From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Linda Wertheimer sitting in for Liane Hansen. And joining me is the puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Hi, Will.


WERTHEIMER: So, Will, what is new where you are?

SHORTZ: Well, something cool last weekend, I did a mini-tour of Ivy League schools doing crossword contests at Brown, Harvard and Yale. And just had a great time and it was really good to see so many young enthusiastic puzzlers. I think crosswords are just perfect for the modern age.

WERTHEIMER: Okay. Let's think about the challenge you left us with last week for the modern age.

SHORTZ: Yes, I said, think of a four-letter word with a short A sound, and specifically, the A is the second letter. Switch the third and fourth letters and you'll get a new word, also with a short A sound. And I said the two words go together to make a phrase that names something that existed most famously from 1982 to 2000. What is it?

WERTHEIMER: Well, you want me to tell you what it is? I know what it is now.

(Soundbite of laughter)

WERTHEIMER: I have to say it was mystifying to me, even when I looked at it.

SHORTZ: The answer is "Cats" cast, as in the cast of the Broadway musical, which ran from 1982 to 2000. But now there's versions of "Cats" all around the world, so there are still "Cats" casts around.

(Soundbite of laughter)

WERTHEIMER: We had about 1,900 entries, and from those entries we randomly selected listener Wayne Jones of Worcester, New York to play the puzzle on the air with us today. Wayne, hello?

Mr. WAYNE JONES: Linda, hello. Happy Sunday to you.

WERTHEIMER: Thank you. How long did it take you to figure this out?

Mr. JONES: Oh, it took longer than it should have because before I finally reached the answer, I was looking at words where I switched the second and third letter.

(Soundbite of laughter)


Mr. JONES: Then I went back and read properly the listener challenge and it didn't take long after that, because I had already been thinking of so many four-letter words with short A's.

(Soundbite of laughter)

WERTHEIMER: How long have you been doing this, playing our puzzle?

Mr. JONES: It has been at least 14 years, 'cause I can remember sending postcards in 1995.

WERTHEIMER: Oh my gosh. Before the advent of the email answer?

Mr. JONES: Yes.

WERTHEIMER: That's fantastic. You work with computers? You're a programmer analyst. Does that help you work these things?

Mr. JONES: Yes, and I think the mindset is very - they go together. If you do programming and if you're fascinated by the way language works, as to interact with itself, then that puts you right in the category of wordplay and puzzle lovers.

WERTHEIMER: So, Will, meet Wayne. And let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Wayne and Linda, every answer today is a familiar phrase in the form blank in blank, in which I have replaced the first and last words with rhymes. You name the phrases. For example, if I said, hide in spots. You'd say, tied in knots.

WERTHEIMER: Maybe you would.

(Soundbite of laughter)

WERTHEIMER: Okay, so both words have to rhyme.

SHORTZ: That's right.


SHORTZ: That's it. Number one: plum in brandy.

Mr. JONES: Is that plum in brandy?


(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. JONES: It must be something in candy, I think.

SHORTZ: No. And the answer is what an additional clue would be, would do for you on this.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: I'll tell you, the answer is come in handy. An additional clue would come in handy.


Mr. JONES: Oh, very…


SHORTZ: Okay, try this one. Number two: met in Goshen.

Mr. JONES: Okay, that would be set in motion.

SHORTZ: Excellent. Sung in Greek.

Mr. JONES: It rhymes with tongue in cheek.


SHORTZ: That's it. Pray in Dutch.

Mr. JONES: Were the words, pray in Dutch?


SHORTZ: That's it.

WERTHEIMER: I've got it.

Mr. JONES: Okay, it's stay in touch.


SHORTZ: Excellent. Guest in Greece.

Mr. JONES: Guest in Greece?

SHORTZ: Yeah. The first word is G-U-E-S-T. Guest in Greece.

Mr. JONES: Guest in Greece. That rhymes with rest in peace.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Good job. Try this one. Spend in seed.

Mr. JONES: A friend in need?

SHORTZ: Oh, you're good.


SHORTZ: Stay in port, like a ship might stay in port.

Mr. JONES: Okay, that rhymes with a day in court.

SHORTZ: Good one. Booth in vending.

Mr. JONES: Rhymes with truth in lending.

SHORTZ: That's right.

WERTHEIMER: You are really good at this. I am really not.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Try this one. Britain in zone.

Mr. JONES: Britain in Zone?

SHORTZ: Right.

Mr. JONES: Written in stone.

SHORTZ: That's right. How about den in back?

Mr. JONES: Men in black.

SHORTZ: That's it. Rare in kind.

Mr. JONES: Rare in kind, bear in mind.

SHORTZ: That's it. Cunning in space.

Mr. JONES: Running in place.

SHORTZ: That's it. Brady…

WERTHEIMER: You're in a real groove here.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Wayne, you're great. Brady in skating.

Mr. JONES: Lady in waiting.

SHORTZ: That's right. And your last one is a triple. It's in the form blank in blank blank. I'll give you rhymes for all three words. And it's written in main light.

Mr. JONES: Hidden in plain sight.

SHORTZ: Good job, Wayne.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. JONES: Thank you, professor.

(Soundbite of laughter)

WERTHEIMER: And here to tell you what you've won for playing today is a man made famous for his radio show while serving in Vietnam, Adrian Cronauer.

Mr. ADRIAN CRONAUER (Former United States Air Force Sergeant; Former Radio Personality): Well Linda, for playing the puzzle today, our guest is going to get a plethora of wonderful, wonderful things.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. CRONAUER: First of all, there is a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin. Now, how many in your neighborhood have one of those? I have one. The 11th Edition of the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus. And if you can't find it on the Internet, you'll find it in there. The Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers. The "Puzzlemaster Presents" from Random House Volume 2. Will Shortz's latest book, "Will Shortz Presents KenKen," Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from St. Martin's Press. And one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges," all from Chronicle Books. Now, how about that? Isn't that a great list of prizes?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. JONES: And well executed.

WERTHEIMER: That was Adrian Cronauer, who was made famous by what? "Good Morning, Vietnam." What member station do you listen to us on, Wayne?

Mr. JONES: Well, I understand from the NPR bio that Liane Hansen worked there at one point.

WERTHEIMER: Oh my goodness.

Mr. JONES: At WSKG in Binghamton. Their transmitter in Oneonta, New York reaches me.

WERTHEIMER: Well, that's great. Wayne Jones of Worcester, New York, thanks very much for playing the puzzle with us. You were great.

Mr. JONES: Thank you. I had a wonderful time.

WERTHEIMER: Now, Will, what do we do next week?

SHORTZ: Well, this challenge, I think, is an easy-ish one. It comes from listener Jack Lechner of New York City. Take the name of a country, change its first letter to a D, read the whole thing backward, the result will name a creature that lives in that country. What's the country and what's the creature?

WERTHEIMER: Oh dear. When you have the answer, what you do is go to our Web site, and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline this week is Thursday at 3 PM Eastern Time. If you would please, include a telephone number where we can reach you at about that time, and we'll call if you're the winner. And then you'll get to play puzzle on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times, WEEKEND EDITION'S Puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Thanks very much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Linda.

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