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LIANE HANSEN, host:

From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen. And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane, welcome back.

HANSEN: Thank you very much. I had a nice week off, but I was working over at National Geographic in another show, which was a lot of fun; I got to do some theater. But I did get to hear the show last week. And I have to tell you; I was totally flummoxed about an answer to the challenge you gave. So start with reminding us of the challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Massachusetts. I said, think of a six-letter plural word naming a certain category of foods. Change the first letter to a C, then rearrange the result to get an adjective that describes many of these foods. What is it?

HANSEN: As I told you, I was totally lost. What is it?

SHORTZ: Well, the foods are fruits, change the F to a C and you get citrus.

HANSEN: Well, apparently, 1,700 people weren't as lost as I was. We had over 1,700 entries from people who solved the puzzle and our randomly selected winner is Dave Steele from Decatur, Illinois. Hi, Dave.

Mr. DAVE STEELE (Puzzle Winner): Hi, how are you all doing?

HANSEN: Oh, I'm doing just fine. What do you do in Decatur?

Mr. STEELE: I work at a collection agency here.

HANSEN: Okay. How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Mr. STEELE: Oh, 10 or 11 years.

HANSEN: This is the first time you've sent in an answer?

Mr. STEELE: It really is the very first time.

HANSEN: Well, why did you pick this week to do it?

Mr. STEELE: Well, I was watching the movie "Wordplay" with Will in it, and I just thought, well, you know, I never submit, let me just do it. So I had my nine-year-old daughter Emily with me and I said, well, let's just try to figure this out. And it was fun, and I really didn't think I'd be picked, though.

HANSEN: Yeah.

Mr. STEELE: Cool, cool.

HANSEN: Yeah, it is cool. But you what happens, are you ready to play?

Mr. STEELE: I think I am.

HANSEN: So do I. All right, Will. Please meet Dave. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Dave, today I brought a game of categories based on the word coast, C-O-A-S-T. I'm going to give you some categories. For each one, name something in that category starting with each of the letters in coast. For example, if the category were of girl's names, you might say, Carol, Olga, Anna, Sarah, and Teresa.

Mr. STEELE: I got it.

SHORTZ: All right. Number one, this should be right up your line - Midwest cities. And Midwest goes from Ohio to the Plain States.

Mr. STEELE: Okay, Chicago.

SHORTZ: Chicago, good.

HANSEN: They don't have to be in order, right?

SHORTZ: You can go in any order.

Mr. STEELE: Oh, okay. St. Louis.

SHORTZ: St. Louis, good.

Mr. STEELE: I'll go with - oh no one's going to know this - Olney, Illinois, O-L-N-E-Y.

SHORTZ: I know Olney. Yeah, you could also say, Oma...

Mr. STEELE: You really?

SHORTZ: Omaha, Oshkosh, or Otomwa.

Mr. STEELE: Okay.

SHORTZ: Okay, you still need an A and a T.

Mr. STEELE: An A and a T.

SHORTZ: For A, there's a big one on Ohio.

Mr. STEELE: Oh there is, Akron.

HANSEN: Akron.

SHORTZ: Akron, good. And for T...

Mr. STEELE: And T will go with...

SHORTZ: You have your choice of Kansas or Ohio, Topeka, Kansas and Toledo, Ohio. Good job.

Number two, blank bar. Fill in the blank. Blank bar.

Mr. STEELE: Captain's bar?

SHORTZ: Captain's bar, okay. Candy bar, cash bar, chocolate bar.

HANSEN: Open bar for O.

SHORTZ: Open bar, the opposite of the cash bar, right. Also, oyster bar.

Mr. STEELE: Okay.

SHORTZ: A is a little tough one. But there's two parts of a car.

Mr. STEELE: Parts of the car for A.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

HANSEN: It's not axle, is it?

SHORTZ: Axle bar, yeah.

HANSEN: Really?

SHORTZ: Also an anti-roll bar. You could have said that.

HANSEN: Oh sure, sure. S and T, huh? Oh, how about a single's bar?

SHORTZ: Single's bar. Good job.

Mr. STEELE: So far, it's good. Okay.

SHORTZ: And T?

HANSEN: Can you - would you accept T bar?

