Find the Hidden World Capital
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Find the Hidden World Capital

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Find the Hidden World Capital
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REBECCA ROBERTS, host:

From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Rebecca Roberts. And joining us by phone this week because of some technical problems is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Rebecca.

ROBERTS: A little later we're going to be talking about biking to work for Bike to Work Day. Do you - are you a cyclist?

SHORTZ: You know, I used to be. I loved to bike. I did it every day. But since I got fanatical about table tennis a few years ago, that's been my exercise.

ROBERTS: Huh. Learning new things about you, Will.

(Soundbite of laughter)

ROBERTS: Remind us of the challenge you left us with last week.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Henry Hook of Brooklyn. He's one of the country's top crossword constructors.

I said, name certain internal parts of the human body, five letters, plural. This word contains an I. Change the I to an O. Read the result backward, and you'll name another part of the body that's near the first ones. What body parts are these?

SHORTZ: Well, the first ones are atria, A-T-R-I-A, and then - from the heart -and change the I to an O, reverse, you get aorta.

ROBERTS: Hmm. We had about 1,200 correct entries to this puzzle. Our randomly selected winner is Margaret Thompson from Pendleton, South Carolina. Hi, Margaret.

Ms. MARGARET THOMPSON (Puzzle Winner): Hi.

ROBERTS: What do you do in Pendleton?

Ms. THOMPSON: I live in Pendleton and teach at Clemson University.

ROBERTS: What do you teach?

Ms. THOMPSON: I teach Latin in the summers and environmental science and law and policy in the fall and spring semesters in a different department.

ROBERTS: Oh, the Latin must've come in handy this week.

Ms. THOMPSON: Very handy. It made this week's puzzle rather quick.

ROBERTS: How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Ms. THOMPSON: Oh, for years.

ROBERTS: But this is the first time your entry has been selected?

Ms. THOMPSON: I haven't really been entering until it went online.

ROBERTS: Well, let's get on with it. Are you ready to play?

ROBERTS: Will, meet Margaret. Margaret, meet Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Margaret and Rebecca, this is a good puzzle for two heads. I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence conceals the name of a world capital in consecutive letters. For example, if I said: two jets sank a raft, you would say Ankara, because Ankara is concealed in consecutive letters inside sank a raft.

Ms. THOMPSON: Sank a...

SHORTZ: All right. Number one is Captain Nemo scowled.

Ms. THOMPSON: Captain Nemo scowled. Moscow.

SHORTZ: Moscow is correct. Number two, the hobo got assistance.

Ms. THOMPSON: The hobo got assistance. That's not coming quickly.

SHORTZ: Aha. Well, ignore the the and find what's hidden hobo got assistance.

Ms. THOMPSON: Ah, Bogota.

SHORTZ: BogotÃ¡ is right. Excellent. The soil is bone dry.

Ms. THOMPSON: Lisbon.

SHORTZ: Lisbon. That was fast. The jeweler is picking stones.

Ms. THOMPSON: The jeweler is picking stones?

SHORTZ: Stone.

Ms. THOMPSON: Oh, Peking. Oh, Peking, no, that doesn't work.

SHORTZ: You probably can guess this, the key to solving this is homing in on the most awkward words or phrasing in the sentence. Here would be picking stones.

Ms. THOMPSON: Oh, Kingston.

SHORTZ: Kingston is right. Jamaica. The hamster damaged his cage.

Ms. THOMPSON: I'm blanking. Are you going to be there, Rebecca?

ROBERTS: Amsterdam.

SHORTZ: Amsterdam, Netherlands. Excellent. We had pizza, then saw a movie.

Ms. THOMPSON: Then saw a movie. Athens.

SHORTZ: Athens. Excellent. Did you see the Hindu blink?

Ms. THOMPSON: Dublin.

SHORTZ: Dublin is good. That radio station runs on air obituaries.

Ms. THOMPSON: On air obituaries.

SHORTZ: There, that's the part you want to focus on.

Ms. THOMPSON: Nairobi.

SHORTZ: Nairobi. Good. Try this one. Here is the pheasant I agonized about shooting.

Ms. THOMPSON: Santiago.

SHORTZ: Oh, excellent. Chet Atkins has aged well.

Ms. THOMPSON: Chet Atkins has aged well.

SHORTZ: Chet Atkins has aged well.

Ms. THOMPSON: Kinshasa.

SHORTZ: Kinshasa. Yes. And your last one - kids don't need satchels in kindergarten.

Ms. THOMPSON: They don't need satchels?

SHORTZ: They don't need satchels in kindergarten.

Ms. THOMPSON: Don't need satchels.

SHORTZ: Just focus on satchels and...

Ms. THOMPSON: Oh, Helsinki.

SHORTZ: Helsinki. Nice job.

Ms. THOMPSON: Oh, thank you.

ROBERTS: Margaret, that was really impressive.

Ms. THOMPSON: I felt clutched the whole time.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. THOMPSON: Just like the others that say the same thing.

ROBERTS: Well, you sounded cool as a cucumber. And for playing our puzzle today, 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. Margaret, tell us what member station you listen to?

Ms. THOMPSON: WEPR in Greenville, South Carolina.

ROBERTS: That's Margaret Thompson from Pendleton, South Carolina. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle with us.

Ms. THOMPSON: You're welcome.

ROBERTS: Now, Will, what is the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Well, this week's challenge is called hi ho. It has two answers and I'd like you to find both of them. Each answer is a familiar two-word phrase in which each word has four letters, the middle two letters of the first word are H-I, and the middle two letters of the second word are H-O. What phrases are these?

So again, the first word in the phrase is blank H-I blank, the second word is blank H-O blank. Two different phrases have this pattern. What are they?

ROBERTS: When you have the 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. So 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. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Rebecca.