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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. So, there's your brain, right - but then there's your brain on puzzle.

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MARTIN: Joining me now is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: Remind us, what was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes. I gave you the example, clothes closet, which is a place you keep clothes. And interestingly, all the letters of the second word, closet, can be found inside the first word, clothes. And I said name another two-word phrase that names a place to keep clothes in which all of the letters of the second word are found inside the first. And I said the first word of the phrase has nine letters, the second word has six. What phrase is it? A number of people sent in the answer wardrobe's drawer, which works as far as the letter play goes, but that's not a common phrase. The correct answer was underwear drawer.

MARTIN: OK. And this week we got nearly 600 correct answers. And our randomly selected winner is Brian Laurent of Dillingham, Alaska. He joins us on the line now. Congratulations, Brian.

BRIAN LAURENT: Thank you, Rachel.

MARTIN: So, did this come pretty quickly? How did you figure it out?

LAURENT: Well, I started out with hamper and decided that did not work. And then my second choice was drawer. And I happened to look back toward my bedroom and the chest of drawers that I have there, and my top drawer is my underwear drawer.

MARTIN: There you go.

LAURENT: And I wrote it down. I was like holy smoke, it worked.

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: And, as we mentioned, you live in Dillingham, Alaska. Is that, like, way out there in Alaska?

LAURENT: I live very far away from everything. I live about an hour flight southwest of Anchorage.

MARTIN: Do you have any questions for Will Shortz?

LAURENT: I do. Will, you recently traveled around Alaska playing ping pong and I'm curious to know what your thoughts about the state are.

SHORTZ: Well, I actually saw a lot of Alaska. It was great. Saw a lot of fir trees, met some great people. I don't think I've ever been any place where people are so proud of where they live. I sensed that everywhere I went.

MARTIN: Will, I think we are ready. Let's do it.

SHORTZ: All right. Brian, you know your anagrams into brain, so I have high expectations today. Every answer is the name of a famous person - past or present - with five letters in both the first and last names. I've changed one letter in each name to make a new word. You name the people. For example, if I said clerk table, you would say Clark Gable.

MARTIN: OK. Brian, do you have it?

LAURENT: I think I got it.

MARTIN: All right. Let's give it a go.

SHORTZ: Number one is julep verse J-U-L-E-P V-E-R-S-E.

LAURENT: Julep verse.

SHORTZ: A novelist.

LAURENT: Jules Verne.

SHORTZ: There you go - Jules Verne. Number two is Marne cutie M-A-R-N-E C-U-T-I-E. And here you're looking for a famous scientist.

LAURENT: Marie Curie.

SHORTZ: There you go. Fancy grade F-A-N-C-Y G-R-A-D-E.

LAURENT: Nancy Grace.

SHORTZ: Nancy Grace is good. All right. Your next one is delta geese D-E-L-T-A G-E-E-S-E.

LAURENT: Delta geese. Della Reese.

SHORTZ: Della Reese, good. Dinar store D-I-N-A-R S-T-O-R-E.

LAURENT: Dinah Shore.

SHORTZ: That's fast. Milks dalis. That's M-I-L-K-S D-A-L-I-S - like the paintings, you know. I have three Dalis hanging in my house.

MARTIN: Oh, you know.

SHORTZ: And your clue for this person is jazz.

LAURENT: Miles Davis.

SHORTZ: Miles Davis is it. How about grape slice G-R-A-P-E S-L-I-C-E.

LAURENT: Is it Grace...

SHORTZ: Yes.

LAURENT: ...Slick.

SHORTZ: Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane. Good. Sharp Levis S-H-A-R-P L-E-V-I-S.

LAURENT: Jeez.

SHORTZ: All right. Change the P of sharp.

LAURENT: Shari Lewis.

SHORTZ: Shari Lewis is it. How about early limon. That's E-A-R-L-Y L-I-M-O-N. You're looking for...

LAURENT: Carly Simon.

SHORTZ: Carly Simon, no hint needed. And here's your last one: jades blown J-A-D-E-S B-L-O-W-N. Try changing the D of jades.

LAURENT: James Brown.

SHORTZ: James Brown is it.

MARTIN: Ah. Brian, that was excellent.

LAURENT: That was difficult.

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: You did really well.

LAURENT: Thank you.

MARTIN: And, of course, for playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin. You get puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle.

And before we let you go, Brian way out in Dillingham, Alaska, what is your Public Radio station?

LAURENT: I am a member of AM 670 KDLG here in Dillingham, Alaska.

MARTIN: Great. Brian Laurent of Dillingham, Alaska, thank you so much for playing the puzzle, Brian.

LAURENT: Thank you.

MARTIN: OK, Will. What's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Gary Alstad of Tustin, California. Think of a three-syllable word in four letters, add two letters and rearrange everything into a two-syllable word in six letters. Then add two more letters and rearrange everything into a one-syllable word in eight letters. Can you do it?

So again, three-syllable word in four letters, add two letters and scramble to make two syllables in six letters, add two more letters and scramble to get a one syllable-word in eight letters. Can you do it?

MARTIN: You know the drill. When you've got the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle. And click on the Submit Your Answer link and just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, July 25th at 3 P.M. Eastern.

Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. If you're the winner, we'll give you a call, and you will get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz.

Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.

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