What's That Puzzling Toy Under The Christmas Tree?

Dec 21, 2014
Originally published on December 21, 2014 1:01 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer today is the name of a kid's toy that one might give for Christmas. Some are brand names, some are generic. Identify them from their anagrams. Ex. GEL + O --> LEGO

Last week's challenge: Think of a common exclamation in 4 letters. Move the last letter to the start, and then add a new letter to the end to get another well-known exclamation. What is it?

Answer: AHOY!, YAHOO!

Winner: Martin Spritzer, Pittsboro, N.C.

Next week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. Take the first and last names of a well-known actress. Her first name has two vowels. Change them both to new vowels, and the result names part of a common Christmas decoration. 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 Wednesday at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. And on this Sunday before Christmas, it is time for the gift that keeps on giving every Sunday - the puzzle. Joining me now is Will Shortz. He is the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel. Merry Christmas.

MARTIN: Merry Christmas. So you have anything particular on your list for Santa Claus this year?

SHORTZ: Well, you know, books are always good. Yeah. My sister was wondering what to get me. And...

MARTIN: You strike me as someone who is tough to buy for, Will.

SHORTZ: I am 'cause I have everything I need. How about you?

MARTIN: You're a minimalist. Oh, no. I've got a long list, believe me.

SHORTZ: (Laughter).

MARTIN: OK, so refresh our memories, Will. What was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes. I said think of a common exclamation in four letters. Move the last letter to the start, and then add a new letter to the end, and you will get another well-known exclamation. What is it? Well, if you take the exclamation 'ahoy!' move the Y to the start and add an O at the end, you get 'yahoo!'

MARTIN: All right. So yahoo! 560 of our listeners got this right. And our randomly chosen winner this week is Martin Spritzer of Pittsboro, North Carolina. He joins us on the line. Martin, congratulations.

MARTIN SPRITZER: Thank you very much.

MARTIN: So how did you come up with the answer?

SPRITZER: Well, my wife and I make the bed right after we hear the puzzle. And I'm standing on one side, and I just said, ahoy!

(LAUGHTER)

SPRITZER: From across the bed, she said, that's it, yahoo!

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: I love it. And how long have you been playing the puzzle, Martin?

SPRITZER: Oh, maybe 15, 20 years. My wife won about 10, 12 years ago.

MARTIN: Oh, wow. Small world. And anything in particular on your Christmas list this year?

SPRITZER: No, just so I don't make a fool of myself on the program.

MARTIN: (Laughter). All right, well, Santa is probably listening. And I have a hunch that you will do just fine. So, Martin, are you ready to play the puzzle?

SPRITZER: Yes I am, Rachel.

MARTIN: OK, Will, let's do it.

SHORTZ: All right, Martin and Rachel, every answer today is the name of a toy that you might give a kid for Christmas. Some of them are brand names, some are generic. Identify them from their anagrams. For example, if I said gel - G-E-L - plus O, you would say Lego.

MARTIN: OK, let's give it a whirl.

SHORTZ: Number one is del - D-E-L - plus S as in Sam.

SPRITZER: Dell plus S.

SHORTZ: Plus S as in Sam.

SPRITZER: Oh, sled.

SHORTZ: Sled is it. That's correct. Number two is tie - T-I-E - plus K.

SPRITZER: All right, K-I-E, K-E-T. Oh, a kite.

MARTIN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: A kite is it. Here's your next one. Kilns - K-I-L-N as in Nancy, S as in Sam - plus Y. Kilns plus Y.

SPRITZER: All right.

MARTIN: This is an old-school toy.

SHORTZ: Oh, man I loved this when I was a kid. Starts with S.

SPRITZER: Starts with an S. So it's probably going to be - oh, a slinky.

MARTIN: Yay.

SPRITZER: A slinky.

SPRITZER: My kids used to love the slinky.

MARTIN: Yeah. Slinky's a classic.

SHORTZ: All right. Rabbi - R-A-B-B-I - as in the religious official, plus E. Rabbi plus E.

SPRITZER: Rabbi plus E. B, oh, Barbie.

MARTIN: There you go.

SHORTZ: Barbie, no hint needed on that.

SPRITZER: A Barbie doll.

MARTIN: Barbie, yep.

SHORTZ: OK here's your last one, betrayed - B-E-T-R-A-Y-E-D - plus D as in dog.

SPRITZER: Plus D. All right.

SHORTZ: It's a two-word answer.

MARTIN: Oh, two words.

SHORTZ: Five letters in the first word, four letters in the second.

MARTIN: Generic or specific?

SHORTZ: It's generic. And it is something - a toy you might have in bed.

SPRITZER: Might have in bed. Outside of my wife, let's see.

(LAUGHTER)

SHORTZ: Starts with a T.

SPRITZER: Starts with a T.

MARTIN: It starts with a T.

SHORTZ: And it's cute, and it's cuddly.

SPRITZER: A teddy bear.

MARTIN: Oh, yay.

SHORTZ: A teddy bear is it. You got.

SPRITZER: (Laughter) I dreaded the anagrams and that's what I got.

MARTIN: Oh, you did fine. And it was such a fun time to play with you. Congratulations. For playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and all kinds of puzzle books and games to put in your Christmas stocking. You can read all about the prizes at npr.org/puzzle. And before we let you go, Martin, where do you hear us? What's your public radio station?

SPRITZER: WUNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

MARTIN: Great. Martin Spritzer of Pittsboro, North Carolina. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Martin. Merry Christmas.

SPRITZER: It was a lot of fun.

MARTIN: OK, Will, what's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from a listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Take the first and last names of a well-known actress. Her first name has two vowels. Change both of them to new vowels, and the result names part of a common Christmas decoration. What is it? So, again, a well-known actress' first and last names. Her first name has two vowels. Change both of them to new vowels, and the result will name part of a common Christmas decoration. What is it?

MARTIN: OK. When you've got the answer, go to our website. It is npr.org/puzzle. Click on the submit your answer link. Just one entry per person please. And since next Thursday is Christmas, please get your answers in by Wednesday, Christmas Eve, December 24 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Don't forget to include a number where we can reach 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 puzzle master, Will Shortz. Hey, Will, thanks so much.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel. Merry Christmas.

MARTIN: Merry Christmas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.