A Day at the Opera Every answer in this week's on-air puzzle is the name of an opera. The clues are in the form of anagrams. For example, if the clue is "moan-plus-R," the answer would be "Norma."
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A Day at the Opera

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A Day at the Opera

A Day at the Opera

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From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen. And joining is puzzle master Will Shortz.

Hi, Will.


HANSEN: You left us with a challenge last week. Would you repeat it for us again, please?

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Massachusetts.

I said take a common three-letter word, move each letter three places later in the alphabet, the resulting letters can be re-arranged to spell a new word that is a synonym of the original. What words are these?

HANSEN: What are they?

SHORTZ: The answers are Fib and Lie.

HANSEN: We had over 1,200 correct entries from people who solve the puzzle, and our randomly selected winner is Brendan O'Keefe of Parkersburg, West Virginia.

How are you doing, Brendan?

Mr. BRENDAN O'KEEFE (Resident, Parkersburg, West Virginia): How are you, Liane? Very well, thank you.

HANSEN: And you have a delightful - is that a kiwi accent?

Mr. O'KEEFE: Yes, I'm from New Zealand.

HANSEN: What do you do in Parkersburg, West Virginia?

Mr. O'KEEFE: I'm a research chemist working for Momentive Performance Materials.

HANSEN: Oh, my goodness. How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Mr. O'KEEFE: About one year.

HANSEN: A bit of a rookie, but I think you'll be all right if you solved this last week's challenge. You ready to play?

Mr. O'KEEFE: Yes, I am.

HANSEN: All right. Please meet Will. Will, meet Brendan. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Brendan. Every answer today is the name of an opera. You name the operas from their anagrams. For example, if I said, moan, M-O-A-N, plus R, you would say "Norma."

Mr. O'KEEFE: Okay.

SHORTZ: All right?

HANSEN: How is your opera, Brendan?

Mr. O'KEEFE: I'm not strong on opera, but we'll see here, I guess.

HANSEN: All right.

SHORTZ: Number one is coat, C-O-A-T, plus S.

Mr. O'KEEFE: "Tosca."

SHORTZ: "Tosca," excellent.

Number two is fats, F-A-T-S, plus U.

Mr. O'KEEFE: "Faust"?

SHORTZ: "Faust" is right.

Next one is cream, C-R-E-A-M, plus N, as in Nancy.

Mr. O'KEEFE: "Carmen."

SHORTZ: "Carmen" is right.

Foiled, F-O-I-L-E-D, plus I.

Mr. O'KEEFE: "Fidelio"?

SHORTZ: "Fidelio." Good.

Who said he wasn't good in opera.

HANSEN: He really. I think he's faking us.

Mr. O'KEEFE: I'm good at anagrams.

SHORTZ: Oh, good.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Just as important.

Relate, R-E-L-A-T-E, plus K. This is a name from classical Greek mythology.

Mr. O'KEEFE: Okay. I'm struggling with this one. Liane, I might need some help here.

HANSEN: Me too. Oh, "Elektra."

SHORTZ: "Elektra" is it. Good.

Try this one rotunda, R-O-T-U-N-D-A, plus T, as in Thomas. It's an opera by Puccini, and it's a solid word, a name.

HANSEN: How are you doing, Brendan?

Mr. O'KEEFE: I'm not so good on this one. And the anagrams get longer.

HANSEN: Yeah. It's a - do I get points off for bad pronunciation?

SHORTZ: Go ahead.

HANSEN: Well, "Turandoe(ph)"? "Turandot(ph)"?

SHORTZ: "Turandot" yeah.


SHORTZ: Try this one: colored, C-O-L-O-R-E-D, plus Q. I give you a hint. It's by Rimsky Korsakov, and the answer is three words.

Mr. O'KEEFE: El something (unintelligible).

SHORTZ: The title is in French.

HANSEN: Le(ph)

SHORTZ: Try Le, L-E. Yes.

HANSEN: Okay, so let me eliminate those.

Mr. O'KEEFE: Le Coq.


SHORTZ: That's it.


SHORTZ: "Le Coq d'Or," excellent.

HANSEN: All right. That was a good team one, Brendan.

Mr. O'KEEFE: Thanks, Liane.

SHORTZ: How about this, fireside, F-I-R-E-S-I-D-E, plus G. Again, it's a solid name. It's by Wagner, and it's part of "The Ring Cycle." First letter is S, as in Sam.

HANSEN: And were he playing Las Vegas where he have a partner named Roy?

SHORTZ: Yes, it was.

Mr. O'KEEFE: "Siegfried."

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: "Siegfried" is good.


Mr. O'KEEFE: Thanks for the help, Liane.

HANSEN: Yeah. My pleasure.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Your last one…

HANSEN: Oh, yes.

SHORTZ: …is dog handlers.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: I was very proud of this one. Dog handlers, D-O-G-H-A-N-D-L-E-R-S, plus I.


SHORTZ: Once more, it's by Wagner. And I'll give you a hint. It's two words. The first word is a German article.


Mr. O'KEEFE: Das.


SHORTZ: Das is right, yes. And the second word is also the name of a brand of beer.

Mr. O'KEEFE: That should make it easier.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Whoa. I'm totally confused now. D-A-S. Das? Das Ring…

SHORTZ: No such thing.

HANSEN: Rheingold.

SHORTZ: There you go. "Das Rheingold."

HANSEN: "The Rhine Gold."

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Whoo. Man.

HANSEN: It's not bitter, not sweet. It's - I only remembered the slogan and the ads for a beer of the same name in New York, I'm afraid.

Hey, you know, Brendan? You know what? I think we made a pretty good team here. You're on the roll at the beginning and I was on the roll at the end.

Mr. O'KEEFE: Yes. Thanks for the help. I certainly needed it.

HANSEN: Hey, my pleasure. Now, you know about opera. You did real well.

And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's "Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus," the "Scrabble Deluxe Edition" from Parker Brothers, "The Puzzle Master Presents" from Random House, Volume II, Will Shortz's "Little Black Book Of Soduku" and "Black (and White) Book of Crosswords" from St. Martin's Pres,s and one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books.

Wow. You deserve this, Brendan. Tell us what member station you listen to.

Mr. O'KEEFE: I'm a member of WDPG, and I always listen to WOUB in Athens, Ohio.

HANSEN: We do love that word - member. Brendan O'Keefe from Parkersburg, West Virginia, thanks a lot for playing the puzzle. We really needed you today.

Mr. O'KEEFE: Thank you. Any time.

SHORTZ: So did I.

HANSEN: All right, Will. I feel like I should sing. What's the challenge for the next week? But I'm not going to.

SHORTZ: Well, it's also opera-related. Take the title "Il Trovatore," I-L T-R-O-V-A-T-O-R-E, by Verdi. Drop one letter. Rearrange the remaining 10 letters to spell two synonyms. What are they?

So again, "Il Trovatore." Drop one letter. Rearrange the remaining 10 letters to spell two words that are synonyms. What synonyms are they?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our Web site, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Now, that's a new address and it should make the puzzle page easier to find. Once again, that's npr.org/puzzle.

Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline this week is Wednesday, 3 p.m., Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. We'll call you 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.

Hey, Will, thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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