Sunday Puzzle: Common Ground

May 16, 2021

On-air Challenge: I'm going to name two things. You name something they have in common.

Ex. The eye/ A school --> PUPIL

1. A compass/ A sewing kit

2. A typewriter/ A lock

3. An ear/ Panama

4. A dentist/ A sergeant

5. A baseball diamond/ A still-life scene

6. A place setting/ A road

7. A postal worker/ A knight

8. A ship/ A card game

9. Whiskey/ A mathematical theorem

10. A ballot/ A highway patrol officer

11. A tree/ A dog

12. [triple]: A fish/A fish market/A voice lesson

Last week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Jim Dale, of Plano, Texas. Think of a word with six syllables that's spelled with only 11 letters — and the four middle syllables have the same vowel. What word is it?

Challenge answer: Eligibility

Winner: Jack Misiura of Sandy Springs, Ga.

This week's challenge: Name a popular singer — first and last names. Change one letter to a "P" and read the result backward. You'll get what many people do around this singer. Who is it?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here by Thursday, May 20, 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 is 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 very own puzzlemaster. Hello, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.

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

SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from listener Jim Dale of Plano, Texas. I said think of a word with six syllables that's spelled with only 11 letters, and the four middle syllables have the same vowel. What word is it? And the word is eligibility.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received more than 800 correct responses, and the winner this week is Jack Misiura of Sandy Springs, Ga. Congratulations, and welcome to the program.

JACK MISIURA: Thank you, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So, Jack, how'd you figure it out?

MISIURA: You know, I had a feeling that the middle letters were all I's. And that's about as far as I got without the help of Google.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter).

MISIURA: And I Googled six-syllable words. And it took me a little while to find it.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Well, Google is always our friend. How long have you been playing The Puzzle?

MISIURA: I have been listening to The Puzzle for probably about 15 years and this - you know, but just recently started submitting answers. So it was quite a shock to get the call.

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

MISIURA: Well, at first I thought it was a joke because the area code was a 404 area code. And I thought, who's messing with me?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) So the 404 is, of course, the Atlanta area code. So you just thought it was one of your friends calling you, just pretending that they were The Puzzle from D.C.

MISIURA: Exactly.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) All right. Are you ready to play?

MISIURA: I am.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Jack, I'm going to name two things. You name something they have in common. For example, if I said the eye and a school, you would say pupil.

MISIURA: OK.

SHORTZ: Here's number one. A compass and a sewing kit.

MISIURA: A needle.

SHORTZ: That's right. Number two is a typewriter and a lock.

MISIURA: Oh, help me, Lulu.

SHORTZ: You don't need help on this. What goes in a lock?

MISIURA: A key.

SHORTZ: There you go. A typewriter has a key. An ear and Panama.

MISIURA: A canal.

SHORTZ: That's it. A dentist and a sergeant.

MISIURA: A drill.

SHORTZ: Oh, that was fast. A baseball diamond and a still-life scene.

MISIURA: Baseball diamond and a still-life scene.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

MISIURA: All I think of with still-life scenes is fruit.

SHORTZ: And besides fruit. What else there besides fruit?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: They often have something that contains liquid.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

MISIURA: I'm drawing a blank on that.

SHORTZ: OK. And who's in the middle of a baseball diamond?

MISIURA: A pitcher.

SHORTZ: There you go.

MISIURA: Oh, OK.

SHORTZ: A place setting and a road.

MISIURA: A fork.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. A postal worker and a knight. That's knight with a K. A postal worker and a knight.

MISIURA: Not a sword.

SHORTZ: Think of what the postal worker carries around.

MISIURA: A satchel.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. And what's in the satchel?

MISIURA: Mail.

SHORTZ: There you go. And a knight would have the mail, like armor, that kind of mail.

MISIURA: OK.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter).

SHORTZ: OK, that was a stumper. Here's your next one. A ship and a card game.

MISIURA: A deck.

SHORTZ: There you go. Good. Whiskey and a mathematical theorem.

MISIURA: Proof.

SHORTZ: Good. A ballot and a highway patrol officer.

MISIURA: A ticket.

SHORTZ: Excellent. A tree and a dog.

MISIURA: Bark.

SHORTZ: Oh, good. And here's your last one. It's a triple. A fish, a fish market and a voice lesson.

MISIURA: A scale.

SHORTZ: Oh, man, bravo.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did great. How do you feel?

MISIURA: I feel - now I know why everybody says relieved.

(LAUGHTER)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: 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, Jack, which member station do you listen to?

MISIURA: I'm a sustaining member of WABE 90.1 in Atlanta.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Jack Misiura of Sandy Springs, Ga., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

MISIURA: Thank you. It's been a blast.

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

SHORTZ: Yes, name a popular singer, first and last names. Change one letter to a P and read the result backward. You'll get what many people do around this singer. Who is it? So, again, a popular singer - first and last names. Change one letter to a P as in Peter and read the result backward. You'll get what many people do around this singer. Who's the singer, and what do people do?

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, May 20 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, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.

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