Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pick Yet ANOTHER Country, Any Country

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a country with at least three consonants. These are the same consonants, in the same order, as in the name of a language spoken by millions of people worldwide. The country and the place where the language is principally spoken are in different parts of the globe. What country and what language are these?
It's Lilac Weekend, so Henry is visiting us. I'll set "the guys" to solving this one while I find some pretty pictures of lilacs to share. Solving is going to be challenging, as we have a few questions we can only assume the answer to. Oh, wait. No it isn't.

You have no such questions. You know the answer(s) already. What can I do to help? I know: here's the NPR Contact Us form.

Lilacs! (Not our own, simply because Ross hasn't taken photos of ours yet.)



lilacs revisited


Ginormous Lilac Bushes

White lilac

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.

Over 300 entries for the AIDES AIMED: ROUTE puzzle (those being the three single-syllable words the Puzzlemaster accepted). Jay is our winner, so let us know which prize you'd like to receive! We're back in the Pick a Country, Any Country puzzles, so I don't know--are those easier? Pick a range based on your guess, or by shooting a dart at the chart, your choice.

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...

651-700 please.

Here's hoping I can figure this one out. I've been on a dry spell for months!

Curtis said...

Since Maggie went higher this week, I'll fill in the 351 - 400 gap.

Paul said...

Difficult for me. 51 - 100, please

How'd you find lilac pictures w/o bumblebees?

Natasha said...

I select 701-750 range, please. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

OK, so I'm pretty sure the country is Democratic Republic of the Congo. Now I just need a language with the letters D, M, C, R, T, C, R, P, B, L, C, F, T, H, C, N, and G in that order. This may take a few minutes.


Alex B. said...

I don't see this one being easy for most, but it was fun to solve with computer assistance. 151-200, please.

Unknown said...

I crunched through it, but am not sure how many others would do so. 101-150 for me, please. --Margaret G.

legolambda said...

751-800 please.
Had Will begun the puzzle with "Name a country with at least 17 consonants," as hinted at in Phil's hilariously excellent comment, I would have picked a negative range!


Anonymous said...

Lego, I am very grateful to you for supplying the language. Before I submit my answer, though, do you qualify as "millions" per the wording of the question? (I'm just assuming that you don't live in Democratic Republic of the Congo.)

I'm trying a new approach this time. Now I've zeroed in on a new language: Klingon. So I'm looking for a country with consonants K, L, N, G, and N that has never hosted Comic-Con.

Actually, this week's (presumably intended) answer came to me relatively easily. But I hear and (to some small degree) speak the language almost daily as part of my work.


Mendo Jim said...

Phil: I have your language! But since this is a family blog, it will have to remain hidden.

I think I also have a working solution, but I don't think it was worth the effort.

201+ seems open but too high.

Joe Kupe said...

From the land of the largest Lilac Festival we'll go with 251 - 300 please! Tough, but easier than last week!

David said...

501 to 550, please.

legolambda said...

As I am sure you already have done, I have found just the country to complement your KLiNGoN language. It’s a relatively new nation, not even yet on most maps, and not even yet searchable on the Internet!

It is called Koala Nigel, founded by Nigel Scullion, formerly of Australia, and named after Nigel Scullion and, well, the koala. During a vacation to the Malaysian Peninsula this past Christmas, Scullion was so taken by the beauty of the countryside that he staged and unbloody coup, and annexed that land portion of Malaysia and declared it a duchy of Australia. (I have no clue what a duchy is, it is just fun to say!)

Some wags speculate, however, that the real reason for his abandoning his Australian homeland and staking his claim to a new nation was because his fellow Aussies in the Northern Territory and fellow members of the Australian Senate were relentlessly mocking him because of his first name.

Scullion appropriated the former Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, making it the capital city of Koala Nigel, now spelled Koala Lumpur. (Nigel switched the U in Kuala to an O, because it echoes the name of his new nation, and because he is fond of Puzzleria! and NPR puzzles.)

Another reason Scullion chose Kuala Lumpur as the site of his capital city was that it located in the Kling Valley, although, of course (for the purposes of satisfying the stipulations of Will’s puzzle), not a soul there speaks Klingon.


Curtis said...

This took me no more than 15 minutes using some spreadsheet magic (some have fun with phonics; I have enjoyment with Excel...). Even with a fairly simple method to solve it, I doubt many folks will put in the effort to solve this one. I agree with the low-ball guesses this week.

B. Haven said...

Nice lilacs in the photos. I hope you all are enjoying your lilacs and photos, wherever you are.

401-450 range for me for this week. While relatively easy, recently the number of correct responses seem to be trending down.

Anonymous said...


Naturally, Koala Nigel came quickly to mind. But I had certain qualms about using it as the country. For one thing, the UN seems hesitant to recognize Koala Nigel as an independent nation state given the quality (or lack thereof) of justice administered by what can only be considered kangaroo courts.

However, your reference to a duchy does bring up an interesting musical note. You'll forgive me for being a bit unclear, I hope, but I'm not sure whether the music in question is precisely baroque or pre-renaissance. But your reference either way reminds me of Fergie, she of the Black-Eye Peas, whose sole album is The Dutchess. I love things with misspellings in their titles.


Anonymous said...


I left a response earlier, but it apparently didn't get saved, which is a true shame since reCAPTCHA made me identify five pictures with bread in them. I don't like being led on like that, even when it's dough see dough.

At any rate, I'll try to reconstruct what I wrote. It was something to the effect that of course I thought immediately of Koala Nigel, but I was hesitant to use it because as I understand things, the United Nations does not fully recognize Koala Nigel as an independent state. The issue, I think, is one of a poor justice system, convicting opponents of the regime of trumped-up charges in what can be described only as kangaroo courts.

As for duchies, you remind me of Fergie, she of the Black Eye Peas. She has one album, The Dutchess. I just love things with misspelled titles.


Jay said...

Didn't get "the call" but ended up second best: got the range right (321 seemed obvious!), and had my alternative answer mentioned by WS.

Our favorite PBS station, WVIA, would be nice.

Jay said...

Will kling to the same number as last week: 321. Go with a winner! We were in Malayasia just before the coup: can understand why someone would want to have some of that land to themselves. Wonderful country and people.