Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bert and Ernie and Will

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Bertrand Tavernier is a French director of such movies as Life and Nothing But and It All Starts Today. What amazing wordplay property does the name Bertrand Tavernier have? This sounds like an open-ended question, but when you have the right answer, you'll have no doubt about it.
We think the intended answer is that BERT[r]AND [Tav]ERNIE[r] are in his name. Cookie Monster is sad and blue over this one.

I can appreciate that this one was never going to "wow" an aficionado of elegant wordplay, and amazing is perhaps in the eye of the beholder. But I can guess why Will Shortz loved it--he was surprised and charmed by its simplicity and whimsy.

We heard a funny today. We bought a white car only to be told its color was actually "crystal white pearl." Our salesman's grandmother said that her paint color was a stripper's name: "Misty Dawn Metallic." Here, then, is CRYSTAL as the word of the day:

Time for

Here are this week's picks:
Zero and fewer
    1 - 50
 51 - 100 -- Phil
101 - 150 -- Paul
151 - 200 -- Joe Kupe
201 - 250 -- Curtis
251 - 300 -- Ross
301 - 350 -- legolambda
351 - 400 -- Maggie Strasser
401 - 450 -- Magdalen
451 - 500 -- Word Woman

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 -- 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).


Alex B. said...

Funny, I saw the "Bert and Ernie" thing but was convinced it was wrong ... so I guess I dispute the "no doubt" thing, unless the answer is actually something else.

Mendo Jim said...

It is being suggested over at Blaine's that the answer might be supposed to use up the leftover letters "t-a-v-r-r" to refer to last week's lame "Artmobile" as "ArtRV."

All things considered, I am going to be really suspicious if Wee Willy claims on Sunday (acctually tomorrow) that this was his and Ed Pegg's intent.
Then it will probably be goodbye for this beloved old curmudgeon.
Not auf wiedersehen or au revoir, but I'm not here, I'm gone.
It is anazing I've lasted this long.

Joe Kupe said...

We entered Ernie and Bert, but also felt that the last letter in each word was not pronounced so that could be it too. No matter, we did not get the call anyhow!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Alex B. I noted the Bert and Ernie pattern and then tried to find something amazing. I just didn't like having so many letters unused.


legolambda said...

Mendo Jim.
What? You are gone? Outta here? Say it ain’t so, Curmudjoe!
Or is your departure contingent on whether Will waffles and says that ART-RV somehow complements BERT AND ERNIE? We want you to stay!

Kind of nice, ain’t it, for all of us to be huddled together in the “Pick a Range” chart, kind of like a pack of Kiwis on a three dog night. Especially with winter looming.

Magdalen, your point is well taken about “amazing” being in the eye of the beholder. Still, would it have killed Will to ask, “What simple and whimsical wordplay property does the name Bertrand Tavernier have?”


legolambda said...

... Regarding our "pick a Range" huddling/cuddling...:

Except for David, that maverick! Someone go round that "black sheep" up and bring him back into our fold! It's like he's running a kilometer or two ahead of the rest of us in a marathon. (Actually, he'd be running about 10K ahead of me. Seriously)


Mendo Jim said...

I can't believe I put "acctually," "anazed" and "I'm not here" (instead of "there") in one post.
"Careless curmugeon" lacks a little something.

Paul said...

Suggestion is in the watchamacallit of the suggestee.

Magdalen said...

I'll admit--I gave the Puzzle Master (Puzzlemaster?) a pass on this one because, the way I looked at it, how many famous people have not one but TWO whole Muppets in their name? And a duo of Muppets, complete with conjunction?

Okay, so it's not that amazing, I agree.

I do hope you don't leave us, Mendo Jim, although I know I add to the IQ (Irksome Quotient) by making you download photos in a time-consuming process. But as with Skydiveboy (who was gone long before I twigged to his departure) and Dave before him (anyone remember Dave? He had a hat trick: Will Shortz used a puzzle of his, and he was an on-air contestant, and he won the Pick-a-Range!), I've learned to appreciate all of you while you're here.

Mendo Jim said...

I don't know what Paul means, so he could be right.

I am afraid, probably completely unjustifiably, that the PM will try to rescue his "amazing" claim by using a connection to the previous week's challenge.
That would hardly meet the "even a child" standard.

I like LL's re-wording suggestion; an assistant could have saved the day.

What photos?

legolambda said...

"...TWIGGED to his departure" = "noticed, observed, comprehended his departure."

Thanks, Magdalen. I learned a new word/usage. It's always a pleasure to have your vocabulary "branch out."


Henry BW said...

On Sunday's thread, Curtis said "vänligen... is a word. Just not an English word". I asked Google Translate, which says it is the Spanish for "please". I am not sure I believe that.