RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. And, phew, we made it. TGIP, people, it is time to play the puzzle. Joining me now is WEKEEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: So refresh our memory. What was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from listener Dick Hess of Rancho Palos Verdes, California. He gave it to me at the International Puzzle Party in Japan and it's a variation on a classic. It goes: Nieces and nephews have I none, but that man's father is my father's son. And asks you to tell us what's the gender of the speaker and who's the speaker referring to.
And the answer is male and the speaker is referring to his own son.
MARTIN: Aha, the classic family tree puzzle. We have more than 1,000 correct answers this week and our randomly selected winner is Damon Jespersen of Byfield, Massachusetts. He joins us on the line now. Congratulations, Damon.
DAMON JESPERSEN: Thank you very much.
SHORTZ: Damon, I was wondering how did you get this answer?
JESPERSEN: This one sort of popped right into my head, but then I like to do the puzzle with my family on Sunday mornings. I go over to my folks house and we have breakfast, and so my dad and I sat down and made sure that there weren't any other logical answers.
MARTIN: I love that it's a family activity. That's great.
JESPERSEN: Yeah, we all like solving problems. It's a family trait. We used to do a lot of creative problem solving as kids.
MARTIN: Very cool. And when you're not doing puzzle challenges, what do you do during the week, Damon?
JESPERSEN: All sorts of things. I work as a arborist assistant, a carpenter, I work in the theater both writing, directing and acting. I have a ceramics studio and I live in a small farm that I'm trying to bring back up to production.
MARTIN: You are a busy man.
JESPERSEN: All the time.
MARTIN: And you live in Byfield, Massachusetts? What's that like?
JESPERSEN: It used to have more cows than people, but now there are more people here. So, you know, it's by the field. There's a great swimming hole and that's where I grew up, so.
MARTIN: Sounds idyllic. OK, well, if you're ready, I'm ready. You ready to play the puzzle, Damon?
JESPERSEN: The worst that can happen is I make a fool of myself.
MARTIN: Yes, that's not so bad. I do that all the time. OK, Will, let's do it.
SHORTZ: All right, Damon. I have a feeling you're going to do just fine. I'm going to give you two words starting with the letter S. For each pair, you give me a third word, also starting with S that can follow my first one and precede my second one, in each case to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase. For example, if I said sirloin and sauce, you would say steak as in sirloin steak and steak sauce.
MARTIN: OK, you got it, Damon?
JESPERSEN: I think so.
MARTIN: All right, let's give it a go.
SHORTZ: Number one is shooting and studded.
JESPERSEN: Shooting star.
SHORTZ: And star-studded. Good.
MARTIN: Oh, good.
SHORTZ: Number two is silk and stuffer.
JESPERSEN: Silk stocking?
SHORTZ: Stocking, right. Silk stocking, stocking stuffer. Good. Swizzle, shift.
SHORTZ: That's it, stick. Side, that's S-I-D-E and stool, something that you might use to get to an upper shelf.
SHORTZ: Step stool. Side step, is it. Sterling, screen.
SHORTZ: That's it. Sunday, spirit. And for Sunday blank I bet a lot of people are going to this right now.
SHORTZ: Sunday school and school spirit.
MARTIN: Ah, good.
SHORTZ: Sea, S-E-A, and shaker.
SHORTZ: Sea salt, salt shaker. Safe and symbol. It's a three-letter answer.
MARTIN: Three letters.
JESPERSEN: Three letter answer?
JESPERSEN: Not - Nothing's coming to me with this one.
MARTIN: Really Will? Am I going to have to say this on the radio?
SHORTZ: Go for it.
SHORTZ: Yeah, safe sex and sex symbol, good. How about shutter and skate? It's a term relating to a camera.
JESPERSEN: Shutter speed?
SHORTZ: Shutter speed and speed skate is it. And your last one is slide and stopper. Slide blank and blank stopper.
JESPERSEN: Slide and stopper. Slide...
MARTIN: Oh, man.
SHORTZ: Slide, stopper. Yeah, if you came back from vacation with a lot of pictures, you might put on a slide blank.
JESPERSEN: Slide show?
SHORTZ: Slide show and a showstopper is it.
MARTIN: Good. Hey, Damon, good job. We needed a lot of hints, but that was very well done.
JESPERSEN: Well, it could have been worse.
MARTIN: It could have been worse. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And before we let you go, Damon, what is your public radio station?
JESPERSEN: It's WBUR in Boston.
MARTIN: Great. WBUR Boston, Massachusetts. Damon Jespersen of Byfield, Massachusetts, thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Damon.
JESPERSEN: Thank you.
MARTIN: OK, Will. What's the challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, it's another puzzle I heard at the International Puzzle Party in Japan. And a Dutch puzzler gave it to me. The Roman numeral for 38 is XXXVIII. What is special or unusual about this Roman numeral that sets it apart from every other Roman numeral that can be written?
So again: 38 in Roman numeral is XXXVIII, what is special or unusual about this compared to all other Roman numerals?
MARTIN: You know what to do. When you've got the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Just one entry per person, please, our deadline is Thursday, August 22nd, 3 P.M. Eastern Time.
Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And 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 he is, of course, WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz.
Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.
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