Sunday Puzzle: Missing Doubles

Feb 2, 2020
Originally published on February 2, 2020 6:24 am

On-air challenge: Each sentence has two missing words. The first missing word has a double-D. Change that to a double-T and you'll get the second word to complete the sentence.

Example: Nosy people who _____ can really test a person's _____. --> MEDDLE, METTLE

1. The new milkmaid with her hands on the cow's _____ was a complete and _____ failure.

2. As the head foreman at the failing factory, I _____ to think what will happen if they _____ it.

3. Is that plum _____ that the dessert chef is _____ on the table?

4. After the angry boy got even _____, the teacher asked, "What's the _____?"

5. To learn an arithmetic term like "_____," you'll have to _____ class.

6. After losing out in the auction, the _____ felt _____ toward his winning rival.

7. Which peculiar-looking animal is _____ — the weasel or the _____?

8. At the antique car show, an old, rundown _____ was the subject of _____ remarks.

9. Ducks are known for their _____, while turkeys are known for their _____.

10. Before sealing her _____ invitations, the bride-to-be was _____ the flaps of the envelopes.

Last week's challenge: Write down the letter C. Beneath that write ENT. And beneath that write a G. What profession do these letters represent? Here's a hint: It's a two-word phrase — 10 letters in the first word, 5 letters in the second.

Challenge Answer: Undercover agent (under C, over a G, ENT)

Winner: Sara Stasi of Santa Cruz, Calif.

This week's challenge: The actress Michael Learned, who played the mother on The Waltons, has an unusual property in her name. The last three letters of her first name are the same as the first three letters of her last name reversed. The name of what current celebrity has the same property? Here's a hint: The first and last names each have 6 letters.

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

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, HOST:

And it's time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

FOLKENFLIK: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

FOLKENFLIK: OK, Will. Remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, it was a rebus. I said write down the letter C. Beneath that, write E, N, T. And beneath that, write a G. And I asked, what profession do these letters represent? And I said it was a two-word phrase - 10, five. Well, the answer is undercover agent. You interpret that as under C over a G, E, N, T.

FOLKENFLIK: Very surreptitious of you, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you.

FOLKENFLIK: We received over 400 correct responses. And the winner this week is Sara Stasi of Santa Cruz, Calif. Congratulations, Sara. And welcome to the program.

SARA STASI: Hi. Thank you very much. I'm glad to be here.

FOLKENFLIK: Sara, how'd you resolve this puzzle?

STASI: Man, this one was very difficult. I do the puzzle each week with my boss here at work. And he helped me spell it out. So it was a team effort.

FOLKENFLIK: How many of you - other co-conspirators do you have aboard?

STASI: Sometimes we'll loop people in if we can't solve it or we want to test someone like we thought we were really smart, we solved it. But we're the real champions.

FOLKENFLIK: All right. Well, right now, Sara, it's just you. You're here on...

STASI: Yeah.

FOLKENFLIK: ...The line. Are you ready to play?

STASI: As ready as I'm going to get.

FOLKENFLIK: All right. Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Sara. I'm going to read you some sentences with two missing words. The first missing word has a double D. Change that to a double T, and you'll get the second word to complete the sentence.

STASI: OK.

SHORTZ: For example, nosy people who blank can really test a person's blank. You'd say nosy people who meddle can really test a person's mettle.

STASI: OK.

SHORTZ: All right. Number one, the new milkmaid with her hands on the cow's blank was a complete and blank failure.

STASI: Udder and utter.

SHORTZ: That's right. Number two, as the head foreman at the failing factory, I blank to think what will happen if they blank it.

STASI: Shudder, shutter.

SHORTZ: Good. That's nice. Is that plum blank that the dessert chef is blank on the table?

STASI: Pudding.

SHORTZ: That's it. Pudding...

STASI: Putting.

SHORTZ: ...And putting. Good.

STASI: Yeah, yeah.

SHORTZ: That's it. After the angry boy got even blank, the teacher asked, what's the blank?

