Sunday, July 20, 2014

Houston, We Have a Problem

This is NOT this week's NPR Puzzle:
This is a two-part challenge. First, take the phrase "rap yet crash." Rearrange these 11 letters to name something that might follow a crash. Then cross out four letters in this answer. The remaining seven letters in order will spell an appropriate name. What is it?
It's what would have been the puzzle, if the Russian-backed separatists hadn't, allegedly, downed a Malaysian Airlines 777 plane on Thursday. *sigh*

Edited to add: This was the puzzle online until about 10:15 a.m. EDT, when it got replaced by the official CORRECT puzzle, below. Don't hint to the answer to this one; Will Shortz may use it another week, long after the crash is forgotten.

We have, of course, solved that one. You may have too. (What would happen if you sent it in? Sadly, I suspect it would be marked as wrong even though it was the official puzzle as per the website at 10 a.m. EDT.)

This week's NPR Puzzle is something else. Something that I got distracted and didn't hear (well, I knew it's online, right???) and Ross heard but not well enough to think he knows what it is.

UPDATE! We have a puzzle!

Here is this week's OFFICIAL NPR Puzzle:
Name something in five letters that's nice to have a lot of in the summer. Change the last letter to the following letter of the alphabet. Rearrange the result, and you'll name something else that you probably have a lot of in the summer, but that you probably don't want. What is it? (HINT: the second thing is a form of the first thing.)
Okay. We're all good. Solve this one, not that other one. (We have.)

Here's where to send the answer in, using NPR's intact Contact Us form.

Clearly the word of the week is "mistake." Flickr, do your magic!

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.

This week, zeke creek is the winner, with "over 400" entries. So try out our new system, zeke: puzzle book, Red Cross, or your own NPR station.

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..


Mendo Jim said...

HINT: It will be interesting to see how Will deals with the way he botched this one.

Maggie Strasser said...

Even I got this one, right away.

2,501 - 2,750 range please.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this week's seems incredibly easy. I had it before WS was done reading it. (Then again, there's often a high degree of luck in how quickly something comes to someone. I was just thinking along the right lines, I suppose.) So I'm going to guess high this week, though not as high as Maggie. I'd like 1,901-1,950 please.


Mendo Jim said...

Reports of "ridiculous easy" are premature.

Will often comments that he designed the curriculum for his unique major of enigmatology.
It looks like he left physiology off it.

Were not for his hint, the nice alternative answer would serve well.

zeke creek said...

1201-1250, please.
My station is 91.3FM WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Thank you for your generosity.

David said...

1001 to 1050, please, Red Cross.

legolambda said...

Congrats to zeke creek for his range expertise, in a week where our guesses were ranging from Everests to foothills.

My guess this week: 651-700, please.


legolambda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
legolambda said...

Calling all AESAP aficionados:

Okay, you fabled puzzle solvers, ASAP open this link if you have made “Shortz work” of this week’s fluffily powderpuffy NPR puzzle. There, at Puzzleria!, the NPR “summer” puzzle has been made more challenging by adding a change of seasons. It is the 1:21 AM July 21 post.

(And then return ASAP to fabulous AESAP! Thank you.)


Word Woman said...

951-1000 please. Thanks.

zeke creek said...

Since this is our first time for doing it this way do you need any more information than what I've given?

Ross Beresford said...

Hi Zeke Creek. I just donated $10 to WYSO, making me a new member. Yay. The call letters got me there without a hitch. Congrats on your win.

Anonymous said...

I'll take 1,351 - 1,400, please.

Marie said...

1951-2000, thank you!

Joe Kupe said...

1,501 - 1,550 please. Having just come from a summer vacation I can vouch for the authenticity of this challenge!

B. Haven said...

501-550, please. Have a great summer. Back in the low foothills for summer vacation.