Sunday, January 4, 2015

Pick-a-Country, Pick-a-City, Cheep Cheep Cheep

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a world capital. Change a letter in it and rearrange the result to name a country. Then change a letter in that and rearrange the result to name another world capital. What names are these?
Ross wrote software to solve the last one, so all he has to do is find where he put it... Okay, he's found it and has two answers, he thinks.

Meanwhile, I've decided to keep the blog up and running for another year, at least. Maybe I just like looking for the photos...

Speaking of photos, I've been doing a lot of quilting recently (well, technically, I'm making the quilt top; I'm going to let someone else do the quilting, which is the fancy stitching keeping the top, the batting and the backing together) and a lot of quilters record their triumphs on Flickr. Let's look, shall we? (Okay, I admit it--I just wanted to look at more quilts.)

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.

Around 440 entries for the fiancees' body parts, which means (amazingly) I won!

Here are the ranges:
Zero and fewer
  1 - 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..


Maggie Strasser said...

351-400 please

Joe Kupe said...

Not too hard this week. 901 - 950 please!

Mendo Jim said...

I inflict the newspaper feature "Jumble, That Scrambled Word Game" on myself once or twice a year while in seriously boring situations.
I am not too good at them, struggle with simple anagrams and end with the same feeling of satisfaction as I get from eating cotton candy.

I think I'll wait for some hints.

Of course the real challenge is seeing how many times and in how many ways CAPTCHA tries to get my goat.
I think I am up to four or five total and three different ways.
Six, seven, eight.
Nine, ten, eleven, twelve.
Lost count

j said...

I came up with three, but one requires using a constituent country (that is part of a sovereign state but not one itself) and another requires one of the anagram steps to perform a degenerate anagram (i.e., move no letters).

zeke creek said...

801-850, please.

Word Woman said...

Got it. 701-750 will do it for me this week. Thanks.

legolambda said...

401-450, please.
Magdalen, why aren't your pictures showing up in my browser (Google Chrome)? All I get is gobbledygook.


Curtis said...

301 - 350, please.

Anonymous said...

I know that hints are frowned on, but I'd like to suggest to people who don't have the answer yet that starting with Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (Sri Lanka) is going to make the puzzle significantly harder. Still, wouldn't it be fun if someone could come up with a puzzle that actually did use that capital? Perhaps it could begin:

Think of a world capital. Change the 3rd, 8th, 11th, 14th, 15th, and 21st letters to the next letters of the alphabet; rearrange the result to spell a body part with the odd letters and name all the Gabor sisters with the even letters.

Just a thought.

Here's another thought.

I'm tempted to devote 2015 to a deliberate misunderstanding of WS's intent in puzzles. For example, when he tells us to "[c]hange one letter" in the name of a world capital, he doesn't say we can't change it to multiple letters. So if Apple were a capital, I could change the e to "to" to get Laptop, which probably isn't a country. But you get the idea. Using this approach, I do have a solution.


legolambda said...

Great Sri Lanka puzzle! (It would have been the perfect puzzle if only you could have incorporated an upside-down digital clock and some Roman numerals into it somehow.) Still, I wish you were a regular puzzle contributor to my Puzzleria! blog.

Your Apple/laptop strategy likely won't win you any lapel pins, but it sure sounds like fun. It also reminds me to be really really careful when wording the puzzles I compose.


David said...

1001 to 1050 please.

Henry BW said...

Okay, I have the one that uses a "constituent country," and at least two that require a degenerate anagram, or require a degenerate change (replace the letter with the same letter), or one of each.
But am I allowed to ignore the hyphen in Bandar Seri Begawan?

My usual 1051-1100, please.

Jay said...

After Christmas in Florida and New Year's Day in Connecticut, it's back to NEPA for snow, cold and puzzles. Two parts we easy-looked like each other-but the third took a while. So will go with 451-500. By the way, is the lapel pin some sort of status symbol?