DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene. It is time now for the puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: And joining me is puzzle-master Will Shortz. Hey, Will. How are you enjoying the lazy days of summer?

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: It's nice and hot. Yeah, I'm having a good time. How are you, David?

GREENE: I'm good. Here in Washington, it is blistering. Give us a refresher of what was last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. I said think of a familiar three-word phrase that might be used in poker and add an E at the end and you'll get a two-word phrase that's common in football. The poker phrase is go all in. Add an E and you get goal line.

GREENE: We had more than a thousand correct entries, and one of them came from Laine Ludwig of Boulder, Colorado. And we have Laine on the line. Congratulations.

LAINE LUDWIG: Oh thanks.

GREENE: How long did it take you to solve the puzzle, and I wonder if the thin air in up the higher elevations helped you.

LUDWIG: I don't know. My first thought for a poker phrase was up the ante, but add the E, that didn't do anything. And the immediate next thought was I'm all in. Add the E and I saw the line - the word line in there. So, there's so many lines we focus on in sports. I figured it was getting close. And so go all in was the obvious next choice and that worked out.

GREENE: You play percussion in an afro-beat band. Is that right?

LUDWIG: Yes, I do, afro-fusion band, yeah.

GREENE: And I think we have a surprise for you because we have a little bit of your music that we wanted to play on the air here.

LUDWIG: OK.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED BAND: (Singing in foreign language)

GREENE: How long have you been playing music like that?

LUDWIG: Oh, I've been playing for most of my life. I just moved here to join this band about eight months from the other side of the continental divide.

GREENE: Good luck with the band, but enough chit-chat. I guess it is time to play the puzzle. Are you ready?

LUDWIG: I guess we'll find out, won't we? Yeah, I'm ready.

(LAUGHTER)

GREENE: I guess we will. OK. Will Shortz, take it away.

SHORTZ: All right, Laine and David, every answer today is the name of a Major League Baseball team. I'll give you anagrams of their names - each with one letter added - you name the teams. For example, if I said dress D-R-E-S-S, you would say Reds. All right? Number one is steam S-T-E-A-M.

LUDWIG: The Mets.

SHORTZ: Mets is right. Years Y-E-A-R-S.

LUDWIG: Oh, the Rays.

SHORTZ: The Rays.

GREENE: Very nice.

SHORTZ: Tampa Bay Rays is right. Scuba S-C-U-B-A.

LUDWIG: The Cubs.

SHORTZ: That it. Adverbs A-D-V-E-R-B-S.

LUDWIG: The Braves.

SHORTZ: The Braves is right. Gristle G-R-I-S-T-L-E.

LUDWIG: Let's see. That one's stumping me so far.

SHORTZ: I'll give you a hint - drop the L.

LUDWIG: Drop the L.

SHORTZ: You know this one, David?

GREENE: I think I do. Not Lions but some other kind of animal maybe.

SHORTZ: Yeah, from Detroit.

GREENE: Tigers, yeah.

SHORTZ: The Tigers is it, good.

LUDWIG: Oh, the Tigers.

SHORTZ: OK. Your next one is costars C-O-S-T-A-R-S.

LUDWIG: OK. Oh, the Astros.

GREENE: Fast work.

SHORTZ: The Astros is right. Sparked S-P-A-R-K-E-D.

LUDWIG: Sparked, OK. Oh, the Padres.

SHORTZ: The Padres is right. All right. How about snake eye S-N-A-K-E-E-Y-E.

LUDWIG: Oh, the Yankees.

SHORTZ: The Yankees is it. How about stockier S-T-O-C-K-I-E-R.

LUDWIG: OK.

SHORTZ: All right, I guarantee this is a team you know well.

LUDWIG: Oh, the Rockies.

SHORTZ: The Rockies, yes. Rose oils R-O-S-E-O-I-L-S.

LUDWIG: Oh, the Orioles.

SHORTZ: The Orioles is it. Here's your last one: stitchable S-T-I-T-C-H-A-B-L-E.

LUDWIG: Can you spell that again?

SHORTZ: Stitchable, like that shirt is stitchable with five stitches. S-T-I-T-C-H-A-B-L-E.

LUDWIG: Stitchable, got you.

SHORTZ: It's a team on the West Coast.

GREENE: That's a tough because they always go by just their name the A's.

SHORTZ: They go by a shortened name, yeah.

LUDWIG: Nope. Drawing a blank.

SHORTZ: All right. You want to take this one, David?

GREENE: I can, the Athletics. But...

SHORTZ: The Athletics.

GREENE: But I feel it's unfair because I follow baseball so much more closely so it's, I feel it's kind of an unfair advantage.

LUDWIG: Well, I did as a kid but I guess it's all faded now.

GREENE: Well, Laine, nice work. Those first ones, you were nailing them and then I had no idea what was going on as it got tougher. So, for playing the puzzle today, you are going to get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and also puzzle books and games. And you can read all about the stuff at npr.org/puzzle. Tell us your Public Radio station that you listen to.

LUDWIG: I'm a member of KBUT.

GREENE: Laine Ludwig of Boulder, Colorado, thanks so much for playing the Puzzle this week.

LUDWIG: Thanks.

GREENE: All right, Will Shortz, you have the puzzle for us for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Fred Orelove of Richmond, Virginia. Think of a well-known retail store chain in two words. Remove one letter from its name. The remaining letters, in order, will spell three consecutive words that are synonyms of each other. What are they? And here's a hint: The three words are all slang.

So again, a well-known retail store chain in two words. Drop a letter, the remaining letters, in order, will spell three consecutive words that are synonyms of each other. What words are they?

GREENE: OK. Get to it, everyone. And when you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link, and just one entry per person, please. The deadline for entering is Thursday at 3 P.M. Eastern Time. If you could, please give us a phone number where we can reach you at about that time, and if you are the winner we'll give you a call. You'll get to play right here on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz.

Will, good to talk to you as always. See you next week.

SHORTZ: Thanks, David.

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