Sunday, February 12, 2012

NPR Puzzle 2/12/12 Is Dumbledorvoldemort a World Capital?

Here's this week's NPR puzzle:
Name two fictional characters — the first one good, the second one bad. Each is a one-word name. Drop the last letter of the name of the first character. Read the remaining letters in order from left to right. The result will be a world capital. What is it?
Not particularly hard. Ross and I did it together with a Skype connection. (He's in the UK but the time difference wasn't a problem for once.)

If you've solved it, with or without the help of Skype, send your answer in to NPR here.

You know what's coming next. Photos. I'll leave you to surmise their connection to the puzzle. To the best of my knowledge, none of the photos is of the capital city or its corresponding nation.

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.

This week, there were "over 800" entries, which means in some abstract sense I won. Again. (My prize was not having to change this paragraph much from last Sunday's post.) You will get a MUCH better prize if you successfully pick the range for this week's puzzle. So enter!

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. 


Anonymous said...

After reading through the capital cities in the almanac, I have exactly one solution that I can submit with a straight face, though I think it is technically unsound in two respects.

(I rejected Budapest because Budah in not spelt/spelled like that, even in Philly, and pest is not fictional.)

551-600, please.

Henry BW

Mendo Jim said...

With all the complaints I have had about the Sunday Puzzle, I never worried about keeping it from the younger grandkids.
Nice going, Will.

Magdalen said...

Mendo Jim -- For reasons to be discussed on Thursday, yours may be a valid concern, or it may not. To be continued...

skydiveboy said...

Oh dear! More rain to fall on Will's puzzle descriptions. I think I will stay out of this one for now. On the other hand, I think a full investigation is required in order to discover just how Magdalen won twice in a row! :)
I will pick 651 this week.

David said...

I would guess we all know the "good character's" last name and that the "bad character" may have a last name, we just don't know it.

I will go with 1001 to 1050 again.

Mendo Jim said...

I was helping Virginia, the four year old, pick out an Easter Bunny costume and went to get a cup of coffee.
When I came back she had switched to this page to look at Magdalen's pictures (she is too young to understand about dial-up) but was reading the challenge with obvious dismay.
"Papa Jim?"
"Yes, sweetheart."
"Why does Mr. Shortz use the "f" word?"
"I don't know. We'll just have to wait until next Sunday and maybe he will tell us."

David said...

I'm pretty sure that the answer is not Madrid, although in plenty of Spanish books there is a good "madre", and Sigmund Frued wrote about the fictional "id", which, according to Wikipedia "is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality, what little we know of it we have learned from our study of the dream-work and of the construction of neurotic symptoms, and most of that is of a negative character."

Curtis said...

This puzzle leaves us with the question of where history, fiction, and legend separate. The first character is based, albeit loosely, on an historical person, and many legendary tales surround both. The second character is represented by two different authors, the second more notable than the first. And the first probably based the character loosely on an historical event. I'll guess 351 - 400

Tobias Duncan said...

You guys are low balling the hell out of this one.The crossword crowd will be all over this.
I am gonna say 1651-1700

skydiveboy said...

Toby, or not Toby, that is the question.

Dave said...

Nice, SDB!

Dave's not here.

901 - 950.

Marie said...

Even though this puzzle is a gift, I still think responses will be low...501-550 please.

Joe Kupe said...

OK, maybe I am the only one who thought it was hard! But I think my Milton studies may have helped!

151 - 200 please.

skydiveboy said...

"Oh dear! More rain to fall on Will's puzzle descriptions."

The above was a hint at REINDEER, which Santa uses.