SHORTZ: T bar, I'll take that. Tapless bar. Topless bar.

HANSEN: Oh well.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. STEELE: I wouldn't think of a topless bar.

HANSEN: Me either.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Here's your next category: comic strip characters.

Mr. STEELE: Comic strip characters.

SHORTZ: Past and present.

Mr. STEELE: S for Snoopy.

SHORTZ: Good.

Mr. STEELE: C for Calvin. Calvin and Hobbes.

SHORTZ: Excellent. My favorite cartoon.

Mr. STEELE: Yeah, mine too. T for Tiger.

SHORTZ: Tiger okay. Is that his official name?

Mr. STEELE: No, the strip on the - there's a strip called Tiger.

SHORTZ: Okay.

HANSEN: That one I haven't heard of.

SHORTZ: I was thinking of Tarzan, Tubby, Tank McNamara.

Mr. STEELE: Right, yeah. Okay.

SHORTZ: Okay, O and A. I have two O's. One of them is a character in Garfield.

Mr. STEELE: Oh, Odie.

SHORTZ: Odie. You could also said Opus.

Mr. STEELE: Yeah.

SHORTZ: And how about A?

HANSEN: Can be an old-fashioned one, right?

Mr. STEELE: Oh, Annie?

SHORTZ: Annie of the little orphan Annie. Good. Andy Capp would be another one.

Mr. STEELE: Yeah.

SHORTZ: And here's your last category.

Mr. STEELE: Okay.

SHORTZ: Things to have for breakfast.

Mr. STEELE: Tea for T.

SHORTZ: Yes.

Mr. STEELE: C for cantaloupe.

SHORTZ: Cantaloupe, cereal, coffee, croissant, yes.

Mr. STEELE: Okay. O for orange juice.

SHORTZ: Orange juice, omelet, oatmeal, yes.

Mr. STEELE: Okay. S for sausage.

SHORTZ: Excellent. And A?

Mr. STEELE: And A for Apple Jacks.

SHORTZ: Apple Jacks. Good job, Dave. Nice job.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. STEELE: (Unintelligible) brains in there.

HANSEN: Oh, Dave, nice work.

Mr. STEELE: Okay.

HANSEN: It's so much harder than you think, right?

Mr. STEELE: It is.

HANSEN: Everything goes -

Mr. STEELE: But that was fun. I enjoyed it.

HANSEN: It is fun. Well, that's the point.

Mr. STEELE: Yeah.

HANSEN: And you'll also get some things today for you and your nine-year-old daughter for playing the puzzle. You'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the 11th Edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers, the "Puzzle Master Presents" from Random House Volume Two, Will Shortz's "Little Black Book of Sudoku" and "Black (and White) book of Crosswords" from St. Martin's Press, and one of Will Shortz's "Puzzle Master: Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books. Lots of things to play with.

Mr. STEELE: Oh, that sounds so nice. And I love playing games.

HANSEN: All right. Well, you will have a lot of fun. But Dave, before you go, you have to tell us what member station do you listen to?

Mr. STEELE: WILL in Urbana, Illinois.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. STEELE: What does that spell?

HANSEN: I think it spells the name - the call letters of Will Shortz's favorite radio station.

Mr. STEELE: Oh.

SHORTZ: That's right. That's right.

HANSEN: We're all friends of Will, believe me. Well, Dave Steele from Decatur, Illinois, you're a terrific contestant. Thanks a lot for playing...

Mr. STEELE: I really enjoyed it. I appreciate it very much.

HANSEN: Okay. Now, Will, we have another challenge for the coming week. What is it?

SHORTZ: Well, think of two countries whose names start with the same three letters. Set these names side by side. Drop the first three letters from each of the names. The remaining letters, in order, will spell the name of a major river in the world. What is it?

So again, two countries whose names start with the same three letters. Set the names side by side. Drop the first three letters from each name. The remaining letters, in order, will name of the longest rivers in the world. What is it?

HANSEN: When you have your answer, go to our Web site, npr.org and click on the Submit Your Answer link on the Sunday puzzle page. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline this week is Thursday, 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And we'll call you if you're the winner and you'll get to play puzzle on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz.

Will, thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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