Thursday, September 29, 2011

NPR Puzzle 9/25/11 - How I Wonder What 10-Letter Profession You Are

Here's this week's puzzle:
Think of a ten-letter occupation ending in "er." The first four letters can be rearranged to spell something that person would study, and the next four letters can be rearranged to spell something else that person would study. What is the occupation?
So elegant: ASTR = STAR and ONOM = MOON and "er" is just the noise you make while you're solving it.

Here are Sunday's photos of the birthplaces of 6 famous astronomers.  How many did you guess?  Be honest, now:
Pisa, birthplace of Galileo

Botanic Garden in Brooklyn, birthplace of Carl Sagan

Marshfield, Missouri, birthplace of Edwin Hubble

Lorraine, France, birthplace of Charles Messier

Den Haag (aka The Hague), birthplace of Christiaan Huygens

Woolsthorpe Manor, Woolsthorpe by Colsterworth, Lincolnshire - the actual house where Sir Isaac Newton was born.

Any surprises?  The big shock for me was how few astronomers are really famous, particularly more modern ones (and I couldn't go for all pictures of Old Europe or I'd have given the game away).  My image of an astronomer involves a telescope, and so the winner -- in my mind, at least -- is Charles Messier, who used a telescope not a lot bigger than what you might get your science-minded nephew for his birthday, and cataloged over 100 fuzzy objects in the sky.  NASA's taken some awesome photos -- using the Hubble telescope! -- of Messier objects.

And for Henry, who's WAY more knowledgeable about Messier Objects than he is about American popular culture, Jackie Gleason was in a TV show, The Honeymooners, that had a catch phrase, "To the moon, Alice."

Time for ...
P I C K   A   R A N G E

Here are this week's picks:
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 -- skydiveboy
901 - 950
951 - 1,000

1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200 -- Ross
1,201 - 1,250 -- Tom
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350 -- Mendo Jim
1,351 - 1,400 -- Magdalen
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500 -- Natasha

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")

Sunday, September 25, 2011

NPR Puzzle 9/25/11 - Back to Normal

Here's this week's puzzle:
Think of a ten-letter occupation ending in "er." The first four letters can be rearranged to spell something that person would study, and the next four letters can be rearranged to spell something else that person would study. What is the occupation?
A nice puzzle, the sort that makes one think, "I wish I'd thought of that."

Of course I used Ross's software to solve it.  Not making that mistake (i.e., blogging without solving) again!

And of course you've solved it.  Send your obviously correct answer in to NPR here.

Now as we know, if you have a profession, you have some people famous for being in that profession.  Here are photos of the birthplaces of 6 famous ********ers:







Think you know your ********ers?  I'll reveal all 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.

It's official, the Unpaid & Underappreciated Intern is annoying me.  Dude, it isn't rocket science (so to speak) -- "about 1,500 entries" can just as easily be phrased as "just under 1,500" or "just over 1,500."  Now, I've tried to accommodate the U&UI by making it clear that the specific number 1,500 belongs to the lower range, but that really doesn't do the trick.  "About 1,500 entries" means it could be 1,492 or it could be 1,507 -- which fall in two different ranges.

I could, I suppose simplify the game so that there's just a list of round numbers.  Then it's no longer "Pick-A-Range" but instead "Pick-the-Number-the-U&UI-Will-Identify."  That seems wrong.  And when this U&UI moves on to other, greener ($$) pastures, we'll have to start all over again.

So I apologize for the sense of uncertainty (although clearly no one won last week), and we'll soldier on.

Pick a range, accept that the answer won't be satisfactory, and hope to 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")

Thursday, September 22, 2011

NPR Puzzle 9/18/11 - Gent Pet U. Will Teach Me to Blog Before Solving!

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Take the name of a well-known university in two words. Switch two letters in the respective words; that is, take a letter from the first word, put it in place of a letter in the second word, and put that letter where the first letter was. The result will name something you might take on a camping trip. What are the names of the university and the camping item?
Here's the answer:


If you swap the K with the second T in STATE, you get:


TENT STAKE.

Which is regrettably close to my original thought, TENT PEG.  Thing is, I hadn't solved the puzzle when I did my measly placeholder blog post, and as TENT PEG is clearly not the right answer and it didn't jog my mind into thinking of the right answer and we didn't have time or energy to solve the darn thing...  Well, let's just say it was an inadvertent clue -- and not a very good one as it didn't help me solve the puzzle.

We still haven't listened to the podcast, but I gather from David that the Pick-A-Range answer was "about 150" -- a rather unsatisfactory answer as either Dave won, or I did.  I leave it to Dave: did you win?  If you did, we'll send a prize.  (And, yes, David, it would be very much appreciated if the Unpaid and Underappreciated Intern would give us the under OR the over!)

