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Mixing Up Some Famous Names

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Mixing Up Some Famous Names

Mixing Up Some Famous Names

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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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. Did you see the crossword - the Sunday crossword in The New York Times last week?

HANSEN: Not only did I see it, I tried to solve it, but I immediately looked -I'm sorry, I looked down the clues for my name. But it wasn't there and there weren't clues about National Public Radio because even though it was all about National Public Radio, it had nothing to do with National Public Radio. You explain this.

SHORTZ: That's right. Well, it was a puzzle by Bob Klahn and the long answers were all familiar names and phrases with the consecutive letters NPR. Like campaign promise and Jason Priestley and season premiere and things like that.

HANSEN: Yeah, it was great. It was really, really good because it really exercised the mind. But oh man, I received some e-mails about it, they wanted to know what was up with that puzzle.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Well what was up with the challenge you left us with last week, from a listener?

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Gary Alvstad of Tustin, California. I said, think of 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: What city is it?

SHORTZ: The answer is Knoxville, which consists of K representing 1,000, X for 10, and the two words meaning zero are nil and love.

HANSEN: We had over 600 entries from people who solved the puzzle and our randomly selected winner is Christopher Reese. He joins us from Lexington, Kentucky. Hi, Chris.

Mr. CHRISTOPHER REESE (Puzzle Winner; Resident, Lexington, Kentucky): Hi.

HANSEN: What do you do in Lexington, Kentucky?

Mr. REESE: I'm a graduate student at the University of Kentucky.

HANSEN: All right. Now did this come easy to you?

Mr. REESE: It didn't at first because I was trying to insist in my head that -because the 10 was the Roman numeral, that the thousand was going to be too. So I spent a lot of time working with M and getting nowhere. And then it just came to me with the K.

HANSEN: Great. How long did - have you been playing this puzzle?

Mr. REESE: Well, I've been kind of playing along in my head for a couple of years, but I've only actually started entering for about a month, month and a half.

HANSEN: All right, Will, what do you have for us? Meet Christopher. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Christopher, every answer today is the name of a famous person whose first name starts with J. I'll give you the first name and an anagram of the last name, you tell me who it is. For example, if I said, Janet Oner, O-N-E-R, you'd say Janet Reno.

Mr. REESE: Mm-hmm.

SHORTZ: All right, number one is Jay Lone, L-O-N-E.

Mr. REESE: Leno.

SHORTZ: Jay Leno is right. Number two is Jules Never, N-E-V-E-R.

Mr. REESE: Verne.

SHORTZ: That's right. Joe Spice, S-P-I-C-E.

HANSEN: Oh, Joe Pesci.

Mr. REESE: Pesci, yeah.

SHORTZ: Pesci is right. Good.


SHORTZ: Jefferson Divas, D-I-V-A-S.

Mr. REESE: Davis.

SHORTZ: That's right. Jessica Angel, A-N-G-E-L.

Mr. REESE: Lange. Jessica Lange.

SHORTZ: Lange. Good job. Jeremy Rosin, R-O-S-I-N. We have another actor here.

HANSEN: Yeah, British.


HANSEN: But not cocky British. "Brideshead Revisited."

Mr. REESE: Yeah, I have it. I can't...

HANSEN: You know his face.

Mr. REESE: Yeah.

HANSEN: Jeremy Irons.

Mr. REESE: Irons is right.

SHORTZ: Irons is right.

Mr. REESE: That's right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Good one. Try this, Johnny Acorns, A-C-O-R-N-S.

HANSEN: Profession?

SHORTZ: Television - late night television.

Mr. REESE: Oh, Carson.

SHORTZ: Johnny Carson is right.


SHORTZ: Try this one, James Agency, A-G-E-N-C-Y. You're going for another actor here.

Mr. REESE: Cagney.

SHORTZ: Cagney is right. Jane Unseat, U-N-S-E-A-T. This time, it's a famous writer.

Mr. REESE: Austen.

SHORTZ: Austen is right. Jean Paul Arrest, A-R-R-E-S-T. Another famous writer, not surprisingly French.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. REESE: Jean Paul...

SHORTZ: Jean Paul, it's actually J-E-A-N.

Mr. REESE: Oh, Jean Paul Sartre. Okay.

SHORTZ: Sartre, very good.


SHORTZ: Joseph Dacron, D-A-C-R-O-N. Another famous writer.

Mr. REESE: Conrad.

SHORTZ: Conrad. Good. Jim Barons, B-A-R-O-N-S. Jim is of older television.

Mr. REESE: Any other hints?

SHORTZ: Do you know this one, Liane?

HANSEN: I'm still working on it.

SHORTZ: Okay. I'll give you the first letter. It's N.

Mr. REESE: Nabors.

SHORTZ: Jim Nabors is right. Jimmy Unrated, U-N-R-A-T-E-D. And here you're looking for an old-time comedian.

Mr. REESE: Durante.

SHORTZ: Durante is it. How about Jon Swatter, S-W-A-T-T-E-R. And that's Jon, J-O-N.

Mr. REESE: Stewart.

SHORTZ: It's Jon Stewart. Julie Wardens, W-A-R-D-E-N-S. An actress.

Mr. REESE: Andrews.

SHORTZ: Andrews. Good. Try this one. Jennifer Nations, N-A-T-I-O-N-S. It's an actress.

Mr. REESE: Aniston.

SHORTZ: Aniston is right. And your last one is Jason Peristyle, P-E-R-I-S-T-Y-L-E. It's an actor.

Mr. REESE: Priestley.

SHORTZ: Jason Priestley is right. Nice job.

HANSEN: A man who knows his popular culture. Nice, nice. Well done, Christopher. 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 Books 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. Christopher, what member station do you listen to?

Mr. REESE: WUKY in Lexington.

HANSEN: Christopher Reese from Lexington, Kentucky. Great game. Thanks for playing today.

Mr. REESE: Thank you.

HANSEN: All right, Will. What's the challenge for everyone to play for the next week?

SHORTZ: Well, take a familiar three-word title, four letters in the first word, two letters in the next and six letters in the last. So that's four, two, six. The last word contains the consecutive letters R-A-N. Change the R-A-N, to O-R and you'll get another familiar three-word phrase. What is it?

So again, a familiar three-word title, four, two, six. The last word contains the consecutive letters R-A-N. Change these to O-R and you'll get another familiar three-word phrase. What is it?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our Web site,, 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 and 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 puzzle master, Will Shortz. Thanks a lot, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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