LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
June - flowers are blooming. The sun is shining. Summer breezes are blowing. What a lovely time to play The Puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining me as always is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Will, good morning.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We've got a big puzzle tournament coming up this month, right?
SHORTZ: Yeah, it's the U.S. Puzzle Championship, which takes place on Saturday, June 17. It's conducted online. It's free. It's open to everyone. And it helps select the U.S. team that goes to the World Puzzle Championship, which will be in India this fall. And if anyone would like to try out. You go to WPC.puzzles.com
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Exciting. All right, so now everyone knows they can sign up. Will, remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. I said if ELI is 173. And LOIS is 5,107. How much is LESLIE - L-E-S-L-I-E? And the trick was to turn the name upside down. If you turn ELI upside down, it looks like 173 LOIS looks like 5,107. And LESLIE looks like 317,537.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Clever. Well, we got over 2,700 responses - one of our most popular puzzles. And our winner this week is John Tures of Nashville, Tenn. Congratulations, John.
JOHN TURES: Yes. Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How did you come up with the answer?
TURES: Well, I'm - I would think I'm good in math. And I saw the five second - how easy it was. And I was trying to calculate and wasn't coming up with anything. So I left it and came back a couple of hours later and said this has got to be simpler. And I started by turning my head a little bit and realizing I could turn it upside down, and there was my answer.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: There you go. And I understand you are extra lucky because you won The Puzzle a couple of years ago.
TURES: Yes, I did.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So this is your second time?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Matching wits with Will. All right, John, are you ready to play The Puzzle?
TURES: Yes, I am.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, here we go.
SHORTZ: All right, John. Today, I've brought a PIP of a puzzle. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts P-I and the second word starts P. For example, if I said Sty, you'd say pig pen. Here's number one, what Peter Piper picked a peck of?
TURES: Pickled peppers.
SHORTZ: That's it. Number two, what you press with your foot on a baby grand.
TURES: Wow, I'm not so musically inclined. A Pump?
SHORTZ: No. That's pretty basic.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Use it in car, too.
SHORTZ: What do you press with your foot?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you put your gas on the...
TURES: The pedal.
SHORTZ: That's right. And a baby grand is what?
TURES: Piano pedal.
SHORTZ: A piano pedal is it. Baseball team that plays at PNC Park.
TURES: Pittsburgh Pirates.
SHORTZ: That's it. Place in Colorado that completes the phrase, blank or bust.
TURES: Pike's Peak.
SHORTZ: That's it. Early Dickens novel with the.
TURES: Wow (laughter).
SHORTZ: That's a tough one. The person I tried this puzzle on didn't know this one. Do you know this one, Lulu?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I don't, actually.
SHORTZ: Yeah, it's a tough one. It's "The Pickwick Papers." Try this one - religious allegory by John Bunyan starting with the.
TURES: "Pilgrim's Progress."
SHORTZ: Oh, nice job. Nineteen-sixty-three comedy featuring Inspector Clouseau starting with the.
TURES: Oh, we recently thought about "The Pink Panther."
SHORTZ: Yes. That's it. Practicing frugality?
TURES: Pinching pennies.
SHORTZ: That's it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job.
SHORTZ: Good one. Person who takes lots of uppers and downers.
TURES: Pill pusher.
SHORTZ: Pill popper is...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. Both really. Both work.
SHORTZ: Yeah, either way, either way. The main newspaper in St. Paul, Minn.
TURES: Oh, my goodness.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. I'm not going to help you with this. I don't know.
SHORTZ: I'll tell you that one. It's the Pioneer Press. How about a place to order a sausage or pepperoni pie?
TURES: Pizza parlor.
SHORTZ: That's it. And your last one. Something that might say greetings from...
TURES: Oh, postcard. What - picture postcard.
SHORTZ: Yeah, what kind? A picture postcard is it. Good job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job, John. You did really well. You did really, really well.
TURES: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And you can see that you're a veteran (laughter). For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And, John, what member station do you listen to?
TURES: Yes. We're members with WPLN FM in Nashville.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wonderful. John Tures of Nashville, thanks for playing The Puzzle.
TURES: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will, what's the next challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah. It comes from listener David Herbst of Inverness, Calif. Name a well-known U.S. city with two words in its name. The second word sounds like the last name of a famous 20th century writer, and the first word is something found in virtually every work of this author. What's the city? And who's the author?
So, again, a well-known U.S. city in two words. The second word sounds like the last name of a famous 20th century writer. And the first word is something found in virtually every work of this author. What's the city? And who is the author?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have 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 for entries is Thursday, June 8, at 3 p.m. Eastern. 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'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.
(SOUNDBITE OF CLAUDE BOLLING BIG BAND SONG, "THE PINK PANTHER THEME")
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.