LINDA WERTHEIMER, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hi, Will.
WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Linda.
WERTHEIMER: So, what's new with you? Are you enjoying the wonderful weather?
SHORTZ: Yeah, the wonderful weather. Actually, a couple of good things: Audie Cornish was up to my hometown of Pleasantville this past week and we talked about the upcoming shows this fall when she takes over as host.
WERTHEIMER: Well, that's great.
SHORTZ: That's very nice. And I was on the "Today Show" last Wednesday. They did a segment on me and crosswords.
WERTHEIMER: So, you're even more famous than you have been as a result of appearing on WEEKEND EDITION.
SHORTZ: That's it. Hard to believe.
WERTHEIMER: Well, so, should we try the puzzle? This was a kind of weird - if you don't mind my saying that - challenge that you gave us last week.
SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Andrew Chakin of the National Puzzler's League. I said name the female of a certain animal, add the name of the bird; say these two words out loud and you'll name a country. What is it?
WERTHEIMER: And the answer was?
SHORTZ: Well, the female animal is a ewe. The bird is a crane. Say them together and you get Ukraine.
WERTHEIMER: We got more than 1,500 entries from people who got it. Our winner is Birgit Rosenberg from Glenside, Pennsylvania. Birgit, hello.
BIRGIT ROSENBERG: Hello.
WERTHEIMER: So, Glenside, Pennsylvania is basically a suburb of Philadelphia; is that right?
ROSENBERG: It's part of Evanston Township north of Philadelphia.
WERTHEIMER: So, what do you do there?
ROSENBERG: I'm retired. Used to work as a computer programmer and now I take care of the family and enjoy gardening and Scrabbling and puzzling.
WERTHEIMER: And puzzling. So, how long did it take you to solve this one?
ROSENBERG: Oh, I actually sent it in half an hour before the deadline was up. Ewe came right into my head but then I didn't think about it all week and it's like, oh, you know, the deadline is soon; I should think about it again.
WERTHEIMER: How long have you been playing the puzzle?
ROSENBERG: About three years.
WERTHEIMER: So, are you ready to play now?
ROSENBERG: I am.
WERTHEIMER: Will, meet Birgit, and let's play.
SHORTZ: All right, Birgit and Linda, each answer today is a pair of homophones, which are words that sound alike but are spelled differently. I'm going to give you two words. One of these will precede one of the homophones, the other will follow the other homophone in each case to complete a familiar two-word phrase. You tell me the homophones. For example, if I said, hay H-A-Y and jumper, you would said bail, as in hay bale and bail jumper.
WERTHEIMER: Oh my God.
ROSENBERG: Sounds hard.
SHORTZ: All right. Number one: chow C-H-O-W, chow blank and blank attraction. And for chow blank, think of something to eat.
ROSENBERG: Chow Mein.
SHORTZ: That's it. Chow Mein and main attraction. Good.
WERTHEIMER: Very good.
SHORTZ: Number two is 24 blank and blank stick.
WERTHEIMER: So, it's not 24 hours, at least that can't...that doesn't work.
SHORTZ: No. Think if a diamond.
WERTHEIMER: Oh, OK.
SHORTZ: Twenty-four carat, carrot stick is it. Debt blank and blank wax. What is something being much debated in Washington recently? The debt blank.
ROSENBERG: Debt ceiling.
SHORTZ: Debt ceiling and sealing wax is it. Good.
WERTHEIMER: Oh, I see, yeah.
SHORTZ: How about honeymoon blank and blank tooth.
SHORTZ: Honeymoon suite, sweet tooth, good. Anchors blank and blank game.
SHORTZ: Anchors aweigh and away game, good. Paper blank and blank beer. Paper blank and blank beer B-E-E-R. For blank beer, think of something to drink that's not alcoholic.
WERTHEIMER: Near, but I don't know...
SHORTZ: That has a little alcohol. What has no alcohol in it?
ROSENBERG: Root beer.
SHORTZ: Root beer and a paper route.
WERTHEIMER: Paper route.
SHORTZ: Good. Try this one: white blank and blank watchman.
ROSENBERG: White knight.
SHORTZ: White knight and night watchman, good. Track blank and blank thermometer. And for track blank, think of an event that actually...
WERTHEIMER: Oh, got it, got it.
SHORTZ: ...you can compete in.
ROSENBERG: Meet, meat.
SHORTZ: Track meet and a meat thermometer, good. Marine blank and blank sample. So, for Marine blank, think of the military group that protects the country.
SHORTZ: That's it, Marine Corps, and a core sample is it.
And here's your last one, 800 pound blank, and blank warfare.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
ROSENBERG: The gorilla.
SHORTZ: That's it, 800 pound gorilla and guerrilla warfare. Nice job.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
ROSENBERG: Easier just listening to it than doing it.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
WERTHEIMER: I think you did very well. And for playing the puzzle, you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read about the books and games at NPR.org/puzzle. Birgit, what is your radio station?
ROSENBERG: It's WHYY, Philadelphia. And I am a member.
WERTHEIMER: Birgit Rosenberg from Glenside, Pennsylvania, thank you for playing the puzzle this week.
ROSENBERG: Thank you so much.
WERTHEIMER: And, Will, what is the challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, name a famous person from America's past. Four letters in the first name, five letters in the last; take a homophone of the last name, move it to the front. The result will be something a woman might write. What is it?
So again, a famous person from America's past. Four letters in the first name, five letters in the last; take a homophone of the last name, move it to the front. The result phonetically will be something a woman might write. What is it?
WERTHEIMER: When you have the answer go to our web site, NPR.org/puzzle, and click on 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 where we can reach you at about that time, we'll call if you're the winner. And you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz.
Will, thank you.
SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Linda.