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LIANE HANSEN, host:

From NPR News. This is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

And joining us is puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ (Puzzlemaster): Hi, Liane. Welcome back.

HANSEN: Thank you very much. I had a nice time in Kansas City. And while I was there, you gave an on-air challenge. Would you repeat it, please?

SHORTZ: Yes, I said, `Name a well-known book in seven letters.' I said, `It's spelled as a solid word and it's so well-known that many people can quote from it by heart.' I said, `Add three letters to the end of this title and the result will name a late great writer and television personality; four letters in the first name, six letters in the last. What book is it and who is the celebrity?'

HANSEN: What's the answer?

SHORTZ: It is the Book of Genesis. You add K-E-L and you get Gene Siskel, the late great movie critic.

HANSEN: Elegant puzzle. Well, we had over 800 entries from people who solved it, and our winner randomly selected from those correct answers is Paige Byrne Shortal from Union, Missouri.

Hi, Paige.

Ms. PAIGE BYRNE SHORTAL (Puzzle Winner): Hello.

HANSEN: Now I understand there were unusual circumstances when you heard the challenge on the air. Explain.

Ms. SHORTAL: Well, we were driving back from Chatawa, Mississippi. We had gone down there to a retirement center for Notre Dame sisters that had become a haven for evacuees. And where I work, my parish, my choir's kind of connected with this group of sisters, so we got an emergency call for dog food because the evacuees brought their pets and there were some 50 dogs and they didn't have enough food to go through the weekend.

HANSEN: Wow.

Ms. SHORTAL: So we drove down on a Saturday with two cargo vans full of dog food and then other things--diapers and cleaning supplies and personal toiletries, things like that--and we were making the trip back on Sunday when I was gratefully listening to NPR somewhere in Mississippi. I couldn't tell you what station.

HANSEN: And you not only got the answer, but you submitted it and you were chosen. So it strikes me you are a puzzle player.

Ms. SHORTAL: No, never! Never. I'm horrible at them. We listen to them and my husband gets the answers. He was doing the ones you were doing with the trees and I wasn't getting any of them. But for some reason the answer to this one came to me.

HANSEN: Well, it sounds like you're almost ready to play.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: All right, Paige, we'll be a team. And, Will, meet Paige. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Paige, every answer today is a familiar two-word phrase. I've anagrammed the first word of the phrase into a first name; you tell me the phrase. For example, if I said `Eric pudding,' you would say, `Rice,' as in rice pudding.

Ms. SHORTAL: Oh, OK.

SHORTZ: Number one, Mary recruiter. M-A-R-Y, Mary recruiter.

Ms. SHORTAL: Army.

SHORTZ: Army recruiter is right. Number two is Liam--L-I-A-M--Liam delivery.

Ms. SHORTAL: Mail.

SHORTZ: Mail is right. Alec curtain. A-L-E-C, Alec curtain.

Ms. SHORTAL: Lacy?

SHORTZ: Lace curtain is right.

Ms. SHORTAL: Lace, OK.

SHORTZ: Caleb television, C-A-L-E-B.

Ms. SHORTAL: Caleb television.

SHORTZ: It's not broadcast television, it's...

HANSEN: It's not satellite television, it's...

Ms. SHORTAL: Cable?

SHORTZ: Cable television is right.

Ms. SHORTAL: OK. Give me one about the radio.

SHORTZ: Lydia newspaper, L-Y-D-I-A.

Ms. SHORTAL: Daily.

SHORTZ: Daily newspaper. Norma numeral, N-O-R-M-A. Norma numeral.

Ms. SHORTAL: Can--I don't know. It begins...

HANSEN: Think about the numerals that use X's and V's and I's and...

Ms. SHORTAL: That's algebra.

HANSEN: Yeah. No, they--well, they had an empire. A really big one.

Ms. SHORTAL: Roman numeral, got it.

SHORTZ: Roman numeral is right.

Ms. SHORTAL: Thank you.

