LIANE HANSEN, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

And joining us is puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Hey, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane, how are you?

HANSEN: I'm okay. Do I ask you what's new or not?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Driving to Indiana for Christmas this year.

HANSEN: That'll be nice. All right, you gave us a very interesting puzzle last week. And it was part of a calendar for 2010? Could you repeat it?

SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from puzzle maker Scott Kim from his 2010 page-a-day calendar for workmen. And in simplifying the puzzle from the calendar version, I, unfortunately, introduced multiple answers. But the puzzle was: Name five two-digit numbers that are evenly spaced out - like 32, 34, 36, 38 and 40 - in which all 10 digits from zero to nine are used once each. What numbers are these?

HANSEN: And what are the answers?

SHORTZ: Well, there's four of them. They go 10, 32, 54, 76, 98; 18, 36, 54, 72 and 90 - and then there's two others.

HANSEN: Oh my goodness. My head's spinning. You know math is really not my strong suit. But our listeners are good at it. We received about, or more than, actually, 3,600 entries this week. And from the correct entries, our randomly selected winner is Josh Miller of Berkeley, California. Hi, Josh.

Mr. JOSH MILLER: Hello, Liane.

HANSEN: How are you?

Mr. MILLER: I am doing very well. I'm excited to play the puzzle on the air.

HANSEN: Well, tell us how long it took you to solve the challenge.

Mr. MILLER: This one didn't take me too long. I read the puzzle online and then thought to myself, maybe it has something to do with the number 11 and it didn't take me too long to come up with one of the solutions after that.

HANSEN: Excellent. How long have you been playing our radio puzzle?

Mr. MILLER: I think three or four years I've been submitting on and off my answers.

HANSEN: Ah, and did you ever think this day would come?

Mr. MILLER: Not in a million years did I think I could play puzzle on the air, but I'm looking forward to wearing my lapel pin proudly.

HANSEN: There you go. Well, it sounds like you're raring to play, not just ready. Will, meet Josh. Josh, meet Will. Let's play.

SHORTZ: Hi, Josh. Today's puzzle is called Shhhh. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase in which the first word starts with S-H and the second word starts with H. For example, if I gave you the clue: Restraining device with a diagonal strap across the chest, you should say shoulder harness.

Mr. MILLER: Okay.

SHORTZ: All right, number one is what you usually do when you meet someone.

Mr. MILLER: Shout hello.

SHORTZ: Okay. Well, but what would...

HANSEN: Maybe during flu season that's what we do, but...

Mr. MILLER: Shake hands.

SHORTZ: What would you do - shake hands, that's what I'm going for. Number two: A detective who debuted in "A Study in Scarlet."

Mr. MILLER: Sherlock Holmes.

SHORTZ: That's right. What a crew cut results in.

Mr. MILLER: Shorn head?

SHORTZ: Well, any haircut would do that. But what does a haircut leave you with?

Mr. MILLER: Short hair.

SHORTZ: Short hair is it. Where the water comes out above you when you're washing yourself.

Mr. MILLER: Shower head.

SHORTZ: That's it. A person in charge of a flock.

Mr. MILLER: Sheep herder.

SHORTZ: Good. They might be nine a.m. to nine p.m. at a mall.

Mr. MILLER: Shop hours.

SHORTZ: Shopping hours, yes. One who might go looking for great whites.

Mr. MILLER: Shark hunter.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Medical facility overseen by an organization whose members were red fezzes.

Mr. MILLER: Red fezzes...I might need Liane's help.

HANSEN: Red... Oh, oh. Shriners...

SHORTZ: Yes.

Mr. MILLER: Shriners Hospital.

HANSEN: ...Hospital.

SHORTZ: Shriners Hospital, good. Try this one: He played George Jefferson on "The Jeffersons."

Mr. MILLER: George Jefferson.

HANSEN: You sound too young for...

SHORTZ: You might be too young, Josh.

