Thursday, August 6, 2015

We Have an Answer, But...

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name two animals. Exchange their initial consonant sounds, and the result in two words will be the name of a third animal. What is it?
Ross came up with two answers, one clearly wrong. Let's get the wrong one out of the way first, okay?
COB (male swan or a type of horse) + BAT = BOBCAT
You see the problem immediately: the third animal is supposed to be two words, like a black bear or a flying fox.

Ross's second answer may be the one Will Shortz is looking for:
SHEPHERD (as in German Shepherd, or a Border Collie, etc., or even, I suppose, the man who tends sheep) + LARK = LEOPARD SHARK
It's a neat puzzle, but the different natures of the animals rather ruins it for me. Lark/shark--no problem. But a shepherd is a breed of dog and that seems on a different level from the other words. Just the fact that it could mean a dog (defined by its occupation) or a man (defined by his occupation) is problematic. But that's just me.

Here's what I get when I plug these animals into Flickr:

Pastor, shepherd

German shepherd CALA looking at the volcano Teide - Pastor alemán CALA mirando al volcan Teide

The Shepherd.

The Shepherd with his Flock-sheep - Il pastore e il suo gregge - Castelluccio di Norcia - Monti Sibillini - Italy

Snow Buntings Fly With The Larks

1963 Studebaker Lark

Monterey Bay Aquarium

leopard shark - Triakis semifasciata

Time for


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

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

 > 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).

19 comments:

Alex B. said...

I submitted BUNNY / HARE -> HONEY BEAR

Magdalen said...

I suspect yours is the "right" answer. I certainly like it better, although "bunny" is too colloquial to be 100% satisfactory. (Just my opinion, mind you.)

Alex B. said...

"Honey bear" is also colloquial but it's the best I could do.

Word Woman said...

Bunny, Hare >>> Honey Bear for me as well though I do like Shepherd, Lark >>> Leopard Shark.

Shepherd is a kind of dog, lark is a kind of bird, and leopard shark is a kind of shark so it works for me.

Word Woman said...
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Mendo Jim said...

IMHO, none of the three "answers" mentioned so far are satisfactory.


Will has a great chance to shine here.

Paul said...

You have something better MJ? Or do you just think (like me, I'm afraid I must admit) that Will should?

Mendo Jim said...

No and yes.

Word Woman said...

"If you listen carefully on a summer's night you can hear the tapping snurtles". . .was a nod to turtles which are in the same family as tortoises who had the famous race with the hare (not bunny, not rabbit, not coney, not . . .)

Word Woman said...
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Word Woman said...
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Paul said...

If it tends sheep and it's vegetable or mineral, it's a FENCE.
Otherwise, it's animal.

Word Woman said...

I think I know where you are headed with this, Paul, but can a fence really tend? Especially tenderly?

Word Woman said...
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Word Woman said...
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Paul said...

You tell me, WW.

Word Woman said...

Ahhhhhh. . .

Ok, fence me in.

Word Woman said...

Congrats, Lego!

Joe Kupe said...

Never had a shot on this one!