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: Last week, you left us with such an unusual challenge and a personal one at that. So can we get right back to that one? Repeat the challenge.
SHORTZ: Yeah, it was a creative challenge and a personal one. I have squirrels that run up at the front steps to my house, jump onto the railing. Then, from there jump onto the telephone wires going into the house, onto the roof and then they get in to the attic through a fan. And I asked for solutions to this problem and I said whatever it is, it has to work.
HANSEN: And what kind of responses did you get?
SHORTZ: Well, we got - well, some of the playful answers. One of them was if you take the sixth and eighth letters out of squirrels you're left with squires and those are easier to deal with than squirrels. Someone told me that I should build a squirrel house near my house with walnuts and a little TV. They'll be so entertained there; they won't come into my attic.
I don't know if this one is serious or not. Where the squirrels come in put a paste of peanut butter and jalapeno peppers and the squirrels will want to clean themselves by licking off their paws and the jalapeno peppers will be so distasteful that they'll never want to come back in my attic.
Two people suggested that I move. I thought that was pretty drastic. As far as recognized solutions, a lot of people, the most common answer was to install wire mesh over the hall. Several people told me about fox urine. I didn't know this, but foxes are squirrels' mortal enemies and if you put this anywhere where squirrels might be, they'll be put off. And you can purchase fox urine on the Internet or in specialty shops.
And then there's actually a device called a pest repeller that emits an ultrasonic sound that repels small pets but can't be heard by humans or larger pets. So I might try one of those solutions.
HANSEN: Wow. Well, we had over 400 entries from people who wanted to help you out, you know, with your squirrels and you had to pick one who gets to be the contestant today. So you've read some of the runners-up, which are pretty good, actually. Who's the person you pick? What's the best solution?
SHORTZ: I chose Harriet Zoller of Atlanta, Georgia. And she has a solution that she's actually used and I thought it was creative. And she went out to a store and bought a strobe light, which she installed in her attic. She turned it on a couple of times a day; and within several days, the squirrels were gone and never came back.
HANSEN: Wow, Harriet.
Ms. HARRIET ZOLLER (Puzzle Winner; Resident, Georgia): Yes.
HANSEN: How long did it take you to come up with that solution? I assume you had to do it - you did it for yourself?
Ms. ZOLLER: Yeah. We did. My husband checked on the Internet, this old house mentioned a commercial product. It costs several hundred dollars for a strobe light. And this was guaranteed to get rid of the squirrels, we thought - we wondered if we could go to a party supply store and get some, which we did. We got three for under $15 each. We have a switch so that we can flip on and off. And we did that a couple of times a day, and apparently, they don't like strobes because we don't hear scurrying around anymore.
HANSEN: Well, you know what you get when you win. You get to play. Are you ready?
Ms. ZOLLER: I guess, I am.
HANSEN: All right. Will, let's play this puzzle you have for us today.
SHORTZ: All right, Harriet, today's puzzle is called left and right.
Ms. ZOLLER: Yes.
SHORTZ: And the answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first words starts with L and the second word starts with R. For example, if I gave you the clue popular passenger vehicle from Britain, you would say Land Rover.
Ms. ZOLLER: Okay.
SHORTZ: All right. Number one is the capital of Arkansas.
Ms. ZOLLER: Little Rock.
SHORTZ: That's right. Number two, an inflatable item on a ship.
Ms. ZOLLER: Life vest.
SHORTZ: Aha. An item on top of a house that's useful during a storm.
Ms. ZOLLER: Lightning rod.
SHORTZ: Aha. A person who knows what you're saying, not by hearing.
Ms. ZOLLER: Lip reader.
SHORTZ: Aha. "Good Golly, Miss Molly" singer.
Ms. ZOLLER: The (unintelligible)
SHORTZ: Liane, I have a…
HANSEN: Yeah. I'm so…
SHORTZ: I have an idea you know this.
HANSEN: Well. Oh, Little Richard.
SHORTZ: Little Richard.
HANSEN: Of course, Little Richard. There we go.
Ms. ZOLLER: Thanks, Liane.
SHORTZ: Try this one. A singer with a 1977 hit, "Blue Bayou." This is a female singer. Do you know this one, Liane?
HANSEN: Linda Ronstadt.
SHORTZ: Linda Ronstadt is right. How about singer with the number one hits "Truly" and "Say You, Say Me."
HANSEN: Now, we're getting into '80s music. Oh…
Ms. ZOLLER: Go ahead, Liane.
HANSEN: Lionel Richie.
SHORTZ: Lionel Richie is right. One more music one. Country singer with the number hit "Something's Gotta Give."
HANSEN: All this music quiz.
SHORTZ: And the singer shares a first name with the…
HANSEN: Oh, wait, is it Leann Rimes?
SHORTZ: It's Leann Rimes, right.
HANSEN: Oh my goodness.
SHORTZ: Try this, pink. The complete clue is pink.
Ms. ZOLLER: Pink. Light red.
SHORTZ: Light red is right. Staring part in a movie or play.
Ms. ZOLLER: Leading role.
SHORTZ: That's right. Publication for students doing legal studies.
Ms. ZOLLER: Law review.
SHORTZ: Law review is right. Animal that runs a maze.
Ms. ZOLLER: Well surely, the second word is rat.
SHORTZ: Well, yeah. What kind of rat? Where would it be when it runs the maze? A science facility.
Ms. ZOLLER: Oh, lab rat.
SHORTZ: Lab rat is right.
(Soundbite of laughter)
SHORTZ: How about this? Apparatus on top of a car.
Ms. ZOLLER: On top of a car. Luggage rack.
SHORTZ: Luggage rack is right. And your final one: What you turn to when all other efforts have failed? There's just one final thing that you can turn to and that's your - and the first word is a synonym of final, starting with L.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Ms. ZOLLER: Last rights?
(Soundbite of laughter)
HANSEN: I like that.
SHORTZ: Okay, I have to tell you. You turn to your last resort.
(Soundbite of laughter)
HANSEN: This is a lot of fun. You did well, Harriet, you really did. We made a good team. 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. Well, Harriet, what member station do you listen to?
Ms. ZOLLER: WABE here in Atlanta.
HANSEN: Okay. Harriet Zoller from Atlanta, Georgia. Thanks for solving Will's squirrel problem, and thanks for playing the puzzle with us today.
Ms. ZOLLER: Thank you.
HANSEN: All right. Now, Will, what kind of challenge do you have for everyone to work on this coming week?
SHORTZ: Well, it comes from listener Jerry Cordaro of Cleveland, Ohio. Name a place were most people would like to go. The name of this place contains the letter V, as in Victor, somewhere inside it. Replace the V with T-H, to name a person you wouldn't expect to go there. Who is it and what's the place?
So again, a place where most people would like to go. The name contains the letter V, somewhere inside it. Change the V to T-H to name a person you wouldn't expect to go to this place. Who is it and what's the place?
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. 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.
And Will, it's time for my annual pilgrimage to Massachusetts. So you're going to have a new player next week - Robert Smith from New York is coming down, so have some fun. Thanks a lot.
SHORTZ: You too, Liane. Thanks a lot.
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