Friday, March 30, 2012

NPR Puzzle - Are We Sure Will Didn't Recycle This Puzzle?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of a much-discussed subject in the news. Two words (five letters in the first, six letters in the last). The letters of the five-letter word can be rearranged to get the first five letters of the six-letter word. The six-letter word ends in a Y. What's the subject?
The answer is GREEN ENERGY. I had to resist the urge to look for photos that had teeny tiny wind turbines or hydro-electric dams or solar panels in them. Instead, I went for places with "GREEN" in the name.

The mountain on the left is Green Mountain, near Eldorado Springs, Colorado

The fountain at Bowling Green in lower Manhattan

New Glarus, in Green County, Wisconsin

This is the Green Cove Spring in Green Cove Springs, Florida (it makes a natural swimming pool above the weir)

Remember Green Mountain in the first photo? You're at its peak in this one. The brass tablet identifies the other mountains in the range.

Green-Wood Cemetary, Brooklyn, NY

Time for...
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400
401 - 450
451 - 500
 
501 - 550 -- Ross
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950 -- Dave
951 - 1,000

1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry
1,101 - 1,150 -- Jim (Mendo)
1,151 - 1,200 -- Marie
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350 -- Magdalen
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500

1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600 
1,601 - 1,650
1,651 - 1,700 -- Joe Kupe
1,701 - 1,750 -- Tobias Duncan
1,751 - 1,800 -- Skydiveboy
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, AND two separate people picked the ranges leading up to and leading up from 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")

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Special Announcement

Hi, everyone --

My apologies for not posting the usual Thursday array of answer, photos & Pick-a-Range selections.

On Monday morning, I got a phone call saying a manuscript I'd entered in the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart contest was a finalist.

This is kind of a big deal -- it's a national contest with over a thousand entries in a handful of categories. Mine is one of eight finalists in the "Single Title Contemporary" category.

The awards are given on on the last night of RWA's national conference, last week of July. But, even though I won't know until then that I didn't win (I mean, I know I won't win, but I won't know until then that I actually didn't win -- and that's not modesty on my part; I know enough about this process to know that of the eight finalists, mine will be near the bottom), stuff happens now.

Some of it is delightful, like meeting (online) all the other Golden Heart finalists. What a talented and extraordinary group of women! (There have been men finalists, just none this year.)

And some of it is less delightful, like having representatives from literary agencies that rejected me last fall contact me to say, "Ooh, I would like to read it..." and then reject me all over again. (Why "rejection redux" hurts at all is an interesting question, but it does.)

But all of it, the good and the bad, is very time consuming.

Which is why the regular Thursday blog is missing. I'll try to get it done tomorrow, I promise.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

NPR Puzzle - Everyone's Discussing Abler Barley? Really?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of a much-discussed subject in the news. Two words (five letters in the first, six letters in the last). The letters of the five-letter word can be rearranged to get the first five letters of the six-letter word. The six-letter word ends in a Y. What's the subject?
I'm much more interested in all the wrong answers, so while you're all sending the correct answer in to NPR's contact page here, why not send the obviously WRONG answers that fit the pattern in to us, via the comments function. Or, as Mendo Jim calls it, The North Pole.

Ross is back in the UK, so I've got sod all to tell you about life at Casa Crosswords. Let's go straight to the photos.

Again, every effort has been made to obscure the actual answer. I hope I have succeeded.







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.  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 unspecified choosing.

Over 1600 entries...and no one guessed that high last week. So I dunno, is this an easy puzzle or a hard one or doesn't it matter?  Submit your guess for the number of entries to be announced next Sunday on the radio and maybe you'll win some fabulous prize. Okay, so the prizes aren't all that fabulous, but they're better than nothing.

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, AND two separate people picked the ranges leading up to and leading up from 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").  And yes, this rule is most-likely obsolete but I just like having fine print. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

NPR Puzzle 3/18/12 - Will Shortz (& Mike Reiss) Go Green!

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Take the phrase "no sweat." Using only these seven letters, and repeating them as often as necessary, can you make a familiar four-word phrase? It's 15 letters long. What is it?
Did anyone else notice that this puzzle came hard on the heels of St. Patrick's Day? Because we were goin' green with this one. Green as in "ecologically-minded"; the answer is WASTE NOT WANT NOT.

I may have succeeded in making it HARD this week, as no one commented and no one emailed me the connection, which is BEN FRANKLIN. Supposedly, the expression "waste not want not" is credited to Franklin, who had rather a brisk trade in "wise sayings."



That's a clip from Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, Volume One: The Early Years -- and yes, you are watching the guy's record spinning on an old-style turntable -- featuring Ben Franklin. That's how I learned about "wise sayings."

So, in honor of my childhood (we wore through our copy of Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, Volume One: The Early Years), I ignored those sources that suggested Ben Franklin, if he had anything to do with the expression "waste not want not," tweaked it from a 16th century expression, "willful waste makes woeful want." And a good thing he did, as that longer saying doesn't condense to anything so neat as "no sweat." But whether Franklin thought it up on his own, edited someone else's "wise saying," or actually had nothing to do with it, his was the Wiki page I used for my photo array.

Franklin's father, Josiah, was born in Ecton, Northamptonshire (this plaque just happens to be in Ecton; the Franklins were long gone by 1752)

Franklin's mother, Abiah Folger, was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts

This is St. Bartholomew-the-Great in the Smithfield area of London; Ben Franklin worked as a typesetter in a print shop in this space in the mid-1720s

Père Lachaise Cemetary in Paris. Ben Franklin's grandson, Temple Franklin, is buried here.