STASI: Madder and matter.

SHORTZ: Nice. To learn an arithmetic term like blank, you'll have to blank class.

STASI: Oh. Can you say that one again?

SHORTZ: Yeah. To learn and arithmetic term like blank, you'll have to blank class.

STASI: All I can think of is addition.

SHORTZ: Yeah. Yeah. And that's one of the numbers...

FOLKENFLIK: Getting close.

SHORTZ: ...And an addition, yes.

STASI: OK. I cannot - I'm - all I'm - my brain is only going to addition on this one. And it's...

SHORTZ: All right. I'll tell you that.

STASI: Yeah.

SHORTZ: To learn and arithmetic term like addend, you'll have to attend class.

STASI: I - nope - don't even know what that one is. So that...

SHORTZ: Well, there you go.

STASI: ...Probably explains it.

SHORTZ: OK. That makes it harder.

STASI: (Laughter).

SHORTZ: Here's your next one. After losing out in the auction, the blank felt blank toward his winning rival.

STASI: The bidder felt...

SHORTZ: That's it.

STASI: ...Badder (ph)?

SHORTZ: Felt bitter.

STASI: Yeah.

SHORTZ: That's it. Felt bitter.

STASI: Bitter. Yeah.

SHORTZ: Which peculiar-looking animal is blank, the weasel or the blank?

STASI: Otter.

SHORTZ: And odder.

STASI: Which is odder. Yeah.

SHORTZ: That's it. At the antique...

STASI: (Laughter). That's a good one.

SHORTZ: Thank you. At the antique car show, an old, rundown blank was the subject of blank remarks.

STASI: An old, rundown...

SHORTZ: Yeah. Think of an expensive American car and then an informal term for it.

STASI: Well, informal term for an expensive car - I'm stuck on that side.

SHORTZ: And it's a General Motors car.

STASI: Oh, gosh. Well, Model T. But that's not right.

SHORTZ: Aha. Well - no, they still - actually, they they still make this car.

STASI: Like rattletrap? I cannot think of - the rattle - a rat...

SHORTZ: Yeah.

STASI: Yeah, I don't know about cars.

SHORTZ: I'll tell you this one.

STASI: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Drove an old, rundown caddy, which is short for Cadillac - a rundown caddy and the subject of catty remarks.

STASI: Catty remarks. Oh, man, that was a good one, too.

SHORTZ: All right, try this. Ducks are known for their blank. Wild turkeys are known for their blank.

STASI: Waddle.

SHORTZ: That's it - and wattle. And here's...

STASI: Wattle and waddle.

SHORTZ: ...Your last one.

STASI: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Before sealing her blank invitations, the bride-to-be was blank the flaps on the envelopes.

STASI: Wedding and wetting.

SHORTZ: That's it. Nice finish.

STASI: Woo. All right.

FOLKENFLIK: How'd we do there, Will?

SHORTZ: I'd say Sara did great.

STASI: Yay. I felt like I did OK. There were a couple that really got me on that.

FOLKENFLIK: Sara, great job. 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. Sara, which member station you listen to?

STASI: Ninety-point-three KAZU.

FOLKENFLIK: That's Sara Stasi of Santa Cruz, Calif. Thanks so much for playing The Puzzle.

STASI: OK. Thank you so much. It was a pleasure. And I had a wonderful time.

FOLKENFLIK: All right. Will, what's next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener and crossword editor Peter Gordon. And he notes that the actress Michael Learned, who played the mother on "The Waltons," has an unusual property in her name. The last three letters of her first name are the same as the first three letters of her last name reversed. And here's the question. The name of what current celebrity has the same property? And here's a hint. The first and last names each have six letters. So again, the name of what current celebrity - six, six - has this unusual property? The last three letters of the first name are the first three letters of the last name reversed. Who is it?

FOLKENFLIK: OK, folks, when you have the answer, 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, February 6 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. 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, David.

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