Sunday Puzzle: Spanish Anagrams NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro plays the puzzle with puzzle master Will Shortz and this week's winner, Karen Sandman of Acton, Massachusetts.

Sunday Puzzle: Spanish Anagrams

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And it's time to play The Puzzle.


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

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey there, Lulu. First of all, it was great to see you at the Library of Congress last Tuesday.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It was so great.

SHORTZ: Loved it. And second, I understand you have an announcement to make.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I do. I have some news to share. After 17 wonderful, exciting years at NPR and five years as the host of WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY, I am leaving NPR on a new adventure. My last show is going to be October 17. So, Will, you're not quite through with me yet. I still get to sing some more clues, I hope.

SHORTZ: I hope so. I'll try to do that.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) All right. And thanks so much to Will and to our listeners and our beloved puzzle players for the fun we've had. It's been an honor and a privilege. Can you remind us of last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from listener Rachel Cole of Oakland, Calif. I said, name something grown in a garden. Change the second letter and double the third letter to get an adjective that describes this thing. What is it? And the garden thing is a radish. Change the vowel, and it is reddish.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received 260 correct responses, and the winner is Karen Sandman of Acton, Mass. Congratulations and welcome to the program.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: How did you figure it out?

SANDMAN: Well, I went backwards, and I thought about descriptive words with double letters. The first set of descriptive words I happened to think about were colors. Reddish sort of came to me, and then I kind of got it right away then.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You were in the right place for it. And I understand that you play The Puzzle with your daughter.

SANDMAN: Yes, she and I play every weekend.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And what was it like when you got the call?

SANDMAN: I was so surprised and so excited, and I think I've been unable to relax ever since.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: It'll be fine. All right. Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Karen. Today's puzzle involves some Spanish words. And Lulu, you're going to help me with this. Karen, you'll be given some common five-letter verbs in Spanish. Rearrange the letters in each one to spell a common uncapitalized word in English - no plurals or verbs formed by adding s or ed. Lulu will read the Spanish words. And in case you don't know, I'll tell you what they mean in English. For example, if the first word were...


SHORTZ: ...R-O-B-A-R, which means to steal, you would say arbor.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So it's basically anagrams - right? - but just with Spanish.

SHORTZ: It's just five-letter anagrams. No. 1.


SHORTZ: That's E-C-H-A-R. It means to throw. Rearrange the letters of echar.


SHORTZ: There you go. Reach - excellent. No. 2.


SHORTZ: Which means to touch. It's T-O-C-A-R.

SANDMAN: Carrot?

SHORTZ: That would need two r's.

SANDMAN: Oh, right.

SHORTZ: It's an occupation.


SHORTZ: Actor - excellent. No. 3.


SHORTZ: That's T-O-S-E-R. It means to cough.


SHORTZ: Excellent. No. 4.


SHORTZ: T-E-N-E-R. It means to have. Start with a vowel.

SANDMAN: Oh, enter.

SHORTZ: Enter is it. Here's your next one.


SHORTZ: Means to wash, L-A-V-A-R. Even though these are only five letters, they can be surprisingly hard to see. Start with the L.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It has to do with insects.

SANDMAN: Oh, larva.

SHORTZ: Larva is it. Good. Here's your next one.


SHORTZ: That's A-B-R-I-R. It means to open.


SHORTZ: Excellent.


SHORTZ: That's S-O-L-E-R. It means to usually do.


SHORTZ: But no plurals or verbs formed by adding s.

SANDMAN: Oh. Oh, OK. Loser.

SHORTZ: Excellent, which you are not. Here's your next one.


SHORTZ: That's H-A-B-E-R. It means to have.


SHORTZ: Excellent. Here's your next one.


SHORTZ: P-O-N-E-R. It means to put.


SHORTZ: Prone - you got it.


SHORTZ: D-E-C-I-R. It means to say or tell.

SANDMAN: Let's see, I can't say riced, right?

SHORTZ: That's right.


SHORTZ: Uh-huh, but that's also past tense - can't say that. Think of something to drink, especially in the fall.

SANDMAN: Oh, cider.

SHORTZ: Cider is it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And here's the last one, odiar.

SHORTZ: O-D-I-A-R. It means to hate.


SHORTZ: You got it. How's that for an appropriate one to end on?

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

SANDMAN: I feel grateful that I got to spend my five minutes of fame with the two of you.


SHORTZ: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We are very grateful that you came on. 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 And Karen, which member station do you listen to?

SANDMAN: I listen to WBUR in Boston.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is Karen Sandman of Acton, Mass. Thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

SANDMAN: Thank you.

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

SHORTZ: Yeah, it comes from listener Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, Calif. Take the common abbreviation for a major American city, insert it inside an airport code for that city, and you'll name a flower. What flower is it? So again, a common abbreviation for a major American city. Insert that inside an airport code for that city, and you'll name a flower. What flower 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, September 30 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Don't forget to 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 if you pick up the phone, you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. His name is Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.


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