Sunday Puzzle: 2-Word Phrases Jennifer Kuelzer of Las Vegas plays the puzzle with puzzlemaster Will Shortz and NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro.

Sunday Puzzle: 2-Word Phrases

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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. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey there, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So what was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from Michael Wilk of Goleta, Calif. And it was a tough one. I said, think of a hyphenated word that describes certain pants. The first half of the word and a homophone of the second half are synonyms. What kind of pants are these? And they are high-waisted pants.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And we received only 150 correct responses. And among those correct responses was that of Jennifer Kuelzer of Las Vegas, Nev. Congratulations.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: How'd you figure it out?

KUELZER: Well, I was trying to explain the puzzle to my friend, and she was not sure about what a homophone is. And so I brought up on Google a list of homophones, and I saw wasted. And then I thought about it and thought...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: There you were.

KUELZER: ...High-waisted would be perfect.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And I hear you've got an interesting group of pets at home.

KUELZER: Yeah, I've got three Chihuahuas and a bearded dragon.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: A bearded dragon?



GARCIA-NAVARRO: What's that like? What do they eat?

KUELZER: They eat vegetables and fruits and crickets.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And are they affectionate?

KUELZER: No. They look at you with such disdain most of the time.


KUELZER: And you don't feel like they like you at all.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) OK. Well, I think you're ready to take it away.

SHORTZ: Here we go. Jennifer, I'm going to give you two sets of three letters. Put the same two letters in front of each trio to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase. For example, if I said I, T, E and A, L, E, you would say white whale 'cause you would put WH in front of each of those trios to make the phrase.


SHORTZ: All right. Number one is U, N, D, B, I, N.

KUELZER: OK. U, N, D and B, I, N...


KUELZER: I'm going to need a hint for this first one. I'm blanking.

SHORTZ: OK, and I'll give you a really vague hint to start. It's a - first letter is a consonant, and the second one is a vowel.


SHORTZ: If you were in a contest, in a tournament, you might start out in this kind of event.

KUELZER: Round robin.

SHORTZ: Round robin is it with RO. Good. Number two is A, S, S, O, W, N.

KUELZER: Class clown.

SHORTZ: Nice job. B, B, Y, R, S, E.

KUELZER: OK, hobby horse.

SHORTZ: Hobby horse, yeah, the toy. S, T, E, T, E, R.

KUELZER: Wastewater.

SHORTZ: Wastewater, good. D, A, R, N, G, E.

KUELZER: Radar range.

SHORTZ: That's it. A, S, H, O, O, D.

KUELZER: Ash - flash flood.

SHORTZ: Flash flood, nice. W, E, R, I, N, T.

KUELZER: PowerPoint.

SHORTZ: Good. T, O, R, U, T, H.

KUELZER: T, O, R, U, T, H - truth - oh, motor mouth.

SHORTZ: Motor mouth, nice. O, W, N, E, A, D.

KUELZER: E, A, D - brown bread. Brown bread?

SHORTZ: Brown bread, good. A, I, N, A, C, K.

KUELZER: Black, Blaine - train track.

SHORTZ: Train track, nice. O, L, E, E, A, T.

KUELZER: Whole wheat.

SHORTZ: Whole wheat, nice. And here's your last one, and it has two answers. And the letters are T, C, H, K, E, R.

KUELZER: Matchmaker.

SHORTZ: Matchmaker is one. Now the second answer uses a different vowel from the A.

KUELZER: OK, so mutchmucker (ph).


SHORTZ: All right, try an I.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: Something that you do when you stick out your thumb.

SHORTZ: There you go.

KUELZER: Hitchhiker.

SHORTZ: A hitchhiker.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: There you go.

SHORTZ: Jennifer, I'm impressed.

KUELZER: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And he does not say that lightly, let me tell you. You did great. How do you feel?

KUELZER: Relieved.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) But you did really, really well. And 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, Jennifer, which member station do you listen to?

KUELZER: I listen with my roommate to KNPR.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's Jennifer Kuelzer of Las Vegas, Nev. Thank you for playing the puzzle.

KUELZER: Thank you.

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

SHORTZ: Yeah, it's something a little different, and it comes from Joseph Young of St. Cloud, Minn. And it involves Pi Day, which is coming up this Saturday, March 14. That's commonly written as 3/14. And that's been designated Pi Day, you know, because 314 are the first three digits of pi. Well, the letters of Pi Day, P, I, D, A, Y, also have a curious mathematical significance. What is it? So that's the puzzle. The letters of Pi Day have a curious mathematical significance. What is it?

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, March 12, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you are 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: Thanks, Lulu.


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