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LIANE HANSEN, host:

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

This November, I will celebrate 20 years as host of this program. We're starting the party a little early with a special edition of our puzzle segment today. And one man who's been with me for all those years, although I rarely get to see him, today he's here with me and an audience in Studio 4A.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

(Soundbite of applause)

WILL SHORTZ: Thank you, Liane.

HANSEN: In the audience we also have some of the personalities and staff of NPR, Daniel Schorr is here, Susan Stamberg is here, and our executive editor Dick Meyer is here, our show producer Devar Ardalan is here, our reference librarian Kee Malesky is here, my weekend co-host Scott Simon is also here. So I'd like to welcome all of you to the audience.

We're going to have our regular listener on-air puzzle in a moment. But we're going to go off script a little bit today and have some fun with our studio audience. And I'll remind you folks at home, you're invited to play along.

And, Will, what's the puzzle you have for our audience today?

SHORTZ: Well, it's a little sports talk. I'm going to name two sports or names of games and you tell me a term that's used in each of them. For example, if I said auto racing and golf, starting with the letter D, you'd say driver. Both auto racing and golf have drivers.

All right, if you know the answer to this, just raise your hand. The first one is baseball and bowling and the answer starts with S.

Ms. VERONICA MILLER: I'm Veronica Miller and the answer is strike.

SHORTZ: Good going.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Excellent. Here's your next one. Golf and poker, and your starting letter is C. Golf and poker.

SCOTT SIMON: Scott Simon. I believe you know me.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Chip?

SHORTZ: They both have chips. Nice going.

HANSEN: Well done.

SHORTZ: How about ice hockey and chess? Ice hockey and chess and your first letter is C. They're getting tougher here.

HANSEN: Mr. Meyer, your hand is up. Go on up to the mic and let us know.

DICK MEYER: Dick Meyer - and check.

SHORTZ: They each have checks. Yes, ice hockey and chess.

HANSEN: You're getting all of them. Your hand is going up all the time.

Unidentified Man: (unintelligible)

Unidentified Woman: He read the book.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: And here's your last one. This is a two-word answer. It's bridge and baseball. Bridge and baseball, your starting letter is G. Two-word answer, bridge and baseball starting with G.

HANSEN: I don't play bridge.

Ms. NANCY COUGHLIN: I'm Nancy Coughlin and it's grand slam.

HANSEN: Oh.

SHORTZ: Grand slam is right.

HANSEN: Bravo.

SHORTZ: Guys, give yourself a hand.

HANSEN: Give yourself a hand. You're great.

(Soundbite of applause)

HANSEN: All right, now we're going to get to our radio puzzle. And, Will, remind everyone of the challenge you gave last week.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from Craig Hamilton who's the editor of the National Puzzlers' League, which is having its convention in Baltimore this weekend.

And I said, think of two terms that mean, to divulge information. Write them one after the other with no spaces between the words. The result is a nine-letter word for a card that you might hold in a card game. What card is it?

HANSEN: Everyone's got looks of consternation in the audience. Why don't you tell us what the answer is?

SHORTZ: Well, the two terms meaning to divulge information are sing and let on. And read those consecutively, you get singleton, which is a card you might hold.

HANSEN: Hmm. Ah. Yeah, uh.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Well, that was pretty tricky, Will. We actually only had about 300 correct entries this past week. And from those correct entries, we randomly selected winner Bob Brereton of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Hi, Bob.

Mr. BOB BRERETON: Liane, hi.

HANSEN: How are you?

Mr. BRERETON: Hi, Will.

SHORTZ: Hi, there.

Mr. BRERETON: I'm great, but I'll get better. Thanks for asking.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: So I understand that you've been listening to the puzzle segment about as long as I've been hosting the show?

Mr. BRERETON: If not longer. I don't know.

HANSEN: And you've actually been doing Will's crosswords since they appeared in the New York Times.

Mr. BRERETON: I think the inaugural puzzle, and correct me if I'm wrong, was the colors of the rainbow...

Mr. SHORTZ: Nice, yeah.

Mr. BRERETON: Both of which was an absolute tour de force and I'll probably never forget it.

HANSEN: Well done. How long did it take you to solve the on-air challenge?

Mr. BRERETON: Maybe five, six, seven minutes, but it was look at it in the morning and walk away from it. And then I had to work it backwards from the card because there were just too many synonyms for to divulge. So…

HANSEN: I've been told that your favorite words are facetiously and sequoia.

