Sunday Puzzle: A-T, As In Alex Trebek Listener Rick Tett plays the puzzle with puzzlemaster Will Shortz and NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro.

Sunday Puzzle: A-T, As In Alex Trebek

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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: Remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from listener Eric Berlin of Milford, Conn. I said there are several words that consist of the consonants N, P and R and an assortment of vowels, like apron, pioneer and European. But there is only one common phrase that contains exactly two Ns, two Ps and two Rs with no other consonants. What is it? Well, we got a lot of funny answers, like unripe prune and run, pup, run. But the only correct answer is proper noun.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received about 650 correct responses. And the winner is Rick Tett from Plano, Texas.


RICK TETT: Thank you.

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

TETT: This one came pretty easily - just took the consonants, started playing around with it, got NON and PRO and PER - PAR. Then it just appeared to me.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I hear you're a software engineer. And you're working on some kind of hoverboard, a controller for virtual reality.

TETT: Yeah. I'm a software engineer for a cloud computing company. But I've been granted a patent on a foot-operated computer input device that's used for virtual reality, locomotion and video game control, things like that.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How cool - fun. And I hear you've been playing The Puzzle since the postcard days. What was it like when you got the call?

TETT: (Laughter) Surprising, I guess. I had forgotten about it, as I usually do on Thursday afternoons. And so it was - when I saw the Washington, D.C., number came up, it took me a second.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Cool. Are you ready to play?

TETT: Yes, I am.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Rick. Today's puzzle is a tribute to Alex Trebek, the longtime host of "Jeopardy!" Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the initials A.T. For example, if I said 180-degree reversal, you would say about-turn. All right. Number one is part of an orchard.

TETT: Apple tree.

SHORTZ: Apple tree is right. Number two is something controlled by a tower at O'Hare or LAX.

TETT: Air traffic.

SHORTZ: Clumsy.

TETT: All...

SHORTZ: That's it.

TETT: All thumbs.

SHORTZ: All thumbs is it. An appreciation for something, such as food, that you get only through repeated exposure.

TETT: I'd say appetite but...

SHORTZ: Not appetite, but there's something - an odd sort of food. And it takes you several times to grow into it. You have - it requires this.

TETT: I want to say accommodate taste.

SHORTZ: Taste is right. Yeah.

TETT: Custom - little help, Lulu.

SHORTZ: (Laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's something that, like, if you like caviar, you would call that an...

TETT: Oh. Yeah, my age is showing.

SHORTZ: Oh, it's on the tip of your tongue. I'm going to tell you. It's an acquired taste.

TETT: Acquired, yes.

SHORTZ: Here you go. Clock setting in Anchorage or Fairbanks.

TETT: Alaska Time.

SHORTZ: That's it. Something you can hike from Georgia to Maine.

TETT: Appalachian Trail.

SHORTZ: That's it. An LSD experience.

TETT: Something trip - acid trip.

SHORTZ: Acid trip. A band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.

TETT: Achilles tendon.

SHORTZ: That is it. Good. Sticky material for fastening things.

TETT: Adhesive tape.

SHORTZ: Adhesive tape, yes. A worker with tigers and elephants at old circuses.

TETT: An animal trainer.

SHORTZ: That's it. Author of "The Joy Luck Club" - three-letter first name and three-letter last name.

TETT: I want to say Ann.

SHORTZ: Not Ann - no.

TETT: It's not Ann. Amy - Amy Tan.

SHORTZ: That's it - Amy Tan. Good.

TETT: Amy Tan.

SHORTZ: And your last one - something affixed to a wall or ceiling in a sound studio.

TETT: Acoustic tile.

SHORTZ: Acoustic tile - good job.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job. How do you feel?

TETT: Exhilarated, fulfilled.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Good words - I like it. 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 Rick, which member station do you listen to?

TETT: My wife and I are sustaining friends of KERA in Dallas.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Rick Tett from Plano, Texas, thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

TETT: Awesome. Thank you.

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

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Bruce Campbell of Kansas City, Mo. Name a title character from books and TV - five-letter first name, five-letter last name. And you can rearrange the letters to get two words describing what you can hear and do in church. What character is it? So again, a title character from books and TV - five, five. You can rearrange the letters to get two words describing what you can hear and do in church. 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, November 19, 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 if you pick up the phone, 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: Thank you, Lulu.


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