LIANE HANSEN, host:
From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen. And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hi, Will.
WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane.
HANSEN: How are you doing?
SHORTZ: I'm doing great. How are you?
HANSEN: Very well. Thank you. Very well. Getting used to this summer that's starting to come. I can't believe it's summer already. Days go by far too quickly, but I do like it that it stays light so long in the evening.
HANSEN: My favorite time of the year. All right, you left us with a challenge. It didn't take people all week to do it but it took me all week to do it, and I still haven't done it. So first, remind us of the challenge you left us with.
SHORTZ: Yeah. It was a double challenge, actually. An answer to either half was sufficient and still it turned out to be tough. I said take the name Isaac. These letters are the initials of a classic song. And I said name the song, and as a hint I said, the I does not stand for the pronoun and neither A is an article.
HANSEN: What's the answer?
SHORTZ: The answer is "Ida, Sweet as Apple Cider," which was a 1920 song hit. I also invited people if they couldn't think of that, to name any other accidental acrostic of five or more letters. Henry Hook(ph) came up with "Love Letters in the Sand," which is a reverse acrostic of "Still" and that was a 1957 Pat Boone number one hit.
HANSEN: We had just over a hundred entries from people who solved the puzzle. Our randomly selected winner is George Davis from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Hi, George.
Doctor GEORGE DAVIS (Puzzle Winner; Physician): Hello, Liane.
HANSEN: How long did it take you to solve this one?
Dr. DAVIS: Not very long. My grandparents used to sing this song when I was a little kid. And so, it, kind of, reminded me.
HANSEN: There you go. What do you do in Cherry Hill?
Dr. DAVIS: I'm a physician.
HANSEN: Oh okay. And how long have you been playing the puzzle?
Dr. DAVIS: Almost since the beginning, you know, back from the postcard days.
HANSEN: Yeah. Back in the days of the postcards. Yes. That is a long time. Well, you finally get to play on the air. I mean, you've had all of this time in the green room. Are you ready to go on stage?
Dr. DAVIS: I'm very excited.
HANSEN: All right. Will, meet George. Let's play.
SHORTZ: All right, George. I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence has two blanks. Think of a five-letter word that go in the first blank, move its first letter to the end to get a new five-letter word that can go in the second blank to complete the sentence.
For example if I said, because of her interest in hearing - blank - Bush may once have considered a career as a certified - blank - therapist. You would say Laura and Aural - Laura Bush and Aural, A-U-R-A-L, therapist. All right?
Dr. DAVIS: All right. Will give it a try.
SHORTZ: All right. Number one, perhaps the most scenic - blank - through North Carolina is near the - blank - banks.
Dr. DAVIS: Route and outer.
SHORTZ: Ooh, that was fast. Number two, it's about 4,000 miles straight down to the - blank - of the blank.
HANSEN: (Singing) That was a heart street down.
Dr. DAVIS: Heart of the earth.
SHORTZ: Then, the heart of the earth. Excellent. The actors - blank - of emotions went all the way from sheer delight to - blank.
Dr. DAVIS: Rage and anger.
SHORTZ: Ooh, that was good. A Swedish restaurant in - blank - Ohio is the only place I know that takes both the dollar and the - blank.
Dr. DAVIS: Kronic.
SHORTZ: The krona, yeah. Put the A at the start and you'll get…
Dr. DAVIS: Akron.
SHORTZ: Akron is right. In a parenting class, they teach you that - blank - talk - blank - to be followed by consistent action.
HANSEN: Oh, Will, would the second one be ought to be followed?
HANSEN: Okay. So tough talk.
Dr. DAVIS: Tough talk.
HANSEN: Tough talk.
SHORTZ: Tough talk. Interest is expected to - blank - soon for the science fiction stories of H.G. - blank.
Dr. DAVIS: Swell and Wells.
SHORTZ: That's good. When filling out a deposit slip at the bank, my greatest - blank - is making an error and having to - blank - the long column of figures.
Dr. DAVIS: Dread and re-add.
SHORTZ: Excellent. After the - blank - Garbo yard sale was over, someone had to - blank - all the unsold items.
Dr. DAVIS: Greta and retag.
SHORTZ: That's right. If western Australia and the United States ever jointly issued a coin, the face might show a - blank - under the words - blank - we trust.
Dr. DAVIS: Dingo in God.
SHORTZ: That's right.
(Soundbite of laughter)
SHORTZ: And here's your last. Here's your last. So I tell you, try to write a sentence that says both Daniel(ph) and (unintelligible).
(Soundbite of laughter)
SHORTZ: Only you can come up with it, only you, dear.
SHORTZ: Here's the last one. And this is even worse than the last one. After drinking countless - blank - on long space flights, the astronaut said the thought of drinking anything else orange, gave him great - blank.
HANSEN: Do you remember the…
Dr. DAVIS: It was Tang.
SHORTZ: The plural. Plural.
Dr. DAVIS: Tangs and angst.
SHORTZ: Gave him great angst is right.
HANSEN: Drinking too many Tangs would give me angst too. George, nice work
Dr. DAVIS: Thank you very much.
HANSEN: Nice work. 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. George, what's your member station?
Dr. DAVIS: Well, I have two. Here in South Jersey we pick up 90.9 WHYY in Philadelphia. And I'd like to give a shout out to 90.3 WPLN, my - back home in Nashville where I'm a member.
HANSEN: Oh right. Well, Dr. George Davis, nice work, from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and thanks a lot for playing with us today.
Dr. DAVIS: Thank you.
HANSEN: Will, you have a challenge for us for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Gary Alvstad of Tustin, California. Think of a well-known U.S. city. The letters in its name can be rearranged into a symbol for one thousand, a symbol for 10, and two words meaning zero. What city is it?
So again, a well-known U.S. city, the letters in its name can be rearranged into a symbol for a thousand, a symbol for 10, and two words meaning zero. What city is it?
HANSEN: 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, 3:00 p.m. 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'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 a lot, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.