Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cross Examinations

If I'd known how few of these exam abbrs. were possible, I'd have done this post a lot sooner. When I started solving US puzzles, it seemed like there were dozens of them: the only pattern I could see was that they mostly ended -AT ... except for this one:

GRE

Now my researches suggest there are only eight exams in crosswords. If I can handle compass dirs., I can deal with exams too!

Still, I'm surprised at how dull the exam names are, which certainly makes them harder to learn. How come no one came up with catchy acronyms for these tests? What about ELSA (Exam for Law School Admission) or MEGA (Management Exam for Graduate Applicants)?


GMAT

Abbr. What it stands for Typical clue
SAT Scholastic Aptitude Test Precollege exam
GRE Graduate Record Examination Test for Ph.D. wannabes
GED General Educational Development Option for a H.S. dropout
ACT American College Testing Coll. placement exam
GMAT Graduate Management Admission Test M.B.A. hopeful's hurdle
LSAT Law School Admission Test Aspiring atty.'s exam
MCAT Medical College Admission Test Future doc's exam
PSAT Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test H.S. junior's exam

LSAT

NPR Puzzle 2/27/11 - The Name Game

Here's this week's puzzle:
Take a common girl's name that's six letters long. Change the fourth letter to the next letter in the alphabet to get another common girl's name. What names are these?
Pretty easy.  Enjoy!

Okay, for last week's body parts puzzle the correct intended answer was NECK/KNEE.  I'd thought of ARM/EAR, Ross also thought of HAND/HEAD, and regular reader David thought of CALF/FACE.  Will allowed all four of the body part pairs we'd come up with.  (If I may be so presumptuous as to treat our merry band of solvers as "we" -- after all, Ross and I between us only came up with three of the four.) 

For this week's puzzle, I'm confident I've thought of the obvious answer.  Can "we" think of any non-obvious answers?  If you think it's a legal answer, send it in to NPR here.  If you think it's a silly or uncommon name or names, post it in the comments.  (We've got one pair of plausible but clearly wrong answers.  I'll post a comment in a few days if no one else thinks of the two "wrong" names we came up with.  Alas, they're not very funny.  Surely you guys can think of funnier names...)

Ah, it would be so easy to find some pictures of pets with the selected common names, or people with those names, or the like.  But I have to be quirky, so here is a rogues gallery of "Stuff You Can Find On Flickr If You Type In Either Name":







Some days I just love this job...  (As usual, I'll come back on Thursday and provide proper attributions and sources for the photos.)

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.

There were more than 2400 answers last week -- 600 of each pair? -- and although I got close, I didn't win.  More prizes for all of you!

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")

Thursday, February 24, 2011

NPR Puzzle 2/19/11 - Head in Hand, Knee on Neck, Arm over Ear

Here's this week's puzzle:
Spell a part of the human body. Change one of the letters to an E, and rearrange the result to name another part of the human body. What body parts are these? Clue: Both parts of the body are things you can see.
I got ARM & EAR right away.  Ross got HAND & HEAD and NECK & KNEE shortly thereafter.  No nudie beaches needed yet!

Honestly, I have no idea what the correct answer is, but I plucked photos based on my answers:  the first three are of ARMenia and the other three are of things E(a)Rie: the Erie Canal in the first two, and the last one is of Lake Erie.


And, just because I can, here are some other relevant body part places:


Hand County Courthouse, Miller, South Dakota
Headingley Campus - Leeds

Wounded Knee, as seen from the cemetary

Prouts Neck, Maine - Winslow Homer's studio

Time for ...
P I C K   A   R A N G E

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 -- Jimel      
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 -- Tom
1,550 - 1,600
1,600 - 1,650
1,650 - 1,700
1,700 - 1,750 -- Dave
1,750 - 1,800
1,800 - 1,850
1,850 - 1,900
1,900 - 1,950
1,950 - 2,000 -- Marie
2,000 - 2,050 -- David
2,050 - 2,100 -- Mendo Jim
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 -- Magdalen

2,500 - 2,750 -- Ross 
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")

Sunday, February 20, 2011

NPR Puzzle 2/20/11 - Body Part + E = Bad Poetry

Here's this week's puzzle:
Spell a part of the human body. Change one of the letters to an E, and rearrange the result to name another part of the human body. What body parts are these? Clue: Both parts of the body are things you can see.
I got it immediately.  Sheer luck.  As I hear the puzzle, I pick a word at random that meets the criterion, manipulate it according to directions, add water & mix.  If the answer I get isn't gibberish -- well, let's just say it usually is gibberish!  Only this time it wasn't.

But once again, can we be sure there's only one answer?  And -- as always, please don't give the game away in the comments.  Send your answer(s) to NPR here.

Okay, so here's a confession.  I draft these posts on Saturday night as soon as the puzzle is posted on the NPR website.  Ross read it out to me, I solved it and went off to find photos.  Ross has since thought of two more sets of body parts, in addition to mine.  So we hypothesized that Will would announce on air the length, but that still wouldn't solve the problem because both of Ross's sets are the same length.  (My answers are a different length, but that could just mean we haven't thought of more in that length.)

Anyway, we're sticking with my answers because they're mine.  And because I don't feel like hunting up more photos.  Maybe on Thursday...

Photos.  Body parts.  Hmm.  Okay, I'm not going to tell you what I'm doing with the photos.  Have fun trying to figure out what's going on.  Details on Thursday.







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.

More than 1,000 people entered the Bucharest puzzle last week, which means that Ross won!  No, he doesn't get a prize.  Only you guys can win a prize -- so let us know what your guess is.

