Sunday, December 18, 2011

NPR Puzzle 12/18/11 -- Will Shortz Goes At It

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Take the word "at." Put a man's first name on each side of it, and say the word out loud. Phonetically, you'll get a word that describes a growing part of our country. What is it?
Boy, did this get us going. First, we couldn't agree on what the Puzzlemaster even wanted. The same name on either side of the "at" or two different names? Then, were we going for a noun, a proper name, or a modifier? And so forth.

After careful consideration of the precise wording of the puzzle, we have an answer. Actually, we have two answers, one we know is "right" and the other we believe is both satisfactory and cute. We'll explain on Thursday.

If you have the right answer or the cute answer, don't leave it in the comments (it'll just get moldy and attract mice); send it in to NPR using this cunning form.

Photos are where it's "at."







Time for ...


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 under 500 entries--490, to be theoretically precise. No one won. Who the hell knows what they'll give us with this puzzle, so throw a dart at a range in the comments and see if you'll win a prize!

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. 

7 comments:

skydiveboy said...

I guess it depends on how they report the total, but I will pick 750+ and wait and see what awaits my future.

David said...

I'll go with my standard 1001 to 1050. I just saw the puzzle (I was traveling), and I don't have the answer yet.

Mendo Jim said...

Corn in the farmbelt? Pot in Mendo?
Maybe Hawaii from lava?
Workathomer?

I can't help taking this challenge personally.
A little weak in the wording, but clever enough.

Umm. I miss Liane.

651-700

Dave said...

I'll go for the 601-650 slot for old times sake.

Natasha said...

I select the 401-450 range, please.

Curtis said...

My mother-in-law has the female version of the first name, and spells it the way it appears in the word. I'll pick 451-500.

Marie said...

Who the heck knows anymore??!! My random choice is 1501-1550, I'm an optimist.