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This Puzzle Is One For The PROs

Jul 22, 2012
Originally published on August 5, 2012 2:21 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with "P" and the second word starts with "RO." For example: For the clue, "A moving part of an automobile engine," the answer would be a "piston rod."

Last week's challenge from listener David Rosen, a member of the National Puzzlers' League: The name of something that you might see your doctor about is a two-word phrase. Three letters in each word. When these six letters are written without a space, a three-letter word can be removed from inside, and the remaining three letters in order also form a word. What's interesting is that the four three-letter words — the two in the original phrase, the one that was removed, and the one that remains — all rhyme. What is the original phrase?

Answer: "Dry eye" can be rearranged into the words "rye" and "dye."

Winner: Jim Wallace of Chandler, Ariz.

Next 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?

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 Linda Wertheimer. Let's play the Sunday puzzle.


WERTHEIMER: Joining me now is puzzle-master Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Morning, Linda. Welcome back.

WERTHEIMER: Thank you. So, Will, could you remind us of last week's puzzle challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener David Rosen of Bethesda, Maryland. I said the name of something that you might see your doctor about is a two-word phrase - three letters in each word. When these six letters are written without a space, a three-letter word can be removed from inside, and the remaining three letters in order also form a word. And what's interesting is that the four three-letter words - that is the two in the original phrase, the one that was removed and the one that remains - they all rhyme. What is the phrase? And the answer is dry eye. Inside that phrase is rye R-Y-E. Take that out and you're left with dye D-Y-E. Really amazing.

WERTHEIMER: And we had about 1,100 listeners who sent in the correct answer. And our winner this week is Jim Wallace of Chandler, Arizona. Jim, congratulations.

JIM WALLACE: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: Chandler is outside of Phoenix, right?


WERTHEIMER: What do you do there?

WALLACE: I am a fourth grade teacher at Washington Elementary in Mesa, Arizona.

WERTHEIMER: Ha. So, do your students like puzzles, word problems, that kind of thing?

WALLACE: Yes, they do. Actually, my last year's class, we did the on-air challenge Monday mornings, oh, maybe two-thirds of the year to kind of get them woken up and get going, so.

WERTHEIMER: So, there you go, Will. You're...

SHORTZ: I love that.

WALLACE: Some, yeah, new puzzle-doers for you.

WERTHEIMER: How long have you played the puzzle?

WALLACE: Well, I've listened to it back to the postcard days but I didn't start to answer until we could email in the answers.

WERTHEIMER: A little less effort, I guess.



WERTHEIMER: And, Will, I understand that you are headed West to pick up an award.

SHORTZ: Yeah. My national college fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, has named me one of their outstanding alumni. And previous people who have gotten this award are Ted Koppel, Tim McGraw, Colonel Sanders and Strom Thurman.

WERTHEIMER: Well, all those guys are in good company with you, Will. Congratulations.


SHORTZ: Thank you. Some of my fraternity brothers from college will be there as well, so it should be a good time.

WERTHEIMER: Well, that'll be fun. So, Will, meet Jim; Will, meet Jim. And let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Jim. Today's puzzle is for the pros. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with the letter P and the second word starts with R-O. For example, if I said moving part of an automobile engine, you would say piston rod.

WERTHEIMER: That would not immediately leap into my mind, but I'll take your word for it.

SHORTZ: OK. Let's try these. Number one: a daily course driven or biked by one who delivers the news.

WALLACE: Paper route.

SHORTZ: Paper route is right. Number two: a place to play billiards.

WALLACE: Pool room.

SHORTZ: That's it. Music genre of the Ramones.

WALLACE: Punk rock.

SHORTZ: That's it. It coats a wall faster and more evenly than a brush.

WALLACE: Paint roller.

SHORTZ: That's it. Old-fashioned music storage device using perforated paper.

WALLACE: Piano roll.

SHORTZ: That's it. Good.

WERTHEIMER: Hey. That is very good.

SHORTZ: House top that slopes.

WALLACE: Pitched roof.

SHORTZ: That's it. Slow-cooked beef entree.

WALLACE: Pot roast.

SHORTZ: That's it. Colorful flower in a Woody Allen film title.

WALLACE: Purple rose.

SHORTZ: That's it. Cincinnati Red who is the all-time Major League leader in hits.

WALLACE: Pete Rose.

SHORTZ: That's it. Televangelist that founded the Christian Broadcasting Network.

WERTHEIMER: I'm not being very helpful here, am I?

SHORTZ: And I'll tell you the first name is Pat.

WALLACE: Pat Robertson.

SHORTZ: Pat Robertson is it, good. Singer and civil rights activist noted for playing Othello.

WALLACE: Paul...




WERTHEIMER: This is the first one I got before you did.



SHORTZ: Paul Robeson, good. Where the Mayflower Pilgrims landed.

WALLACE: Plymouth Rock.

SHORTZ: Um-hum. Where urban birds sleep.

WALLACE: Urban birds?

SHORTZ: Urban birds, yeah.


WALLACE: Oh, a pigeon roost.

SHORTZ: A pigeon roost is it. And here's your last one: 1970s fad item that promoters said that did not need to be fed...

WERTHEIMER: I know this already.

SHORTZ: ...washed or bathed.


WALLACE: Pet Rock.

WERTHEIMER: There we go.

SHORTZ: Pet Rock is it. Nice job.

WALLACE: Oh, thanks.

WERTHEIMER: Jim, very nice job. And for playing the puzzle today, you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about the swag at Jim, what is your public radio station?

WALLACE: I am a member of KJZZ in Phoenix. And when I'm in Michigan, I listen to WUOM in Ann Arbor.

WERTHEIMER: Two wonderful stations. Jim Wallace, of Chandler, Arizona, thank you very much for playing the puzzle this week.

WALLACE: Thank you, Linda. And thank you, Will. Will check that off of my bucket list.


SHORTZ: There you go.

WERTHEIMER: So, Will, what do you have to puzzle us with for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, 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?

So again, name a sport in two words, nine/six, all six vowels, A through Y are used once each. What sport is it?

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

Will, thank you.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Linda.

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