Sunday Puzzle: Three Words, One Proverb

Dec 6, 2020

On-air challenge: I'm going to read you some sentences. Three consecutive words somewhere in each sentence are the first three words of a familiar proverb or saying. Tell me what it is.

Example: Put out a saucer of milk when the cat's hungry. --> When the cat's away the mice will play.

1. As meteorologists know, every cloud has water droplets.
2. Variety is the daily publication of show business.
3. The surgeon put a stitch in the gaping wound.
4. Through the mountains the road to the next town is very twisty.
5. On average the proof of most whiskey is 80.
6. In this motel a picture is hanging over every bed.
7. The joke starts: a priest, a fool, and a lawyer walk into a bar.

Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Wesley Davis of Black Mountain, N.C., and when you get the answer it will make you smile. Name an animal and spell it backward. Now name a variety of meat and insert it inside the animal's name that you've spelled backward. A common word will be revealed. What is it?

Challenge answer: Revealed

Winner: Sherie Trakhtenbroit of San Antonio, Texas

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Jared Harvey, of Santa Cruz, Calif. Think of a common word in six letters. Write it in lowercase. If you hold up a mirror at its side, the reflection will show the same word. What is it?

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, Dec. 10, at 3 p.m. ET.

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

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, HOST:

And it's time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ELLIOTT: Joining us is Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster.

Hi there, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Debbie.

ELLIOTT: So remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from listener Wesley Davis of Black Mountain, N.C. It was a sly one. I said, when you get the answer, it will make you smile. And I said, name an animal and spell it backward. Now name a variety of meat and insert it inside the animal's name that you've spelled backward. I said a common word will be revealed. What is it? Well, the answer is revealed. That contains veal inside deer spelled backward.

ELLIOTT: We received over 850 correct responses, and the winner is Sherie Trakhtenbroit from San Antonio, Texas.

Congratulations, Sherie, and welcome to the program.

SHERIE TRAKHTENBROIT: Thank you very much.

ELLIOTT: So how did you figure out this week's challenge?

TRAKHTENBROIT: My sister actually helped me a little. We were sitting together and first went through different types of meat, and I thought of veal. And then we looked down a list of animals and saw deer, and she said, R-E-E-D. And I realized that you stick veal in there, and it's revealed. But I didn't connect it with hearing it in The Puzzle. Somebody told me yesterday, Will, that you said that.

SHORTZ: Oh, he sold it the hard way.

TRAKHTENBROIT: Yes.

ELLIOTT: Sherie, how long have you been playing The Puzzle?

TRAKHTENBROIT: This is the first time I've gotten one correct and submitted a response. But I've been playing a few months, and I've been listening to the show off and on for a number of years.

ELLIOTT: Well, are you ready to play The Puzzle?

TRAKHTENBROIT: I think so.

ELLIOTT: Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Sherie. I'm going to read you some sentences. Three consecutive words somewhere in each sentence are the first three words of a familiar proverb or saying. Tell me what it is. For example, if I said, put out a saucer of milk when the cat's hungry, you would say, when the cat's away, the mice will play. And when the cat's is in the sentence I told you.

TRAKHTENBROIT: OK.

SHORTZ: All right. Number one - as meteorologists know, every cloud has water droplets.

TRAKHTENBROIT: Every cloud has a silver lining.

SHORTZ: Excellent. Number two - variety is the daily publication of show business.

TRAKHTENBROIT: Variety is the spice of life.

SHORTZ: Nice. The surgeon put a stitch in the gaping wound.

TRAKHTENBROIT: Oh, my goodness. It's something - a stitch in time, I believe.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

TRAKHTENBROIT: A stitch in time saves you nine.

SHORTZ: Yeah, it saves nine. Good. Through the mountains, the road to the next town is very twisty.

TRAKHTENBROIT: Wow. Through the mountains, the road to the next town is very twisty. That's a tough one.

ELLIOTT: Think of a town you wouldn't want to be in.

SHORTZ: (Laughter).

TRAKHTENBROIT: I - through the mountain...

SHORTZ: Here. I'll get you started. What about through the mountains, the road to...

TRAKHTENBROIT: The road to - OK. I can't remember. It's...

ELLIOTT: It's a hot place.

TRAKHTENBROIT: Oh, is it hell?

SHORTZ: That's it.

TRAKHTENBROIT: I didn't want to say that. OK. The road to hell...

SHORTZ: Is...

TRAKHTENBROIT: ...Is paved with good intentions.

SHORTZ: You - it's paved with good intentions. Good. It came back. On average, the proof of most whiskey is 80.

TRAKHTENBROIT: Oh, the proof is in the pudding.

SHORTZ: Yeah, that's it. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Good.

TRAKHTENBROIT: Oh, OK.

SHORTZ: In this motel, a picture is hanging over every bed.

TRAKHTENBROIT: A picture is worth a thousand words.

SHORTZ: And that's it. And here's your last one. The joke starts, a priest, a fool and a lawyer walk into a bar.

TRAKHTENBROIT: OK. A priest, a fool and lawyer walk into a bar. A fool and - oh, gosh. I know what this is, but I can't think of it. A fool and his money are easily parted.

SHORTZ: Yeah - are soon parted. You got it.

ELLIOTT: Great job. How do you feel?

TRAKHTENBROIT: I feel relieved. It was fun. I can't believe I got picked.

ELLIOTT: 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 Sherie, which member station do you listen to?

TRAKHTENBROIT: I listen to KSTX in San Antonio and South Texas and Texas Public Radio.

ELLIOTT: That's Sherie Trakhtenbroit from San Antonio, Texas.

Thanks for playing The Puzzle.

TRAKHTENBROIT: Thank you very much.

ELLIOTT: All right, Will. What is next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Jared Harvey of Santa Cruz, Calif. Think of a common word in six letters. Write it in lowercase. If you hold up a mirror at the side, the reflection will show the same word. What is it? So again, a common word in six letters. Write it in lowercase. If you hold it up to a mirror at its side, the reflection will show the same word. What word is it?

ELLIOTT: When you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the submit your answer link. Remember, just one entry, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, December 10, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. 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 puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.

Thank you so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Debbie.

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