Mr. BRERETON: And facetious. They're great words because facetious, all the letters of the standard vowels of the alphabet are in order. Facetiously incorporates the Y, which is a common enough vowel. And sequoia, which is a very pretty word with all of the standard vowels, but with a little more art behind it. So those are great words.

HANSEN: I'm looking at Will's face, he's getting ideas.

SHORTZ: Well, you know, oiseau, the French word O-I-S-E-A-U, which means bird.

HANSEN: Bird.

SHORTZ: Has all five vowels and just six letters.

Mr. BRERETON: And if you want Spanish for the bat…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BRERETON: …the flying mammal is murcielago and that has A-E-I-O and U, not in order, but that's a - that's a cool word.

HANSEN: We got our own game going here and we haven't even started.

Mr. BRERETON: Let's just skip the quiz 'cause I'm going to bomb that.

HANSEN: Yeah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BRERETON: Oh, let's talk for 10 minutes.

HANSEN: No, no, no, no, no, no, you're ready to play.

Mr. BRERETON: You're too kind.

HANSEN: All right, well, Will you've met Bob, let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Bob. Today I've brought a game of categories and you probably know how this works. The word you're given is beach, B-E-A-C-H. I'm going to give you some categories and for each category, name something in it, starting with each of the letters, B-E-A-C-H.

HANSEN: And, Bob, listen, if you're having trouble, we've got a room full of people here to help you out, okay?

Mr. BRERETON: Thank you very much, Liane.

HANSEN: All right.

SHORTZ: All right, here's number one, countries in Central and South America.

Mr. BRERETON: Well, we would have Bolivia.

SHORTZ: Yes.

Mr. BRERETON: Do we need more?

HANSEN: The whole word.

SHORTZ: Only E-A-C and H.

Mr. BRERETON: Oh, okay. Well, we have Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia and, oh boy, the H - we'd have to go to Honduras.

SHORTZ: That's the only H and good going. Here's number two - things to eat or drink at breakfast?

Mr. BRERETON: Okay, things to - well, bacon. You could eat eggs, you could eat - oh goodness - the A might hold me up here. C would be Cheerios, H would be - hmm - (unintelligible) what the heck.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BRERETON: There's a chocolate that used to start with an H.

SHORTZ: I think…

Mr. BRERETON: Ham.

HANSEN: Ham is good.

SHORTZ: Ham, yeah. And for the C, don't use a brand name. Think of something generic.

Mr. BRERETON: Oh, how about cherries. I had those for breakfast this morning.

SHORTZ: Cherry's okay. Cereal, cantaloupe, croissant, crepe, coffeecake, cream of wheat, all of those.

HANSEN: But you still…

Mr. BRERETON: Oh, apple streidel.

SHORTZ: …you still need the A. Apple striedel or apple juice, good. How about U.S. presidents?

Mr. BRERETON: Okay. B, Buchanan, E - oh boy - we'll jump on that for a minute, Adam's of course, C - James Carter, H - Harrison, William Henry Harrison and…

SHORTZ: Right.

Mr. BRERETON: …the E, boy, oh boy, Eisenhower.

SHORTZ: Eisenhower, nice. How about symbols on a computer keyboard other than letters and numbers.

Mr. BRERETON: Oh boy.

SHORTZ: Symbols on a computer keyboard.

Mr. BRERETON: And you're talking to the worst typist in the world. A for the apostrophe, C for colon, H for the hyphen...

SHORTZ: Right.

Mr. BRERETON: B, hmm, golly, I've drawn a blank there right now - E, boy, I don't know.

SHORTZ: There's two E things that are on the - on the top row.

Mr. BRERETON: Escape.

SHORTZ: Escape, well, it's not really a symbol, but I'll give it to you. Equal sign and exclamation point.

Mr. BRERETON: Okay.

SHORTZ: So you just need a B, and there's two possibilities that I have.

Mr. BRERETON: Oh boy…well.

SHORTZ: And think of something similar to a parenthesis.

Mr. BRERETON: Oh boy, parenthesis, so it's bracket.

SHORTZ: A bracket, yes. Also, a backslash.

Mr. BRERETON: Thanks for the help.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: And here's your last one. It's fill in the blank, red blank and that can make a compound word or a familiar two word phrase, red blank.

