Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Rose by Any Other Name (+ Two More S's)...

Here is this week's NPR Puzzle:
What word, containing two consecutive S's, becomes its own synonym if you drop those S's?
Roses BLOSSOM & BLOOM.

As Astute Commenter, Alex B. clearly figured out, I referenced the Nineties sitcom Blossom, starring Mayim Bialik as the titular Blossom and Jenna van Oy as her BFF, Six.

Special heads-up to Mendo Jim. The following photos are all of roses, so feel free to ignore the eternity it will take for them to load.















Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400
401 - 450
451 - 500
 
501 - 550 -- Maggie Strasser
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700 -- Paul
701 - 750 -- zeke creek.
751 - 800 -- Marie 
801 - 850
851 - 900 -- Magdalen
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200 -- Ross
1,201 - 1,250 -- Word Woman
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
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).

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ssss Says the Sssnake...

Here is this week's NPR Puzzle:
What word, containing two consecutive S's, becomes its own synonym if you drop those S's?
Ross--wait, Ro--solved it.

I'm declaring this a no-hint puzzle, which (as you'll recall) means don't let me catch you hinting.

But no need to be coy when you send it in to NPR using their well-camouflaged Contact Us form here.

If you have solved the puzzle AND if you have a long memory for trivia AND if you're over 30, then there's a chance you'll get the photo array this week. I'll explain all on Thursday.













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, or World Food Programme, both helping communities hit by Haiyan (aka Super Typhoon Yolanda).

Around 600 entries so Ross wins (in the sense that he doesn't have to make a donation in anyone's honor, unless he feels like it). There's always next week...

By the way, I've revised the fine print so it's consistent with what we actually do these days.

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.. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Streetcar Named What Now?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a famous person whose first and last names together contain four doubled letters — all four of these being different letters of the alphabet. Who is it? For example, Buddy Holly's name has two doubled letters, D and L.
"There's a very obvious answer and at least one less obvious (but more likely to be the "right") answer. And then a lot of people whose "fame" can be debated."

Yup, I wrote that. And I was an idiot. The obvious answer is TENNESSEE WILLIAMS. Ho hum.

Now, about that less obvious answer that we thought must be right... Here's what I was thinking. The way the puzzle read "...whose first and last names together..." suggested to us that the first name ended with the SAME letter to begin the last name. Thus, by putting the two names together, you'd see the double letter.

We were wrong. My apologies. Tennessee Williams is the right answer. Here, though, are my wrong answers:
BROOKE ELLIOTT (the link is to her Wiki page) and
DEBBIE ELLIOTT (ditto, plus here's a link to her NPR page)

I can make a better case for Brooke Elliott, the TV actress who stars in Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva. But being the star of a basic cable TV show is still not as famous as Tennessee Williams.



Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350 -- Joe Kupe
351 - 400 -- Curtis
401 - 450 -- Magdalen
451 - 500 -- Mendo Jim
 
501 - 550 -- Maggie Strasser
551 - 600 -- Ross
601 - 650 -- Word Woman
651 - 700
701 - 750 -- Alex B.
751 - 800 -- Marie 
801 - 850 -- zeke creek
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- KDW
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).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Thou Whoreson Z, Thou Unnecessary Letter

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a famous person whose first and last names together contain four doubled letters — all four of these being different letters of the alphabet. Who is it? For example, Buddy Holly's name has two doubled letters, D and L.
There's a very obvious answer and at least one less obvious (but more likely to be the "right") answer. And then a lot of people whose "fame" can be debated. Have fun, everyone!

Send 'em all in, I say. And by "send 'em all in," I mean submit them to NPR using this delightful Contact Us form right here.

Whoo-hoo! Our own "Marie" (the cunning nom de blog comments of Christine from Kaizer, Oregon) was an awesome contestant. Very composed and smart and fast and wonderful. Way to go, Marie! We knew you first!! When people ask you, "How long have you been playing 'Pick a Range'?" you can tell them you date back to the puzzle book days. (Which we still have. These days, you guys are all about the charitable donation thing. And we applaud that.)

Today's photos are in honor of King Lear (quoted in this post's title; the quote satisfies the condition of four different doubled letters: N, S, T & U):














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, or World Food Programme, both helping communities hit by Haiyan (aka Super Typhoon Yolanda).

Over 600 entries so last week goes to Mendo Jim. It's been a while, MJ--what prize would you like? And has anyone else noticed that we (shh...) haven't had a new disaster/tragedy recently? The Red Cross is a worthy charity at all times, though, and lord knows there will be tornadoes and hurricanes soon enough. Sadly...

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."), 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 just like having fine print). 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I'm Picturing Martial Arts for Nerdy Professor Types

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a familiar form of exercise in two words. Switch the order of the two words. Then say them out loud. The result phonetically will name something to wear. What is it?
Familiar? To some people, I suppose. People such as Crossword Man, who got this puzzle immediately. It's like he has a mental card catalog that flips through all the words meaning exercise in crossword puzzles and, as his list is sorted by length, this came up first:
TAE BO (pronounced TIE BO) becomes BOW TIE.
And yes, my presentation went well, thanks for asking. (Ross took photos but they do not show his photography skills OR me at our best.) I'll find out in a month or so what people thought (they have to write out an evaluation and I'm supposed to get copies), but I was pleased with how it went. Plus, I was very pleased to get it over with. On Monday, I did my reading, which also went well. That completed my requirements for my MFA, so I'm done. We drive home on Saturday. Yay!

