Sunday, August 28, 2011

NPR Puzzle 8/28/11 - Greetings From the Soggy Northeast!

Hi -- we got over 3.5" of rain and the power went out in the night.  That's not such a disaster: we have a generator that allows us a limited range of activities (it keeps the fridge & well pump running, but to make tea, Ross had to move the electric kettle to the half-bath, which has a socket on the generator's circuit) BUT no Internet.

I'm currently camped out at a McDonald's 30 miles away from our house.  For the cost of a hamburger (which I got to eat), I can sit here for as long as necessary to get all my computing done.  I realize that makes me sound like an Internet addict, but it's really just that I'd made no provision for this situation.  We had been led to believe that Irene wouldn't be a big deal as far west as us.  (We're west of I-81.  They *said* that the storm would hit east of I-81.  Jeez, why can't they stick to the plan?)

Anyway, here's this week's NPR puzzle:
Rearrange the twelve letters of the words "AIR CUSHIONED" to name a person in the media, first and last names.
Not hard.  I can say no more.  Please, please, please THINK BEFORE YOU COMMENT.  Remember, the least little hint on this one could sink ships.  Or something.  Comment about something totally benign instead, like the weather.

Of course you've solved it and sent it in already, using the special NPR form.

Photos -- clearly I should have copious photos of the window shrouded in bright blue plastic, which Ross and I stapled to the house this morning in the middle of Irene's efforts.  It's not our fault -- honest, guv -- our contractor had installed a replacement window just to see how it would look.  (Looks good, thanks for asking.)  He'd taken off the interior and exterior trim, and as the window is on the north side of the house, and the storm circulates counterclockwise -- well, you can imagine the flood.  The blue plastic helped, but not nearly as much as having the rain stop!

But no photos of the window, so instead of my usual routine with a puzzle that results in a person's name (namely using that person's Wiki page), I'm going to have some fun with you.

Y'all have solved the puzzle right?  Well, look at the answer, change two adjacent letters in that person's name and you get another famous person.  (Please don't hint about this new name, either, okay?  Remember: we're just chatting about the weather this week.)  I've got photos of places mentioned in this new famous person.

To recap:  Take the answer to this week's puzzle, change two adjacent letters in that person's name and you will get another famous person's name.  Look that person up in Wiki and you'll see the following places:

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.
Help a couple of soggy bloggers out -- did we hear correctly and there were only 100 entries last week?  That can't be right.  (I'd listen to the podcast but the muzak in this Mickey D's is actually great music but it's a bit loud and I forgot my earbuds.)  Ross was listening, but he got distracted by my phone call to the power company to report the power outage. 
While we're trying to find out if anyone won, enter this week's Pick A Range and see how you do next Sunday.

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")


skydiveboy said...

Is everyone enjoying the August weather and puzzle?
I do hope I am following the rules of the road for this week. There is indeed a clue in this post.

skydiveboy said...

They said "there were about eleven hundred entries this week."

woozy said...

No-one won. It was eleven hundred. This week I'll go for 1,200+.

This was a sweet puzzle.
Skydiveboy, Irene seems a bit pesky but out here in Califoria we had one perfect day. As for the supposed clue in your post: you're just trying to lure me into a predictable reaction from which you'll really come down on my... hmmm, what's that called again? Oh well, Everything's fair on the Internet.

skydiveboy said...

I live in Seattle and the weather has been perfect lately. Clear blue skies and in the eighties. Isn't it wonderful how we are all now talking about nothing else but the weather? If this keeps up we might be allowed back in regular society eventually.

Yes, there is a clue in my post along with a secondary clue that is pointing to the first. You will never figure it out unless you know a lot more about history than the weather. Have fun.

Mendo Jim said...

Sink ships? Zounds! Makes me want to post the answer outright just to watch 'em go.

I don't imagine that there are many inhabited places in the US that are 30 miles from the nearest McDonalds, but maybe you didn't go to the nearest one.

I kind of wish I'd spent the time I took on this puzzle doing something else.

If I sent in answers, I would send in the name of an erotic (or was it exotic?) dancer I knew in Delano back in the sixties while I was waiting to get drafted.
She had a quirky sense of humor and went by the somewhat enigmatic stage name of Raisin Douche. It fit the location, but made it difficult for the little club she worked at to advertise.
Since it was a very small venue and such a long time ago, I don't imagine more than 50 to 100 people remember her.
I wonder how Will discovered her.

skydiveboy said...

Mendo Jim:
I know how I discovered her.

