Sunday Puzzle: Power Of The Pen NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro and Weekend Edition Puzzlemaster Will Shortz challenge KUWR listener Patrick Ivers of Laramie, Wyo.
NPR logo

Sunday Puzzle: Power Of The Pen

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Sunday Puzzle: Power Of The Pen

Sunday Puzzle: Power Of The Pen

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


This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lulu Garcia-Navarro. And it's time to play The Puzzle.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's a puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION'S puzzlemaster.

Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. I said there is a standard two-letter abbreviation for an English word that has an unusual property. The first letter of the abbreviation is the second letter of the word. And the second letter of the abbreviation does not appear in the word at all. What's the word? And what's its abbreviation? Well, the answer is prescription. And abbreviated, it's Rx.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received over 1,000 responses. And our winner this week is Patrick Ivers of Laramie, Wyo. Congratulations.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: So how'd you figure it out, Patrick?

IVERS: I had it within seconds. It's just one of those miraculous answers that popped into my head. It's happened a couple other times with Will's puzzles.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, so you got it fast. All right, Patrick. Are you ready to play The Puzzle?

IVERS: I - in Portuguese, (speaking Portuguese).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter, speaking Portuguese).

IVERS: I think in Spanish it's something like, (speaking Spanish). Is that right?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Speaking Spanish). Yes.

IVERS: Yes. Yes.


IVERS: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Awesome - thank you. We always enjoy languages on NPR. All right. Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Patrick. I'm afraid there's no either Spanish or Portuguese today. But it's not a very hard puzzle. It's called Power Of The Pen. Every answer is a word containing the accented syllable PEN. For example, if I said terrific, you would say stupendous. Here's number one - a 1-cent coin.

IVERS: Penny.

SHORTZ: That's it.

IVERS: Pennies.

SHORTZ: Yeah, Penny is it - a part added on at the end of a book.

IVERS: Appendix.

SHORTZ: That's it - a five-sided figure.

IVERS: Pentagon.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh - straps to hold one's pants up.

IVERS: Suspenders.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh - part of a grandfather clock that swings.

IVERS: Pendulum.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh - pricey.

IVERS: Expensive.

SHORTZ: That's it - money for a retired person.

IVERS: Pension.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh - expressing sincere remorse.

IVERS: Pensiveness.

SHORTZ: No, that would mean thoughtfulness. Someone who expresses sincere remorse - they're sorry for something. You would say they are - what?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: In religious terms, they always tell you to do this...


GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...If you've committed a sin.

IVERS: Penitent - I'm guessing at this point (laughter).

SHORTZ: That's close. I'm just going to tell you. It's repentant, which is...

IVERS: Oh, repent - OK.

SHORTZ: ...Probably related to penitent. How about a city on the Florida panhandle?

IVERS: Pensacola.

SHORTZ: That's it - capital of Cambodia. It's hyphenated.

IVERS: Phnom Penh.

SHORTZ: That's it - facility where drugs are given out. There might be one in a hospital or a military facility.

IVERS: I can see it almost (laughter), but I can't say it.

SHORTZ: Yeah. That's tough. It's a dispensary. All right.

IVERS: Dispensary - right. All right.

SHORTZ: That's it. All right - what a red flag means in sports.

IVERS: Penalty.

SHORTZ: That's it - drug of forgetfulness in the "Odyssey." Here's your vocabulary tester for the day - drug of forgetfulness in the "Odyssey."

IVERS: Oh, they were in that field of - first letter?

SHORTZ: N - N as is in Nancy.

IVERS: No, it's not going to come.

SHORTZ: That's a tough one. It's nepenthe - N-E-P-E-N-T-H-E.

IVERS: Nepenthe.

SHORTZ: And your last one - it's an easy one - blank day, also known as the Fourth of July.

IVERS: Independence Day.

SHORTZ: That's it - good job.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did a great job. How do you feel?

IVERS: (Laughter) I wish I got the others right, especially nepenthe - would have been good to remember.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Aw. Well, I had never heard of nepenthe so...

IVERS: I've read "The Odyssey" a number of times, so...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I know, but it's a small thing in there.

SHORTZ: (Laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's hard to recall. That's why, you know, we have someone as skilled as Will doing this because he comes up with the hard ones to bring it home.

SHORTZ: (Laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But you did great. And 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 And, Patrick, what's your member station?

IVERS: KUWR - and my wife and I are longtime sustaining members.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's fantastic. Patrick Ivers of Laramie, Wyo., thank you for playing The Puzzle.

IVERS: Thank you for having me on.

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

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from Joseph Young of St. Cloud, Minn., who conducts the blog Puzzleria. And it's a little tricky. When you remove the last letter from Germany, Sweden or Somalia, what remains is a native of that country. What country, if you remove its last letter, also leaves a native but only after you rearrange its remaining letters? So again, what country, if you remove its last letter, also leaves a native but only after you rearrange its remaining letters?

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, July 11 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 very own puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.


Copyright © 2019 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at 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.