I've edited the Pick-A-Range range so that it makes it clear the round numbers belong to the lower range.  (By which logic, Dave wins.  But I'll let him tell me that.)

Next confession:  Ross doesn't read my blog posts all the time, so he actually didn't see my mistake (let alone catch it).  He didn't solve the puzzle until our flight home on Monday when he started scribbling on an air sickness bag and came up with the right answer.  And that would be the precise moment I understood the point made by the commenter formerly known as Mendo Jim referencing the "blogmistress's hint."  (I at least understood Jim was talking about me.)

Normally, jet lag is worse on the eastbound flights, but we've both been a bit logy for the past couple of days. I've been accepted to the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA program, and that meant a certain amount of paperwork to do yesterday.  Once that was done, I felt like crawling into a cave and sleeping for a full day.  Not possible, but the feeling is distracting enough.

Hopefully everything will be back to normal on Sunday.

Time for ...

P I C K   A   R A N G E
Here are this week's picks:
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 -- Magdalen
901 - 950
951 - 1,000

1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200 -- Ross
1,201 - 1,250 -- Dave
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350 -- Mendo Jim
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 -- Marie
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 -- skydiveboy
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")

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Puzzles Schmuzzles

Here is the second post I've written with the help of reader Debbie, a follow-up to From Aaron to Zion. This one focuses on Yiddish and Hebrew answers; also ones associated with the state of Israel, which often have a Hebrew etymology.

AnswerCommon Cluing Options
Abba [Eban]Israel's first U.N. representative; "My People" writer
AcreIsraeli seaport; Third crusade siege site
AdarMonth before Nisan; When Purim is observed
alef or alephHebrew letter; Beth's predecessor
AmirIsraeli political leader Peretz
Amos [Oz]"A Tale of Love and Darkness" author; "My Michael" author
ArensFormer Israeli minister Moshe
ArielSharon of Israel
AschYiddish writer Sholem; "The Nazarene" novelist; "Moses" author
AvivTel ____; Hebrew for "spring"
ayin16th letter in Hebrew
bagelFood whose name means "ring"; zero in sports slang
BarakIsrael's Ehud; P.M. between Netanyahu and Sharon
BeameNew York City's first Jewish mayor
Beth____ Israel; Letter before gimel
BibiIsrael's Netanyahu, familiarly
BethelHebrew for "house of G-d"; Ancient city north of Jerusalem
blintz(e)Jewish crêpe
B'nai____ B'rith; Sons of, in Hebrew
brisRite for a newborn Jewish boy
bubbeJewish grandma
chutzpahCheekiness; Impudence

AnswerCommon Cluing Options
DayanIsrael's Moshe; Six-Day War hero
dreidelDecember spinner; Top of the holiday season?
EbanIsrael's Abba; "Voice of Israel" author
EhudIsraeli statesman Barak; Former Israeli P.M. Olmert
EilatIsraeli city on the gulf of Aqaba
El AlAirline to Tel Aviv; Carrier whose name means "skyward"
ElihuHebrew name meaning "He is my G-d"
ElulMonth before Tishri; Av follower
EmanuelHebrew for "G-d is with us"; Common temple name
EsseneAncient Jewish ascetic; Dead Sea Scrolls scribe
EzerFormer Israeli president Weizman
ganefThief, in Yiddish; Swindler, slangily
geltTraditional Hanukkah gift; Moolah
GoldaIsrael's Meir; 1977 biographical Broadway play starring Anne Bancroft
golemAutomaton of Hebrew lore; Dimwit, in Yiddish slang
HaifaCity at the foot of Mt. Carmel; Port near Nazareth
halvaMideast confection
HasidMember of a strict Jewish sect
Hava____ Nagila (song title that means "Let us rejoice")
HebrewWhence the word "Sabbath"; Like the letters on a dreidel
HerzogIsraeli president, 1983-93
hethEighth Hebrew letter; The H in Hanukkah
HillelJewish campus group; Noted Talmudic sage
horaBar mitzvah highlight; Dance done to "Hava Nagila"; Wedding ring?
Isr.Med. country; Its highest mtn. is Meron; Leb. neighbor; Syr. neighbor
IsraelHebrew for "one who wrestles with G-d"; Creation of 1948

