A Winter Puzzle To Brrring In The New Year

Jan 4, 2015
Originally published on January 4, 2015 11:20 am

Editor's Note: In a previous version of this page we posted the wrong on-air challenge. The correct on-air challenge for the week is posted below.

On-air challenge: Given a clue, each response is a two-word answer with the first word starting with B-R and the second word starting with R.

Last week's challenge: Take the following 5-word sentence: "THOSE BARBARIANS AMBUSH HEAVIER FIANCEES." These 5 words have something very unusual in common. What is it?

Answer: The letters in the odd positions in each word name part of the body: TOE, BRAIN, ABS, HAIR, FACE.

Winner: Caryn Hart of Haverstown, Pa.

Next week's challenge: Last fall I posed a challenge in which you were asked to name a country, change one letter in it and rearrange the result to name a world capital. Then change a letter in that and rearrange the result to name another country. The answer was SPAIN to PARIS to SYRIA. Well, listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco has posed a related puzzle: Name a world capital. Change a letter in it and rearrange the result to name a country. Then change a letter in that and rearrange the result to name another world capital. What names are these?

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 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. You have opened all of your holiday gifts, maybe you've kicked off your New Year's resolutions. But before you get a chance to break them, let's do the puzzle.

Joining me now is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Happy New Year, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Happy New Year, Rachel.

MARTIN: Can you remind us of last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yeah. I thought it was a tough one. I said take the five-word sentence - Those barbarians ambush heavier fiances. And I said these five words have something very unusual in common. What is it? And as a hint I said look at the letters in the words, you don't need to scramble. Well, the letters in the odd positions in each word name part of the body - toe, brain, abs, hair and face.

MARTIN: OK, so we received around 445 correct answers. Our randomly chosen winner is Caryn Hart of Havertown, Pennsylvania. She joins us on the line now. Caryn, congratulations.

CARYN HART: Why thank you, and Happy New Year...

MARTIN: Happy New Year to you.

HART: ...To you and Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you.

MARTIN: And it's a great thing, you get to be our first puzzle champion of 2015.

HART: I'm excited but, of course, nervous.

MARTIN: You're going to be great. You're going to be great. I also understand that a winning streak runs in your family.

HART: It does. My husband, amazingly, was selected about a little over a year ago.

MARTIN: As our puzzle contestant. That's crazy.

HART: Yes, we were both stunned that he was selected because odds are, we believe, rather small.

MARTIN: Pretty small. And the two of you.

HART: Really.

MARTIN: You got some good luck. You need to go buy a lottery ticket or something.

HART: Exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: And you've been playing the puzzle for a long time, the two of you?

HART: I think since the beginning, but I can't remember not doing it.

MARTIN: Oh, wow. Yeah. That's a long time. OK, are you ready to play the puzzle Caryn?

HART: I will try.

MARTIN: You will try, and you will succeed. I bet you will succeed.

HART: We'll see. I will appreciate any help I could have from you, Rachel.

MARTIN: I am here for you every step of the way.

HART: OK.

MARTIN: OK, Will, let's do it.

SHORTZ: All right, Caryn and Rachel. The title of today's puzzle is Brr. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or title in which the first word starts with the letters B-R and the second word starts with R. For example, if I said a thing grasped on a merry-go-round, you would say brass ring.

MARTIN: OK, you got it, Caryn?

HART: Yes.

MARTIN: All right, let's give it a go.

SHORTZ: Number one, lead character in a story told by Uncle Remus.

HART: Brer Rabbit.

SHORTZ: That is correct. Number two, a restaurant freebie that usually comes in a basket.

HART: A bread...

SHORTZ: And what is it?

HART: A bread roll.

SHORTZ: A bread roll, yeah, that's it.

MARTIN: Bread roll.

HART: Bread roll.

MARTIN: Sure.

SHORTZ: Yes. Your next clue is Crimson.

HART: Bright red.

SHORTZ: Bright red is it.

MARTIN: Good.

SHORTZ: What a woman signs up for at a store when she's about to be married.

HART: Registry - bridal registry.

SHORTZ: Bridal registry, yes. Twenty-three-year third baseman for the Baltimore Orioles.

MARTIN: Oh.

HART: This one I have to pass on.

MARTIN: Oh, man. They're all kinds of baseball fans...

HART: Don't know sports.

MARTIN: ...Out there who are cursing me right now. Sorry everyone. I do not know my Baltimore Orioles roster.

SHORTZ: All right, I'll just tell you. People are screaming at their radios all over the country. The answer is Brooks Robinson.

MARTIN: Of course. Sorry, Brooks.

HART: Okay.

SHORTZ: OK, a leafy vegetable whose buds have small heads.

HART: Broccoli rabe.

MARTIN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: That's it. Try this, area of the house in which to have the morning meal.

HART: Breakfast room.

SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one, a nominal thing you win when there's no actual price.

MARTIN: A WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin.

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: Just kidding. Just kidding.

HART: What's the clue one more time?

MARTIN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Nominal thing you win when there's no actual prize.

MARTIN: You just go around saying, hey, I won. I'm so awesome.

HART: Bragging rights.

MARTIN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Bragging rights is it.

MARTIN: Like you're going to do right after you get off the line with us because you did such a great job on the puzzle.

HART: Well, I tried.

MARTIN: But you did great, Caryn. And for playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and puzzle books and games. You can read all about your prizes at npr.org/puzzle. And before we let you go, where do you hear us? What's your public radio station?

HART: WHYY out of Philadelphia.

MARTIN: Great. Caryn Hart of Havertown, Pennsylvania. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Caryn.

HART: Well, thank you very much. I'm glad it worked out OK.

MARTIN: It was great.

HART: And Happy New Year again.

MARTIN: Happy New Year to you.

MARTIN: And, Will, what is the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yeah. Last fall, I posed a challenge in which you were asked to name a country, change one letter in it and rearrange the result to name a world capital and then change a letter in that and rearrange the result to name another country. And the answer was Spain to Paris to Syria.

Well, listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco has posed a related puzzle. Name a world capital, change a letter in it and rearrange the result to name a country. Then, change a letter in that and rearrange the result to name another world capital. What names are these? So again, start with the world capital, changes a letter, rearrange, name a country, change a letter in that and rearrange. And you'll name another world capital. What geographical names are these?

MARTIN: OK, when you've got the answer, go to our website. It is npr.org/puzzle. Click on that submit your answer link. And just one entry per person please. Don't forget to send in your answers by Thursday, January 8 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time because 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 he is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel. Happy New Year.

MARTIN: Happy New Year. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.