JOHN YDSTIE, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm John Ydstie. And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hi, Will.
WILL SHORTZ: Hi, John.
YDSTIE: Please remind me of that terribly confusing challenge you gave us last week.
SHORTZ: Yeah, it was a tough one. It came from listener Jack Martin. I said: Take a common two-word phrase that's the present-tense of a verb; move the last two letters to the start without making any other change and you'll get a new two-word phrase that's the verb's past tense. What phrases are these?
YDSTIE: And the answers are...
SHORTZ: The answer is eat at. Move the A-T at the end to the start and you get ate at.
YDSTIE: We only had 101 entries this week. That's not very many. And out of those few we have a winner, and he's on phone. Well done, David Steeves of North Olmsted, Ohio.
DAVID STEEVES: Thank you very much.
YDSTIE: Welcome to the program. Aside from being challenged by our puzzle master here, how else do you spend your time?
STEEVES: Well, I'm a sign language interpreter for a school and I spend my spare time playing softball during the summer and shooting pool during every other season.
YDSTIE: And how long you've been playing the puzzle?
STEEVES: I've been doing it for about 10 to 12 years now.
YDSTIE: And are you ready to play today?
STEEVES: I'm ready.
YDSTIE: Will, meet David. And let's play.
SHORTZ: All right, David and John, this is a good two-person puzzle. I brought a twist on the old game of categories. I'm going to give you some categories. For each one, name something in it that ends in the letters E-N-D-S. For example, if I said boy's names, you might say Luke, Brian, David and James.
SHORTZ: There you go. Category number one is U.S. states.
SHORTZ: Yes. D and S - there's two Ds and I know of five Ss.
STEEVES: Wow. I should probably be able to come up with at least one thing. Texas.
SHORTZ: Texas is good. And...
SHORTZ: ...for the...and Maryland, good. Also Rhode Island. Category two is U.S. presidents.
SHORTZ: Good. E and S. And in each case, there's an answer among the very first presidents.
SHORTZ: Adams is good.
STEEVES: And Monroe.
SHORTZ: And Monroe, good, excellent. Boy, you're fast. All right. Your next category is makes of cars. And we're looking for makes, not models.
YDSTIE: And are these current makes?
SHORTZ: They're all current makes. And Ford is a good D, yes.
SHORTZ: Nissan, excellent.
STEEVES: How about...
YDSTIE: How about Mercedes for S.
SHORTZ: Mercedes, I'll give that to you. Also Lexus would work.
STEEVES: I (unintelligible) that product. I should have gotten that.
SHORTZ: And all you need is an E.
SHORTZ: Porsche is good. Also Dodge would work. OK. How about metals?
SHORTZ: Um-hum. Give me either the elements or alloys.
STEEVES: Let's see, tin, bronze...
SHORTZ: Tin, yes. D and S.
SHORTZ: Gold, yes. And S. There is an alloy.
SHORTZ: Brass, good. And your last category is colleges that are not state names.
STEEVES: Bowling Green.
SHORTZ: Oh good. OK.
STEEVES: Have to represent. Well, if I'm sticking with Ohio there's Defiance.
SHORTZ: Defiance, OK. Also Duke, Yale, Tulane, Notre Dame, Purdue. OK. You need D and S.
SHORTZ: Harvard, and Stanford also. And all you need is an S.
STEEVES: Oh, I'm blanking.
SHORTZ: OK. There's a big one in New Jersey.
YDSTIE: I think I've got that one if you want some help, Steve. But I think you're going to think of it.
SHORTZ: Starts with R.
SHORTZ: Rutgers also. Very good. Also Holy Cross, Williams, Memphis are some of the other answers. David, you did great.
STEEVES: Oh, thanks.
YDSTIE: Great work, David. Was it difficult?
STEEVES: Yeah. Actually, it was much, much harder on the phone.
YDSTIE: And it is. It's such a wide, wide open puzzle that sometimes there's just too much there to think about.
STEEVES: Yeah. Easier when it's the first letter.
SHORTZ: Right, right.
YDSTIE: Well, in any case, great job. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games that you can read about at NPR.org/Puzzle.
STEEVES: Thanks very much.
YDSTIE: And you're very welcome. What member station do you listen to up there?
STEEVES: Our local station is WCPN.
YDSTIE: Right. In Cleveland.
STEEVES: And via podcast.
YDSTIE: Well, David Steeves of North Olmsted, Ohio, thanks so much for playing the puzzle this week. You did a great job.
STEEVES: All right. Thank you.
YDSTIE: And, Will, please give us the challenge for next week.
SHORTZ: Yes, name a breed of dog that starts and ends with the same letter of the alphabet. Drop that letter at both ends, and if you have the right dog, the remaining letters phonetically will name some animals. What's the dog and what are the animals?
So again, a breed of dog, its name starts and ends with the same letter of the alphabet. Drop that letter at both ends. If you have the right dog, the remaining letters phonetically will name some animals. What's the dog and what are the animals?
YDSTIE: And 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 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 puzzle on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz.
SHORTZ: Thanks, John.