Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Voyage of Discovery

Ross again ... which can only mean there's something up with Magdalen. Yes, she's unfortunately back in hospital with some serious post-operative problems. We don't know when she'll be released yet, so after this post the NPR blogging will be on hiatus for at least a week.

Here once again is this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a category of books, in two words. Add one letter to each word — the same letter of the alphabet in each case. Rearrange the letters of the first word plus the added letter to make a new word. For the second word simply insert the new letter somewhere inside it. The result will be the two-word title of a famous movie, which is based on a book, which is definitely not found in the category of books you originally named. Name the category of books and the movie.
I found it easier to think of book categories, arriving eventually at chick lit. Not correct, but it was tempting that you can make list from lit and it prompted the movie name and hence the book category. Yes, the category is children's lit from which you can make the movie Schindler's List.

I'll try and work out Magdalen's picture choices from her notes:

This is from Corpus Christi, TX where entertainment executive Sid Sheinberg was born. Sid is credited with "discovering" Steven Spielberg. It was he that later suggested a movie based on Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally.


This is from Cincinatti, OH, the birthplace of Steven Spielberg, who tried to assign the movie project to several other directors before finally deciding to direct the film himself:


This is from Paris, France, where Roman Polanski was born. He was Spielberg's first choice as director, but turned down the gig:


Spielberg also offered the film to Sydney Pollack, born in Lafayette, IN:


and to Martin Scorsese, born in Flushing, NY:


Billy Wilder born in Sucha Beskidzka, Austria-Hungary (now Poland) also expressed interest in directing the film "as a memorial to most of [his] family, who went to Auschwitz."


Time for
Here are this week's picks (and the winner may elect to switch the contribution to the Oklahoma City Tornado Recovery Fund):
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150 -- EKW
151 - 200 -- Mendo Jim
201 - 250
251 - 300 -- Magdalen
301 - 350 -- Word Woman
351 - 400 -- Curtis
401 - 450 -- Marie
451 - 500 -- David
 
501 - 550 -- Ross
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, May 19, 2013

Eenie, Meenie, Meinie, Mo -- Who's Going to Make This Show?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a category of books, in two words. Add one letter to each word — the same letter of the alphabet in each case. Rearrange the letters of the first word plus the added letter to make a new word. For the second word simply insert the new letter somewhere inside it. The result will be the two-word title of a famous movie, which is based on a book, which is definitely not found in the category of books you originally named. Name the category of books and the movie.
At first, Ross and I couldn't agree on how to solve this. Do you look at categories of books? Or do you look at lists of movies, focusing on the two-word titles? Ross solved it using logic, which always strikes me as dirty pool.

You, of course, instinctively knew the answer because that's how fast your brain works, so you've already sent the answer in via the NPR Contact Us form.

There's an interesting story about the making of this particular film, and I've exploited for the Photos. Below are shots of the birthplaces of men who had their hands on the option to make this movie. One of them did, but it really could have been any of them.







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 in the winner's honor.

No one won this week with 750 -- some guessed lower, but most guessed higher. I certainly think Ted Turner, Head Turner is easier than this week's puzzle, so I predict a cluster of picks in the mid- to low-hundreds. Leave your pick in the comments and let us know.

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, May 16, 2013

I Suspect Ted's Turned His Share of Heads

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a famous American man, first and last names. Change the first letter of his first name from T to H. The result will sound like a term for an attractive person. Who is it?
I liked this puzzle. TED TURNER became HEAD TURNER. Something apt in all that.

Anyway, Ted used to be the number one landowner in the U.S. (He's since been surpassed by John C. Malone, most of whose property is in Maine.)

Here are some things that Ted owns, or has put his hand to. (Click for more information.)







Oh, and before you rag on me for showing you bison in two similar pictures, you should know that there's over a thousand miles between those bison. (Top photo is New Mexico; bottom is Montana.)

