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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Knock, knock. Who's there you say? It's time to play the puzzle, of course.

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

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: So, it was really awesome to have you in studio last week - in-person puzzle - but we're doing this the old-fashioned way now. You're back in New York. But you were here in D.C. You were here for table tennis championships, right?

SHORTZ: Yeah, it was a team event. And my team won the division six.

MARTIN: Great.

SHORTZ: We beat a team from Toronto in the final. Last year, my team was runner-up in division seven. So, you know, we're moving up.

MARTIN: Good job. Congratulations.

SHORTZ: Thanks.

MARTIN: What was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes. I said to name a dance where, if you change one of the letters to a U, the resulting letters can be rearranged to name an event at which this dance is done. What is it? Well, the dance is the hula, and you might do it at a luau.

MARTIN: OK. So, we got about 1,300 correct answers. And our randomly selected winner this week is Matt Arient of Naperville, Illinois. He joins us now on the line. Hey, Matt. Congratulations.

MATT ARIENT: Thank you. It's an honor to be on.

MARTIN: So, you a big hula dancer, Matt?

ARIENT: I'm not, I'm not. But growing up, my dad actually collected hula dancer figures from the flea markets we'd always attend and then always listened to the puzzle and Will on the way home.

MARTIN: Oh, my gosh. So, you've been doing the puzzle for a long time?

ARIENT: Yeah, about 20 years. I think I submitted my first postcard when I was around 12.

MARTIN: Oh my gosh. That's so cool. Well, congratulations.

ARIENT: Thank you, thank you.

MARTIN: Well, Will Shortz is on the line. Do you want to say hey and ask a question if you have one?

ARIENT: Hey, Will. It's a pleasure to talk to you. I'm from a family full of Big 10 graduates. And my mom, where I get all my puzzling skills from, is actually a Hoosier herself. And I was wondering if you had an outlook on IU basketball this year?

SHORTZ: I was afraid you were going to ask that. It's hard to follow Indiana University basketball from New York so I am not up on the - you probably know more about this than I do this year.

MARTIN: So, we will not expect any puzzles with IU basketball terms in them.

SHORTZ: This is true.

MARTIN: Yeah. OK. Matt, with that, are you ready to play the puzzle?

ARIENT: I'm ready.

MARTIN: OK, Will, let's do it.

SHORTZ: All right, Matt and Rachel. Every answer today is the name of a famous person whose first and last names start with the same consonant or group of consonants. I'll give you rhymes for the two names. You name the people. For example, if I said cycle four, you would say Michael Moore.

ARIENT: I got it.

SHORTZ: All right. Number one: messy Saxon.

ARIENT: Messy Saxon. Michael Jackson.

MARTIN: Close.

SHORTZ: No, but you got the Jackson right, so just put a J at the front.

ARIENT: Jesse Jackson.

SHORTZ: Jesse Jackson is it, good. Number two is melon craze.

ARIENT: Melon craze. Craze.

SHORTZ: Try melon. Put a...

ARIENT: Helen...

SHORTZ: Yeah. And once you have an H then the H has to go in the second name.

ARIENT: Helen Hays.

SHORTZ: Helen Hays, sure, good. Porous tray.

ARIENT: Porous tray.

SHORTZ: Porous P-O-R-O-U-S, porous tray.

ARIENT: Horace Hay.

SHORTZ: It's not Horace. It's a woman's name.

ARIENT: Doris Day.

SHORTZ: Doris Day is it. Since dawn.

ARIENT: Since dawn. Vince Vaughn.

SHORTZ: Vince Vaughn, good. Harry Franz.

ARIENT: Carrie, Barry...

SHORTZ: Barry, yeah, yeah.

ARIENT: Barry Bonds.

SHORTZ: Barry Bonds is it. Bed burner.

ARIENT: Ted Turner.

SHORTZ: Ted Turner. That was easy. Even chills.

ARIENT: Stephen Stills.

SHORTZ: Stephen Stills, good. Bike tires.

ARIENT: Mike Myers.

SHORTZ: That's it. Dames voice.

ARIENT: James Joyce.

SHORTZ: That's it. Ratty cage.

ARIENT: Patti Page.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. How about German dress.

ARIENT: Herman Hess.

SHORTZ: That's it. And your last one: heavy vase.

ARIENT: Chevy Chase.

MARTIN: Matt, that was excellent.

ARIENT: Thank you.

MARTIN: It was very well done. And you've been listening for a long time, so you know that for playing the puzzle today, you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/Puzzle. And before we let you go, Matt, what is your public radio station?

ARIENT: WBEZ in Chicago.

MARTIN: Matt Arient of Naperville, Illinois. Matt, thanks so much for playing the puzzle this week.

ARIENT: Thank you so much.

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

SHORTZ: Yes. The challenge comes from listener Pete Collins of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Name a U.S. city in nine letters, shift the third letter six places later in the alphabet. Also shift the last letter, seven places later in the alphabet. And the result will be a family name featured in the title of a famous work of fiction. What is it?

So again, a U.S. city, nine letters, shift the third letter six places later in the alphabet, and the last letter seven places later in the alphabet. The result will be a family name featured in the title of a famous work of fiction. What is the city and what is the family name?

MARTIN: When you've got the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle and click on that Submit Your Answer link. Limit yourself to one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, December 12th at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Make sure you include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time, because if you're the winner, we will give you a call and then 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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