Sunday, June 30, 2013

Keep on Trucking

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
It involves a spoonerism, in which you reverse the initial consonant sounds in one phrase to make another phrase. For example, if you spoonerize "light rain," you get "right lane." Name part of a truck in two words; spoonerize it, and you'll name something FEMA uses. What is it?
Ross got this one, which led to a very surreal conversation about a feature of UPS trucks. I'll see if I can get a photo of THAT by Thursday.

 It's safe to predict that you managed to solve the puzzle without any surreal conversations, instead taking your answer straight to the NPR Contact Us form found here.

Someone asked for an update on my health. Happy to oblige, although it's not going to endear anyone to the medical profession. I am improving everyday--lung function, appetite, stamina. It's all good. I would love to get off the IV-antibiotics, especially before school starts. (I'm in a low-residency MFA course that requires me to be in Maine for ten days in July.) At the same time, I respect the concerns of my infectious disease specialist, who wants me to have another two weeks of the IV-antibiotics. After that, well, he'd like me to have another CT scan...only that's when I'm in Maine for school.

We saw this specialist on Friday. I pushed him to let me switch to oral antibiotics, just for the two weeks while I'm in school. His problem is that the remaining infection in my right lung is "loculated," a fancy word for a sort-of honeycomb structure that encases the infection. When I asked if that bit of the infection is shrinking, the specialist said he didn't know, and that a cardio-thoracic surgeon needs to assess that.

*sigh*

Ross and I got CDs loaded with my two CT scans, taken a month apart. Those CDs have been Fed-Ex'd to my primary care physician in Philadelphia, whom I trust to be sensible. He can ask a thoracic surgeon to review the scans and see if I need surgery. (There's a minimally-invasive procedure, VATS, that cleans out the honeycomb, in effect.)

Here's my theory about medical specialists: If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The infectious disease specialist wants me to have more IV-antibiotics because that's his hammer. The thoracic surgeon will probably say I need VATS, which is his hammer. What I want to know is if the VATS can wait another three weeks so that I can go to school as planned. I'm counting on my PCP to be the sensible one--he doesn't have a hammer in this case.

That's where we are. If I have more news on Thursday, I'll share it. Then the blog will be on a school-related sabbatical until July 21, when I'll have yet more news. But the real story is that I am getting better. No worries there.

Photos: I typed FEMA into Flickr and found a lot of photos loaded by someone who goes by Smiteme. They all show post Hurricane Katrina damage. I'd forgotten the efforts many people made to rescue pets, so I have heart-warming dog and kitten photos as well. (I eschewed the anti-FEMA sentiment photos, not because the agency doesn't deserve that reaction but because some of the language is uh, a bit coarse.) You can click on the photos to get to their Flickr pages.







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.

Over 900 correct entries this week. Joe Kupe, you are the winner! Let us know which prize you'd like. Everyone else can mop up their tears of defeat and guess again to have a chance to 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, June 27, 2013

I Deduce Ether Trashes Height

Here's this week's NPR puzzle:
Write down these five words: "aide," "heart," "tough," "gelatin" and "emanate." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And what's another word with this property?
The answer is that each word can be rearranged into another word simply by moving the first letter to the end. AIDE becomes IDEA, etc.

The second part of the puzzle--coming up with a new word that shares this property--is super easy if you don't specify a minimum length. "Easy" could have been "Yeas" (as in, "The yeas have it."). Ross and I tried to find longer words. RANCHO / ANCHOR, GRIFFIN / RIFFING, etc. We got a bit cheeky when Ross suggested DUNSTABLE / UNSTABLED.

If you want to see an entire list of words (and some names, like Dunstable) that fit this pattern, try this: http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Rec/rec.puzzles/2005-08/msg00017.html

As you might have guessed, our photos on Sunday were of places with RANCHO, GRIFFIN, AND DUNSTABLE in their Flickr descriptions. (I threw in a DHURRIE rug, but I'll admit that I got that from the list.)

Dunstable Priory

Pisa, Italy -- note the griffin on the tiny plinth on the right

Dunstable Downs

Rancho Luna Beach, Cienfuegos, Cuba

A dhurrie rug being woven

Rancho Milpitas, near Napa Valley
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 -- Ross
 
501 - 550 -- David
551 - 600
601 - 650 -- Magdalen
651 - 700 -- Mendo Jim
701 - 750 -- Word Woman
751 - 800 -- Curtis
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950 -- Joe Kupe
951 - 1,000 -- Marie
1,001 - 1,050
1,051 - 1,100
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300 -- skydiveboy
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, June 23, 2013

Five Little Words...Again

Here's this week's NPR puzzle:
Write down these five words: "aide," "heart," "tough," "gelatin" and "emanate." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And what's another word with this property?
Another "write down these five words" puzzle! Yippee! (Sarcasm provided free of charge...) Here's an unhelpful hint: figuring out what the five words have in common is relatively easy. But to think of another word...that's a bit more of a challenge. Enjoy!

Or...you've already solved it, in which case don't forget to send your answer in to NPR by filling in their contact form found here.

