Sunday Puzzle: Don't Delete

Sep 13, 2020

On-air challenge: Every answer to this puzzle is a word or name that has the accented syllable "lee" (in any spelling) somewhere inside it.

Example: Expungement --> DELETION

1. City in Ohio sometimes called "holy"

2. Supreme Court justice Samuel

3. Pledge of ___

4. Opposite of an atheist

5. Island off the coast of California

6. Resident of California's largest city

7. One-named "Queen of Tejano Music"

8. Italian film director Federico

9. Leonardo da Vinci painting (two words)

Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Jeremy Crane of Madison, Wis. Name a deity in ancient mythology. The first half of the name, phonetically, names a common object. The second half of the name, by spelling, names another object that is often put inside the first one. What is it?

Challenge answer: Persephone; purse, phone.

Winner: Becky Mayo of Riverside, Calif.

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Judy Horn, of Reading, Mass. Name a famous person with the initials M. C. The first initial and last name anagram to the person's field of renown. What is it?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you by Thursday, September 17th, at 3 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

And it's time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey there, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Before we get to last week's challenge, I understand you have some corrections from last week's on-air puzzle.

SHORTZ: Yeah, well, first on the on-air puzzle, I asked for the only state that follows West Virginia alphabetically. The answer was Wyoming. Well, Wyoming is indeed the last state, but Wisconsin fits between West Virginia and Wyoming. And also, I mentioned that Clare Luce was the co-founder and co-publisher of Reader's Digest. Nope, that was Lila Wallace. Clare Boothe Luce was the wife of Henry Luce, who founded Time and Life magazines. And she was a noted author and political figure in her own right.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Apologies to the people of Wisconsin. OK, remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Jeremy Crane of Madison, Wis. I said name a deity in ancient mythology. The first half of the name phonetically names a common object, and the second half of the name by spelling names another object that's often put inside the first one. What is it? The answer is Persephone. She was the queen of the underworld, and the parts are purse and phone.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received over 1,700 correct responses, and the winner is Becky Mayo of Riverside, Calif.

Congratulations, and welcome to the program.

BECKY MAYO: Thank you so much. This is very thrilling.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, I must say I heard that you were very excited when you got the call (laughter).

MAYO: I couldn't believe it. My first question was, I get the lapel pin no matter what, right?

(LAUGHTER)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You went straight for the goods. I like it.

MAYO: I did. I didn't want to take any chances.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How did you figure out last week's puzzle?

MAYO: Well, my husband and I wrote a children's play about the constellations. And although Persephone is not a constellation, we were somewhat familiar with the Greek mythology. So it just kind of came to me.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And how long have you been playing The Puzzle?

MAYO: Well, Will and I have been great friends for 33 years.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter).

MAYO: Our friendship has been a bit one-sided until now.

(LAUGHTER)

MAYO: But Will and I have grown older together for 33 years.

SHORTZ: Wow.

MAYO: We miss Liane, but we love you, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, thank you very much. And I'm sure Will is now excited to have a new friend he can talk to you personally. And on that note, take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right. Becky, it's nice to become friends now directly. Every answer today is a word or name that has the accented syllable lee in any spelling somewhere inside it. For example, if I said expungement, you would say deletion.

MAYO: OK.

SHORTZ: All right, number one, a city in Ohio sometimes called Holy.

MAYO: Holy - Toledo.

SHORTZ: Holy Toledo is it. Supreme Court Justice Samuel.

MAYO: Alito.

SHORTZ: That's it. Pledge of blank.

MAYO: Pledge of...

SHORTZ: Something you say in school.

MAYO: Allegiance.

SHORTZ: That's it. Opposite of an atheist.

MAYO: Opposite of an atheist. A believer.

SHORTZ: Believer is it. Island off the coast of California.

MAYO: Catalina.

SHORTZ: Catalina is it. A resident of California's largest city.

MAYO: Angelino.

SHORTZ: That's it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: These seem tailor made for you.

SHORTZ: Two California clues. One named queen of Tejano music.

MAYO: Oh, dear me. Oh, God, I don't even know what Tejano music is.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Jennifer Lopez played her. There's also a very famous singer, actress now - her last name is Gomez.

MAYO: Selena.

SHORTZ: There you go, Selena. Good. Try this, Italian film director Federico.

MAYO: Fellini.

SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one. It's a two-word answer, Leonardo da Vinci painting.

MAYO: Mona Lisa.

SHORTZ: Mona Lisa's it. Good job.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job. How do you feel?

MAYO: I feel great, and I just want to thank you.

SHORTZ: Oh, thanks a lot, Becky. I appreciate that.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm really excited for you because you are indeed going to get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. Which member station do you listen to?

MAYO: I listened to KOPB in Oregon, and I think we should extend our best wishes to all the people in during the fires there.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Indeed. We do. Becky Mayo of Riverside, Calif., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

MAYO: Thank you both so much. What a treat.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What's next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Judy Horn of Redding, Mass. Name a famous person with the initials M, C - that's M as in Mary, C as in Charles. The first initial and last name anagram to the person's field of renown. What is it? So, again famous person initials M, C. The first initial and the last name together anagram to the person's field of renown. What is it?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer, go to our website npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Remember, just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, September 17 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach it about that time. And if you're the winner, we'll give you a call, and you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master for 33 years strong, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.