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AUDIE CORNISH, Host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. And time now for the puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF PUZZLE MUSIC)

CORNISH: Here was last week's challenge from the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master Will Shortz:

WILL SHORTZ: Name a well-known university in two words. Interchange two letters in the respective words. The result will name something you might take on a camping trip. What's the university and what's the thing?

CORNISH: We had about 1,500 entries and our randomly selected winner this week is Rita Rubenstein of Livonia, Michigan, who joins us now. Congratulations, Rita.

RHETA RUBENSTEIN: Thank you very much, Audie.

CORNISH: So, what was the answer to last week's challenge?

RUBENSTEIN: The answer was Kent State, which makes tent stake.

CORNISH: Now, did you figure this out yourself or did you have a little help?

RUBENSTEIN: I actually had help from my husband, Howard, which I normally don't have. He doesn't enjoy doing puzzles. But he was interested last week.

CORNISH: Do you think you won him over puzzles then? I mean, you're the winner this week. That's pretty cool.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

RUBENSTEIN: No. I've asked him for clues since then and he's still resistant.

CORNISH: All right. And, Rita, where is Livonia, Michigan?

RUBENSTEIN: Livonia, Michigan is just west of Detroit. It's in the metropolitan area.

CORNISH: And what do you do there?

RUBENSTEIN: Actually, I teach at University of Michigan Dearborn. I teach mathematics classes for future elementary teachers and in-service secondary teachers.

CORNISH: Well, then I won't let Will go easy on you. And you are now going to get to meet puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master Will Shortz. Hey there, Will. How are you?

SHORTZ: Excellent. Hey, Audie. And hi, Rita.

RUBENSTEIN: Hi, Will. Glad to meet you.

CORNISH: So, will, how was your week?

SHORTZ: Week was fine. I had a brief appearance on the Dr. Oz show on Monday to promote the mental benefits of puzzle solving.

CORNISH: Were you there to kind of showcase the proof that puzzles make you smarter or were you actually presenting puzzles?

SHORTZ: No. I was just as proof for about 10 seconds, expressing my opinion that puzzle solving is good for the brain.

CORNISH: Well, Will, I think Rita's warmed up and ready to play the puzzle. So, let's get to it.

SHORTZ: All right, Rita. I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence conceals the name of a well-known island in consecutive letters. You name the islands. For example, if I said: Helga is a saucy Prussian; you would say Cyprus, because Cyprus is hidden in consecutive letters of saucy Prussian.

CORNISH: Oh, boy.

SHORTZ: OK. Number one: It was the defendant I guarded. What island is hidden in there? It was the defendant I guarded.

RUBENSTEIN: OK. Let's see. Well, I'm looking at T-I-G-A-R?

SHORTZ: And there's a U in guarded G-U-A-R. (Unintelligible) that U.

RUBENSTEIN: OK.

CORNISH: That's a hint.

SHORTZ: And you're looking at the right words.

RUBENSTEIN: T-T...

SHORTZ: The defendant I guarded, stuck inside there. What island is hidden in there?

RUBENSTEIN: T-I-G-U-A-R...

SHORTZ: Skip the R.

CORNISH: Oh, skip the R. I was just writing one with an R.

RUBENSTEIN: Oh, Antigua, Antigua.

SHORTZ: Antigua is your island, good. OK. Now, that we're on the same page, here's number two: Listen to Rita's maniacal laugh.

RUBENSTEIN: Which way do you spell Rita?

SHORTZ: R-I-T-A. Listen to Rita's maniacal laugh. And I'll give you a hint on all these sentences. Focus on the area of the sentence that sounds the most strained or awkward.

RUBENSTEIN: Yeah. I was thinking about that part. But OK.

SHORTZ: So, you want to focus on...

RUBENSTEIN: So, Tasmania? Is it...

SHORTZ: Tasmania, excellent.

CORNISH: Nice.

SHORTZ: The plane made a nice landing.

RUBENSTEIN: Now, that one doesn't sound so tricky.

CORNISH: I know.

SHORTZ: Thank you. The plane made a nice landing.

CORNISH: Oh, I figured it out, yay.

RUBENSTEIN: Iceland?

SHORTZ: Iceland, good.

RUBENSTEIN: Oh, I should have let Audie have a turn.

CORNISH: No, no. It's OK. I've got many instances.

SHORTZ: Here's your next one: It's Motrin I'd add to the shopping list.

RUBENSTEIN: Trinidad.

SHORTZ: Trinidad. Ooh, you're getting fast. These are decors I can live with. Decors is D-E-C-O-R-S. These are decors I can live with.

RUBENSTEIN: So, I'm thinking about the I, something around the I. Corsica?

SHORTZ: Corsica, good. Did the baseball player get a hit, I wondered? Did the baseball player get a hit, I wondered?

RUBENSTEIN: OK. I'm in the - Tahiti.

SHORTZ: Tahiti, good. The German hat tanked at the fashion show.

RUBENSTEIN: That's cute. OK.

SHORTZ: The German hat tanked at the fashion show.

RUBENSTEIN: Manhattan.

SHORTZ: Manhattan, yes.

RUBENSTEIN: Woo-hoo.

SHORTZ: And here's your last one. Conan tuck Ethan in bed.

RUBENSTEIN: And a bed. Fan a bed.

SHORTZ: Yes, skip the bed part.

CORNISH: We need to - for earlier in the sentence...

RUBENSTEIN: Okay. Conan and Nantucket?

SHORTZ: Nantucket Island.

RUBENSTEIN: Okay.

SHORTZ: Nice job.

CORNISH: Yay. Great work, Rheta.

RUBENSTEIN: Wow. It was easier than I expected...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

RUBENSTEIN: ...and fun. Great fun, thank you both so much.

CORNISH: For playing our puzzle today, Rheta, you're going to get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games that you can read about at NPR.org/puzzle. And, Rheta, which member station do you listen to?

RUBENSTEIN: I listen to WUOM from Ann Arbor, Michigan. And my husband and I are members.

CORNISH: Rheta Rubenstein of Livonia, Michigan, thank you so much for playing the puzzle this week.

RUBENSTEIN: Oh, this has been great fun and I appreciate. This is an honor, frankly. I just never win anything.

CORNISH: Aww.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

RUBENSTEIN: So I'm just delighted.

CORNISH: Well, you did great today.

RUBENSTEIN: And this is just perfect for me. I just love word games.

CORNISH: Well, you were fantastic. And tell your husband to start practicing with you.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

RUBENSTEIN: Thank you.

CORNISH: So, Will, What's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Mike Reiss who's a former writer and producer for "The Simpsons." Think of a 10-letter occupation ending in E-R. The first four letters can be rearranged to spell something that person would study. The next four letters can be rearranged to spell something else that person would study. What is the occupation?

So again, a 10-letter occupation ending in E-R. The first four letters can be rearranged to spell something that person would study. And the next four would do the same. What is the occupation?

CORNISH: All right, when you have the answer, go to our website, NPR.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Just one entry per person, please, and our deadline for entries is Thursday, September 29th at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. If you're the winner, we'll give you a call, 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.

Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Audie.

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