Sunday Puzzle: Double Double

May 30, 2021

On-air Challenge: Every answer today is a five-letter word or name in which the first two letters are the same as the last two.

Ex. Energy or enthusiasm --> VERVE
1. Home of the N.F.L.'s Dolphins

2. Car made in Sweden

3. Latin dance that's also a spicy tomato sauce

4. Vegetable you peel and that can make you cry

5. Companion of the Lone Ranger

6. Eric Clapton's first top 10 hit

7. Give an order to be quiet

8. Sight or hearing, for example

9. Bohemian novelist who wrote "The Metamorphosis"

10. Kind of yoga

11. Just barely defeated

12. Egyptian god pictured with the head of an ibis

13. Very loud, as a crowd

Last week's challenge: Last week's challenge came from listener Roger Barkan of Savage, Md. Think of an 8-letter word in which the third and sixth letters are "A." Remove the A's. The remaining six letters start a common series. What is it? And what comes next in that series?

Challenge answer: Standard --> The remaining pairs of letters — ST, ND, and RD — form the ends of 1ST, 2ND, and 3RD. The next pair of letters in the series is TH.

Winner: Jeff Scott-Densic of Phoenix, Ariz.

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Al Gori, of Oak Ridge, N.J. Name a famous city in 10 letters that contains an "S." Drop the "S." Then assign the remaining nine letters their standard value in the alphabet — A = 1, B= 2, C = 3, etc. The total value of the nine letters is only 25. What city is it?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here by Thursday, June 3, at 3 p.m. ET. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

And it's time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey there, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yeah, it was a tough one. It came from listener Roger Barkan of Savage, Md. I said, think of an eight-letter word in which the third and sixth letters are A. Remove the A's, and the remaining six letters start a common series. What is it, and what comes next in that series? Well, the answer is standard. Remove the two A's, you get S-T, N-D and R-D. Those are the remaining letters of first, second and third. So the next pair of letters in the series is T-H. as in ending fourth.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received just over 80 correct responses only, and the winner this week is Jeff Scott-Densic of Phoenix, Ariz. Congratulations and welcome to the program.

JEFF SCOTT-DENSIC: Good morning, Lulu. Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It was a tough one. How'd you figure it out?

SCOTT-DENSIC: Yeah, it was really tough. I - my search for word pairs ultimately had me looking at a compass, and I looked at it, and I said, well, I know what the cardinal points are called, but what are these intercardinal points called? So I looked it up and I found out they were called ordinals. That had me scratching my head. I thought ordinals were always first, second, third, and - well, here we are.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What was it like when you got the call?

SCOTT-DENSIC: Oh, super excited.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How long have you been playing The Puzzle?

SCOTT-DENSIC: I've been playing since the postcard days, so I'm one of those long-timers.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Long-timers. Well, here's your chance. Are you ready to play?

SCOTT-DENSIC: Ready as I'm going to be.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Jeff, I love that you've been playing for years and years. Every answer today is a five-letter word or name in which the first two letters are the same as the last two. For example, if I said energy or enthusiasm, you would say verve because it starts and ends in V-E. Here's number one. Home of the NFL's Dolphins.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Miami.

SHORTZ: That's right. Number two, car made in Sweden.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Volvo.

SHORTZ: Here's your next one, a Latin dance that's also a spicy tomato sauce.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Salsa.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. A vegetable you peel and that can make you cry.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Onion.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Companion of the Lone Ranger.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Tonto.

SHORTZ: That's right. Eric Clapton's first top 10 hit.

SCOTT-DENSIC: "Layla."

SHORTZ: That's it. Give an order to be quiet.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Shush.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Sight or hearing, for example.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Sense.

SHORTZ: That's it. Bohemian novelist who wrote "The Metamorphosis."

SCOTT-DENSIC: Oh, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's sometimes - when something is absurd, it's called something-esque.

SHORTZ: Right. His first name is Franz, in case that...

SCOTT-DENSIC: Kafka. Kafka.

SHORTZ: ...Kafka, there's the clue. Kind of yoga. It's a variety of yoga.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Yoga.

SHORTZ: And what if I told you it starts with H?

SCOTT-DENSIC: Not helping.

SHORTZ: All right, I'll tell you. It's Hatha. Hatha yoga.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Oh, thank you. I would've never gotten that.

SHORTZ: All right, try this one. Just barely defeated.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Just barely defeated.

SHORTZ: One team blank the other team.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Trounced, no.

SHORTZ: Yeah, but just barely defeated.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Something out.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Won out, trounced out.

SHORTZ: I'll tell you, it's edged. One team edged the other.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Edged. Edged out.

SHORTZ: Just barely defeated it. All right, here's your knowledge-tester. Egyptian god pictured with the head of an ibis. Yeah, that's a tough one. I'm just going to tell you, it's Thoth - T-H-O-T-H. All right, here's your last one. Very loud as a crowd.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Ruckus.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh - what would be the sound of a loud crowd or a lion?

SCOTT-DENSIC: Roar.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. And put the letter A in front.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Aroar?

SHORTZ: Aroar, yeah. You sound so tentative. Yeah, aroar - the crowd is aroar.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Great job. How do you feel?

SCOTT-DENSIC: Relieved, like most players.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did great, though. 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. And, Jeff, which member station do you listen to?

SCOTT-DENSIC: I'm a member of KJZZ.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Jeff Scott-Densic of Phoenix, Ariz., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

SCOTT-DENSIC: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will, what is next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Al Gori of Oak Ridge, N.J. Name a famous city in 10 letters that contains an S. Drop the S, then assign the remaining nine letters their standard value in the alphabet - A equals one, B equals two, etc. - and the total value of the nine letters is only 25. What city is it? So again, famous city, 10 letters, contains an S. Drop the S, assign the remaining nine letters their standard value in the alphabet. The total value of those letters is only 25. What city is it?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the "submit your answer" link. Remember, just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, June 3 at 3 p.m. Eastern. 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 if you pick up the phone, you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. And his name is Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.

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