Sunday, April 27, 2014

Take an Actor or Actress...and Get Arrested for Kidnapping

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a famous actor or actress whose last name ends in a doubled letter. Drop that doubled letter. Then insert an R somewhere inside the first name. The result will be a common two-word phrase. What is it?
Ross solved it inadvertently, which is pretty much how we do these things these days.

You, of course, solved it with great verve and panache, and you'll add a flourish when you fill in the NPR Contact Us Form, found here.

Last Sunday morning, I was still returning east from Northern California. On my way from Mendocino to the airport, my GPS took me through San Francisco on Nineteenth Street--not the pretty parts. Here, then, are some pretty parts of S.F.:














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.

Only 45 correct entries. I'm shocked. Also, no one won...simply because no one actually went that low. Literally: one range left at the low end and none of you thought there'd only be 45 entries.

This week is a LOT easier. Ah, but how much more? Pick a range and see if you can win!

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, April 24, 2014

The Puzzle That's a Hole Lot of Fun

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name certain trees. Also name something that trees have. Rearrange all the letters to get the brand name of a product one might buy at a grocery or drug store. What is it?
Uh-oh. This is going to irk Mendo Jim no end. Another FIR puzzle! FIRS + LEAVES = LIFE SAVERS. (And yes, A Hole Lot of Fun is Life Savers' official motto.)

I guess it was hard if you didn't have Ross's software. Which is cheating, which is why I don't try really hard to sell you the software.

Anyway, I digress. According to Wikipedia, firs have "needle-like" leaves. And cones.

I will assume that because I found the following photos by typing in "fir" at Flickr, that they're all of fir trees.













Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100 -- Barbara
101 - 150 -- Mendo Jim
151 - 200 -- Joe Kupe
201 - 250 -- Marie
251 - 300 -- Ross
301 - 350 -- Zeke Creek
351 - 400 -- Curtis
401 - 450 -- Jan
451 - 500 -- Word Woman
 
501 - 550
551 - 600
601 - 650 -- Magdalen
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800  
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000 -- Maggie Strasser
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, April 20, 2014

And Now...For the Rest of the Tree Canopy...

Thank you, Ross, for the placeholder blog post earlier.

And in case you're late, here's the NPR Contact Us form for ease of entering.

Here are some photos culled from Flickr's extensive collection of "forest" pix:













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.

Someone watched The West Wing and House, M.D. NPR got around 680 correct entries. Zeke Creek won. (I assume you want a contribution to the Red Cross, Zeke?) This week seems easier, but who can say. Oh, wait, I know: YOU CAN. Pick a range!

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.. 

Tree of a Kind

Mrs. Crossword Man asked me to put up a placeholder post. She's currently somewhere en route from San Francisco to Philadelphia. Perhaps over Edina, Minnesota, or Ada, Oklahoma, or somewhere else puzzleworthy. Anyway, here's this week's NPR Puzzle to ponder over your breakfast cereal:
Name certain trees. Also name something that trees have. Rearrange all the letters to get the brand name of a product one might buy at a grocery or drug store. What is it?
A not too hard one according to Will, and I would concur. More when Magdalen gets home ...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Is There a Doctor in the White House?

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a well-known American company. Insert a W somewhere inside the name, and you'll get two consecutive titles of popular TV shows of the past. What are they?
I solved this one! Here's how I did it:
  1. Think of a company name with a lot of letters. [Westinghouse] 
  2. Insert a W. [WestWingHouse] 
  3. Look sheepish. 
  4. Argue with Ross about whether this works given that the full title was The West Wing
  5. Sigh.

WESTINGHOUSE + W = [THE] WEST WING + HOUSE

And wasn't it technically House, M.D., anyway?

Guess where I am? I'm in Little River, California, which is just a hop (over Little River), skip (over Big River) and a jump (to avoid crazy drivers) from Mendocino! Here are some photos by better photographers than I:













I'm actually staying at the precise place where they filmed Same Time, Next Year. The resort has the movie on continuous loop, so I watched it last night. Best part: the music by Marvin Hamlisch, and in particular the song by Johnny Mathis and Jane Olivor, "The Last Time I Felt Like This." Second best part: the location shots in the movie. You can tell most of it was filmed on a stage set, but every once in a while the characters walk outside into...my view!

