Sunday, March 1, 2015

Take Aaaaaay City...

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a city whose name ends in a long-A sound in which that sound is not spelled with an "A." Change the sound to a long-O and phonetically you'll name a famous person whose name does not contain the letter "O." What city and famous person are these?
I like this puzzle, which we solved over breakfast. I will, though, request no obvious hints. Thanks.

And what do you need hints for, anyway? You've already solved it and are merely reading this for the link to the NPR Contact Us page, so you can send in your eminently accurate answer.

I just went to check the comments on Thursday's post to see if anyone wanted anything specific for the photo section. What people want, clearly, is more Mendo Jim. I can't do that, but here's his general locale:

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.

"Nearly 2,800" entries for Jamie Lee Curtis, so we all under-guessed. Interesting that this puzzle got so many right answers. (And no, I hadn't heard of the soap opera actress.) And we're back to the cities, which don't seem to generate as much interest.

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..


Word Woman said...

1501-1550 please.

Natasha said...

I select the 1,250-1300 range please. Thanks.

David said...

It has been quite awhile since we had 2,800 correct submissions. Nevertheless, I'll stay with 1001 to 1050.

legolambda said...

We gotta fever, and the only prescription is more Mendo Jim!

1101-1150 this week please. I have an alternative answer that involves the same person but not the same city. It involves rather a very small village, albeit a well-known one, in the same country as Will's intended country. But it is a "village" and not a "city" so will be unacceptable to Will, I think.

The Mendot Protege said...


Lego's offering at the end of the previous thread was about the weirdest post I have seen here.

The on-air guy ate Willy alive and the PM showed his pique.

I have a less polite response to "two thousand, eight hundred," but I will go with "Nonsense."
I can't decide if this was an accounting error, wishful thinking or worse.

I have never seen those blank holes in my general locale. (Wait, one opened!)

Range guessing has just become passe ;)

Now begins the robot dance.

Curtis said...

On this snow-covered day in Colorado, I'll go with 1,351 - 1,400.

Natasha said...

The on air guy was truly amazing. I do not think the PM expected such rapid fire responses.

B Haven said...

501-550, please..

The large number of correct answers last week was really surprising. Maybe the ads she does make more generations aware of her name. Her upcoming "Scream Queens" TV Series is probably being advertised. I don't see those ads so far, but probably all the American Horror fans do.

Anonymous said...

I think this puzzle is especially hard since WS did not specify that the city is not in Canada, where all cities end with a hard a sound, eh.


Mendough Djimn said...

Since this week's photos are apparently of my part of the Florida coast, I think I might like to see them.
By refreshing my browser about eleventyleven times, I have squeezed out two of them. One I got by copying the address and pasting it in another window.
Could you try posting the links (addresses) rather than the pic itself.

I forgot to post above that this was a "while still in bed challenge" but could be pretty tough for some groups of people.

I almost wish reCAPTCHA would never work, then I could give up on posting instead of trying again and again to get it to work, literally to work, not just not accept my answer, but give me an answer to copy. I am now into my eighth "an error has occurred" notice and 15+ minutes.

Henry BW said...

My usual 1051-1100, please.

I thought of one reasonably convincing answer, and then stopped looking. But there must be a lot of unintended answers, because Will forgot to specify that the names were to be written in the Roman alphabet.... (Consider, for example, the very well-known city that Wikipedia spells "မန္တလေးမြို့"."

B Haven said...

Another type of range for photos occurred to me but I'm not sure it has come up before. The crossword puzzle clue "musical range" often leads to "alto" or "octave." Alto photos were more than Palo Alto.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I have the answer this week. But I need verification. Is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte pronounced with a long a at the end?


Jay said...

Easier than some but harder than a few. Really hard if you don't get it. But we did!
So let's go with almost last weeks guess; 1751-

Joe Kupe said...

801 - 850. Took us a while but we got it!