Sunday Puzzle: Put Your Back Into It NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro and puzzlemaster Will Shortz play this week's puzzle with Michelle Snow of Crown Point, Ind.
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Sunday Puzzle: Put Your Back Into It

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Sunday Puzzle: Put Your Back Into It

Sunday Puzzle: Put Your Back Into It

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The Olympics have begun in South Korea, and we have our own puzzle Olympian of sorts. That's Will Shortz.


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

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Have you been watching the Olympics?

SHORTZ: Have been a little bit. I'm a big fan. What about you?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Absolutely. Been definitely looking forward to that skating for quite some time, watching it with my daughter. And all the other stuff - it's amazing.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: So remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. I said in English, a short U sound is usually spelled with a U as in fun and luck. And occasionally, it's spelled with an O as in love. I asked, can you name two everyday, one-syllable words in which a short U sound is spelled with an A? And the answer is was and what.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This one was a big hit. We got over a thousand correct responses. And our randomly selected winner is Michelle Snow of Crown Point, Ind. Congratulations.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: And, Michelle Snow, I have to ask you about the snow in your part of the - in part of the world right now.

SNOW: We got quite a good snowstorm over the last several days. It started Thursday night and hasn't quite ended yet.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How deep is it?

SNOW: About 11 inches.


SNOW: And we expect 3 to 4 more today.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wow. You've been a teacher for 29 years. What kept you motivated as a teacher?

SNOW: The kids. The students are the best. It's setting up those activities for them to figure things out on their own rather than just telling them answers and giving them information. They're so much fun just to watch them work.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Do you have a question for Will?

SNOW: I do. When I went to put the answer to the puzzle on the website, I saw Will's name spelled out in letter cubes, and it reminded me of Boggle and the Scrabble Dice that we used to play when I was a kid. So I wondered if he had a favorite childhood puzzle game that he played.

SHORTZ: Well, I'm crazy about Boggle, which does have cubes. And I'll do all takers, challenge anybody in that. My all-time favorite game, I think, is Razzle. It's an old game from Parker Brothers, I think. Big word game fan, as you might guess.


SNOW: That's fun.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. That's a good question. I think you're going to have people taking you up on that, Will.

SHORTZ: (Laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're going to have Boggle contestants coming on and wanting to take you on. All right. Everyone ready to play The Puzzle?

SNOW: Yes.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will, take it away.

SHORTZ: All right, Michelle. I'm going to give you some words. For each one, drop the first letter and rearrange those that remain to name part of the human body. For example, if I said vote - V-O-T-E - you would say toe.

SNOW: All right.

SHORTZ: So drop the first letter, rearrange what remains. And your first one is Ogle - O-G-L-E.

SNOW: Leg.

SHORTZ: Leg is right. Number two is pinch - P-I-N-C-H.

SNOW: Chin.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Bones - B-O-N-E-S.

SNOW: B-O-N-E-S. I'm going to need a hint.

SHORTZ: Well, and you're dropping the B. So just rearrange O-N-E-S.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You've got one on your face.

SNOW: Oh, nose.

SHORTZ: Nose is it. Decaf - D-E-C-A-F.

SNOW: Face.

SHORTZ: That's it. Itches - I-T-C-H-E-S.

SNOW: I'm drawing a blank.

SHORTZ: Well, it's part of your - it's a large part of your body.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The man from Tonga oiled his in the procession...

SHORTZ: Thats correct.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...For the Olympics (laughter).

SNOW: Chest.

SHORTZ: Chest is it. Good. Rotors - R-O-T-O-R-S. And that's around the same part of the body as your last answer.

SNOW: All I get is root.

SHORTZ: How about if you start with T?

SNOW: T. Torso.

SHORTZ: Torso is it. Gather - G-A-T-H-E-R.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You use this on Valentine's Day.

SHORTZ: There you go. This is my Valentine's...

SNOW: Heart.

SHORTZ: ...Answer. Heart is it. Pitsaw - P-I-T-S-A-W.

SNOW: Waist.

SHORTZ: Waist is it. Eighth - E-I-G-H-T-H.

SNOW: Thigh.

SHORTZ: There you go. Slip-up - S-L-I-P-U-P. And the answer is something you used to have as a teacher.

SNOW: Pupil.

SHORTZ: Pupil is it. Drivel - D-R-I-V-E-L.

SNOW: Liver.

SHORTZ: That's it. Outgone - O-U-T-G-O-N-E.

SNOW: Tongue.

SHORTZ: Oh, excellent. And here's your last one. Hamboned - H-A-M-B-O-N-E-D.

SNOW: Abdomen.

SHORTZ: Abdomen. You got the hardest one fastest. Nice job.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job. How do you feel?

SNOW: Excited. That was fun.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Michelle Snow of Crown Point, Ind., thank you for playing The Puzzle, and good luck with the snow.

SNOW: Thank you so much.

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

SHORTZ: Yes. Name part of the human body in six letters, add an R and rearrange the result to name part of the body in seven letters. What is it? So again, part of the human body - six letters. Add an R, rearrange the result to name part of the body in seven letters. What body parts are these?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer go to our website,, and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is this Thursday, Feb. 15 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you about that time. And if you are the winner, we will 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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