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ARI SHAPIRO, host:

From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Ari Shapiro sitting in for Liane Hansen.

And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Ari.

SHAPIRO: You know, you don't know this but you played a very seminal role in my upbringing. When I was a kid, my parents bought me a subscription to Games magazine, and you were the editor-in-chief of the magazine and I was a devoted reader all the way through high school.

SHORTZ: Fantastic. That's what got you where you are today.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHAPIRO: It's what got me where I am today, to the point that actually, I was once a clue in the New York Times crossword puzzle. And so, I have you to thank for that. It was one of the best days of my life.

SHORTZ: It's fantastic. And how did you hear about that?

SHAPIRO: You know, it was actually a Saturday and I woke up and checked my email and had a message from NPR's arts editor saying, Ari, I'm having some trouble with a crossword puzzle today. Can you help me with 17 across?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: That's great.

SHAPIRO: And so then, of course, I had to run and get the paper.

Well, Will, remind us of the challenge you left us with last week.

SHORTZ: Yes. I said name two vehicles, put the letter A between then, and the result will be a word naming something the two vehicles might be in. What two vehicles are these?

SHAPIRO: And what was the answer?

SHORTZ: The vehicles are a car and a van. Put A between them and you get a caravan.

SHAPIRO: Caravan. Well, we had over 2,500 entries from people who tried to solve the puzzle, and our randomly selected winner is Tim Tyckoson from Lake Mary, Florida. Hi, Tim.

Mr. TIM TYCKOSON (Caller): Hi, Ari.

SHAPIRO: And what do you do in Lake Mary?

Mr. TYCKOSON: I am a letter carrier.

SHAPIRO: How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Mr. TYCKOSON: I've been playing the puzzle about three years.

SHAPIRO: Okay. Well, are you ready to play today?

Mr. TYCKOSON: Yes, I am.

SHAPIRO: Okay. Will, meet Tim.

SHORTZ: All right, Tim and Ari. I'm going to name two things. You tell me something they have in common. For example, if I said a typewriter and a Christmas gift, you would say ribbon. As a hint, I'll tell you every answer has exactly six letters.

Number one is a nose and San Francisco Bay.

Mr. TYCKOSON: A bridge.

SHAPIRO: A bridge…

SHORTZ: Good. Number two is a credit card and a skunk.

Mr. TYCKOSON: A stripe.

SHORTZ: A stripe, excellent.

SHAPIRO: Very good.

SHORTZ: A jack in a box and a year.

SHAPIRO: And a year?

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.

Mr. TYCKOSON: A year.

SHORTZ: What's one of the most important parts of the jack in the box?

Mr. TYCKOSON: The handle.

SHAPIRO: I'm thinking about a crank, but that's not six letters and a year doesn't have one.

SHORTZ: And what does the handle make happen?

Mr. TYCKOSON: A spring. It has a spring.

SHORTZ: A spring. It has a spring.

SHAPIRO: Oh, spring. A spring, okay.

SHORTZ: Good job. A compass and a phonograph.

Mr. TYCKOSON: A needle.

SHAPIRO: Mm-hmm.

SHORTZ: Good. A kangaroo and a pool table.

Mr. TYCKOSON: Pocket.

SHORTZ: A pocket, good. A bathroom and a soon-to-be bride.

SHAPIRO: Faucet has six letters but nothing to do with a bride.

SHORTZ: That's right.

SHAPIRO: Ah, I got it.

Mr. TYCKOSON: What?

SHAPIRO: A shower?

SHORTZ: They both have a shower. Good.

Mr. TYCKOSON: Very good.

SHORTZ: Nice one. Laundromat and a hardware store.

SHAPIRO: Hum.

Mr. TYCKOSON: A washer.

SHORTZ: A washer, good.

SHAPIRO: Oh, very good.

SHORTZ: A temperature and a college graduate.

Mr. TYCKOSON: A degree.

SHAPIRO: Mm-hmm.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. A door and a CB user.

Mr. TYCKOSON: A handle.

SHAPIRO: A handle.

SHORTZ: Good.

Mr. TYCKOSON: Said that earlier.

SHORTZ: Here's a harder one: a railway station and a beer pub.

SHAPIRO: Hmm.

SHORTZ: A railway station and a beer pub. I'll give you a hint: name an important person at a railway station.

Mr. TYCKOSON: The ticket man.

SHORTZ: And who's the person who might carry your bags?

Mr. TYCKOSON: A porter.

SHAPIRO: Oh, a porter.

SHORTZ: A porter is it. Good one. A baseball game and a cake mixing bowl.

SHAPIRO: Ah.

Mr. TYCKOSON: What?

SHAPIRO: Not the catcher or the pitcher but the…

SHORTZ: What would be in the cake mixing bowl?

Mr. TYCKOSON: The batter.

SHORTZ: The batter is good. And your last one: a ship and a TV news program.

Mr. TYCKOSON: An anchor.

SHORTZ: They both have anchors. Nice work.

SHAPIRO: Well done, Tim. That was great.

Mr. TYCKOSON: Thank you.

SHAPIRO: For playing our puzzle today, 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 Puzzle Master Presents from Random House, Volume 2, Will Shortz's "Little Black Book of Sudoku," and "Black and White Book of Crosswords" from St. Martin's Press, and one of Will Shortz's "Puzzle Master Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books.

Mr. TYCKOSON: All right.

SHAPIRO: Tim, tell us what member station you listen to.

Mr. TYCKOSON: I listen to WMFE in Orlando.

SHAPIRO: Tim Tyckoson from Lake Mary, Florida, thanks for playing the puzzle with us.

Mr. TYCKOSON: You're welcome.

SHAPIRO: Now, Will, what's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Ed Peg Jr., who runs the Web site MathPuzzle.com. Using the middle row of letters on a keyboard, name something that has eight stars. And I'll give you a hint: the answer is spelled in 10 letters. So, again, using the middle row of letters on a typewriter or computer keyboard, name something that has eight stars. What is it?

SHAPIRO: When you have the answer, go to our Web site, NPR.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline this week is Thursday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you around that time. We'll call you if you're the winner and you'll get to play puzzle on the air with the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Liane Hansen is back next week.

Thanks a lot, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Ari.

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