Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Die is Cast

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Take the word "die." Think of two synonyms for this word that are themselves exact opposites of each other. What two words are these? A hint: they have the same number of letters.
Ross solved this, but it didn't come to us immediately. Which I guess means it's not as easy as last week.

Nonetheless, you have solved it (duh) and are merely waiting impatiently for me to provide you with the Officially It's Spring Contact Us page.

Speaking of spring (here in the Northeast, speaking of it is pretty much all we can do, as it's still below freezing), here's the Vernal Equinox, as per Flickr:

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.

Three thousand two hundred entries for the Parables of Jesus -3 = Aesop's Fables puzzle, so no one won. Now that it's spring, and hope is eternal again, I'm sure you'll ALL win. (No clue how that could logically happen, but such is the power of hope.)

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..


Natasha said...

I select 501-550 range, please.

Unknown said...

I'll take 1251-1300 again - seemed pretty easy. -- Margaret G.

legolambda said...

Why were there 3,200 correct answers to last weeks Will poser? Because if you ask 1,000 people, "What is the name of an old collection of stories? Name the first collection that comes to mind," 850 of them will say Aesop's Fables, with Grimm's Fairy Tales and Mother Goose Stories coming in as distant runners-up.

This week's range depends on how many alternative answers Will will allow. So my guess is 901-950, please.


Anonymous said...

Allow me to rephrase Will's hint:
"The answer I will accept has two words of the same length." No actual help.

David said...

1001 to 1050, again, please. Really, over 3200 last week? Maybe the many listeners have stopped hibernating.

Henry BW said...

My usual 1051-1100, please. I got one reasonable answer almost immediately, and stopped looking, but suspect that there are many others, mostly slang.

Curtis said...

This one's almost as easy as last week's puzzle. I'll go with 2,251 - 2,300.

Anonymous said...

The mysterious fluctuations of the number of submissions has interested me for years.
The fact that what is actually reported seems to not always be the same complicates things.
It is kind of a house game, but honesty in the reporters has to be assumed.
So what are we to make of the very unusual recent reports of 2800 and 3200?
While there must be several factors such as holidays, weather, etc., I am beginning to think that when listeners know the answer, they submit it. The hardy and overlapping group here and at Blaine's tend to get every challenge before Thursday's "envelope, please" and I think most submit answers making up a core of the usual hundreds.
The thousands come from folks who have an occasional "A,ha."
One would think these puzzles might have something in common, but the instantaneous recognition of the pattern in "old tales" and "parable/fable" of last week was quite different from thinking of an actress with three boy's names.
I don't think it is unreasonable to assume people who got one would not necessarily get the other.
There is, of course, a huge pile of data sitting on Will's desk at NPR which might unravel this knotty problem.

Anonymous said...

I guess it is just Mendo Jim the anti-robot folks don't like.
The post just above was submitted as anonymous after 10 plus tries as MJ.

Word Woman said...

751-800 please.

Anonymous said...

I finally got the answer, by which I mean one that WS did not intend. On the off, off, off chance that he contemplated my answer, I'll wait until Thursday to share, but I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders.


Maggie Strasser said...

1351 - 1400 please

I'm still working on it.
Stupid is as stupid does. :(

B Haven said...

1,651 - 1,700, easy. I wonder if more people are listening to the puzzle recently.

There may not be alternate solutions that Mr. Shortz will accept, but I wouldn't be greatly surprised.

Joe Kupe said...

Much harder, as if we did not use a synonym seacrh tool we would not have gotten it. College kids on the other hand may live and die by the answer! 301 - 350 please, just 10% of last week!