Sunday Puzzle: Want To Find A Synonym? Better Get To Shufflin' Given a four-letter word and a six-letter word in this week's puzzle, rearrange the letters of one of them to get a synonym of the other.
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Want To Find A Synonym? Better Get To Shufflin'

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Want To Find A Synonym? Better Get To Shufflin'

Want To Find A Synonym? Better Get To Shufflin'

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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It's WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Scrambling for a last-minute Mother's Day gift? Well, what about a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and some puzzle books and games? We'll even ship them right to your door. That is once you win the puzzle.


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

WILL SHORTZ: Good morning, Melissa. Happy Mother's Day.

BLOCK: Thank you. I'm so excited to be doing this after so many years of playing the puzzle in my living room to actually play along with you on the air. It's a huge thrill.

SHORTZ: Likewise.

BLOCK: Will, why don't you remind us what last week's challenge was?

SHORTZ: Yes. I said think of a word that means entrance. Switch the second and fourth letters, and you get a new word that means exit. What words are they? Well, the answer was gateway and get away.

BLOCK: Gateway and get away. And we have to give thanks to some careful listeners who pointed out that we had given you the exact same challenge back in 2008. This time around we got almost 900 correct answers. And our randomly selected winner is Albert Tumpson of Los Angeles. Albert, congratulations.

ALBERT TUMPSON: Thank you very much and happy Mother's Day.

BLOCK: Thanks. And another bit of deja vu here - this actually is not your first time playing the puzzle on the air right here on WEEKEND EDITION, right?

TUMPSON: That's correct. I played back in 2009 with Will and Liane Hansen.

BLOCK: All right. Well, are you ready to play the puzzle again?

TUMPSON: Absolutely.

BLOCK: All right. Let's do it, Will.

SHORTZ: All right. Albert and Melissa, I'm going to give you a four-letter word and a six-letter word. Rearrange the letters of one of them to get a synonym of the other. For example, if I said risk and garden you would say danger because danger is an anagram of garden and it means risk. Which word is the anagram and which is the synonym is for you to discover.


TUMPSON: Oh, boy.

SHORTZ: Number one is dare, D-A-R-E and peruse, P-E-R-U-S-E.

TUMPSON: That would be read.

SHORTZ: Read is right. Tame, T-A-M-E, coiled.


SHORTZ: Melissa, you're a Scrabble player, right?

BLOCK: I am a bit of a Scrabble player. I'm the worst Scrabble player in my family. But, yeah.

What do you think, Albert? You got it?

TUMPSON: I'm having a problem with this one. Let me think a minute.

SHORTZ: Rearrange the letters of coiled to get a synonym of tame.

TUMPSON: That's what I thought, but - docile.

BLOCK: There you go.

SHORTZ: Docile. Got it. Peek, P-E-E-K and retain, R-E-T-A-I-N.


SHORTZ: That's it. Clam, C-L-A-M, serene, S-E-R-E-N-E.



BLOCK: Nice.

SHORTZ: Taco, T-A-C-O, jacket.

TUMPSON: That would be coat.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Hats...

BLOCK: Tacos in the news this week, yeah.

SHORTZ: Yeah, that's true.


SHORTZ: Try this one. Suds, S-U-D-S, halter, H-A-L-T-E-R.

TUMPSON: Lather.

SHORTZ: That's it. Grin, G-R-I-N, circle.


SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Rote, R-O-T-E, ripped, R-I-P-P-E-D.

TUMPSON: That would be tore.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Wolf, stream.

TUMPSON: Was that first word wolf?

SHORTZ: Wolf, W-O-L-F.

TUMPSON: So flow.

SHORTZ: That's it. Dial, D-I-A-L, placed, P-L-A-C-E-D.


SHORTZ: That's it. And your last one - hear, H-E-A-R, silent, S-I-L-E-N-T.

BLOCK: Hard to think of how you would rearrange hear, isn't it?

SHORTZ: That's true. It's hare but there's no synonym of the animal, so you want a synonym of hear to get an anagram of silent.

BLOCK: Oh. It's what we do on the radio all the time.

SHORTZ: That's true.

TUMPSON: Listen.

SHORTZ: Listen, good job.

BLOCK: Albert, that was great. You were a solo act there needing absolutely no help at all.

TUMPSON: Well, I'm sorry I didn't enlist your talents.

BLOCK: (Laughter) We'll have to do it another time. For playing our puzzle today, Albert, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at And, Albert, tell us where your public radio station is.

TUMPSON: I listen to KPCC in Pasadena, and I am a member.

BLOCK: Terrific. Albert Tumpson of Los Angeles, thanks so much for playing the puzzle.

TUMPSON: Thank you very much. I enjoyed it.

BLOCK: All right. Well, what's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Peter Weiss of West Palm Beach, Fla. Name something in 11 letters that's a common household item. You can rearrange the first six letters to form a synonym of a word spelled by the middle three letters. What is the item and what are the words? So again, a common household item in 11 letters. The middle three letters form a word. And you can get a synonym of that word by rearranging the first six letters of the word. What's the item and what are the words?

BLOCK: OK. When you have the 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, May 12 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you're 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. Will, thanks so much.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Melissa. It was a pleasure.

TUMPSON: But I didn't get to ask my question.

BLOCK: Oh, what's your question?

TUMPSON: My question was - does anybody really do one of those Saturday puzzles in 90 seconds?


SHORTZ: Yeah, those people are cheating.

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