Brave Sir Robin Ran Away, But The Puzzle Is Still OK

May 6, 2012
Originally published on May 12, 2012 5:11 pm

On-Air Challenge: You'll be given a series of categories. For each one, name something in the category beginning with each of the letters of the word "robin." For example, given the category "two-syllable boys' names," the answers could be "Roger," "Omar," "Barry," "Isaac" and "Neville."

Last Week's Challenge: Name the capital of a country that, when said out loud, sounds like a three-word phrase. This phrase might describe the reason why the police did not catch a barefoot thief. What is the capital, and what is the reason?

Answer: The capital is Port-au-Prince, and the reason is "poor toe prints."

Winner: Jeanne Grace of Fairport, N.Y.

Next Week's Challenge from listener Gary Witkin of Newark, Del.: Using only the six letters of the name "Bronte," repeating them as often as necessary, spell a familiar six-word phrase. 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 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Get those synapses firing, folks, because it is time for the puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: Let's start with last week's challenge from the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master Will Shortz.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Name the capital of a country that, when said out loud, sounds like a three-word phrase. And this phrase might describe the reason why the police did not catch a barefoot thief. What is the capital and what is the reason?

MARTIN: Well, about 420 of you figured out the answer. And our randomly selected winner this week is Jeanne Grace of Fairport, New York. Congratulations, Jeanne.

JEANNE GRACE: Thank you, Rachel.

MARTIN: OK. So, what was the answer to last week's challenge?

GRACE: The answer was Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which can also be pronounced Porto Prince.

MARTIN: Nicely done. This was a hard puzzle. I mean, how long did this take you to figure out?

GRACE: I was still working on it till Thursday morning. I was running all the three-syllable capitals I could think of and not getting anywhere. And then my husband reminded me it was a barefoot person. And so I started looking for anything with a toe, and that got me to where I needed to be.

MARTIN: So, a little shout-out to your husband for his helpful hints.

GRACE: Yes, indeed.

MARTIN: And what do you do in Fairport?

GRACE: I am a retired as a professor in a school of nursing.

MARTIN: And now have a little more time for puzzles, I imagine.

GRACE: I always managed even when I was working full-time.

MARTIN: Good for you. OK. Before we continue, let's welcome the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.

SHORTZ: Good morning, Rachel. And congratulations, Jeanne. That was a tough one.

GRACE: Thank you. And good morning, Will.

SHORTZ: And a lot of people were working on Mogadishu, because that ends in the syllable shoe. But you were right. You concentrated on the toe.

MARTIN: So, OK. What do you have in store for us today, Will? More world capital puns?

SHORTZ: Something different we haven't done in a while. It's a game of categories. It's based on the word robin, as in the spring bird. I'm going to give you a series of categories. For each one, name something in the category beginning with each of the letters R-O-B-I and N. For example, if the category were two-syllable boy's names, you might say Roger, Omar, Barry, Isaac and Neville.

MARTIN: Wow.

GRACE: Well, I think we can do this, Rachel.

MARTIN: Really? You're positive? OK. I like your attitude, Jeanne, I like your attitude. Let's try it, Will. Take it away.

SHORTZ: All right. Your first category is chemical elements.

GRACE: Chemical elements. Well, we get radium, boron, iodine, nitrogen and oxygen.

SHORTZ: Oxygen. So fast. Nice job.

MARTIN: Jeanne, you don't even need me. Are you kidding?

GRACE: Oh, yes, I will.

MARTIN: OK.

SHORTZ: Your second category is islands.

GRACE: Islands. Bahamas, Oahu, Nihau, which is...

SHORTZ: Nihau, really?

GRACE: ...the island off Kauai. That's the forbidden island in Hawaii.

SHORTZ: OK. Also New Guinea, Newfoundland would have worked.

GRACE: OK.

SHORTZ: All you need R and I.

GRACE: R and I. Well, there's Rhode Island but it's not really an island.

SHORTZ: Yeah, I won't count that one.

MARTIN: Yeah.

GRACE: OK. Rarotonga.

SHORTZ: OK. Well, you're impressing me here. My answers were Rhodes, the Isle of Rhodes and Reunion or Reunion, however that's pronounced. In Polynesia.

GRACE: We still have an I to go, Rachel.

MARTIN: OK. All right. I...

GRACE: I...

MARTIN: I suppose Indonesia doesn't count 'cause...

GRACE: Iceland.

SHORTZ: Iceland does it. Ireland and Ios would have worked. All right. Nice job. Your next category is Major League Baseball team names.

GRACE: Oh, dear. Well, let's try Red Sox, Orioles. Rachel, I'm going to need some help here.

MARTIN: Are the Brewers are baseball team.

SHORTZ: Brewers, yes. Also, the Braves and Blue Jays.

GRACE: And then the Indians. And the Nationals.

SHORTZ: Nationals, so good. And your last category is things you might see in a hospital.

GRACE: In a hospital. OK. Operating rooms should be O. Neonatal intensive care units would give us the N. The I is going to be intensive care units.

SHORTZ: All right. You could have said nurse for N. OK. And you need R and B again.

GRACE: I need R and B. Respirators.

SHORTZ: And the B is the easiest one. Where do...

GRACE: Beds.

SHORTZ: The beds, yes.

MARTIN: The beds. Wow, great job, Jeanne. Really. That was extraordinary. 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, Jeanne, before we let you go, tell us what public radio station you listen to.

GRACE: We are members of both WXXI in Rochester and WRVO, which is Watertown-Oswego-Syracuse and points a bit to the east.

MARTIN: Great, double membership. Love to hear. Jeanne Grace of Fairport, New York. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle this week, Jeanne.

GRACE: Now, it was fun.

MARTIN: OK, Will, what do you have for us next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, the challenge comes from listener Gary Witkin of Newark, Delaware. Take the name Bronte, B-R-O-N-T-E, using only these six letters, repeating them as often as necessary, spell a familiar six-word phrase. What is it?

So again, the name Bronte, use only these six letters but repeat them as often as necessary, spell a familiar six-word phrase. What is it?

MARTIN: OK, When you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link - just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, May 10th at 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Please include a phone 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 and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz.

Thanks, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.