Sunday Puzzle: Sibilant Solutions Flora Greenberg of Albion, Calif. plays with NPR's Ayesha Rascoe and Weekend Edition puzzle master Will Shortz

Sunday Puzzle: Sibilant Solutions

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And it's time to play The Puzzle.


RASCOE: Joining us today 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: So, Will, could you please remind us of last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it was an independently by two people, Steve Baggish and Neville Fogarty. I said think of two well-known companies with two-syllable names, starting with J and D respectively, whose names rhyme. And I said, one of these companies was founded in the last 10 years. What companies are these? And the answer is Jordache and DoorDash.

RASCOE: Wow. I would have never gotten that (laughter). But it looks like a lot of people did. This was actually a popular challenge. So out of over 1,000 correct submissions, Flora Greenberg of Albion, Calif., is our Puzzle winner.

Congratulations, and welcome to the show.

FLORA GREENBERG: Thank you so much.

RASCOE: So how long have you been playing The Puzzle?

GREENBERG: Oh, about a year and a half. I only started listening to public radio once I moved out to the woods.

RASCOE: What do you like to do when you're not playing The Puzzle?

GREENBERG: I have a homestead, a very old cabin and 20 acres, so a lot of gardening, a lot of work. And I also do a lot of mushroom foraging.

RASCOE: Flora, are you ready to play The Puzzle?

GREENBERG: I'm ready. Let's do it.

RASCOE: OK. Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Flora and Ayesha, I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence has two blanks. Put homophones, both starting with S, in the blanks to complete the sentence. For example, if I said the skunk blank a strong blank through the neighborhood, you would say sent. The skunk sent a strong scent through the neighborhood. Answers always start with the letter S. And here's number one. The company is opening a new blank mill to blank business from a competitor.

GREENBERG: The company is opening a new - a sawmill?

SHORTZ: So what's a standard kind of mill in Pittsburgh where they do metal?

GREENBERG: Oh, steel mill, steel mill.

SHORTZ: Steel mill to steal business from a competitor. You got it. At feeding time, my dog blank at me as I walk down the blank from the second floor.

GREENBERG: Stares and stairs.

SHORTZ: You got it. The hilarious joke about Santa getting stuck in his blank would always blank an audience. What does Santa travel around in?

GREENBERG: Oh, his sleigh, to slay an audience.

SHORTZ: His sleigh would slay an audience, right. When the jokester poked me in the blank after making a pun, I blank wearily.

GREENBERG: Poke me in the stomach. In the side, I sighed wearily.

SHORTZ: Side, you got it. You sighed wearily. Good. Anyone on a fixed income is likely to become blank when prices blank. Anyone on a fixed income is likely to become blank when prices blank.

GREENBERG: Prices are - shoot up, shoot.

SHORTZ: And what do - what does a rocket do when it goes up fast? It would...


SHORTZ: There you go. Likely to become sore, right? "You Send Me" was the blank No. 1 hit by blank singer Sam Cooke.

GREENBERG: Soul singer, soul.

SHORTZ: There you go - sole No. 1 hit. That's factually accurate. I verified that. The blank of the numbers was off by blank amount.

GREENBERG: Sum. Sum and some.

SHORTZ: You got it. And here's your last one. The revolving display of pens in the blank shop became broken, and it was blank from then on.

GREENBERG: The pens in the - oh, stationery, station.

SHORTZ: The stationery shop. Good job.

RASCOE: (Laughter) Well, look. Flora, you did an amazing job. These sentences are a little - they're a little tough. They get the brain muscles going. How do you feel?

GREENBERG: Relieved, like everyone else. And maybe a little embarrassed. I don't know.

SHORTZ: No, no.

RASCOE: No, no.

SHORTZ: You did great. Come on.

RASCOE: Yeah, you did great. 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, Flora, what member station do you listen to?


RASCOE: That's Flora Greenberg of Albion, Calif. Thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

GREENBERG: Thank you, guys.

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

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from Henri Picciotto of Berkeley, Calif., and he co-edits the weekly "Out of Left Field" cryptic crossword, which I love. Name a branch of scientific study. Drop the last letter, then rearrange the remaining letters to name two subjects of that study. What branch of science is it? So again, a branch of scientific study. Drop the last letter. Rearrange the remaining letters to name two subjects of that study. What branch of science, and what are the two subjects?

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 this upcoming holiday week is Wednesday, November 23 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 get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION, Will Shortz. Thank you, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Ayesha.


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