Sunday Puzzle: Start at the end

Nov 14, 2021
Originally published on November 14, 2021 10:23 am

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some categories. For each one, take the last two letters, reverse them, and use those as the starting letters of something in the category.

Example: Direction --> North
1. U.S. coin
2. Sport with a net
3. City in Texas
4. Sculptor
5. Sign of the zodiac
6. Egyptian queen
7. Sea
8. Historic ship
9 English poet
10. Brand of soap
11. Brand of sneaker
12. Ice-cream flavor (2 wds.)

Last week's challenge: 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?

Challenge answer: Ballad Soul --> Salad Bowl

Winner: Nick Von Turkovich of Baltimore

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from Peter Collins, of Ann Arbor, Mich. Name of a famous TV actress of the past. Double her first name phonetically. You get the first name of a famous musician. If you put the last names of the musician and the actress together, in that order, you'll name a great legendary figure. Who is it?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here by Thursday, Nov. 18, 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, BYLINE: And it's time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

KURTZLEBEN: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of the New York Times and puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION. Will, it is good to talk to you.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Danielle.

KURTZLEBEN: So remind us of last week's challenge. What was it?

SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from listener Neville Fogarty of Newport News, Va. I said 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? Well, the variety of song is a ballad. The genre of music is soul. Switch those initial sounds and you get salad bowl from the kitchen.

KURTZLEBEN: All right. We received more than 1,400 correct responses, and the winner is Nick Von Turkovitch from Baltimore, Md.

Nick, congratulations and welcome to the show.

NICK VON TURKOVITCH: Thank you very much.

KURTZLEBEN: That was a tough one with a few parts to it. How did you figure it out?

TURKOVITCH: I started with objects in the kitchen and tried to think of a variety of song and landed on salad and then from there got compound noun for salad bowl and then switched in and saw soul.

KURTZLEBEN: Well, I'm genuinely impressed. So tell us, what do you do when you're not playing The Puzzle?

TURKOVITCH: I am a research assistant at the Federal Reserve in D.C.

KURTZLEBEN: Great. Well, I will not ask you about inflation. I will just let you get going. Are you ready to play The Puzzle, Nick?

TURKOVITCH: That sounds great. Yes, I am.

KURTZLEBEN: All right. Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Nick, I'm going to give you some categories. For each one, take the last two letters, reverse them and use those as the starting letters of something in the category. For example, if I said direction, you would say north because direction ends in O-N. Reverse that you get N-O. And those two letters start north, which is a direction.

TURKOVITCH: Great.

SHORTZ: Number one is U.S. Coin.

TURKOVITCH: U.S. coin. Nickel.

SHORTZ: Nickel is right. Sport with a net.

TURKOVITCH: Tennis.

SHORTZ: That's it. City in Texas.

TURKOVITCH: San Antonio.

SHORTZ: Sculptor.

TURKOVITCH: Sculptor. So it starts with R-O.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. You know, a famous sculptor starting R-O. His most famous work is "The Thinker." That's OK. I'll just tell you this one. It's Rodin.

TURKOVITCH: OK.

SHORTZ: R-O-D-I-N. All right, your next one, sign of the zodiac.

TURKOVITCH: Capricorn.

SHORTZ: Oh, good. I was thinking of cancer, but either one works. Interesting.

(LAUGHTER)

SHORTZ: Egyptian queen.

TURKOVITCH: Queen Nefertiti.

SHORTZ: Excellent. Sea, that's S-E-A.

TURKOVITCH: Aegean.

SHORTZ: Aegean. That's fast. English poet.

TURKOVITCH: English poet. Well, I'm not very literary minded. Poet, T-E.

SHORTZ: It's one of the greats. OK, your start is Alfred Lord.

TURKOVITCH: Sorry. I don't know this one.

SHORTZ: Oh, OK. I'll tell you this one. It's Alfred Lord Tennyson.

TURKOVITCH: Tennyson.

SHORTZ: All right, how about this? Historic ship.

TURKOVITCH: Ship. So P-I. The Pina or Pinta.

SHORTZ: Yep. Pinta, I think, right? Brand of soap.

TURKOVITCH: Brand of soap. P-A. So that would be Palmolive.

KURTZLEBEN: Wow.

SHORTZ: Palmolive, good. Brand of sneaker.

TURKOVITCH: Sneaker. All right, Reebok.

SHORTZ: Reebok is right, and your last one is an ice cream flavor. It's a two-word answer. Ice cream flavor.

TURKOVITCH: Ice cream flavor. So R-O. And then it would be - R-O.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. In two words.

TURKOVITCH: In two words, R-O. So the first word starts with R-O?

SHORTZ: Yes.

KURTZLEBEN: Actually, both of them do.

SHORTZ: That's true.

TURKOVITCH: Thanks for the hint. Rocky Road.

SHORTZ: Rocky Road is it.

KURTZLEBEN: Nick, that was fantastic. How do you feel about it?

TURKOVITCH: Relieved.

KURTZLEBEN: Well, 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 Nick, very importantly, what member station do you listen to?

TURKOVITCH: I listen to WYPR in Baltimore.

KURTZLEBEN: Nick Von Turkovitch of Baltimore, Md. Thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

TURKOVITCH: Thank you.

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

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. Name a famous TV actress of the past. Double her first name phonetically. You'll get the first name of a famous musician. And if you put the last names of the musician and the actress together in that order, you'll name a great legendary figure. Who is it? So again, famous TV actress of the past. Double her first name phonetically. You get the first name of a famous musician. And if you put the last names of the musician and the actress together in that order, you'll name a great legendary figure. Who is it?

KURTZLEBEN: When you have the answer - not if but when - 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, November 18 at 3 p.m. Eastern. And 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 the phone, you'll get to play on the air with puzzle editor of The New York Times and, more importantly, puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION, Will Shortz. Will, thank you, as always.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Danielle.

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