Sunday, October 28, 2012

NPR Puzzle 10/28/12 -- It's the Halloweeniest Puzzle Ever

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of a word associated with Halloween. Add a letter in the second position to create a new word that does not rhyme with the first. Then add another letter in the third position of the word you just created to complete another word that does not rhyme with either of the first two. What words are these?
We are on the road--no, we're not running away from Hurricane Sandy; we had this trip booked months ago--so this is a truncated post until we arrive at our destination later today and can blog about who won last week's Pick-a-Range.

Ross solved the puzzle while I was preparing the blog post. Teamwork!!

No egregious hints, people--I like this one.

But don't wait for us, when you know the answer, you can send it to the Head Ghost in the NPR Machine here.

In the meantime, here are some Halloween photos:







As usual, click on the photo for more information.

The Pick-a-Range portion is dressed for Halloween as a ghost:























.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

NPR Puzzle 10/21/12 - Series or Sequence? That is the Question?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
What letter comes next in this series: W, L, C, N, I, T?
Oh, right: the answer's right there. What Letter Comes Next In This []eries?
Answer? S.

For Sunday's photos, I looked up the following words in Flickr:
  1. Serene
  2. Surprise
  3. Scenic
  4. (Scenic again but clearly a photo of lilacs will do for Scent)
  5. Situation
  6. Sanguine (brand name of the wool used in the weaving!)
As with the photos below, if you click on any of my S-photos from Sunday, you'll go to the Flickr page for attribution and explanations.








Guess that sheds some light on this week's puzzle!

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 -- EKW
651 - 700
701 - 750 -- Joe Kupe
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950 -- Dave
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- HenryBW
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200 -- Magdalen
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350 -- KDW
1,351 - 1,400
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500

1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600
1,601 - 1,650 -- Mendo Jim
1,651 - 1,700
1,701 - 1,750
1,751 - 1,800 -- Paul
1,801 - 1,850 -- Ross
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000 -- Marie
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 -- Curtis
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). 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

NPR Puzzle 10/21/12 - The Letters W, L, C, N, I, T Have Been Brought to You By W, S, B, A, J, D

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
What letter comes next in this series: W, L, C, N, I, T?
Here's my hint: NO HINTING!

I'm serious. It's a great puzzle and I want to keep it that way. No more hinting. Please.

Your utter and well-deserved sense of being smarter than the average bear will have to  be limited to sending in the right answer to NPR using this delightful, and now so familiar, form.

Photos! I know the letter, so I've looked up some odd words starting with that letter to get some pretty pictures.







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.

It's "Read the Fine Print Day"! There were about 500 entries, so Joe Kupe is the winner! Congratulations, Joe. You and Skydiveboy will be getting puzzle books (I bought some new ones, hence the delay in getting SKB's out in a timely fashion).
 
Guess the range for this week's puzzle.

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). 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

NPR Puzzle 10/14/12 - Nothing Silent in "Politician"

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
What specific and very unusual property do these five words have in common: school, half, cupboard, Wednesday and friend? Identify the property and name a sixth word that shares the property.
Good marital team work on Sunday: Ross saw that the third letter of each word is silent, then I thought of WALK as an example (my argument: WALK rhymes with ROCK but BALK doesn't because you pronounce the L; for that matter, WALK and BALK don't rhyme). Ross looked up five more:
DEBT
SIGN
PEOPLE
POTPOURRI
JEOPARDY
For this week's photos, I typed each of the six answers into Flickr to see what I would get. Click on the photo to see which word went with each picture (you can even try to guess before looking):







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

1,501 - 1,550 -- KDW
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 -- Ross
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. -- Peter
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). 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

NPR Puzzle 10/14/12 - Ordinary Dinner Table Conversation?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
What specific and very unusual property do these five words have in common: school, half, cupboard, Wednesday and friend? Identify the property and name a sixth word that shares the property.
We thought of an answer and looked up five more.

This is a highly hintable puzzle, so let's keep the comment thread spoiler-free, shall we? Many thanks in advance.

Send any of your equally correct answers to NPR through this link here.

If you want to scroll down to the preceding post, my quilt was the last one. The blurry photography was the giveaway. Here's a larger view of it:


For this week's photos, here are some Flickr pix found using some of the multiple answers to today's 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. 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.

Sharp-eared listener KDW heard what we clearly missed, as evidenced by what I originally posted:
Alas, all we got this week was the number of correct entries: 65. Ordinarily we get the number of total entries. As you can imagine, the Pick A Range officials can't control what NPR gives us, so we make do. To be clear: we want you to guess the single number the NPR host will announce. If the NPR host announces both the total number of entries and the number of people who got the answer right, we want the larger of those two numbers. That's what the Pick A Range contest was always meant to be guessing: the number of entries that NPR received.
In fact, Rachel announced that there were over 300 entries (I'll save Mendo Jim the subtraction: more than 235 wrong answers), so Skydiveboy is the winner! Congratulations, Skydiveboy. I believe we may have a special present to send out to you. I'll check.

It's a range. Take a guess. You might win and get 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 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). 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

NPR Puzzle 10/7/12 - My Triangle Quilt!

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Draw a regular hexagon, and connect every pair of vertices except one. The pair you don't connect are not on opposite sides of the hexagon, but along a shorter diagonal. How many triangles of any size are in this figure?
We make the answer to be 82, and here they are, in ready-to-stitch quilt format:


The stunning thing is, leaving out that one line reduces the total from 110 triangles to 82. You wouldn't think a single vector would have that effect.

(The relevant proof for a completed hexagon is here. Here's the key sentence:
The number of triangles is 1, 8, 35, 110, 287, 632, 1302, 2400, 4257, 6956 for polygons with 3 through 12 sides.
I've highlighted the sides=6 number in red.)

I would like to thank Crossword Man for his meticulous work double-checking my work...and finding the four triangles I couldn't see.

Here are some prettier quilts for you to admire. I didn't make any of them. Okay, I made one of them. (Try & guess which...)






Time for
Just to reiterate, we are looking for the number of entries. If the announcement includes the number of correct answers, that's a bonus datum.

Here are this week's picks:

Fewer than 50 -- EKW
 51 - 100 -- Ross
101 - 150
151 - 200 -- Magdalen
201 - 250 -- KDW
251 - 300
301 - 350 -- skydiveboy
351 - 400 -- Curtis
401 - 450
451 - 500
 
501 - 550
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850 -- Marie
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
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 + 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). 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

NPR Puzzle 10/7/12 - Will Shortz is Triangulating Again!

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Draw a regular hexagon, and connect every pair of vertices except one. The pair you don't connect are not on opposite sides of the hexagon, but along a shorter diagonal. How many triangles of any size are in this figure?
Don't have an answer for you, but here's what we think the figure should look like:


I'll do a quilt-y analysis of the number of triangles for Thursday's blog post. In the meantime, go ahead, print this out, use some colored pencils and then send the correct answer in to NPR using their regrettably rectangular contact form here.

By the way, here's where the World Puzzle Championships are taking place: Kraljevica, Croatia. And here's a picture from Flickr:

 

Time for pictures of triangles! (If these aren't enough, look here and here for even more triangle photos.)







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.
We got REAL numbers this week: 140 entries, of which 55 had the intended PROSE/POEMS answer. Alas, none of us guessed that low. So back to the drawing board (see above) and send in your favorite range and see if you can win.
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).