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LIANE HANSEN, host:

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

And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: It must be getting close to crossword puzzle tournament time.

SHORTZ: That's right. It's a little earlier this year, the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. February 29 to March 2, for the first time in New York City, and specifically Brooklyn, we're going to have a spoof documentary called Word Ploy. And Grant Barrett and Martha Barnet of Public Radio's A WAY WITH WORDS are going to present the prizes.

HANSEN: Wow.

SHORTZ: And if anyone would like more information, they can go to crosswordtournament.com.

HANSEN: You're playing it on leap day.

SHORTZ: That's right. We'll have something leap day-related. I'm not sure what yet.

HANSEN: Right. And so, does this mean the tournament's only going to be now every four years?

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: I guess not.

SHORTZ: Still every year, right.

HANSEN: Yeah, yeah. Well, we play this game every week, and you gave us the challenge last week to work on - what was it?

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Toby Gottfried of Santa Ana, California. I said, take the three bird names egret, crane and owl, rearrange the letters to spell three other bird names. What are they?

HANSEN: What are they?

SHORTZ: They are eagle, tern and crow.

HANSEN: Very nice. We had over 4,000 entries from people who solved the puzzle, and our randomly-selected winner is Paula Strauss from Scotia, New York. Hi, Paula.

Ms. PAULA STRAUSS: Hi.

HANSEN: Hi. What do you do in Scotia?

Ms. STRAUSS: I'm a stay-at-home mother.

HANSEN: I understand when we called you, you were doing a crossword puzzle.

Ms. STRAUSS: Yes, I was.

HANSEN: You finished it, right?

Ms. STRAUSS: I - absolutely.

HANSEN: Can you help me with it today's?

Ms. STRAUSS: Well, I'll try. (unintelligible)

HANSEN: Are you ready to play?

Ms. STRAUSS: Sure.

HANSEN: Oh, yeah. You sound like you are. Well, Will, meet Paula. Let's play.

SHORTZ: Alright, Paula. We have tax season coming up. This week's puzzle has a theme of CPAs. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase in which the first word starts with C and the second word starts PA. For example, if I gave you the clue: place for electrical switches and gauges, you would say control panel.

Ms. STRAUSS: Okay.

SHORTZ: All right? Number one is a famous Las Vegas hotel and casino.

Ms. STRAUSS: Caesars Palace.

SHORTZ: Caesars Palace is right. Number two: a walk-on role.

Ms. STRAUSS: Something part.

SHORTZ: Yes.

Ms. STRAUSS: Walk-on…

SHORTZ: Something you might wear around your neck on a necklace.

Ms. STRAUSS: I am absolutely blank.

HANSEN: A piece of jewelry. A cameo role. A cameo part.

SHORTZ: Cameo part is it. Good. A sheet that allows you to make copies on a typewriter.

Ms. STRAUSS: A carbon paper.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh Carbon paper is right. A social gathering with drinks.

Ms. STRAUSS: Cocktail party.

SHORTZ: That's right. Where to read "Blondie" and "Beetle Bailey."

Ms. STRAUSS: Comic page.

SHORTZ: Comics page is right. Tree that might be on a desert island.

Ms. STRAUSS: Coconut palm.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Something wonderful in 1920s slang.

Ms. STRAUSS: Charleston? No, that wouldn't be it.

SHORTZ: No.

Ms. STRAUSS: 1920…

SHORTZ: If something was really great, they'd say it's the…

Ms. STRAUSS: Cool…

SHORTZ: No.

HANSEN: Think sleepwear.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

Ms. STRAUSS: Oh, cat's pajamas.

SHORTZ: Cat's pajamas is right. Implement for a boat on a lake.

Ms. STRAUSS: Canoe paddle.

SHORTZ: That's it. Birthplace of a kid in a 1980s doll craze.

Ms. STRAUSS: Cabbage patch.

SHORTZ: Cabbage patch is it. A baker's container.

Ms. STRAUSS: Cake plate. Oh, that would be cake pan.

SHORTZ: Cake pan is it. What a citizen of Quebec carries when traveling abroad.

Ms. STRAUSS: (unintelligible)

SHORTZ: Or Ontario.

Ms. STRAUSS: Oh, Canadian passport.

SHORTZ: Yes, Canadian passport. Longtime home for the San Francisco Giants.

Ms. STRAUSS: Candlestick Park.

SHORTZ: That's it. Humanitarian gift that's sent abroad.

Ms. STRAUSS: Care package.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Extra money for a soldier during war.

Ms. STRAUSS: Pay…

SHORTZ: Yes. Another word for battle.

Ms. STRAUSS: I'm seeing and not…

HANSEN: Combat's what we're looking for, right?

Ms. STRAUSS: Yes.

HANSEN: Combat.

SHORTZ: Combat pay is it. In slang, a place to sleep temporarily for free.

Ms. STRAUSS: Crash pad.

SHORTZ: That's it. NFL team in Charlotte.

Ms. STRAUSS: Oh, Charlotte Hornets? No. Oh, God, that's not it.

HANSEN: Well, it is. It's a basketball team, but that's not what he's looking for.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. STRAUSS: Oh, yeah.

SHORTZ: You're going for football here. First of all, where is Charlotte?

Ms. STRAUSS: In North Carolina.

SHORTZ: Right. So there's your C.

Ms. STRAUSS: Oh, the Carolina Panthers.

HANSEN: There you go.

SHORTZ: Carolina Panthers is it. And finally, with tonight's Super Bowl in mind, by definition, it is not intercepted.

Ms. STRAUSS: Pass…

SHORTZ: Yes. It's not intercepted, that means it's…

Ms. STRAUSS: Oh, a touchdown. No, that wouldn't be right. Completed, a completed pass.

HANSEN: There you go.

SHORTZ: A completed pass is it.

HANSEN: Paula.

Ms. STRAUSS: I didn't know there were so many questions.

HANSEN: But you knew so many answers.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. STRAUSS: (unintelligible) every time.

HANSEN: More than you thought, more than you thought. And for playing our puzzle today, we have some things for you. You're going to get that WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the 11th edition of Miriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers, "The Puzzle Master Presents" from Random House, Volume Two, "Will Shortz's Little Black Book of Sudoku" and "Black and White Book of Crosswords" from St. Martin's Press, and one of "Will Shortz's Puzzle Master Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books.

Paula, what member station do you listen to?

Ms. STRAUSS: WAMC.

HANSEN: WAMC…

Ms. STRAUSS: Albany, New York.

HANSEN: …out of Albany, and Paula Strauss from Scotia, New York. Loved playing with you today. Thanks a lot.

Ms. STRAUSS: You're welcome.

HANSEN: All right. Will, a challenge now for everyone to work on during this coming week.

SHORTZ: Yeah, I think it's an easy-ish one. And it comes from listener Alan Hochbaum of Atlanta, Georgia. Name a sport that has only one vowel in its name, change that vowel to a different vowel and read the result backward. You'll name a piece of equipment used in that sport. What is it? So, again, a sport that has only one vowel in its name, change that vowel to a different vowel, read the result backward, and you'll name a piece of equipment used in that sport. What's the sport and what's the piece of equipment?

HANSEN: 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, 3:00 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. Thanks a lot, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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