Sunday, November 29, 2015

Recycling...Good for the Planet, But Here--?

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Take the name of a well-known actress — four letters in the first name, nine letters in the last. Insert a letter between the second and third letters of the first name. Remove the last two letters of the last name. The result is a two-word phrase that means "freedom."
I'm not usually this blog's resident curmudgeon, but even I am getting annoyed with the Puzzlemaster. Does it not bother him that he's already used this puzzle, and within the last two years? He can search this blog (among other places) to find out which ones he's used. (And if that makes the puzzle easier to solve, fine. He made that bed, not I.)

On Thursday, I'll provide a link to the LAST time he used the exact same actress and word manipulation. For now, you'll just have to settle for the link to the NPR Contact Us page, all primed to roll its eyes and say, "Oh no, not again with this actress!"

I asked Henry, who's visiting, what he wanted to see for the photos today. "Oh, heck," he responded automatically while thinking about it. Here ya go, Master H:

Oh

Oh Heck!
And yes, I'm using this again. It's a theme, people.


Slice of the Nightlife

Oh Heck!! Revisited

PHOTO: Today in... Oh heck, I don't know where this is, but it sure is purty.


Then Ross suggested "recycling" for obvious reasons (see my comments, above). Here ya go, Ross:

recycled houses

Recycling Regiment 2

Recycling

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, either to the Red Cross, or, 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.

We got two magic numbers today: They received "over 1,000" entries, of which 600 were correct. No one guessed the range containing 600, so we have only one winner. It's Maggie Strasser again, who snaffled up what I still think of as "David's Range" and came in a winner. Another contribution to WAMC, Maggie?


Here are the 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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
This week's Thanksgiving challenge comes from listener Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, Calif. It's not very hard. The following three Thanksgiving dishes have something very unusual in common:
  • Spit-roast turkey
  • Cornbread stuffing
  • Boiled squash
What is it they have in common, and can you name one other thing that might be served at Thanksgiving dinner that has the same property?
Easy-peasy. Here's what we're bringing to the feast: I'm bringing the conventional answer: BRAISED SPROUTS. Henry's bringing ULTRA-VIOLET CAULIFLOWER, and Ross is bringing GUINEA-FOWL cooked with ANDOUILLE in PEANUT OIL and, for dessert, PUMPKIN CAKE-POPS.

What did you bring?

I searched on Flickr for FEAST and got...insects and zombies and injured footballers. None of which I selected for my photo array. Instead you get this:

Encinitas, California, USA

18th century feast

St. Alban's Feast Day

Endless feast for the eyes - HFF

Its Festive Time in Kerala... St. Mary's Church, Parel Changanacherry on the Eve of The Feast Day....

Ferris Wheel at the Giglio Tower and Feast | Williamsburg Brooklyn 2014

Have a very, very happy Thanksgiving!

Time for:
Here are this week's picks:
  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 - B. Haven
651 - 700 - Margaret G.
701 - 750 - Joe Kupe
751 - 800
801 - 850 - Magdalen
851 - 900
901 - 950 - Ross
951 - 1,000

1,001 - 1,050 - Maggie Strasser
1,051 - 1,100 - Henry BW
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250 - legolambda
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350 - Paul
1,351 - 1,400 - Curtis
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500
1,501 - 1,550 - David
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 - Word Woman
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 goes to the person who picked the range that includes that specific number.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
This week's Thanksgiving challenge comes from listener Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, Calif. It's not very hard. The following three Thanksgiving dishes have something very unusual in common:
  • Spit-roast turkey
  • Cornbread stuffing
  • Boiled squash
What is it they have in common, and can you name one other thing that might be served at Thanksgiving dinner that has the same property?
Easily solved--once Ross wakes up, that is. (Actually, I thought of an answer and Ross found another, so we have two dishes to bring to the feast.)

You don't need a sleeping spouse to solve this! All you need, frankly, is the NPR Contact Us form (covered with marshmallows for the holiday!) presented to you here on a platter. Remember to submit your answer by Wednesday--which is also when the next blog post will go up.

