Sunday Puzzle
10:01 pm
Sat March 31, 2012

Testing Your Wits With Knowledge Of Spirits

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 8:33 pm

On-Air Challenge: Today's challenges are from an old English book called Lateral Thinking Puzzles by Hannah Robson and Nick Hoare. They all have a drinking theme, and they'll test your wits.

Last Week's Challenge from listener Doug Heller of Flourtown, Pa.: Think of a much-discussed subject in the news with two words (five letters in the first, six letters in the last). The letters of the five-letter word can be rearranged to get the first five letters of the six-letter word. The six-letter word ends in a Y. What's the subject?

Answer: "Green energy"

Winner: Lillian Moodey from Phoenix, Ariz.

Next Week's Challenge: Name some things seen at a baseball game. This is a two-word phrase, four letters in each word. Change one letter in each word to a new letter to get a new two-word phrase that names a popular music group of the past. Name the group.

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 at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Time now for the puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: Let's start with last week's challenge from the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master Will Shortz.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Think of a much-discussed subject in the news - two words; five letters in the first word, six letters in the last. The letters of the five-letter word can be rearranged to get the first five letters of the six-letter word. And the six-letter word ends in a Y. What's the subject?

MARTIN: Well, more than 1,000 of you figured out the answer. And our randomly selected winner this week is Lillian Moodey of Phoenix, Arizona. Congratulations, Lillian.

LILLIAN MOODEY: Thank you very much.

MARTIN: So, tell us what was the answer to last week's challenge.

MOODEY: Green energy.

MARTIN: And how long did it take you to figure this out?

MOODEY: Somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes.

MARTIN: All right. So, not a whole day. That's pretty quick.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: And we should mention you are a manager in the Arizona State Land Department, is that right?

MOODEY: Yes, I am.

MARTIN: And I understand you also are a bit of a Scrabble player.

MOODEY: I love Scrabble.

MARTIN: Me, too. I was wondering, do you have a favorite letter, that kind of letter that you draw and you think, yes, all the possibilities are open to me when I have this letter?

MOODEY: Oh, I love all the 10-value letters, of course. I love Ws.

MARTIN: Ws. See, I'm a R fan. I like the R. Before we get too far down the Scrabble tangent, I'm going to introduce you to the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.

SHORTZ: Good morning, Rachel. And, Lillian, congratulations.

MOODEY: Thank you again.

MARTIN: OK. Lillian, so, without further ado, are you ready to play the puzzle?

MOODEY: I think so.

MARTIN: All right. You sound hesitant but let's give it a go, Will. Let's make it happen.

SHORTZ: All right. Lillian and Rachel, Happy April Fool's Day. Today I've brought some playful puzzles from an old English book called Lateral Thinking Puzzles by Hannah Robson and Nick Hoare. These all have a drinking theme and they'll test your wits. Here's number one: When they threw us out of the pub at midnight on Christmas Eve, it was snowing hard. What is the probability that it would have been sunny 72 hours later?

MOODEY: Sunny, 72 hours later if it was snowing at midnight?

SHORTZ: Well, 72 hours would be three days later.

MOODEY: Three days later with the probability that it'll be sunny three later?

SHORTZ: Yeah.

MOODEY: Shoot.

SHORTZ: Want to take a wild guess?

MOODEY: Fifty percent.

SHORTZ: What do you think, Rachel?

MARTIN: I have no idea.

SHORTZ: Well, the probability is zero. In 72 hours, it would be midnight again. So, it would not be sunny 72...

MARTIN: Oh.

MOODEY: Oh, gosh.

MARTIN: Because it's dark.

MOODEY: It's dark again 72 hours later.

MARTIN: Will, you're such a trickster. OK.

SHORTZ: Now you're getting a hang of it.

MOODEY: What happened to the anagrams? I was so ready for those.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SHORTZ: Anagrams will return. But meanwhile, Jonathan and Margaret met in the pub last night for the first time in 10 months, although they have been happily married for the two years. How is this?

MOODEY: One's been away.

MARTIN: They're happily married because they live apart.

MOODEY: They live apart. They're missing each other. One's been in the military. I don't know.

SHORTZ: Yeah, yeah. Once more. So, they met in the pub last night for the first time in 10 months, although they've been happily married for two years. How...

MARTIN: Oh. Are they married to each other?

SHORTZ: They aren't married to each other.

MOODEY: They aren't married to each other.

SHORTZ: Can't take anything for granted.

MARTIN: Sneaky, sneaky.

SHORTZ: OK. In a balloon that's stationary off the coast of Ireland, I dropped two wine bottles off the side - one of them full, the other one empty. Which bottle hit the ground first?

MOODEY: You would think the full one.

SHORTZ: Yeah. What do you think, Rachel?

MOODEY: But it can't be that easy.

MARTIN: I don't know. I'm trying to think about Ireland, what does that...

MOODEY: Ireland is surrounded by water.

SHORTZ: Right.

MOODEY: Which is going to fall first the empty bottle or the full bottle?

SHORTZ: Yeah. Which one hit the ground first?

MOODEY: You can't. It's in the water.

SHORTZ: Exactly. Neither one if they'd hit the sea...

MARTIN: Oh, yes.

MOODEY: I'm right finally?

MARTIN: Lillian.

MOODEY: Oh, gosh. I'm not shamed after all.

MARTIN: Well done. That was a good one.

SHORTZ: OK. We got one more.

MARTIN: It's so humbling.

MOODEY: I don't know if I could take this any longer.

SHORTZ: What happens every year at 8:15 P.M. at the bar of the Brown Rat in Inverness on November 31st?

MOODEY: What happens at 8:15...

SHORTZ: P.M. at the bar of the Brown Rat in Inverness on November 31st?

MOODEY: November 31st?

SHORTZ: Um-hum.

MOODEY: There isn't a 31st in November.

SHORTZ: There you go.

MARTIN: Good job.

SHORTZ: Nothing happens. Nice job.

MARTIN: Nothing happens. Oh, man. Are we done, Will?

SHORTZ: We're done.

MOODEY: Oh, my God.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: We deserve something for that...

MOODEY: Yeah.

MARTIN: ...an extra cup of coffee or something. That was really well done.

MOODEY: Or drinks at the pub.

MARTIN: Or drinks at the pub, exactly.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: Congratulations for playing the puzzle today. You will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at NPR.org/ puzzle.

MOODEY: Well, I couldn't have done it without you, Rachel.

MARTIN: Well, we muddled through it together.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: And before we let you go, Lillian, what is your public radio station?

MOODEY: KJZZ. K-Jazz, Phoenix, Arizona.

MARTIN: Perfect. Lillian Moodey, thank you so much for playing the puzzle this week.

MOODEY: You're welcome.

MARTIN: OK, Will. So I don't know if you could top that. But what's our challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, with baseball season just opening, I have a baseball-theme puzzle. And there is no trick involved. Name some things seen at a baseball game. This is a two-word phrase, four letters in each word. Change one letter in each word to a new letter to get a new two-word phrase that names a popular music group of the past. And it is a group I think everyone knows. Name the group.

So again, things that you see at a baseball game - two-word phrase, four/four. Change one letter in each word to a new letter to get a new two-word phrase that names a popular music group of the past. Name the group.

MARTIN: OK. 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, April 5th at 3 P.M. Eastern Time.

Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you are 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 puzzle-master, Will Shortz.

Will, Happy April Fools.

SHORTZ: Happy April Fools' Day, Rachel.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: Thanks. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.