Thursday, May 28, 2015

What Constitutes a Profession, Anyway?

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 came up with RANCHER and MAITRE D'. Are those professions? Eh, who cares. And there are other combinations, I gather, so hit me with them!

Time for photos:

I picked MERCHANT because RAIDER got me way too many Lara Croft wannabees.

Merchant of Venus

Susanne Davies, Merchant Adventurer's Hall

Merchant Navy Pacific 35028 'Clan Line' Locomotive

Farmers and Merchants Union Bank in Columbus wisconsin by Louis Sullivan

Tobacco Merchant

The period style garden behind the 17th century Merchant's House in Marlborough, Wiltshire

Time for


Here are this week's picks:
Zero and fewer
    1 - 50
 51 - 100 -- Ross
101 - 150 -- Joe Kupe
151 - 200 -- Paul
201 - 250 -- Mendo Jim
251 - 300 -- Margaret G.
301 - 350 -- Legolambda
351 - 400 -- Curtis
401 - 450 -- B Haven
451 - 500 -- Maggie Strasser

501 - 550 -- Jay
551 - 600 -- Sarah E.
601 - 650 -- Magdalen
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900 -- Marie
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry BW
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 -- Word Woman

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

 > 5,000
 > 5,000 + 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."), AND two separate people picked the ranges of numbers just before and just after that round number, the prize will be awarded to whichever entrant had not already won a prize, or 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 July 2012, this rule is officially no longer obsolete (and also I still just like having fine print).

12 comments:

Word Woman said...

TRACHEA DR and MINER amused me much more than CHAIRMEN and TRADER.

jan said...

RADAR TECH, MINER (which is why I though your "coals" reference inappropriate).

Alex B. said...

I wrote a script (like always) and it only spit out four possibilities, of which RANCHER and MAITRE D' is clearly the best.

merchant raider
carter hired_man
tracer hired_man
rancher maitre_d'

Paul said...

I think jan was right all along; the degenerate case is the best answer.

Word Woman said...

And are we willing to overlook the accent mark on the 'i' and the apostrophe after the 'd' (or the period after Dr, for that matter)? Have we degenerated that far? ;-)

Unknown said...

MACHINER and TRADER - Machiner is a common profession, but usually called machinist. I like Jan's answer, though - I work with some of those. --Margaret G.

Ross Beresford said...

Catching up with donations today. I just made a $10 contribution to our very own WVIA in honor of Jay's win for AIDES/ASIDE/IDEAS. I think we're still waiting on prize choice from Alex B (radio station, Red Cross, or puzzle book are the options).

Alex B. said...

Red Cross is fine! Thanks, Ross. This will also force me to donate blood to match the donation somehow.

legolambda said...

Okay, let's do "pick a Range" with Alex B's blood donation.
I'll take 451-500 milliliters, please. Thank you.

Lego"Take"JustMeans"Pick"...TheRedCroosWill"Take"AlexB'sBloodNotMe...HeMayNotEvenBeMyType!

legolambda said...

In this daylong downtime before Dr. Shortz reveals Sunday morning just how many of our professions he will deem Will-worthy, why not visit my Puzzleria! weblog, which this week features an “Adventures of Fozzie and Herriot” word puzzle and three reasonably nifty number sequence puzzles. (Those of you who can solve my “Seek whence to solve” number sequence puzzle deserve a genuine gold-plated lapel pin! Contact Will at NPR and tell him Lego says he ought to send you one!)

LegoMaybePuzzleria!ShouldStartMailingOutRinky-dinkZinc-platedCufflinks

legolambda said...

Hey,
I think I may have just won "Pick A Range!" I would like to thank the Academy, my parents, my pet poodle Fifi...

LegoGetThatBigMusicalShepherd'sCrookAndGetThisTurkeyOffTheStage!

Curtis said...

Next week's challenge: 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?