Thursday, November 29, 2012

NPR Puzzle 11/25/12 - And a One And a Two...

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
In a few weeks something will happen that hasn't happened since 1987. What is it?
The answer, as far as we can tell, is simply that the year has four different digits: 0, 1, 2, 3 for next year, and 1, 7, 8, 9 for 1987. All the intervening years had double something: zeros (2001-2010), ones (2011), eights (1988), nines (1989-1998), or triple something: zeros (2000) or nines (1999).

Here's the problem with this puzzle: It's hard to hint about. Well, maybe you all could have done a fabulous job making meta-comments that didn't give the game away, but I literally couldn't think of a thing to say that wasn't too much of a giveaway. Mention that we thought it hard (which we did initially because we thought it had something to do with more than four digits, such as 12:12:12 on 12/12/12, but then realized nothing that interesting is going to happen in 2013 right away) and we led solvers on a wild goose chase. Mention that we both suddenly realized we were over-thinking it dreadfully...and it's now easier for some.

So, my apologies to Mendo Jim, who rightfully pointed out that some of you come here to discuss the puzzle and I wasn't letting you do that. In my defense--and lord knows I need one--I hope it's another 25 years before I have to issue such a gag order.

Here are some more numbers to crunch:







Click on any photo for more information.

Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200 -- Joe Kupe
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400 -- Curtis
401 - 450
451 - 500 -- Ross
 
501 - 550 -- EKW
551 - 600 -- skydiveboy
601 - 650 -- Paul
651 - 700
701 - 750 -- Dave
751 - 800 -- Magdalen
801 - 850 -- zeke creek
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry BW
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250 -- Barbara
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

 > 5,000
 > 5,000 + 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 still just like having fine print). 

6 comments:

EKW said...

I put a detailed discussion of the four digit case on "the other blog"

Joe Kupe said...

OK, this is what I entered as well, but had trouble with this being a few weeks as 2013 is five and a half weeks away!

skydiveboy said...

What does a few mean to you?

KDW said...

It was the word "few" that threw me off track. I think of 2013 as being more than a few weeks away -- but I think of December 21, 2012, as being a few weeks away. Which is why the answer I submitted was HARMONIC CONVERGENCE.

skydiveboy said...

I really am amazed at people not understanding the meaning of the word, few. Clearly Will's use of few in this puzzle is right on the money. I am just as amazed when I hear someone stating the idiotic belief that a couple can mean more than two. Appologies to anyone living in Utah, where you probably are living in your own fantasy world.
I will now amaze myself even further by quoting the christian bible, which I despise, but since christian fundies use it to back-up any screwball idea they happen to buy into, now it's my turn. I just located this:
"One answer comes from The Bible: 1 Peter 3:20..."...a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water."
No mention there about FEMA but, I located this from a response to FEW on Merriam-Webster online. I had heard of this number being referenced in the bible way back when I was a teenager, but never forgot.
Just a few of my thoughts.

Mendo (nee Muffled) Jim said...

I'll see your few and raise you several.

Madama Bloggo says "some" come to discuss the challenge.
Unless the pics I don't bother to look at are better than I think, I must be missing some exciting subtext.