Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Blog with ALL the Puzzle Celebrities

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a boy's name and a girl's name, each in four letters. The names start with the same letter of the alphabet. The boy's name contains the letter R. Drop that R from the boy's name and insert it into the girl's name. Phonetically, the result will be a familiar two-word phrase for something no one wants to have. What is it?
Pretty simple, really. Ross solved it while I was still booting up my computer. (Ross points out that Will might have wanted to reverse the order of last week's and this week's puzzles. Reason to be revealed on Thursday.)

In fact, I feel silly providing your with a link to the cleverly camouflaged NPR Contract Us form, as you've all already sent your answers in. Still, here it is.

Word Woman has asked for COLLIE to be the word of the day. Just like that, we've gone to the dogs!













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.

Our very own lego lambda (real world name: Joseph Young) won the REAL contest for the second time (we didn't know him then), but who won the Pick a Range, with 101-150? B. Haven again!!! A two-peat! May we assume you're still passing on the puzzle book, B. Haven, and picking the Red Cross instead? (Just as we now know that lego lambda is really a Joseph, we also know that B. stands for Barbara. I followed her on Twitter.)

And this is why we have ALL the puzzle celebrities here: Our people win. Yay! So enter Pick a Range for this week's remarkably easy puzzle and see whether you can beat B. Haven from the hat trick.

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, June 26, 2014

The "Smart" Toothpaste

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of a 10-letter adjective describing certain institutions. Drop three letters from this word, and the remaining seven letters, reading left to right, will name an institution described by this adjective. What institution is it?
Here's what got us confused. It was easy to pick COLLEGIATE among the various ten-letter institutional adjectives (charitable, depository, Chautauqua...) as leading to the most possibilities. And look, you can make COLLEGE from the letters, in order, of COLLEGIATE. Turns out, you can also make COLGATE, which is the intended answer.

I will now dazzle you with non-toothy photos featuring Colgate:













Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50 -- Curtis
 51 - 100 -- Alex B.
101 - 150 -- B. Haven
151 - 200 -- Joe Kupe
201 - 250 -- Ross
251 - 300 -- Word Woman
301 - 350
351 - 400 -- Maggie Strasser
401 - 450 -- Phil
451 - 500 -- Magdalen
 
501 - 550
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750 -- zeke creek
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 -- Mendo Jim
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, June 22, 2014

I Don't Think He Meant Loony Bin Institutions...

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of a 10-letter adjective describing certain institutions. Drop three letters from this word, and the remaining seven letters, reading left to right, will name an institution described by this adjective. What institution is it?
Don't got this one. Working on it. Will let you know. [Edited to add: We have an unsatisfactory but technically correct answer. We'll continue to look for something with a bit more wit and sophistication.]

You, of course, have already solved it. Be sure to send it into to NPR's "Counting House," aka their Contact Us form, found here.

Ross has declared the Word of the Week to be POLLEN. (Hey, just be glad it's not BITING FLIES.)













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.

[Warning: bad pun ahead.] There were almost 850 correct answers, which means B. Haven wins. What Ross and I realized is that we don't know if it's Miz Behavin' or Ain't Miz Behavin'. Either way, B., you've won your choice of a puzzle book or a donation to the Red Cross. And all of us have another chance with this week's institutional puzzle.

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, June 19, 2014

On Safari. Call Back Tomorrow

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a certain trip that contains the letter S. Change the S to a C and rearrange the resulting letters. You'll name the location where this trip often takes place. Where is it?
SAFARI - S + C = AFRICA

I didn't get this in the split second that you guys did. I was going to say I was distracted by my writer's conference and the reading I did that night, but really, I'm just slow. I am, in safari terms, the wildebeest that gets culled from the herd for being elderly.



Show of hands all those who are the right age to get this. ::waves hand:: I laughed out loud. Ross...not so much.

Here's Ross's panorama from the top of the Rockefeller Center:


My reading went well. My mother was an actress so I just channeled her. I'd suck at "real" acting, but I know enough to make a reading lively. Here's the excerpt I read; it's from Love in Reality, my first romance.  (There's more there than I read, clearly, but if you read the first five pages, you'll get the flavor of what I did on Sunday.)

Hoseart is the WORD! Oops, no photos under Creative Commons. (You can see the two photos under any license here.)

Instead, we're going with CROP CIRCLE because I'm fascinated by them. And I like mandala shapes, obviously.














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 -- Joe Kupe
451 - 500 -- Phil
 
501 - 550
551 - 600 -- Lego
601 - 650
651 - 700 -- Ross
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850 -- B. Haven
851 - 900
901 - 950 -- Magdalen
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Paul
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250 -- Mendo Jim
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350 -- Word Woman
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 -- Marie
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, June 15, 2014

Someone who carries pictures in his wallet where his money used to be

This is Crossword Man reporting the NPR Sunday Puzzle from the Big Apple. A Very Happy Father's Day to all you Daddy's out there, even if you're just a Pet Daddy like me.

I'm subbing for Magdalen today because she's hard at work at a writer's conference. Meanwhile I get to be a tourist in Midtown Manhattan which I suspect is a whole lot more fun.

