Thursday, January 26, 2012

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 15 and 22, 2012): Two Week TV Title Challenge

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 15, 2012): Two Week TV Title Challenge:
NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 22, 2012): Two Week TV Title Challenge (cont.):
Q: This is a special two-week creative challenge. Combine the titles of some TV shows, past or present, into an amusing sentence or statement. Here are 3 examples:
"TODAY / SISTERS / NAME THAT TUNE / FATHER KNOWS BEST,"
"DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES / BEWITCHED / MY THREE SONS / ONE DAY AT A TIME,"
"I'VE GOT A SECRET / MURDER, SHE WROTE / THE F.B.I."
Entries will be judged on their sense, naturalness of syntax, humor, originality, familiarity of the TV shows named, and overall effect. No more than three sentences per entry, please.
Not much to say, but here's list of television shows that might be useful.

Edit: Feel free to discuss your submissions in the comments.
A: "The Nanny / Lost / All My Children." (Will's pick submitted by Patrick B. of Jasper, AL)

49 comments:

  1. Well I have come up with three that I like, but will wait to submit in case I discover something better.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Am I the only one here who is disappointed when the puzzle turns out to be one of these so-called "creative" ones?

    [begin rant]
    It seems obvious to me that solving any good puzzle requires some kind of creativity, which is one reason why puzzles are fun. My take is that the main difference between most NPR puzzles and this week's is not whether they are creative or not, but whether the statement of the puzzle *explicitly* recognizes the fact that the correct answer will be chosen subjectively!
    [end rant]

    As you can probably infer from my rant, I am disappointed that Will did not acknowledge decent alternate answers to last week's puzzle.

    ReplyDelete
  3. DAPF:
    I fully agree with you and below is what I posted @ 9:08 PM yesterday, right after the new puzzle was posted by NPR:

    "New non-puzzle is up. Another disappointment and it is for two weeks. What a crummy beginning for the new year this has been."

    And PIN as in cotter pin, etc. was what I submitted, but I almost didn't because it is so lame.

    BTW: What is going on with the blogs these last few days? Can't even post on that other one. Nor can anyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @SDB, Blogger has changed their commenting system and it broke many blogs. I'm temporarily working around it by having the comment entry on a separate page, but I'm trying to get it working again on an embedded page... or I'm hoping Blogger will fix it themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am amazed at the accepted answers to the puzzle this time. What is Will's problem with GUTTER?
    I offer as argument numbers 1 & 5 below that I cut and pasted from Dictionary.com:


    gut·ter [guht-er]
    noun

    1. a channel at the side or in the middle of a road or street, for leading off surface water.

    2. a channel at the eaves or on the roof of a building, for carrying off rain water.

    3. any channel, trough, or the like for carrying off fluid.

    4. a furrow or channel made by running water.

    5. Bowling . a sunken channel on each side of the alley from the line marking the limit of a fair delivery of the ball to the sunken area behind the pins.

    And then he accepts BUMPER and PIN but not STRIKE or FAN.

    "Bumper, in bowling, a block used to block the gutter; usually used for small children bowling."

    This is obscure and I have never seen it used. I have never come in contact with bowling without there being STRIKE(S).

    And FAN is not a term used in bowling? Yet PIN comes to mind as a car part! I don't think so.

    These are just some of the problems I have with the bowling puzzle. I came up with the intended answers quickly, but never felt comfortable with some of them and therefor took my time before submitting.

    Blaine: Thanks for the blog info.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fellow puzzlers –

    I’ll add my sentiments about last week’s puzzle to several already expressed, both last week and this.

    I started out with NPR’s puzzle segment almost from the very beginning. Not from the _very_ beginning when listeners weren’t involved, but certainly way back in the early postcard days. Last week’s puzzle was the lamest I have _ever_ heard.

    Can you imagine going into an auto parts store and asking for a pin for a 1993 Accord? Or a frame for a 2010 Impala? Or a spare for a Dodge Durango?

    And which high school teacher can I blame for not explaining to me exactly where a bowling bumper was located and what function it had?

    I’ll play this game forever [I love it] but last week’s puzzle was really _really_ bad.

    Chuck

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well I sent in my three entries, so I won't have to focus on TV shows any more. I don't even watch TV.

    Does anyone know what the big change for next Sunday is? I did not actually listen to the program this week.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @SDB, this is from the broadcase, "next week, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Sunday Puzzle and WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY with a special puzzle segment."

    ReplyDelete
  9. I had the bowling answer except I had "Blower" instead of "Gutter" (Like the blower on the bowling alley for drying hands).

    ReplyDelete
  10. While I don't have any more comments on this puzzle, I do have a couple of puzzle-related questions.

