Sunday Puzzle: You'll Need To Unscramble The Opposition This week's puzzle involves antonyms of each other — but first you'll have to rearrange the letters.
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Sunday Puzzle: You'll Need To Unscramble The Opposition

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Sunday Puzzle: You'll Need To Unscramble The Opposition

Sunday Puzzle: You'll Need To Unscramble The Opposition

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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We just celebrated St. Patrick's Day, so we thought we'd wish you the luck of the Irish playing this week's puzzle.


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

Will, good morning.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.

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

SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. I said name a well-known city in the U.S. - two words. The second word rhymes with a word meaning certain stories, and the first word rhymes with something found in those stories. What city is it?

Well, the city is Coral Gables. Gables rhymes with fables, and every fable has a moral, which rhymes with coral. We had an interesting alternative answer, a near miss. Some solvers said Green Bay, because play rhymes with bay and every play has a scene, which rhymes with green. But I asked for certain stories, plural, and play is singular, so that didn't quite work.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Coral Gables, actually - a little factoid - where I grew up in Florida. We received over 1,500 correct responses, and the winner is not from Florida. His name is Russ Porter from Ridgefield, Conn.

Hey, how are you?

RUSS PORTER: Hello, Lulu. Hello, Will.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How did you figure it out? You are not from the South (laughter).

PORTER: I am not from the South. And candidly, I - it was turning over in my mind for about a day and a half before I - you know, I was thinking of all sorts of other kind of stories like sagas and odes. And I just finally tripped across fables, and as soon as I said that, it fell right into place.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So what do you like most about living in Ridgefield? Tell me about your town.

PORTER: It's a great town. It's a really welcoming community, lots of arts and entertainment going on around - you know, within the playhouse. And they have bands every week in the local park. It's just a great environment and great community to raise kids.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Awesome. I understand you have a question for Will.

PORTER: Well, I just - how do you continue to come up with all these - all the puzzles you do between, you know, things you've done for movies and the weekly crossword puzzles and these puzzles? How do you come up with new ideas?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good question.

SHORTZ: Well, for today's puzzle, I don't know, I had the idea in bed, and then it took me a couple of days to come up with enough examples of it. And I love puzzles myself, so ideas are always swimming in my head.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Is that where you do most of your thinking, in bed or, like, lying down?

SHORTZ: I get a lot of my best ideas in bed, yeah.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) I think all of us could say the same. All right, are you ready to play The Puzzle?

PORTER: I hope so.


SHORTZ: All right, Russ and Lulu, I'm going to give you two four-letter words. Rearrange the letters in each of them to make two new words that are opposites. For example, if I said peon, P-E-O-N, and thus, T-H-U-S, you would say open and shut. So here's number one - name, N-A-M-E, and cine, C-I-N-E.

PORTER: Mean and nice.

SHORTZ: That is correct. Number two is vole, V-O-L-E, and heat, H-E-A-T.

PORTER: That'll be love and hate.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh - flit, F-L-I-T, and prod, P-R-O-D.

PORTER: Drop and lift?

SHORTZ: That's it - owls, O-W-L-S, and fats, F-A-T-S.

PORTER: Owls and - oh, slow and fast.

SHORTZ: That's it - veil, V-E-I-L, and Dade, D-A-D-E.

PORTER: Live and dead. I was going evil there for a minute but...

SHORTZ: Right (laughter), not evil but live.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is great. You're just killing it here. I haven't had to say a word, which is how I like it (laughter).

SHORTZ: Try this one - peek, P-E-E-K, and sots, S-O-T-S.

PORTER: Keep and toss.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh - agin, A-G-I-N, and sole, S-O-L-E.

PORTER: Gain and lose.

SHORTZ: That's it - ream, R-E-A-M, and dust, D-U-S-T.

PORTER: I'm not a horse person, but mare and stud?

SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one - Sean...


SHORTZ: Sean, S-E-A-N, and stun, S-T-U-N.

PORTER: Sean and stun.


PORTER: I got nuts out of the last one.

SHORTZ: That's correct. What's the opposite of nuts?

PORTER: Oh, and sane.

SHORTZ: Sane and nuts is it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm really terrible at anagrams, so you did an amazing job. Congratulations.

PORTER: Thank you. This was a lot of fun.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: 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 Russ, what member station do you listen to?

PORTER: WNYC in New York.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Thanks for playing The Puzzle.

PORTER: Thank you both.

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

SHORTZ: Yes, think of a familiar phrase in the form I blank you in which a four-letter word goes in the blank. Rearrange those letters, and you'll get another familiar phrase in the form I blank you. And both phrases get more than half a million hits in a Google search. What phrases are these?

So again, a familiar phrase in the form I blank you, four-letter word goes in that blank. Rearrange those letters and you'll get another four-letter word that completes the phrase, I blank you. What phrases are these?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer, go to our website, and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, March 23, 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 puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.

Thanks again so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.


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