Sunday Puzzle: Three Words. Two Homophones. One Conjunction. NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro and Will Shortz, The New York Times' crossword editor and Weekend Edition puzzlemaster, play this week's puzzle with Jonas Singer of Washington, D.C.
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Sunday Puzzle: Three Words. Two Homophones. One Conjunction.

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Sunday Puzzle: Three Words. Two Homophones. One Conjunction.

Sunday Puzzle: Three Words. Two Homophones. One Conjunction.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Awards season begins tonight with the Emmys. But you know who always gives an award-winning performance - people who play The Puzzle. Joining me as always is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Will, good morning.

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

GARCIA-NAVARRO:

Thank you. I am definitely, at this point, glad to be back and not in Miami during a hurricane. OK, will you remind us of last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Al Gori of Cozy Lake, N.J. I said think of a famous quotation with eight words. The initial letters of the first four words themselves spell a word. And the initial letters of the last four words spell another word. And I said both words rhyme with jab. That was a hint. I asked, what quotation is it?

Well, the answer is float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, of course, from Mohammad Ali. And those words are flab and slab. And jab was an extra hint to boxing.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This week we received about 550 correct responses. And today we have a very special and unusual treat for us here in the studio. I get to actually meet our randomly selected winner face to face. He's here. Hi.

JONAS SINGER: Hello, thanks for having me. I appreciate being here.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You are Jonas singer of Washington, D.C. Congratulations.

SINGER: Thank you very much. Very exciting. I'm glad to win.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, how did you figure out the answer this week?

SINGER: Well, you know, it's funny. I didn't even realize jab was an allusion to the quote until Will just said that. It took, you know, all of five seconds. I always loved acrostics and always loved Muhammad Ali. And the hint of jab - A-B - so I was just thinking of what's A B? Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. And there it was. Got on my phone, sent it in and then got a call yesterday - very, very exciting.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I have to say I was a bit tentative about having an actual puzzle player in the studio because you guys are very committed to The Puzzle. And so I was wondering if you had any questions for Will?

SINGER: So my question for Will was - I'm a big sports fan. And one of the things in sports right now is all these concerns about performance-enhancing drugs and concussions. So I was wonder for Will if there's ever been scandals of that nature in the puzzle world?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I love this.

SHORTZ: (Laughter) I have never heard of that. But I'm going to have to look into that. There have been some players who've been surprisingly good.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Now you're going to bring an entirely new dimension to this.

SHORTZ: That's right.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Here we go.

SHORTZ: All right, Jonas, every answer today is a familiar three-word phrase that has and in the middle. I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence contains two words that have homophones that will complete the phrase. For example, if I said a cane makes an infirm person able to walk, you would say cain and abel.

SINGER: OK.

SHORTZ: Number one, I found a beautiful reed on the river's right bank.

SINGER: Right and left?

SHORTZ: No. Remember it's going to be a homophone. So I found a beautiful reed on the river's right bank.

SINGER: OK, so read and...

SHORTZ: And complete the phrase. Read and...

SINGER: Read and write.

SHORTZ: Read and write. There the write was from the right bank. OK, you're off and running. Number two, some friends of mine say hi's in Lowe's housewares department.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's right in there.

SINGER: High and low?

SHORTZ: Highs and lows is right. The musician composed a new hymn for the Ben Hur soundtrack.

SINGER: Him and hers.

SHORTZ: That's it. The woodworker won a chisel and awl in a lottery.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's the musketeers. The three musketeers - they - that's their slogan.

SINGER: All - one - all for one and one for all.

SHORTZ: So those are the words. It's one and all.

SINGER: One and all, OK.

SHORTZ: There you go. A vegetable shortage of peas and corn caused long queues at the supermarket.

SINGER: Ps and Qs.

SHORTZ: The chef had parsley, sage and thyme tied up in bundles.

SINGER: Time and...

SHORTZ: And you say time and something wait for no man.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's a seafaring analogy.

SINGER: I'm blanking here.

SHORTZ: Yeah. Maybe you don't know that phrase. Go ahead, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Time and tide.

SHORTZ: Time and tide wait for no man. That's it. The field was mown after the grass had grown too high.

SINGER: Moan and...

SHORTZ: Yes?

SINGER: What is it? Cry and moan.

SHORTZ: No. The field was mown after the grass had grown to high.

SINGER: Help me out here, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So if someone is...

SINGER: Moan and cry?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, kind of. Like, if you've got a little kid and they're always, like, whining.

SINGER: Moan and whine? Whine and moan?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Groan.

SINGER: Groan - moan and groan. There you go. Grass grows.

SHORTZ: Moan and groan is it. Good one. Bret Harte was the sole author of "The Luck Of Roaring Camp."

SINGER: Heart and soul.

SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one. You can always reach me by cell phone.

SINGER: Buy and sell.

SHORTZ: That's it. Good job.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, there you go. That was great.

SINGER: Finish strong.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Finish strong. You brought it in at the end. That was great. How do you feel?

SINGER: I feel pretty good. That was a little tougher than I was hoping, but I appreciate it, Will. And thanks so much for having me here in the studio.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin. And I will give it to you personally in the studio as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And, Stephen, what member station do you listen to?

SINGER: I am a sustaining member of WAMU, here in Washington, D.C.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Jonas Singer of Washington, D.C., thank you for coming in to play The Puzzle.

SINGER: Thanks so much for having me.

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

SHORTZ: Yeah. This puzzle is for the new school year. Think of two antonyms, each in three letters. Set them side by side. In between them, arrange the letters of Try To Ace in some order. And that's T-R-Y T-O A-C-E. And the result will name someone at school. Who is it?

So, again, two antonyms, each in three letters. Set them side by side. In between, put the letters of Try To Ace in some order. And the result will name someone at school. Who 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. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, September 21 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. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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