What if everyone who was in this country illegally decided to try their hand at solving ScuttleButton each week? Would they be able to stay? Would that be considered "amnesty?"
Those questions gnawed at me as I put together the latest puzzle. ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday (or, as some like to call today, "Thursday") 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.
(Why do people keep forgetting to include their name and city/state?)
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 it now less than a week until the next show, your window for getting your answer in is smaller.
Here are the buttons used and the answer to last week's puzzle:
I Survived Ken Rudin's First 50 — A friend made this button under the ridiculous assumption that Ken Rudin could possibly be that old.
Viva Che — Che Guevara was the South American revolutionary and key figure in bringing Fidel Castro to power in Cuba in 1959. He was captured and executed by Bolivian forces in 1967.
two hands holding up a dove — Familiar peace button during the Vietnam War, circa 1967.
Pro worker/pro union/I'm voting Gray Davis — Davis, a Democrat, was elected governor of California in 1998 and re-elected in 2002; the following year, he was ousted in a recall campaign that brought us Arnold Schwarzenegger.
So, when you combine 50 + Che + dove + Gray, you may just very well end up with ...
Fifty Shades of Grey. The 2011 erotic best seller that is, by some accounts, steamier than my Political Junkie column.
OK, yes, I kinda cheated with this one. Literally, the buttons say 50 SHADE of Grey, not Shades. But given the answer to the puzzle, you can't possibly expect me to be ashamed I altered the rules.
Anyway, the winner, chosen completely at random, is ... Becky Howard of North Syracuse, N.Y. Becky gets not only the coveted Political Junkie t-shirt — but the Official No Prize Button as well!
And don't forget to check out this week's Political Junkie column, which focuses on the end of the love affair between the Republican Party and Hillary Clinton, as well as the breakup between Fox News and Sarah Palin. (Plus, updates on the suddenly-open Senate seats in Iowa and Georgia.) Click here to read the column.