Sunday Puzzle: Jokes On You NPR's David Folkenflik plays the puzzle with listener Kevin Gorton of San Lorenzo, California and puzzle master Will Shortz.

Sunday Puzzle: Jokes On You

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And it's time to play the puzzle.


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

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Dave. Welcome back.

FOLKENFLIK: Thanks. Why don't you remind us of last week's challenge for this show?

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from Henri Picciotto of Berkeley, Calif. I said, 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? And it is astronomy. Drop the Y. You can rearrange the remaining letters to spell star and moon.

FOLKENFLIK: We received nearly 1,500 responses. The winner is Kevin Gorton of San Lorenzo, Calif. Congratulations, Kevin, and welcome to the show.

KEVIN GORTON: Thank you, Dave.

FOLKENFLIK: How long have you been playing the puzzle?

GORTON: I've been listening on and off for the past 20 years.

FOLKENFLIK: Twenty years - and what do you do when you're not playing the puzzle?

GORTON: I'm retired, so I play a little bocce, I go hiking with my girlfriend and I've got a yard to take care of.

FOLKENFLIK: All right. Well, do you want, Kevin, the payoff for those 20 years? Are you ready to play the puzzle?

GORTON: I'm ready.

FOLKENFLIK: All right. Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Kevin, and Dave, you can play along. I have brought a game of categories based on the word jokes. For each category I give, name something in it, starting with each of the letters J, O, K, E and S. For example, if the category were four-letter traditional boys' names, you might say John, Owen, Kurt, Evan and Stan. Any answer that works is OK, and you can give the answers in any order. Here's number one - places in Florida. Could be cities, could be other things - just places in Florida.

GORTON: The Everglades.

SHORTZ: Everglades is a good E, yes.

GORTON: Orlando.

SHORTZ: Orlando is an O.

GORTON: I'm not coming up...

SHORTZ: There's a big city starting with J.

FOLKENFLIK: I think the biggest.

GORTON: Oh, it's not Miami or St. Petersburg.

FOLKENFLIK: Well, that'll get you an S.

SHORTZ: S for St. Petersburg, yes.

GORTON: St. Petersburg - thank you very much.

SHORTZ: So all you need is a J and a K.


SHORTZ: For K, think of those islands that go off the southern tip of Florida.

GORTON: Oh, Key West.

SHORTZ: Key West is good. Kennedy Space Center would also have worked. And all you need is a J. And there's one that starts with the name of a U.S. president.

GORTON: James. John.

SHORTZ: Not that one - last name.

GORTON: Jacksonville.

SHORTZ: Jacksonville - you got it. Here's your second category - birds.



GORTON: Oriole.

SHORTZ: Oriole is good. There are lots of S's and several good E's. Think of our national symbol.

GORTON: Oh, eagle.

SHORTZ: Eagle is an E - also egret and emu. How about an S?

GORTON: Swallow.

SHORTZ: Swallow. Yeah. And then K is the toughest one. I have three.

GORTON: A kiwi.

SHORTZ: Kiwi - I didn't even think of that. I had kingfisher, kestrel and kite. So there you go. Your next category is highway signs.


SHORTZ: Stop is good.

GORTON: Junction.

SHORTZ: Junction. Good. That's a tough one. Good. O, K and E.

GORTON: Off ramp.

SHORTZ: Off ramp - OK, I'll give you that. I was going for one way. A K and an E. There's a very common one on an interstate where you're coming up to an interchange and what it would say.


SHORTZ: Exit. Yes. And all you need is a K now. I have two, but they're very basically the same thing - if there's two-way traffic and an arrow points you one direction or the other.

GORTON: Keep right.

SHORTZ: Right. Keep right, keep left - either one. And here's your last category. Spaces on a Monopoly board.

GORTON: Spaces...

SHORTZ: When was the last time you played Monopoly?

GORTON: Years ago. Jail.

SHORTZ: Jail - there's a - good, yeah.

GORTON: Isn't there a Kentucky Avenue?

SHORTZ: Kentucky Avenue. Excellent.

GORTON: And Empire - Empire. No.

SHORTZ: Not an Empire, no - but there is a utility starting with E.

GORTON: Oh, Electric.

SHORTZ: Electric Company is good. All you need is an O and an S.

GORTON: Oriental.

SHORTZ: Oriental Avenue. And all you need is an S. There's four of them. One of them is one of the railroads.

GORTON: Oh, States.

SHORTZ: I was thinking the Short Line. Good job, boy.

GORTON: Short Line - very good.

SHORTZ: Boom, boom, boom.

FOLKENFLIK: That's a great job, Kevin. How do you feel?

GORTON: I feel better, Will - Dave. Thanks.

FOLKENFLIK: So for playing our puzzle today, you're going to get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at And Kevin, what member station do you listen to?

GORTON: I listen to KQED.

FOLKENFLIK: KQED - that's Kevin Gorton of San Lorenzo, Calif. Thanks for playing the puzzle.

GORTON: Thanks very much.

FOLKENFLIK: OK, Will, what's next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Alan Hochbaum of Duluth, Ga. What common eight-letter noun can be shortened in two ways - using either its first three letters or its last four letters? And the answer is a familiar item. So again, a common eight-letter noun that can be shortened by using either the first three letters or the last four letters. It's an everyday item. What is it?

FOLKENFLIK: When you have the answer to what it is, go to our website,, and click on the submit your answer link. Remember, just one entry, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, December 1 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Don't forget to include a telephone number where we can reach you. If you're the winner, we're going to give you a call. And assuming you pick up the phone, you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and our own puzzle master here at WEEKEND EDITION, and that's Will Shortz. Thanks, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, David.


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