Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blame the Name Game

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
There are three popular men's names, each six letters long, that differ by only their first letters. In other words, the last five letters of the names are all the same, in the same order. Of the three different first letters, two are consonants and one is a vowel. What names are these?
I solved it already. (Usually it's Ross who gets it right away, which is why I'm chuffed to be first for once.)

And you've solved it already. And sent the answers (all three names) in to NPR using their single-named Contact Us form.

Henry, the little so-and-so, has asked for "diatonic phrygian tetrachord" as the word of the day. Okay. Here's the one picture Flickr can give me for that:

So I've split the words up. "Tetrachord" nets me nothing in Creative Commons. Here's "diatonic":

And here's what I get with "phrygian":

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 choice: they can receive a puzzle book of our choosing or they can ask that a charitable contribution is made in the winner's honor. As of this week, we are providing an alternative to the Red Cross. If the winner wishes, we will make a contribution to his/her NPR station. Send us the call letters and we'll do the rest.
No one picked 1700, which was the number given on air for last week's range. Any guesses as to how many will enter this week's challenge?

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."), the prize will be awarded to the entrant who picked the range including that precise number, e.g., 551 - 600 wins if the announced range is "around 600." We retain the discretion to award the prize to an entrant who picked the adjacent range (e.g., 601-650) if that entrant had not already won a prize. 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 January, 2014, this rule is officially even more complicated than it's ever been, but at least it's consistent with what we actually do..


Word Woman said...

2001-2050, please.

Maggie Strasser said...

301-350 please

Anonymous said...

1,351 - 1,400, please.

Maggie Strasser said...

Nertz. Got it. Which means it's easy.
May I up my range to 1301-1350?

(if not, I'll live. I'll just frown a lot).

Joe Kupe said...

I have two sets of answers already and it has only been a few hours! 1501 - 1550 please!

legolambda said...

I guessed way too low last week. This one is pretty easy. I'll go with 1251-1300 this week, please.


Mendo Jim said...

I'm working on a rating scheme for the Sunday Puzzles and all are welcome to join in.
First thoughts are:
A 1 to 5 scale for toughness would come first, super easy through very hard.
Then 0 to 5 for rigor, from damning errors to none.
Then 1 to 5 for elegance, from
"so what?" to great satisfaction.

The results could be added together for a possible range of 2to 15 or multiplied for 0 to 125.

So last week I would award 1, 0 (without sweat, you die), 1 for a score of (added) 2 or (multiplied) 0.

This week would be 2, 5, 2, for 9 or 20.

If Joe is right, then we would need a post facto category for when Will rejects a perfectly good answer out of pique.

To be expanded.

If this idea deserves thrown shoes, then I am glad I am out of range.

Anonymous said...

I've got two answers also. I think that one of them is the intended answer, and I think that I know which one it is. But I honestly don't see anything wrong with the other one.

Not knowing where to guess, I'll take 401-450.


Word Woman said...

Phil, 2 of the 3 intended names are pretty 'in' right now, methinks.

Was busy picking dribble-down-your chin-juicy peaches today so did not work on your puzzle. The closest I got was Greece and Grease and that doesn't really work.

I am ok with you just telling me.


Anonymous said...

WW, France is known for its wine, and wine is often served in a carafe. As I said when I first posted it, I wasn't all that pleased with it myself.

As for my two answers for this week's puzzle, both meet your criterion.


Word Woman said...

Thanks, Phil.

> 1 answer?! Now, that's never happened before ;-).

Anonymous said...

WW, I can't remember there ever being more than one answer either, but I was on a long bus ride during a recent safari, so I may have been out of the loop. And this week, if someone will be kind enough to give birth to a boy before Thursday and name him Oobbie, I'll have three answers.


Word Woman said...

Your Tongan chic is showing, Phil.

Oobbie 1 Kenobi?

Did you submit both sets of names?


Anonymous said...

WW, I don't understand your reference to "chic." I'm not an Arab elder. Or is that a drink made from ice cream? Either way, I'm not up to such chicanery as submitting two answers. (Actually, I don't submit as a general rule since I'm almost never available at the time the call would come.)


Word Woman said...

Shaking it up a bit, I see, Phil.

I've heard tell they call you at 3 p.m. Thursday to set up a time to record the segment on Friday. I've not been called since playing off and on since the late '80's so I cannot be sure (unlike today's player and our own Lego who have played twice each).

I think they need to shake that rotating number cage thingy up a bit more this week.

legolambda said...

Word Woman,
No! No! Leave that rotating number cage thingy alone!

Mendo Jim,
I like your puzzle-rating concept. One of my puzzles on Puzzleria! this week, the "Speciality Of The House Slice" would merit a 4,0,3 rating from me. I tried to toughen it up by rewording it at the last minute before posting it, and committed an error. (Commenter ron caught it, and I have since corrected it.)


legolambda said...

