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In The End, There Will Be Chemistry

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In The End, There Will Be Chemistry

In The End, There Will Be Chemistry

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer, and it is time for the puzzle.


WERTHEIMER: This week we're doing the puzzle from a special semi-secret location, the 32nd Annual international Puzzle Party.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Let's do a little tour. This one, the idea is to repack it so the white cubes don't touch each other.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Yes, this can take a long time to solve.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: It looks so simple, but I'm not going to take this apart because I know I will never get the pieces back in.

WERTHEIMER: The puzzle party is an exclusive, invitation-only event, and representing WEEKEND EDITION, our very own puzzle-master Will Shortz. Will, good morning.

SHORTZ: Good morning, Linda.

WERTHEIMER: Now what is going on behind you here?

SHORTZ: Yeah, you can hear that, is the puzzle exchange. Eighty people participate. They bring 80 copies of a puzzle that they have invented themselves. You give one to everyone else, and everyone gives you their puzzle. So you go home with 79 new puzzles.

WERTHEIMER: Have you ever designed a mechanical puzzle?

SHORTZ: No, I'm better at two dimensions. So I'm best at word puzzles, frankly. I like math and logic, but I've never created something to do with my hands.

WERTHEIMER: So could you remind us, Will, of last week's puzzle challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Annie Haggenmiller of Chimacum, Washington. I said take the name of a well-known U.S. city in four syllables. The first and last syllables together name a musical instrument, and the two interior syllables name a religious official. Who is it? And the city is Kalamazoo. The first and last syllables make kazoo, and the interior ones are lama, as in the Tibetan priest.

WERTHEIMER: So more than 1,700 listeners got it and sent in the correct answer. And our winner this week is Warren Hovland of Brookings, South Dakota. Congratulations, Warren.


WERTHEIMER: Warren, are you a fan of mechanical puzzles?

HOVLAND: Well, I've tried a few, but I'm not very good at them.

WERTHEIMER: OK, so Warren, what do you do in Brookings?

HOVLAND: I recently retired from a computer programming position at South Dakota State University here, and I still do some flight instruction for university aviation program.

WERTHEIMER: Wow, well, Warren meet Will, Will meet Warren.

SHORTZ: All right, Warren, are you ready?

HOVLAND: I am ready, Will.

WERTHEIMER: All right, well, I'm going to give you the ends of the names of three things that are all in the same category, you name the category. For example if I said fur, F-U-R, dine, D-I-N-E, and sten, S-T-E-N, you would say chemical elements because these are the ends of sulfer, iodine and tungsten.


WERTHEIMER: Whoa, This is a tough one. OK.

SHORTZ: Number one is arch, A-R-C-H, gust, G-U-S-T, and ember, E-M-B-E-R.

HOVLAND: Months?

SHORTZ: Months is right, March, August and either September, November or December. Number two is bra, B-R-A, corn, C-O-R-N, and mini, M-I-N-I.

HOVLAND: Signs of the zodiac?

SHORTZ: Signs of the zodiac, that was fast. Sea, S-E-A-, sis, S-I-S, and verbs, V-E-R-B-S.

HOVLAND: I'm going to need some help on this one.

SHORTZ: A subject that might relate to Sunday morning.

HOVLAND: Books of the Bible?

SHORTZ: Books of the Bible, right, Hosea, Genesis and Proverbs, nice job. Your next one is pet, P-E-T, bone, B-O-N-E, and soon, S-O-O-N.

HOVLAND: Musical instruments.

SHORTZ: That's fast: trumpet, trombone and bassoon. Den, D-E-N, as where a bear holes up, many, M-A-N-Y, and pain, P-A-I-N.

HOVLAND: It's not coming.

SHORTZ: I'll give you a hint, it's geographical.

HOVLAND: Countries?

SHORTZ: Yeah, that's correct, and European countries in particular: Sweden, Germany and Spain, good. OK, here's your next one: mute, M-U-T-E, stiff, S-T-I-F-F and eagle, E-A-G-L-E.

HOVLAND: Breeds of dogs?

SHORTZ: That's it, malamute, mastiff and beagle. How about love, L-O-V-E, lox, L-O-X and gold, G-O-L-D?

HOVLAND: Flowers?

SHORTZ: That's it, box glove, flox and marigold. All right, how about this: see, S-E-E, cut, C-U-T and sin, S-I-N?

HOVLAND: States?

SHORTZ: That is correct: Tennessee, Connecticut and Wisconsin. And here's your last one: din, D-I-N, as in a large amount of noise, Ella, E-L-L-A and Asia, A-S-I-A.

HOVLAND: Disney movies?

SHORTZ: Yes, it is: "Aladdin," "Cinderella" and "Fantasia." Nice job.

WERTHEIMER: Warren, very good job.

HOVLAND: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at Warren, where do you listen to public radio?

HOVLAND: We listen to KESD 88.3 in Brookings.

WERTHEIMER: In Brookings, South Dakota. Well, Warren Hovland of Brookings, South Dakota, thank you very much for playing the puzzle with us this week.

HOVLAND: Thank you very much. I enjoyed it.

WERTHEIMER: So, Will, are you ready with something to puzzle us with for next week?

SHORTZ: Certainly do. Try this: name two insects. Read the names one after the other. Insert an H somewhere in the string of letters, and you'll complete a familiar word that is the opposite of what either of these insects is.

So again, name two insects. Read the names one after the other. Insert an H somewhere inside, and you'll complete a familiar word that is the opposite of what either of these insects is. What word is it?

WERTHEIMER: And when you have the answer, go to our website, and click on the Submit Your Answer link - just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday at 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you are 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.

Will, thank you.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Linda.


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