Sunday Puzzle: Categorically correct

Oct 3, 2021

On-air challenge: I'll give you some categories and two things in each one. You name the only other thing in that category that fits between the given two alphabetically.

Example: A brother and a daughter are both members of a family. If I asked, "What member of a family fits between BROTHER and DAUGHTER alphabetically?," you'd say COUSIN

1. Positions in Baseball — CATCHER, FIRST BASE
2. Birthstones — DIAMOND, GARNET
2. Rooms in the Game 'Clue' — CONSERVATORY, HALL
4. Prime-Time Emmy-Winning Comedies — FRASIER, GET SMART
5. Original Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Flavors — ROCKY ROAD, VANILLA
6. Best Actor Oscar Winners — NEWMAN, NIVEN
7. Best Actress Oscar Winners — SPACEK, STREISAND
8. Vegetables in V8 Juice — PARSLEY, TOMATOES
9. Triple Crown Winners — AFFIRMED, ASSAULT
10. Forms of Precipitation — RAIN, SNOW

Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, Calif. Take the common abbreviation for a major American city. Insert it inside an airport code for that city. And you'll name a flower. What flower is it?

Challenge answer: Chi (Chicago) + ORD = Orchid

Winner: Sam Hass from Beaverton, Oregon.

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Anthony Gray, of Bergen County, N.J. Write down the name of a country and its largest city, one after the other. Hidden in this string, in consecutive letters, is another country's capital (in six letters)? What is it?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here by Thursday, Oct. 7, 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'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: Can you remind us of last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, Calif. I said take the common abbreviation for a major American city. Insert it inside an airport code for that city, and you'll name a flower. What is it? Well, the city is Chicago, sometimes just known as Chi - C-H-I. Put that inside ORD, which is the code for O'Hare, and you get orchid.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received over 1,700 correct responses. And the winner is Sam Hass of Beaverton, Ore. Congratulations, and welcome to the program.

SAM HASS: Thanks, Lulu.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How'd you figure it out?

HASS: Well, I grew up in Chicago, and ORD was the abbreviation for O'Hare when it was previously known as Orchard. Being from Portland, I originally started with PDX, but there's no flower in there.

(LAUGHTER)

HASS: And orchid just popped into my head.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Are you ready to play?

HASS: I am ready.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Sam. A brother and a daughter are both members of a family. If I asked what member of a family fits between brother and daughter alphabetically, you would say cousin. So I'm going to give you some categories and two things in each one. You name the only other thing in that category that fits between the given two alphabetically. Here's number one. Positions in baseball - catcher, first base.

HASS: That's either D or E.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Not necessarily.

SHORTZ: Try C.

HASS: Oh, center field.

SHORTZ: Center field is it. Good. Birth stones - diamond, garnet.

HASS: Emerald.

SHORTZ: Excellent. Here's your next one. Rooms in the game Clue - conservatory, hall.

HASS: Dining room.

SHORTZ: Dining room, excellent. Original Baskin-Robbins ice cream flavors - rocky road, vanilla.

HASS: That's a much broader range.

SHORTZ: It's one of the most popular ice cream flavors.

HASS: Lulu, I'm looking to you.

SHORTZ: It's a red fruit.

HASS: Strawberry.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes.

SHORTZ: Strawberry is it, good. Best actor Oscar winners - Newman, Niven.

HASS: Nielsen? Nicholson.

SHORTZ: Nicholson - Jack Nicholson, good job. Best actress Oscar winners - Spacek, Streisand. And this actress has won multiple times.

HASS: I'm at a loss.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. And - let's see...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So "The Devil Wears Prada."

SHORTZ: There you go. "Sophie's Choice."

GARCIA-NAVARRO: "Sophie's Choice."

SHORTZ: Starts S-T.

HASS: I'm really at a loss.

SHORTZ: I'll tell you then. It's Meryl Streep.

HASS: Oh, of course.

SHORTZ: How about this? Vegetables in V8 juice - parsley, tomatoes.

HASS: I'm trying to remember the label.

SHORTZ: It's a leafy vegetable some people don't think tastes good.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Singing) I'm Popeye the sailor man.

SHORTZ: And Popeye...

HASS: Spinach.

SHORTZ: There you go, spinach, yes. How about Triple Crown winners - Affirmed, Assault.

HASS: Admiral.

SHORTZ: No, that was War Admiral, and that would be before Affirmed. So it has to be between Affirmed and Assault. Yeah, that's a tough one. What if I told you it starts with American?

HASS: I can - I could get the first half then.

(LAUGHTER)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Ancient Egypt - the leader of ancient Egypt.

HASS: American Pharaoh.

SHORTZ: American Pharaoh, right. And here's your last one - forms of precipitation - rain, snow.

HASS: Showers.

SHORTZ: All right. I was going for a sleet, but I'll give you showers. Good job.

HASS: I live in Portland. We get a lot of rain.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How do you feel?

HASS: I feel good. Will pulled from a lot of subject areas I'm not super familiar with.

SHORTZ: You never know.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It was a hard one. I agree it was a hard one.

HASS: Lulu, I appreciate your help.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're welcome. 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, Sam, which member station do you listen to?

HASS: KOPB - Portland, Ore.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Sam Hass of Beaverton, Ore., thank you so much for playing the puzzle.

HASS: Thanks, Lulu.

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

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Anthony Gray of Bergen County, N.J. Write down the name of a country and its largest city, one after the other. And hidden in this string in consecutive letters is another country's capital in six letters. What is it? So again, name of a country, plus its largest city. And hidden in this string in consecutive letters is another country's capital. In six letters, what 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, October 7 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Don't forget to 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 very own puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.

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