Sunday Puzzle: Switch The Vowel

Jan 17, 2021
Originally published on January 17, 2021 12:13 pm

On-air Challenge: Below are some clues. The answer to each one is one of the words in the clue with its vowel sound changed.

Example: What fish bite --> BAIT (the word "bite" with the long-I sound changed to a long-A)

1. Not day

2. It's made by moistening dirt

3. Jacket part that covers the head

4. Item that's sowed in a garden

5. Fail to hit a ball in fair territory

6. Painful illness you get in your joints

7. What kickboxers fight with

8. What might surround a castle

9. What a used towel is

10. [Fill in the blank:] Man in the ___

11. [Fill in the blank:] Last but not ___

Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Michael Shteyman, of Freeland, Md. Name a person in 2011 world news in eight letters. Remove the third, fourth and fifth letters. The remaining letters, in order, will name a person in 2021 world news. What names are these?

Challenge answer: (Osama) Bin Laden, (Joe) Biden

Winner: Ross Jackson from San Jose, Calif.

This week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Gerry Reynolds of Chicago. Name a national landmark (6,3). Add the name of a chemical element. Rearrange all the letters to name two states. What are they?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here by Thursday, Jan. 21, 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:

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: What was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from listener Michael Shteyman of Freeland, Md. I said name a person in 2011 world news in eight letters. Remove the third, fourth and fifth letters. And the remaining letters, in order, will name a person in 2021 news. Who is it? And that 2011 person is bin Laden. And remove those three letters - you get Biden, as in Joe Biden.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received over 2,000 correct responses, and the winner is Ross Jackson of San Jose, Calif.

Congratulations.

ROSS JACKSON: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How did you figure it out?

JACKSON: Actually, it was a team effort. My son Tom (ph) and my friend Libby work on it together. Sometimes one of us gets it, sometimes another. This week, it happened to be Libby who got it first.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So you're representing the whole team.

JACKSON: Right.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I understand that your birthday is falling on a particular historic day this year.

JACKSON: January 20.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, indeed. That is Inauguration Day. And sir, may I ask how old you are going to be?

JACKSON: Ninety-two.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is extraordinary. Congratulations. What a wonderful, wonderful thing. How are you going to celebrate?

JACKSON: Watch the inauguration and cheer.

(LAUGHTER)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Fair enough. Are you ready to play The Puzzle?

JACKSON: Yes.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Ross. I'm going to read you some clues. The answer to each one is one of the words in the clue with its vowel sound changed. For example, if I said what fish bite, you would say bait because that's the word bite with the long I sound changed to a long A. So it's a phonetic puzzle. And here's number one - not day.

JACKSON: Night.

SHORTZ: Night - good - changing the vowel in not. Number two is it's made by moistening dirt.

JACKSON: Mud.

SHORTZ: Mud is it. Jacket part that covers the head.

JACKSON: Hood.

SHORTZ: Hood is it. Item that's sowed in a garden.

JACKSON: Weed.

SHORTZ: Not quite, but you got the right word. Item that's sowed in a garden - change a vowel sound in one of those words.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: From it, all things grow.

SHORTZ: What do you plant in a garden?

JACKSON: Seed.

SHORTZ: There you go. That's changing the vowel of sowed. Your next one is opposite of to feast.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you don't eat.

JACKSON: Fast.

SHORTZ: Yeah, fast is it. Good. Here's your next one - fail to hit a ball in fair territory.

JACKSON: Foul.

SHORTZ: Foul is it. Painful illness you get in your joints.

JACKSON: Gout.

SHORTZ: Gout is it, yep. What kickboxers fight with.

JACKSON: Feet.

SHORTZ: That's it. What might surround a castle.

JACKSON: Moat.

SHORTZ: Oh, good. What a used towel is.

JACKSON: Wet.

SHORTZ: Nice. Fill in the blank - man in the blank.

JACKSON: Moon.

SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one, another fill-in-the-blank - last but not...

JACKSON: Least.

SHORTZ: That's it. Good job.

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

JACKSON: Happy.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, I think it's wonderful. And again, happy birthday to you. 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. And Ross, which member station do you listen to?

JACKSON: KQED.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Ross Jackson of San Jose, Calif., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

JACKSON: Thank you - a pleasure.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The pleasure was ours. And Will, what is next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yeah, it comes from listener Gerry Reynolds of Chicago. Name a national landmark. It's two words - six letters in the first word, three letters in the second. Add the name of a chemical element and rearrange all the letters to name two states. What are they? So again, a national landmark - six, three. Add the name of a chemical element and rearrange all the letters to name two states. What states are they?

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, January 21, at 3 p.m. Eastern. 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 puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.

Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.

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