Sunday, January 1, 2012

NPR Puzzle 1/1/12 - Happy New Sunday Puzzle!

Here's this week's NPR puzzle:
Name certain scores in a certain sport. This is a two-word phrase with a total of 10 letters (5 letters in each word). If you have the right phrase, you can rearrange all the letters to name a different sport, also in two words (6 letters in the first word, 4 in the second). What are the scores, and what is the sport?
Not immediately obvious, I'll admit. And when we solved it, we weren't...well let's just say we were underwhelmed.

When you've solved it, send your answer in to NPR. Feel free to use this link.

What's up with NPR not even telling us any number associated with last week's puzzle entries? If we find out the number, we'll award the prize retroactively. (Help, Will Shortz--can you get them to amend the puzzle page with the number of correct entries, or entries in general, or any number, really? Thanks.)

Edited to add: Oops, our bad. According to sharp-eared reader skydiveboy, there were more than 300 entries. I hereby retract my request for Will Shortz to do anything. (Sorry, Will. Happy New Year!)

Photos. Now this will be fun. Take the sport (6, 4). Below are photos of the hometowns of some of the people who are good at that sport.

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.
We were so sure we were giving away a prize this week, given that all the juiciest ranges had been taken. AND THEN NO NUMBER IS MENTIONED. Boo-hoo. I've put out a respectful request of Dr. Shortz to see if the Unnamed and Underappreciated Intern can cough up a number to put on the Sunday Puzzle page. If a number appears, we'll send out a prize.

Amazingly, despite both of us listening--and no, neither of us consumed any alcoholic beverages or even slept late--we missed that the number of entries was "more than 300." Which means Joe Kupe is our winner. Joe, if you haven't won before (and I don't have the record book with me) please email me: Magdalen (a) to tell me where to send your prize. If you have won before, Ross can give me your address.

See, we weren't feigning deafness to avoid giving out a prize. So send in your picks for next week.

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 love the Jane Austen puzzle book!! Thank you so much. Happy New Year!!

skydiveboy said...

I thought I heard her say there were over 300 entries.

skydiveboy said...

I just re-listened and it said "more than 300 of you figured out the answer."

I keep wondering why so few are getting the answers lately.

Curtis said...

SDB - I wonder the same thing. For years, the number of answers seemed to average in the 1000 - 1200 range, only dropping if it were a particularly hard puzzle. But, for months now, it's been in the low-to-mid hundreds. I'm baffled, since the puzzles haven't been especially hard.
I'll guess 451 - 500 this week.

David said...

I agree with the underwhelming, but the 5/5 and the 4 part of the 6/4 seemed obvious to me. I just couldn't figure out the 6. (In my defense, I was without pencil and paper at the time. As soon as I wrote down the 6 remaining letters, the answer came to me.)

I have to go with 1001 to 1050 because I always do, although I suspect there will be fewer. Maybe we will get more answers once the holiday rush is over.

Anonymous said...

Even I saw this one pretty quickly, so it must be easy. May I have 501-550, please.

Henry BW

skydiveboy said...

I will try for 201 this time.

Mendo Jim said...

Well, all those darn pics but one finally arrived.
As with many things, the low participation level is probably the result of several factors.
The change to a new half of the show after over 20 years is unsettling, especially since the new half never really seemed to get the idea. I wonder if she ever listened before. Now she's gone too after only a few months.
Will also seems to have lost some verve.
In addition, not everyone wants to play the Sunday Anagram Puzzle.

It seemed within reason when Magdalen finished off the Range Review with "more than 5000."

Even if this week's answer is sort of the official name of the sport, I'm surprised there hasn't been a PC movement to change it.

As for my post a week or so ago, that was the famous "unsolvable" challenge. I have always wondered how many player-hours were wasted that week.

Let's see, what's open? Hows about 251-300.

skydiveboy said...

I have to agree after solving the puzzle yesterday evening that it is far less then whelming.

Joe Kupe said...

I solved it similarly to David this week. Came up with it on my run, but needed pen and paper to finish it up.

I'll take 401-450 please.

Marie said...

Setting my sights high, 851-900!

EKW said...


EKW said...

I agree that this puzzle is underwhelming!

itSMF as told by Barbara said...

Please, I'd like 301-350. I'm surprised this range wasn't taken already; I really checked twice.

While I hope that back to school and moving out of the winter holidays will increase the number of correct entries, perhaps this week is similar to last week. I hope their listeners are not dwindling.