Sunday, May 24, 2015

So, What Do You Do For a Living?

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Take the phrase "merchant raider." A merchant raider was a vessel in World War I and World War II that targeted enemy merchant ships. Rearrange the letters of "merchant raider" to get two well-known professions. What are they?
We have answers. We also predict coals of something or other will be heaped on the Puzzlemaster's head for the imprecision of his wording. Then again, you all may surprise us!

You will not surprise us by knowing the answers already. Go forth and submit those suckers! For that, you'll need this: the NPR Contact Us form, all ready for you to be brilliant.

What photographs does one get with "coals of fire" plugged into Flickr's search function?


So let me walk these coals till you believe (Imagination Pavilion, EPCOT)

Cloudfactory II


Hook Head Lighthouse (1) 800 Years of Light

Band-Winged Meadowhawk Warmed By The Fire

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.

Two hundred (precisely?) entries for the language/country puzzle. Alex B. is our winner, so let us know which prize you'd like to receive! Back to jumbling letters, so what do you think? Easier? Harder? Aeries?? 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.


Word Woman said...

1451-1500, please.

Maggie Strasser said...

451-500 please

Curtis said...

I'll stick with 351 - 400

Mendo Jim said...

I think Willy might like to do a groundhog day on both this challenge and the on-air portion.
Not his best efforts.

I have always liked puns (come on, you do too) but they have been described as the lowest form of humor.
I don't much care for anagrams and would endorse the proposition that they are the lowest form of puzzle.
This one is weak at both the start and finish.

201+ almost got me a prize this week, so I'll try again.

Looks like CAPT PITA is on holiday.
But so am I, so I will just keep pushing his button.

Henry BW said...

Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. Puns only come second. I have two answers (not including the obvious RAIDER and MERCHANT; I'm sure a lot of raiders were professionals), neither of which convinces me that it is the one Will intended. I thought of one over tea, and found the other in TEA.
My usual 1051-1100, please.

legolambda said...

I have a few possible acceptable answers for this puzzle, but who knows what Will will accept? (He does seem to be more accepting lately, however.)

I have no clue this week. I'll try 301-350 please. Thanks.


SarahE said...


Unknown said...

251-300 please. --Margaret G.

Paul said...

151 - 200, please.

I have an answer which I believe suits Will's sense of humor. If that's too much of a hint, well ...

jan said...

I have an answer for which Magdalen's comment might constitute a giveaway hint.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention Will's gracious acceptance of two alternate answers to the challenge. It was a rarity and hopefully will lead to more.

PS Maybe it is my slow internet connection that POs CAPT PITA, but often he seems to like anonymous at the same computer. Let's see.
Mendo Jim

Just for fun, try the earphones. You think the written stuff is gobbledygook!

David said...

1001 to 1050, please.

Marie said...

851-900, hoping the anagrammers come out of hiding.

B. Haven said...

401-450 for this week please.

I wonder how many alternate pairs will be allowed. I have an alternate, because mine are not on the clues.

Joe Kupe said...

101 - 150 please. Tricky so not everyone will get it! Nor does everyone know how to spell one of the two professions!

Jay said...

Shouldn't wait till the last minute/hour and then have to take a left-over number instead of my favorite. Oh well, let's go with 501- and hope there are a lot of smart people this week! Just hope they are not smarter than me and get the answer that I didn't.