    If you have ever had one of your puzzles used on the air, what happened after you emailed it to NPR? Did you find out it was going to be used before the broadcast? If so, did you get an email back? how soon after you submitted your puzzle suggestion?

    If some of your puzzle suggestions were NOT used by Will, what happened in this case? Did you get a response to tell you that it was not going to be used (and possibly why) or did you not get any response at all?

    ReplyDelete
  11. DAPF:
    I have made up and submitted several puzzle suggestions through normal channels. I also hand delivered a sealed envelope with a puzzle suggestion to the Sunday morning hotel banquette room, here in Seattle, where Will was supposed to join puzzle attendees for the closing puzzle convention breakfast. He had not arrived when I got there and I had to leave before he showed up. I left it with an attendee, but I do not know if it was delivered. I have received NPR computer generated responses but never anything further. I have serious doubts that Will has ever seen any of my submissions. I have not been able to locate an active email address for him. I have tested the puzzle suggestion I both emailed via NPR and hand delivered. Everyone I have run it by has said they thought it was very good, but I am not going to post it here as I still hold out hope it may eventually get used by Will.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I miss Liane!! The program is just not the same without her.

    ReplyDelete
  13. @DAPF: I have submitted many puzzle suggestions through the normal channels, that is replying to the NPR email acknowledgement of my puzzle answer submission. I too have wondered what ever becomes of those suggestions and whether anyone ever reads them.

    All I can say is that once I did get a reply from WS himself. He said he'd like to use my puzzle idea and wanted to know my hometown. I replied, and the next Sunday he used my puzzle. I wouldn't say it was one of my best, but it did go out on the air back in December 2010:

    "Rearrange the letters of "Wayne Manor" to name two well-known American corporations, past or present. What corporations are they?"

    It was a thrill! So keep submitting your ideas, and if Will doesn't use them, you can always create your own puzzle blog!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I agree with all of the above statements. The puzzle was lame and the baseball terms that were submitted were as good, if not better, than the bowling terms submitted. (I submitted the bowling terms).

    DAPF, Will has used two of my puzzles. The first time, I wasn't notified that my puzzle was going to be used. The second time, I received an e-mail from Will two or three days before the broadcast, notifying me that he was going to use my puzzle. I thought that was pretty cool. I've submitted many puzzles that haven't been used and never heard from Will about any of those, so don't expect to hear from him if your puzzle isn't accepted.

    Ward, I remember your puzzle. BTW, I attended the University of Rochester. Meliora!

    1) Anagram the nickname of a famous queen to get the name of a famous king.

    2) Change the second letter of a U.S. university from one chemical symbol to another to get another U.S. university.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Since no one is happy with the NPR challenge, how about this one.

    Follow this link

    I will try to post a challenge for Sunday AM as well.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I sent Will a puzzle back in 2008 and didn't hear anything until a year later when I suddenly got an email from him saying he was going to use my puzzle the following Sunday (2/8/09).

    More recently I sent him 3 puzzles involving presidents' last names and U.S. cities to which he responded "I'm not sure I can use any of these". Here is one of them:
    "Take the last name of a U.S. president and change one letter to name a U.S. state capital city." Any comments on this one?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Charles:
    I will be frank with you. Your puzzle failed to pierce my bubble.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Then how about,,,
    "Take the last name of a U.S. president and change one letter to name the boyhood home of another president"?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Charles:
    Nix on that one too. Both of them in fact, and I've had the displeasure of passing through that town and the house. It almost made me Ill. On the other hand when I sailed to Europe on a troop ship, the Buckner, I did not pass through the hell hole, Ft. Dix on my way as most did.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks to all of you who answered my query. I'll submit my puzzles and try to be patient.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Two strikes for me. Here's my last swing:
    "Take the last name of an American president and change two letters to get the name of an American city which is the largest in its state".

    ReplyDelete
  22. Charles:
    Oh my! Ha ha. Does yo mama live in that state? Pretty corny.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Charles:
    You can do the same thing with another president, but change 3 letters instead and get another state's largest city.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Skydive:
    Your puzzle is a mile above mine.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Charles:
    I would characterize it as being at the other end of the spectrum. So to speak.
    Actually I suspect Will thought they were too easy for listeners to obtain the answers.

    ReplyDelete
  26. How about another diversion based on the current challenge? This may even be more fun!

    Create a new TV show by combining the first part of one show title with the last part of another. For example:

    Dancing with Housewives

    Men of a Certain Anatomy

    Mister Rogers' Funniest Home Videos

    ReplyDelete
  27. Or, can you make up a good sentence with the TV shows in the order of their first air dates?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Here's a Sunday challenge for all during this NPR hiatus:

    Take the phrase "harsh purebred". Drop one letter and rearrange what's left to get the last names of two award winning actresses whose first names were used as the titles of their respective TV shows.

