Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pairing Up for Commerce

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
The word "wizard" has the peculiar property that its letters can be grouped in pairs — A and Z, D and W, and I and R — that are opposite each other in the alphabet. That is, A and Z are at opposite ends of the alphabet, D and W are four letters in from their respective ends, and I and R are nine letters in from their respective ends. Can you name a well-known brand name in six letters that has this same property?
We're working on this, which means it's not immediately obvious, or we're all still groggy from too much food and computer games. (Edited to add: Ross solved it.)


You on the other hand have solved this immediately because you are magically delicious, wait, no, just plain smart!

And, having solved it, you've been smart enough to send your answer in to NPR using their delicate snowflake of a contact form, found--quick, before it melts!--here.

Photos. Well, as I don't know the answer (yet), I can hardly post something too hinty. Here, nonetheless, are some brand names.













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 or a contribution in the winner's honor to the Philippine Red Cross, or World Food Programme, both helping communities hit by Haiyan (aka Super Typhoon Yolanda).

Over 1100 entries so once again last week yielded no winner. This week is, we believe, not easy. I'm predicting that the ranges from zero to 500 will fill up pretty quickly.

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). 

Friday, December 27, 2013

"And It Only Took Three Months"

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of a well-known filmmaker, first and last names, add "S-U-N" before this person's first name and last name. In each case, you'll form a common English word. Who is the filmmaker?
Here's the joke for this this blog's title. Ross has figured out how to watch TV through Amazon Prime. He started to download Ken Burns'--oh, right, that's the answer: SUNKEN SUNBURNS--documentary series on the national parks. The night before the puzzle, Ross finished the last episode and said, "I've watched my first Ken Burns' documentary."

Me: "And it only took three months."

No photos, as a year-end gesture for Mendo Jim. :-)

The explanation for the photos in Sunday's post is simple. Ken Burns' Wiki page mentions "Among places they called home were Saint-Véran, France [and] Newark, Delaware. I couldn't just plunk down photos of those two places. (I checked. If you Google those names, you get Ken Burns as the first entry.) But related photos seemed okay. So the top three are of that region of France, and the bottom three are of other places named Newark.

Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300 -- Joe Kupe
301 - 350
351 - 400 -- Curtis
401 - 450 -- Magdalen
451 - 500
 
501 - 550 -- Ross
551 - 600
601 - 650 -- Mendo Jim
651 - 700
701 - 750 -- Word Woman
751 - 800 
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000 -- Marie
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 -- zeke creek
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 -- Paul
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 -- Maggie Strasser
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

 > 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, December 22, 2013

And It's Another No-Hinter!

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of a well-known filmmaker, first and last names, add "S-U-N" before this person's first name and last name. In each case, you'll form a common English word. Who is the filmmaker?
We can't deny it. This one's easy. And very hintable, so you know the rules: don't let me catch you at it.

And you have until Boxing Day to send in your answer, but why wait until the last minute? Beat the crush! So send that really obvious answer in to NPR using their contact us form here.

By the way, congrats to all our readers who came up with alternate islands.

Photos. I'll tell you why these on Thursday. And before Thursday, may you all get the gifts you're dreaming of!













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 or a contribution in the winner's honor to the Philippine Red Cross, or World Food Programme, both helping communities hit by Haiyan (aka Super Typhoon Yolanda).

Over 500 entries so last week yielded no winner. And that seemed like an easy puzzle. So your guess is...well, certainly better than mine (I haven't "won" for ages)

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, December 19, 2013

The Bronx is Up and the Battery's Down

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name an island in which some of the letters appear more than once. Drop exactly two instances of each repeated letter. The remaining letters can be rearranged to name something to eat. What is it?
We're not sure if Will Shortz realizes this, but if you look up "islands" in Wiki (to get a list, of course), the picture is of Manhattan. Look no further--no matter what the intended answer is--because MANHATTAN = HAM. Do tell us all the other foody islands in the comments!

