I'm heading out tomorrow to Aspen, Colo., where Neal Conan and the Talk of the Nation crew are doing the show all week, in advance of my Political Junkie TOTN segment on Wednesday. So I figured, why not put up ScuttleButton a day early?
ScuttleButton, as you know, is the once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Tuesday (or, as they call today, "Monday") I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)
For years, a correct answer chosen at random would get his or her name posted in this column, an incredible honor in itself. Now the stakes are even higher. Thanks to the efforts of the folks at Talk of the Nation, that person also hears their name mentioned on the Wednesday show (by me) and receives a Political Junkie t-shirt in the bargain. Is this a great country or what?
You can't use the comments box at the bottom of the page for your answer. Send submission (plus your name and city/state — you won't win without that) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, by adding your name to the Political Junkie mailing list, you will be among the first on your block to receive notice about the column and the puzzle. Sign up at email@example.com. Or you can make sure to get an automatic RSS feed whenever a new Junkie post goes up by clicking here.
By the way, I always announce the winner on Wednesday's Junkie segment on TOTN. But with a new puzzle up every Tuesday, more or less, you should get your answer in as soon as possible.
Here are the buttons used and the answer to last week's puzzle:
basketball card for Lew Alcindor of Milwaukee — The NBA great, he later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. (And yes, I checked the official ScuttleButton rules; I CAN use a basketball card instead of a button in this instance.)
Jennings for Governor? Uff Da! — A Democratic button from Minnesota commenting on the gubernatorial candidacy of Republican Dave Jennings in 1990. Uff da is of Norwegian origin, and it means something like "I am overwhelmed," or "I can't believe it!" In any event, not a pro-Jennings button.
Alan Wheat U.S. Senate — Wheat, then a member of the House, was the Democratic nominee for the Senate from Missouri in 1994 but lost in a landslide to Republican John Ashcroft.
So, when you combine Kareem + Uff + Wheat, you may just very well end up with ...
Cream of Wheat. The hot breakfast cereal.
Truth be told, there were many responses that went with "Cream of the crop" — wheat being, well, a crop. Nice try. But the judges said no. And they have the final word.
And so this week's winner, chosen completely at random, is ... Keith Dyer of Orlando, Fla. Keith gets a TOTN Junkie shirt ... as soon as we re-order them. (Hey, we're trying. But somehow this is not an NPR priority, though it certainly should be.)
Don't forget to check out this week's Political Junkie column, which focuses on the problems that face Charlie Rangel, the New York Democratic congressman who has been in the House since 1971. His career is on the line in Tuesday's primary. Click here to read the column.