LIANE HANSEN, Host:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.
And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hey, Will, big weekend, huh?
WILL SHORTZ: Yes, it's the American Crossword Puzzle tournament, the 34th one, and it's going on all this weekend. One of the cool things is the two people who have won six of the last seven British National Crossword Championships are competing. And...
HANSEN: For the first time?
SHORTZ: ...you know, they do...for the first time.
HANSEN: For the first time? Wow.
SHORTZ: We'll see how they'll do in our puzzles.
HANSEN: Oh my goodness. There's a challenge for you. We had a weekly challenge for those who do a puzzle on NPR's WEEKEND EDITION Sunday. What did you give all our listeners to do last week?
SHORTZ: Yes. I said think of a five-letter girl's name that ends in a J sound. Change that a C-H sound and you'll get a common five-letter boy's name. What names are these?
HANSEN: And what are those names?
SHORTZ: Well, my answer was Midge to Mitch.
HANSEN: All right. We received more than 2,200 entries this week. Our randomly- selected winner is Joel Zaves of Walnut Creek, California. Hi, Joel.
JOEL ZAVES: Hi. How are you guys doing?
HANSEN: Oh, just don't fine, thanks. How long did it take you to solve this?
ZAVES: Probably about a day or so. I put it in the back of my mind and just let it stew there for a bit and came across reading the next day with a person's name, Midge. And all of the sudden there it was.
HANSEN: There you go. Sometimes the puzzles are best solved when you give them a chance to, you know, braise a little bit in your brain.
HANSEN: How long have you been playing our puzzle?
ZAVES: Probably about a year or two.
HANSEN: Oh, cool. And what do you do in - it's a San Francisco area, right - Walnut Creek?
ZAVES: That's right. I'm the manager of an international transportation company.
HANSEN: Cool. Well, you sound like you're ready to play. You don't sound nervous one bit.
ZAVES: We'll, find out.
HANSEN: All right. Will, meet Joel. Let's play.
SHORTZ: All right, Joel. Every answer today is a seven-letter word in which the middle five letters are the letters of inset I-N-S-E-T in some order. For example, if I gave you the first and last letters F-S, as in Frank and Sam, with the clue: what physical exercise promotes, you would say fitness.
SHORTZ: And for each of these I'll give you a chance to get the answer from just the first and last letters and then if you need the clue I'll give that too. Here's number one: D-T, D as in dog, T as in Thomas. And your clue is tooth doctor.
SHORTZ: Dentist is it. Number two: U-L.
HANSEN: I think we're going to need these clues.
SHORTZ: And you're - OK. We'll just go right to the clues. Fork, knife or spoon.
SHORTZ: Utensil is it. J-G, making jokes.
SHORTZ: That's it. D-D - that's dog twice - stretch, as the stomach.
SHORTZ: Distend is it. A-R; your clue is more on edge.
ZAVES: I'm sorry, can you repeat that?
SHORTZ: The letters are A-R and the clue is more on edge.
ZAVES: A bit stumped there.
HANSEN: Yeah, this is a crossword puzzle clue. You know, like they kind of create a name and then you're supposed to figure out what it is. Is it antsier?
SHORTZ: Antsier, good. All right. Try this: D-Y - that first letter is D as in dog - D-Y.
SHORTZ: And your destiny. Destiny...
HANSEN: There you go.
SHORTZ: ...you didn't even need the clue. And another one is D-Y with the clue: compactness.
SHORTZ: Density, good. How about W-S, and the S as in Sam, and your clue is a person who may give testimony.
SHORTZ: Yes. M-R, and that first M as in Mary, M-R, a large or important church.
SHORTZ: Minster, good. That's what minster means in Westminster.
ZAVES: I didn't know that.
HANSEN: I didn't know that either.
SHORTZ: And your last one is W-D, and that's D as in dog, W-D. This is a two- word answer. And your clue is: limit of one's sanity.
ZAVES: Wit's end.
SHORTZ: Good job.
HANSEN: We didn't get to the end of your wit, Joel, I know that for sure. That was fun but I did need the clues, you know? How about you? Were you already anagramming these before the clue came out, Joel?
ZAVES: Yes, I was trying but it didn't often work.
HANSEN: Right. But the clue came. It worked for us. Well, good. I hope our listeners had a good time too. But for you, Joel, 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: Ken-Ken Volumes 1, 2 and 3" from St. Martin's Press, one of Will Shortz's Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books and a CD compilation of NPR's Sunday Puzzles. There you go; big bag full of loot.
Before we say goodbye to you, Joel, what member station do you listen to?
ZAVES: I'm a member of KQED.
HANSEN: KQED out of San Francisco. That's Joel Zaves of Walnut Creek, California. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle.
ZAVES: Thank you.
HANSEN: All right, Will. We need a challenge to work on for next week.
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from Ed Pegg, Jr., who runs the website MathPuzzle.com.
Take the phrase: consumer protection laws, rearrange these 22 letters to name a well-known person in broadcasting, plus an issue of public debate. And for the person in broadcasting, it's the person's first and last names, five letters each. And for the issue of public debate, it's a familiar two-word phrase, seven letters in the first word, five letters in the second. So again: consumer protection laws. Those 22 letters, rearrange them to name a person in broadcasting and an issue of public debate. The broadcasting is 5-5, and the issue of public debate is 7-5. What names and phrases are these?
HANSEN: Oh, boy. Get started. 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. 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.
Will, have fun at the tourney and happy spring.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane. Happy spring to you to
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