Sunday, December 9, 2012

NPR Puzzle 12/9/12 - We're Open For Hints! (It's that Easy)

Here's this week's puzzle:
Name a major US city in two words. Take the first letter of the first word and the first two letters of the second word. Read together, they spell the standard three letter abbreviation of the state the city is in. What city is it?
So easy that I'd solved it even as I was typing it in. (I hope I got the wording right, Will--it wasn't up on the website for me to cut & paste.)

So easy that you don't even need the hyperlink to the NPR Contact Us form (but I'm contractually obligated to provide it, so here it is.)

So easy that I'm tempted to put up pretty pictures of the city even though certain aspects of the city would BE HINTS. Eh, screw it. Let's live on the edge. I'll avoid the ones with specific signage, shall I?

Oh, and our usual prohibition on hinting too obviously in the comments? Phht. Have at it. Most creative/funny/ironic/sarcastic hint wins!

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 over 1,500 entries for last week's puzzle, and no one won last week. C'mon, people: Mama needs to make a new donation to the Red Cross (or to send out a puzzle book; your choice).

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 Red Cross's fund for Superstorm Sandy victims. 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). 


Curtis said...

Well, this one is as easy as 3.14159. Or, as Homer Simpson might say, "mmmm, sarcasm." Personally, I think this is a Mickey Mouse puzzle .

Curtis said...

Oh, and I forgot to take a guess. Since a godzillion isn't an available option, I'll stick with 2,351 - 2,400.

Mendo Jim said...

Thanks for all the work on this challenge, Will. Good to see you earning your pay.
By the way, what are (were)the "standard" three letter abbreviations for New York and Pennsylvania? Or Washington and Missouri?

The apparently new practice of only accetpting the intended answer seems like one more nail in the NPR Puzzle coffin.
It reminds me of old contests based on a crossword form (cryptic?) that doesn't require every letter to be crossed. As a result there were always several "right" answers that could be manipulated to affect the winning submission.

Joe Kupe said...

Easy Peasy! 2001 - 2050 please! And Happy Hannukah!

EKW said...

I lived in this city from 1968-79, and went to work in an outboard motor boat, sometimes fishing on the way.
Your picture choices are great. I think the fountain is new.

Lets try 2501-2750.

skydiveboy said...

This is another stinker!

It is not correct to say there were over 1500 hundred entries for last week, because Martin said there were over 1500 entries with the intended answer, which leaves open the question of how many other entries were sent in. I'm just pointing out that there is no consistency in the way they do things now, if ever.

I will go with 1803 this week, and should I win then please send the puzzle book to the Sandy relief fund for their enjoyment.

Laura said...

2,001 - 2,050

Magdalen said...

Just to be clear, we don't actually send a puzzle book to the Red Cross for redistribution to someone affected by Superstorm Sandy. We send a $10 donation in lieu of the winner getting a puzzle book (they cost us around $7-8 plus postage, so it's a wash).

I think Henry had the right idea about how they tally the emails. They use a search program to find those emails in the set that have the words SOCK and BELT. That gives them the total. Then some of the other emails are sampled to see if they have different answers. I suspect that the hapless and under-appreciated intern sends the alternate answers to Will for a determination: Are these "right" answers as well? If they are, the intern can look for those newly classified right answers using the search function.

At the end of the day, the intern has a total number of "correct" entries from which to select the randomly-selected winner, i.e., the person who gets to be on the radio with the Puzzle Master. Again, I'm guessing, but that total number of emails that were used for the random drawing is the number used for the statement, "We had over 1,500."

Anonymous said...

Oddly, I found two two-word cities that fit the conditions if the first two letters of the second word are reversed.


David said...

I know I am going to be too low, but I'll stick with 1001 to 1050.

skydiveboy said...

I know you don't send a puzzle book to the Red Cross; I was adding a bit of humor.
I realize you have no choice about to go with whatever number Martin gives us. Recently you stated that you prefer to use the number of submitted answers, not simply correct answer submissions. This morning Martin stated there were over 1500 submissions with the intended Belt/Sock answer, and since Will stated there were many other answers submitted that also worked, we know there must have been quite a few submissions not reported on the air.
I am not complaining, or anything else, just commenting. My guess for last week was based on total submissions, not what Martin decided to report. I do not believe there will ever be any consistency in their number reporting.

Dave said...

Hitchhiking across the U.S.A. with Holly. I'll go for 1301 to 1350.

Paul said...


Barbara said...

I think 951 - 1,000. Should I win please send your Red Cross some help.


David said...

I flatly predict there will be no flap this week about whether this puzzle is flawed, so no flaming allowed.

Flimflam Man said...

David is hereby flagged for flagrant violation of the rules.
Flay him!

skydiveboy said...

This is all verbal flatulence and flamboyant to boot.

Marie said...

Yes it is that easy, but busy time so 1951 for me.

KDW said...

I'll try 1,751-1,800, please....

Henry BW said...

I was tempted to ask for the block including 1212, because of the fuss over the date, but I'll be boring and stick with my usual 1051-1100, please.

David said...

What was that line Roy Rogers used when he was telling his wife that he was going to that enclosed army structure to wash his clothes? I suspect I'll remember after the entry deadline.

jan said...

I'll take 2,751 - 3,000.