Sunday, July 26, 2015

"Looks Like You Blew a Seal"

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name something in three syllables that an auto mechanic might have. Move the second and third syllables to the front. The result, with some respacing, will name a group of auto mechanics. What is it?
Ross solved it. I'm on the fence about how good a puzzle it is. But, hey, at least it's not another country! (By the way, I'm guessing the collective noun for auto mechanics is a "clutch." What do you think?)

It must be early--I can't think of any mechanic-related puns to mention the NPR Contact Us form. So, stripped down and waiting for a lube job, here it is.

I searched on Flickr for "auto mechanic" and got a lot of cars. Vintage cars, even. But when I searched for "mechanic" I got some nice images:

Mechanics' Institute Library, San Francisco

Fluid Mechanics 2

funfair mechanic

Green Mechanics

Mechanic's View

My mechanic says it's not good

Two views of the Little Androscoggin River from the bridge at Mechanic Falls

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.

The magic number this week is 260, and our magic winner is Margaret G. Let us know what prize you'd like, Margaret, and we'll get that taken care of. For next week, how's your knowledge of differentials and cam shafts? Or, there's always the dart at the range board!

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.

13 comments:

Maggie Strasser said...

201-250 please

Word Woman said...

Yes, several popular mechanics must make a clutch, Magdalen. It has to be as you and I both posted it simultaneously in two different places. Is that double-clutching or something else? ;-)

Dipping the clutch for 2001-2050.

David said...

1001 to 1050 again, please. I guess clutch is a standard answer, but
definitely not an automatic one.

Word Woman said...

So good, David.

legolambda said...

451-500, please. 'Tis not a bad puzzle. Thank you

LegoInAPuzzleTizzy

Unknown said...

Took me longer than it probably should have, but then again, I'm not an auto mechanic nor do I play one on TV. I'll go with 601-650 please. --Margaret G.

Anonymous said...

I got an answer with the third tri-syllabic something I tried.
It needed Will's suggested spacing adjustment, but I felt bad when I realized it also needed other work he didn't seem to allow for, even with my magic wands.
Oh well.
Since Ross took the Range guess I asked for last week. I'll try it again: 200+

Mendo Jim

Magdalen said...

Ross didn't take your range, Mendo. You mentioned two numbers: 2000 and 200. I was tempted to give you 151-200 (on the basis that you mentioned 200, so you wanted the only range that included that specific number) but it was ambiguous--were you discussing those numbers, or picking them? And if you were picking them, should I assume I understood your pick precisely? In the end, Joe K. picked the range I thought you wanted, and his pick was unambiguous, so I gave it to him.

Normally, I would apologize for screwing up someone's pick, but you're our resident curmudgeon, so I know you can phrase your pick in an unambiguous fashion, as you clearly have this week.

B Haven said...

401-450 please for this week's correct answers.

In the lazy days of summer, I offer only a simple guess. I'm looking forward to cooling down and a better brain functioning after this week's heat wave. No clues here.

Curtis said...

As Maggie took a lower set, I'll go with 351 - 400.

Henry BW said...

My usual 1051-1100, please.
I'm too cranky to make puns.

legolambda said...

Henry BW,

Or too "crankshafty," right?

LegreasoMonkey

Word Woman said...

Henry, this might help when you are too cranky to make a pun.

And remember " Be sure to pounce when the time is right." { Cats must be natural punsters, er purrsters? }.