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 -- Ross
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700 -- Mendo Jim
701 - 750
751 - 800 
801 - 850 -- Magdalen
851 - 900 -- Word Woman
901 - 950 -- Marie
951 - 1,000 -- David
1,001 - 1,050 -- Paul
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 -- Curtis
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, May 12, 2013

Too Bad There Aren't More Famous Men Named Tot Mama

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a famous American man, first and last names. Change the first letter of his first name from T to H. The result will sound like a term for an attractive person. Who is it?
Interesting. I got it over breakfast by not thinking of much at all. I don't recommend that technique, but it could work in a pinch.

You, of course, solved it immediately and sent it in, because you adore the NPR Contact Us form.

Here, as expected, are some wildly misleading photos of places mentioned in our famous man's Wiki page.








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 in the winner's honor.

Mendo Jim was last week's winner with 680, which means he gets to let us know if he'd prefer a puzzle book or the warm glow of satisfaction from having a donation made in his name.
 
Everyone else can pick a range for our Famous American Man puzzle. Easy? Hard? Depends on the weather? Leave your pick in the comments and let us know.

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, May 9, 2013

Callas at LaScala -- How Grand! How Operatic!

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a famous performer whose last name has six letters. Move the first three letters to the end — without otherwise changing the order of the letters — and add one more letter at the end. The result, in seven letters, will name a place where this person famously performed. Who is it, and what's the place?
The answer is Maria CALLAS and LaSCALA, the famous opera house in Milan.

According to Mendo Jim, Dr. Shortz has used this puzzle before, undoubtedly with a different wording, and one can see why. It's a very elegant connection.

Ever wondered what LaScala looks like?






And here's Maria Callas singing:



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 -- Curtis
401 - 450 -- Ross
451 - 500 -- Word Woman
 
501 - 550 -- Zeke Creek
551 - 600 -- Marie
601 - 650 -- Magdalen
651 - 700 -- Mendo Jim
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
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, May 5, 2013

NPR Puzzle 5/5/13 -- Performer Chopped in Half? Sounds Like a Magic Act

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a famous performer whose last name has six letters. Move the first three letters to the end — without otherwise changing the order of the letters — and add one more letter at the end. The result, in seven letters, will name a place where this person famously performed. Who is it, and what's the place?
The hardest part of solving this was figuring out how to solve it. But we managed. We're rusty, but we're not completely brain-dead.

You, of course, do not have our problems with squeaky synapses that need to be greased. You've already sent the correct answer in to NPR using their contact form found here.

Today is Cinco de Mayo, which also happens to be Ross's and my "American" anniversary. For immigration reasons, we needed to get married pretty quickly after my divorce to Henry was final, so we accepted our cousin's kind invitation to have a simple ceremony on her deck in Lexington, MA. Jeans and sneakers, plus the town clerk as justice of the peace. Almost a year later we did the "big dress" ceremony at Fountain's Abbey in North Yorkshire. Yup, we've been married twice, just to satisfy legal concerns and to make sure Ross's nieces could be bridesmaids.

Photos: Here are some pictures of places mentioned in our famous performer's Wiki entry.







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 in the winner's honor.

I'm in the camp that thinks last week's puzzle lacked a certain charm. This week? Better. Incidentally, Ross "won" last week with 550, which seems a low number of entries for a puzzle solvable by the 79-year-old winner in 5 minutes using Google. Factor all that in and let us know your pick for the chance to win either a puzzle book or the warm glow of satisfaction you get because you're a generous person.

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, May 2, 2013

Will Shortz Has Gone to the Birds

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
The first 12 letters of the alphabet are A to L. Think of a familiar, six-word proverb that contains 11 of these 12 letters. The letters may be used more than once, and you may use additional letters from the second half of the alphabet. What proverb is this?
Ross gets credit for solving this one. The intended answer is BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER, with J as the missing letter.

So, what did you think? Good puzzle? Or just some alphabetical bookkeeping? I'm not sure, myself.

And thanks, everyone, for your good wishes. I'm slowly feeling better, but I have a few weeks to go before this situation is well-and-truly behind me.

Here are some fine feathered friends, flocking together:







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 -- Word Woman
 
501 - 550
551 - 600 -- Ross
601 - 650 -- Magdalen
651 - 700 -- musettesmom
701 - 750
751 - 800 
801 - 850
851 - 900 -- Mendo Jim
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200 -- Paul
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
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 -- 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
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).