Sunday Puzzle: D's And N's

Sep 29, 2019

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a word, name, or familiar phrase in which the only consonants are D and N — repeated as often as necessary. All the other letters are vowels.

Example: Had a fancy meal --> DINED

1. Poet John who wrote "No man is an island"

2. The Hoosier State

3. Cul-de-sac (2 words)

4. Signaled at an auction

5. Any of the celebrated 1930s quintuplets

6. Movie "Crocodile ___"

7. Epic poem by Virgil

8. Brand of yogurt

9. Supplementary parts of books

10. Oblique remark about someone that casts aspersion on them

11. Verily or without a doubt

12. Relating to the lymph glands

13. Girl in the musical "Oklahoma!" (2 words)

14. "Beats me!" (2 words)

15. Interminably (3 words)

16. Like zombies

Last week's challenge: Think of an adjective in five letters in two syllables. The first syllable phonetically sounds like a synonym of the full, five-letter word. And strangely these two words have no letters in common. What words are these?

Challenge answer: Phony, faux

Winner: Richard Friedman of Silver Spring, Md.

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Dorothy Baker of Dallas. Think of a word that has five vowels — two E's, an I, O, and U. Curiously, every vowel except the "I" is pronounced like a short "I." And the "I" in the word is not pronounced at all. What word is it?

Submit Your Answer

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

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

And it's time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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. Welcome back.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Thank you. Remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Tyler Lipscomb of Augusta, Ga. I said, think of an adjective in five letters and two syllables. The first syllable phonetically sounds like a synonym of the full five-letter word. And strangely, these two words have no letters in common. What words are these? And the answer is phony and faux, F-A-U-X.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received 336 correct responses. And the winner this week is Richard Friedman of Silver Spring, Md. Congratulations.

RICHARD FRIEDMAN: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So I should say welcome back because you've played The Puzzle on the air three times now - last in 2014. You're something of a Sunday Puzzle veteran.

FRIEDMAN: I guess.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What do you do?

FRIEDMAN: I'm a lawyer.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And do you regularly submit to The Puzzle?

FRIEDMAN: Whenever I solve it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) All right. Well, are you ready to play?

FRIEDMAN: I hope so.

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

SHORTZ: All right. Richard, every answer today is a word, name or familiar phrase in which the only consonants are D and N - repeated as often as necessary. All the other letters are vowels. For example, if I said had a fancy meal, you would say dined, which has two Ds and one N. Here's your first one. Poet John who wrote "No Man Is An Island."

FRIEDMAN: Donne.

SHORTZ: That's it. John Donne. The Hoosier State.

FRIEDMAN: Indiana.

SHORTZ: That's it. A cul-de-sac. It's a two word answer.

FRIEDMAN: Ooh, end.

SHORTZ: Yeah. What kind of end?

FRIEDMAN: Dead end?

SHORTZ: A dead end is it. Signaled at an auction.

FRIEDMAN: Ooh.

SHORTZ: With your head.

FRIEDMAN: Nodded.

SHORTZ: Nodded is it. Any of the celebrated 1930s quintuplets.

FRIEDMAN: Dionne.

SHORTZ: That's it. The movie "Crocodile Blank."

FRIEDMAN: Dundee.

SHORTZ: That's it. Epic poem by Virgil.

FRIEDMAN: "Aeneid."

SHORTZ: "Aeneid" is it. Brand of yogurt.

FRIEDMAN: Dannon?

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Supplementary parts of books.

FRIEDMAN: Not end note - addenda?

SHORTZ: Addenda, nice. A bleak remark about someone that casts aspersion on them.

FRIEDMAN: Ooh.

SHORTZ: And you might say it might be sort of a rumor or something not nice about somebody. And you say this about them. You don't do it directly. You do it indirectly.

FRIEDMAN: I'm still drawing blanks here.

SHORTZ: Yeah. That's a...

FRIEDMAN: (Unintelligible).

SHORTZ: What if I told you it starts with an I?

FRIEDMAN: I'm still at a loss. I'm sorry.

SHORTZ: Yeah. I'll tell you. It's innuendo. You say...

FRIEDMAN: Oh...

SHORTZ: ...An innuendo...

FRIEDMAN: ...Of course. Sorry.

SHORTZ: ...About somebody. Try this one, verily or without a doubt. Start with an I.

FRIEDMAN: Not indubitably.

SHORTZ: No.

FRIEDMAN: I...

SHORTZ: But I-N-D is right - six letters.

FRIEDMAN: Indeed.

SHORTZ: Indeed is it. An enlarged mass of lymphoid tissue at the back of a pharynx.

FRIEDMAN: Adenoid?

SHORTZ: That's it. Girl in the musical "Oklahoma." It's two-word answer.

FRIEDMAN: Ado Annie.

SHORTZ: That's nice. Beats me - another two-word answer.

FRIEDMAN: Dunno.

SHORTZ: I dunno...

FRIEDMAN: That's a one-word answer.

SHORTZ: ...Is what I was going for. You...

FRIEDMAN: Oh.

SHORTZ: ...Could also have said no idea. Either one works. Interminably - a three-word answer. And someone just talks in three words.

FRIEDMAN: I know...

SHORTZ: They just go (clicking tongue)...

FRIEDMAN: On and on.

SHORTZ: That's it - on and on. And your last one is like zombies.

FRIEDMAN: Undead?

SHORTZ: Undead is it. Good job.

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

FRIEDMAN: Relieved.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, you did really well. 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, Richard, which member station do you listen to?

FRIEDMAN: WAMU in Washington.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's Richard Friedman of Silver Spring, Md. Thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

FRIEDMAN: Thank you both.

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

SHORTZ: Yes. It's a - I think a challenging challenge. We'll see. It comes from listener Dorothy Baker of Dallas. Think of a word that has five vowels - two Es, an I, an O and a U. And curiously, every vowel except the I is pronounced like a short I. And the I in the word is not pronounced at all. What word is it? So again, a word that has five vowels - two Es, an I, an O and a U. They're all separate in the word. Every vowel except the I is pronounced like a short I. And the I is not pronounced at all. What word is it?

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 per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, October 3, 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 you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.

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