Sunday Puzzle By Will Shortz: Every answer in this week's puzzle is a five-letter word said twice, in two different meanings. Answer the clues to get the phrases.
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A Pair Of Fivers Holds The Key To Each Of This Week's Little Riddles

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A Pair Of Fivers Holds The Key To Each Of This Week's Little Riddles

A Pair Of Fivers Holds The Key To Each Of This Week's Little Riddles

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Now, we don't have any baskets. We don't have plastic grass. But get ready to start hunting for answers because it's time for the puzzle.


WERTHEIMER: Joining me now is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will.

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

WERTHEIMER: Thank you. And we should add to your credits that you are also the founder of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, which is just about to happen.

SHORTZ: Yeah, it's just a week away. And sometime, Linda, you have to come up. That would be wonderful.

WERTHEIMER: That would be terrifying for me.


SHORTZ: But we have a special guest this year, Peter Sagal from Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me. He'll be doing playoff commentary in the finals.

WERTHEIMER: In the meantime, remind us what last week's challenge was.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco. I said think of a common nine-letter word that contains five consecutive consonants. I said take three consecutive consonants out of these five and replace them with vowels to form another common nine-letter word. The answer was strengths to strenuous.

WERTHEIMER: We got about 500 right answers this week. Our lucky winner is Robert Schwartz of Atlanta, Ga. Congratulations.

ROBERT SCHWARTZ: Thank you very much.

WERTHEIMER: So how did you find the answer this week?

SCHWARTZ: Well, my last name is Schwartz. It's an eight-letter word with only one vowel in it. And so...


WERTHEIMER: Does that make you a specialist (laughter)?

SCHWARTZ: Well, it does because the word strength is an eight-letter word with only one vowel in it, so I thought of strengths almost right away, dropped a few consonants out and there was strenuous. Honest to God, it was almost the first word I thought of.


WERTHEIMER: Congratulations. I understand you have something you want to ask Will.

SCHWARTZ: I do. Will and I attended the same school in Charlottesville, Va. And we have both been members of championship softball teams. Now everybody knows that Will is a puzzler and a big player of table tennis. I wanted to ask him - does he still play softball?

SHORTZ: Yeah, I'll tell you the - my third year of law school at University of Virginia, they started a softball league. And I was lucky enough to be on the winning team. But alas, I don't play softball anymore.

WERTHEIMER: You know, I didn't know you were a lawyer. My view of you is changing. I'm not sure for the better.

SHORTZ: Which way? Yeah.

WERTHEIMER: (Laughter) Well, Robert, are you ready to play?


WERTHEIMER: And Will, are you ready?


Robert and Linda, every answer today consists of a five-letter word said twice in two different meanings. For example, if I said a device for moving Raggedy Ann and similar toys, you would say dolly dolly.

SCHWARTZ: A dolly dolly.

SHORTZ: Number one, a lamp that doesn't weigh much.

SCHWARTZ: That would be a light light.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. The correct one of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

SCHWARTZ: I think that would be a right right.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. One who studies the center of the eye.

SCHWARTZ: A pupil pupil.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.

WERTHEIMER: (Laughter) You're really good at this.

SHORTZ: An icky group of 144 things.

SCHWARTZ: A gross gross.

SHORTZ: That's it. A person imposing better financial penalties.

SCHWARTZ: A finer finer.

SHORTZ: Oh, that's good.

SCHWARTZ: Nothing could be finer than to be a finer finer.

SHORTZ: There you go. A horse carriage that lots of things about it don't really work.


WERTHEIMER: A horse carriage...

SCHWARTZ: Not a sulky sulky.

SHORTZ: No, that is five letters. But that's not it. A horse carriage, like a rural one, an informal one...

SCHWARTZ: That one's hard. Not a wagon wagon or a broke broke.

SHORTZ: The first letter is B.

SCHWARTZ: A buggy buggy?

SHORTZ: A buggy buggy is it. A group of directors at a sawmill.

SCHWARTZ: Wow. A group of directors at a sawmill.

SHORTZ: Your dog is trying to help.

SCHWARTZ: (Laughter) Oh, my goodness.

SHORTZ: Like, the executives.

SCHWARTZ: I see. They would be the board board.

SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one. Sound made when prisoners toast each other with their glasses.

SCHWARTZ: That would be (laughter) a clink clink.

SHORTZ: Oh, bravo.

WERTHEIMER: I'm just dazzled by your performance. It was really quite remarkable.

SCHWARTZ: Nobody bats a thousand, but I came close. Will, did you bat a thousand?

SHORTZ: I never batted a thousand, no.

WERTHEIMER: (Laughter) So, Robert, for playing out puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at What is your public radio station, Robert?

SCHWARTZ: WABE 90.1 here in Atlanta, has been for many, many years.

WERTHEIMER: Robert Schwartz of Atlanta, Ga., thank you very much for playing the puzzle.

SCHWARTZ: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: So, Will, what is the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes. Well, the University Press of New England has just published a book by Paul Lewis. He's a professor of English at Boston College. And the book is called "The Citizen Poets Of Boston: A Collection Of Forgotten Poems, 1789 to 1820." And there's a chapter devoted to puzzles in poetic form. Now, most of the puzzles in this book are explained. But there's one puzzle that never had a printed answer. And I'd like to see if the collective brainpower of NPR listeners can be brought to bear to clear up this mystery.

It's a two-line verse from the November 12, 1803, issue of Boston Weekly Magazine. And here it is. I am both man and woman, too, and go to school as good boys do. I'll select what I think is the best answer that's submitted. And if no one sends in what I think is the intended answer, then I'll pick what I consider the most ingenious one, whether it's correct or not. So here's the riddle again. I am both man and woman, too, and go to school as good boys do.

WERTHEIMER: So when you have that answer, go to our website,, and click on the submit your answer link. Just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, March 31 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you are the winner, we'll give you a call and you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Thanks, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Linda.

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