Sunday Puzzle: A Piece Of Cake NPR's Sacha Pfeiffer and Weekend Edition puzzlemaster Will Shortz play a word game with WAMU listener Ryan Saunders of Washington, D.C.
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Sunday Puzzle: A Piece Of Cake

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Sunday Puzzle: A Piece Of Cake

Sunday Puzzle: A Piece Of Cake

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It's time to play The Puzzle.


PFEIFFER: Joining us 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, Sacha. Welcome to the show.

PFEIFFER: Thank you. And would you remind us? What was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes. I said name a country. Remove its last letter. The remaining letters can be rearranged to spell a word that means country in that country's main language. What country is it? Well, the country is Spain. You do that operation. And you get pais, P-A-I-S, which means country in Spanish.

PFEIFFER: We received more than 2,400. And our winner this week is Ryan Saunders of Washington, D.C. Ryan, congratulations and welcome to the program.

RYAN SAUNDERS: Oh, thank you - great to be here.

PFEIFFER: What was your strategy for figuring out the answer?

SAUNDERS: So I thought of the only language that I could immediately translate country into. So I thought of Spain as the main place for Spanish language, dropped the N and immediately saw the four letters. And it all made sense from my high school and limited proficiency in Spanish.


PFEIFFER: The benefits of having another language in addition to our native one.

SAUNDERS: Exactly.

PFEIFFER: And Ryan, I hear you're a musician.

SAUNDERS: Yeah. I play a guitar and ukulele and piano and currently am trying to entice my 16-month-old to pick up the drums.


PFEIFFER: (Laughter) I imagine that's not hard to get a 16-month-old to do.

SAUNDERS: Oh, yeah. She's great. She'll beat on anything and is very - she's taken up time. She's getting 4/4 time down, so we're good.

PFEIFFER: Good - Ryan, are you ready to play The Puzzle?


PFEIFFER: OK. So, Will, what do you have for us this week?

SHORTZ: All right, Ryan and Sacha, every answer today is a word or name in which the second syllable sounds like the letter K. And the syllable is always accented. And there's at least one syllable after it. For example, if I said flowering tree that grows in warm climates, you would say acacia. So here's number one - time off from work when you travel somewhere.

SAUNDERS: Vacation.

SHORTZ: Vacation is it. Number two - Mount Etna or Mount St. Helens.

SAUNDERS: Volcano. That's it.

SHORTZ: Seventeen-year locust.

SAUNDERS: Oh, cicada.

SHORTZ: Cicada is it - distracting from real life as fantasy novels.

SAUNDERS: Distracting from real life as fantasy novels - a placation. I don't know. It's - no, no.

SHORTZ: It's a form of entertainment - blank entertainment. When you just want to forget everything in life and go into fantasy land. I'll tell you that one. It's escapist.

SAUNDERS: Oh, gotcha (ph).

SHORTZ: Escapist. All right, try this one - a place.

PFEIFFER: A place - that's the only clue.

SAUNDERS: Location.

SHORTZ: Yeah. We're not looking for - I'm looking for a synonym of place.

PFEIFFER: OK. I think Ryan just got it.

SHORTZ: Oh, sorry.

SAUNDERS: Location.

SHORTZ: Location is it - one's profession.

SAUNDERS: Vocation.

SHORTZ: That's it - Irish dramatist Sean...


SHORTZ: That's it - national park along the coast of Maine.


SHORTZ: Good - kind of map projection.

SAUNDERS: Oh, I - I'm going to blank on this one.

SHORTZ: It's that old-fashioned thing...

SAUNDERS: Mercator.

SHORTZ: Oh, you got it. Yeah. Say it again.

SAUNDERS: Mercator.

SHORTZ: Mercator - yeah. It's amazing what's in the back of the brain.

SAUNDERS: (Laughter) Yeah. There you go.

SHORTZ: Try this one - dirty tricks or sleight of hand.

SAUNDERS: OK, so dirty tricks...

SHORTZ: Starts with C.

SAUNDERS: Another blank on this one. I'm going to - all right - dirty trick or sleight of hand.

PFEIFFER: Did you tell us it started with the letter C?

SHORTZ: Yes. How about CH?

SAUNDERS: Chicanery - no.

SHORTZ: Chicanery - yeah. Good one.

SAUNDERS: Chicanery - there you go.

PFEIFFER: Good one.

SHORTZ: Lacking the skill to do something.

SAUNDERS: Lacking the skill to something.

SHORTZ: Starts with I.


PFEIFFER: Can you give us a second letter?

SHORTZ: Yeah, second letter is going to really help. But it's an N - IN.

SAUNDERS: Incapable.

SHORTZ: Incapable is it. OK. Here's your last one - occurring naturally on a 24-hour cycle. And people talk about it. It's a kind of rhythm. Blank rhythm.

SAUNDERS: Oh, cicada - circacian (ph).

PFEIFFER: Circadian.

SHORTZ: Circadian is it - good.

PFEIFFER: Ryan, you needed very little help on this one. You were carrying the show.

SAUNDERS: (Laughter) There was some that I appreciated the combination and collaboration. It was helpful.

PFEIFFER: You're really good at it. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at Ryan, which member station do you listen to?

SAUNDERS: WAMU in Washington, D.C.

PFEIFFER: Ryan Saunders of Washington, D.C., thanks for playing The Puzzle.

SAUNDERS: Thank you very much.

PFEIFFER: And Will, tell us next week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. Think of a word for a deceitful person. Move the middle letter to the end. And you'll get another word for a deceitful person. What words are these? So again, a word for a deceitful person - move the middle letter to the end, and you'll get another word for a deceitful person. What words are these?

PFEIFFER: And when you have the answer go to our website and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Remember; just one entry please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, April 18 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. 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, thank you.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Sacha.


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