Sunday Puzzle: Triple Threat NPR's Sarah McCammon plays the puzzle with Weekend Edition's puzzle master, Will Shortz, and this week's winner: Martin Garnar from South Hadley, Mass.
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Sunday Puzzle: Triple Threat

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Sunday Puzzle: Triple Threat

Sunday Puzzle: Triple Threat

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SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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

Hey, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Sarah. Welcome back.

MCCAMMON: Thank you. And so remind us, if you would, of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from a listener. I said name a marine animal in two words. Remove two consecutive letters in the name and read the resulting string of letters in order from left to right. You'll name a major American city. What is it? And the answer is sea turtle. Remove the U-R. You get Seattle.

MCCAMMON: So we got over 2,500 correct responses. And our winner is Martin Garnar from South Hadley, Mass.

Congratulations and welcome to the program, Martin.

MARTIN GARNAR: Thank you, Sarah. I'm really glad to be here.

MCCAMMON: We're glad to have you. So how did you figure out this week's challenge?

GARNAR: So my husband and I always like to play along each Sunday. And he was coming up with a list of marine animals, and he said sea turtle. And I just blurted out Seattle. And we looked at each other and said, that's it.

SHORTZ: (Laughter).

MCCAMMON: There you go - excellent teamwork. Congratulations.

GARNAR: Thank you.

MCCAMMON: And how long have you been playing The Puzzle? And have you ever won before?

GARNAR: I have never won before. And I've been playing since I started listening in college over 30 years ago. So this is a long time coming.

MCCAMMON: Very cool. OK, Martin. Are you ready to play this week's puzzle?

GARNAR: I am ready as I ever will be.

MCCAMMON: So take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Martin. I'm going to give you three words starting with F. You give me a fourth word that can follow mine, in each case to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase. For example, if I said full, flex and father, four letters starting with T, you would say time, as in full-time, flex time and Father Time.

GARNAR: OK.

SHORTZ: So here we go. Number one is fly, fifth, Ferris - five letters starting with W.

GARNAR: Wheel.

SHORTZ: Flywheel, fifth wheel and Ferris wheel - nice. Fresh, flood, fire - five letters starting with W.

GARNAR: Water.

SHORTZ: That's it - freshwater, et cetera. Fun, full, fraternity - five letters starting with H.

GARNAR: House.

SHORTZ: That's it. Flash, focal, freezing - five letters, P.

GARNAR: Point.

SHORTZ: Fuel, firing, finish - four letters, L.

GARNAR: Line.

SHORTZ: That's it. Feed, flight, flea - that's F-L-E-A. Feed, flight and flea - three letters, B.

GARNAR: Bag.

SHORTZ: That's it. Foul - F-O-U-L - foul, foot and fur - F-U-R - four letters, B.

GARNAR: Play.

SHORTZ: Sorry - B as in boy.

GARNAR: B as in boy.

SHORTZ: Starts with B as in boy - foul, foot and fur.

GARNAR: Ball.

SHORTZ: That's it. Fig, fir - this time F-I-R - fig, fur and family - four letters, T.

GARNAR: Tree.

SHORTZ: That's it. Fat, fair - F-A-I-R - and fighting - six letters, C.

GARNAR: Fat, fair.

SHORTZ: Fat, fair and fighting.

GARNAR: Oh, boy. Sarah, can you give me some help on this one?

SHORTZ: (Laughter).

MCCAMMON: OK. The first one is always said sarcastically.

GARNAR: Oh, fat chance.

SHORTZ: Fat chance - that's it.

MCCAMMON: You got it.

SHORTZ: Fish, funnel, fruit - four letters, C.

GARNAR: Fish, funnel - cake.

SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one - first, free, farm - four letters, H.

GARNAR: Hand.

SHORTZ: Good job.

GARNAR: Thank you.

MCCAMMON: Great job, Martin. You flew through those. How do you feel?

GARNAR: Relieved.

MCCAMMON: You did great. 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 npr.org/puzzle. And Martin, which member station do you listen to?

GARNAR: We are sustaining members of WFCR New England Public Media in Amherst, Mass.

MCCAMMON: Excellent. And thank you for being a sustaining member. And Martin Garnar from South Hadley, Mass., thank you for playing The Puzzle.

GARNAR: Thank you.

MCCAMMON: All right, Will. What's next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yeah, it comes from listener Wesley Davis of Black Mountain, N.C. And when you get the answer, it will make you smile. Name an animal and spell it backward. Now name a variety of meat and insert it inside the animal's name that you've spelled backward. And a common word will be revealed. What is it? So again, an animal - spell it backward. Now name a variety of meat and insert it inside this animal's name that you've spelled backward. And the answer, which is a common word, will be revealed. What is it?

MCCAMMON: When you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the submit your answer link. Remember, just one entry, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, December 3, at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Include a phone number where we can reach you around that time. If you're the winner, we will 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 own puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.

Thank you so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Sarah.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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