Sunday, May 27, 2012

No Slut's Wool, Please

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name two different kinds of wool. Take the first five letters of one, followed by the last three letters of the other. The result will spell the first and last name of a famous actor. Who is it?
Not hard. Soft, in fact. Very soft...and kind of fluffy.

Nah, I'm just teasing you. Geddit? Teasing? Hey, I'm a knitter, I've got all the yarns.

Send your answer in to NPR either pinned to a pair of handmade socks, or using this URL here.

Okay, photos. Famous actor means a Wiki page, and here are some places mentioned in that article:

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.

About 800 entries this week. Again, not as high as we were expecting. Skydiveboy gets an Honorable Mention for picking 851-900, but that's about it.

And if Rachel keeps using the "about [round number]" locution, we may have to invoke the tie breaker rule after all. Which, in this case, is going to be "the word 'about' will be treated as the same as the word 'exactly'; thus, 'about 800 entries' will be treated as though the number was 'exactly 800 entries'."  Well, whatever that exactly means, it does mean you should pick a wooly 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...

Already scent in my answer. I'll go with 1,001 to 1,050.

Curtis said...

Wow, the submissions are trending downward again. I'll guess 751-800 this week, mostly because the wool names are slightly obscure, and it's a holiday weekend. If this were any other given Sunday, I think I'd guess a bit higher.

skydiveboy said...

I take about to mean close to, but not quite there. They seem to say just over or slightly more than if the number exceeds. anyway put me down for 651.

Paul said...

"Slut's wool" lands you on the front page of both Google and Bing..congrats!
If I were a snitch, I'd point out that Dave and Chuck both dropped hints, already.
And, I'd rather ask for the 851-950 range, with the understanding that whatever portion of said range I am unentititled to is freely accessible to......anyone.

Paul said...

"Curtis"...why on earth did I say "Chuck"?

Tobias Duncan said...

Guys the hint dropping is not cool.

David said...

This was a case of one kind of wool leading to the actor, which led me to the internet to find the second kind of wool, which I never heard of before today.

Paul, I must not be a careful reader, because I didn't catch Dave and Curtis's hints, until you led me to reread them.

Did Magdalen say she was a knit wit?

I will go with 501 to 550, please.

Anonymous said...

Gotta a bunch of cards here.

This one caused me to lose sleep.
I mentioned last week that I set a goal of waiting until I solve the challenge before arising to face Sunday morning.
This one didn't give me but a few extra minutes in the rack.

I simply can't see what in the last 3 puzzles ("To be...," "medicine" and "think..." themselves lead to such disparate submission numbers.
I would like to pick a range on more than just a guess.

Today's on air section reminded me of a batting practice. The guy just kept whackin' them out.
I think he was stumped by "Dog in the Manger." A search for the origin and meaning of this term brought up surprisingly wide range of them.

Mendo Jim

Anonymous said...

My usual 1051-1100, please.

This theme invites a lot of bad jokes, but most of them woold imply hints.

Henry BW

Joe Kupe said...

Too easy this week

2001 - 2050

Anonymous said...

So would a person that is highly proficient in knitting with said wool be a "scarf ace"?

Tobias Duncan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curtis said...

Magdalen & Ross: Do you have guidelines about whether clues ought to be dropped in this blog?

Magdalen said...

@Curtis -- I take the following position: I'm perfectly happy with a hint provided it's a puzzle of its own such that a reader who already KNOWS the answer will have his answer confirmed, but a reader who hasn't yet solved the puzzle would have to decipher the hint separately to arrive at the answer.

Put that another way, if I can immediately see the hint and how it works, it's too obvious. (One of the "hints" above seems too obvious by my own standard, but it's a close thing.)

There's another perspective, though. Sure, I'd like everyone to play fair and "get" the answer in an honest way. But I love the comments that are tiny little parcels of cleverness in their own right. So, in order not to squelch our witty commenters, I'm willing to put up with those hints that skate too close to being massive neon signs that flash the answer at the reader.

