Sunday Puzzle: Capital Letters NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro and Will Shortz, New York Times crossword editor and Weekend Edition's Puzzle Master, play this week's puzzle with Phil Jacknis of Dix Hills, N.Y.
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Sunday Puzzle: Capital Letters

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Sunday Puzzle: Capital Letters

Sunday Puzzle: Capital Letters

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

October is National Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month. The following puzzle is brought to you by my new little dog, Kiko (ph), who puzzles me every day.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining me as always is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Will, good morning.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So it turns out we have a quick correction to last week's on-air challenge.

SHORTZ: Well, last week's example to the on-air puzzle - I said that Savannah is a city in South Carolina. Of course, it's a well-known city in Georgia. There is a historic community in South Carolina, Savannah Town. That's probably what I was thinking about. Anyway, it's Savannah, Ga.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Apologies to the great state of Georgia. And with that out of the way, Will, remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from listener Steve Bagish of Arlington, Mass. I said, think of a four-letter food. Move each letter one space later in the alphabet. So A would become B. B would become C, et cetera. I said, insert a U somewhere inside the result, and you'll name a five-letter food. What foods are these? And the answer is flan and gumbo.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Ooh, I love flan. Good stuff. It's like a custard. Yeah. We eat it a lot in Latin America. This week, we received more than 900 correct responses. And our randomly selected winner is Phil Jacknis of Dix Hills, N.Y. Congratulations, Phil.

PHIL JACKNIS: Thank you very much.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So how did you come up with the answer to this one? Do you eat a lot of flan, a lot of gumbo?

JACKNIS: Well, actually, neither.

(LAUGHTER)

JACKNIS: Based on the way the puzzle was worded, I thought it would be easier to find five-letter words that had U's in them. And I came across gumbo, backed out the U. And there was flan.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Ah, OK. Well, you got your just desserts. Ba-dum-bum.

JACKNIS: (Laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Are you ready to play the puzzle?

JACKNIS: I guess I am.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Don't sound so nervous. You'll do great. Will, take it away.

SHORTZ: All right. Phil, I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence contains two words that phonetically sound like a world capital. For example, the Sigma Chi house can be found on Fraternity Row. You would say Cairo, combining Chi and row. Now, the words will be - always been in left and right order but not necessarily consecutive. Here's number one.

JACKNIS: OK.

SHORTZ: The opening bell rang for the grade school.

JACKNIS: Bell rang...

SHORTZ: For the grade school.

JACKNIS: Belgrade.

SHORTZ: Belgrade. You got it. Belgrade, Serbia. Good.

Mom got a bag of golf balls for dad on his birthday.

JACKNIS: Baghdad.

SHORTZ: There you go. Baghdad.

The Russians watched a black car whisk past Lenin's tomb.

JACKNIS: I don't know that I'm getting that. Lulu?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Northern Africa. It is a capital city of...

SHORTZ: Start with car. One of the words is car.

JACKNIS: Car, yes.

SHORTZ: Do you know the capital of Sudan?

JACKNIS: No (laughter).

SHORTZ: Khartoum.

JACKNIS: Khartoum. OK.

SHORTZ: Khartoum, Sudan. There you go. Good.

After a meal at a Thai restaurant, I rose to pay the bill.

JACKNIS: Well, it's not Thai-rose. It's not Thai-bill.

SHORTZ: Nope. What's the word in between there?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: In between.

JACKNIS: Taipei.

SHORTZ: Taipei, Taiwan, is it.

If the kids bang your car, don't let them give you some cock-and-bull story.

JACKNIS: Bangkok.

SHORTZ: Bangkok was fast. Now, in each of the last few sentences, there are three words that sound like a world capital. And here's your first one.

It sounds like hell when you sing off-key.

JACKNIS: Helsinki.

SHORTZ: Yes.

After taking the cat to the vet, the man wondered, what should I do now?

JACKNIS: Cat - let's see.

SHORTZ: Yes. Cat is good.

JACKNIS: OK. To the vet. Kathmandu?

SHORTZ: Kathmandu, Nepal, is it. And here's your last one.

Even in the poor light, I could see the dinosaur's toe prints.

JACKNIS: Poor light, dinosaurs - foot prints, you said?

SHORTZ: Toe prints.

JACKNIS: Oh, toe prints.

SHORTZ: Even in the poor light, I could see the dinosaur's toe prints.

JACKNIS: So I would start with poor, I'm assuming.

SHORTZ: Yes, except I say pour, not poor. And that's important.

JACKNIS: Port-au-Prince?

SHORTZ: Port-au-Prince is it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Phil, that was really great. That was a tough one, though. I feel like that was a really hard one because it combined a lot of things - geography and other things. What do you think?

JACKNIS: Well it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.

(LAUGHTER)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Words to live by. It never is.

JACKNIS: (Laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: 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 npr.org/puzzle. Phil, what member station do you listen to?

JACKNIS: WNYC in New York City.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Phil Jacknis of Dix Hills, N.Y., thank you for playing the puzzle.

JACKNIS: Thank you very much.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK. Will, what's next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yeah. It comes from listener Chris Stewart of Las Cruces, N.M. Take the name of a country. Insert an E somewhere inside it. And you'll get a phrase that answers the question, what did Henry Ford do? So that's it. Take the name of a country. Insert an E. And you'll get a phrase that answers the question, what did Henry Ford do? What country is it?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Wednesday, October 11 at 3 p.m. Eastern. That's a day earlier than usual. So take note. Again, our deadline for entries next week is Wednesday, October 11 at 3 p.m. 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. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.

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