Sunday Puzzle: Math Is Necessary To Solve This One, But Don't Get Fancy Lulu Garcia-Navarro and Will Shortz play the Sunday Puzzle with winner Mark Scott of Seattle, Wash.
NPR logo

Sunday Puzzle: Math Is Necessary To Solve This One, But Don't Get Fancy

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/530412571/530447147" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Sunday Puzzle: Math Is Necessary To Solve This One, But Don't Get Fancy

Sunday Puzzle: Math Is Necessary To Solve This One, But Don't Get Fancy

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/530412571/530447147" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Today, lets take advantage of the long weekend - fire up the grill, set out our Gingham blankets and play, of course, the Sunday Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining me as always is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Will, good morning.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK, remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. I said name a creature in nine letters. It has two words in its name. Drop the consecutive letters, U-R, and the result will name a major U.S. city in seven letters. What is it? Well, the creature is a sea turtle, and drop the U-R, you get Seattle.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, we got over 1,200 responses. And our winner this week is Mark Scott of - drum roll please - Seattle, the answer to your challenge. Congratulations, Mark. Seems like it was meant to be.

MARK SCOTT: I guess it was.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) So how'd you come up with the answer?

SCOTT: Well, I'm third generation Seattle, and I think that had something to do with it. It was two words and sea popped in right away. And I said, oh, well, it's got to be sea turtle.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. I wonder what the - how many people from Seattle actually got that first. I'd love to know the percentages on that. What do you do there in Seattle?

SCOTT: Well, I'm retired. I was a skydiver.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: A skydiver?

SHORTZ: Oh.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's awesome. I'm glad to see that you're happily and safely retired.

SCOTT: Well, and I'll bet that I'm the only teacher you know who's proud of a 100 percent student dropout rate.

(LAUGHTER)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's a good one. I like it. All right, are you ready to play The Puzzle?

SCOTT: Well, we'll find out.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Here we go.

SHORTZ: All right, Mark, I'm going to give you some six-letter words. For each one, insert two letters in the exact center to complete a familiar eight-letter word. For example, if I said innate, I-N-N-A-T-E, you would say innovate, inserting an O-V in the middle.

SCOTT: All right.

SHORTZ: OK, number one is argent, A-R-G-E-N-T. And the two letters always go exactly in the middle so here between the G and the E.

SCOTT: Any two letters? All right.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's something that I do with my husband all the time.

SCOTT: Argument.

SHORTZ: That's (laughter) - I'm sorry to hear that. Argument is right. Good. Number two is vanish, V-A-N-I-S-H.

SCOTT: Vanquish.

SHORTZ: Vanquish is it. Corral, C-O-R-R-A-L.

SCOTT: Cordial.

SHORTZ: Not quite. No, because that only uses one of the Rs.

SCOTT: I thought - oh, OK. Oh, that's right.

SHORTZ: Insert two letters between the two Rs.

SCOTT: Corporal.

SHORTZ: Corporal, good.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job.

SHORTZ: Rosary, R-O-S-A-R-Y.

SCOTT: Rosemary.

SHORTZ: Rosemary, nice.

SCOTT: Is that right? OK, got it.

SHORTZ: Good. Panama, P-A-N-A-M-A.

SCOTT: Not getting that one.

SHORTZ: And let's see, I'll give you a hint. It's a vowel, consonant in that order. And a synonym might be vista.

SCOTT: Panorama.

SHORTZ: Panorama is it. Though, T-H-O-U-G-H.

SCOTT: Thorough.

SHORTZ: Thorough, excellent. Carnal, C-A-R-N-A-L.

SCOTT: Carnival.

SHORTZ: Cardinal - what did you say? Oh, you said Carnival. Interesting.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: He said carnival.

SHORTZ: Yeah, that doesn't go in the exact middle, though.

SCOTT: No, it doesn't.

SHORTZ: The answer I just told you was cardinal.

SCOTT: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Try this one, cruder, C-R-U-D-E-R.

SCOTT: Crusader.

SHORTZ: Yes. Manure, M-A-N-U-R-E.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This has nothing to do with the other thing.

(LAUGHTER)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's what ladies do at a salon.

SCOTT: Manicure.

SHORTZ: Manicure. You get a manicure. How about chaise, C-H-A-I-S-E?

SCOTT: Not chemise is it?

SHORTZ: No.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's what I do to my daughter.

SCOTT: Chastise.

SHORTZ: Chastise, yeah. I'm also sorry to hear that.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm just kidding.

SHORTZ: OK, how about estate, E-S-T-A-T-E?

SCOTT: Estimate.

SHORTZ: That's it. Offing, O-F-F-I-N-G.

SCOTT: Offering.

SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one, and it's a tough one - subtle, S-U-B-T-L-E.

SCOTT: Subtitle.

SHORTZ: Subtitle. Not tough for you. Good job.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, you did that really fast. Congratulations, nicely done.

SCOTT: Thank you, Lulu and Will.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, which I'm sure you've always wanted as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And, Mark, what member station do you listen to?

SCOTT: KUOW 94.9 FM in Seattle.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Mark Scott of Seattle, thank you for playing The Puzzle.

SCOTT: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK, Will, what's the next challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes. If Eli is 173 and Lois is 5,107, how much is Leslie? And Leslie is spelled the usual way, L-E-S-L-I-E. Now, I gave this puzzle to a friend who solved it in five seconds. There's no fancy math needed. So, again, if Eli is 173 and Lois is 5,107. How much is Leslie?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You must have very smart friends. When you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle and click on the submit your answer link. Just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, June 1 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, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2017 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.