Let's see what cool bow ties Flickr has, shall we?













Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200 -- Curtis
201 - 250 -- Word Woman
251 - 300 -- Joe Kupe
301 - 350 -- KDW
351 - 400 -- Ross
401 - 450 -- Magdalen
451 - 500 -- zeke creek
 
501 - 550
551 - 600
601 - 650 -- Mendo Jim
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800 
801 - 850 -- Marie
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).

Sunday, January 12, 2014

We don't want no stinking exercise...

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a familiar form of exercise in two words. Switch the order of the two words. Then say them out loud. The result phonetically will name something to wear. What is it?
EZ

So EZ that you've already sent it in to the NPR Contact Us form, hypertexted here.

Here are some photos of exercise (not always in the aerobic sense, however):












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, or World Food Programme, both helping communities hit by Haiyan (aka Super Typhoon Yolanda).

Over 200 entries last week. Awkward, because it looks like Marie won, but she informed me that I'd noted her choice incorrectly. We all guessed too low. I dunno--was that hard or easy or somewhere in between? And what effect is the invisibility of the Contact Us form having on the numbers? Throw a dart and let us know.

Brief Delay in Today's Post

Hi, everyone --

Ross and I are in Maine for the last residency of my MFA program. This time next week, I'll officially have my degree!

Before I can claim that diploma, though, I have to make a presentation on how to write a successful romantic subplot. That presentation is this morning at 8:30 a.m.

Ross offered to listen to the puzzle, but I reminded him that he was required by our marriage vows ("...in sickness and in health, in blog posts and in presentations...") to be in attendance for the entirety of my talk.

So, sleep in, NPR Puzzle fans. We'll do a Sunday post, but it will be later in the day. I will also report on how my presentation went. (Hint: NO Powerpoint presentation. I'm doing it old school...with handouts.)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

No, Not a Female Horse You Rent For 24 Hours

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name something in five letters that's generally pleasant, it's a nice thing to have. Add the letters A and Y, and rearrange the result, keeping the A and Y together as a pair. You'll get the seven-letter word that names an unpleasant version of the five-letter thing. What is it?
As Mendo Jim pointed out, the five letter word (DREAM) is easy. But the seven letter word, DAYMARE, is not one people use on even an irregular basis. I'm beginning to suspect that when Dr. Shortz doesn't say "a common English word," it's safe to assume the omission is intentional.

Let's see if Flickr has any "daymare" photos...Holy moly, they do! I don't "get" them, but they're there. [Edited to add: the photos aren't showing up in preview mode, but I hope they will show up for you.]














Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250 -- Marie
251 - 300 -- Maggie Strasser
301 - 350 -- Mendo Jim
351 - 400 -- Curtis
401 - 450 -- Jan
451 - 500 -- Magdalen
 
501 - 550 -- zeke creek
551 - 600 -- Ross
601 - 650 -- Joe Kupe
651 - 700 -- KDW
701 - 750 -- Word Woman
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 -- Paul
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).

No, Not a

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ay, and I Don't Want It?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name something in five letters that's generally pleasant, it's a nice thing to have. Add the letters A and Y, and rearrange the result, keeping the A and Y together as a pair. You'll get the seven-letter word that names an unpleasant version of the five-letter thing. What is it?
Another of the "Surely there can be too many answers?" puzzles. We've solved it, and we're declaring this a "No-Hinting" week. (Add an AY to "no hinting" and you get "don't let me see you do it.")

You need to know where to send your answer? Here's the link to the hibernating NPR Contact Us form.

And photos? You know me, I'm off the reservation when it comes to photos these days. If there's a connection, I'll tell you all about it on Thursday.













It was supposed to be all carousel horses, but I couldn't resist the dragon and sea monster at the bottom.

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, or World Food Programme, both helping communities hit by Haiyan (aka Super Typhoon Yolanda).

Around 200 entries last week, and Maggie Strasser is our winner. Ross will make a contribution to the Red Cross in your name, Maggie!

This week is, we believe, easier. But I take Mendo Jim's point that NPR isn't making it simple for people to find the Contact Us form, which must have some effect on the number of entries. So, calculate the wind chill where you are, the chance of a storm surge, and general post-New Year's lassitude, divide by the rate of New Year's Resolutions, and then pick a range.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dr. Shortz's Brand Name: Puz-L-Boy

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
The word "wizard" has the peculiar property that its letters can be grouped in pairs — A and Z, D and W, and I and R — that are opposite each other in the alphabet. That is, A and Z are at opposite ends of the alphabet, D and W are four letters in from their respective ends, and I and R are nine letters in from their respective ends. Can you name a well-known brand name in six letters that has this same property?
We would never have gotten this if Ross hadn't written a short bit of code to find all six letter "words" using the necessary pairs. The answer is:



They make iconic chairs like this:



on which you can sit like this:



and be patriotic, like this:



Did you have another brand name? Tell us about it!

Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50 -- Mendo Jim
 51 - 100 -- zeke creek
101 - 150 -- Joe Kupe
151 - 200 -- Maggie Strasser
201 - 250 -- Marie
251 - 300 -- KDW
301 - 350 -- Word Woman
351 - 400 -- Curtis
401 - 450 -- Jan
451 - 500 -- PriscillaAA
 
501 - 550 -- EKW
551 - 600 -- Ross
601 - 650 -- Magdalen
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800 
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry
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 -- Paul
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).