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.
NPR logo

Sunday Puzzle: You're Halfway There

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/686968039/686980939" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Sunday Puzzle: You're Halfway There

Sunday Puzzle: You're Halfway There

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/686968039/686980939" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

And it's time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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.

(LAUGHTER)

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.

SELLECK: OK.

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.

SELLECK: Jeez.

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...

SHORTZ: Yeah.

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 npr.org/puzzle. 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 npr.org/puzzle 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.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2019 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.