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ROBERT SMITH, host:

From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Robert Smith sitting in for Liane Hansen. And joining us now is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hey, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Robert. Welcome to the show.

SMITH: It's great to be here. I normally play along alone in my bathroom, taking a shower. So you have to take it easy on me.

SHORTZ: Okay. Well, just imagine you're yelling answers at the shower wall today.

SMITH: Exactly. I hear you have an exciting week ahead?

SHORTZ: Yeah. The 168th convention of the National Puzzlers' League is taking place in Ann Arbor, Michigan this week. And I've directed the program every year since 1976. It's like three and a half days of word puzzles and games for about 150 puzzle enthusiasts from all over the country. It's a great time.

SMITH: Yeah. I didn't receive my invite.

SHORTZ: Well, I'll give you - we'll give you a report next week.

SMITH: Remind us of the challenge you left us with last week.

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Jerry Cordaro of Cleveland, Ohio. I said name a place where 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?

SMITH: And the answer is?

SHORTZ: Well, it's heaven and you wouldn't expect Heathen to go there.

SMITH: Very nice. It was a very popular puzzle. We had over 4,600 entries from people who tried to solve the puzzle and our randomly selected winner is Sharon Dell-Gallagher from Etters, Pennsylvania. Hey, Sharon.

Ms. SHARON DELL-GALLAGHER (Puzzle Winner; Resident, Etters, Pennsylvania): Hello.

SMITH: What do you there in Pennsylvania?

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: I'm a secretary.

SMITH: And how long have you been playing the puzzle?

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: For a very long time. I've been playing since my daughter was a little girl. And she just turned 24.

SMITH: Twenty-four.

SHORTZ: Wow.

SMITH: Does she play along?

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Yes, she does.

SMITH: Excellent. Well, did you find this an easy puzzle this week?

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: This one just came to me. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't.

SMITH: Well, are you ready to play now?

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: I hope so.

SMITH: Will, meet Sharon.

SHORTZ: All right, Sharon and Robert. You know, usually when you put the letters C-O in front of a word that is a prefix meaning together. Well, on today's puzzle, I'm going to give you clues for two words. Add C-O in front of the first word to get a new word that is completely unrelated to the first one. For example, if I said a woman's undergarment and a venomous snake, you would say bra and cobra. Number one is an animal doc, a D-O-C, an animal doc and your second clue is to desire.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Vet and covet.

SHORTZ: Good job. Number two is a voting district and a person who turns tail.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Award and a coward.

SHORTZ: That's good. A masked animal informally and where a butterfly comes from.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Coon and cocoon.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Encountered and a sight in the night sky.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Met and comet.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. A person from Tulsa informally and a treat from a bakery.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Okie and cookie.

SHORTZ: That's correct. Resting atop and a means for getting money off a grocery item.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Upon and coupon?

SHORTZ: That's good. Michael who's won two Oscars and a habit of Sherlock Holmes. And I'll give you a hint. This is a drug.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Michael Caine and cocaine?

SHORTZ: Cocaine is right. A cry of disgust and a flu symptom.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: A flu symptom?

SHORTZ: Yeah.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Ugh and cough?

SHORTZ: That's it. Lady's partner. That's singular, L-A-D-Y, apostrophe S. Lady's partner and convincing.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Cogent and gent?

SHORTZ: Good. A person from Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia and a metal that's number 27 on the periodic table. This first word is a little uncommon, but you know the metal.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Is it cobalt and Baltic?

SHORTZ: That's exactly it. Good.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Thank you.

SHORTZ: Like monks and plentiful. What's a word for plentiful starting with C-O?

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Copious and opine.

SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one, a strip down the middle of a highway and a funny guy.

SMITH: Think about a median, right?

SHORTZ: That's it.

SMITH: And there, the comedian.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: The comedian. Thank you.

SMITH: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Good job.

SMITH: Sharon, that was fantastic.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Thank you, Robert.

SMITH: You were very fast.

For playing our puzzle today, you will 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" volume two from Random House, 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. Sharon, tell us what member station you listen to?

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: I'm a member of WITF-FM in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

SMITH: Great to hear it. Sharon Dell-Gallagher from Etters, Pennsylvania, thanks for playing the puzzle with us.

Ms. DELL-GALLAGHER: Thank you so much.

SMITH: Now, Will, what is the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Well, name two outdoor sports or games in seven letters. The first two letters of the first sports name are the same as the first two letters of the second sports name. And the last two letters of the first sports name are the same as the last two letters of the second sports name. And here's a hint, the names do not end in N-G. What sports or outdoor games are these?

So again, two outdoor sports or games in seven letters. First two letters of each word are the same. Last two letters of each word are the same. What sports or games are these?

SMITH: 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 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you about that time, and we'll call you if you are the winner. And you will 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, Robert.

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