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). 


Anonymous said...

I'll go with 351 - 400. This is within the first ten ranges, so yes, I'm starting the trend of clustering in those low numbers. The puzzle this week is not absurdly easy, but it's now where near as obscure as Osage Orange, which is a new species to me and my wife; both of us has spent most of our lives in the Rocky Mountain region, where the Osage Orange does not grow, or at least it's not common here.

I can remember when an easy puzzle like Hula/Luau would bring in well over 2000 entries. I have to wonder if listener-ship is down, or if the listeners have thrown in the towel on ever getting picked, and therefore stopped participating.

David said...

1001 to 1050, please, donation to Philippine Red Cross, if I win.

phredp said...

951-1000, you can also donate mine to Philippine Red Cross as well

Marie said...

The work of fiction came to my mind quite quickly, then the city was easy. Probably wouldn't have ever thought of the city first...951 please.

Mendo Jim said...

There is talk of another repeat over at Blaine's and I thought I would probably agree as soon as I got this one.
There is also some defense of Dr.S for repeats; I kind of think that if enigmatology is his game, then he had better be the best.

I don't remember it but I do think that, while a little convoluted, this is an OK challenge.

I have to wonder if the sports folks at the NYT agree that their paper ignores the Big Ten or if Will just doesn't like basketball.

I guess there is no age rule for the on air player, but it would have been interesting if yesterday's had gotten called at age 12.
And if he sent in entries routinely for 20 years, he might well have gotten discouraged as Curtis suggests.

I'll also go low at 300+ and take one of the cookies you're baking when I win.

Word Woman said...

451-500 please, partly to honor Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. Kindling those electrons. :-) Thanks.

Paul said...

Mentally and spiritually transported to Magdalen's kitchen, bathed in the mulled fragrances of cinnamon, pecans, nutmeg, and carmelizing (sic) sugar, Jim was unable to discern the stale aroma of Will's puzzle.

901 - 950, WFP, please ... ladies first?

zeke creek said...

701-750, please. Remember my buddy, Charlie, of Boston with a donation to the Philippines.

KDW said...

I solved this quickly because the family name came to me as soon as I'd discarded "Robinson" for being a letter short, and I worked backward from there. Never would have thought of the city first!

I'll try 801-850, please.

Marie, you might want to re-guess your range, because phredp sent in the same range just one minute before you did.


Joe Kupe said...

551 to 600 please. I needed Phone a Friend on this one, and he had to remind me I used to live within 100 miles of this city!