Sunday Puzzle: Holy Moly, It's Another Familiar Phrase Try to solve this week's puzzle where every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with H- and the second word starts MO-.
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Sunday Puzzle: Holy Moly, It's Another Familiar Phrase

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Sunday Puzzle: Holy Moly, It's Another Familiar Phrase

Sunday Puzzle: Holy Moly, It's Another Familiar Phrase

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


It's officially September, and summer is dawning on its final days. Sigh. But you know what's popular every season? Of course, it's The Puzzle.


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

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu. Welcome back.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Thank you. It is good to be back. What was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes. I said, think of a common, two-word expression in eight letters that uses all five vowels, A, E, I, O and U. And I said it has only three consonants, one of which is repeated. I said the first word in the expression has two letters. And the second word has six letters. What expression is it? And it is au revoir.


SHORTZ: That wasn't very good French, was it? Au revoir. Even that wasn't very good.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Au revoir. Au revoir, yes.

SHORTZ: That's better.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes - meaning, until we meet again, the way that the French say goodbye. This week, we received about 450 correct responses. Our randomly selected winner is Colby Quintaro of Richlands, N.C. Congratulations, Colby.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: I understand that you are right now at your high school...

QUINTARO: Yes, I am.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And that you have a guest, I think, with you. Who's with you?

QUINTARO: It is my English teacher.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And her name is Cynthia Tucker. Cynthia, are you there?

CYNTHIA TUCKER: Yes. I'm on the line, Lulu, and all out of sorts. I'm such a fan.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Tell me exactly how you were brought into this.

TUCKER: I'm a schoolteacher. And I started using The Puzzle with all of my students as a brain break on Monday morning. Well, this is the first time in 12 years anybody has gotten a call. And I am so excited. So I just want to do a shoutout to Richlands High School. It is just so exciting for all of us here.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, I'm sure. Colby, what grade are you in?

QUINTARO: I'm a sophomore.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're a sophomore. OK. Are you ready to play the puzzle, both of you?


QUINTARO: Yes, I am.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Here we go.

SHORTZ: All right. Today's theme is HMOs. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with H and the second word starts M-O. For example, if I said wow or gadzooks, you might say holy moly - starting with H. And the second word starts M-O. Here's number one. Payment to keep someone from talking.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: We heard you there, Mrs. Tucker.


TUCKER: Sorry.

SHORTZ: Go ahead and say it, though.

TUCKER: Hush money.

SHORTZ: Hush money is correct. Number two - "Friday The 13th" or "Nightmare On Elm Street."

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What is that? H and then M-O.

TUCKER: Horror - a horror movie?

SHORTZ: A horror movie. Good.

QUINTARO: Oh, I get it now.

TUCKER: (Laughter).

SHORTZ: Good. Lunar phase midway between the first and last quarter.

QUINTARO: A half-moon?

SHORTZ: Half-moon. Good job.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job, Colby.

SHORTZ: Everest is part of this range.

QUINTARO: The Himalayan Mountains.

SHORTZ: That's it. Himalayan Mountains. Good.


TUCKER: Woo-hoo.



SHORTZ: State capital northeast of Boise, Idaho.

QUINTARO: I don't know this one.

TUCKER: Is it Helena, Mont.?

SHORTZ: That is it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm glad you as a teacher know that.


TUCKER: I was a little nervous there for a second.

SHORTZ: Here's a harder one. Nisan, Shvat or Adar.

QUINTARO: I have no idea.

SHORTZ: Here's the clue again. Nisan, Shvat or Adar.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is hard. I used to live in Israel, so this is hard.

TUCKER: Well, you got me stumped.

SHORTZ: All right. Go ahead, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hebrew month.

SHORTZ: Those are Hebrew months. That's correct.


SHORTZ: A group of atoms that has H2 in its symbol.

TUCKER: Sounds like water. H2O?

SHORTZ: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And there's a subscript, too, of course. So, first of all, what is a group of atoms starting with M-O?

TUCKER: Oh, a molecule. A water molecule?

SHORTZ: Yeah. And then you need an H.

QUINTARO: Hydrogen molecule?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes. You got it right, Colby.

SHORTZ: There we go. Two heads - you got it. Hydrogen molecule is right.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Working together - I love it.

SHORTZ: Upper part of a barn where bales are stored.

TUCKER: The hay...


TUCKER: ...Something. I don't know.

SHORTZ: Since I grew up on a farm, I know this. It's a haymow - M-O-W.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: Never heard of that.

SHORTZ: OK. Here's your next one. A styling product.


SHORTZ: Yes. And what's that thick stuff you'd put in your hair?


TUCKER: Mousse?


SHORTZ: Hair mousse is it. And here's your last one.

TUCKER: (Laughter).

SHORTZ: Alter ego of Miley Stewart on a Disney Channel teen sitcom.

TUCKER: Hannah...

QUINTARO: Hannah Montana.

TUCKER: There you go (laughter).

SHORTZ: Hannah Montana is it. Good job.

TUCKER: Awesome.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That was really good. Miss Cynthia Tucker, thank you for playing The Puzzle - and Colby Quintaro of Richlands, N.C.

TUCKER: Thank you so much, Will and Lulu. That was so much fun. It was awesome.

QUINTARO: It was pretty cool. I've never been on the radio before. So it was pretty cool.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Well, you guys did a great job. It was really fun to have you both on. 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 What's next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yeah. It comes from listener Patrick Berry (ph) of Jasper, Ala., who had that clever "American Dad" plus C equals "Candid Camera" anagram a few weeks ago. And it's another anagram this week. Rearrange the 15 letters of Cool Hit Fare in LA to name a famous song that's appropriate to the given phrase. And that's Cool Hit Fare - F-A-R-E - in LA. Rearrange those 15 letters to name a famous song that's appropriate to this phrase. What song is it?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have your 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, September 7 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 puzzle master, Will Shortz. Will, thanks so much.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.


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