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This Puzzle Brought To You By The Letters A And D

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This Puzzle Brought To You By The Letters A And D

This Puzzle Brought To You By The Letters A And D

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  • Transcript

LIANE HANSEN, host:

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

And joining us puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Hey, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: How are you?

SHORTZ: Been good?

HANSEN: I'm well.

SHORTZ: Have you been traveling?

HANSEN: I have actually. I was in the Show-Me state, in Springfield, Missouri, and I was always asked do I know the answers ahead of time during puzzles. So, I assured the folks that support KMSU that I did not. But they're big fans and it was nice to be able to go out there. And you've been busy?

SHORTZ: Yes, yes. Played in a table tennis tournament yesterday in Rochester, New York, saw a play last night called "Life is Shortz" - it's about the New York Times crossword. Lots of stuff going on, yeah.

HANSEN: And lots of other stuff. I'm afraid we won't have time to play the game if we had the whole list of your itinerary for the next couple of months. So, let's get to that clue you gave us last week for the weekly challenge. What was it?

SHORTZ: Yes. I said: Name part of the human body, change one of the letters to an E and rearrange the result to name another part of the body. What parts are these?

HANSEN: And what was your answer?

SHORTZ: Well, I'll tell you, it turned out to be lots of answers. My intended answer was neck to knee but we also accepted hand to head, calf to face and arm to ear. Anything that worked was considered correct.

HANSEN: Well, you could tell - we had more than 2,400 entries and out of those our winner is Madhu Madhavan in Alexandria, Virginia. I hope I did justice to your name, sir.

Mr. MADHU MADHAVAN: You did.

HANSEN: All right. What do you do in Alexandria?

Mr. MADHAVAN: Well, I work for the World Bank during the week and on the weekends and evenings I do a lot of test prepping - high school students for the most part, SAT, PSAT and such.

HANSEN: Oh, your brain must be just full of knowledge if you're doing that. I'm glad you're here. And you've been playing for how long?

Mr. MADHAVAN: You wouldn't believe this - about 15 years. I have had a distribution list for the last several years. The puzzle goes out to about 100 people on four continents. I've been encouraging them to send in their entries but a lot of them don't want to be embarrassed, like you're going to embarrass me now.

HANSEN: Oh no, that is not going to happen, and I'll prove it to you because we will play. Please meet Madhu. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Madhu.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: You know, NPR is noted for not having ads but today's puzzle is full of ads. Every answer is a familiar answer starting with the letters A-D. For example - and I'll give you anagrams of the answers. For example, if I said pat P-A-T, you would say adapt. That starts with A-D and rearrange pat to get the last three letters.

All right. Number one is led, L-E-D.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Addle.

SHORTZ: Addle is right. Number two is Tim, T-I-M.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Admit.

SHORTZ: Um-hum. Number three is nor, N-O-R.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Adorn.

SHORTZ: That's right. Juts, J-U-T-S.

Mr. MADHAVAN: J-U - adjust.

SHORTZ: Um-hum. Riot, R-I-O-T.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Help?

HANSEN: Yeah, help. My mind went...

Mr. MADHAVAN: Adroit, adroit.

HANSEN: Adroit.

SHORTZ: Adroit, good.

HANSEN: Very good. You didn't need help.

SHORTZ: Frit. F as in Fredrick, F-R-I-T.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Adrift.

SHORTZ: Adrift, good. Manta, M-A-N-T-A, as in a manta ray.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Adamant.

SHORTZ: Excellent. Learn, L-E-A-R-N.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Adrenal. But that's two...

SHORTZ: Adrenal, adrenal is good. Your next one is serve, S-E-R-V-E.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Serve - adverse.

HANSEN: Yes.

SHORTZ: That's it. Nether, N-E-T-H-E-R.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Adherent.

SHORTZ: Adherent is it.

HANSEN: Adherent. Oh, my goodness.

SHORTZ: Liane, I hear that pencil flying across the paper.

HANSEN: It is flying across the paper and coming up with nada.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Try this one: Shimon S-H-I-M-O-N, as in Shimon Perez.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Shimon Perez. Admonish.

SHORTZ: Admonish, good. Octave, O-C-T-A-V-E.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Advocate.

HANSEN: Yes.

SHORTZ: Advocate is it. Balmier, B-A-L-M-I-E-R. And it's a word that's an adjective that would describe your performance here.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Admirable.

HANSEN: Yes, indeed.

SHORTZ: Admirable is right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: How about dilation, D-I-L-A-T-I-O-N.

HANSEN: A D.

Mr. MADHAVAN: A D la. Don't know.

HANSEN: I don't know. Additional. I don't know.

SHORTZ: Additional is it.

HANSEN: No, you're kidding.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Oh, additional.

HANSEN: You are kidding me. That was just a, I'm sorry, a flash in the brain pan. What can I tell you?

SHORTZ: And here's your last one - it's a two-word phrase: event timers.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Advertisers, advertisements.

SHORTZ: Advertisement is correct.

HANSEN: Oh, my.

Mr. MADHAVAN: But you said there were going to be no ads on this show.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. MADHAVAN: Okay.

HANSEN: He saved it for last. It was the trick up his sleeve, Madhu.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Wonderful. Wonderful.

HANSEN: Nice job.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Liane, I thought I was going to be embarrassed.

HANSEN: No, you had an admirable performance, sir. And to tell you what you'll get for playing our puzzle today is a singer my colleague, Scott Simon, spoke to a few weeks ago on WEEKEND EDITION SATURDAY. Here's Jessica Lea Mayfield.

(Soundbite of song, "Blue Skies Again)

Ms. JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD (Singer-Songwriter): (Singing) Dear Winter bird, how long can you last

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: There you go, Madhu. Thats all your loot.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Fantastic.

HANSEN: Oh. And before we let you go you have to tell us member station you listen to.

Mr. MADHAVAN: WAMU FM 88.5 and Im a member.

HANSEN: Go for it, Madhu Madhavan. Thanks for playing the puzzle with us.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Thank you very much. Thank you, both of you.

HANSEN: Thank you.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thank you.

Mr. MADHAVAN: Bye-bye.

HANSEN: And, Will, our challenge for next week?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from our old pal, Merl Reagle. And let me mention, he'll be doing the color commentary again for the playoff round at the upcoming American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, which is March 18 to 20.

And here's the puzzle: Take a common girl's name in six letters. Change the fourth letter to the next letter in the alphabet to get another common girl's name. What names are these?

So again, a common girl's name in six letters. Change the fourth letter to the next letter in the alphabet to get another common girl's name. What girls' names are these?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our website, NPR.org/puzzle. Click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline is Thursday at 3 P. M. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number or where we can reach you at about that time, because we will call you if youre 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 puzzle-master, Will Shortz.

And next week with Lynn Neary who'll be sitting in for me in this hot seat, Will, because Im going to a very cold place; first Seattle but then Alaska.

Mr. SHORTZ: Whoa.

HANSEN: So Ill tell you all about that when I get back. But thanks for this sweets, sweetie.

Mr. SHORTZ: Excellent, have fun. Thanks, Liane.

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