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LIANE HANSEN, host:

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

And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz, who is not in his usual spot this week. Will, why don't tell everybody where you are.

WILL SHORTZ: I'm in Bloomington, Indiana, at Indiana University, to deliver the commencement address this weekend.

HANSEN: How exciting. Well, I saw you on Martha Stewart's program this past Friday. And for those of our listeners who may have missed it, we happen to have a clip.

SHORTZ: Uh-oh.

(Soundbite of TV show, "The Martha Stewart Show")

SHORTZ: Fortunately, General Electric has 15 letters and daily newspaper puzzles are almost always 15-by-15 squares. So, if you're starting a company, you know, and you want to get your name in a crossword...

Ms. MARTHA STEWART (TV Host): Well, in all your years of editing...

HANSEN: I love it. It's too bad National Public Radio is 19 letters.

SHORTZ: We'll have to do a special puzzle.

HANSEN: I guess. My question though is did you get to eat the Derby pie and drink a mint julep that were also featured on that program?

SHORTZ: No, unfortunately. Actually I was not asked anything about food, I did not have to roll the pie crust. Just puzzles.

HANSEN: Just puzzles, and they made a poor guy complete a crossword puzzle to get a piece of pie. I loved it.

SHORTZ: Right.

HANSEN: Well, we don't have pie to give away today but we do have a challenge that we do every week. And would you remind everybody what the challenge was that you actually left us with?

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco. I said if you insert a long E sound after the first letter of bond, phonetically you get beyond. And if you insert a long E after the first letter of renter, you get reenter. And I said name something found in outer space. Insert a long E sound after the first letter. You'll name a resident of a major American city. What words are these?

HANSEN: What's the answer?

SHORTZ: The thing in space is a satellite and insert a long E, you get Seattleite or a person from Seattle.

HANSEN: We had over 3,000 correct answers from our listeners and our randomly-selected winner is Stephen Walton from Portland, Oregon. Hi there, Stephen.

Professor STEPHEN WALTON (French, Portland State University, Caller): Hello.

HANSEN: What do you do there?

Prof. WALTON: I'm a professor of French at Portland State University.

HANSEN: Oh, bonjour.

Prof. WALTON: Bonjour.

HANSEN: (French spoken) have you been playing the puzzle?

Prof. WALTON: Do you want that in French or in English?

HANSEN: No. I think you better say it in English 'cause my French is terrible.

Prof. WALTON: I've been playing it for as long as I can remember. At least ten years.

HANSEN: Cool. Well then you know what happens. Are you ready to play in English?

Prof. WALTON: I am.

HANSEN: All right. Well, Will, please meet Stephen. Let's play.

SHORTZ: Hi there. I'm going to give you three words that rhyme with three things that are in the same category. And these three things all start with the same letter of the alphabet. You tell me what they are. For example, if I said soxer, facet and regal, you would say boxer, basset and beagle, which are all types of dogs. So they rhyme and they all start with the same letter of the alphabet.

Here's your first one.

Prof. WALTON: Okay.

SHORTZ: Pays, P-A-Y-S, pays, mover and guarding. And as soon as you get one you're going to get the other two because they all start with the same letter of the alphabet. Pays, mover and guarding.

Prof. WALTON: Hoover...

SHORTZ: Yeah.

HANSEN: Oh.

Prof. WALTON: ...Hayes and...

SHORTZ: Yes.

Prof. WALTON: ...Harding. Oh, presidents.

HANSEN: Yeah, presidents.

SHORTZ: There you go. Hayes, Hoover and Harding, good. Number two is flunky, deuce and house.

Prof. WALTON: Monkey, moose and mouse.

SHORTZ: There you go. Just add an M. Your next one is smirch, speech and salsa.

Prof. WALTON: Birch, beech and balsa.

SHORTZ: There you go. All trees. Havens, shams and cedars. Havens, shams, cedars.

Prof. WALTON: Raven...

SHORTZ: There you go.

HANSEN: You got ravens.

Prof. WALTON: Ravens, Rams and Raid - oh, football teams - Raiders.

SHORTZ: There you go, NFL teams. Good. All right. Now, this one you have to put two consonants in front of the vowel and your words are follow, lift and dawn. Two consonants in front of the vowel.

Prof. WALTON: Swallow...

SHORTZ: Yes.

Prof. WALTON: Swallow...

SHORTZ: Um-hum.

Prof. WALTON: Swift...

SHORTZ: Yes.

Prof. WALTON: ...and swan.

SHORTZ: There you go.

Prof. WALTON: Oh, swift, lift.

SHORTZ: There...

HANSEN: And swan...

SHORTZ: ...there you go.

HANSEN: ...like dawn, not Don the name or capo but dawn sun comes up.

SHORTZ: Three birds. All right. And, again, two consonants in front of the vowel: mynah, as in the mynah bird, M-Y-N-A-H, Philly and glad. Mynah, Philly and glad.

HANSEN: China, Chile and Chad.

SHORTZ: There you go. And we got a couple more. And this - since you're getting so good - I'm going to give you just two words but it follows the same rules as before. And the first one is steel and Tennyson. Steele...

Prof. WALTON: Steele and Tennyson?

SHORTZ: Yeah.

Prof. WALTON: Venison won't work.

SHORTZ: There you go. Yes, it does.

HANSEN: Veal and venison would.

Prof. WALTON: Oh, veal and venison.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Veal and venison, two meats. Here you go: squeegees and words. Squeegees and words.

Prof. WALTON: Oh, Bee Gees and Birds, rock...

SHORTZ: Bee Gees and Birds, old musical...

HANSEN: Greats.

SHORTZ: Yeah. Riot, Milton, as in the poet. Riot, Milton.

Prof. WALTON: I failed Milton as an undergraduate.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Would the category in this one be hotels by any chance?

SHORTZ: Yes, it would.

Prof. WALTON: Hyatt and Hilton.

SHORTZ: Hyatt and Hilton is right. And here is your last one: fillings and cute, C-U-T-E.

Prof. WALTON: What was the first word?

SHORTZ: Fillings, as in fillings in your teeth.

Prof. WALTON: In your teeth. Billings and Butte.

SHORTZ: Billings and Butte, cities in Montana. Nice job.

HANSEN: Hey, Stephen, nice work.

Prof. WALTON: Well, thank you.

HANSEN: Very well done. Well, you know, we can't give away a refrigerator the way that Martha Stewart did when Will appeared on her show, but we do have some parting gifts. And to tell you what you're going to get today, Stephen, is novelist Louise Erdrich.

Ms. LOUISE ERDRICH (Novelist): 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.

HANSEN: And that's Louise Erdrich. We're going to have a conversation about her new book, "A Plague of Doves," in a moment. But, Stephen, that's what you're going to get for playing our puzzle today. Tell us what member station you listen to or how you hear us.

Prof. WALTON: I listen to you on OPB in Portland.

HANSEN: OPB, is that Oregon Public Broadcasting?

Prof. WALTON: Oregon Public Broadcasting it is.

HANSEN: All right. Well, Stephen Walton, from Portland, Oregon, merci for playing the puzzle with us and (French spoken).

Prof. WALTON: (French spoken). Au revoir. Merci.

HANSEN: Okay. And, Will, what's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Well, my commencement address here at Indiana University is being done at Assembly Hall. I'd like you to rearrange the letters of Assembly Hall to spell three loud sounds. What are they? So, again, rearrange the 12 letters of Assembly Hall to spell three loud sounds. What are they?

HANSEN: 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, 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach at about that time because 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, who this week joined us from the studios of member station WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana.

Will, thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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