I did violate my own no-hinting rule (which you guys obeyed beautifully--I didn't get any of your hints because you are clever and I am...not) by picking Eastern Europe for the Photos from Sunday. See, when I think of "ham" I remember Roland Cyr, a supervisor of mine from 30 years ago. One of my colleagues saw the name "Pinkham" and pronounced it wrong. Mr. Cyr, a rather uncouth Jackie Gleason type, corrected her. "Pink ham is what you have on Easter. Pinkham is pronounced pinkum."

Easter led to Eastern which led to the photo array you saw.

Here's some seasonal pictures from Manhattan:













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

1,501 - 1,550 -- David
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 -- zeke creek
1,951 - 2,000
2,001 - 2,050 -- Sarah
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 -- Richard
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, December 15, 2013

No Puzzle Is an Island--?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name an island in which some of the letters appear more than once. Drop exactly two instances of each repeated letter. The remaining letters can be rearranged to name something to eat. What is it?
We have an answer. We suspect there will be more than one legal answer. Please come back on Thursday and tell us which island/food combination you found.

After, of course, sending it in to NPR using this wee little Contact Us form that NPR hides in an Advent Calendar every December. :-)

Oh, and this is a hint-free zone this week. Go hint over at Blaine's blog if you think you have a very witty and coy way of suggesting the obvious answer. (One exception to the no hinting rule. If you have two answers, you are allowed to hint at the SECOND, or less obvious, answer here.)

Photos. I've selected Eastern Europe (rather landlocked, so fewer islands for me not to hint at). Feel free to click through for attribution and explanations:







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 or a contribution in the winner's honor to the Philippine Red Cross, or World Food Programme, both helping communities hit by Haiyan (aka Super Typhoon Yolanda).

Over 200 entries so last week's "winner" was Ross. (I offered him a puzzle book...) You, too, get a choice of prizes, so pick a range and see if you win. (Sadly the cookies are all gone. Sorry, Mendo Jim.)

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, December 12, 2013

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I Have a Puzzle in Kalamazoo

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a U.S. city in nine letters. Shift the third letter six places later in the alphabet. Then shift the last letter seven places later in the alphabet. The result will be a family name featured in the title of a famous work of fiction. What is the city, and what is the family name?
Interesting puzzle. The answer is KALAMAZOO, becoming KARAMAZOV. Clever, yes?

I'm sharing part of the Glenn Miller Band's double-barreled rendition of "I Have a Gal in Kalamazoo." First half is Tex Beneke, but the better half is the Nicholas Brothers, who sing and dance. Their legs look like rubber bands! (That's a compliment, if anatomically confusing.)



Time for

Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250 -- Ross
251 - 300
301 - 350 -- Mendo Jim
351 - 400 -- Curtis
401 - 450 -- Magdalen
451 - 500 -- Word Woman
 
501 - 550
551 - 600 -- Joe Kupe
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750 -- zeke creek
751 - 800 
801 - 850 -- KDW
851 - 900
901 - 950 -- Paul
951 - 1,000 -- phredp
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

 > 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, December 8, 2013

Set a Title in Nine Letters. Sezatitll?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a U.S. city in nine letters. Shift the third letter six places later in the alphabet. Then shift the last letter seven places later in the alphabet. The result will be a family name featured in the title of a famous work of fiction. What is the city, and what is the family name?
Interesting. We have not come up with the answer yet, but Henry's here for Cookie Weekend, so I daresay while we're making rugelach, we'll come up with a solution.

You, who are brilliant, have already solved the puzzle and submitted your answer using the NPR Contact Us form with the bright red nose, seen here.

We will continue to wrestle with this one. Meanwhile, here are some cities that we're pretty sure are not the answer:







 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 or a contribution in the winner's honor to the Philippine Red Cross, or World Food Programme, both helping communities hit by Haiyan (aka Super Typhoon Yolanda).

Around 1300 entries, so no winner. Add to that, last week's puzzle was absurdly easy. This week seems harder. Are we all going to cluster in the first ten ranges again? Or are Ross, Henry and I just being impossibly dim? Ponder all that, then throw a dart to pick a range and see if you 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). 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Poi, Anyone?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a dance. Change one of the letters to a U. The resulting letters can be rearranged to name an event at which this dance is done. What is it?
HULA and LUAU. So of course all my photos (see below) had to be of cold and snowy locales.

