They can wiretap my phone and snoop through my e-mail all they want, but I will never reveal the answer to this week's ScuttleButton puzzle. At least until next week.
ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Tuesday or Wednesday 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 — seven or eight days after the puzzle first goes up. So you should try and get your answer in as soon as possible. But logistically, you have about a week to submit your guess.
Here are the buttons used and the answer to last week's puzzle:
Appeal for Neal (caricature of Mr. Conan) Keep TOTN — Alas, it's not going to happen. But it's a great button!
Senator D Huddleston — Can't remember if I've ever used this in a ScuttleButton puzzle before, but Walter "Dee" Huddleston was a two-term Democrat from Kentucky who lost his 1984 re-election bid to Mitch McConnell.
Barb/Muskie Delegate — 1972 Democratic delegate button pledged to presidential hopeful Ed Muskie.
David Duke/U.S. Senate — The former white supremacist ran for the Senate as a Republican from Louisiana.
So, when you combine Conan + D + Barb + Aryan, you may just very well end up with ...
Conan the Barbarian. The 1982 movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The winner, chosen completely at random, is Steve Coughlan of Amherst, N.H. Steve 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 some memorable races for mayor of Los Angeles. Click here to read the column.