AnswerCommon Cluing Options
JaffaPort of Israel; Port captured by Napoleon in 1799
JerusalemIt was captured by British forces in 1917
JewObserver of Yom Kippur; Mishnah follower
jewfroCurly ethnic hairstyle, colloquially
JudaicLike the laws of kosher food; Like bar mitzvahs
kibitzOffer advice from around a card table
klutzButterfingers; China shop persona non grata
KnessetIsraeli Parliament; It has over 120 seats in Israel
knishJewish turnover; New York nosh
Kol___ Nidre (Yom Kippur prayer)
kosherLike some Jewish delis; Legit
kreplachJewish ravioli
kvetchBellyache; Crab
latkePotato pancake; Hanukkah nosh
L'Chaim“To life!”; Toast at a bar mitzvah
LeumiIsrael's Bank ______
LikudIsraeli party
LilithAdam's first wife, in Jewish folklore; Demon of Semitic lore
LodFormer name for Ben-Gurion Airport; City in the Plain of Sharon
loxCured salmon; Bagel topper

AnswerCommon Cluing Options
MasadaIsraeli tourist attraction on the Dead Sea; 1981 miniseries set in A.D. 72-73
matzo(h)_____ ball soup; Passover bread
mazel [tov]"Congratulations!"; Literally, "Good luck"
MeirGolda of Israel; Predecessor of Rabin
memHebrew letter after lamed
menorahHanukkah centerpiece; Candle site
menschPerson of integrity and honor; Stand-up guy
meshugaYiddish for "crazy"
mezuzahJewish parchment scroll put on a doorpost
Mogen_____ David (six-pointed star)
mohelBris participant
MosheDayan of Israel; _____ Arens, former Israeli defense minister
MossadIsraeli intelligence group
NegevIsraeli desert; Beersheba locale
NisanPassover month; Month after Adar
NoamHebrew name meaning "sweetness"; Linguist Chomsky
noshSnack; Have a knish, say


AnswerCommon Cluing Options
oysJewish laments; Yiddish plaints
oy veyKvetcher's cry; “Leaving Brooklyn: __________!” (Williamsburg Bridge sign)
par(e)veLike some foods for Jews; Made without milk or meat
PeresIsrael's Shimon; Netanyahu's predecessor as P.M.
PiconMolly of Yiddish theater
pitaFalafel bread; Hummus holder
PurimJewish holiday in Adar; Celebration of deliverance
qophHebrew letter before resh
rabbi"My teacher," in Hebrew; Torah reciter
RabinIsrael's Yitzhak; 1994 Peace Nobelist
RebYiddish Mr.
rebbeJewish teacher
reshLetter before shin
RosenBaseball's Al aka the Hebrew Hammer
Rosh____ Hashanah; Hebrew for "beginning"

AnswerCommon Cluing Options
SabraNative-born Israeli
s(c)hlepLug; Not a quick jaunt
s(c)hlockJunk
schmaltzExcessive sentimentality; Mush
schmearThe whole _______ (everything); Bribe
s(c)hmoStupid jerk; Joe _____ (average guy)
SederMeal in Nisan; Passover feast; Exodus commemoration
SemiteArab or Jew; Mideast native
shalomHello or goodbye
ShavuotSpring Jewish holiday
shekelIsraeli money; 100 agorot
ShemaJewish pledge of faith
shinHebrew letter
shivaJewish mourning period
SholomTevye creator ______ Aleichem
shtetlYiddish for "small town"; "Fiddler on the Roof" setting
shulSynagogue; Holy Ark's location
Suez1956 crisis site; City rebuilt after the Arab-Israeli wars


AnswerCommon Cluing Options
TalmudRabbi's text; Much studied religious writings
tav23rd Hebrew letter; Torah's beginning
telHill, in Hebrew
Tel AvivShalom Meir Tower locale; Home of the newspaper Haaretz
Tevye"Fiddler on the Roof" milkman; "If I Were a Rich Man" singer
Tisha_____ B'Av, Jewish day of fasting
TishriJewish calendar starter
tov"Mazel ___!"; Yom ___ (Jewish holiday)
trefNot kosher
tsurisWoes, to a Yiddish speaker; "Oy, vey!" cause
tushBackside; Sitting spot
UziGun produced by Israel Military Industries; Weapon in "The Terminator"
Wye___ Accords, 1998 Israeli-Palestinian agreement
yenta or yenteGossipmonger; "Fiddler on the Roof" role; Musical matchmaker
YentlStory subtitled "The Yeshiva Boy"; Gender-bending Streisand film
yeshivaWhere the Talmud is studied; Rabbi's alma mater
YitzhakShimon's predecessor
YMHAJewish youth org.
yodLetter after teth
yom___ Kippur; Day, in Hebrew
zaftigWell-proportioned; Rubenesque

Sunday, September 18, 2011

NPR Puzzle 9/18/11 - Did Anyone Go to Gent Pet University?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Take the name of a well-known university in two words. Switch two letters in the respective words; that is, take a letter from the first word, put it in place of a letter in the second word, and put that letter where the first letter was. The result will name something you might take on a camping trip. What are the names of the university and the camping item?
And here's our lame excuse for this post:

Ross and I are in the midst of a mad dash from St. Andrews (in the Kingdom of Fife, if you were wondering) to Oxford (yes, the one in England, not Mississippi).  This has resulted in a lovely, if rainy, then dark, then foggy overnight stay at Lindeth Fell, a country house hotel that would overlook Lake Windermere if it weren't for the aforementioned weather.

