Sunday Puzzle: Let's Go Toe-To-Toe NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro plays with the puzzle with Weekend Edition's puzzle master Will Shortz and WBEZ listener Brian Standstrom of Chicago.

Sunday Puzzle: Let's Go Toe-To-Toe

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And it's time to play The Puzzle.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster.

Hey, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. What's last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes - not the hardest one I've ever run. It came from listener Joseph Young. I said take a common English word in three letters, translate it into a well-known French word in three letters. And between them, these two words consist of six different vowels and no consonants. What words are these? Well, the answer is aye - A-Y-E - and oui, both meaning yes. We also accepted yea and oui. Technically, the y in yea is a vowel, but we were being generous this week.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Our puzzle players loved this one. We got over 3,000 responses. And our winner this week is Brian Sandstrom of Chicago, Ill.


BRIAN SANDSTROM: Thank you very much.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, tell us a bit about yourself. I hear you're a musician.

SANDSTROM: I am a musician in Chicago. I improvise. I play rock 'n' roll.


SANDSTROM: Been playing here for years.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Awesome. Are you ready to play The Puzzle?

SANDSTROM: I am ready.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK. I'm glad to hear it. Will, take it away.

SHORTZ: All right, Brian. Today's theme is toes. Every answer is a word or name that has the accented syllable toe (ph) somewhere inside it. For example, if I said radioactive element, you would say plutonium.


SHORTZ: Number one - month after September.


SHORTZ: That's it - an idyllic place; a perfect place.


SHORTZ: Utopia is it - bad breath.

SANDSTROM: Halitosis.

SHORTZ: That's it - janitor; another term for a janitor - kind of a nicer term, I guess.

SANDSTROM: (Laughter).

SHORTZ: How about if I say it starts with a C?

SANDSTROM: Custodian.

SHORTZ: That's it. All right, try this one - Florida city with a 500 race.


SHORTZ: That's right - upstate New York city famous for its mineral springs.

SANDSTROM: It's Saratoga.

SHORTZ: That's it - Winnipeg's province.

SANDSTROM: Manitoba.

SHORTZ: Uh huh - country north of Latvia.


SHORTZ: It's one of the Baltic states. It's not Lithuania. It's not Latvia. It's the other one.


SHORTZ: That's it.


SHORTZ: Indonesian volcano with a massive 1883 explosion.

SANDSTROM: I guess we say Krakatoe (ph); Krakatoa.

SHORTZ: Oh, I know it as Krakatoa. That's it.


SHORTZ: The merchant in Shakespeare's "The Merchant Of Venice."

SANDSTROM: Oh. See; the Shakespeare questions don't do so good for me.

SHORTZ: (Laughter) Here it comes.


SHORTZ: It starts with an A - starts with an A.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Also Cleopatra's...


SHORTZ: Antonio is it, good.


SHORTZ: Try this one - tube-shaped pasta.

SANDSTROM: I could walk to the kitchen and see it there (laughter).

SHORTZ: (Laughter) Walking to the kitchen not allowed. I'll say it starts with an R.

SANDSTROM: Tortellini, rotini...

SHORTZ: Not quite. There's no toe in there, but it does start with an R.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's got a hole in the middle. They're long, tube-like.

SHORTZ: Second letter is I.

SANDSTROM: Rigatoni.

SHORTZ: Rigatoni is it.

SANDSTROM: Rigatoni, OK.

SHORTZ: Here's a tough one; a vocabulary tester - standard type of cell division in biology.

SANDSTROM: (Laughter) OK.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're on your own.


SHORTZ: Yes, starts with an M - starts with an M.

SANDSTROM: Messa (ph).

SHORTZ: No, I'm just going to tell you that one. It's mitosis.


SHORTZ: There you go. And here's your last one - kind of wagon in the Old West.

SANDSTROM: That's Conestoga.

SHORTZ: Conestoga is it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's really great. How do you feel?

SANDSTROM: Wow. I feel good. I feel good.


SANDSTROM: The nerves have gone away.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) 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 Brian, which member station do you listen to?

SANDSTROM: I listen to WBEZ in Chicago.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's a good station. That's Brian Sandstrom of Chicago, Ill. Thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

SANDSTROM: Thank you - nice to talk to you both.

SHORTZ: Thank you.

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

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Greg VanMechelen of Berkeley, Calif. Think of a verb in its present and past-tense forms. Drop the first letter of each word, and the result will name two vehicles. What are they? So again, a verb in its present tense and a verb in its past tense form - drop the first letter of each word, and the result will name two vehicles. What vehicles are they?

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 Thursday, June 6 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 puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.


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