The Missing Link
On-air challenge: For each set of three words, find a word that can precede each one to complete a familiar two-word phrase or name. The first word in each set will name an animal. Example: turtle, spring, office. The answer would be box — box turtle, box spring, box office.
Last week's challenge: Think of a 10-letter adjective describing certain institutions. Drop three letters from this word, and the remaining seven letters, reading left to right, will name an institution described by this adjective. What institution is it?
Answer: Collegiate; Colgate
Winner: Joseph Young of St. Cloud, Minn.
Next week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from Steve Baggish of Arlington, Mass., the father of the 11-year-old boy who created the challenge two weeks ago. Name a boy's name and a girl's name, each in four letters. The names start with the same letter of the alphabet. The boy's name contains the letter R. Drop that R from the boy's name and insert it into the girl's name. Phonetically, the result will be a familiar two-word phrase for something no one wants to have. What is it?
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 at 3 p.m. Eastern.
DON GONYEA, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Don Gonyea. Now, this hour on Sunday mornings I'm usually at my kitchen table with my pencil and paper. But today I'm in the hot seat because it is time for the puzzle.
Joining me now is Will Shortz. He's the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Will, good to talk to you again.
WILL SHORTZ: Good morning, Don.
GONYEA: So help refresh our memories. What was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. I said, think of a 10-letter adjective that describes certain institutions. Drop three letters from that word and use the remaining seven letters, in order left to right, to name an institution described by the adjective. Well, the 10-letter adjective was collegiate. If you drop L, E, I in left to right order, you're left with Colgate, which is the upstate New York university.
I have to tell you, a lot of solvers also thought of collegiate but had dropped different letters to make college, reading left to right. I didn't count that as correct because I said name an institution, and college is just a general word. And it's not such an elegant answer anyway.
GONYEA: Got it. Well, this was an unusually tough one. Only 130 of you got it correct. And our randomly selected winner this week is Joseph Young (ph), of Saint Cloud, Minnesota. And he joins us on the line now. Congratulations, Joseph.
JOSEPH YOUNG: Thanks very much, Don.
GONYEA: OK. So I understand you were on the show doing a puzzle once before?
YOUNG: I was. It was a little more than a year ago.
GONYEA: And we need to note, you're lucky because you have been randomly picked twice. So welcome back.
YOUNG: I am lucky. And thank you so much.
GONYEA: When you're not doing the Sunday Puzzle what do you do in Saint Cloud, Minnesota?
YOUNG: Well, I just started a puzzle blog myself, actually, a couple months ago.
GONYEA: So you're kind of talking to Yoda, here, as a puzzle writer yourself. What question do you have for the puzzle master Will Shortz?
YOUNG: It's what do you look for, Will, in a Will Shortz-worthy, NPR Sunday Puzzle?
SHORTZ: It's something that I'd like to solve. I put myself in the solver's shoes - something elegant, surprising about it - unique about it. I guess that's all I can say.
GONYEA: Well, and with that, Joseph, are you ready to play the puzzle this morning?
YOUNG: I will do my best.
GONYEA: OK, Will. Let's go.
SHORTZ: All right, Joe and Don, I'm going to give you three words, the first of which names an animal. You give me a word that can precede each of mine to complete a familiar two word phrase or name. For example, if I said turtle, spring and office, you would say box, as in box turtle, box spring and box office.
All right? And we'll start with three-letter answers. The first one is dog, chocolate, potato.
YOUNG: Dog, chocolate, potato? Hot.
SHORTZ: Hotdog, hot chocolate and hot potato is it. Now, the next ones are four letters. And the first one of these is horse, school, voltage.
SHORTZ: High it is. Panther, slip, Floyd.
SHORTZ: Pink Panther, pink slip, and Pink Floyd it is. Now, five letter answers. Sheep, market, Friday.
SHORTZ: Oh, that was fast. Elephant, bread, collar.
SHORTZ: Oh, another fast one. Bear, cap, C-A-P, and opposites.
YOUNG: Oh, boy.
GONYEA: Cold. Cold.
SHORTZ: There you go. Polar bear, polar cap and polar opposites.
GONYEA: Good hint. Good hint.
SHORTZ: Goat, G-O-A-T, goat, club, Crystal.
SHORTZ: That's it. Tiger, route, R-O-U-T-E, towel.
GONYEA: Did you ever sell newspapers when you were a kid?
YOUNG: I did, actually. Yeah I was a...
GONYEA: And what did you do?
YOUNG: Paper. Paper, paper, paper.
SHORTZ: You had a paper route. Paper tiger and paper towel. And here's your last one. It has six letters. Monkey, pencil, gun. And I'll give you a hint for the monkey one. It's someone who works in a garage.
YOUNG: Oh, grease.
SHORTZ: Grease monkey, grease pencil and grease gun. Nice job.
GONYEA: Great job, indeed, Joseph.
GONYEA: (Laughing) And for much of it you were, like, playing a lightning round.
YOUNG: (Laughing) Yeah, I know. Yeah.
GONYEA: Well, 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. And, Joseph, tell us your public radio station.
YOUNG: Yes. It's KNSR in Collegeville, in Saint Cloud.
GONYEA: Joseph Young of Saint Cloud, Minnesota. Thanks for playing the puzzle this week.
YOUNG: Thanks, I really enjoyed it.
GONYEA: And Will, do you have a puzzle to give us for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, I do. It comes from Steve Baggish, of Arlington Massachusetts. And he's the father of the 11-year-old boy who created the challenge two weeks ago.
Name a boy's name and a girl's name, each in four letters. The names start with the same letter of the alphabet. The boy's name contains the letter R. Drop that R from the boy's name, and insert it into the girl's name and, phonetically, you will get a familiar, two-word phrase for something no one wants to have. What is it?
So again, a boy's name and a girl's name, each in four letters. The names start with the same letter of the alphabet. The boy's name has the letter R. Drop that R, put it into the - inside the girl's name. And, phonetically, you'll get a familiar, two-word phrase for something no one wants to have. What is it?
GONYEA: OK, folks, have at it. 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. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, July 3, at 3 p.m. Eastern time.
Please 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, of course, WEEKEND EDITION'S puzzle master Will Shortz. Thanks, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Don. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.