Maybe it's the weather that explains the odd WiFi service.  I'm stretched out on a chaise lounge on the landing at the top of the grand staircase not because I want to greet our fellow guests but because I'm getting four bars up here.  Go anywhere else and the signal dies completely.  (Ross would explain the size router these people want, but we haven't the time.)

But it doesn't matter.  The live feed for the puzzle won't be until this afternoon here, and we need to be in Oxford then, seeing Ross's family.

So, we'll be back later today with photos (please, Internet Gods, let there be bandwidth at our next hotel - in Wolverhampton) and commentary.  And everything will go back to normal on Thursday.  Well, our "normal" that is.

And if your bandwidth will allow it, send your institution of higher camping to NPR here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

NPR Puzzle 9/4/11 - Greetings from Scotland! (Naltoc Smorfs: G'nite Erg)

It's the palindrome game:

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.
Did y'all have fun doing this?  I won't lie and say I did -- I just assigned it as a computer programming challenge for Ross and his software.  In the end, he wrote one and fragments of half-a-dozen others.  I cobbled together a completely lame sentence (see that bit about "naturalness of syntax"?  Yeah, mine doesn't have that) from one of Ross's half-prepared bits.

Here's Ross's:  No doge, T.S. Eliot sees toile stegodon.

Here's mine:  Purely TV ill luck nabs bank; cull Liv Tyler up?

Neither was entered.  Frankly, we did them today, well past the deadline!

Incidentally, we haven't provided a link or plug for TEA Crossword Helper in awhile, but someone must have done so because Ross got an all-time record number of orders last weekend.  Turns out Microsoft has an annual Puzzlehunt event and past winning teams have used TEA.  Someone blogged about that, and the rest, as they say, is more money.  (Still a modest amount, but...)

Other than commerce, we've been making a very leisurely tour of the East Coast of Scotland: Aberdeen, Montrose, St. Andrews, and lunch tomorrow in Edinburgh.  I have pictures, but I'm too much in holiday mode to bother posting them.  Maybe later...

Here are the photos I used in my last post (September 4), and their palindromic connections:

City Hall in Glenelg, South Australia

Neuquen, Argentina

Ada, near Belgrade

It's captioned on Flickr as "Mt. Renier" but of course that's a typo-palindrome.

Hajjah, Yemen

Edde, Byblos, Lebanon

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

Fewer than 50 -- Ross
50 - 100 -- Phil
100 - 150 -- Magdalen
150 - 200 -- Dave
200 - 250 -- DaveJ
250 - 300
300 - 350 -- Bob
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
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
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, 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")

Thursday, September 1, 2011

NPR Puzzle 8/28/11 - Guess Who's Coming to Sunday Breakfast?

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, particularly when you consider that the answer AUDIE CORNISH will be puzzling with Will Shortz on Sunday as the permanent replacement for Liane Hansen.

Okay, be honest -- did anyone get my meta puzzle?  You take the name AUDIE CORNISH, change two consecutive letters and you get another famous name.  The answer is ABBIE CORNISH.  Yes, I realize you haven't heard of her, but she's actually a modestly famous young actress.  Admittedly she's most famous for having something to do with the break-up of Reese Witherspoon's marriage to Ryan Phillippe, but still, she has a much bigger Wiki page than does Audie Cornish.  And if you haven't even heard of Reese Witherspoon, well, that's just sad.

The point of all that was that I needed a longer Wiki page to get place names from.  Even so, Abbie Cornish barely yielded enough -- it's a good thing her family lives in wine country, so I got two pretty pictures there:


This is the Catholic church in Lochinvar, New South Wales, where Abbie Cornish was born

Ms. Cornish won an award at the 2007 Miami International Film Festival, and this happens to be a house in Miami!

In 2010, Ms. Cornish did something at the San Diego Comic-Con, which is probably nowhere near Mission Basilica San Diego, above

Her family live in the Hunter Valley Wine Region.  Pretty, no?

These are the Hunter Valley Gardens.

Cornish and Philippe attended the Calvin Klein 40th anniversary party on Cockatoo Island, Sydney, Australia.

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 -- Ross
700 - 750
750 - 800
800 - 850
850 - 900
900 - 950
950 - 1,000 -- Dave

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