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More Fun Than A Dead Rose

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More Fun Than A Dead Rose

More Fun Than A Dead Rose

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. On your mark, get set, it's time to play the puzzle.


MARTIN: Joining me now is Will Shortz. He is, of course, the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master. Good morning, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: So, refresh our memories. What was last week's challenge, Will?

SHORTZ: Yes. Last week I said: There is a politician today, sometimes known by his or her full three-word name, whose initials are also the initials of a popular chain of restaurants. Who is the politician and what's the restaurant? Well, the answer was Hillary Rodham Clinton and Hard Rock Cafe.

MARTIN: Very good. So, we received more than 700 correct answers and our randomly selected winner is Alex Hart of Havertown, Pennsylvania. He joins us on the line now. Congratulations, Alex.

ALEXANDER HART: Thanks very much, Rachel. It's very exciting.

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

HART: Well, my wife and I work together and it took us, I guess, about five or 10 minutes. She actually came up with the Hard Rock Cafe pretty quickly. And then I did a little creative Googling and found Hillary Rodham Clinton, of course, jumped right out. And then I put two and two together and here I am.

MARTIN: There you go. So, you've been playing the puzzle for a long time, Alex?

HART: Yes, definitely since the postcard days, and it's an absolutely faithful experience for us. Every week, like clockwork, we listen. And even if we're on the road, we find it online. And one way or another we play. It's a highlight of our week.

MARTIN: Sounds like you're a man of habit.

HART: I am indeed that.

MARTIN: Well, we've got Will Shortz on the line. Would you like to ask him a question?

HART: I would. Hi, Will.

SHORTZ: Hey, there.

HART: My favorite program or segment of a program is in fact the Sunday puzzle on WEEKEND EDITION. And I'm curious whether there's anything else out there either on the radio or in podcast form that is anything like what you do with the Sunday puzzle every week?

SHORTZ: You know, when Susan Stamberg first asked me to do the puzzle, I thought, woo, how can you do a puzzle on the radio? Can't be a crossword, can't involve writing and I came up with this format.

MARTIN: You made it work.

SHORTZ: NPR has a great quiz and puzzle program - ASK ME ANOTHER - so, you might check that out.

MARTIN: OK. Alex, are you ready to play the puzzle?

HART: I'm as ready as I'll ever be, as the expression goes.

MARTIN: All right. Will, let's do it.

SHORTZ: All right, Alex and Rachel. Every answer today is a made-up two-word phrase in which the vowel in the first word is a short E and the vowel in second word is a long O. For example, if I gave you a clue: a place to meditate, you would say Zen zone.

HART: Ah, I get it. OK.

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

SHORTZ: Number one is a crimson-colored highway.

HART: A red road.

SHORTZ: That's it. Number two is a strangulation in Prague.

HART: A Czech...


HART: Czech choke.

SHORTZ: Czech choke is it. Acquires farm animals with beards.

HART: With beards? Gets goats.

SHORTZ: Gets goats is it. Phantom who's just visiting.

HART: A ghost guest - guest ghost.

SHORTZ: A guest ghost is it. Now, in the following answers, they have two syllables each in which the first vowels are short E and long O, respectively. And your first one is a superior yachtsman.

HART: Better boater.

SHORTZ: That's it. Helper of a rock band who's prepared.

HART: Groupie - no.

SHORTZ: That would be someone who adores the rock band but who helps the rock band carry their equipment onto the stage? And your first word - it's just a synonym for prepared.

HART: Oh. A ready roadie. Ready roadie.

SHORTZ: Ready roadie, good.

HART: That's good. I like that.

SHORTZ: Thanks. Someone who hates clothes made from animal hides.

HART: Hater. Hates clothes...

SHORTZ: Made from animal hides. And...

HART: Leather loather. Leather loather.

SHORTZ: Leather loather is it. A small horse that costs one cent.

HART: Penny pony.

SHORTZ: That's it. Ingenious plant with a sweet blossom.

HART: Sweet blossom. Rose, but that's one syllable. A posy has two.

SHORTZ: I'm thinking something in the field that a horse might eat.

HART: A flower that - oh, clover, clever clover.

SHORTZ: A clever clover, good. Former Senator Kennedy's yes-men.

HART: Senator Kennedy's...Teddy's toadies.

SHORTZ: That's it.

HART: Teddy's toadies - that's good.

SHORTZ: Teddy's toadies is it. And here's your last one: entraps team trainers.

HART: Catches coaches.

SHORTZ: Catches coaches is it.

MARTIN: Good, Alex. Are we done?

SHORTZ: That's it.

MARTIN: That was amazing.

SHORTZ: Congratulations.


HART: That was fun.

MARTIN: Well done, Alex. For playing the puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at our website,

Before we let you go, Alex, give a shout-out to your public radio station.

HART: Oh, I am a proud member of WHYY in Philadelphia.

MARTIN: Alex Hart of Havertown, Pennsylvania. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Alex.

HART: Thanks to both of you.

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

SHORTZ: Yes, this week's challenge comes from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Massachusetts. Think of a word meaning quarrel in which several of the letters appear more than once. Remove exactly two occurrences of every repeated letter, and the remaining letters can be rearranged to spell a new word meaning quarrel. What are the two words?

So again: a word meaning quarrel, several of the letters appear more than once. Remove exactly two occurrences of each repeated letter, and the remaining letters can be rearranged to spell a new word meaning quarrel. What two words are these?

MARTIN: When you've got the answer, go to our website, and click on that Submit Your Answer link. Limit yourself to one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, November 21st at 3 P.M. Eastern Time.

Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you're the winner we will 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 WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz.

Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.


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