Sunday, October 16, 2011

NPR Puzzle 10/16/11 - Fine Whine

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of a familiar two-word rhyming phrase that starts with the letter F, like "fat cat." Change the F to a G and you'll get another familiar two-word rhyming phrase. What are these phrases?
I don't know if we have THE answer, but we have AN answer.  And truly, my reaction was, "That's it?"  Maybe that is it.  {Edited to add that we were solving the puzzle as it appeared on the NPR website after midnight -- not as Will recited it on the radio.}

brief pause

Nope -- Ross has solved it again and gotten the RIGHT answer.  I know it's the right answer because when I heard it, I said, "Ah, yes, that's much better."

Silent challenge to Dr. Shortz -- what's the "that's it?" solution?

For the rest of you, send your obviously right answer in to NPR using this cute little form right here.

I'm going to invoke the No Hinting rule this week, because I do think there's a delight in having the answer finally occur to you.  Seeing it through a clever but transparent hint may not be as much fun.

In that same spirit, I've taken a circuitous route to the Photos portion of this post.  One of the three words involved in this puzzle has a Wiki page for reasons I can't explain.  In that Wiki post are six place names.  In no particular order:

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.
Thank you, Unpaid & Underappreciated Intern!  The stated number of entries this morning was "over 800."  Once again, delightfully specific!  No winner this week.  I'm renewing my offer -- if the Unpaid & Underappreciated Intern would like to get in touch, I'll happily send him/her a thank you gift.  You -- anyone, really -- can mail me at Magdalen {at} 

Pick a range in the comments to see if you'll win a prize!  (And Dave, you gotta get your pick in before Thursday afternoon.  If we're late posting on Thursday, that's fine, but Saturday?  Dude, read the rules!)

Here are the ranges:
Fewer than 50       
51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400
401 - 450
451 - 500

501 - 550
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050         
1,051 - 1,100
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500

1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600
1,601 - 1,650
1,651 - 1,700
1,701 - 1,750
1,751 - 1,800
1,801 - 1,850
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000
2,001 - 2,050
2,051 - 2,100
2,101 - 2,150
2,151 - 2,200
2,201 - 2,250
2,251 - 2,300
2,301 - 2,350
2,351 - 2,400
2,401 - 2,450
2,451 - 2,500

2,501 - 2,750
2,751 - 3,000
3,001 - 3,250
3,251 - 3,500
3,501 - 4,000
4,001 - 4,500
4,501 - 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").  And yes, this rule is most-likely obsolete but I just like having fine print. 


Natasha said...

I never heard of one of the answers before today. I select the 801-850 slot this week.

skydiveboy said...

I'll go fabulous and pick 900.

skydiveboy said...

I think if I mention Ernest Himingway it will not be too much of a hint, I hope.

Dave said...

Did you come up with your answer while you were in the W.C., SDB?

I'll go for the often overlooked 1,051 to 1,100 slot.

skydiveboy said...

I came up with the answer as I was flipping pages in the dictionary and it clicked.
Is there a sly clue in your second sentence?

Jim said...

Well, I've got my 1814 dictionary here, but it doesn't seem to be much help.

The on-air production certainly seems to be evolving a different character.
The one thing I don't think is an improvement is the apparent further distancing of Will from the responses. This week there were several viable alternatives to the one he wanted, now all gone to NPR heaven. "This is the answer I want," he says to Audie and the UPUA intern, "don't bother me with anything else submitted by my thousands of bright and innovative listeners."
Actually, he was pretty bad about that for the past twenty years.

I can't think of a good second answer this week. Too bad, 'cause I don't much like the one I have.

The wheelbarrow riddle was the worst of the four, but at least it led me to Wikipedia where I discovered that the Chinese had wheelbarrows with sails!

Back to 1350 + this week please.
Didn't do the cookie thing this time, but here goees.

skydiveboy said...

You might need to upgrade from the 1814 Wikipedia to a later version.
As to the Chinese and sails on wheelbarrows. Didn't they also invent junk?

David said...

I still haven't figured out this week's answer, but I better go for 1001 to 1050.

skydiveboy said...

Was that a hint?

Marie said...

Haven't got the answer yet, but I'll throw my hat in the ring anyway: 751-800 please and thank you!

skydiveboy said...

The FBI could provide an answer to this conundrum.