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LIANE HANSEN, host:

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

And joining us from WUOM in Ann Arbor, Michigan is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: You're at the National Puzzlers' League convention in Michigan?

SHORTZ: That's right. It's the 168th convention. This is the world's oldest puzzlers organization. It goes back to 1883. And it's a whole - it's a three-and-a-half days of word games and puzzles.

HANSEN: What fun. I have a question to ask you, Merriam-Webster, the dictionary, people announced in their 11th edition there's going to be some 100 additional first-time entries. Words like ginormous is one.

SHORTZ: Right.

HANSEN: And I wanted to know does this mean that you then can use these words in a crossword puzzle if they are in the dictionary?

SHORTZ: Absolutely. In fact, I would have used ginormous before because anytime I think something has entered the language, I think it's fair game for a crossword. I used podcasting and metrosexual in The New York Times crossword before either of those had appeared in a dictionary.

HANSEN: I was amazed to find out that ginormous actually was around in 1948, which is, you know, you think of it as something very contemporary. You know, one of the new words is, though?

SHORTZ: Sudoku.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: It's official now.

HANSEN: It is official now. I didn't realize it came from a longer Japanese phrase that...

SHORTZ: Yeah.

HANSEN: Let me see if I can get the exact entry here. It says the numerals must remain single. That's it. The digits can only occur once.

SHORTZ: Right.

HANSEN: That's very cool - sudoku made it as a new word. Well, we're not playing sudoku today. We're doing word puzzles.

SHORTZ: That's right.

HANSEN: And you left everyone with a challenge when I was on vacation. So remind us of that.

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

HANSEN: What are they?

SHORTZ: Cricket and croquet.

HANSEN: Oh nice. We had over 2,000 entries from people who solved the puzzle. And our randomly selected winner is Kevin Stevens from Williamsville, New York. Hi, Kevin.

Mr. KEVIN STEVENS (Puzzle Winner; Resident, Williamsville, New York): Hello.

HANSEN: Where's Williamsville?

Mr. STEVENS: It's a suburb of Buffalo.

HANSEN: What do you there?

Mr. STEVENS: I'm a software engineer.

HANSEN: Now, I heard actually that you haven't always lived in this area of New York. Is it true you actually - you still live in Las Vegas?

Mr. STEVENS: That's true. I was born and raised in Las Vegas. I moved here about 11 years ago.

HANSEN: What did you do in Las Vegas?

Mr. STEVENS: I was a lighting technician for Siegfried and Roy.

HANSEN: Siegfried and Roy?

Mr. STEVENS: Mm-hmm.

HANSEN: Wow.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: So you've been all over. We do meet the most interesting people on this program. How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Mr. STEVENS: I've been listening to the puzzle for about eight years now.

HANSEN: You've been listening?

Mr. STEVENS: Mm-hmm. This was actually the first time I sent in an answer.

HANSEN: Oh first time's the charm, huh?

Mr. STEVENS: Apparently.

HANSEN: Well, you know what happens?

Mr. STEVENS: I get the chance to embarrass myself in front of a national audience?

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: No, you get to have some fun and play the puzzle.

Mr. STEVENS: Excellent. That sounds much better.

HANSEN: All right. Will, meet Kevin. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Kevin, I'm going to give you clues for two words. The first word starts with the letters T, H. Change the T-H to S-H and phonetically, you'll get a new word that answers the second clue.

Mr. STEVENS: Okay.

SHORTZ: For example, if I said to unfreeze and playwright who wrote Pygmalion, you would say, thaw and Shaw.

Mr. STEVENS: Okay.

SHORTZ: All right, number one is a robber and a group of papers.

Mr. STEVENS: Thief and sheaf.

SHORTZ: Right. Number two is to express appreciation to and part of the leg.

Mr. STEVENS: Thank and shank.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Next one is part of the leg and retiring.

Mr. STEVENS: Thigh and shy.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. A Quaker possessive and to twinkle.

Mr. STEVENS: Thine and shine.

SHORTZ: That's right. Macbeth, for example, and a classic 1950s Western?

Mr. STEVENS: Thane and Shane.

SHORTZ: Part of a rose and like a sheep without its wool.

Mr. STEVENS: Thorn and shorn.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Kind of street and a nag.

Mr. STEVENS: Kind of street. Now I'm drawing a blank on this one.

HANSEN: Through and shrew.

Mr. STEVENS: Excellent.

SHORTZ: That's it. Through street and a shrew, is right. A baseball position informally, and prepared eggs in a way.

HANSEN: I'll go with the first one.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

HANSEN: If you've never heard of the second one.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Just go for the word.

SHORTZ: A baseball position starting with T-H?

Mr. STEVENS: A third and shirred.

SHORTZ: Yeah. And shirred.

HANSEN: That's an old recipe for eggs.

SHORTZ: Try this one. Like screws and your second clue is kind of wheat.

Mr. STEVENS: Threaded and shredded.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. To send and loud and high-pitched.

Mr. STEVENS: Can you say the first one again?

SHORTZ: To send.

HANSEN: Oh.

Mr. STEVENS: No.

HANSEN: No.

SHORTZ: And the second one is loud and high-pitched, as a voice.

Mr. STEVENS: Now I got nothing.

HANSEN: Oh you don't mean to send like a package.

SHORTZ: No.

HANSEN: Ooh. You're not going to believe this, Kevin. Thrill and...

SHORTZ: Yeah.

HANSEN: ...shrill.

SHORTZ: You could send somebody, as to thrill somebody.

Mr. STEVENS: Okay.

SHORTZ: Try this one, an actress in "Pulp Fiction" and a Union general in the Civil War.

Mr. STEVENS: Sherman and Thurman.

SHORTZ: That's right. Person or thing doing very well in its environment and McGovern's running mate in 1972.

Mr. STEVENS: Thriver and Shriver.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Economy and it may be short.

Mr. STEVENS: Thrift and shrift.

SHORTZ: Ooh that's good. And here's your last one. A noted choreographer and quick witted.

Mr. STEVENS: I need some help here.

HANSEN: I can give you her first name Twyla.

Mr. STEVENS: Oh it's Tharp and sharp.

SHORTZ: That's it. Good job.

HANSEN: Hey, Kevin, great job.

Mr. STEVENS: Thank you.

HANSEN: Great job. Now you don't have to look up a recipe for shared - shirred eggs.

Mr. STEVENS: I saw once in the "Joy of Cooking," I think.

HANSEN: Well, there you go. See, it does exist.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: And 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" 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. So, Kevin, what member station do you listen to?

Mr. STEVENS: WBFO.

HANSEN: Okay. Kevin Stevens from Williamsville, New York. Thanks a lot you were a great player.

Mr. STEVENS: Well, thanks so much.

HANSEN: Okay. Will, a challenge for next week.

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from Dan Katz of the National Puzzlers' League. He gave it to me here at the convention. Take the two-word name of a well-known city in Michigan, and it's not Ann Arbor. Add the letter E to the first word and rearrange the letters. You'll name something people try to avoid. Add the letter E to the second word and rearrange the letters, you'll name something else people try to avoid. And here's a hint, both words start with the same letter, and both words end with the same letter. What's the city and what are the words?

So again, a well-known city in Michigan with a two-word name. You can add an E to each word and rearrange the letters to name something people try to avoid. These two words start with the same letter, and also end with the same letter. What's the city and what are the words?

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. Hey, Will, have a lot of fun, thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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