Sunday, December 30, 2012

NPR Puzzle 12/30/12 -- The Incredible Shrinking City

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
First, name a U.S. state capital. Rearrange its letters to spell the name of another American city. Remove one letter and read the result backward to spell a third American city. Finally, move the first letter of that to the end to spell a fourth American city. The cities are in four different states. What are they?
Ross solved this one while I was doing something inconsequential on the Internet. Only one aspect of the puzzle surprised him. Is that a hint? I doubt it.

And anyway, you've already solved it yourself and sent it along to NPR using their post-modernist Contact Form.

Some announcements:

First, I will be off for a couple weeks so Ross will be filling in. I'll be checking the blog and may even comment--who knows? (I have to drive to Maine this week for school. I'm enrolled in the University of Southern Maine's low residency MFA program, which is called Stonecoast.)

Second, an apology. I had meant to add captions to the photos from last Sunday's post. You've guessed that the odd double exposure (it looks a bit like a ceiling fan with a grate behind it) is of the building where the Chicago's World's Fair of 1893 was held. Rodin displayed work there. But I had failed to caption the photos when I provided the correct Flickr links, so I've gone back and done that. Clearly I'd done a better job of obfuscation than I'd realized!

Finally, I'll be making a donation to the Red Cross Sandy Relief fund for all the winners of the past few weeks. (I'm rounding up to $50.) I like the option of having a charitable donation. Starting in 2013, I'd like the contribution to go to the Fairfield County Community Foundation, established by the Taunton Press, publishers of Fine Homebuilding and Fine Woodworking magazines. Taunton Press was started by Paul Roman, an old friend of my dad's a million years ago. They'd both worked at General Electric, but Paul's first love was woodworking, so he quit to start a business making games tables and somehow that became Fine Woodworking, which ending up being a bunch of high-end hobby-related magazines. The Romans and Taunton Press are located in Newtown, Connecticut, so I want them to have our money for the next quarter. So guess wisely & well and let's help them heal that wounded community.


Willamette University,  Salem, Oregon

Montebello, a B&B in Ames, IA

Selma, Alabama

Salem, Oregon

Curtis Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

Selma, Alabama

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 around 1300 entries for last week's puzzle, and we all picked WAY too low.

You can win either a puzzle book or the warm glow of satisfaction knowing you're a generous person who caused a contribution to the Fairfield County Community Foundation. Guess the range for this week's puzzle, and good luck!

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). 


Laura said...

I'm guessing 2,751 to 3,000 submit an answer this time.

skydiveboy said...


Dave said...

1,001 to 1,050. I would like you to make a donation to Meals on Wheels, if that's possible.

Anonymous said...

1251-1300 range please.

Henry BW said...

My usual 1051-1100, please. I found this on the first pass through the list of state capitals, so it must be very easy, but....

Curtis said...

This one was a little harder for me than last week. But, then, I spent all of one minute on the Grodin/Rodin/Odin thing because I usually think of the Norse gods before the Greek & Roman ones. I'll go with 1,351 - 1,400.

zeke creek said...

1101-1150 please.
Do make the generous donation to the Red Cross.
Thank you for caring, Zeke.

KDW said...

May I have 2,501-2,750, please?

David said...

1501 to 1550, with a contribution to your favorite.

This was another work backwards(ish) solution, starting with a move the last letter of city 4 to get city 3, which got me city 1 which got me city 2.

Mendo Jim said...

Unlike probably half of the Sunday Challenges, last week's included, this one doesn't contain any major mistakes.
Will really sould have copped to his "classical mythology" error.

I kick myself for not following through on the first capital I thought of and wasting a bunch of time.
The four different states hint is only technically true, but with over 40 U.S. cities and towns with these four names, that is to be expected.

With Magdalen and Ross's generous offer of a contributions to charity, I'll go back to Range guesses with 1300+.

Happy New Year!

Marie said...

1951 for me.

Paul said...

1151 - 1200 FCCF

Joe Kupe said...

901 - 950 please. We worked it as a group Sunday night and got nothing. Then after staring at a list of cities this afternoon, not only capital cities, I got three and four and backed into one then two!