That said, some puzzles seem particularly susceptible to gives-too-much-away hints. I flag those in the body of my Sunday post. If someone ignored my instructions, I'd be annoyed.

You wouldn't like me when I'm annoyed.

Hope that helps. If you want to craft a different policy, I'll certainly consider it. I LOVE the fine print portion of the blog, if only because I don't have to rewrite it every week.

Curtis said...

@Magdalen - thanks for the guidelines and guidance. :-)

Tobias Duncan said...

So you are happy with Scarf face?
not a dead give away?

No one can stop anyone here from giving away the answers. No one could stop me from having a blog where I just flat out posted the answers for everyone to see every week.What keeps that from happening is honor.
This week has gone way over the line as far as I am concerned.Your jokes are not clever enough to warrant ruining the puzzle for the entire country.
If I went on 4chan with the weekly answer I could ruin the whole thing for everyone.What you do here is just a much milder version of the same thing.

skydiveboy said...

It seems a shame that posts which give the answer away are allowed to remain. Some people in this world do not care about others. More is the pity.

Anonymous said...

While I enjoy the chance to discuss the weekly challenge, I seldom if ever give hints.

If a hint does give away the answer before Thursday, then the reluctant recipient of that answer can send it to NPR and garner a chance of 1 in 100 to 1 in 3000 of the dubious honor of being "the on-air player."
Then, along with the chance to embarrass yourself, you get a pin and some other stuff.

This reminds me of the old joke: "Doc, it hurts when I do this." "Then don't do that."

If someone doesn't want a hint, then there are only two blogs out of hundreds of thousands to avoid.

This subject may have had a little more import when the challenges could actually take until midweek to solve.

This week, I would like to see an answer (not that Will would share it) using two others of the
amazing variety of kinds of wool: steel, cotton, felt, worsted, etc.

Mendo Jim

Tobias Duncan said...

Mendo Jim.
You misunderstand why its wrong to give hints.You are likely quite a bit brighter than me and these weekly puzzles may be no big deal to you.
For me, many are hard won, some extremely so.The idea that someone with great internet skills can come and swoop in and have the same odds of winning as I have is very distasteful to me.
Will goes way out of his way to have puzzles that do not give an edge to internet users.He pulls this off each week with varying degrees of success.
Giving out hints flies in the face of everything this puzzle is about.
The internet has basically ruined all the call in trivia radio stuff I used to so enjoy.This is really the last thing standing.

Fat Smitty said...

Wow some of you really need to get out more. I just started trying to answer these puzzles and I got this one right away; hints for this puzzle are irrelevant. If this puzzle was "hard fought" for you, give up with puzzles now. Honestly, it's just a puzzle. Untwist thy panties!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Angry NPR puzzle players unite! Sheesh...

Tobias Duncan said...

Fat, this was an easy puzzle yes, some are far harder. So you think its ok to crap on things that are not that important to you but might be important to others?

Hugh Johnson said...

I think Mr Smitty was just trying to get a rise out of you Mr. Duncan and it looks like he succeeded admirably. Take it easy. Don't read the comments if you're afraid they'll reveal the answer so easily. Welcome to the 21st century...

Tobias Duncan said...

Hugh please let me restate: I am not afraid of revealing to answer to myself. I never come here before completing the puzzle. I do not want hints given out to others so that they can enter the contest. It is as simple as that. I do not know how many more ways I can rephrase this sentiment.

DaveJ said...

Why would you want to read the blogs if you have not solved the puzzle for yourself already ? Are you looking for a bit of hint, but not too much ?

I rarely read the blogs until I have solved the puzzle myself - since I either get really frustrated as "good hints" make no sense, or get annoyed as someone often blatantly gives it away, or at least triggers me to think of something I had not considered on my own. Either way - I consider this my fault not theirs, since I chose to go looking...

Just my opinion - I could be wrong...

Tobias Duncan said...

Well played.You totally got me.