Sunday Puzzle: Let's Go Toe-To-Toe

Jun 2, 2019
Originally published on June 4, 2019 4:03 pm

On-air challenge: The theme is toes. Every answer is a word or name that has the accented syllable "toe" somewhere inside it.

Example: Radioactive element --> PLUTONIUM

1. Month after September

2. Idyllic place

3. Bad breath

4. Janitor

5. Florida city with a "500" race

6. Upstate New York city famous for its mineral springs

7. Winnipeg's province

8. Country north of Latvia

9. Indonesian volcano with a massive 1883 explosion

10. The merchant in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

11. Tube-shaped pasta

12. Standard type of cell division, in biology

13. Kind of wagon in the old West

Last week's challenge: This week's challenge is not so hard. It comes from Joseph Young of St. Cloud, Minn. Take a common English word in three letters. Translate it into French — also three letters. (The French word is one everyone knows.) And between them these two words consist of six different vowels and no consonants. What words are these?

Challenge answer: aye, oui — also accepted: yea and oui

Winner: Brian Sandstrom of Chicago.

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Greg VanMechelen of Berkeley, Calif. Think of a verb in its present and past tense forms. Drop the first letter of each word. The result will name two vehicles. What are they?

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, June 6, at 3 p.m. ET.

: 6/03/19

We previously misspelled Brian Sandstrom's last name as Standstrom.

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.

Hey, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. What's last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes - not the hardest one I've ever run. It came from listener Joseph Young. I said take a common English word in three letters, translate it into a well-known French word in three letters. And between them, these two words consist of six different vowels and no consonants. What words are these? Well, the answer is aye - A-Y-E - and oui, both meaning yes. We also accepted yea and oui. Technically, the y in yea is a vowel, but we were being generous this week.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Our puzzle players loved this one. We got over 3,000 responses. And our winner this week is Brian Sandstrom of Chicago, Ill.

Congratulations.

BRIAN SANDSTROM: Thank you very much.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, tell us a bit about yourself. I hear you're a musician.

SANDSTROM: I am a musician in Chicago. I improvise. I play rock 'n' roll.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter).

SANDSTROM: Been playing here for years.

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

SANDSTROM: I am ready.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK. I'm glad to hear it. Will, take it away.

SHORTZ: All right, Brian. Today's theme is toes. Every answer is a word or name that has the accented syllable toe (ph) somewhere inside it. For example, if I said radioactive element, you would say plutonium.

SANDSTROM: OK.

SHORTZ: Number one - month after September.

SANDSTROM: October.

SHORTZ: That's it - an idyllic place; a perfect place.

SANDSTROM: Utopia.

SHORTZ: Utopia is it - bad breath.

SANDSTROM: Halitosis.

SHORTZ: That's it - janitor; another term for a janitor - kind of a nicer term, I guess.

SANDSTROM: (Laughter).

SHORTZ: How about if I say it starts with a C?

SANDSTROM: Custodian.

SHORTZ: That's it. All right, try this one - Florida city with a 500 race.

SANDSTROM: Daytona.

SHORTZ: That's right - upstate New York city famous for its mineral springs.

SANDSTROM: It's Saratoga.

SHORTZ: That's it - Winnipeg's province.

SANDSTROM: Manitoba.

SHORTZ: Uh huh - country north of Latvia.

SANDSTROM: Latvia.

SHORTZ: It's one of the Baltic states. It's not Lithuania. It's not Latvia. It's the other one.

SANDSTROM: Estonia.

SHORTZ: That's it.

SANDSTROM: OK.

SHORTZ: Indonesian volcano with a massive 1883 explosion.

SANDSTROM: I guess we say Krakatoe (ph); Krakatoa.

SHORTZ: Oh, I know it as Krakatoa. That's it.

SANDSTROM: OK.

SHORTZ: The merchant in Shakespeare's "The Merchant Of Venice."

SANDSTROM: Oh. See; the Shakespeare questions don't do so good for me.

SHORTZ: (Laughter) Here it comes.

SANDSTROM: Lulu.

SHORTZ: It starts with an A - starts with an A.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Also Cleopatra's...

SANDSTROM: Antonio.

SHORTZ: Antonio is it, good.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes.

SHORTZ: Try this one - tube-shaped pasta.

SANDSTROM: I could walk to the kitchen and see it there (laughter).

SHORTZ: (Laughter) Walking to the kitchen not allowed. I'll say it starts with an R.

SANDSTROM: Tortellini, rotini...

SHORTZ: Not quite. There's no toe in there, but it does start with an R.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's got a hole in the middle. They're long, tube-like.

SHORTZ: Second letter is I.

SANDSTROM: Rigatoni.

SHORTZ: Rigatoni is it.

SANDSTROM: Rigatoni, OK.

SHORTZ: Here's a tough one; a vocabulary tester - standard type of cell division in biology.

SANDSTROM: (Laughter) OK.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're on your own.

(LAUGHTER)

SHORTZ: Yes, starts with an M - starts with an M.

SANDSTROM: Messa (ph).

SHORTZ: No, I'm just going to tell you that one. It's mitosis.

SANDSTROM: Mitosis, OK.

SHORTZ: There you go. And here's your last one - kind of wagon in the Old West.

SANDSTROM: That's Conestoga.

SHORTZ: Conestoga is it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's really great. How do you feel?

SANDSTROM: Wow. I feel good. I feel good.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You should.

SANDSTROM: The nerves have gone away.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) 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 Brian, which member station do you listen to?

SANDSTROM: I listen to WBEZ in Chicago.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's a good station. That's Brian Sandstrom of Chicago, Ill. Thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

SANDSTROM: Thank you - nice to talk to you both.

SHORTZ: Thank you.

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

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Greg VanMechelen of Berkeley, Calif. Think of a verb in its present and past-tense forms. Drop the first letter of each word, and the result will name two vehicles. What are they? So again, a verb in its present tense and a verb in its past tense form - drop the first letter of each word, and the result will name two vehicles. What vehicles are they?

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, June 6 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: Thank you, Lulu.

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