Sunday Puzzle: A Piece Of Cake

Apr 14, 2019
Originally published on April 14, 2019 1:26 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a word or name in which the second syllable sounds like the letter "K." The syllable is always accented, and there's at least one syllable after it.

Example: Flowering tree that grows in warm climates --> ACACIA

1. Time off from work when you travel somewhere

2. Mount Etna or Mount St. Helens

3. 17-year locust

4. Distracting from real life, as fantasy novels

5. A place

6. One's profession

7. Irish dramatist Seán

8. National park along the coast of Maine

9. Kind of map projection

10. Dirty tricks, sleight of hand

11. Lacking the skill to do something

12. Occurring naturally on a 24-hour cycle

Last week's challenge: Name a country. Remove its last letter. The remaining letters can be rearranged to spell a word that means "country" in that country's main language. What country is it?

Challenge answer: SPAIN --> PAIS (which means "country" in Spanish)

Winner: Ryan Saunders of Washington, D.C.

This week's challenge: Think of a word for a deceitful person. Move the middle letter to the end and you'll get another word for a deceitful person. 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, April 18 at 3 p.m. ET.

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

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

It's time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Sacha. Welcome to the show.

PFEIFFER: Thank you. And would you remind us? What was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes. I said name a country. Remove its last letter. The remaining letters can be rearranged to spell a word that means country in that country's main language. What country is it? Well, the country is Spain. You do that operation. And you get pais, P-A-I-S, which means country in Spanish.

PFEIFFER: We received more than 2,400. And our winner this week is Ryan Saunders of Washington, D.C. Ryan, congratulations and welcome to the program.

RYAN SAUNDERS: Oh, thank you - great to be here.

PFEIFFER: What was your strategy for figuring out the answer?

SAUNDERS: So I thought of the only language that I could immediately translate country into. So I thought of Spain as the main place for Spanish language, dropped the N and immediately saw the four letters. And it all made sense from my high school and limited proficiency in Spanish.

(LAUGHTER)

PFEIFFER: The benefits of having another language in addition to our native one.

SAUNDERS: Exactly.

PFEIFFER: And Ryan, I hear you're a musician.

SAUNDERS: Yeah. I play a guitar and ukulele and piano and currently am trying to entice my 16-month-old to pick up the drums.

SHORTZ: Ooh.

PFEIFFER: (Laughter) I imagine that's not hard to get a 16-month-old to do.

SAUNDERS: Oh, yeah. She's great. She'll beat on anything and is very - she's taken up time. She's getting 4/4 time down, so we're good.

PFEIFFER: Good - Ryan, are you ready to play The Puzzle?

SAUNDERS: Yeah.

PFEIFFER: OK. So, Will, what do you have for us this week?

SHORTZ: All right, Ryan and Sacha, every answer today is a word or name in which the second syllable sounds like the letter K. And the syllable is always accented. And there's at least one syllable after it. For example, if I said flowering tree that grows in warm climates, you would say acacia. So here's number one - time off from work when you travel somewhere.

SAUNDERS: Vacation.

SHORTZ: Vacation is it. Number two - Mount Etna or Mount St. Helens.

SAUNDERS: Volcano. That's it.

SHORTZ: Seventeen-year locust.

SAUNDERS: Oh, cicada.

SHORTZ: Cicada is it - distracting from real life as fantasy novels.

SAUNDERS: Distracting from real life as fantasy novels - a placation. I don't know. It's - no, no.

SHORTZ: It's a form of entertainment - blank entertainment. When you just want to forget everything in life and go into fantasy land. I'll tell you that one. It's escapist.

SAUNDERS: Oh, gotcha (ph).

SHORTZ: Escapist. All right, try this one - a place.

PFEIFFER: A place - that's the only clue.

SAUNDERS: Location.

SHORTZ: Yeah. We're not looking for - I'm looking for a synonym of place.

PFEIFFER: OK. I think Ryan just got it.

SHORTZ: Oh, sorry.

SAUNDERS: Location.

SHORTZ: Location is it - one's profession.

SAUNDERS: Vocation.

SHORTZ: That's it - Irish dramatist Sean...

SAUNDERS: O'Casey.

SHORTZ: That's it - national park along the coast of Maine.

SAUNDERS: Acadia.

SHORTZ: Good - kind of map projection.

SAUNDERS: Oh, I - I'm going to blank on this one.

SHORTZ: It's that old-fashioned thing...

SAUNDERS: Mercator.

SHORTZ: Oh, you got it. Yeah. Say it again.

SAUNDERS: Mercator.

SHORTZ: Mercator - yeah. It's amazing what's in the back of the brain.

SAUNDERS: (Laughter) Yeah. There you go.

SHORTZ: Try this one - dirty tricks or sleight of hand.

SAUNDERS: OK, so dirty tricks...

SHORTZ: Starts with C.

SAUNDERS: Another blank on this one. I'm going to - all right - dirty trick or sleight of hand.

PFEIFFER: Did you tell us it started with the letter C?

SHORTZ: Yes. How about CH?

SAUNDERS: Chicanery - no.

SHORTZ: Chicanery - yeah. Good one.

SAUNDERS: Chicanery - there you go.

PFEIFFER: Good one.

SHORTZ: Lacking the skill to do something.

SAUNDERS: Lacking the skill to something.

SHORTZ: Starts with I.

SAUNDERS: I.

PFEIFFER: Can you give us a second letter?

SHORTZ: Yeah, second letter is going to really help. But it's an N - IN.

SAUNDERS: Incapable.

SHORTZ: Incapable is it. OK. Here's your last one - occurring naturally on a 24-hour cycle. And people talk about it. It's a kind of rhythm. Blank rhythm.

SAUNDERS: Oh, cicada - circacian (ph).

PFEIFFER: Circadian.

SHORTZ: Circadian is it - good.

PFEIFFER: Ryan, you needed very little help on this one. You were carrying the show.

SAUNDERS: (Laughter) There was some that I appreciated the combination and collaboration. It was helpful.

PFEIFFER: You're really good at it. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. Ryan, which member station do you listen to?

SAUNDERS: WAMU in Washington, D.C.

PFEIFFER: Ryan Saunders of Washington, D.C., thanks for playing The Puzzle.

SAUNDERS: Thank you very much.

PFEIFFER: And Will, tell us next week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. Think of a word for a deceitful person. Move the middle letter to the end. And you'll get another word for a deceitful person. What words are these? So again, a word for a deceitful person - move the middle letter to the end, and you'll get another word for a deceitful person. What words are these?

PFEIFFER: And 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, April 18 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.

Will, thank you.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Sacha.

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