Thursday, May 31, 2012

NPR Puzzle 5/27/12 - The Hint of a Woman

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name two different kinds of wool. Take the first five letters of one, followed by the last three letters of the other. The result will spell the first and last name of a famous actor. Who is it?
The answer, for the only person out there who doesn't already know, is AL PACINO (ALPACa + merINO).

Someone asked in the comments to last Sunday's post what my policy was on hints in the comments. I had to think about that. My favorite hints are the ones that read as nearly normal locution. "Scarf ace" was far too labored for me. But I'd rather have that hint be a little over the line than crack some blogging whip and treat our readers and Pick-a-Range participants like unruly children.

What I'm even less happy about are the complaints. They strike me as indefensible. Contact me privately if you really think I'm messing up an otherwise pleasant blog experience. Posting a complaint in a comment isn't "please change this" as much as it's "look, look, he's cheating!" It's tattling, and as such, it's far too juvenile for my preference.

Here, then, is my official policy:
  • On hints and jokey or punning references to the answer to the puzzle: Don't let me see you doing it. They should read like plausibly benign comments. Ross and I reserve the right to remove any comment that is deliberately trying to give the game away.
  • On complaints about hints: Complain to me privately and I'll consider your position. Complain on the comments form, and I'll ignore you. Ross and I reserve the right to remove any comment that is evidence of a whiny nature or bad sportsmanship.
  • On juvenile behavior generally: Don't make me stop blogging because I'm no longer having fun.
  • On common sense: If you don't like the comments, don't read them. If you still want to play Pick-a-Range, email me [magdalen (at) crosswordman (dot) com] with your range and I'll do my best to give you that range or the nearest I can come to that range, allowing for picks that preceded the time you posted your email.
We clear? Excellent. Moving on.

The photos, it turns out, are all of New York City. Al Pacino's Wiki page is curiously devoid of place names. In fact, I had to infer "Central Park" from his performances in Shakespeare in the Park.

East Harlem, where Pacino was born
South Bronx, where Pacino grew up.
Entrance to the Bronx Zoo, close to where Pacino lived
Hell's Kitchen, location of the Actors Studio
Central Park #1
Central Park #2

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 -- David
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700 -- skydiveboy
701 - 750
751 - 800 -- Curtis
801 - 850
851 - 900 -- Paul
901 - 950
951 - 1,000 -- Magdalen

1,001 - 1,050 -- Dave
1,051 - 1,100 -- HenryBW
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 -- Ross
1,551 - 1,600
1,601 - 1,650
1,651 - 1,700
1,701 - 1,750
1,751 - 1,800
1,801 - 1,850 -- Tobias Duncan
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000

2,001 - 2,050 -- Joe Kupe
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 + 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, May 27, 2012

No Slut's Wool, Please

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name two different kinds of wool. Take the first five letters of one, followed by the last three letters of the other. The result will spell the first and last name of a famous actor. Who is it?
Not hard. Soft, in fact. Very soft...and kind of fluffy.

Nah, I'm just teasing you. Geddit? Teasing? Hey, I'm a knitter, I've got all the yarns.

Send your answer in to NPR either pinned to a pair of handmade socks, or using this URL here.

Okay, photos. Famous actor means a Wiki page, and here are some places mentioned in that article:




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.

About 800 entries this week. Again, not as high as we were expecting. Skydiveboy gets an Honorable Mention for picking 851-900, but that's about it.

And if Rachel keeps using the "about [round number]" locution, we may have to invoke the tie breaker rule after all. Which, in this case, is going to be "the word 'about' will be treated as the same as the word 'exactly'; thus, 'about 800 entries' will be treated as though the number was 'exactly 800 entries'."  Well, whatever that exactly means, it does mean you should pick a wooly range for the number of entries to be announced next Sunday on the radio! If you guess correctly, you'll win a prize.

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. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

I Think I'd Better Put Some Thought Into This Post

Here's this week's NPR puzzle:
Think of a common three-letter word and five-letter word that together consist of eight different letters of the alphabet. Put the same pair of letters in front of each of these words, and you will have the present and past tense forms of the same verb. What words are these?
I got this by asking TEA for the following pattern: 12345_12*

In English, that would be a five-letter word of five different letters, followed by another word starting with the same two letters as the first one. Frankly, I was bloody lucky that "THINK THROUGH" is a phrase. And look, it's also a three-letter word (INK) and a five-letter word (ROUGH), with TH- at the beginning of each. I'm guessing Dr. Shortz didn't notice that.

Photos. The hardest part was not using the words THINK, INK, THOUGHT, OUGHT, or TH/ROUGH in my intro. But I did use THINK in my search parameters in Flickr. After rejecting all the portraits of people looking like pansies (see #3), here's what I found:


A Thinking Chair (as in, one you sit in while thinking, not a sentient piece of furniture)

This photo taken in Bodensee, Germany prompted someone named Jasmine to write (or quote) a poem, "Thinking of You."

The giveaway photo, as PANSY comes from the same Latin root (heh heh), PENSARE, as the French word, PENSÉE, for "to think."

Positive Thinking in Urban Development (I just liked the colors)

This is someone's thinking spot.

Another photo that inspired someone to poetry, again about thinking of that special someone. (They look like clouds to me...)