Anonymous said...

May I have my usual 1,050-1,100, please.

Henry BW

Magdalen said...

Mendo Jim (you'd think we knew each other well enough now to be on a first name basis, and I could call you "Mendo") -- no, we have a McDonald's closer to us, but I needed to go to the nearest Target, and that is 30 miles away.

Still no power at home, and no Internet. I'm now at a Holiday Inn Express, but I have to leave really soon -- Fox News is only nonstop in the lobby and Bill O'Reilly is on. I'm so tempted to switch over to Jon Stewart...

David said...

I did like the puzzle. I heard it while driving, so I couldn't think too hard about the puzzle. I still was able to solve the puzzle with about 10 minutes, before the end of the hour. I did like the puzzle. 1000 to 1050, please.

skydiveboy said...

So I am now wondering if Fox News via Bill O'Reilly, was blaming the East Coast Hurricane on Obama, Hillery Clinton, Gay Marriage or maybe even something silly.?

Magdalen said...

skydiveboy - No, O'Reilly was all torqued up about whether the media overhyped the storm. As if that's something new -- here in the Northeast every other snow forecast is SNOWPOCALYPSE [fill in the year]!!

But an hour of Greta van Susteren last night and an hour of the lunacy of Fox's morning show is giving me brain cancer. (Okay, that's the worst hyperbole. But I am getting a headache...) Someone on Twitter suggested I just ask to change the channel, but I'm terrified that I'll learn the nice people at the desk are Fox News addicts. That would be sad.

skydiveboy said...

Here in Seattle on local TV "news" channels when it snows on Snoqualmie Pass, on I-90, just an hour drive East of the city, they will send a "reporter" and crew for a live feed so we may actually see what a snow flake looks like. (Pushing index finger tip in cheek now.)

Two weeks ago this Thursday all 3 local stations had life feed crews at Carkeek Park on Puget Sound, just a mile from my house, to do the live thing near where a woman was killed by a train that morning in an obvious suicide. None of our NPR affiliates said a thing about it.

What I am saying is that there is no news on TV. I got rid of cable years ago and never miss it. I do not ever watch TV at home, including the so called news. The only TV news worth watching is Al Jazeera English, which they won't allow us to have except on the I-Net. They obviously don't want the competition that would force them to actually do a proper job.

I worked in a hotel for 2 years that had a 42" in the lobby usually tuned to Comcast and it was crap. Sometimes the hotel guests would ask to change it and sometimes just change it on their own. The staff would never say anything as the place was run on fear of offending a guest. So, I would say if you want to watch something else then change it, but keep in mind that it is at best hype/entertainment and at worst propaganda. Eat your heart out Hitler.

The hotel staff was far more pathetic than being addicted to FOX. Most of the young females liked to watch docu-prison and docu-crime and clothing sales nonsense. Some of them used their computer monitors to view pages and pages of frocks and pumps and handbags for hours. Fortunately a large percentage of the guests were from all over the world and there to do business with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation nearby. Guess which group I preferred to associate with. (Limit: 1 guess only please.)

Magdalen said...

Ross and I came mid-day to check emails, etc., and yup, Fox News was on. Then the desk staff came out and started vacuuming with the LOUDEST vacuum ever made. So I tweeted something to the effect: "Thank you Baby Jesus for drowning out Fox News" and the next thing I knew, the hotel manager invited us into the otherwise empty breakfast room where there's free coffee (no thanks) and no TV (yes please). Guess there's something to this prayer thing after all. :-)

MJ said...

Do you like my new handle? I feel like I got a haircut.

I was tempted to say that "Mendo" did sound a little too familiar and that "Your Majesty" sounded better.

I've not used the Mendo Jim moniker anywhere else; I actually have trouble remembering what I use on any given board.

Maybe I'll just go to Jim.


Dave said...

I feel like a dumb cluck for taking so long to get this puzzle. I'll go for the 950 to 1,000 slot, please.

skydiveboy said...

skydiveboy said...
Is everyone enjoying the August weather and puzzle?
I do hope I am following the rules of the road for this week. There is indeed a clue in this post.

The clue here is the word "august" that is not a reference to the month, but the person of August Horch who was the builder/designer/owner of Horch automobiles in Germany. His first was built in 1901. Later he had to change the name of the company due to losing a legal case. He renamed his company, Audi. The secondary clue is "rules of the road," giving another clue to cars.

skydiveboy said...

I guess it is now fair to say we have "weathered" another puzzle.