On-air challenge: The theme of this puzzle is P, B & J. I'm going to give you three words starting with the letters P, B and J. You give me a fourth word that can follow each of mine to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.
Example: Parking, Back, Job --> LOT (parking lot, back lot, job lot)
Starting with three-letter answers:
1. Penalty, Boom, Juke
2. Power, Buzz, Jig
3. Present, Birth, Judgment
4. Pill, Bed, Jitter
Now four-letter answers:
5. Perp, Board, Jay
6. Paddle, Basket, Jump
7. Parting, Big, Jell-O
8. Plymouth, Bed, Jailhouse
Some five-letter answers:
9. Pogo, Broom, Joy
10. Pocket, Butter, Jack
11. Passion, Bearing, Juicy
Finally a six-letter answer:
12. Pickled, Bell, Jalapeno
Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Tyler Lipscomb, of Augusta, Ga. Name certain fruits — in the plural. Change the second letter to an L and read the result backward. You'll name two things to drink. What are they?
Challenge answer: Avocados --> soda, cola
Winner: Steve Becker of Grantham, N.H.
This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Michael Schwartz of Florence, Ore. Name a world capital. Change one letter in it to D-Y. The result will be two words, one after the other. The first word names somebody you like to be around. The second word names somebody you don't like to be around. What city is it?
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 by Thursday, Oct. 22, at 3 p.m. ET.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
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.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from listener Tyler Lipscomb of Augusta, Ga. I said, name certain fruits in the plural. Change the second letter to an L. Read the result backward. You'll name two things to drink. What are they? Well, the fruits are avocados. Make that change. You get cola and soda.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received more than 1,400 correct responses, and the winner this week is Steve Becker of Grantham, N.H.
Congratulations, and welcome to the program.
STEVE BECKER: Thank you. Hi, Lulu. Hi, Will.
SHORTZ: Hey there.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How'd you figure it out?
BECKER: Well, I usually listen to the podcast of The Puzzle on Sunday night when I'm in bed, and I was listening to The Puzzle. And I went through a list of fruits on the Internet and stumbled upon avocados. And, yes, it is a fruit.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It is.
BECKER: And I read it backwards, and there it was.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Congratulations. And what was it like when you got the call?
BECKER: It was mind-blowing. I was in my car, and I almost didn't pick up. But I know you insist on picking up the phone when it rings, so I did. I'm glad I did.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I hear you have a fun outdoor hobby.
BECKER: Yes. I love geocaching. Are you familiar with it?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I am not.
BECKER: It's like a scavenger hunt where you use the GPS on your phone to look for hidden treasures and containers that have little prizes in them, and it's a lot of fun. It's a great activity to do, especially during the pandemic. And - yeah.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Exactly. That sounds great. Well, are you ready to play The Puzzle?
BECKER: I am ready.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right. Steve, the theme of today's puzzle is P, B & J. I'm going to give you three words starting with the letters P, B and J. You give me a fourth word that can follow each of mine to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.
SHORTZ: For example, if I said parking, back and job, you would say lot, as in parking lot, back lot and job lot.
BECKER: I got it.
SHORTZ: Here we go. We're going to start with three-letter answers. Penalty, boom, juke.
SHORTZ: Box is right. Number two is power, buzz, jig.
SHORTZ: That's it. Present, birth - B-I-R-T-H - judgment.
SHORTZ: That's it. Pill, bed, jitter.
SHORTZ: That's it. Now we're on to four-letter answers. Perp - that's P-E-R-P - perp, board, jay.
SHORTZ: That's it. Paddle, basket, jump.
SHORTZ: That's it. Parting, big, Jell-O. Parting, big and Jell-O.
BECKER: Mold? No. Parting - parting, big, Jell-O.
SHORTZ: Yeah, that's a tough one. Let's say - and the thing that follows Jell-O...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Something that they do on spring break (laughter).
SHORTZ: That's it - a Jell-O shot, a big shot and a parting shot. Good. Plymouth, bed, jailhouse.
SHORTZ: That's it. Now we're on to five-letter answers. Pogo, broom, joy.
SHORTZ: That's it. Pocket, butter, jack.
SHORTZ: That's it. Passion, bearing - that's B-E-A-R-I-N-G - juicy.
SHORTZ: Good. And your last one - it's going so fast. Your last one's a six-letter answer. Pickled, bell, jalapeno.
SHORTZ: Man, oh, man - boom, boom, boom.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That was amazing. How do you feel?
BECKER: Oh, man. That was more fun than a monkey on a trampoline. That was great.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I agree with that.
SHORTZ: That's a lot of fun.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It was more fun than a monkey on a trampoline. That is a true thing. And you were really great. How did you prepare for this?
BECKER: I just - I love puzzles. I play word puzzles all the time, and it's something I enjoy doing. Yeah.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, you did great. 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, Steve, which member station do you listen to?
BECKER: NHPR, New Hampshire Public Radio.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is Steve Becker of Grantham, N.H. Thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.
BECKER: Thanks so much, you guys. That was fun.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What's next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Michael Schwartz of Florence, Ore. Name a world capital. Change one letter in it to DY - that's D as in dog, Y as in yellow. And the result will be two words, one after the other. The first word names somebody you like to be around, and the second word names somebody you don't like to be around. What city is it? So a world capital - change one letter in it to a DY. The result will be two words, one right after the other. The first word is somebody you like to be around, and the second is somebody you don't like to be around. What city 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 22, at 3 p.m. Eastern. 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 if you pick up the phone 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.