Sunday, July 8, 2012

NPR Puzzle 7/8/12 - K Stars

Hi, this is Ross the eponymous "Englishman," blogging for Magdalen who is back at school again. Living in a college dorm, too...a level of discomfort no-one over 40 should have to put up with (though I'm told dorm is very passé now...crossword constructors please note).

On with this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of a well-known actor, three letters in the first name, seven letters in the last. One of the letters is an "S." Change the "S" to a "K" and rearrange the result, and you'll name a well-known fictional character. Who is it?
Magdalen had emailed the answer before I even heard the puzzle, but I was determined to get it myself. Doing some yard work, I managed to come up with three (3,7) actors with an S in. But no anagrams to speak of. After an hour or so, I resorted to lists of actors and it seemed like I'd tried and failed with about four more before I finally got an answer.

So I reckon this is a hard puzzle, though not in Will's "tricky" sense. Just that thinking up possible actors is tough, and then you've got to think what the substituted letter string might anagram to. Going the other way from the fictional character with a K in ... I guess some people might work that way, but that didn't seem like the most promising approach to me.

Don't forget to send your answers in to NPR here.

Here's a related photo challenge. Each picture shows a well-known (3,7) with an S (but not one of my failed actor candidates ... that might give too much away). A bit of a motley crew, but in alphabetical order. Click on the image to see who is depicted:

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 choosing.

Did I hear that 470 slayed last week's puzz? Wow! No one got anywhere near with that. I think this week's challenge will be another tough one to call.
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. 


Curtis said...

Wow. I thought last week's puzzle was relatively easy, yet only 470 submissions. This week's is marginally harder, so I'll drop down to 351- 400, please.

Mendo Jim said...

OK, so no Sunday spoiler. You got all huffy for nothing.

Will did miss another chance to muddy things by giving a word count for the character.

I am beginning to think that there is some hidden factor that determines the submission range.

skydiveboy said...

The hidden factor is one of the words in last week's puzzle. It is the Max Factor.

skydiveboy said...

I almost forgot, and the clock is ticking, so I'd better put in my guess which is 751.

Dave said...

Totally clueless. Any hints?

skydiveboy said...

To answer your question. Yes.

Dave said...

Thanks, SDB. Huge help.l

David said...

501 to 550, please.

This was another puzzle where I got the answer by "working backward", in this case coming up with a 10-letter fictional character with a "K", changing that to an "S", figuring out a 3 letter first name and rearranging the remainder to get the last name. In this instance, I'm not certain that backwards is the easier way to go, it was just the way I got it.

I've sometimes wondered about how it is determined that a submission is correct. In this instance, it appears that Will is looking for the fictional character only. My submission included both the actor and the fictional chracter. I assume (would hope) that my submission would not be disallowed.

KDW said...

401-450, please.

Marie said...

The Sunday Puzzle crowd proves to be totally unpredictable, which makes Pick a Range more fun, really. Ok eeny, meeny, miney moe...801 caught my fancy.

Dave said...

If ever there was a time to take a chance, this is it. 301 to 350.

skydiveboy said...

@ Dave:
Was your post to me a compliment or czar chasm?(sic). Hard to tell just from print. Anyway I did post a hint leading to the crocodile that swallowed a clock in Peter Pan.