LIANE HANSEN, host:

From NPR News this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

And joining us is puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Hey, Will.

Mr. WILL SHORTZ (Puzzlemaster): Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: Well, I've seen the new KenKen puzzles in The New York Times, but I have to admit, they're a little intimidating, so, I haven't tried one yet. I'm sticking with the crossword. I know, I know, I know, I have to get into it, but it's nice to see them there.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yeah, I think they bring in a different kind of solver from crosswords. With crosswords you have to know things and with KenKen it's just a pure logic number challenge.

HANSEN: All right, well, I promise to try one in the coming week, okay?

Mr. SHORTZ: Okay. Yeah.

HANSEN: All right. Well, you left us with an interesting challenge last week. What was it?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Charlie Pine(ph) of Norfolk, Massachusetts. I said, take the name of a country, interchange two consecutive letters, add an E after the fifth letter, the result will be two synonyms one after the other. What are they?

HANSEN: What are they?

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, the country is Finland. Interchange the A and the L and add an E, you get, final, and end.

HANSEN: You know, this one was a tough one for everyone listening. We received fewer than 800 correct entries this time. And from those entries we randomly selected Fran Kaplan(ph) of Brooklyn, New York to play the puzzle on the air with us today. Hey, Fran.

Ms. FRAN KAPLAN: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: So, how long did it take you to solve the puzzle?

Ms. KAPLAN: I think I had it by the end of the day on Sunday.

HANSEN: Excellent. How long have you been playing?

Ms. KAPLAN: At least two years.

HANSEN: Wow. Are you a puzzle person normally?

Ms. KAPLAN: Yes, I am.

HANSEN: What do you like?

Ms. KAPLAN: I play crossword puzzles. I enjoy Sudoku, Scrabble, anything with words.

HANSEN: Ah, well, let's hope there's a word puzzle for us today. I have no idea from week to week what Will has for us. But you sound like you're ready to have some fun.

Ms. KAPLAN: Absolutely.

HANSEN: Okay, Will. Well, meet Fran. Let's play.

Mr. SHORTZ: All right, Fran. It is with words. Every answer today is the name of an animal you might see in the zoo. Name the animals from their anagrams. For example, if I said, oil, O-I-L plus N. You would say lion.

Ms. KAPLAN: Got it.

Mr. SHORTZ: Here's number one, reb, R-E-B plus A.

Ms. KAPLAN: Bear.

Mr. SHORTZ: Bear is right. Number two is Ezra, E-Z-R-A plus B.

Ms. KAPLAN: Zebra.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Napa, N-A-P-A plus D.

Ms. KAPLAN: Panda?

Mr. SHORTZ: That's it. Rite, R-I-T-E plus G.

Ms. KAPLAN: Tiger.

Mr. SHORTZ: Good. Next nabob, N-A-B-O-B plus O.

Ms. KAPLAN: Baboon.

Mr. SHORTZ: Good. Rawls, R-A-W-L-S plus U.

Ms. KAPLAN: Walrus.

Mr. SHORTZ: Good. Allege, A-L-L-E-G-E plus Z.

Ms. KAPLAN: Gazelle.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's it. Gaffer, G-A-F-F-E-R plus I.

Ms. KAPLAN: Giraffe.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Enrapt, E-N-R-A-P-T plus H.

Ms. KAPLAN: Uh, panther.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's it. Gloria, G-L-O-R-I-A plus L.

Ms. KAPLAN: Gorilla.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's good. Reload, R-E-L-O-A-D plus P, as in Peter.

Ms. KAPLAN: Reload plus E, you said, right?

HANSEN: P.

Mr. SHORTZ: Plus P, as in Peter.

Ms. KAPLAN: Oh, plus P. Reload plus P.

HANSEN: This is a spotted animal.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, it is.

Ms. KAPLAN: Hmm.

Mr. SHORTZ: A spotted feline.

Ms. KAPLAN: Oh, leopard, of course.

Mr. SHORTZ: Leopard is it. Heel tap. Heel tap, H-E-E-L T-A-P plus N, as in Nancy.

Ms. KAPLAN: Give me the spelling one more time.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yeah, Heel tap, H-E-E-L T-A-P.

Ms. KAPLAN: Heel tap.

Mr. SHORTZ: Plus N, as in Nancy. And we're talking about a big animal. Might see it in a circus.

Ms. KAPLAN: Oh, elephant.

Mr. SHORTZ: Elephant is it. Needier, N-E-E-D-I-E-R plus R.

Ms. KAPLAN: Reindeer.

Mr. SHORTZ: Reindeer, good. And here's your last one. Mechanize, M-E-C-H-A-N-I-Z-E plus P.

Ms. KAPLAN: Plus D?

Mr. SHORTZ: What's that? Plus P, as in Peter.

Ms. KAPLAN: Chimpanzee.

HANSEN: Oh.

Mr. SHORTZ: Chimpanzee, Fran, nice work.

HANSEN: You're amazing.

Ms. KAPLAN: Thank you.

HANSEN: So quick. Wow. Well, we're going to - we have a kind of a gold statuette - it's virtual - to award to you today because we have a special guest to tell you what you're taking home for playing our puzzle today. The Academy Awards, as you know, are next week. And every year our Oscar music maven Andy Trudeau gives us a rundown of the Academy Award nominated film scores, and he'll be here next week with his segment. But this week, just for you, here is Andy Trudeau with your prizes.

ANDY TRUDEAU: For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the Eleventh Edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers and "The Puzzlemaster Presents" from Random House, volume two. But wait, there's more. You'll also get Will Shortz's latest book series, "Will Shortz Presents KenKen Volumes One, Two and Three" from St. Martin's Press and one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books.

HANSEN: Hey, what you think, Fran?

Ms. KAPLAN: I think that's great. Thank you so much.

HANSEN: Oh, it's our pleasure. And before we say goodbye, tell us the member station that you listen to.

Ms. KAPLAN: WNYC.

HANSEN: Absolutely, in New York. Fran Kaplan of Brooklyn, New York, thanks for playing with us. You were absolutely fabulous.

Ms. KAPLAN: Thank you so much, Liane. Thank you, Will.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Okay.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Fran.

Ms. KAPLAN: Bye, bye.

HANSEN: Bye, bye. All right, Will, I know you've got another challenge in your pocket for all of us to play for next week. What is it?

Mr. SHORTZ: It is another anagram. Take the name, Pensacola, as in the Florida city, P-E-N-S-A-C-O-L-A, remove one letter and rearrange the letters that remain to name a famous person in American history. First and last names, who is it? So, again, Pensacola, remove one letter, rearrange the remaining letters to name a famous person in American history. Who is it?

HANSEN: When you know the answer, go to our Web site, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the submit your answers link. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline this week is Thursday, 3:00 PM 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 get to play puzzle on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION'S puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Will, thanks a lot.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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