Sunday Puzzle: New Start

Jun 21, 2020

On-air challenge: I'm going to read you some words. For each one, change the initial consonant or consonants to a new consonant or new consonants to get a new word that looks like it should rhyme with the original but doesn't. Every answer is unique.

Example: Cord --> Word
1. Howl
2. Golf
3. Brave
4. Fork
5. Paste
6. Toad
7. Gasp
8. Green
9. Pooch
10. Goose

Last week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Greg Van Mechelen of Berkeley, Calif. Think of a five-letter word. Change the first letter to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a new word that doesn't share any sounds with the first one. Then change its first letter to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a third word that doesn't share any sounds with either of the first two. What words are these?

Challenge answer: Bough --> Cough --> Dough

Winner: Rachel Mazor of Brooklyn, N.Y.

This week's challenge: Think of a famous person whose name consists of three names. The first and last letters of the first name plus the first and last letters of the second name plus the first and last letters of the third name, in order, name a city and lake in Europe. Who 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, June 25th, at 3 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2020 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. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey there, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from listener Greg Van Mechelen of Berkeley, Calif. I said think of a five-letter word. Change the first letter to the next letter of the alphabet. And you'll get a new word that doesn't share any sounds with the first one. And then change its first letter to the next letter of the alphabet. And you'll get a third word that doesn't share any sounds with either of the first two. What words are these? And the answer is bough, cough and dough, showing how weird a language we have.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received just over 2,400 correct responses, and the winner this week is Rachel Mazor of Brooklyn, N.Y. Congratulations, and welcome to the program.

RACHEL MAZOR: Hi. Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So how'd you figure out this week's answer?

MAZOR: This one just kind of came to me magically. I don't know.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter).

MAZOR: I didn't think. It appeared in a vision.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It appeared in a vision. I like it.

MAZOR: And then I realized, actually, you could continue the pattern if you went to six letters with enough.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wow.

SHORTZ: That's true.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So tell me - do you play The Puzzle often?

MAZOR: Yeah, I listen every week, but I don't usually send in. So this is really exciting.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And what was it like when you got the call?

MAZOR: I screamed a little bit.

(LAUGHTER)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Awesome. And what do you do in Brooklyn?

MAZOR: I'm an English teacher. I teach high school English at a Quaker school.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wonderful. Are you ready to play?

MAZOR: I'm ready.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Rachel, I'm going to read you some words. For each one, change the initial consonant or consonants to a new consonant or new consonants to get a new word that looks like it should rhyme with the original but doesn't. For example, if I said cord - C-O-R-D - you would say word. They both end in O-R-D, but they don't rhyme.

MAZOR: OK.

SHORTZ: All right, number one is howl - H-O-W-L.

MAZOR: Let's see. Bowl.

SHORTZ: Bowl is it. Good. Golf - G-O-L-F.

MAZOR: Golf. Let's see - I'm going through the alphabet. I mean, Rowlf the name? I don't know.

SHORTZ: Yeah. Wolf like the animal.

MAZOR: Oh, wolf. OK. That works. I'm thinking of Rowlf from "The Muppet Show." But wolf, I'll take it (laughter).

SHORTZ: OK, try this one. Brave - B-R-A-V-E.

MAZOR: Have.

SHORTZ: Have. Good. Toad - T-O-A-D.

MAZOR: Toad. Broad.

SHORTZ: Nice. Gasp - G-A-S-P.

MAZOR: Gasp. Oh, gasp. I think it probably ends with an asp sound.

SHORTZ: Yes.

MAZOR: Wasp.

SHORTZ: There you go.

MAZOR: Wasp.

SHORTZ: Green - G-R-E-E-N.

MAZOR: Green. I keep thinking of rhymes, not rhymes. Let's see...

SHORTZ: Try near the start of the alphabet.

MAZOR: Been.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's it.

MAZOR: Been. Oh, been, like been. That's right.

SHORTZ: Like been, good. Pooch - P-O-O-C-H.

MAZOR: Pooch.

SHORTZ: It's something you might wear. And it's two letters rather than one.

MAZOR: Wow. I'm really blanking out on this one. Lulu, I might need you to save me on this one.

(LAUGHTER)

SHORTZ: Think of a pin, a decorative pin.

MAZOR: Oh, a brooch. A brooch.

SHORTZ: A brooch, good. And your last one is goose - G-O-O-S-E.

MAZOR: Goose?

SHORTZ: And what's weird about this one you don't change the sound of the O, O you change the sound of the S.

MAZOR: Oh, loose - well, no, not loose. Oh, my gosh. It's an oose sound, right?

SHORTZ: Exactly. And you want two letters.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The sound, the sound a train makes.

MAZOR: Choose, oh, choose.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Right (laughter).

SHORTZ: Choose. There you go.

MAZOR: OK.

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

MAZOR: Very excited and a little bit glad it's over.

SHORTZ: (Laughter).

MAZOR: But thank you so much.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did so well. Honestly, you were amazing. And 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 what member station do you listen to?

MAZOR: WNYC. We're sustaining members, very avid listeners.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Ah, wonderful. Rachel Mazor of Brooklyn, N.Y., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

MAZOR: Thank you. It was a pleasure.

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

SHORTZ: Yeah, think of a famous person whose name consists of three names. The first and last letters of the first name, plus the first and last letters of the second name, plus the first and last letters of the third name, in order, name a city and lake in Europe. Who is it? So again a famous three-named person. The first and last letters of the first, second and third names, in order, name a city and lake in Europe. What's the city and lake, and who 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, June 25 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 very own puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.

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