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Name That (Former) Olympic Sport

Jul 29, 2012
Originally published on August 5, 2012 2:21 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a former Olympic sport. Given an anagram, you name the sport. For example, "flog" becomes "golf."

Last week's challenge: Name a sport in two words — nine letters in the first word, six letters in the last — in which all six vowels (A, E, I, O, U and Y) are used once each. What is it?

Answer: Greyhound racing

Winner: Jim Citron of Hanover, N.H.

Next week's challenge from listener Richard Whittington of Media, Pa.: Think of the last name of a famous person in entertainment. The first two letters of this name are a symbol for one of the elements on the periodic table. Substitute the name of that element for the two letters, and you will describe the chief element of this person's work. 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 Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit



This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene. And it is time for the puzzle.


GREENE: Joining me puzzle-master Will Shortz. Hey, Will.


GREENE: OK. So, remind us of last week's puzzle challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. I said name a sport in two words - nine letters in the first word, six letters in the last - in which all six vowels - A, E, I, O, U and Y - are used once each. What is it? And the answer is greyhound racing.

GREENE: Well, we had about 500 listeners who sent in that correct answer. And our winner this week is Jim Citron of Hanover, New Hampshire. And, Jim, congratulations.

JIM CITRON: Thank you.

GREENE: So, tell us what you do in New Hampshire.

CITRON: I work on a project that's a partnership between World Fund and Dartmouth College to prepare public school English teachers in Mexico.

GREENE: And do you go down to Mexico to train teachers or they come to you?


GREENE: I bet you look forward to those Mexican trips.

CITRON: I do a lot.

GREENE: Well, how long have you been playing the puzzle?

CITRON: I was just trying to remember. I've been playing, I think, since at least '96 or '97. My grandmother, who is in her late 80s then used to listen in New York and I'd listened in Boston and then she'd call me and we'd try to figure it out together over the phone.

GREENE: Oh, that's a nice bonding experience.

CITRON: When we got it, I used to send in the postcards in her name but she never got called.

GREENE: Well, we like our listeners who have been with us since the postcard days. Thanks for listening. So, I'll ask both of you guys, are you excited about the Olympics?

SHORTZ: I am, yeah. Of course, I want to watch table tennis but I am hooked on volleyball too. I could watch that for hours.

GREENE: So, Will, what country has the highest expectations in table tennis?

SHORTZ: It's always China. They have won about 80 percent of the gold medals in table tennis ever since the sport was introduced in 1988.

GREENE: Wow, unbeatable.

SHORTZ: Pretty darn close.

GREENE: Jim, your favorite sport?

CITRON: I guess the swimming and the diving.

GREENE: OK. Yeah, I like the swimming and the diving too - and the gymnastics. OK. Let's get to the sport of puzzle. You guys have already been introduced. I'll let you have it. Jim, if you're ready.

CITRON: I think so. I'm a little scared but...

GREENE: Nothing to be nervous about it. Do not - I will be here to probably not help but I can be very supportive, I promise. So, Will, take it away.

SHORTZ: Yes, well, every answer today is the name of an Olympic sport. I'll give you an anagram of it; you name the sport. For example, if I said flog F-L-O-G, you would say golf.

GREENE: All right. We got this, Jim. You got this.



SHORTZ: Number one is sent in S-E-N-T I-N.

CITRON: Tennis.

SHORTZ: Tennis is it.

GREENE: Good work.

SHORTZ: Number two is a cherry A C-H-E-R-R-Y.

CITRON: Archery.

SHORTZ: Archery - did not need a hint, good. I signal. That's the letter I and then S-I-G-N-A-L.

CITRON: Sailing.

SHORTZ: Sailing is it, good. Lob aloft. That's L-O-B A-L-O-F-T.


CITRON: Ball. It ends in ball?

SHORTZ: Yes. What kind of ball?

CITRON: Oh, football.

SHORTZ: Football is it, good.

GREENE: Good work. That was good.

SHORTZ: Red gases R-E-D G-A-S-E-S.

GREENE: OK. Maybe there was something to be nervous about.

SHORTZ: I'll give you a hint: this is a sport the Romneys are interested in.

CITRON: Oh, dressage.

SHORTZ: Dressage is it, good. It's no hog. That's I-T-S N-O H-O-G.

CITRON: Shooting.

SHORTZ: Shooting is it, good.

GREENE: Impressive.

SHORTZ: Halt intro. That's H-A-L-T I-N-T-R-O. And I'll give you a hint: this is a sport that involves three events.

CITRON: Triathlon.

SHORTZ: Triathlon is it, good. Primal tone P-R-I-M-A-L T-O-N-E. It's a solid word. It's something we're all familiar with and most of us have tried it one time or another - and I did not know this was Olympic sport. Starts with the letter T.

CITRON: Trampoline.

SHORTZ: Trampoline is it.


SHORTZ: Very nice. And here's your last one: nine battles N-I-N-E B-A-T-T-L-E-S. And it's a two-word name.

CITRON: Table tennis.

SHORTZ: Table tennis - did not need the hint. Good job.

GREENE: Jim, that's very nice. Good work. Well, Jim, you probably know what you're getting since you have been playing the puzzle for a long time. But just so we get it on the air: you're going to receive a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and puzzle books and games. And you can read all about that at Jim, before we let you go, tell us your public radio station.

CITRON: I'm a member of both New Hampshire Public Radio, which I listen to on WEVH in Hanover and Vermont Public Radio, WVPR, in Windsor, Vermont.

GREENE: All right. Well, thanks for your support. Jim Citron in Hanover, New Hampshire, thanks again for playing and congratulations. Nice work.

CITRON: Thank you. This was fun.

GREENE: All right, Will. What do you have for us next week?

SHORTZ: Yes. This week's challenge comes from listener Richard Whittington of Media, Pennsylvania. Think of the last name of a famous person in entertainment. The first two letters of the name are a symbol for one of the elements on the Periodic Table. Substitute the name of that element for the two letters, and you'll describe a major element of this person's work. What is it?

So again, a famous person in entertainment; the first two letters of this name are a symbol for one of the elements. Substitute the name of that element for the two letters, and you'll describe a major element of this person's work. Who's the celebrity and what element is this?

GREENE: OK, so if you're a chemistry buff and a Hollywood buff you might have a leg up on this one.


GREENE: And everyone, when you have the answer, go to our website, and you click on the Submit Your Answer link - just one entry per person, please. And the deadline for entries is Thursday at 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Include a phone number, if you can, where we can reach you at about that time. And if you are the winner we will call you. And you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz.

Will, thanks.

SHORTZ: Thanks, David.

(SOUNDBITE OF PUZZLE THEME MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.