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")

Thursday, February 17, 2011

NPR Puzzle 2/13/11 - To Bucharest With Love

Here's this week's puzzle:
Name a world capital. Add the letter R, and rearrange the letters to name two U.S. presidents. What is the world capital and who are the presidents?
Bush + Carter = Bucharest + R

We're home after a quick getaway to a lovely inn in Northern Maryland.  Alas, the inn's Internet connection died on them, so we've been playing catch-up with emails, blog posts, etc., for the past day.  This, therefore, will be a short post.







 

I know, I would ordinarily put them in a nice 2x3 array, but getting things just so is a luxury I can't afford today.  Next time, I promise.

Time for ...
P I C K   A   R A N G E

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 -- Mendo Jim
800 - 850
850 - 900
900 - 950
950 - 1,000
1,000 - 1,050 -- Ross        
1,050 - 1,100
1,100 - 1,150
1,150 - 1,200 -- Magdalen
1,200 - 1,250 -- Dave
1,250 - 1,300
1,300 - 1,350
1,350 - 1,400
1,400 - 1,450 -- Tom
1,450 - 1,500

1,500 - 1,550
1,550 - 1,600
1,600 - 1,650 -- David
1,650 - 1,700
1,700 - 1,750 -- Jimel
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")

Sunday, February 13, 2011

NPR Puzzle 2/13/11 - Two Presidents Walk Into a Capital...

Here's this week's puzzle:
Name a world capital. Add the letter R, and rearrange the letters to name two U.S. presidents. What is the world capital and who are the presidents?
Okay, I admit it.  I didn't figure this one out as quickly as Ross did.  He tells me that he looked at a list of capitals and the answer leaped out at him.  He's a clever fellow.  (And if you're just as clever, no need to prove it to us -- send your answer direct to NPR here!)

But now I get to look for all the disguised photos of trees (and other things) in this capital.  Who's the clever clogs now, hmm?







I'll repost those photos on Thursdays with their proper attributions.

Alas, no news this week.  Or, to be more honest, no interesting news.  We are allowed to be boring, you know.

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.

More than 1,700 people entered, which means that Ross was too low and David was too high.  Better luck this week!

I always remind you that troublemakers risk winning the American Girl puzzle book, so play nice.  I will admit that thus far, even Mendo Jim (who covets the American Girl puzzle book) has been behaving himself.  Thus far...  :-)

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")

Thursday, February 10, 2011

NPR Puzzle 2/6/11 - Mr. Moneybags

Here's this week's puzzle:
Name two things an airplane does. Each of these is a single word. Put them together, one after the other, to make a compound word that names something it's nice to have as big as possible. What is this thing?
Not too surprising that Will Shortz -- whose Sudoku franchise has made him a wealthy man, we hear -- came up with this puzzle.  The obvious answer is BANKROLL.

Time for some money:




Money laundering, of course
Latest news here is that Ross has agreed to do a very short (as in "don't sneeze or you'll miss it" short) explanation of the differences between British cryptic crosswords and American style cryptic crosswords at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.  Yes, I know all the crossword aficionados have left this blog already, but I'm proud of Ross and I want to show off.

This has resulted in a ping pong table tennis rally of emails between Ross & Will Shortz, two students of the history and development of crossword puzzles.  Ross has researched the genealogy of Arthur Wynne, the alleged father of the crossword -- he was born in England but emigrated to the U.S., so who gets to claim him?  Well, if it matters, it appears that he only naturalized as an American citizen after he created what is traditionally thought to be the first crossword puzzle.  But Will has his counter-arguments, so these two titans of the gridiron are duking it out, in a friendly way, of course.

Time for ...
P I C K   A   R A N G E

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 -- Ross
1,700 - 1,750
1,750 - 1,800 -- David
1,800 - 1,850 -- Grace
1,850 - 1,900
1,900 - 1,950 -- Tom
1,950 - 2,000 -- Marie
2,000 - 2,050 -- Magdalen
2,050 - 2,100
2,100 - 2,150 -- Dave
2,150 - 2,200
2,200 - 2,250
2,250 - 2,300
2,300 - 2,350
2,350 - 2,400
2,400 - 2,450 -- Richard
2,450 - 2,500

2,500 - 2,750
2,750 - 3,000
3,000 - 3,250 -- Mendo Jim
3,250 - 3,500
3,500 - 4,000 -- Charles
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")

Sunday, February 6, 2011

NPR Puzzle 2/6/11 - A Puzzle On The Fly

Here's this week's puzzle:
Name two things an airplane does. Each of these is a single word. Put them together, one after the other, to make a compound word that names something it's nice to have as big as possible. What is this thing?
Not hard.  I'm not convinced there's a unique answer, but truthfully I quit with one.  Tell me: did you get more than one answer?

But if you did get more than one answer, don't tell them to me -- send any and all answers to NPR at this site right here!

What's that sound?  The crickets in the background?  Pretty cool, too, in February, hunh?  They're the symbolic sound of my not having any kvetching to do about this week's puzzle.

Enjoy the silence, Dr. Shortz!

Ah, but photos.  Let's go see what we can find at Flickr, shall we?  Airplanes...  Well, actually, I used a different "tag" to search for all six photos.  The last one was "flight" -- but the rest?







(Isn't that nice?  We even get the details of the flight...  That's thoughtful, that's what that is.)

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.

More than 1,900 people got the QUEASY + UNEASY puzzle, so alas no one won last week.  Disappointed?  Try again next week.  But if you're a Kindle owner, here are a couple FREE downloads:  Jumble and Word Morph.  But in the interests of consumer satisfaction, if you have suggestions for prizes, by all means let me know.  Small -- in both size and cost -- puzzle books.  Send all suggestions to Magdalen (at) Crosswordman.com.

As always, troublemakers risk winning the American Girl puzzle book, so play nice.  :-)

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")