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.

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).

Sunday, May 24, 2015

So, What Do You Do For a Living?

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 have answers. We also predict coals of something or other will be heaped on the Puzzlemaster's head for the imprecision of his wording. Then again, you all may surprise us!

You will not surprise us by knowing the answers already. Go forth and submit those suckers! For that, you'll need this: the NPR Contact Us form, all ready for you to be brilliant.

What photographs does one get with "coals of fire" plugged into Flickr's search function?

Coals

So let me walk these coals till you believe (Imagination Pavilion, EPCOT)

Cloudfactory II

Marshmallowtastic

Hook Head Lighthouse (1) 800 Years of Light

Band-Winged Meadowhawk Warmed By The Fire

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. Or skip the comments and send an email with your pick to Magdalen (at) Crosswordman (dot) com. 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.

Two hundred (precisely?) entries for the language/country puzzle. Alex B. is our winner, so let us know which prize you'd like to receive! Back to jumbling letters, so what do you think? Easier? Harder? Aeries?? Pick a range based on your guess, 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.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Placeholder Post NOW WITH OFFICIAL BITS!

Quickie post--I'll update this on Saturday, so you can check that YOUR range was correctly picked. I'm making a wedding cake this week, and it's a tad exhausting, so I'm keeping it simple in other sectors of my life.

The answers were Korean and Ukraine. I do like Koala Nigel, though. (Did I get that right?)

OFFICIAL BITS:

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a country with at least three consonants. These are the same consonants, in the same order, as in the name of a language spoken by millions of people worldwide. The country and the place where the language is principally spoken are in different parts of the globe. What country and what language are these?
Our answers: KOREAN and UKRAINE. I gather that Albanian and Lebanon are also acceptable answers, although I'm not sure Albanian is as popular as the puzzle would suggest. (Not sure how Ross missed those, but then again, that's why we have super-smart regular readers...)

Time for some "wedding cake" house photos. (No actual cakes, let alone the one I made. I'm tired of looking at that.)

DSC02009 Wedding Cake House column detail

The Wedding Cake House

Wedding cake house

Northern Territory Legislative Assembly May 2010

The Wedding Cake House

Wedding Cake House - Side

Time for

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

501 - 550 -- David
551 - 600 -- Ross
601 - 650
651 - 700 -- Maggie Strasser
701 - 750 -- Natasha
751 - 800 -- Legolambda
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).

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Pick Yet ANOTHER Country, Any Country

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a country with at least three consonants. These are the same consonants, in the same order, as in the name of a language spoken by millions of people worldwide. The country and the place where the language is principally spoken are in different parts of the globe. What country and what language are these?
It's Lilac Weekend, so Henry is visiting us. I'll set "the guys" to solving this one while I find some pretty pictures of lilacs to share. Solving is going to be challenging, as we have a few questions we can only assume the answer to. Oh, wait. No it isn't.

You have no such questions. You know the answer(s) already. What can I do to help? I know: here's the NPR Contact Us form.

Lilacs! (Not our own, simply because Ross hasn't taken photos of ours yet.)

lilacs

Lilac

lilacs revisited

Lilacs

Ginormous Lilac Bushes

White lilac


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. Or skip the comments and send an email with your pick to Magdalen (at) Crosswordman (dot) com. 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.

Over 300 entries for the AIDES AIMED: ROUTE puzzle (those being the three single-syllable words the Puzzlemaster accepted). Jay is our winner, so let us know which prize you'd like to receive! We're back in the Pick a Country, Any Country puzzles, so I don't know--are those easier? Pick a range based on your guess, 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.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

How Many Answers Did YOU Think Of?

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
The letters of the one-syllable word "groan" can be rearranged to spell "organ," which has two syllables. Here's the challenge: Think of a common one-syllable, five-letter word whose letters can be rearranged to spell a common two-syllable word — and then rearranged again to spell a common three-syllable word. I have two different answers in mind, and it's possible there are others, but you only have to think of one.
Leaving aside the question of whether one could submit an answer telepathically, I believe Will Shortz was covering his posterior because one of the two answers we came up with is a bit technical in part. Here they are:
AIDES = ASIDE = IDEAS (and yes, that's three syllables: eye-dee-uhs)
AIMED = AMIDE = MEDIA (an amide is a chemical compound; you can read about it here)
How many answer sets did you all get?

I wonder if Flickr has any answer sets...

Nature

Camouflage 101

VII. The Last Glance: Santa Barbara

Hidden red answer

Ten things you can do to improve interestingness and increase chances of getting into Explore

CPR / My Neighbour to the West



Time for



Here are this week's picks:
Zero and fewer
    1 - 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200 -- Joe Kupe
201 - 250
251 - 300 -- Magdalen
301 - 350 -- Jay
351 - 400 -- Maggie Strasser
401 - 450 -- Curtis
451 - 500 -- David

501 - 550 -- Natasha
551 - 600 -- B Haven
601 - 650
651 - 700 -- Mendo Jim
701 - 750 -- Word Woman
751 - 800
801 - 850 -- Legolambda
851 - 900 -- Ross
901 - 950 -- Margaret G.
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050
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

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).

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Anagrammmmgooding & Smother Day

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
The letters of the one-syllable word "groan" can be rearranged to spell "organ," which has two syllables. Here's the challenge: Think of a common one-syllable, five-letter word whose letters can be rearranged to spell a common two-syllable word — and then rearranged again to spell a common three-syllable word. I have two different answers in mind, and it's possible there are others, but you only have to think of one.
Notice how he's allowing alternates? I'm expecting you guys to come up with LOTS of answers!

And to send any, or all, of them in, you'll need this three-syllable, two-word Contact Us form.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone who celebrates, and "Hi!" to everyone else.

Here's what I culled for "Mother's Day" on Flickr:

Unknown waterfall

the new dog...

Ageless Daisy

mom always knows what's best  (happy mother's day #1)

Five Paper Lanterns

Moving at the Speed of Life ...

Happy Mother's Day

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. Or skip the comments and send an email with your pick to Magdalen (at) Crosswordman (dot) com. 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.

Precisely (?) 662 entries for the seemingly WAY easy CAKE PAN / PANCAKE puzzle. We all (even Ross!) guessed too high winner this week. I mean, really -- that was fewer entries than the Perkins/Hopkins/Hopper puzzle garnered. I ask again: Are we going up or down in "degree of difficulty" as we move out of the kitchen and back to straight words? Pick a range based on your guess, 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.