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).

7 comments:

Paul said...

When sycamore/rosemary didn't pan out I think I just gave up.

jan said...

The name of the PEPPER CINNAMON tree (Canella winterana) can be rearranged (not surprisingly) into CINNAMON and PEPPER.

Alex B. said...

There's also PERSIAN LILAC which anagrams to NIRA (i.e. garlic chives) and ALLSPICE. Osage orange is clearly the intended answer, but not a tree I'm familiar with.

Paul said...

See, now CHIVES I could've used, if sycamores are anything like aspens. ...

Mendo Jim said...

Acchh! I even have some hedge apples on my place.
They are a super tough tree, with thorns and hard trunks. Enough to make a hedge, but the wood is also about the toughest possible for making "100 year" fence posts.
The brainy apples are toxic all around.
I am sure Ross got a kick out of Will's revelation that British style crostic crosswords are his favorite.

Mendo Jim said...

Obviously I was being cryptic when I wrote crostic.

David said...

I thought of The Sycamore and Thyme / Coarse (salt).