For those of you following my medical progress, I went for a CT scan yesterday. Keep your fingers crossed that all the infection is gone, because if it is, there's a chance I get released from IV-antibiotics, and I'm so ready to lose the six feet of plastic tubing and wildly unattractive black-and-maroon nylon bag. SO READY. (I'll report on Thursday how I did.)

Okay, photos of words we've thought of that fit the format (if you squint a little).







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.

Over 700 correct entries this week, which means no winner. That's a relatively high number in the current era. So what do you think, is this new puzzle even easier? And what does that mean in terms of numbers? As usual, you gotta guess to have a chance to 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, June 20, 2013

...And Sometimes Y, But Not This Time

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:

Write down these five words: "mate," "peck," "miss," "pot" and "blunder." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And, can you name one other word with the same property?
All five words--you'll notice how they different vowels in the beginning of the word?--can take all five vowels in that position. MATE, METE, MITE, MOTE, MUTE, etc.

We've thought of one, BALL, BELL, BILL, BOLL, BULL, but we know there must be lots. Yup, there's one: LAST, LEST, LIST, LOST, LUST. (I got that from typing LOTS, by the way.)

Anyway, I used photos on Sunday that I got from looking up ball, etc. on Flickr. Let's see what I get with last, etc.

Last

Last

Lest

List

Lost

Lust
Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200 -- Laura
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350 -- Magdalen
351 - 400 -- Curtis
401 - 450 -- Marie
451 - 500 -- Ross
 
501 - 550 -- David
551 - 600 -- Word Woman
601 - 650
651 - 700 -- skydiveboy
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, June 16, 2013

Word Salad

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Write down these five words: "mate," "peck," "miss," "pot" and "blunder." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And, can you name one other word with the same property?
Ross just solved this--he is SO clever--but now to name a sixth word. We suspect there are multiple options. We've thought of one, which we'll tell you on Thursday.

And you can send in your answer (which may, or may not, be the same as Ross's) to NPR using their extra-special contact form here.

We went out last night with friends for dinner and a show at a local theater. Ross told our friends it was my first time out since I'd been released from the hospital. I was startled to realize that was true. Wow, what a little shut-in I've become! Actually, the entire evening was loads of fun and not too exhausting. Further evidence I'm getting better.

Okay, some perfectly random photos--no reason at all that I picked these, no sirree--for your Sunday pleasure.







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.

Over 500 correct entries this week, which means David won. Let us know what prize you'd like, David, and we'll get that taken care of. And for everyone else, is this an easy puzzle this week? And what does that mean in terms of numbers? I have no idea if "just over 500 correct entries" is a lot or a little. Nonetheless, you gotta guess to have a chance to 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, June 13, 2013

After Earth...Wind & Fire?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a movie in two words — five letters in each word. Both words start with vowels. Take one letter in the first word, move it two spaces later in the alphabet, and rearrange the result. You'll get the second word in the movie's title. What movie is it?
Ross got this one. The intended answer is AFTER EARTH (the F becomes an H).

Thanks again for all your kind words. The IV-antibiotics are mostly just annoying. It's like being tethered to your handbag or briefcase 24/7. But I'm more than halfway done, so the end is in sight!

Let's see what I get in Flickr if I type in "After Earth" (click through for more info):








Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150 -- Mendo Jim
151 - 200
201 - 250 -- Ross
251 - 300 -- Magdalen
301 - 350
351 - 400 -- Curtis
401 - 450 -- Marie
451 - 500 -- Word Woman
 
501 - 550 -- David
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700 -- Paul
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, June 9, 2013

Shortz Feature Film?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a movie in two words — five letters in each word. Both words start with vowels. Take one letter in the first word, move it two spaces later in the alphabet, and rearrange the result. You'll get the second word in the movie's title. What movie is it?
There's a lot I could say, but all of it would be borderline hinting.

And anyway, you KNOW the answer and you've already sent it in to NPR through their contact us form.

Magdalen here. Many thanks to Ross, who--in addition to having to do everything while I've been sick--pinch-hit on the blog.

I know, I've been sick a lot. Here's the short version of events: I had gallbladder attacks in early March, scheduled what should have been a routine operation in mid-April, only it wasn't routine and I didn't recover as quickly as I should, perhaps because there was some infection in my liver that jumped into my right lung where it got really, really big. Here's the crazy part: I never ran a fever. So much for the one symptom I might have noticed at home to suggest something was wrong! Anyway, when I suddenly had severe pain in my chest, Ross drove me to the ER. Ten days later, I was released from the hospital, and ten days after that, I'm blogging again, albeit with an IV-antibiotics bag running 24/7.

If anyone asks, my husband is a saint. Just saying.

Okay, photos. This is a hint-free post, so all I've done is take each of the movie title's words and plugged them into Flickr to see what comes up.







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.

Confession: We slept through the actual broadcast, so I have no idea how many people correctly guessed IRK VEX BUG (I certainly hadn't). Good thing we weren't running the Pick a Range last week! We are now, though, so leave your pick in the comments and let us know. And please, no hints in the comments. Thanks!

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).