According to Wiki, Ben Franklin charted the Gulf Stream, a document ignored in his time. Someone found the original British publication in the Bibliothèque Nationale in 1980

Pennsylvania Hospital, founded in 1751 by Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond. That's probably Ben Franklin on the plinth.

Time for...
Here are this week's picks:

Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400 -- Skydiveboy
401 - 450
451 - 500
 
501 - 550
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700 -- Joe Kupe
701 - 750
751 - 800 -- Marie
801 - 850 -- Magdalen
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000

1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry
1,101 - 1,150 -- Jim (Mendo)
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350 -- Ross
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
1,401 - 1,450 -- Dave
1,451 - 1,500

1,501 - 1,550 -- Howard
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, AND two separate people picked the ranges leading up to and leading up from 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")

Sunday, March 18, 2012

NPR Puzzle 3/18/12 - Crossword Widowhood

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Take the phrase "no sweat." Using only these seven letters, and repeating them as often as necessary, can you make a familiar four-word phrase? It's 15 letters long. What is it?
Not hard. That's all I'll say. Oh, all right, I'll make the obvious joke: it was no sweat.

If you agree, it's because you've figured it out & sent your answer in HERE.

This is the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament weekend, and for the first time in a while, Ross is there on his own. I'm home writing fiction. I use more words that he does, but his job is harder. Sounds like a riddle, but actually it's just the alchemy of the ACPT. Good luck, sweetheart!

Photos. I will not make the same mistake as last week, so you can rest assured that whatever the connection is between these photos and the answer to the puzzle, you won't be able to solve the puzzle from the photos. Email me if you think you can solve the photos (i.e., what their connection is) from the puzzle itself. Good luck on that one; I made it HARD this week.







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.  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 unspecified choosing.

Rachel announced that they had nearly 570 entries. No one picked that slot, so no prize this week. But we've been sending puzzle books out like cah-razy for the past few weeks, so there are prizes. No really. There are. Submit your preference for the number of entries to be announced next Sunday on the radio and see if you can win one.

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, AND two separate people picked the ranges leading up to and leading up from 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").  And yes, this rule is most-likely obsolete but I just like having fine print. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

NPR Puzzle 3/12/12 - Left Hanging? (in this case, not so much)

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
The answer is a two-word name. Inside this name are the consecutive letters I-L-E-H. Remove these four letters, and the remaining letters in order will name something commonly found inside the original thing with the two-word name. What is it?
I confess, it's my intention with my photos to confirm your right answers, not give them to you on an open FILE (FOLDER) HOLDER. Which was the answer, and also my bad. I apologize, and I'll endeavor to do better. (Let's hope Dr. Shortz doesn't rag too badly on Ross at the ACPT this weekend.)

Okay, onto the uncropped photos.







Time for...
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400 -- Skydiveboy
401 - 450
451 - 500
 
501 - 550 -- Dave
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750 -- Ross
751 - 800
801 - 850 -- Magdalen
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000

1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350 -- Paul
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
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 -- Joe Kupe
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, AND two separate people picked the ranges leading up to and leading up from 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")

Sunday, March 11, 2012

NPR Puzzle 3/11/12

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
The answer is a two-word name. Inside this name are the consecutive letters I-L-E-H. Remove these four letters, and the remaining letters in order will name something commonly found inside the original thing with the two-word name. What is it?
I have to admit something. We have software, as you know, that has some pretty hefty databases, including all of Wikipedia's entries. And we're stumped. So if that's a hint, you're welcome to it!

If you know the answer, send it in here. No, not us! This here NPR site...

Oh, that's better. Henry knew the answer. Okay, onto the photos.

I looked up one of the elements of the puzzle and creatively cropped the resulting photos to make them less recognizable and prettier. Full versions on Thursday. Enjoy!






Obvious...if you've solved the puzzle. Hopefully not so obvious if you haven't yet solved the puzzle.

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.  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 unspecified choosing.

Rachel announced that they had more than 1350 entries. Again! That means Dave wins. A prize will go out forthwith. For everyone else, try to guess how many entries this week's relatively easy puzzle will yield and you too could win a cheesy prize! With that, let the race for the coveted 1351-1400 tranche begin!

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, AND two separate people picked the ranges leading up to and leading up from 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").  And yes, this rule is most-likely obsolete but I just like having fine print. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Take the trees hemlock, myrtle, oak and pine. Rearrange the letters in their names to get four other trees, with one letter left over. What trees are they?
The answer trees are ELM, HICKORY, LEMON & TEAK. The letter left over is P.

Photos. I had fun with these -- I wanted photos that would be recognizable only if you'd solved the puzzle. For example, you might know that the first one was a citrus, if you were very skilled at botany. But even so, why not lime? (The explanation at Flickr says this is a two-year-old lemon tree; they are NOT speedy growers.)


Lemon

Hickory

Pignut hickory on the right; cottonwood on the left

Hemlock

Teak (click on the photo for more trees photographed on a walking tour in Malaysia)

Myrtle
Time for...
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400 -- Skydiveboy
401 - 450
451 - 500
 
501 - 550
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850 -- Joe Kupe
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000

1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350 -- Dave
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
1,401 - 1,450 -- Tobias
1,451 - 1,500 -- Ross

1,501 - 1,550 -- Magdalen
1,551 - 1,600 -- Marie
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 -- Jim (Mendo-esque)
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, AND two separate people picked the ranges leading up to and leading up from 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")