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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.

HANSEN: You attended a very special event this past week, right?

SHORTZ: Yeah, it was my 40th reunion of my high school speech and debate team. We got together, there were about a dozen of us. These were most of my closest friends from high school. And we had Jeopardy game all about the high school and the team and the town. It was a good time.

HANSEN: Oh, you mustve had a good time. I'd love to see your high school yearbook picture, but I'm sure...

SHORTZ: No, no, no.

HANSEN: You keep it to yourself. No one sees mine either. Remind us, you gave us a challenge from our old friend Merle Regal last week. Remind us.

SHORTZ: Yes. I said take the letters of Yo Yo Ma - as in the name of the cellist. These can be rearranged to form the initial letters of a familiar six-word question. What question is it?

HANSEN: What's the question?

SHORTZ: Well, you know, we got a lot of messages this week asking: Are you out of your mind? And at first I was surprised then I remembered, oh, that's the answer to the puzzle.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: You thought people were writing and criticizing your hard crossword puzzles?

SHORTZ: Something like that.

HANSEN: Well, this is interesting because our winner has actually two connections to both your trip for your reunion as well as Yo Yo Ma. First of all, we received about 1,400 entries - more than that actually, this week. And our winner picked at random is Carl Courant from New York City. Carl, how are you?

Mr. CARL COURANT: I am very well this morning. How are you today, Liane?

HANSEN: Very well. Now, your two connections. Number one: you were once on Jeopardy.

Mr. COURANT: I was.

HANSEN: You were - and you did well?

Mr. COURANT: Well, actually thrice on "Jeopardy," so I did well twice and then crashed and burned the third time.

HANSEN: And the other thing - it's curious is to say Yo Yo Ma puzzle - you like to play the cello.

Mr. COURANT: Indeed.

HANSEN: Do you play it professionally?

Mr. COURANT: Oh no, I play in a community orchestra, the New York Repertory Orchestra, and play some chamber music among friends.

HANSEN: Well, New York City is a great place to find music to both hear and play. But as far a playing Puzzle, are you ready?

Mr. COURANT: I'm ready.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Carl. I'm going to read you some sentences. Each one conceals the name of a tree in consecutive letters somewhere inside it. Name the tree. For example, if I said use soap please, you would say apple, because apple is hidden in consecutive letters inside soap please.

Mr. COURANT: Um-hum.

SHORTZ: All right. And you can do these without writing down, I'm confident.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: That's not a rule.

SHORTZ: Yeah. Try these in your head. Is the lollipop large?

Mr. COURANT: Poplar.

SHORTZ: Poplar, good job. Number two: tomorrow I'll own the company.

Mr. COURANT: Tomorrow - willow.

SHORTZ: Willow, good. The agency pressed for more money.

Mr. COURANT: Cypress.

SHORTZ: Good. School officials must give them lockers.

Mr. COURANT: Hemlock.

SHORTZ: Oh, that's fast. Don't film a hog anymore.

Mr. COURANT: Don't film a hog?

SHORTZ: Um-hum.

HANSEN: Anymore.

Mr. COURANT: A hog, G-A-M-A-N...

HANSEN: I'm going to...

Mr. COURANT: Mahogany.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Mahogany, yes. Some pueblo customs are unusual.

Mr. COURANT: Some...

SHORTZ: Pueblo customs...

Mr. COURANT: Pueblo, I'm working on pueblo.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

Mr. COURANT: Can you get this one, Liane?

HANSEN: I can.

Mr. COURANT: Go for it.

HANSEN: Locust.

SHORTZ: Locust, inside pueblo customs, good.

Mr. COURANT: Excellent.

SHORTZ: How about this: the car raced around the track.

Mr. COURANT: The car raced around...

SHORTZ: It's...

Mr. COURANT: Cedar.

HANSEN: Yes.

SHORTZ: Cedar, yeah. No hint needed. Remove any greasy cam or engine part that's loose.

Mr. COURANT: Cam or...

HANSEN: Right.

Mr. COURANT: What was it again?

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Remove any greasy cam or engine part that's loose.

Mr. COURANT: Cam - sycamore.

SHORTZ: Sycamore, yes. Always aim for the part for the sentence that's the most strangely worded. That's...

HANSEN: Right.

SHORTZ: ...usually where I've had to do this.

HANSEN: That makes no sense at all. Right, no. It has to make some sense.

Mr. COURANT: Those are good words to live by.

HANSEN: Yep.

SHORTZ: Right. Can I access the Web on your computer?

Mr. COURANT: Can I access the web...

HANSEN: On your.

Mr. COURANT: ...on your...

HANSEN: Eb-on-y.

Mr. COURANT: Yeah, okay.

HANSEN: Ebony.

Mr. COURANT: You got it.

SHORTZ: Ebony, good one. Good, good, good. Try this: Albany and Buffalo are in upstate New York.

Mr. COURANT: Banyan.

SHORTZ: Banyan, yeah.

HANSEN: Wow, nice.

SHORTZ: Who would Mike Huckabee choose as a running mate?

Mr. COURANT: Beech.

SHORTZ: Beech, good. And your last one: Is the highway line thick or yellow?

Mr. COURANT: Hickory.

SHORTZ: Hickory, good job.

HANSEN: Carl, nice work.

Mr. COURANT: Well, I was just crossing my fingers, praying that you wouldnt bust an anagram's category on me.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Or the Periodic Table. Thats my worry, always.

Carl, we have someone very special to tell you what puzzle prizes you take home for playing our puzzle today. It's a bestselling novelist and he's on the show later, and he's talking about his latest book. It's called "The Murder Room," and it's about a bunch of forensic experts that meet in Philadelphia over lunch to solve cold cases.

Here's Michael Capuzzo.

Mr. MICHAEL CAPUZZO (Author, "The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World's Most Perplexing Cold Cases"): 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, Carl?

Mr. COURANT: That sounds like fun.

HANSEN: It does sound like fun, lots of games to play.

Mr. COURANT: I will cherish the lapel pin. Everybody on my block wants to line up to see it and...

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Charge admission. No...

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Before we let you go, please tell us what member station you listen to.

Mr. COURANT: I listen to and Im a member of WNYC.

HANSEN: There's the magic word: member. Carl Courant, of New York City, thanks so much for playing the puzzle with us today.

Mr. COURANT: Well, thank you, Liane. Thank you, Will. It was a great pleasure.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Carl.

HANSEN: All right, Will. I know youve got a challenge for everyone to solve this week. What is it?

SHORTZ: Yes. Alice and Celia are two girl's names that are anagrams of each other, but only the latter starts with the letter C. Can you name two girl's names that are anagrams of each other, in which both names starts with C? And the answer should be a well-mixed anagram - so dont just switch two letters in one name to get the other.

So again, name two girl's names that are anagrams of each other, in which both names start with C. What names are they?

HANSEN: 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 youre the winner and you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.

But, Will, I won't be here with you next Sunday. Im going out to California to visit KPBS in San Diego. And next Sunday, anyone who's listening to KCBX in San Luis Obispo is going to hear me do the weather. All right?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Fantastic.

HANSEN: All right, Ill talk to you two-weeks time. Thanks, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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