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
551 - 600 -- KevinK
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900 -- skydiveboy
901 - 950 -- Dave
951 - 1,000 -- Magdalen

1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- HenryBW
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250 -- Ross
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
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 -- Mendo Jim
1,751 - 1,800
1,801 - 1,850
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000

2,001 - 2,050 -- itSMF as told by Barbara
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 -- Marie
3,501 - 4,000
4,001 - 4,500
4,501 - 5,000

More than 5,000
More than 5,000 + 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, May 20, 2012

NPR Puzzle 5/20/12 - We've Been Irregularly Verbed Again

Here's this week's NPR puzzle:
Think of a common three-letter word and five-letter word that together consist of eight different letters of the alphabet. Put the same pair of letters in front of each of these words, and you will have the present and past tense forms of the same verb. What words are these?
It took me a while to see what we're aiming for here. Ah, our good friends, Irregular Verbs! I have an answer, but until Ross and Henry (who's visiting us for the weekend) wake up to check my math, as it were, I won't say I have the right answer.

Oh, but if I do? Here's an added fillip to this puzzle. Take the original three-letter word and a different five letter word (the two words still comprising eight unique letters), put the same pair of letters at the beginning of each word and you get a common two-word phrase.

I'll share that answer on Thursday.

Now, this is one of those puzzles where I really, really want everyone to play nice and not HINT in the comments. Okay? NO HINTING.

But do send your answer in to NPR using this handy-dandy form right here.

Photos. Ooh, this is tough. Wait... Okay, I've got it:







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 1,000 entries this week. Not as high as we were expecting, right? I thought for a moment that Henry won, but I'd just stuck him in David's slot (I've fixed it now), which David had abandoned to go higher. And this week seems as easy. I dunno. Pick your generously stingy range for the number of entries to be announced next Sunday on the radio! If you guess correctly, you'll win a prize.

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, May 17, 2012

NPR Puzzle 5/13/12 - Dr. Shortz's Take on Healthcare?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a state capital. Change one of the vowels to another vowel and say the result phonetically. You will name a revered profession. What is it?
Uh, okay. MADISON (Wisconsin) becomes MEDICINE. (Hey, it could have been worse. Will could have claimed that THE LAW was a revered profession!)

Photos. Don't feel bad if you didn't guess the connection. I picked one of our more famous "doctors" and grabbed Flickr photos from his life. Who's our lucky doc? Why, it's Dr. Seuss! (The last photo was as close to a giveaway as I got.)

Theodore Geisel's hometown (complete with Mulberry Street): Springfield, Massachusetts. This is actually Main Street.

Geisel's alma mater, Dartmouth

Geisel was supposed to get his doctorate from Lincoln College, Oxford. He met and married his wife there but left without earning the degree.

Read all about "Essomarine" in the Wiki piece, but it boils down to a luncheon in 1940 here at the Waldorf-Astoria.

The Geisels retired to LaJolla, California. And can you blame them?

Islands of Adventure includes "Seuss Landing" a Dr. Seuss-themed amusement park in Orlando, Florida.

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
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 -- HenryBW
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 -- Ross
1,801 - 1,850
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000 -- Magdalen

2,001 - 2,050 -- David
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 -- Mendo Jim
2,751 - 3,000
3,001 - 3,250 -- Dave
3,251 - 3,500 -- Marie
3,501 - 4,000 -- Curtis
4,001 - 4,500 -- skydiveboy
4,501 - 5,000

More than 5,000
More than 5,000 + 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, May 13, 2012

NPR Puzzle 5/13/12 - A Capital Profession

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a state capital. Change one of the vowels to another vowel and say the result phonetically. You will name a revered profession. What is it?
Hmm. Another not-hard puzzle?

Send your answer in to NPR by clicking this link here.

Ross and I had a lovely trip to the strip of communities between Boston and Providence. My cousin, Lucy, graduated from nursing school, so we went to her pinning ceremony on Wednesday. Yesterday, her nephew had his birthday and bar mitzvah on the same day.  In between those two family events, we explored Attleboro, the hometown of a group of settlers who headed southwest and, with the help of Daniel Cooper (James Fennimore Cooper's father), came down the Susquehanna River and ended up just down the hill from where our house is now. (Yes, our house has its own website.)

Our house was built by Laban Capron, so while we were in Attleboro, we visited the house that Laban's great-grandfather, Banfield Capron, lived in. The woman who lives in it now -- and nearly 400 years after it was built, hers is only the fourth family to own it -- explained about how Banfield was the first Capron in the U.S. One of Banfield's sons, Jonathan, had a son, Comfort, who ended up a physician. He came to live here, in our house, with his son Laban, who was a justice of the peace and the first postmaster for our part of the county.

So, in a way, our trip was all about family: our family, and our house's family. And now we're back home...and very tired of driving!

Photos. I'm really enjoying the Least Said Soonest Mended rule, so without further commentary, here's this week's array:







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.

Around 3,400 entries this week. Way too high for most of you, although Norrin2 was ambitious but just overshot a bit. Is this week just as easy? Pick your modestly generous range for the number of entries to be announced next Sunday on the radio! If you guess correctly, you'll win a prize.

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, May 10, 2012

NPR Puzzle 5/7/12 - To Be Easy or Not Too Easy

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Using only the six letters of the name "Bronte," repeating them as often as necessary, spell a familiar six-word phrase. What is it?
I got an email from Henry this evening to point out that there was no Thursday post as of 6 p.m. and was that because Blogger screwed up again, or were we away from home? (We're away from home.) He then went on to say: "I thought the Lego village was a bit of a giveaway." To which my reply (and also the answer to the photos and the puzzle) was: "There are other Legolands, first of all, and anyway, you’d have had to think: Legoland – Denmark – Elsinore – Hamlet – “To Be or Not To Be” and if you can do that, you deserve to have your entry counted."

Click on any of these photos of Denmark for more information:

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
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000

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

1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600
1,601 - 1,650
1,651 - 1,700 -- Tobias Duncan
1,701 - 1,750 -- Marie
1,751 - 1,800
1,801 - 1,850
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000

2,001 - 2,050 -- David
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 -- Norrin2
More than 5,000 + 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")