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).

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Trees, Trees, Trees, Trees...

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.
We're working on this one. Lots of choices.

Meanwhile, you've already solved it, so here's the NPR Contact Us form for sending in your spicy answer!

Photos of trees! I personally think trees are among the most beautiful things to photograph and this collection bears that out. More than the usual allotment (sorry, Mendo Jim!) because it was hard to pick just six.










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 Wednesday post. After the Thursday Wednesday 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 300 entries, so KDW won. Pick your prize, KDW. This week seems hard. Does everyone agree, or are we just being stupid? With that in mind, 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). 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

No[,] Argument [Is] What the Answer Is

Here's this week's NPR puzzle:
Think of a word meaning "quarrel" in which several of the letters appear more than once. Remove exactly two occurrences of every repeated letter, and the remaining letters can be rearranged to spell a new word meaning "quarrel." What are the two words?
MISUNDERSTANDING minus II, SS, NN, DD = MUERTANG = ARGUMENT

I like this puzzle...except for the idea that a misunderstanding is a quarrel is an argument. Argument and quarrel, sure. But even in its air quotes sense, "misunderstanding" is too amorphous to mean much. (In other words, I'm with Mendo Jim on this.) (Mendo Jim, we pulled your comment out of our spam trap, which really really doesn't like you. I gave you both Pick-a-Range slots as a consolation prize.)

Picture this. You walk into a room and ask someone, "What's going on?" and the person says, "Pat and Chris had a [air quotes] misunderstanding." Do you really go straight to quarrel? I wouldn't. I'd think, "Oh, it's [whichever of Pat or Chris is less reasonable] up to his/her old tricks again."

Oh, well, why let a linguistic context ruin a good puzzle, eh, what?

No photos. I was sick over the weekend, so if the picture of Dante Alighieri refusing to play ball with Girolomo Fracastoro anymore wasn't enough, you'll just have to wait until the weekend.

Fracastoro is an interesting guy. He coined the word syphilis for "The French Disease." He borrowed the name from Greek mythology. Too bad. It would have been fun to have an STD based on his name. Fracastoritis, perhaps. (Hey, it worked for Masoch.)

Time for
Confession time. Ross and I both had to travel to Philly today, and the Ruby Tuesdays where we lunched had no WiFi. Oh, and my phone's battery was dead. So, no chance to update the Pick a Range slots before the 3:00 cut-off. My apologies to everyone whose picks had "abandonment issues." We can sympathize, truly.

Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200 -- Ross
201 - 250 -- zeke creek
251 - 300 -- KDW
301 - 350 -- Word Woman
351 - 400 -- Magdalen
401 - 450 -- Joe Kupe
451 - 500 -- Paul
 
501 - 550 -- David
551 - 600 -- Mendo Jim
601 - 650
651 - 700 -- Marie
701 - 750 -- Curtis
751 - 800 -- Mendo Jim 
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- Natasha
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, November 17, 2013

Don't Make Me Stop This Car!

Here's this week's NPR puzzle:
Think of a word meaning "quarrel" in which several of the letters appear more than once. Remove exactly two occurrences of every repeated letter, and the remaining letters can be rearranged to spell a new word meaning "quarrel." What are the two words?
This took some work, even with all the resource books and software we have. But it can be done.

This will be another short post. Not to worry. If there's reason to worry, we will be sure to let everyone know.
Here are some photos of quarrels. Enjoy! (All are safe to click through--no hints, and they're funny --especially the first one.)








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).

Over 700 entries, so no one won, which surprised me. This week seems harder. Still, pick a range and see if you get it right.

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, November 14, 2013

Meanwhile, Back at the Little Rock Hard Rock Cafe...

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
There is a politician today, sometimes known by his or her full three-word name, whose initials are also the initials of a popular chain of restaurants. Who is the politician and what's the restaurant?
Somehow, I can't see Hillary Rodham Clinton at a Hard Rock Cafe. (And there isn't one in Little Rock, not that they've lived there for decades...)

To answer the question of why I used photographs of Valdez, Alaska, it's because that's where Clinton worked back in her youth. And the Hard Rock Cafe is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

I keep thinking Monty Python would have had fun with some of the other three-letter politicians' restaurant chains:

FDR: Finally, Dead Rat

DDE: Delightfully Decadent Eel

GWB: Gnawing Wooden Beef

(I'm not very good at this. Please do MUCH better in the comments!)

No photos this week. Just the Pick a Range picks:

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
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800 -- Joe Kupe
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 -- Ross
1,201 - 1,250 -- Magdalen
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
1,401 - 1,450 -- zeke creek
1,451 - 1,500 -- Paul

1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600 -- Mendo Jim
1,601 - 1,650 -- EKW
1,651 - 1,700
1,701 - 1,750 -- KDW
1,751 - 1,800 -- Word Woman
1,801 - 1,850
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000 -- Marie
2,001 - 2,050 -- jan
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, November 10, 2013

The TLA Puzzle

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
There is a politician today, sometimes known by his or her full three-word name, whose initials are also the initials of a popular chain of restaurants. Who is the politician and what's the restaurant?
Ross got this one, even though we've not eaten there.

Photos range from Alaska to Florida, for reasons that will be explained on Thursday (no, really, I'll publish on Thursday, promise).







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 American Red Cross, helping communities hit by Hayan.

Over 1,000 entries, so David's strategy of picking out a spot and sticking to it wont the day...finally. This week may be even easier. Pick a range and see if you get it right.

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). 

Will Shortz and a Pair of Stones

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
A famous actress and a famous director share the same last name, although they are unrelated. The first name of one of these is a classic musical. The first name of the other is an anagram of a classic musical. Who are they?
This seemed easy to us. The Hustons (John & Angelica) are out because they're related. Annie Potts doesn't have a famous director with the same last name. That left OLIVER Stone, only there's no musical called No Rash for Sharon Stone. Ah, but what about Emma Stone, star of Easy A and The Help? Ross got it immediately: MAME

Here's Emma, for those of you who didn't see Crazy, Stupid Love (another cute movie):


I couldn't find one of Oliver Stone, so let me link you to his Wiki Page.

Sorry to be running this post DAYS late, but we were gone, then in transit, then busy. But we're back now. We didn't pick ranges literally because by the time we'd have picked them, we knew the answer!

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
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750 -- Joe Kupe
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000 -- Word Woman
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 -- Curtis
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500 -- zeke creek

1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600
1,601 - 1,650 -- Mendo Jim
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, November 3, 2013

An Actress and a Director Walk Into a Puzzle...

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
A famous actress and a famous director share the same last name, although they are unrelated. The first name of one of these is a classic musical. The first name of the other is an anagram of a classic musical. Who are they?
Lots of ways to attack this. Ross and I used a combination of brain power, Internet, and our usual cheatful ways.

For what it's worth, we think this one is easy, so gauge your Pick a Range picks accordingly.

Oh, and be sure to send in your answer to NPR using their camouflaged Contact Form here.

Photos! As usual, I've pulled up the Wiki pages for both musicals, the actress and the director. Any place names are fair game, so I'm not even worried I'll give it away by letting you click on the photos.







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, presumably still helping communities hit by tornadoes) in the winner's honor.

No winner this week. And I think it will be tough to guess how many people will send in this week's puzzle answer. Pick a range and see if you get it right.

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).