Sunday, September 16, 2012

NPR Puzzle - Old MacDonald Bought a Farm, Sort Of

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of something that the majority of adults buy. It's a two-word phrase with 10 letters in the first word and nine in the second. This phrase uses each of the five vowels (A, E, I, O, and U) exactly twice. What familiar product is this?
I thought this was absurdly easy, mostly because I solved it without the use of Ross's software. I don't normally solve the puzzles a) quickly and b) all by myself.

And, as I routinely assume you all solve the puzzle FASTER than I do, you're wondering what took me so long! Go ahead, laugh all the way to the handy NPR submission form.

We got a GIFT in the mail! The delightful EKW (his full name is Equatorial Kelvin Wave; I've read his Wiki page and I have no idea what it says) has sent us a CD of his choral group performing Brahms's German Requiem. Thank you, EKW.

No, the rest of you aren't required to send us bribes gifts. Your unspoken appreciation is quite enough, I assure you. Besides, I haven't figured out how to rig the Pick a Range, so bribing us doesn't do you much good.

Photos. Hmm.Well, the product does have its own Wiki page (like that tells you anything you couldn't have figured out) and there are place names mentioned on that Wiki page. So here are some photos you can click on; I'll do different ones on Thursday:

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.
There were fewer than 800 entries this week, which means that KDW has won. I think we have your address as a previous winner, but if not, please email me [Magdalen *at* Crosswordman *dot* com] so I can get a puzzle book out to you. See? We do send out prizes, even when we don't get gifts!
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 with a qualifier such as "about" or "around" (e.g., "We received around 1,200 entries."), AND two separate people picked the ranges of numbers just before and just after 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").  As of July 2012, this rule is officially no longer obsolete (and also I just like having fine print). 


Curtis said...

I agree, Magdalen, that this week's puzzle was easy, even easier and quicker than buying this product online. Hence, I'll bump up my guess to 2,351 - 2,400.

Dave said...

We'll go with 1,201 to 1,250 this week.

KDW said...

Woo-ee! I win again! Do you think the third time will be the charm and I'll actually get to play the puzzle on the air?

Yes, the address you have for me is still valid.

I'd like 1,051-1,100 this time around, please.

Which brings to mind a question I've wondered about for a while now: if someone asks for a particular range without a public comment (i.e., just in an e-mail directly to you) and then someone else later chooses the same range (thinking it's still available), what happens to the hapless second guess? Does it just get booted up a notch, so to speak?

Thanks to you both for keeping up with this entertaining site. Educational sometimes, too -- I watched several online videos about that fascinating "Strange Fruit" aerial troupe, which I'd never heard of before.


P.S. Your bribe will be in the mail as soon as I can work out a line in my budget for it. This may take a while....

Dorothy said...

I think I've been to all those places; stayed at a B&B near each.

Anonymous said...

Since my usual range has been taken, please give me the next higher range that's still available. I think that's 1101-1150.

Henry BW

skydiveboy said...


David said...

I'll go with 1001 to 1050 again.

Once again, I got on the wrong track on my morning run and couldn't get off a certain class of something one might buy. It took until I got back home and got oxygen in my brain to determine the correct answer.

This puzlle takes me back to my first ever puzzle answer, which also involved all five vowels, in that instance, once each.

EKW said...

Hi, Magdalen,

Thank you for the nice acknowledgement. And especially for posting the link to the OSSCS web site! I hope some of your Seattle readers will come to our concerts.

The puzzle this week was very easy
and not much of a challenge.Clearly there are many people who figured it out immediately, but will they all submit their answer? Let me try

Regards, EKW

Mendo Jim said...

I think Will and NPR Sunday should turn the weekly puzzle into a pool.

It would cost $1 per entry charged to a credit card or Pay Pal and the on-air contestant would get all the proceeds, this week $800, but when fully implemented, the sky's the limit.

Don't forget the NPR book claims a million listeners and for serious do-re-mi, a challenge like the current one could get 'em all.

The random selection process might need a little strengthening, but we would just trust them, right?

I think this would move our Sunday morning rituals in an interesting direction.

Magdalen said...

I agree that it's odd we don't hear the shopping list of prizes, but I think entries would go down A LOT if people had to pay. Also, you're basically describing a raffle or lottery, and while NPR is probably in the class of operations that can do that without tax liabilities, the paperwork would probably be horrendous.

They should reinstate the shopping list, though. Preferably read by someone cool.

Joe Kupe said...

1301 to 1350 please! Hopefully my car radio will continue working so I can hear the show this week!