Sunday, September 4, 2011

NPR Puzzle 9/4/11 -- Does "Adam" Count as a Famous Person?

Here's this week's (and next: see below) NPR puzzle:
This is a special two-week creative challenge involving palindromes. A palindrome reads backwards and forward the same. Write a palindrome that contains the name of a famous person. For example: "No, Mel Gibson is a casino's big lemon." Or "Ed, I saw Harpo Marx ram Oprah W. aside." You can use the famous person's full name or just the last name, whatever you like. The object is to write the most interesting palindrome that contains a famous person's name, past or present. Any length is fine, short or long. Palindromes will be judged on their interest, elegance and naturalness of syntax.
Have fun working on this two-week challenge.  Ross and I are going to take a week off (thanks, NPR!) so we'll post our palindromic efforts -- assuming we come up with any! -- on Thursday, September 15.

Which is your deadline to get your efforts in to NPR here.

Here are some palindromic places for you to figure out (differing lengths, but the place names are palindromes):

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.

"Around 450" entries this week.  Which tells us two things:  1) no one won this week (sorry) and 2) we another Unpaid & Underappreciated Intern to train.  Please, UUI: If it's 450, you can say it's "exactly 450" entries.  But if it's slightly more, or slightly fewer, please help a blogger out.  Have Audie say it's "just under" or "just over" 450.  Okay?  Thanks.
While we're working on whipping this year's UUI into shape, go ahead & enter this special two-week Pick A Range and see how you do on Sunday 18.

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")


Magdalen said...

I'll forestall all my beloved snarky commenters (truly, I do love you all!) and admit that Mount Rainier is not palindromic. However, the photo I posted is identified as being of "Mount Renier" and I couldn't resist it.

David said...

More intern criticism- did you notice that the NPR site shows last week's answer as "Audio Cornish"? Rule number one for interns is "Spell the boss's name correctly." Rule number two is "Give us an accurate count of last week's entries."

Does anyone have a good definition, use in a sentence, joke or something about a "Sarah Palindrome"?

I'll go with 1000 to 1050 for the number of palindromes.

Jim said...

Laugh at my first Range guess, will you? Ross was only slightly closer.

Whenever the P-master propounds one of these subjective/creative challenges, I wish we could see and appreciate more than just the few that tickle his fancy.
So much time and effort up in smoke!
I've written this to Will and NPR with no result.

Please join me in asking for maybe even all of the submissions to be posted, even if there are 1300 to 1350 of them.

skydiveboy said...

It was announced earlier in the week that our new host was changing her name to Audio in order to reflect that we would now be hearing more of her. It was also mentioned that when she eventually retires she intends to change her name to Audios.

Doesn't anyone remember when Sylvia Poggioli was intending to retire, (later changing her mind) that Audie Cornish was expected to take her place and at that time announced she would be changing her name to Ariva d'Erchee?

Dave said...

I don't think too many people are going to submit palindromes. I'd like the 150 to 200 slot, por favor.

Anonymous said...

My best palindrome uses Mr. Ed. It's a Soviet newspaper headline confirms his passing: Da, Ed dead.

That's my way of saying I'll take the 50-100 range.


woozy said...

Good. I was fairly certain that was Rainier and I was ?????

What! No photo of the 40 year defunct Yreka Bakery?

Anonymous said...


No, but if she runs for the 2012 election it will add new shades of meaning to our old friend the palindromedary (a horse designed by a committee that races in both directions at once).

Henry BW

DaveJ said...

Coming up with palindromes is harder than I thought it would be - best I have come up with so far:

O no, Mike Rowe, he wore Kimono !

I have a feeling the number of entries may be a bit low. Put me down for 200-250.

David said...

Look at the picture. It is Snowier, not Rainier.

Jim said...

It is certainly gratifying to see the clamorous response to my suggestion that some significant portion of this week's submissions be published.

I went back to a recent creative/subjective challenge: Spoonerism riddles from about a year ago. There were 1600 responses claimed and Will read three of them.

I actually found that Will wrote an article about that challenge six months later and provided 13 more submissions, for a total of 16, representing 1 percent of the efforts of his listeners.
While I eventually found those 16 for free, the first two links I came across wanted me to buy them!

I've written many limericks, palindromes and spoonerisms over the years for special occasions and my personal enjoyment.
I do not feel the least like working up a palindrome (one per person, please) to Will's specifications and sole judgement.

If you really feel like concocting one, submit it here and/or at Blaines as well as sending it down the NPR tunnel of doom.

Here is a link to Will's article:

DaveJ said...

David - thanks for the link. I was interested to note at the bottom:

COPYRIGHT 2011 Jeremiah Farrell
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

FYI, the NPR TOS includes:
"You retain the copyright and other ownership rights in any User Materials that you submit on or through the NPR Services." (You do however grant NPR & their lackies the perpetual right to post your submittals royalty free - seems fair)

However, unless those other web sites got agreement from the original submitters, I don't think they are legally able to charge you - but hey - it's the internets !

skydiveboy said...

I do not intend to spend any time on this palindrome contest. I have enough trouble just trying to spell fourwhird.

David said...


The link was from Jim, who deserves the thanks.

Also, I apologize for not agreeing sooner with Jim that it would be nice to see a list of all the submitted palindromes.

KenRobert3 said...

I'm finding it surprisingly difficult to find names that can be worked into palindromes. Perhaps I can guess a number range instead? Maybe 300-350 diehard submitters?
Just call me BOB...

Seth said...

This ALMOST makes sense, if you imagine that it's spoken by someone chastising various political groups one by one. He's finished with the Dems, and now it's onto the Reps:

Onto Reps: Sordid Ross Perot? No!

Anonymous said...

I dunno about any of the Adam dynasty, but Inigo Jones might have been possible: no jog in i....

Henry BW