Sunday Puzzle: Drop a letter to make it better

Nov 7, 2021
Originally published on November 7, 2021 1:27 pm

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words. Drop one letter in each of them to leave two words that are in the same category of things.

Example: DRILL STAGE --> dill & sage (both herbs)
1. THEN THIRSTY
2. BOOST SHORE
3. LINDEN SATING
4. BUNGLE SHORN
5. JUDGE PESTER
6. CANINES NIECE
7. COUNTY PEARL
8. BRASS TREMBLE
9. LOITER GALLEON
10. LAUNCH SCUPPER

Last week's challenge: This challenge came from Michael Shteyman, of Freeland, Md. Think of a popular tourist attraction in two words. The second, fourth and sixth letters of the second word, in order, spell the first name of a famous author. The last four letters of the first word spell the author's last name. Who is the author, and what is the tourist attraction?

Challenge answer: Grand Canyon --> Ayn Rand

Winner: Marion Yoder of Cheyenne, Wyoming

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Neville Fogarty, of Newport News, Va. Name a variety of song and a genre of music. Switch the initial consonant sounds of these two words, and, phonetically, you'll name an object found in the kitchen. What is it?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here by Thursday, Nov. 11, at 3 p.m. ET. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DANIELLE KURTZLEBEN, HOST:

And it is time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

KURTZLEBEN: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. I am jealous of that title. Good to talk to you, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Danielle. Welcome to the show.

KURTZLEBEN: Thank you. You, too. All right, remind us of last week's challenge, Will.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from Michael Shteyman of Freeland, Md. I said think of a popular tourist attraction in two words. The second, fourth and sixth letters of the second word in order spell the first name of a famous author, and the last four letters of the first word spell the author's last name. Who's the author, and what's the tourist attraction? The answer is Grand Canyon and Ayn Rand.

KURTZLEBEN: Well, we received more than 2,100 correct responses, and the winner is Marion Yoder from Cheyenne, Wyo. Congratulations, Marion, and welcome to the show.

MARION YODER: Thank you so much.

KURTZLEBEN: Now, Marion, that was a tough one. It's pretty complex. How did you figure it out?

YODER: I was stricken by a stroke of great insight. I just thought of it instantly.

KURTZLEBEN: That's genuinely impressive. Well, what do you do when you're not playing The Puzzle and being struck by strokes of insight?

YODER: Well, I practiced law for 40 years, and now I'm a full-time volunteer at everything.

KURTZLEBEN: That sounds like the life. All right. Well, I will not take up more of your time. Are you ready to play The Puzzle, Marion?

YODER: I am.

KURTZLEBEN: All right. Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Marion, I'm going to give you two words. Drop one letter in each of them to leave two words that are in the same category of things. For example, if I said drill and stage, you would say dill and sage, which are both herbs.

YODER: Got it.

SHORTZ: Drop one letter from each one. Your first one is then, T-H-E-N, and thirsty, T-H-I-R-S-T-Y.

YODER: Ten and thirty.

SHORTZ: Ten and thirty - they're both numbers - is right. No. 2 is boost and shore, S-H-O-R-E.

YODER: Boot and shoe.

SHORTZ: There you go, both footwear. Linden, L-I-N-D-E-N, and sating, S-A-T-I-N-G.

YODER: Sing is one.

SHORTZ: Nope, you got to drop just one letter. That drops two.

YODER: Oh. Can I get a hint on this one?

SHORTZ: You don't need no stinking hint. Think of - just drop a letter from sating, S-A-T-I-N-G. Take one letter out to leave a word.

YODER: Sting?

SHORTZ: Drop the last letter.

YODER: Satin, oh, satin. OK, it's linen and satin.

SHORTZ: Linen and satin - you got it. Try this - bungle, B-U-N-G-L-E, and shorn, S-H-O-R-N.

YODER: Bugle and horn.

SHORTZ: You got it. Judge, J-U-D-G-E, and pester, P-E-S-T-E-R.

YODER: Jude and Peter.

SHORTZ: There you go - both saints.

KURTZLEBEN: Wow.

SHORTZ: Canines, C-A-N-I-N-E-S, and niece, N-I-E-C-E.

YODER: The second one is nice.

SHORTZ: Yeah, but not pronounced that way.

YODER: Ah, Nice - aha. What is that place in France?

SHORTZ: Where they have the film festival?

YODER: Yeah. It's not coming to Cannes. Cannes. Cannes.

SHORTZ: Cannes is it. Cannes and Nice is right - French cities.

YODER: Yes.

SHORTZ: You're next one is county, C-O-U-N-T-Y, and pearl, P-E-A-R-L.

YODER: Oh, earl and count.

SHORTZ: Count and earl is right. Brass, B-R-A-S-S, and tremble, T-R-E-M-B-L-E. I'll tell you the category. They are parts of a tonal range.

YODER: Oh, treble - treble and bass.

SHORTZ: That's treble and bass, is right. Loiter, L-O-I-T-E-R, and galleon, G-A-L-L-E-O-N.

YODER: Liter and gallon.

SHORTZ: That's fast. And here's your last one - launch, L-A-U-N-C-H, and scupper, S-C-U-P-P-E-R.

YODER: Lunch and supper.

SHORTZ: You got it - two meals. Good job.

KURTZLEBEN: Excellent. Marion, you flew through that. That was a great job. How do you feel?

YODER: Well, I had the best time ever. Thank you so much. You've made my day.

KURTZLEBEN: Oh, well, you made our day. And for playing our puzzle today, you're going to get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And Marion, very important - which member station do you listen to?

YODER: KUWR, religiously.

KURTZLEBEN: Yes. All right. Marion Yoder of Cheyenne, Wyo., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

YODER: Thank you.

KURTZLEBEN: All right, Will, what is next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Neville Fogarty of Newport News, Va. Name a variety of song and a genre of music. Switch the initial consonant sounds of these two words, and phonetically, you'll name an object found in the kitchen. What is it? So again, a variety of song and a genre of music, switch the initial consonant sounds and phonetically, you'll name an object found in the kitchen. What is it?

KURTZLEBEN: All right. Well, when you have the answer, go to our web site, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the submit your answer link. Remember just one entry, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, November 11, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you. If you're the winner, we'll give you a call, and if you pick up - very important - you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION, Will Shortz. Will, thank you, as always.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Danielle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.