Sunday Puzzle: G's & L's

Sep 8, 2019

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a word, name, or familiar phrase in which the only consonants are G and L — each of which may be repeated any number of times. Besides G's and L's, all the other letters are vowels — A, E, I, O, or U.

Example: Against the law --> ILLEGAL

1. Ice home in the Arctic

2. Scum on top of a pond

3. Group of geese

4. Popular search engine

5. Russian dramatist Nikolai

6. Bags packed for the airport

7. Winemaker Ernest or Julio

8. Pioneering astronomer from Pisa

9. Sea where Jesus preached

10. Assert wrongdoing without proof

11. Dashboard item showing a fluid level (two words)

12. Sound of someone drinking from a bottle (three words)

Last week's challenge: This two-week challenge came from Lee Zion, of Lafayette, Minn. It may sound impossible, but it's not. You wake up trapped in a round room with six doors. A voice over a loudspeaker tells you that five of the doors are booby-trapped and will bring instant death if you try to open them. Only one door provides an opening that will get you out safely. The doors are evenly spaced around the room. They look exactly alike. Your only clue is that on the wall between each pair of doors is a large letter of the alphabet. Going clockwise, the letters are H, I, J, K, L and M. Which is the correct door that will get you out ... and why?

Challenge answer: The correct door is the one between the M and the H. If you write the word OUT between M and H, you get the word MOUTH. The puzzle said "Only one door provides an opening," which is what a mouth is. And a door with OUT written on it should naturally be an exit.

Winner: Todd LaPlace of Dublin, Ohio

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Joseph Young of St. Cloud, Minn. Name a popular TV personality. Write the name in all capital letters. Rotate the last letter 90° and move it forward one spot — that is, move it in front of the preceding letter. The result will name a famous movie. What 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, Sept. 12 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 very own puzzlemaster. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey there, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So what was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Well, you know, it was a two-week challenge from Lee Zion of Lafayette, Minn. And it involved a story. I said you wake up trapped in a round room with six doors. A voice over a loudspeaker tells you that five of the doors are booby-trapped and will bring instant death if you try to open them. Only one door provides an opening that will get you out safely. He said the doors are evenly spaced around the room. They look exactly alike. Your only clue is that on the wall between each pair of doors is a large letter of the alphabet. And going clockwise, the letters are H, I, J, K, L and M. I asked, which is the correct door that will get you out and why? And the answer is the door's the one between the M and the H. If you write the word out between M and H, you get the word mouth. The puzzle said only one door provides an opening, which is what a mouth is. And a door with out written on it will naturally be an exit.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received over 599 responses. And the winner this week is Todd Laplace (ph) of Dublin, Ohio. Congratulations.

TODD LAPLACE: Thank you so much.

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

LAPLACE: I took to actually drawing out a diagram of the puzzle. And I figured there had to be a reason why M and H were the two ends. So it all just came together.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So what do you do for a living?

LAPLACE: I work as an accountant.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And did you always want to be an accountant?

LAPLACE: I actually did not. I have a degree in journalism and a degree in cinema studies. I thought about becoming a film critic and just kind of stumbled my way into accounting instead.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) That seems like a pretty practical left turn.

LAPLACE: (Laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Are you ready to play The Puzzle?

LAPLACE: I am.

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

LAPLACE: All right, Todd, every answer today is a word, name or familiar phrase in which the only consonants are G and L, each of which may be repeated any number of times. Besides Gs and Ls, all the other letters are vowels A, E, I, O and U. For example, if I said against the law, you would say illegal because the only consonants in that are G and L.

Here's number one, an ice home in the Arctic.

LAPLACE: Well, that would be an igloo.

SHORTZ: That's correct. Number two, scum on top of a pond.

LAPLACE: Oh, I'm not sure on that one.

SHORTZ: Yeah, you know this word. It's a - what's that green stuff that's on a pond?

LAPLACE: Oh, algae.

SHORTZ: Algae is it. Try this. A popular search engine.

LAPLACE: That would be Google.

SHORTZ: Uh-Huh. How about Russian dramatist Nikolai?

LAPLACE: That's Gogol.

SHORTZ: Gogol. Good. Bags packed for the airport.

LAPLACE: Bags packed for the airport. Oh, luggage.

SHORTZ: Luggage is it. Winemaker Ernest or Julio.

LAPLACE: Oh, I'm not much of a wine drinker. Oh....

GARCIA-NAVARRO: There is no wine before its time.

SHORTZ: There you go. There's their slogan.

LAPLACE: Is it, like, Galeo?

SHORTZ: There - Gallo. Gallo is it.

LAPLACE: Gallo.

SHORTZ: Ernest and Julio, Julio Gallo. Right. Pioneering astronomer from Pisa.

LAPLACE: Would that be Galileo?

SHORTZ: That's it. Sea where Jesus preached.

LAPLACE: Sea where Jesus preached. Oh, Galilee.

SHORTZ: Galilee. To assert wrongdoing without proof.

LAPLACE: To assert wrongdoing without proof. Oh, it's not coming to me.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. And if they talk about somebody who's been arrested on the radio, say, but he hasn't been convicted yet, they'd call him the blank.

LAPLACE: Oh, allege. Alleged.

SHORTZ: Alleged is it. Good. Dashboard items showing a fluid level. And it's two words.

LAPLACE: Would that be an oil gauge?

SHORTZ: Oil gauge, good. And here's your last one, the sound of someone drinking from a bottle. It's three words.

LAPLACE: Drinking from a bottle.

SHORTZ: Just picture the person tilting the bottle up, and all the drink is going down your throat. And what's that sound?

LAPLACE: Oh, glug, glug, glug.

SHORTZ: Glug, glug, glug is it. Good job.

LAPLACE: (Laughter).

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

LAPLACE: Better now that it's over. And I did OK.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) You did do OK. 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, Todd, which member station do you listen to?

LAPLACE: I listen to WCBE in Columbus, Ohio.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's Todd Laplace of Dublin, Ohio.

Thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

LAPLACE: Thank you.

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

SHORTZ: Yeah, it comes from listener Joseph Young (ph) of St. Cloud, Minn. Name a popular TV personality. Write the name in all capital letters. Rotate the last letter 90 degrees and move it forward one spot - that is move it in front of the preceding letter. And the result will name a famous movie. What is it? So, again, a popular TV personality - write the name in all caps. Rotate the last letter 90 degrees and move it forward one spot. The result will name a famous movie. What 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, September 12 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.

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