Sunday Puzzle: Wehn Wrods Get Rearearngd Puzzlemaster Will Shortz challenges Lulu-Garcia Navarro and Patricia Wheeler of Orlando to a challenge involving rearranging letters to make opposite words.
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Sunday Puzzle: Wehn Wrods Get Rearearngd

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Sunday Puzzle: Wehn Wrods Get Rearearngd

Sunday Puzzle: Wehn Wrods Get Rearearngd

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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This past week, the French celebrated Bastille Day, which kicked off the French Revolution. Here at NPR, though, we bring our own fireworks with The Puzzle.


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: So last week you were a program director for the National Puzzlers' League convention. I can imagine that you were mobbed. You were a celebrity. Everyone wanted your autograph.

How was it?

SHORTZ: Well, I don't know about that. But...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Is that what happens there? People don't just, like - Will, Will - it's not like a Beatles concert?


SHORTZ: There are so many brilliant people at the convention, it's kind of nice just to be one of the group. I just tell you, the National Puzzlers' League is the world's oldest puzzlers organization - goes back to 1883. Our Boston convention was our biggest one ever...


SHORTZ: ...About 220 people from all over the U.S. and Canada. And if anyone is interested, next year's convention will be in Milwaukee.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, now you know. Will, remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from listener Martin Eiger of Montville, N.J. And I said, 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?

Well, the words are factual and actual. And F is the abbreviation for false, which is the opposite of factual and actual.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This week, we got more than 200 responses. And our randomly selected winner is Patricia Wheeler of Orlando, Fla.

Congratulations, Patricia.

PATRICIA WHEELER: Thank you very much.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So how did you figure it out?

WHEELER: It wasn't easy. This one - I worked until Wednesday evening to finally come up with this one. I started with the end, the abbreviations, and just kept chugging away till I got it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're obviously from Florida, which is my home state. So I'm happy to welcome you to The Puzzle. What do you do?

WHEELER: I'm a pediatric geneticist.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, what is that?

WHEELER: So I'm a physician who diagnosis and manages the care of people with genetic disorders, like Down syndrome or a thousand others.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, OK. All right. Well, Patricia, are you ready to play The Puzzle?


GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK, great. Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right. Patricia, I'm going to give you a four-letter word and a five-letter word. Rearrange the letters in each one to make two opposites. For example, if I said post, P-O-S-T, and tarts, T-A-R-T-S, you would say stop and start. OK?


SHORTZ: Number one is slot, S-L-O-T and fondu, F-O-N-D-U.

WHEELER: Lots and...

SHORTZ: That's it. Oh, not lots, no.

WHEELER: Not lots, not lots.

SHORTZ: Switch those last two letters. Reverse the last two letters.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: You have one...

SHORTZ: Oh, no.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...Of these in train stations.

WHEELER: Lost...


WHEELER: ...And found. That works. OK.

SHORTZ: Yes, lost and found is it. Number two is ludo, L-U-D-O, and quite, Q-U-I-T-E.

WHEELER: Oh, Ludo, L - oh - loud and quiet.

SHORTZ: There you go.


SHORTZ: Rove. Rove, R-O-V-E, and nuder, N-U-D-E-R.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What word is that?

WHEELER: Over (laughter)...

SHORTZ: More nude.


WHEELER: Over and...

SHORTZ: I was more nude this morning than I was last night. How's that?


WHEELER: Over and under.

SHORTZ: Rove and - over and under, good.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job (laughter).

SHORTZ: Dink, D-I-N-K, and lucre, L-U-C-R-E.

WHEELER: Kind and cruel.

SHORTZ: There you go. Tale, T-A-L-E, and relay, R-E-L-A-Y.

WHEELER: Tale and relay - teal?

SHORTZ: No, not teal. It's another anagram of that.

WHEELER: A-T-L-E - oh, I'm not getting this one. Lulu, do you have...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: A clue - so I am often the first thing in the morning and never the second thing.


WHEELER: So late and early.


WHEELER: There we go.

SHORTZ: Late and early is right. Vase, V-A-S-E, and pends, P-E-N-D-S.

WHEELER: Save and...

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.

WHEELER: (Unintelligible).

SHORTZ: Yeah, that's right. What's the opposite of save?



WHEELER: That was - yeah.

SHORTZ: You can save money or spend money.


SHORTZ: Skin, S-K-I-N, and aloft, A-L-O-F-T.

WHEELER: Inks and..

SHORTZ: Yeah - no. That is an anagram, but it's not inks.


SHORTZ: Try another one.

WHEELER: That's an anagram. But that does not go with aloft.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Boats do this.

WHEELER: Float - so float and sink.


SHORTZ: Yeah, there you go. And here's your last one - file, F-I-L-E, and hated, H-A-T-E-D.

WHEELER: Um - no, life and...


WHEELER: And H-A-T-E-D - death.

SHORTZ: Life and death is it. Good job.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's one way to end The Puzzle. Nicely done.

SHORTZ: (Laughter).


WHEELER: It was a little tricky, but that was fun.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did it really well. 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 And Patricia, what member station do you listen to?

WHEELER: I'm a member of WMFE Orlando.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Patricia Wheeler of Orlando, Fla., thank you for playing The Puzzle today.

WHEELER: Thank you.

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

SHORTZ: Yeah, it comes from a listener named Dave who's from the city and state that's the answer to this puzzle. Name a U.S. city and its state, 12 letters altogether. Change two letters in the state's name, and the result will be the two-word title of a classic novel. What is it? So again, name a U.S. city and its state, 12 letters altogether. Change two letters in the state's name. The result will be the two-word title of a classic novel. What novel is it?

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, July 20, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And 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. Will, thanks so much.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.


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