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LIANE HANSEN, host:

From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

And joining us puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: How are you today?

SHORTZ: I'm doing great. You know, have you seen this new movie, "The Savages"?

HANSEN: Not yet. Why?

SHORTZ: There is - near at the start of movie, they have a radio on in the background, and you hear like a local NPR announcer say coming up next is puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

HANSEN: You're kidding me. Did you know about this or did you find out in the theater?

SHORTZ: Two people warned me about it beforehand, so I was waiting for it.

HANSEN: Ah. So you get to be a voice in the movies this time.

SHORTZ: That's right. It's a great movie, too. So you should see it - even beside the NPR reference.

HANSEN: I will. I wanted to ask you. I mean, I know you're a wordsmith, and a lot of your time is taken up - most of your time is taken up with that kind of game. But were you a fan of chess at all? And I'm mentioning this, of course, because of the passing this past week of Bobby Fischer.

SHORTZ: Yeah. Well, I'm not expert at it, no.

HANSEN: Yeah. It was just fascinating because his game back 36 years ago - in like 1972 - became an international story when he and Boris Spassky played their chess game. But the strange part is, you know, the end of the game, it wasn't like a table tennis game, you know, where you see, whoa, you know, you win. It was a - I mean, Boris Spassky sort of called in, said he won. I'm not coming back. So it was an empty chair. Odd. I mean, I think Bobby Fischer's life was so odd. So it was - I just felt we had to remark about it in this section of the program. I'm no good at chess. I'm better at puzzles. But I didn't get the answer to last week's. Would you remind us what it was, please?

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from Larisa Kuhar of Colorado Springs, Colorado. I said name a famous American novelist whose last name contains nine letters. Drop the first and last letters. The remaining seven letters can be rearranged to name another famous American novelist. Who are the authors?

HANSEN: Who are they?

SHORTZ: They are Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edith Wharton.

HANSEN: Oh, that's great. Well, I wish I had solved that puzzle. We had over 1,300 entries from people who did. And our randomly selected winner is William Pahle from Chicago, Illinois.

Hi, William.

Mr. WILLIAM PAHLE (Retired Speech and Language Pathologist): Hi. How are you, Liane?

HANSEN: I am very well, sir. What do you do there in Chicago.

Mr. PAHLE: I'm a retired speech and language pathologist.

HANSEN: Oh, speech and language. You're a word person, too. How long have you been playing this puzzle?

Mr. PAHLE: Oh, at least 10 years - probably longer.

HANSEN: You know what happens then.

Mr. PAHLE: Yes.

HANSEN: Are you ready?

Mr. PAHLE: I'm ready.

HANSEN: I'm as ready as I'm ever going to be. Will, meet William. This could be tough. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, William. I'm going to give you some words. For each one, drop two letters so that the remaining letters, in order, will name a color or shade. For example, if I said greed, G-R-E-E-D, you would say red, because you would have dropped the G and one of the Es. Okay?

Number one is train, T-R-A-I-N.

Mr. PAHLE: Tin?

SHORTZ: No. There's a more common shade than that.

Mr. PAHLE: Tan, of course.

SHORTZ: Tan is right. Number two is blouse, B-L-O-U-S-E.

Mr. PAHLE: Okay. Blue.

SHORTZ: Blue is right. Grouse, G-R-O-U-S-E.

Mr. PAHLE: Rose.

SHORTZ: Rose is good. Greasy, G-R-E-A-S-Y.

Mr. PAHLE: Gray.

SHORTZ: Gray, with either spelling.

Mr. PAHLE: That's right.

SHORTZ: Age-old, A-G-E-O-L-D.

Mr. PAHLE: A-G-E-O-L-D. Gold.

SHORTZ: Gold is it. Pucker, P-U-C-K-E-R, as in to pucker up your lips.

Mr. PAHLE: How about puce?

SHORTZ: That's correct. Reborn, R-E-B-O-R-N.

Mr. PAHLE: Reborn.

HANSEN: Well, if you added a Y, you could get ebony, but I know we can't do that.

SHORTZ: Oh, just drop out Y. Drop the Y, Liane.

HANSEN: Drop that Y. All right. I dropped it. We have ebon. Ebon?

SHORTZ: That's it.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: As in E-B-O-N. It's a word for black.

HANSEN: It's a crossword puzzle word for black.

SHORTZ: It's a crossword word. Good.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Try this one. Grubby, G-R-U-B-B-Y.

Mr. PAHLE: Ruby.

HANSEN: Nice.

SHORTZ: Is right. Cordial, C-O-R-D-I-A-L.

Mr. PAHLE: Okay.

SHORTZ: Give you a hint. It starts with a C.

Mr. PAHLE: Coral.

SHORTZ: Good job. Clemson, C-L-E-M-S-O-N.

Mr. PAHLE: Lemon.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Outlive, O-U-T-L-I-V-E.

Mr. PAHLE: Olive.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Whither, W-H-I-T-H-E-R.

Mr. PAHLE: White.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Besiege, B-E-S-I-E-G-E.

Mr. PAHLE: Besiege. Beige.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Greyhen, G-R-E-Y-H-E-N.

Mr. PAHLE: Green.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Poacher, P-O-A-C-H-E-R.

HANSEN: Now, you…

SHORTZ: Starts with - yeah?

HANSEN: It starts with an O?

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.

HANSEN: Is it oaker?

Mr. PAHLE: Oh, oaker.

SHORTZ: That's it.

HANSEN: But I thought ended in R-E.

SHORTZ: R-E is one of the British spelling. Our spelling is more of the E-R.

HANSEN: Oh, well, that's what you get for spending four years in London, England.

SHORTZ: There you go.

Macaroon, M-A-C-A-R-O-O-N.

Mr. PAHLE: Maroon.

SHORTZ: Is right.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: And you're last one is outrange, O-U-T-R-A-N-G-E.

Mr. PAHLE: Orange.

SHORTZ: Orange is correct.

HANSEN: All right. Boy, what a rainbow.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. PAHLE: Yeah.

HANSEN: William, nice work.

And for playing our puzzle today, you get some things. You get that WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the 11th edition of "Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus," the "Scrabble Deluxe Edition" from Parker Brothers, "The Puzzlemaster Presents" from Random House Volume 2, Will Shortz' "Little Black Book of Sudoku," and "Black and White Book of Crosswords" from St. Martin's Press, and one of Will Shortz' "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books.

William, tell us what member station you listen to.

Mr. PAHLE: WBEZ in Chicago.

HANSEN: Oh, absolutely. William Pahle from Chicago, Illinois.

It was so much fun playing with you today. Thanks so much.

Mr. PAHLE: I appreciate it. Thank you.

HANSEN: Okay.

And, Will, you have a new challenge for everyone to try to solve for next week.

SHORTZ: Yes. Take the phrase, right lane, spoonerize it, and that means switch the initial consonant sounds — and you get light rain. Well, think of a familiar two-word phrase for an activity in a riding stable, spoonerize it and you'll get another familiar two-word phrase for something a stable worker handles. So again, a familiar two-word phrase for an activity in a riding stable, spoonerize it and you'll get another familiar two-word phrase for something a stable worker handles. What are these phrases?

HANSEN: Boy, we haven't heard spoonerism in a long time.

When you have the answer, go to our Web site, npr.org/puzzle. Once again, that's npr.org/puzzle. And click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person please. Our deadline this week is Thursday, 3 p.m., Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you in about that time and 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 WEEKENED EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.

Hey, Will, thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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