Sunday, November 2, 2014

Who Has Time for This Puzzle?

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Write down the following four times: 3:00, 6:00, 12:55 and 4:07. These are the only times on a clock that share a certain property (without repeating oneself). What property is this?
We didn't immediately solve this. Does that make it hard or us stupid? Or both??

You're smart. You've solved it. Congratulations! Have this NPR Contact Us form link as a prize!

This has nothing to do with today's puzzle, so don't let yourself get confused. I woke up last night (the night the clocks go back an hour, for anyone who's forgotten or is reading this months later). We have a projecting clock so the time is shown in red LED numerals on the ceiling. 2:55. Ah, but is that before the time change or after, I wondered? When I next looked, the clock read 3:02. But when I looked again, it read 2:04 -- it had synced up with an atomic clock someplace and registered the regained hour.

I've picked AUTUMNAL as the word du jour. Lots of pretty pictures; this is just a sampling based on my whim.

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.

There were 370 entries, so Curtis won. As we haven't solved it yet, we really have no clue if this week is easy (and we're the aforementioned stupid) or hard (whew!). But you do, so pick.

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...

I haven't solved this one yet, and it sounds like a lot of folks are in the same boat. My local station is KCFR, and thank you for making that donation. I'll go with 51 - 100.

Mendo Jim said...

My best solving time, before I get out of bed on Sunday, was disrupted by the end of Daylight Saving Time and now I can't seem to get it at all.
At least there is little chance of 5000 and a new record.
I'll take fewer than 50 before someone else snaps it up
I wonder if a clarification from Will or one of his minions is in the offing.

Joe Kupe said...

Raked all day and thought about this and still nada! 101-150 please!

Word Woman said...

151-200 please. Maybe two weeks in a row to KCFR!

legolambda said...

I'll take 501-550, please. I don't have the answer yet, but I have something like what the answer might be. I think this one might turn out to be "a sleeper solve."


Mendo Jim said...

Ever since Will's infamous insoluble puzzle of several years ago and a few near-misses since, I don't automatically blame myself for failing to come up with an answer.
I wonder if he is watching the inbox at Wesun. Or here, Or Blaine's.

Magdalen said...

As you may have heard Will Shortz explain one week, he doesn't actually bother solving puzzles sent in to him, so my guess is that he read the puzzle, looked at the answer and thought, "Yeah, that looks good."

Ross and I have AN answer. We make no claims that it's THE answer, but it fits the parameters of the puzzle as stated, so we think there's a chance we got it right.

David said...

Still no solution for me, 201-250 please. I think this is the lowest still available.