Sunday, May 31, 2015

Vy A No Chicken

Magdalen is traveling this weekend, so here is Crossword Man to cluck over this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
A simple challenge: Think of a 5-letter word that can precede "chicken" to complete a common two-word phrase. Change the middle letter to get a new word that can follow "chicken" to complete a common two-word phrase. What phrases are these?
I didn't have to brood on this one for long before coming up with a plausible answer. The fun now is to scratch around for those elusive alternative answers.

Whatever you choose, submit it with this eggciting NPR form.

Here are some images involving two-word chicken phrases to get you thinking:

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. 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.

240 entries for rancher/maitre d', plus 70 for machiner/trader and radar tech/miner makes 310? Legolambda is our winner, so let us know which prize you'd like to receive! Peck a range based on your guess for the coming week, 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.


Anonymous said...


Natasha said...

901-950 "range" please.

legolambda said...

Hello, followers of this "An Englishman Solves American Puzzles" web blog. This is LegoLambda’s mother, LegoLamb’sMa.

Lego, I fear, is temporarily incapacitated due to overwhelming pride and emotion after nailing your weekly “Pick-A-Range” competition. (He asked me to write “Nana-nanana!” I am not sure what he means by that.) Anyway, the lad asked me to post a comment effusively thanking Ross and Magdalen for their largess. Lego says he would like to receive the puzzle book, Ross, this being his first time winning and all.

He does feel a little “sheepish” about accepting the puzzle book, however, since so many other “Pick-A-Range” winners have opted to so generously donate their winnings to the Red Cross and local NPR stations. And so, he vows (after his verklemptness vanishes, or at least subsides) to march right down to the local Red Cross and donate a pint or two of blood (LL-negative).

What’s more, Lego plans to re-gift to his local public radio station a few boxfuls of assorted NPR/PBS-emblazoned coffee mugs, t-shirts, fanny packs and visor caps; a 2-CD collection of Appalachian folk songs; the Carole King & James Taylor: Live at the Troubadour CD/DVD; a passel of “I [HEART] NPR” tote bags; and a “Lake Wobegon” windshield ice-scraper.

Lego has also authorized me to submit his “free-range guess” of 451-500 for this week’s chicken puzzle. He says he is going for two in a row!

Thank you again, Magdalen and Ross!


Paul said...

1,251 - 1,300 please.

Sometimes a drumtsick is just a drumtsick.

Curtis said...

I think I'll sit on 351 - 400 this week.

Maggie Strasser said...

1351-1400 please

Unknown said...

751-800. And Lego, I got the books the first time I won, too, just about a month ago. I think they're awesome! --Margaret G.

legolambda said...

Margaret G.,

Lego extends gratitude for your support, both here on AESAP and at his P! blog. He is resting a bit fitfully in bed, still flushed with the afterglow of "Pick-A-Range" triumph! He said he likes his chances this week also.


Anonymous said...

It didn't take long for me to get the answer. "Fried chicken" came immediately, but I confess that it did take a minute before I came up with "chicken freud," which, I confess, involves both changing the middle letter and then switching two letters. For those who don't know, "chicken freud" is a variant of "schadenfreude" and means taking pleasure from the suffering of a chicken. In other words, enjoying the fried chicken.

On a separate note, now that I've conclusively solved the puzzle, it's really encouraging to see Lego's mother join us. I knew this blog was family friendly.

And now it's time to destroy that family-friendly atmosphere. Think of a four-letter word that can be placed after "chicken." Change the second letter of the four-letter word to a different letter, and you have another word that can be placed after "chicken."


legolambda said...

Good Heavens! Lego, What kind of "friends" are you associating with here? This Phil fellow just posted a puzzle that borders on the scatological!
It has certainly polluted the family-friendly atmosphere of this otherwise elegant website.


legolambda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
legolambda said...

LegoLambMa again. My malingering Lego has requested that I post the following piece of Kentucky Fried Chickens*it doggerel:
Pending pardon, the hen lay on poultry death row.
Her fate? Processing. Life? Not worth chicken feed.
She’d be fried unless Governor Leghorn said, “No!”
Ah, ‘tis priceless the life of a chicken freed.


Word Woman said...

Just plucky: 1501-1550.

B.Haven said...

851-900, please.
Easy as pie, cherry or chicken. Happy June, congrats to any graduates, or parents of grads.

Word Woman said...

Never has a topic generated so many puns, wordplay, Chicken Little sky pointing!

Why is that?

Why are chickens and eggs so pun-worthy?!

legolambda said...

Word Woman,

Lego says "we should ask Dr. Shortz... He's the Wordplay guy.
Dr. Shortz, are you lurking? Having your lackeys lurk?"


David said...

1001 to 1050, please.

Alex B. said...

Maybe I have the wrong answer, but it seems to me that one of these phrases is WAY more common than the other.

Mendo Jim said...

I came up with an answer to this challenge in about ten minutes and have not found an another one.
Kind of too bad now that the PM seems to be of a more open mind in the choice department.
951 and up seems like it may be available. If not, I'll accept an assigned Range.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lego's Mother:

Please accept my most profound apologies for what you found an offensive puzzle suggestion. I assure you that my motives were as pure as the softest down from a chick. I was thinking, I assure you, of "chicken meat" (about 790,000 hits on Google) and "chicken moat" (about 39,900 hits). No, wait. I meant "chicken stew" (629,000) and "chicken skew" (12,500).

I assure you, Mrs. Lego's Mother, that I, like all of the good folk who frequent this spot, would never think of anything remotely scatological (a word I had to look up--yuck).

And, of course, I was kidding about the words I was really thinking of. They were "chicken rice" (3,400,000) and "chicken race" (245,000).

Yours in purity, innocence, and all that is good,


P.S. Can Lego come out and play now?

Anonymous said...

On a serious note, I did submit an answer this week, and it will test, I think, WS's recent tendency to accept answers. I did do Google searches for my original answer (which I think is what WS has in mind) and my submitted answer, and both terms in the answer I submitted are more popular on Google than the lesser of the two terms in my first answer. I'll share more on Thursday.


Joe Kupe said...

601- 650 please. One of the two phrases was the name of a great dive of a restaurant (if it could be called that) in Buffalo, NY years ago!

Ross Beresford said...

I just donated another $10 to the American Red Cross in honor of Alex B.'s recent Peck a Range win. Legolambda, if you're feeling up to it, email a postal address for your prize to Magdalen (at) Crosswordman (dot) com. Thanks XWRD MA for XWRD MAN.