Friday, November 14, 2014

Izod I Saw a Puttytat

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a well-known clothing company. Move each of its letters three spaces earlier in the alphabet and rearrange the result. You'll name something you don't want in an article of clothing. What is it?
The answer is IZOD which permutes to FLAW.

We've had requests for CURMUDGEON and ROUNDER for our photos. I'm going to look for curmudgeon first; if there aren't many options, I'll go for rounder. (To my everlasting surprise, I found six cool curmudgeon pictures. Rounder on Sunday, promise!)

Time for

Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300 -- Ross
301 - 350
351 - 400 -- Maggie Strasser
401 - 450
451 - 500 -- Joe Kupe
501 - 550 -- B. Haven
551 - 600 -- Magdalen
601 - 650
651 - 700 -- Curtis
701 - 750
751 - 800 -- Paul
801 - 850
851 - 900 -- Word Woman
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
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
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).


Mendo Jim, B.C. said...

Certainly glad I spent under a minute on this puzzle.
I tried a few clothing flaws in my head and quit.
If I had tried "flaw" itself, I would not recognized the letters in the answer since I really don't think I had "izod" in my memory banks.
It was a nice vacation from my curmudgeonly duties.

legolambda said...

Magdalen and Ross,

I pray the sailing is smooth for you both on the sometimes choppy seas of life. I have the utmost respect for you two and for your wonderful blog site. But I must lodge a few quibbles (to Brits?). I hope you don’t think me “cheeky” (even though my tongue is a bit in my cheek)

In giving your correct answer to Will’s dreadful “four clocks” puzzle, Magdalen wrote:
“But as Ross figured out, those four letters--C, I, L, and V--are the only four letters you can make using the standard two hands of an analog clock.”

But one might argue that if 4:07 works as a C, then something like 10:00 works as a J, kind of like Johnny Hart might draw it if he did an AD sequel (about Jesus of Nazareth, called JC) to his BC comic.
Then on Sunday, Nov. 9, you wrote regarding the “Pick a Range” result for the four-clocks puzzle:
“Fifty (correct) entries, so our beloved curmudgeon, Mendo Jim, won.”

No, MJ picked “Fewer than 50.” Curtis picked “51-100.” No one picked 50, except perhaps Phil whose “negative” pick would include -50. Or maybe “Jim Curtis” is the winning picker. (BTW, thanks for including Phil’s “lower-than-you-can-go-pick.” It made my day.) And, of course, “50 or fewer” would fit just fine in your “Pick a Range” chart.

Department of Mea Maxima Culpability: I was 100 percent wrong in thinking Will had a better four-clocks puzzle answer (than the clock hands forming Roman numerals) up his sleeve. He alas did not. Mendo Jim (not just a beloved curmudgeon, but also an intelligent one!) was right as rain.

I do believe, however, that Will is capable of surprising us. The Feb. 2, 2014 “upside-down digital clock she/his/sis” puzzle, for example. Many of us thought that answer was “SHErry wHIS-KEY liquor cabinet.

Also, the March 30, 2014 “film with two W’s” puzzle. I realize many solvers were unhappy with these puzzle answers, but I thought they were brilliant.

Thank you, Ross and Magdalen, for this forum.


Magdalen said...

I love a spirited discussion, so you're on solid ground there.

I agree, it's our faulty formatting that omits 50 from the precise wording of the Pick a Range. I'll fix that going forward. You're also correct that one can infer that the first range should be "50 and fewer."

I don't think that J is a good counterexample. You can write a recognizable C with a single curve (240 degrees of a circle, for example) but a recognizable J has at least two elements: the straight line and the curve. Replacing the curve with a single straight line doesn't work, to my eye.

But I will agree about this--I can't find any exemplars of an angular C. < would look like a C only in a context where you surmise it's a C from the surrounding letters. (On its own, it's just a "less than" sign.) That's a bit like surmising that Mendo Jim won even though, technically, 50 isn't included in any range.

I know from VAST personal experience that Will Shortz will happily accept a puzzle and simply never use it because it's not good enough to his eye. That's what he should have done with the 4:07 puzzle.

My only defense for Will is my inability to think what he should have said on the air last Sunday. Clearly the puzzle was soluble--we solved it and so did 50 other people. It just wasn't a GOOD puzzle. (I didn't like the Whiskey-Sherry puzzle, for what that's worth.) So does he apologize for presenting a not-good puzzle? And if he does, how do the 50 people who solved it feel?

So I guess my final thought is to let it go. He'll present better puzzles, and some less satisfactory puzzles. Goes with the job, I would think.

(Ross thinks there's some angular typeface that will have a < for a C. I'll leave finding such a typeface as an exercise for the reader.)

Mendo Jim, B.C. said...

Let's see if this comment sneaks by the Blogger guard; my last one got deleted.
< is also used in etymology to mean (derived) from.

I tend to think that the Puz Master long ago lost interest in the Wesun Puzzle and this shows in his increasing carelessness. The money he pulls down (the amount of which is hard to find) keeps him at it.

Criswell predicts that Mr. Lambda will succeed him.

Paul said...

Only World Problems

You saw it here first!

Word Woman said...

Great curmudgeon choices. Thanks. I especially enjoyed the selection from Burning Man.