Sunday Puzzle: That's just capital NPR's Don Gonyea plays the puzzle with puzzlemaster Will Shortz and listener Cat Dickey of New Orleans.

Sunday Puzzle: That's just capital

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And it's time to play The Puzzle.


GONYEA: Joining us is Will Shortz. He is puzzle editor of The New York Times and puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION. Always good to talk to you, Will.


GONYEA: So remind us, please, of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Hannah Wilson of Chicago. I said, think of a common boy's name and a common girl's name that are pronounced the same, even though they have only two letters in common, and then said, if you reverse the boy's name phonetically, you'll get another common girl's name. What names are these? Well, the first two names are Aaron, A-A-R-O-N, and Erin, E-R-I-N. And I apologize to anyone to whom those names are not pronounced the same. To me, they both have a short E sound as the vowel. And if you reverse Aaron - the boy's name Aaron - you get Nora, N-O-R-A.

GONYEA: Excellent. Well, we received over 3,000 correct responses, and the winner is Cat Dickey from New Orleans, La. Congratulations, Cat, and welcome to the show.

CAT DICKEY: Thank you for having me.

GONYEA: OK. Tell us how you figured this one out.

DICKEY: I have several very good friends that are named Erin that spell it in each of those ways.

GONYEA: (Laughter) All right, that works.

DICKEY: So it didn't take much.

GONYEA: And tell us what you do when you're not playing The Puzzle.

DICKEY: I'm a grad student at Tulane University.

GONYEA: Excellent. OK, Cat, are you ready to play the puzzle?


GONYEA: So, Will, Take it away.

SHORTZ: All right. Cat, today's puzzle involves a kind of wordplay called consonyms (ph). I'm going to give you a word or phrase. You name a world capital whose name has the same consonants in the same order with no other consonants. For example, if I said berate, B-E-R-A-T-E, you would say Beirut as in the capital of Lebanon because both berate and Beirut have the consonants B, R and T in that order.


SHORTZ: Here we go. Number one is porous, P-O-R-O-U-S.

DICKEY: Paris.

SHORTZ: You got it. No. 2 is leaned in, L-E-A-N-E-D I-N.

DICKEY: London?

SHORTZ: You got it. Doubloon, D-O-U-B-...

DICKEY: Dublin.

SHORTZ: ...Oh, so fast. The nose, T-H-E N-O-S-E. You want to put a vowel before the T.

DICKEY: Athens.

SHORTZ: Athens, Greece, you got it. Circus, C-I-R-C-U-S. All right, here's your hint - South America.

DICKEY: Oh, I'm not going to be good at those.

SHORTZ: It's a capital you know, I think.

GONYEA: It's a rhythmic name.

DICKEY: A rhythmic name?

SHORTZ: (laughing) It's the - one vowel you insert three times.

DICKEY: Oh. I'm absolutely blanking.

SHORTZ: I'll tell you. Venezuela?

DICKEY: Caracas.

SHORTZ: You got it, Caracas. Heaven, H-E-A-V-E-N. It does start with an H.

DICKEY: Havana.

SHORTZ: Havana, Cuba, yeah. Lesbian, L-E-S-B-I-A-N.

DICKEY: Lisbon.

SHORTZ: You got it. Sontag, S-O-N-T-A-G.

DICKEY: Singapore. Seoul. Sontag.

SHORTZ: Starts with an S.

DICKEY: Can I get a region?

SHORTZ: Yeah, your - the dreaded South America.


DICKEY: Oh, it's been a while since I've had that class. Santiago?

SHORTZ: There you go.


SHORTZ: Santiago, Chile, is correct.


SHORTZ: How about pierogi, P-I-E-R-O-G-I. So you're working with P, R and G.

DICKEY: Prague.

SHORTZ: Prague, Czech Republic, is right. And your last one is beleaguered, B-E-L-E-A-G-U-E-R-E-D. And your consonants are B, L, G, R and D.

DICKEY: Does it begin with a B?


DICKEY: Belgrade?

SHORTZ: Belgrade, you got it. Not bad at all.

GONYEA: You did extremely well. And may I say this is a hard puzzle, so congratulations. How do you feel?

DICKEY: (Laughter) I'm impressed with myself.


GONYEA: Well, for playing the 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, Cat, which member station do you listen to in New Orleans?


GONYEA: Of course. Of course. Cat Dickey from New Orleans, thank you so much for playing the puzzle today.

DICKEY: Thank you for having me.

GONYEA: OK, Will. What is next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Alan Hochbaum of Duluth, Ga. Name part of the human body. Insert the name of another part of the human body inside that first word, and you'll get a brand name found at the supermarket. What is it? So again, part of the human body. Insert that inside the name of another part of the human body, and you get a brand name found at the supermarket. What brand is it?

GONYEA: 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, February 24 at 3 p.m. Eastern. And don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you. If you're the winner, we'll give you a call, and if you pick up the phone, you'll get to play The Puzzle on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION, Will Shortz. Will, thank you.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Don.


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