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")

Thursday, August 25, 2011

NPR Puzzle 8/21/11 - The Harbor Seal of Approval

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Take the name of an aquatic animal, in two words, six letters in the first word and four letters in the second. Remove the first letter of each word, the remaining eight letters in order, will spell a word that might describe an animal that is not aquatic.
I believe Henry got the honors in solving this first -- the answer is HARBOR SEAL - H & S = ARBOREAL, which means it lives in a tree.

This is a perfectly delightful puzzle and prompted virtually no comments this week.  Which is just fine by us.  (::waves to skydiveboy::  Glad you like your dictionary.  Ross was happy to have an excuse to buy a new one give his much loved copy to you.)

I have noticed that faithful readers of the blog will sometimes go to Flickr to verify their guesses by looking for the photos I've used.  That strikes me as perfectly okay -- as long as I don't give the game away, I'm happy.

This week, though, I had a bit more of a challenge. I obviously couldn't have photos with harbor seals in them, and for once pictures with trees (my usual preference) were out, so what to do? In the end, I decided to type in "harbor sunrise" and see what I got. I deliberately wanted a nice mix of bodies of water, so I wouldn't be ruling out fish that live in rivers, for example.

Here's what I found:

No idea where this is; the photo is captioned only "harbor sunrise"

This is "Shellharbor" - anyone know where that is?

Chichester Harbour -- ah, we're in the English Empire at least (based on the U in "harbour")

This is an Omani fishing boat heading back to the harbor at sunrise

Katsuura  Harbor, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan

Fuvahmulah, which may not be a harbor (although I don't know how I found it if it isn't) but it is in the Indian Ocean
Time for ...

P I C K   A   R A N G E
Here are this week's picks: 

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 -- David
1,050 - 1,100 -- Henry
1,100 - 1,150
1,150 - 1,200
1,200 - 1,250
1,250 - 1,300
1,300 - 1,350 -- Mendo Jim
1,350 - 1,400
1,400 - 1,450 -- skydiveboy
1,450 - 1,500

1,500 - 1,550
1,550 - 1,600
1,600 - 1,650 -- Marie
1,650 - 1,700
1,700 - 1,750
1,750 - 1,800
1,800 - 1,850 -- Dave
1,850 - 1,900
1,900 - 1,950
1,950 - 2,000 -- Magdalen

2,000 - 2,050 -- Natasha
2,050 - 2,100 -- Ross
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 -- woozy
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, August 21, 2011

NPR Puzzle 8/21/11 - Will Shortz Shows His Animal Nature

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Take the name of an aquatic animal, in two words, six letters in the first word and four letters in the second. Remove the first letter of each word, the remaining eight letters in order, will spell a word that might describe an animal that is not aquatic.
We have Henry here, and with three brains crunching down on a puzzle, it doesn't stand a chance.

Alas for Will Shortz, Henry's also the type of person to notice that on the NPR website, the answer to last week's puzzle, DACHSHUND, is spelled incorrectly.  (Not that this is Will's fault.  I imagine someone just takes the answer from the on-air puzzle segment, which as we know is taped on Friday or Saturday.)

If you have the answer AND you've spelled it correctly, send it to NPR (using this form here) and show them how it's done.

Henry's here for a week in what's turning out to be an annual mutual holiday.  Last year, the three of us went on a car trip along Route 6, a scenic byway that spans Pennsylvania from Erie to the  Delaware Water Gap (we only did the bit west of here).  This year, because of Henry's arm injury (healing nicely, but that's the point: it's still healing), we're staying close to home.  We might take a day trip to the Hudson River in a couple days.

N.B. to Will:  With all due respect, do I misidentify Merl Reagle or Brendan Emmett Quigley as su doku constructors?  No, I do not.  So let's be clear:  DANIELLE STEELE is not a romance novelist.  Okay?  Nora Roberts, sure.  Even (to our slight embarrassment) Barbara Cartland.  But not Danielle Steele.  Check with me next time; I can set you straight on who is, and who isn't, a romance writer.

Water, water everywhere - and not a clue to help you think.  (Sorry, I'm a bit sleep deprived.)  Okay, what I did for the photo section this week was to look for photos of different bodies of water (lakes, rivers, oceans, etc.) linked by a single element: time of day.  I do not warrant that the aquatic animal in question can live, or does live, in any of the bodies of water pictured below.  Okay?  There are no hints here, so stop looking!  More explanation on Thursday, but for now, enjoy the view.








