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Floating Down The Anagram River

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Floating Down The Anagram River

Floating Down The Anagram River

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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. Bartender, a puzzle please. Neat. 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: OK, what was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, I said name part of a TV that contains the letter C. I said replace the C with a name of a book of the Old Testament, keeping all of the letters in order. And the result will name a sailing vessel of old. What is it? Well, the part of the TV is a V-chip. If you switch the C out to make first Kings - that's I-K-I-N-G-S. And read all those letters in order you get Viking ship.

MARTIN: (Laughing) So this one was tough. We only got around 150 correct answers. And our randomly selected winner is Jay Adams of Monticello, Florida. He joins us now on the line. Hey, Jay. Congratulations.

JAY ADAMS: Thank you very much.

MARTIN: So this was a hard one. How did you figure it out? Did you have to work on it for a while?

ADAMS: I did, actually. I got it about two in the morning, Thursday morning. I was looking at chip thinking ship. And I kept looking at king ship, king ship. And I just thought at one point, if I only had a V-I...


ADAMS: ...And then I thought, wait, I do have a V-I.

MARTIN: So you live in Monticello. I'm saying that right, correct? It's not Monticello, Florida?

ADAMS: You are. We're simple people. We didn't know how Jefferson pronounced it.

MARTIN: (Laughing) Well, that was the name of the street I grew up on, so (laughing) I'm right there with you. So with that, Jay, are you ready to play the puzzle?

ADAMS: I'll do my best.

MARTIN: All right, that's all we can ask for. Let's give it a go, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Jay and Rachel. Today's puzzle is geographical. Every answer is the name of a river, which I'd like you to identify from its anagram. For example, if I said top, T-O-P, minus T, you would say Po. That, of course, is the easiest one...


SHORTZ: ...With only two letters. They move up from there.

MARTIN: (Laughing) OK. You got it, Jay?

ADAMS: I've got it, I think.

MARTIN: All right, let's give it a try.

SHORTZ: Number one is elfin - E-L-F-I-N - minus F.

ADAMS: Would be the Nile.

SHORTZ: That's right. Number two is cooing - C-O-O-I-N-G - minus I.

ADAMS: The Congo.

SHORTZ: Congo, good. Enrich - E-N-R-I-C-H - minus C.

ADAMS: Oh, boy, they're - we're getting more letters.

SHORTZ: Think Germany for this one.


SHORTZ: And it works...

ADAMS: The Rhine?

SHORTZ: The Rhine, yeah. Either English spelling or German spelling. How about boiler - B-O-I-L-E-R - minus B.

ADAMS: The Loire.

SHORTZ: The Loire, yes.


SHORTZ: Nieces - N-I-E-C-E-S - minus C.

ADAMS: The Seine.

SHORTZ: Oh, that's fast.

MARTIN: Seine, yeah.

SHORTZ: Hamster - H-A-M-S-T-E-R - minus R.

ADAMS: The Thames.


SHORTZ: The Thames in London, good. Subdean - S-U-B-D-E-A-N - minus S.

ADAMS: Oh, my, could you spell that again please?

SHORTZ: S-U-B-D-E-A-N. Like at a college, it would be the second in command.

ADAMS: Yeah, that's not a real word.


SHORTZ: I like that. I believe it's the longest river in Europe.

MARTIN: Oh. Can you tell us what it starts with?

SHORTZ: It starts with a D.

MARTIN: Yeah, OK. Oh, I know.

ADAMS: The Danube.


SHORTZ: The Danube, yes. Snagged - S-N-A-G-G-E-D - minus the D.

ADAMS: The Ganges?

SHORTZ: Ganges, good.

MARTIN: Good, Jay.

SHORTZ: All right, talking about words that you're not going to believe, how about coronoid - C-O-R-O-N-O-I-D - coronoid, minus D.

ADAMS: An Orinoco, something along those lines?

SHORTZ: I'll give you that. In South America, the Orinoco.


SHORTZ: And your last one is corrigenda - C-O-R-R-I-G-E-N-D-A - corrigenda, minus C. And here's your hint, it's two words. And I'll tell you it's in North America.

ADAMS: Nothing is coming to mind.

MARTIN: OK, tell us what the first word starts with.

SHORTZ: The first word starts with R.

MARTIN: Canada? I feel like you said North America because you probably meant Canada. People only say...

ADAMS: Rio. How about Rio...

SHORTZ: How about Rio?

ADAMS: The Rio Grande?

MARTIN: Oh, Rio Grande...

SHORTZ: Yes. Bravo.

MARTIN: I thought, I mean, Will, don't you think he did a really good job?

SHORTZ: I am impressed. I'll give you applause right now.



MARTIN: Applause, Jay that was excellent.

ADAMS: Thank you. I don't feel I did that well, but thank you very much.

MARTIN: I think you did great. And for playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, and you get all kinds of books and games. You can read about at our website And Jay, what is your public radio station?

ADAMS: WFSU in Tallahassee, Florida.

MARTIN: Jay Adams of Monticello, Florida. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Jay. It was fun.

ADAMS: Thank you so much.

MARTIN: OK, Will. What's the challenge for next week? Not as hard, I hope.

SHORTZ: Not as hard, no.


SHORTZ: It actually comes from an 11-year-old listener...


SHORTZ: ...Eli Sheerbaggish (ph) of Arlington, Massachusetts. Name a certain trip that contains the letter S. Change the S to a C, and rearrange the resulting letters. You'll name the location where this trip probably takes place. Where is it? So again, a certain trip that contains the letter S. Change the S to a C, rearrange the resulting letters and you'll name the location where this trip probably takes place. Where is it?

MARTIN: All right, you know what to do. 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 those entries is Thursday, June 19 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Don't forget to 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 WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.

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