A Puzzle That'll Have You Floored In Florida — And Across The U.S.

Aug 16, 2015
Originally published on September 1, 2015 2:23 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer this week is the name of a state. For all the words given, ignore the vowels in them. The consonants in them are the same consonants, in the same order, as in the states.

For example, the word "regain" would be "Oregon."

Last week's challenge from listener Martin Eiger: Name part of a car. Drop the fifth letter. Now reverse the order of the last three letters. The result, reading from left to right, will name a major American city. What city is it?

Answer: Seat belt, Seattle

Winner: Tim Warner of Asheville, N.C.

Next week's challenge: This is an open-ended challenge. Take the word EASILY. You can rearrange its letters to spell SAY and LEI. These two words rhyme even though they have no letters in common.

What is the longest familiar word you can find that can be anagrammed into two shorter words that rhyme but have no letters in common? The two shorter words must have only one syllable. I have my best answer, which I've given to NPR. Next week we'll compare that with your best.

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 Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Emirates Airlines announced this past week that its new Dubai-to-Panama City route will be the longest passenger flight in the world. How long, you ask? Seventeen and a half hours, but don't get claustrophobic just yet. We only need the next six minutes to take you on a wild ride. So do not sit back. Do not relax. But do fasten your seatbelts because it's time for the the puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: Joining me now is Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Hey there, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: All right, what was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Martin Eiger of Montville, N.J., and he's a longtime friend from the National Puzzlers League. I said name part of a car. Drop the fifth letter. Now reverse the order of the last three letters, and the result, reading from left to right, will name a major American city. What is it? Well, the car part is a seatbelt. And you do those operations, you get Seattle.

MARTIN: OK, we got over 1,300 correct answers this week. And our randomly-selected winner is Tim Warner of Asheville, N.C. He joins us on the line now. Hey Tim, congratulations.

TIM WARNER: Thanks.

MARTIN: How'd you figure it out?

WARNER: I worked backwards. I'm a car guy, so I knew more parts than I knew major American cities. So I just started with New York, did the reverse operation. And when I got to Seattle, there we were.

MARTIN: There you go. So what do you do in Asheville?

WARNER: I'm a consulting engineer for FM radio stations.

MARTIN: Oh, really? A radio engineer guy.

WARNER: Yeah, kind of a puzzle trying to figure out where to put the antenna to covers the people they want.

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: So how - how does puzzling fit into your life?

WARNER: Oh, I use the KenKen and Sudoku and others. When I finish one project, I use that to clear my mind before I get to the next project.

MARTIN: Oh. So are you ready to play the puzzle, Tim?

WARNER: Ready as I'll ever be.

MARTIN: OK, Will, let's do it.

SHORTZ: All right, Tim and Rachel, every answer today is the name of a state. I'm going to give you some words. Ignore the vowels in them. The consonants in them are the same consonants, in the same order, as in the states. For example, if I said regain, R-E-G-A-I-N, you'd say Oregon because the consonants in regain are R, G, N, and those are the same consonants in Oregon.

MARTIN: OK, let's give it a go.

SHORTZ: Number one is flared, F-L-A-R-E-D.

WARNER: That must be Florida.

SHORTZ: That's it. Number two is kinesis, K-I-N-E-S-I-S.

WARNER: That's Kansas.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Garage, G-A-R-A-G-E.

WARNER: Georgia.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Invade, I-N-V-A-D-E.

WARNER: Nevada.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.

WARNER: (Pronouncing it differently) Nevada, I guess.

MARTIN: There you go.

SHORTZ: Either way.

MARTIN: Not either way, Will, Nevada.

SHORTZ: Really?

MARTIN: No, truly (laughter).

SHORTZ: Cleared, C-L-E-A-R-E-D.

WARNER: Colorado.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.

MARTIN: Great.

SHORTZ: Amasser, A-M-A-S-S-E-R.

WARNER: Missouri. Missouri.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.

MARTIN: Good.

SHORTZ: That's it, very good.

MARTIN: Either (laughter).

SHORTZ: Llanos, L-L-A-N-O-S.

WARNER: Oh, boy... Illinois.

SHORTZ: That's it.

MARTIN: Boom.

SHORTZ: Unbrisk, U-N-B-R-I-S-K.

WARNER: Nebraska.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Elision, E-L-I-S-I-O-N.

WARNER: Louisiana.

SHORTZ: Excellent.

MARTIN: Right.

SHORTZ: Oil boom, O-I-L-B-O-O-M.

WARNER: Boy, that one is slowing me down.

MARTIN: Which is saying something because you've been...

WARNER: Alabama.

MARTIN: Oh, good.

SHORTZ: Alabama, yes. And your last one is over again, O-V-E-R-A-G-A-I-N.

WARNER: Virginia.

MARTIN: Oh.

SHORTZ: 100 percent.

MARTIN: Perfect score. Good job.

WARNER: Well, thank you very much.

MARTIN: For playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, puzzle books and games. Go to npr.org/puzzle to read all about your prizes if you are so inclined. And Tim, tell us where you hear us.

WARNER: I hear you on WCQS Asheville.

MARTIN: Tim Warner of Asheville, N.C., thanks so much for playing the puzzle.

WARNER: Thanks a lot.

MARTIN: OK, Will, what's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, it's an open-ended challenge. Take the word easily, E-A-S-I-L-Y. You can rearrange its letters to spell say and lei, S-A-Y and L-E-I. And curiously, even though these two words rhyme, they have no letters in common. And here's the challenge. What is the longest familiar word you can find that can be anagrammed into two shorter words that rhyme, but have no letters in common? And the two shorter words must have only one syllable. I have my best answer, which I've given to NPR. And next week, we'll compare my best to your best. So again, what's the longest familiar word you can find that can be anagrammed into two shorter words that rhyme but have no letters in common?

MARTIN: OK, if you want to give this a shot, your instructions are as follows. When you have the answer, go to our website. It is npr.org/puzzle. Click on that submit your answer link - just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for the entries is Thursday, August 20 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you're the winner, we call you up. And then you get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times. And he is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.