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.
2000 entries last week, so no winner.  No one close, which is good because the Overworked, Underappreciated NPR Intern doesn't get the point -- we need the number as the top or bottom of a range: e.g., more than or fewer than 2000  This week could be better.  Enter this week's Pick A Range and see what you might win.

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, August 18, 2011

NPR Puzzle 8/14/11 Will Shortz Has Gone to the Dogs

Here's this week's puzzle:
Name a breed of dog that starts and ends with the same letter of the alphabet. Drop that letter at both ends, and if you have the right dog, the remaining letters phonetically will name some animals. What's the dog and what are the animals?
Well, I predicted this wouldn't be a happy week and I'm happy to be proven wrong.  But first, the answer.  Or rather, shall we call it the intended answer.  DACHSHUND - 2 D's = (theoretically phonetically) OXEN.

I'll go first, shall I?  I thought of dachshund, but because I was taught to say it in the Germanic manner, the "ah" sound, the aspirated "ch" (as in "ich"), and the final syllable (closer to the French "un" than "en") I did not get "oxen."  Not even close.

Yes, of course I see it now, but I don't feel a bit stupid for not seeing it initially.  Here's what Wiki has to say about the pronunciation:
The pronunciation varies widely in English: variations of the first syllable include /ˈdɑːks/, /ˈdæks/, /ˈdæʃ/, and of the second syllable /hʊnt/, /hʊnd/, /ənd/. In German it is pronounced [ˈdakshʊnt].
Now, I can't even decipher that, but I know one thing: if you have three ways of pronouncing the first syllable and three ways of pronouncing the second syllable, you do NOT have a uniform way of pronouncing the word nor the word you get phonetically by taking the Ds off.

Question left for the reader to ponder:  If someone had submitted the puzzle to Will, would he have been more critical of the phonetic element?

Here at Crossword Man, we're more amused than annoyed.  Wow!  What a week.  You guys set a Crossword Man record for the number of comments.  Thanks for keeping it jovial and appropriate.  Yeah, sure, someone reading all the comments would have worked out the answer, but the work involved is still more than if they'd pulled up a list of dogs and said them all out loud.

I discovered that the Wiki page for dachshunds has a list of places where wiener races are held. I typed the more interesting place names into Flickr and got the following:


Buda, Texas

Davis, California

Findlay, Ohio

Los Alamitos, California

Shakopee, Minnesota

Huntington, West Virginia

And if, like Crossword Man, you've no idea what a wiener race is, take a look at this clip:




Time for ...
P I C K   A   R A N G E
Here are this week's picks.  For a record number of comments, this is not a record number of picks.  NB to Natasha: Your pick was already gone, so I gave you the next open one counting up.
Fewer than 50
50 - 100
100 - 150
150 - 200
200 - 250
250 - 300
300 - 350 -- skydiveboy
350 - 400
400 - 450
450 - 500
 
500 - 550
550 - 600
600 - 650 -- Ross
650 - 700
700 - 750 -- Dave
750 - 800
800 - 850 -- woozy
850 - 900
900 - 950
950 - 1,000 -- Magdalen

1,000 - 1,050 -- David
1,050 - 1,100 -- Henry
1,100 - 1,150 -- Natasha
1,150 - 1,200
1,200 - 1,250
1,250 - 1,300
1,300 - 1,350
1,350 - 1,400 -- Mendo Jim
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")

Sunday, August 14, 2011

NPR Puzzle 8/14/11 - That Doggone Will Shortz!

Here's this week's puzzle:
Name a breed of dog that starts and ends with the same letter of the alphabet. Drop that letter at both ends, and if you have the right dog, the remaining letters phonetically will name some animals. What's the dog and what are the animals?
Oh, dear, I predict this will not be a happy week.  Somehow, Will's phonetic puzzles haven't been generating satisfied customers.  This week I'm among the dissatisfied, for reasons I'll discuss on Thursday.

If you've  solved the puzzle and like it, or solved it and hate it, send your answer in to NPR here.

Photos.  I can't just find photos of the dog in question (way too obvious) but interestingly, the dog's Wiki page has lots of places listed.  Behold some dog-free photos of six places in the U.S. with a connection to this breed of dog:







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.
Precisely 101 entries last week, so no winner.  This week should be better.  Enter this week's Pick A Range and see what you might win.

