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Sunday Puzzle: Move Around To Find New Meaning

Nov 13, 2017
Originally published on November 15, 2017 8:46 am

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words. For each word, move one letter to a different position to spell another word.

Ex. NEVER —> NERVE

1. HURLED

2. GALLERY

3. INFIELD

4. SOOTHER

5. STARTLE

6. AMENDER

7. WITHER

8. SPARED

9. TOPICAL

10. PARLEYS

11. RETAIN

12. NEAREST

13. SIMMERED

The last one is a little different. It has two answers — which go together to make a familiar compound word:

14. SHORE

Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. Think of the last name of a famous film director. The first two letters and last two letters in order spell a word. The remaining letters, rearranged, spell a synonym of that word. What film director is it?

Answer: Francis Ford OR Sofia COPPOLA (cola + pop)

Winner: Danny May of Penfield, N.Y.

Next week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Mass. Take the name of a U.S. state capital. Immediately to the right of it write the name of a world capital. If you have the right ones, the name of a U.S. state will be embedded in consecutive letters within that letter string. What three places are these?

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 Thursday, Nov. 16, at 3 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

One truly surprising piece of news hit our desks this week. Researchers have found that sheep - yes, sheep - can recognize human faces from photographs, sometimes at different angles. So if a sheep can puzzle that out, you should have no trouble with our next segment. It's time for The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining me as always is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Will, good morning.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Tell us last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. I said think of the last name of a famous film director. The first two letters and the last two letters in order spell the word. And the remaining letters rearranged spell a synonym of that word. What film director is it? Well, there are actually two answers - Francis Ford Coppola and Sofia Coppola. And the first and last letters spell cola. And you can rearrange the inside letters to spell pop.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, father and daughter. We received over 2,500 correct responses, so some movie buffs there. Our randomly selected winner is Danny May of Penfield, N.Y. Congratulations.

DANNY MAY: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Danny, I understand you're a truck driver. Where have we reached you now?

MAY: Right now I'm in Pennsylvania. I cover 48 lower states. It's very interesting work - meet a lot of fun people.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, I can imagine. What's your puzzle routine?

MAY: Well, your show is a huge part of my weekend. It makes Sundays really worthwhile. So first, I warm up on Will's crossword puzzle. That usually takes me a couple of coffees. And then I turn on The Puzzler. And sometimes I get them right away, and sometimes it eats away at me for three days.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What about this one? How long did it take you?

MAY: Well, I have to confess - after the last two weeks, which were really hard - those took me till Wednesday, each one. This one I got it in about 30 seconds.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job. Danny, are you ready to play The Puzzle?

MAY: As ready as I will be, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK. Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Danny, I'm going to give you some words. For each one, move one letter to a different position to spell another word. For example, if I said never - N-E-V-E-R - you would say nerve, which takes the R from the end of never and moves it two positions earlier.

MAY: OK.

SHORTZ: OK. No. 1 is hurled - H-U-R-L-E-D.

MAY: Boy, you saved the hard one for me. Lulu, I need a clue.

SHORTZ: Move the D of hurled. What do you get?

MAY: Hurdle.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yay.

SHORTZ: Hurdle is it. No. 2 is gallery - G-A-L-L-E-R-Y.

MAY: Boy (laughter).

SHORTZ: Move the G.

MAY: Allegry - allergy, allergy - I have allergies, too...

SHORTZ: There you go. Infield - I-N-F-I-E-L-D.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What ISIS calls unbelievers.

MAY: Infidel.

SHORTZ: There you go. Amender - A-M-E-N-D-E-R.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: These are hard.

MAY: Amender - well, that's you and this puzzle. You've amended this puzzle to make it easier for me.

(LAUGHTER)

SHORTZ: Yeah, you'd think, how hard can this be? Just move one letter. But it's surprisingly hard to see these.

MAY: It is.

SHORTZ: So move the first letter of amender.

MAY: Meander.

SHORTZ: Meander is it. Wither - W-I-T-H-E-R. This time move the H.

MAY: Well, if I move the R, don't I get writhe?

SHORTZ: Look at that. There's two answers. Yeah, writhe works...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wow.

SHORTZ: ...And I was going for whiter. OK. Congratulations. You got me on that one.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. I like it.

SHORTZ: How about simmered? - S-I-M-M-E-R-E-D. And you want to move the S.

MAY: Immersed.

SHORTZ: Immersed is it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job.

SHORTZ: And your last one, it's a little different. It has two answers, which go together to make a familiar compound word.

MAY: OK.

SHORTZ: And your word is shore - S-H-O-R-E.

MAY: Horseshoer.

SHORTZ: Horseshoer - no hint needed - Nice job.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wow, nice job. That was great. That was a really hard one, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're the only person who'd take that as a compliment.

(LAUGHTER)

SHORTZ: I'll take it, though.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Danny, you were - you did a great job. 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. Danny, what member station do you listen to traveling as you do all around the country?

MAY: Well, I listen to them all over the country. But my home station is WXXI AM in Rochester, N.Y.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Danny May of Penfield, N.Y., thank you so much for joining us and playing The Puzzle today.

MAY: Thank you, Lulu. Thank you, Will.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK, Will, what's next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Mass. Take the name of a U.S. state capital. Immediately to the right of it, right the name of a world capital. And if you have the right ones, the name of a U.S. state will be embedded in consecutive letters within that letter string. What three places are these? So again, a U.S. state capital plus the capital of a foreign country, smush them together - and if you have the right ones, the name of a U.S. state will be embedded in consecutive letters inside it. What three places are these?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer, go to our website npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries this week is Thursday, November 16 at 3 p.m. ET. 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 puzzle master Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.

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