LIANE HANSEN, host:

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

And joining us is puzzlemaster Will Shortz. A belated happy birthday, Mr. Shortz.

WILL SHORTZ: Thank you, Liane. And welcome back from your travels.

HANSEN: Thank you very much. I'll just do a small shout-out to the folks at KPBS in San Diego and KCBX in San Luis Obispo. I did events with each station and we're well-loved. And it was really, really, really nice. And I came back to work and found out that there's a clarification about one of last week's clues, right?

SHORTZ: Yeah. Yeah, a clue that really wasn't good. I asked for a French-speaking part of Belgium, and the answer was Flanders. Well, there are some French speakers in Flanders but that's not the main French-speaking part of Belgium. In Flanders, they speak Flemish, which is the Belgian version of Dutch.

HANSEN: OK. Now, to move onto that challenge you gave last week.

SHORTZ: The challenge was: Name a country. The name contains the symbol for a chemical element. Change the symbol to the symbol for another chemical element in order to name another country. I said there are two answers. I asked you to get both of them.

HANSEN: And they are?

SHORTZ: Well, actually, it turned out to be three answers. My intended ones were Mali to Malta. You change the I of iodine to TA, tantalum, to get Malta; Algeria to Nigeria - changing AL to NI. And then one I didn't know about was Ireland to Iceland. You can change the RE, which is a chemical symbol, to CE, which is another.

HANSEN: Cool.

SHORTZ: So, we accepted anyone who got two out of those three answers was considered correct.

HANSEN: Well, we received just under a thousand entries this past week. And our winner actually got Mali and Malta, as well as Ireland and Iceland. We welcome him. His name is Larry Pryluck from Amissville, Virginia. And he's in the studio. So, thanks for making the trip to come and play in person.

Mr. LARRY PRYLUCK: You're quite welcome. We'll be a team looking at each other here.

HANSEN: That's right. Well, I'm ready to play. Larry, are you ready to play?

Mr. PRYLUCK: Absolutely.

HANSEN: OK. Will, are you ready to play?

SHORTZ: Let's go, Larry and Liane. I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence ends in two blanks. Add the letter F, as in Frank, before the word that goes in the first blank to get a new word that goes in the second blank to complete the sentence. For example: Warm weather continued for the entire summer and now is expected to last blank-blank. You'd say it's now expected to last all fall.

Here you go: If Sinatra were on "American Idol," how would the judges blank, blank?

Mr. PRYLUCK: Rank Frank.

SHORTZ: How would the judges rank Frank, good job. Number two: The atmospheric conditions were neither really good nor really bad. So, the pollution monitor rated the blank...

Mr. PRYLUCK: Air fair.

SHORTZ: Oh, that's good.

HANSEN: Now, just like "Jeopardy," we have to let Will finish the clue, OK?

SHORTZ: No. Larry, jump right in.

HANSEN: Oh, OK.

SHORTZ: Jump right in. With only 20 percent of the plane's seats filled, the crew called it a blank, blank.

Mr. PRYLUCK: Light flight.

SHORTZ: Good job. The cruise ship docked at Helsinki's harbor, after which we got off and traveled away from the coast to explore blank, blank.

Mr. PRYLUCK: Inland Finland.

SHORTZ: Good. Of the two kinds of terrain, we'd call the former hillier and the blank, blank.

Mr. PRYLUCK: Latter flatter.

SHORTZ: That's it. Some electrical systems have circuit breakers, but ours blank, blank.

Mr. PRYLUCK: Uses fuses.

SHORTZ: That's it. The newer file didn't have all the papers I wanted, so I reached for an blank, blank. So, what's the opposite...

Mr. PRYLUCK: (Unintelligible)...

HANSEN: I know.

SHORTZ: What's the opposite of newer?

HANSEN: Older.

Mr. PRYLUCK: Older folder.

HANSEN: Older folder.

SHORTZ: Reached for the older folder, that's it.

HANSEN: OK. Now, we're a team, Larry.

Mr. PRYLUCK: That's teamwork, Liane.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: A person eating a lot of food a week after Palm Sunday might be called an...

Mr. PRYLUCK: Easter feaster.

SHORTZ: That's it. In making a horror film, you have to combine many scary elements to produce just the...

Mr. PRYLUCK: Right fright.

SHORTZ: Yes. If you're carrying a concealed weapon around a police officer and he's suspicious, you are blank, blank.

Mr. PRYLUCK: Risky frisky?

SHORTZ: You risking...

HANSEN: Risking...

SHORTZ: ...frisking.

HANSEN: ...frisking.

SHORTZ: Frisking, right. And here's your last one. It's a little different from the others. That first blank has two words in it. Put the F in front of that and you'll get a single word that goes in the second blank. And here it is: The other team had us down for 79 points but there should've been one more to make blank, blank.

And I'll give you a hint: the word 80 has nothing to do with this. But think of a fancy word that means 80. The other team had us down for 79 points, but there should've been one more to make...

Mr. PRYLUCK: Our score fourscore.

SHORTZ: Good job.

HANSEN: Larry, I love having you in the studio 'cause I can watch your mind work. I'm so impressed, Larry, so impressed.

Mr. PRYLUCK: Well, thank you.

HANSEN: So anyway, to tell you what you're going to take home for playing today's puzzle, we have a New Orleans-based bluegrass band, who actually - they were from New Orleans and the two people lost their home when Hurricane Katrina hit. They now live in Kansas. And so here's Mike West and Katie Euliss of Truck Stop Honeymoon.

Mr. MIKE WEST (Band Member, Truck Stop Honeymoon): Two, three...

(Soundbite of banjo and bass music)

Ms. KATIE EULISS (Band Member, Truck Stop Honeymoon): 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.

(Soundbite of banjo music)

HANSEN: Wow, musical accompaniment. And actually, you'll be able to hear more from them, coming up just after the puzzle segment.

What did you think, Larry?

Mr. PRYLUCK: Oh, they're great.

HANSEN: Aren't they fun? And before we let you go, what member station do you listen to - as if I didn't know?

Mr. PRYLUCK: I'm a member of two: WAMU in Washington, and West Virginia Public Radio because sometimes that comes in better. I'd also like to give a shout-out to WOUB in Athens, Ohio, and New Jersey Public Radio or New Jersey Network. Oh, let's see: WDIY in Allentown, WHYY, WAMC...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. PRYLUCK: ...WITF in Harrisburg. We go back and forth to the Hudson Valley and I listen to all of them.

HANSEN: Thank you very much. I think that's the longest list of member stations that we've had on our program. Larry Pryluck of Amissville, Virginia, thanks so much for coming in and playing the puzzle.

Mr. PRYLUCK: Thank you for having me.

HANSEN: Okay, Will, what are we going to puzzle our listeners with this week?

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, it's not too hard a puzzle, I think. Take the word bookman, B-O-O-K-M-A-N, change one letter in it and rearrange the result to name a famous person who wrote books. Who is it?

So again, the word is bookman. Change one letter. Rearrange the result to name a famous person who wrote books. What person 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. 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.

Will, thanks a lot. Good to be back.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

Copyright © 2010 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, and will be moderated prior to posting. 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.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from