I managed it by finding this lovely woman: Joann Kealiinohomoku, neé Wheeler, who came from all those delightfully chilly places in the Midwest. I do feel clever.

Here are some much more suitably Hawaiian photos from Flickr.




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 -- EKW
751 - 800 
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950 -- KDW
951 - 1,000 -- Magdalen
1,001 - 1,050 -- zeke creek
1,051 - 1,100
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250 -- Word Woman
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
1,401 - 1,450 -- Ross
1,451 - 1,500 -- Joe Kupe

1,501 - 1,550 -- Paul
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 -- Marie
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

 > 5,000 -- Mendo Jim
 > 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, December 1, 2013

Somehow I Doubt It's Twerking...

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a dance. Change one of the letters to a U. The resulting letters can be rearranged to name an event at which this dance is done. What is it?
Easy-peasy, presumably to make up for the low numbers of entries in past weeks.

It's so easy, in fact, that you're in danger of forgetting to send in your answer. Do it NOW, using the shy, little NPR Contact Us form found here.

We here at Crossword Man want to thank all our readers--the regulars, the occasional visitors and the lurkers (and Will Shortz!)--for making it fun to write this blog. We hope you're having a wonderful last day to the holiday weekend.

Gosh, I'm sneaky. All of the photos below--you can click through to see where they're of--relate to a biography on Wiki. I'll explain on Thursday whose biography and how that person is intimately related to the dance of 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. 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 or a contribution in the winner's honor to the Philippine Red Cross, or World Food Programme, both helping communities hit by Haiyan (aka Super Typhoon Yolanda).

Around 150 entries, so KDW won two weeks in a row. Same prize, KDW? This week seems ridiculously easy. With that in mind, pick a range and see if you 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). 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

This Puzzle Is Brought to You by the Letter O

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a tree whose letters can be rearranged to spell two herbs or spices. What are they? Hint: The tree has a two-word name.
I've had a cold for the last week, so I've been a little bit out of it. (That's right, I'm blaming my cognitive deficits on cold meds. You got a problem with that?)

Yesterday (Tuesday), I said to Ross, "We need to solve the tree puzzle."

"Look at the board." (We have a white board on our fridge for notes, etc.)

On the board was written OSAGE ORANGE.

Say what? That's a real tree? The herbs are easy to spot: SAGE and OREGANO. But OSAGE ORANGE sounds like Dr. Seuss made it up. Or maybe Jim Henson's Muppets. Actually, it seems it's for real. The fruit is also known as "hedge apples."

According to the Osage Orange Wiki page, the claim that the fruit--which is not edible--is a natural insect repellant hasn't been proven. Here are some pictures:








I'll admit it, I'd never heard of this before yesterday. Learn something new every day.

Time for

Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50 -- Word Woman
 51 - 100 -- Curtis
101 - 150 -- KDW
151 - 200 -- Marie
201 - 250 -- Alex B.
251 - 300 -- zeke creek
301 - 350 -- David
351 - 400 -- Joe Kupe
401 - 450 -- Ross
451 - 500 -- Magdalen
 
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

 > 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, November 24, 2013

Trees, Trees, Trees, Trees...

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a tree whose letters can be rearranged to spell two herbs or spices. What are they? Hint: The tree has a two-word name.
We're working on this one. Lots of choices.

Meanwhile, you've already solved it, so here's the NPR Contact Us form for sending in your spicy answer!

Photos of trees! I personally think trees are among the most beautiful things to photograph and this collection bears that out. More than the usual allotment (sorry, Mendo Jim!) because it was hard to pick just six.










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 Wednesday post. After the Thursday Wednesday post is up, the entries are closed. The winner gets a puzzle book of our choosing or a contribution in the winner's honor to the Philippine Red Cross, or World Food Programme, both helping communities hit by Haiyan (aka Super Typhoon Yolanda).

Around 300 entries, so KDW won. Pick your prize, KDW. This week seems hard. Does everyone agree, or are we just being stupid? With that in mind, pick a range and see if you 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).