You're Halfway There Already This week, find a two-word phrase. The first word is six letters, and its last three letters spell the second word in the phrase.
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You're Halfway There Already

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You're Halfway There Already

You're Halfway There Already

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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What a week - lots of change. But there's always one thing you can count on staying the same. It's time for The Puzzle.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: Will Shortz is the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So I'm new to this. And so I have a few questions. I'm curious. How do you put The Puzzle together? How do you think of them?

SHORTZ: Well, I just play around with words in my head. I find the best time to do that is in bed. I don't know.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: In bed (laughter)?

SHORTZ: Do you get new ideas in my bed? Yeah.


SHORTZ: Get some of my best ideas then. And, sometimes, I wonder, after 30 years, am I ever going to run out of ideas? But so far, so good.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So far, so good. And listeners send you puzzles, as well, right?

SHORTZ: Yeah. There's a form online on the NPR website where people can submit ideas. One important thing is it has to be something good for radio 'cause...


SHORTZ: This is the medium. Something that's too complicated that you need to read - that doesn't work. Something that's changed over the years - there's a lot of tools online now for solving puzzles.


SHORTZ: And I try to use challenge puzzles that are - can't be too easily solved online.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Last week's puzzle came from one of our listeners, right?

SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, Calif. And I said the numbers 5,000, 8,000 and 9,000 share a property that only five integers altogether have. And I said, identify the property and the two other integers that have it. Well, when written in words, these integers have the five vowels A, E, I, O, U exactly once and no Y. And the only other two integers with this property are 6,010 and 10,006.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received more than 500 responses. And the winner is Sam Levitin him from Worcester, Mass. Nice job, Sam.

SAM LEVITIN: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Are you ready to play The Puzzle?


SHORTZ: All right. Every answer today is a made-up, two-word phrase in which the first word has six letters. The last three letters spell the second word that will complete the phrase. For example, if I said a scurrying insect whose appearance has been affected by radiation, you would say mutant ant. Here you go - number one.



SHORTZ: A heavy weight in Massachusetts' capital.

LEVITIN: A Boston ton.

SHORTZ: That's right. Number two - a hero pilot who lives in a royal home.

LEVITIN: Something castle.

SHORTZ: No. Where else do...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Palace? Something palace?

SHORTZ: There you go. You have it. Palace ace. Just take the last three letters - palace ace.

LEVITIN: Oh, ace.


SHORTZ: OK, good. Here's your next one, a young lady who is very careful about spending money.

LEVITIN: A frugal gal.

SHORTZ: There you go.


SHORTZ: A container from Mr. Spock's home planet.

LEVITIN: A Vulcan can.

SHORTZ: A bear's home that is concealed.

LEVITIN: A hidden den.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Prohibition on headwear for Sikhs.

LEVITIN: A turban ban.

SHORTZ: That's it. A collection of things in the room where you store clothes.

LEVITIN: A closet set.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. A thin line of seats in a theater.

LEVITIN: A narrow row.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Boston basketball players' peculiar mannerism.

LEVITIN: Celtic tic.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're on a roll (laughter).

SHORTZ: That's it. I tell you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is awesome.

SHORTZ: What an Italian tourist city has when its canals are frozen.

LEVITIN: Venice ice.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Now here's a quote. My name is Lassie, and I'm a German shepherd, for example.

LEVITIN: A collie lie.

SHORTZ: That's a collie lie. Meat sold in Batman's hometown.

LEVITIN: Gotham ham.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Mafia chief in England's capital.

LEVITIN: London don.

SHORTZ: That's it. And your last one is how things are done in Oslo.

LEVITIN: Norway way.

SHORTZ: That's the Norway way. Good job, Sam.

LEVITIN: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That was really, really good. You were fast, too. 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 Sam, what member station do you listen to?

LEVITIN: WBUR in Boston.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: One of the best. Sam Levitin of Worcester, Mass., thanks for playing The Puzzle.

LEVITIN: Thank you both.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: It's an odd one. It's an original. Take six different letters. Repeat them in the same order. And then repeat them again, making 18 letters altogether. Finally, add T-E-B-A-S-K-E-T at the end. And if you have the right letters, and you space them appropriately, you'll complete a sensible sentence. What is it? So again - six different letters. Repeat them twice so you get 18 letters altogether. Add T-E-B-A-S-K-E-T at the end. And if you have the right letters, and you space them right, you'll complete a sensible sentence. What sentence is it?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer, go to our website,, and click the submit-your-answer link. Just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, February 2 at 3 p.m. Eastern. So include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. 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. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Lulu.


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