Sunday, September 8, 2013

Another Famous Person's Name Gets Tortured!

Here's this week's NPR puzzle:
Name a famous person in history with four letters in the first name and six letters in the last. Move the first letter of all this to the end. The result will be a two-word phrase that might be defined as "the opposite of a curve." Who's the famous person, and what's the phrase?
Henry got it, which is impressive because...well, it just is.

But I'm sure you have solved it, and sent in the answer using the handy-dandy Contact Us form. (Hey, Dr. Shortz--would let the nice people at NPR know that they left off the link to the Contact Us form on the page with the actual puzzle? Thanks.)

It's been a crazy weekend, and a sad one. Our property is separated by a dead-end dirt road from properties that slope up to a flat, grassy airstrip, co-owned by some pilots. One of them retired here with his wife, a former police detective. Tom and Elaine built a lovely house with a great view and an attached hangar. They owned several planes, including a large two-engine Bobcat, bright yellow.

Over a week ago, Tom and Elaine took off to fly the Bobcat to Iowa where there was an antique plane show. They left Iowa last Monday, flew to Illinois, then to Ohio, and finally stopped for gas about a 45 minute flight from here. They took off from that airport at 7:30 p.m. Monday evening. They never made it home, although the civil air patrol believes they got close because Tom's cell phone is still on and pinging from nearby towers.

They're retired, and both pilots. As I learned yesterday, they have no children. Several days passed before anyone noticed they weren't home. We learned about all of this when a dozen vehicles tried to get up to the airstrip from our road (they'd overshot the only access point; turning around was a bit of a production). An hour later our nearest neighbor called to explain about Tom's plane being missing.

I made brownies for the personnel running the search, which felt stupid, but they got eaten, so it couldn't have been such a terrible idea. Other than that, all we can do is wait for news. I don't think anyone believes the news will be good but knowing is better than not knowing.

I trust your weekend is going better!

Photos. Well, our famous person in history has a Wiki page, so I took two locations from that article and looked them up and found all kinds of cool places with the same 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 to The One Fund Boston (or the American Red Cross, currently helping communities hit by tornadoes) in the winner's honor.

Last week's puzzle garnered over 2,700 answers. No winner. How do you think the people who knew Beyoncé's name will do with this week's famous person? Pick a 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). 


Alex B. said...

I can't tell if this is hard or not. 751-800?

Mendo Jim said...

"Tortured" indeed.
Dr. S has not been averse to using the modifier "sounds like" in the past.
Not doing it here turns a clever challenge into just another mistake.
2700 correct entries seems kind of unlikely for last week, let alone for this, but I'll take it anyway.

skydiveboy said...


Anonymous said...

351 - 400, please.

zeke creek said...

401-450 please, and thanks for the link.

skydiveboy said...

to zeke: Was it missing?

Anonymous said...

I just have to know what the answer is. This is the hardest challenge they've had since the one with veterinary(vein, artery). I can't think of any famous person in history who fits this description. It's driving me crazy, and I've got other things to do. I don't need this. How could Henry get it just like that? Who could possibly just pop into his mind that easily? I hope you do post the answer on Thursday. I'm going to check back then. B

David said...

501 to 550, please.

Marie said...

I'm hoping against hope that your neighbors are okay,.....

zeke creek said...

Not now,, bromigo. :-)

Laura said...


Word Woman said...

201 - 250, s'il vous plait.

Yes, hoping your neighbors were perhaps the people who landed safely in a corn field.

EKW said...


I like this puzzle, now that I know the answer!

Joe Kupe said...

51 - 100. Difficult, but very literal! Lowest amount of correct entries in the last four years was 55, this may come close to breaking the record!

KDW said...

May I try 301-350, please?