Word Woman,
What I meant to say, of course, was: “No! No! Keep your peach-pickin’ hands off that rotatin’ number cage thingy! And the rest of you AESAPiens keep your range-pickin’ hands off of it too!” (“AESAPiens,” it would seem, are a subspecies of Homo Sapiens who are really smart at range pickin’, peach pickin’ and puzzle solvin’.)

I was foiled by your July 8 Foyle/Foley puzzle. It was a solid puzzle, one I wish I would have created… or at least figured out!

I thought I had your France/Carafe puzzle solved until I realized my A was replacing the C in franCe and not the N in fraNce. I needed the C, not the N, to spell carafe. So then I
thought, “No cigar, but close; Phil must have a different answer up his sleeve.” Then I thought, “Hey I can make a Puzzleria! Puzzle out of this France/carafe coincidence!”

Then I thought, “Maybe the answer is Crete/crate, and Phil thinks Crete is an island nation.” Of course, Phil is much too bright to think that. He just meant to say “fourth” instead of “fifth.” Just as some people celebrate the Fourth of July with a fifth of whiskey, not the Fifth of July with a fourth of whiskey.

Then I thought, “Dadgum! There goes another puzzle I can’t claim as mine and post on my blog!”

I have been there, Phil. (See my 12:57 comment to Mendo Jim, above.) But you know the saying, “to err is Homo Sapient, to forgive, AESAPient.”


Anonymous said...

OK, no shoes, but not much encouragement either.
Going back another puz, we had breaking/baking.
I give it a 2 for difficulty.
Since I searched out some off-the-grid folks who never heard of the TV show, I am afraid Will's "guarantee" stalls rigor at 2.
And a 3 for elegance.
I kind of like multiplying the scores. Too easy or too dull shouldn't kill the effort altoghether, as a total lack of rigor should.
I also like the idea of a 0 to 125 range.
So this cooks up a 12.

Then the matter of the actresses.
A 1 for difficulty.
A 1 for rigor, since "of the past" is ill-defined and there were three "other" actresses, not one.
Elegance 2, for a disappointing 2 (4 added).
I guess some penalty should be assessed for using the puzzle in the past, but I'll take suggestions as to what it should be.

Looks like 451-500 is open

Mendo Jim

Word Woman said...

Mendo Jim,

I like the scale you proposed. I would add 25 bonus points if the answer is a woman. And, another 25 points if she is not an actress/entertainer. (I liked the Amelia Earhart puzzle.)

Is there a 125 puzzle you recall?

Word Woman

David said...

1001 to 1050, Red Cross.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the rating scheme is a work in progress with especially the levels within the categories needing fleshing out.

A 125 puzzle? Accepting nominees.
I'll be glad to break the over-tough 20 I've topped out at so far.

Mendo Jim

legolambda said...

Word Woman,

The Amelia Earhart puzzle, that is, that crashed before it even got off the ground?

Excellent question about whether a perfect 125 exists. (I am not so sure, though, that puzzle bloggers Lester Maddox and Strom Thurman will be so enthusiastic about your AAA (Afirmative Action Approach) for awarding bonus points!)

My candidate for the perfect “125 puzzle” using multiplication with Mendo Jim’s wonderful scale, is the “infamous” upside-down digital clock puzzle, sometime in 2013 (?)

The 5 score for difficulty is a no-brainer (it could even be 6!). One might argue awarding a 5 for elegance, but I would defend it to the death (oh, wait, that‘s the last criterion, rigor (mortis) and consider giving it a 6 also for elegance.

I assume, however that Mendo Jim, and many others, would have difficulty awarding it a 5 for rigor. We bloggers were not of one mind. Remember? It raised the proverbial philosophical conundrum: If a digital clock falls upside-down off the nightstand at 3:45 or 5:14 a.m., and no one is awake to read it, does it still spell out ShE or hIS?


Mendo Jim said...

At the time of the upside-down clock challenge (2-2-14, how time flies when it's upside-down) and when I was thinking about the rating system, I did not like it.
If I submitted answers, I would have sent SHErry and wHIS KEY (though I prefer Scotch).
Will did admit that alternative, but did not include those who submitted it in his call list of 15.
Since I got what turned out to be a Will-approved answer without too much trouble, does that make it a 2 or 3 on the difficulty scale? Or since I didn't know to keep looking and may never have gotten it, was it a 5?
Rigor is even more problematic, but I suppose either answer is a 3 or 4.
It was as elegant, in my estimation, as a George Bush speech, so a 1 or 2, depending on which one.
So my range, multiplied, is 6 to
I don't think I am up to figuring out a rating for a by-passed puzzle, but it is unlikely I would ever think to look for an anagram for "rap yet crash."

Henry BW said...

My usual 1051-1100, please. I thought of one answer, and sent it in. The requirement for "popular" names is not very precise, but since almost any string of letters is a personal name if you search hard enough, I suppose that's really intended to filter out the one-offs like "Oobbie".

zeke creek said...

901-950, please

Marie said...

951-1000. Thank you