Sunday Puzzle: Switching It Up

Aug 30, 2020

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a made up two-word phrase in which you switch the first and third letters of the first word to get the second word.

Example: Trick that is certain to work --> Sure Ruse

1. Final bit of table seasoning

2. Dangerous dog along Rome's river

3. Dish of mashed-up food that costs one unit of Indian currency

4. Combination of fruits — one that's yellow and sour, the other that's large and has seeds

5. Metalworker with a torch who is more lascivious

6. One who raises a device for removing impurities

7. Highway marker made of a hard sedimentary rock

Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Sandy Weisz, of Chicago. Think of a place on earth with a four-word name. Take the third word. Advance three of its letters to the next letter of the alphabet (so A would become B, B would be come C, etc.). You'll get the fourth word in the name. What place is this?

Challenge answer: Cape of Good Hope

Winner: Laurel Edgecomb of Walnut Creek, Calif.

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Joe Young, of St. Cloud, Minn. Name a famous person in history (5,4). The letters of the last name can be rearranged to name a popular game. And the letters in the first name can be rearranged to name an action in this game. Who is this famous person?

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 3rd, at 3 p.m. ET.

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

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, HOST:

And it's time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ELLIOTT: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster.

Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey there, Debbie.

ELLIOTT: So remind us what last week's challenge was.

SHORTZ: Yeah. It was a good one. It came from listener Sandy Weisz of Chicago. I said, think of a place on Earth with a four-word name. Take the third word. Advance each of its letters to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll get the fourth word in the name. What place is this? And the answer is Cape of Good Hope, which is almost at the southern tip of Africa. And if you advance G, O and D to H, P and E, you turn good into hope.

ELLIOTT: Well, we received 153 correct responses, and the winner is Laurel Edgecomb of Walnut Creek, Calif.

Congratulations, Laurel, and welcome to the program.

LAUREL EDGECOMB: Thank you very much.

ELLIOTT: So how did you figure it out?

EDGECOMB: My husband and I, I think, have been doing The Puzzle for 30 years - as long as (inaudible)...

ELLIOTT: Oh, wow.

EDGECOMB: ...Since 1987. We love it, and we worked on it together.

ELLIOTT: So how did you discover that Cape of Good Hope was the answer?

EDGECOMB: We went through everything that had great in it, which didn't work. And then Cape of Good Hope worked beautifully. It was, like, our 10th or 11th thing we tried.

ELLIOTT: OK, Laurel. Are you ready to play The Puzzle?

EDGECOMB: Yes, I am.

ELLIOTT: Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Laurel. I like your attitude. Every answer today is a made-up two-word phrase in which you switch the first and third letters of the first word to get the second word. For example, if I said trick that is certain to work, you would say sure ruse. So here's number one - final bit of table seasoning.

EDGECOMB: Last salt.

SHORTZ: Excellent. Number two is a dangerous dog along Rome's river. You know the five-letter river that goes through Rome?

EDGECOMB: Rome. Rome.

ELLIOTT: And...

SHORTZ: So the river starts with a T.

ELLIOTT: That the postal delivery person does not want to meet.

SHORTZ: (Laughter) Just change the T and the B of Tiber.

EDGECOMB: Tiber - got it. Sorry. Biter - Tiber biter.

SHORTZ: There you go - the Tiber biter. Good.

ELLIOTT: All right.

SHORTZ: Try this - a dish of mashed-up food that costs one unit of Indian currency.

EDGECOMB: Indian currency.

SHORTZ: In five letters.

EDGECOMB: Right. I'm pausing on Indian currency, which isn't a potato. Rupee - so it's a puree - a rupee puree.

ELLIOTT: (Laughter).

SHORTZ: Rupee puree - good job. Try this one - a combination of fruits, one that's yellow and sour, the other that's large and has seeds. What's a fruit that's yellow and sour?

EDGECOMB: Lemon.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

EDGECOMB: Lemon melon.

SHORTZ: Lemon melon is it. How about a metalworker with a torch who is more lascivious?

EDGECOMB: That would be a welder - a welder who is...

SHORTZ: Yeah, just switch the W and L.

EDGECOMB: A lewder welder.

SHORTZ: A lewder welder is it.

ELLIOTT: (Laughter) Very good.

SHORTZ: One who raises a device for removing impurities. It's six letters. One who raises a device for removing impurities. So what removes impurities?

EDGECOMB: A filter - a filter lifter.

SHORTZ: You got it. And here's your last one - a highway marker made of a hard sedimentary rock. A highway marker made of a hard sedimentary rock. This is nine letters. And think of a highway marker that's every 5,000 or so feet.

EDGECOMB: A highway marker made of sedimentary rock - OK. I'm...

SHORTZ: OK. You're driving along, and at the side of the road is a marker.

EDGECOMB: Oh, limestone and milestone.

SHORTZ: There it is - a limestone milestone.

EDGECOMB: Thank you. Some of those were really fun.

SHORTZ: (Laughter) And we won't talk about the other ones.

EDGECOMB: The whole thing was fun. Thank you so much.

ELLIOTT: You got them all. How does it feel?

EDGECOMB: That part feels great, sort of (laughter) - wonderful, very happy.

ELLIOTT: For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And Laurel, which member station do you listen to?

EDGECOMB: KCRW.

ELLIOTT: Laurel Edgecomb of Walnut Creek, Calif., thanks for playing The Puzzle.

EDGECOMB: Thank you so much.

ELLIOTT: All right, Will. What is next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yeah. It comes from listener Joe Young of St. Cloud, Minn. Name a famous person in history - five-letter first name, four-letter last name. The letters of the last name can be rearranged to name a popular game, and the letters in the first name can be rearranged to name an action in this game. Who's the famous person? So again, famous person in history - five, four. The last name can be anagrammed to name a popular game, and the first name can be anagrammed to name an action in this game. Who is this famous person?

ELLIOTT: When you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the submit your answer link. Remember, just one entry, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, September 3, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. 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 puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.

Thank you so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Debbie.

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