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 -- Word Woman
451 - 500
 
501 - 550 -- Ross
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700 -- zeke creek
701 - 750 -- KDW
751 - 800  
801 - 850 -- Joe Kupe
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- HenryBW
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250 -- Magdalen
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
1,401 - 1,450 -- Marie
1,451 - 1,500

1,501 - 1,550 -- Mendo Jim
1,551 - 1,600 -- Paul
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, April 13, 2014

Howdy Doody from California

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a well-known American company. Insert a W somewhere inside the name, and you'll get two consecutive titles of popular TV shows of the past. What are they?
Interesting puzzle. We don't have an answer yet, partly because I'm in Pleasanton, California...and Ross is back home. So, while it might be the case that two minds are better than one, ours are 3,000 miles apart, which dulls the synergy just a bit. [Edited to add: Sure enough, as soon as Ross and I started to Skype, the answer came to me.]

We'll get there. And when we do, we'll have joined all of you in knowing the answer, if not in sending it in to the NPR Contact Us form, seen here dressed as an Easter Bunny.

Let's look at some pictures of where I am today:













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.

Hot turkey sandwiches are more popular than I'd realized. NPR got over 1400 correct entries. We, however, did not get a winner. Who knows about this week? If YOU do, you'll win a prize!

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, April 10, 2014

How the Sausage is Made

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Split pea soup is something that might be found on a menu at a diner. The phrase contains each of the 5 vowels — A, E, I, O and U — exactly once. Name something else that might be served in a diner — also 3 words, consisting of 3, 6 and 8 letters, respectively — that contains each of the 6 vowels (A, E, I, O, U and Y) exactly once.
The question this puzzle prompts is: Have you ever ordered a HOT TURKEY SANDWICH? I have, but Ross (who isn't from around here, as you'll recall) has not.

That's about all I can say on the subject. What do you want? It's Wonder Bread, sliced turkey, and a gloppy gravy of unknown origins.

Time for more pretty food:













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 -- Curtis
401 - 450 -- Ross
451 - 500
 
501 - 550 -- Joe Kupe
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800  
801 - 850 -- Magdalen
851 - 900 -- zeke creek
901 - 950 -- Sarah
951 - 1,000 -- Paul
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- HenryBW
1,101 - 1,150 -- Word Woman
1,151 - 1,200 -- legolambda
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 -- Mendo Jim
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, April 6, 2014

Food, Glorious Food

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Split pea soup is something that might be found on a menu at a diner. The phrase contains each of the 5 vowels — A, E, I, O and U — exactly once. Name something else that might be served in a diner — also 3 words, consisting of 3, 6 and 8 letters, respectively — that contains each of the 6 vowels (A, E, I, O, U and Y) exactly once.
We have ways of making puzzles like this easy. I say that, and of course my way didn't work, so I've handed it off to Ross, who has even trickier ways! And then he hands it back to me with a refinement, and between us, we solve it.

You gotta love teamwork.

You also gotta love the fact that YOU have solved it without tricks and ploys and already sent the correct answer in to NPR via their cunning Contact Us form, now molting out of its winter plumage.

Ever since Flickr changed its system, I've had to be either more cunning or less cunning in my photo choices. Today, I'm going less. Way less. Here, then, is some pretty food:














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.

Last week's "love it or hate it" movie puzzle had just over 280 correct entries. (Did they say correct? I forget.) No one won. Which means nothing for this week's less tricky puzzle. Pick a range and see if you win!

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, April 3, 2014

The Puzzle Wolf of North Capitol Street

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
This week's challenge comes from listener Mike Reiss, a former writer and producer for The Simpsons. The film Wild Wild West had three W's as its initials. What prominent film of last year had two W's as its initials?
This should have been easier for all of us, as we got to SEE the puzzle. Orally, it's much harder. When you look at the puzzle (above) you see the fateful words: "two W's as its initials[.]" Read that again: "TWOWS as its initials."

Got it now? The Wolf of Wall Street has the intitials T.W.O.W.S.

Clever.

Photos! (Note, the "pretty" one is of sunrise over The Farm of the Wolf, somewhere in Brazil. I can't resist the pretty.)













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

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 -- Paul
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).