Sunday Puzzle: You're Halfway There NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro plays this week's puzzle with puzzlemaster Will Shortz with Jeff Selleck of Alpine, Wyo.
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Sunday Puzzle: You're Halfway There

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Sunday Puzzle: You're Halfway There

Sunday Puzzle: You're Halfway There

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And it's time to play The Puzzle.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us as always is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Good morning, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So what was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener James Matthews of Little Rock, Ark. And it was worded very carefully. I said the challenge is to make a nine-letter word meaning left using only a B and one D. Can you do it? And the answer is abandoned. Something that's been abandoned has been left. And that - if you read those letters in order, it's a B and one - O-N-E - D.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received more than 1,000 responses. And our winner this week is Jeff Selleck of Alpine, Wyo. Congratulations, and welcome to The Puzzle.

JEFF SELLECK: Thank you. Hi, Will. Hi, Lulu.

SHORTZ: Hi there.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hi. So how did you solve it?

SELLECK: Well, my girlfriend - wife Tara and I were out splitting wood. And we've done this a few times - the puzzle there. And I read it to myself. And I said to her, this doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense. So I read it...

SHORTZ: (Laughter).

SELLECK: I read it very slowly. And I said, it seems more like a riddle than a puzzle. And she just reflexively said, is it abandoned? And we thought about it and counted it out and realized, oh. It's written right there, so yeah.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. And what do you do for a living, Jeff?

SELLECK: Well, I am a builder. And in the winter, I also teach skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, which is where you found me.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wow. Take me with you. I know Wyoming has some great ski slopes.

SELLECK: It does. We're in the middle of a quite powerful storm cycle, so skiing's great.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. That's the only place in the country where, actually, storm cycles are a good thing.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: Are you ready to play The Puzzle?

SELLECK: Sure, I am.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Jeff. Every answer today is a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase in which the first part has a long I sound. And the second part has a long E sound. For example, if I said, color akin to chartreuse, you would say, lime green.


SHORTZ: Number one, a dish that's a la mode comes with what?

SELLECK: Ice cream.

SHORTZ: Ice cream is it - an area that may be marked off with police tape.

SELLECK: Crime scene.

SHORTZ: Crime scene, good - to completely remove, as fingerprints from a surface.

SELLECK: Wipe clean.

SHORTZ: That's it - home plate umpire's call immediately before you're out.

SELLECK: Yes, strike three.

SHORTZ: That's it - area beyond where first and second basemen play.

SELLECK: I'd love to say outfield, but that doesn't quite work.

SHORTZ: What part of the outfield?

SELLECK: (Laughter) Ah.

SHORTZ: It's not the left part.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: What's the opposite of left?

SELLECK: Ah, right field.

SHORTZ: Right field is it, good - to transmit an event over the Internet as it occurs.

SELLECK: Live stream.

SHORTZ: That's it. It has needles for leaves.

SELLECK: Oh, pine tree - we have lots of those here.

SHORTZ: I bet you do - piece of paper that records how long a worker spends on a job.

SELLECK: A time sheet.

SHORTZ: Head of a department that puts out conflagrations.

SELLECK: Oh, a fire...


SELLECK: ...Chief.

SHORTZ: Say again.

SELLECK: A fire chief.

SHORTZ: Fire chief is it - not a main thoroughfare.

SELLECK: A side street.

SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one - Colorado summit that completes the phrase blank or bust.

SELLECK: Pikes Peak.

SHORTZ: Pikes Peak is it. Good job.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job. How do you feel?

SELLECK: I feel great.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, you did great. For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as books and games. You can read all about it at And what member station do you listen to?

SELLECK: I listen to KUWJ in Jackson, Wyo., and KUWA in Aspen, Wyo.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Jeff Selleck of Alpine, Wyo., thank you for playing The Puzzle. And enjoy the snow.

SELLECK: Thanks, guys. It's been a pleasure.

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

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Steve Baggish (ph) of Arlington, Mass. Take the name of a classic song that became the signature song of the artist who performed it. It has two words - five letters in the first word, three letters in the second. And these letters can be rearranged to spell two new words. One is a feeling, and the other is an expression of that feeling. What song is it? So again, famous song - it's a signature song of the artist who performed it. Two words - five, three - and the letters can be rearranged to spell two words. One's a feeling, and the other is an expression or what you might do with that feeling. What song is it?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer, go to our website and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Remember - just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, January 24 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. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.


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