Sunday Puzzle: Supermarket Wordplay Listener Kathleen McAuliffe plays the puzzle with puzzlemaster Will Shortz and NPR's Sarah McCammon.
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Sunday Puzzle: Supermarket Wordplay

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Sunday Puzzle: Supermarket Wordplay

Sunday Puzzle: Supermarket Wordplay

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


And it's time to play The Puzzle.


MCAMMON: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey there, Sarah. Welcome to the program.

MCAMMON: Thank you. So Will, remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from Mark Scott of Seattle and involved spoonerisms. That's where you switch the initial consonant sounds of one phrase to get another. And the puzzle was, name a well-known world leader, first and last names. Spoonerize it, and you'll get a phrase that means to have confidence in one of the martial arts. Who's the leader? Well, it's Canada's Justin Trudeau. Spoonerize that, and you get trust in judo.

MCAMMON: There you go. We received over 1,500 correct responses. And the winner this week is Kathleen McAuliffe of Portland, Ore.

Congratulations, Kathleen. And welcome to the program.


MCAMMON: And Kathleen, how long have you been playing The Puzzle?

MCAULIFFE: Well, since postcard days, so back in the '80s.

MCAMMON: When you're not playing The Puzzle, what else do you like to do, Kathleen?

MCAULIFFE: Well, the kids are gone, so we dance a lot - three or four times a week or more - ballroom dancing - but like to hike. Pacific Northwest is really good for that - do a lot of camping and like to travel.

MCAMMON: Very cool. So Kathleen, are you ready to play?

MCAULIFFE: I'm as ready as I'm ever going to be (laughter).

MCAMMON: OK. Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Kathleen. Today's puzzle is called Supermarket Wordplay. Every answer is the brand name of a food or beverage that you might buy at the grocery. And here's number one. It's a brand of preserves, and its name consists of a word meaning lollipops around the letter M.

MCAULIFFE: Lollipops around M.

SHORTZ: Right. And it's a brand of preserves, jam or jelly.

MCAULIFFE: Smucker's.

SHORTZ: Smucker's is right - suckers around M. Here's number two - a brand of soup. And it conceals the word ogres - O-G-R-E-S - in consecutive letters.

MCAULIFFE: Progresso.

SHORTZ: That's it. A breakfast cereal, and it's an anagram of white sea - W-H-I-T-E S-E-A - popular breakfast cereal.

MCAULIFFE: Wheaties. Wheaties.

SHORTZ: Wheaties is it. Good. Try this. Baking goods is the category, and it's an anagram of ruby lips, plus L - ruby lips, plus L.

MCAULIFFE: Baking - how about a hint?

MCAMMON: Picture a guy in a big white chef's hat.

SHORTZ: Oh, that's good.

MCAULIFFE: Oh, that...

SHORTZ: All right. Here's another hint. It starts with P.

MCAMMON: Like a boy made of dough, perhaps.

MCAULIFFE: Oh, Pillsbury.

MCAMMON: (Laughter).

SHORTZ: Pillsbury is it. Good. Oh, you give good hints, Sarah. Here's your next one - a brand of cookies. And spelled backward, it's a two-word phrase meaning betting everything. And let's say you're sitting at a poker table. You've got a bunch of chips sitting in front of you, and you push them toward the center of the table. You say you're what?

MCAULIFFE: I'm betting the house.

SHORTZ: Shorter than that. OK, and here's a hint the other way. It's a - they make wafers. They're cookies that are wafers.

MCAMMON: They're very mild.

SHORTZ: All right. I'm going to tell you this one. It's Nilla. And backward, that's all in.

MCAULIFFE: Oh, Nilla - OK.

SHORTZ: All right. Here's your next one. It's a soft drink - a brand of soft drink - and it consists of four consecutive state postal abbreviations.


SHORTZ: What's the first brand of soda you think of?

MCAULIFFE: Oh. Yeah, probably Coke.

SHORTZ: Yeah. And say it in eight letters.

MCAULIFFE: Oh, Coca-Cola - Colorado...

SHORTZ: Coca-Cola...


SHORTZ: That's Colorado, California, Colorado again and Louisiana. The next one is a beer, and it completes the phrase older blank in a punny (ph) way - older blank.

MCAULIFFE: Oh, Budweiser.

MCAMMON: I like that one.

SHORTZ: Older Budweiser - good.

MCAULIFFE: (Laughter).

SHORTZ: Nice. How about a juice - a brand of juice, and it also names a kind of car engine.


SHORTZ: V8 - oh, that was fast. And here's your last one. It's a beverage product, and it's hidden inside the phrase T-bone steak. Take the phrase T-bone steak. And inside that, in consecutive letters, is a brand of beverage.


SHORTZ: Nestea is it. Good job.

MCAMMON: All right. Well, you did really well, Kathleen. How do you feel?

MCAULIFFE: Relieved.

MCAMMON: Did you say relieved?


SHORTZ: Relieved - that's it. Yeah.

MCAMMON: Congratulations. For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at Kathleen, which member station do you listen to?


MCAMMON: All right. Kathleen McAuliffe of Portland, Ore., thanks so much for playing The Puzzle.

MCAULIFFE: Oh, thank you.

MCAMMON: And Will, what's coming up next week for the challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Evan Kalish of Bayside, N.Y. Think of an informal term for part of the human body that consists of two alcoholic beverages, one after the other. What is it? So again, informal term for part of the human body, and its name consists of two alcoholic beverages, one after the other. What body part is it?

MCAMMON: An appropriate question for right after New Year's, perhaps.

SHORTZ: (Laughter).

MCAMMON: When you have the answer, you can go to our website,, and click on the submit your answer link. Remember, just one entry, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, January 9, at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you around 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, Sarah.


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