Sunday Puzzle: Capital Scramble

15 hours ago

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words. The letters in the first word appear in left-to-right order, although not consecutively, in a state capital. The letters in the second word appear in left-to-right order in that capital's state.

Example: Scant, Corn --> Sacramento, California
1. Annals, Aryan
2. Singed, Lois
3. Alas, Ford
4. Saul, Mines
5. Boon, Assets
6. Motor, Lama
7. Mason, Coin
8. Prince, Resand

Last week's challenge: From listener Dominick Talvacchio of Chicago. Think of a common two-word phrase for something you experience in a desert. Rearrange the letters to get a single word for something you should do in the desert as a result.

Challenge answer: Dry Heat --> Hydrate

Winner: Brian Dunworth of Tallahassee, Fla.

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Alan Hochbaum, of Duluth, Ga. Think of a famous living American whose first and last names have a total of eight letters — all different. Five of these letters are consecutive in the alphabet. The remaining three can be rearranged to spell a woman's nickname. What famous American is this?

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, August 6, at 3 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

It is time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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

Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey there, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So what was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Dominick Talvacchio of Chicago. I said, think of a common two-word phrase for something you experience in a desert. Rearrange the letters to get a single word for something you should do in a desert as a result. What is it? Well, what you might experience is dry heat. Rearrange those letters - is hydrate.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received over 2,500 correct responses, and the winner is Brian Dunworth of Tallahassee, Fla.

Congratulations.

BRIAN DUNWORTH: Thank you, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How did you figure it out?

DUNWORTH: You know, it literally popped into my head. As Will was reading the question, the first phrase I thought of was dry heat. And then I was thinking to myself, hey, I could rearrange that to make hydrate. And he was actually saying the second part of the question at that time.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How long have you been playing?

DUNWORTH: I've been listening in on - probably for the past 10 or 15 years.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And have you submitted before?

DUNWORTH: I have not. This was actually the very first time I ever sent a response in to the puzzle segment.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Well, take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Brian. I'm going to give you two words. The letters in the first word appear in left-to-right order, although not consecutively, in a state capital. The letters in the second word appear in left-to-right order in that capital's state. For example, if I said scant - S-C-A-N-T - and corn - C-O-R-N - you would say Sacramento, Calif., 'cause the letters of scant appear left to right inside Sacramento, and corn is left to right inside California.

DUNWORTH: I got it.

SHORTZ: All right. Number one is annals - A-N-N-A-L-S - and Aryan - A-R-Y-A-N. I'll tell you it's an East Coast state.

DUNWORTH: Annapolis, Md.

SHORTZ: There you go. Number two is singed - S-I-N-G-E-D - and Lois - L-O-I-S. And here, you're looking for a Midwest state.

DUNWORTH: Not coming to me yet.

SHORTZ: And specifically, it's one of those I states.

DUNWORTH: Oh, Springfield, Ill.

SHORTZ: Springfield, Ill., is it. Alas - A-L-A-S - Ford - F-O-R-D.

DUNWORTH: Tallahassee, Fla.

SHORTZ: That's it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) You should have known that one.

DUNWORTH: Right.

SHORTZ: Saul - S-A-U-L - mines - M-I-N-E-S.

DUNWORTH: St. Paul, Minn.

SHORTZ: That was fast. Boon - B-O-O-N - assets - A-S-S-E-T-S.

DUNWORTH: Boston, Mass.

SHORTZ: Good. Motor - M-O-T-O-R - lama - L-A-M-A.

DUNWORTH: Alabama.

SHORTZ: Yes. It starts...

DUNWORTH: Montgomery.

SHORTZ: Montgomery, Ala., is it. Try this one - Mason - M-A-S-O-N - coin - C-O-I-N.

DUNWORTH: In Connecticut.

SHORTZ: Not Connecticut 'cause that wouldn't - the I's not in the right spot.

DUNWORTH: Oh, that's right.

SHORTZ: Try the upper Midwest again.

DUNWORTH: Wisconsin.

SHORTZ: Yes.

DUNWORTH: Madison, Wisc.

SHORTZ: Madison, Wisc., is it. And here's your last one - prince - P-R-I-N-C-E - and resand - R-E-S-A-N-D. And you're looking for a New England state. And here's your big hint - it's the smallest state in the country.

DUNWORTH: Oh, Rhode Island. What is the capital of Rhode Island? Providence, R.I.

SHORTZ: Providence, R.I.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah.

SHORTZ: You got it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I knew it would come to you eventually (laughter). How do you feel?

DUNWORTH: I feel OK.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did great.

DUNWORTH: I didn't think I could match wits with the great Will Shortz.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But there you go. You did it. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And, Brian, which member station do you listen to?

DUNWORTH: I listen to WFSU here in Tallahassee, Fla.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Brian Dunworth of Tallahassee, Fla., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

DUNWORTH: Thank you.

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

SHORTZ: Here's next week's challenge. It comes from listener Alan Hochbaum of Duluth, Ga. Think of a famous living American whose first and last names have a total of eight letters - all different. Five of these letters are consecutive in the alphabet. The remaining three can be rearranged to spell a woman's nickname. What famous American is this? So again, a famous living American, first and last names total of eight letters. They're all different. Five of the letters are consecutive in the alphabet, and the remaining three can be rearranged to spell a woman's nickname. What famous American is this?

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, August 6, 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 you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's very own puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.

Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.

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