think that this is easier than last week. I don't think the homophone part of the clue was necessary, given past puzzles (including last week), but I guess it was a chance to tie it into the on air puzzle.

I'll go with the 2000 to 2050 range.

I got my 2nd recent prize from Magdalen (thanks, again perfect for my vacation). I'm off to the Channel Islands on Monday (is there cell phone reception on Santa Cruz?), so I am sure to be chosen to play on air this week.

Dave said...

Easiest one in some time. I'll go for the coveted 1,800 to 1,850 slot, please.

Mendo Jim said...

Doesn't the guy know any better?

Natasha said...

Pictures confirmed my answer. I will take the 1500-1550 slot for this week.

skydiveboy said...


woozy said...

After my raving about "a" vs. "er" last week the answer better not be Etta Lovl => Love Letter.

Haven't got it yet. The homophone business bugged me because it seems that if we are saying things phoneticallly in the end, then it doesn't matter whether we put the last name itself or the homophone first.

Then it occured to me that 1) it's a hint that the last name *has* a homophone (e.g. the last name is not Jones or Mertz or Klein or...) and A) it's possible that the spelling of the homophone would change the pronounciation. For example, if the woman's name is Hera Plete, the homophone would be PLEAT and putting that first would spell PLEATHERA which said aloud would be "plethera".

Dang, though. Don't have it. That stage always makes me feel uneasy. ("Sara? Thesaura? Sara Thues? Mary?...")

"Easiest one in some time?" Jeez, just goes to show everyone has different thought processes. This is the hardest one (for me) in a month or two.

woozy said...

Wait, didn't he say it was a woman from America's past or did I mishear him? I figured the something a *woman* would write was just to give the balance to the historical woman.

If it can be a historical man... Ah, crap I thought of *that* kiss-off *HOURS* ago. Although, to be honest I'm not really sure who that got is other than a namesake for a maker certain utilitarian motorized items.

woozy said...

2,300 for me. Go with gusto.

Sorry. I guess my last post confirms that the person from America's past was a man. But then again, by the looks of things, I was the only person who hadn't figured it out so I probably didn't spoil anything.

Still, I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

If the answer is who woozy hints it is, I'm amazed Ross didn't get him instantly, given Ross's taste in hats.

1050 to 1100 as usual, please.

Henry BW

woozy said...

"certain utilitarian motorized items" and you think *hats?! I think... um, never mind. *blushes*

*back pedals and tries to pretend his hint, which apparently was far more obvious than he intended, was always for something else entirely*

Magdalen said...

Thanks, Henry -- Imagine how hard it was for me, writing the blog, not to blab all sorts of things about Ross's sartorial preferences! Thursday is going to be fun!

Anonymous said...

I pick 140- 1450


Anonymous said...

I mean 1400 - 1450


JSP said...

Took me awhile to get that "what a woman might write" clue, but when I did, the answer was right there. Given these are the dog days of August, I'll go with the 800-850 responses.