Sunday, June 28, 2015

Singer...or Singer Sewing Machine?

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a major American company. Drop its first and last letters, and the remaining letters in order will name a famous singer — both first and last names. What company is it?
Ross and I worked together to solve this one. Sometimes--rarely, but sometimes--two heads are better than one.

You of course barely needed just your one prodigious brain. And you barely even need me to share the NPR Contact Us form. But I will anyway. So there.

Next Saturday is the Fourth of July, so here are some quietly patriotic (or unrelated, I can't tell) Fourth of July photos.

Everything's the Same

just ducky

Heart of the nation.

Child's Play

Fourth of July

Untitled
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.

Over 1300 entries for I AM A MONARCH = CHAIRMAN MAO. No winner this week, but what do you think will happen with the corporate singer? Pick a range by conning the S&P 500 or 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, June 25, 2015

Chairman of the Bored

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Take the phrase "I am a monarch." Re-arrange the 11 letters to name a world leader who was not a monarch but who ruled with similar authority. Who is it?
The intended answer is CHAIRMAN MAO.

We didn't mean to hint anything with the cat pictures on Sunday--Ross is just such a great cat dad (and we have no children) that it seemed appropriate for Father's Day. But we did think about how little pictures of cats could help someone who hadn't solved it, no matter how close "meow" and "Mao" are in sound. There should be a word for "reverse hints" -- clues that only work if you already know the answer.

I bet there are cats named Chairman Meow (or Miaow in French):

miao!

meeeooow

Lost Cat

DSC05101

chairman meow

Chairman_Meow_and_Olive

Time for


Here are this week's picks:
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 -- Ross
651 - 700 -- Maggie Strasser
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950 -- Joe Kupe
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- jan
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry B.W.
1,101 - 1,150 -- Legolambda
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250 -- David
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
1,401 - 1,450 -- Magdalen
1,451 - 1,500 -- Jay

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 -- B Haven
2,051 - 2,100
2,101 - 2,150
2,151 - 2,200
2,201 - 2,250
2,251 - 2,300
2,301 - 2,350 -- Margaret G.
2,351 - 2,400
2,401 - 2,450
2,451 - 2,500

2,501 - 2,750 -- Word Woman
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, June 21, 2015

King Me! (As Chubby Checkers Might Have Said)

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Take the phrase "I am a monarch." Re-arrange the 11 letters to name a world leader who was not a monarch but who ruled with similar authority. Who is it?
Not hard, but let's not hint anyway, okay? Many thanks.

You don't need a hint, though, as you solved it before Will even finished reading it out. In fact, you're tapping your foot, reading this, waiting for me to post the NPR Contact Us form!

Is everyone having a happy Father's Day? In Ross's hono(u)r, here are some cats:

stray cat

Tom Cat

cat's eyes

Isolated cat on white background

Comfy Cat

The Tawny Cat III

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.

Over 600 entries for HERBAL + PERT = HERB ALPERT. No winner this week, but what do you think will happen with our non-regal "I am a monarch"? Pick a range based on droit divin des rois, 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, June 18, 2015

How Famous is Herb Alpert, These Days?

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Think of an adjective that describes many shampoos. Add the brand name of a shampoo in its basic form. The result, reading the letters in order from left to right, will name a famous musician. Who is it?
I like the word play in this one: HERBAL + PERT = HERB ALPERT. Well spotted, Will Shortz. Let's bring back the bounce:



The problem, of course, is that Herb Alpert is, arguably, no longer famous. I know him, you know him, but we're ... older than the national average, say. In Will's defense, I checked Herb Alpert's Wiki page, and it included this: "In 2013, he released a new album, Steppin' Out, which won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album." I don't think that makes him currently famous, particularly when his last chart-topping hit was in 1979, but it doesn't hurt.

Let's see what "herbal" gets us on Flickr.

Classy Calendula by My Lovely Wife (Explore #243 2/26/12)

Jardin d'herbes du lac... festival de gouttes de lumière... un nouveau jour se lève...!!!

Herbal Tea

Queen Anne's Lace, 2011

Herbal stamp massage

A7_37576

Time for

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

501 - 550 -- David
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700 -- Margaret G.
701 - 750
751 - 800 -- B Haven
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950 -- Joe Kupe
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- Word Woman
1,051 - 1,100
1,101 - 1,150 -- Legolambda
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 -- Mendo Jim
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, June 14, 2015

Lupin the Loop

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Think of an adjective that describes many shampoos. Add the brand name of a shampoo in its basic form. The result, reading the letters in order from left to right, will name a famous musician. Who is it?
Ross solved it and then played me a musical "clue." Okay, got it. (Ross also knew that Neville Fogarty, the on-air contestant, is a new crossword constructor...long before Will Shortz recalled his name.)

You've got this week's answer, too, of course. (You're so fast, in fact, that you're wondering what took me so long!) Here's the NPR Contact Us form for you to submit your answer.

Time for some photos to take that shampoo taste out of our mouths. Our lupins are blooming, which makes me want to see even more colorful spires.

Lupin Delight

Lupins ♥

Wild lupins near Lindis Pass

Lupins

Lupin invasion

Massed lupins

Field of dreams

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.

Over 300 entries for LORETTA LYNCH/LYNN. No winner this week, as we all assumed LOTS more people would get it. Pick a range based on how many times you repeat the Lather/Rinse cycle, 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, June 11, 2015

Will We Get a Lynch Mob?

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a famous person in Washington, D.C. — 7 letters in the first name, 5 letters in the last. Drop the last sound in the last name. The result — phonetically — will be the first and last name of a famous living entertainer. Who is it?
Sadly, it took another instance of questionable police activity to let me solve this one. The answer is LORETTA LYNCH (newly confirmed attorney general); drop the CH sound and you get (phonetically) LORETTA LYNN.

And yes, I can see that regular NPR listeners have a leg up on this one. Let's see if a lot of people send in answers!

Anyone else remember when Loretta Lynn's music was called "country & western"? (I'm old, yes.) Now it's just country. Still, here are three photos found with "country" and three with "western." Can you tell which are which?

Country seat Hoog Beek en Royen, Zeist, Netherlands - 1531

sunova-surfboards-bert-burger-photography-lifestyle-travel-landscape-western-australia-supertubes

Country

Misty Western France

Yellow Western School House

Hill Country Color

Time for

Here are this week's picks:
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 -- Margaret G.
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900 -- Legolambda
901 - 950 -- David
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- B Haven
1,051 - 1,100
1,101 - 1,150 -- Magdalen
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350 -- Ross
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
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 -- Mendo Jim
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, June 7, 2015

I Bet It's a Candidate for the Republican Nomination...

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a famous person in Washington, D.C. — 7 letters in the first name, 5 letters in the last. Drop the last sound in the last name. The result — phonetically — will be the first and last name of a famous living entertainer. Who is it?
We haven't found a simple way of solving this electronically, but we're working on it. Well, Ross is working on it. I'm here, formatting the blog.

And telling you to submit your answer, using the apolitical NPR Contact Us form.

It's June! Time for some month-specific photos!

Disney - Cinderella Castle and Pretty Sky - HDR (Edit 2) (Explored)

Freedom...[Explored]

Red Green and Gold

Liège / Luik / Lüttich

Brattleboro, VT Rainbow - Over 27,000 Views

Mixtape.

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.

910 entries for ROAST chicken ROOST, which means Natasha is our winner. Let us know which prize you'd like to receive. Pick a range based on how you feel about politicians, 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.