Sunday Puzzle: The Other A-I NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro and puzzle master Will Shortz play the puzzle this week with Alec Weisman of San Francisco.
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Sunday Puzzle: The Other A-I

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Sunday Puzzle: The Other A-I

Sunday Puzzle: The Other A-I

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And it's time to play The Puzzle.


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

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu. Welcome back.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Thank you. It's great to be back. Will you remind us of last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from Joseph Young of St. Cloud, Minn., and he conducts the blog Puzzleria. I said think of a well-known commercial name in nine letters. Change both the fourth and ninth letters to X's, and you'll get two other familiar commercial names, one after the other. What are they? Well, that nine-letter one is Chevrolet. Change the V and the T to X's - you get Chex and Rolex. How cool is that?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We had nearly 500 responses, and this week's winner is Alec Weisman from San Francisco, Calif. Congratulations.

ALEC WEISMAN: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So, Alec, I hear that playing The Puzzle runs in your family. Tell us more.

WEISMAN: Yeah. I've been playing with my dad since I was in middle school, and the things - I remember that first time I answered one.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How old are you now, if I may ask?

WEISMAN: Twenty-six.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Twenty-six. All right. What do you do?

WEISMAN: I'm an engineer for a general contractor.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK. All right. Are you ready to play The Puzzle?

WEISMAN: I think so.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK. Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right. Alec, I'm going to give you clues for two words. The first word contains the consecutive letters A-I somewhere within it. Change the order to I-A, and you'll get a new word that answers the second clue. For example, if I said train travel and Iranian money, you would say rail and rial. OK. Here's number one. Den - as in D-E-N. Den and a teller of falsehoods.

WEISMAN: Den and a teller of falsehoods.

SHORTZ: Well, if someone tells falsehoods, what are they?

WEISMAN: A liar and a lair.

SHORTZ: Yes. And a lair is correct. Number two - a farm where milk is produced and a personal journal.

WEISMAN: A dairy and a diary.

SHORTZ: That's right. Colorado skiing locale and a lab container.

WEISMAN: Vail and vial.

SHORTZ: Nice. Goals. And your second clue is dog food brand.

WEISMAN: Aims and Iams.

SHORTZ: Nice. What's inside the skull and former Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney.

WEISMAN: Brains and Brian?

SHORTZ: That's it. Path and a court proceeding.

WEISMAN: OK. So trail and a trial.

SHORTZ: Nice. Place for a speaker and a Spanish greeting, buenos blank.

WEISMAN: Dias and...

SHORTZ: Right.

WEISMAN: ...I suppose dais?

SHORTZ: Dais. Yeah. Good. Here's your next one. 1940s to '60s pop singer Frankie and former WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY host Hansen.

WEISMAN: I'm going to need some help on this one.

SHORTZ: Oh. And I think Ms. Hansen is - I think she's listening this morning.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. Before your time, though, Alec, since you're 26 - maybe.

SHORTZ: Yeah. Probably. Yeah. There - may be both before your time. OK. Go ahead, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. So it is Liane Hansen.

SHORTZ: Liane. L-I-A-N-E. Right. And Frankie Laine sang "Mule Train," a bunch of other hits.

WEISMAN: I do know who Liane was now that you say it.

SHORTZ: There you go. And here's your last one. An expression of dissatisfaction and willing to go along. And I'll give you a hint. These are nine-letter words.


SHORTZ: An expression of dissatisfaction and willing to go along.

WEISMAN: A complaint...


WEISMAN: ...And being compliant.

SHORTZ: That's it. Good job.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job. You did really well. How do you feel?

WEISMAN: Pretty relieved.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: We'll go with that. 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 And, Alec, what member station do you listen to?

WEISMAN: KQED in San Francisco.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Alec Weisman from San Francisco, Calif., thank you for playing The Puzzle.

WEISMAN: Thank you, guys. That was fun.

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

SHORTZ: Yes. Name a woman's title. Drop the first and last letters and read the result backward to get another woman's title. And both titles are common English language spellings. What are they? So, again, a woman's title. Drop the first and last letters. Read what remains backward, and you'll get another woman's title. What titles are these?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer, go to our website and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Remember, just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is this Thursday, July 5, 2018 at 3 p.m. Eastern. 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 very own puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.


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