Sunday Puzzle: Or, shall we say, Sunday SELL-ebration? NPR's Ayesha Rascoe plays the puzzle with listener Ryan Berry of Seattle, Washington, and puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

Sunday Puzzle: Or, shall we say, Sunday SELL-ebration?

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And it's time to play the Puzzle.


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

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Ayesha.

RASCOE: Remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, I said the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the 1992 Olympic gold medal in giant slalom both suggest, phonetically, a certain square number. What is it? Well, the number is 81. That's because the 1989 Pulitzer Prize was won by Anne Tyler, and that Olympic gold medal was won by Alberto Tomba. They each have the initials A-T, so you might say A-T won.

RASCOE: And we've received more than 400 correct responses. And the winner is Ryan Berry of Seattle, Wash. Congratulations, Ryan, and welcome to the show.

RYAN BERRY: Thank you. I'm really excited to be here.

RASCOE: So how did you figure that one out?

BERRY: Well, when Will formulated the puzzle last week, he said this puzzle requires some research. So I did that research, got the names of the two winners, and I quickly saw that their initials were both A-T. A-T obviously, phonetically, is 80. And it was off to the races from there.

RASCOE: OK. Well, that's good. I guess I see that. So what do you do when you're not solving and researching for puzzles?

BERRY: So I work as a software test engineer. And when I'm not solving puzzles, I love to create puzzles, too. And, Will, I - you're an inspiration. I really appreciate everything you do.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot.

RASCOE: All right, Ryan, so I don't even have to ask you. I know you are ready to play the Puzzle, right?

BERRY: I'm super ready.

RASCOE: Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Ryan and Ayesha, every answer today is a word or name with the accented syllable sell, in any part of the word and in any spelling. For example, if I said a place for wine to be stored, you would say, cellar. Here's No. 1 - a merry-go-round.

BERRY: Carousel.

SHORTZ: That's right. To speed up, as a car.

BERRY: Accelerate.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Alternative to Fahrenheit.

BERRY: Celsius.

SHORTZ: Noted site of a 1965 march in Alabama - civil rights march in Alabama.

BERRY: Selma.

SHORTZ: Selma is right. A crunchy bit in a salad.

BERRY: A crunchy bit in a salad.


BERRY: Celery?

SHORTZ: Celery. There you go. Infrequently.

BERRY: Infrequently.

SHORTZ: Starts with sell.

BERRY: Seldom.

SHORTZ: Seldom is it. Sportscaster Howard.

BERRY: Cosell?

SHORTZ: That's it, that's it. Actor Peter who played Inspector Clouseau.


SHORTZ: Starts with sell again.

BERRY: Sellers.

SHORTZ: Sellers is it. Tennis star Monica.

BERRY: Seles?

SHORTZ: Seles is it, yeah, yeah. Mime Marceau.

BERRY: Marcel Marceau.

SHORTZ: That's it. Boston's NBA team.

BERRY: The Celtics.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. High-speed train service between Boston and Washington.

BERRY: Oh, that's East Coast.

RASCOE: I know that one. It's like...

SHORTZ: Ayesha knows this. I bet you - Ayesha, I bet you've taken this.

RASCOE: I do know this one. The Acela.

SHORTZ: Acela, that's it. Try this - a picture you take with your own phone.

BERRY: A selfie.

SHORTZ: That's right. A transparent sheet of wrapping material.

BERRY: Cellophane?

SHORTZ: That's it. Here's another East Coast one, I'm afraid - New York's state motto.


SHORTZ: It means, ever upward.

BERRY: Ever upward. Is it going to be Latin?



SHORTZ: Do you know this, Ayesha?

RASCOE: I don't know that one.

SHORTZ: OK. It's excelsior - excelsior.


SHORTZ: Here's your last one - to have a party, as for a birthday.

BERRY: Celebrate.

SHORTZ: Celebrate is it. Good job.

RASCOE: That was awesome. Are you feeling like you are celebrating right now?

BERRY: I am. This is a puzzle celebration. This is a dream of mine, so I'm very excited to have done it. And now maybe I'll go have a piece of cake.

RASCOE: No, you did an awesome job. I was still getting everything together, and you got it. So 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, Ryan, what member station do you listen to?


RASCOE: That's Ryan Berry of Seattle, Wash. Thank you for playing the Puzzle.

BERRY: Thank you. Bye-bye.

RASCOE: All right, Will, what is next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Mass. Name a famous person in American television - six letters in the first name, four letters in the last. Switch the last letter of the first name with the first letter of the last. Then reverse the order of the two modified names, and you'll get a phrase meaning almost typical. What is it? So again, a famous person in American television - six, four. Switch the last letter of the first name with the first letter of the last. Then reverse the order of the two modified names, and you'll get a phrase meaning almost typical. What is it?

RASCOE: 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, August 4, at 3 p.m. Eastern. 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 on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION, Will Shortz. Thanks, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Ayesha.


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