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LIANE HANSEN, host:

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

And joining us is puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: How are you?

SHORTZ: Doing fine. How about you?

HANSEN: Very well. Thanks. So you left us with a challenge that we haven't had in a long time, last week. It involved a spoonerism. First of all, define spoonerism and then remind us of the challenge.

SHORTZ: Well, a spoonerism is where you reverse the initial consonant sounds of a phrase or a word to make something different. And the example I gave was right lane. You spoonerize that and you get light rain. And I said, 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. What is it?

HANSEN: Just to show you how long it's been, a lot of people had trouble with this because we only had about 100 entries from people who solved the puzzle. What was the answer, Will?

SHORTZ: Well, the activity in a riding stable is horse care. And something a stable worker handles is coarse hair.

HANSEN: Oh. Our randomly selected winner is Jeanne Colley from Morrow, Ohio.

Hi, Jeanne.

Ms. JEANNE COLLEY: Hi.

HANSEN: How long have you been playing this puzzle?

Ms. COLLEY: Since the beginning.

HANSEN: All right. Will reminded me last week that we've been doing this on the air 21 years and one week, right, Will?

SHORTZ: That's right.

HANSEN: Yeah. What did you get me?

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: A lapel pin.

SHORTZ: Another puzzle. Yeah.

HANSEN: Oh, thank you so much. Anyway, Jeanne, you've been waiting for so long. Are you ready?

Ms. COLLEY: I guess so.

HANSEN: Okay. Will, meet Jeanne. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Jeanne. Every answer today is a familiar three-word phrase in the form blank the blank. I'll give you rhymes for the first and last words in the phrases. You tell me the phrases. For example, if I said lease the reels, you would say grease the wheels.

Ms. COLLEY: Okay.

SHORTZ: All right? Number one is swallow the reader.

Ms. COLLEY: Follow the leader.

SHORTZ: Follow the leader is right. Number two is throw the missile.

Ms. COLLEY: Blow the whistle.

SHORTZ: Blow the whistle. Good. Grace the station.

Ms. COLLEY: Liane, help.

HANSEN: No. I'm going through my alphabet.

Ms. COLLEY: Face the nation.

HANSEN: Good for you.

SHORTZ: Face the nation.

HANSEN: I don't get to see it. I'm on the radio.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Ruffle the check.

Ms. COLLEY: Shuffle the deck.

HANSEN: Good.

SHORTZ: Shuffle the deck. Good. Bring the booze.

Ms. COLLEY: Sing the blues?

SHORTZ: Sing the blues. Shake the sponge.

Ms. COLLEY: Shake the sponge?

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.

Ms. COLLEY: Take the plunge.

SHORTZ: Take the plunge. Good. Churn the hopes.

Ms. COLLEY: Learn the ropes.

SHORTZ: Learn the ropes. Best the daughters. I think I've - off the top my head, I can think of only one rhyme for daughters.

Ms. COLLEY: Otters.

HANSEN: Yeah, me too.

SHORTZ: Oh.

HANSEN: No. There's two rhymes for…

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORT: Maybe you…

HANSEN: Squatters.

Ms. COLLEY: Waters. Test the waters.

SHORTZ: Waters?

HANSEN: Waters. Test the waters.

SHORTZ: Test the waters.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Excellent. Right. Try this one. Thrill the queens.

HANSEN: This is something you do when you tell a secret.

SHORTZ: Yeah, it's right.

Ms. COLLEY: When what?

HANSEN: When you tell a secret.

Ms. COLLEY: I'm stumped.

HANSEN: Spill the beans.

Ms. COLLEY: Spill the beans.

SHORTZ: Spills the beans. Good one, Liane.

HANSEN: I feel I should whisper it to you, Jeanne. Spill the beans.

SHORTZ: That's correct. Okay. Here's your next clue. Quit the throttle. Quit the throttle.

Ms. COLLEY: Quit the throttle.

SHORTZ: Quit, Q-U-I-T.

Ms. COLLEY: Hit the bottle?

SHORTZ: Hit the bottle. Good. Take the yank.

Ms. COLLEY: Walk - no, ain't it.

HANSEN: Yeah.

Ms. COLLEY: I just got the plank. Walk the plank but…

HANSEN: That works for me.

SHORTZ: No. But walk doesn't rhyme with take.

HANSEN: But I like it.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Take the yank.

Ms. COLLEY: Take the…

HANSEN: Bank. Break the bank.

SHORTZ: Bake - break the bank.

Ms. COLLEY: Break…

HANSEN: Break the bank.

Ms. COLLEY: Good.

SHORTZ: Good one. Good one. Praise the spoof.

Ms. COLLEY: Praise the spoof? Raise the roof?

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Raise the roof is right. Mute the sleaze. If you're just gossiping or chatting with someone, this is what you…

Ms. COLLEY: Oh, shoot the breeze.

SHORTZ: shoot the breeze is right. And here is your last one. Cheat the jock. And if you are…

Ms. COLLEY: Beat the clock.

HANSEN: Yes.

SHORTZ: Beat the clock is correct. Nice job.

HANSEN: Kick. Kick. Oh, Jeanne, was it worth the wait?

Ms. COLLEY: Yes.

HANSEN: Okay.

Ms. COLLEY: Yes. I'm just happy to be here.

HANSEN: This was a lot of fun. Did you have fun?

Ms. COLLEY: Yes, I did.

HANSEN: Good. Good. Well, in addition to the fun, obviously, you know that you're going to get some things today. You're going to get the 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.

Jeanne, what member station do you listen to?

Ms. COLLEY: I'm a member of two great stations, WVXU in Cincinnati and WNKU in Northern Kentucky.

HANSEN: Jeanne Colley from Morrow, Ohio. Thank you so much for playing with us today and for all the support you give to your hometown stations.

Ms. COLLEY: It's a pleasure.

HANSEN: Okay.

Will, a challenge for everyone listening this week.

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Toby Gottfried of Santa Ana, California.

Take the three bird names, egret, crane and owl. Rearrange the letters to spell three other bird names. And I tell you they are all very common names.

So, again, egret, crane and owl. Rearrange the 13 letters to spell three other bird names. What birds are these?

HANSEN: Okay, don't be shy, don't be scared. When you have the answer, go to our Web site at 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 is Thursday, 3 p.m. Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at 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 WEEKEND EDITION'S puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.

Will, thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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