[Puzzleblogger Kevan Choset, May 1, 2006 at 12:20pm] Trackbacks
Presidents by the Numbers:

According to what rule have I assigned each President the number listed?

  • Everyone before Coolidge - N/A

  • Coolidge - 0

  • Hoover - 0

  • FDR - 3

  • Eisenhower - 2

  • Truman - 2

  • Kennedy - 1

  • Johnson - 2

  • Nixon - 2

  • Ford - 0

  • Carter - 1

  • Reagan - 2

  • GHW Bush - 1

  • Clinton - 2

  • GW Bush - 2

Bruce Adelstein (mail):
The number of times they took the Presidental oath of office in March (as opposed to January).
5.1.2006 1:26pm
Rich K (mail):
SCOTUS nominations is jumping out at me, though I haven't confirmed anything. Eisenhower's "two mistakes" and GWB's most recent two are enough support for me.
5.1.2006 1:30pm
Rich K (mail):
i'm an idiot, ignore my comment.
5.1.2006 1:30pm
Bruce Adelstein (mail):
Oops. I got it backwards. The number of times they took the Presidental oath of office in January (as opposed to March).
5.1.2006 1:30pm
This may be technical, but its as opposed to any month aside from January, not just as opposed to March, or else Ford would be 1 instead of 0.
5.1.2006 1:35pm
Syd (mail):
Can't be. Coolidge and Hoover would have been N/A as well.
5.1.2006 1:37pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Someone has to say it: number of times they've been in my kitchen?

Bruce, nice thought, but it can't be right. FDR didn't die in January, so Truman took his first oath in April, not January. And obviously LBJ took his first oath in November, not January.

Plus, shouldn't Coolidge also be an N/A, if the answer to this riddle involves the 20th amendment?
5.1.2006 1:39pm
Kevan Choset (mail):
Not related to the 20th Amendment...
5.1.2006 1:44pm
TheGoodReverend (mail) (www):
The 19th then? Number of times they won the majority of votes from women?
5.1.2006 1:50pm
Number of times they replaced their press secretary?
5.1.2006 2:04pm
You've assigned each one a randomly chosen number.
5.1.2006 2:08pm
byomtov (mail):
I'm with TheGoodReverend - the numebr of times they got a majority of women's votes.
5.1.2006 2:11pm
No chance GWB got a majority of women's votes twice. Also, Harding would not be N/A under that rule and Johnson could not have a number greater than 1.

I'll go with number of times not attending the White House Correspondents dinner.
5.1.2006 2:14pm
Justin (mail):
Johnson was only re-elected once - so it can't be anything about how many times x happened in a presidential election.
5.1.2006 2:36pm
jack brennen (mail):
number of press secretaries?
5.1.2006 2:43pm
jack brennen (mail):
oh wait, tony snow makes three...nevermind
5.1.2006 2:44pm
It can't be number of press secretary replacements, because Pierre Salinger was press secretary for all of Kennedy's presidency (and part of LBJ's).
5.1.2006 2:48pm
rjtjr (mail):
Number of times chosen as Time's Man/Person of the Year
5.1.2006 3:13pm
JohnO (mail):
Rich K,

It can't be something about Supreme Court nominations because Carter never had any.
5.1.2006 3:15pm
Sticky (mail):
Its the number of times the Presidents were elected in which they received at least 1 vote from a woman.
5.1.2006 3:26pm
femalelawprof (mail):
rjtjr is right
5.1.2006 3:27pm
just me:
Inaugural balls/parties? Did they not have them before?

It's something election or term-related, as it roughly (but not perfectly) tracks elections, with Ford at zero, and FDR at 3 of 4.

Maybe # of times they won nominations and went on to win in fall, or times they won a certain state's primary? That state began primaries after Coolidge? If I had time, and weren't sneaking in a lunch guess . . .
5.1.2006 3:31pm
It could also be the number of terms served in office in which the Oval Office had windows in it. But rjtjr's answer sure seems a lot simpler.
5.1.2006 3:38pm
Number of ears?
5.1.2006 4:06pm
GBernath (mail):
Number of generative glands?
5.1.2006 4:11pm
Kevan Choset (mail):
rjtjr has it -- how'd you come up with it?
5.1.2006 4:15pm
rjtjr (mail):
Kevan, the most helpful clues were Washington through Hoover not counting and Coolidge and Hoover scoring zero.
5.1.2006 5:58pm
Jeremy (mail):
Which is reminiscent of a great little exchange between Jack Lemmon and James Garner in "My Fellow Americans":

Lemmon: I was TIME Magazine's Man of the year
Garner: So was Hitler.
Lemmon: Not twice!
5.1.2006 7:02pm
rjtjr appears right:

Time magazine Man/Person of the year (first issued 1927):
* 1932: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882--1945)
* 1934: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882--1945) (2nd time)
* 1941: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882--1945) (3rd time)
* 1944: Dwight Eisenhower (1890--1969)
* 1959: Dwight Eisenhower (1890--1969) (2nd time)
* 1961: John F. Kennedy (1917--1963)
* 1964: Lyndon Johnson (1908--1973)
* 1967: Lyndon Johnson (1908--1973) (2nd time)
* 1971: Richard Nixon (1913--1994)
* 1972: Richard Nixon (1913--1994) (2nd time) and Henry Kissinger (b. 1923)
* 1976: Jimmy Carter (b. 1924)
* 1980: Ronald Reagan (1911--2004)
* 1983: Ronald Reagan (1911--2004) (2nd time) and Yuri Andropov (1914--1984)
* 1990: George H. W. Bush (b. 1924)
* 1992: Bill Clinton (b. 1946)
* 1998: Bill Clinton (b. 1946) (2nd time) and Kenneth Starr (b. 1946)
* 2000: George W. Bush (b. 1946)
* 2004: George W. Bush (b. 1946) (2nd time)
5.3.2006 1:57pm