Mr. BRERETON: Okay, redhead.

SHORTZ: Redhead, yes.

Mr. BRERETON: Let's go to a C, oh boy - Red Army…

SHORTZ: Red Army, good, yes.

Mr. BRERETON: Get the A out of the way.

SHORTZ: D, e and c.

Mr. BRERETON: Okay. Red Brigade.

SHORTZ: Good woo, wow, wow, red bird, red breast, red baron would also work.

Mr. BRERETON: Now, what do we lack in?

SHORTZ: E and C.

Mr. BRERETON: Oh boy.

SHORTZ: For the E think of something you might fly, if you're going from, say, California to New York.

Mr. BRERETON: Red eye special.

SHORTZ: Red eye, yeah, and you just need the C now.

Mr. BRERETON: Okay.

HANSEN: Think of the opposition during the Revolutionary Wars.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BRERETON: The Redcoats.

HANSEN: Yeah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BRERETON: You guys have been a great help and what an honor to be on your show with Dan Schorr and Susan Stamberg, and of course, Liane and you, Will.

HANSEN: Well Bob, hang on. The fun is not over yet.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: You're a long-time listener. You know, you're going to receive lots of great things for playing our puzzle today. We have a very special guest in the studio to tell you about them. She started playing the puzzle with Will before I came along. She is the original host of WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY and mother to us all. Please welcome, Susan Stamberg.

(Soundbite of applause)

HANSEN: Okay, I've got the list, go?

STAMBERG: Go.

HANSEN: For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the 11th edition of Merriam - what if he wants the 10th? Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus. The Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker brothers. "The Puzzlemaster Presents" from Random House, Volume II. Will Shortz's latest book series, "Will Shortz Presents KenKen" volumes I, II and III from St. Martin's press. And one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Deck Of Riddles And Challenges" from Chronicle Books. So Bob, what do you think?

Mr. BRERETON: I think it's worth the prizes even to have gotten every answer wrong. It's just…

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Well, you're a real good sport and we want you to stay with us just a little longer because this is usually the point in the puzzle where Will gives us the challenge for next week. But we have another surprise up our sleeve. We have someone very special that's sitting in the audience. We haven't told anyone about yet. I'll just say we are in the presence of royalty. I'll give you some hints and see if you can figure it out. He stared in dramatic movies like, "American History X." He's been in the comedy, "Up In Smoke." He also narrated for National Geographic. He has hosted radio programs and starred in the play, "Frost/Nixon." And he is currently playing the lead in "King Lear" at the Shakespeare theater company here in D.C. I would like you all to please welcome Stacy Keach.

(Soundbite of applause)

Mr. STACY KEACH (Actor): Hello there.

HANSEN: Your majesty, thank you so much for coming today.

Mr. KEACH: Oh, thank you for inviting me.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: This is great. I did get to see your performance at the Washington Shakespeare theatre of "King Lear"…

HANSEN: Oh, great.

HANSEN: …and I must say, you're remarkable in it.

Mr. KEACH: Well, thank you.

HANSEN: And a real pleasure to meet you off-stage.

Mr. KEACH: Well, it's a pleasure to meet you and I must say it's a great pleasure to meet Will Shortz because you were my dear mother's hero.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. KEACH: She was an avid crossword puzzle doer, and she would always come to me and ask me for clues and because I didn't have a clue…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. KEACH: …for most of those wonderful things, but anyway, it's a great honor to meet you.

SHORTZ: Likewise.

HANSEN: All right, Mr. Keach, if you wouldn't mind, would you give the challenge that everyone will work on during the next week?

Mr. KEACH: First of all, I'd like to congratulate Will Shortz and Liane Hansen on 20 wonderful years of puzzling puzzles and this week's challenge comes from listener Ben Bass of Chicago. A few weeks ago, we had a puzzle, write the name Kevin Klein pointing out that when the name is written in capital letters it consists of 13 straight lines. No curves and we ask you also to name another celebrity whose first and last names also have five letters in which each name consists of 14 straight lines. The answer was Vanna White.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. KEACH: So, here's the challenge. Name a genre of music in two five-letter words each word consisting of exactly 15 straight lines and no curves. Again, name a genre of music in two five-letter words consisting of exactly 15 straight lines.

