Sunday Puzzle: Anagram All The Way This week's puzzle winner Rob Olmstead plays the puzzle with puzzle master Will Shortz and NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro.

Sunday Puzzle: Anagram All The Way

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


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 listener Patrick Berry of Jasper, Ala. I said, think of a well-known European city in seven letters. If you remove the third letter, you'll get a two-word phrase describing what you must do to win a race. And if, instead, you remove the fourth letter, you'll get a two-word phrase describing what you can't do to win a race. What's the city? Well, the city is Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland. And remove the L - you get be fast. That's how you win a race. Remove the F and be last - can't win a race that way.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received almost 800 correct responses, and the winner today is Rob Olmstead from Ruskin, Fla.


ROB OLMSTEAD: Hey. Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You are a repeat winner, and I know that's going to be very controversial. It can either make people hopeful or upset. But how'd you figure out this week's puzzle?

OLMSTEAD: I think it was supposed to be a European capital, so I just started going around the different capitals of Europe. And I sort of went - I was thinking I'd go clockwise, but I pretty quickly got to Belfast. There it was - be last, be fast.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So are you ready to play?

OLMSTEAD: As ready as I'll ever be.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Rob. I'm going to give you some words.

OLMSTEAD: All right.

SHORTZ: Anagram each one to make a new word. And as a help, the first three letters of my word will be the first three letters of your answer. For example, if I said sublet - S-U-B-L-E-T - you would say subtle, both starting S-U-B.

OLMSTEAD: All right.

SHORTZ: Here's number one. Platen - P-L-A-T-E-N.


SHORTZ: That's it. Thereat - T-H-E-R-E-A-T.

OLMSTEAD: See - threat. No, that's not it.

SHORTZ: Not quite - that lacks an E.

OLMSTEAD: T-H - thereat - theater.

SHORTZ: Theater's it. Good. Declaim - D-E-C-L-A-I-M.

OLMSTEAD: Let's see. D - decimal.

SHORTZ: That's it. Parleys - P-A-R-L-E-Y-S.

OLMSTEAD: Parsley.

SHORTZ: That's it. Magnate - M-A-G-N-A-T-E. And your hint is it's a color.

OLMSTEAD: Magenta.

SHORTZ: That's it. Trained - T-R-A-I-N-E-D. And I'll give you a hint and say hyphenated word.


SHORTZ: And it's something that might be involved if you buy a new car.

OLMSTEAD: Trade-in.

SHORTZ: A trade-in. Martial - M-A-R-T-I-A-L.

OLMSTEAD: Marital.

SHORTZ: Good. Chorale - C-H-O-R-A-L-E.

OLMSTEAD: C - cholera.

SHORTZ: Good. Senescent - S-E-N-E-S-C-E-N-T.

OLMSTEAD: I'm sorry. What is it again?

SHORTZ: Senescent - S-E-N-E-S-C-E-N-T.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: These are hard. What does senescent even mean?

SHORTZ: Senescent - that means relating to going old.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh. I always learn things.



SHORTZ: I'll give you a hint, Rob. It's a plural.

OLMSTEAD: Sentence.

SHORTZ: Sentences is it.


SHORTZ: And here's your last one. Pedantries - P-E-D-A-N-T-R-I-E-S. And it's what you are if you walk around downtown.

OLMSTEAD: Pedestrian.

SHORTZ: There you go. Good job.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job. That was a tough one. How do you feel?

OLMSTEAD: Those were good hints. OK.


OLMSTEAD: I was using that method where you put one letter at the top and couple letters on the second...

SHORTZ: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

OLMSTEAD: ...And three on the next line. And yeah, that was - that helped a little bit but not in similar.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's fun to be challenged. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin - your second - as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at And Rob, which member station do you listen to?

OLMSTEAD: It's 89.7 WUSF out of Tampa.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Rob Olmstead of Ruskin, Fla., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

OLMSTEAD: Thank you.

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

SHORTZ: Yeah. It comes from listener Scott Weiss of Walkersville, Md. Think of a familiar three-word name of something. The first word of that name is a number. Let's call that number X. The last X letters of the second word of the name are a French translation of the third word. What's the name? So again, familiar three-word name of something. The first word is a number. Let's call that number X. The last X letters of the second word of the name are a French translation of the third word. What's the name?

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 4, 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: Thanks, Lulu.


Copyright © 2020 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.