    ReplyDelete
  29. TB - A homophone of an answer to your latest Midweek Puzzle Break would have been an apt title for the radio show of one of these.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I finally sent in my three sentences yesterday, and managed to work in at shows that ran in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, & 00s.

    My new blog is:
    http://curtisjohnsonimages.wordpress.com/

    www.curtisjohnsonimages.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. So, how does this work. Do they pick one at random and if it works go with it or does Will start looking until they find some they think are good sentences?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Will is going to pick the one he likes best. As simple as that.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Ho hum. Anybody looking for something to do? Then try out this new puzzle.

    Follow me

    ReplyDelete
  34. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  35. The deadline for submission of answers is 3pm ET, today. So please wait until then to reveal what you have submitted.

    Everyone can then give their input on their favorites and compare it to what Will picks as his.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I submitted the following:

    1. LISTEN UP / CAPTAIN KANGAROO / WHILE YOU WERE OUT / CLUELESS / IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT / THE LOVEBOAT / BURNS AND ALLEN / SKINS / FLIPPER / JUST FOR LAUGHS / WHO’S THE BOSS? / WISEGUY!

    2. SMALL WONDER / THE OFFICE / SOAP / SCRUBS / THE SOPRANOS / STARK RAVING MAD / YOU ASKED FOR IT.


    3. TO TELL THE TRUTH / EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND / THE SAINT / WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIR / DANCING WITH THE STARS / FOR BETTER OR WORSE / AS THE WORLD TURNS / BACK TO THE FUTURE.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Roseanne / You Don't Say / Just for Laughs / "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" / At the Movies with Ebert and Roeper

    ReplyDelete
  38. 1. "MY FRIEND FLICKA/SCRUBS/MY MOTHER THE CAR/IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT."
    2. "THE FLINSTONES/MEET THE PRESS/BACKSTAIRS AT THE WHITEHOUSE."
    3. "THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S FATHER/CHARMED/ALL IN THE FAMILY."

    www.curtisjohnsonimages.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Going Places/Upstairs Downstairs/That Girl/Lost/All My Children/Without a Trace

    I Remember Mama/Make Room for Daddy/In the Heat of the Night

    For Love or Money/It Takes a Thief/Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

    ReplyDelete
  40. 1) Kojak/ Gotti's Way. [ Brooklyn-ese past tense of to have]
    2) Wired Science/ Suits/ Weird Science: Doctors/ Clone/ Oprah

    ReplyDelete
  41. Mad Men/ Dream On/ 8 SImple Rules: People are Funny; Cops/ Revenge/ Criminal Minds; Lost/ Damages/ Wipeout/ Anyone But Me; Ice Road Truckers/ Impact Wrestling; Free Agents/ Fudge/ Hollywood Squares; Socially Offensive Behavior/ Suits/ Two and a Half Men; Love Bites/ Lassie; and All Dogs Go to Heaven.

    ReplyDelete
  42. So far I give the lead to Curtis' sentences which have the most natural syntax.

    Since nobody is speaking up, I have to assume that none of the Blainesville regulars were called to play on the air. :(

    ReplyDelete
  43. I entered: America's Most Wanted - Saint Elsewhere. The Amazing Race: star trek the Daily Planet, quantum leap the Third Rock from the Sun, 60 Minutes - Go!
    Extreme makeover - Ugly Betty America's next Top Model.
    Did not enter: Are you being served cold case beetlejuice?
    Cupcake wars, junkyard wars, star wars; just shoot me.
    criminal minds robin hood, beat the Chef, and beat the clock.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Blaine:
    As I remember hearing Will describe the "puzzle," he seemed to emphasize that it be humorous and then went on to mention other, less important criteria, such as syntax.
    From the beginning of this "challenge" I have anticipated his pick(s) will be disappointing to me.
    And besides all that, I am against sin taxes in general.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thank you for the nod, Blaine.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Here's what I submitted:

    According to Jim Frasier, Mister Roger’s neighborhood maverick, everybody loves Raymond; to tell the truth, I love Lucy, Maude, Alice, Julia, Rhoda, Roseanne, Ellen, Laverne and Shirley!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I also like Roro's submission for its humor and natural sounding syntax:
    "Extreme makeover - Ugly Betty America's next Top Model"

    I hope Will at least acknowledges some of the runners up.

    ReplyDelete
  48. The January 29 puzzle is already posted. I had hoped for a challenge, but this is trivial. I sent in the answer anyway!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Blaine,

    This is f5575a18-7651-11e0-8f0a-000bcdcb471e. The new system won't let me post in AIM.

    ReplyDelete