Sunday Puzzle: Two Consonants

Sep 5, 2021

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

Ex. Squeak and creak --> NOISES
[Starting with six-letter answers ...]
1. Japanese auto manufacturer
2. People who live in China and India
3. Capital of the Bahamas
[Seven letters ...]
4. Jacqueline Kennedy's surname after she remarried
5. Hairstylist Vidal
6. Silly
[More than eight letters ...]
7. Straightforward, without joking around (hyph.)
8. Physical gratification as opposed to an appeal to the intellect

Last challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Ari Carr, of Madison, Wis. Name a form of musical composition. If you say the word quickly, you'll name something, in two words, that you might buy in a music store. What is it?

Challenge answer: Rhapsody --> Rap CD

Winner: Andrew Arriaga of Portland, Ore.

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Derrick Niederman, of Charleston, S.C. Name a famous person (8,4). The last name is a regular uncapitalized word with a single vowel. Change that vowel to make a new word that is humorously defined by the person's first name. Who is it?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here by Thursday, Sept. 9, 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 is 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, Lulu. Welcome back.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: It is great to be back. Remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Ari Carr of Madison, Wisconsin. I said name a form of musical composition. If you say the word quickly, you'll name something, in two words, that you might buy in a music store. What is it? And the musical composition is a rhapsody. Say it quickly. You get a rap CD.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received nearly 178 correct responses. And the winner is Andrew Arriaga of Portland, Oregon. Congratulations, and welcome to the program.

ANDREW ARRIAGA: Thank you so much. I'm excited to be here.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How did you figure it out?

ARRIAGA: Well, I thought about musical forms that I knew. I work as a music teacher here in Portland, Ore. I named as many as I could for my girlfriend, and I still didn't come up with the right answers. But the moment she said rap CD, I knew it was the correct answer, because sometime in the '90s, I had heard someone tell a joke similar to this puzzle, which was that they thought "Bohemian Rhapsody" was actually Bohemian rap CD.

(LAUGHTER)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: There you go. And here you are. What kind of music do you play?

ARRIAGA: I play classical music. So I've played some rhapsodies before, but I'm currently working as a Suzuki guitar instructor here in Portland, Ore. - teaching children as young as age 4.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Andy. Every answer today is a word, name or phrase in which the only consonants are N and S, repeated as often as necessary. All the other letters are vowels. For example, if I said squeak and creak, you would say noises.

ARRIAGA: OK.

SHORTZ: We will start with six-letter answers, and your first one is a Japanese auto manufacturer.

ARRIAGA: Nissan.

SHORTZ: Is right. People who live in China and India.

ARRIAGA: Six letters.

SHORTZ: Which continent are they from?

ARRIAGA: Well, they're from - they're from Asia, so they're Asians.

SHORTZ: They're Asians is right. Here's your next one. Capital of the Bahamas.

ARRIAGA: Is Nassau.

SHORTZ: That's it. Now, seven-letter answers. Jacqueline Kennedy's surname after she remarried.

ARRIAGA: Oh, after she remarried. Onassis.

SHORTZ: Onassis is it. Hair stylist, Vidal.

ARRIAGA: Oh - oh my gosh, I know this. I haven't thought about this in years.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Right?

ARRIAGA: Vidal...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Big in the 80's.

ARRIAGA: Yeah, it's like - Vidal Sassion (ph), or Sison (ph)...

SHORTZ: ...I'll give that to you. It's Sassoon. S-A-S-S-O-O-N...

ARRIAGA: ...Sassoon, that's it. OK.

SHORTZ: Sassoon - there you go. Seven-letter word that means silly.

ARRIAGA: Silly...

SHORTZ: Starts with an A.

ARRIAGA: Oh - seven-letter word - silly.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Donkey.

ARRIAGA: It's like asinine?

SHORTZ: Asinine. Yeah. Asinine is silly something. Now more than eight letters.

ARRIAGA: OK.

SHORTZ: Straightforward or without joking around.

ARRIAGA: No nonsense? Am I too wrong?

SHORTZ: No nonsense is it. And here's - and here's your last one. Physical gratification as opposed to an appeal to the intellect. Solid word, 12 letters.

ARRIAGA: Only N and S - physical gratification, 12 letters long.

SHORTZ: Yeah. And you say something that's very pleasurable to your senses.

ARRIAGA: See, I was putting - I was putting sense down right away.

SHORTZ: Yeah, yeah. It starts with...

ARRIAGA: ...It's sense - it's sensation? Is that -

SHORTZ: Oh, no, but it does start S-E-N-S.

ARRIAGA: Twelve - no. Sensory - sense...

SHORTZ: Oh, so close. What if I told you the - it ends with ness - N-E-S-S.

ARRIAGA: Oh, I'm getting - I'm getting senselessness, but that's not -

SHORTZ: That's got the L in it.

ARRIAGA: Then you - the listeners at home, I'll have it now (laughter). I can't think of it quickly. I'm lost.

SHORTZ: All right, I'm going to tell you the answer. It's sensuousness.

ARRIAGA: Oh, I feel - I feel like I was saying it, but in my mind somehow, it has an L in it - in this word.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, you did really, really well. And 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, Andrew, which member station do you listen to?

ARRIAGA: I listen to KOPB in Portland, Oregon.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Andrew Arriaga of Portland, Ore., thank you so much for playing the puzzle.

ARRIAGA: Thank you so much, Lulu. Thank you, Will.

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

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Derrick Niederman of Charleston, S.C. Name a famous person - eight letters in the first name, four letters in the last. The last name is a regular, uncapitalized word with a single vowel. Change that vowel to a new vowel to make a new word that is humorously defined by the person's first name. Who is it? So again, a famous person - eight, four. Last name is a regular, uncapitalized word with a single vowel. Change that vowel to make a new word that is humorously defined by the person's first name. Who 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, September 9 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 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: Thank you, Lulu.

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