Thursday, October 21, 2010

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 17, 2010): Typing the Opening Credits

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 17, 2010): Typing the Opening Credits:
Q: Rearrange the 14 letters of 'OPENING CREDITS' to name two symbols you can type on a typewriter or computer. What symbols are these?
Am I the only one that is bothered when these symbols appear together?

Edit Type it as $0.25 or 25¢, but please don't print your amount as 0.25¢, unless I'm allowed to buy 4 for a penny!

Note: To type the cent sign on a PC keyboard, enable NumLock, hold down the Alt key and type 155 (or 0162) on the numeric keypad.
A: OPENING CREDITS --> PERIOD and CENT SIGN

37 comments:

  1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any outright spoilers before the deadline of Thursday at 3pm ET. If you know the answer, click the link and submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here. Thank you.

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  2. Wow, in terms of difficulty there's a huge difference between this puzzle and the last one. Perhaps the Puzzler is trying to make up for the pain of last week...? But this one is so easy he may be nickel-and-diming us to death. I solved it in about a minute, but would have got it sooner if I could spell correctly! :)

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  3. I am copying this from my comments at the end of last week’s puzzle figuring that people would have a better chance of seeing it here rather than there.

    One of the symbols in the answer to this week’s puzzle does not have a particular keyboard key associated with it – at least on my computer – however, you can still type it on some computers by using a combination of keys.

    I don’t know anything about the Mac world, Windows Vista or Windows 7 but this method does work on PCs up through Windows XP. And though it will not work in Word itself, it will work in most old 16-bit DOS applications as well as in the older, less sophisticated Windows word processors such as WordPad and Notepad.

    If you know the decimal ASCII value of the character you’re looking for do this. Make sure the NumLock key is off. Hold down the Alt key. Then, on the numeric keypad sequentially press the numbers of the ASCII value you’re seeking.

    For example, the decimal ASCII value of a capital B is 66. So if you wanted to type a capital B using the method above, hold down the Alt key, press and release the 6 key, press and release the 6 key again, then release the Alt key. A “B” will appear on the screen.

    Another example, the decimal ASCII value of a slash is 47. Hold down the Alt key, press and release the 4 key, press and release the 7 key, then release the Alt key. A “/” will appear on the screen.

    The symbol without a key association in this week’s puzzle can be created in this way, too.

    Chuck

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  4. Chuck -

    If memory serves, the Alt+Keypad trick is part of BIOS, and has been since the original IBM PC (model 5150) back in 198 - I distinctly remember it being discussed in the old "Introduction to the PC" diskette that came with the computer (said demo also gushed about the wonders of the Scroll Lock key). My point being that trick should be OS agnostic, and available in any OS or program that uses at it's core the BIOS keyboard routines. Which is to say, darned near all of them.

    I can't imagine any reason why it should work on Apple hardware at all.

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  5. Will probably should have just said "typewriter." And, yes Blaine, as a retired math teacher, it bugs me too.

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  6. Well yes the puzzle was easy -- but many thanks to Chuck for the lesson. I've been wondering how to do that!

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  7. So apparently the symbols have to be math symbols. (According to Marie's comment)

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  8. I still can't figure it out, BUT I do have 3 possibilities.

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  9. Taylor -
    I took Marie's (and Blaine's) point to be akin to an English teacher's reaction to a double negative.

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  10. One of you gave a clue in his comments. Hope you guys find it. It was quite easy.

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  11. About last week - I see we are all in agreement hear, ambiguity stinks. The puzzle answer certainly left a bad taste in my mouth. Will has lost his touch. That's it, I'm done.

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  12. Time change. The mysterious character used to live on typewriters above the number 6, I think.
    Now you make one by typing 'alt' and a few digits.

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  13. Chuck,

    I bet a Bloodhound could find your missing key. 'nuff said.

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  14. I noticed that one of my text editors at home is displaying a different hex code than the ASCII I entered via the keypad. As a guess (I'm not at home now) a conversion is being made to Unicode. Evidently both can be entered via the keypad.

    Alt230 produces µ
    Alt0230 produces æ

    Curious how this post will look.

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  15. ¿Wouldn't it be too funny if Will used the upside-down Spanish question mark? I'd bet my last peso that he won't - end of story.

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  16. Easier on a Mac:

    Alt m produces µ
    Alt , produces æ

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  17. Phil J. That was cute.
    Taylor, I love dancing in the rain when its raining pennies from heaven. I used to do that once a month.

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  18. Yes, Blaine it bugs me a lot. I am not a mat snob so much as a punctuation snob, though.

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  19. By the way, it's not a requirement that we have to produce or print any of the symbols. It's enough that we can name the names of the two symbols. However, the two names (made up of two or more words) together must be a 14-letter anagram of "OPENING CREDITS". I've a feeling that that's all Mr. Shortz would expect for an answer.

    Nonetheless, many of us are having a lot of fun trying to print those symbols that used to be on typewriters and old computer keyboards, but are now done through various software tools. Below are two websites that can help accomplish what we need.

    CopyPasteCharacter.com
    http://www.copypastecharacter.com/

    Windows Alt Key Codes
    http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/international/accents/codealt.html

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  20. Hey, gang.

    I just posted a new original puzzle at www.tomspuzzlebreak.blogspot.com

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  21. My previous comment was a musical clue!

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  22. Hey did anyone see PERCENT SIGN in the letters and try to figure out what to do with O-I-D? :)

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  23. Actually, I got the period first - then I transcribed the remaining letters incorrectly (I wrote down a T instead of a G) and that threw me off.

    This is the first NPR puzzle I haven't used a computer on for quite a while. Kind of disappointing (for a geek like me) :)

    Some years ago we hired an English consultant to teach our programming team about some particular technical thing-a-ma-bob, and he started out saying "This: £ is a pound sign. This: # is NOT a pound sign - call it a hash-mark, call it a grid, but it's NOT a pound sign!"

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  24. Would he insist that zebra starts with a 'Zed' too? I'm off to buy a 50# bag of zebra food, so I'm just checking...

    Personally I call it a number sign, but are American's wrong to call it a pound sign?

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  25. Blaine, I also saw PERCENT SIGN first, and was stumped by the leftover DIO. Felt really dumb when the penny dropped a few minutes later.

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  26. We former Bell System types prefer "octothorpe" for the # sign.

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  27. jonathan remembered correctly.

    http://www.quadibloc.com/comp/images/dw5.gif

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  28. We didn't have the symbol on our typewriters in typing class, but we would type c, backspace, /.

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  29. I saw percent first. I didn't see sign until I threw out percent and started over.

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  30. Wow, I just read tomorrow's puzzler, and the answer is really bugging me...

    :)

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  31. Doctechnical, you're not alone.

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  32. I agree. Why does Will want to use a homophone when there is a direct anagram? Did he miss it?

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  33. William -

    Probably because that's only one part of a two-part country name.

    Additional anagram trivia - one of the capital names is also an anagram of another major city in the same nation.

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