Sunday Puzzle: High C's NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro and puzzlemaster Will Shortz play the puzzle this week with David Herbst of Inverness, Calif.
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Sunday Puzzle: High C's

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Sunday Puzzle: High C's

Sunday Puzzle: High C's

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


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. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Mass. I said think of a common two-word phrase in nine letters naming something that makes it easy to get money. I said rearrange its letters to spell another common two-word phrase naming something that makes it hard to get money. What phrases are these? Well, a debit card will make it easy to get money. And bad credit will make it hard to get it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received 936 responses. And the winner this week is David Herbst of Inverness, Calif. Congratulations.

DAVID HERBST: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So this is your first time on the program playing The Puzzle. But I have heard that Will has featured one of your challenges.

HERBST: Yeah, he did. A couple of - it seems like a couple years ago. I did something with Corpus Christi and Agatha Christie.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How did you figure out this week's challenge?

HERBST: Well, the first thing that came to my mind was good credit, but there are too many letters. And I said, well, the opposite of good credit is bad credit. And there it was.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And I heard that you have just celebrated your birthday.

HERBST: Yes, I did.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Happy birthday.

HERBST: Still celebrating today.


HERBST: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wonderful - all right. Well, for your birthday celebration today, you get to play The Puzzle. Are you ready?

HERBST: Terrific - I'm ready.

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

SHORTZ: All right, David. This week's puzzle is called High C's. Every answer is a word or name with the accented syllable see in any spelling somewhere inside it. For example, if I said neighborhood in Los Angeles next to Sherman Oaks, you would say Encino.


SHORTZ: All right - No. 1 - place in ancient Rome where gladiators fought.

HERBST: Coliseum.

SHORTZ: That's it - pill used in medical tests that has no medical effect.

HERBST: Placebo.

SHORTZ: That's it - resident of Nashville or Memphis.

HERBST: Tennessean.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Here's your next one - the noun that a pronoun refers back to.

HERBST: Antecedent.

SHORTZ: That's it - like, some hairlines and tides.

HERBST: (Laughter) You're hitting home - receding.

SHORTZ: That's it - classic Notre Dame football coach Ara.

HERBST: Classic Notre Dame foot coach Ara - I always hated Notre Dame. You know, I can't - may have blanked that one out.

SHORTZ: (Laughter) OK. I'll tell you. It's Parseghian.

HERBST: Oh, that's right. That's right - Parseghian.

SHORTZ: Yeah. All right. Here's your next one - establishment in Las Vegas or Monte Carlo.

HERBST: Casino.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Fashion designer Oleg.

HERBST: Cassini.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Mike - starts with an M.

HERBST: Starts with an S?

SHORTZ: Starts with an M.

HERBST: Oh, an M.

SHORTZ: M as in Mike.

HERBST: I'm drawing a blank on that one.

SHORTZ: All right. I'll tell you. It's Mussina - Mike Mussina.

HERBST: Mussina - oh, yes.

SHORTZ: All right - public building for concerts and lectures.

HERBST: Concerts and lectures.

SHORTZ: It's not a school. But you associate it with educational things, uplifting things, cultural things - starts with an L.

HERBST: Lyceum.

SHORTZ: That's it - good - not meant to be taken seriously as a comment.

HERBST: Facetious.

SHORTZ: Nice - here's a tough one, a real vocabulary tester - part of a theater stage in front of the curtain.

HERBST: Proscenium.

SHORTZ: Oh, man. You nailed it.

HERBST: (Unintelligible) university - have some experience.

SHORTZ: (Laughter) Give it a shout-out. Here's your last one - player who's the target of a football pass.

HERBST: Receiver.

SHORTZ: That's it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Great job - how do you feel?

HERBST: Well, some of those names - I'm going to have to work on that part of my brain.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did great, though. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games - and a special happy birthday to you from us. You can read all about it at And, David, which member station do you listen to?


GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's David Herbst of Inverness, Calif. Thank you for playing The Puzzle.

HERBST: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Will, tell us next week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yeah. It comes from listener Andy Blau. He's a magician who performs under the name Zoltan the Adequate. And...


SHORTZ: I like that.


SHORTZ: And he describes the word bevy, B-E-V-Y, as alphabetically balanced. That is, the first letter, B, is second from the start of the alphabet. And the last letter, Y, is second from the end of the alphabet. And similarly, E and V are each fifth from the ends of the alphabet. Can you think of a six-letter word related to magic that is similarly balanced? So again, bevy is alphabetically balanced in the way I just described. Can you think of a six-letter word related to magic that is similarly balanced?

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, August 1 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. Thank you so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.


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