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, August 11, 2011

NPR Puzzle 8/7/11 -- Fed Up with Eating?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Take a common two-word phrase that's the present tense of a verb. Move the last two letters to the front without making any other change, and you'll get a new two-word phrase that is the verb's past tense. What phrases are these?
I solved this the way I solve most NPR puzzles (remember, I don't submit -- and I blog about them, so I pretty much have to solve them quickly) -- I cheated.  I found a list of phrasal verbs (defined by Chambers as "a phrase, consisting of a verb and an adverb or preposition, or both, having the function of a verb, eg blow over, sift through, put up with.") and mentally changed the verb part to past tense to see what might work.

EAT to ATE leaped out at me immediately, even though the precise phrasal verb Will Shortz wanted -- EAT AT (becoming ATE AT) wasn't on the list.

Some people have complained to me privately that the instructions are misleading and thus wrong.  "Without making any other change" could suggest that if you start with EAT AT you'll end up with ATEAT and lose the space entirely.  I see this point, but I think the instructions could be seen to mean that you start with two words and you end up with two words with the same lengths.

I also think this could suggest some people need to get a life.

Ooh, here's a cute joke I saw (cough cough) on Facebook:
Me: "I have Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, MSN Messenger, Skype and Twitter."

Friend: "Dude, do you have a life?"

Me: "OMG! No! Send me the link!"
Photos.  Congratulations to Joe and Kevin for correctly guessing that the photos are all of places where Ross or I ATE AT.  Before I show you where we ATE AT, here's a place Kevin ATE AT:

Uh, that would be Woodman's, in Essex, Massachusetts.  (I guess all you really needed was the state, hunh?)


Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia -- click on the photo to see how it looks with its name intact!

View from inside Mohonk Mountain House; very near the dining room
Patsel's, a fabulous restaurant just north of Scranton.  Sunday brunch -- sublime!


Nare Beach, with the Nare Hotel, Cornwall.  One of those English hotels designed to make you feel like you're a guest for the weekend house party.

Covent Garden Opera House.  Yes, I realize it looks like a conservatory attached to a bank, but it's not and we've eaten there.

Fountains Hall, an Elizabethan property on the grounds of a 13th C. abbey.  Ross and I were married in the room with the tall curved window, then had our "wedding breakfast" in the same room.

Time for ...
P I C K   A   R A N G E
Here are this week's picks.  As you can see, people were stumped, or pessimistic, or both:
Fewer than 50
50 - 100
100 - 150
150 - 200
200 - 250
250 - 300 -- skydiveboy
300 - 350
350 - 400
400 - 450
450 - 500
 
500 - 550
550 - 600
600 - 650
650 - 700
700 - 750 -- Ross
750 - 800
800 - 850 -- Magdalen
850 - 900 -- Paul
900 - 950 -- phredp
950 - 1,000

1,000 - 1,050 -- David
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")

Sunday, August 7, 2011

NPR Puzzle 8/7/11 -- I'll Take Phrasal Verbs for 200, Will

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Take a common two-word phrase that's the present tense of a verb. Move the last two letters to the front without making any other change, and you'll get a new two-word phrase that is the verb's past tense. What phrases are these?
I'm letting Ross take the lead on this one -- wait, no I'm not.  Well, I was, but then I found the answer on my own.  Because two heads are better than one, particularly when they're both sleep-deprived.

If your one head was even better than our two heads, go ahead and send the answer in to NPR using this helpful form.

Ross was at Lollapuzzoola yesterday (and if that isn't how it's spelled, it should be) so we're all a bit sleepy this morning.

Photos?  Gosh.  I'm going to be wildly obscure and you'll just have to guess what I'm on about.  When you've gotten the answer, EMAIL me (Magdalen at CrosswordMan dot com) (and not in the comments, please) places where you've [phrasal verbed] too, and I'll post some of those photos on Thursday.  That is, if any of you have ever [phrasal verbed] anywhere interesting.







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.

Just over 1700 entries last week, so skydiveboy is the winner.  Send your snail mail address to Magdalen at CrosswordMan dot com, and we'll mail out a puzzle book.  If you want a puzzle book.  If you want something else (aren't you the guy who only wants a dictionary?), then email Ross at CrosswordMan dot com and discuss the alternatives, if any.  (Not promising anything, mind you.)

See?  We do *try* to accommodate people's unique interests.  Enter this week's Pick A Range and see what you might win.

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")