Sunday, July 6, 2014

That Duck Might Be Somebody's Mother...

 Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a famous actress of the past whose last name has 5 letters. Move the middle letter to the end to name another famous actress of the past. Who are these actresses?
Ross got this immediately, the show-off. (Well, it is easy.)

You all got it immediately too, so I'm providing this link to NPR's Contact Us form merely to be funny.

You know what else is super easy? Guessing what the word of the week is! (Don't forget to ask for a word for Thursday's blog post.)

I hope you were all humming The Stars and Stripes Forever march by John Philip Sousa ("Be kind to your web-footed friends...") as you looked at the pretty pictures.

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 Red Cross.

No one picked the actual range this week. Mendo Jim is our resident historian, so I'll ask this of him specifically and everyone else generally: When did "just over 1,500 entries" seem high? Put another way, I can recall when that was a pretty mainstream range to pick. Was that years and years ago, or more recent, say since 2010?
Regardless of when it got unpopular to enter the actual puzzle, this week is REALLY easy! Be sure to enter the Pick a Range for this week's SUPER easy puzzle--who knows, maybe we'll be talking about a range around 2,000 next Sunday!

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..


Maggie Strasser said...

651-700 range please.
Donation, should I be correct.

Anonymous said...

Well, all of us got this before we heard the on-air guy's radio stations.

But, boys and girls, extreme caution is necessary here, to wit:
Will asks us to " another famous actress of the past."

Is he being tricky or has he already forgotten that "bus trips," plural, was not accepted because he only asked for one?

As for Magdalen's question about The Range: I gave up trying to make sense out of the reported number about the time we started playing with it.
What sticks in my mind is that 15 years or so ago, more than 2500 listeners would routinely go to the trouble of buying a 20¢ post card, address it, write the answer and mail the little booger in time to get to D.C. by Thursday (sometimes Wednesday), too bad if you didn't get it until Tuesday or lived on the west coast (or Hawaii!).

Mendo Jim

legolambda said...

I'll try 701-750 thia week.

Yes, pretty easy this week. After you've solved it, it might be a good time to check out Magdalen and Ross's Blogroll. (With six you get Blogroll!)


Natasha said...

I select 1001-1050 please.

Word Woman said...

Mendo Jim Mendo Jim, I whole heartedly agree with you...

Let's go big at 2550-2600.

Yes, visit Joseph Young's Puzzleria if you'd like a challenge this week.

Word Woman said...

Duck mom: Mèreganser?

zeke creek said...

1751-1800, please.
2 seconds is a record for ol' zeke. If he will devulge the information perhaps we can guess how many people will submit wrong answers.

Anonymous said...

I'll take 1201-1250 please.

For anyone who cares, the answer I had in mind for the puzzle that I reported here last week, the one that WS did not use, was the set of words "lair," "rail," "rial," and "liar."

Here's another one that WS didn't like.

There is a certain six-digit positive integer in which all six digits are different. If you multiply the number by 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, you end up with the same six digits in a different order. NAME (for Mendo Jim) the number.

The correct answer to this one is that the name of the number is Billy.

But my name is


Word Woman said...


My words are PART TARP TRAP PRAT. Forgot to post them Thursday.

Wonder if Ross's or other software came up with more.

If we can name streetcars, why not numbers?


Anonymous said...

WW, good job. I'd forgotten about those. I'd love to say that I cannot accept your answer because--and I think Mendo Jim will back me up on this--I clearly stated that you must name your words.

As it is, though, I find that I cannot except your answer and thus must accept it.


Joe Kupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Kupe said...

3001 to 3250 please. Who knew will was a fan of Madonna?!

legolambda said...


I like your answer to your last-week's puzzle, but I like Word Womjan's answer bewcause it includes the word "prat"!

Will shoulda accepted it, and he shoulda accepted your math puzzle this week too. It put me into Seventh Heaven!

Word Woman,
Thanks for the Puzzleria! shout out.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Lego, I not only believe that you have the correct answer to the math puzzle but think you've understood it completely. Kudos indeed!


legolambda said...

Thanks, Phil. That is kind of you to say.

Actually, thanks to St. Valentine, your fine math puzzle has a peripheral connection to the pretty tough math puzzle posted on this week’s Puzzleria!. Answers to Puzzleria! Puzzles are posted every Tuesday after 3 p.m. Eastern Time.

LegoSepticyclic (not to be confused with LegoSeptictank!)

David said...

1501 to 1550, please, Red Cross.

Anonymous said...

Lego, I looked at Puzzleria! and see what you mean. By the way, that's a hep tag you've got there as a signature.

Paul said...

1,451 - 1,500 please.

I have another answer to Phil's puzzle that I think I'd better keep to myself for the time being.

I can't think of a better word than thunder for the Thor's Day picture show, but, recognizing that thunder may photograph poorly, how about heavy metal thunder?

The last name of the title character of a 20th century American novel has 5 letters. Move the middle letter to the end to get the name of an actress you may have heard of. More likely, you may have heard her sing without knowing her name. Who is this singer/actress, and what is the title of the novel?

Mendo Jim said...

The Puzzlemaster often asks for various people, even things, "of the past."
I wonder if this week's "another" actress(es) need to be dead amd gone or just unlikely to act again.

To add another layer of complication, Will often uses "well known" or "famous."
This week, only one of the three possibilities is not quite dead and gone, and the other two may fall short of well known, certainly of famous.

I'm sure that Shortzie will tie all this up neatly and to everyones' satisfaction.

B. Haven said...

Yes, yes, this one was easy. Maybe the listening audience and their friends will send in even more right answers than last week.

I select 1951-2000 please. Red Cross, if the on-air announcement number is in this range.

Word Woman said...

The range I picked isn't on your list so I'll pick the one that includes it-- 2500-2750. I didn't realize the higher numbers had wider ranges. . .

As to "of the past," Mendo Jim, since Will is asking only for last names, I suppose it doesn't matter. They were the K_________ family of the day. "Actress" is also a bit of a loose term.

My word pick for this post or next is Bastille since 7/14 is coming up next week.

Anonymous said...

WW: WS asked for the actresses' names, not only their last names.
One of them happens to be famous enough for the single name recognition.

K ____ family?

I found the last time he used this puzzle and thought it superior.

I wonder if Blogger refuses to offer me a name box if it doesn't like my post.

Mendo Jim

Word Woman said...

MJ, it depends on the definition of "of the past," I guess. Since all were billed as "actresses" and the lliving one has only acted "in the past," I believe all three are acceptable.

The K______ family refers to a modern-day family who share a similar social background.

Mendo Jim said...

Got it. The least talented family in the country. Married some other contenders.
I get the main one mixed up with the woman who has had too many kids.
Hard to say the earlier trio was a much different.
Folks for whom Andy W's 15 minutes would have been too long.

KDW said...

I'll try 1,051-1,100, please.