Sunday, November 18, 2012

NPR Puzzle 11/18/12 - Now We Know

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of a familiar five-letter word in two syllables. Change the middle letter to the preceding letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a familiar five-letter word in three syllables. What words are these?
I suspect this is hard, but we solved it because Ross developed a software program for his own use that chops up words in specific ways. A few deductions, hit enter and we had the answers.

You did it the old-fashioned way, so of course you've sent off your answer to NPR using this handy form NO LATER THAN WEDNESDAY, right? We'll post the usual Thursday blog a day early as well.

Photos: I looked up one word on Flickr, and then the other word. I've jumbled the photos up (3 of each word), so if you haven't solved the puzzle, I don't think this will do it for you. And if you have...have fun guessing which photos belong to the two words. You can mention your guess in the comments. Just put them into two groups of three (e.g., "1, 2 & 3 and 4, 5 & 6" -- you know already that's not the right answer). For obvious reasons, guessing where the photo was taken, or what the photo shows, is verboten. And yes, of course you can look up the words and figure out which photos go together. Where's the fun in that, though?

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 1,400 entries, with Curtis the winner. Let me know, Curtis, if you want a puzzle book or a donation to the Red Cross for Superstorm Sandy Relief.

You too can win either a puzzle book or the warm glow of satisfaction knowing you're a generous person. (They're not mutually exclusive.) Guess the range for this week's puzzle, and you could win!

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...

Well, I think I'll take the warm glow of satisfaction this time, especially considering the ongoing needs of those in the path of Superstorm Sandy. By the way, the photos this week did confirm I had the right answer.

EKW said...

Congratulations to Curtis for the correct "Pick a Range" estimate.

This week's puzzle seems easy to me,
but the submission period is shortened
by a day, so I will stay with 1201-1250.

KDW said...

Well, this was a tad tricky. But a clue on That Other Sunday Puzzle Blog took me right to the answer. It'll be interesting to see if that blog's administrator deletes that post.

Without that clue (or, better yet, Ross's software!) this would be hard to solve. So I'll ask for 551-600, please (hope that isn't anyone's "traditional" guess).

As for which photos go together, I'm certain that #1 and #4 belong together, and I suspect that #3 goes with them. That leaves #2, #5, and #6 as the default flock. (Not that I know what any of those three ARE. I look forward to finding out sometime after 3:00 on Wednesday.)

Photo #1 was diabolically clever, Magdalen. I would have sworn it went with the OTHER word, but after I solved the puzzle I sort-of-cheated and found photo #1 on Flickr.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I am thankful for this blog. (And the NPR feature that led to its existence.)

Curtis said...

Almost forgot to pick a range. I'll stick with 1,351 - 1,400, since it seems to serve me well.

skydiveboy said...


Laura said...

1,301 - 1,350

Norrin2 said...


Joe Kupe said...

Thought about during my run and absolutamente nada! Now just reading the question again it all of a sudden came to me. Tough one, I do agree. 401 - 450 please.

Anonymous said...

I did this the old-fashioned way, by generating long lists of words in TEA, and failing to spot the correct one until the third list.

I found one of the pictures on Flickr, which is enough to confirm that I have the same answer as everybody else, but not enough to cheat on the metapuzzle. :-)

My usual 1051-1100, please.

Henry BW

Michelle said...

801-850, Hohoho!

I'll say 1,2 and 5 go together as do 3, 4 and 6.

Dave said...

Sorry, Michelle is my wife and I guess her account was open when I posted that comment.

David said...

For some reason, it took me all day to get the answer, even though the words fit the pattern I expected, including my most likely guess(es) for the third letter.

I'll stick with my usual 1001 to 1050, please.

Mendo Jim said...

Well, heck, this was pretty pesty, a poopy poppy of a challenge. I wanted to go with Penny-Peony, but I guess that's backward.
The word pair reminds me of a Beatle lyric that was used backward in one version of Johnny Appleseed. Funny!
Kind of wish I had spent less time on this one.