Do You Know Your Proverbial Alphabet? Puzzle master Will Shortz quizzes one of our listeners, and has a challenge for everyone at home. This week's competitor is Barbara Lawrence of Lake Wales, Fla.
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Do You Know Your Proverbial Alphabet?

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Do You Know Your Proverbial Alphabet?

Do You Know Your Proverbial Alphabet?

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Hi, Will.


HANSEN: I have to thank you for my inclusion as a two-part clue in last week's Sunday New York Times Crossword Puzzle. I guess from now on I'm forever going to be known as seven down and 42 across.

SHORTZ: Most people don't get their first and last names in the crossword, but you did.


SHORTZ: And I tell you, I had nothing to do with putting that in myself. That was the puzzle maker, Jim Paige, who did that.

HANSEN: Well, it was fantastic. And of course, the solution is in today's New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle.

SHORTZ: Right.

HANSEN: But I was honored to be included. So the answer to that challenge is in the newspaper. You left us with a challenge last week. What was it?

SHORTZ: Yes. I said, think of a boy's first name, in six letters. Move the first two letters to the end to get a word meaning a bird. Then move the first two letters of that to the end to name a well-known English writer of the past. What words are these?

HANSEN: What words are they?

SHORTZ: Well, the boy's name is Ernest, E-R-N-E-S-T. Move the first two letters, you get nester, and move the first two letters again and you get Sterne, as in Laurence Sterne.

HANSEN: Hi, Barbara.


HANSEN: What do you do there in Lake Wales?

LAWRENCE: Well, I work for a county government doing programming work.

HANSEN: Uh-huh. Where is Lake Wales?

LAWRENCE: It's in central Florida, kind of mid-way between Tampa and Orlando. We have the Bok Singing Tower here.

HANSEN: The Bok Singing Tower?


HANSEN: What is that?

LAWRENCE: That's a carillon.

HANSEN: Ohh. Oh.

LAWRENCE: It's a nature preserve.

HANSEN: How long have you been playing the puzzle?

LAWRENCE: Over 12 years, because I can remember sending in postcards from way back when.

HANSEN: All right. Well, are you ready to play?

LAWRENCE: As ready as I'll ever be.

HANSEN: Okay. Will, meet Barbara. Let's play.

SHORTZ: For example, if I said saves time, you would stitch, as in a stitch in time saves nine. And stitch is the one word from that proverb that goes between saves and time.


SHORTZ: All right. Number one is away doctor. And first of all you need to think of what proverb has the words away and doctor in it.

LAWRENCE: I am completely...

HANSEN: All right, it's, it would be an apple a day...

LAWRENCE: Keeps, okay.

HANSEN: ...yeah, keeps the doctor away.

SHORTZ: All right? And what word goes...


SHORTZ: Day is right. Good. Your next one, angels fools.


SHORTZ: Fence greener.


HANSEN: Well, I'm guessing grass?

SHORTZ: Grass is right.


SHORTZ: The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

HANSEN: Oh, I always heard that phrase, in the other fella's yard.


SHORTZ: Whatever works. Try this one. Beauty eye, E-Y-E.

LAWRENCE: Beholder?

SHORTZ: Beholder is right. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Fury, F-U-R-Y, hell.


SHORTZ: Hath. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned is right. Deed good.

HANSEN: So the proverb you're thinking of is that no good deed goes unpunished, right?

SHORTZ: That's the one.

HANSEN: So the...

LAWRENCE: Goes, then.

HANSEN: Goes, right.

SHORTZ: Goes is, goes is it. Good. Boy Jack.

HANSEN: I don't know this one at all.

SHORTZ: The last word in the proverb is boy.

HANSEN: Really?

LAWRENCE: Okay, this is a proverb I haven't heard.


SHORTZ: Well, you tell me if you've heard of this: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?

HANSEN: Right.

SHORTZ: So the answer is dull.


LAWRENCE: All right.


SHORTZ: All right. Try this. Thousand worth, W-O-R-T-H.

LAWRENCE: (Unintelligible)

SHORTZ: That's the one.

HANSEN: Pic - what did you say, Barbara, picture? Did you say picture?

LAWRENCE: Yeah, picture is the word.

HANSEN: No, it has to be between T and W, right?

LAWRENCE: I know, that's...


SHORTZ: But it does start a picture, yeah.


SHORTZ: Words is right. Try this one. Behind burn.AHHANHANHANS

LAWRENCE: What's the second word?

SHORTZ: The second word is burn, B-U-R-N. Behind burn.

LAWRENCE: Bridges.

SHORTZ: That's it. Don't burn your bridges behind you. Before count.

LAWRENCE: Chickens?

SHORTZ: That's right. Don't count your chickens before they're hatched. Flattery imitation.

LAWRENCE: Greatest?

HANSEN: You were saying flattery is the greatest form of imitation?

SHORTZ: Well, you...


SHORTZ: Form is it. Imitation is usually the sincerest form of flattery.

HANSEN: Oh, okay.

SHORTZ: How about people stones? People and stones.

LAWRENCE: Shouldn't.

SHORTZ: Shouldn't. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Softly stick.


SHORTZ: Speak, right. Speak softly and carry a big stick. And here's your last one...


HANSEN: Sigh of relief.


SHORTZ: Way, W-A-Y, and will.


SHORTZ: Where. And that's my favorite proverb: where there's a will there's a way.

HANSEN: Where there's a will, there's a puzzle, always. Barbara, that was fantastic. You know your proverbs.

LAWRENCE: That's what (unintelligible).

HANSEN: Yeah. But the idea of them trying to find the alphabetical word between the two. Will, this was a brilliant puzzle.

SHORTZ: Thank you very much.

HANSEN: This was fun. Barbara, did you have fun?

LAWRENCE: Yes, I did.

HANSEN: Whew. The list gets longer and longer. Barbara, what's your member public radio station? What's your member station?

LAWRENCE: It's WUSF in Tampa, Florida.

HANSEN: Alright. Barbara Lawrence from Lake Wells, Florida, thanks a lot for taking the time to play the puzzle with us today.

LAWRENCE: Thanks, Liane and Will. I enjoyed it.

SHORTZ: Thank you.

HANSEN: We enjoyed you. You were fabulous. Thanks a lot. Bye bye. Now, Will, you have something for all of us to work on in the next week?

SHORTZ: So again, a famous person of the past, eight letters, full name, six of the letters are consonants and all six of these are Roman numerals. Who is this famous American?

HANSEN: Will, I'm going on vacation for two weeks and then we rendezvous in three weeks to do a benefit for WDIY and the theatre up in Allentown, Pennsylvania. So I look forward to seeing you and...

SHORTZ: Yeah. I'm looking forward to that.

HANSEN: And have fun with the folks who are going to be sitting in. Sheila Cast and Don Gonyea will be here playing the puzzle and both of them do quite well. So thanks a lot for this week, Will.

SHORTZ: Good. Thanks, Liane.

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