You're Halfway There Already

Jan 29, 2017
Originally published on January 29, 2017 5:54 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a made up two-word phrase, in which the first word has six letters. Its last three letters spell the second word that will complete the phrase.

For Example: Scurrying insect whose appearance has been affected by radiation --> MUTANT ANT

1. Heavy weight in Massachusetts' capital
2. Hero pilot who lives in a royal home
3. Young lady who is very careful about spending money
4. Container from Mr. Spock's home planet
5. Bear's home that is concealed
6. Prohibition on headwear for Sikhs
7. Collection of things in the room where you store clothes
8. Thin line of seats in a theater
9. Boston basketball player's peculiar mannerism
10. What an Italian tourist city has when its canals are frozen
11. "My name is Lassie and I'm a German Shepherd"
12. Meat sold in Batman's hometown
13. Mafia chief in England's capitol
14. How things are done in Oslo

Last week's challenge: The numbers 5,000, 8,000 and 9,000 share a property that only five integers altogether have. Identify the property and the two other integers that have it.

Puzzle answer: When written in words, these integers have the five vowels A, E, I, O and U exactly once each. The other two integers with this property are 6,010 and 10,006.

Puzzle winner: Sam Levitin of Worcester, Mass.

Next week's challenge:

Take six different letters. Repeat them in the same order. Then repeat them again — making 18 letters altogether. Finally add "tebasket" at the end. If you have the right letters and you space them appropriately, you'll complete a sensible sentence. 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, Feb. 2, at 3 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

What a week - lots of change. But there's always one thing you can count on staying the same. It's time for The Puzzle.

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GARCIA-NAVARRO: Will Shortz is the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So I'm new to this. And so I have a few questions. I'm curious. How do you put The Puzzle together? How do you think of them?

SHORTZ: Well, I just play around with words in my head. I find the best time to do that is in bed. I don't know.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: In bed (laughter)?

SHORTZ: Do you get new ideas in my bed? Yeah.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Sometimes.

SHORTZ: Get some of my best ideas then. And, sometimes, I wonder, after 30 years, am I ever going to run out of ideas? But so far, so good.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So far, so good. And listeners send you puzzles, as well, right?

SHORTZ: Yeah. There's a form online on the NPR website where people can submit ideas. One important thing is it has to be something good for radio 'cause...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Right.

SHORTZ: This is the medium. Something that's too complicated that you need to read - that doesn't work. Something that's changed over the years - there's a lot of tools online now for solving puzzles.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Ah.

SHORTZ: And I try to use challenge puzzles that are - can't be too easily solved online.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Last week's puzzle came from one of our listeners, right?

SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, Calif. And I said the numbers 5,000, 8,000 and 9,000 share a property that only five integers altogether have. And I said, identify the property and the two other integers that have it. Well, when written in words, these integers have the five vowels A, E, I, O, U exactly once and no Y. And the only other two integers with this property are 6,010 and 10,006.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received more than 500 responses. And the winner is Sam Levitin him from Worcester, Mass. Nice job, Sam.

SAM LEVITIN: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Are you ready to play The Puzzle?

LEVITIN: Yes.

SHORTZ: All right. Every answer today is a made-up, two-word phrase in which the first word has six letters. The last three letters spell the second word that will complete the phrase. For example, if I said a scurrying insect whose appearance has been affected by radiation, you would say mutant ant. Here you go - number one.

LEVITIN: OK.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter).

SHORTZ: A heavy weight in Massachusetts' capital.

LEVITIN: A Boston ton.

SHORTZ: That's right. Number two - a hero pilot who lives in a royal home.

LEVITIN: Something castle.

SHORTZ: No. Where else do...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Palace? Something palace?

SHORTZ: There you go. You have it. Palace ace. Just take the last three letters - palace ace.

LEVITIN: Oh, ace.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, OK.

SHORTZ: OK, good. Here's your next one, a young lady who is very careful about spending money.

LEVITIN: A frugal gal.

SHORTZ: There you go.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Nice.

SHORTZ: A container from Mr. Spock's home planet.

LEVITIN: A Vulcan can.

SHORTZ: A bear's home that is concealed.

LEVITIN: A hidden den.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Prohibition on headwear for Sikhs.

LEVITIN: A turban ban.

SHORTZ: That's it. A collection of things in the room where you store clothes.

LEVITIN: A closet set.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. A thin line of seats in a theater.

LEVITIN: A narrow row.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Boston basketball players' peculiar mannerism.

LEVITIN: Celtic tic.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're on a roll (laughter).

SHORTZ: That's it. I tell you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is awesome.

SHORTZ: What an Italian tourist city has when its canals are frozen.

LEVITIN: Venice ice.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Now here's a quote. My name is Lassie, and I'm a German shepherd, for example.

LEVITIN: A collie lie.

SHORTZ: That's a collie lie. Meat sold in Batman's hometown.

LEVITIN: Gotham ham.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Mafia chief in England's capital.

LEVITIN: London don.

SHORTZ: That's it. And your last one is how things are done in Oslo.

LEVITIN: Norway way.

SHORTZ: That's the Norway way. Good job, Sam.

LEVITIN: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That was really, really good. You were fast, too. 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. Sam, what member station do you listen to?

LEVITIN: WBUR in Boston.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: One of the best. Sam Levitin of Worcester, Mass., thanks for playing The Puzzle.

LEVITIN: Thank you both.

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

SHORTZ: It's an odd one. It's an original. Take six different letters. Repeat them in the same order. And then repeat them again, making 18 letters altogether. Finally, add T-E-B-A-S-K-E-T at the end. And if you have the right letters, and you space them appropriately, you'll complete a sensible sentence. What is it? So again - six different letters. Repeat them twice so you get 18 letters altogether. Add T-E-B-A-S-K-E-T at the end. And if you have the right letters, and you space them right, you'll complete a sensible sentence. What sentence is it?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle, and click the submit-your-answer link. Just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, February 2 at 3 p.m. Eastern. So 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 puzzle master, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Lulu.

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