A Puzzle Worth A Fortune

Dec 14, 2014
Originally published on December 14, 2014 11:18 am

On-air challenge: These are some business-related puzzles made for the New York Times' DealBook conference in New York last Thursday. Every answer is the name of a Fortune 200 company — that is, one of the top 200 corporations according to the 2014 list in Fortune magazine.

Last week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Harry Hilson of Avon-by-the-Sea, N.J. Take the phrase "a few Texans come in." Rearrange these letters to name a geographic place. What is it?

Answer: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Winner: Doreen Horstin of San Francisco, Calif.

Next week's challenge: Think of a common exclamation in four letters. Move the last letter to the start, and then add a new letter to the end to get another well-known exclamation. 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 Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And like the sands through the hourglass, so are the puzzles of our lives. Joining me now is Will Shortz. He's the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: So refresh our memories, Will, what was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Harry Hilson of Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey. I said take the phrase a few Texans come in, rearrange these letters to name a geographical place. What is it? Well, the answer is Santa Fe, New Mexico, which indeed is a fact a few a Texans may come in.

MARTIN: All right, so we got a whole lot of correct answers - 2,040 of them to be exact. And our randomly chosen winner is Doreen Horstin of San Francisco, California. She joins us on the line now. Hey, Doreen. Congratulations.

DOREEN HORSTIN: Hi. Thank you. So thrilling. I've been playing the puzzle since the postcard days.

MARTIN: Oh, great.

HORSTIN: Thank you for calling me.

MARTIN: Oh, you're welcome. Thank you for sending in a correct answer. Was it heart for you to figure out?

HORSTIN: The X was a big clue. And I saw the word Mexico right away, so then it just fell into place.

MARTIN: And what you do in San Francisco, Doreen?

HORSTIN: I'm a children's librarian with the San Francisco Public Library.

MARTIN: Did you have a favorite book when you were growing up?

HORSTIN: I was really hooked on mysteries as a kid, and I still am.

MARTIN: Very cool. Well, are you ready to do this, Doreen?

HORSTIN: I think so.

MARTIN: All right. Well, let's puzzle.

SHORTZ: All right, Doreen and Rachel, this is a business related puzzle. Every answer is the name of a Fortune 200 company, that is, one of the top 200 corporations according to the 2014 list in Fortune magazine. And here's number one. What company's name can be found appropriately inside the phrase metal coating? So take the phrase metal coating, M-E-T-A-L C-O-A-T-I-N-G, and hidden in there is a company's name.

HORSTIN: Alcoa?

SHORTZ: Alcoa, yes, which is appropriate. Number two, what company's name is an anagram of ice pops? I-C-E P-O-P-S.

HORSTIN: Ice pops.

MARTIN: What does it start with, Will?

SHORTZ: It starts with a P. A big company in the beverage business.

MARTIN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: How's that

HORSTIN: Oh, PepsiCo?

MARTIN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: PepsiCo is it. What company's name consists of eight letters, four of which are Ls? I'll give you a hint

HORSTIN: Four of which are Ls?

SHORTZ: It's in an eight letter name. It has two words. First word has three letters, second word has five letters and four of those eight letters are Ls.

MARTIN: Can you give us like an industry?

SHORTZ: OK, pharmaceutical.

HORSTIN: Eli Lilly?

SHORTZ: Eli Lilly is it.

MARTIN: Good job, Doreen.

SHORTZ: All right, what company's name becomes the name of an Olympic sport if you change the third letter to an X.

HORSTIN: An Olympic sport? OK.

MARTIN: Let me just say - this is hard. Like, you have to think of the entire universe of all companies, Will.

HORSTIN: Yes, I agree.

MARTIN: And then change an X to all of them? It's hard. I just want to be on the record saying that. It's fine, we just vented, we can move on.

SHORTZ: What Olympic sport has an X in the third letter? And actually it's a regular, popular sport, but it's also in the Olympics.

MARTIN: Oh. Like fighting.

SHORTZ: Yes, there's your hint - fighting.

HORSTIN: Oh, boxing.

MARTIN: Yes.

SHORTZ: Yes, and what company if you change...

HORSTIN: That's the sport. OK...

SHORTZ: ...If you change the X to another letter, what do you get?

MARTIN: There it is, OK.

HORSTIN: Boeing.

MARTIN: Yes.

SHORTZ: Boeing, the airplane maker, right. What company's name is Pig Latin for the name of an insect?

MARTIN: (Laughter).

HORSTIN: I'm sorry, I didn't hear that because of Rachel.

MARTIN: (Laughter) I'm sorry. Sorry, Doreen. Sorry.

SHORTZ: Yeah, what company's name is Pig Latin for the name of an insect?

HORSTIN: OK...

SHORTZ: I'll give you a big, big, big hint. It's a flying instinct that stings.

HORSTIN: Ebay.

SHORTZ: Ebay is it, which is Pig Latin on bee.

HORSTIN: So bee.

SHORTZ: Right. And here's your last one. It's a tricky one. What company name consists of the names of two U.S. presidents with an ampersand in the middle?

HORSTIN: OK. There's...

SHORTZ: And they make consumer products. Yeah, one of the presidents was president during the 1960s.

HORSTIN: OK, Kennedy...

SHORTZ: Who followed him?

MARTIN: LB...

HORSTIN: OK, Johnson and Johnson.

MARTIN: Yes.

SHORTZ: Johnson and Johnson as in Andrew Johnson and Lyndon Johnson.

MARTIN: Doreen, we did it. Did have fun?

HORSTIN: I did.

MARTIN: OK, good. (Laughter) I can't tell, Doreen, I can't tell. For playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and puzzle books and games. You can go to our website, npr.org/puzzle to check out your prizes. And before we let you go, Doreen, where do you hear us? What's your public radio station?

HORSTIN: KQED, San Francisco.

MARTIN: Great. Doreen Horstin of San Francisco, California. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Doreen.

HORSTIN: Thank you.

MARTIN: OK, Will, what's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, think of a common exclamation and four letters, move the last letter to the start and then add a new letter at the end to get another well-known exclamation. What is it? So, again, an exclamation, four letters, move the last letter to the start, then add a new letter to the end and you'll name another common exclamation. What exclamations are these?

MARTIN: When you've got the answer, go to our website. It is npr.org/puzzle. Click on that Submit Your Answer link. Just one entry per person please. Send in those entries by Thursday, December 18, at 3 p.m. eastern time. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time because if you win, then we give you a call and you get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.