Sunday, October 25, 2015

Holiday Item: Paparazzi Photo of a Date on Valentine's Day?

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
The Hawaiian alphabet has 12 letters — seven consonants (H, K, L, M, N, P and W) plus the five vowels (A, E, I, O and U). Use all 12 of these, and repeat four of them, to get 16 letters in all that can be arranged to name a well-known holiday item. What is it? As a hint — it's a two-word answer.
This is so easy...well, let's just say I got it as I grabbed the puzzle off the website. It's so easy, I don't care if people hint. Just make it funny, please. (Translation for those of our readers who come from the United Kingdom: "holiday" here does not mean "vacation.")

We've rejected (for many obvious reasons) Ross's pun, pecan poi.

Your offering is perfect in every respect, so congratulations! Submit it right now using this perfectly plain NPR Contact Us form, ready for any holiday decorations you might want to use.

I asked Flickr for  "holiday item" and here's what I got.

Eau - Water

Mexico-6074 - Observatory!!!!!

Stockton Beach


Holiday fire safety - Candles and fireplace


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.

Today's magic number is 1,500. That wasn't mentioned on air, but it was on the website. Yay, NPR. We'd love it if the magic number is always listed on the website. (Well, it can't hurt to ask.) No one won, simply because no one went that high. And this week looks super easy. So pick an appropriately generous range!

Here are the NEW ranges:

   0 - 25
 26 - 50
 51 - 75
 76 - 100
101 - 125
126 - 150
151 - 175
176 - 200
201 - 225
226 - 250

251 - 275
276 - 300
301 - 325
326 - 350
351 - 375
376 - 400
401 - 425
426 - 450
451 - 475
476 - 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 - 2,250
2,251 - 2,500
2,501 - 2,750
2,751 - 3,000
3,001 - 3,500
3,501 - 4,000
4,001 - 4,500
4,501 - 5,000

More than 5,000
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.").  As of August, 2015, this rule is officially even more complicated than it's ever been, but at least it's consistent with what we actually do.


Curtis said...

This one is super easy, especially if you don't overthink it. I'll stick with 1,351 - 1,400.

Maggie Strasser said...

Well, Curtis beat me to my choice, so I'll try 1401-1450. :)

Natasha said...

I select 501-550 range, please. Now I will always remember the Hawaiian alphabet.

Word Woman said...

1501-1550, please.

legolambda said...

1551-1600, please. Hmmm, is there a holiday nigh? This would have been a pretty good puzzle if it had been sprung on us last April, or January, or August... or just about any other time.


Paul said...

Really? We're allowed to give hints this week? Yay!
Oh. They have to be funny. Boo!

B. Haven said...

Welcome back. I'll take 2,001 - 2,250, for this week's range please. By the number, I think oodles of listeners/readers will submit correct answers.

Mendo Jim said...

Very likely to no one's surprise, my curmudeonly fires are somewhat stoked this week.
Rachel averred that Will read all of the "tons" of answers himself, though neglecting to put a definite number on air.
Figuring folks spent somewhere between many minutes and very many minutes writing their 1500 sentences, reading them with suitable attention must have run at least 30 seconds to a minute each.
So our Puzzlemaster spent between 12 and a half and 25 hours at the task. How he loves us!
But 1490 or more of those carefully crafted submissions are now gone, perhaps forever.

In keeping with Will's claim that he writes his clues so that they never need to be written down, I have a suitable alternative challenge that would have worked for a little while this morning:
"Now that I have listed the seven Hawaiian consonants, you must remember them with no recourse to reference material or using Madgalen' or Blaine's reiterations."
Now, of course, everyone can call them to mind by using the answer they later came up with. Maybe this mnemonic will win someone big bucks on Jeopardy one day

Joe Kupe said...

Easy Cheesy Lemon Squeezy! Who even knew there was a Hawaiian alphabet! And now that I stop and think about it all the cities and islands appear to contain just those letters. But (without googling it) one must wonder what their word for alphabet is! 1951 -2000 please.

skydiveboy said...

Yes, and what about The late Don Ho? Was he Spanish? I think not. Therefor he was not a Don, nor was he a prostitute. I rest my case. Aren't you glad? Where is the Hawaiian connection? There is none. This puzzle is very poorly stated and is nothing more than an anagram on steroids.

NPR is supposed to be an intelligent resource for adults, especially thinking adults. So why are we constantly presented with these childish so called "puzzles" I ask? Did anyone happen to notice that the two submissions I posted over at Blaine's, which met all the specified requirements, did not receive any mention? This is because I, like Mendo Jim, am not adverse to posting my criticisms of Will Shortz, for whom I have little regard. He is very thin skinned and somewhat of a jerk in my opinion.

Paul said...

Adverse / averse
Six / half a dozen

Natasha said...

Joe Kupe: I looked up the Hawaiian word for alphabet: "The Hawaiian alphabet (in Hawaiian: ka pīʻāpā Hawaiʻi)"

Unknown said...

I solved this one amazingly quickly, so I am sure there will be a slew of correct answers. many from the younger group. My guess: 3001-3500. --Margaret G.

Mendo Jim said...

Sorry, Magdalen. I'm not even sure how you pronounce Madgalen.
Jendo Mim

Mendo Jim said...

Whoops, 1470 lost entries.
Who would have thought to actually look at the Puzzle webpage for something substantive?

skydiveboy said...

Mendo Jim:

I would; and did.