Sunday Puzzle: Old Riddles Sravana Chennupati plays the puzzle with puzzlemaster Will Shortz and NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro.
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Sunday Puzzle: Old Riddles

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Sunday Puzzle: Old Riddles

Sunday Puzzle: Old Riddles

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

And it's time to play the puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us, as always, 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 remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Greg VanMechelen of Berkeley, Calif. I said name something birds do. Put the last sound of the word at the start and the first sound at the end. And phonetically, you'll name something else birds do. And the answer is perch and chirp.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received over 4,000 correct responses.

SHORTZ: Whoa.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: People really got into this one. And the winner is Sravana Chennupati of Oakland, Calif. Congratulations, and welcome to the program.

SRAVANA CHENNUPATI: Thank you. I'm excited to be here.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So how did you figure it out?

CHENNUPATI: You know, I was driving in the car from the grocery store with my youngest daughter, and then we just started playing with the words in my head and saying them out loud and then got it. I was kind of surprised.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm seeing you in our Zoom call in scrubs. Are you part of the medical profession?

CHENNUPATI: Yeah, I'm a radiation oncologist. I practice in Berkeley and then in Pleasant Hill, Calif..

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, wonderful. And how long have you been playing The Puzzle?

CHENNUPATI: Probably about 10 years.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And what was it like when you got the call?

CHENNUPATI: I honestly thought it was an April Fool's joke.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter).

CHENNUPATI: But I had only told my wife that I had submitted. So I was like, it didn't seem like she had done it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Are you ready to play?

CHENNUPATI: Let's do it.

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

SHORTZ: All right. Sravana, as some listeners know, I'm an avid collector of old puzzle books. And I recently acquired one published in 1863 titled "Bwother Tham's Conundrums." Most of the conundrums in the book are essentially impossible to guess, but I was able to get some of them. So let's see how you do on these. And I'll give you a hint. Often, it helps to think literally. Here's number one. What did Adam first set in the Garden of Eden? What did Adam first set in the Garden of Eden?

CHENNUPATI: Well, he set foot in the Garden of Eden.

SHORTZ: He set foot. Excellent. Off to a great start. Here's your next one. What question is it to which you must answer yes?

CHENNUPATI: Do you want dessert?

(LAUGHTER)

SHORTZ: You know, that would be true 99.9% of the time.

CHENNUPATI: Let's see.

SHORTZ: What question is it that - to which you must answer yes?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And one word is in the answer.

SHORTZ: Yeah, I'll tell you the answer. It is what does Y-E-S spell?

CHENNUPATI: (Laughter).

SHORTZ: You have to say yes to that. Here's your next one, would you rather an elephant kill you or a gorilla? Would you rather an elephant kill you or a gorilla?

CHENNUPATI: An elephant.

SHORTZ: OK. Well, a better answer is you'd rather the elephant kill the gorilla.

CHENNUPATI: OK.

SHORTZ: And, you know, it's all in the matter of the intonation. If I had asked, would you rather an elephant kill you or a gorilla, that makes the question easier. Here's your next one. Why does a miller wear a white hat? Why does a miller wear a white hat?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You know, Will, this week, I got to tell you, this feels very April Fools'-y.

SHORTZ: You're right. I should have done this last week.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How about why does anyone wear a hat?

SHORTZ: There you go.

CHENNUPATI: I guess my wife would want me to say for sun protection.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'll give you that. It's to keep your head warm. All right. Here's your next one. What is that which goes from London to York without moving? What is it that goes from London to York without moving?

CHENNUPATI: The sun.

SHORTZ: Huh. Well, literally, there's something that goes from London to York without moving. What is it?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: If you were driving, what would you be driving on?

CHENNUPATI: A road.

SHORTZ: There you go. A road goes from London to York without moving. All right. Here's your last one. What is the smallest bridge in the world?

CHENNUPATI: OK.

SHORTZ: And since we're doing this by Zoom, I'm going to give you a visual clue.

CHENNUPATI: It's a bridge of a pair of glasses.

SHORTZ: It's the bridge of your nose or the bridge of the glasses. Good job.

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

CHENNUPATI: That was a tough one.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I've got to tell you that was a tough one. Will, you were very mischievous this week.

SHORTZ: Every week is different. You never know.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You never know. 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 which member station do you listen to?

CHENNUPATI: KQED, and then we stream OPB.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Sravana Chennupati of Oakland, Calif., thank you so much for playing the puzzle.

CHENNUPATI: Thank you, guys. I enjoyed it.

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

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Steve Engler of Wayland, Mass. Write in capital letters the name of a popular vehicle brand. Move two vertical lines closer together. Add a horizontal line, and the result will be another popular vehicle brand. What names are these? So again, in capital letters, write the name of a popular vehicle brand. Move two vertical lines closer together, add a horizontal line, and the result will be another popular vehicle brand. What names are these?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: 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 this Thursday, April 8 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: Thanks, Lulu.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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