Sunday, February 03, 2008
For at least the last 15 years I have been solving the NPR Weekend Edition Sunday Puzzles, trying for my chance to go head-to-head on the air with the puzzlemaster himself, Will Shortz. So far I haven't been called. I wonder if the reason they didn't call last week was because they rejected my answer.
Tell me what you think.
The challenge was:
Take the three bird names egret, crane and owl. Rearrange the 13 letters to spell three other bird names. They are all common names. What are they?
And the answer that Will gave this morning was "eagle, crow and tern."
But the answer I came up with was "Eaglet, wren and roc."
Now, before you say, "Come on, Rob! Roc? That's not a real bird. That's some mythological winged creature from "Sinbad" and "1,001 Nights," let me point out that the instructions don't say it has to be a real bird. It doesn't even say it has to be a common bird -- a common word, yes, but not a common bird. And if you've ever done any crossword puzzles you know that "roc" is a pretty common word.
Sometimes when listeners submit an acceptable alternate answer, Will will say something to that effect on the air, but he didn't do that this week. Which makes me wonder if my answers were unacceptable and if so, why.