Sunday Puzzle: Opposites attract NPR's Sarah McCammon plays the puzzle with winner Benjamin Mousseau from Bellevue, Washington, with puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

Sunday Puzzle: Opposites attract

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And it's time to play The Puzzle.


MCCAMMON: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and puzzlemaster at WEEKEND EDITION. Good to talk to you, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Sarah.

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

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Alan Hochbaum of Duluth, Ga. I said, name part of the human body. Insert the name of another part of the human body, and you'll get a brand name found at the supermarket. What is it? Well, the answer is Charmin. You insert arm inside chin.

MCCAMMON: We received over 900 correct responses, and the winner is Benjamin Mousseau of Bellevue, Wash. Congratulations, Benjamin, and welcome to the show.

BENJAMIN MOUSSEAU: Thank you so much.

MCCAMMON: And I hear you go by Benj (ph). Is that right?

MOUSSEAU: Yeah, that's right.

MCCAMMON: OK, Benj, how did you figure this one out?

MOUSSEAU: Well, I was with some friends at breakfast Sunday morning working on the puzzle together, as we do. And we were going through the different body parts, and then my friend Clarabelle (ph) said chin. I thought of arm, and it sort of just clicked.

MCCAMMON: What do you do when you're not playing The Puzzle?

MOUSSEAU: I'm a first-year undergraduate at Yale, studying Earth and Planetary Sciences. I also like to jump rope and sing songs.

MCCAMMON: Lots of fun stuff. OK, Benj, are you ready to play The Puzzle?

MOUSSEAU: Oh, I suppose I'm not getting any readier.

MCCAMMON: Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Benj. I like your idea of getting together with friends to solve puzzles. That's great. Now, I'm going to give you two five-letter words. Rearrange the letters in one of the words to get an antonym of the other. For example, if I said small and regal - R-E-G-A-L - you would say large because large - that's an anagram of regal, and it's the opposite of small. Which word is the anagram and which is the antonym is for you to discover. Here's No. 1 - lance - L-A-N-C-E - and dirty.

MOUSSEAU: Clean and dirty?

SHORTZ: You got it - clean. No. 2 is lower - L-O-W-E-R. Arise - A-R-I-S-E.

MOUSSEAU: Lower and raise?

SHORTZ: You got it. Bores - B-O-R-E-S - drunk.


SHORTZ: You got it - sober. Wordy - W-O-R-D-Y - and reset - R-E-S-E-T.

MOUSSEAU: Wordy and reset. Could it be - something opposite of wordy, like concise? Maybe not.

SHORTZ: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah.


SHORTZ: Rearrange the letters of reset to get a synonym of concise.

MOUSSEAU: Oh, no. It's not coming to mind (laughter).

SHORTZ: Starts with a T.

MOUSSEAU: Oh, terse.

SHORTZ: Terse - you got it. Those - T-H-O-S-E - sheet - S-H-E-E-T.

MOUSSEAU: That was S-H-E-E-T?

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.

MOUSSEAU: Those and sheet?

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.


SHORTZ: These - yeah, couldn't be simpler. Opposite of those is these. Serve - S-E-R-V-E - prose - P-R-O-S-E.

MOUSSEAU: Verse and prose.

SHORTZ: You got it. Bowel - B-O-W-E-L - above - A-B-O-V-E.

MOUSSEAU: Below and above.

SHORTZ: You got it. Loved - L-O-V-E-D - death - D-E-A-T-H.

MOUSSEAU: Hated and loved.

SHORTZ: You got it. Fried - F-R-I-E-D - hired - H-I-R-E-D.

MOUSSEAU: Fired and hired.

SHORTZ: Wrong - W-R-O-N-G - girth - G-I-R-T-H.

MOUSSEAU: Right and wrong.

SHORTZ: Harps - H-A-R-P-S - blunt - B-L-U-N-T.

MOUSSEAU: Sharp and blunt.

SHORTZ: That's it. Here's your last one. Smart - S-M-A-R-T - needs - N-E-E-D-S.

MOUSSEAU: Smart and dense.

SHORTZ: You got it. Good job.


MCCAMMON: You did great, Benj. How do you feel?

MOUSSEAU: Fulfilled.

MCCAMMON: 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, Benj, which member station do you listen to?

MOUSSEAU: I listen to KNKX from Bellevue, Wash.

MCCAMMON: Benjamin Mousseau from Bellevue, Wash., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

MOUSSEAU: Thank you.

MCCAMMON: OK, Will, tell us about next week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. Like last week, it comes from listener Alan Hochbaum of Duluth, Ga. Name a famous actor - first and last names. Remove the last letter of each name, and you'll be left with an animal and an adjective that describes that animal, respectively. Who's the actor? So again - famous actor, first and last names. Take off the last letter of each name, and you'll be left with an animal and an adjective that describes that animal, respectively. What actor is it?

MCCAMMON: OK, so when you have the answer, go to our website, Click on the Submit Your Answer link. Remember, just one entry, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, March 3 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you. And if you're the winner, we will give you a call. If you pick up the phone, you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Sarah.


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