Puzzle: Fast And Famous

Jul 19, 2020
Originally published on July 20, 2020 3:02 pm

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words. The first letter is the initial of a famous person's first name. The remaining letters can be rearranged to get the person's last name. I'll give you categories if you need them.

Example: MAIL (boxer) --> Muhammad Ali
1. POSER (baseball player)
2. REPORT (businessman/onetime presidential candidate)
3. JUMBLE (young adult author)
4. PENCIL (country singer)
5. TRIBAL (British prime minister)
6. SMORES (inventor)
7. FACTORS (Cuban president)
8. MONOMER (actress)
9. ARRANGED (actress)

Last week's challenge: From listener Neville Fogarty, of Newport News, Va. Think of a two-word direction or command. Take the first letter of the first word plus the entire second word, in order, and you'll get a common name for one receiving that direction or command. What is it?

Challenge answer: Roll over (command to a dog) --> Rover

Winner: Bob Werner from South Bend, Ind.

This week's challenge: From listener James Matthews, of Little Rock, Ark. Think of a six-letter word for something you might wear. Insert an "O" in the exact middle, and you'll get a phrase meaning "Not aware." 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, July 23, at 3 p.m. ET.

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

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

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.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from listener Neville Fogarty of Newport News, Va. I said, think of a two-word direction or command. Take the first letter of the first word plus the entire second word, in order, and you'll get a common name for one receiving that direction or command. What is it? The command is roll over, which you would say to a dog. The first letter and the last word spell Rover.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received 767 correct responses, and the winner is Bob Werner of South Bend, Ind.

Congratulations, and welcome to the program.

BOB WERNER: Oh, thanks so much, Lulu. It's a real thrill.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I am very excited for you to be here. What was it like when you got the call?

WERNER: Well, that (laughter) - I about fell over. I was out running and, you know, I had remembered your impassioned plea from last week - please pick up the phone.

(LAUGHTER)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And there you go. You see, my voice stuck in your ear. We got some letters from people who felt that I was being a little unfair, but it was a public service message for people who, you know, have put in their answers and want to be able to play. I also hear you're a part-time meteorologist.

WERNER: Yes. I've been working on local TV for over 40 years. I was fortunate enough to stumble into that all those many years ago, and it's really been a wonderful paid hobby for me.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So we have a local celebrity on the air. We're very excited. All right. Are you ready to play?

WERNER: I think so.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Bob. I'm going to give you some words. The first letter is the initial of a famous person's first name, and the remaining letters can be rearranged to get the person's last name. I'll give you categories if you need them. For example, if I said mail - M-A-I-L - for a boxer, you would say Muhammad Ali. OK. Here we go. Number one is poser - P-O-S-E-R - for a baseball player.

WERNER: Poser.

SHORTZ: So the P will be this baseball player's first initial, and O-S-E-R can be rearranged to spell his last name.

WERNER: Oh, sure. Pete Rose.

SHORTZ: Pete Rose is it. Good. Report - R-E-P-O-R-T - for a businessman, one-time presidential candidate.

WERNER: Let's see. R - port, port. Can I have a hint? (Laughter).

SHORTZ: Yeah. He was a - he ran for president and is a...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Texas.

WERNER: Oh, of course. Yes. Ross Perot.

SHORTZ: Ross Perot. There you go. Jumble - J-U-M-B-L-E - for a young adult author.

WERNER: Judy Blume.

SHORTZ: Excellent. Here's your next one. Pencil - P-E-N-C-I-L - for a country singer.

WERNER: Pencil, pencil.

SHORTZ: So just rearrange E-N-C-I-L to get the singer's last name.

WERNER: Right. E-N-C-I-L.

SHORTZ: It's a female country singer.

WERNER: Oh. Patsy Cline.

SHORTZ: There you go - Patsy Cline.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I was about to bust out into some music, but...

WERNER: Yeah.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...You beat me to it.

WERNER: That would've helped.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter).

SHORTZ: Here's your next one. Tribal - T-R-I-B-A-L - British prime minister.

WERNER: Tribal - Tony Blair.

SHORTZ: That's it. S'mores - S-M-O-R-E-S - for an inventor.

WERNER: Samuel Morse.

SHORTZ: Excellent. Factors - F-A-C-T-O-R-S - for a Cuban president.

WERNER: Cuban president - let's see. What - factors, you said? Oh, Fidel Castro. Yes.

SHORTZ: Fidel Castro is it. Monomer - which is M-O-N-O-M-E-R - monomer, for an actress.

WERNER: Marilyn Monroe.

SHORTZ: Excellent. All right. Here's your last one. Arranged - A-R-R-A-N-G-E-D - for an actress.

WERNER: Arranged.

SHORTZ: And here's your hint. The last name starts with G.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And she was married to Frank Sinatra.

SHORTZ: There you go.

WERNER: Ava Gardner.

SHORTZ: Ava Gardner. Good job.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job.

WERNER: (Laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did really well.

WERNER: That was tricky but very fun.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good. 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, Bob, which member station do you listen to?

WERNER: As always, WVPE, Elkhart, Ind.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Bob Werner of South Bend, Ind., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

WERNER: Thanks so much for having me, folks.

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

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener James Matthews of Little Rock, Ark. Think of a six-letter word for something you might wear. Insert an O in the exact middle, and you'll get a phrase meaning not aware. What is it? So again, a six-letter word for something you might wear. Insert an O in the exact middle, and you'll get a phrase meaning not aware. What phrase 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, July 23, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that very time. And if you're the winner, we'll give you a call. And you pick up the phone, and then 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 a lot, Lulu.

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