Sunday Puzzle: Left To Right

May 26, 2019

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words and a category. Name something in the category whose letters can be found in left-to-right order in the word — although not consecutively. Every answer has 5 letters.

Example: HUMANOID — World capital ---> HANOI

1. AVENUES — Planet

2. BIODIESEL — State capital

3. UNDERSHRUB — Prime minister of India

4. HOGSHEAD — Book of the Old Testament

5. COMING OUT — African river

6. OCCUPIED — One of Santa's reindeer

Last week's challenge: Name a profession in 13 letters that is associated with a particular 5-letter country. The letters of that country appear in left-to-right order, although not consecutively, in that profession's name. What is it?

Hint: The profession is a single word.

Challenge answer: Hieroglyphist --> Egypt

Winner: Jared Voss of Medford, Mass.

This week's challenge: This week's challenge is not so hard. It comes from Joseph Young of St. Cloud, Minn. Take a common English word in 3 letters. Translate it into French — also 3 letters. (The French word is one everyone knows.) And between them these two words consist of 6 different vowels and no consonants. What words 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 by Thursday, May 30 at 3 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SUSAN DAVIS, HOST:

And it's time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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

Hey, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Sue.

DAVIS: All right, Will, remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yeah, it was a tough one. I said name a profession in 13 letters that's associated with a particular five-letter country. I said the letters of that country appear in left to right order, although not consecutively, in that profession's name. What is it? And I said the profession is a single word. Well, the answer is hieroglyphist...

DAVIS: Oof (ph).

SHORTZ: ...Which is associated with Egypt. And the letters E-G-Y-P-T are in left-to-right order - thought very hard - long and hard. We had a number of listeners send in industrialist, which holds India - didn't decide. And I didn't think industrialist was quite closely connected enough to India but that was almost. And some people sent in sheep-shearing to Spain and quartermaster to Qatar, which I thought were interesting but not quite on target enough.

DAVIS: That was a pretty tough puzzle.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

DAVIS: Well, we received 215 responses, and our winner this week is Jared Voss of Medford, Mass. Congratulations, and welcome to the program.

JARED VOSS: Thank you.

DAVIS: Jared, how did you figure out the week's challenge?

VOSS: Well, I started trying to think of any professions that were associated with a specific country and vice versa. And then I thought of Egypt, and then I just kind of looked at words related to ancient Egypt. And I thought I made up a new profession.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVIS: My sources tell me you also play The Puzzle with your wife Angela, who actually played on air back in February.

VOSS: Yes, she did. She did excellent, so I have big shoes to fill.

DAVIS: Well, you know what they say about the couples that puzzle together.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVIS: Well, Jared, are you ready to play The Puzzle?

VOSS: I am.

DAVIS: Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Jared and Sue, I'm going to give you some words and a category. Name something in the category whose letters can be found in left-to-right order in the word, although not consecutively. And I'll tell you every answer has five letters. For example, if I said humanoid and a world capital, you would say Hanoi because Hanoi is a world capital, and it's - those letters are found in left-to-right order in humanoid.

VOSS: OK.

SHORTZ: Number one is avenues, and you're looking for a planet.

VOSS: Venus.

SHORTZ: Venus is it. Number two is biodiesel - B-I-O-D-I-E-S-E-L - biodiesel, and your category is state capital.

VOSS: Biodiesel.

SHORTZ: Think of a state capital starting with B in five letters.

VOSS: Boy.

DAVIS: Oh, you're...

VOSS: This is a tough one.

SHORTZ: Yeah. Think about out West. And, Sue, I hear you.

DAVIS: Well...

SHORTZ: I know you have the answer.

DAVIS: Jared gave himself a clue when he said boy.

SHORTZ: Oh, yeah.

VOSS: Oh, Boise.

DAVIS: There you go.

SHORTZ: Boise - nice clue, Sue.

DAVIS: (Laughter).

SHORTZ: I like that (laughter) - undershrub, prime minister of India.

VOSS: Undershrub.

SHORTZ: Prime minister of India.

VOSS: I have to - couldn't say. I don't know who the prime minister of India is.

SHORTZ: No, it's not the current one. That's the category. And I think it was the first prime minister of India.

VOSS: Oh, OK.

SHORTZ: Starts with N.

VOSS: I am going to have to pass on this one. I don't know.

SHORTZ: All right, I'll tell you. You're going to kick yourself, though. It's Nehru - N-E-H-R-U.

VOSS: Oh.

DAVIS: That was a tough one.

SHORTZ: Hog's head, book of the Old Testament.

VOSS: OK.

SHORTZ: Start...

VOSS: I need a hint there.

SHORTZ: It starts with H.

VOSS: Hosea.

SHORTZ: Hosea is it, good.

DAVIS: Very good.

SHORTZ: There you go - coming out, African river.

VOSS: Well, it's not the Congo.

SHORTZ: Yes, it is Congo. Good.

VOSS: Is it? Wait. Oh, coming out. Oh, there it is. OK, I see. I couldn't read my own handwriting.

SHORTZ: (Laughter) And here's your last one - occupied, one of Santa's reindeer.

VOSS: Oh, Cupid.

SHORTZ: Cupid is it. Good job.

DAVIS: All right. Great job, Jared. How do you feel?

VOSS: That was - oh, that was tough.

DAVIS: That was tough. You did pretty good, though. I think you missed all but - or you got all but one.

SHORTZ: I think so, yeah. Yeah.

VOSS: We'll go with that.

DAVIS: We'll go with that.

VOSS: We'll go with that.

(LAUGHTER)

DAVIS: For playing The Puzzle today, you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. Jared, which member station do you listen to?

VOSS: WBUR.

DAVIS: That's Jared Voss of Medford, Mass. Thank you for playing The Puzzle.

VOSS: Thank you.

DAVIS: All right, Will. Tell us about next week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, and it's not so hard. It comes from Joseph Young (ph) of St. Cloud, Minn. Take a common English word in three letters. Translate it into French - also three letters. And this is a French word everyone knows. And between them, these two words consist of six different vowels and no consonants. What words are these? So again, common English word in three letters; translate it into French - also three letters. And between them, these two words consist of six different vowels and no consonants. What words are these?

DAVIS: 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, May 30, at 3 p.m. Eastern. 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.

Thank you so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Sue.

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