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LIANE HANSEN, host:

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

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

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: I'm going to be a big disappointment to you.

SHORTZ: Why is that? You're never disappointing.

HANSEN: No, I tried to do KenKen puzzles this week. I honestly, I don't get it. I can't do the words, but - and the math at the same time. So, I'm going to just, you know, put it aside and work on my crossword puzzle skills. So, I hope it's not too much of a disappointment.

SHORTZ: Oh, that's no good. You know, Tetsuya, the inventor, Tetsuya Miyamoto will be at the crossword championship next week. So, maybe you can get a tip or two from him.

HANSEN: That's what I was going to say. Maybe I can get a tip or two. And I'm really looking forward to the tournament next weekend. But we want to play our radio puzzle, so, remind us of the challenge you left with us last week.

SHORTZ: Yes, I said, take the name Pensacola, as in the Florida city, remove one letter and rearrange the remaining letters to name a famous person in American history. Who is it?

HANSEN: And our anagram theme from last week, who is it?

SHORTZ: The answer - you remove the S and rearrange the letters to get Al Capone.

HANSEN: You know, someone asked me what we consider to be a lot of entries. Because we had one puzzle, there were only 300. And he wondered what were a lot. And I said, you know, usually about 2,500. Well, guess what? We received over 2,500 correct entries this past week. And we randomly selected Michael Eckman(ph) of Bloomington, Minnesota to play on the air today. Hi, Michael.

Mr. MICHAEL ECKMAN: Hi.

HANSEN: How long did it take you to solve this anagram puzzle?

Mr. ECKMAN: Oh, about five minutes.

HANSEN: Oh. How long have you been playing our puzzle?

Mr. ECKMAN: Ever since we've been able to send them in by e-mail.

HANSEN: All right. Sounds like you are a puzzle person, yes?

Mr. ECKMAN: Yes.

HANSEN: Yes. It's a simple yes or no. No trickery in that question.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. ECKMAN: I like crossword puzzles.

HANSEN: I do, too. I do, too. Well, you sound pretty well-prepared for this one. You ready to play?

Mr. ECKMAN: Certainly.

HANSEN: All right, Will, meet Michael. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Michael. Today's puzzle is a variation on the old game of Tom Swifties. I'm going to read you some quotes ending with Tom blank. The word that goes in the blank is a synonym for said, that completes the statement in a punny way. For example, that was the best all-night dance party ever, Tom blank. And you'd say, raved.

HANSEN: Okay.

Mr. ECKMAN: Raved. Oh, okay.

SHORTZ: All right. Here's number one. That's too much whale fat, Tom - starting…

Mr. ECKMAN: Blubbered.

SHORTZ: Blubbered, yes. Number two: You wrecked my Swedish car, Tom…

Mr. ECKMAN: Sobbed.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Sobbed. Yes. Well, I wouldn't say that a breakfast dish made on an iron is my very favorite, Tom…

Mr. ECKMAN: Waffled.

SHORTZ: Waffled. Good, you don't even need the starting letters. Next, the best barrier between the yards wouldn't have to be a fence, Tom, starting with H.

Mr. ECKMAN: Hedged.

SHORTZ: Hedged, yes. For the thousandth time, quit betting on the race horses, Tom, starting with N. For the thousandth time, quit betting on the race horses, Tom…

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Nagged.

SHORTZ: Nagged, good.

HANSEN: Seriously?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Good job. Try this one. Don't you hate plumbers who bend over with their pants too low? Tom, starting with C.

Mr. ECKMAN: Cracked.

SHORTZ: Cracked, yes. Here's your next one. This is a two-word answer. And I'll give the initials for both the words. Somehow you'll have to get the water from the basement to the top floors, Tom, starting with P-U. Peter…

Mr. ECKMAN: The letters again?

HANSEN: P-U.

SHORTZ: P-U.

Mr. ECKMAN: All I can think of is pumped up.

HANSEN: Yeah, it's close.

SHORTZ: The up is right.

HANSEN: Piped up.

SHORTZ: Piped up is it.

HANSEN: Piped up.

SHORTZ: Okay, here's your last one. Again, it's a two-word answer. This ellipsis has only two dots, Tom P-O - Peter and O. This ellipsis has only two dots, Tom…

Mr. ECKMAN: Pointed out.

HANSEN: Yes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Pointed out. Nice job.

HANSEN: Have you played Tom Swifties before, Michael?

Mr. ECKMAN: Yes.

HANSEN: Yeah, I have, too. They're a lot of fun. They're a lot of fun. You do -you did very, very well on them. Thank you.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. ECKMAN: Thank you.

HANSEN: And so, yeah, I thought we made a pretty good team there. Well, I'm sure you're aware, Michael, that we've been asking some celebrities to read the puzzle prizes for us. And since tonight is Oscar night, we thought we would ask a previous award-winner to do the honors. You probably don't know his name, but he's won two Academy Awards for sound. The films were "Dances with Wolves" and "Glory." And here's Russell Williams to tell you what you will receive.

Mr. RUSSELL WILLIAMS (Film Sound Mixer): 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.

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. Hey, that's almost as good as winning an Oscar - or even two.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Russell Williams did just that, winning two Academy Awards for sound. I think he should get an award just for his voice. What do you think, Michael?

Mr. ECKMAN: Yes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Yes. Doesn't he have a wonderful voice?

Mr. ECKMAN: Yes.

HANSEN: Oh, wow. And you don't really think about Academy Awards for sound, but of course, we in radio do. Well, Michael, before we say goodbye to you, what member station do you listen to?

Mr. ECKMAN: Well, I belong to KNOW and KSJN - one is news and one is music.

HANSEN: Oh, perfect. And belonging is always a good thing. Michael Eckman of Bloomington, Minnesota, thanks for playing with us today. You were fabulous.

Mr. ECKMAN: Okay. Thank you.

HANSEN: All right, Will, what do you have to work on for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Rich Silvestri(ph) of Valley Stream, New York. Name an item often found on an office desk. It's a hyphenated word. Add an S, as in Sam, to the beginning of each part, and you'll get two synonyms. What's the item? So, again, an item often found on an office desk. It's a hyphenated. Add an S to the beginning of each part to get two synonyms. What's the item and what are the synonyms?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our Web site npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer 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. 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 puzzlemaster Will Shortz. And Will, next week, you're going to get to play with Scott Simon.

SHORTZ: That's great. And I'm looking forward to seeing you in Brooklyn.

HANSEN: I'm looking forward to seeing you at the Crossword Puzzle Tournament, as well, next week. Okay, thanks a lot, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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