If you're in town and are curious to meet Magdalen in person, she's doing a public reading tonight sometime between 7:30 and 9:30 tonight at the Red Room, a "prohibition era speakeasy" that's part of the KGB Bar in the East Village.

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name a certain trip that contains the letter S. Change the S to a C and rearrange the resulting letters. You'll name the location where this trip often takes place. Where is it?
I didn't have to think about this too long: as I was reading the puzzle online, I heard another Weekend Edition feature that proved helpful in suggesting the nature of the trip. I suspect the puzzle is easy enough anyway, and when you've solved it, be sure to send your answer to NPR using their trippy contact form.

My word of the week is of course Dad:







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.

"Around 150 entries" last week, so I'm going to give the win to early voter Phil ... let us know if you'd like a puzzle book or a gift to the Red Cross. We've had a lot of Pick A Range payouts recently, but this week may be harder to call?

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, June 12, 2014

The Secret's in the Broad Construction

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name part of a TV that contains the letter C. Replace the C with the name of a book of the Old Testament, keeping all the letters in order. The result will name a sailing vessel of old. What is it?
We managed to solve this pretty expeditiously, although I don't recall quite how we did it. Probably by seeing that CHIP - C + S = SHIP. Oh, and that 1 KINGS could be I KINGS.

V CHIP - C + IKINGS = VIKING SHIP

As NOVA puts it, "The secret of the Viking ship lay in its unique construction."

I gather people did not feel this was an easy puzzle. Ross will have a hard time getting a nice, low range to pick.

Curtis put the word "tricky" in bold to signify it should be today's Flickr word. Turns out to be a UK band that everyone loves to take photos of! But also some other pictures:














Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50 -- Mendo Jim
 51 - 100 -- Word Woman
101 - 150 -- Phil
151 - 200 -- David
201 - 250 -- Legolambda
251 - 300 -- Paul
301 - 350 -- Ross
351 - 400 -- Curtis
401 - 450 -- zeke creek
451 - 500 -- Marie
 
501 - 550 -- Maggie Strasser
551 - 600 -- Magdalen
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

 > 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, June 8, 2014

Wowie Zowie, Indeed!

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Name part of a TV that contains the letter C. Replace the C with the name of a book of the Old Testament, keeping all the letters in order. The result will name a sailing vessel of old. What is it?
Well, here are three lists I'm not intimately familiar with. My knowledge of the books of the OT comes from Frederic March's speech as Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit the Wind, the play/movie about the Scopes Monkey Trial. (My dad played Brady in a local production, so I got to hear that speech more than once.)
As for what's in a television set, well, what year are we talking? A modern TV, which is a screen and precious little else? Or a behemoth piece of furniture, complete with rabbit ears, from my childhood?

And then we have the sailing ship of old. A type of ship? A specific ship? One with a name? A name we've all heard of?

When you're worked it out (we have, for what that's worth), send your answer in to NPR using the buoyant and seaworthy Contact Us form here.

Word Woman asked for "PEACH" as the word du Flickr. Here you go, WW--I love these!













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.

Almost 500 correct entries last week, so Maggie Strasser won. (That was the range Ross wanted, but I told him you'd picked it first. He's a bit annoyed he didn't "win." He'll get over it.) Maggie, tell us if you'd like a puzzle book or a gift to the Red Cross. 
 
And once more on board for another exciting adventure on the Pick A Range seas!

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, June 5, 2014

Meloncholy at the Baptismal Font

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Take the name of a well-known American businessman — first and last names. Put the last name first. Insert an M between the two names. The result names a food item. What is it?
Answer: ELON MUSK (who? see here) becomes MUSKMELON (see here).

As we thought, and some of you pointed out, this isn't exactly a household name. Unless you've been following the race to get "ordinary, albeit very rich" guys into space. In which case, sure, you may have heard of him.

Let's see if MELON gives any interesting pictures on Flickr (as none of you picked a word, tsk tsk).














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 -- Curtis
401 - 450 -- Word Woman
451 - 500 -- Maggie Strasser
 
501 - 550 -- Barbara H.
551 - 600 -- Magdalen
601 - 650 -- Jan
651 - 700 -- Paul
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000 -- David
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 -- Mendo Jim
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, June 1, 2014

Well, It's Not Sara Lee...

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Take the name of a well-known American businessman — first and last names. Put the last name first. Insert an M between the two names. The result names a food item. What is it?
And it's another puzzle to challenge us on HOW to solve it, more than what's the solution. Do you look up famous businessmen? Or do you think about food (always my preferred solution)?

While we're thinking about this, please remember to send in your answer (which "just came" to you on your way to church/brunch/international peace treaty talks) to NPR using their flourishing Contact Us form found here.

Oh. Okay. We have it. I think this needs to be a hint-free comments section, so take those cunning puns over to Blaine's, okay?

And I will get on with showing photos of June, as has been requested by long-time range-picker David. Great idea, David! There are so many to pick from, but I gotta spare poor Mendo Jim, whose dial-up connection can only handle so much...













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.

Over 650 correct entries last week, so Paul is our winner. Paul, get in touch to tell us if you'd like a puzzle book (we got 'em to give away) or a gift to the Red Cross. Meanwhile, what do you think about this week's puzzle? Lots of people, or just a trickle?

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..