Sunday Puzzle: Switch It Up A tricky word challenge awaits your answers this week.
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Sunday Puzzle: Switch It Up

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Sunday Puzzle: Switch It Up

Sunday Puzzle: Switch It Up

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Normally, if you hear me on KPCC, I'd be giving you the latest news out of Southern California. But here on WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY, I know what shines brightest for our listeners. It's The Puzzle.


MARTINEZ: Joining me, of course, 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, A.

MARTINEZ: And thanks for taking time out of running the National Puzzlers' League convention. You know, Will, there is a line in a very famous Beyonce song and it goes like this - so don't you ever for a second get to thinking you're irreplaceable.

She does it better than I do. You are irreplaceable for us. If we had to come up with a replacement, where would we have gotten it?

SHORTZ: Oh, man, I don't know. But I don't plan to go anywhere.

MARTINEZ: Good, good. Absolutely. All right. So Will, remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Tyler Lipscomb of Athens, Ga. I said, think of a common girl's name. Write it in all capital letters. Rotate one of the letters 90 degrees and another letter 180 degrees, and the result will name a make of car. What is it? Well, the name is Wanda. And you rotate the W and the N, and you get Mazda.

MARTINEZ: Now, this week, we got more than 1,900 responses. And our randomly selected winner is Joan Lysaght from Toledo, Ohio. Congratulations, Joan.

JOAN LYSAGHT: Thank you so much. It's an honor and a thrill to be here and be ready to play.

MARTINEZ: So Joan, how'd you figure it out?

LYSAGHT: Well, I'll tell you what. Usually, when there are two letters that, you know, are going to get switched 180, I always think that it's going to be M and W. I wrote out the whole alphabet. So I knew that we were dealing with an M and W. And then with a 90-degree rotation, I figured it was N and a C or U, you know, that sort of thing. So once I put those five letters in front of me, it just kind of came to me. I usually keep a little notebook at my work and work on it throughout the day.

MARTINEZ: Will, it sounds as if Joan could be our replacement puzzlemaster if we're ever in a pinch.


SHORTZ: Jeez. No, that - she did the puzzle just right.

MARTINEZ: Yeah. Joan, what do you do in Toledo? I've always wanted to go out to Mud Hens baseball game, by the way.

LYSAGHT: Oh, it's so much fun. You should come and go. Mud Hens are absolutely the best thing in the world. We have a great stadium and a great team - you know, minor league to the Tigers. And it's a great thing.

I am a senior manager of client solutions at Opinion Research Corporation.

MARTINEZ: Nice. Joan, are you ready to play The Puzzle?

LYSAGHT: I am. I sure hope I am anyway. Wish me luck.

MARTINEZ: All right. Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Joan and A, I'm going to give you clues for some five-letter words. Switch the second and fourth letters to make a new word that answers the second clue. For example, if I said wager and glide on ice, you would say, stake and skate, switching the T and K of stake to make skate. OK?

LYSAGHT: OK, I got it.

SHORTZ: Here we go. Number one - a Christmas song and reef material.

LYSAGHT: OK, carol.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.

LYSAGHT: And did you say, Reese (ph)?

SHORTZ: Reef, uh-huh - material that's in a reef.

LYSAGHT: Oh, reef - coral.

SHORTZ: Coral is it. Good.

MARTINEZ: (Laughter) That's awesome.


SHORTZ: Number two - versions in the testing stage and the motel in "Psycho."

LYSAGHT: Beta and Bates?

SHORTZ: And plural - Betas and Bates is right.


MARTINEZ: You're fast, Joan. Wow.

SHORTZ: Good. Sheets, pillowcases, etc. and the first leader of the Soviet Union.

LYSAGHT: Linen and Stalin?

SHORTZ: Well, no...


SHORTZ: ...Stalin was not first. But you're almost there.

LYSAGHT: Lenin, Lenin. OK, I'm sorry. Yes, Lenin. Oh, boy.

SHORTZ: Linen and Lenin is right. Trail left by a snail and grin.

LYSAGHT: Slime and smile?

SHORTZ: There you go. A male singing voice and cartridge contents.

LYSAGHT: Cartridge contents.

SHORTZ: And let's say you have a printer cartridge.

LYSAGHT: Ink? No. Let's see - a male singing voice...

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.

LYSAGHT: Alto, bass, tenor...

SHORTZ: What's the - tenor, there you go.

LYSAGHT: ...And toner.

SHORTZ: Tenor and toner is good. A marsh bird...


SHORTZ: ...And backbone.



LYSAGHT: And snipe.

SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one. Your first clue is home, and your second clue is material for a Southwest home.

LYSAGHT: Adobe...


LYSAGHT: ...And abode.

SHORTZ: There you go.

LYSAGHT: Wonderful.

SHORTZ: You did it.

LYSAGHT: That was fun (laughter).

MARTINEZ: Nicely done and thanks for playing our puzzle today. You're going to get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as a - puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at Joan, now what member station do you listen to?

LYSAGHT: I have been a longtime listener and a longtime supporter of WGTE 91.3 in Toledo.

MARTINEZ: All right. Joan Lysaght of Toledo, Ohio, once again, great job, and thanks for playing The Puzzle.

LYSAGHT: Thank you.

MARTINEZ: All right, Will, so what's the next challenge?

SHORTZ: Yeah, it comes from Martin Eiger of Montville, N.J. And he's a member of the National Puzzlers' League. He's here at the convention in Boston this weekend. Take a certain seven-letter word, remove the first letter and you get a six-letter synonym of that word. And the letter you removed is an abbreviation for the opposite of both words. What words are these? So again - certain seven-letter word, remove the first letter, and you get a six letter synonym of that word. And the letter you removed is an abbreviation for the opposite of both words.

What words are these?

MARTINEZ: All right. When you have the answer, go to our website to and click on, Submit Your Answer link. Just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, July 13 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Leave a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you're the winner, we're going to 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. Will, thanks so much. Enjoy the convention.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, A.


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