Know Your Picture Characters Entry #53

May 9th, 2011 by Wordsman

A. 億 B. 京 C. 千 D. 兆 E. 百 F. 万

People didn’t seem to be very interested in the smaller numbers this week.  I guess “Go big or go home” is the motto of the KYPC enthusiast.  It should be noted that the characters representing numbers larger than one hundred million are rarely used–that is, rarely used in their capacity to represent numbers.  “Trillion” and “ten quadrillion” have other meanings for which they more commonly appear.  So don’t feel bad if those ones misled you.

We salute A Fan for using Google to look up how many seconds are in a week, just as we used it to figure out how many years ten quadrillion seconds is.  Unsurprisingly, his “surprise pick” turned out to be incorrect, as, for some strange reason, the Japanese have no specific character to represent the number 604,800 (or 60,4800).  However, he did manage to pick the answer that was closest; F is ten thousand, or, in terms of seconds, the play/musical.  There is, in fact, a character used to represent “zero,” but it’s not E.  It looks like this:

But, once again, he cleverly managed to pick the one that was closest to it.  E is a hundred, the microwave lunch.  Also, we regret to inform A Fan that we will continue writing puzzles about tables as long as we like, and there’s nothing he can do about it.

We’ll give Theoman the benefit of the doubt and assume that he stuck to the large numbers because he already knows the smaller ones.  And even with huge sums he’s not that bad.  By process of elimination he was able to pick out D as a trillion, making it the cave painting, not the dinosaurs, which was A Fan’s theory.  This character also means “omen.”  The basis on which he established his elimination, however, was wrong.  Like Dragon, he leapt on the idea that the most complicated character would be the largest number, and they were both quite wrong.  A is the smallest of the “large” numbers: 100 million, the abbreviated college career.  And the one he recognized is one that he probably saw while it was playing its other, much more popular role.  B means “capital” and is the “kyo” of both Tokyo and Kyoto.  On the weekends, it means 10 quadrillion, or, in seconds, 316,887,646 years.

Shirley made good guesses but failed to hit the mark.  While it might feel like it takes a pot of water a trillion seconds to boil if you stare at it, it’s probably not quite that long.  The character for a thousand, the number of seconds it takes to boil water if you don’t watch the pot, is C.  I agree that B is the best looking of the characters here, but, sadly, it didn’t translate into a correct answer.

And now, from our Be Careful What You Wish For Department, we give A Fan exactly what he asked for: a quiz about French.  The following are all words in use in Japanese today that were originally borrowed from French.  This will also be the first KYPC challenge to not feature a single kanji character.  But don’t complain to me; it wasn’t my idea.  Instead, you should devote your energies to identifying the words that represent the following concepts: bell pepper, clown, contest, studio, survey, and pants.  Bonne chance!

A. アトリエ B. アンケート C. コンクール D. ズボン E. ピーマン

F. ピエロ

Posted in Know Your Picture Characters | 3 Comments »

3 Responses

  1. TheomanZero Says:

    I actually know a couple of these, but I feel like putting down an answer I was already sure of would go against the spirit of KYPC. Instead I’ll guess that C is “survey” because I can read Katakana and it sounds like it might contain a word root that has something to do with agreement. I think that’s suitably shaky.

  2. A Fan Says:

    Plus ca change, plus ce la meme chose.

    A. is ze “table” (French for “table”).

    E. is ze clown (or “amuseur”)

    B. is ze pants (“culottes”)

  3. Shirley Says:

    Good grief! I’m too old for this. I googled Japanese writing, found sites about katakana and something beginning with “h” in which I read some interesting stuff, but nothing that helped. You probably really can’t teach an old dog new tricks. So, here go more guesses.

    D. It starts with a character that looks like it wears pants, and although I have lost faith in that method of identification, I’m calling it any way.

    A. and B. They start with the same character and, while none of these things have any connection with each other, the closest would be that surveys are used to predict political contests. I’ll say B., which looks questioning, is survey and A. is contest.

    E. and F. also start with same characters. A clown performs and hopefully is amusing. F. is rather amusing. Performances take place in studios such as E. Clowns are more likely to show up in a circus, but I’m grasping at straws here.

    That leaves C. and bell pepper which don’t have anything linking them. That may be at least as good a reason for putting them together as any.

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