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No Business Like Snow Business

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No Business Like Snow Business

No Business Like Snow Business

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

And joining us, as always, is puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Hey, Will. How are you?

WILL SHORTZ: Excellent. How you doing, Liane?

HANSEN: All right. You built yourself a little snow igloo over the past week?

SHORTZ: No igloo, although I've been tempted. No, a lot of shoveling though.

HANSEN: A lot of shoveling, yeah. Well, remember, shovel with the knees and not with the back, right?


HANSEN: Well, remind us of the challenge that you gave us last week before we got this snow.

SHORTZ: Yes. I said name a nationality. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth and 10th letters in order name a country. Also, the fourth, fifth, seventh, ninth and 12th letters in order name a country. I said neither country is related to the nationality. What nationality is it?

HANSEN: My goodness. This was tough, but you wouldn't know it by the people who were listening. First, the answer.

SHORTZ: It's Afghanistani, which is a variant of Afghani, and those letters I mentioned form Ghana and Haiti.

HANSEN: Well, we had another bumper crop of entries - more than 1,200, and from those entries we have a winner. He's Alan Lembitz from Boulder, Colorado. Hi, Alan. Congratulations.

Mr. ALAN LEMBITZ: Thank you, Liane. How are you?

HANSEN: I am well, thank you. What do you do in Boulder?

Mr. LEMBITZ: I'm a physician. I've had experience in the urgent care and emergency departments and I now do patient safety education and risk management for Colorado and Nebraska.

HANSEN: How long have you been playing our puzzle?

Mr. LEMBITZ: Five years.

HANSEN: Oh. And have you been sending in entries all that time?

Mr. LEMBITZ: When we get them, yes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: That's the operative word. You sound ready to play, though. Are you? I am.

Mr. LEMBITZ: Yes, let's play.

HANSEN: All right. Let's do it. Will, meet Alan. And he said it: let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Alan. Today, I've brought a collection of puzzles all about snow. And here's number one: you can rearrange the letters of snow to spell two common words. What are they?

HANSEN: Is wons a word, W-O-N-S? I don't think so.

SHORTZ: No. There's a currency won, but I think the plural is just won.

HANSEN: OK. Sown is what I've come up with.

SHORTZ: Sown, good, S-O-W-N. That's the hard one. There's an easier one now.

Mr. LEMBITZ: Owns.


SHORTZ: Owns is it. Good job. Here's number two: the last name of what U.S. president contains the letters S-N-O-W in left-to-right order, although not consecutively?

Mr. LEMBITZ: Wilson.

SHORTZ: I'll give you a hint: it is a 20th century president.

Mr. LEMBITZ: Can you give me a decade?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: It's after 1950.

Mr. LEMBITZ: Eisenhower.


SHORTZ: Eisenhower is it. Good.

HANSEN: Well done, Alan.

SHORTZ: All right. Your next one: a seven-letter word for part of the day contains the letters S-N-O-W in left-to-right order, although not consecutively.

Mr. LEMBITZ: Sundown.

SHORTZ: Sundown, good. Now, this one I'm going to ask you to do in your head. Imagine the phrase no snow written in capital letters. If you double one of the letters and turn the result upside down, what familiar seven-letter word to you get?

Mr. LEMBITZ: Oh, monsoon.

SHORTZ: Monsoon, good.

HANSEN: Oh my.

SHORTZ: All right. There is a fictional character from story and film whose name contains two W's in a row. The first half of the name is snow. What is the second half?

Mr. LEMBITZ: White.

SHORTZ: Snow blank - Snow White, good. All right. Two compound words, starting with snow, end in the letters A-L-L. What are they?

HANSEN: Snow squall?

SHORTZ: Snow squall - that would be more a two-word phrase.

HANSEN: Yeah, that's...

SHORTZ: I'm looking for a compound word.

HANSEN: Snow-it-all - no, I'm sorry.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Well, if you have a fight with somebody, what do you throw?

Mr. LEMBITZ: Snowball.

SHORTZ: A snowball, that's one of them. And if there was two inches of snow on the ground, that - you just - what's that?

Mr. LEMBITZ: Snowfall.

SHORTZ: Snowfall is it.

HANSEN: Oh, Alan. I'm so glad you're there. Keep it going.

SHORTZ: All right. Try this - it's a riddle: if I asked you what a snowman uses to keep his pants up, you would say a snow belt. Where can you save snow so it will collect interest?

Mr. LEMBITZ: Snow bank.

SHORTZ: Snow bank is it, good. And here's your last one: change one letter in snow to a new letter so as to make a common four-letter word. And the new letter is silent. What is this new four-letter word?

Mr. LEMBITZ: Know, K-N-O-W.

Mr. SHORTZ: K-N-O-W, good job.

HANSEN: Alan, great job.

To tell you what you'll get for playing our puzzle today is one of actually the top 100 guitarists of the 20th century. He hails from Texas, and I was able to speak with this charming musician a few weeks ago. Here's Eric Johnson.

(Soundbite of guitar music)

Mr. ERIC JOHNSON (Guitarist): For playing our puzzle today, youll 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. Martins Press, one of Will Shortzs Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books, and a CD compilation of NPRs Sunday Puzzles.

HANSEN: All right, what do you think Alan?

Mr. LEMBITZ: Well, Im very nervous. I am...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. LEMBITZ: It was really fun. I appreciate it. Thank you.

HANSEN: Good, you worked hard for it, honey, really. You really, really did. Alan Lembitz from Boulder, before we let you go, whats your Public Radio station?

Mr. LEMBITZ: KUNC and it's remotely across our entire state, probably one of the largest ranges of any Public Radio.

HANSEN: Oh, shell it, Alan Lembitz from Boulder. Thanks again for playing with us today.

Mr. LEMBITZ: Thank you, Liane. Thank you, Will.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Alan.

HANSEN: All right, Will. I think the steam coming out of my ears has melted all the snow within a 10-mile radius. But you do have a challenge for next week, right?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, I have a challenge and it comes from Alan Meyer of Newberg, Oregon. Think of a common word with six letters, including a Q, change the Q to an N, as in Nancy, and rearrange the result to form a new word thats a synonym of the first one. What are the words?

So again, a common with six letters, includes a Q, change the Q to an N, anagram the result and you will get a new word thats a synonym of the first one. What words are these?

HANSEN: When you have the answer go to our Web site, 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 if youre the winner. 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, as always, thanks a lot.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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