Sunday Puzzle: With the Fourth of July and cookouts on our mind, here's a game of categories based on the word PATIO. For each category, name an item in the category starting with the letters P, A, T, I and O.
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Just In Time For The 4th, Here's A Puzzle Tailor-Made For The Patio

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Just In Time For The 4th, Here's A Puzzle Tailor-Made For The Patio

Just In Time For The 4th, Here's A Puzzle Tailor-Made For The Patio

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and that it is time to play the puzzle.


MARTIN: And I'm joined by the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: Remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. I said think of two well-known American cities, each five letters long. The first two letters of the first city are the state postal abbreviation of the second city, and the first two letters of the second city are the state postal abbreviation of the first city. What cities are these? And the answer is Flint, Mich., and Miami, Fla. Flint starts with F-L, abbreviation for Florida, and Miami starts M-I, abbreviation for Michigan.

MARTIN: Well, a whole lot of you figured this one out and entered this week. We got a whopping 3,800 correct answers. But our randomly selected winner is Amanda Finke of Santa Fe, N.M., and she's on the line now. Hi, Amanda. Congratulations.

AMANDA FINKE: Thank you. Hi, Rachel and Will.

MARTIN: You are a lucky lady. How did you figure it out?

FINKE: It was pretty easy, I guess, as 3,800 other people know.


MARTIN: Probably just came to you.

FINKE: Yeah, it was just eliminating the states that I didn't need to think about and thinking about the states that had the first two letters that could conceivably be the first two letters of a city.

MARTIN: Well done, Amanda. Have you been playing the puzzle a long time?

FINKE: Oh, we've been playing for about a year.

MARTIN: Who's we?

FINKE: My fiance and I.

MARTIN: Oh, cool.

FINKE: We play together and take turns submitting the answer.

MARTIN: Oh, really? And now you've won.

FINKE: I've won, yeah. He's really happy that it's me on the line right now and not him.


MARTIN: Do you happen to have a question for Will Shortz?

FINKE: I do. Will, I would like to know what your favorite word is.

MARTIN: Oh, I love that question.


MARTIN: Do you have one?

SHORTZ: My favorite word is...

MARTIN: ...In this moment today. It might change but, like, right now.

FINKE: Yeah.

SHORTZ: No, it's a permanent favorite. It's ucalegon. It means a neighbor whose house is on fire. And it's such a bizarre word, so that's my favorite.

FINKE: That's a great word.

MARTIN: I don't think anyone's ever asked that question to you, at least not when I've been in the host chair. So with that, Amanda, are you ready to play the puzzle?

FINKE: Oh, I hope so (laughter).

MARTIN: I think you are. Let's give it a go.

SHORTZ: All right, here we go. Amanda and Rachel, with the Fourth of July and cookouts on my mind, I brought a game of categories based on the word patio. And you probably know how those work. So I'm going to give you some categories. For each one, name something in the category starting with each of the letters P, A, T, I and O. For example, if the category were three-syllable boys' names, you might say Pattison, Anthony, Timothy, Isaiah and Oliver. And you can give the answers in any order. First category is inland states. That is, states that don't touch the sea.

FINKE: Inland states, OK. So Pennsylvania.

SHORTZ: Yes, good.

FINKE: OK (laughter), then Tennessee.


FINKE: Iowa.


FINKE: Ohio.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. All you need's an A.

FINKE: And an A.

SHORTZ: There's an A right next to you.

FINKE: Alabama.

MARTIN: That'll work.

SHORTZ: Alabama's on the gulf so...

MARTIN: ...Oh, shoot.

SHORTZ: Well, that's on the gulf. We're not going to count that. But there's an A right next to you.

FINKE: Well, Arizona then.

SHORTZ: Arizona.

MARTIN: Arizona.

SHORTZ: Category number two is terms in baseball.

FINKE: OK, pitcher.


FINKE: Easy. Let's see, A. All-star.

MARTIN: Oh, sure. Good.

SHORTZ: All-star is good.

FINKE: (Laughter) T, I'm going to skip that one. I can't think of a T.


FINKE: I, an inning.


SHORTZ: Inning or infield, good.

FINKE: O could be outfield.


SHORTZ: That works.

FINKE: That was tricky, Will. Thank you for that hint (laughter).

MARTIN: I know. He gave little hints.

SHORTZ: I should not have said infield there.

MARTIN: Very helpful.

SHORTZ: And all you need's a T now.

FINKE: So the T. How are you doing with T, Rachel?

MARTIN: Well, I'm thinking of something, but I don't know if it occurs in the game of baseball (laughter).

FINKE: Maybe T-ball. You know, that's how you get started.

SHORTZ: T-Ball, which is a kind of early baseball game. OK, I'll give you that. It was third base, triple play, tag.

FINKE: Oh, gosh.

SHORTZ: OK, and your next category is things seen in a church.

FINKE: OK, I should be able to handle this, I think. P for pew.


SHORTZ: Pew, good.

FINKE: Altar.

SHORTZ: Altar, good.

FINKE: I'm going to skip T for a minute.

SHORTZ: T is surprisingly hard, yeah. For I there's something you smell.

FINKE: Incense.

SHORTZ: Incense is good. O, something you hear.

FINKE: All I can think of is origin story.

SHORTZ: Think of O-R. O-R is a good start.

MARTIN: You can take that. It's a big old musical instrument.

FINKE: Oh, organ.


SHORTZ: Organ is good. Also the offering. And all you need's a T.


SHORTZ: That's a tough one. There's a large part of a church that starts with a T.

MARTIN: Oh, like of a cathedral.


FINKE: Transept.

SHORTZ: Transept works, yeah.

MARTIN: Transept.

SHORTZ: Also thurible, tithing box and a tabernacle. All would work.

MARTIN: You did great, Amanda. Those were hard. And for playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and all kinds of puzzle books and games. You can check it out at And before we let you go, Amanda, where do you hear us? What's your public radio station?


MARTIN: Amanda Finke of Santa Fe. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Amanda.

FINKE: Thank you.

MARTIN: OK, Will, what's up for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, take the word fals - F-A-L-S - divide it between the L and the S, and the start of the word is the start of fall and the end of it is the end of rise. And, of course, fall and rise are opposites. I'd like you to do the same thing with the word shall - S-H-A-L-L. Divide it into two parts somewhere so that the start of it starts one word and the end of it ends another word, and those two words are opposites. The dividing point is for you to discover. And there are three different solutions. I want you to find all three.

MARTIN: Sounds hard, I'm just saying. When you have the answer, go to our website Click on the submit your answer link. Just one entry per person please. And our deadline for those entries is Thursday, July 7 at 3 p.m., Eastern. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you win, then we call you. And then you get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times. And he is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.

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