Sunday Puzzle: Here The Homophone

Mar 28, 2021

On-air Challenge: I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence contains two words that have homophones that are opposites.

Ex. Does Liv Ullmann dye her hair? --> LIVE & DIE (homophones of "Liv" and "dye")

1. In London, bar patrons who misuse the loos will be fined.
2. Lo and behold, the boy said hi.
3. The story about the band was read aloud.
4. In the convent workshop, the nun used an awl to repair her shoe.
5. The movie was so scary, people could hear their own heartbeats.
6. My cousin contacted me by cell phone.

Last week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from Ed Pegg Jr. of Champaign, Ill. Take the phrase ZANY BOX KEPT HIM. Write it in capital letters. Something is special about the 14 letters in this sentence that sets them apart from all the other 12 letters of the alphabet. What is it?

Challenge answer: : They are the complete set of letters in both the Greek and English alphabets.

Winner: Kevin Jackson of Sunnydale, Calif.

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Greg VanMechelen, of Berkeley, Calif. Name something birds do. Put the last sound of this word at the start and the first sound at the end, and phonetically you'll name something else birds do. What are these things?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here by Thursday, April 1, 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.

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

And it's time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MCCAMMON: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Hi there, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Sarah.

MCCAMMON: So, Will, remind us, if you would, of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from Ed Pegg Jr. of Champaign, Ill. I said take the phrase zany box kept him, write it in capital letters. And I said something is special about the 14 letters in this sentence that sets them apart from the other 12 letters of the alphabet. What is it? And the answer is they're letters in both the Greek and English alphabets. And that's the complete set of letters that do that.

MCCAMMON: Well, we received more than 500 correct answers. And the winner is Kevin Jackson of Sunnydale, Calif. Congratulations, Kevin. Welcome to the program.

KEVIN JACKSON: Well, thank you very much - great to be here.

MCCAMMON: And how did you get the answer to this one?

JACKSON: I was totally lost for about three days, thinking of it off and on.

SHORTZ: (Laughter).

JACKSON: And then at the end of the third day, it was just as I was about to fall asleep as it came to me that maybe it was some other alphabet. And I looked it up first thing in the morning. And that's how I got the answer.

MCCAMMON: I'm impressed. I think I would have fallen asleep and forgotten all about it.

(LAUGHTER)

JACKSON: I keep a notebook beside my bed just for things like that because you never remember them when you wake up.

SHORTZ: I do some of my best thinking before I go to sleep. And I do not keep a notebook. And I bet I've lost a lot of good ideas that way.

MCCAMMON: (Laughter) That's a lesson for all of us. So, Kevin, how long have you been playing The Puzzle?

JACKSON: Oh, gosh, probably about 25 years, I guess. It was - Liane was hosting at that time when I first started.

MCCAMMON: Liane Hansen, yeah. I understand you won in - what? - 2000.

JACKSON: About 20 years ago, yeah. I can't remember exactly when.

MCCAMMON: Well, we have a returning champion. Kevin, are you ready to play The Puzzle?

JACKSON: I think so. But check with me again in about 10 minutes.

SHORTZ: (Laughter).

MCCAMMON: Fair enough. OK. Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Kevin. I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence contains two words that have homophones that are opposites. For example, if I said, does Liv Ullmann dye her hair? - you would say live and die, which are homophones of Liv, L-I-V, and dye, D-Y-E, in the sentence.

JACKSON: OK.

SHORTZ: OK. Here's number one. In London, bar patrons who misuse the loos will be fined.

JACKSON: Lose and find.

SHORTZ: Excellent. Number two, lo and behold, the boy said hi.

JACKSON: Low and high.

SHORTZ: Nice. The story about the band was read aloud.

JACKSON: Banned and allowed.

SHORTZ: Banned and allowed - good. In the convent workshop, the nun used an awl to repair her shoe.

JACKSON: None and all.

SHORTZ: There you go. The movie was so scary, people could hear their own heartbeats. The movie was so scary people could hear their own heartbeats. All right. What word there jumps out that might have a homophone?

JACKSON: Scary.

SHORTZ: Yeah. There's no homophone of scary, though.

JACKSON: OK.

SHORTZ: People could hear their own heartbeats.

JACKSON: Here.

SHORTZ: Yeah. What's the opposite of here?

JACKSON: There. Oh, there.

SHORTZ: There you go - could hear their own heartbeats - good. And here's your last one. My cousin contacted me by cellphone. My cousin contacted me by cellphone.

JACKSON: Buy and sell.

SHORTZ: Good job - that was fast.

MCCAMMON: Well, great job, Kevin. You did very well. How do you feel?

JACKSON: Relieved. These are ones - I think you either get them, or you don't.

SHORTZ: That's true.

MCCAMMON: Well, for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And, Kevin, which member station do you listen to?

JACKSON: KQED in San Francisco.

MCCAMMON: That is Kevin Jackson of Sunnydale, Calif. Thanks so much for playing The Puzzle.

JACKSON: Oh, thank you. And thanks, Will.

SHORTZ: (Laughter) Thanks, Kevin.

MCCAMMON: OK, Will, what is next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Greg VanMechelen of Berkeley, Calif. Name something birds do. Put the last sound of the word at the start and the first sound at the end. And, phonetically, you'll name something else birds do. What are these things? So, again, something birds do. Switch the first and last sounds. And, phonetically, you'll get something else that birds do. What things are these?

MCCAMMON: And when you have the answer, go to our website npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Remember, just one entry, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, April 1 at 3 p.m. Eastern time - might want to keep a notebook by your bed if you're like Kevin. Include a phone number where we can reach you at that time. And if you're the winner, we will give you a call. 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 puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Thank you so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Sarah.

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