Interesting. I searched Flickr for Thanksgiving and I got no food (I'm not counting the photo of a wild turkey because it was still upright and gobbling). Here's what I've picked for you:

Harbour Lands Park Sunset View

Red Sunset Silhouettes at the Shore of Nottawasaga Bay

Overlooking Georgian Bay

el chico que buscaba conchas y encontró un faro │the guy who was looking shells and found a lighthouse

Leaves ... fall in Millstone NJ

Picketpost Mountain

Autumn at Humber River

Checking Out the Ice

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, either to the Red Cross, or, 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 400 BUT we didn't hear the preposition. Was it "over 400"? "Under 400"? Help us out--if it's "under 400," Maggie Strasser won. Otherwise, I did. And if it was "around 400" she gets the win because her range contains the actual number, 400. (Sorry to screw this up--I got caught up figuring out how ASTUTEST becomes APTEST, which I don't think are synonyms at all, by the way, and Ross was still looking up recipes to see if my solution for the puzzle was valid.) Have you cooked up an answer for this week? While you're doing your grocery shopping, pick a range--they're ripe!

Edited to add: Ross listened to the podcast and says the exact phrase was "close to 400," which means Maggie won! We'll make a contribution to WAMC, as she's requested. Congratulations, Maggie!

Here are the 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.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Defeat the Beat...Poet? Cop? Down?

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Think of a word that contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet together — like CANOPY, which contains NOP. Change these three letters to one new letter to make a synonym of the first word. What words are these?
I thought of D-E-F immediately (Ross had thought R-S-T might work), but he was the one to solve it for us: DEFEAT + B = BEAT

I can well believe there are alternatives. Be sure to include them in your comments. Will Shortz should announce which alternatives he accepted.

I looked at both "defeat" and "beat" as search terms. (There's a weird, and anatomically impossible, plastic doll in most of the "beat" photos. Don't want to know why.) Here are the best of both:

Heart Beat at Covent Garden 3

Beaten path

Honda Beat

Beating 11/12

A Competitor will find a way to win

Magnolia flowers

Shangri-Llama


Time for:

Here are this week's picks:
  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 - Maggie Strasser
401 - 425 - Magdalen
426 - 450
451 - 475
476 - 500
501 - 550
551 - 600
601 - 650 - Paul
651 - 700 - legolambda
701 - 750 - Ross
751 - 800 - Margaret G.
801 - 850 - Joe Kupe
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000 - Marie

1,001 - 1,050 - David
1,051 - 1,100 - Henry BW
1,101 - 1,150 - B. Haven
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350 - Mendo Jim
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 goes to the person who picked the range that includes that specific number.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Puzzle Over Synonyms

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Think of a word that contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet together — like CANOPY, which contains NOP. Change these three letters to one new letter to make a synonym of the first word. What words are these?
I've got Ross working on this one. Just a matter of time, people! (He's done, well before I finished this post.)

Meanwhile, you need the all-important NPR Contact Us form so you can send in your answer (or answers; I don't know your life). Here it is!

What does SYNONYM get me over at Flickr? Plants, mostly. I've tried to mix in some other forms of life. Enjoy the synonymousness:

Untitled

credit crunch

מלים נרדפות לטיפה

Pachycephalidae - Western Golden Whistler

שפת הענן

Wetlands

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, either to the Red Cross, or, 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 again "over 600." Natasha won. (Let us know what prize you want, Natasha.) This week seems easy? Easier? I don't know, but you do, so pick a range!

Here are the 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.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Anyone is the Winner!

Here's this week's NPR Sunday Puzzle:
Name a famous actor — using both first and last name. Drop the first two letters of the first name and the last two letters of the last name. Then put a Y between what's left of the two names.

The result, reading from left to right, will identify who might solve this challenge and play puzzle on the air with me next week.
We solved it the way many (most?) of you did--backwards. After looking at two-word phrases starting with "happy" or "lucky," Ross settled on "anyone" as the most likely answer to Will's riddle of who might solve this challenge. It didn't take us long to discard Sean O'Neal (an actor but not yet famous) and settle instead on RYAN O'NEAL, who's famous for those of us old enough to remember Love Story, also starring Ali McGraw.

What does the name O'NEAL get us over at Flickr? Some western scenery and a frog:

O'Neal Pond 7 Panorama

O'Neal Barn is complete

20150416-NRCS-LSC-0116

2013 International Economic Development Program (IEDP) trip to Cape Verde

Swimming Chorus Frog

A window into nothing

Time for:
Here are this week's picks:
  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 - Magdalen
426 - 450
451 - 475
476 - 500 - Margaret G.
501 - 550 - legolambda
551 - 600 - Joe Kupe
601 - 650 - Natasha
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800 - Ross
801 - 850 - Maggie Strasser
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000 - David

1,001 - 1,050 - B. Haven
1,051 - 1,100
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250 - Word Woman
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400 - Curtis
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500
1,501 - 1,550 - Mendo Jim
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 goes to the person who picked the range that includes that specific number.