Sunday Puzzle: It Might Take A Deep Dive Under The Sea To Solve This One Puzzlemaster Will Shortz challenges Tom Rosen of Austin, TX, and WAMU's Lauren Ober, host of The Big Listen to this week's tricky puzzle.
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Sunday Puzzle: It Might Take A Deep Dive Under The Sea To Solve This One

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Sunday Puzzle: It Might Take A Deep Dive Under The Sea To Solve This One

Sunday Puzzle: It Might Take A Deep Dive Under The Sea To Solve This One

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/523163961/523170134" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Tomorrow is National Siblings Day, but don't wait until then to have some family fun. See if your brother or sister can help you solve this week's puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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: Good morning, Lulu.

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

SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from listener David Edelheit of Oyster Bay, N.Y. I said think of four four-letter proper names that are all anagrams of each other. So two of them are first names - one male and one female - and the other two are well-known geographical names. What are they?

Well, my intended answer was Liam and Mila - M-I-L-A. Those are anagrams of Lima and Mali, the country. We had another answer that I think is just as good as mine - Nora and Aron - A-R-O-N. You can rearrange those to make Arno, the river, and Oran, the port in Algeria. And there were a couple other acceptable answers as well.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We got over 1,000 responses, and our winner is Tom Rosen from Austin, Texas. Hey, Tom, congratulations.

TOM ROSEN: Thank you so much. I am very excited.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good. We're excited to have you. Tell us how you figured it out.

ROSEN: Well, my boss and I have a Monday check-in. And whenever we exhaust all of our agenda items, one of us asks the other if they are RTP - ready to puzzle. And then we listen to the puzzle, try to crack it. And the big break we got was my boss suggested Lima, and then we solved it from there.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How long have you been playing?

ROSEN: So I started doing the puzzles several years ago. It was actually a very special thing that my grandpa and I would do together. He passed in December. But whenever there was a particularly troublesome puzzle, he would bemoan you, Will, as if you were a long friend. He would say, that darn Shortz. He's really, really being tricky today.

(LAUGHTER).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I don't know if you've heard, we have someone else here with me in the studio - it's something that we're doing now - Lauren Ober, host of The Big Listen, the NPR show about podcasts. Good morning, Lauren.

LAUREN OBER, BYLINE: Hi, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK. The way we're going to do this is you're going to be Tom's lifeline. You're here to provide hints, words of encouragement when needed. Tom, if you need Lauren's help, by all means, bring her in. But if not, you're going to be on your own. So are you guys ready?

ROSEN: I'm RTP.

OBER: I am a little nervous. I'm a little nervous and excited also sweaty. But I think we can handle it, Tom.

ROSEN: (Laughter) All right.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Here we go.

SHORTZ: All right, Tom and Lauren, today's puzzle is called artful. I'm going to give you clues for two words. Insert the letters A-R-T consecutively somewhere inside the first word to get the second one. For example, if I said an exclamation akin to yo, and the second clue is robust, you would say hey and hearty because you insert A-R-T inside hey to get hearty. So here's the first one, singer who starred in "Silkwood" and "Mask" and your second clue is to reserve, as a plane or bus, for private use.

ROSEN: Oh, this one is tricky to me because I do not know the actress, Lauren, who starred - Cameron Diaz?

OBER: I could help you. I could help you with that.

ROSEN: Yes, please do.

OBER: Cher.

ROSEN: Cher.

SHORTZ: Cher is it, yeah. And to reserve as a plane or bus.

ROSEN: Reserve - charter.

SHORTZ: Charter is it. Here's your next one - strait between Alaska and Russia and trading.

ROSEN: Strait between - is that the Bering Strait?

SHORTZ: The Bering Strait, yeah.

ROSEN: And barter - bartering?

SHORTZ: Bartering is it. Light brown and the Scottish cloth pattern.

ROSEN: Light brown - so we'd have khaki or beige - maybe? - and trying to add art for the latter. Lauren, I might need some help here.

OBER: Well, the thing that I thought it was, tartan.

SHORTZ: Tartan, yeah. Take away A-R-T. You can work backward and you get?

OBER: Tan.

ROSEN: Tan - there we go. Tan.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter).

OBER: Good job, Tom.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You guys are a good team.

SHORTZ: Here's your next one - a drunken spree and someone who might help with that drunken spree.

ROSEN: So a drunken spree, I'm thinking a binge.

SHORTZ: Yeah that's another term for that, a synonym.

ROSEN: Bender and a bartender.

SHORTZ: There you go. Here's your last one - sofas and your second clue is graphic elements in ancient hieroglyphics.

ROSEN: I'm thinking couches and...

SHORTZ: Couches is right and insert A-R-T after the first letter.

OBER: Cart - oh, I have - I think I have it.

ROSEN: Cartarouches (ph)?

OBER: Cartouches?

ROSEN: Cartoucious (ph)?

SHORTZ: Cartouches.

ROSEN: Cartouches - there we go.

SHORTZ: Cartouches - those oval things that...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wow. You really are making this hard, Will.

SHORTZ: (Laughter) You're welcome.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You guys did really well. I'm so glad I did not have to play that puzzle.

(LAUGHTER)

OBER: Tom, this is a tag team made in heaven, I'll tell you what.

ROSEN: Yeah. Lauren, thank you so much for your help. That was...

OBER: Thank you.

ROSEN: I'm very grateful for it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. You could read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And, Tom, what member station do you listen to?

ROSEN: I'm a sustaining member with KUT 98.5 in Austin, Texas.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Great station. Thank you so much for playing the puzzle today.

ROSEN: Thank you so much.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And Lauren, thank you for playing. You did really well. So before you go, we want to hear your podcast pick for the week.

OBER: Well, since Passover is coming up, I have to give a shout out to the Ronna and Beverly show featuring America's favorite middle-aged Jewish singles.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Awesome. All right, thanks again for coming on.

OBER: Oh, thank you for having me.

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

SHORTZ: Yeah. It comes from listener Joe Young of St. Cloud, Minn. Name a well-known U.S. city in two words. Replace each of these words with a word that rhymes with it, and you'll name a large sea creature in two words. What is it?

So, again, a well-known U.S. city in two words. Replace each of the words with a word that rhymes with it, and you'll name a large sea creature in two words. What sea creature is it?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: 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. And our deadline for entries is Thursday April 13, at 3 p.m, Eastern. So include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you are 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 and our special guest of the week. Don't forget. Will, Lauren, again, Thank you so much.

OBER: Thanks, Lulu.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.

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