Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Hint Makes it Easy

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Take the names of two state capitals. Change one letter in each one, resulting in a phrase naming someone you will see soon on TV. Who is it? (Hint: You don't really have to know anything about TV to solve this puzzle.)
Without the hint, this could have been a really elegant & challenging puzzle. Just saying.

But I can't ignore the hint, so there we have it. And if you have it, send it to NPR before 12 noon on Thursday. You may use this handy hyperlink right here.

Sorry about the delay in getting this post live. We went to a Bonnie Raitt & Marc Cohn concert last night in Albany, NY and got home at 2 p.m., at which point the Internet wasn't working. Still not working this morning, and it just came up . . . and promptly went down again.

Which rather puts a crimp in my ability to get this blog post up! So I'll just keep snatching the few moments the Internet is up before it's down again, then up, then down. No, I will not make a salacious joke about my Internet provider needing little blue pills...


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. Or skip the comments and send an email with your pick to Magdalen (at) Crosswordman (dot) com.  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.

Just over 1,900 entries this week. And we're back to people's guesses being lower than they should be. Who knows what to guess this week as the puzzle could have been hard, but it's not, or is it, and anyway, you need to factor in the fact that some people will misjudge the deadline and send their answers in late unless it's so easy everyone's sent their answers in already. No matter. If you want a prize, you should pick a range for the number of entries to be announced next Sunday on the radio!

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. 


skydiveboy said...

You wrote above: "you need to factor in the fact that..."

Would this be considered a Max Factor?

2101 this week.

Mendo Jim said...

There are a few challenges in this week's Puz.
Is 12 PM midnight or noon?
What could make such a confusing change necessary?

Would not the on-air clue for Bucharest lead to "boocurarrest?"

Why was Will offering hints before the guy had time to think?

Does Ross care to defend lamprey pie?

This challenge is the easiest is the ongoing string, so why not 4001-4500?

David said...

I always though 12:00 should be noon or midnight, with no am or pm. Here is what Wikipedia says:

It is not always clear what times "12:00 a.m." and "12:00 p.m." denote. From the Latin words meridies (midday), ante (before) and post (after), the term ante meridiem (a.m.) means before midday and post meridiem (p.m.) means after midday. Since strictly speaking "noon" (midday) is neither before nor after itself, the terms a.m. and p.m. do not apply. However, since 12:01 p.m. is after noon, it is common to extend this usage for 12:00 p.m. to denote noon. That leaves 12:00 a.m. to be used for midnight at the beginning of the day, continuing to 12.01 a.m. that same day.

On the hints, I'm guessing we listen to a (heavily?) edited version of the actual conversation, which made the hints seem to come faster than expected. After all, Will said the next several were 3-parters and we only heard two.

The puzzle was easy, once I heard it the second time (that is, when I was not half asleep) so I will go with 2001 to 2050 this week, please.

Anonymous said...

My usual 1051-1100, please.

I reject the puzzle as assuming "facts" not in evidence.

Henry BW

Dave said...

I'll jump in with 1,201 to 1,250.

Curtis said...

I'll go a little shallower than Mendo Jim and David, with 1,351 - 1,400.

Mendo Jim said...

My mistake. Will wanted "wrest" not "arrest" to make up Bucharest.

Did anyone hear a "due bye" for Dubai clue? I missed it.

As David said, this week seemed more heavily messed with than usual.
The transcript on NPR backs this up.

Don't forget to get out some form of safe solar viewing for tomorrow afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or are these puzzles getting easier? This one really rings of simplicity; in any event nothing splashy.