HANSEN: Anytime.

SHORTZ: How about Cesar tactic. C-E-S-A-R, Cesar tactic.

Ms. SHORTAL: Tactic?

SHORTZ: Yeah.

Ms. SHORTAL: Cesar tactic. See, I don't--oh. Hmm.

HANSEN: It's something that would strike fear into the hearts of an opponent.

Ms. SHORTAL: Oh, my husband would be so good at this. I don't see it.

HANSEN: Scare.

SHORTZ: Scare tactic, good.

Ms. SHORTAL: Scare tactic.

SHORTZ: Good, good. Try this one. Craig--C-R-A-I-G...

Ms. SHORTAL: Uh-huh.

SHORTZ: ...Craig box.

HANSEN: Oh, give us a hint. What does the first word start with?

SHORTZ: It's a little something you might throw odds and ends in.

Ms. SHORTAL: Craig ox?

HANSEN and SHORTZ: (In unison) Box.

SHORTZ: B-O-X. B--as in boy--O-X.

Ms. SHORTAL: Oh, box.

HANSEN: Huh.

SHORTZ: And it originally would have come with some smokes.

HANSEN: Oh.

SHORTZ: Some stogies.

Ms. SHORTAL: Oh, I don't know.

SHORTZ: Go ahead, Liane.

HANSEN: A cigar box.

SHORTZ: A cigar box is right.

Ms. SHORTAL: Oh, of course.

SHORTZ: All right, try this one. Cyril poetry, C-Y-R-I-L.

Ms. SHORTAL: Lyric.

SHORTZ: Lyric poetry. Good. Damien--D-A-M-I-E-N--Damien voyage.

Ms. SHORTAL: Maiden.

SHORTZ: Maiden voyage. That was fast. How about Conrad polyester, C-O-N-A-R-D?

Ms. SHORTAL: Dacron.

HANSEN: Oh, nice!

SHORTZ: Dacron polyester is good. And your last one is Cameron--C-A-M-E-R-O-N--Cameron novel.

Ms. SHORTAL: Novel. Oh, I should get this.

SHORTZ: It's a book about love that you might get--a love story that you might get in paperback.

Ms. SHORTAL: Romance?

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Romance novel is correct.

HANSEN: Nice work, Paige. I think...

Ms. SHORTAL: Thanks.

HANSEN: ...we worked together very well as a team.

Ms. SHORTAL: You're very, very kind.

HANSEN: Oh, please, no. I was giving you hints and you were coming up with them very, very quickly.

For playing our puzzle today, you are going to get a lot of things. You'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the 11th Edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers, "The Puzzlemaster Presents from Random House, Volume 2" and two "Sudoku Wordless Crossword Puzzle" books presented by Will Shortz from St. Martin's Press.

Paige, what member station do you regularly listen to?

Ms. SHORTAL: KWMU in St. Louis.

HANSEN: All right. Paige Byrne Shortal from Union, Missouri, thanks a lot for playing the puzzle with us today.

Ms. SHORTAL: Thank you.

HANSEN: Now, Will, a challenge for everyone to work on during this week.

SHORTZ: Well, this week's challenge comes from our old pal Merle Regle. Think of a four-letter word starting with O, change one of its letters to a new letter and rearrange to get a new four-letter word that's a synonym of the first. Then change one of its letters to a new letter and rearrange to get a third four-letter word that's the synonym of the first two. What words are these? So again, a four-letter word starting with O, change one of its letters to a new letter and rearrange the result to a get a new four-letter word that's a synonym of the first. Repeat the process on the second word to a get a third four-letter word that's a synonym of the first two. What words are these?

HANSEN: My goodness, quite a ladder puzzle there. When you have an answer, e-mail us at puzzle@npr.org. Only one entry per person, please, and our deadline is Thursday, 3 PM Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. We'll call you if you're the winner and you'll get to play puzzle with the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. There's more information on our Web site at npr.org.

Will, thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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