Sunday Puzzle: Other L-Words Weekend Edition puzzlemaster Will Shortz tries to stump NPR's Melissa Block and WNPR listener Mark Nolan of Bloomfield, Conn.
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Sunday Puzzle: Other L-Words

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Sunday Puzzle: Other L-Words

Sunday Puzzle: Other L-Words

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And it's time to play The Puzzle.


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

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Melissa.

BLOCK: And I have been told that you are going to be spending some time in hair and makeup this week. You've got a movie.

SHORTZ: Yes. The Hallmark Channel is doing a series of crossword mysteries that involves a crossword editor at a New York newspaper who is involved with solving a murder mystery. I just have a cameo or a small part.

BLOCK: What's the cameo?

SHORTZ: I'm going to be playing table tennis in a park.

BLOCK: Wow. So you get to show off your famous table tennis moves?

SHORTZ: (Laughter) Just a little bit, maybe for a second.

BLOCK: That sounds great. All right, Will, go ahead and remind us of last week's puzzle challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Dominic Telvaquio (ph) of Chicago. And it was a real nice one. I said think of a well-known musician whose last name contains a body part. The musician has a single-word nickname that anagrams to a different body part. Who's the musician, and what's the nickname? Well, the musician is Louis Armstrong which, of course, contains arm. His nickname was Satchmo, which is an anagram of stomach.

BLOCK: I should tell you, well, my husband managed to get that within seconds while I was still just trying to think of any musician with a nickname. So...

SHORTZ: (Laughter) You have a smart husband.

BLOCK: ...I totally failed. But we did have more than 1,500 correct responses. This week's winner is Mark Nolan, who hails from Avon, Conn. Mark, congratulations. And welcome to the program.

MARK NOLAN: Thank you very much. This is very exciting.

BLOCK: And you are retired. You've been filling your retirement with travel, as I understand it. Where have you been?

NOLAN: Well, three years ago, my wife and I sold our home in Connecticut. And we've been on the road ever since. We've been in 30 countries and four continents. Currently, we're in Santa Barbara for a couple of months. So we're loving this adventure.

BLOCK: Is there a favorite spot? Can you pick one?

NOLAN: I could pick two.

BLOCK: Yeah.

NOLAN: I would say the Dolomites in the Italian Alps - Northern Italy - and the Maldives.

BLOCK: What's your favorite part about traveling?

NOLAN: Without a doubt, the best part has been the many incredible people that we've met. We've made a lot of friends all over the world.

BLOCK: OK. Well, here we go, Mark. Are you ready to play The Puzzle?

NOLAN: Am I ready? I - let's go. I'm ready.

BLOCK: OK - as ready as you're going to be. Will, take it away.

SHORTZ: All right, Mark and Melissa, I'm going to read you some sentences leaving off the last two words. Add an L at the front of the first word. And phonetically, you'll get the second word, which completes the sentence. For example, if you drive about 30 miles up the coast from Boston, you'll wind up blank blank. You would wind up in Lynn.

BLOCK: Ooh - OK.

SHORTZ: So these work phonetically. And here's number one. I will sell my buildings in the Midwest, South and West, but I want my buildings in the blank blank.

BLOCK: We're looking for a direction, I'm thinking.

SHORTZ: And it's not Midwest, South or West. What's left?

BLOCK: Mark?

NOLAN: South, West, East?

SHORTZ: Yes. And put an L in front of that. What do you get?

NOLAN: Least.

SHORTZ: Yeah. I want my buildings in the East least.

BLOCK: OK. I think we've got it now, Mark.

NOLAN: I hope so.

SHORTZ: No. 2 - when the doctor arrived with the bloodsucking creatures, the patient screamed at blank blank.

NOLAN: I'm thinking - is it a leech?

SHORTZ: OK. Take away the L now. And what do you have?

NOLAN: Each - each leech.

SHORTZ: There you go. Screamed at each leech is right.

BLOCK: Very nice.

SHORTZ: Here is your next one. Skin cream taken on a sea cruise might be called an blank blank.


NOLAN: Is it sunscreen? No.


NOLAN: It must be lotion - ocean lotion.

SHORTZ: It's an ocean lotion - good. An honor given to a speaker is an blank blank.

NOLAN: I'm thinking awards...

BLOCK: Yeah. I was going there, too. That's not helping.

SHORTZ: Figuratively, it would be a wreath...


SHORTZ: ...Of leaves around your shoulders, say, or on your head.

NOLAN: A lei? No, it's not a lei.

BLOCK: You've been traveling too much.

NOLAN: I'm thinking Hawaii.


NOLAN: I have been.

SHORTZ: Nothing Hawaiian in this one - go ahead, Melissa.

BLOCK: Oral laurel.

SHORTZ: It's an oral laurel - is right.

NOLAN: Oral laurel - OK. Good - thank you.

SHORTZ: Try this one. Given the Endangered Species Act, is killing a bald blank blank?

NOLAN: Is killing a bald eagle legal?

SHORTZ: Right - here's your last one. While others at the potluck supper created orange and lemon juice drinks, blank blank. And the first blank here itself has two words.

BLOCK: Wow. This is tough, Will.

SHORTZ: What's a juice drink that's not orange or lemon?

NOLAN: Lime.

SHORTZ: There you go.

NOLAN: I'm lime.

SHORTZ: OK - not quite. You're getting close. Now, what would the lime juice be?


NOLAN: Limeade.

SHORTZ: There you go. Now, take away the L. And you got the whole thing.

NOLAN: I'm aide.

BLOCK: I made.

SHORTZ: I made limeade.

NOLAN: I made. No.


NOLAN: I got it. OK.

BLOCK: Will...

SHORTZ: That was a tough one.

BLOCK: ...That was kind of tough.


NOLAN: That was tricky.

BLOCK: Mark, for playing our puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at And Mark, I know you're on the road all the time. Is there one member station that you listen to most?

NOLAN: We stay in touch with our friends at home in Connecticut by listening to WNPR in Hartford.

BLOCK: Mark Nolan, now a roving traveler, originally from Avon, Conn. Mark, thanks so much for playing The Puzzle.

NOLAN: And thank you so much, Melissa and Will.

BLOCK: All right, Will - time for next week's challenge - what you got?

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Eric Chaikin of Los Angeles. The name of the film director David Lynch conceals the word avidly in consecutive letters spanning his first and last names. Can you think of a famous film director whose first and last names conceal a six-letter name of a car, past or present, in consecutive letters? So that's it. Can you think of a famous film director, first and last names, that conceal a six-letter name of a car, past or present, in consecutive letters. Who is it?

BLOCK: When you have the answer, go to our website - - and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Remember, just one entry, please. Our deadline for entries is an early one next week. So take note. It is Wednesday, September 5, 2018, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. If you're 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 puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Will, thanks so much.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Melissa.


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