Sunday, August 10, 2014

Old MacDonald Had a Puzzle

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a well-known movie of the past — two words, seven letters in total. These seven letters can be rearranged to spell the name of an animal plus the sound it makes. What animal is it?
Not immediately obvious, that's all I can say. Wait, I stand corrected. Ross solved it without difficulty. (He's smarter than I am.)

And YOU are smarter than I am, without a doubt. You merely need the link to NPR's speechless Contact Us form, which is here.

In case anyone else was confused by Mendo Jim's reference in the comments to Thursday's post, I found this (which I think is right?) blog, "Letters to Nowhere," referencing a Reader's Digest book, How to Live with Life.

As I was Googling "pretty damn seldom" I discovered that there are Flickr photos with that as the search term.  I've linked to them because only two are Creative Commons:

Let's try "seldom" --

Very rocky!

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.

KDW guessed 350, which was the number given on NPR this morning. Let us know, KDW, if you want a book, or a gift to the Red Cross or your NPR station. (Ross received a bumper sticker from the last NPR station we sent money to because of this game. I sense a lot of bumper stickers in our future!)

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..


Anonymous said...

Well, I have an answer, but I'm not sure it's WS's answer. I don't think I'm giving a hint here if I say that for my answer, I wouldn't necessarily have used a movie as the referent when the thing the movie is based on is better known (I think).

At any rate, I have an answer, and I'll share a related puzzle. Think of a movie in seven letters and three syllables. The first syllable is a sound made by the third syllable. What's the film? (My puzzle has the same "flaw" as WS's.)


Anonymous said...

Oh, and I'll take 801-850 please.

Phil again

Maggie Strasser said...

601-650 please.

Anonymous said...

And just for fun, here's one more. Think of a famous movie director of the past. The director's first name consists of two syllables that, phonetically, spell out an animal sound and the animal that makes the sound. Hint: The letters that spell out the animal's name (not name as in Eric, Mendo Jim) appear in the director's last name in order, though not sequentially.


Magdalen said...

Phil -- I solved your second puzzle first simply because the first director I thought of was the right one. Haven't solved the other puzzle. And, for what it's worth, Ross had the same reaction to the NPR puzzle when he solved it.

Mendo Jim said...

I must be missing something on this one; thought I'd have it quickly, but not yet.

I've been looking for anagrams for such things as "Cat hiss." Is that the right approach? (That one produces some NSFW results).

Anonymous said...

Magdalen, I can't imagine why that director's name would come before Spielberg's, Lucas's, and so forth, but good for you. And thank you for sharing Ross's reaction. It gives me confidence in my answer.

Mendo Jim, that seems like a reasonable approach to me. I started by trying movie titles, but I kept thinking of films like Rooster Cogburn, The Elephant Man, and The Mouse That Roared. Unfortunately, they weren't correct. So then I tried your approach and got lucky.

(After taking too long to solve the safari puzzle a few weeks ago, I've come to accept that "easy" often means "I got lucky.")


Word Woman said...

MJ, I really enjoyed the "pretty damn seldom" routine. That, alone, was worth the trip!

So far I've discarded cow moos ("O! Moscow") and cat mews ("Wet Scam"). Neither did well at the box office or the NPR farm.

Word Woman

Mendo Jim said...

I somehow don't think of the movie as "of the past" in the way that I do Garbo.

That I didn't get it until Monday gives it a 3 for difficulty, "of the past" holds rigor to 3 and the "who cares" factor a 3 for elegance: 27, not bad.

I think 401+ sounds reasonable.

Add my agreement to Phil's and Ross's (also a factor in elegance).

David said...

Judging from the (lack of many) responses over at Blaine's, I'm guessing not many this week, 201 to 250, Red Cross please.2140

Mendo Jim said...

Pretty damn seldom where my post go.
Last time and this, it comes up as posted at the bottom of the page, then is gone the next time I look in.
This means someone else might choose my carefully calculated tranche and rob my local public radio station.
Maybe we can figure out why some make it through and others not.

B. Haven said...

Not as easy as last week's Netherlands perhaps, I guess 301-350.

Word Woman said...

151-200 please.

Anonymous said...

I'm still working on solutions to this week's puzzle, and I need some help. Can anyone tell me whether platypuses quack?

And if I can find an animal whose name is seven letters long and which makes no sound, would that qualify? And if that animal were in a forest with nobody around, would it still make no sound?

Sorry. I just noticed that the comments had stopped for a while, so I thought I'd post some provocative questions to spur debate. Since I couldn't think of any, though, I opted for general silliness.


Word Woman said...

Phil, I believe if they are good at geometry they're platypi...

How about some antivocative questions to go with your general silliness?

Sound thinking.

Anonymous said...

WW, I'm confused here.

First, I thought platypi was the area of a circle with radius platyi/sqr(pi).

Second, I thought the opposite of provocative was prodative.

On a separate and unrelated note, the "prove you're not a robot" image appears to be three potatoes. Really. That's not a joke. It was a picture, I believe, of three potatoes (until I reloaded).


Paul said...

One potato, two potato, three potato, 451 - 500 for WVIA, please.

Anonymous said...

Still no answer for me. I'll take fewer than 50.

Joe Kupe said...

501 to 550 please. Did not know Will was a fan of the WWE!

legolambda said...

251-300, please.
Loving all your comments.

legolambda said...

I was tardy in posting this week's edition of Puzzleria! but is now finally up.