Rhyming Phrases, With Consistent Consonants

Sep 7, 2014
Originally published on September 7, 2014 9:20 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase in which the two words start with the same consonant or pair of consonants. Given rhymes for the words, you name the words.

Example: Given "stubble checker," you would say, "double decker."

Last week's challenge from listener Peter Gwinn: Think of a word that means "to come before." Replace its last letter with two new letters to get "someone who comes after you." These two words are unrelated etymologically. What words are they?

Answer: Predate, predator

Winner: Paul Oberley of Fort Wayne, Ind.

Next week's challenge: Think of a word starting with T. Drop the T, and phonetically you'll get a new word that's a synonym of the first one. What words are these?

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


This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. Now that schools are back in session, it's time for some supplementary learning. But don't worry, it's the fun kind. It's time to play the puzzle. Joining me now is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will. Good to talk with you again.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lynn. Welcome back.

NEARY: Yeah. Nice to be here. So what was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Peter Gwinn. I said think of a word that means to come before, replace its last letter with two new letters to get someone who comes after you. What words are these? The word that means to come before is predate. And the person that comes after you is a predator.

NEARY: You know, I don't think I ever would've gotten that. But a lot of people did. We got about 900 correct answers this week. And our randomly chosen winner is Paul Oberley of Fort Wayne, Indiana. And he joins us now. Congratulations, Paul.

PAUL OBERLEY: Thank you very much.

NEARY: So how did you figure that out, Paul?

OBERLEY: Well, I worked on the first term for predate, rather come before. And then when I came up with predate, it kind of jumped out from there.

NEARY: Well, good job. So what do you do for a living, Paul?

OBERLEY: I work for a company that makes parts for the aircraft and aircraft engine businesses. So we actually make the controls that go onto aircrafts and aircraft engines.

NEARY: Well, that's an important job, and we all hope you're doing very well. How long have you been playing the puzzle?

OBERLEY: Just about five years.

NEARY: Oh, good. Now, I know you probably really want to talk more with Will than with me. Do you have any questions for Will?

OBERLEY: Well, I do actually.

NEARY: Go ahead.

OBERLEY: When people submit puzzles for consideration for his puzzler, whether he actually solves them or if he just kind of looks at the answers and judges them that way?

SHORTZ: Good question. You know, I'll spend a few seconds trying to solve. But honestly, I usually look at the answer. Once I look at the answer, I put myself in the solver shoes and I think is this something I could've gotten? Is it too easy, too hard? Is the cluing accurate and fair? And I put all of that together.

NEARY: All right, great. So, Paul, are you ready to play the puzzle?


NEARY: All right. Let's go ahead with it then.

SHORTZ: All right, Paul and Lynn. Every answer today is a familiar two-word phrase in which the two words start with the same consonant or pair of consonants. I'll give you rhymes for the words. You tell me the phrases. For example, if I said stubble checker, you would say double-decker 'cause double-decker each starts with D and they rhyme with stubble checker.


SHORTZ: Number one, rotten brandy.

OBERLEY: Cotton candy.

SHORTZ: Cotton candy is it. Number two, snobby course.

OBERLEY: Hobbyhorse.

SHORTZ: That's it. Minting stress.

OBERLEY: Printing press.

SHORTZ: Nice. Scrabble browser.

OBERLEY: Rabble-rouser.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Rolling call.

OBERLEY: Rolling call - Bowling ball.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Louder stuff.

OBERLEY: Powder puff.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Tricky house.

OBERLEY: Tricky house - Mickey Mouse.

SHORTZ: Splash mud.

OBERLEY: Splash mud - flash flood.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. It's interesting how saying it can trigger the answer. Class puzzler.

OBERLEY: Gas guzzler.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Docile mule.

OBERLEY: Fossil fuel.

SHORTZ: That's almost an oxymoron - docile mule. And fossil fuel is it. Painless deal.

OBERLEY: Stainless steel.

SHORTZ: That's it. Gumbo threat.

OBERLEY: Gumbo threat.

SHORTZ: Threat with a T at the end.

NEARY: Aha. This is funny that you're not getting this one. I have to say, Paul.


OBERLEY: Jumbo jet.

SHORTZ: Jumbo jet. That's good. I should've ended with that one. Wrench size.

OBERLEY: French fries.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.

OBERLEY: Of course I got that one.


SHORTZ: Diesel bird.

OBERLEY: Diesel bird. I think I'm stumped here.

NEARY: Yeah. I can't think of it either.

SHORTZ: Do you know it, Lynn? I'll tell you. It's a weasel word.

NEARY: A weasel word.

SHORTZ: Something sort of a - weasel word. And your last one is dressing frame.

OBERLEY: Guessing game.

SHORTZ: That is it, Paul. That was brilliant.

NEARY: So great job, Paul.

OBERLEY: Thank you so much.

NEARY: And for playing our puzzle today, of course you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pen as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. So, Paul, tell us, what is your public radio station?

OBERLEY: Well, we actually have two, WBNI and WBOI in Fort Wayne.

NEARY: Paul Oberley of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Thanks for playing the puzzle, Paul.

OBERLEY: Thank you, Lynn.

NEARY: So, Will, what do we have for next week then?

SHORTZ: Yeah. The challenge is straightforward. Think of a word starting with T, as in Thomas. Drop the T, and phonetically, you'll get a new word that's a synonym of the first one. What words are these? So, again, a word starting with T. Drop, the T, phonetically, you'll get a new word that's a synonym of the first one. What words are these?

NEARY: 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 September 11 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Please 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 puzzle master, Will Shortz. Thanks again, Will.

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