Sunday, November 11, 2012

NPR Puzzle 11/11/12 - Bacchanals

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
With one stroke of a pencil you can change a capital F into E; you can change an O into a Q, and so on. Write the phrase "LEAD PENCIL" in capital letters. Add a stroke to one letter and rearrange the result to name a classic movie. What is it?
Ross was right -- I didn't need to use TEA to solve this! But I used TEA to find another classic movie. This time one letter needs a little adjustment, then rearrange the rest to turn "BACCHANALS" into the title. Enjoy.

Remember to be judicious with your hints. If in doubt, leave it out.

But you can be extravagant with your long as you're extravagantly sending it to the NPR contact form here.

UPDATE: I have sent out all recent prizes to Skydiveboy and Joe Kupe, and made a donation to the Red Cross's Hurricane Sandy relief effort in honor of David's win a couple weeks ago. I'll be happy to do that in lieu of a puzzle book for anyone who wins in the coming weeks. Which no one did this week...


Okay, guys, this is cool. Sometimes I struggle to find interesting photos for you. I mean, really, how many misty country roads can you stand to look at, right? Today, I went looking for photos of pencils. I expected to come up with stuff like this (I'm all about the colors):

But then I started noticing these rather uncolorful pencils that just didn't look quite right. Turns out, a guy named Dalton Ghetti sculpts pencils in his spare time. Who knew graphite could be so pretty? Here's a sampling, but for the full effect, go here.

I gather you can buy posters of his various sculptures. Here's one just for Will Shortz:

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 more than 1,400 entries, which no one one. Curtis guessed the range below and skydiveboy the range above. To paraphrase the Soup Nazi, "No puzzle books for you!" (Except the one skydiveboy already has coming to him, that is.)
Guess the range for this week's puzzle.

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). 


Dave said...

I had to dust off my thinking cap for this one. I'll take the 801 to 850 slot, please.

EKW said...

I'll try 1201-1250 again.

skydiveboy said...


Laura said...

951 - 1,000

Anonymous said...

About 5 minutes. I was just about to leave it until TEA-time when the penny dropped.

My usual 1051-1100, please.

Henry BW

Marie said...

1951. Yes, I think it's that easy.

KDW said...

Will Shortz and I seem to have somewhat different ideas of what a "classic" movie is. I tend to think more along the lines of CASABLANCA and GONE WITH THE WIND....

But what the heck. Maybe there are a couple of thousand people out there who think this week's answer is, indeed, a classic movie. And maybe they'll all send in the easy-to-get answer. So may I please have the 2,001-2,050 range?

David said...

Did you notice the this week's on air winner solved his puzzle during his swim? I was hoping to solve it during my run, but it was too easy, even in my slightly hungover condition from the winter beer festival.

As always, 1001 to 1050, please.

Mendo Jim said...

Marie took the timely range I was sort of thinking about.
A classic film with a cast of forgotten names and few awards.
But maybe Will was thinking of one of the dozens of others by the same name.
Not a brain-buster, this one.

Curtis said...

I'm drawn to the 1,351 - 1,400 range again this week.

skydiveboy said...

Curtis, call your bank. I think you may be over-drawn.

Joe Kupe said...

Thanks for the book, loved it! And for everyone out there here is something we can all do for Hurricane Sandy, Give Blood! I donated this week and even enjoyed some snacks afterward. In my younger days I even was a volunteer bloodmobile driver! 501 - 550 please.

skydiveboy said...

Just received the puzzle book. Thank you, I will enjoy it.
I think it may be late enough in the game this week to say that it is indeed a glass act; as is the puzzle answer.

Paul said...

I'm shocked, shocked to find that hinting is going on in here!
1651-1700, please.

David said...

Slippery slope once you start hinting.