Mr. MILLER: Yeah, I don't think I know.

HANSEN: I'll help you.

Mr. MILLER: I can picture him from reruns.

HANSEN: Yeah. Sherman Hemsley.

SHORTZ: Sherman Hemsley, good. How about author of the 1976 bestselling "Report on Female Sexuality."

HANSEN: Didn't read that, huh, Josh?

Mr. MILLER: No. Once again, Liane, I need your help.

HANSEN: Shere Hite.

SHORTZ: That's it, good. To play basketball informally.

Mr. MILLER: Shoot hoops.

SHORTZ: That's it. Suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.

Mr. MILLER: Sherman...

SHORTZ: No.

Mr. MILLER: Suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. Short Hills? No, that's New Jersey.

HANSEN: That's New Jersey, but...

SHORTZ: Give you a half credit for that. That is a suburb, just not of Cleveland.

Mr. MILLER: Shaker Heights.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Shaker Heights, good one. And here's your last one: tonsorial style of Kojak.

Mr. MILLER: What was the first word?

HANSEN: Tonsorial.

SHORTZ: Tonsorial. That means, like, relating to what a barber does, yeah.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: And you had the answer earlier. What did Kojak have?

Mr. MILLER: Oh, a shorn head.

SHORTZ: A shaved head. Good job.

HANSEN: A shaved head. Oh my goodness. Oh, my - hey, Josh, you're great.

Mr. MILLER: Well, I did okay as long as there were questions that I...

HANSEN: Within your demographic, right?

Mr. MILLER: Right, exactly.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Well, you did a great job. And we have a little bit of a surprise for you, as well as some great stuff. You know, it's the time of year and people are exchanging gifts and so these are our gifts to you. And who better to tell you about them than our next guest? Many children are hoping he'll soon slide down the chimney with a sack full of goodies. But before he can do that, he has to collect his wish lists, and we caught up with him while he was doing just that.

(Soundbite of sleigh bells)

Unidentified Man: Ho. Ho. Ho. Ho. Hello, this is Santa from the Fashion Center at Pentagon City. Well, I understand we have a huge bag of gifts for playing our puzzle today.

You'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the 11th Edition of "Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus," Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers, "The Puzzlemaster Presents," from Random House, Volume 2; Will Shortz's latest book series "Will Shortz Presents KenKen" Volumes 1 and 2 and 3 from St. Martin's Press, and one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddle and Challenges" from Chronicle Books and a compilation of NPR's Sunday puzzles. And Merry Christmas.

HANSEN: Oh, ho. Ho. Ho. Josh, what do you think?

Mr. MILLER: Well, thank you so much. I was honored to play.

HANSEN: Yeah. And, boy, getting Santa to read the puzzle prizes. That's pretty good. Before we let you go, Josh, tell us what member station you listen to.

Mr. MILLER: I listen to KQED in San Francisco.

HANSEN: Good on you. Josh Miller of Berkeley, California, thanks so much for playing the puzzle with us today and have a happy holiday.

Mr. MILLER: Thank you.

HANSEN: Okay, Will. What's the big gift challenge you have for everybody for next week?

SHORTZ: Well, think of a familiar two-word phrase, five letters in each word. The second word starts with P as in Peter, and the phrase names something that's nice to have after dinner. Change the P to an S as in Sam, and you'll get another familiar phrase. This phrase names something that's nice to have before you start a job. What phrases are these?

So, again, a familiar two-word phrase, five-five. Second word starts with P, and the phrase names something that's nice to have after dinner. Change the P to an S and you get another familiar phrase that names something it's nice to have before you start a job. What phrases are these?

HANSEN: All right. When you have the answer, go to our Web site NPR.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person, please. And because of the upcoming holiday, our deadline this week is Wednesday 3 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 puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.

And thanks a lot, Will. Talk to you next week from Indiana.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane. Merry Christmas.

HANSEN: And if you want to see our Santa, there's a video at our Web site NPR.org.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.