LIANE HANSEN, host:

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

And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hey, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: Anything new? How are you?

SHORTZ: I'm doing great. Crazy thing - in two weeks, I'm going to speaking at the Bohemian Grove. Do you know that, California?

HANSEN: I sure do. It's a very exclusive place. And that's pretty interesting that you've gotten in. Are you going to give all these - it's only men, right? I think it's only men and...

SHORTZ: It's only men and you're not supposed to talk about it. My lips are sealed.

HANSEN: So, I can't ask you about it when you come back, huh?

SHORTZ: You can ask but...

HANSEN: You can't tell.

SHORTZ: ...I won't be able to say anything.

HANSEN: Fair enough. Remind everybody of the challenge you gave last week.

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Ben Bass of Chicago. And he writes the blog Ben Bass and Beyond. And I said take the phrase deep cleanse, rearrange the 11 letters of it to name a well-known American landmark.

HANSEN: What is it?

SHORTZ: Answer is Space Needle in Seattle.

HANSEN: You betcha. Well, we received more than 2,000 entries this week, and out of those our randomly chosen winner is Gentri Green from Logan, Utah. Gentry, how are you?

Ms. GENTRI GREEN: I'm great.

HANSEN: What a great name, G-E-N-T-R-I. Is that a family name?

Ms. GREEN: It is. It's actually an old last name in my family, except spelled with a Y.

HANSEN: Oh, okay. All right. And how did you figure out, how long did it take you to figure out this challenge?

Ms. GREEN: Well, my husband was working on it in church and I looked over and I just knew the answer immediately.

HANSEN: Your husband was working on it in church?

Ms. GREEN: Yes, he was.

HANSEN: He wasn't getting any sideways glances from the parishioners or the minister?

Ms. GREEN: Nope.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: All right. You ready to play, Gentri?

Ms. GREEN: I hope so.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Gentri. I hear a lot of people solve these puzzles in church. I like that. All right. Today, I'm going to give you two words; you give me a third word that can go between them. That is, your answer will follow the first word I give and precede the second one in each case to complete a familiar two-word phrase. And in addition, your word must go between my two words alphabetically.

For example, if I said last L-A-S-T and lines L-I-N-E-S, you would say laugh, as in last laugh and laugh lines. All right. Number one is beer B-E-E-R and button, beer and button. So, you need beer blank and blank button.

HANSEN: And it has to be alphabetically. So, it's button, bah.

SHORTZ: It's going to start with a B somewhere between beer and button. And think of a person with a big gut. Has a beer what?

Ms. GREEN: Belly.

HANSEN: Oh, beer...

SHORTZ: Beer belly and belly button is right.

HANSEN: Got you. Oh, I get it. Okay. I think I'm getting this.

SHORTZ: All right. Number two is chemistry and clown.

Ms. GREEN: Class?

SHORTZ: Chemistry class and class clown, good job.

HANSEN: Very good.

SHORTZ: Calling, catalog.

Ms. GREEN: Card.

HANSEN: Card, yeah.

SHORTZ: Calling card, card catalog, nice. Bad, brother.

Ms. GREEN: Blood.

HANSEN: Ooh, nice.

SHORTZ: Bad blood and blood brother, nice work.

HANSEN: Gentri, you're on a roll, man.

Ms. GREEN: I know. I was nervous.

SHORTZ: We should stop here, except there's more of the puzzle.

HANSEN: There always is. Go ahead.

SHORTZ: There always is. Your next one is shelf and suit, S-H-E-L-F and S-U-I-T. All right. Well, think of what an astronaut would wear.

Ms. GREEN: Space.

HANSEN: Oh.

SHORTZ: Yes.

HANSEN: Shelf space and space...

SHORTZ: You always need more shelf space and...

HANSEN: Gotcha.

SHORTZ: ...a space suit, good. How about cabin, cut.

Ms. GREEN: Crew.

HANSEN: Crew.

SHORTZ: There you go. And crew cut, nice. How about safe S-A-F-E and symbol. Safe blank and blank symbol.

HANSEN: All I can think of is status but it's...

SHORTZ: Yeah, all right. How about...

HANSEN: It begin with S. I mean, how...

SHORTZ: How hard can this be?

Ms. GREEN: Liane, it's just because you said we were on a roll.

HANSEN: I know, I know. I'm really sorry.

SHORTZ: I know, it's a jinx.

HANSEN: I jinxed it.

SHORTZ: And the second letter is E.

HANSEN: Oh, sex.

SHORTZ: There you go. Safe sex and sex symbol, good. Try this one: banana and box.

Ms. GREEN: Bread.

SHORTZ: Banana bread and bread box. And your last one is bed B-E-D and bunny.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: You got this one, Liane?

HANSEN: It's one of his diabolical puns there more or less. Think of a cartoon character.

Ms. GREEN: Oh, bugs.

HANSEN: Bugs, you betcha.

SHORTZ: There you go. Bed bugs and bugs bunny, nice job.

HANSEN: Oh, Gentri, we made a good team.

Ms. GREEN: Yes, we did. Thanks for the help.

HANSEN: Well, I'm sorry I jinxed you.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: ...by saying you were on a roll. It's not as easy as it sounds. But I'm sure people have been yelling the answers at the radio, as we've been playing.

Well, to tell you what you're going to get for playing our puzzle today, we have a young singer-songwriter from Shawnee, Oklahoma. She's just been nominated for five Native American Music Awards. Here's Samantha Crain.

(Soundbite of song, "Equinox")

Ms. SAMANTHA CRAIN (Singer-Songwriter): (Singing) There was equal dark and equal light in your eyes...

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 Present KenKen" Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from St. Martin's Press, one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddle and Challenges" from Chronicle Books, and a CD compilation of NPR's Sunday Puzzles.

HANSEN: What do you think, Gentri?

Ms. GREEN: Oh, sounds so great.

HANSEN: Yeah? You're going to have lots of puzzles to play when your loot arrives. Before we let you go, Gentri, tell us what member station you listen to.

Ms. GREEN: KUSU at Utah State University.

HANSEN: All right. Gentri Green of Logan, Utah, thanks for playing our puzzle today. You were great.

Ms. GREEN: Thank you.

HANSEN: Will, I know you have a challenge for next week, so cough it up.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, it's a short one. Complete this analogy: Banjo is to ferns -F-E-R-N-S - as pecan - P-E-C-A-N - is to what? So again: Banjo is to ferns as pecan is to what?

HANSEN: All right. Good luck. When you have the answer, go to our website, 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. 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.

Hey, Will, thanks a lot.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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