A change in approach in the way I announce the weekly ScuttleButton winner.
Each week, during the Political Junkie segment on NPR's Talk of the Nation, I offer up a trivia question, and the first correct responder wins a gorgeous t-shirt. (Less gorgeous is this photo of Neal Conan and me wearing the shirts.)
But there's no similar prize for becoming the randomly-selected solver of the ScuttleButton puzzle. And that is not fair.
Starting this week, the ScuttleButton winner no longer has to search the body of this post to find his or her name. It will now be in the headline.
Maybe one day we'll even have a prize.
OK, back to ScuttleButton, and how to play the game.
It's easy. Just check out my button puzzle each Friday. Take one word or one concept per button, add 'em up, and arrive at a familiar saying or a name. (Seriously: a saying that people from Earth might be remotely familiar with.) Submit your answer and hope you're the person chosen at random. That's it!
Oh wait. You MUST include your name and city/state to be eligible.
And also remember, the answer does not necessarily have to be political. For instance, the answer to a puzzle a while back was "Minnesota Twins" — not political at all, unless you're thinking Mondale and Humphrey instead of Killebrew and Oliva.
Here are last week's buttons, in case you forgot:
Civilians Must Control Their Police — I suspect this button came out around the time of the 1966 Civilian Review Board measure on the New York City ballot.
Olympia — Button used by Maine's Olympia Snowe, who as of this writing remains the sole Republican in Congress who has voted for a version of heath-care overhaul.
A Woman's Place Is In the Home, Not On the Ticket — Hey, I don't make these buttons, I just collect them.
I Like Ike — The familiar slogan from the successful 1952 presidential campaign of Republican Dwight Eisenhower.
Bring All the Troops Home Now — From a 1960s anti-Vietnam War demonstration.
So, when you add Their + Snowe + Place + Like + Home, you might end up with ...
There's No Place Like Home — as Dorothy Gale from Kansas will tell you.
This week's winner, chosen completely at random, is (drum roll) ... Amy Jordan of Overland Park, Kansas. (And seriously, what are the odds of a "no place like home" winner coming from Kansas? I promise this was not rigged!)
Wanna be alerted the moment a new ScuttleButton puzzle goes up on the site? (How can you NOT???) Sign up on our mailing list at email@example.com.
New ScuttleButton puzzle up every Friday.
A ScuttleButton postscript: Every week, I receive more and more responses to the puzzle, which is very rewarding. And because the winner is truly picked at random, I can't choose someone just because they're from a far-away location. For example, one response last week came from Lukas Vrba in Prague, Czech Republic. Another, from Tim Barnes in Wiesbaden, Germany. Marc Helgesen in Sendai, Japan, and Brian Engel in Hiroshima. I love that ScuttleButton is spanning the globe.
But I was especially moved by the response from Walt Taylor. Walt is an officer on the USS Nimitz, "somewhere near Afghanistan." The fact that ScuttleButton has reached even the USS Nimitz is pretty amazing stuff.
Be safe, Walt Taylor.