Sunday Puzzle: B's And L's

Dec 8, 2019

On-air challenge: Every answer is a word, name or phrase in which the only consonants are B and L, repeated as often as necessary. All the other letters are vowels.

Ex. Tell a secret --> BLAB

1. Holy book

2. Reason why you couldn't have committed the crime

3. Record company

4. "The Hobbit" hero ___ Baggins

5. Tower of ___

6. Talk rapidly and foolishly

7. Move up and down, as a doll's head

8. Air-filled sphere sometimes made by soap

9. Legally obligated

10. Spanish explorer who discovered by Pacific in 1513

11. Woodcutter who foiled 40 thieves (two words)

12. Victim of written defamation

13. Singer Patti with the 1975 #1 hit "Lady Marmalade"

14. What you might get once a month for heating your home (two words)

15. Like the hours that a lawyer charges for

Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Joe Krozel of Creve Coeur, Mo. Name something you find in a grocery. Two words. Three letters in the first, six letters in the second. Switch the third and seventh letters, and read the result backward. The result will name that same grocery item again. What is it?

Challenge answer: Red Pepper

Winner: Dustin Dickerson of Belgrade, Mont.

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Dominick Talvacchio of Chicago. Name a food in two words — a total of 11 letters. Some of these letters appear more than once. The food has seven different letters in its name. You can rearrange these seven letters to identify the form in which this food is typically served. What food 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. 12 at 3 p.m. ET.

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

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

And it's 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 puzzlemaster. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey there, Lulu.

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

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Joe Krozel of Creve Coeur, Mo. I said name something you find in a grocery, two words - three letters in the first, six letters in the second. Switch the third and seventh letters and read the result backward. The result will name the same grocery item again. What is it? And the answer is red pepper.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received more than 1,100 correct responses. And the winner this week is Dustin Dickerson of Belgrade, Mont. Congratulations.

DUSTIN DICKERSON: Thank you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So how long have you been playing The Puzzle?

DICKERSON: My wife and I have been playing for about five years.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Aw, that sounds like fun. And what do you do out there for fun?

DICKERSON: I like to fish and hike and camp - a lot of outdoor activities.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I guess that's good for Montana. Have you been living there a long time?

DICKERSON: I have. I've gone to undergrad here, and I never left - about 10 years ago.

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

DICKERSON: Yes.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Dustin. Every answer today is a word, name or phrase in which the only consonants are B and L, repeated as often as necessary. All the other letters are vowels. For example, if I gave you the clue tell a secret, you would say blab. All right. Number one is a holy book.

DICKERSON: Bible.

SHORTZ: That's it - reason why you couldn't have committed the crime.

DICKERSON: Alibi.

SHORTZ: That's it - a record company. And it's a word for any record company.

DICKERSON: Label?

SHORTZ: Label is right. "The Hobbit" hero blank Baggins.

DICKERSON: Bilbo.

SHORTZ: That's it. Fill in the blank, Tower of blank.

DICKERSON: Tower of blank.

SHORTZ: And that's tower with a T.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And it's a biblical reference.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

DICKERSON: Oh, Babylon.

SHORTZ: I'll give you that. It's Babel. Tower of Babel. That's it.

DICKERSON: Babel.

SHORTZ: To talk rapidly and foolishly.

DICKERSON: Babble.

SHORTZ: Yeah. That's also babble but different spelling - move up and down, as a doll's head.

DICKERSON: Bob.

SHORTZ: Needs another syllable. And you haven't used an L yet.

DICKERSON: Oh, bobble.

SHORTZ: Bobble is it. All right. Try this one - an air-filled sphere, sometimes made by soap.

DICKERSON: Bubble.

SHORTZ: That's it - legally obligated.

DICKERSON: Obligated.

SHORTZ: And if you're convicted in court, say, you might be blank for - certain amount of money or might be blank for the crime.

DICKERSON: Liable?

SHORTZ: That's it, liable - a Spanish explorer who discovered the Pacific in 1513.

DICKERSON: Balboa.

SHORTZ: That's it - woodcutter who foiled 40 thieves in an old tale.

DICKERSON: Is that Ali Baba?

SHORTZ: That's it - Ali Baba - a victim of written defamation.

DICKERSON: Victim of written defamation.

SHORTZ: Well, first of all, what is written defamation? Someone writes something about you that's not true.

DICKERSON: Is that libel?

SHORTZ: That's libel. And then the victim would be - add two vowels at the end.

DICKERSON: Libelee?

SHORTZ: Yeah. That's it, a libelee. How about singer Patti with the 1975 number-one hit "Lady Marmalade."

DICKERSON: LaBelle.

SHORTZ: That's it. What you get in the mail for heating your home. It's a two-word phrase.

DICKERSON: A bill.

SHORTZ: Yeah. And what kind of bill? - certain kind of fuel. Let's say you have a tank in your basement. And somebody might deliver this for the tank.

DICKERSON: Well, I'm thinking gas. But that's got a G.

SHORTZ: Yeah. And what's an alternative to gas? Well, this is how I heat my home - it's oil. It's an oil bill.

DICKERSON: All right.

SHORTZ: And your last one - like the hours that a lawyer charges for.

DICKERSON: Billable?

SHORTZ: Billable is right. Good job.

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

DICKERSON: Relieved (laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter). I think you did a really great job. 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 what member station do you listen to?

DICKERSON: KBMC, Bozeman.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's Dustin Dickerson of Belgrade, Mont. Thanks so much for playing The Puzzle.

DICKERSON: Thank you.

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

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Dominick Talvacchio of Chicago. Name a food in two words, a total of 11 letters. Some of these letters appear more than once. The food has seven different letters in its name. And you can rearrange these seven letters to identify the form in which this food is typically served. What food is it? So again, 11-letter food in two words. It has seven different letters in its name. And you can rearrange these seven letters to identify the form in which this food is typically served. What food is it?

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, December 12 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you about that time. And if you're the winner, we will give you a call. And you will 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.