It's ScuttleButton Time!

Dec. 3 ScuttleButton

An honest-to-goodness true story.

A couple of weeks ago, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility (the "Debt Commission"), were just coming out of an NPR studio following an interview with Robert Siegel for "All Things Considered."

Simpson, the former senator from Wyoming, is an old friend; we first met at the 1980 Republican convention in Detroit and have kept in touch ever since.  When he saw me, he said, in vintage Simpsonese, "Hey Bowles, you have to try Rudin's ScuttleButton puzzle, or whatever it's called.  I can never figure these things out."

And so, I'm figuring, if the two guys who are trying to solve the nation's deficit problem have time to think about solving ScuttleButton puzzles, shouldn't you as well?

It's really easy to play.  As you know, every Friday on this blog, I put forward a vertical display of buttons.  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.)

And don't focus on a political answer. It doesn't necessarily have to be political, though it could be.

A correct answer chosen at random gets his or her name in this column. Personally, I can't imagine a greater honor.

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 politicaljunkie@npr.org.

Click here for the last puzzle and its solution.

And, by adding your name to the Political Junkie mailing list, you will be the first on your block to receive notice when a new puzzle goes up on the blog. Sign up at politicaljunkie@npr.org. Or you can make sure to get an automatic RSS feed whenever a new Junkie post goes up by clicking here.

Good luck, and have a great weekend!

P.S. I usually reveal the answer — and announce the winner — in this space on Tuesdays.  So you should get your answer in by then.

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