HANSEN: Thank you, Mr. Keach. And stay with us while I let our listeners know how to enter the puzzle for next week. 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 p.m. 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 before we conclude our special anniversary edition of the puzzle and I'm sure we'll have a few more we wanted to see if Bob you're still there.

Mr. BRERETON: I'm still here, Liane.

HANSEN: Any questions for Will?

Mr. BRERETON: Sure.

HANSEN: Or Stacy, go ahead.

Mr. BRERETON: Will another university issue a second enigmatology degree or is Will still the only one in the country who has that special degree?

SHORTZ: Yeah, I'm the only person in the world ever, to get a college degree in enigmatology.

SHORTZ: Didn't want to sell you short, that was. I read your bio before I got on the air and I was…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BRERETON: Pretty terrific stuff.

HANSEN: All right. And in our audience, anyone? Kimberly Adams, one of our staff members has a question.

KIMBERLY ADAMS: Hi, I was wondering how the puzzle got started.

SHORTZ: Well, Susan was the original host of WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY. And I understand her idea was that this program should be the radio equivalent of a Sunday newspaper. And we all know one of the most popular parts of the Sunday newspaper is the puzzle, in particular, a crossword. And I came up with this format of asking quick teasers with originally just Susan and then with...

SUSAN STAMBERG: It was just me. Hi, this is Susan. And you put the question and I said, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STAMBERG: And when I left, after about two and a half years, somebody, I think it was you and maybe Bob Oleski(ph), your then producer, who said, let's get our listeners involved in all of this. Come on, let them play it. So the world was safe from all the uh-uh-uh-uh-uh.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STAMBERG: Either that or you edit them out.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STAMBERG: I - just one addition, because it was a wonderful fun putting this program on the air. And I'm so proud of three major contributions that I made to it - one, Will Shortz coming on to our air for the first time. Two, the car guys who got their start on WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY. And three, lobbying for Liane Hansen to take over as host. Congratulations and happy anniversary.

(Soundbite of applause)

HANSEN: Thank you. Well, you know, you were my mentor when I was a production assistant on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. And I knew if I could write an introduction that you wouldn't change I had done a good job.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: You're sitting right next to Daniel Schorr, and I'd love to have him say a few words.

DANIEL SCHORR: Yeah, may I say this - first of all, I find that what you do is awesome. What's awesome about it is somebody else would run out of ideas. I have one message for you, though, and I've waited many, many years to say this.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SCHORR: Several years ago in the New York Times crossword puzzle, daily crossword puzzle, I was the answer…

(Soundbite of laughter)

SCHORR: I know many ways to think of reaching some heights in your lifetime. And I've had a few things here and there - some good, some bad, but of all the things that ever happened to me, to be enshrined in a New York Times crossword puzzle, that I did it, I thank you.

(Soundbite of applause)

HANSEN: Brent, yes, our summer intern, Brent, who has handled the lot of the logistics today.

BRENT: A lot of the logistics. I have a question for you, Mr. Keach. You have a very brawn acting career and now you can add the puzzle segment to your…

Mr. KEACH: Yes indeed, I'm very proud.

BRENT: An illustrious resume. What do you think you might try next?

Mr. KEACH: Well, the first thing I'm going to do is go back and get the crossword puzzle to see if I can do it again. Or see if I can do it at all because I share Mr. Shortz' sentiments. I think words are wonderful for celebrities, but to be a clue or an answer in the New York Times crossword puzzle - my mom said you finally made it son.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: It's true. And that's it for our puzzle celebration. I want to thank Susan Stamberg so much for reading the puzzle prizes today and for everything, Daniel Schorr, again, for everything, Stacy Keach for giving the challenge and Bob, I know you're still there.

Mr. BRERETON: Yes, I am, Liane.

HANSEN: Bob Brereton in St. Paul. Tell us what member station you listen to.

Mr. BRERETON: I was waiting to tell you…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BRERETON: In St. Paul at KNOW 91.1 FM, great station.

HANSEN: Thank so much for being our guest today.

Mr. BRERETON: Thank you for having me.

HANSEN: And the whole crew at NPR for being here to celebrate my 20th year as host of WEEKEND EDITION. And finally, to Will Shortz for driving down from Baltimore where he's running the National Puzzlers' League convention to be with us. Will, it's always a pleasure to see you.

SHORTZ: So much fun. Thank you, Liane.

HANSEN: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

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