Sunday, May 20, 2012

NPR Puzzle 5/20/12 - We've Been Irregularly Verbed Again

Here's this week's NPR puzzle:
Think of a common three-letter word and five-letter word that together consist of eight different letters of the alphabet. Put the same pair of letters in front of each of these words, and you will have the present and past tense forms of the same verb. What words are these?
It took me a while to see what we're aiming for here. Ah, our good friends, Irregular Verbs! I have an answer, but until Ross and Henry (who's visiting us for the weekend) wake up to check my math, as it were, I won't say I have the right answer.

Oh, but if I do? Here's an added fillip to this puzzle. Take the original three-letter word and a different five letter word (the two words still comprising eight unique letters), put the same pair of letters at the beginning of each word and you get a common two-word phrase.

I'll share that answer on Thursday.

Now, this is one of those puzzles where I really, really want everyone to play nice and not HINT in the comments. Okay? NO HINTING.

But do send your answer in to NPR using this handy-dandy form right here.

Photos. Ooh, this is tough. Wait... Okay, I've got it:

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.

Over 1,000 entries this week. Not as high as we were expecting, right? I thought for a moment that Henry won, but I'd just stuck him in David's slot (I've fixed it now), which David had abandoned to go higher. And this week seems as easy. I dunno. Pick your generously stingy range for the number of entries to be announced next Sunday on the radio! If you guess correctly, you'll 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").  And yes, this rule is most-likely obsolete but I just like having fine print. 


Dave said...

901 to 950, please. I may have the answer to your puzzle, Magdalen, but I'm not sure. Does one of the answers have something to do with a Roosevelt?

David said...

I better go back to 1001 to 1050.

Dave, I think you have the right answer to Magdalen's puzzle. Try Google with the fist word and then the first 3 letters of the second word.

Last night I checked the puzzle on my semi-intelligent phone during my bus ride home from the symphony, my first visit to NPR on my phone. I couldn't come up with the answer right away, but my brain must have been working on it because the answer seemed to just come to me about 30 minutes later.

itSMF as told by Barbara said...

Please the range 2,001 - 2,050 is my guess. Based on this week's puzzle being popular and solved by more people. Some English-language teachers will use it for classes for fun before summer break. It's the week before U.S. Memorial Day weekend.

skydiveboy said...


Marie said...

Maybe I should be more conservative but I'm going to go with 3251-3500.

Anonymous said...

It is nice of Will to give me something to do while I am considering getting out of bed on a Sunday morning. I can set the goal of solving the challenge, then starting the day.
This was one of those.

What could possibly account for the drop-off in submissions this week? Was it a comment on people's view of doctors?
Random range: 1701-1750

We had a stunning 90+% solar eclipse yesterday afternoon.
The yard was full of crescents!

There, no hints.

Mendo Jim

Curtis said...

Last week's puzzle seemed easy to me, and I over-bid my guess. This week's is just as easy. I'll drop my guess back down to 1,351 - 1,400.

Anonymous said...

My usual 1051-1100, please.

The IE8 that I have at the office is not compatible with this blog. That is not a hint, it is a grumble.

Henry BW

Kevin K said...