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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. Welcome back.

HANSEN: Thank you.

SHORTZ: Good to talk to you again.

HANSEN: Yeah. It's good to talk to you too. I was in California. I finally got to go to Disneyland for the first time since I was five years old.

SHORTZ: You've never been there.

HANSEN: Never. You know, with the Mickey Mouse Club ears and so forth.

All right, American Crossword Tournament in Brooklyn. How'd it go?

SHORTZ: Well, it was great. We had 643 contestants and their total attendance was around 900 or 1,000. And there was a new champion this year. His name's Dan Feyer. He's a pianist in New York City. He just dominated everyone else. And our previous champion - five-time champion Tyler Hinman, he's only 25 years old - he finished fourth. Almost brought tears to my eyes when he came up and accepted his prize. He's the first person ever to win the championship five times in a row.

HANSEN: Wow.

SHORTZ: So, it was a great time.

HANSEN: I could tell that your clue last week was related to the crossword puzzle tournament's location. Would you repeat it, please?

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Ed Pegg, Jr., who runs the Web site MathPuzzle.com. I said take the word Brooklynite, rearrange these 11 letters to spell the names of two world capitals. What are they?

HANSEN: What's the answer?

SHORTZ: Answer is Tokyo and Berlin.

HANSEN: Wow. Well, I heard you had a lot of entries last week, and I'll tell you, these entry numbers keep just climbing and climbing. We had over 5,000 entries this past week.

SHORTZ: Wow.

HANSEN: Yeah. And out of the correct entries, our winner is Ann Miller from St. Louis, Missouri. Hi, Ann.

Ms. ANN MILLER: Hello, Liane.

HANSEN: Now, I have to tell everybody, this is the first time this has ever happened on our segment of the show. You are actually speaking to us from a hospital bed?

Ms. MILLER: Yes, with an IV flowing into my right arm.

HANSEN: And, I mean, you really want to do this in this condition?

Ms. MILLER: Well, maybe I'll get some sympathy points.

HANSEN: There you go. There you go. Can I ask why you're in the hospital?

Ms. MILLER: I started off with pneumonia, then of course they find other things.

HANSEN: Ah, okay. Well, we wish you well. And I'm looking forward to playing this puzzle. Are you ready to play?

Ms. MILLER: Yes, indeed.

HANSEN: Will, meet Ann; Ann, meet Will. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Ann. I'm going to give you clues for two words. Add an EE sound at the end of the first word to get the second word. For example, if I said a person with a bank account and tasty, you would say saver and savory.

Ms. MILLER: Okay.

SHORTZ: All right. Here's number one: desire for food and where Budapest is.

Ms. MILLER: Hunger, Hungary.

SHORTZ: That is it. Number two is the hot season and a recap.

Ms. MILLER: Summer, summary.

SHORTZ: Good one. More icky and a supermarket.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: And what's a small supermarket?

Ms. MILLER: Grosser and grocery.

SHORTZ: Grosser and grocery, good. Try this one: stock broker partner of Lynch and in a carefree way.

Ms. MILLER: Merrill, merrily.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: That's it. Fellow and genre for Agatha Christie.

Ms. MILLER: Mister, mystery.

SHORTZ: That's it. A talking bird and equivalence in value. What's your basic talking bird? The one that wants a cracker.

HANSEN: Parrot.

SHORTZ: Yes.

HANSEN: And what was that second clue again, the second one?

SHORTZ: Equivalence in value.

Ms. MILLER: Oh, parity.

SHORTZ: Parity is it, good. City in Montana and Miss America, for example.

Ms. MILLER: City in Montana.

HANSEN: It wouldn't be Butte, would it?

SHORTZ: Yes.

Ms. MILLER: Oh, it is - and beauty.

HANSEN: Beauty.

SHORTZ: And beauty, good. How about a place to sit and topper on an ice cream sundae? Well, what do you sit on?

Ms. MILLER: Chair.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.

Ms. MILLER: Oh, and cherry.

SHORTZ: Cherry is it, good.

HANSEN: He's playing with sounds with us here, not spelling.

SHORTZ: All right. Try this one: loose as shoelaces and messy.

Ms. MILLER: Untied, untidy?

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: That's it. Used a swizzle stick and your second clue is rugged. Swizzle stick.

Ms. MILLER: (unintelligible)

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Yeah. Okay. Used, the past tense.

Ms. MILLER: Oh, stirred.

HANSEN: And what's the second word? Stirred and - is it stirred?

SHORTZ: Yes.

HANSEN: Okay. And you add the EE?

Ms. MILLER: Oh, and sturdy.

HANSEN: Sturdy.

SHORTZ: Sturdy is it. Good.

HANSEN: I'm going, sturdy, what is he talking about? Sturdy. Thanks, Ann.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: All right, here's your last one. A stand with three legs, and your second clue is: with hardly any effort. Think of an artist's stand.

Ms. MILLER: Easel, easily.

SHORTZ: Yes. Easily. Good job.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Well, we kind of meandered through this one somewhat easily. Ann, you did really well.

Ms. MILLER: Oh, Liane, you were great. Thanks for your help.

HANSEN: Yeah, and thanks for yours as well. Well, I have a special guest for you who's going to tell you what you'll get for playing today's puzzle. You could call her, you know, sort of Hollywood royalty. And she's starring in a new play called "The Female Species"" in Los Angeles, and here's actress Annette Bening.

Ms. ANNETTE BENING (Actress): For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the "Scrabble Deluxe Edition" from Parker Brothers, the book series, "Will Shortz Presents KenKen" Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from St. Martin's Press, one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books and a CD compilation of NPR's Sunday Puzzle.

HANSEN: Wow, that's nice. It's interesting sometimes when our celebrities have problems with our own script, you know?

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: And, Ann, if you missed the conversation that Annette Bening had with my friend, colleague and weekend Saturday host Scott Simon, you can actually listen to it by going to NPR.org.

Well, we're going to let you go, Ann, and let you rest. But before we do, tell us what member station you listen to.

Ms. MILLER: I'm a member and listener of KWMU in St. Louis and KMST in Rolla, Missouri.

HANSEN: The magic word, member. That's Ann Miller from her hospital bed in St. Louis, Missouri. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle with us and get well soon.

Ms. MILLER: Thank you. It was great fun.

HANSEN: For me, too. And, Will, the fun never stops. What's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Al Gorey of Cosy Lake, New Jersey. Name an animal in two syllables. Add an S at the end of the first syllable and you'll get the name of an old TV show. The second syllable, phonetically, is the name of a current TV show. What animal is this?

So, again: an animal in two syllables, add an S at the end of the first syllable and you'll get the name of an old TV show. And the second syllable, phonetically, is the name of a current TV show. What animal is this?

HANSEN: 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. Our deadline is Thursday, 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And 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.

Nice to be back and to talk to you again. Thanks a lot, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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