Sunday Puzzle: A Game of Consonants

May 17, 2020
Originally published on May 17, 2020 11:46 am

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

Example: Add up --> TOTAL
1. Opposite of big
2. Coffee made with hot steamed milk
3. Name, as of a book or movie
4. Dole out
5. Sweepstakes game
6. "For rent" sign (2 wds.)
7. Lavatory
8. Place to insert an electric plug
9. No-holds-barred (hyph.)
10. Prevaricate (3 wds.)
11. Excite the imagination
12. Snitch

Last week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Jerry Heckler of Chardon, Ohio. Name the make and model of a popular car. Change the first and last letters of the make to name an animal. Change the first and fourth letters of the model to name another animal. What car is this?

Challenge answer: Toyota Corolla --> coyote, gorilla

Winner: Lena Porell from Tucson, Ariz.

This week's challenge: Name a Cabinet department — as in "Department of ___." Rearrange the letters of what goes in the blank to get the brand name of a product you might find at a drugstore or supermarket. 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, May 21, 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 is puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster.

Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey there, Lulu.

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

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Jerry Heckler of Chardon, Ohio. I said, name the make and model of a popular car. Change the first and last letters of the make to name an animal, and change the first and fourth letters of the model to name another animal. What car is it? And it is the Toyota Corolla. You get the animals coyote and gorilla.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received over 400 correct responses. And the winner this week is Lena Porell of Tucson, Ariz.

Congratulations and welcome to the program.

LENA PORELL: Thank you. Glad to be here.

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

PORELL: Well, at first, I - me and my friend had read the instructions wrong. So we reread it and then kind of just went through different makes and models until we got to Toyota Corolla.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. I understand that you are new to The Puzzle. Welcome to the family.

PORELL: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When did you start playing?

PORELL: Only about a month ago. This was the first time I've submitted.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, there are going to be people who hear that and are going to be pretty, pretty mad.

PORELL: (Laughter).

SHORTZ: They are shaking their fists.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: They are. Why did you start playing?

PORELL: I had a little more time during quarantine to do something to distract myself, so...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And so you discovered us. Well, we are very happy to have you. All right. Are you ready to play?

PORELL: Yes, I am.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Lena. Every answer today is a word, name or phrase in which the only consonants are L and T, repeated as often as necessary. All the other letters are vowels. For example, if I gave you the clue add up, you would say total.

PORELL: OK.

SHORTZ: Number one is opposite of big.

PORELL: Little.

SHORTZ: That's it. Coffee made with hot, steamed milk.

PORELL: Latte.

SHORTZ: That's it. Name, as of a book or movie.

PORELL: Title.

SHORTZ: That's it. Here's your next one - to dole out.

PORELL: Dole out...

SHORTZ: It means to - or to apportion.

PORELL: Allot.

SHORTZ: Allot - good. A sweepstakes game.

PORELL: Lottery.

SHORTZ: Well, almost. That has an R in it.

PORELL: Lotto.

SHORTZ: Lotto is it. Good. A for-rent sign - it's a two-word answer. It's a sign this means for rent.

PORELL: To let.

SHORTZ: To let - good. A lavatory.

PORELL: Toilet.

SHORTZ: That's it. A place to insert an electric plug.

PORELL: Outlet.

SHORTZ: No holds barred. This is a hyphenated word - no holds barred.

PORELL: No holds bar...

SHORTZ: And it might mean, if you give your maximum effort, you go...

PORELL: All out.

SHORTZ: All out is it. How about this? You're looking for a three-word phrase that means prevaricate or to fib.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: They said this about George Washington.

PORELL: Tattletale.

SHORTZ: Oh, save that answer. Yeah.

PORELL: OK (laughter).

SHORTZ: What did George Washington never do?

PORELL: He never - tell a lie.

SHORTZ: Tell a lie is it. Yes. To excite the imagination - starts with a T.

PORELL: Oh, starts with a T - tittle.

SHORTZ: Yeah. Just add ate at the end.

PORELL: Tittle tale.

SHORTZ: Oh, I'm going to - it's titillate.

PORELL: Titillate - OK.

SHORTZ: And here's your last one - a snitch.

PORELL: A tattletale.

SHORTZ: There's your tattletale. Good job.

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

PORELL: A little nervous but pretty good.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did really well. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a very coveted WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And Lena, which member station do you listen to?

PORELL: 89.1 Arizona Public Media.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Lena Porell of Tucson, Ariz., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

PORELL: Thank you so much.

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

SHORTZ: Yes. Name a Cabinet department, as in department of blank. Rearrange the letters of what goes in the blank to get the brand name of a product you might buy at a drugstore or a supermarket. What is it? So again, a Cabinet department - rearrange the letters to get the brand name of a product you might buy at a drugstore or a supermarket. What product 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, May 21, 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 will 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.